To bring our entities to life, we have created an image gallery, where you will find hundreds of images of all kinds of deities, heroes, and strange creatures of every description.
The encyclopedia will serve the serious researcher, the student, and the casual reader with equal success. Come in and enjoy!
I would love this site even if I never wrote a word, but for a writer it’s invaluable. Mythology presents a universe of rich, high-stakes stories that cut to the core of what it means to be human. Even the most modern stories echo with mythological themes; and when it comes to writing fantasy and paranormal fiction, there’s no better resource. Working on Elixir with Hilary Duff, I constantly had the Encyclopedia Mythica open, so I could read up on demons, guardian angels, immortality… even ancient Hungarian folklore.
Ooh… now I’m itching to dive into the site and do some reading. If this one wasn’t on your radar, I hope you enjoy it. I’d also love to hear what sites you turn to for research while you’re writing — I’m always happy to add more Bookmarks.
Congrats to Madeline Mora-Summonte who won Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches!
From the 2011 Debs…
Check out today’s New York Times, where you can see Deb Eleanor’s The Weird Sisters on the Best Sellers list for hardcover fiction!
Deb Elise received an incredibly wonderful blurb from amazing author Matthew Quick (also a past Deb Ball guest, and husband to 2010 Deb Alicia Bessette). He says, “Hilarious, psychologically chewy, downright Machiavellian, and heartfelt in all the most satisfying ways. POPULAZZI had me blazing through pages. Elise Allen rocks!” Thanks so much, Q!!!
Deb Kim can only say, “Congratulations, Deb Eleanor on the amazing accomplishment!”
Past Deb News…
Deb Sarah Pekkanen’s Skipping a Beat comes out on Tuesday! Recommended by Jen Lancaster (Bitter is the New Black), Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed), Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Krauss (The Nanny Diaries), Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal (with a starred review!).
Deb Dish — The Author with whom the Debs Would Most Like to Share a Meal
Please forgive me, but I’m going to put down three. One’s a fantasy, one’s a possibility, and one is on the books.
The one that’s more of a fantasy at the moment is Meg Cabot. I adore her writing voice, and I feel like conversation with her would move seamlessly back and forth between deeply meaningful and fabulously goofy. Plus she’s a huge Glee fan, and lord knows I could talk about that all day and night.
The meal I’m dying to have that I hope I can actually swing in the not-too-distant future is one with Eileen Cook. I’ve been talking smack with her for awhile now about our future catfights over Johnny Depp, Colin Firth, and Duran Duran’s John Taylor. I have no doubt a meal with her would swim in laughter, snarkiness, and vast quantities of wine.
Finally, Deb Eleanor’s coming to L.A. and I CANNOT WAIT to have a meal with her and toast her massive success!!!
Maeve Binchy. I bet she would just keep me entertained the whole time with chatty little stories about Dublin. And since she’s Irish, we could eat boxty. I don’t know what that is, but it sounds fun.
Deb Kim I think I’d like to dine with Charles Dickens or Dr. Suess. Both of whom could discuss writing, social change and politics with a keen wit and eye.
On my list would definitely be Ruth Reichl, former editor in chief of Gourmet (for which I had the honor of contributing to before it was shuttered last year)! I have adored her books over the years and her tweets always make me so hungry. The woman could tweet about rice cakes, and I’d want one stat.
I like getting the most bang for my buck, so I’d say Jimmy Buffet. What? He’s an author. One of only eight to hit the New York Times bestseller list in both fiction and non-fiction (Tales from Margaritaville and Where Is Joe Merchant? for fiction and A Pirate Looks At Fifty for non-fiction). Plus there’s the added bonus that he’d surely want to do lunch in some funky little seaside bar in the Caribbean where we’d sit with our toes in the sand and Jimmy would serenade me. Just to complete the fantasy, he’d tell me how much he enjoyed the fact that I mentioned his music in Making Waves.
The Debutante Ball is delighted to welcome Sophie Kelly to take a twirl with us today. We’re especially tickled to snag her this week, as she just learned her cozy mystery, Curiosity Thrilled the Cat, hit the New York Times bestseller list. Congratulations, Sofie! And stay tuned, dear readers . . . she’s giving away a copy to one lucky commenter!)
Sofie Kelly is the pseudonym of young adult writer Darlene Ryan. Darlene is the author of four award-winning teen novels. Sofie is the author of the new Magical Cats mysteries from Obsidian. The first book, the New York Times best-selling, Curiosity Thrilled the Cat is out now.
Here’s what the book is about: When librarian Kathleen Paulson moved to Mayville Heights, Minnesota, she had no idea that two strays would nuzzle their way into her life. Owen is a tabby with a catnip addiction and Hercules is a stocky tuxedo cat who shares Kathleen’s fondness for Barry Manilow.
When murder interrupts Mayville’s summer music festival, Kathleen finds herself the prime suspect. More stunning is her realization that Owen and Hercules are magical—and she needs their skills to catch a killer.
What a fun read! During her twirl at The Debutante Ball, Sofie agreed to do the Deb Interview with us. Without further ado, here she is!
First of all, thank you to the Debs for inviting me to visit today.
Tell us a secret about the main character in your novel — something that’s not even in your book.
Kathleen is claustrophobic. It’s something readers will learn in the second book in the series.
I’m claustrophobic as well, which is why whenever I’m in a waiting room I’m really picky about where I sit.
Do you have a regular “first reader?” If so, who is it and why that person?
I don’t have a regular first reader, but I do have a friend, Susan, who is my go-to person if I write myself into a hole. She’s an excellent editor, she reads extensively and I know she’ll be honest if I ask for her opinion.
With my YA novel, Five Minutes More, I knew there was something wrong with the story but I didn’t know what it was. I’d probably read the book a dozen times. Susan read the manuscript and said, “You can’t kill Seth.” (Seth isn’t the main character in the story but he is important.) Killing Seth was a major plot point and I told her that. And she said, again, “You can’t kill Seth.” Because I trust Susan’s judgment I read the manuscript one more time and I could see she was right. That was the problem.
Susan read an early draft of Curiosity Thrilled the Cat and there was something I’d done to one of the characters that made her email me, “No, no, no. Don’t do that.” She was right again. Can you see a pattern here?
What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?
I was an all night disk jockey. I worked from midnight to six a.m.. There are a lot of people who are up all night—working or studying or who just happen to be night people. I met some very eccentric people—including several musicians, an artist, a poet, a reporter and a guy with a big motorcycle and a pet snake. Someday I’d like to write a book in which most of the action takes place at night.
What’s your next big thing? (new book, new project, etc.)
I’m working on a young adult urban fantasy novel right now. I’m also doing a series of mixed media canvases about childhood. And I’ve been experimenting with making paper so I’m looking for different ways to use it in my art.
What is the best perk of your job?
Aside from being able to work in my pajama pants if I feel like it? I think one of the major benefits is having a built in excuse for asking nosy questions.
As well, I’m a bit of a control freak—or a lot of a control freak depending on whom you ask. Real life isn’t always fair. Sometimes good people lose and bad people win. But in a novel I can control the outcome. I can make sure the bad guy gets punished.
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
This may seem kind of obvious, but my advice is read, read, read. It’s so easy to get caught up in creating that you forget you still need to read. You need to know what other people are writing about and how they’re doing it. You need to be inspired, even if it’s only because you think, I can write a better book than that.
I’m a big believer in reading outside your favorite genres. If you’re a mystery fan read a little romance or paranormal. If you’re a novelist make time for poetry and non-fiction once in a while.
Talk about one book that made an impact on you.
Lawrence Block’s When the Sacred Ginmill Closes. I love the book. It’s a story about his on-going character, Matthew Scudder, but it’s also about alcoholism and the city of New York. Block’s plotting, his use of description, his dialogue are so well done I was inspired and depressed at the same time when I first read the book. Inspired, because it was just so good, and depressed, because I didn’t see how I could ever write as well as Block does.
What three things would you want with you if stranded on a desert island?
I’m going to assume there are trees somewhere on the island so I’m not going to say sunscreen.
Number one would be an unlimited supply of Kicking Horse coffee. Number two, an e-reader—solar powered, of course—filled with books by my favorite authors. And three, insulin, because I’m guessing there isn’t much medical care on a desert island.
Share one quirk you have that most people don’t know about.
Three years ago I had surgery on my right leg and foot. Now my right foot is more than half an inch longer than my left foot—yes, buying shoes is a challenge. But, I can walk without pain or falling. I’ve even done a 5K run.
Wow, what a fabulous interview! And doesn’t Curiosity Thrilled the Cat sound like a kick? If you want to win a copy, leave a comment. We’ll pick one lucky winner and will announce his or her name on the blog next Sunday, February 27. Good luck to all, and happy reading! (The Winner Is Karen K!)
We’re blogging about love this week, so naturally, I need to talk about the McDonald’s Egg McMuffin.
My feelings for the Egg McMuffin border more on lust than love, but since I’m a romance author, I’m licensed to combine the two.
I’m a chronically healthy eater 99.9% of the time. I stock up on whole grains and devour healthy portions of fruits and vegetables. I don’t eat much candy or junk, and I generally steer clear of fast food.
But then there’s the Egg McMuffin.
In case you live under a rock (or in Spain, where I was disheartened to discover McDonald’s does not serve breakfast) the Egg McMuffin consists of a fresh Grade A egg with warm Canadian bacon and a slice of melty American cheese sandwiched between a toasted English muffin.
Biting into one is the closest thing I can imagine to nirvana.
I’ve tried making my own, but they’re never quite as good as what the friendly McDonald’s cashier hands me in that crinkly yellow wrapper. I’ve also tried the substitutes – the Sausage McMuffin or the pale imitations from other fast food chains.
Nothing compares to the original Egg McMuffin.
My adoration for this culinary delight has spanned more than three decades. It is unwavering. My love is true and pure and all-consuming.
For the record, I should point out the Egg McMuffin is not terribly unhealthy. It has 300 calories and 12 grams of fat. I didn’t even have to look that up, by the way. I am a veritable font of Egg McMuffin trivia.
Are there any foods you love with a blinding, all-consuming devotion? Please share!
No, really – share. If you have an Egg McMuffin, I want it. Now.
My dears, happy Valentine’s Day week! I’m writing this post in advance because, as you know, I’m expecting a baby boy soon (and actually, by the time you read this, he may have made his arrival–please, let that be the case!). I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day, and I tend to get a little cheeseball about the “holiday”–making my husband a homemade card and whipping up chocolate desserts baked in red, heart-shaped ramekins.
I also adore February (tomorrow’s my birthday!) because it’s often the month when we start to see the first signs of spring after the looooong winter. Are their tulips, daffodils, violets, popping up out of the frozen ground where you live? Anyway, in honor of this week, I wanted to share a love letter from the pages of THE VIOLETS OF MARCH. The below is written from Elliot to Esther, two ill-fated lovers in 1943:
My dearest Esther,
It’s wrong of me to be reaching out to you like this, I know. You’re married, and I hear you have a child. But I need you to know something, to set the record straight. Can you meet me, tonight, on the beach in front of my house? I’ll be there waiting for you in hopes that you’ll come. And if you do, I’ll know we were meant to be together. And if you don’t, I’ll know that it is the end for us, that I must make plans to move on, to leave the island, and to let my heart say good-bye. Please say you’ll come. Please tell me that despite everything, you’ll come. It’s a lot to ask, but I pray that the fire that still burns in me, also burns in you. I’ll be waiting.
I hope you’ll read the story and learn their fate! What would you do if you were Esther?
He, she or it loves
Love is a million things to a billion people. It can be food in an empty belly in Sudan. The soft touch of a nurse changing a bandage for a soldier. The rustle of pure silk as white as snow coming down a carpeted aisle to a chuppah laden with flowers as a handsome groom awaits his bride. A newborn’s cry or a dog’s sloppy kiss when the door opens after a long day at work.
To me, love is contentment. It’s being satisfied with a person, place, moment in life, warts and all. It’s not something perfect to which I aspire. I accept love in many forms and none are from a storybook. Not my husband’s love. Not my love for my kids. None of it. Fairytales are just that: tales. Allegories, parables, homilies even. They teach us and guide us, and sometimes they fool us. By not expecting and demanding perfect love, I’m able to get through times that are anything but amorous.
As a longtime romance reader and lover of romantic comedies, for a long time I thought love, especially romantic love, was about big gestures. About Richard Gere climbing up the fire escape to Julia Roberts at the end of Pretty Woman. About Orlando papering the forest of Arden with love poems for Rosalind in As You Like It. About dancing and acrobats and lederhosen in Central Park in Enchanted.
But I have grown to realize it is not that.
Love is when we were doing a recycling drive at school and my mother asked the man in charge of the vending machines to save all the bottle caps for me.
Love is when J.C. went out in single-digit temperatures to get me soup to nurse my cold.
Love is when my friend Tammy texts me just to tell me to have a nice day.
Love is when I fall asleep on the couch and J.C. tries to wake me up once, and then just brings me a quilt and lets me sleep.
J.C. himself actually has a great way to describe this. He calls it “silent love”. Putting away the laundry when it’s not your turn, leaving the last bite of dessert, picking up dinner when it’s not fast-food night, changing the channel away from the thing you want to watch. And these are things that do not have to come from your partner – they can come from family or friends or anyone at all who loves you.
And while I’ve been lucky enough to have some grand gestures of love thrown at me in my time, those little examples of silent love are my favorites. String quartets and dancing ConEd workers (it’s in the video, just go with it) doves and roses are wonderful, but something about seeing that J.C. has taken the garbage out when I had promised I would gives me a feeling of exhausted gratitude and a rush of emotion far deeper than any of those “romantic” ideals.
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