Wednesday, February 18, 2015

WIP Wednesday

Normally I enjoy revisions. I especially love them when I have endless pages of notes. That wasn't the case this past week. I had so many notes to sort through, I felt like I was doing a 2,000 plus jigsaw puzzle and couldn't find the crucial corner piece. Why, oh why, did I have so many notes for one chapter?

I was overwhelmed by my notes. So what did I do? I worked on a different chapter.

Days passed. I made great progress on that other chapter. Unfortunately, the one my CP is waiting to read just sat there gathering dust...until I forced myself to sit down and tackle my notes. 

Of course, that's when my laptop decided to get an attitude and wouldn't let me open Word.

Apparently some updates were corrupted. Or the laptop was possessed. I'm still not sure which one is the truth. Anyway, my hubby fixed the problem. It took him an entire night to figure out what was wrong, but in the end he saved the day. Hooray for hubbies who can fix computers, even though they don't work for Google.

The very next day I got to work on my revisions. I started with a plan: to organize my notes. I didn't worry about dialogue tags or pretty prose. Instead I cut and pasted until my notes were in order, and then I began to flesh out the scenes. And you know what? It worked.

The moral of my story: Ignore the big picture if it scares you. Focus on smaller goals instead -- whatever helps you hurdle the obstacles in your path. Also, never give up. No matter where you are in your process, just keep moving forward. It's the only way to get ahead and reach your goals. 
Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Cold Cause

From the time of Louis XIV, the French court was a magnet and a model for nobles from all over Europe and even as far away as Russia.

Marie Antoinette (2006)
In fact, Elizabeth Petrovna, Empress of Russia from 1741 to 1762, imported all her clothes from France, shunning the homegrown finery. Her court soon followed suit, and from mid-century on, grew immersed in French language and culture, as well as dress. Her successor, Catherine II, disgusted with the extravagance of French dress, attempted to turn the tide -- but to no avail.

Marie Antoinette (2006)

Other European rulers passed similar edicts to curb yearnings of their glamor-hungry subjects. The most successful was King Gustav III Sweden, who designed a national dress and decreed that nobles must wear it, instead of lavish French style.

Gustav III:s äktenskap, a Swedish mini-series (2001)
He won out only because the climate was on his side. Vast panniers, garlanded silks, and fine leather shoes could not withstand the snowbound Swedish winters.

Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger
Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day in the Middle Ages

Valentine's Day gained popularity during the Middle Ages. Lovers celebrated the day by exchanging love notes and simple gifts such as flowers. The idea of linking Valentine's Day with love in the Middle Ages was strengthened by the notion that birds began to look for a mate during this time.

Adelaide Kane and Toby Regbo, Reign (2013-)

In fourteenth and fifteenth century France and England, poets further promoted the concept of linking Valentine's Day with romantic love. Geoffrey Chaucer wrote in the 14th century Parlement of Foules:

For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne's day'
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.

The first known Valentine is said to have been written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. The greeting is part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.

Max Irons and Rebecca Ferguson, The White Queen (2013)

Historians also say that Saint Valentine of Rome sent a letter signed "From your Valentine" to his sweetheart, who was the jailer's daughter, a day before he was executed on February 14, 498 AD. This phrase is still popular among lovers.

One very popular legend of Valentine's Day states that the festival originated from the Feast of Lupercalia -- a fertility festival celebrated in mid February by ancient Roman during pagan times. The festival paired young boys and girls through a lottery system who would fall in love and marry.

Courtesy of
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

WIP Wednesday

Sometimes I doubt myself and wonder if I should give up my dream of becoming a published author.

Today is NOT one of those days. =)
Wednesday, February 4, 2015

WIP Wednesday

Monday is a hard day for me to get into "Writing Mode". There always seems to be a lot of things I need to accomplish on the first day of the week, and I struggle to open my WIP.

 I need to spread out my chores throughout the week. I think it'll help me squeeze in some writing time.
Sunday, February 1, 2015

February Releases

Covent Garden Cubs, Book One
By Shana Galen
February 3, 2015

A master thief...
Marlowe runs with the Covent Garden Cubs, a gang of thieves living in the slums of Seven Dials. It's a fierce life, and Marlowe has a hard outer shell. But when she's alone, she allows herself to remember a forbidden time and name.

A lord suffering from ennui...
Maxwell, Lord Dane, is bored with the same balls, the same debutantes, and the same demands from his mother. When an investigator locates the lost daughter of the Marquess of Lyndon, Dane is intrigued. He agrees to introduce the girl to Society and assist in tutoring her in etiquette, but the lady is a less than agreeable pupil.

Descent into a criminal underworld...
Marlowe knows she'll never escape the Covent Garden Cubs. She's not safe, even among the diamonds and silks gracing the new King's ballroom. Satin, the gang's leader, plans a major racket and needs Marlowe's talents to succeed. When Dane stands in Satin's way, the earl enters a world of danger and violence, where the student has become the teacher and love is the greatest danger of all.

I love the premise of this book.

Electric Empire, Book One
By Viola Carr
February 10, 2015

In an electric-powered Victorian London, Dr. Eliza Jekyll is a crime scene investigator, hunting killers with inventive new technological gadgets. Now, a new killer is splattering London in blood, drugging beautiful women and slicing off their limbs. Catching the Chopper will make Eliza’s career - or get her burned. Because Eliza has a dark secret. A seductive second self, set free by her father’s forbidden magical elixir: wild, impulsive Lizzie Hyde.

 When the Royal Society sends their Enforcer, the mercurial Captain Lafayette, to prove she’s a sorcerer, Eliza must resist the elixir with all her power. But as the Chopper case draws her into London’s luminous magical underworld, Eliza will need all the help she can get. Even if it means getting close to Lafayette, who harbors an evil curse of his own.
Even if it means risking everything and setting vengeful Lizzie free …

 I'm not a huge Steampunk fan, but I'm intrigued by the premise of this debut book.

Darkest London, Book Six
Kristen Callihan
February 24, 2015

When Adam's soul mate rejected him, there was more at stake than his heart. After seven hundred years of searching, his true match would have ended the curse that keeps his spirit in chains. But beautiful, stubborn Eliza May fled-and now Adam is doomed to an eternity of anguish, his only hope for salvation gone . . .

No matter how devilishly irresistible Adam was, Eliza couldn't stand the thought of relinquishing her freedom forever. So she escaped. But she soon discovers she is being hunted-by someone far more dangerous. The only man who can help is the one man she vowed never to see again. Now Adam's kindness is an unexpected refuge, and Eliza finds that some vows are made to be broken . . .

I love this series!!


Breaking Nova, Book Two
By Jessica Sorensen
February 4, 2015

Nova Reed can't forget him -- Quinton Carter, the boy with the honey-brown eyes who made her realize she deserved more than an empty life. His pain was so similar to her own. But Nova has been coming to terms with her past and healing, while Quinton is out there somewhere, sinking deeper. She's determined to find him and help him...before it's too late.

Nova has haunted his dreams for nearly a year -- but Quinton never thought a sweet, kind person like her would care enough about a person like him. To Quinton, a dark, dangerous life is exactly what he deserves. And Nova has no place in it. But Nova has followed him to Las Vegas, and now he must do whatever it takes to keep her away, to maintain his self-imposed punishment for the unforgivable things he's done. But there's one flaw in his plan: Nova isn't going anywhere...

I have the first book in this series on my Kindle. I need to read it this year, now that the sequel is out.

What's on your must-read list this month? Do share!

Book blurbs from authors' website.