5-vol. set UXL Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes

3 08 2012

5-vol. set UXL Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes

5-vol. set UXL Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes

My author copies just arrived. 🙂

Dragon Lady

26 07 2010

One of the fun things about being a writer is researching things that you find fascinating. Right now I’m lucky enough to be writing about pirates. And I’ve found a heroine who intrigues me. Chinese pirate, Ching Shih, who goes by many other names, took over a pirate fleet of about 200 junks and 50,000 sailors when her husband died in the early 1800s, and she turned it into one of the largest fleets in the world.

Ching Shih had some interesting rules about pirate conduct, including that captured women were not to be raped. Pirates could, however, buy any leftover women (those whose families or villages didn’t raise enough ransom money) for $40, but they had to marry them. Granted, not every woman was overjoyed at the prospect of marrying a pirate, and some jumped overboard.

She also insisted that her pirates pay for the rice or other supplies they got from the villagers along the South China coast. Rather unusual conduct for pirates, wouldn’t you say? But it also insured her crew had all the gunpowder and food they needed. People were eager to hand over necessities when the pirates came calling.

Of course, that wasn’t always voluntary. Ching Shih often demanded tribute from villages and, if they didn’t pay, she exacted revenge. Her crew burned the towns, slaughtered the people, and took captives. They were pirates after all.

Ching Shih has been characterized as shrewd, brave, and resourceful. When she decided to surrender in 1810, she negotiated a military position for her new husband (who was also her adopted son and her first husband’s lover). She even arranged for military honors for herself–a slightly illegal manuever, because widows weren’t granted these honors.

She moved on to a peaceful life as the owner of a gambling house, with possibly a little opium smuggling on the side. All in all, quite a remarkable woman.

Big Date

27 11 2009

The Susquehanna Writers, of which I’m an honorary member, have been reaching out to support area Indie bookstores.  We gave out gift baskets to two Indie bookstores this fall, and now we’re banding together for a group booksigning at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg, PA, on December 19, 2009. A large group of authors will have books for sale and will autograph them for you. From romance to history, from mystery to self-help, from thrillers to YA; you’ll find something to please everyone on your holiday gift list. And if these books aren’t enough to entice you (though they certainly should be), the Midtown Scholar offers the largest array of rare and used books between New York and Chicago. They have more than ONE MILLION secondhand and out-of-print books in all fields.

Need a gift for that hard-to-please person? Consider a book. It’s a gift they’ll treasure for a lifetime.

If you want to know where and when to show up, here are the additional details:

3-5 pm, December 19, 2009

1302 North Third Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102
(717) 236-2665

And I’ll be there to sign copies of Rihanna and Summer Lovin‘. Feel free to drop by and get your copy signed if you already have one, or pick up some as gifts for the teens in your life.