Monday, May 15, 2017

Why I Wrote Time Travel Romance Somewhere My Lady (Ladies in Time)

Edith's Theme, the hauntingly beautiful song from Crimson Peak, stirred this story in me long before I watched the movie, which was after I finished the book. I purposely waited until then before viewing the film. Other songs in the soundtrack also sent my imagination soaring, but that one really did. Scenes took shape in my mind, especially the ghostly dance I wrote in chapter one. I couldn't have conceived Somewhere My Lady without this music. Some songs do that for me, but music isn't the only inspiration behind the story.
Old homes have always drawn me. I've lived in them most of my life, and visited plenty. Our farm-house was built in the 1870's. Think about it, family's filled these homes with the emotions accompanying the events taking place in their lives. The walls witnessed their sagas, good and bad, and absorbed the energy. Old homes exude an indefinable sense of place. Even if I closed my eyes, I would know where I am, depending on how familiar I am with a house. Scents and hearing also play a part in this intuition, but the energy, whether positive or negative, flows from a home. A much lived in home is never really empty. Perhaps the spirits of those who once dwelt there come back and visit, or they leave a part of themselves behind. I don't know, but I like a good ghost story.
Harrison Hall, the colonial era home in Somewhere My Lady, is loosely based on Shirley Plantation, a magnificent 18th century home, built along the James River in Virginia. In the story, this wonderful manor sized house is a paranormal hot spot, concealing a deadly mystery Hart and Lorna must solve.
Story Blurb: 
Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn't expect to receive a note and a kiss from the handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.
Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna – and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart's life before the Midsummer Ball.~
Somewhere My Lady is out on 7-12-2017. Preorder in kindle at:  https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Lady-Ladies-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B071VTNC7V


If you're interested in my other time travel romances, they're  in kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Time-4-Book/dp/B016DF8LJ2
***Somewhere My Lady is similar to Somewhere My Love but different.

Friday, May 12, 2017

I Got A New Puppy. The End.


















(Cooper--a Morkie puppy)
If you've ever had a new puppy, you know what I'm talking about. The end of life before puppy (BP) breaks loose. In this case, his name is Cooper, so it's BC. Has a biblical ring to it, but his whole name is Special Agent Dale Cooper from the eccentric FBI agent in Twin Peaks. Daughter Elise got me into the show. Back to Puppy Cooper. Oh my gosh, what a week it's been. First, we had the never-ending car ride there and back (back was twice as long) to get the little guy on Sunday. Cooper is from South Carolina. We live in Virginia. Traffic was bad. Toward the end, I was singing the lyrics to the Sloop John B (Beach Boys), especially this bit:
'Let me go home
Why don't they let me go home
This is the worst trip I've ever been on.'
We finally made it home, and Cooper has a nice puppy playpen setup instead of a crate. I call it base camp, and it has his bed, toys, water, pee pad.. He tolerates it pretty well, except for those incensed occasions when he doesn't. The family all love him and have descended in adoring droves. But after everyone leaves, he looks around to ask 'where did they all go?' Yep. He's a tad spoiled.
I badly needed a little friend after my dear Sadie died of congestive heart failure about the time Cooper was born. He just turned nine weeks old. He's already touchingly devoted to me, and declares in every way possible, that I am his person. At the moment, he's also a chewy little dog who wants the run of the house but isn't housebroken yet. Plus, as often happens to pups with the stress of moving to a new home, he got an upset tummy. This has resulted in a lot of extra cleanups, worry, phone calls to the vet, and a trip to the clinic. He's now on a special diet, probiotics, and medication. So far--knock wood--he's better today. Cooper is a Morkie--a Yorkie Maltese mix, but more Yorkie than Maltese. These pups are especially prone to tummy upset.
I've lined the couch with bedding so he can play up and down the length of it while I'm on my laptop--during those occasions when he's not trying to eat it. And he loves to sit with me, which is good, because that will be his job. Sadie has passed the torch to this tiny boy. I still miss her terribly. Part of me always will. But I am glad for my new buddy, despite all the work of a new puppy.
Welcome little Cooper. You are finding your place in my heart.

Monday, May 1, 2017

'The Darling Buds of May'

2Flowering Crab
As a child growing up during the 19th century, or so it sometimes seems, I remember placing baskets of flowers as a surprise on friend’s doorstep early on a lovely May Day morn. Also, dancing around the May Poll festivities in which, not I, but my younger brother and sister both participated. The little girls with garlands in their hair, decked out in pretty spring dresses. Mom made my sister’s. One year the wind toppled the May Poll and then there’s the time the children got all wound up in the ribbons and over it went.  Humiliating for my young brother who’d practiced so hard and tried to no avail to instruct his fellow dancers to wind them properly. I never did trust that May Poll thing to go as planned and hoped to be crowned May Queen, surrounded by a glad assembly of courtiers. No such luck. But May Day was special and has strong flowery associations in my memory. And wind. It never entered anyone’s mind that this revelry had possible pagan connotations. May Day festivities were simply a spring rite and good fun. (*Flowering crab apple tree in our yard)
How about the rest of you? Any May Queens among us?




“May 1st, often called May Day, just might have more holidays than any other day of the year. It’s a celebration of Spring. It’s a day of political protests. It’s a neopagan festival, a saint’s feast day, and a day for organized labor. In many countries, it is a national holiday. (Royalty free image of birch tree)
Beltane
Celtic calendar feast ushering in the start of summer. (It also went by a variety of other spellings and names in assorted dialects of Gaelic.)
Bonfires, often created by rubbing sticks together, were common features of Beltane celebrations. Related rituals included driving cattle between two fires, dancing around the fires, and burning witches in effigy. Another tradition was Beltane cakes, which would be broken into several pieces, one of which was blackened. They would be drawn by celebrants at random; the person getting the unlucky blackened piece would face a mock execution.
In recent years, Beltaine has been adopted or revived by neopagan groups as a major seasonal festival.
Bringing in the May: *This is more what I remember.  :)
In medieval England, people celebrated the start of spring by going out to the country or woods “going a-maying” and gathering greenery and flowers, or “bringing in the may.” This was described in “The Court of Love” (often attributed to Chaucer, but not actually written by him) in 1561. Totally irrelevant, but I am a direct descendant of Chaucer on my father’s side.

(Iris and poppies image by my mom)
“And furth goth all the Court, both most and lest,
To feche the floures fressh, and braunche and blome;
And namly, hawthorn brought both page and grome.
With fressh garlandes, partie blewe and whyte,
And thaim rejoysen in their greet delyt.”
Another English tradition is the maypole. Some towns had permanent maypoles that would stay up all year; others put up a new one each May. In any event, the pole would be hung with greenery and ribbons, brightly painted, and otherwise decorated, and served as a central point for the festivities.
May Day was also a time for morris dancing and other dances, often around the maypole. In the 19th century, people began to braid the maypole with ribbons by weaving in and out in the course of a dance. Other later traditions include making garlands for children and the crowning of the May Queen.”
From an interesting site: Herbal Musings
Beltain, Bealtaine, Beltine, May Day, Cetsamhain (‘first Samhain‘), Walpurgis Night (Beltane Eve), Celtic ‘Flower Festival’
Druidic Name: Beltane
archangel-michael, old stained glass windowChristian Equivalent
Roodmas, Rood Day, Feast of Saint Philip and Saint James, Feast of Saint Walpurga
Beltane is the cross-quarter festival that marks the start of the summer quarter of the year and the end of the spring quarter. This is a time when nature blossoms and felicity and fertility return to the land. In times past, the livestock stockaded at Samhain was returned to summer pastures at Beltane.
…a joyful festival of growth and fecundity that heralds the arrival of summer. It is the festival of the ‘Good Fire’ or ‘Bel-fire’, named after the solar deity Bel. Bel was also known as Beli or Bile in Ireland, with Bile meaning ‘tree’, so Beltane may also mean ‘Tree-fire’. Beltane is the counterpart of Samhain (and is sometimes referred to as Cetsamhain, the ‘first Samhain’), and these two important festivals divide the year into summer and winter halves, just as the two equinoctial celebrations, Ostara and Mabon, divide the year into light and dark halves.
Lighting fires was customary at Beltane, and traditionally a Beltane fire was composed of the nine sacred woods of the Celts. All hearth fires were extinguished on Beltane Eve and then kindled again from the sacred “need fires” lit on Beltane. People would leap through the smoke and flames of Beltane fires and cattle were driven through them for purification, fertility, prosperity and protection.
AngelicaIt is a traditional time for Handfastings (marriages), and for couples to make love outside to bless the crops and the earth. Maypoles were often danced around at Beltane to bring fertility and good fortune. Beltane lore also includes washing in May-day dew for beauty and health, and scrying (peeping) in sacred waters, such as ponds or springs.
The festival is sometimes referred to as Roodmas, a name coined by the medieval Christian Church in an attempt to associate Beltane with the Cross (the Rood) rather than the life-giving symbol of the Maypole. Beltane was also appropriated by the Church as the Feast Day of Saint Walpurga, who was said to protect crops and was often represented with corn.”
(*Royalty free images of the Archangel Michael and the sacred herb Angelica)