Happy 5th Blogiversary and a Giveaway

5-candle-birthdaySo WordPress tells me today is the anniversary of this blog. I totally spaced on that this year with all that’s going on. (Just turned in final edits to the layout people for Madame Presidentess! No more changes after this. Only one more look-see to make sure they made them correctly. It’s officially done! You’ll have it in your hands July 25.)

As usual, I’m having a giveaway to celebrate! And this year I can finally use my own books as prizes. So if you go over to Goodreads by June 21, you could win a copy of Been Searching for You, my new contemporary summer beach read (US only – sorry but the international postage is a killer).

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Been Searching for You by Nicole Evelina

Been Searching for You

by Nicole Evelina

Giveaway ends June 21, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/widget/190738

I can’t believe all that has happened in five years. When I started here, I was an unknown writer with no credentials and my first completed manuscript. Now I’m three-times published (soon to be four!) and have won multiple awards. It’s amazing how a lot of hard work and a little faith can pay off. Thank you to everyone for your support, whether you’ve been with me from the beginning or have just joined. There’s no way I could keep this up without you.

Here’s to five more wonderful years. I’ve got plenty of books in my head, so if you stick with me, I promise many more historical adventures to come!

Happy Fourth Blog Birthday!

Happy Blogiversary, everyone! Today we’re four years old. I can’t believe time has gone by so fast. Thank you to everyone who reads these posts week after week, and to all my wonderful guest bloggers over the years.

Lois Beechy underhill giveawayIt saddens me that I still don’t have one of my own books to give away (maybe for the milestone 5th next year?), but that doesn’t mean I’m not handing out presents. I’m giving away one copy of Lois Beachy Underhill’s biography of Victoria Woodhull, The Woman Who Ran for President. This was one of my favorite research sources and provides a concise yet compelling recounting of Victoria’s crazy life. (I don’t agree with her theory that Victoria had an affair with Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, but to each his own.)

Click here to enter. The contest is open to residents of the US only because of postal restrictions. Good luck to all!

2014: Year in Review

happy-new-year-2014-colorful-fire-wallpapersHi everyone! I emerged from the writing cave yesterday with a first draft of my next book weighing in at 107,000 words. It’ll get smaller as I edit it, but that’s two weeks away.

For now, I thought it would be a good time to look back on 2014.

Favorites
Moment:
Meeting Deb Harkness and my WISH sisters at Hedgebrook Second place: Meeting Elizabeth Gilbert
Book:
Tie between Shadow on the Crown by Patricia Bracewell and Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
Blog Post
(on this blog): There were a lot but these two rise to the top: General: Hell Yes, We Need Strong Female Characters and Historical: The First Black Friday, 1869 – Stocks, Not Shopping
Memory: Getting the words “write” and “create” tattooed on my right wrist
Music:
Book writing music: The score to Belle, composed by Rachel Portman. General music: Wrongchilde’s Goldblooded.
Quote:
“Historical fiction writers are just as qualified to write about the past as historians, if not more so.” Deb Harkness
Unexpected Occurrence:
Joining the Romance Writers of America. Never thought it would happen, but I’m so glad I did it. Oh, and connecting with Sarah Kennedy, Patricia Bracewell and Nancy Bilyeau via the Historical Novel Society was pretty cool, too.

The Year of “Bloom”
On January 1 of this year, I declared it the “Year of Blooming.” While I didn’t bloom publicly like I expected to, it was still an appropriate choice for the growth and confidence I gained this year. The goals I outlined were (and progress actually made) were:

  • Delivering book 3 and another non-related book I’m working on to my agent by the end of June. I did this. Book 3 is still in a first draft that needs work stage, but at least I’ve got my ideas down on paper. The non-related book was He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, which went to her on time. I also delivered 80% of a non-fiction book and its proposal, which I haven’t talked much about because…reasons. I’m still hoping you’ll see it someday. I just have no idea when.
  • Finally being able to announce when Guinevere book 1 will be available to the world. I really shouldn’t have made this a goal because it’s out of my hands. I still don’t have any news here, but please know I haven’t given up on making it happen.
  • Researching and beginning writing another Celtic era historical fiction novel. This was put on hold in favor of the 19th century American novel I just completed.
  • Attending the Sirens Conference with several of my writer friends in October (and possibly speaking there if I can come up with a topic and get it approved). I decided not to do this because of lack of funds. But I was able to speak at the Lit in Lou festival here in town, so I consider that a win.
  • Finding balance in my life between my day job, writing and all the other demands of life. *snort* I don’t think writing three books in one year along with working a full-time job is considered balance according to any definition.
  • Getting healthier so that I can have more energy to devote to the things I love. Not so much. See above.
  • Being more active on Facebook. (I’m already on Twitter all the time.) This kind of happened. I scheduled weekly posts all year on Facebook, although with as much as they monkey with who gets to see it and who doesn’t, I really wonder about the value.
  • Traveling for research (cross your fingers that I’ll have an announcement on this soon) for book 3 and my current non-related book. Travel for Book 3 didn’t happen, but instead I got to take a week-long creative writing class from Deborah Harkness at Hedgebrook, which honestly, was way more beneficial. I did get to travel to Chicago to research He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not and I will share some of that with you as soon as the book gets a contract – whenever that may be.
  • Continuing to find new ways to use this blog to reach out to Arthurian/Celtic fans, book lovers and writers. Honestly, I’m not sure what I had in mind for this one. I didn’t do a lot of Celtic topics, but there were a few that came out of the non-fic book.

Writing
If I have learned one thing this year, it’s that trying to write three books in a year while holding down a full-time job is INSANE. That’s not a feat I aim to repeat again. At least not until I can write full-time. But it is really mind blowing to think that one year ago today, those three books didn’t exist; all I had to my name was the three Guinevere novels. Now I have:

  1. He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (romantic women’s fiction)
  2. The non-fiction book
  3. A first draft of the 19th century strong political woman book (histfic)

Reading
Goodreads told me that I read 70 books this year, but that doesn’t include the five I’ve finished since they put out their tally, nor does it include the 30 something research books I used for the non-fic and the 19th century book. So my total is more like 100. How did I do it? A lot of audiobooks (sometimes two at a time), along with reading every spare moment. That’s about it.

Blogging
I know I was a little sporadic in 2014, especially toward the end of the year, but I’m coming to realize that when I’m focused on finishing a book, blogging is just going to have to take a back seat. I love you guys, but there is only so much of me to go around. BUT, I’m hoping the quality of content I give you weekly in between will make up for it. WordPress did this silly little year in review thing for my blog, so here it is in case you want the details: http://nicoleevelina.com/2014/annual-report/.

So I think that’s about it. Is there anything else you want to know about my 2014? I’ll be back tomorrow with another blog and several more this week, so stay turned!

Happy New Year. Let’s make 2015 the best yet! I love you all!

A Peek Behind the Creative Curtain or Why You No Blog?

do all the things

Image by Allie Brosh http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/06/this-is-why-ill-never-be-adult.html

I’m currently making my way through Justin Kleon’s books Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work. Both are so inspirational and I highly recommend them for anyone in any sort of creative discipline. Anyway, in the later he talks about sharing your process with others, letting your fans peek behind the creative curtain, so to speak. That’s always been one of my aims for this blog, so I thought I’d give you a little insight into what I’ve been doing to get my next book into motion:

  • In the last 2.5 months, I’ve read 15 research books cover to cover and written countless pages of notes.
  • Those notes have become my very detailed 25-page, 15,000 word outline.
  • Which I will turn into a 90-100K book over the next 2-3 months. I’m aiming to write about 1,000 words a day.
  • Then I will let it rest for a few weeks, edit it several times and then let my lovely crew of beta readers beat it up.
  • If all goes well, it will be on submission by late spring.

No pressure, right?

I should also have a new book review up on Historical Honey soon as well as an article on the Historical Novel Society’s site. Will send links when they are up. In November, I’ll be reviewing Robin LaFevers’ Mortal Heart for Sirens (by the way, my next book is a perfect fit for the 2015 conference theme of rebels and rebellion, so you’ll probably see me speaking there), and in December I’ll have two reviews for ebooksforreview.com, my latest book reviewing venture.

So if you’ve been wondering why I’ve been a little scattered and not quite as consistent with my blogging lately, this is why. (Remember, I don’t write full-time, yet!) Plenty more news to come and I’ll try to give you a real blog post next Monday. Love to all!

PS – I kind of want to create a new blog category for Do All The Things, since I seem to always be doing all the things.

A New Venture into Feminism – Femina Aequalitas

womens blog header small“You, a feminist?” I can hear all of your mock shock and horror. I can also hear some of you saying, “You don’t need another project. Just write.” While that’s true, I have to follow my heart in all that I do, and it was telling me the time had come for this blog.

Those of you who have been around here a while know I’m all about the strong female characters. Well, that extends to other areas of my life, too. So I decided a few months ago to start a blog to talk about issues around feminism, women’s equality, female rights, whatever you want to call it. (Check out my “why I’m here” post for more about why I created this blog.) I gathered up nine of my closest friends and several people who wanted to be guest bloggers, we did some planning via email and voila: Femina Aequalitas was born.

Femina Aequalitas is Latin for Female Equality. (Thanks to Liv for the name!) It was an easy way to show what we’re all about. It just so happens that it was ready for prime time right around the time that Emma Watson gave her groundbreaking speech on the role men play in the fight for gender equality. (If you haven’t seen, go watch it. You won’t regret it.) I’m grateful she broke the ice on the subject; we intend our blog to be a place where it can continue.

We’re not like a lot of other feminist blogs out there. You won’t find any man-hating or hard-line rhetoric. As our “About” page will tell you, we’re a group of men (yes, we have male contributors, too) and women who are searching for equality among the sexes in our lives and in our world – in pop culture (movies, music, books, TV, etc.), world news, politics and in our own lives. We’re want share those thoughts in order to foster healthy discussion and grow a community of like-minded individuals. We are desirous of change, but aren’t necessarily traditional activists.

We’re also taking a different approach to blogging. For now at least, we don’t have a regular posting schedule; we just post when something moves us so that the content is fresh and heartfelt, rather than required by a schedule. (We’ll see how that works.) We also have a Twitter account that all of us tweet from to spread the word about women’s issues that way. Feel free to follow us at @feminaaequalita.

We’re open to contributions, so if any of you would like to get involved, please either subscribe or check out our submission guidelines, or both! We’d love for you to stop by and say hi. While we’re still in our infancy, we hope you’ll join us as we build our community.

They say to practice what you preach, and this is the best way (online) I knew how to do that.

What do you think about the site? Are you interested in joining? Or at least following the conversation? What do you think about the recent discussions about feminism on social media and in the news? How do you define feminism? Do you consider yourself a feminist?

Six Articles for Readers, Writers and History Buffs

This 5th century ring, recently discovered in Britian, will important in book 2. (Photo credit: Mail Online)

This 5th century ring, recently discovered in Britian, will important in book 2. (Photo credit: Mail Online)

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed I spent almost my entire 3-day weekend making edits to the rough draft of Book 2 (working title: Camelot’s Queen). This means I didn’t have time for a proper blog post. So instead, here are a handful of news items and blog posts that have made my author’s heart sing over the last few weeks. I hope you enjoy them as well.

  1. Unique sapphire ring found in Yorkshire field may have been owned by 5th century European royalty Hmmm….considering the time period and location, it was likely to have been owned by a post-Roman Briton. Can we say King Arthur or Guinevere? Look for this ring to make several appearances in Book 2.
  2. Social Media for Writers – My agent extraordinaire, Jen Karsbaek, wrote this insightful piece on the Foreword Literary blog last week. She makes some great points I didn’t even think of when I wrote mine. (PS – Did you know you can get Foreword shirts/hoodies online?)
  3. Why I Love Novels in First Person – HF author Nancy Bilyeau (whose first book, The Crown, I am currently loving!) wrote a fantastic post over at Historical Tapestry on the merits of writing in first person. This POV has its limitations, but I have to admit I love it. I’m not sure I’ll switch third in the future.
  4. Let Your Characters Live and Breathe – James Scott Bell wrote a lovely post on what to do when your characters won’t do what you want them to do. My favorite tip: go with them; they’re usually right. The surprises in writing are actually my favorite part. They are what tell me this particular story has taken on a life of it’s own – and when it does that, it’ll be successful.
  5. An Interview with Ashley Barron – I don’t know any of this writer’s work, but I LOVED her interview. Worth reading for writers and readers alike.
  6. Think You Ought be in Pictures? – In case you’ve ever wondered about how books get turned into movies, here’s  a great post from agent Rachelle Gardener that spells it all out. (I don’t know about you, but I’m still crossing my fingers!)

And for my fellow history lovers, don’t worry, I’ll get back to the Celtic history and Arthurian legend posts soon. I still owe you posts on divorce and children in the Celtic world and I have two DVD series from the Great Courses to load me up with new material as soon as I get a chance to watch them.

What about you? What articles/blog posts have you enjoyed lately? Please share them in the comments so we can all read them.

Everything Old is New Again

First of all, I’m sorry this is kind of a cop-out post. I’ve been ill and we’ve had a death in my family, so I haven’t had as much time to devote to writing or blogging in the last two weeks as I’d like. But, we have lots of new readers here at Through the Mists of Time, so instead of skipping a week, I thought I’d share some old posts you may not have seen. Please, click around, explore and comment on as many as you like! (Posts are listed oldest to newest in each category.)

I’ll get back to new content next week, I promise. Oh, and I’m working on a guest blogging policy, so if you’re interested in guest blogging (or having me guest on your blog), please let me know!

Arthurian Legend

Why Arthurian Legend?
Arthurian Legend 101
Arthurian Legend 201
Avalon Part 1: Myth and Legend
Avalon Part 2: Glastonbury
Avalon Part 3: Avalon in My Books
Guinevereian Fiction
Historical Sources of Arthurian Legend
Literary Sources of Arthurian Legend (Part 1)
Literary Sources of Arthurian Legend (Part 2)
Guest Post: Searching for King Arthur in Turkey
Arthurian Legend: Historical Fiction or Fantasy?
E is for Excalibur
N is for Names, or the Identity Crisis in Arthurian Legend
British Identity After the Withdrawl of Rome

Celtic Society

Picture it: Britain 475 A.D.
A Celtic Primer (Top 10 Fun Facts)
Class in Celtic Society
Time in the Celtic World
Outlaws in the Celtic World
Celtic Warriors
P is for Pick Your Poison: Alcohol in Post-Roman Celtic Britain
Q is for Queens in the Celtic World
U is for Unguents and Celtic Herbalism
V is for Votadini, One of the Tribes of the Gododdin

Celtic Religion

Meet the Druids
Pick a God, Any God
Accessing the Divine – Celtic Inspiration
Samhain: The Celtic New Year
Imbolc: Herald of Spring
Beltane: Celtic Fertility Festival
Lughnasa: Gathering of the Tribe
O Holy Night, Times Three
Celtic Christianity
I is for Insight: Celtic Divination
M is for Magic: How I Handle it in My Books

Writing/Writing process

Writing Process? No Thanks, I Have Characters in My Head
The Casting Couch…er Book
In Defense of Editing Guest Post: Find Your Inspiration
On Historical Fiction Writing
Love/Hate: Ramblings About Research & Editing
The Author Platform or “What Is It You Do, Again?”
F is for Fearsome Heroines
J is for Jargon in the Writing and Publishing World
R is for Resources and Recommendations
S is for Songs that Inspire
T is for Tense: Past and Present Verbs in Fiction
Z is for Zilch, Otherwise Known as Writer’s Block

Books and Authors

A Dream Come True: Meeting Alyson Noel
Five Summer Book Picks
My Top 10 Favorite Fiction Books
Book Review: King Arthur’s Children
D is for Daughter of Smoke and Bone
K is for Kushiel’s Dart
X is for Xenophon, the Original “Horse Whisperer”
Y is for Young Adult Fiction
Book Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Other

An Aspiring Writer’s 12 Days of Christmas
Six Blogs to Check Out in 2012
Midnight in Paris: A Movie for Writers (comments are closed due to spam)
Photos from Ireland
Trinity College Old Library Long Room – Heaven on Earth
Pendragon University, School of Arthurian Legend

Six Blogs to Check Out in 2012

I know, I know. I said I wouldn’t do any more posts before the new year. So consider this one a bonus.

As you all know, I’m still fairly new to this whole blogging thing and even newer to following other people’s blogs. But I wanted to take a minute to share the ones I really like and say thanks to all my fellow bloggers out there for their insight. If you’re not on this list, please don’t be upset. I wanted to limit it to six and purposefully kept it to ones I’m really familiar with. If I’m new to following you, chances are good you’ll be on a future list!

General Topics

  1. CrazyBeautiful – Dianne Sylvan is a writer of fiction and non-fiction, but I mainly read her blog because she’s funny. Witty and poignant (sometimes in the same breath), she explores life with gusto and says things the rest of us only think (and sometimes, exactly what we need to hear).
  2. The Raccoon Society – Maintained by Kill Hannah lead singer Mat Devine (and named for the band’s fans), this blog is part musings on life, part tour diary, and part Breakfast Club Q&A. I’ve been reading Mat’s blogs (in various incarnations) for many years, and his intelligent writing, poetic sensibility and out and out compassion give me hope that there are more men out there like him. I tend to skip the Q&A because of all the teenage drama (that’s his fan base), but I laud Mat for being a role model and taking the time to give honest advice I wish had been around when I was a teen.
  3. Lee Safar’s blog – In case you haven’t noticed, Miss Lee is a sort of mentor of mine. She’s a musician, dreamer and seeker of happiness who blogs about all three. Some of her blogs are only for members of the Red Feather community (details on her site), but she shares most with everyone. The thing I love most about her writing is the positive energy, genuine warmth and frank advice. Plus, it’s neat to get an inside look into her burgeoning music career.

History/Arthurian Legend

  1. A Corner of Tenth Century Europe –  This blog, written by Oxford Professor Jonathan Jarrett, is one of the best out there for early medieval history. I don’t always understand everything he writes about, but when I do, he’s brilliant.
  2. Senchus – The subtitle says it all: “notes on early medieval Scotland.” If you’re history buff or wannabe historian, you’ll love Dr. Tim Clark’s well researched posts.
  3. Badonicus – I’m still making my way through the incredibly detailed six-part series on King Arthur that’s part of this blog, but I can say this: if you’re an Anglophile who’s at home dancing the line where history and legend meet, this blog is for you.

What are some of your favorite blogs? Or if you have one, don’t be afraid to mention it here (I’m all for shameless self-promotion). I’m always looking for new ones, so please post links in the comments below.