The random—and not so random—musings of a quirky Regency romance writer.
No one with that many people in her head can possibly be normal...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vote For Honor's Cover!!

I need your help. I have three covers for Honor, two very similar covers and one slightly different one. I'm asking you to cast your vote for your favorite. Which one best catches your eye and makes you look again? Which one makes you wonder what the book's about? If you have any thoughts or critiques, please feel free to voice them. I'm asking because I need you.  

Cast your vote in a comment below. The red number in the corner of each pic represents the voting number. (Obviously, they won't be part of the final cover.) Clicking the cover will enlarge it in a new tab.

As a special bonus, everyone who votes will be entered to win a copy of Honor once it's released, winner's choice of a paperback or an eBook. It doesn't matter where you tell me which one you vote for, whether it's here or on facebook or Goodreads or Twitter. Private messages (through facebook, Goodreads, or Twitter) or comments here are probably the most reliable way. Just make sure I know your vote and you'll be included in the random drawing.

I'll put a deadline on this of February 19 (three weeks). Votes and suggestions will be carefully recorded from now until that day, when the votes will be tallied. I may or may not reveal the "winning" cover at that time but the winning voter will be announced. Be sure to include an email address with your vote so I can easily contact you if you win.

Thank you very much for your help! Happy reading, writing, and blogging!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

~Regency Wednesday~ Random Cant Day

Today I will open my 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue to a random page (or pages), selecting a few definitions for your enjoyment. I just love when I come across a word or phrase we still use today. LOL 

Cup-shot. Drunk. 
Dudgeon. Anger.
Gentry Mort. A gentlewoman.
Mutton-headed. Stupid. 
Puff Guts. A fat man. 
Scandal Broth. Tea.

So now that you've learned a few slang expressions from the early 1800s, use them with care.

Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

~Photo Friday~ Misleading

Angel's Trumpet 

These grew wild in my garden in Maryland. I described them to my mom and she said I should look them up because it sounded like Angel's Trumpet. They're sometimes called Devil's Trumpet. Why? 

This beautiful flower contains a dangerous toxin, as it is related to deadly nightshade. In fact, every part of this plant contains the toxin.

Book Trivia: Due to this flower's deceptive appearance, I featured it on the very first mock-up of one of my book covers. Which book was it? The commenters with the correct answer will be entered to win an eBook copy of the book in question. Entries will be accepted until 11:59pm (eastern time), January 31. The winner will be announced the following day. Everyone is eligible, provided you are willing/able to download from 

As always, happy reading, writing, and blogging! 

For more info on Datura and its physical/psychological effects, this Wikipedia article is surprisingly informative, with plenty of reliable sources.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

~Regency Wednesday~ 1816 Riding Dress

Fashions for June, 1816 
Riding Dress 
"Of fine blue Merino cloth, embroidered and ornamented round the bust and cuffs in a novel and unique style. This new equestrian costume, by fastening on the back of the shoulder, preserves all the contour of the form, which habits, in general, are apt to destroy. A full double ruff of fine Vandyke lace is separated from the shirt collar by a Chinese silk handkerchief of blue and white. Small round hat of fine beaver or of moss-silk. Half boots of blue kid; with Limerick gloves worked and seamed with blue."*

*La Belle Assemblée, June 1816, page 224

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

~Regency Wednesday~ Landaulet 1819

Regency England teemed with carriages, especially during the daily promenade through Hyde Park. The carriage pictured here is a landaulet, a small version of a landau. 

A landau was a four-wheeled carriage with two passenger seats facing each other. The two-sectioned roof could be folded down or left up depending on the weather. 

The landaulet was just a smaller version of that with one seat and a retractable roof. The one pictured here was featured in Ackermann's Repository in March 1819 for the moveable axles it has. 

*Ackermann's Repository, 1819, page 125

Monday, January 10, 2011

Beta Readers

A few weeks ago, I sent my upcoming release, Honor, to six of my close writer/reader friends (ones who are guaranteed to give me honest, critical feedback) to give the story a beta read, looking for loose ends and inconsistencies. On facebook, I asked for more beta readers and received four more responses. 

I've already received half of those readers' opinions and so far, Honor's receiving 4 - 4.5 stars for the way it stands now. A few slight tweaks and it will be a 5-star read for sure. 

I haven't gone over every detail of the critiques yet but the readers all put a few suggestions in the body of their return email. Already, a few of those suggestions stood out as "Oh yeah!" moments, changes that I know will be the right move even if they're only mentioned that one time. Other suggestions just don't feel right and this is definitely the time to "trust my gut," as it were. 

All in all, this is turning out to be a great process and I love the reactions I'm getting. I've written a story that keeps the reader engrossed, makes them forget to watch for flaws, and is a joy to read. I'm thrilled with these responses and maybe one day I'll even reveal the reason I wrote Honor

Happy reading, writing, and blogging!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

~Photo Friday~ Waterfall

I should have posted this yesterday. I'm late, as usual. :o) 

April 2010 
Dow Gardens 
Midland, Michigan 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's Alive! It's Alive!

Many of you know I recently branched out into cover art design. I'm excited to announce that today I officially launched my new website, where indie and self-published authors can peruse my cover art gallery and decide if they want one of my eye-catching covers for their next book. I also offer basic promotional tools such as headers, banners, buttons, and more, each with the same eye-catching appeal that I put into the covers I create. 

~Regency Wednesday~ Fashions for May 1819

The book I'm currently writing, Temptation, takes place during the Season, 1819. To that end, here is a glimpse of the fashions for May.

ENGLISH. No. 1.--Walking Dress.
Pelisse of light fawn-coloured twilled sarsnet, or satin, elegantly ornamented with trimming of the same en languettes, each languette beautifully ornamented with a rich yet light trimming of pink and black, with ornamental buttons. Large promenade bonnet of light fawn-colour, trimmed to correspond with the pelisse, and worn over a cornette of fine lace. Fawn-coloured satin sandal boots, and Limerick gloves.*

*Taken from La Belle Assemblée, 1819

Sunday, January 2, 2011

What I Learned in 2010

2010 was a year of adjustment and personal growth. Here's a brief list of what I learned that may be of some help to others, writers and non-writers alike: 
  • Everything you see, hear, or read should be taken with a grain of salt. 
  • A writer most definitely CAN edit all the emotion out of his/her manuscript. 
  • Well-meaning advice can be more hindrance than help. 
  • Some '-ly' words are necessary and 'was' isn't always passive. 
  • Write to your strength and only improve that which actually needs improving. True friends can point out where you honestly need to strengthen your writing. 
  • We are all artists. We are all talented. 
  • Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. 
  • A lifetime of abuse does not disappear with the death of the abuser. It is up to the abused to let the past go. 
  • A change in your diet can result a new outlook on life. 
These were personal lessons for me but perhaps my readers can take something away from them, too. I hope everyone's year was filled with love, family, success, and happiness. May the coming year be the same. 

Happy reading, writing, and blogging!! 


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