Book Launch for Judith, a novel

The book launch and signing for Judith, a novel by Leslie Moïse is this weekend, Saturday, November 9, 2013, 6-8pm at Shine on East Market behind The Green Building. Come enjoy readings from the book, and tales of Leslie's journey researching, completing the manuscript, and her victorious journey and trials while editing the gallies.

You can buy your eBook and hard copy at http://amzn.com/1597190756

PLEASE SHARE and add to your book club's must read list!  Watch this website for book club handouts.


News of Upcoming Book: Judith

Many know how the story of Judith ends.  Widowed before her 20th birthday, Judith has created a life for herself in the small Jewish town of Bethulia.  She depends on her friend and maidservant, Abra, her wise, elderly friend Naomi, and the women of her household.  The Assyrian army, a terror of the ancient world, led by General Holofernes, places Bethulia under siege.  The town magistrate and elders want to surrender, but Judith with her strong faith, has other ideas.  Like David slaying the giant, Judith protects her people against overwhelming odds and superior strength.  She transforms from a humble woman to a heroine.

This much awaited historical fiction work is already receiving praise, coast to coast, and even across the pond.  It's in its final preparations to be published by Pearlsong Press, a publishing company in Nashville Tennessee.  The book is based on the Apocryphal story of Judith, who slane Holofernes. Unfortunately and irritatingly, the Book of Judith had so little about her, so with the support of the Kentucky Foundation for Women, I researched and wrote the historical novel from the perspective of Judith.   I'm honored to have come to know her in the way I meet and share any character's story.

There is tremendous significance for the painting that will serve as the cover of the book.   The particular painting, and there are many depicting Judith, hangs in Florence Italy's Uffizzi, among the museums of  il Polo Museale della citta di Firenze.  It's by Artemisia Gentilechi, an Italian Baroque painter, today considered one of the most accomplished painters in the generation after Caravaggio.  Gentilechi was a rape survivor, and was tortured during her rapist's trial where they tried to get her to confess that she had been her rapist's lover. As a rare female painter of her time, her talent, strength and conviction made acquiring the rights to this particular painting of Judith poignant for the cover of the novel.

Some of my loyal readers may notice that several entries by my sister have been removed.  I have decided to not be defined by my medical condition and status.  For the friends and family who continue to stand by me in my path to recovery after suffering a stroke May 2012, my deepest gratitude.


May 2012 Book Tour - Initial Notes

I'm currently on a book tour promoting Love is the Thread.  The focus of this trip has been on the area where much of the book took place, in New England, particularly around Baltimore Maryland. I have many people to thank for making it possible, but among those include the owners of the locations I've appeared, and my friends and family.

I'm booking other appearances, and if you wish to have me come, read, speak, or present on topics relating to love, friendship, loss, the creative process, you can use my contact page here.  

I must say, the gift of friendship is one that always moves me in how subtly and yet how powerfully it can appear.   The readers I've met  move me, some approaching in tears, some being greeted by the warmest smile I can muster through the glistened tears staining my own face.  It's been an emotional journey, not just the first time in the living, but in the telling as I wrote the book, and now each time I share the stories it contains with someone new. 

Today, I'm at The Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.  It's not over yet, so if you're reading this and are in the area, be sure to come by.  Information can be found at http://www.sheepandwool.org/.

21st Century Radio Interview:


The Heart of a Character

When the idea for Selkie Song first came to me, more than two decades ago, I saw the myth of the selkie as a powerful metaphor for sexual and romantic abuse:  a man met this enchanted fairy creature, a seal in the sea and a woman on dry land, and stole her seal skin, her deep feminine self from her.

This novel has undergone so many deep changes.  Early on, the main character was neither Ben, the young man who discovers the selkie, or Eloyn, the selkie herself.  A third character took center stage, and the story of Ben and Eloyn filtered through the then protagonist's consciousness.  Thanks to Louise Hawes, I realized I was protecting myself from the full impact of Ben and Eloyn's story.  The whole novel shifted.

Now it is shifting again as I revise, though in a subtler way.  (The earlier change dropped the novel from 250 pages to 90; then it grew again in the new direction.)  Now I feel like Ben's heart and soul are fully revealing his true self to me as I revise; some events later in the novel that never felt like he had earned them now flow in a more unified way.

I am grateful for the process of revision, for my experiences as a writer, and for the way both Ben and his story are coming into deeper alignment.


Book Signings

One of my favorite chapters in Peter Mayle's memoirs about Provence centers on Mayle's experiences as a new author.  Readers leave copies of A Year in Provence in the mail box for him to sign, while others show up on the front step and invite themselves in.  That hasn't happened to me yet, but in the last part of the chapter, Mayle describes what it's like to be an author at a book signing, sitting behind a table while people sneak past and stare in any direction except at the writer's face.

Yes, it can be that way sometimes.  Often enough that I wonder why people seem afraid.  We're readers, and we love books; otherwise, we wouldn't be here in the bookstore on a snowy Saturday.  Yet every once in a while, a book buyer scuttles past as if the author on the other side of the book signing table has cooties or might bite.

That said, I had a lovely time at the signing event today at Half Price Books.  The staff were obliging and friendly; one came over to talk with me about Love is the Thread, so she could be informed when she sent people over to see the book.  Later she told me that it looked like I had had a successful day.

Lovely conversations with people about friendship, mine with Kristine, and some that they shared from their own lives.  The author may seem like a different species there on the other side of the author table, but it was delightful to share with people whether they bought a copy or not.  (And yes, some of them did.)  A successful day, indeed.