In which Rolanni forgets that it’s a new year

So, after breakfast, I walked into town to fetch home some bagels, and seeing as how I was out, I extended my walk over to Heath Street, where I found the AZ Market, an institution for 50 years, real world time, has closed.  This is a sad thing.  I liked the AZ Market; it had character.  It had fresh donuts.  It had weird wines that no one in Waterville is allowed to sell.

In Archers Beach, the AZ Market is Ahz’s Market and it’s run by Ahzan Dhar, aka Ahzie.  I just last night wrote a scene where Ahzie was present, so this morning’s revelation was a double shock.  One of the perils of writing mundane fiction set in the almost-real-world, I suppose.

Going a little further down that path…a while back, someone asked why St. Margaret’s Church wasn’t mentioned in Carousel Tides.  The answer to that, of course, is that Carousel Tides took place mostly within the amusement park, and the beach.  There was no mention of the church, because Kate hadn’t walked up the hill to look it and relate it to the readers.

Carousel Sun, now, opens up the setting, as Kate’s concerns expand with her continuing duties as Guardian, so readers will be seeing lots of things that were never mentioned in the first book.

Stories are, after all, as much about what the author chooses not to talk about, as they are about those things that she brings to the table for reader examination.  No story can tell everything, show everything, examine every character.  It’s all in the telling detail.

So, anyhow, after the shock to my system of finding AZ Market gone, I walked through Memorial Park, and Fountain Circle, paid my respects to the sea and came home.  As I was passing the synagogue (which I keep meaning to take a picture of), I saw three Rabbis in white and black robes on the porch.  Totally forgot it was the new year!  L’shana tova.

So now I’m back home, and have uploaded pictures here, and it’s time to get to work.


What on *earth* has the woman been doing?

Well, let’s see…

I had a birthday, on the 11th, but mostly, I’ve been writing, and walking, and thinking.  Not really a lot of meaty reporting in that.

Today, though, was Maine Lighthouse Day, and I determined that I would see me some lighthouses.

And so I did — I saw Spring Ledge Light, Bug Light, and Portland Head Light.  That’s pretty dern good, since my original plan had been to see Bug Light.

I also saw several dogs — a miniature poodle and a very young corgi — who were kind enough to bestow some Vitamin Dog upon me.  The corgi was so enthusiastic, I swear he was trying to figure out a way to clone himself on the spot, so he could have me and his people, too.

I will also note that Portland is lousy with forts. The dern things are EVERYwhere; Southern Maine Community College’s campus us largely built on the remains of an old fort, and there are at least three more in eyeball distance from that one.  So, wow.  I guess it was some strategic, going ‘way back.

There are pictures of the day’s adventures here, as well as some new Archers Beach photos.

Tomorrow, it’s back to walking, writing, and thinking.

In which there is excitement! and a storm

So, last night as I sat here, writing, like a good author, I noticed a persistent sort of noise, a kind of blat-blat-blat thing — just loud enough to be annoying.  I was writing at the kitchen table, and the refrigerator, among other Modern Innovations has an ice-maker which occasionally makes bizarre noises as a bid for attention, so I got up to tend to it…and noticed that the sound seemed, actually, to be coming from outside.

I stepped out onto the back porch, where the blatting was indeed much louder, and saw emergency lights flashing across the back wall, at the motel just next door.

The motel with the parking lot full of motorcycles, as distinct from the motel one down from there, which was closed for the season.

I went inside and called 911, and while I was giving the dispatcher the information, the entire Old Orchard Beach Fire Department, and a good bit of the Police Department, too, descended upon the motel, typing up traffic and yelling through bull-horns and flashing lights and in general having a heckuva good time.  It was raining, just a little, sufficient to take down any smoke, if there was any smoke.  My theory is that someone had lit up in their room, or on the porch, but with the door open, and set everything in motion.

The Fire Department was very thorough, but in about twenty minutes, they decided their work was done and pulled away.  The cops tarried, but what they did there, I have no idea, since the rain started to fall harder and I still had work to do.

It rained off and on during the night.  The folks upstairs spent much of it moving and dropping furniture, so it was just as well that I was up late, working.

This morning, there were mountains of seaweed on the beach at low tide, and gorgeous swirls of blue-grey clouds.  I took a small walk after breakfast; there are some pictures, here.

–Sharon on location at Archers Beach, Sunday, September 9, 2012


So, yesterday, I walked down to Fun Country, known locally as Palace Playland, only to find that the arcade is open Friday/Saturday/Sunday for the next few weeks, but that the amusement park

…is closed for the winter.

That was a disappointment, but not particularly a set-back, since I have maps and pictures from previous visits.  And, yanno, all was not lost, since I got to spend some quality time with my grandmother:


Grandma reads the cards! Get yours today!


…more pictures going up at whim here


First day on location

I moved in to my apartment in Archers Beach yesterday in the midst of the rags of Hurricane Isaac.  It made for a damp occasion, but at least I didn’t have to carry boxes upstairs.  Steve joined me in the late afternoon, and we went food shopping.  After 32 years of shared living, it’s hard to know how much one person will use/eat.  Ah, well, there’s Ahz’s Market, after all, if I run short.

Today started with breakfast at Michele’s Garden Cafe, then a short walk on the beach before Steve headed back to the Confusion Factory, the cats, and the work in process.  I tried out several office situations and have identified the recliner, the breakfast bar, and, if needed, the kitchen table as writing zones.  Good thing Ox is mobile.

It’s amazing to me how thin  of company we are.  The town really does shut down after the Season (defined on the far side by Labor Day), and the only people who are left are a few hardy tourists and…the people who live here.  The nice thing about that is that the people who live here tend to assume that you must live here, too.

I also love being in town, so I can walk.  Six miles and change today — and not all of it on the beach.

I posted some pictures of the day here.

News; we have news!

As reported in Locus, Baen Books has given me the green light to write the sequels to Carousel Tides, tentatively titled Carousel Sun, and Carousel Seas.  The manuscripts are due in early and mid 2013, respectively.  Publication dates rest on the knees of the publisher, but I’m assuming mid-2014.

I’ll be working on-site in Old Orchard Beach during the month of September.  I’m toying  with the idea of keeping  a diary of that month here on the website, if there’s interest.

So, that’s the big news.  Thank you all for your support and your interest!


Sharon Lee



Book Launch!

Book Launch News

Plans are afoot to launch Carousel Tides into the world from the town that inspired it — Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

Beggars Ride Studio and Gallery, 39 Old Orchard Street, will host the event on October 30, from 7-9 p.m.  Special discounted room rates are available to book launch attendees at the Seaview Inn, 65 Grand Avenue.  More details and the Secret Word here.

Do plan on coming to the book launch!  I’m really looking forward to seeing lots of friends — old and new — there!

Sharon Lee

* * *

Kate Archer left home years ago, swearing that she would die before she returned to Maine.  As plans go, it was a pretty good one — simple and straightforward.

Not quite fast enough, though.

Before she can quite manage the dying part, Kate gets notice that her grandmother is missing, leaving the carousel that is the family business untended.

And in Archers Beach, that means ‘way more trouble than just a foreclosure.

Carousel Tides by Sharon Lee
Cover art by Eric Williams

A tourist town in Maine hosts a war of faerie magic in this engaging urban fantasy. The fireworks begin when Kate Archer returns to Archers Beach, Maine, to search for her vanished grandmother, Bonny Pepperidge, and to assume Bonny’s role as Guardian of Fun Country, an amusement park whose carousel animals are actually exiled fae criminals. Almost immediately, Kate runs afoul of neighbor Joe Nemeier, a drug smuggler who sets his assassins after her. Then she learns from the local earth spirits that Bonny may have discovered the whereabouts of Kate’s mom, newly escaped from a pursuing demonic captor. Lee brings these disparate subplots together in a pyrotechnic finale that plays out magically behind the ordinary facade of smalltown Maine life, evoking much of the romance and magic of her popular Liaden series. (Nov.) (c)

–Publishers Weekly