Though I’ve blogged before about chapter events on an as-needed basis, I’m excited to join the talented writers of A Slice of Orange on a more regular schedule! I’ll be posting on June 28th, September 28th, December 28th, and March 28th. Which roughly corresponds with
I write Regency romance, and I had a book already out before the term “Quarter Days” came across my radar. Of course, I knew about Midsummer, from Shakespeare.
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
And I vaguely knew that Michaelmas had something to do with St. Michael, and Lady Day probably related to the Virgin Mary. And everyone knows Christmas. But I didn’t realize these four holidays formally divide up the quarters of the year.
In Persuasion, Jane Austen marks the passage of time with a mention of Michaelmas. Years ago when I read Persuasion, that reference didn’t click with me at all. But look more closely, and there’s a lot a novelist can do to build character–a lot Jane did–with that allusion.
Here’s a list of the English Quarter Days:
Notice that these dates also roughly correspond to the summer and winter solstices and the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. Those astronomical events were important to the old religions and their spiritual beings like the fairies, as Shakespeare shows us in A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon’s sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green.
The cowslips tall her pensioners be:
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In those freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some dewdrops here
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.
Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I’ll be gone:
Our queen and all our elves come here anon.
But there’s more! Quarter Days typically marked the beginning and end of contractual periods.
I love this print by the irreverent Thomas Rowlandson, “Clearing the Premises without Consulting your Landlord”. Rents were paid on Quarter Days, and it appears that are still some leases set up that way in England.
The historical housewife might hire a new servant on a Quarter Day. She’d also pay her servants on the Quarter Day–imagine, waiting three months for your salary?
Midsummer Night has passed, but I hope it was magical for you, and I wish you a wonderful summer. I’ll be back for Michaelmas!
Two years ago I began a journey.
I traveled from the battlefields of Virginia to the ice-capped mountains of the mythical principality of Monterra. I met generals and princes, fell in love, time-traveled, and learned that even Cinderella needs a second chance.
It all began with Kindle Scout. (My Kindle Scout journey begins with this post HERE.)
Now I’m taking a new turn in the road with my Kindle Scout winner, LOVE ME FOREVER. A prequel to my novel will appear in an anthology SUMMER SOLSTICE with stories from other Kindle Scout winners. It’s FREE and will be available around June 18, 2017.
Why a prequel?
Love Me Forever opens in 1862 with my secondary heroine, Pauletta Sue Buckingham, escaping from the Yankees and then segues to the present day. There we find Liberty wearing a Confederate officer’s uniform. She’s about to get her head blown off in the midst of a reenactment of the Battle of Antietam.
The bloodiest day of the Civil War.
How on earth did Liberty find herself in such a predicament?
In the prequel, you’ll find out what happened that morning before Liberty joined in the reenactment battle.
And what she saw that changed her life.
Forever . . .
I’ll be entering another novel in the Kindle Scout campaign soon — and yes, it’s a time travel and it takes place during wartime, but that’s all I can say for now! I’m excited to enter it and I’ll post when my campaign is up.
Any questions about the KS program, please ask!
Not only is my KS winner part of Kindle Press, but I was invited to write for Kindle Worlds “The Royal of Monterra” by Sariah Wilson, another Kindle Scout winner. And what a ride that has been.
Here’s a preview.
That’s it for this month! See you soon.
Once upon a Story blog
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001IU2P8G
Mmmrrh … Book Boyfriends. For most of my life, I have been dreaming about boys and men who’ve reached right out from the pages and stolen my heart. It all started with Jim Frayne from the Trixie Belden Mysteries. Then came the unforgettable Nat Eaton from Elizabeth George Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond. And Rapheal Sabatini’s Dr. Peter Blood (Some call him Captain). Agatha Christie’s Anthony Cade from The Secret of Chimneys. Mary Stewart’s Rob Granger from Touch Not the Cat. Mmmrrh … the list goes on.
I’m still falling in love with book boyfriends. And even better, I’m creating heroes that readers tell me they adore. This May, Arlen Black, the hero of my romantic comedy Queen of the Universe, is one of 30 candidates up for Chick Lit Book Boyfriend 2017. Meet Arlen …
attraction, too. Seriously? After that “audition” kiss on the very first day … and then everything that happened on her patio? Man, it’s a good thing I walked out – well, stormed out – when I did.
But I came back. Just to do the show. Nothing else. Because now I know that Lola is a liar and a manipulator and … God, why can’t I stop thinking about her? And why does it keep happening? Every time I’m near her, she makes me feel … God! Even knowing what I know about her – even after everything I lost … Damn it!
She makes me feel alive again.
This was the cry heard on that cold, bitter night of April 14, 1912. Earlier that Sunday morning passengers of all classes had attended divine services and offered prayers for a safe crossing.
At 11:40 pm the Titanic struck an iceberg and she was sinking fast.
Everyone scrambled to get to the lifeboats.
“Women and children first,” called out the ship’s officers.
Why then, when lifeboat number 5 was lowered (capacity 40), were there only 2 women and 10 men aboard?
If the call was for women and children first, why were gentlemen permitted to get into the boats on the starboard side?
While no male passengers were allowed to enter a lifeboat on the port side of the ship when there were women and children about?
And who can forget the look of pain on faces of the Irish family–the da, mum and three children–who fought their way up from the bowels of the ship only to discover there were no more lifeboats?
No more lifeboats.
With only a rosary and prayer and their arms wrapped around each other, they faced the end bravely.
Still, the question, persists, why were there not enough lifeboats?
Some put the blame on J. Bruce Ismay, the Chairman and Managing Director of the White Star Line, who insisted the number of lifeboats be cut from 48 to 16 (in addition, 4 Englehardt or collapsible lifeboats were stored on the Boat deck) because they “cluttered” the deck.
For the record, Mr. Ismay escaped the sinking in collapsible lifeboat C.
The White Star Line argued that it had followed the British Board of Trade regulations that dictated for a liner the size of the Titanic (using a specific formula based in tonnage), sixteen lifeboats was more than the number of boats required.
This rule was hopelessly outdated when the Titanic was launched.
But no one seemed to notice.
Until it was too late.
It does me heart in, as my heroine Katie O’Reilly would say, to write this post, knowing so many more passengers could been saved if they’d had more boats. As it was, several lifeboats were lowered half full or less. (The first lifeboat left with only 28 people–it could hold 65). Again, there is some confusion as to why this happened. The lifeboats had been tested and could hold forty to sixty-five people, but the captain decided to lower them half full, then fill the boats with passengers from the lower gangways.
That never happened. The doors were never opened.
As the lifeboats rowed away and the horrified passengers in the lifeboats watched the horrifying scene. I wrote about it in Katie O’Reilly:
The Titanic sinking into the black, calm sea as smoothly as if a Divine hand parted the waters to ease its descent into a lasting grave…the wild explosions shattering the quiet night… then the harrowing distress calls…the unbearable moans in a chorus of shouting and cries that lasted more than an hour then became feeble until they died out…then silence. As cold and still as the sea surrounding them.
God rest their souls…
Check out my Titanic novel, Titanic Rhapsody
Two women hold the keys to his heart.
A beautiful Irish girl.
An enchanting countess.
Only one will survive that fateful night.
Thanks for stopping by!