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.”

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Summary Sunday

I had fun revising and adding some new twists to some of my previous chapters of Courting Cassandry this week. Here is a small sampling of some of the new sentences I've added to the mix. (Along with my weekly character list.)

Gerolt: My 50-something hero
Cassandry: My 40-something heroine
Aveline: Gerolt's late wife
Antony: Cassandry's late husband
Sir Ingram: One of Gerolt's knights
Sir Owen: Another of Gerolt's knights
Rauffe: Gerolt's teenaged son

Monday: Perhaps he had fashioned memories that had never been real, out of the loneliness he had felt with Aveline.

Tuesday: The news had begun to bind her and Antony’s hearts together again, so much so that she had begun to feel a long buried flicker of hope inside her.

Wednesday: The child in her wanted to fling herself into the familiar shelter of Gerolt’s embrace, and for once, the proud widow and angry, betrayed woman nearly let her.

Thursday: She fixed her gaze on Sir Ingram, the feather in his cap dancing merry on the breeze as he mounted a bay horse. If she did not stare somewhere else, Gerolt would see her sudden, deep awareness of him.

Friday: (Gerolt speaking:) “Sir Owen’s judgment is above reproach. I have only asked him to share a bit of advice with Rauffe.”

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Summary Sunday

Courting Cassandry survived a small crisis this week. I inadvertently failed to save a lovingly-labored-over paragraph and had to rewrite it the next day, much less lovingly. Needless to say, I couldn't duplicate it exactly, but I remembered enough that I hope I managed to restore the essence of it. The good news is, I had just happened to share the final lines of that paragraph on Facebook that night, so I was able to copy and paste them back into the paragraph exactly as they stood the night before. Whew! Those rescued lines are Monday's sampling from Courting Cassandry below.

Here's my weekly mini-character list to help you keep everybody straight.

Gerolt: My 50-something hero
Cassandry: My 40-something heroine
Egelina: Cassandry's 14 year old daughter
Rauffe: Gerolt's 15 year old son
Samson: Gerolt's best friend
Marion: Samson's 22 year old daughter

Monday: Fool. She jerked the covers over her still closed eyes. This is Gerolt. He still sees you as a sister, as his little sparrow. Go back to sleep until you can wake up sane.

Tuesday: Cassandry tried to follow her, but the fragrance from the burning wreath wrapped all around her, holding her rooted by the hearth.

Wednesday: Egelina’s face quirked, as though offended at the suggestion that Rauffe might dislike her cakes.

Thursday: She prayed the prayer of a worldly coward. Let Samson say what he will of me. Let him make Gerolt think the worst. But please, kind Heaven, let him do it after I am gone and let me never, never know!

Friday: “She is very lovely,” Cassandry murmured from beside him. “Is that Marion?”
               Gerolt silently cursed that she had seen his gaze lingering on the young woman.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Loving Lucianna is a RONE Award finalist!

My sweet medieval romance, Loving Lucianna, is a 2015 RONE Award finalist! The RONE is awarded by InD'Tale Magazine, and the finalists are chosen from among books that have received InD'Tale's top reviews.

Loving Lucianna won a Crowned Heart for Excellence review from InD'Tale, which read in part:

"The love story is particularly unique and the sisterly friendship is endearing.... A touching tale of sacrifice and devotion, Loving Lucianna will tug at the heartstrings and leave the reader with a warmed heart and satisfied soul."

The full review can be read on InD'Tale Magazine's website. (Click here.)

To move to the final round, Loving Lucianna needs your help. If you have read and enjoyed Loving Lucianna, I would be most grateful if you would spare just a minute to hop over to InD'Tale's website and cast your vote for my title. You will find it under Historical: Pre Medieval 2015. You do have to subscribe to InD'Tale before you can cast a vote, but subscriptions are completely free and you won't be spammed.

If you would like to vote for Loving Lucianna, or any of the other titles listed that you have read and loved, you can go to the voting site by clicking here.

Voting ends at midnight EST on Sunday, May 17, so please cast your vote before then.

Thank you so very much for your time and your help!