Happy International Day of Women

One of the best thin about being an author is research. In my historical novels, I particularly enjoy including women’s stories in the long list of books I read about a time period. How a society treats women is significant in terms of defining how civilized they are. Women’s rights are actually considered on par with GDP in many world indices that measure standard of living.

Some of the biographies I’d love to read about some famous women include:

Actors would include Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Hedy Lamar, and Marlene Dietrich.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Marie Curie

Mary Shelley

Madam C J Walker

Mata Hari

Florence Nightingale

In my general reading, I love to learn more about women’s roles during the First World War as part of the signal corps and nurses, as spies/resistance workers during the war, and those unspoken heroines who manned the home front, the women’s suffrage movement in both the US and England, and I always love those wild women of the west.

Which woman in history would you like to learn more about?

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1/4 Turn

The hubbinator and I take our dog for a walk every evening. And you know what that means. Those poop bags aren’t going to throw away themselves. So it’s up to us to scoop and dump those bundles. Fortunately in the park we visit, there are plenty of places to dump those packets.

And plenty of opportunity to stand around those bins while the dog sniffs the trash bins.

Which is how we noticed it. You know the kind of thing that stands out. Not in a that’s not garbage kind of way, but a What-in the-World kind of way.

In this case, it was part of a Monopoly board. Not all of it. Not a broken half of a board. But a quarter of a Monopoly board. 1/4. And the rest of it wasn’t in any of the other trash cans.

Why and how did a quarter of a Monopoly board get into the can in the center of the part? Hubbinator believes someone was pissed at the retirement of the thimble from the game board. Given that I don’t like the game, I think it was someone who feels the same and wanted to prevent it from ever being played again.

Or there could have been a bad break up and someone decided to destroy the ex’s beloved game and scatter the pieces around the Valley.

Any way, this will be a mystery that will never be solved.

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And so we meet again…

Marci Gras was yesterday. I didn’t celebrate appropriately. There wasn’t King’s cake. There weren’t beads. And I had a Reuben casserole instead of gumbo or jambalaya.

So here we are on Ash Wednesday and I’m faced with another Lent.

While many are looking at giving up things. I’ve switched to making a positive change in my life. 

Of course, there was this book idea yesterday about destroying civilization on planet Earth, cuz you know it would be fun. And lots of you agreed. Facebook told me so. 

The problem is that I have a book queue in my brain that, you know, means I’ll surpass most of my 92 year old relatives if I write them all.

But I have to get cracking to do so. 

And, as many of you asked about the last Syn-En book (Home World), I will finish it this month. I will I promise. The issue is that I already wrote it 75K words in November.

But I kinda separated Nell and Bei permanently.

Then I might have, sorta, you know killed one of them off.

Along with a bunch of other characters, cuz it is the last book.

but there are fans who know where I live and have threatened to kill me. Okay, they’re my family. My family threatened to kill me. Horribly.

So I have to rewrite it. Minus the 15K words I trashed.

But alas my brain thinks it’s already finished, so it’s squirrelling frequently with look here’s a cool story idea.

And I’m like, but… but I just blew up the spaceship. And Nell is…

And yet, that new idea is very cool. And diabolical. 

Still, I was supposed to have Home World finished last summer. Then Christmas. Then January. 

And here it is March. I will finish it by the end of the month as my Lentian offering.

I will persevere and I will triumph. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KrdOcertUzY

 Just no one tell the universe my plans.

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Guest Blog:Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey by Ginger Monette

I don’t think many folks will be surprised that I love Jane Austen and have a fondness for Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. Long before I wrote romance, I read it. It is still one of my go to genres to make myself feel better. So when someone tries something new with the stories, I’m so there.

I loved Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies and Jane Austenland. And I love fellow author Ginger Monette’s version that graphs it onto one of the most under represented eras in romance, the First World War.

The best thing with talking to other authors who write in your genre, you can ask for help with those hard to find answers about every day life. Ginger asked me if I had anything on VAD (Voluntary Aide Detachment) training, i.e. nursing assistants, and I asked her about how the men cleaned up when they left the front to go on leave. I sent her articles the information I had from Vera Brittian’s Testament of Youth (and a few others), and she sent me public domain of pictures of the soldiers showers. They reminded me of gym class, but there were some ahem naked men in the photos. Of course, since we both write clean historical romances, it was important we knew about hygiene on the front lines.

But enough about that, here’s an extract from Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey:

9-praise-donwell-abbeyElizabeth bolted from the chair. “Fitzwilliam, wake up!” She nudged his arm in the darkened room, but he continued writhing with great heaving breaths. “Captain!” She squeezed his hand, but he jerked it away, whimpering.

On impulse, she slid her arms under his shoulders and held him close. Instantly his thrashing ceased.

Gently rocking him, she massaged the unbandaged hair at his temple and whispered against his cheek, “It’s all right. Just a dream.”

He breathing slowed, but his body remained tense. “My ribs…hurt.”

She lowered him back to the pillow, then tapped on his hand, Try to relax. All right now?

“Mmm…. Water. And morphine.”

She squeezed his hand and poured water into the hospital cup. She touched the pill to his lips then offered the porcelain straw.

He swallowed. “Who are you?”

Elizabeth froze and closed her eyes. How she longed to tell him the truth, then brush a kiss on his lips, assure him of her love, and promise to stay by his side.

She took his hand and spelled, Miss Thomas.

“Thank you…Miss Thomas.”

Elizabeth sank into the wing chair and released a heavy breath. Could she bear to be so close and yet so far away from Fitzwilliam?

For Links to all available retailers: click here

And as a bonus, the first book is now on sale everywhere

 

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And if you’re interested, there’s still time to get in on the tea giveaway:

Click here for giveaway

 

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Days to Celebrate for the Week Ahead

I know many of us love Taco Tuesday. I’ll admit I prefer soft tacos, but I love hot tortilla chips. Which makes me happy that today is National Tortilla Chip Day.

02/25/17 Is National  Chocolate Covered Nut Day. Which is yummy, and can only be improved by throwing in some caramel.

2/26/17 Tell a Fairy Tale Day. I might break out my Disney movies for this. My favorite being Beauty and the Beast.

2/27/17 National Polar Bear Day. I won’t recommend hugging one, but maybe a few brave souls can jump in a frozen lake.

2/28/17 National Public Sleeping Day. I didn’t know this was a thing.

3/01/17 National Dadgum That’s Good Day. Really. Here’s the link.

03/2/17 National Read Across America Day (Dr. Suess Day). This is every day for me.

Until next time

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Sam and Pete

So, I was reading a book on Isle Royale in Michigan and came across a reference. Apparently there was one resident who was quite colorful not only in his language but his use of other words to enhance those assorted four letter words. His name: Sam Hill, of the what in Sam Hill is this?

So I had to look it up on our great World Wide Web and was, naturally, more confused than ever.

Some say Sam Hill is a euphemism for the Devil or Hell.

That works.

Others say, it was about a merchantile in Prescott Arizona (Sam Hill’s Merchantile to be precise) that carried so much stuff folks had to ask Sam Hill what this was?

One or two sources blame a 1820s opera about the Devil and Samial (apparently sounds like Sam Hill)

Apparently, political Sam Hills abound and some credit them with the saying. I’m sure no one is surprised. Politicians take a lot of credit for everyone.

For Pete’s sake this isn’t a political post, so if you want more on Sam Hill, here’s the Wikipedia link.

As for Pete and why we call upon him, apparently that’s slang for God or Christ, because our buddy Pete is actually St. Peter. Oddly, we didn’t start using it (being officially recorded and all) until the 1920s. 

 

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Before I Lay Down to Sleep

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a clean freak. I can withstand the effort to clean my house until the hairballs are the size of the actually cats, not the dog. Let’s not get carried away here.

I believe in the value of dirt. I worked as a microbiologist long enough to know that most of the ‘bugs’ are actually helpful to maintaining a healthy immune system.

I also have worked as a chemist long enough to be sensitive to most cleaning agents and really don’t feel it necessary to have my house so sterile I can perform surgery on the dining room table.

It is my mess, aided and abetted by they dozens or so people who live in my house. (okay, really there are only four of us, but the mess is equivalent to a dozen or so).

That said, there’s one room in the house that I like having clean in the morning. And when it’s not, I start the day feeling off. It’s the kitchen. When the hubbinator does the dishes, he loads the dishwasher, occasionally washing a few pots, but doesn’t wipe down the counters or finish all the dishes.

It drives me nuts, but it’s his way.

So before I go to bed, I finish  up the dishes. Wipe down the counters. Occasionally sweep.

And when I wake up….

My nocturnal children have returned their dirty dishes to the counter.

Arg. But at least the countertops aren’t sticky. So there’s that.

Until next time.

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