Tangled Lights and Silent Nights: A Holiday Anthology

Tangled Lights and Silent Nights: A Holiday Anthology

Wonder
This holiday season, twenty talented, award-winning, and bestselling authors have crafted never before released Yuletide-themed tales about their most beloved characters.

Magic
From murder to magic, love to loss, the past and the future, this multi-genre collection of poems and stories has something for everyone.

Charity
In the spirit of giving, the authors have generously opted to donate all profits to The LifeAfter—Visions of Hope Project, whose passion is to shatter the stigma and spread awareness to three taboo topics that underscore society today: Suicide, Substance Abuse, and Domestic Violence.

Nicole Evelina’s story:

A Vanderbilt Christmas 
A companion story to the award-winning novel Madame Presidentess.

In 1872, Victoria Woodhull made history by becoming the first woman to run for president of the United States. But four years earlier she was still struggling to overcome her shameful past and establish herself in New York’s high society. She has finally secured an entre into that glittering world by way of an invitation to Christmas Eve dinner at the home of railroad and shipping magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. But when her uncouth family crashes the party and threatens to send her social status spiraling, it will take a Christmas miracle to recover her reputation and keep her dreams on track.

Buy now:

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https://books2read.com/TangledLights  (includes international links)

Add it to your TBR shelf on Goodreads:

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Want a sneak peek into my brain for this story? Check out the Pinterest board I created while writing it.

Interview with Nicole Evelina About Her New Book “Mistress of Legend: Guinevere’s Tale, Book Three”

CHILDREN OF ARTHUR

I’m pleased to welcome back Nicole Evelina, author of the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy. Nicole has been a guest here in the past when I interviewed her about her previous books in the series, Daughter of Destiny and Camelot’s Queen. Reviews of those books and my previous interviews with Nicole can all be found here at ChildrenofArthur.com. Before we get into today’s interview, here’s a little background information about Nicole.

Nicole Evelina, author of the Guinevere trilogy

Nicole Evelina has spent the last nineteen years researching the Arthurian legend, Celtic Britain, and the various peoples, cultures, and religious practices that shaped the country after the withdrawal of Rome.

Nicole holds a BA in English and an MA in media communications. Her previous novels have won multiple awards, including two Book of the Year designations and the North Street Book Prize. Her non-Arthurian works include Madame Presidentess, a historical novel…

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Nicole Evelina’s Guinevere Trilogy Comes to Gripping and Gorgeous End

CHILDREN OF ARTHUR

If you only read one new Arthurian novel this year, make it Mistress of Legend by Nicole Evelina. Of course, since it’s the third in a trilogy, you may first want to read Daughter of Destiny and Camelot’s Queen. But what makes this novel stand out, besides Evelina’s wonderful writing abilities, is that it tells Guinevere’s story after the Battle of Camlann.

Mistress of Legend tells a new story of what happened to Guinevere after Arthur’s passing.

The novel opens right after Lancelot has rescued Guinevere from being burnt at the stake. Warning, there will be some spoiler alerts here, but I won’t give away the big stuff. Guinevere and Lancelot are pursued, and Guinevere is told she is pardoned and can return to Camelot. When she returns, she learns that Arthur had been poisoned so that he would not be in his right mind and aware of the…

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When Competition is Motivating

My monthly Spellbound Scribes Post.

PS – As an update – PS – One of my friends just found out her latest book made the WSJ bestseller list and she is also named as one of Amazon’s 100 Most Read Authors ever! There’s my motivation to get my butt in gear for that proposal!

Spellbound Scribes

I’m a very competitive person.

Shut up.

I’m beginning to realize that rather than discourage me, the success of others motivates me to work harder, to reach farther, to branch out into areas I otherwise would be afraid to go.

A few years ago, my fellow Scribe Emmie Mears had a run of great news in her career, securing four book deals in one summer for both fiction and non-fiction books. At the time, I was 1.5 years into being on submission for my first book, Daughter of Destiny, and I was starting to see cracks in my relationship with my agent. So while I was happy for Emmie, I was also feeling insecure, which led to me being VERY jealous.

Not long before Emmie’s announcement, my agent had told me the editor who had my book at the time was so certain we were going to get an…

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Guinevere’s Tale Book 1

  • Chanticleer Reviews 2015 Book of the Year
  • Winner of the North Street Book Prize
  • Best New Voice, (Silver Award), IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards

 

Before queenship and Camelot, Guinevere was a priestess of Avalon. She loved another before Arthur, a warrior who would one day betray her.

In the war-torn world of late fifth century Britain, young Guinevere faces a choice: stay with her family to defend her home at Northgallis from the Irish, or go to Avalon to seek help for the horrific visions that haunt her. The Sight calls her to Avalon, where she meets Morgan, a woman of questionable parentage who is destined to become her rival. As Guinevere matures to womanhood, she gains the powers of a priestess, and falls in love with a man who will be both her deepest love and her greatest mistake.

Just when Guinevere is able to envision a future in Avalon, tragedy forces her back home, into a world she barely recognizes, one in which her pagan faith, outspokenness, and proficiency in the magical and military arts are liabilities. When a chance reunion with her lover leads to disaster, she is cast out of Northgallis and into an uncertain future. As a new High King comes to power, Guinevere must navigate a world of political intrigue where unmarried women are valuable commodities and seemingly innocent actions can have life-altering consequences.

You may think you know the story of Guinevere, but you’ve never heard it like this: in her own words. Listen and you will hear the true story of Camelot and its queen.

Fans of Arthurian legend and the Mists of Avalon will love Daughter of Destiny, the first book in a historical fantasy trilogy that gives Guinevere back her voice and traces her life from an uncertain eleven year old girl to a wise queen in her fifth decade of life.

Preview the book.

Purchase print and ebook:                       Audio book:

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In stores:

Bellingham, WA – Village Books and Paper Dreams

Los Angeles, CA – The Ripped Bodice

St. Louis, MO – The Novel Neighbor

St. Charles, MO – Main Street Books

Other Awards

  • Gold Medal – Midwest Book Awards
  • Gold Medal – Next Generation Indie Book Awards (fantasy)
  • Gold Medal – Readers Favorite Awards (fantasy)
  • First Place, Legacy/legend category – 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Women’s Fiction/Romantic Fiction
  • First Place, Fairytale/Folklore category, Colorado Independent Publisher’s Association (CIPA) EVVY Awards

NGIBA Gold Medal

Short list – 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction

Selected for Library Journal‘s curated SELF-e Select module

A 5-Star Review from Readers’ Favorites.

Praise

“A new twist on an old tale that gives agency, sympathy, and personality to a woman typically cast as a one-dimensional adulteress. Classic characters find their way into Guinevere’s orbit in unexpected ways, keeping the novel both familiar and fresh.” – Library Journal

“Evelina’s re-imaginings of this familiar material is unfailingly energetic and innovative, and her version of Guinevere herself is captivating virtually from the first page – no small feat in an overall plot with such well-defined parameters. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to its sequel.” – Historical Novel Society
“Wonderfully gripping. A stunning first novel.” –  The Wishing Shelf Book Awards
“A lyrical, imagistic retelling of the Arthurian legend…The writer’s skill in creating a lushly imagistic fantasy world was a major reason for her first place award. Nicole Evelina has succeeded in creating a novel that is a pleasure for adults as well as teenagers to read. Although I am not normally a reader of fantasy fiction, I loved being immersed in the misty, magical land of Avalon.” – Ellen LaFleche for the North Street Book Prize committee

“If you are an enthusiast of Arthurian and Avalonia, then you will fall in love Guinevere’s story. You may already know it, but Nicole’s words put Camelot and its queen into a new and refreshing light. –SeriousReading (4.5 Star Review)

Daughter of Destiny is an entertaining and well-structured novel…The fate of Nicole Evelina’s Guinevere is worth tracing through the rest of the series.”  – IndieReader

“A gripping read that brings a wonderfully depicted Guinevere tumbling out of the shadows of myth.” – Anna Belfrage, author of The Graham Saga

“Written in lyrical prose and deposits you right in the middle of medieval times. The writing is fast paced, historically correct for the era, and a page turner. I sympathized with the character whom fictional history buffs branded a lustful harlot because of circumstances…Great twist at the end. Evelina’s 15 years of research are a powerful addition to a fantastic read. Can’t wait for Book Two. Prepare to embrace Guinevere. I feel privileged to have read this outstanding novel by a great writer.” – Sandra Masters for Readers’ Favorite

“Colorful and exciting…love all the characters. You will have a ball with this book.” – Serena Scott Thomas, actress and audio book narrator

“Nicole Evelina shows a deep and passionate love for the Arthurian world, and her re-weaving of the story of Guinevere and Arthur makes for enjoyable reading. With more volumes to come, if you like stories of Camelot, ancient priesthoods, magical Avalonian dreams and embattled romance, this is for you.” – John Matthews, author of ‘Arthur of Albion’ and ‘The Camelot Oracle’

This book is also listed on:

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Formats: ebook, paperback, audio
Publisher: Lawson Gartner publishing
ISBN: 

  • 978-0-9967631-0-3 (print)
  • 978-0-9967631-1-0 (ebook)
  • 978-0-9967631-2-7 (audio)

Guinevere’s Tale Book 2

Perfect for fans of the Mists of Avalon, Philippa Gregory and Signe Pike

Winner:

  • Fiction Book of the Year – Author’s Circle
  • Best Second Book – Next Generation Indie Book Awards

History remembers Guinevere’s sin, but it was Arthur who transgressed first.

Forced into a marriage she neither anticipated nor desired, Guinevere
finds herself High Queen, ruling and fighting alongside Arthur as they
try to subdue the Saxons, Irish and Picts who threaten Britain from every direction. Though her heart still longs for her lost love, Guinevere slowly grows to care for her husband as they join together to defeat their enemies.

Meanwhile, within the walls of Camelot their closest allies plot against them. One schemes to make Guinevere his own, another seeks revenge for past transgressions, while a third fixes her eyes on the throne. When the unthinkable happens and Guinevere is feared dead, Arthur installs a new woman in her place, one who will poison his affections toward her, threatening Guinevere’s fragile sanity and eventually driving her into the arms of her champion.

Amid this tension a new challenge arises for the king and queen of Camelot: finding the Holy Grail, a sacred relic that promises lasting unity. But peace, as they will soon learn, can be just as dangerous as war. As the court begins to turn on itself, it becomes clear that the quest that was to be Arthur’s lasting legacy may end in the burning fires of condemnation. 

This highly anticipated sequel to Daughter of Destiny proves there is much more to Guinevere’s story than her marriage and an affair. See the legend you think you know through her eyes and live the adventure of Camelot’s golden days yourself – but prepared to suffer its downfall as well.

Preview the book.

Purchase print and ebook:                        Audio book:

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In stores:

Bellingham, WA – Village Books and Paper Dreams

Los Angeles, CA – The Ripped Bodice

St. Louis, MO – The Novel Neighbor

St. Charles, MO – Main Street Books

Other Awards

  • Gold Medal, Next Generation Indie Book Awards (fantasy)
  • First Place, Ozma Awards for Fantasy Fiction (mythological fantasy)

Finalist – Midwest Book Awards (fantasy)
Short-list – Forward Indies Book of the Year (fantasy)
Long List – RONE Awards (historical: ancient through 16th century)

Chosen as a TaleFlick Team Pick
Selected –
 Library Journal‘s curated SELF-e Select module
Named a Discovered Diamond for independent historical fiction

Praise

“What a refreshing twist to a historical fiction nearly as old as time…Author Nicole Evelina not only spins a refreshing new thread told from Guinevere’s POV, she weaves an entire tapestry rich in color, depth, and scope…With larger than life characters, a gamut of emotions, mystical forces and hate-worthy villains this is historical fantasy at its finest!” – InD’Tale Magazine (4.5 star, Crowned-heart review)

“Lovers of historical fiction, as well as those who enjoy fantasy, will delight in this gem.” – Chanticleer Reviews

“An enthralling saga.” – The Wishing Shelf Book Awards

“Evelina writes [the court intrigues] with terrific energy and page after page of vivid dialogue. She very adroitly exploits the known quantities of the core Arthurian story; readers know to expect the division of Guinevere’s affections, and the sensitive emotional variations Evelina works into the story are expertly done. This is a fine, gripping series.” – Historical Novel Society

“The book is full of high political intrigue and lots of action as the reader easily becomes immersed in the life of the medieval court of King Arthur. A thrilling addition to the chronicles of Arthur’s fated Guinevere.” – Readers’ Favorite 5-Star review

“Captivating. I couldn’t put it down. Guinevere’s story for a new generation.” – Bookalicious

“In Queen of Camelot, Guinevere steps forth as a woman of strength and passion. A woman to admire – and to love!” – Anna Belfrage, author of The Graham Saga

This book is also listed on:

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Languages: Published in English worldwide. All other rights available.
Formats: 
ebook, paperback, audio
Publisher: Lawson Gartner publishing
ISBN: 

  • 978-0-9967631-3-4 (print)
  • 978-0-9967631-4-1 (ebook)
  • 978-0-9967631-5-8 (audio)

Biographical historical fiction of Victoria Woodhull

  • First place, Women’s US History category, 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction
  • Honorable Mention – Reader’s Favorite Book Awards, Fiction – Historical Personage category
  • Finalist – Eric Hoffer Book Awards

Forty-eight years before women were granted the right to vote, one woman dared to run for President of the United States, yet her name has been virtually written out of the history books.

Rising from the shame of an abusive childhood, Victoria Woodhull, the daughter of a con-man and a religious zealot, vows to follow her destiny, one the spirits say will lead her out of poverty to “become ruler of her people.”

But the road to glory is far from easy. A nightmarish marriage teaches Victoria that women are stronger and deserve far more credit than society gives. Eschewing the conventions of her day, she strikes out on her own to improve herself and the lot of American women.

Over the next several years, she sets into motion plans that shatter the old boys club of Wall Street and defile even the sanctity of the halls of Congress. But it’s not just her ambition that threatens men of wealth and privilege; when she announces her candidacy for President in the 1872 election, they realize she may well usurp the power they’ve so long fought to protect.

Those who support her laud “Notorious Victoria” as a gifted spiritualist medium and healer, a talented financial mind, a fresh voice in the suffrage movement, and the radical idealist needed to move the nation forward. But those who dislike her see a dangerous force who is too willing to speak out when women are expected to be quiet. Ultimately, “Mrs. Satan’s” radical views on women’s rights, equality of the sexes, free love and the role of politics in private affairs collide with her tumultuous personal life to endanger all she has built and change how she is viewed by future generations.

This is the story of one woman who was ahead of her time – a woman who would make waves even in the 21st century – but who dared to speak out and challenge the conventions of post-Civil War America, setting a precedent that is still followed by female politicians today.

Preview the book.

Purchase paperback and ebook:             Audio book:

amazon-logo-icon nook-icon-150x150 KoboIconWeb ibooks_icon book-button-smashwords-icon          

In stores:

Bellingham, WA – Village Books and Paper Dreams

Los Angeles, CA – The Ripped Bodice

St. Louis, MO – The Novel Neighbor

St. Charles, MO – Main Street Books

Other Awards

  • Selected for Library Journal‘s curated SELF-e Select module 
  • Awarded the Indie B.R.A.G Medallion

Praise:

“Evelina’s intriguing account of Victoria Woodhull—spiritualist, suffragette, stockbroker, and politician—deftly extols the many “firsts” of this 19th-century feminist trailblazer…Evelina moves assuredly through the many layers of Victoria’s colorful life; such potent issues as family torment, marital abuse, and female subjugation all are linked in this dramatic story of struggle.” – Publisher’s Weekly

“A fascinating story of meteoric rise from rags to riches, from subservience to achievement – based on a true story. A highly entertaining and informative read.” – Chanticleer Reviews

“Evelina does a remarkable job of using letters and articles from Victoria’s lifetime to create an engaging story. Victoria was not always easy to relate to with regard to some of her choices, but Evelina does a great job fleshing out the reasoning behind Victoria’s motivations, which made her someone easy to sympathize with. This is a well-plotted and revealing look into the life of the first woman to run for president, and a book that stays with you.” – Historical Novel Society

“Riveting… Nicole Evelina presents a realistic and fascinating account of a woman who should be recognized in the history books…Ms. Evelina is certainly a skilled storyteller and writer…This excellent book is required reading for anyone trying to understand the roots of the fight for women’s equal rights.” – Deborah Lloyd for Readers’ Favorite

“Fascinating. Victoria Woodhull was certainly a powerhouse, who for some reason was written out of the history books. If you’re looking for an engaging and fast-paced historical fiction novel about subject not often explored in the genre, be sure to check out Madame Presidentess.” – Books & Tea

“An engaging read…author Nicole Evelina’s fascinating account doesn’t spare the more sordid side of Woodhull’s life and is punctuated with events and figures from the era (e.g., Walt Whitman, Susan B. Anthony, the suffragists, et al.).” – IndieReader

“Nicole Evelina beautifully illustrates in her historical novel Madame Presidentess the major events, philosophical influences, and relationship dynamics at play in the extraordinary life of Victoria Woodhull as a significant forerunner for our generation’s feminist movement. This highly engaging story of Woodhull’s 1872 Presidential run is so timely and relevant!” -Cindy Safronoff, author of Crossing Swords: Mary Baker Eddy vs. Victoria Claflin Woodhull and the Battle for the Soul of Marriage

Formats: ebook, paperback,
Publisher: Lawson Gartner Publishing
ISBN: 

  • 978-0-9967632-0-2 (print)
  • 978-0-9967631-9-6 (ebook)
  • 978-0-9967632-7-1 (audio)

Feminism: One Movement in Four Waves (Part 4)

This is the final installment of this series. Here are the other parts: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Wave Four: 2017 – Present – Women Resist
Key Figures: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris, celebrities such as Rose McGowan, Reese Witherspoon and Emma Watson, and women of the general public who demonstrated.

By Elvert Barnes from Baltimore, Maryland, USA via Wikimedia Commons

In 2005, Pythia Peay became the first women to argue, at least publicly, that the country had slipped into a fourth wave of feminism, one she believed combined justice with spirituality. Jennifer Baumgardner points to 2008 as the date the fourth wave began because of the sanctioning of Take Our Daughters to Work Days and the broadening of feminist agendas to include transgender women, acceptance of sex-positivism and sex workers, support for plus-sized women and other issues.

But I personally believe the change came in 2017. Regardless of who you voted for, it’s hard to deny that the Trump election changed everything for women in the United States. You could argue that this wave began with Hilary Clinton’s campaign, but I believe the stunning blow many women felt when she lost, combined with Trump’s public distain for women, is really what set us into a new wave.

Within days of his election, women were planning ways to protest the rise of a culture in which a political leader with pending lawsuits for sexual misconduct and widely-seen video/audio footage of him bragging about kissing/groping women without their consent is given a pass by fellow lawmakers and voters. They also used it as a chance to advocate for legislation and policies regarding human rights, women’s rights, immigration reform, health care reform, reproductive rights, the environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality and freedom of religion. The resulting January 21, 2017, Women’s March in Washington was the largest single-day protest in American history. It and 673 others around the world drew 2.6 million people in all 50 states and 32 countries. (In 2018, more than 1 million women turned out for a second Women’s March in cities across the country, with an emphasis on resistance and creating change through voting in the midterm elections to be held later in the year.)

By Rob Kall from Bucks County, PA, USA via Wikimedia Commons

2017 also saw the ideas of men habitually interrupting women or “mansplaining” ideas to them come into mainstream media when California Sen. Kamala Harris was cut off by two male colleagues during an Intelligence Committee hearing, not once, but twice in a week, without censure.  This event led to former Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller branding Harris with the age-old female label of “hysterical.” During the same hearings, when Sen. Elizabeth Warren objected to the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Senate voted to silence her in the middle of a speech, citing  Senate Rule XIX, which prohibits ascribing “to another senator or to other senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator.” In defending this action, Sen. Mitch McConnell said, “Sen. Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Thus was born the fourth wave feminist slogan “Nevertheless She Persisted.”

Perhaps the most visible movement within the reenergized feminist fourth wave began in October 2017 with a tweet from actress Rose McGowan in which she revealed she had been raped by a man she called HW (who would later be identified as media mogul Harvey Weinstein). Her Charmed co-star Alyssa Milano responded to her tweet by urging women to use the hastag  #MeToo to show how widespread sexual harassment and sexual assault are. A movement was born, resulting in hundreds of thousands of women (both famous and not) around the world sharing their stories, as well as accusations against more than 50 Hollywood heavyweight actors, producers, directors, and other public figures. Time magazine later named the #MeToo silence breakers the Person of the Year for 2017.

A high-profile offshoot of #MeToo is #TimesUp, a movement involving more than 300 women in the film industry who are supporting one another in the fight against sexual harassment and violence through lobbying and providing funds for victims who can’t afford legal counsel.

Given all this fiery activity, it is little surprise that feminism was Merriam-Webster’s 2017 Word of the Year – a move many saw as confirming the rise of feminism from near-death.

From NBC news

One positive outcome of this fledgling wave of feminism is that more women than ever are running for political office, seeking to change trends that threaten to normalize sexual harassment and overall disregard for women’s rights and feelings. Currently, women occupy just 19.1% of House seats, 21% of Senate seats, and only four current U.S. governors are women, according to Catalyst.org, but this may well change with 2018 mid-term elections leaving several seats up for grabs. According to the Washington Post, a record number of women are running for governor: 79 women — 49 Democrats and 30 Republicans — are considering runs for the 2018 campaign. That’s more than double than four years ago. In Michigan, it appears that women will be nominees for every statewide office and more than 110 women have signed up to run for the Texas legislature.

Only time will tell what else this new wave will bring or what permanent changes it will usher in. I, for one, am grateful to be living “in interesting times” where history is made each and every day. If previous waves are any indication, persistence, loud voices and bold action will win the day and hopefully, finally, bring to an end the need for feminism to exist after nearly 200 years. It’s a tall order, but as Rosie the Riveter reminds us “we can do it!”

 

On Women, Strength and Competition

This is my monthly Spellbound Scribes blog post.

Spellbound Scribes

Last week on International Women’s Day, I was exposed to the most wonderful poet: Fleassy Malay from Melbourne, Australia, and her incredible poem, “Witches.” It’s actually not about witchcraft, but strong women. Please take a moment to watch it.

If you liked it, you can buy a print of the text on Etsy. Until March 18, 50% of the proceeds will be donated to The Global Women’s Project.

I seriously have a girl crush on Fleassy now and immediately followed her on Facebook. The other night she posted a Facebook Live to explain why she wrote the poem, which isn’t necessarily why you might think. Among other things, she said something like “we’re really good as women at calling each other out on our shit, but we don’t really have a system for celebrating one another.”

That really stuck with me. I’m a highly competitive person, so I naturally…

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