Archive for August, 2012

I thought this was worth reblogging. Let me know if you agree.

Nancy's Notes From Florida

If you’re an avid reader, no doubt you’d like to encourage your favorite authors to keep writing. What can you, as a consumer, do for the writer who bares her soul to you in each story? Beyond buying her latest title, is there more?

You betcha! Here are some things you can do on your end that will be appreciated.

Write customer reviews of author’s books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, Shelfari, and Library Thing.

Add author’s book to your Wish List on Amazon.                           books2

Search for author’s website, author name, and book titles periodically to raise their rank in search engines.

Bookmark or add to Favorites the author’s online sites.

Like author’s Facebook page; Share and comment on her Facebook posts.

Retweet author’s Twitter updates; Mention author and her books on Twitter.

Like and Tag author’s Amazon author page as well as each book title and edition.

Share author’s…

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Wonderful post on gardening from Jane Austen’s World. I had to share.

Jane Austen's World

Great landed estates were symbols of the owner’s wealth and status in British society. Everything was put on grand display – from the exquisite architecture of the house itself to the furniture, jewels, silver plate, servants, books, carriages, horses, deer, game, forests, fields, and splendid grounds and gardens.

A fine estate certainly elevated a man in a lady’s estimation. Take this passage in Mansfield Park, written from Mary Crawford’s point of view:

Tom Bertram must have been thought pleasant, indeed, at any rate; he was the sort of young man to be generally liked, his agreeableness was of the kind to be oftener found agreeable than some endowments of a higher stamp, for he had easy manners, excellent spirits, a large acquaintance, and a great deal to say; and the reversion of Mansfield Park, and a baronetcy, did no harm to all this. Miss Crawford soon felt that he and his…

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Wonderful blog by Meggan Connors with her editor.

There's a Bee in my Bodice

MCC: Hi, I’d like to welcome Philippa Francis, editor extraordinaire, to my little haven. She’s got some tips for us—and some stories to tell—about her adventures in the editing world. Just so you know, she’s using a pseudonym to protect the guilty. So if your editor happens to be named Philippa, I’m sure she is perfectly lovely. However, it’s not this Philippa, and you’re not the author in question. That being said, for the love of all you consider holy, don’t do some of the things mentioned here!

First things first, Philippa, do you plan on eating my firstborn? I’ve heard editors are all soulless, dream-crushing spawns of Satan.

PF: No, I get most of my protein from tofu and raw fish. Unless your first-born is a salmon or a soybean, she’s safe.

MCC: I totally believe you, though the firstborn did once claim that she wanted to be a…

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Male POV

Who doesn’t want to understand what men are thinking? I’m not sure that’s really possible. I have it on good authority that there are many time they don’t think at all. For a female, that is almost incomprehensible. Yet as an author, even if I still don’t quite get it, I need to be able to portray male POV in my books.

I have two quotes from men that I think sum it up pretty well. The first is from

Dave Berry: Guys are simple… women are not simple and they always assume that men must be just as complicated as they are, only way more mysterious. The whole point is guys are not thinking much. They are just what they appear to be. Tragically.

The second appeared on Facebook yesterday:  Bob Dunbar. Woman’s personal Classified ad: “like long walks on the beach, sharing conversations in front of the fireplace; intimate dinners for two…” Man’s classified ad: “Horny dude. Wants to plow you like forty acres of soybeans.”

Last February I asked my readers to inquire of their significant others (only men in this case) why he loved her. The answers posted were hilarious, but almost all the same. Men just don’t like to think about it. So what is a writer supposed to do? I suggest cutting down on all the hearts and flowers stuff. In general, men just don’t think that way. They are much more likely, at least in initial attraction, to focus on the physical assets of a woman rather than their minds.

Please post an excerpt, if you have one, and /or tell me if you think I got in mine. Here is an excerpt from Lady Caro’s Accidental Marriage. It is in Lord Huntley, my hero’s POV.

Mid- October, 1816, Padua, Italy

Gervais, Earl of Huntley, heir to the Marquis of Huntingdon, followed Lady Caroline Martindale up the narrow stairs of an inn in Padua, Italy. He struggled to keep a smile off his face as he enjoyed the view of her lush derrière and reflected on how nicely it would fit in his hands. She glanced back over her shoulder and glared. Widening his eyes, he lifted a brow and gave her the most innocent look he possessed. She stopped, causing him to almost, but not quite, make contact with the object in question. So close. Who could blame him for wanting to reach the few short inches and caress? 

Lady Caro closed her eyes briefly, clenching her jaw. “My lord, perhaps I should follow you up the stairs.”

He started to bow then realized that if he did, he’d be so close his lips could brush against her bottom. She must have had the same thought as she hastily backed against the wall, thus removing the tempting sight.

He stifled a sigh and climbed past her. “Thank you, my lady.”

She inclined her head stiffly. “My lord.”





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Another wonderful post from Jane Austen’s World.

Jane Austen's World

Men of fashion began to wear short and more natural hair at the end of the 18th century, sporting cropped curls and long sideburns in a classical manner much like  Grecian warriors and Roman senators. Before this period, a balding Louis XIII had made powdered wigs popular at the French court and consequently throughout Europe. The often elaborate and expensive gray wigs lent an air of wisdom and authority to their wearers.

A scarcity of flour in 1795, combined with William Pitt’s attempt to raise revenue through a hair powder tax, brought the fashion for wigs and powder to a screeching halt. Men protested and a new more natural hair style became fashionable.

The Bedford Crop was a style of hair favored by the Duke of Bedford, who, in protest to the tax, abandoned his wigs in favor of a short cropped and unpowdered hairstyle. He challenged his friends to do…

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Normally, I re-blog only historical information. However, Jenn Bray has a link to a very important research project involving writing romance. I encourage you all to watch the film clips.


This week’s Link of the Week, I’m giving you a three-fer.

Kickstarter is a super cool “funding platform for creative project.” In other words, it is a site where creative minds, whether they are authors, designers, musicians, artists,   filmmakers, etc. build a platform, set an “all-or-nothing”  funding goal, and a project deadline. Friends and supporters back the project creator and in return reap rewards such as a copy of what is being made.


This leads me to the next link. On Kickstarter, there is a project called Love Between The Covers by Laurie Kahn. This is a feature-length documentary revealing “the remarkable global community of women who create, consume and love romance novels.”

Interested? There are only a few days left for this awesome project to hit its goal.


To see part of the project in the works, check out these videos featuring some well-known romance authors.

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Male Dialogue

It seems that for many women writers, male dialogue is hard to get a grip on. But what makes it different? Men as a group tend to speak in shorter sentences. They use more contractions, slang and swearwords. They also insult each other with an easy camaraderie that most women just don’t have. Probably because they don’t have a need to “be nice.” I’m not saying they’re not, just that it’s not in their mind when they open their mouths.

Here is a few bits of male dialogue from my book, The Seduction of Lady Phoebe. You tell me if I’ve gotten it, and post some of yours.

Marcus was hailed by Viscount Beaumont.

As Marcus pulled alongside to greet his friend, Robert was staring at Phoebe. He shot Marcus a sharp look and waited.

What the devil was Robert about? Marcus heaved a sigh and with poor grace, said, “Yes, all right. Lady Phoebe, please allow me to present Robert, Viscount Beaumont. Beaumont, Lady Phoebe Stanhope.” Marcus had no intention of allowing Robert to interrupt his is time with Phoebe. “Now that you’ve had your introduction, Robert, you may move along. She’s not your type. Don’t even think about asking her to walk with you because it ain’t going to happen.”

Phoebe’s eyes sparkled with mirth. Smiling graciously at Robert, she extended her hand.

Ignoring Marcus, Robert took her hand and bowed extravagantly over it. “Lady Phoebe, I am delighted to make your acquaintance,” he said seductively, before directing his attention back to Marcus. “What a paltry fellow you are, Finley. I can’t believe you stole the march on me. I saw her first.”

Glancing briefly at Phoebe, Marcus saw she was enjoying their exchange of insults and he didn’t want to disappoint.

He raised his quizzing glass to observe his friend, something Robert hated, and asked in a languid drawl. “Beaumont, do you really wish to expose yourself to Lady Phoebe?”

Robert retorted, “Finley, I have never been so insulted. I thought you my friend. First you introduce me to a beautiful lady, and then you wave me away as if I am of no account. I am not quite no-body you know.”

He turned his attention back to Phoebe. “Lady Phoebe, I ask you, is this fair of him? Shall you allow him to dictate to you? Why have I not met you before?”

Delightedly, Phoebe laughed and clapped her hands.

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Jane Austen's World

Whenever I view fashion plates and clothes from 200 years ago with Vandyke points, my gaze always lingers. I love these deeply indented trims and decorations, whether they are made of lace or cloth. These are sewn by hand! Imagine the work that went into them.

These trims were named after Sir Anthony Van Dyck, a 17th-century Flemish painter (and popular portraitist for British royalty and the upper crust), who was known for painting elaborate V-shaped lace collars and scalloped edges on both his male and female sitters. The pointed vandyke beard was named after him. You can see an example of both in the portrait of Charles I below.

Vandyke points are labor intensive. The edges you see in the sample of a child’s dress are sewn by hand, as are the tucks. One can only imagine how much time it took, but the results are striking.

All of…

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After taking a look at heroes and heroines falling in love, we’re back to your favorite excerpts. They can be taken from anything, your book, TV, radio, movies, other books, etc. So take a few minutes to post a comment.

Here is mine from my WIP Lady Caro’s Accidental Marriage. The excerpt takes place between Lady Horatia Langdon, a widow and Captain John Whitton, after they’ve known each other for about a half an hour.

She walked into the corridor and into a wall of male muscle. His arm shot out to stop her from bouncing off him. “Oh!”

Glancing up she saw Captain Whitton. “Good day, Captain.”

His hand seemed to burn through the thin cashmere of her gown and three petticoats. “I was just going…”

Horatia’s voice faded. He stared down at her. His eyes twinkled with humor. Her gaze dropped to his lips which tilted once more into his crooked smile, the dimple made an appearance, and her lips tingled in response.

His arm tightened and her breasts brushed against his coat. A shiver shot straight to the apex of her thighs, and she stopped breathing. Horatia closed her eyes, resisting the urge to rub against him like some wanton cat.

She inhaled, and opened her mouth to tell him they were standing much too close together, and he really shouldn’t have her arm around her, when his lips captured hers and she opened her mouth to his. His tongue ran across her teeth. She put her hands on his face, and caressed his tongue with hers. He tasted like tea and the ocean. He lifted her as he tilted his head, and she pressed into him, moaning. After several moments, her brain caught up with her long starved senses.\

What was she doing kissing him like this? She tried to jerk away. “Captain Whitton.”

The indignation she’d tried to infuse into the words didn’t come out quite as she’d planned. Her voice was much too soft and breathy, as if she meant to encourage him rather than the opposite.

She put her hand on his chest and pushed. He loosened his hold, but didn’t move away. She could not allow this to happen, not now. She had too many duties to focus on. Horatia tried again. “Captain Whitton, I may be a widow, but I am a chaste widow. I do not engage in love making outside of the martial bonds.”

“Very well.”

As his head bent to kiss her again, she hauled back one arm and slapped him.

Whitton’s head jerked up with a frown. “What the duce was that for?”

“I told you…”

“Yes, you told me you had to be married to make love with me, and I agreed.”

Something was terribly wrong with this conversation. She narrowed her eyes. “Agreed to what?”

“Marry you, of course.”


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Two weeks ago, before RWA #12, I asked you about your hero. Now it’s time for the ladies. So tell me, when your heroine first realized she was in love. Here is an excerpt from LORD BEAUMONT’S BRIDE.

Serena lay in bed and touched her lips.

It seemed if they’d crossed some sort of invisible barrier tonight that had held them back before. His heat and his need were tangible. As for her, flames of desire flickered just below her surface, ready to rise again at the thought of him. Yet, somehow she knew, despite their passionate kisses, he still held her at a distance. Something held him back from declaring his love for her.

It was too late to guard her heart. She lost it when he’d pleaded with her to rescue him from the young ladies at the soirée. She wanted her marriage to be a sharing of power and love—most definitely love—and he remained silent. There could be few worse things than to be hopelessly in love with your husband and have him not feel the same.

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