Archive for August, 2013

Interesting post on ketchup.

The Regency Redingote

Ketchup, katchup, catchup or catsup. Regardless of how you spell or pronounce it, in the twenty-first century this spiced tomato sauce is so ubiquitous in homes and restaurants of all kinds that it is almost completely taken for granted. But more than three centuries ago, it was an exotic import into England from the Far East, and became all the rage among those who could afford this new luxury sauce. Of course, at that time, it was most definitely not made from tomatoes, which were believed to be extremely poisonous. Yet, within a century, just a few short years before the Regency began, a recipe was published which is quite similar to the standard formula for modern-day ketchup.

From Chinese fish entrails to a nightshade cousin, how ketchup came to Regency England …

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Have you hired an editor?

Writers In The Storm Blog

Just a quick reminder: Laura is teaching a class at Margie Lawson’s Writers Academy for the month of September – Submissions that Sell!  If you need help on your submission, check it out!

Now, here’s Lori!

By Lori Nelson Spielman

I typed The End and did a little happy dance in my office. I’d finished my manuscript and could hardly wait to query Agent X. How quickly would he sell it, I wondered? I’d been writing the entire story with him in mind. He had, after all, read my previous manuscript and liked it. He called me a talent. He invited me to submit future projects. So naturally, he’d scoop up my new project, right? Wrong.

Agent X’s rejection—an impersonal form letter from his assistant just one day after the query was sent—stopped me cold. The easy path to publication I’d hoped for was starting out exactly like my previous…

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Please help me welcome bestselling Regency Author Shana Galen. While I’m spotlighting her latest book, True Spies, Shana is going to answer your questions. She’ll also be giving away a copy of her book to one lucky commenter says they want the book in their comment.

Now to the cover. I think this is really lovely. What do you think?


Now accolades and the blurb:

Praise for Shana Galen:
Winslow, Baron Keating is honor-bound to finish one last mission as an elite spy for the Barbican group even though he just wants to go home and be with his family. But after years of secrecy and absence, his daughters hardly know him and his wife has given up on him.
Elinor, Lady Keating has had enough of domestic boredom. She contemplates an affair with a rakish spy, only to discover a world of intrigue and treachery that she never knew existed. Even more shocking, her neglectful
husband is suddenly very attentive – quite the jealous type – and apparently there is much more to him than she ever knew . . .
He was standing across the room, shirtless, hair tousled, and he turned as she opened the door. The first thing she noted was the fatigue in his eyes. He’d always had the most beautiful, clear green eyes. He’d once given her a pair of emerald ear bobs, and she thought if he had been a woman, they would suit him better, for they matched his eyes perfectly.
    The second thing she noticed was it had been quite some time since she had seen him without clothing. His chest was bronzed and hard. He had broad shoulders, powerful arms, and a flat stomach. When he’d turned to look at her, the muscles in his abdomen had bunched and rippled in a way that left her all but breathless. And she still hadn’t caught her breath, because she noted he had lost a little weight. His trousers were loose at the waist and hanging at his hips, where a line of dark hair trailed temptingly downward.
      She had the mad notion to put her tongue on that trail and follow it down with long, wet strokes. She shook her head. Where had that idea come from? Elinor forced her gaze back to her husband’s face. He had a day’s worth of stubble and what appeared to be the beginning of a bruise on one cheek, and for some reason, it made him look rather rough and dangerous. That and the length of his wavy hair. How long had it been since he’d had it trimmed? She had never seen it this long. For a moment, she wished he were some dangerous stranger who would cross the room, take her in his arms, and kiss her until she forgot to breathe.
 Now a little about Shana:

Color Shana Galen H-R-2118Shana Galen is the bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Her books are published all over the world and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers: visit her website or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

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The last time Collette visited, she was a debut author. Now her second book, The Viscount’s Vow, releases on September 4th, so we decided to do a spotlight and do a giveaway of her new book.

Here is the cover. I think it’s lovely, how do you like it?TheViscountsVow2_850

Collette has also provided the blurb:

The Viscount’s Vow –  Blurb

 Amidst murder and betrayal, destiny and hearts collide when scandal forces a viscount and a  half-gypsy noblewoman to marry in this Regency romance, sprinkled with suspense, humor, and inspiration.

Half Romani, half English noblewoman, Evangeline Caruthers is the last woman in England Ian Hamilton, the Viscount Warrick, could ever love—an immoral wanton responsible for his brother’s and father’s deaths. She thinks he’s a foul-tempered blackguard, who after setting out to cause her downfall, finds himself forced to marry her—snared in the trap of his own making.

 When Vangie learns the marriage ceremony itself may have been a ruse, she flees to her gypsy relatives, declaring herself divorced from Ian under Romani law. He pursues her to the gypsy encampment, and when the handsome gypsy king offers to take Ian’s place in Vangie’s bed, jealousy stirs hot and dangerous.

 At last, under a balmy starlit sky, Ian and Vangie breech the chasm separating them. Peril lurks though. Ian’s the last in his line, and his stepmother intends to dispose of the newlyweds so her daughter can inherit his estate. Only by trusting each other can they overcome scandal and murderous betrayal.

And if you’re still not convinced this is a wonderful book. Here is an excerpt.

The Viscount’s Vow – Wedding Reception Scene

 “You didn’t eat much, wife.”

They were alone on the dance floor. Ian deftly twirled Vangie around his aunt’s smallish ballroom, mindful of the interested gazes watching them.

Stealing a glance at the smiling and nodding onlookers, he suppressed a frown. He felt like a curiosity on display at Bullock’s Museum. He wished others would take to the floor, so he could dispense with the devoted bridegroom facade.

The twelve courses at dinner had been torturous. His wife hadn’t taken more than a dozen bites nor said as many words. He’d tried to eat the succulent foods Aunt Edith had gone to such efforts to have prepared, but his anger made everything dry as chalk and every bit as tasteless.

“I’d not much appetite, my lord.”

He chuckled. “Don’t you think you might address me by my given name, wife?”

“Why?” she asked pertly. “I’ve known you but four days, certainly not long enough to be so familiar with you.”

He lowered his head, breathing in her ear, very aware every eye in the room was trained on them. He’d give them something to gossip about. “Because I want you to, wife, and you did promise to obey.”

He nipped her ear.

She jumped and a tiny yelp of surprise escaped before she clamped her lips together. Her eyes were shooting sparks again; only this time they were directed at him.

“What’s my name, wife?”

“Please, don’t call me that. I too have a name, as you well know.”

Drawing her closer, her breasts pressing against the breadth of his chest and cresting the edge of her bodice, he murmured, “Indeed, but Evangeline sounds . . . angelic, and we both know you’re no such thing.”

“Pardon?” She stiffened, trying to shove away from him. “I don’t under—”

His head descended again. “Say it, or I’ll trace your ear with my tongue.”

He grinned as her breath hissed from between clenched teeth. She stumbled, her fingers digging into his shoulder and hand. A very becoming flush swept across her face.

“Will you cease?” Her worried gaze careened around the room. “We’re being watched.”

Voice husky, he said, “Say my name, sweeting.”

Giving her a gentle squeeze, he started to dip his head, caressing her elegant neck with his hot breath.

“Ian, your name is Ian,” she gasped breathlessly, twisting her head away.


A life-long Oregonian, Collette Cameron was born and raised in a small town along the northern Oregon coast. Today she makes her home in a rural community, 30 minutes west of Portland. Her Victorian farmhouse sits on a one-acre certified wildlife habit, interspersed with a plethora of gardens: English, rose, butterfly, rock, water, and of course, vegetable.

A voracious reader of romance since her teens, she even named her daughter after a heroine in her favorite romance novel. An enthusiast of times gone by, and anything related to romance, she writes Historical Romance, with a dash of inspiration, a pinch of humor, and a liberal portion of suspense.

Having dabbled in interior decorating in her youth, Collette returned to school, graduating summa cum laude from Oregon State University, and went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Teaching. She is member of Romance Writers of America, Rose City Romance Writers, The Beau Monde, and Love Faith and Hope, Inc., and a whole slew of other author/writer groups.

Some of Collette’s favorite things include unique blends of coffees and teas, trivia, Cadbury Milk Chocolate, inspirational quotes, and scented candles. Her Christian faith, husband, three adult children, and five miniature dachshunds round out her life quite nicely! When she’s not teaching or writing, she enjoys amateur photography, bird watching, gardening, interior decorating, rock-hunting, boating or fishing on the Columbia River, and reading of course.

To connect with Collette, please visit www.collettecameron.com or http://blueroseromance.com/

She can also be found on Facebook , Pinterest, Google+LinkedInTwitter, and Goodreads as well as Highlander’s Hope Facebook Page

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Loved this post on being in the moment with your characters. I hope you like it too.

Writers In The Storm Blog

We are delighted to welcome back The Naked Editor, Tiffany Lawson Inman from hiatus! Whoop!

By Tiffany Lawson Inman

What do you do when your character needs to wipe his/her nose?  Or wave goodbye? Or hold back a tear? Or close a door? Or smile?

            Write the action. Simple. Right?

Is your character always in character? Is your character always in the moment? Yup, these are phrases usually used in the theatre. Most commonly used by the director, yelling out to an actor, “You aren’t in character.” Or, “That’s out of character.”  Or, “You’re not in the moment.”

What do those phrases really mean?

  • When an actor isn’t in character, it usually means he/she is speaking dialogue and moving around the stage as the actor and not the character.

Example: Jane Smith the actor’s mannerisms instead of Blanche Dubois’.

  • When they are truly out of character it…

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It’s your turn to shine. Post any excerpt of up to 500 words. Please keep it PG 13. You can also post buy links if you have them.

Here is mine from The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, which is on pre-order and releases on September 19th.

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

Her chest tightened with excitement, and she couldn’t believe he was here.

“Have you much experience in this sphere?” Her knight moved a bit closer.

“I believe I stay well informed as to the issues. When I visit my aunt and uncle I attend all the political dinners and other entertainments.” When she glided nearer to him, a hurry of spirits coursed through her.

He narrowed his eyes curiously. “What made you seek out the library?”

“I was avoiding someone.” Phoebe found herself even closer to him and wanting to be in his arms again. His deep, soft voice was like a warm wave, drawing her in. Did male sirens exist?

“I see.” He closed the distance a little more.

She searched his face. Barely a foot separated them. If only he would reach out to her. “You were in Littleton for the fight last week.”

“Yes, I attended with a friend,” he replied, his tone, intimate.

Phoebe tried to steady her thudding heart. “I remember your voice. You rescued me from the young man pounding on my chamber door and spent the night guarding me.”

She drew a ragged breath. Why was it so hard to breathe? “You didn’t want to be thanked. You have now saved me twice from importuning young men.”

His gaze seemed to focus even more intently on her. “Yes, I took him from your door. I thought, at the time, I didn’t need to be thanked.” His lips curled into a provocative smile. “I may have been mistaken. You may thank me, if you wish.”

Phoebe had no idea what she was doing. She’d never before been affected like this. His eyes and his body willed her closer. She ignored the small voice urging caution. Her pulse thrilled and there was no more space between them.

Tilting her head up, she put one hand on his face, resting her fingers lightly on his cheek. “Yes, I would like to thank you.”

He bent his head and lightly, very lightly, touched his lips to hers. They were warm and firm and so enticing.

Phoebe lips tingled just as her hand had when he’d touched it, but that was through gloves. This was a great deal better. “I have never been kissed before. I don’t know what to do.”

A flame lit in her knight’s eyes. “I’ll teach you.”

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK  ~  Amazon France ~  Amazon Germany   ~ Barns & Nobel  ~ Kensington


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CongratulationsGood morning to you all. Let’s start with the winner of Gina Danna’s book, Her Eternal Rogue, Linda Thum. Congratulations Linda!!

The giveaway for The Temptation Serena on Leatherbound Reviews is still ongoing.

The Temptation of Lady Serena

The Temptation of Lady Serena

Today I’m on Romance Lives Forever. Please stop by and visit.

I’m working with the delightful Leanore Elliott on a series trailer for the first three books of The Marriage Game. I’d love to hear what you think.

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe received a wonderful review.

She is also on Goodreads for a giveaway.

To those who remember the bird from last Sunday. I have discovered it’s a blue egret.

This is a busy week. Tomorrow is Monday Excerpts, where I invite authors, both published and pre-published to post their excerpts.

On Thursday I have a spotlight on Collette Cameron who is giving away a copy of her latest book, The Viscount’s Vow, and on Friday I have a spotlight and Q & A with Shana Galen, who is giving away a copy of her latest book, True Spies.

Pursuing Miss Eugénie Villaret has been sent to my editor and agent. I’ve begun book #6 whose working title is Lady Mary, which is turning out to be interesting in a convoluted way.

Here is a short excerpt, unedited excerpt.

Even though they were experiencing one of their few warm days this summer, a log crackled in the fireplace of the dower house’s elegant first floor morning room. Lady Mary Tolliver stared at her grandmother, the Dowager Countess of Barham, wondering at Grandmamma’s incipient insanity.

 Mary opened her mouth, then closed it again. Several moments passed in silence as she struggled make sense of what she thought she’d heard. Finally she said, “Surely, I have not understood you properly. You want me to do what?”

“Well I think it’s a wonderful idea.”

Mary shifted her gaze to her widowed aunt, Lady Eunice Phipson. Perhaps madness had always run in the family, and it was kept a secret so as not to ruin the family socially. After all, who would deliberately marry into a family where insanity was rampant?

“He has a face like a fish.” Aunt Eunice opened her eyes wide and moved her lips in a fair imitation of fish’s.

“Hake.” Grandmamma nodded decisively. “It’s the way his eyes protrude.”

Mary closed her eyes, repressing a shudder. “I agree, but there must be less drastic measures I can take.”

Grandmama leaned forward and pounded her cane on the floor. “He may look like a fool, my girl, but he’s canny, and, if what Cook told me is true, which I have no doubt it is, he almost caught you yesterday.”

“Yes, well.” There was the need to hide in the split of the old oak tree, before sprinting across the lawn to the kitchen garden, and into the dower house. “I got away from him.”

“This time.” Grandmama’s lips thinned.

Have a fantastic week.


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A great post from WITS on emotion.

Writers In The Storm Blog

by Fae Rowen

IMG_0125My living room deck is a lizard freeway. It serves as a form of kitty TV for my Siamese warrior cat. One afternoon this summer I caught movement out of the corner of my eye.

Since I’ve named the lizards that entertain me every afternoon, I walked to the open slider to say hello. Taking a momentary break in the sun wasn’t a lizard, but a field mouse. I wished Shogun wasn’t napping in the garage.

No! My attic has finally been completely rodent free for nine months and there was no way this little furry villain was getting into my house. The mouse sprinted toward the air conditioning vent. I thought about finding my Siamese hunter and turning him loose, but since he’s an indoor cat. I knew I wouldn’t let him engage the mouse in battle.

I slid the screen open, ready to  follow the…

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Please help me welcome debut author Gina Danna. Gina released her first book, Her Eternal Rogue, not long ago and is giving away a copy to one lucky commenter. All you have to do is say you want the book in your comment.

Ella: Tell us a little about yourself, Gina.

Gina: I have my degrees in History and teach US History at the community college here in St. Louis. I’ve always been attracted to the past – love going to historic sites, worked in history museums and am a Civil War reenactor. I’m also a mother & owner of a large menagerie of dogs, cats and my horse.

Ella: How long have you been writing, and what made you want to start?

Gina: I’ve written forever – research papers for my degrees and research for museum exhibits and programs. About 3 years ago, I finally sat down and started writing my first romance novel – I mean I read a ton of them for years and always had these voices inside saying “do it, do it, write!” so I gave in.

Ella: What genre’s do you write in?

Gina: Historical. Time period is somewhat open – Ancient Rome, Regency, Victorian to name a few. Her Eternal Rogue has a twist – vampires – historically correct vampires.

Ella: What drew you to historicals?

Gina: Everything! Love history!!

Ella: I have to tell you, I sent this book to my niece and she loved it. Is Her Eternal Rogue part of a series or a stand alone?

Gina: Well, originally it was just a stand alone but I’ve had critique partners who want a sequel, and I’ve heard some rumbling, voices trying to be heard. <shaking head>

Ella: What’s next?

Gina: Ah, finish Rome! Then we will see… J

Without further to do I give you the blurb and an excerpt of Her Eternal Rogue.


Her Eternal Rogue

Her Eternal Rogue

Alexander froze in the doorframe. The scene he’d walked in on practically knocked him off his feet. The two of them were sprawled on the floor between the bed and table, laughing and entirely unaware that the pirate captain stood before them, rage building and hands clenched at his sides. This wasn’t what he’d expected. They were half undressed, and looked like they were having a grand time in a room reeking of rum.

Jason, his boatswain, the man he counted on the most for their missions and command of his ship, had taken leave of what few senses he had if he thought he could tumble with the captain’s woman, and in his quarters! But there it was. The evidence could not be denied. The rum bottle and tumblers sat on the table. Lavinia lolled on the ground in that dress that allowed any man easy access to her breasts and legs. Jason lay atop her, his shirt undone.

They stopped laughing at the sound of the door hitting the wall. Lavinia looked at him and lost control again, laughter spilling out of her mouth.

God, she’s beautiful! Her smile lights up her face.

Jason just looked at his commander and tried to stand.


“Yessur!” the young man piped.

“Get out!”

As the pirate flew out of the cabin as Alexander grabbed Lavinia’s arm and yanked her off the floorboards.

“Ouch.” She winced.

He stood there, a towering inferno, wanting to kill her and ravish her all at the same time. He smelled the rum on her breath and snarled. Walsingham went too far supplying her with rum. Why wasn’t what he wanted to know, because with her beauty, it wasn’t hard to guess.

“Let go of me!”

“So, ye’re waitin’ fer yer husband? I was willin’ t’ keep yer virtue safe, but no, ye go aft me men?” he roared.

Lavinia looked at him, confusion plain on her face. She shook her head until his accusation registered.

“How dare you? You act as if I’m a, a whore!” She pulled one arm free and swung at his face.

The slap of her palm against his cheek sounded loud, but he barely felt its sting. Anger made her look so alive. The distraught woman he’d seen on deck this afternoon was gone. Her eyes sparkled with fury, and she breathed heavily, making the swell of her breasts rise enticingly, almost freeing them from the material.

Alexander struggled to keep his desire at bay. She was so close, so full of life and so beautiful.

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The Temptation of Lady Serena

The Temptation of Lady Serena

I’m over at  Jakki Leatherby’s  Leatherbound Reviews today where I’ll be giving away a copy of The Temptation of Lady Serena. Please stop by and visit.

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