Oskar Blues, Keowee Valley in the News, Readers’ Awards, and I’m Off to Puerto Rico!

I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday season so far, and are relaxing (I hope) today by watching football and lounging by a warm fire!

New Year’s again …

Brevard_GrandOpening1-195x300In my town, friends are gearing up for the big Oskar Blues New Year’s Eve Grand Opening Hootenanny. Oskar Blues is a Colorado brewery that moved into our little, N.C. mountain town just recently. The owner loves mountain biking in our forests, and decided to branch out here. This year, Oskar Blues paid for all the Christmas lights in town! And tonight, they’re throwing a huge bash–complete with beer and local bands–out at the warehouse.

Sadly, my husband and I are not attending. This is for two reasons: 1) I am 21 weeks pregnant, and while normally this is an event I’d be totally into, being around loud music–even good music–and folks imbibing when I can’t just doesn’t sound fun. It also has nothing to do with the fact that, these days, I’m asleep by 9:30 p.m. And: 2) Our team, the Clemson Tigers, plays LSU tonight in the Peach Bowl. And we’ve got to watch our Tigers.

 

Keowee Valley in the news …

Other than this, some fun stuff has happened lately for Keowee Valley. On Dec. 22, this article was posted in The Greenville News, citing Keowee Valley as a great local read. This is my hometown newspaper–the place where, actually, I earned my first dime writing as a freelance reporter–and I’m thrilled.

Check it out: “Buying local: Upstate authors have the write stuff” by staff writer Wanda Owings

Next, two different book reviewers/bloggers have listed Keowee Valley as one of their Top Reads for 2012:

Goodreads Librarian, blogger and book reviewer Jill listed Keowee Valley in “My Best/Favorite Romance Novels of 2012.” It won in two categories: Best Romantic Historical Fiction and Best Debut!

Blogger/reviewer Michelle Griep also lauded Keowee Valley as her 2012′s Best Books Silver Winner, over at her blog “Writer Off the Leash.”

I’m just thrilled! A huge thanks to Wanda, Jill and Michelle for taking so much time and consideration with my novel.

South to Puerto Rico …

san_juan_puerto_rico_4_FreeTiiuPix_comAs some of you know, I’m currently a student in the MFA in Writing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. We begin each semester with a residency on-campus. Tomorrow, in lieu of the traditional Vermont residency, I am headed–big pregnant belly and all–down to sunny Puerto Rico, with 17 students, faculty, and coordinators. I’d signed on for the study abroad residency before I ever knew I’d be pregnant, and with my doctor’s approval, here I go!

I’m getting more excited by the hour about this trip: We’re starting out in Old San Juan, where we’ll stay in apartments, go on walking tours of the city’s historic and cultural sites, and commune with fellow writers and friends. Most importantly, we get to meet, talk with, and learn from some of Puerto Rico’s most lauded modern writers. Next, we head to the El Yunque National Forest, a gorgeously biodiverse rainforest, where we stay in an ecolodge.

I am a travel junkie, and so all this is right (or should I say, “write”) up my alley! I promise to report back.

May the New Year bring us all blessings, peace and prosperity!

See you in 2013!

 

 

 

 

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