Archive for the ‘Carolyn’s Writing’ Category

A Penny Loaf Made my Head Hurt

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

I was writing and then I needed to know some details about food in the Regency and so, off to Google Books Advanced Search.  . . . two hours later . . . I came across an interesting recipe for bread pudding, which I happen to love.

image of a recipe. Text below!

Recipe!

 

Bread pudding

Take the crumb of a penny loaf, and pour on it a pint of good milk boiling hot, when it is cold, beat it very fine, with two ounces of butter and sugar to your palate, grate half a nutmeg in it, beat it up with four eggs, and put them in and beat altogether near half an hour, tie it in a cloth and boil it an hour, you may put in half a pound of currants for change, and pour over it white wine sauce.

To make a boiled bread pudding a second way.

Take the inside of a penny loaf, grate it fine, add it to two ounces of butter, take a pint and a half of milk, with a stick of cinnamon; boil it and pour it over the bread, and cover it close until it is cold, then take six eggs beat up very well with rose water, mix them all well together, sweet to your taste, and boil it one hour.

I figured it would be interesting to attempt this. My first hurdle is figuring out the size of a penny loaf. It turns out the size/weight of a penny loaf was dependent on the cost of wheat. I read a bunch and saw all the formulas and as near as I can tell a penny loaf had to weigh anywhere from 11 to 16 troy ounces.  A troy ounce is 31.1034768 g (1.097142857143 ounces.)  Some more googleing . . . .

16 troy ounces is 17.554285714288 regular ounces.

Let’s just say a penny loaf is about 16 ounces. I’ll get some bread and attempt this. I’ll report back.

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The Fork is Out!

Sunday, August 21st, 2016
Fork against a blue sky with white clouds

The Fork

People, I’m calling it. Surrender To Ruin is done enough to stick a fork in it. I’ve sent it to my critique partner for a read.

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Historical Romance Sale: Three Books, One Low Price!

Saturday, August 13th, 2016

Historical Romance Sale!

I put together a boxed set of three of my historical romances, and right now for a limited time, the boxed set is on sale for $0.99. That’s three full-length historical romances for one low price! Because you guys are my favorites. The price is good pretty much everywhere. Go forth and read historical romance.

3D cover of Historical Jewels because everyone knows digital books have a shape.

A Great Deal!

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The novels included are: The Spare, Scandal, and Indiscreet. That’s 300,000 words (roughly) of historical romance. Indiscreet won a Bookseller’s Best award. Scandal was a RITA Finalist. Links below! Sale lasts through August 28, 2016.

Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Google Play | Kobo | All Romance

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THE SPARE

She’s missing a day from her life. He thinks she may have killed his brother.

A delightful battle-of-wills romance, tinged with suspense. (Kathe Robin, Romantic Times)

The Spare is a Regency romance murder mystery. If you like well-plotted tales, engaging passion, and a touch of gothic, then you’ll love Carolyn Jewel’s steamy and mysterious novel.

SCANDAL

A proper young widow. A reformed rake. Let the game of love begin.

WOW. Simply, wow. That is the only word I can use to describe this masterpiece. (Romance Novel TV)

Scandal is a Regency romance novel featuring a complex and dysfunctional pair. If you like intense passion, deep emotions, and unpredictable plots, then you’ll love Carolyn Jewel’s pulse-pounding and wonderfully-written tale of love.

INDISCREET

A woman disgraced by a lie. A beast of a man with a cold heart. Their love will transcend continents.

Indiscreet moves from Regency England to the exotic locales of Turkey and Syria in the midst of the Napoleonic wars. The winner of the 2010 Bookseller’s Best Award for Best Short Historical Fiction, it features fast pacing, simmering chemistry, meticulous research, and strong central characters.

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Greetings and Writings

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

Gold Medal: Worst Blog Title Ever!

Yes, I am still working on Surrender to Ruin. I’m in the weeds with the machete. This is a normal part of my process. The middle is solid, and per usual, I haven’t written the last chapter yet. Those closing chapters will go very very quickly when I get there.

The good news is that I believe I have finally made all the tweaks/adjustments that will get me past chapter 5 without asking myself the question all writers seem to ask themselves: Why WHY did I ever think I could write? Also this one: THIS is the book that will prove I’m not a real writer.

I go through this every time. And every time, those feelings are real. I tell myself I’ve done it 35+ times before I can do it again. I will.

To everyone waiting so patiently for Surrender To Ruin, it’s actually coming along nicely. Circumstances beyond my control mean it’s going slower than I would like, but I am writing/revising every single day. It will be off to a trusted reader fairly soon.

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In Defense of Pantsers . . . Again

Friday, July 29th, 2016

I’ve posted before before, before, before, about being a seat of the pants writer and how often people who plot get pantsing wrong. Sigh. Understandably, of course, since it’s not something that works for them. But I’m pretty tired of hearing the same old “If you plot in advance, you’ll save so much time and write so much faster!”

Let me explode that myth.

Plotters need that pre-writing work, the outlines and charts and notes. But that work takes time and words.

Pantsers (typically) do very little pre-writing work. If that work exists, the outlines, charts and notes are minimal. That work takes ZERO to LESS time than the outlining.

Supposedly, pantsers discard more words and therefore plotting is superior because they’re not discarding whole chapters. But that does not withstand scrutiny. Outlines and charts and notes etcs are words that count in this comparison. They count because the pre-writing of plotters and the discarding of a chapter that proved a new direction is necessary is all part of the working-it-out phase of writing.

It really doesn’t matter when or where that occurs. If you need to do it up front before you’ve written any part of an actual chapter, awesome! If you need to wait until you get to that part of the story and then write some words, and then some different words, awesome!

Honestly, I’m just so tired of hearing people who write in more structured ways that non-structured ways are wasteful, I’ll just cry.

More important, if you’re a writer who thinks you can use any process instead of figuring out what works for you, well, that’s why you’re having trouble. Or your book is done and dead on the page.

Sadly, there’s no way to make it easy.

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How’s it Going?

Monday, June 27th, 2016

The writing revising is going well! I’ll be posting Chapter 1 to my website shortly. Very likely I’ll post  chapters 1-2 in the subscriber only section.

To be more exact, I  have been revising Chapters 1-9 as per the usual angst and I don’t even know what I was trying to say there. But now I’m on Chapter 11 and it’s going faster, which is also per usual.

And so, I will wave to you over the internet and get back to it!

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Progress Report, Covers, and Complaints

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Progress Report!

I’m doing a paper read-through of Surrender to Ruin, which is going about as expected. It’s a little unusual that I’m at 82K words without a final chapter and with all but chapter 1 to read and revise. That’s because, per usual, I have heavily revised chapter 1 three times and then got all the way to chapter three when I realized I needed a whole new chapter before the then current chapter 3, which I then wrote and then I started over and revised chapter 1 twice more and now I’m moving on to chapter 2… Which is more or less how it usually goes with the paper revisions.

At this rate, I’ll end up at well over 100K, but I expect to find chapters that require deletion. I’m almost ready to post a first chapter to read, so look for that!

For those who care, I am currently revising my paper version with a Kaweco Sport fine point fountain pen with “lilac summer” ink. It’s very pretty! The Kaweco Sport fountain pen is a great pen. I enjoy writing revising with it.

Covers

As my blog readers know, I have the final cover for Surrender to Ruin which I love love love. I asked my cover artist to match the look and feel of Lord Ruin, which is why I went with a custom shoot for the image. There was nothing out there that was perfect and I didn’t want to compromise. Then I realized that A Notorious Ruin, which is Book 2 in the series, was going to look very out of place. I didn’t even bother looking for stock images. If there was anything out there that would work, I’d have used it for Surrender to Ruin. And so….

I did A/B testing for the  cover. In the first round, my preferred image (Looking Straight Ahead pose) lost by a statistically significant amount — though not overwhelmingly. So then I A/B tested Sideways Pose with the green background and the purple background, and that was more or less a tie. There was an insignificant edge for purple. On social media, the green vs. purple choice had a slight edge for green.

!

I SO SO appreciate everyone who weighed in. By the way, purple was my favorite. As was the Straight Ahead pose. But I could see why the sideways pose had the edge.

Now what!? Well, I put the three covers up in order across my 27″ monitor screen and swapped between purple and green for Book 2. I asked my sister to look. My preference was for the green, and so was hers and so … the green background it is. It goes better with Books 1 and 3. When it’s final, I’ll post all three so you can see for yourselves.

Complaint Department

Is anyone else having trouble finding books to read at Amazon? I used to be able to browse and find books and authors I wanted to read or try out. And now? It’s awful. Apparently, there are only 5 books they intend to show me, and if I don’t want any of those, too bad. The books they show me aren’t even remotely close to something I think I’d enjoy.

My last 10 book purchases were all at iBooks.

How about you?

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And Then THIS Happened

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

Some of you may have seen my post about gaming hells over at the Risky Regencies or seen me tweeting about some of the research. One of the things I came across was a reference to maggot racing and how to cheat at it, and Meljean Brook and I had a hilarious twitter exchange about the story I said I was going to write: Miss Fiona Harper’s Night of Passion, in which Miss Fiona Harper’s brother accidentally kills his racing maggot and loses his sister to the notorious Lord Hawke.

I’m totally going to write that story as soon as I finish Surrender to Ruin. And so…

An embracing couple in Regency clothing. Tots romantic

The Cover

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Here. Pretty Flowers

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

While I’m working on finishing up a completed first draft of Surrender to Ruin, Sinclair Sisters Series Book 3, here are some flower pictures I took.

picture of jasmine. If there were smells this would smell awesome

Jasmine

Yellow Freesia close up. Also would smell great if there were smellorama.

Yellow Freesia

A closed new pink tulip with bits of orange.

Pink tulip

Pink Pearl Apple Blossom from the side. It's pink and very delicate.

Pink Pearl Apple Blossom

This is a purple flower, possibly clematis only mostly i have no idea. Kind of Passion Vine ish. It's light purple.

Clematis thingee? I don’t know. Flower names are not my job.

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Miscellaneous Updates

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

I guess first I’ll mention that Emily and Devon’s story is going well. Last year’s decision to rent offsite office space has made a huge difference in my ability to get words written. There is nothing I can do about the situation that made this necessary, but now I’m able to meet word count and stay on track.

Another bit of news is that despite my poor production in 2015 (see paragraph above) my writing income was up significantly. This was about 50% due to the anthologies I was in.  They did very well.

At the end of last year and through now, I was concentrating on covers for the individual novellas from the anthologies, the covers for My Demon Warlord, covers for three special projects, managing the coding work for a data-management project, and getting ready to outsource all my formatting.

Yes, I can do the formatting myself. I absolutely have the technical skills, but I need to concentrate of maximizing my writing time, and that was one of the things that I decided needed to be outsourced. I’m in the process of sending all my books to be reformatted so they’re all the same visually. Several are done and ready to upload.

Why yes, I DID say there are three special projects that needed covers. I guess stay tuned!

 

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