Merging My Passions

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Mrs. N sharing her inspiring journey from shy booknerd to entrepreneur and her latest release, N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration.

Here’s Mrs. N!

My first act is painted with brushstrokes of shyness and trying to fit in. My mother tells me I was an introvert, even when I was in the womb. I didn’t want to leave, and the doctors had to “coax” me out. Being an only child, I wasn’t forced to socialize and get along with siblings which only heightened my shyness when around other kids. I tried to fit in at school but was soon labeled the shy kid with her nose always in a book. I wanted to change, to be more like my best friends but hadn’t a clue on how to do it. By the time I graduated high school, I was ready to reinvent myself.

“When I left for college, I told myself that this was a chance for reinvention. No one on the other side of the country knew that I was an introvert, so maybe if I tried not acting like an introvert, I wouldn’t be one.” — Andrea Seigel

This quote sums up my feelings when I left for college. No one knew who I was at university and I stripped away my shy persona and became the bubbly person I knew was buried deep inside. People responded to my outgoing nature and I loved the new me.

Every once in awhile, though, the shy booknerd ached to come out and play. I stuffed her down for several years, pretending she didn’t exist. I was the new me and didn’t have room for her. As time went by, though, I got tired of the whole party-girl image and wished the emptiness in my chest would disappear.

“Why couldn’t I be both?” whispered booknerd girl.

My second act opens with a successful career in the book industry and newly engaged. I left my family, career and friends emigrating to Canada to get married. I had never been happier and had fully embraced booknerd girl into my persona. I was shy one minute and outgoing the next while inhaling books as fast as I could read them. I married a chef who cooked incredible food and I became his official taster. Sure, it was an adjustment being newlyweds and living in a new country, not to mention not having to work, but I did it. I focused on what I wanted to do with my life without the financial worries, thanks to MR N (my husband). Dreams I thought long dead bubbled to the surface and I wondered… could I do it?

With the support of my loving husband, I wrote and published my first book. My dreams suddenly appeared doable, not fantasies. I became a published author and N. N. Light was born. As I navigated the other side of the book industry, I realized my years of working for a big box bookstore were for naught. I could merge my two passions: writing and promoting books into one business. With the help of MR N (now retired chef and working his passion: numismatics), we started a home business: N. N. Light Author Promotions.

In all my years, I never thought I’d be an entrepreneur. I didn’t have the business skills to be successful, or so I thought. I’m what many call a creative artist. Instead of trying (and failing) to be business savvy, I partnered with MR N. He worked the business side of things and I managed the writing/marketing side. We started small and have grown to a very successful family-run PR firm, catering to authors.

I can’t wait to see what the next act brings!

My advice for anyone looking for a change is to go for it. Don’t be afraid to try something new and/or change directions. Reinvention is nothing more than flying higher and higher into the stratosphere and making your dreams come true. You’re never too old or too young to live the life you’ve always dreamt of. You must take that first step, though. Opportunity doesn’t knock on closed doors.

Some Inspiring Quotes

Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. – Albert Einstein

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. – Edith Wharton

Want to live a fulfilled life? Make a gratitude list. – N. N. Light

Need more motivation? Check out our latest release…

Blurb

“Spread the Light and inspire others to do the same.” — N. N. Light

In 2013, we wrote a mission statement and started the Princess of the Light (POTL) blog. We wanted to test a theory. Could one person (or in our case, one couple) use uplifting words to create change?

The answer is a resounding yes! People from all over the world responded to our short inspirational thoughts of the day, and our following grew. What started out as a few people promoting kindness and goodwill turned into a movement. In every city, there are Light-Bearers making a difference and we want you to join us.

Everyone needs inspiration. It doesn’t matter what spiritual belief you hold dear, you have the Light inside you. Kindness, compassion, empathy, encouragement are all attributes of the Light. In this book, you’ll find a ninety second inspirational thought for each day of the year. You’ll be inspiring people to spread the Light daily with our collection of inspirational thoughts. From giving of yourself to simply smiling, these are easy concepts for anyone to apply!

Buy Links

Available for FREE on Kindle Unlimited until February!

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Bio

N.N. Light is the award-winning husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N.

Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

Sign up for their author newsletter to get exclusive content, sales and be entered to win a $5 Amazon US Gift Card every month: https://t.co/6B7trIIph6

They’re blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

Social Media Links

Website | Blog | Newsletter | Goodreads | Twitter | Bookbub | Pinterest | Google+ | Instagram | LinkedIn | Amazon Author Page | Independent Author Network

Joanne here!

Thanks for sharing your inspiring journey. I enjoyed reading and highly recommend N.N Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration.


For over a year, I have followed Mrs. N’s delightful blog. Each day, I look forward to reading her daily dose of inspiration and/or motivation. I was thrilled when I learned she had compiled all that positive energy into this collection of quotations, anecdotes, and reflections. If you’re looking for a devotional to uplift your spirits or simply want to jump-start your day with practical, down-to-earth advice, pick up this collection. And consider putting it on your list of Gifts-to-Buy for family and friends.


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Spotlight on Amey Zeigler

I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Amey Zeigler. Today, Amey shares her writing journey and her latest release, Baker’s Dozen.

Here’s Amey!

I first wanted to be a writer when I was nine years old. I stapled some construction paper around some printer paper and wrote the title, Young Author, on the front complete with a quill pen and ink. But I didn’t know what I was going to write on the inside, but it was going to be epic! I had read every Nancy Drew Casefiles they had in the local library and spent my own nine-year-old fortune on another twenty—which I still own. At that point, I decided to write mysteries. About this same time I watched the movie, Charade, for the first time, starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. The twists and turns really captured my imagination. I wanted to write something like that. But how?

The first creative writing course I took was in college I got a C. That average grade made me work hard the next semester and with the help of my writing professor, I wrote a short story which was published. I learned that working hard can bring results.

After college I married and had a few kids. During this time my husband was in grad school. The paychecks were small and the bills were large. My dreams of becoming a writer seemed distant, even impossible while attending to the daily needs of small children and cleaning house. However, I kept starting stories, never finishing them, thinking of ideas but I was always too busy, too tired to write them down. Then one night my husband said, “Sit down and write a scene.” I did. He read it over and said, “This is good. Keep writing.” And so I did. I kept writing, sitting in an uncomfortable cane-woven thrift store chair at a desktop computer we nicknamed Frank after Frankenstein because my husband built him out of a hodge-podge of parts. After about 90,000 words my husband said, “It’s time to get you a real computer.” With my new laptop, and in the comfort of writing in my bed, I finally finished my first novel about a half-Pixie girl. I was so pleased to finally have finished a novel! But I wanted more. I wanted publication. And I needed an identity. Who was I as a writer?

When I had been seriously writing for about two years, my husband asked me what kind of writer I wanted to be. I didn’t know. Should I be a literary writer posing deep thoughts in obscure prose or weave tales of adventure and escapism in popular fiction? I needed to find out. I needed to find my raison d’être. One dark January day, while I was in the throes of post-partem depression after the birth of my third child, I picked up a book at the library. It was the third book in a YA series. Though I had read the first book and not the second in the series, I started reading it. It had action. It had adventure. A dash of comedy and most importantly romance. Somehow, that combination burst through the fog of depression and hit the dopamine center in my brain. It healed me. Or at least part of me. And I knew, I knew then and there, that I wanted to write books that surprised, delighted and entertained readers. I thought back to my earlier love of mysteries, my fascination with Charade. I knew my stories must have a combination of action, adventure, and romance. And I want to make people laugh.

Blurb

Twenty-three year-old investigative journalist, Andy Miller is armed with her many disguises and creativity to take down the riff-raff of Saint Louis. When her stepbrother is murdered by the mob, Andy soon discovers she’s out of her depth.

Enter Hugh Donaldson who has reasons of his own for discovering the murderer. He’ll use everything in his power to achieve that, including lying to Andy about his past. Dangerous as he is attractive, his martial arts skills and his quirky ways raise Andy’s suspicions.

Although Andy balks at his lies, Hugh’s charms, twenty-inch biceps, and electrifying blue eyes are difficult to resist. Striking out on their own, Hugh and Andy try to outwit each other as they traverse North America tracking down people connected to the case.

As clues disappear and the body count climbs, Andy and Hugh must trust each other and use their combined skills to bring the murderer to justice.

Buy links

Barnes & Noble |Amazon | The Wild Rose Press | iTunes

Where to find Amey…

Blog | Website | Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


10 Interesting Facts About Calamity (Callie) Barnstable

I’m happy to welcome Canadian author Judy Penz Sheluk to the Power of 10 series. Today, Judy shares ten interesting facts about the protagonist of her Marketville series. I enjoyed reading and highly recommend Book 1, Skeletons in the Attic, and look forward to future installments.

Here’s Judy!

Calamity (Callie) Barnstable is the protagonist in SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC, the first book in Judy Penz Sheluk’s Marketville Mystery series. PAST AND PRESENT, the second book in the series, is scheduled for publication in early 2019.

1) Calamity (Callie) is named after Calamity Jane, a Wild West frontierswoman of questionable repute, although her mother actually named her after the considerably softened Calamity portrayed by Doris Day in a 1950s movie of the same name.






















2) Callie is the only child of two only children, whose parents disowned them, and by association, their only grandchild, when Callie’s mother got pregnant at the age of 17.

3) Callie worked in the fraud unit of a bank call center in Toronto until she inherited a house in Marketville from her father, who died in an “unfortunate occupational accident.”

4) Callie has also inherited her father’s black-rimmed hazel eyes, unruly brown hair, and stubborn streak.

5) When it comes to love, Callie believes she is a victim of the “Barnstable family curse.” Her last boyfriend dumped her on Valentine’s Day, when Callie was expecting an engagement ring. Enough said.

6) Callie’s favorite take-out comfort food is cheese pizza with extra sauce and hot peppers, though she does make a great homemade lasagna and mac and cheese. Maybe cheese is the not-so-secret ingredient here.

7) Callie’s favorite alcoholic beverage is Australian chardonnay. Her favorite tea is Vanilla Rooibos.

8) Callie is a runner who runs in temperatures from -30 to +30 (that’s Celsius for you Fahrenheit folks…translation -22 to 86+)

9) Callie is “addicted” to cocoa butter lip balm and has tubes of it stashed everywhere.

10) Callie is both fascinated and doubtful about tarot and all things psychic.

Blurb

What goes on behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there…

Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house in the town of Marketville—a house she didn’t know existed. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.

Callie’s not keen on dredging up a thirty-year-old mystery, but if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who is more than happy to expose the Barnstable family secrets. Determined to thwart Misty and fulfill her father’s wishes, Callie accepts the challenge. But is she ready to face the skeletons hidden in the attic?

Bio

Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of two mystery series: The Glass Dolphin Mysteries (THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE), and The Marketville Mysteries (SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC). Sequels to both series are scheduled for 2018. Judy’s short crime fiction appears is several collections.

Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, International Thriller Writers and the Short Mystery Fiction Society. She is also on the Crime Writers of Canada Board of Directors as the Regional Representative for Toronto/Southern Ontario (2017-2018).

Where to find Judy…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

Find Judy’s books at all the usual suspects, including Audible and the publisher Barking Rain Press.


10 Interesting Facts About Jason Davey

I’m happy to welcome Canadian author Winona Kent to the Power of 10 series. Today, Winona shares ten interesting facts about the protagonist of her latest release, Disturbing the Peace.

Here’s Winona!

I first wrote about Jason five years ago in my novel Cold Play, which took place on board an aging cruise ship sailing from Vancouver to Alaska. Jason was one of the ship’s entertainers; he spent his evenings in the TopDeck Lounge singing, playing his guitar and observing his audience, several of whom ended up having rather more to do with Jason than merely sharing his voyage north.

Jason left the sea after Cold Play and after some adventures in Australia and Hong Kong, ended up back in London gigging at The Blue Devil, a jazz club in Soho.

In my new novella, Disturbing the Peace, Jason discovers he has some excellent investigative skills, and ends up in northern Canada attempting to find out what happened to a legendary musician who’s been missing for four years.

When I wrote Disturbing the Peace, I wanted to make sure I could actually handle a true mystery. I’ve been writing gentle time travel stories for the past couple of years, and I felt a complete change would be good for my creative soul. I ended up falling in love with Jason all over again. The result: I’m going to give him more adventures, full-length novels that fall squarely within the mystery genre. The next one is tentatively titled A Diminished Seventh, although I’m toying with renaming it Notes on a Missing G-String. I hope to have it finished by the end of 2018.

Here, then, are ten things you might not know about Jason Davey…

1. His real name is Jason David Figgis. His parents, Mandy Green and Tony Figgis, formed the folk-pop group Figgis Green in the early 1960s. Although he could trade on his parents’ fame, he doesn’t. He hates nepotism and would rather be recognized as a musician in his own right. In fact, very few people in the business in London know about Jason’s musical pedigree, and he wants to keep it that way. As a result, he sometimes finds himself struggling for recognition.

2. Jason’s a smoker. He gave it up for a few years after his wife, Emma, died, but picked it up again after he left the sea. He also gave up drinking – and that’s lasted. His favourite non-alcoholic concoction aboard the Star Sapphire was a hand-made melon-juice concoction supplied by Samuel, the bartender in the TopDeck Lounge. His favourite non-alcoholic drink now is a spicy tomato juice he creates himself from tinned crushed tomatoes, vinegar, sea salt, stevia, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, minced onions and horseradish. The drink doesn’t show up in Disturbing the Peace but I’m going to introduce it in the next story. It’s my favourite drink too – I make it in bulk every couple of days and keep it in a jug in the fridge.

3. Jason has four guitars, which he keeps in a locked room at The Blue Devil: two solid body Fenders (a Tele and a Strat), a handsome black Phoenix hollow-body similar to the one Brian Setzer plays, and a Gibson ES-175, an archtop that’s a favourite of traditionalists, although he finds it uncomfortable because of an injury he sustained on board the Sapphire. He had six different guitars when he was gigging at sea, including an original Fender Strat that once belonged to his dad. You’ll have to read Cold Play to find out what happened to them.

4. Jason believes in ghosts and guardian angels, and intuitive and psychic powers. He had a guardian angel named Jilly in Cold Play, although he spent much of the novel assuming she was just one of his Twitter followers. She ending up proving she was much, much more than that. I suspect Jilly may put in a return appearance in future stories. She could definitely have helped him out in Disturbing the Peace.

5. Jason was married to a makeup artist named Emma. He has a son, Dominic, who’s now at university studying film production. Emma died in a fire which Jason believed he caused and the guilt he felt was what originally drove him to run away to sea. In Cold Play he met and fell in love with a travel agent named Katey Shawcross. Some years have passed, but he’s still on very friendly terms with Katey – and, indeed, we meet her again in Disturbing the Peace, where she proves to be very useful.

6. Jason’s favourite restaurant is Rules, in Covent Garden. He’s well-known there. His favourite dish is the Steak and Kidney Pie, although he has been known to order Wild Boar Pie, much to Katey’s disgust.

7. Jason’s a frustrated actor at heart. He loves situations where he can play at being someone he’s not. In Disturbing the Peace, he harnesses his acting skills to impersonate an accountant. Not the most exciting of roles – but it excites him, because it allows him access to information he might not otherwise have been privy to.

8. I love looking in peoples’ fridges to see what they keep there. Jason’s little fridge in his crew cabin on board the Sapphire contained the following: eleven G&B chocolate bars in assorted flavours, two jugs of fresh melon juice (see above), four bottles of Starbucks Mocha Frappucino, a four-day-old tray of take-out sushi from Ketchikan, a package of Brie, a package of Kerrygold Dubliner and a box of artisan whole leaf teabags (assorted varieties, many from obscure places in Africa). In Disturbing the Peace, Jason calls a tiny flat in a converted Georgian townhouse on Pentonville Road home. I didn’t have time to explore what was in his fridge there, but I promise in the next story, I’ll investigate! I suspect these days he’ll still have different cheeses and packets of pate from Waitrose. And a bread maker on his kitchen counter.

9. In Cold Play, Jason was a Twitter addict. His Twittername was @Cold_Fingers. I have yet to find out if he’s still driven by social networking. I suspect if he’s in touch with any of his old Twitterfriends, they’ve probably now all migrated over to Instagram or Facebook. Hopefully none of them include SaylerGurl, his Twitterstalker who had a fondness for sending him obsessive love notes featuring dreadful poetry.

10. Jason loves watching films on Netflix. His favourite is Mission: Impossible – he loves how they use their skills to solve problems. His favourite music these days is jazz, of course, but he’ll always have a fondness for Cliff Richard’s old backing group, The Shadows, and Hank Marvin particular. He absolutely loves Hank’s more recent Gypsy Jazz tunes.

Blurb

Disturbing the Peace is a 22,000 word novella introducing professional musician and amateur sleuth Jason Davey, who first appeared as a cruise ship entertainer in Winona Kent’s 2012 novel Cold Play.

Jason’s last job was aboard the Star Sapphire as she sailed from Vancouver to Alaska. Now he’s back on shore, and he has a regular gig at The Blue Devil jazz club in London.

When Dominic, Jason’s film-student son, asks his dad to help track down a missing musician for a documentary he’s making, Jason leaps at the chance.

Ben Quigley played rhythm guitar in Jason’s parents’ pop-folk group Figgis Green in the late 1960s. And, after living a life that in many ways paralleled Gerry Rafferty’s, he dropped off the face of the earth four years ago.

Jason’s search ultimately takes him to Peace River, Alberta – 300 miles from Edmonton in Canada’s frozen north. And what he discovers there is both intriguing – and disturbing.

Buy Links

Amazon (Canada) | Amazon (U.S) | Amazon (U.K.) | Amazon (Germany)

Bio

Winona Kent was born in London, England. She immigrated to Canada with her parents at age 3, and grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan, where she received her BA in English from the University of Regina. After settling in Vancouver, she graduated from UBC with an MFA in Creative Writing. More recently, she received her diploma in Writing for Screen and TV from Vancouver Film School.

Winona has been a temporary secretary, a travel agent and the Managing Editor of a literary magazine. Her writing breakthrough came many years ago when she won First Prize in the Flare Magazine Fiction Contest with her short story about an all-night radio newsman, Tower of Power. More short stories followed, and then novels: Skywatcher, The Cilla Rose Affair, Cold Play, Persistence of Memory and In Loving Memory.

Winona’s sixth novel, Marianne’s Memory, will be published in 2018, along with a new Jason Davey mystery. tentatively titled A Diminished Seventh.

Winona currently lives in Vancouver and works as a Graduate Program Assistant at the University of British Columbia.

Please visit Winona’s website at http://www.winonakent.com for more information about her writing.

She’s also written a blog about the inspiration behind Disturbing the Peace: https://winonakent.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/disturbing-the-peace

When I heard that Ms. Kent was planning to explore another genre, I was curious to see if she could successfully transfer her well-honed writing skills. I needn’t have worried. In Disturbing the Peace, she demonstrates ample proof of her wonderful eye for detail and gift for creating a strong sense of place. Riveted from the start, I found myself immersed in Jason Davey’s journey as he traveled from London, England to Peace River, Alberta. I strongly recommend setting aside an afternoon or evening to read this well-plotted, character-driven novella.


10 Facts about 18th Century Food and Drink

I’m happy to welcome The Wild Rose Press author Kathleen Buckley to the Power of 10 series. Today, Kathleen shares interesting facts about eighteenth century food and drink and her novel, An Unsuitable Duchess.

Here’s Kathleen!

I have enjoyed reading about the history of food since I was a child, and have done a good deal of research on the subject. Now that I write Georgian (18th century) romances, this hobby is becoming useful. This deals specifically with English/British eating habits, although most of this will apply to the American Colonies, too, with additions of foods specific to the New World.

1. They ate things we don’t: syrup of turnips, brain cakes (brains mixed with flour, salt, nutmeg and raw egg, fried in butter), calf’s foot pie, mutton ham, larks, lampreys, calf’s head surprise. Yes, really.

2. They pickled things we don’t: not only cucumbers and onions, but walnuts, beetroot, pigeons, barberries, celery, kidney beans, oysters and almost anything else you can think of.

3. Candy was completely different. No candy bars, no bon-bons, no fudge. An 18th century confectioner’s cookbook contained recipes for drying or preserving fruit, making jam, candying flowers (and other things), making wafers, biscuits (cookies), puffs, almond paste, creams, jellies, including hartshorn jelly, caraway comfits, clotted cream, and chocolate almonds (sugar and chocolate sifted together with musk and ambergris and some binding ingredients, molded into the form of almonds). The Compleat Confectioner, or The Art Of Candying & Preserving In Its Utmost Perfection, by Mrs. Eales, Confectioner to Queen Anne, 3rd ed., 1742.

4. Chocolate was used almost exclusively as a beverage until the 19th century, when the discovery of the “Dutch process” made chocolate’s use in candy and baking feasible. The “chocolate almonds” mentioned above would have been nothing like modern chocolate candy, as they were evidently made by grinding cocoa nibs. Though cocoa nibs are now a “thing” among foodies. Go figure.

5. Wafers, biscuits, cakes and tea cakes were plain. Cakes tended to fall into two categories: pound cakes and fruit cakes. They and the small cakes—the equivalent of cookies or cupcakes—often contained caraway seeds, rose water, wine or brandy, and a spices like nutmeg, mace, cinnamon, caraway, caraway comfits, and raisins or currants. Oh, and macaroons? They were made with ground almonds, not coconut. Very few cakes were iced.

6. Chelsea buns were the wildly popular specialty of the Chelsea Bun House (1712 to 1839), and no wonder. From contemporary descriptions, these yeast buns were filled with currants or raisins, lemon peel, butter, sugar, and spice, rolled up like our cinnamon rolls, baked and then coated with a sugar and water glaze. Other bun recipes of the period are very plain indeed. The families of both George II and George III visited the Bun House to indulge.

7. People ate what was in season, and what they could afford. Fruit and vegetables were not available all year as they are now, thanks to modern transportation. If you wanted fruit in the winter, you preserved it when it was available. Meat and fish were dried, pickled, salted or potted (by cutting it up, pounding and seasoning it, baking until it was soft, draining off any liquid or fat, putting it into a pot and covering the contents with clarified butter which presumably then sealed it).

8. Tea was the most popular non-alcoholic beverage, although it was expensive. Men socialized in coffee and chocolate houses. Everyone drank beer as a thirst-quencher. Gin was the scourge of the London poor.

9. Your 18th century dinner will probably not include potatoes. I found occasional recipes for potato pie and potato pudding. The 1805 edition of Hannah Glasse’s popular cookbook suggests boiling potatoes in their skins, removing the skins, and either buttering them or browning them on a gridiron or in beef dripping.

10. Meals were … different. If you could afford to eat well, your diet was heavy in meat and light in vegetables. Susanna MacIver’s late 18th century cookbook, intended for the “genteel and middling classes” suggests family dinners of five to fifteen dishes. This is a sample of a ten dish dinner (taken in the middle of the day):

Salmon – roast turkey – stewed celery – fried fish – marrow pasty – soup – baked pudding – veal cutlets – sliced turnips and carrots with melted butter – boiled tongue and udder with roots (root vegetables)

Supper was lighter and simpler. MacIver lists a page of possibilities, including hot or cold meat or fowl, pies, tarts, creams (think custardy things), anchovies, poached eggs with sorrel, and vegetables, from which “any lady of the smallest experience may form suppers of any extent according to the articles that are in season.”

If you were wealthy, your meals would be more elaborate. The poorest seldom had any cooking facilities, and probably bought their food in taverns or from street vendors. Bread, cheese, gin and beer were staples of their diet. Riots occurred when the price of wheat rose.

Blurb

After her guardian’s death, Anne Sinclair comes to Town seeking a man with broad interests, rather than broad estates. She possesses a competence and a pretty face, so why did her late guardian think it might be difficult for her to make a match? The question becomes urgent when she discovers that London can be perilous for a young lady of inquiring mind—especially when she has a hidden enemy.

Lord John Anniscote unexpectedly inherits the title and responsibilities of his dissolute brother, the Duke of Guysbridge, including houses, servants, tenants, and the need to provide himself with an heir. Formerly poor, cynical, and carefree, he finds himself hunted by marriage-minded females. When a plot against a young lady up from the country touches his honor, can the new duke safeguard her reputation and repair his own?

buynow

Bio

Kathleen Buckley became interested in history before she learned to read (every Saturday when her mother took her to the Anchorage library, she insisted on going through the library’s fascinating exhibit of Eskimo artifacts). As soon as she learned to read, she wanted to write, and began with a dictionary of all the words she knew how to spell. This led to a Master’s Degree in English literature and a series of non-writing-related jobs: customer service in a hospital billing department, accounts receivable bookkeeper in a commercial print shop, paralegal, and security officer.

She has lived in both Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska, in Seattle, Washington, and now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico (warmer than Alaska; dryer than Seattle). Favorite authors in no particular order: Jane Austen, Louise Penny, Sir Walter Scott, J.A. Jance, Lois McMaster Bujold, Robert B. Parker, Fiona Buckley (no relation), Georgette Heyer, Anne Perry, John Dickson Carr, Mary Balogh, Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels, Andrew Vachss.

Where to find Kathleen…

Blog | Facebook | Goodreads


Are You in Your Book?

I’m happy to welcome back author Catherine Castle to the Power of 10 series. Today, Catherine explains how she has inserted herself in her latest release, Bidding on the Bouquet.

Here’s Catherine!

Curious readers often want to know if a writer is in their book. I never thought I inserted myself into my books until recently. However, as I write more stories, I discover more of myself in each book. Here are 10 places I found myself, or my life and family experiences, in my latest book Bidding on the Bouquet, an inspirational contemporary romance from Forget Me Not Romances.

1. Flowers usually make an appearance in my books. Considering I’m a gardener, that’s probably not an unusual thing. Bidding on the Bouquet is no exception. Not only does the story revolve around a very special bridal bouquet, but there is some courting done with flowers.

2. I also have some interesting floriography references I think readers will love. Floriography is the language of flowers. Victorian couples often sent each other secret message based on the language of flowers. In Bidding on the Bouquet there is one scene using floriography that readers have already commented that they love. I won’t spoil your read by telling you which one it is.

3. Tinsy, one of the secondary characters in the book, quotes a family proverb that is often used in our home. “Work like it all depends on you and pray like it all depends on God.”

4. Food frequently appears in my books. My daughter hates a particular vegetable, and it got a role at the dinner table in this book.

5. I love roasted Brussel sprouts. They also ended up on a dinner plate.

6. My hero and heroine shared a steak meal the first time they ate together. Steak was also the first meal my husband bought me when we were dating.

7. The name of the steak house in Bidding on the Bouquet is the name of the steak house where my husband took me on our first date the summer between our junior and senior years in high school. Back then the guys had to wear a suit coat and tie for senior pictures. He thought he’d take a date out so as to not waste the effort of dressing up.

8. Pies are a motif in Bidding on the Bouquet. I hadn’t thought much about them recently, except we get a free slice every week at O’Charley’s restaurant. But as I was writing this book a lemon meringue pie appeared, and I remembered I used to make that particular pie—from scratch—for my husband when we were first married. It was his favorite back then.

9. Second-hand clothes have a role in Bidding on the Bouquet. My heroine wears them a lot. As a teen, I often shopped at Goodwill or other thrift stores. Some of my favorite outfits back then came from Goodwill.

10. Something my nephew did at Thanksgiving also appears in Bidding on the Bouquet. He called Cerri on his cell to ask a question. My phone’s not that smart, so I would have never thought about doing that. I’d have googled it instead. A few days later the hero unexpectedly (on my part) asked his Cerri assistant to tell him the meaning of a word. The hero did not like what the internet guru told him.

Well, that’s my Power of Ten for today. Thanks for dropping by. If you’re a writer, I’d like to know if you’ve ever appeared in your books. If you’re a reader, do you like to know if a writer has inserted themselves into a story?

Blurb

The chance to catch a bridal bouquet containing a solid gold rose makes underprivileged, down-on-her-luck grad student Marietta Wilson pawn everything she owns to come up with a bid to win a bridesmaid spot in the most prestigious wedding of the season.

When he discovers his sister is auctioning off bridesmaid spots in her wedding party, wealthy, elitist Chip Vandermere is appalled. Not only is it in poor taste, but no self-respecting lady would stoop so low as to bid. Convinced Marietta is a gold digger, Chip sets out to thwart her plans.

A social climber and a social misfit. Can a bridal bouquet unite them?

Buy Links

Bidding on the Bouquet | Groom for Mama | The Nun and the Narc (Amazon) | The Nun and the Narc (Barnes & Noble)

Bio

Catherine Castle is a multi-award-winning author who loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she quilts and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place is in her garden. She’s a passionate gardener who won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2014 EPIC finalist, and the winner of the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award and the 2014 RONE Award. A Groom for Mama, is a sweet romantic comedy from Soul Mate Publishing. Her latest release, Bidding on the Bouquet, from Forget Me Not Romances, is an inspirational contemporary romance. Her books are available on Amazon.

Where to find Catherine…

Website | Blog | Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Google+


A Matter of Logic Vs. Creativity?

I’m happy to welcome multi-published author Catherine E. McLean to this blog. Today, Catherine discusses the importance of self-editing and shares her latest release, Revision is a Process.

Here’s Catherine!

One of my favorite quotes is by Yoda of Star Wars, who said “Do or do not, there is no try.” This adage was driven home to me when I attended a workshop where the instructor had us “try to pick up a pen.” Well, you either pick up the pen or you don’t. There is no “try” or middle ground. It’s do or do not.

This adage can be applied to self-editing. There is no trying to edit, you have to ruthlessly self-edit. If you don’t, the reader, editor, or agent cannot interpret what you wrote or form the same images in their mind that you envisioned. As a result, your story won’t be enjoyable or marketable.

Okay, so most writers would rather write story after story than “get the words right.” However, getting those words as right as possible shouldn’t be equated to a root canal. What has to change is the writer’s perception, which means understanding that revision is a process. That process can be made simple, effective, and efficient.

The next step in self-editing is to put some time between the creation of the tale and the self-editing. You see, once a story has been drafted, most writers cannot distance themselves from the enjoyment of their own plot and characters. When they go to edit, they lapse into reading and enjoying the story anew. So, how much time should pass between draft and edits? For some writers, it can be days, for others it might be months or years.

It should also be understood that there is a war going on between the right-brain’s creativity and the left-brain’s logicalness. Here’s the thing, logic will always — ALWAYS — win over creativity. That’s because creativity is chaos and the human brain strives to make sense of things (and not go insane). And never forget, your reader is a very logical person that must be convinced to suspend their disbelief in fantasy or fictional worlds and premises.

So, how do you switch from creativity to logic when you need to self-edit? Consider attaching something physical to reinforce the desire to edit. For instance, wear an “editor’s visor,” which is green and was used in the late 18th and early 19th centuries by copy editors. Those visors are now called Casino Poker Dealer or Croupier Visors, costing under $10 (for colored ones, look at golf and sun visors). Then again, a paper hat will suffice (and you can write “EDITOR” on it for more emphasis).

Another method is to have a special place set aside for strictly editing work. That place is where the imagination is not allowed to create story. For instance, I have an office upstairs where I craft my stories. I go downstairs to my dining room to edit. I now a writer who takes his work to a bookstore to edit (and have coffee, too!). Another writer takes their work to the library. Having such a specific place bolsters the desire to edit, not create.

I’m a curious person. How do you switch from being creative to editor-mode?

Links for REVISION IS A PROCESS

Table of Contents | Excerpt

Buy Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Bio

Catherine E. McLean’s short stories have appeared in hard cover and online anthologies and magazines. Her books include JEWELS OF THE SKY (sci-fi adventure), KARMA & MAYHEM (paranormal fantasy romance), HEARTS AKILTER (a fantasy/sci-fi romance novella), and ADRADA TO ZOOL (a short story anthology). She lives on a farm nestled in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains of Western Pennsylvania. In the quiet of the countryside, she writes tales of phantasy realms and stardust worlds (fantasy, futuristic, and paranormal romance-adventures). She is also a writing instructor and workshop speaker. Her nonfiction book for writers is REVISION IS A PROCESS – HOW TO TAKE THE FRUSTRATION OUT OF SELF-EDITING.

Links

Website | Website for Writers | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Email