Sunday, March 27, 2011

Women in ancient Rome--Guest Post on Sarah Woodbury's blog

Sarah Woodbury is the author of historical and fantasy novels. Her blog focuses on Celtic history, and today Sarah invited me to guest post about women in ancient Rome. Please drop in and say hello.

Here's a German engraving of a Vestal Virgin that I just purchased on eBay--late 1800's

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Juniper Grove Interview with Suzanne Tyrpak

Jaidis Shaw interviewed my on, Juniper Grove, a great blog for book lovers. Jaidis comes up with some offbeat questions. For example:

 What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I will go to great lengths to get information—for example I went to Egypt so I would know how it felt to stand in the Sahara. This may stem from an awful experience with a seventh-grade English teacher. I spent a great deal of time writing a story about a girl who cuts school, goes into New York City by train, and smokes pot. The teacher gave me an F and told me I should write about what I know. Her comment acted as a catalyst for my wild youth.

Please visit Juniper Grove for the rest of the interview!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guest Post from Sarah Woodbury--author of Daughter of Time

I'm fascinated by women's roles throughout history, and today I'm delighted to have author, Sarah Woodbury posting about women in Celtic Society. This topic is Sarah's passion, and that passion comes through in her post. Please read what she has to say. And also, check out her book Daughter of Time a time travel Romance.

Thank you Sarah!

Women in Celtic Society

It is a stereotype that women in the Middle Ages had two career options:  mother or holy woman, with prostitute or chattel filling in the gaps between those two. Whether we like it or not, for the most part this stereotype is accurate and the status and role of women in that era revolved around these categories.

This is one reason that when an author sets fiction in this time, it is difficult to write a self-actualized female character who has any kind of autonomy or authority over her own life.  Thus, it is common practice to make fictional characters either healers of some sort (thus opening up a whole array of narrative possibilities for travel and interaction with interesting people) or to focus on high status women. Such women may or may not actually have had more autonomy, but their lives didn’t consist of drudgery and child care from morning until night.

This is not to say that men in the Middle Ages weren’t equally restricted in their ‘careers’.  A serf is a serf after all, of whatever gender.  Men as a whole, however, did have control of women, of finances, of government, and of the Church, and thus organized and ruled the world.  Literally.

There are obvious exceptions—Eleanor of Aquitaine, anyone—but women such as she were one out of thousands upon thousands who were born, worked, and died within five miles of their home.

At the same time, within Celtic cultures, women at least had the possibility of greater personal autonomy.  In Ireland, where the Roman Church had less influence, women had a viable place both within the Druid religion and within the Celtic/Irish Church. Wales too was less subject to the restrictions of the Church.  There, women had a higher status than in Christendom as a whole, including the right to divorce her husband and societal acceptance of illegitimate children. 

The Laws of Women (part of the Laws of Hywel Dda) included rules that governed marriage and the division of property if a married couple should separate. Women usually married through contract, but elopement was allowed, with the provision that if the relationship lasted seven years, a woman had the same entitlements as if she’d been given to her husband by her kin.

My book, Daughter of Time, tells the story a young widow, Meg, who falls through time into the Middle Ages—and into the arms of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last Prince of Wales. One aspect of the book that I found very interesting to write was her reaction to the status and role of women in medieval Wales, and how a modern woman might deal with it.

Daughter of Time is available at and Amazon UK and is coming soon to Barnes and Noble and elsewhere to which Smashwords distributes. For more information about Wales in the Middle Ages, please see my web page:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ten Tips for Successful Self-Publishing -- On Writer's Fun Zone

I've been self-publishing for about seven months now, at this month I will reach my latest of selling over a thousand books in one month. For me, this is an important milestone. Reaching this goal gives me hope that at some point, in the near future, I will be able to support myself by writing--that means I can let go of other work, do what I love to do, and not starve!

I'm a guest today on Beth Barany's blog Writer's Fun Zone, and I list 10 Tips for Self-Publishing. I'm delighted to pass on useful information that I've gleaned from my experience. Please check it out!

Beth is an indie writer too. Check out her book on Kindle

Here's a photo of Beth:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Win a FREE copy of Vestal Virgin at Universe in Words

I'm giving away 10 free copies of Vestal Virgin. Go to this cool blog Universe in Words to claim your book!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Caffeinated Diva gives 4 mugs to Dating My Vibrator (and other true fiction)

The Caffeinated Diva is a fun blog for readers and writers. Kim liked Dating My Vibrator (and other true fiction) and awarded it 4 mugs and a great review. Unfortunately, for her, she relates to my story Downhill, because she's had that kind of date. Oh well, at least we can laugh!

Check out her blog!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tales from the Adytum

I want to give a name to my stories from ancient times--tales of passion, spirit, and courage. In my historical novels, I write about forgotten lives of women and the sacred role women have played throughout history. Today, just now, I found the name: Tales from the Adytum.

Adytum is defined as inner sanctum. The innermost temple where spirit dwells.

Welcome to the adytum.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ancient Greeks Invented the Marathon Runner

I'm currently doing research for my next novel, Agathon's Daughter, suspense in ancient Athens, and I came across this:

In 490 BC The Persian King, Darius, led an invasion against Eretria and crushed it. His army then landed at Marathon--just northeast of Athens. The Athenians and their allies marched an army of 10,000 men to meet them. Although they were outnumbered, the Greeks won a stunning victory, thanks to strategy and the hoplite phalanx.

A messenger was sent to Athens to announce the victory. He ran all the way from Marathon, 25 miles, delivered the news and promptly died. Hence: he was the first Marathon runner.

I found that interesting, and I may use it in my book. Doing research is like filling in a jigsaw puzzle--I enjoy watching the picture develop.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

5 Kitties for Vestal Virgin!

Vestal Virgin received two great reviews this week. 5 Kitties from Socrates' Book Reviews and 4.5 stars from Mother Lode

Indie authors really appreciate getting reviewed. We do all our own promotion, and reviews really help! Any reviews, even those that are critical the work. But these reviews are gold:

Yvonne at Socrates' says: 

Suzanne Tyrpak transports readers to Ancient Rome when life was much different than it is today. This is a genre I’m unfamiliar with, but since it is a romantic suspense, I decided to try it anway. History isn’t my usual reading choice. However, this book captivated me from the beginning. It drew me right in. I was completely engrossed in this tale of betrayal, angst, murder and romance.

Grace at Mother Lode says:

With a fluid writing style, Suzanne Tyrpak has created a gripping tale that immerses you in another time and culture. From the very beginning, I was pulled into the storyline. The plot is well-paced, with excellent timing on the introduction of characters and situations. Initially, more time is spent getting to know the various characters, and the pace picks up in sync with the increasing tension. Throughout the story, we follow the characters as their lives become inextricably intertwined. Each character plays a very important part in the overall story, and they are very well-developed and interesting in their own right. Although the storyline focuses upon Elissa as she struggles to put her world right, the supporting characters are no minor parts. On the contrary, they are just as engaging and complex as Elissa herself. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dating My Vibrator nominated for Best Romantic Comedy by The Romance Reviews

Dating My Vibrator (and other true fiction) has been nominated for "Best Romantic Comedy--2010" by The Romance Reviews. Please Vote!

Here's a list of all the Indie Authors nominated for awards:

Sandra Edwards:
Crazy For You ... Best Contemporary Romance of 2010
Incredible Dreams ... Best Paranormal Romance of 2010

Victorine E. Lieske
Not What She Seems ... Best Debut Book in 2010
Not What She Sems ... Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements in 2010

Monique Martin
Out of Time ... Best Paranormal Romance in 2010
Out of Time ... Best Debut Book in 2010

Cate Rowan
Kismet's Kiss ... Best Debut Book in 2010
Kismet's Kiss ... Best Fantasy Romance in 2010

LK Rigel
Hero Material (Space Junque) ... Best Debut Book in 2010
Hero Material (Space Junque) ... Best Romantic Science Fiction/Fantasy in 2010

TL Haddix
Under the Moon's Shadow ... Best Romantic Suspense in 2010

Suzanne Tyrpak
Dating My Vibrator (and other true fiction) ... Best Romantic Comedy in 2010

HP Mallory
Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble ... Best Debut Book in 2010
Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble ... Best Urban Fantasy in 2010

Lexi Revellian
Remix ... Best Debut Book in 2010
Remix ... Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements in 2010

Selena Kitt
Baumgartner Generations: Henry ... Best Erotic Romance (Non-Traditional Lifestyle) in 2010
Baumgartner Generations: Janie ... Best Erotic Romance (Non-Traditional Lifestyle) in 2010

Sibelle Hodge
The Fashion Police ... Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements in 2010

Maria Romana
Little Miss Straight Lace ... Best Romantic Suspense in 2010

Maria E. Schneider
Under Witch Moon ... Best Urban Fantasy in 2010

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dating My Vibrator SAFE FOR FACEBOOK cover!

About a week ago Facebook banned the cover of Dating My Vibrator (and other true fiction). But Jeroen ten Berge, cover designer genius, has come to the rescue with a new version of the cover designed expressly for Facebook.

Yes! Now you and your loved ones will be safe!