Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Mounds Anomaly by Phyliss Gunderson

Isn't it fun when you discover an author who shares your curiosity? I came Across Phyllis Gunderson's The Mounds Anomaly and found a kindred soul. Her interest in the mounds found across the eastern United States mirrors mine and we both included the mysterious mounds in our fiction. In my "Retrieved" (The Shapeshifters' Library book 2) my shifters believe an ancient library is buried beneath a huge Ohio mound and set out to excavate it to find more about their history. In "Recovered" (The Shapeshifters' Library book 3) due out in September, my characters visit several important Midwestern mound sites.
Here's a post Phyllis wrote about the mounds. She also found The Mystic Symbol by Henriette Mertz. (Thanks Julie Wallace for sending me a copy!)

Here's Phyllis's story:

I got curious about the American mounds when I learned of farmers in the early 1800s who uncovered thousands of artifacts that shouldn’t have been under their fields: helmets, jars, calendars, and tablets carved in an unknown script.

Scientists pronounced everything, including the farmers, hoaxes and frauds.

After that, if anyone found something strange, they used it as a doorstop and shut up. I searched for additional history and found more than enough to write a mystery novel based on archaeological discoveries in North America. By lucky coincidence, “The Mounds Anomaly” comes out in time to coordinate with the new TV series, “America Unearthed,” which examines evidence of ancient world civilizations in North America. It’s fun stuff—and could change history.

The Mounds Anomaly by Phyllis Gunderson -

An ancient gold coin, a mysterious American Indian burial ground, and a Colorado canyon all have something in common---and brilliant archaeologist Mathilda Howard holds the key to solving the puzzle. Warned to keep quiet or lose her job, Mathilda risks her life to expose the truth that could change the entire history of the world in this fascinating mystery.

Mathilda (Matt) Howard can’t resist a good mystery. So when one falls into her hands, she relentlessly pieces the clues together to figure out the answer. It all starts with a forgotten coin that Matt finds in her old excavating backpack. But when she takes it to a colleague, it’s instantly branded a fake from one of the greatest hoaxes ever to occur in America.

Undeterred by the skepticism, Matt begins to dig for the truth, leading her to ancient ruins in Illinois and Michigan. But just as she makes some headway in her research, she is stopped again and again by those who don’t want the truth out—a truth that could change the entire world’s history.

Full of intrigue and action, The Mounds Anomaly will change the way you think about ancient American history.

PhyllisEthlyn Gunderson has degrees in Communications, ESL, Ancient Religious Texts, and enough credits for a minor in Anthropology. She taught English in India, Thailand, and Cambodia, marveling at the vast history and ruins of those lands. She also traveled to Belize, Egypt, England, Ireland, and China to see evidence of the past. But she is especially intrigued by the prehistoric earthworks of her own country. The Mounds Anomaly, told as a story, reveals the largely unknown civilizations that once flourished and faded in North America. She resides in Provo, Utah, always searching for unsolved mysteries and offbeat archaeology.

Find out more about Phyllis Gunderson at her website.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas (August 2013) & the RONE!

I love conferences, conventions, workshops, and expos. I especially appreciate the organization that goes into planning and pulling off an event with so much creativity and attention it looks as if it fell together flawlessly. 

As a librarian I loved library conferences: books, new technology, books, lectures and meeting new and old friends. Did I mention books? As a library consultant I loved setting up booths, standing for 3-5 days (well, not that so much), demoing the new technology, meeting new and old friends and clients, competitors’ parties, entertaining, and swag. Library sway was always great (did you know?).

I also exhibited at law library conferences, whose parties and swag were really over the top. The books - not as much fun.

When I was involved in the world of dogs I loved the organization of dog shows that allowed over a thousand dogs to enter a myriad of classes and on the show day, all show up at the right time and place, judging takes place and like a fantastical elimination contest, and the day ends with one dog judged Best in Show. (It’s not that simple, but it still is amazing.)

Since I started writing, I’ve never attended a big romance writers’ conference. I’d heard about the Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas for authors and readers of romance (August 7-11, 2013) and considered it was close enough for me to drive, but dithered. When Released finalled in the RONE (Reward Of Novel Excellence) contest hosted by  the classy InD'tale Magazine, I was told winners would be announced at the RNC. I checked the RNC website and was impressed with the organization and raw creativity Jimmy Thomas put into this first ever event.

It seems to have all the elements of a romance writers’ conference. Nationally knows speakers, parties for networking, book fair, raffle, prizes, swag bags and swag tables. (The RONE contest itself was masterfully planned and executed and deserves a post to itself.)

But some aspects were not so common. Reasonable prices for the conference and lodging in the convention hotel. A very creative food package. Practical programs for writers and reader. Nationally respected speakers (Bob Mayer, Jennifer Ashley, etc.). A costume ball (with opportunity to rent costumes) A professional photographer for headshots. Romance novelist Virginia Nelson’s wedding (how romantic is that!). And movies for when you’ve talked yourself hoarse.

And oh yes, male cover models will compete for a “Mr. Casanova Competition” (how appropriate – Casanova was a librarian.) Yes Jimmy Thomas, the organizer and host is a cover model, a great businessman, a smart and generous man, and not bad-looking. And he does grace over 5,000 romance novel covers.

Brilliant promo idea - Authors may rent the cover models to have them learn and perform a scene from their book. 

And  - the awards ceremony!!!!!!!

And for you dog lovers:
I’d love to interview Mike O’Hearn (7-time Fitness Male Model of the Year and a Mr. Casanova judge) about his rescue dogs. After they were used on a photo shoot, he took them home rather than hove them returned to the pound. Awwwe….