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...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

~Regency Wednesday~ Library Fashion, 1814

Clothing wasn't the only fashion important to Regency Society. For this week's post you'll find a fashionable set of furniture for the discerning Regency lady or gentleman's library. Personally, I wouldn't mind having this myself. ♥ 

THE chaste and elegant library table represented in the annexed engraving, is of a convenient form and moderate size, and is suited to an apartment of small dimensions: at the same time it exhibits that breadth of parts and greatness of design, which characterize most articles of modern furniture, and give a dignity heretofore unknown. The recess beneath renders it also extremely commodious for a writing-table, which was not the case with library tables formerly constructed. The chair is designed with equal attention to elegance and convenience, and made to correspond. They may both be formed of mahogany, with rings and ornaments of bronze; the shelves of the table will divide, so as to admit either a row of folios and octavos, or two rows of quartos. 

*Image and text clipped from Ackermann's Repository, 1814, p. 54. Full eBook can be found HERE.

I had to look up the last few words in this description. I had no idea what they meant by folios, octavos, or quartos, though I did assume it had something to do with size since they mentioned them while discussing how many would fit. Simply: big books, medium books, and small books. lol

I imagine this is the type of table my heroine from Temptation would use as she pens her books. Something to consider... 

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Creed ~ Beautiful

Monday, January 28, 2013

~General Updates~ InD'Tale, RNConvention, Writing

Time for another catch-up post. Here are a few general updates in my world.


The new issue of InD'Tale Magazine is out! Part VII of my serial Regency is in this issue, just waiting for your perusal. I haven't read the mag yet but I've heard some GREAT things about this particular issue.

 And check out this stunning cover! I ADORE it! ♥ If you haven't subscribed or your email went astray, click the image to go to the site. And don't forget to vote in the cover contest while you're there. ;O) Voting for this particular round ends tonight (1/28)! 


If you are an author planning to attend the RNConvention in Las Vegas, NV, this August, then take special note of the new promotions page on the site. You might want to consider taking advantage of one or more of these options.


I've been a busy little bee in my writing cave, tackling my planned anthology of Regency-era short stories. Included in one of these volumes will be a short story for Michaella, the sister of Heartless' heroine, Leandra. You remember Michaella, right? She went through so much in Heartless that I felt she deserved her HEA more than most.

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

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Final Fantasy XIII-2 ~ An Arrow Through Time

Saturday, January 26, 2013

~Sweet Saturday Sample~ Intrigue

Time for another Sweet Saturday Sample and today's excerpt is taken from Intrigue. This is the prologue, and I apologize for the utter lack of actual "sweetness" in this excerpt. Intrigue is the next of my Regencies in line to be published and is going through edits. This portion may or may not end up included in the final draft. 

A brief blurb (which also may end up totally reworked): 
Espionage was no pastime for a lady. Yet, that's exactly what Lady Brackney finds herself embroiled in, up to her pretty white neck. To make matters worse, she accepts the proposal of a complete stranger just to save herself.... and her son.
Without further ado, Intrigue...

The carriage lurched to a halt amid curses and neighing horses.

“Stand and deliver!”

The lone passenger, a striking woman in her early thirties, sucked in a breath and screamed. Her voice reverberated in the small space, threatening to permanently damage her own hearing.

With a prayer trembling on her lips, she stepped down from the conveyance, her movements shaky and unsure. She stood, cowering and miserable, as the thieves rifled through her reticule and rummaged through the carriage.

As the moments passed, she began to relax, thinking maybe, just maybe, her prayers had finally been answered.

The sound of approaching hooves put paid to any such notion. Her stomach sank to her sensible halfboots as a man on a horse charged into the fray, brandishing a pistol and threatening the bandits with any number of dire consequences should they refuse to cease their theft.

A scream rose up in the victim’s throat, a cry of anguish and warning, quickly swallowed, hastily suppressed. If the boy simply let them take what they wanted and go, everyone would be safe.

As three other armed men stepped from the trees, the young man on the horse was made quickly aware that he was in over his head. He tossed his pistol aside as ordered and leapt down, more than willing to part with a few meager possessions in exchange for his life.

And that of the lady, too, of course.

When his pockets were emptied, one of the bandits made the young man kneel, adding humiliation into the mix. A gun was placed to his head.

The lady’s breath caught in her throat, unease making her stomach clench in pain.

She stepped forward. The bandit with the gun looked at her, his eyes dead in his gaunt face. She hesitated only briefly; she did not want anyone hurt. If she could stop this, she must try.

Just as she opened her mouth to protest, a shot rang out. She watched helplessly as the body of a boy not much older than her own son fell lifeless to the ground.

*Image clipped from Half-Hours with the Highwaymen (1908) by Charles G Harper, illustrated by Paul Hardy, the author, and from old prints, page 155; Google eBook can be found HERE.

I'm not entirely sure what to say after that so I'll just say THANK YOU for stopping by and taking the time to read this snippet of my current WIP. Please take a moment to peruse the other Sweet Saturday Samples by following this link:

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Toad the Wet Sprocket ~ Listen

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

~Regency Wednesday~ Winter Fashion, 1814

For today's Regency Wednesday post, I've selected a fashion print from the January 1814 issue of Ackermann's Repository. This is probably much closer to what a lady might have worn to the Frost Fair held on the River Thames in February the same year. (Wish I'd found this magazine for that post. lol) 

You may recall my post on the Frost Fair of 1814. I complained in that about my inability to find a fashion print for the time and selected one from La Belle Assemblée, 1807. I don't know why I didn't think to search for Ackermann's prints. My apologies. 

  A PLAIN cambric robe, with long gathered sleeve and high arched collar, trimmed with net lace or muslin. A Spanish lapelled coat of fine orange Merino cloth; full epaulette ornaments on the shoulders: the whole lined throughout with white sarsnet, and trimmed with a raised border of white velvet or swansdown. A small, provincial bonnet of the same material as the coat, ornamented with a full curled ostrich feather. White spotted ermine or Chinchilli muff. Gloves grey or light blue kid. Half-boots of orange-coloured jean, or velvet.

*Image and text clipped from Ackermann's Repository, 1814, p.56. Full eBook can be found HERE.

This is the first time I've seen "Chinchilli" as a possibility for the muff. I had chinchillas when I was young and they make delightful pets. It's also the first I've seen half-boots made of dyed jean. All in all, researching this post was far more enlightening than I anticipated. 

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Vertical Horizon ~ Shackled

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Heartless Cover Contest

InD'Tale Magazine hosts a cover contest several times a month, selecting the covers of books that were submitted for review. Heartless made the cut this week. If you'd like to vote for Heartless or one of the other three covers, click HERE to go to InD'Tale's site and cast your vote. It's quick and painless and takes only a second or so. 

You don't have to vote for Heartless but I would it if you did!

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Fiona Apple ~ Slow Like Honey

Saturday, January 19, 2013

~Sweet Saturday Sample~ Redemption

Redemption is one of my first published books. It met the world back in '08. At just over 30k words it's not really considered a novel, but it is packed with a novel's intensity. After reaching the decision to rework all my older books (new covers, new formatting, a bit of editing), I also decided to add a bit to Redemption, if I can—sometimes stories/characters don't cooperate. 

All that said, here's a scene from the current edition, before anything has been reworked. Twin brothers Miles and Darius Prestwich haven't seen each in years. This snippet is taken from the middle of chapter one. Enjoy! ♥ 

Instead of returning to the drawing room on the first floor, Dare decided to do a little exploring. He eased his way past the open doors of the room containing Bri and hurried down the rest of the stairs. He supposed Miles was about somewhere and if he knew his twin at all, he was willing to bet he was in the study poring over paperwork.

Dare shuddered. He hated paperwork. In fact, he could barely read and that suited him just fine. He had no use for books or newspapers and less use for writing.

Miles, on the other hand, had a flair for making sense of chaotic offices, studies, and libraries and simply thrived on literature. He usually had his nose in some book or other or his hands in papers that made no sense to anyone sane. Another shudder snaked through Dare’s body at the mere thought of organizing anything.

Making another turn, Dare faced a closed door. He was willing to bet he faced the study, as it was farthest from the noise of the street and house traffic. He pushed it open and walked in.

Miles looked up with a guilty flush, thinking it was Bri who had caught him daydreaming. He frowned when he saw his wandering twin.

Dare grinned, his face looking even more handsome than normal. “Please, Miles, your excitement over seeing me again after all these years is unbecoming in a man. Restrain yourself.” He crossed his arms over his chest and advanced into the room, gazing about in interest.

Miles frowned even more heavily at his brother’s levity but remained silent for the moment. Then he noticed Dare’s choice of garb. “What the devil are you wearing?”

Dare looked down with an expression of feigned wonder on his face. “Oh, dear father in heaven! I’m wearing clothes! I left my room naked. Where did these come from?” He pulled at his shirt, making it billow out away from his muscular chest. His look of bafflement was something to behold.

Miles almost smiled at Dare’s playacting. Instead, he gave him a stern look. “You are dressed far too casual for London and our cousin’s house, Dare. What if someone calls on Bri and sees you dressed like that? You could ruin all of our social cache in just one sitting.”

“What if, shwat if,” remarked Dare carelessly. “I will wear what I want until I am forced to go about in Society. And if the ladies who visit will be frightened by my dress I will simply hide until they go away.”

“Will you cut your hair?”

That wiped the grin off Dare’s face. “Why should I?”

“You look like a pirate, Dare. All you lack is the eyepatch.”

A gleam of interest lit Dare’s expressive face. “Indeed. I’ll look into that.”

Thank you for stopping by and reading this older snippet! 
Please take a moment to check out the other 
posted this week. 

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Lee Ann Womack ~ A Little Past Little Rock

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

~Regency Wednesday~ Nob

I apologize for the shortness of this post but time got away from me again this week. I will aim for a more in-depth post for next week's Regency Wednesday offering. For today, here's a slang term—or two—for your enjoyment. 

The head. 

And because it's related.... 

Silly. Crazed. 

*Taken verbatim from the Kindle edition of 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, available for free download HERE

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Staind ~ Pressure 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

~Sweet Saturday Sample~ The 11th Commandment

Sweet Saturday Samples are back and here I am with my offering! 

First, an intro. The 11th Commandment is a serial Regency romance I'm currently writing for InD'Tale Magazine. Here's the short blurb for the story as a whole: 
Lady Katherine never learned the fine art of hiding one's indiscretions. Thus her one mistake became Society's biggest scandal. Can she overcome the shame and learn to love again?
The following excerpt is from Part 7, the installment set to appear in the February 2013 issue. Enjoy!

Part VII: The Escape

She had to escape. Her very sanity depended on her swift removal from the premises. If she stayed, she knew—KNEW—she would do the unthinkable. She would seek him out, welcome him into her arms and her bed.


Katherine stifled a scream, her hands fisted at her sides. How could this be happening again? She'd returned to England to bury her husband, not take back the lover she'd taken years ago, the lover who'd ruined what little remained of her marriage.

Angry, frustrated steps took her first one direction, then the other, pacing a line in the soft carpet covering her chamber floor. She'd yet to disrobe, her assertion that she had to leave sending her immediately into nervous pacing. Three handkerchiefs lay in melancholy shreds on the floor, littered at her feet as she moved.

Her mind focused on one thing and one thing alone: Simon would ruin her again.

And she would enjoy every second of it!

Therein lay the problem. She would cheerfully go to her own ruin. She knew herself better than she used to and that meant knowing her own weaknesses. And if she knew Simon at all, he would be making his way to her room—

The knock barely sounded before she spoke, “Go away, Simon.”

Silence lay so thick Katherine wondered if she'd imagined the thunk on the door. Then, “I promise I won't touch you,” rumbled through the thick wood.

“It is not proper,” she insisted, holding her breath, a traitorous part of her urging her to let him in.

“You are a widow, Katherine. To hell with propriety.” She'd annoyed him, his rough words grating to her ears. She said nothing for a long moment. Just as she opened her mouth to tell him to take his gutter language straight to the very place he mentioned, he added softly, “Forgive me.”

Something in his tone struck Katherine. She touched the door, the smooth wood cool against her palm. Did he simply apologize for his language? Or more?

The middle of the night, in the middle of her late husband's home, the soon-to-be home of the new duke, was not the time for Katherine to have such a conversation with her former lover. If she was intelligent, she'd walk away, pretend she'd never heard his whispered plea.

If she was intelligent and not the woman who'd once tasted heaven in this man's arms. Latent desire curled its way through her limbs, a weakness in her knees tempting her to lean against the door, grasp the latch, and allow him entrance. But thoughts of her daughter and the example she must set for her firmed her determination to resist the temptation of Simon's embrace.

Straightening, Katherine took a deep breath and decided. She walked away.

Thank you for taking the time to read my little excerpt! If you want to read the rest, click on over to InD'Tale's website and subscribe to the magazine. Each issue is delivered right to your inbox. Subscribers also have access to past issues, where six previous installments of this story can be found. The best part? Subscriptions are FREE!

And don't forget to check out the other Sweet Saturday Samples offered by other lovely authors. 

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Hayley Westenra ~ Dark Waltz

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fantasy Dreamin'

"Dragon Whiskers"
Chainmalle-inspired collar
designed by Jay T Lyons
of JaysDesign Jewelry 
This past weekend I read my fantasy manuscript. You remember me talking about that, right? I wrote it in 3½ months; the first half of the book (55k words) was written for NaNoWriMo '09. 

I'm thinking about breaking the book into two books (and fleshing out certain scenes more—they need it). One story would be the dragon hunter's (Raena, at the moment, though her name may change) and the other being the dragon's (Darok/Bental). The stories would run concurrent, though, and that could be an issue when the stories converge. 


I could make it three books, the convergence being the the third book in the trilogy. Thoughts? I'm probably missing some MAJOR hurdle in this plan... 

Incidentally, though this book contains romance(ish), it is not a romance. It's supposed to be more like epic fantasy: life, death, trials, tribulations, joys, sorrows, failures, and triumphs. Some fall in love along the way and some fall into a sort of love/lust, I guess. In short, it's life with dragons, mermaids, and other creatures that don't exist. But there's not an orc in sight!

There is a sequel started, as well, but it happens 20 years after the events in this first MS. It might end up its own series, trilogy, etc. It's definitely a story I want to finish. 

Oh, and in case you'd like a taste of my fantasy writing talent (lol), there's two places you can sample my fantasy offerings. There's a short story in the UNLOCKED anthology (called Survival) that can be downloaded for FREE and there's a short story called The Dragon's Birth (approximately 5000 words) available for $0.99 wherever eBooks are sold. The one for sale is actually the prequel to my fantasy novel(s), so might be a better example as far as the novel itself goes. The titles are linked to the matching book pages on my website, which contain excerpts. 

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Adele ~ Someone Like You

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

~Regency Wednesday~ Pap

It's one of those super busy weeks so here's a simple definition for this Regency Wednesday. Enjoy! 

Bread sauce; also the food of infants. His mouth is full of pap; he is still a baby. 

*Taken verbatim from the Kindle edition of 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. Get your free copy HERE.

Speaking of free books, my Regency romance Heartless is free today and tomorrow (Jan 9-10, 2013) in the Kindle Store. This is the last time it will be free on Amazon so grab it while you can. 

Make sure the price says $0.00 (not just for Prime members) before you click the purchase button or you will be charged the full list price of $2.99. 

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Kerli ~ Bulletproof

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The LAST Heartless Kindle Promotion

Heartless will be free again, starting at midnight tonight (PST). This is the LAST TIME Heartless will be free in the Kindle store so take advantage while you can. 

In case FREE isn't enough and you need more convincing, here's the blurb:

A dark stranger....
Finding herself abandoned after the death of her father, Leandra Harcourt takes the greatest risk of her life. She accepts the marriage proposal of a complete stranger, the Duke of Derringer—a man the world calls Lord Heartless.

A heartless proposal....
A desperate girl with no prospects seems the perfect solution to Derringer's most recent problem: marry before his 30th birthday to gain his rightful inheritance, though marriage is the last thing he needs. The need to find his missing cousin takes priority over any silly marriage and he quickly abandons his new bride in the wreck of his family estate.

A perfect love....
Two people were never more suited for each other than the duke and his wife, but will they discover it before it's too late? With an assassin dogging his heels and a suitor wooing his wife, love will not have the luxury of time.

THIS LINK will take you to the US Kindle Store. The book will be free in Kindle stores worldwide. Make sure you wait until it says $0.00 (not just for Prime Members) when you click the purchase button or you will be charged the regular list price of $2.99. 

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Breaking Benjamin ~ Lights Out

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

~Regency Wednesday~ Frost Fair, 1814

This is the first Regency Wednesday post of the new year. Here's my promise to you: There will be a Regency Wednesday post every week this year, even if it's just a simple word definition. I think that's a feasible goal, don't you? 

To start us off, let's learn a bit about the Frost Fairs of London. 

Frost Fair on the River Thames, in 1814 
In London the Thames River froze several times between 1400 and the early part of 1800. In the early 17th Century, vendors set up tables to hawk their wares and the first official Frost Fair was born. The final one  on the Thames took place in 1814. 

The frost began the end of December 1813 and by the end of February 1814 the river was frozen solid. To demonstrate the safety of the ice, an elephant was led across the river. The vendors set up their tables and what would be the last Frost Fair on the Thames began. People paid exorbitant prices for things they could get much cheaper before or after the fair, printing presses were set up and special items printed right there on the ice were offered. Attendees paid an entry fee and stayed on the ice 'til all hours, enjoying the novelty. The freeze lasted only days this time, unlike other freezes that lasted weeks and months.

1831 was the end of even the possibility of a Frost Fair on the Thames. Along with the replacement of the old London Bridge whose arches did not allow for the best water flow, the climate grew milder and further changes to the river itself would not allow for a solid freeze.

And what would the discerning Regency lady wear to a Frost Fair such as this? Perhaps a beautiful red, fur-lined ensemble similar to the one shown here. I found this in the December 1807 edition of La Belle Assemblée. Though this was the fashion for January 1808, thus several years before the 1814 Frost Fair, I can still imagine a lady wearing something similar to this beautiful creation.

A Morning Walking, or Carriage Habiliment. 

A simple breakfast robe of Indian muslin, or cambric; with a plain high collar, and long sleeve. Plain chemisette front, buttoned down the bosom. A Calypso wrap of morone velvet, or kerseymere, trimmed entirely round with  white ermine, or swansdown. Spanish hanging-sleeve, suspended from the back, and falling over the left shoulder, terminating in a round point below the elbow. This ornament is lined throughout with skin the same as the trimming. A mountain hat of white imperial beaver, or fur, tied under the chin with a ribband the colour of the coat. Gloves and shoes of American green, or buff. Cropt hair, confined with a band, and  curled over the left eye.

*For further reading: The Frost Fairs: the Frozen River Thames in London (Web History of England); River Thames frost fairs (Wikipedia); Famous Frosts and Frost Fairs in Great Britain (1887, Google eBook, page 61)
**Images taken from Famous Frosts and Frost Fairs in Great Britain, Wikimedia Commons, and La Belle Assemblée, 1807

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Vertical Horizon ~ You Say

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Writing Goals for 2013

It's another year and as is becoming a habit with me, here is my opening blog post, outlining my writing goals for 2013. 

Last year's list had eleven items on it and I achieved three of those eleven. Not the best but better than nothing. Here is the new list. 
  1. Intrigue: finish the edit and pass it on to beta readers.
  2. Retribution: finish the draft, edit, and pass to beta readers with strong stomachs.
  3. Temptation: finish the draft, edit, and pass to beta readers.
  4. Update the covers, formatting, and editing on Betrayal, Spellbound, and Redemption.
  5. The 11th Commandment: finish story, compile, and offer as an eBook for download.
  6. Begin next serial for InD'Tale, have 3-4 installments completed before publication begins. 
  7. Complete the first volume of my new Regency short stories anthology. 
  8. Complete the second story for my [top secret] fantasy short stories series.
  9. Keep up with my weekly Regency Wednesday blog posts.
  10. Continue to market and sell more books. Gotta keep those numbers up. 
  11. Critique at least 6 manuscripts for fellow authors. (I forgot to include this on last year's list of goals.)
There are some personal goals too, but I won't get into them here. 

So what are your goals for this year? 

*Image is from Wikimedia Commons and is in the public domain. 

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ P!nk ~ Split Personality


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