Archive for the 'News & blog' Category

Word of the day: Cantankerous

In You May Kiss the Bride, my hero’s grandmother, Henrietta Penhallow, is definitely cantankerous: she’s arrogant, domineering, and critical.

Infographic: "cantankerous," via Merriam-Webster

 

Here’s a little snippet from Chapter 5, during which my heroine, the penniless orphan Livia Stuart, has begun — under the aegis of old Mrs. Penhallow — her transformation into an elegant Society miss.

One morning, after several new items had arrived (including, to Livia’s intense gratification, a pair of kid slippers with ravishing pink rosettes), she said impulsively to Mrs. Penhallow:

“All this, ma’am, for me? I must thank you.”

The old lady had somehow managed despite her inferior height to look down her nose at Livia. “It is not for, or about, you, young lady,” she replied with her usual hauteur. “Never think that for a moment. It is merely that you are to represent the Penhallows, and standards must be upheld.”

Temporarily cowed by this frigid set-down, Livia submitted to successive applications of Lotion of Ladies of Denmark, Milk of Almonds, and the distilled water from green pineapples, her complexion having been pronounced shockingly brown, and also to the rose oil and white wax for lips deemed repulsively dry and chapped.

Poor Livia!

Want to read a longer excerpt from You May Kiss the Bride? Click here for Chapter 1.

 

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The one book I can’t wait to read

When I was invited to contribute to this year’s Avon Author Reading Wish List, did I hesitate? Not for a second. Because — hurray! — Loretta Chase has a new book coming out this year!

Avon Romance logo

Katharine Ashe, Sophie Barnes, Megan Frampton, Laura Lee Guhrke, Beverly Jenkins, Jennifer Ryan, Lynsay Sands, and Lori Wilde also shared their Wish List choices. My TBR stack just got bigger . . .

You can read the Wish List here.

 

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Dragon bed

This image floated across my Twitter feed, and I had to stop and stare at it in admiration.

Photo: a miniature dragon bed made by Michael Reynolds.

Via Traceyanne McCartney on Twitter

Of course, I spent some time wondering if I could somehow write in a bed like this into one of my books. Nothing immediately springs to mind, but you never know . . .

Then I had to learn more. This is an amazingly teeny-tiny little bed, the artist is Michael Reynolds, and he is evidently a member of the International Guild of Miniature Artisans which has a bewitchingly fascinating Instagram. Enjoy!

 

 

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I will not buy any more books . . .

Bookworm problems."I will not buy any more books until I've read all the ones I've got:" via Someecards

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On bagpipes, and my next book

So in my next book, The Laird Takes a Bride, there’s a reference to bagpipes which I gotta say is one of the single best lines I’ve ever written.

"Pipe Practice" by William Bruce Ellis Ranken (1918): a painting of three men with bagpipes.

“Pipe Practice” by William Bruce Ellis Ranken (1918). Via Helen Warlow on Twitter.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work to share it out of context. Which probably makes this a totally unfair teaser. But the good news is that The Laird Takes a Bride arrives this summer! I’m so looking forward to sharing more about it with you as we get closer.

In the meantime, you can preorder the Kindle edition here. (More info about other formats coming soon.)

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Mary Balogh: “I believe in love”

I’ve just read a fantastic post by Mary Balogh on why she writes historical romance; it speaks eloquently to me as both a reader and a writer.

She begins by saying, “I believe in love. I believe in the power and ultimate triumph of love.”

And why historical romance in particular?

“Readers like to be transported away from their everyday lives. They like to be taken to a different world to read about people who are essentially like themselves. Past eras often seem more romantic than our own. Regency England, for example, conjures marvelous visual images of fashions for both men and women that weA Regency-era ballre perhaps the most attractive and sexy of any age; of stately country homes and the spacious parks surrounding them; of horse-drawn carriages bowling along the king’s highway; of couples waltzing at grand balls in the light of dozens of candles in the crystal chandeliers overhead; of enchanted evenings strolling the lantern-lit walks of Vauxhall Gardens in London; of picnics and garden parties in rural surroundings; of drives in Hyde Park at the fashionable hour. The possibilities are endless, all coming with an aura of the romance of a bygone age. It is a happy illusion, of course. Most of us would not want actually to live in Regency England or any other bygone era, but we are quite happy to enjoy it from the comfort of our twenty-first century homes. That is the magic of reading.”

Click here to read the full post.

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It’s finished!

Me, after I’ve finished a book I totally love.

"Jove Decadent" by Ramon Casas i Carbo.

“Jove Decadent” by Ramon Casas i Carbo

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Word of the day: Genteel

A fantastic word for a writer of historical romance.

Infographic: "genteel," a word of the day via Merriam-Webster

Here it is in You May Kiss the Bride, during a scene in which my heroine, Livia, despite being ravenously hungry, still manages to display her good manners:

Gabriel sat in the Phelps Tea Room and watched without comment as Miss Stuart, in a very genteel but methodical way, consumed eight dainty ham sandwiches, three devilled eggs, and most of a plate of pastries. When finally she paused, and took a sip of her tea, he held out the plate.

“Would you care for another raspberry tart, Miss Stuart?”

“Oh, no, I couldn’t,” she sighed, sounding very happy.

Gabriel was startled at the transformation from the tense, tightly strung young lady he had met in the Pump Room to this . . . this relaxed, almost languorous girl who looked like she would at any moment begin to purr with satisfaction. It was difficult to believe that half an hour ago she was practically snarling at him and calling him a beast.

Of course, we all know how it’s easier to be agreeable on a full stomach . . .

This snippet appears in Chapter 6, but if you like, you can read all of Chapter 1 here.

 

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Day Planner

Quite a good description of my usual day."Day Planner": a comic by Grant Snider

More about the artist, Grant Snider, here.

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My motto

Words to live by.

Graphic: Love wins, love always wins. -Mitch Albom

via Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie

 

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