Progress Report

September 3rd, 2017

My story for the anthology How to Find a Duke in Ten Days is back from copyedits and has been updated accordingly. The anthology is now off to be formatted. Our usual partner in crime, Miranda Neville, was unable to join us in this anthology, to the great disappointment of the rest of us.I’m also including story descriptions and pre-order links. The anthology releases October 5, 2017.

Cover of How to Find a Duke in Ten Days. There's a ducal estate in the background and a totally Duke-ish looking fellow in the foreground. He is fiddling with one of his cuffs.

How to Find a Duke in Ten Days

You can pre-order the anthology now. (Links at bottom of the post.)

About How to Find a Duke in Ten Days

For centuries, the volumes of a priceless Renaissance manuscript, The Duke’s Book of Knowledge, have been the subject of legend and rumor. Three members of London’s Bibliomania Club have promised a beloved professor they’ll find the manuscripts before the professor retires. They are determined to vindicate his faith in the Duke’s existence while rescuing a great literary work from obscurity. The problem? The book must be found in ten days. Matters of the heart intrude as each book hunter realizes that locating an ancient manuscript might just lead to happiness ever after.

The Will to Love by Grace Burrowes

His lordship has been looking for a rare manuscript in all the wrong places, but he might just find true love!

The Earl of Ramsdale is convinced that his late uncle’s will holds the key to finding at least one portion of a long-lost Renaissance manuscript. The only person skilled enough to translate the will in ten short days is Miss Philomena Peebles, who has no patience with handsome, presumptuous earls. Will Ramsdale find the fabled literary treasure, or lose his heart to the last woman he should propose to?

How to Steal a Duke (in Ten Days, Give or Take a Few Days, But Definitely in Less than a Fortnight) by Shana Galen

A haughty duke and an impoverished lady turned cat burglar travel to the wilds of Cornwall in search of a castle, a mad earl, and an arcane manuscript.

Dominick Spencer, the Duke of Tremayne, is a powerful man used to having his way. When he and three other members of the Bibliomania Club set out to find the lost volumes of The Duke’s Book of Knowledge to present to their favorite Oxford professor, Dominick takes his task seriously, even hiring a cat burglar to help him gain entry to a remote castle in Cornwall inhabited by a mad earl.

Rosalyn Dashner knows accepting the duke’s assignment is dangerous, but her impoverished family and sick brother need the money. The daughter of a gentleman, Rosalyn is not impressed by titles. She’s not impressed by the haughty duke until she comes to know the kind but lonely man under the gruff exterior. The duke might be looking for a manuscript, but she’s found a man she loves. When Rosalyn must risk her life to obtain the manuscript, will Dominick choose her or his quest for the Duke’s Book?

The Viscount’s First Kiss by Carolyn Jewel

Viscount Daunt and the painfully shy Magdalene Carter turn friendship into love in their search for a legendary medieval manuscript.

For years, the Viscount Daunt has loved Magdalene Carter, the widow of a long-time friend and mentor. She’s a brilliant and original thinker whose shyness often paralyzes her, but no one is more knowledgeable about their shared passion for medieval tomes. When he enlists her aid in the search for the legendary Duke’s Book of Knowledge, a book he must find in just ten short days, he hopes to transform their friendship into love.

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The Fork is Out!

August 27th, 2017
Fork against a blue sky with white clouds

The Fork

Ok, so my novella for the How To Find A Duke in 10 Days anthology is done. It’s off to copy-edits and proofreading. The tentative title is The Viscount’s First Kiss.

In the next few days, I will set up my website page for the novella, post an excerpt, and an extended excerpt in the members only section of my website.

And yes. This means I am now full steam ahead on the final read through of Surrender to Ruin.

Did I mention there was a fire on the property behind us? 30 acres burned and I was getting ready to evacuate. Whew.

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A Clearer Explanation

August 12th, 2017

Yes, just about everything I’m writing or supposed to write is late and delayed. The primary reason is my mother’s health. I have no control over her condition or the toll it takes on the entire family, and specifically on my ability to write as much or as effectively.

At the moment, I am finishing my novella for an upcoming anthology. That novella is also late, but I hope to get it to the copy-editor early next week-ish.

That means that Surrender To Ruin has been waiting for another read-thorough after a recent major revision to the first third of the novel. I am pretty sure it’s close to complete, and that after some tidying up, I will be sending that off to copy-edits.

I’m just slower these days, and it’s even more important that I make sure I am mentally refreshed.

So, there you go. That’s why things are slower than normal.

 

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More writing News etc

August 5th, 2017

The RWA National Conference was last week. Since I’m currently on the Board of Directors, I was in Florida from Saturday through the following Sunday. Conference was great for all the usual reasons: information, networking, seeing friends in person, celebrating Romance and Romance authors.

So, at the moment, Surrender to Ruin is sitting in a binder waiting for a final read through before it goes off to copy-editing. I had to set it aside because I have a novella in an anthology coming out in October, and even though I started it ages and ages ago, I got more than halfway done and realized I needed to start over . . .

I am nearly done with that. I do not have a title yet for the novella and I really, really hope to be completely done with it by this weekend. It’s for the anthology How to Find a Duke in 10 Days with Grace Burrowes, Shana Galen, and Miranda Neville.

A hot duke at the left with a stately ducal manor in the distance to his right. Did I mention Hot Duke

How to Find a Duke in 10 Days

Caring for my mother takes a chunk of time and emotion from the writing side of my life. It’s why everything is taking longer these days. I appreciate everyone’s patience.

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RWA National Conference

July 26th, 2017

I am in Orlando, Florida where the RWA National Conference has kicked off. I arrived Saturday since the National Board met Sunday and Monday. Tuesday was a day of rest, napping, writing, and ice cream. Conference has started and it’s high energy. If you see me, say hi!

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More News on Surrender to Ruin

June 17th, 2017

I have the MS for Surrender to Ruin back from the 2nd editorial round and hope to have the adjustments made shortly. I hesitate to give an estimate to done, but I am thinking this weekend to finish the adjustments and 1-2 weeks to check for silly typos etc. Then it goes to copy-edits.

I’ll post an updated Chapter 1 to my website. Newsletter subscribers get access to the members only section of my website where I will post a longer excerpt.

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News! Progress Report

June 11th, 2017

Today I finished revisions for Surrender to Ruin. It goes to my editor for a final pass edit. Hopefully after that it’s minor issues quickly addressed and then it’s off to copy edits.

 

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WildLife and an Update

May 28th, 2017

Update first

Am about a quarter of the way through some additional revisions to Surrender to Ruin. It’s going well. I promise you. I did mention over at my Facebook Author Page, that the health of a family member is impacting my writing time. This book will be done soon.

Wildlife!

Not mine. My brother got my dad a wildlife camera which is currently set up in the creek that runs through the back of the property. This time of year there’s no water in the creek. At this location there are many old oak trees that keep the creek bed in shade most of the time. This particular section has a short slope. Here are some pictures of animals in the creek bed:

Fawn coming down the creek. There is a short steep slope so she/he is being adorably careful

Fawn Being Careful. Young enough to have spots still. 5/20/2017 2:34PM

 

Closer picture of fawn after coming down the slope. Still adorably cute. Young enough to still have spots on his coat.

Made it! A second fawn is at the top of the slope. 5/20/2017 2:34PM

 

Owl from the side with his wings spread since he has just landed

Owl Landing 5/21/2017 4:39AM

This is a Western Screech Owl. You can see a color picture at the Audubon link provided.

 

This is the back of the owl in night vision. Looking for gophers I hope.

Night Owl, dude. 5/21/2017 4:40AM

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Updates!

May 21st, 2017

Writing Updates

I have a a few updates for everyone. First, Surrender to Ruin is back from it’s additional read through. I have a few tweaks to make so things are moving ever closer to done. I’m doing another historical anthology with Grace Burrowes, Miranda Neville, and Shana Galen. I started that story while STR was out being read. I’m considering calling my story “Kissed by a Rake.” Maybe. After that I will work on another My Immortals story and the new project I’m calling “Dark Elves.”

Writing is going slowly at the moment. My duties as a Director for RWA is part of the reason, but that is mostly predictable and manageable.  However, the health of a family member is not, and it should come as no surprise that the burden of that is falling to the women in my immediate family, aka mostly me. I cannot change that. STR is really just about done. But I can’t promise rapid turn arounds these days,

Writing Related Updates

I have a new desk! Here’s some pictures.  It’s made of reclaimed wood by Sons of Salvage here in my town. I highly recommend following that link. I gave them my specific needs and dimensions and they carried it out. In the top picture you can kind of see the 2 drawer pedestal to the right. It’s on wheels so I can move it to the other side if I want. I have a built in keyboard tray. I decided to go with a narrower desk. It’s perfect for me and the space. My next project is to clean out the closet and move the printer there.

Over to the right you’ll see a lamp that looks like it was probably on a train or something. There’s a local artist who makes these super funky lamps out of old items. There’s a picture below with the lamp on so you can see why it’s called “Once in a Blue Moon.” I have it on a timer so it comes on at 9:00 PM to remind me it’s time for bed. Sleep is a precious commodity right now.

Here is a close up of the wood. I love the color and the grain.

Close up of the desk surface. The wood is highly grained and you can see where there were nails and such. All polished and smooth now

Wood!

 

Here’s a picture with the lamp on. The framed print to the right is by Ricky Watts, another local artist. And this is a good shot of my current computer wallpaper. It’s a photo by Anton Jankovoy. I bought two of his pictures. This one is of the Milky Way in Nepal. His photos are amazing.

Beautiful desk made of reclaimed wood, with a funky lamp with blue glass on one side, The lamp is on here and there is a blue glow around it,

The desk. With Blue Moon Lamp

 

I also hooked up my new ergo keyboard. More ergo than the previous one. I’m still getting used to it. My writing space is surrounded by stuff that is meaningful and inspiring to me. It makes a big difference to have these things around me.

And now, back to work.

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Heriot: A Death Tax

April 29th, 2017

So, I was reading this book from 1806 about the duties of a Steward. It’s got loads of interesting information and some examples of the different types of accounting. One of them made me just shake my head.

The ledger example is for recording income received and money spent for tenant and household-related expenses.

This line is what made me pause, the author has it labeled for the year 1800:

Agreed this day with R. S. to accept as a compensation for a heriot due at the death of his father…………… £26 5

I admit I had to look up “heriot”

her·i·ot
noun
British historical
noun: heriot; plural noun: heriots

  1. a tribute paid to a lord out of the belongings of a tenant who died, often consisting of a live animal or, originally, military equipment that he had been lent during his lifetime.

Right. Even if this is only a made up example and not drawn from an actual example, (which I think it is since the author says he got examples from his own work and others), it’s not something I’ve run across in any of my previous research in the Regency.

R.S’s father died, and he has to pay Lord Soandso £26 5. Sigh.

Also interesting is that J.B paid half a year’s rent of £79.5 and D.S paid a full year at £125
J.S. Sadler was paid the full amount of his bill £19.10 as was P.A. Smith in the amount of £21.5
The Groom was paid expenses of £4.3.11

I just paged forward, there are several examples, plainly drawn from documents lent to him, that mention heriots:

Received of (J. D. a composition for three heriots, instead of his three best beasts or goods, due at the death of his father E. D

There are many of them.

Trees were branded, and boy, they were quite profitable.

When an account of the timbers is taken, they may be marked with iron stamps, the rough part of the bark being taken off with the hatchet before the stamp is applied, that the impression may be made fair; and that it may be lasting, the stamp should go no deeper than the bark, but it may be renewed.

Then I came to a long rant about lazy poor people and how taking away the commons and giving them to “ingenious gentlemen” to rent back to the poors who would then be no longer lazy, and, well, I’ve had about enough of that kind of talk lately so I stopped reading.

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