North Carolina is a hotbed for writers, and women authors are knocking it out of the ballpark when it comes to literature. Seasoned authors and newly published writers looking to make their voices known are currently making the rounds at bookstores, libraries, and a variety of other venues to discuss their latest books. Here is a taste of where I have been when out and about on an author quest:
Recently I had the pleasure of attending a reading at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, by NC author Judy Hogan for her new releases Farm Fresh and Fatal - the second book in her Penny Weaver mystery series, and Beaver Soul - her latest book of poetry. Judy is a great storyteller and quite a colorful character herself. A true Renaissance woman, Judy currently lives on a small sustainable farm in Chatham County, is the founding editor of Carolina Wren Press, and was responsible for a Writers Exchange between the cities of Durham, NC and Kostroma, Russia that began with a chance meeting in 1989. Judy also offers writing classes, and editorial, critiquing, and writing services. Learn more about Judy and her books HERE.
At McIntyre's Books in Fearrington Village, Pittsboro, I caught another notable NC author making the reading rounds - Nora Gaskin Esthimer, author of Until Proven: A Mystery in Two Parts and Time of Death. The first is a novel that grew from a seedling thought planted in Nora's mind about a true crime - a murder in idyllic Chapel Hill in 1963. The second book explores the real story about the crime that inspired Nora to write her mystery. Nora also founded Lystra Books & Literary Services, located in Chapel Hill. Learn more about Nora and her books HERE.
If the name Nancy Peacock sounds familiar, you probably have heard or read about her new release The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson, a riveting novel that hooks readers with the first sentence and continues to generate a good deal of positive buzz. I attended her book reading at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. Nancy has written several other books, the first was published in 1996. In addition to writing, she teaches writing workshops in the Triangle area. Learn more about Nancy and her books HERE.
NC author Sarah R. Shaber, who can count authors Margaret Maron and Alexandra Sokoloff as writing buddies, also is making the reading rounds. I caught her at Barnes and Noble in Cary discussing her new book Louise's Gamble, the third in her Louise Pearlie series set in Washington, D.C. during WWII. Sarah is also the author of the Professor Simon Shaw murder mysteries. Take a look at some of Sarah's books HERE.
Last, but certainly not least, I have to give a huge shout out to the independent booksellers in North Carolina for tirelessly supporting and promoting our NC authors and their work. If you're interested in attending an author reading and want to know who is going to be where, check out Reader Meet Writer, a website that lists indie bookstores in the southeastern states. Click on your region and one of the independent bookstores there for a schedule of NC and visiting author events. Please continue to support the independent, small business booksellers - and check out our North Carolina Ladies of the Write!
I mean well, really I do, and when I promised to bring back the ncgypsy.com Blog, I had good intentions. Then life got in the way, and... well... I realized that it has been awhile since I posted anything. Imagine my shock when I looked and saw the last post was more than a year ago. Sorry about that. Thoughts came and went, the action to follow through didn't happen. So, time to get cracking and what better subjects to move forward with than holidays and food?
It's my favorite time of the year (late July through the end of December actually), and things are in gear for an early Hanukkah (Nov. 27 - Dec. 5), a late Thanksgiving (Nov. 28), and what promises to be, in my house, a scrambling Christmas season (I won't go into details, just trust me here). At the center of it all is food.
North Carolina is fast becoming a foodie paradise, a destination that rivals the best of other states known for fabulous cuisine. Here you can find culinary artisans creating palate pleasing works of edible art that are made with locally farmed or regionally obtained ingredients.
The masters behind North Carolina's culinary revolution are young, hip, creative, and excited about what they're doing. Even better, they are supportive of each other's efforts. Gone are the days of chef rivalries, this generation knows a good thing when they taste it. I'll be writing more about the food in North Carolina in future posts, but to whet your appetite, click HERE for a great article on StarChefs.com about Rising Stars in the Carolinas...
Now don't think for a second that the seasoned restaurants are taking a back seat to the new kids on the block. Many are changing the menus and adding special events to spice things up. One event, a personal favorite, happened recently at The Weathervane in Southern Season, Chapel Hill. An Afternoon Tea that was positively scrumptious and gave this native New Yorker a chance to feel like a Southern Belle. I am a huge fan of English tea time, but southern Tea has a different feel to it - and a different taste.
Unlike the English offerings (which are increasing in diversity), some of the tea options at Afternoon Tea included Organic Jade Cloud, Creme Caramel Oolong, and Nutcracker Suite, a 'nutty, sweet tea w/ flavors of candied nuts and pineapple'. My friend, Tingmei and I opted for Nutcracker as one of our pots - now one of my 'must haves' for the holiday season (it can be purchased at Southern Season).
Afternoon Tea is a Weathervane special event, not offered on a regular basis. If you are - or will be - in the Triangle area, get the scoop on Weathervane and Southern Season special events (that include visiting celebrity chefs like Curtis Stone - positively scrumptious in his own right) by signing up for their newsletter HERE.
For more Tea offerings in the state, check out Tea Map.