Thursday, May 21, 2015

Panopticon



"Finally, they came to an ordinary door. It had a pane of glass in the middle not unlike an elementary classroom door. Marcus Birdwhistle reached a long arm into his forest green trouser pockets and produced a large gold key that looked much too grand for such a door. But when the key touched the lock, the door soared in height and burst out in ornate carvings of vines and roses done in gold leaf. Without a backward glance or word of explanation, Marcus Birdwhistle stepped into a room that only can be described as a cross between the oval office and Louis XIV’s study. A large imposing desk with a stylized open book wrought in gold on the front of it. Tapestries, a scattering of faberge eggs, and two paintings that Julian could swear were Rembrandt’s “Storm of the Sea of Galilee” and Vermeer’s “the concert” hung from the walls. Paintings that Julian knew his art professor had lamented as stolen and “lost forever to the world”. Where in the world was he?"-- excerpted from The Library of Panopticon, Alexandria Nolan

Order your copy in Kindle or Paperback. Now. Do it. NOW.
xx

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Return to Barcelona


On Friday, Nolandia will return to Barcelona on another Diplomatic mission. I am so excited to see my dearest gal-friends Patri + Eva, and to introduce Mr. Nolandia to one of my most favorite places in the world. 

Places we will be visiting {and you should too!}

Adíos muchachos!
xx



Thursday, May 14, 2015

[love is more thicker than forget]



love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail

it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea

love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive

it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky
-ee cummings

xx

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tea Time





Who doesn't like a tea party? Especially a boozy one? With macarons and tea cakes and scones with Devonshire cream? Everyone. Everyone likes that kind of tea party. 

On my recent trip to Chapel Hill, my mother and I had a lovely mother-daughter tea party with delicate mis-matched tea dishes, multiple pots of piping hot tea and sparkling glasses of champagne. It made me realize that a girl is never too old for a tea party with her mother and that getting dolled up for afternoon delights is something I need to do more often. 

For your own Carolina tea treat:

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Chapel Hill Sunshine








On my recent trip to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, I was transported by the beauty of the botanical gardens. The laid-back college town was rife with wine bars, cool cocktail dives and locally run restaurants...but for me, the best part was walking outside, taking in the sweetest springtime weather you ever did see. Catching flowers just blooming and green, green, green everywhere. 

if you're ever in the Raleigh/Chapel Hill Area, I would advise: 
drinks:
eats:
stay:
Carolina Inn (from around $140/night) 

xx

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Warmer Weather



Nature is what we see—
The Hill—the Afternoon—
Squirrel—Eclipse— the Bumble bee—
Nay—Nature is Heaven—
Nature is what we hear—
The Bobolink—the Sea—
Thunder—the Cricket—
Nay—Nature is Harmony—
Nature is what we know—
Yet have no art to say—
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.  
-Emily Dickinson

As the temperatures surge ever higher, I am recalled to the springs and summers of years gone by. Of the repeating patterns of wax and wane, of growth and renewal and decay and death of each season. This year seems to hold a special kind of promise, though. Good things ahead, beauty on its way,  adventures to come. 

Let's hold on to the magic, and to the thrill that the changing seasons used to hold for us as children. Back when summer meant swimming and shorts and your Dad flipping something or other on the grill and as much time spent outside with your friends outside as possible. Let's bring back that childish excitement for the season. Why not, right? 

xx


 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Library of Panopticon- AVAILABLE TODAY



Dreams do come true. Today I am ecstatic to announce the publication of The Library of Panopticon on both Kindle and in paperback.

While writing Wide, Wild, Everywhere I fell in love with one of my own characters. A precocious little boy who loved reading. Long after the book was published, I thought about him and his life and his family. I thought about his imagination...and somehow I started wondering what it would be like to travel within books. How would one feel if one could simply open a book, and disappear into the world of the pages? What would this society of people be like? What would their mission be? And so,  the The Library of Panopticon was born. 

Today you can step into that world for yourself. Tread in the footsteps of my characters and my imagination and take a peek into the extraordinary. 

Safe travels. 
xx


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pensacola: Splash of Sunshine








We recently traveled to Pensacola, about 7 hours away from Houston by car. Which was a nightmarish drive on I-10. No me gusta.

We were there on a work trip, and Mr. Nolandia was gone all day. Which left me hours of sunshine and writing. It sounds nicer than it was. It was basically write OR sunshine, because sand-filled notebooks and weird paper-sharped tan lines and sweat everywhere isn't the best writing environment. But, it was pleasant overall, obviously. 

The water was crystal clear, like a wavy glass before the eye. The sand like spun sugar, so white that it almost resembled snow. The beach near our hotel was largely empty, just a small 100 ft or so stretch of sand on the sky-blue water. No clouds overhead, just pure liquid sunshine, my thoughts, and my writing. 
There wasn't a whole lot else to do in Pensacola, besides walk to parks or go to the beach, both pastimes perfectly suiting my mood. 
At night, we noshed on fresh oysters, like tasting the sea, and drank down cold white wine...the mix of salt and sweetness the perfect almost-summer flavor. 

A quick spot of sunshine and ocean breeze before we headed back to the Houston inferno. 

xx

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Importance of Adventures


Today's post is a link to my latest article for Coast to Coast Central. It is an examination of why exploring, traveling, adventuring is the most important investment you can make. It is an investment in yourself, in your future and in happiness. Find out why on the Coast to Coast Blog.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Starlight Symphonies on Kindle Book Review


One final HURRAH for Starlight Symphonies of Oak & Glass before The Library of Panopticon drops. The Kindle Book review featured Starlight Symphonies on their site yesterday, and so to celebrate, the price will be 99 cents until Friday, April 24th. 

I have a few announcements about the book coming soon, and so, now is the time to dive into the pages. 

If you like adventure, history, mysteries, romance + magic...you'll definitely find something special between the covers of Starlight Symphonies.

Click the link to download the kindle version to one of your devices at this special price.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Library of Panopticon



In just over 2 weeks, this beautiful book will be available for purchase on Amazon. The kindle version is already available for pre-order CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER!

This is my first full-on fantasy novel, though it does dip into historical fiction and uses Michigan as a backdrop. I find turn-of-the-century Detroit so fascinating, so it was impossible not to feature it in my work in some fashion. The motor-car, the dazzling jewel of the midwest. One of the most diverse and exciting places to be in the beginning of the 20th century. Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, Billy Durant and the influx of foreigners from all parts of the globe. Forget New York and Chicago...Detroit was booming!

But, as I said, the lion's share of the novel is fantasy. Particularly, the notion of a world within books. What would it be like to climb into a favorite novel? To tuck oneself in with paper-quilt pages and move from one story to another like one's eyes on through an interesting volume of writing? Who would oppose such a notion? Who would find fault with this kind of dreamy-daring existence?

I leave you with another excerpt, which will hopefully seal the deal, and you will find yourself unable to prevent yourself from purchasing this, my newest creation. 

They lived in an enviable part of town. Just far enough away from the real hub and bustle of things, yet so intimately close. Connected by the tramway, the world of the city was a short ride or pleasant walk from their doorstep. She walked a few houses down and paused, realizing the stillness of the afternoon. It was eerie almost, she was so used to the sounds of a growing metropolis, of children outside and people hurrying to work, or back to their snug houses. Of course she knew that there were many others, on the other side of town, that had no comfortable place to warm themselves. Those that slowly froze their icy fingers, hardening up into stony expressions, praying for summertime and warmth. She shuddered involuntarily, and a weight descended in her chest. Sometimes she was ashamed of herself, embarrassed at her own good fortune. 

But, the city around her was lazy today, it was New Years Day and so she knew many of the businessmen and their families were tucked near the fire, dozing or reading a new novel. Many were probably recovering from last night’s celebration, but not Lively. She was out, and striding comfortably down the frosted white avenue, patiently pacing toward her destiny. 
(excerpted from The Library of Panopticon, 2015)

Available April 31st on Amazon.com.  PRE-ORDER HERE!
xx

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hold Fast to Dreams

I wonder what the pooch dreams of? I think perhaps treats and belly rubs. Perhaps the occasional wish to wear a sweater one day without becoming inexplicably upset by it. 


Hold fast to dreams 
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
-Langston Hughes, "Dreams"

Just a little inspiration + motivation for your week. Our lives become so small if we have no dreams to sustain us. Our worth is so depleted when we have nothing to strive for. No matter how impossible or terrifying or small of a chance you think you have of success, try. Please try. I have never wept over someone daring the unknown and coming up short, but I cannot begin to express the sorrow I have felt for someone who told me their loftiest goals, and then gave them up un-tried. So many shattered futures, celebrations and successes that could have been lived. 
I dreamed of writing books. And though I am not on a bestseller list, and it takes hardly any time to count the dollars I have earned from my pen, I am successful. I receive notes, emails, messages from people that loved my words. People who read my pages and felt something. That, for me, is riches enough. It is success. 
What would you do attempt if you knew you would not fail? What are you waiting for?
xx

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Library of Panopticon-IT'S COMING



Oh, snap! It's almost time for the next book to come out! Have you preordered yet?

Here's another sneak peek at the book, a little snippet to whet your appetite. The story is a fantasy born out of the idea of: "What if you could travel inside of the stories that you read? How would they change? How would you?"  

So many people I have talked to, myself included have been changed so much by reading a book. Not necessarily non-fiction books or true stories or tales of harrowing events. But Fiction. Fictional accounts of events that never happened to people that never existed. Some of these books crawl under our eyelids and we forever see the world through the lens of the message or characters we met in that book. The idea of this was delicious to me. I had to write something that showed what I would imagine it would be like if those ideas not only stayed with us, but if we climbed into the ideas and lived within them. Pre-order the E-book on Amazon or wait and order the paperback on April 31st! The E-Book will be at a special PRE-ORDER price only until April 30th, so scoop it up!

Now, for the sampling of The Library of Panopticon by Alexandria Nolan (that's me!)

Marcus bent his grey head, his hair falling like a veil over his features, and he sank like a stone into the lion-tipped chair. The room was silent for a moment besides the incessant rustling of papers that always seemed to emanate from Relish’s person. 
Waylon Fernsby settled in comfortably, a man who appreciated a fine storyteller and was making himself ready for a tale. Conversely, Theophilus shifted stiffly, and Isadora picked up waves of anxiety rolling off the young man. His usually smooth and charismatic visage was now creased into folds of apprehension. She could not but think that he knew something relating to whatever events Marcus was about to relate. 
His silver veil never raised, his face hidden beneath the shining strands. He cracked his knuckles one at a time, and his gruff voice became suddenly clear and melodic. 

“Many years ago, throughout our time on Earth, back to the beginning, back to the first written words, and the first men and women who could travel within them we begin our tale. Into the myths, into the stories that people wished to keep sacred, into the very coarsest lines of the reed pen or ancient words carved into rock. Many of these first Lectors, were descended from tribal storytellers, from the poets, from the keepers of a nomadic history. These were the people that would take hold of the imaginations of their weary families, brothers, sisters, cousins, all members of a tribe. This keeper of stories, lodged legends within their brain in a special way, recalling the details that made the story come to life for their listeners, the exact cadence in which the tales must be told. And so, these people were living two lives. One as a member of a family group, or tribe; and the other as a person who lived outside of the realm of the present reality, and instead had one foot in the land where stories live. From the moment that these tales were put to paper, the reader and writer of these fables, these legends, these allegories, was able to leave behind completely the reality of their time and escape into the narrative itself. And almost at the same time, there were members of these same tribes, same families, same societies, that disapproved of this practice. That saw no gain to be found by a physical body leaving their share of the work to be divided among their own kindred. A spirit of discord was then born, or perhaps it had always been there, waiting in the shadows for a body to live in and take hold of. Some believe it to be a physical being, others believe it to be an apparition. For myself, I believe it is like the stories themselves that the Lectors travel into, invisible to anyone who is blind to them, but visible to all those who would give in to its power. The spirit has no name, but he is the root of all of Tenebrae. This being sows hatred, confusion, dissatisfaction. He infects people in the world, and the creatures and characters within the story. He is not a leader, but instead…more like a virus that leeches onto the fears and doubts of its host, and drives them mad by feeding those feelings.”


xx

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Houston Down-Low



Recently, I did a post for Coast to Coast Central on Houston. The city that Mr. Nolandia and I call home is large, varied and complex. There are interesting people, great coffee shops and incredible restaurants. The margaritas here are insane, and don't get me started on the fish tacos. 

But, truth be told, I find no joy in being a Texan. No reason in particular, I just can't hang my hat here. Michigan is always home, of course, but this place...as awesome as it can be, I can't help but think of it as a stepping stone to our next adventure. (and it honestly can be awesome. Which I freely admit, though don't tell Mr. Nolandia because I do  like to grumble. And complain and whine and command him to get a transfer abroad. Which has worked marvelously, as we are still here.)

Anyway, I tried my best to offer up the best of the city that I tolerate, to find the best hangouts, the best places to spend a steamy day and the most delicious spots to imbibe the choicest Bayou City booze. 


xx