Tag Archive | regency

Sisterhood of World Bloggers

I would like to thank Sharon McGregor, for inviting me to join Sisterhood of The World Bloggers. It looks like a fun gig.
sisterhood
First, before I get started, here are the rules…

The Rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Put the award logo on your blog.
3. Answer the 10 questions they’ve sent you.
4. Make up 10 new questions for your nominees to answer.

If you could go back in your life and change one decision you made, what would it be?

There’s a temptation to  want to do this but the fact is there are many blessings that came out of what at times feel like poor choices. I try to comfort myself that I made the best choices I could at the time with the knowledge I had then. I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for those decisions and the consequences of them. Even bad decisions can lead to positive growth and God can use any of our past for His glory when we surrender it to Him. 
What is the most intriguing book you have ever read?

Well, the Bible would top that list for sure. I read a lot so trying to define the creme of the crop would be hard. When I was thirteen I read and reread S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. Still compelling storytelling. i memorized Robert Frost’s poem Nothing Gold Can Stay because of that book.

For nonfiction: If I were to look at books I would want my kids to own: Intimacy with the Almighty by Charles Swindoll, Liberated through Submission by P.B. Wilson and anything by A.W. Tozer. For 2015, the non-fiction book of the year for me was The Extravagant Fool by Kevin Adams.

For fiction: I love The O’Malley Series by Dee Henderson, My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade and Healing Grace by Lisa Lickel flow off the top of my head as cherished novels I have read again and again. And anything by Georgette Heyer. I could make a much longer list but that’s a good start.

If you could pick one word to describe yourself what would it be? 

Encourager.

If you could time travel, what period  of history would you choose and why?

Probably the Regency period (1811-1820) I love reading books from that time and would find it fascinating to experience it. Only for a brief period though. Jane Austen had to write everything by hand!

Did you have a role model growing up and if so, what effect did he/she have on your life?

I didn’t have one role model. But I did have a few people who encouraged me in a huge way:

  •  My English and Speech teacher, Orin Mueller was so encouraging of my writing and speaking and finding creative ways to share my faith. That was huge.
  • Pastor Mark Steele was my “boss” for many years at Stonebridge Community Church in Menonomee Falls, Wisconsin. He taught me firsthand about the importance of accountability. I learned that one of the most caring questions someone can ask me is “How is your relationship with God?” Is it any wonder that my contemporary romance series is set in the northwest suburbs of Milwaukee, and revolve around a fictional church called Orchard Hill?

If you could plan a dream vacation, one that may seem out of reach, where would you go?

I would return to Great Britian and spend more time visitng and touring. I was there once on a mission trip and didn’t want to come home. I think now that I’m older I would appreciatet the history and sightseeing even more than I did the first time.

If you could choose any profession to follow, what would it be?

I never planned to be an author growing up even though my favorite thing is to read. Being an editor was even further off my radar. But I think that right now I’m where God wants me to be doing both, as well as speaking at conferences. I enjoy my work.

Pick a card, any card-greeting card that is. What is your favourite holiday?

Probably have to say Christmas . . . that’s when I’m most likely to make my own greeting cards. I used to do over 100 of them but with my life busier now, I’ve had to scale that back and don’t make or send out as many as I used to.

2013-02-12_18-35-21_990What is your favourite pet? Dog or cat? Gerbil or snake? Horse or hamster? Or none at all?

I had a dog when I was a child but we had to give it away because I had terrible asthma/allergy issues. Bingo (Babette Suzette) was a silver poodle. I always mourned the fact that I could never have a pet but we did adopt a silly Quaker parrot about 20 years ago. My husband spoiled him terribly and he’s a snotty brat now. Over time, although I still have asthma and allergies, I learned that some animals didn’t make me sick. Two years ago we adoped our Maltese mix from a rescue. Spatzle is now six and sassy and my shadow and while I’m not especially fond of standing outside with him when it is 10 below zero, so he can relieve himself, I do adore him and am so glad he’s part of my life.

What one thing would you like to see happen in 2015?

My novel, Pesto and Potholes releases March 25, 2015, and I’m thrilled and terrified. I’ve written many books and this is my debut novel, and I think of all I’ve written, this one has more of “me” in it than any other. I hope readers will fall in love with Renata and Tony and find inspiration for their own walk with God in the “potholes” of their own lives. While it would be nice to sell lots of books, I think the greater reward is knowing that something you wrote impacted someone in a positive way. Having someone draw closer to God, is the greater, if intangible, reward.

My ten questions: 

1.  It’s a new year. Do you make resolutions or do you do the ‘one word’ concept? Care to share what either of them are?

2. If you could revisit any time in history, here would you go? What is happening?

3. Favorite beverage?

4. What’s your favorite social media? Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or something else. Why?

5. What is your favorite day/time of the week and why?

6. If you listen to music as you write, what is it?

7. It’s time to celebrate your birthday, what do you plan?

8. What is your most important role in life?

9. Are you a Princess or a Tomboy?

10. What kind of legacy do you hope to leave behind with your writing?

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Fishing for Love (Regency Short Story Romance)

Image courtesy of EA at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of EA at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Percy walked out into the dewy grass and paused to smell the fresh summer air. He thought he saw a shadow in the distance and since he was headed that way he stepped forward to follow.

As he grew closer he noted the cloaked figure of Lady Annette Wallington. Daughter of a neighboring earl who passed away six months ago, and his closest friend all these years as they were neighbors.

She sat beneath the sprawling oak tree, on a blanket she must have carried with her. Percy gave a soft whistle to let her know he was coming and not startle her. It was a jaunty little tune they had made up one summer and was unique to them.

He saw her hood fall away from her face as she turned to look at him. Her expression grave.

“Good morning, Annette. What brings you out this early in the day?” He settled down with his fishing pole and tackle to bait his hook.

“I needed to get away from the house.”

“At this time of the day?”

“Even now it is an untenable place to live.”

“Why?”

“My uncle is to be wed to Miss Sophorina Dimplewile in a fortnight and demands that mother and I vacate the premises prior to that date.”

“This is shocking news. You are all still in mourning.”

“He has gone to half-morning and declares it is a prudent move.”

“Sophie was one of your bosom friends from finishing school?”

Was being the operative word.”

“There’s a huge age gap there. He’s only two years younger than your father.”

“I know.”

“So where will you go?” He cast his hook into the stream before looking at her again. He was concerned by the dark circles under her eyes, and wrinkles on her forehead.

“I know not. We have been ill-provided for. There is no Dower House and even his smaller properties he has denied us residence at.”

“He will not find you a place?”

“He says he washes his hands of us.”

“You and your mother have run that house and you especially have overseen the estate on his behalf and made it profitable, yet he refuses you aid?”

A tear trickled down her cheek and he propped his rod up so he could scoot backward to sit next to her.

“And Sophie is in agreement with his treatment?”

“It seems that becoming a countess brings with it a distaste for the lower orders.”

“Meaning you?”

“Apparently. With a heritage and education of a lady, but no season, and having worked in trade as an estate manager, they deem me ‘unmarriageable.’”

“They see you as employable in that role?”

“Right. Who would employ a woman as estate manager?”

“I would.”

She stared at him and shook her head. “You are the dearest of friends but even you cannot take on a single female into your home without scandal falling on both of us.”

“Ah, but a Duchess has more influence than a Countess, doesn’t she?”

“There are not many Dukes on the marriage mart and those who are, are ancient.”

“But there are heirs to dukedoms available.”

“And the only one of them I could ever have any affection for was you, Percy.”

Lord Percival smiled. “I’m glad to hear it. It would be poor form for me to duel with another peer for your affections.”

“You are being silly now. Everyone knows you will never marry and have no need to do so. Your brothers have provided a bevy of heirs.”

“Where did you ever get the impression I was opposed to marriage?”

“You’ve never been serious with a woman before and have never talked about it.”

“Not every man boasts of his conquests with women, although to be honest, I have none. But my heart has been engaged for an age. It has never seemed a prudent time to broach the matter with the one who holds my heart.”

She smiled at him. “Oh, Percy, I’m so glad for you. I pray she will be worthy of you. Who is she?”

“You don’t know?”

Her brow furrowed. “No.”

“Let me see if you can guess.”

She warily nodded her head.

“She was a devoted daughter and works hard. Her beauty takes my breath away and even the thought of her brings a smile to my face. I’ve known her for many years and she dances divinely. She has never had a season due to unfortunate circumstances. She has unwittingly held my heart for years as I have waited for her to grow, I hope, to return my affections.”

She smiled and a tear trickled down her cheek. “I’m so happy you have found love, Percy. I cannot guess though who this deserving woman would be.”

“No? More clues then?”

“Yes, silly man.”

“She is a wonder with numbers and reads and is able to converse on a wide variety of subjects from gothic novels to crop rotation. She is light on her feet and has lips so kissable that I have yet to taste.” He watched her face turn a rosy hue.

“Please, tell me you have proposed so I may wish you happy.”

“But you have your own problems. My happiness should never supersede your distress.”He sighed.  She looked up through the trees as the early dawn glow filtered through the leaves and dappled her face with odd patches of light.

He frowned at her cloak and reached up to the catch at the top to peek at what she wore underneath. “You came here in your night rail?”

“I was suffocating in my room and left in a hurry so as not to wake my maid who would have tattled to my uncle.”

“Tsk, tsk, tsk. You do know you could cause a scandal being alone with me. It is beyond the pale to be alone with me dressed in such a way. Did you even wear slippers?” He moved aside part of the cloak to reveal naked toes. He raised his eyebrows. “Well, Anne, you do know there is only one thing to be done now and it will make everyone happy.”

“What would that be?”

“You can marry me.”

Her book dropped off her lap as her jaw fell open. She recovered with a shake of her head. “But what of the one you love? I would never deprive you of that because of my imprudence.”

“If you said yes, I would hope she would be delighted.”

“You speak in riddles.”

“And you have not had enough rest. You are not thinking clearly.”

“Your pole! You have a bite.”

Percy reached out to grab his rod and tried to bring the fish in. Just as he was to bring it out of the water, it escaped leaving a naked hook. He set the pole down and came to sit next to her again. “Anne. It’s always been you I have loved and longed for. Please say you return my affections?”

“Me?”

“You, my love.”

“You love me?”

He nodded.

“I. . . I . . .I don’t know what to say.”

“Perhaps that you love me and want to be my bride, my best friend and mother of our children? And that you will help me run my estate?”

She gave him a soft smile. “I do love you and always have. You are the reason I didn’t mind missing a season. I couldn’t have borne seeing you in the arms of other women. I never dreamed . . .”

“Maybe you should start dreaming then. I’ve had plenty of dreams about you and would love to make every one a reality.” He watched her face grow pink. Or was it a trick of the light? “Say you’ll be mine, Anne?”

“I have no fortune.”

“Having you will be all the fortune I need.”

“You are certain?”

“Never more sure of anything than this. I love you, Anne. Please say you’ll marry me?” He leaned forward and their lips met in a tender moment of bliss. He pulled back and watched her eyes flutter open.

“If I marry you, will I get more of those?”

Percy smiled. “As many as you want, every day of our lives together.”

She leaned toward him and kissed him. He savored the moment but pulled back. It would be no good to tarnish his bride’s name.

“Yes, Percy. I will wed you.”

He couldn’t hide his grin if he had tried. “Soon? Would you like to beat your Uncle to the altar?”

“But the banns . . .”

“I’ll get a special license. We could be wed within a few days. Could you manage to be ready by then, with whatever you need and moving to my home?”

“I could be ready tomorrow should you but ask.”

“Do you need me to speak to your uncle?”

“I am of age and do not need his permission. I will inform him on the day of our wedding lest he, or Sophie try to ruin my joy.”

“I’ll bow to your wisdom on that.”

“I’m glad you decided to come fishing today. I’m sorry I’ve kept you from catching anything.”

“I caught myself a beautiful bride. You smell better than the fish too.”

She giggled as she pulled him toward her for another kiss. “Guess I reeled in a good catch myself.”

“Glad to be caught, Anne. I’ll be the one who didn’t get away.” He leaned down for his kiss, grateful that somehow today, his fishing was better than ever.

The Pure Widow (Short Regency Romance)

A tingle of anticipation worked its way down her spine as she caught the eye of the man a few feet away from her. It took all of her courage to hold his gaze and not drop her eyes. She had nothing to fear from any man. She was no longer a debutante in her first season but a widow fresh out of mourning.

She had not come to this ball looking for someone to warm her bed. Not that it had ever been that warm anyway with Lord Chase.

The man disengaged himself from his companion, and headed in her direction.

Oh, My. Now what should I do? She let her eyes scan the ballroom. Was there any reasonable way to escape?

“Lady Penelope Chase.” The tall man with piercing green eyes bowed but his gaze never wavered. “Perchance you remember me?”

Penny dipped and nodded her head, daring herself to hold his gaze. “My Lord Hadley. Of course I remember you. I’m not in my dotage yet.” Her first crush. How could she ever forget?

“Far from it. May I say you look better than you did at your come-out ball five years ago. The years have been good to you.” A crooked smile appeared under the aquiline nose. His eyes bored into her as if ferreting out her secrets.

Penny tipped her head and looked away to the crowd. “La, I am immune to Spanish coin, my Lord.”

“I could never fool you, Penny.” He leaned closer and his breath tickled her ear, “but only a fool falls in love with a woman he cannot have.”

Penny refused to glance at him as he pulled away. Love? What did he know about love? For that matter, what did she know? She had lost in that game. She unfurled her fan and languidly moved it back and forth in front of her, refusing to show how much he had unsettled her. “Lord Hadley, I cannot imagine you being denied the object of your desire should you truly love someone.”

She glanced up at him and his eyes moved to scan the crowd, for once avoiding hers. A frown marred his handsome features. Auburn curls breached the border of his cravat at the back of his head and his sideburns almost hid the muscle working in his jaw that indicated his own tension. Her eyebrows rose as she awaited his reply. It was not long in coming.

“I never lied about my feelings for you Penelope. They remain as real now as they did the day I proposed and you refused me.” He glanced at her, pain and sorrow clouding his eyes, making them more mossy in color but no less compelling for that. He gave a curt nod and walked away disappearing into the crowd.

He still loved her? Her shoulders dropped and her fan stilled even as her heart increased its tempo. Follow him! Don’t let him get away! Without realizing it she was moving through the crowd but soon lost sight of her quarry. She found herself near the doors to the garden. Sweat trickled between her shoulder blades under the silk gown. Seeking the cooler air she stepped onto the stone balcony that overlooked paths beyond.

She ignored the lovers in the shadows and skipped down the steps into the flower lined trail. The moon was bright and the scent of roses and honeysuckle filled the air. Her feet carried her forward but she had no destination in mind. No plan. Had she just let her one chance at real happiness escape her?

She chuckled at her own dramatic thoughts. Your first ball of the season and you already feel like you’ve failed a game you never sought to play? What kind of folly is that? She shook her head and snapped her fan closed, letting it dangle from her wrist. Almost as much folly as marrying the charming wastrel at her father’s insistence only to find that he had a preference for the male persuasion, leaving her as pure as the day she was born.

She found a bench and collapsed onto it and closed her eyes. She inhaled and let the air out slowly. Vanilla assailed her nostrils. She opened her eyes and found him before her on one knee. He reached for her hand and while holding it slowly peeled off her glove. He turned her hand over and his lips met the pulse in her wrist and her heartbeat quickened. His lips traveled further up, to the inside of her elbow. Tremors of delight traveled throughout her body. She giggled.

He broke the kiss and looked up. “Please, Penny. I’ve waited so long. I have loved you and never stopped. Make me the happiest man here and say you will marry me.”

She swallowed as she looked into his eyes. She lifted her hand to stroke his hair and then the side of his face as he leaned into her naked palm. This was the only man who had ever stirred her, body and soul. She was forced to say no the first time. How could she say no again?

She leaned forward and her lips met his. The kiss that started out tentative but grew in hunger as her entire body caught flame at his touch. He broke it off and she gave a mewl of protest.

“Is that a yes, Penny?” That crooked smile she had always loved was back but uncertainty flickered in his eyes.

She smiled and nodded. “Yes, Nigel. I will wed you under one condition.”

An eyebrow lifted on his high forehead. “And that would be?”

“That we do so quickly. I have waited far too long to be yours.”

“With all due haste, my Lady. I will acquiesce to your demands.”

She leaned forward and held his face with both hands she leaned in for another kiss.

Versatile Blogger Award Winner

A Thank You

I want to thank CD Meyers for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger award. His website is: http://countrylifediscipleship.wordpress.com/   It was very sweet and I’m glad you found my blog and enjoy it!

Fifteen other Blogs

Now, as part of this lovely award, I have the assignment to pass on to you fifteen other blogs that I personally visit and enjoy as I nominate them for this award as well. Nominating for this award is all that has to be done to win it – so not only are they nominated – they win! So, drumroll please, my personal pics for Versatile Blogger Award are:

  • http://www.thebarndoor.net/   “Seeing the world through Midwestern eyes.” (sometimes you’ll find a story from me here as well).
  • http://notafraidtotellmystory.wordpress.com/  Athena Dean shares her journey out of a cult where she lost everything to fall into the freedom and grace of Jesus.
  • http://goinswriter.com/about-me/  I like Jeff’s authenticity as he writes about writing and  challenges to a living faith.
  • http://wakeupmyfaith.wordpress.com/about/  Kevin Adams is living life on the edge of faith. Wanna be challenged to get out of the boat? Follow him.
  • http://elisabethcorcoran.blogspot.com/   Elisabeth is spinning gold from the pain of a broken heart.
  • http://www.chipmacgregor.com/    He’s not my agent, but he writes great stuff about writing and life. He has shown a boldness to speak truth when attacked by a cult regarding a publishing takeover (see Athena Dean’s blog listed above).
  • http://www.leslievernick.com/  “Enriching relationships that matter most,” Leslie writes from the perspective of a biblical psychotherapist and she does it well.
  • http://christianregency.com/blog/   This is a blog for those who love inspirational Regency fiction, one of the genres in which I write (and love to read). Many posts are on tidbits about the time period but recently they had a celebration where the various authors who participate wrote one story together. It was fun to read.
  • http://www.vondaskelton.com/   This lady is a hoot but don’t let her humor fool you – she is dedicated to empowering and encouraging others and she does it with the most beautiful smile.
  • http://thewriteconversation.blogspot.com/   Edie Melson is a sweetheart who writes about writing and has become a social media guru. Lots of good info on her blog.
  • http://southernwritersmagazine.blogspot.com/   You don’t have to be Southern to appreciate the wealth of wisdom compiled in these pages.
  • http://michaelhyatt.com/   “Intentional Leadership”  I’ve enjoyed this blog for a long time now – lots of wisdom for leaders as well as writers. I don’t know why I bought his book “Platform” when everything in the book is here on the blog if you only look for it. Oh, he knows the industry too having been CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers for many years.
  • http://www.marydemuth.com/  “Live Uncaged” I love Mary’s heart and her willingness to be vulnerable and gut-wrenchingly honest about life, abuse, healing, faith and writing.
  • http://livingourfaithoutloud.blogspot.com/  This is by a dear friend and writing mentor Lisa Lickel.
  • http://lillygracebrown.wordpress.com/  She writes to those struggling in difficult marriages. If you know of anyone who is there – connect them with Lilly Grace.

Seven Things

As part of the award I’m to share seven things about myself. So here goes…

  1. My favorite color is red-raspberry, or magenta, or fushia or whatever you want to call a bright bold pinkish/purple.
  2. I used to do ComedySportz in Milwaukee. I took workshops there and worked for them as a second job for awhile. It was a great place to be wild and crazy but boy did we work hard. Fond memories of my time there. I speak fluent jibberish.
  3. I love people who are willing to admit to the truth of a chronic mental illness or any weakness and struggle they have. Maybe because that’s the population I worked with. Maybe because I have major depressive disorder. Maybe because we’re all just a little bit crazy.
  4. My moniker “silygoos” came when I was getting personalized plates for my van. It was one of three choices (actually number 2) but what I ended up with (SILY GOS). To save money in our budget I no longer have those plates on my car. I tried to argue it was biblical to have them but my husband didn’t buy it. “Vanity of vanity, all is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes). *sigh*
  5. I’m an early to bed girl. Sleep has always been something I value and make time for. So if you call me after 8:30, I may not respond.  I get up early as well as it’s the only quiet time I can often get in my day. I have a friend who nicknamed me “Snoozin.”
  6. I’m the original runaway bride. Two cancelled weddings (one on the morning of) before the actual one really happened. Long story, maybe it’ll show up in one of my novels someday.
  7. IMG_0074After years of being told I was allergic to dogs – I finally own my own dog. Spatzle is a maltese mix and a sassafras (that’s what I call him along with “poochi-poo”). He’s my dog even though I share him with the rest of the  family. He was a rescue and has been a huge blessing in my life. No is ever as happy to see me as he is so he’s good for my ego. Oh, and I’m not allergic to him at all.

My Regency Pixie

I tried to tell someone the other day that there is a Regency Pixie in my computer, messing with my novel.  They looked at me puzzled and said “I have no idea what you are talking about”.  So I felt this would be a good place to explain.

First, I wrote a novel called “The Virtuous Viscount” and it takes place in Regency England (early 1800’s).  It could be called a Historical Novel or Regency Romance (except it’s technically too long for the latter designation and does contain quite a bit of action).

I wrote it and then went to do a re-write. It’s part of the process of writing a novel.  Then I went back again to do another re-write and found that things I had changed the first time – were not changed after all!  I do save on a regular basis and I back up my novel.  So something odd happened between my re-write and coming back to my work.

I have had my proof-reader/editors/ friends combing through the last revision and I was ready to prepare some work to send to a potential agent last week. I found that this time, the first chapter was rearranged.  Paragraphs were out of sequence.  It totally did not make any sense! I’m glad I read it before just cutting and pasting to send for consideration!  My back up copy however – was untouched.  Weird.

Hence, my “Regency Pixie” at work.  Not sure why she is determined to undermine or sabotage my writing efforts and I do find it frustrating and time consuming to clean up after her mess.  I would be far happier if she picked up train tracks in my living room, washed my dishes or perhaps swept the kitchen floor.  Far more useful role for a fairy, don’t you think?

Now, I don’t really believe in fairies.  But I am a fiction writer and while I write historical and contemporary fiction, there does come a time when the imaginary has to come into play.  No less so in real life.  Maybe it’s just a coping mechanism. Maybe it’s just a way for me to relax and laugh at some weird technology thing that seems to do this to my document.  I don’t know – but it’s far more fun to blame it on my pixie than myself (I have no idea how I would have done what has happened there in that novel – totally beyond me!?).  So I explain the unexplainable with a make-believe character to help describe a very real issue I face as an author.

Got it now?  By the way, if you meet up with my Regency Pixie, tell her that I have some work she can do in cleaning up my bathroom.