Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno
I am not what I was under the sway of Cynara

Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine
There fell thy shadow, Cynara! thy breath was shed
Upon my soul between the kisses and the wine; 
And I was desolate and sick of an old passion, 
Yea, I was desolate and bowed my head: 
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion. 

All night upon mine heart I felt her warm heart beat, 
Night-long within mine arms in love and sleep she lay; 
Surely the kisses of her bought red mouth were sweet; 
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion, 
When I awoke and found the dawn was gray: 
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion. 

I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind, 
Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng, 
Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind; 
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion, 
Yea, all the time, because the dance was long: 
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion. 

I cried for madder music and for stronger wine, 
But when the feast is finished and the lamps expire, 
Then falls thy shadow, Cynara! the night is thine; 
And I am desolate and sick of an old passion, 
Yea, hungry for the lips of my desire: 
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion. 

-- Ernest Christopher Dawson



by Ernest Christopher Dawson

Breaking and Holding at the Venerable Hoyt Library

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On July 26th, via FaceTime, I met with readers of the Hoyt Library Book Club in Kingston, Pennsylvania to discuss Breaking and Holding. The Discussion Questions I'd prepared led to many other questions from this perceptive, thoughtful and amiable group. To all who attended, thanks for an enjoyable hour and thanks to the library for choosing Breaking and Holding as the summer session novel. 

Nothing is more gratifying for an author than connecting with readers. If you've read my novel, I'd love to hear from you -- through reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, comments on Facebook or Twitter, or through the connect page of this website.

Book clubs, I'd love to talk with you about Breaking and Holding IN Person, by facetime, or by skype. Let's set a date.






Wondering what to read this summer? Here are recommendations I compiled from nine different lists of 2018 best summer reads. From literary fiction to serious women's fiction, from thrillers to easy breezy reads with beach settings, you're sure to find something to keep you turning pages.

According to Publishers Weekly, Book-Bub, Amazon, The Washington Post, Southern Living, Esquire, Redbook, Harper's Bazaar, and Book Riot, here are some of many good reads awaiting you. Click an image to learn more. 

(And don't forget to enter my Summer Giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Hurricane Season by Lauren Denton!)


 Appearing on five lists were: 

Appearing on three lists were: 

Appearing on two lists were: 


Over one hundred readers entered the Spring Giveaway drawing announced in the April/May issue of Story Lines. Many received a double-entry by messaging me with the title of their favorite poem about spring--from Emily Dickinson to A.A. Milne, from Robert Frost to Shel Silverstein. Take a moment to enjoy the season in verse.


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"Daffodils" by William Wordsworth

 Write here…

Write here…



This One by Shel Silverstein Made Me Laugh! 








"In just spring," the favorite poem of giveaway winner, Carol Parry. . . 


  e. e. cummings

e. e. cummings

And all of the Other Favorites . . . 

"The First Green of Spring" - David Budbill
The Year's at the Spring" – Robet Browning
"When Lilacs Last in the Doorway Bloom'd" – Walt Whitman
"Daffondowndilly" – A. A. Milne
"There's Always a Springtime" – Helen Steiner Rice
"Spring" – Edna St Vincent Millay
"Spring, Spring is Coming Soon" - Unknown

"Spring Pools" - Robert Frost
"Flower God, God of the Spring" - Robert Louis Stevenson
"I Wish I Were a Glow Worm" - Colin West
"Daisy Time" - Margaret Pickthall
"Spring" - Gerard Manley Hopkins
"The Trees" - Phillip Larkin

"Spring" – Edna St Vincent Millay
"Spring Pools" - Robert Frost
"A Breath of Spring" - John McLeod
"Flower God, God of the Spring" - Robert Louis Stevenson
"I Wish I Were a Glow Worm" - Colin West
"Daisy Time" - Margaret Pickthall
"The Owl and the Pussycat" - Edward Lear

"Spring" - Gerard Manley Hopkins
"The Trees" - Phillip Larkin
"And the Spring Arose on the Garden Fair" from The Sensitive Plant - Percy Bysshe Shelley
"Spring Rain" - Sara Teasdale
"Headache" - Shel Silverstein
"Spring" - William Blake
"April Showers" - Karen Chappell
"Lines Written in Early Spring" - William Wordsworth
"To Spring" ("Au Printemps") - William Blake

"The Fog" - Carl Sandburg

Thanks to all of you who submitted a poem. 

P.S. - And if I missed your poem or you'd like to add one, just let me know.






 My prompt?  You meet the love of your life in the stacks.  The art I received? Lower left, of the four pictured here. 

My prompt? You meet the love of your life in the stacks. The art I received? Lower left, of the four pictured here. 

I'm excited to be participating in Page Rippers, an art exhibit and silent auction with a literary twist. 

The exhibit at Location Gallery in Savannah features the works of 18 local artists and writers who were paired by 18 prompts. Inspired by visits to the library, the prompts are diverse and include: as an adult you rediscover your favorite childhood book on your child's first visit to the library; you wish that farm animals would be allowed in the library; you love the shushing sound a page turn makes; and you think books should be in the shape of their subject matter.  Working from his or her assigned prompt, each artist produced a drawing, painting or collage. The writer who had received the same prompt then constructed a brief poem, essay, or story to accompany the art. My prompt? You meet the love of your life in the stacks. The art I received? Lower left, of the four pictured here. 

The exhibit, a collaboration between Location Gallery and The Refinery, a Writing Studio,  will run from Friday, February 9th through Friday, February 23rd and will feature the work of both the artists and writers. A companion book, designed by Peter Erwin Roberts, will also be available at the exhibit and from E Shaver Bookseller. Gallery profits from the show will benefit the Savannah Book Festival

Find details here and drop by Location Gallery for what is sure to be an interesting show. 



I love living, reading and writing on the Isle of Hope, Savannah, Georgia. I run there too, along Bluff Drive, with the Skidaway River on one side of the road, and historic homes, some dating from the 1850s, on the other. Little wonder that my second -- almost finished! -- novel is set on the island. At this time of year, a run, bike ride, or leisurely stroll along the bluff always makes me merry. I hope these photographs will make you merry too. 


The Thanksgiving issue of my Story Lines newsletter featured a cornucopia of a giveaway: 18 books, all from Lake Union Publishing, all signed by the author. Here are the winners and the books they will receive. 

WINNERS (top row, left to right):

Sonnetta Jones, Kim Kight, Virgie Lane, Blaze O'Rama, Sherri McDonald, Lorrie Castro, Leanna Mattea, Tammy Underhill, Barbara Weintz




WINNERS (bottom row, left to right)

Dawn Bellinger, Kathy Schnitz, Lucille Bransfield, Suzanne Leopold, Laurie Picillo, Pernette Wells, MaryAnn Anderson, Diane Wight, Carol Stock.


When I asked, through Story Lines and social media, for readers to name one of their favorite books, the response was enthusiastic and exceeded my expectations. Here's the resulting list, full of diversity, surprises, gorgeous covers, and something you'll want to read.

The Nightingale was named as a favorite by six readers. To Kill a MockingBird and Before We Were Yours were named by three. 


Named by two readers: 

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Authors with more than one title named as favorites:  



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What Readers love about Chapter 1

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Readers loved the Giveaway in the September issue of my Story Lines newsletter. They entered the drawing by (1) reading Chapter 1 of Breaking and Holding and (2) leaving me a comment about the chapter. A few of my favorites Follow. If you haven't read breaking and Holding, I hope THEY will encourage you to. 

"Best first chapter I have read since...ever! I mean it. Stunningly good. The gift card would be icing on the cake. The real dessert will be inhaling your book. Can't wait!" -- Diana Wenzel

"The last sentence of the first chapter had my eyes wide open and saying to myself, Ooooohhhhh. Lol." -- Caitlin Freaney

"Intrigued? √...Mystified? √...Needing to read more? √" -- Connie Saunders

"Love your writing style and character development. The relationships draws you in and has you quickly wanting more." -- Kim Elliott

"Okay, now I HAVE to finish the book!" -- Diane

"The very first lines truly captured my attention. Barbed wire? And then the last line of the first chapter? I need to read more!" -- Susan Schleicher

"Oh my gosh! When I got to the last line of chapter one I was thinking..."No. She didn't." I felt so bad for Patricia. And I'm very curious now as to what happens to Jack!" -- Belinda

"You got me on the first page." -- Liz