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Damn, but Hugh Jackman has aged well. And is this trip really over? All jokes and travel jinxes aside, it was a wonderful time. Confabbing at the conference with so many hist-fic writers leaves me awed and inspired every time, and it was such a wonderful privilege to hit the road afterward and meet readers in both Canada and the Pacific Northwest—huge thanks to HarperCollins and HarperCollins Canada for teaming up and making it happen.

I still have no idea what happened to the laundry octopus, thought. Watch out for sock-tentacles, Newark. With three HNS conferences under my belt before jetting off to Portland, I knew two things going in: 1 There would be much fun and very little sleep, and 2 What happens at the conference, stays at the conference. This is somewhat disturbing. How fast can two hungry authors eat two sliders apiece at a sports bar counter next to a bookstore?

Four minutes flat. We close down the store. Skeevy decides silence is wisest. Ugh, ugh, ugh, I need to shower. In bleach. Jen has a plot headache for a future book that is giving her problems. Barely up to my room in time to notice it is unhabited by Ricky Gervais with or without Napoleonic uniform , I ditch the Red Monster, take a moment to wonder why on earth I packed a set of shower curtain rings, and skid downstairs for my first event. Which is….

Three hours fly by as he gives a fantastic demonstration on the history, model, and loading procedure of everything from a matchlock rifle to a WWII Luger. Janie and I have only chatted by email, but she won my heart sight unseen with her suggestion that we privately hashtag our triple-author events with HystericalFictionTour, a suggestion greeted by Jen and me with unabashed glee.

Janie and I are going to get along very well, I can tell. Buy this book immediately. We eat at a deeply artisanal restaurant across the street, eyeing the beef-heart tartar and honey-drizzled grilled cheeses with a certain caution. Sophie Perinot staggers in hollow-eyed after the flight from hell where she was practically booted out of the cargo hold and strapped on a wing; I order her a Cosmo the size of a bucket.

And her next is on the Pre-Raphaelites! Kate and Christopher and I gossip happily. There are panels to go to and people to see. Wow, wow, wow—Kristina is a revelation. And where does she get all that energy?! We could have talked for hours. Weina is as wonderful as her writing. How can anyone dislike a drink nicknamed the Green Fairy that requires a special silver-grated antique spoon to prepare? I meet the lovely Chanel Cleeton whose Cuba-set novel comes out soon, and we bond over cherry crumble and weird reviews.

Trail up to bed with heels in hand, facing six hours of slumber before it all begins again. Gortner, Steph Thornton, and Heather Webb. Questions from the audience are great, and someone snaps a terrific pic where we all look deeply skeptical. Or maybe just Muppet-like. The issue of more diverse stories and how to get them out to the reading public has been a hot topic, and the more discussions like this, the better.

Such effortless stars; I can see pretty much the entire room trying not to fangirl. I head to the book-signing afterward, catching up with some of my favorite book bloggers yay, Erin Davies! Queen Meg, First of her Name, long may she reign, sends us back to take our seats for what turns out to be one of the most magical events of the conference: the lovely Kate Forsyth takes the stage to tell us all the fairy-tale of Tam-Lin, and with nothing more than her voice and a few gestures has everyone completely under her spell.

Hundreds of people sit silent, unmoving, not checking their phones, not even BREATHING, as Kate tells us of the icy Faerie Queen and her whip, of the tormented mortal knight in her thrall, and the brave girl who saves him. I get a pic with Susanna Kearsley whose sumptuous Austenesque ballgown positively begs you to ask for a turn about the room, and then proceed to dance a gavotte with Sophie Perinot as the dance-caller patiently so very patiently teaches us the steps.

Home Again

Whist is played on the fringes, and the gossip flows…how can this conference possibly be almost over? I trail off to bed long after midnight. But I had possibly the biggest thrill ever walking into the hotel lobby and seeing a reader engrossed in her book in a lobby armchair. Interesting panels, great pre-conference workshops, and superb speeches from our guests of honor. In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in —are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

Battering my hair into submission with a flat-iron hot enough to forge swords, I observe that the red streaks newly touched up in my hair have bled over onto the blond, and I am looking somewhat…pink. Heather puts up road flares and I manage to locate her for a zip-up, riding the service elevator down with the buckets and mops to make my panel with three minutes to spare.

Someone in the audience tweets my observation about women of the past usually having to choose between marriage and career, and the bitterness that must have caused considering historical men in the same fields usually managed to have both. This is good news for my future slate of planned projects. Dolen Perkins-Valdez. Sherri is hilarious and I mark her new book down immediately for my TBR. We gab happily about books; more titles for the TBR. This turns into a geek-fest with three ladies whose love for the Renaissance is as great as mine. I know at least one debut author who got a contract this way.

A group photo together…. Also wedged into our table are lovely Brits Hazel Gaynor and Gill Paul—finally meeting these ladies in person! Leslie Carroll leads the entertainment with a series of historic play excerpts by notable historical women Mae West was a playwright?! Spackle on concealer, catch a brief nap in a basket of clean sheets as I ride down the service elevator one last time, and head for ALA with Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie.

But we also talk about the conference, which is glowing gently in the memory already. Tagged conference recap , historical novel society , hns. Published June 25, By Kate Quinn. Why write a dual narrative historical novel? Think of it as luring readers and publishers into letting you tell the story you actually want to tell by wrapping it in sparkly, on-trend ribbons. Your book can be shelved, tagged, and categorized as more than just historical fiction.

If you have a grim war-time drama full of rationing and marching, maybe your secondary timeline introduces a shot of glamour or a setting with some sunshine to vary the pace and give your reader a break. Variety is the spice of books as well as life. A historical timeline juxtaposed with a modern-day timeline. You need a link between your timelines. What creates that link?

Characters can provide the link, often seen as a young person in one timeline and a much older person in the other—I did this in The Alice Network. Locations can link stories through time as well as space. What are the pitfalls and problems in writing dual narrative historicals? Lots and lots of research. If you have two stories, it is going to be harder to keep your word count to a reasonable length. Balancing the stakes in both narratives. Keep your stakes high in both timelines. How do you write your dual narratives—each separately or both together?

You can write each timeline A-Z, then have a braiding session afterward intercutting the two. You can write both timelines at once, cutting between them as the reader would in the final draft. Ultimately, however, there is no One True Way. Do what feels most natural for you. Tagged beatriz williams , historical novel society conference , hns , the alice network , the huntress , writing advice. Published December 12, By Kate Quinn. Tagged Christmas , top ten list. Published June 26, By Kate Quinn.

Actual bears. Tagged writing advice. Published March 15, By Kate Quinn. OLDER EVE This one made me ponder for quite a while—an actress in her 50s who could play a razor-tongued pistol-wielding ex-spy with a whisky habit, and not make her too cutely inspirational or sweetly motherly? Tagged movie casting , the alice network. Published December 4, By Kate Quinn. Here are my recommendations for your next shopping trip, ten of the best books I read in though not all were published this year and just who you should buy them for… 1.

Published October 10, By Kate Quinn. At four in the afternoon, the killing began. Public domain image courtesy of Dennis Nilsson That night, champagne corks popped in the ruined town. Tagged Oradour-sur-Glane , research , the alice network. Published July 24, By Kate Quinn. For the biscuits: 1. Cube two sticks of cold butter and add to the dry mixture. Experience the magic of maple sugaring. You will walk to identify trees, observe tapped maple trees, and help collect sap. You will also learn how to boil down the sap to make edible brown syrup.

Tours at either 10— a. Ladew Gardens, Monkton. Grab your space suit and take off on a space adventure! Plus, channel your ground control skills and launch rockets of your own design. Noon—4 p. Maryland Science Center, Baltimore. Westfield Annapolis Mall, Annapolis. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. Comprised of midshipmen from various places, races, and creeds, the Gospel Choir is reflective of the diverse interests and ethnicities within the Brigade of Midshipmen.

Leigh Ryan. Riversdale House Museum, Riverdale Park. BannekerDouglass Museum, Annapolis. This is a fast-paced mix of games, relays and challenges that is sure to tire out even the most energetic pre-schooler! Ages 2—5. Pre-registration is required. Join Neverland School of Imagination for kids night with free kids meals, face painting, balloons and glitter tattoos! Annapolis Library. Drop your children off at KidCare where they will enjoy pizza, treats, crafts, games and movies, while you head out for a romantic movie, dinner, massage or shopping.

Broadway in Annapolis: Kiss Me Kate 15— Little girls, age 3—10, can spend a memorable evening with their special guy—Dad! Enjoy a night filled with entertainment, dancing, light refreshments, and fun. A special keepsake photograph will be given to each couple. Dress attire is Semi-Formal. Pip Moyer Recreation Center, Annapolis. From planes to trains, explore the excitement of traveling to new places and discovering new things as your budding music lover explores music through this highly engaging and interactive performance.

Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore. Celebrate National Engineers Week by trying out exciting, hands-on engineering experiences and talking with professional engineers. Mix slime, invent a way to launch a ping pong ball, design a motorized bot and more. National Building Museum, Washington, D. Reservations required. City Dock, Annapolis. This Black History program is dedicated to the legacy of little known Black musicians, featuring music by a Washington National Opera soprano and narration from a historical perspective.

Montpelier Arts Center, Laurel. Help the Maryland Zoo identify and count winter bird species through bird-related activities. Each Great Backyard Bird Count helps researchers learn more about the health of wild bird populations and to protect them. Maryland Zoo, Baltimore. Barrington Irving was the youngest person to fly solo around the world in and was the first black pilot to do so. He has since developed his own nonprofit to help kids learn about aviation and careers in aviation.

Explore the lives of famous African-American Marylanders, including arctic explorer Matthew Henson, with museum educators from the BannekerDouglass Museum. Annapolis Library, Annapolis. Severn School is an independent, coeducational college preparatory day school for students in preschool through grade 12, located in Severna Park, MD. Set in s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British school teacher whom the modernist King brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.

Now in its 45th year, this is a three-day celebration of all things handmade.

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Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore. The Ballet Theatre of Maryland, Annapolis. You played an important role in promoting natural gas safety in your school community. This safety comic strip submitted by the fourth grade class at Resurrection-St. The school will use the grant funding to support an enrichment project. Talk with industry professionals, trade school and college representatives, and student peers who will share information on marine and maritime professions.

Please register. Noon—3 p. Annapolis High School. Modell-Lyric, Baltimore. Early evening is a good time to look for beavers and otters! This family concert introduces children to the world of chamber music as The U. Free; registration required. This all-ages concert is open to everyone and all ages and will be a great opportunity to come together and socialize in a welcoming and judgement free environment.

Union Jacks, Annapolis. February such as Les Miserables. Chesapeake Arts Center, Brooklyn Park. This music and movement class activates all areas of If you have received this publication mate the brain for little ones. The songs teach basic social, in error, or have any questions about it ple motor, language, and cognition skills in a minute contact the traffic dept. Various locations; starts at Powerplant Live, Baltimore. Heritage Baptist Church, Annapolis. Head to Chesapeake Brewing Company for a great night of gaming on the big screen! Play against others, watch, and get the best score while you have fun and drink locally brewed beers.

There will be a competitive one-onone tournament with prizes, as well as casual play on the big screen all night. Chesapeake Brewing Company, Annapolis. Bring the beverages and snacks of your choice and receive 25 percent off your pottery and glass projects.

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Reservations recommended. Clay Bakers, Annapolis. Friday Night in the Naturesphere Treat your partner or friends to top-notch astronomy and entertainment at the Robinson Nature Center. Mingle with fellow lovers of Baltimore architecture and party in a Mt. After-hours at the American Visionary Art Museum includes a scavenger hunt, make-and-take workshop, wine and snacks. Make your very own mosaic magnet. Register early. American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore. Brightside Boutique, Annapolis. ArtFarm, Annapolis. The Dirty Grass Players are an up-and-coming band with their own spin on bluegrass.

Rams Head On Stage, Annapolis. Chef Egg loves, love! He wants to share his passion for cooking with you and yours during these special Chef Egg Lives. Valentines Day cooking class. Blue Moon Too, Baltimore. Ages 21 and older. Tastemakers, Washington,. Drafthouse Comedy Theater, Washington, D.

The Modell Lyric, Baltimore. Shore Craft Beer Fest: Love on Tap Enjoy unlimited tasting of craft beer from 13 local breweries, plus live music, picturesque views of the Bay and a complimentary pint glass for the first attendees. Seacrets Jamaica, Ocean City. February Charity Wine Dinner This charity wine dinner will take you on a tour of Spain and Portugal by pairing 5 small courses with 5 wines.

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The restaurant will donate 10 percent of the dinner and percent of the cash wine raffle to the Baltimore Brain Cancer Walk. Luna Blu, Annapolis. Shutterfly even has a Mini Masterpieces template that will get you started in the right direction. Read Story. Keep your little ones' artwork forever Taking kids to the orthodontist early can set you up for succesful smiles later.

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It's never too late to start planning for adulthood—even when your kids are small. Check out these two new books that aim to highlight black musicians and their huge impact on music. If you have a child with Presidential aspirations, grab some popcorn and celebrate President's Day by watching these educational and entertaining videos. They are all available on Amazon. It is to broaden our understanding of our world, communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

Four locations in Anne Arundel County! Lower School :: Annapolis Ridgely Ave. Check out this year's winning class! Also on the financial planning front, we talk braces this month on page Port Discovery This favorite Baltimore play space and museum started major renovations in January. There kids can create a mini robot; use giant cardboard boxes to build, create and imagine; launch a rocket toward a mini moon; play dress-up in the Black Box Theater; and play in the Game Zone.

National Air and Space Museum This family-favorite Smithsonian Museum will be going through major renovations over the next seven years. Call and book today! But, Thompson says, educating kids as early as possible is a great way to help them protect their credit and get a head start on their future.

18 of the Best Mystery Books Summer Has to Offer

Come be a part of e excitement! Suite Perry Hall, MD Thompson says that parents can and should seek Free lesson plans for kids from the nonprofit group: incharge. The American Association of Orthodontics suggests that all kids be evaluated by age seven, at which time they should have reached several dental and skeletal growth milestones.


Some kids come in every six months or once a year to have things monitored. For older teenagers, and adults as well, Invisalign aligners have become increasingly popular because they are invisible and more comfortable to wear. What are your kids doing this summer? If you have a young one thinking about spending time away this summer, we have you covered with this collection of overnight and residential summer camps for children. Camp St. Charles Newburg, Md. Camp Wabanna Edgewater, Md. West River, Md. She lives in Washington, DC, with her partner. He lives in Baltimore.

Laurence Leamer is an award-winning author who has written five New York Times bestsellers. His latest book, The Lynching , was a finalist for an Edgar Award as the best nonfiction true-crime book of the year. David Litt wrote speeches for Barack Obama from to , covering a wide range of domestic policy issues. Her debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse , was a finalist for Compton Crook Award, and its sequel will be published in October She is also the author of the Little Hands Signing board-book series from Familius Press, as well as many resource books for parents and educators.

Someone was also longlisted for the National Book Award. Scott Fitzgerald Award for American Literature. She is the Richard A. Eugene L. Find him on Twitter at genemeyer. John F. Ross ' fifth book, a life of the explorer and visionary John Wesley Powell, will be published this summer by Viking. Bob Schieffer has been a reporter for 60 years, 48 of them as a correspondent and contributor to CBS News. Early in his career, he was a reporter for his hometown newspaper, the Ft.

Worth Star Telegram. In , he became the first correspondent from a Texas newspaper to report from Vietnam. Colleen J.