Monday, 6 October 2014

Blog Change

Hi Readers! It's been far too long, and I'm sorry about that. I wanted to let you all know that I've started a new blog at Wordpress! It's mostly a foodie blog with my cooking foibles.

I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you so much for reading!


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Inspirational Photos for the Mason Siblings Series

It has been a long time since I have posted, and I thank you all for being so understanding! 

Whenever I create a new character in a novel, I always find a picture that inspires me, first. Since I have just finished writing my last novel in the Mason Siblings Series, I thought I would share with you the photos that inspired me to write each character. I have captioned each picture with the character they inspired and the novel their character "starred" in.

Miss Annabel Bradley from Book 1: Love's Misadventure

Lane Mason, seventh Earl of Devon, from Book 1: Love's Misadventure

Charles Bradley from Book 2: The Trouble With Love

Lady Charlotte Mason from Book 2: The Trouble With Love
Barrick Gray, Marquess of Withington, from Book 3: Love and Deceit

Lady Katherine Mason, from Book 3: Love and Deceit
Dr. Simon Claridge, heir to the Earldom of Merrington, from Book 4: Final Battle for Love

Lady Emaline Mason from Book 4: Final Battle for Love
 I worked with both families closely, as you could probably tell. Charles Bradley and Annabel Bradley are brother and sister, and both marry into the Mason family.

At a later date I will post the inspirational pictures for the additional side characters. Many of the spies that are seen in these novels will have the lead in their own novels in my upcoming Seductive Spies series.

Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Can You Tell I'm Running Low On Time?

Hello, readers!

Once more I must apologize for not being on here all that often. I used to write two to three times per week, but sadly I've slowed to... oh, say once every 6 months. Eeep!

On my last blog post I mentioned all the things that had been keeping me from blogging at that time. Well, since then my twins have been born. We did a little bit of a stay in the hospital, but we've all been out and at home for about five months now. Life has been remarkably hectic, but I still manage to find time for my writing (when hubby is home on the weekends and in the evenings when the kids are sleeping).

I have recently been asked by a blogger if I have any other social media sites, and the answer is yes! I have Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts.

My Facebook I use on a daily basis, doing updates and sharing pictures, etc. Please "like"me if you have an account! I give away prizes every once in a while, you may be a lucky winner! My Twitter I do not use as often, but it still available for those of you who prefer Twitter over Facebook. I also have a Pinterest account where I post fun Regency, scenery, inspirational, and pictures of my favourite things.

Thank you for your continued interest and support!

Monday, 4 February 2013

It's Been Too Long!

My apologies, everyone! I haven't written a blog in far too long. But there is a reason... several, actually.

It all started in October when my son first started Junior Kindergarten.

Shortly after he began, my husband and I discovered that we were pregnant with our third child. We are very happy about the pregnancy, but I will speak more on that later.

After my son's second day of school things started to go awry. As expected, the cold and flu season started, and our family was taken over by the flu. My writing was put on hold in order for me to be the mom that my children needed, and, of course, for some much-needed recovery time.

By the end of October, we wondered why our sons had not recovered from their flus, and it turned out that they had both gotten ear infections. Well, after a few rounds of antibiotics, that was taken care of, and everything was back to normal.

That was... for about a week. My morning sickness had kicked in full-force, and my sons once more got sick, though this time it was with colds. To make the month of November worse, my husband put out his back, thus turning me into not only the mom of my two sons, but also, to my husband who needed 24 hour care for nearly a week.

Shortly after my sons' colds were finished, and my husband's back had recovered, my husband was rear-ended by a truck (hauling a trailer behind it). Thankfully, the man driving the truck took full responsibility and said that he would cover any expenses that the accident would cause, so my husband's missed work (from the accident), therapy, car repairs, etc. are covered.

While we were dealing with this mess, my oldest son continued to cough (as he had been for nearly three years after every cold). It got so bad that he began to get sick from coughing. Finally fed up, I decided to get a second opinion on this (our first family doctor said there was nothing wrong with him). Needless to say, our new family doctor had a different opinion. My son has asthma.

At the same time, we noticed that my younger son got sick again, and rather badly at that. I had worried about his breathing, as well, and it turned out that he had Croup with Striders (for any mother that has been through this, I hardly need say that it was completely terrifying). The medication did not work, so we ended up needing to put him on inhalers (the same kind as my older son).

So, until the beginning of December, I was in a constant state of worry, laying awake and listening to my sons' breathing over the baby monitor. And again, my writing suffered (obviously).

Once the holidays hit, we had gotten into the groove with the boys' inhalers, and everyone was healthy. It was an amazing holiday, filled with family, love, and joy.

The month of January was, thankfully, as normal as could be. Apart from one thing...

On the 24th, I had my ultrasound and got some rather startling news. I'm pregnant with twins. Now, there is no history of twins in either my husbands or my family, so this came as a complete shock. It would explain, however, how I got so large so fast. I had thought that since it was my third pregnancy that everything was just getting prepared early. Apparently not!

Needless to say, the knowledge that we're having twins changes a few things. We've got to get another crib, another car seat, etc. Double everything. We're ecstatic, of course, it's just a very big surprise!

So, ultimately, that has been my life for the past four months. Busy, yes? I apologize for not being around more often. I'm hoping that I'll be able to blog more frequently, but we'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Personal Tips for the Blue

This morning I saw a post on my Facebook page that got me thinking...

According to some friends and family, many are experiencing situations that require them to practice patience, learn endurance, and generally cry in frustration.

I have several friends that have returned to--or are still attending--post secondary institutions, and have encountered difficulty with a professor or particular class. Another set of friends are going through relationship or family problems.

Troublesome experiences pop up in all of our lives at one time or another, and I find that whenever this happens to a friend or family member, I immediately feel as though I understand what that person is going through. Sometimes I wish that things were as simple as it was when I was a little girl, but I couldn't simply revert back to blissful ignorance.

It would be nice if I could say that I don't experience down times as well, but sadly, I experience them all the time. The trick is to figure out how to reverse the effects that they have on your emotions. I am not an advocate for 'sucking it up and moving on', as that just bottles your emotions. After a length of time, those bottled emotions are likely to 'blow'.

There are some essential tricks that I've developed over the years that tend to help me when I'm feeling blue.

1. Talk to someone. I talk to my Mom on a daily basis. She helps to keep me grounded, and has always been an excellent ear and a shoulder to cry on if I need it. She also knows exactly what to say to make me feel better. I also confide in my husband, though he has no clue how to respond to my emotional outbursts.

2. Take a hot bath or a shower. I find that the time alone, the warmth, and the steam always help me feel more myself when I'm down. Of course, this might just be because I've got children... I will get my husband to watch them as I escape to a warm shower, and I must say... it's heaven.

3. Do something that you enjoy. I love to read, paint, scrapbook, watch movies, and write. When my emotions are in a tangle, I find that writing a good, emotional, poem is a good release, or painting while listening to music is cleansing. Though even sitting down with a good book or a movie is quite nice.

4. If you need to, cry, scream, and punch a pillow. I have had a lot of crying moments, but the screaming and hitting a pillow moments are more seldom. Sometimes, though, a good growl of frustration and a few punches to a pillow can take the edge off your frustration.

5. If a situation makes you sad--stop it. You have a right to speak up. If something makes you upset, do something about it, tell someone, or ask for help.

6. Hug someone. My sons are always willing to offer a hug, and my dog is more than happy to oblige. Arrange to meet with a friend, or family member, for a talk and give them a hug when you see them. It feels good. It may encourage more tears, but that's ok.

--Keep in mind that if you've got children, it is important that they not witness a violent outburst or shouted profanities, but it is healthy for them to see the stages of grief and anger. By seeing their parents work through their difficult moods they will, in turn, learn how to work through them as well. My sons have seen me cry many times, and they're very compassionate. They have also seen me recover from my sadness. I take the time afterward to explain to them what it was that made me upset, and how I worked through it.

I hope that this helps those friends and family who are going through emotionally difficult times.

If you ever need an ear or a hug, I'm here.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Which is Better?

I've read several articles and blogs lately about which people generally prefer; paperback copies of books, or eBook copies.

 I have heard arguments for both sides.

There are many benefits to the eBook copies: you can carry hundreds of novels with you at a time, you can easily purchase novels and read them within seconds, without actually having to leave your house (and likely your PJs). There is also the fact that there are many free novels or $1 novels available to readers online, which, let's be honest, is awesome.

E-readers are light, portable, and extremely convenient. That, in addition to the fact that they do not take up space on your bookshelves at home, have seemed to create a highly desirable set of e-reading products.

That being said, there is also the other side of the proverbial argument. Many people prefer the look, feel, and scent of actual books. Some readers have the tendency to skip ahead or peek at the end of the book before they continue to read, others are avid collectors of bookmarks and require some place to put them. There is also the value that paperback book readers place on their novels, particularly those which have been signed by the author, or hold a particular age.

Then there are people like me. I am a 'both' type of person. I have an iPad with Kobo, Kindle, and iBook apps. I have downloaded my favourite novels, free novels, cheap novels, and many in between. Some novels that I truly enjoyed reading in paperback, I downloaded as well, simply because I could. Likewise, I have found a novel on e-format and bought the paperback because I loved it enough to want a copy in my collection.

I also have antique books in my collection, but those have been placed on a separate shelf of honour. My favourite authors' (of which I have a few) novel collections still grace my bookshelves, as I reread them often, some I've read up to 12 times. When I buy new novels by my favourite authors, I always buy them in paperback, so they may join the others on my bookshelves.

So there you have it. I am an in-betweener when it comes to choosing between eBooks and paperback novels.

What about you? Do you prefer eBooks or paperback books? What sort of e-reader do you have? What do you like about it?

Monday, 15 October 2012

Something British Monday - In the Drawing Room

Last Monday, I enjoyed writing about the scenery in England. Today I'm going to write about the decor inside the home.

I cannot get enough of regency design. The furniture was immaculately designed, hand crafted with care and attention. The people that had created these pieces of art clearly took great pride in what they did. It showed in the result.

Even the walls and ceilings were designed beautifully. In the homes of the rich, there was often wainscoting, wall paper, lead paint, and intricate trimmings, wall hangings, and paintings adoring the walls.

In some of these pictures, you will see that the ceilings had been either painted with an intricate design, or often stuck with gold flakes.

Brocade rugs were often the rugs of choice, and suited the homes perfectly.

In most homes, one would see several types of rooms; dining room, morning room, family room, music room, office, drawing room, parlour, and bedchambers. But in the larger homes, there could also be a breakfast room, library, ballroom, games room, card room, greenhouse, art studio, and some very rich people had rooms in which they could display statues, paintings (such as a gallery), and a collection (such as weaponry), and often more rooms set aside for quiet reflection. For a glossary of regency terms, click here.

Three of these pictures are of ballrooms. I can just imagine them filled with gentlemen and ladies dancing a quadrille or waltz with a band set to one side (or on a balcony). These could be the setting for a new love to bloom, or for a poor young lady to be spurned. There are endless possibilities for what the imagination could concoct within these walls. I simply cannot wait to explore all the options.

What do you think? Do you find Regency homes as fascinating as I do?