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Showing posts from December, 2011

2011--A Good Year

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It's interesting how much of what one perceives about whether a year is "good" or "bad" depends on one's personal circumstances, but that's only normal.

2011 was a good year for me, but I'll look globally as well.  In 2011 we saw dictators toppled and baby-steps toward democracy in the Middle East.  Young people and old channeled outrage at the status quo and began Occupying various cities.  If nothing else, it raised the level of dialog over the current state of the economy, which I find to be a civic virtue.  People need to become active and motivated to make change, whether it's at the ballot box or on the barricades.

Most of the troops are home from Iraq after a long, drawn out conflict. This is a very good thing indeed.

It was a good year for me personally and professionally.  Sea Changewas published to glowing reviews and some delightful fan letters.  My backlist continues to do well.  This was the year that I saw huge growth in ebook sales…

Guest Blogging on Regency Florida

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I'm guest blogging over at "The Regency World of Author Lesley-Anne McLeod" on Dec. 30 (Friday).  If you'd like to learn a bit about what was going on in Florida during the Regency period, drop on by.


Happy Holidays!

Just popping in to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Here in Florida we don our festive tropical shirts rather than reindeer decorated sweaters, but  the lights on the neighborhood houses still twinkle brightly even if there's no snow to reflect them.

Avoiding Fashion Disasters

I worry about this in my writing, but not in real life.  One of the best things about being a full time writer is working in a tropical shirt with flamingos, shorts and a pair of sandals.
When I'm writing though I want to make sure I have my wardrobe scenes correctly done.  One of the things that distracted me from full enjoyment of the classic Lawrence Olivier, Greer Garson Pride and Prejudice was the dressing of the women in styles more suited to the 1840s than the beginning of the 19th C.: More Romantic than Classical.  Interestingly, Wikipedia says that was a conscious decision on the part of the filmmakers, who wanted more elaborate costumes than those of Austen's era.

Today I was working on a piece where the heroine, who's traveling to England aboard a pirate ship in 1818, receives a pelisse from the captain because her clothing is too tropical in weight for the North Atlantic.  Captain St. Armand has a touch of the metrosexual about him and knows his fashions. I co…

Amber Quill Press authors chatting at Yahoo Groups

All day Friday, December 9, Amber Quill Press authors will be chatting at Beth Wylde's group, posting excerpts, answering questions and doing giveaways.  AQP publishes not only the best in historical romance (including all of my novels), but a wide range of digital and print editions featuring protagonists of all persuasions: M/F, M/M, F/F and more.  There's erotica, mystery, romance, sf and fantasy to name a few of their genres.  Stop on by, say "Hi!", ask questions of the authors and check out the contests.

"A Date Which Will Live in Infamy"

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Every American of my parents' generation could tell you where he or she was on December 7, 1941.  The attack on Pearl Harbor was seared into the collective consciousness.

My father was at Pearl.  He was serving as a seaman, 2C aboard the USS West Virginia (picture below), had been there since November, 1940.  He never talked much about his war experiences, though he somewhat casually mentioned swimming to safety from the sinking ship.  He served in the Pacific, mostly aboard the USS Bennington after it was commissioned.  He occasionally mentioned some of the places he saw, and told amusing stories of what happened when newbies crossed the equator for the first time and were inducted into the Court of King Neptune, a time-honored tradition sea tradition.

I knew he'd been awarded a Purple Heart for being wounded in action, but I never knew he'd received a Bronze Star until his death.  Sometimes he'd get out his bosun's pipe and do calls if we asked nicely.

During the…
A crewman came in with a broken arm to be set, but the remaining injuries were minor ones, and the men's spirits were high. She learned the reason when Captain Fletcher came in, freshly washed and wearing a clean shirt. He looked good enough to lick, blast him.
"Doctor! You will not believe what that ship was hauling."
"Jewels? Gold?"
"Almost as good as! Ripe gold! Here, catch."
He tossed a sphere to her and she grabbed it one handed out of the air. It was a fruit, its nubby skin mottled but whole, the fragrance rising up to her nostrils even over the scent of blood and medicine.
"Oranges?"
"Casks and casks of oranges! This cargo will fetch a fortune in New York, Doctor." --Sea Change

My little orange tree produced eight beautiful pieces of fruit this year.  I'm so proud of it!  It will yield more fruit as it gets larger, but there's nothing quite like eating a fresh orange off the tree, sunwarmed and sweet.  It's espe…