Sunday, 12 June 2022

I have written 11 books but each time I think ‘Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.' —Maya Angelou

One of my fellow authors said she was experiencing the worst case of imposter syndrome. She wondered if anyone else felt inadequate. My answer? Always. And, I’ve thought about that a lot this morning.

As a teacher, I felt it. As a principal, I felt it. As a performer, I felt it. As a writer, I feel it. All_the_time. I’m not entirely sure about the psychology behind it. No doubt we can retrace the steps in my life and pinpoint some key moments that led to such embedded doubt. In many ways, the cause is irrelevant. The old cliché of what’s done is done leads to the one that it simply is what it is. And I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.

 

I think, perhaps, that if one feels overconfident, they become complacent. When one becomes complacent, one tends not to seek out anything that might destroy that equilibrium. Which limits growth. Regardless of your path in life, if you do not seek to grow, you stagnate, you wither. In any role in life, inertia is boring. It often leads to apathy and mediocrity. In the arts’ world in particular, it is the kiss of death. While the genre of romance comes with a set of tropes and comforting expectations, people (me included!) want to see writers switch things up, come at things differently, wow them with something new. They want a pop of color in their familiar palette.

 

So, I like to consider imposter syndrome the catalyst to new growth. That little voice nagging me about inadequacy? It’s pushing me to learn new things, challenge myself, take risks. Am I a Diana Gabaldon (insert your favorite writer here)? No. Will I ever be? No. But am I better than I was? Can I be better than I am? I believe so. And that feeling that I don’t belong, that I’m a fake, urges me on. And, one last cliché, you know what they say—fake it ‘til you make it.




Friday, 3 June 2022

Check out Love Abandoned!

 

Life is more than a little angsty for the Thornwoods, especially for Elizabeth. But don’t let her fool you. She might be small in stature, but she’s mighty with determination. Join her on her journey from the country to the city—all the way back into her husband’s heart.

US

CA



Monday, 2 May 2022

LOVE ABANDONED

If you enjoy historical romance set in Regency-era England, I hope you'll check out Love Abandoned. It's the second novel in the series Honorable Intentions for Dragonblade Publishing. Release is scheduled for June 1, 2022. In the meantime, please enjoy an excerpt.  


Prologue


Hear my soul speak:

The very instant that I saw you, did

My heart fly to your service; there resides,

To make me a slave to it;

 

~Shakespeare (The Tempest)

 

1808

 

Three years, and Elizabeth was as bewitching as the day he’d married her. As beguiling as the first day they met. Richard would ravish her where she stood were it not for the room full of guests. And it would be hours before they could retire, so he might as well rein in his lustful aspirations and turn his attention elsewhere. What a rubbish idea this anniversary gathering turned out to be. Even worse, it was his rubbish idea.

Richard had been in town for far too long, chasing down business investments, when he’d rather be chasing down Elizabeth. But the estate could not sustain itself indefinitely, and it was time to expand his fortunes. One day an heir would be grateful for his forethought. Hopefully, the manor would be full of children to support. Children. He’d far prefer slipping away and trying to create one than this standing around talking about inconsequential trivia. Unfortunately, he’d thought an anniversary celebration would be cheering for Elizabeth. The lack of children had been wearing on them both.

“Still gawking at your wife after all these years?” Bentley slapped Richard on the back jovially. “You almost make me consider marriage.”

Richard cast his glance sideways at his old school chum and raised an eyebrow. “Is there something…or someone…I should know about?”

“I said, almost, my friend. You know me better than that. Too many skirts in the wilderness, waiting to be tamed, for me to put myself in a cage.”

“Once a rake, always a rake? Don’t be so certain. Someday you’ll find your Lady Bentley, and she’ll cast her spell over you as mine has done to me. And you’ll be glad of it.”

Bentley guffawed, drawing the attention of some of the guests, and of Elizabeth. Richard smiled at her and held her stare. Her pale cheeks flushed a soft pink, but she did not look away. “If you’ll excuse me, Bentley?” he said and walked toward her.

Lovely gathering. Such a wonderful evening. Good to see you, Lord Thornwood. The voices swirled around him, but he had eyes only for Elizabeth. “Lady Thornwood,” he said, interrupting old Mrs. Farnsworth who was wearing far more ribbons and bows than a fresh debutante. “May I see you in private for a moment?” Her cheeks deepened to scarlet, but she nodded and set her hand on his arm. “If you’ll excuse us, Mrs. Farnsworth,” he said, not waiting for her response. More platitudes followed them out of the room.

“Is there something I can do for you, my lord?” Hastings asked, two footmen in tow behind him, each carrying several decanters of wine.

“No, Hastings, we’re fine.” Richard tilted his head back toward the room. “Make sure glasses are full and no one is need of anything. And set the food out a little early.”

“Yes, my lord.”

No one would complain with an overflowing glass in hand and a full stomach. They would not be missed. He’d been delayed and had arrived along with guests, and he couldn’t wait another minute to hold her in his arms.

“Richard?”

“Shh,” he said. “Let me whisk you away.”

Her smile lit the hallway, and she leaned into him as they walked silently along the corridor. Although it would afford them definitive privacy, as no one would dare enter it, he chose not to stop at his study. The saloon next door to it had been opened to the large drawing room, which put the revelers far too close for comfort.

He released an audible sigh of relief when they made it to the library without encountering any strays. Richard pulled Elizabeth inside, begrudgingly letting her go to firmly close the doors. He turned around and leaned back on them, drinking her in. She stood there, looking shy and confident at the same time. Her blonde hair was piled on top of her head, but she’d left wisps caressing her long slender neck. Only two gilt lamps had been lit, and they were behind her. Her lovely shape was well illuminated with the backlighting, but he could not see her eyes. It didn’t matter. He knew them by heart and was confident they mirrored the love she would see in his.

Richard opened his arms in invitation. She smiled and stepped into them, and he embraced her. Her heart beat against his own. This was home. “I missed you,” he whispered.

“I missed you too,” she said and tilted her face to look at him.

He could resist no longer. He took possession of her mouth, hoping his kiss would tell her more adequately than words the truth of his longing for her. They parted, both panting breathlessly.

“Richard,” she finally managed, touching her lips as she spoke his name. “The guests will see…”

He glanced out the windows at the night. It was a miserable one, windy and rainy. No one would be strolling the gardens. He told her so.

She smiled tentatively and touched her lips again. “No, that’s not what I meant. They will see the evidence. You know how easily I bruise.”

“Did I hurt you, my love?” He cursed himself for being an uncontrolled lecher, tugged her close, and kissed her forehead. “I would never willingly do so. You know that, don’t you?” He pulled back so he could see her face.

“Of course, I do.” This time her smile was mischievous. “Hurt me again.”

And wolfishly, he did. This time, when he finally let her go, he wondered how either of them were going to be able to return to the soiree. They would be fodder for endless gossip. He could hear them now disdaining a married couple who were actually in love.

“Come sit with me, and we’ll give ourselves some time to recompose.” He touched her swollen lips, and she kissed his fingers. “Elizabeth,” he growled in warning. His blood would never cool if she continued to look at him like that. He led her to the sofa and pulled her down beside him. “It is good to see the rose in your cheeks. You were exceptionally pale when I arrived, and I worried this gathering had put too much of a strain on you. I do apologize. It was a thick-witted idea.”

“Not at all, my dearest. A husband who remembers an anniversary is special. One who wishes to celebrate it is a rare find.”

He kissed her cheek, feeling as young and in love as when they’d first met five years ago. He’d been able to claim her as his own now for three years, and the glow that warmed him at the mere thought of her did not dull. She entwined her fingers in his.

“And we have much to celebrate,” she said quietly. She shifted their hands to her midriff and clasped them with her other hand, holding them tightly to her stomach. “Much to celebrate.”

Richard’s heart skipped a beat. Could it be? Dare he hope? “You are..? We are...?”

She nodded, her eyes shimmering in the dull light. “We are, Lord Thornwood. Finally.”

He pulled her close, biting back the emotion clogging his throat, making it impossible to speak. It was all he’d dreamed of in his young years. To hear the voices of other children ringing off these old walls. And now it was going to happen. His children. Her children. Their children. “Thank you,” he finally managed to whisper into her hair.

“Oh, Richard,” she whispered back. “This is only the beginning.”

 

Available for pre-order!




Monday, 14 March 2022

Someone asked me what the most difficult thing about having a dog was. I replied – the goodbye. – Unknown

I began to take my writing seriously about fifteen years ago. Around the same time we got two little Lhasa Apso sisters. They were inseparable, except when I wrote. Spice decided she was my muse. Wherever I wrote, Spice was beside me. I don't write at a desk. My laptop is literally on top of my lap. And my little fur muse was beside me. Always.

On February 25, I said goodbye to my writing buddy. As anyone who has ever loved a fur baby knows, it is an incredibly hard thing to do. She was an integral part of our lives for fifteen years. My logical side knows that fifteen years is a good long life for a little pup, but my heart wishes it could have been a little longer.

I have written since. It took me a few days to face the empty couch. But I have managed to put words down and finish the first draft of the third novel in my Honorable Intentions series. I've also completed developmental edits on book two as well as cover copy and tag lines. It's been hard, but I've pushed through.

It seems she was not my muse so much as my life coach. She taught me how to laugh daily, to see joy in simple things, to stop and pay attention to one another. To be present in the moment. She brought out a maternal instinct in me that I would have sworn did not exist. As her health began to fail these past two years, her care became a top priority. We rearranged our lives around her needs because that's what you do for someone you love. And love? Boy, did she teach me about love. Spice reminded me, daily, that love is affectionate, demonstrative, and unconditional.

Ginger and Spice tumbled into this world together. They'd never been apart in their 15+ years of life. Spice loved all three of us. Ginger loved Spice. She is struggling to make sense of this new world where she has only the humans left. Every once in a while, she'll curl up near me. She's currently snugged in beside me, as though she knows I'm writing something challenging. She'll never be the cuddle muffin her sister was; it's simply not who she is. But, I like to think that when she joins me, she finds some comfort in my proximity. I know I do in hers. It's a start. For both of us.

RIP sweet Spice. Thank you for sharing your life with us.





Saturday, 26 February 2022

Dragonblade Authors Unplugged

Check out this interview on Dragonblade Authors Unplugged. Meet the host, the lovely Evelyn Adams, and two other Dragonblade authors, then hook up with me around the 12-minute mark. (I'm the bobblehead in the bottom right corner. J)




Sunday, 23 January 2022

Publishing a book is a very different thing than writing one. ~Tara Westover

The release of Love Denied is less than a week away. It is always exhilarating and nerve-wracking putting a book out into the universe. Months spent alone with characters and their story creates a unique bond with a fictional world. You set it free, but you don't let it go. You hold it close and hope that others feel a fondness for your created peeps, too. While this is my first book with Dragonblade Publishing, it is my fourth heading off into the sunset. So far, it hasn't gotten easier.

I do hope you enjoy it. On Friday, I'll be over at Dragonblade Publishing's Reader's Group having a bit of a chat and doing a few giveaways. If you have some time, drop by and say hello. And, as always, thank you for supporting me along this crazy wonderful writing journey.




I have written 11 books but each time I think ‘Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.' —Maya Angelou

One of my fellow authors said she was experiencing the worst case of imposter syndrome. She wondered if anyone else felt inadequate. My answ...