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...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

For the Record

I haven't ranted in a while so here's my latest... 

45 recordFOR THE RECORD 

Facebook is not the place for public rants. That's what blogs are for. 

Thank you. Until next time... 

Friday, July 29, 2011

~Photo Friday~ What is it? (#10)

Whew! After a busy day I'm finally back to post the next mystery pic. 

What is this? Comment with your best guess and watch for the answer next Friday. Until then, happy reading, writing, and blogging!! 

~Photo Friday~ What is it? (Part 9) REVEALED

Happy Friday, my wonderful readers!! It's time to reveal last week's mystery pic, although I'm not sure my photo is really all that revealing. *shrug* All I can do is post it and see, right? :O) 

I had to ask twice just to make sure I had it correct, since these bushes don't grow around my house. These are elderberry blossoms. Beautiful things they are too. 

And here's how I used this pic over at Zazzle: 

Elderberry Blossoms Magnet magnet
Elderberry Blossoms Magnet by jaimeygrant
See other Nature Magnets

Stay tuned! I'll post a new mystery pic later today. :O)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm a Bestselling Author!

OK, not really, at least not to my way of thinking. It's still nice, though, to see so many e-copies of my Regencies flying out the door.

Smashwords is in the tail-end of their annual Summer/Winter promotion and I offered up two of my self-published titles, Betrayal and Spellbound, for free. In that time, Betrayal managed to make it to the #2 spot in bestsellers for several days (it's now at the end of page 9, lol) and Spellbound at this very moment sits in the #1 spot. (You can see the screen shot below.) 

For bestsellers. Unreal. 

Even though it's free, this still makes my jaw drop. There are so many books listed for free on Smashwords right now so while I don't really consider this makes me a "real" bestselling author, it is still an accomplishment. 

And I owe it all to you, my lovely readers, fellow writers, and fans. Thank you all so much for downloading my books and supporting me. I appreciate it more than I can say. 

If you haven't downloaded my books yet, please take advantage of this offer and get Betrayal and Spellbound for free. Don't forget to apply the code(s) though, or you will be charged full price ($2.99 each). 

~Regency Wednesday~ Scullery Maid

In this week's edition of "Kitchen" Regency Wednesday, we'll learn about the scullery maid, the lowest rank in the servant hierarchy. 

The scullery maid's duties were arduous and many. She had to scrub the pots and dishes (which accumulated rapidly in a large household) as well as help the kitchen maid with vegetable preparation and whatever other tasks the cook or kitchen staff set her to do. From what I've gathered in my reading, the scullery maid was often very young and inexperienced. 

*The above clip was taken from The Servant's Guide and Family Manual, 1831. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

~Photo Friday~ What is it? (Part 9)

Here's a new Photo Friday mystery pic. What is this? 

Comment on this post with your guess and don't be too vague. Have fun!! :O) 

The answer to last week's mystery pic is HERE

~Photo Friday~ What is it? (Part 8) REVEALED

There were a lot of GREAT responses to last week's mystery pic. YAY! Here's the big reveal, and some of you may not believe me when I tell you....'s cottage cheese. Homemade by me. 

Guess how I used it? OK, you don't actually have to guess. 
Here's what I used it for: 

Mmmm...homemade lasagna. 

Stay tuned for a new mystery pic, coming up later today. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

~Regency Wednesday~ Kitchen Maid

Last week's Regency Wednesday post started off a short series of kitchen-related posts. This week, I'll talk about the kitchen maid, an essential servant in a well-run Regency kitchen. 

Simply, the kitchen maid had to do everything from cooking meals to scrubbing the work area. She had the possibility of rising to the rank of cook one day but in the meantime, drudgery was her lot. In larger households, she'd have the help of a scullery maid. (We'll chat about the scullery maid next week.) 

In my new WIP, there are two kitchen maids, Molly and Betsy, so the work would have been divided between them. However, the cook is an expensive French chef and he's not too keen to teach anyone all his secrets. So these two maids don't have much hope of replacing him.  

*The above clip was taken from The Servant's Guide and Family Manual, 1831. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ignore the Naysayers...Including Yourself

To my friends and followers who are just starting out in the writing world:

Just write. Pay no attention to that little voice in your head. You know the one. That irritating little voice that says what you're writing isn't good enough. 


Now, listen to the characters. Let them tell you what to write. Later, when it's time to edit, you can worry about the overuse of the word that or too many -ly words. Right now, all you need to worry about is getting the story out. No one matters but the people in your head, those faceless characters who so desperately want you to tell their story. 

That's all for now. Until next time... 

Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!! 

Friday, July 15, 2011

~Photo Friday~ What is it? (Part 8)

Here's a new mystery pic. Do you know what this is? 

Comment here with your best guess and remember, this is all in fun so comment even if you aren't sure. This one might be a difficult one, so I'll accept a close answer and I'll even give you a hint: YUM!

For the answer to last week's mystery pic, check out the post right before this one. 

Happy guessing, all!!! 

~Photo Friday~ What is it? (Part 7) REVEALED

Last week's mystery pic was a little harder but there were still a few correct answers. If you guessed tire or more specifically, tire sidewall, you nailed it! Way to go!! 

A new mystery pic is coming up later today. Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

~Regency Wednesday~ Kitchen Range

One doesn't think much about kitchens in Regency novels. It's rare that the kitchen features greatly, since most Regencies tend to focus on the upper floors of the grand residence and those who live there. 

In my research for a new WIP, I'm looking into the Regency kitchen, and for the purposes of this blog post, specifically the kitchen range. I've yet to find a picture of this invention, but I've attached a clip below of a description of this appliance, taken from The Ladies' Monthly Museum, Volume 11, page 226 (1820). (Funny thing, in one of my many research forays, I've seen the plate described here. Now, when I need it, I can't find it. Typical.)* 

And just for fun, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word range, in reference to a cooking stove, has been used since the mid-15c.

*Edited July 17 to add (taken from Monthly magazine and British register, Volume 46):

Friday, July 8, 2011

~Photo Friday~ What is it? (Part 7)

I almost forgot! Here's this week's mystery pic: 

Think you know what this is? Comment here with your best guess. Watch for the answer next Friday. (For the answer to last week's mystery pic, click HERE.) 

Have fun! 

Tying Up Some Loose Ends

Summer is always a busy time, busier than any other. I have a few loose ends to tie up involving giveaways and such.

Treasure hunting...

First, many of you saw (and entered) the Annual Summer Treasure Hunt contest. You can click HERE to see the original post (which now includes all the questions/answers and the winners), or read on right here to see who won each day (number represents the day of the month; 1. = June 1st): 
  1. Melissa Brockett of Utah
  2. Crystal Dotson of West Virginia
  3. Judy Cox of Louisiana
  4. Rachel Rossano of Connecticut
  5. Taffy Lovell of Utah
  6. LuAnn Morgan of Washington
  7. Dee Bibb from Mississippi and Cynthia Peck from Arizona
  8. Kristen Tucker of Arizona
  9. Monica Knoll of New York
  10. Nicole Zoltack of Pennsylvania
  11. Amy Wheelwright of Washington
  12. Andrea Melton of Kentucky
  13. Shannon Johnson of Illinois
  14. Tarrah Montgomery of Arizona
  15. Kristen Tucker of Arizona
  16. Susan Arroyo
  17. Amber Nielson of Vermont
  18. Gayle Humpherys of Texas
  19. Megan Swanson of California
  20. Rachel Rossano of Connecticut
  21. Debbie Roberts of Pennsylvania
  22. Barbara Hightower of South Carolina
  23. Jennifer Hernandez of North Carolina
  24. Amy Lopez of Arizona
  25. Sheila Heather Martinez of California
  26. Dara Roberts of Pennsylvania
  27. Brenda Child of Utah
  28. Susan G. Haws of Arizona
  29. Marie Kacerosky of Florida
  30. Jessica Tidd of California
Whew! That's a LOT of winners. :O) Join us again the same time next year for 30 more winners. 

Never too late...

There's another giveaway I'm supposed to announce, one I'd almost forgotten about due to my own nerves in looking at the critiques from my beta readers. 

Several weeks ago I promised my beta readers that I'd enter them in a drawing for a signed paperback of Heartless, the new edition, when it's released. Those who completed the "assignment"* will be entered in the drawing and will also receive a code to download the new edition free from Smashwords. This will still happen, but I will announce it closer to the release date. I'm almost done with the cover and have almost worked up the courage to glance at the suggestions from my lovely readers. (Why is that the hardest part of all this?)

*The assignment being nothing more than reading the manuscript and replying with opinions on what can be done to improve the story. 

Don't forget...

Betrayal is still free and will be until July 31. Download your copy while you can. Do not forget to enter the code in your cart or you will be charged $2.99. 

That's all for now. Watch for a new Photo Friday mystery pic later today. Happy reading, writing, and blogging!! 

~Photo Friday~ What is it? (Part 6) REVEALED

YAY! It's Friday! Here's the answer to last week's mystery pic and I was right, wasn't I? It was an easy one! 

It is indeed bacon, in the early stages of frying. Way to go! 

Stay tuned for a new mystery pic, coming up later today. :O)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Betrayal is FREE until July 31...

Crossover post from Betrayal's blog... 

Smashwords has a summer/winter site-wide promotion every year and invites authors and publishers to participate. 

This year, I've chosen to offer Betrayal for free for the entire month of July. 

That's right, you can get the e-book for no cost, and choose the format that best suits your particular e-reader.

Click on over to download your copy. And be sure to check out all the other great titles being offered for 25, 50, 75, or 100% off!

*"Surprised Dame" photo came from Dreamstime free images section. Click the image for more information. 

Ebook Description
England 1816. Bri has been running for years. Just when she thinks she may have escaped those pursuing her, she finds herself thrown into Newgate Prison...where Adam finds her. Hired by Bri's family, he is determined to return the heiress posthaste. When it becomes clear that her family does NOT have her best interests at heart, she must accept Adam's help, something her pride will not allow.

**Don't forget to apply the coupon code in your cart or you will be charged $2.99. The code is located on Betrayal's Smashwords page. 

~Regency Wednesday~ A Bit of France

Last week I posted Supersizers Go Regency for your viewing pleasure. Today, I've embedded the first part of The Supersizers Eat...The French Revolution

Parts of this episode were more useful to me than the Regency one, on two counts. I have a WIP centered in and around the end of the French Revolution that extends into the beginning of the Regency. My newest WIP is definitely Regency but centers around French cuisine. Now, if only I can work up the energy to work on one or the other. :O)

I will issue a mild warning. The humor in this can be a bit crude at times--but then, history is also crude. View at your own risk. 

I highly recommend you continue watching using the links youtube provides at the end of this video. The way this episode is broken up, it's difficult to stop anyway. I also don't plan on posting each part like I did with the Regency episode.

Happy reading, writing, and researching!! 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

~Regency Wednesday...continued~ Bon Appétit! (Part 6)

And here's the final installment of Supersizers Go Regency. We start where the last part left off, with Sue trying out some cosmetic recipes of the time. After, Giles and Sue enjoy the delicacies found at a Regency ball. Enjoy! 

Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

~Regency Wednesday...continued~ Bon Appétit! (Part 5)

In part 5 of Supersizers Go Regency, we get to see Giles fight a duel, Sue's attempt at the language of the fan, and a bit of Regency gambling...where Giles and Sue enjoy sandwiches. I've embedded the video below and as always, YouTube provides the link to the final video at the end of this one. Enjoy! 

Friday, July 1, 2011

~Photo Friday~ What is it? (Part 6)

OK, this should be an easy one. But then, I see these mystery pics in their original form. :OP 

As always, answer will be posted next Friday. In the meantime, tell me what this is. :O) 

~Photo Friday~ What is it? (Part 5) REVEALED

Did you guess it's an iris? If so, pat yourself on the back. If not, just wait. There's a new mystery pic coming up in a bit. :O)

And just for fun, check out how I used this pic on Zazzle: 

~Regency Wednesday...continued~ Bon Appétit! (Part 4)

In another continuation of this week's Regency Wednesday post, I've embedded below part 4 of Supersizers Go Regency. In this part, we get to enjoy the novelty of seeing Giles fashion himself after Beau Brummell, that famous Regency dandy, and we get a peek into the French cuisine that became the rage after Napoleon's defeat.  

Stay tuned for the answer to last week's mystery pic. Happy reading, writing, and guessing!


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