I hope this letter finds you all well and happy. We have been enjoying a most beautiful springtime. The long sunny days have been riddled with rain showers, but such is life. Our friend and neighbor Patti passed away. She lived in the tiny guest cottage in our back garden, which she enriched with herbs, flowers and a lush vegetable plot. She had kept her serious illness from us until she was weeks away from the end and then it all happened very quickly. Her friends took her away and she died in Maine within sight of the ocean. In your charity, please pray for the repose of her soul. I am keeping her beloved garden going, and one of the neighbors came and planted red geraniums. Amid life there is always death but eternity lies beyond the veil.
We went to Frederick County to spend a weekend with our dear friends, Virginia, Chip and their girls. They are the owners of the famous Chartreuse and Company which I have mentioned a few times on the Tea at Trianon blog. There is nothing like Frederick County in the spring; the air is fragrant with honeysuckle and flowering mountain shrubs. We enjoyed sitting on the terrace in the torchlight, talking, and partaking of delightful beverages, far into the night. Virginia and I discussed the possibility of me having a book-signing at her shop some time in the fall. By then my new non-fiction book on Marie-Antoinette will be published. As many of you know, Virginia published the first edition of Trianon for me; it would never have gotten off the ground otherwise. Marie-Antoinette would feel quite at home at Chartreuse. Not only would she have loved the furniture but the old milking parlor looks similar to Marie-Antoinette's dairy, and there is even a little mill. A spot of pure enchantment!
My new novel The Paradise Tree continues to garner critical acclaim and the sales are really picking up. It sold out at Chesapeake Trading Company in St. Michaels and I had to replenish the stock. The books are also available at the News Center in Easton, in the "Local Authors" section. Mrs. Anne Stinson in the May 2015 edition of the Tidewater Times gave it a glowing review, saying: "It's obviously a book of love, a fascinating read from a lyrical writer." What makes me very happy as well is that several of Daniel O'Connor's descendants, my cousins in Canada, have told me how much they enjoyed the book. My cousin Chip O'Connor wrote on Facebook:
"Dear Mary Eileen, I just finished reading The Paradise Tree. I enjoyed it immensely. I imagine many families have stories worth telling. We, the O'Connors, are blessed to have someone such as you who can tell so well the story of an important part of our history. Fergus (Chip) O'Connor"
I am excited to announce that copies of The Paradise Tree will be available this summer at the Long Point school house, on what was once Daniel O'Connor's land but is now owned by my Aunt Margaret. Yes, it is the same school house mentioned in the novel! On the weekend of May 23-24, 2015, the school house will opened to the public as part of Open Doors Ontario. Copies of The Paradise Tree will be there, as well as my cousin Michael O'Connor's paintings. How I wish I could be there!
In the meantime, I am pondering starting a radio broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. It will be about history, focusing on Marie-Antoinette, of course, and hence will be called Tea at Trianon Radio. I hope to interview some of the experts on the subject. More on that to come...In the meantime, I still post daily on the Tea at Trianon blog on "history, literature, manners, morals and matters of faith" while the morning Gazette du Trianon collects historical, political and social news. The Tea at Trianon Forum is available for discussion. And if you know anyone who would like to receive this newsletter, please send me their email.
Once again I am asking readers who enjoyed The Paradise Tree to use Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. Here is the link to the Amazon page. For those with an Amazon account, a positive review is always appreciated. For those who have posted reviews since my last letter, I cannot thank you enough!
Visit me on Facebook, Twitter, and my Amazon Author's Page!
With love, prayers, and blessings,
Elena at "East of the Sun and West of the Moon"