Friday, November 17, 2017

Thankful Author 2017- Mary Gillgannon

Sometimes I wait up unenthused, discouraged or downright depressed. But then I go into my upstairs office and look outside my window and much of my worries fall away. In the summer I see the green foliage of the trees surrounding our house and the bright flowers in the flowerbeds. I hear the birds, the call of robin and jay and dove. In fall I enjoy the gold of the aspen tree outside my window and the muted green and bronze of the other foliage. I hear the finchs in the trees calling to each other, before they swoop down to my garden to eat the sunflower seeds. The soft, mellow light of fall gilds everything golden. In winter, there are usually still a few birds flitting from branch to branch. The bare trees sway, delicate branches in a lacy dance. Frost sparkles in the sunshine and turns the dead vegetation and brown grass into a glistening fairyland.

There isn’t a season when there isn’t something beautiful to admire in my backyard. Swirls of hazy gray mist when a fog moves in, the dazzle of brilliant sunlight, the stark beauty of tree branches against the vivid blue sky. The graceful flit of birds. Even sparrows and chickadees have their charms.

And I enjoy all this even before I venture outside. There I can smell the air, fragrant with crabapple and chokecherry blossoms in the spring, fresh with new-mown grass in the summer, crisp and bracing with the scent of leaves and frost in the fall and winter. Our weather in Wyoming has some downsides. The wind can be fierce, rattling the windows and making even a trip to the car and back an unpleasant struggle. Spring flowers and plants can be crushed and frozen in late storms, and frost often comes early, killing most of my flowers before fall weather has truly arrived and leaving a mostly brown landscape for months to come. But there are also joyous surprises, Snowstorms that wrap the world in billowy cushions and puffs of fluffy white. Sunny days when the sky is an almost unreal blue. The brilliant orange, rose and violet of a winter sunset.

Although I’m not what most people would think of as an outdoor person, nature has shaped my life ever since I can remember. I grew up in the country and spent hours and hours alone outside exploring the natural world. I’m not just thankful for nature, I’m dependent on it. It feeds my soul in a way that books and ideas and even people, simply can’t.

One of the greatest agonies of my life is my sense that nature is now under threat. My Mother, the Earth is struggling. And my fellow animal creatures, even more so. In this world of technology and virtual reality, where lighted screens and concrete and steel have replaced our vision of plants and earth and sky, we must remember who we are and what gives us life. We must be thankful for our planet and all our fellow travelers on this vast and fragile magical orb we call home.


My latest book, Lady of Steel, due out in early 2018, is seeped in aspects of the natural world. It’s set in medieval times when people were closer to nature and more attuned to the rhythms of the seasons. It features a harvest festival, a dramatic thunderstorm and numerous animals, including three cats. But the focus is, of course, on the hero and heroine and their journey.

Women in medieval times had very little power. I wanted to show how a medieval woman, without stepping outside of traditional female roles, could take charge of her life. And of course, my heroine needed a hero who would appreciate her for who she was, and admire her strength and resolve. Lady of Steel is the first book in my Medieval Ladies series. I hope readers enjoy Nicola’s and Fawkes’s story.


LADY OF STEEL, Coming in early 2018

Blurb: 

One rapturous hour together sparks unforgettable passion between Lady Nicola and Fawkes de Cressy. But when Fawkes returns from the horrors of the Crusades, he discovers Nicola is surrounded by disturbing rumors that make him wonder if he knows her at all. Nicola is uncertain about this battle-hardened knight she has wed, a man much different than the boyish lover she recalls. Despite sly innuendos, murderous schemes and dangerous secrets, Fawkes and Nicola must learn to trust each other. For only if they dare to allow the soul-stirring magic their bodies share grow into love can they escape the ruinous plot that threatens to destroy all their dreams.

Bio:


Mary Gillgannon is the author of seventeen novels, mostly romances set in the dark age, medieval and Regency time periods. She’s married and has two children. Now that they’re grown, she indulges her nurturing tendencies on four very spoiled cats and a moderately spoiled dog. When not writing or working—she’s been employed at the local public library for twenty-seven years—she enjoys gardening, reading and travel.

Links:


15 comments:

  1. I, too, am thankful for all the seasons of nature I enjoy at my cottage on a lake. Surrounded by a wreath of mountains my lake exudes beauty even in the bleakest winter weather when it is a silver sheath of shimmering light. Thanks for a thoughtful and thankful post!

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    1. They've discovered that being around nature helps not only our mental health but actually our physical health. Lowers our blood pressure and staves on dementia, among other things.

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  2. What a beautiful depiction of the world right outside your door. I agree with your post on all points especially protecting our natural world so that sustains us. Nature restores me too. Although the world outside my window is so different I find walking along the river to have the same effect. Happy Thanksgiving.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

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  3. What a lovely post, Mary. You painted a lovely picture of your garden. When I planted my first garden decades ago, I truly learned the ebb and flow of nature. I love your cover and I'm looking forward to reading your new book. All the best!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mary. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  4. I've never lived in a big city and have always loved the outdoors. There's an innate attraction to digging into the earth and getting our hands dirty to create something beautiful. So wonderful that you can include aspects of the natural world in Lady of Steel. Wishing you the best.

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    1. I think that's partly why I love to write in historical time periods. People were so much closer to nature then. And since I write romance, I don't mention some of the grim aspects of living in a more primal world. I can understand why people don't want to go back to those days in many ways, but we have lost a lot in the transition to modern life. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. As I read my post I realized I forgot to mention the delights of having pronghorn antelope come through our yard. Sometimes they eat my flowers, but I don't care. They are so beautiful. Check out my latest post on FB if you're interested: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1647412451986092&set=a.108541849206501.11607.100001520605022&type=3&theater

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  6. Lovely post. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of appreciating the little things in life. Happy Thanksgiving.

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    1. The older I get, the more I concentrate on the little things. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

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  7. Great post, Mary. I, too, am grateful for nature and know we must protect it at all costs. Lady of Steel sounds like a wonderful read. Wishing you all the best!

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  8. Very nice post reminding us in a beautiful way to appreciate the wonders of the seasons. Lovely description...if your novels are as well written I look forward to reading Lady of Steel.

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