Sunday, January 30, 2011

For the Love Of Roses~

This snowy January day makes me yearn for roses, the wonderfully scented varieties that bloom in the garden on a glorious June morning.~.

“Love is much like a wild rose, beautiful and calm, but willing to draw blood in its defense.”~Mark Overby

“You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Life is a rose; beware of the thorns.”
“Beauty without virtue is like a rose without scent.”
~Proverb Quote

“How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said.”
~ Victor Hugo

“The fragrance always remains in the hand that gives the rose.”

“Love is like a rose. It looks beautiful on the outside…but there is always pain hidden somewhere.”

“Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness, know that, like life, things sometimes must fade, before they can bloom again.”

“The splendor of the rose and the whitness of the lily do not rob the little violet of it’s scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its lovliness.”
~Therese of Lisieux
“The rose is a flower of love. The world has acclaimed it for centuries. Pink roses are for love hopeful and expectant. White roses are for love dead or forsaken, but the red roses, ah the red roses are for love triumphant.”

“He who wants a rose must respect the thorn.” Persian Proverb
“If I had a rose for every time I thought of you, I’d be picking roses for a lifetime.” Swedish Proverb

“Slow buds the pink dawn like a rose From out night’s gray and cloudy sheath; Softly and still it grows and grows, Petal by petal, leaf by leaf.” Susan Coolidge

Their lips were four red roses on a stalk. ~William Shakespeare
The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.
-~John Boyle O’Reilly

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies.
~Christopher Marlowe

The rose that lives its little hour
Is prized beyond the sculptured flower.

Here bloom red roses, dewy wet,
And beds of fragrant mignonette.
~Elaine Goodale

The rose is fairest when ’tis budding new,
And hope is brightest when it dawns from fears.
- Sir Walter Scott

She wore a wreath of roses,
The night that first we met.
~Thos. Haynes Bayly

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns,
or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.
Abraham Lincoln

This old world that we’re livin’ in
Is might hard to beat.
You get a thorn with every Rose
But – ain’t the roses sweet?
Frank Stanton

I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.
~Emma Goldman
God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December.
~J. M. Barrie

“You are beautiful, but you are empty. One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you–the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Love is like the wild rose-briar;
Friendship like the holly-tree.
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms,
But which will bloom most constantly?”
~Emily Bronte

They are not, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream,
Our path emerges for a while, then closes,
Within a dream.”~Ernest Dowson

And she was fair as is the rose in May.” ~Geoffrey Chaucer

“Truths and roses have thorns about them.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Better a witty fool than a foolish wit" ~Shakespeare

"Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold."~ Zelda

"Anxiety is love's greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic."~Anais Nin Nice
"Anthropology is the science which tells us that people are the same the whole world over-except when they are different." ~Nancy BanksSmith

"A true friend is somebody who can make us do what we can." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"If a dog will not come to you after he has looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience."~ Woodrow Wilson

"The test of an adventure is that when you're in the middle of it, you say to yourself, 'Oh, now I've got myself into an awful mess I wish I were sitting quietly at home.' And the sign that something's wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure." ~Thornton

"History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives."~Abba Eban

 "The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech." ~George Bernard Shaw

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." ~Oscar Wilde

"He was happily married - but his wife wasn't." ~Victor Borge

"You have delighted us long enough." ~Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."~Mark Twain

"There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full." ~Henry Kissinger

"Can't act. Slightly bald. Can dance a little."~ Screen Tester on Fred Astaire

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My New Contract With The Wild Rose Press~

As mentioned earlier, and official now, I’ve signed with The Wild Rose Press for my eighth story, my first English historical entitled INTO THE LION’S HEART.  Release date to be determined but I anticipate sometime in May.  At approximately 25,000 words, this story will come out as an English Tea Miniature Rose, but it took as much research as a novel because the time period and setting were different for me. Actually, it's my ninth contract with the Wild Rose Press because I also signed for my FREE READ, Night Hawk, but I digress.

As Into The Lion's Heart is set in England in 1789 at the explosion of the French Revolution, I researched the entire revolution and various aspects of life in Georgian England.  The heroine sails across the channel, so I delved into seafaring vessels and terminology.

Fortunately my mother has read the brilliant Master and Commander series twice and was also a help.  Throw in more research into Dover and Cornwall, smuggling, highwaymen…took me months to write this.

My gracious editor, Senior historical editor Nicole Darienzo, assures me that all hard work paid off, so I trust my readers will agree.   You will be hearing more about Into The Lion’s  Heart in the coming months.

I’ve long been a British junkie, so the setting of a story on English soil was inevitable.  My ancestors are English Scots-Irish and our roots well documented in family genealogy which continues to inspire me.  I was also inspired to write this story by my love of such novels as The Scarlet Pimpernel and Poldark, which came out years ago as a Masterpiece theater series.  I loved it.  Read the novels and watched the series.  And I’ve long been a huge Pimpernel fan.  Poldark opens (initially) at the same time period as my story and then continues forward as the saga unfolds.  The Scarlet Pimpernel is set later during the blackest days of the French Revolution during the Reign of Terror.  I may get to that more bloody time in a later story.

My fascination with England continues.  Given the choice, I am more likely to watch a British murder mystery or historical (the two in one being my favorite) than most anything else.  Netflix have been great for supplying me with stellar productions.   Some of you may wonder how one who is such an ardent fan of colonial America could be so drawn to all things English, but in early America, the New World and the Old World were very intertwined.  The common thread in all my work, is my passion for the past.  And yes, I will return to my beloved colonial America.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Who Are All These Enemies of the King?

I spent years researching and writing historical romance novel, ENEMY OF THE KING, an exciting journey back to the drama and romance of the American Revolution with a focus on the Southern face of the war. Think Carolina backcountry and Francis Marion, 'the Swamp Fox.' ENEMY OF THE KING currently has 13 Five Star reviews at Amazon, and nothing less.  I don't have any control over what readers leave there so this strikes me as significant, but it also means not enough people are reading it.  Every story has its critics. 

Come out, come out, wherever you are.  But first, you have to read the book.  If you'd like to take the challenge and see if ENEMY OF THE KING lives up to its reputation, I welcome your thoughts.  Leave it a review.  

ENEMY OF THE KING received a five cup review from Coffee Time Romance, Five Books and won book of the week at Long and Short Reviews, earned a super review and You Gotta Read rating from You Gotta Read, came in third at the 2009 Publisher's Weekly BHB Reader's Choice Best Books, and made the Best Romance Novel list at Buzzle.

1780 South Carolina, spies and intrigue, a vindictive ghost, the battle of King’s Mountain, Patriots and Tories, pounding adventure, pulsing romance…ENEMY OF THE KING 

 "This sexy historical book is a must read!" ~Danielle Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Follow Your Heart

Many authors wisely choose a genre and stick with it. Most master a specific time period, such as the Regency romance world, and set up camp there. Not me. Like a restless spirit, I wander about visiting various places, even time travel to land in some of them. Writing would be far easier if I’d stay put, but not, I expect, as much fun. So I write both historical, with varying time periods and settings, and light paranormal romance, generally with a time travel or ghost in the fantasy meld.I follow where my heart leads as new stories beckon.

In Daughter of the Wind, I even ventured into the shape shifting realm with a bearwalking Shawnee warrior. Depending upon whom you consult among the Shawnee, they may not consider this to be ‘fantasy’ but an actual ability some of their people possess, or used to in ages past. Daughter of the Wind also has a magical moonstone necklace which I wish I could have kept, but the novel sucked that prize in and won’t let me have it back. Bummer.

Light paranormal romance Somewhere My Lass was a departure for me in that I also wove kewl sci-fi stuff into this Scottish time travel. My paranormals require the same research I’d do for a historical because there are other time periods to explore, and then the added contemplation involved in otherworldly elements, so they are not easy, but enjoyable in a challenging way. I admit to gleaning inspiration from some of the movies I’ve seen, and a few stories I’ve read, but I do have an occasional original thought, more than I’m sometimes given credit for.

To further explore my latest light paranormal release, here’s the blurb and excerpt from  

Somewhere My Lass.


Neil MacKenzie's well ordered life turns to chaos when Mora Campbell shows up claiming he's her fiance from 1602 Scotland. Her avowal that she was chased to the future by clan chieftain, Red MacDonald, is utter nonsense, and Neil must convince her that she is just addled from a blow to her head--or so he believes until the MacDonald himself shows up wanting blood.
Mora knows the Neil of the future is truly her beloved Niall who disappeared from the past. Although her kinsmen believe he's dead, and she is now destined to marry Niall's brother, she's convinced that if she and Neil return to the past, all will be right. The only problem is how to get back to 1602 before it's too late.
The balance of the present and future are in peril if she marries another, and the Neil of the present will cease to exist. An ancient relic and a few good friends in the future help pave the way back to the past, but will Mora and Neil be too late to save a love that began centuries before?


“You are a beauty.” His words were a hoarse whisper.

The rise and fall of her chest betrayed a deep inhalation of breath. A flicker of reproach lit her eyes. 
“I dinna think ye took heed of me at all.”

He winced at the well-deserved jab. “About before, I’m sorry I left you so suddenly. But there’s no earthly way I could fail to notice you. I’d have to be deaf, dumb, and blind and even then…”

The tension in her face eased and then the hurt returned. “Oh, aye? How could ye forget all ye knew?” 

He remained as he was, threading that wealth of hair through his fingers. Again, the rational part of him argued, “Is it possible you’re imagining you knew me before?”

She balked, a mutinous glint in her eyes. “Nae.”

He slid his hand to the finely crafted silver chain at her throat and coaxed the coverlets further down.

A slight gasp escaped her lips. He muted any outward response to the thrill running through him. 

The scooped neckline of her nightgown revealed the tops of white breasts sprinkled with freckles. Above this heart-hammering sight hung the crucifix. “I gave this to you?” he managed to ask without betraying the swell of emotion surging inside him.

“At our betrothal.” 


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Why I Write What I Do Plus Ebook Giveaway

I’m talking about why I write both light paranormal and historical romance at Sherry Gloag’s blog The Heart Of Romance.  And I’m giving away a digital download of my latest light paranormal romance novel Somewhere My Lass to some lucky commenter.  So stop by and share your thoughts.

We're taking comments between the 8th and 11th of Jan.  Not that you can't leave them after that, but you won't be entered in the contest.:)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Madness of King George

The king that Jeremiah Jordan opposed in my American Historical romance, ENEMY OF THE KING, was the long-lived George 111.  Great Britain had a king named George from 1714 until 1830.  Best known as the tyrant king during the American Revolution, George 111 was not directly responsible for the laws that ultimately drove the colonists to rebellion.  However, once the fires of revolution swept through the colonies, his indignant reaction to the challenge of British rule and determination to make an example of his errant subjects caused him to extend the conflict beyond all reason.  Loss of the colonies was a blow from which he never fully recovered.
Also known for his ‘madness,’ George 111 was unable to rule during periods of his reign as the result of an illness that caused mental derangement and ranting, likely a rare blood condition called porphyria.  By 1811 he was so incapacitated Parliament passed the Regency Bill, appointing his eldest son to rule as Prince Regent.  Only one monarch has ruled longer than George 111 and that was his granddaughter Queen Victoria.

On a more positive note, George 111 is also remembered for his virtuous ways and steady leadership through the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.   Affectionately called Farmer George because of his strong interests in agriculture, he was a keen gardener/gentleman farmer and interested in improving the quality of farm animals. He cultivated crops and let sheep graze on the lands around his home at Kew Gardens.
He met his wife of many years, Queen Charlotte, on their wedding day but remarkably he never took a mistress (in contrast to his grandfather and his sons) and the couple enjoyed a genuinely happy marriage.  They had 15 children.

For more on this unusual monarch, I highly recommend the movie, The Madness of King George.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Faires and Planting A Fairy Garden

If you lack whimsy and magic in your life, consider enticing fairies to your yard by including the plants they find irresistible. I found much useful information on planting a fairy garden at this herbal site.

Personally, Ive always been a big fan of fairies and they are more than welcome in my garden.  I expect most of them are heading farther South at this time of year, with winter on its way, but they may linger a while yet.

Until quite recently, my youngest niece, Cailin, just turned six, aspired to be a fairy when she grew up and often checked her back in the mirror for signs of  sprouting wings.  To her disappointment, none are forthcoming.

Older sister, Sara, told her that you are either born a fairy or you’re not, you can’t become one.  Bummer.  Cailin was most put out.   She is now contemplating being a person who sings on stage.  However, her favorite movies are those with fairies and princesses in them.  When I was a child, that’s all I drew.  But I never actually thought I could grow up to be a fairy when I grew up.  A princess, sure.

I loved the movie, Fairy Tale, A True Story.   And I was no kid when I saw it.  Charming film for all ages.  And it’s true. :)

From the above herbal site:  “Some herbs are associated with fairies, the most important one being thyme. In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Titania, the fairy queen, sleeps in a bed of wild thyme growing on a bank.

Foxgloves are essential for fairy gardens. According to legend, fairies sleep in the bell-shaped flowers, and wear them as gloves. Other common names for the plant include fairy fingers, fairy thimbles, and fairy cap.

The purple foxglove is a biennial. Its blooms range in color from white and cream to pink and purple. There may be attractive dark spots in the throats of the bell-shaped flowers. There are perennial foxgloves as well, including the yellow foxglove.

Foxgloves often self-sow and prefer cool weather. Those in warm climates may want to grow the quick-blooming variety, called ‘Foxy.’ This will produce flowers the very first year from seed.

Another herb that is essential in the fairy garden is saffron. Fairies are especially fond of this culinary herb/spice for flavoring cakes and dyeing cloth. Other recommended plants are rosemary and roses. Roses are much loved by fairies for their beauty and fragrance.”
Clap if you believe in fairies~

Sunday, January 2, 2011

David Austen's Magnificent Roses

Abraham Darby, my favorite David Austen rose, picture by my daughter EliseQuantcast
“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”
~ Claude Monet
Beauty inspires my own word paintings.

English breeder David Austen’s roses are exquisite. To quote his website: “After fifty years of intensive breeding, David Austin’s English Roses combine the forms and fragrances of old roses with the repeat flowering of modern roses. They are very easy to grow, healthy and reliable.”

I struggle to raise the traditional hybrid teas which are not as well suited to our sometimes bitter winters here in The Shenandoah Valley, and more demanding in general to culitvate. Austen roses have far more vigor and I love the way he combines the old look and fragrance with repeat bloom. I have a small collection and am slowly adding.  Several new ones joined my little rose family last spring and we shall see if they survive this winter on top of last summer's searing drought.  I hope so.

His website and rose catalogue draw you into a wonderfully inviting world of fragrance and satiny petals in a glorious array of hues.  Perpetual, glorious spring and summer.