Posted on December 19, 2014

Winter Solstice

Note: I’m running an encore blog post while I catch up with family and friends over the holidays. An earlier version of this post appeared in the AWRWA blog last winter.

 

To Alaskans, solstice is a big day. Our lives revolve around the environment, including the changes in weather and daylight. We notice how much sunlight we gain or lose each day. We celebrate the longest day of the year. My daughter had her wedding on summer solstice.  On the shortest day of the year, we pause, then look forward to the return of sunlight.

 

People have been observing winter solstice since Neolithic times. You’ve probably read about the history, so I’ll be brief here. The Saami, the Romans, and the Celts had midwinter festivals that led to many of our winter solstice and Christmas traditions. There are also traditional celebrations on or near winter solstice in Pakistan, East Asia, and Mali, just to name a few. Many of us recognize it as a time of rebirth and renewal, or welcome good luck into our houses at this time.

 

The short days give Alaskans an excuse to stay inside and cuddle up in front of the fire. Some of us do extra reading or other indoor activities. Winter solstice is a good time to reflect, think about the past year and make plans about the future. While I’m not thrilled with cold weather, I do like the opportunity to wrap up the year and acknowledge my loved ones.

 

We often attend or host winter solstice parties on December 21st. We’ll celebrate with family, friends, good food and drink. To all of you, good wishes, wassail, and hoping you have a great winter solstice, however you celebrate this time of year!

 

Best wishes,

Lynn

Posted on December 12, 2014

Remarkable Ravens

I’ve always loved ravens. They are smart, funny, graceful, and curious. Over the years I’ve seen them tease dogs, break into garbage cans, fly through forests, commute to and from work every day, and have elaborate conversations. They have such personality, and I find them fascinating. We see them all year round, but especially in the winter when they stay in town for the easy pickings. They may not look majestic sitting on top of light posts, but they are scrappy survivors.

 

Ravens are in all parts of Alaska, and in many other places too. They can adapt to different climates and food sources. And their social lives are similar to ours. They live in groups, with hierarchies and specialized roles. They mourn for their dead and communicate with various sounds and calls.

 

When I was growing up, I learned many of the legends about Raven, like how he stole the sun and moon, and how he made the Milky Way. They all made sense to me. I still talk to ravens when I see them—just in case one of them is Raven.

 

Recently, I was sent a link on Facebook that explains how ravens learn dynamics of groups other than their own. As the title says, “Ravens have social abilities previously only seen in humans.”

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/ravens-have-social-abilities-previously-only-seen-humans

 

Do you have ravens where you are? If not, is there another bird or animal you enjoy there?

Posted on December 5, 2014

Victoria Pitts-Caine and I. B. Nosey and Renee Blare—Great Blogs!

I usually plan out my blogs at least a few days in advance. This week, I was going to write about ravens. (Stay tuned for that in a future post!) But two writing friends wrote great posts about Golden Days yesterday, and one will soon. Of course I’d like you to go see them. But I also want to encourage your to follow them because they are great people who deserve your support. Here goes:

 

First, Victoria Pitts-Caine is a fellow Prism author who always supports our group and writes interesting reviews. Her blog is a great way to learn about new releases. To see the post about Golden Days and learn more about Victoria, check out http://victoriapitts-caine.blogspot.com/2014/12/another-inspiring-ya-from-lynn-lovegreen.html

 

Second, I. B. Nosey is an “official unofficial reporter” who writes wacky interviews of authors. You may recall he has interviewed me in the past. I always get a chuckle from his posts. The Golden Days one is a doozy, involving Iced moose spit and a grumpy polar bear. See it and learn more about Nosey at http://feelingnosey.blogspot.com/2014/12/lynn-lovegreen-chills-and-dills-with-ib.html

 

Also, Prism author Renee Blare will feature Golden Days along with other books in her Global Blog Hop on December 7th. Learn about new books and authors on her blog at http://reneeblare.blogspot.com

 

These bloggers are just the tip of the iceberg. I am often humbled and buoyed by support from the book community. Thanks to all of you, for all you do for writers and readers.

Posted on November 28, 2014

So Thankful!

I always have a lot to be thankful for, but this year I feel especially thankful.

I am thankful for the editors of Prism Book Group for their help with my Gold Rush books. They helped me make them the best books they could be, and put them out for the world to share. I am also thankful for my fellow Prism authors. Their generosity in sharing their knowledge and in reviewing, blog hosting and many other kindnesses have made this a great year to become an author.

 

I am also thankful for my other writing friends. Members of the Alaska chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America), the Alaska chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, 49 Writers, and the YA chapter of RWA have also been helpful and loyal friends. Individual authors have taken me under their wing virtually or in person. I am grateful for their company.

 

Of course I am thankful to my readers and fans. My motivation in writing is to share stories and show you are not alone, and I am touched by your positive responses. You encourage me to keep at it, and improve my writing to be worthy of your attention.

 

And of course, I am thankful for my family. They provide the foundation of my life. Every year, my Alaskan family gathers at our house. And I insist at the beginning of the meal that each person shares one thing they are thankful for. They can be funny or heartwarming, sometimes both at the same time. In my case, my one thing is usually a heartfelt sentence about family. This year, I am thankful to my father and his brother for writing and publishing a book about their lives and our family history. I cherish that book, and find comfort in knowing future generations can read about their roots.

 

Wishing you time with your loved ones,

Lynn

Posted on November 21, 2014

Why I Write for Young People

My newest Gold Rush book was released last week. While I’ve had fun writing about it and interacting with readers as they discover it, I’ve had enough of promotion for a while. (And many of you may be tired of hearing it!) So it’s time to switch gears and remember why I started down this road in the first place.

I wrote an essay about why I write for young people, and made a video of myself reading it. Here’s an excerpt:

I know that some of my readers are older people who like my books for other reasons, or enjoy reading about my young characters and thinking, “Ahh, I remember that.”  For my young readers I hope the thought is “Yes, I feel that too,” or “Oh good, I’m not the only one.” I want you to know that you’re not alone, that others have had the same feelings or situations. And they have persevered and gone on to great things, just like you will.

If you’d like to see the rest of it, please go to my You Tube channel or click here:

http://youtu.be/rJDWwrSnXuM

That’s what this is all about. Young readers reading this post, hang in there. You can do this.

If you’re just getting acquainted with me and want to see more: 

Feel free to follow me on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynn-Lovegreen/398231060237488

Or Pinterest:

http://www.pinterest.com/lynnlovegreen/

Or if you’d like to sign up for my e-newsletter “A Letter from Lynn,” please use this link:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynn-Lovegreen/398231060237488?sk=app_100265896690345

 

Thanks for sharing this journey with me. 

Posted on November 12, 2014

New Release: Golden Days!

Happy book birthday to Golden Days, the fourth book in my Alaska Gold Rush series!

 

Here are the first lines:

Elizabeth didn’t see it until it was too late.

One moment she was planning a painting of the snowy scene, then the dogsled she was riding in careened around the corner. The play of shadows and light, the glittering frost on the trees, vanished when a team of dogs slammed into theirs.

 

 

And here’s the blurb:

Alaska is a cold place to live until love blossoms.

Elizabeth Robinson travels by dog sled to help her family mind the store in Fairbanks, Alaska. She wants to pursue her drawing and painting, but women artists are rare in 1906, and flood, fire, and a death in the family force her to take charge at home at age seventeen. James Garrett comes north to help his uncle at a nearby gold claim. An awkward eighteen-year-old who is more at home with machines than people, he becomes a man as he falls in love with Elizabeth. When a discovery about her benefactor, the founder of the town, threatens their future, Elizabeth and James find that together they can overcome any obstacle.

 

For those of you who have read my other books, you’ll see Jeannie and Clint from Quicksilver to Gold here in supporting roles. Plus, Jim and Ralph are in this book too! But if you haven’t read any others, this works as a stand-alone story too.

 

Golden Days is available in print and ebook versions. See more info on the Prism page:

http://www.prismbookgroup.com/goldendays.html

 

 

I have several events coming up for the new release:

Nov. 12: Spotlight on Suzanne Lilly’s blog at http://teacherwriter.net

and Brooke Williams’ blog at http://www.authorbrookewilliams.com

 

Nov. 21: Teachers as Writer talk at UAA Bookstore with fellow educators and authors Tam Agosti-Gisler, J. N. Taylor, and Deb Vanasse, 4-6 pm

 

Nov. 28-30: ReadAlaska Book Fair at Anchorage Museum, Friday & Saturday 10-6, Sunday 12-6

 

Thanks for joining me on my writing journey. Feel free to follow me on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynn-Lovegreen/398231060237488

 

Or Pinterest:

http://www.pinterest.com/lynnlovegreen/

 

Or if you’d like to sign up for my e-newsletter “A Letter from Lynn,” please use this link:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynn-Lovegreen/398231060237488?sk=app_100265896690345

 

Posted on November 11, 2014

Golden Days

Golden Days is the fourth book in my Gold Rush series.

Golden Days is set in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1906. Prism Book Group publishes this fourth book in the Gold Rush series.

http://www.prismbookgroup.com/goldendays.html

Posted on November 7, 2014

Cover Reveal for Golden Days

Every time I get a new cover, it’s a whoop-it-up moment! Thanks for sharing it with me as I reveal the one for Golden Days!

 

Golden Days cover

Golden Days cover

The cover for Golden Days was designed by Prism Book Group’s editor-in-chief Joan Alley. She knows just how to wrangle the background, heroine, title, and author name into a cohesive, attractive cover. Thanks, Joan!

Here’s the blurb:

Alaska is a cold place to live until love blossoms. Elizabeth Robinson travels by dog sled to help her family mind the store in Fairbanks, Alaska. She wants to pursue her drawing and painting, but women artists are rare in 1906, and flood, fire, and a death in the family force her to take charge at home at age seventeen. James Garrett comes north to help his uncle at a nearby gold claim. An awkward eighteen-year-old who is more at home with machines than people, he becomes a man as he falls in love with Elizabeth. When a discovery about her benefactor, the founder of the town, threatens their future, Elizabeth and James find that together they can overcome any obstacle.

Golden Days is the fourth in my YA/NA historical romance series set in the Alaska Gold Rush. You might recognize Jeannie from Quicksilver to Gold—she and her husband Clint take supporting roles in this book. And of course, Ralph and Jim appear in this one too. Plus, you’ll meet other characters that I hope you’ll love as much as I did when I wrote them.

You can find Golden Days on the Prism Book Group website here:

http://www.prismbookgroup.com/goldendays.html

Or you can preorder it at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P1A43PM

 

Once the book is released on November 12th, you can buy it in print or ebook. More details to come—hope to see you then!

 

I have several events coming up for the new release:

Nov. 10: Interview with author Kathy Rouser on http://www.kathleenrouser.com

 

Nov. 12: Release day post here, plus spotlight on Suzanne Lilly’s blog at http://teacherwriter.net

and Brooke Williams’ blog at http://www.authorbrookewilliams.com

 

Nov. 21: Teachers as Writers talk at UAA Bookstore with fellow educators/authors Tam Agosti-Gisler, J. N. Taylor, and Deb Vanasse, 4-6 pm.

Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you on release day Nov. 12th! :-)

Posted on October 31, 2014

The Ghost of What Might Have Been

The Ghost of What Might Have Been

 

In celebration of Halloween, and Golden Days

 

Some of us have seen a ghost or other gruesome event. But for most of us, the scariest thing is the Ghost of What Might Have Been.

 

Isn’t that what many of us fear, that we will miss out on an opportunity for a rich life, a rewarding career, the love of a lifetime, if we don’t take the fork in the road? That’s what leads to sayings like Carpe Diem (Seize the day).

 

I have tried to live my life by that saying. It’s led to two fulfilling careers, a small bank account, and lots of good memories with people I love. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am glad I jumped at every opportunity to lead the life I was meant to have.

 

The main characters in my next young adult/new adult historical romance Golden Days have similar desires to lead rich lives. Elizabeth wants to be a professional artist, which is rare for women in 1906. James aspires to be an engineer, which is more common but not easy when you’re a young man coming from nowhere. They support each other in their dreams during hard times, and fall in love—which leads to even more complications for them. But they make the most of every opportunity. They seize the day. I admire that.

 

I’m looking forward to introducing you to them directly when the novel is released on November 12th. And I’ll reveal the cover to you here in my next post, on November 7th. Stay tuned! :-)

 

And I hope you seize your day and keep the Ghost of What Might Have Been away from your door. Happy Halloween! :-)

Posted on October 24, 2014

The Golden City of Fairbanks, and Golden Days

Fairbanks, Alaska was founded in 1901 when E. T Barnette was dropped off on the bank of the Chena River and established his trading post there. Felix Pedro (Felice Pedroni) struck gold nearby, and soon Fairbanks became a boomtown.

 

Like most Gold Rush towns, Fairbanks had its mix of cultures. Aboriginal and Russian descendants interacted with recent arrivals. Citified businessmen worked with scruffy miners. And the location held challenges. Winter temperatures plummeted far below zero. Spring break-up ice tore out the bridge several years in a row.

 

As happened in many towns with wooden structures, fire destroyed much of the town in 1906. Congressional delegate and judge James Wickersham coordinated federal support for rebuilding Fairbanks. The population rallied and the town grew.

 

Founder and mayor E. T. Barnette created some complications too, when he bought neighboring mining claims through surrogates and some of his men jumped claims that others had worked on legitimately. When word got out that he had a criminal background, things really heated up.

 

Many of these historical facts are woven into the story of my next novel, Golden Days. Stay tuned to hear more about that as we get closer to the release date, November 12th!

 

There are several great sources of information on Fairbanks history. I recommend Terrence Cole’s Crooked Past: The History of a Frontier Mining Camp: Fairbanks. Alaska (published by University of Alaska Press, 1984) if you’d like to read more about this fascinating town.

 

Photo of Wickersham House via Wikicommons (Wickersham House NRHP ref #79003757, Fairbanks, AK author Durkeeco)