Sunday, August 2, 2015

Summary Sunday

I thought I saw the end in sight for this first draft of Courting Cassandry, only to be thwarted by a character this week who decided to throw an unexpected wrench into the works. I argued with her, I tried to ignore her, I struggled to resist, but in the end she defeated me and I wrote the scene the way she demanded. Whether it makes the cut in revisions and stays in the story is yet an open question, but don't tell her that I said that. J

I still think the ending is relatively near. In the meantime, here are some new sentences from my work this week on Courting Cassandry.

Mini-Cast of Characters

Gerolt: my fifty-something hero
Cassandry: my forty-something heroine
Egelina: Cassandry's teenaged daughter
Rauffe: Gerolt's teenaged son


Monday: The wounded wife, the benumbed mother, the broken woman had all burned away in the brightness of Gerolt’s love.

Tuesday: She took the circlet from Egelina, and when her daughter did not answer but sat gazing at her mother with wide, watery eyes, Cassandry took the parchment, too.

Wednesday: Some flicker of awareness had awakened in Rauffe’s eyes and he rolled onto his side, curling up in a ball and groaning out, “It burns. It burns.”

Thursday: "I threw the container away in the moat so that no one could trace it back to me.” (And no, I'm not going to tell you which character says this. )


Friday: If he ceased to fight the pain, if he succumbed to the refuge of full unconsciousness, Cassandry did not know if she would ever be able to rouse him from it.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Summary Sunday

I've fallen a few weeks behind in sharing a Summary Sunday with you. I'm still working on Courting Cassandry, but I think I'm finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel with this first draft. As usual, my outline flew out the window along the way and the story took on a life and direction of its own. Fingers crossed, though, that it won't be too much longer before I'm able to type "The End!" (Of this first draft. Then of course, there will need to be a second draft, and a third draft, and . . . well, as many drafts as it takes to polish the final product up.)

In the meantime, here is a sampling of sentences from this week's labors (and I assure you, writing often feels very much like labor!) of Courting Cassandry.

Mini-cast of characters to help you keep everybody straight:

Gerolt: My fifty-something year old hero
Cassandry: My forty-something year old heroine
Antony: Cassandry's late husband
Rauffe: Gerolt's teenaged son
Samson: Gerolt's best friend

Monday: Perhaps that was why Gerolt had courted Cassandry with praise as a girl, instead of speaking to her frankly from his heart, permitting Antony to beguile her away from him with the endearments that fell so easily and passionately from his lips.

Tuesday: Then Cassandry’s words floated into Gerolt’s mind. Rauffe wants so much for you to be proud of him. He has no comprehension of how much you love him. Why have you never told him?

Wednesday: Either way, the bliss she had tasted in Gerolt’s kisses had already shattered. All her longings stilled in his embrace, only to be snatched away by one cruel truth—she was too old.

Thursday: Cassandry would have thrown the gift in Samson’s face if he had been standing here. Instead she threw it on the bed with a force that made it bounce three times across the blankets.


Friday: Cassandry had buried her love for one man in her life. She would bury this love too.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New review of The Lady and the Minstrel!

Kirkus Reviews has just posted a new review of The Lady and the Minstrel! Kirkus Reviews says:

“The novel effectively incorporates aspects of the time period, ranging from the popularity of fables about Reynard the Fox to the use of dried yarrow leaves. As a result, readers hungry for historical details will find much more than lutes and swords, although the story has its share of both of those, as well…. [T]he tone throughout is one of grandiose emotions and epic decisions—one that’s designed for a man like Robert, who “understood the call of loyalty and love."


“A nuanced, passionate love story that will transport readers to King John’s England.”

You can read the full review on the Kirkus Reviews website: 


Purchase your copy of The Lady and the Minstrel on:


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summary Sunday

I forgot to include my medieval lady scribe with this post last week. Did you miss her? :-)

Here are some new sentences from Courting Cassandry this week. Do you still need a mini-character list? No new characters are mentioned, but in case your memory is as weak as mine is these days:

Mini-character list:

Gerolt: my 50-something hero
Cassandry: my 40-something heroine
Antony: Cassandry's late husband
Egelina: Cassandry's teenaged daughter

The "her" in Friday's sentence refers to Cassandry, and the "his" refers to Gerolt.

Okay, you may now read on!

Monday: Gerolt broke off as Cassandry’s hand jerked and knocked over her queen, sending the figure rolling so briskly it took out her knight and his bishop and several of his pawns.

Tuesday: Gerolt leaned back in his chair and watched Cassandry for a few moments in silence. Did she realize how much her words revealed?

Wednesday: Antony—brash, reckless, devil-may-care Antony had complained to his wife of an extra rabbit in a tapestry?

Thursday: Egelina’s hands were lost in the shadows near the jewelry casket, but Cassandry heard the tiny click of the key as she locked it shut.


Friday: Half of her wanted to continue to draw his attention to her mistakes—an errant thread there and there and there—but memories were seeping through the other half of a young girl playfully ‘hiding’ the seventh rabbit and honoring the little bird who had brought her so much joy by weaving her portrait in the corner.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Summary Sunday

I've taken a couple of weeks' break from Summary Sunday, but not from working on Courting Cassandry. The 1st draft is still progressing along. Here are some new sentences from this week's writing sessions.

Mini Character List:

Gerolt: My 50-something hero
Cassandry: My 40-something heroine
Rauffe: Gerolt's teenaged son
Antony: Cassandry's late husband
Samson: Gerolt's best friend

Monday: Gerolt’s gaze shifted back to Cassandry’s face. His eyes suddenly grew so warm, she almost felt herself embraced. “There you are,” he murmured.

Tuesday: Gerolt nodded at Cassandry’s daughter, already vanishing through the hall’s exit with Rauffe. “When we come in, I will attempt to help you corner her, if you wish it.”

Wednesday: Antony had carved their initials in the tree the day he had said he wished to marry her, making this their own, special place.

But before it was ours, it was mine and Gerolt’s.

Thursday: (Gerolt to Cassandry, talking about his boyhood with his friend, Samson): “We stole into the village one night and raised the hue and cry just to see all the villagers turn out in alarm, then hid and smothered our laughter as they ran about in confusion in their nightclothes.”


Friday: “You wonderful, wretched bird,” Gerolt said. “If you have raised my hopes for nothing, you may not find me so quick to pluck Gib Cat from the tree the next time he tries to make you his dinner.”