So you can read my books

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

HART JOHNSON'S Spirit Guides and SIV MARIA'S Eye Spy!


has surprised me this Wednesday with a spotlight on END OF DAYS. Please check her post out -- I would hate her comments to slump because of me!

But today is really HART JOHNSON DAY!

Yes, that best-selling author has graciously accepted my invitation to chat a bit here in this haunted blog of mine!

Spirit Guides

Thank you so much for having me, Roland! You are always such a wonderful, kind and gracious supporter and I'm honored to be here.

Since Roland's blog so often hosts kindly, or sometimes crotchety, but never particularly frightening, spirits, I thought it was a nice place to play tribute to two spirits that are with me always.

Alyse Oleson
Sylvia Carlson

Those of you who have bothered to memorize my pen name may recognize them. They are my grandmothers. A Noregian and a Swede. Both about 5'2”. Both 2nd of seven children (five girls and two boys in both families), and both embodying unconditional love an support.

Alyse and I , circa 1967 (she even thought I chewed measuring cups well)

I was very lucky to be born with all my grandparents and no small number of great grandparents (I remember three great grandmothers and one great grandfather and I know I had MET the another full pair, but they lived a few hours away and both died by the time I was four or five.--Still... a lot of grandparents)

But those two grammies were special. The one with the pies who let me watch her with the sheep and chickens (Sylvia), and the one who taught me dice, cards and 'pretty wine' (Alyse).

Each in their own ways, they supported every single thing I did like I was the best kid on the planet. And you get a couple cheerleaders like THAT and you know what ELSE you end up with?

Enough ego reserves to make it in this writing world. Perseverance really requires an underlying belief that it will pay off, and that belief has to come from SOMEWHERE.

My mom said it. But I was sort of a brat to my mom... mom saying it didn't make it real. If my GRANDMAS said it though... THAT was law. I could do ANYTHING.

The one in the middle is mine (Sylvia)... Though it's all family.

What would my grandmothers and their mischief have to say around here?

One (Sylvia) was more a solid life skills sort of woman with some rather far out ideas. She was raised Seventh Day Adventist, so vegetarian, alcohol free and healthy living, but also into all sorts oddball home remedies.

She was a gardener and crafter and sweeter than sweet.

My other grandma though, I spent Tuesdays and Thursdays with until I started school, then many after school days digging in her dress-up trunks. Imagination was nurtured.

She also had books—it was her dad who read Sleeping Beauty to my 400 times when I had the chicken pox because he was visiting from Iowa the summer I turned 5.

And it was her shelves where I fell in love with OLD BOOKS in the form of Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson (books I still have and still love). Either one of these women could have passed me my mischief streak--they both had it. Both loved to laugh. And both made the people around them feel like the center of the world.

I think either one of these grandmas could have made those stuffy, serious guys lighten up...Twain is FAR more the style of both of them... no nonsense, common sense, but MAN with a good sense of fun.

I like to think I channel them a little when I play... and a lot when I believe in myself.

The Azalea Assault

Cam Harris loves her job as public relations manager for the Roanoke Garden Society. It allows her to combine her three loves, spinning the press, showing off her favorite town, and promoting her favorite activity.

She's just achieved a huge coup by enlisting Garden Delights, the country's premiere gardening magazine, to feature the exquisite garden of RGS founder, Neil Patrick. She's even managed to enlist world-famous photographer Jean-Jacques Georges.

Unfortunately, Jean-Jacques is a first-rate cad—insulting the RGS members and gardening, goosing every woman in the room, and drinking like a lush. It is hardly a surprise when he turns up dead. But when Cam's brother-in-law is accused and her sister begs her to solve the crime, that is when things really get prickly.

Alyse Carlson is the pen name for the author some of you may know as Hart Johnson. She writes books from her bathtub and when she isn't writing, does research for a large, midwest University or leads the Naked World Domination Movement (your choice).


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Confessions of a Watery Tart


  1. I loved reading about your grandmothers, Hart! Sounds like you had some lovely ladies around you as you grew up :) Congrats again on the release of your book, too!

  2. I think once it reached you, the mischief doubled!
    Really a nice thing that you honored your grandmothers by using their names.

  3. Roland, thank you so much for having me today!

    Trish, they really were! Thank you!

    Alex-when I learned I needed a pen name, it was actually a really fun decision!

  4. A heartwarming post -- just what I needed this morning. Cool of you to support your fellow writers, Roland, and good luck with your virtual book tour, Hart!

  5. Hi, Hart! Grandparents are wonderful! I only ever knew one of mine (all the others were gone by the time I was born), but she was a really unforgettable character. She passed away when I was fourteen. I am close to all my grands and great grands, and am making sure they all know me well. Thank you for your really great stories about your grandparents. Best regards to you. Ruby

  6. Oh, Hart, you didn't have a chance did you? haaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaa.

    I love a person or family who doesn't take themselves seriously.


  7. Grandmothers play an important part in our lives. I like to think that they are still around watching over me as well. Loved reading about yours!

  8. Milo-Roland is great that way, isn't he? And glad I could tickle your warm fuzzies! erm...

    Ruby-so great you can be close to the grandkids, even if you didn't get the other end of it. You know... that relationship is my favorite one!

    Teresa-no, not much chance *teehee* I wouldn't trade!

  9. Siv-I definitely like to think mine are still around--it is part of the reason behind the pen name. makes them feel more present.

  10. oh, TH! What a wonderful, loving tribute to your grammies! I love the part where you say: I like to think I channel them a little when I play... and a lot when I believe in myself.


    and that b/w picture is HILARIOUS! :D

    Thanks to you and *waves* to Roland!

  11. Hart, thanks for taking time out to say HI to all of our visitors! I, like Leigh, love the line that says you like to think you channel your grandparents when you play and a lot when you believe in yourself.

    It was fun reading about her grandparents, wasn't it? Especially for me since I never knew anyone in my family but my mother. What was that song? "You and Me Against the World." That was us!

    It was great for Hart to use her Grandmothers' names, wasn't it? It reminded me of Wendy Tyler Ryan whose last two names in her pen name are the names of her sons.

    I'm glad Hart's post cheered your morning. But just her smile can do that. May your short story sales ever increase!

    I think you would be one of the greatest Grandmothers ever. I know your grandchildren would agree with me! Thanks for visiting and staying to chat over the cyber-fence for awhile. You're always welcome!

    Now, it's the world that doesn't have a chance against Hart the dynamo! I always wanted Auntie Mame as an aunt or grandmother!

    I think your grandmothers are doing just that. Thank you so much for the Eye Spy spotlight on END OF DAYS. It meant a lot this morning!!

    I wave back. I did love that line, too. And I enjoyed those pictures from the past. All the pictures of my mother and our past burned when my home burned down. The memories stayed though.

  12. What a great support system you had as a child! Love that you enjoyed your grammies so much--they sound like terrific women.

  13. Thank you so much for sharing your inspiration with us Alyse. Your grandmothers sound amazing. Best of luck with The Azalea Assault. I'm off to check it out now!

  14. Elizabeth:
    I do envy Hart's support system as a child growing up. It seems such a loving, fun place to have grown up in!

    I have my own copy. And when the world stops pounding on my door, I am going to enjoy it I know!

  15. Leigh-I was sure lucky, eh? And I love that picture, too. Those silly Carlson's...

    Roland-Happy to stop and say hi! Your readers are great!

    Elizabeth-it really was--fabulous support system.

    Heather, thank you!

  16. Hello Roland, hello lovely NAKED Tart!! And with these fine wonderful and most amazing women's souls running through your veins, you are bound to be even more glorious!!

    And I totally love the gurning pic of your clan! LOL!!

    Take care

  17. Hi, Kitty:
    What you said on Siv's blog meant the world to me. On a particularly long blood run, I was contemplating just how liked my blog was ... or wasn't! :-)

  18. Hi, Roland! I enjoyed reading Hart's guest post and can't wait to check out Azalea Assault! I visited her blog the other day, and sooooo enjoyed my time there. :))