Tag: #Historical

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Release Day for Christmas Once Again, Lovely Boldwood Roses, and the very cute Miss Witch.

October 11, 2019 by in category Writing tagged as , , , , ,

I’m exhausted. I stayed up till 10 a.m. PDT this morning promoting Christmas Once Again on my pub date. It was a blast. My publisher, my editor were right there with me, along with bloggers and fans.

We tweeted, I facebood’d, created Instagram stories. It was wild.

I have to admit, I was nervous. Will readers embrace a time when life was so different? I’ve poured my heart into this story about a time when there were no cell phones, so social media. Kate’s family (the heroine in my story), has a phone, but back then they had party lines. Everybody on the block shared the same phone line.

Neighbors Facebook’d over the fence while hanging out laundry to dry on the clothesline.

Newspapers were the 24-hour TV channels, coming out with Special Editions when important war news broke.

Soldiers and their girls wrote letters to each other. On paper. Words poured out by a lonely serviceman on an atoll in the Pacific or the cold, damp woods of the Ardennes in France. Girls sealed their letters with a kiss with Victory Red lipstick.

That is what I miss most about that time. Letters. Ink may fade, but the words are more powerful today than ever. There’s something cold and distant about an email. A digital fingerprint with printed words that look the same no matter who types them.

But a letter…now that has the personal signature.

The bold writing…looping letters…your sweetheart’s familiar scrawl that tugs your heart when he signs, ‘All my love.’

The smudge of dirty fingerprints that held a rifle and trudged over the beaches of Normandy to protect our country.

Coffee stains spilled from a tin cup when an enemy sniper surprised a young corporal.

Dried blood smeared on the envelope rushed into the mail pouch at the Red Cross camp by a wounded Marine.

And to the soldier, the most important signature of all: the scent of his sweetheart’s perfume. Every tired bone in his body, every aching muscle melt away. He can’t erase the horrors of war, but the lovely scent that is so distinctly hers takes him back home, if only for a few seconds. But it’s enough for him to keep fighting.

And promise he’ll come home to her.

It’s that world I write about in Christmas Once Again.

A journey you won’t forget.

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Austen and Michaelmas

September 28, 2019 by in category Writing tagged as , , , ,

Quarter Days

I’m back with another Quarter Days’ post about Michaelmas

True Janeites (fans of Jane Austen) might be interested in a fun website I stumbled across while researching a story I have in the works.

The “Chronology of Pride and Prejudice, according to MacKinnon and Chapman” takes us through the detailed timeline of P&P’s events. (Oh, to be such a renowned author that fans prepare a chronology for your novel.) I don’t know about my fellow A Slice of Orange authors, but I always have to check and double-check that I have the story days correct.

Jane Austen

Mr. Bingley moves in

Pride and Prejudice begins when Mr. Bingley takes the lease to Netherfield Manor and moves in.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, Quarter Days might be occasions for feasting and parties, but they also had a commercial significance. Contracts were entered into or terminated, property was leased, and rents and wages were paid. Thus, as the story begins, a wealthy bachelor in need of a wife kicks off the story by becoming a neighbor of Mr. Bennet, a man with five unmarried daughters.

A later period than the Regency (note the beard).

And Mr. Bingley has been kind enough to bring along an even richer bachelor friend! Well of course; late summer/early autumn was also the start of hunting season, when a man might welcome parties of friends to tramp through his fields and shoot birds. Mr. Bingley would want to show off his new domain to his influential friend, Mr. Darcy.

The Glorious Twelfth

Hunting season started on the Glorious Twelfth of August, after the social and parliamentary season ended. Presumably farmers had finished the harvest, so the crops were safe from hordes of hunters.


Bird season began a bit later, in September running through October. Hunting in Britain was very much dominated by the elites, even during periods of economic downturn and food scarcity. Ownership of weapons and even dogs was restricted, and penalties for poaching might include transportation. (See my post about this topic.)

Autumn was prime house party season also because families had shipped off their young males to boarding school in time for the Michaelmas term. No young boys would be running about distracting the shooters or worse, accidentally shooting themselves in the foot. They’d be back home though for the next Quarter Day, Christmas, which is when I’ll return to A Slice of Orange. See you then!

For more about Michaelmas, take a look at my earlier posts: Michaelmas Goose, and A Michaelmas Menu.

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RWA 2012 RITA Awards VIDEOS including OCC’s own Tessa Dare along with Joanna Bourne and Ann Aguirre by Jina Bacarr

August 11, 2012 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Even Sleeping Beauty wouldn’t have gotten a wink of sleep at the RWA 2012 Conference in Anaheim near Disneyland. I didn’t. I was as busy as the Mad Hatter running from workshop to workshop and shooting video. Lots of video. 12 GB worth. That’s 12 billion bytes as in billion.

This week I’m going to spotlight three of my favorite RITA award winners, beginning with OCC’s own TESSA DARE!!  Super congrats, Tessa, well deserved.

Tessa Dare, winner of the RITA for “A Night to Surrender” — her thank you to her hubby is beautiful.

Joanna Bourne’s wonderful tribute to teachers everywhere in her RITA speech for “The Black Hawk”

And here is the video everyone is talking about…

Ann Aguirre’s RITA speech for YA “Enclave” including her now infamous “interpretive dance.”

Now if you’ll excuse me, like Snow White’s dwarf, Sleepy, I’m…going to…take a nap…zzzzzzzzzzz


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