Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Finds

Take a look at the books I discovered this week...

Author: Vonda Sinclair
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: Out Now
Gwyneth Carswell, an English lady banished by her father to the harsh Scottish Highlands, wants nothing more than to take her young son away from the violence of two fighting clans - her own distant kin, the MacIrwins, and their enemies, the MacGraths.  
She risks everythign to rescue the fierce MacGrath warrior from the battlefield where he's left for dead by her clan. She only knows she is inexplicably drawn to him and he wants peace as she does. When her clan learns of her betrayal, they seek vengeance.  Dare she trust the enemy more than her own family?

Laird Alasdair MacGrath is driven to end two-hundred years of feuding with the MacIrwins.  But by taking in and protecting Lady Gwyneth and her son, he provokes more attacks from his mortal enemy.  
As the danger and conflict surrounding them escalate, Alasdair and Gwyneth discover an explosive passion neither of them expected.  With the arrival of a powerful man from her past, a horrible decision confronts her - give up her son or the man she loves.

The Lacey Chronicles, Book 1
Author: Eve Edwards
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: Out Now

It's England, 1582.  Ellie - Lady Eleanor Rodriguez of San Jaime - is in possession of a gold-seeking father, a worthless title and a feisty spirit that captivates the elite of the Queen's court, and none other than the handsome new Earl of Dorest.

William Lacey has inherited his father's title and his financial ruin.  Now the Earl must seek a wealthy heiress and restore his family's fortune.  But Will's head has been turned by the gorgeous Ellie, yet their union can never be.

Will is destined to marry a worthy Lady so the only question is - which one?

Monday, July 25, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won or received for review.

I stopped by my soon-to-be-extinct Borders store this weekend and bought a few romance novels for a super going-out-of-business price.

Immortal Brotherhood, Book 2
Author: Lisa Hendrix

Children of the Mist, Book 3
Author: Paula Quinn

MacKinloch Clan, Book 1
Author: Michelle Willingham

Daughters of Erin, Book 2
Author: Laurel McKee

Author: Karen Essex

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Beauty Tips for Medieval Mavens

What's the magic formula for the perfect medieval complexion?  

Here are some beauty tips to enchant that errant knight:

To achieve a flawless alabaster countenance, pat your face with white flour.  And if you're terrified of freckles (the bane of all medieval ladies), hide inside the castle at all times.  If you must go outside, don a veil. 

The lack of sunshine and poor diet are sure to give you that glamorous pasty look.

Isabeau of Bavaria advises: Keep you skin soft and white by bathing in asses' milk.  And for beauty cream that really works...Combine boar's brains, crocodile glands, and wolf's blood.  Smooth lotion on skin.

To make a do-it-yourself sauna: Wrap yourself in a wide piece of linen. 

 Stand on hot stones, covering them with the hem of your cloth.  Have your serfs douse you with water.  It's fun for them and healthy for you.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play along, just do the following:

* Grab your current read.
* Open to a random page.
* Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS - make sure what you share doesn't give too much away.  You don't want to ruin the book for others!
* Share the title and author, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser.


"She tensed, hoping he didn't notice the hitch in her breathing, the quiver of nerves trembling her limbs.  She fought back the recollections of his disdain when she'd worried over his intentions."

~page 76 of Earl of Darkness by Alix Rickloff

Friday, July 8, 2011

Back to Blogging

Hello, my friends!  I'm back!!!  It's been a loooong time since my last blog post, don't ya think?  Wow.  Where did the time go?  It sure is nice to be back here at the ol' blog sharing with you.  I bet you're wondering what I've been up to these past 7 months.  Well, let me catch you up on the aspects of my life.  Be warned: the first half of the year has been fairly uneventful, though not unproductive.  Nevertheless, here are all the nitty, gritty details:

I'm still a desperate job seeker waiting for the call that's going to put me back in the rat race.  I'm sure the planets will align in my favor sometime in the near future and I'll snag the perfect job.  Meanwhile, I'm happy to play homemaker.  My dogs love it.  In fact, I'm sure they'd like for me to never leave the house again.  They are getting quite spoiled having me at their beck and call 24-7.

My faithful writing companions, Ripley & Sawyer

I haven't been on a vacation in months, unless you count my trip down to the Oregon coast in June to attend my oldest nephew's high school graduation.  The hubby, dogs, and I had a great time hanging with my family for 4 days.  However we would have liked more beach time.  Maybe next visit...

My TBR pile is slowly shrinking, thank goodness.  Still, there are a lot of great romance novels I can't wait to read.  In an upcoming post I'll share which books I've read this year.  Stay tuned!

So far I've taken 9 online writing workshops, all sponsored by various RWA chapters.  I love taking writing classes.  They are such a great way to hone my craft and learn something new.  Here's a list of the classes I've taken along with the instructor's name:

Snakebite Scenes - Carrie Lofty
Developing Historical Character Sketches - Kimberly Killion
Writing Fight Scenes - Rayne Hall
Blurbs - Paty Jager
Pitch Like a Pro - Kerri Nelson
History of Underwear - Eliza Knight
Crafting the Sensual Novella - Eliza Knight
Alphas: Leaders of the Pack - Robin Mathison
Horses Through the Ages - Stephanie Rankin

I revamped my website - nothing major, just a few minor tweeks.  Click here to check it out. The website suits for now.  When I'm published I intend to have Kimberly Killion of HOT DAMN Designs create a new website for me.  Kim's work is fantabulous! 

I've written quite a lot since my last post.  It may be a few more months yet (okay, more like the end of the year) before I have a completed draft of my medieval WIP, Her Heart's Desire.  No biggie.  I'm halfway to the end and very pleased with where the story is going.  The heroine I once wanted to strangle is now a favorite character of mine, which certainly makes her story easier to write.

My other medieval WIP, A Warrior's Crusade, placed 5th in the Hook, Line and Sinker 2011 contest sponsored by the Hudson Valley Chapter of RWA.  The award is special to me because it's the first time my WIP finaled in a contest.  To know someone liked something I worked so hard on means a lot.  It pushes me to keep writing on the days when my muse deserts me.  I'm not as far along on this WIP as I'd like to be.  However I'm not stressed about the word count right now.  Still, I'd like to work on the story more than I have been.  I think it's time to set up a strict "write this WIP on this day" schedule, just so I can make some progress.  But more on that at a later date.

I put my paranormal Georgian romance on hold for the time being.  To date I've only written the prologue and done some minor plotting on the 5 book series.  The story is there in the back of my brain, but it's got to wait.  I'm not ready to tackle it just yet because it involves a lot of world building and research.  Besides, my medieval WIPS are more important to me at this stage.

A few months ago I started writing a Scottish novella with paranormal elements.  It's not as easy to write short as I imagined.  I took an online workshop on crafting a novella from Eliza Knight and learned loads of good information, which helped me to realize I was starting my novella in the wrong spot.  Currently, I'm reworking the opening.  My goal is to have the first draft done by summer's end.

Well, there you have it.  I'm excited to get back into blogging action after a much needed hiatus.  Bear with me as I delve back into the groove of blogging.  I think I've found the balance I need to keep writing and blogging simultaneously.  Writing a book takes a lot of focus and patience, two things that can often be hard to come by in life.  I'm determined to stay focused on my career goals in 2011 and beyond.  And that means that I will blog only when time allows.  However I promise to blog at least a few times a month, if not once a week.

Until next time...