Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Challenge I Can Embrace

I've seen all kinds of different reading challenges through the years and on different blogs. I've never participated because I didn't think I could ever reach the goal I set for myself.  But this one is perfect for me. I would said 90% of my "reading" is by way of audio book.  I love audio books and the first thing I do after starting the car is making sure the Kindle is plugged in and ready to go.  There are have also been those times, after a long day, I relax in a bubble bath with a glass of wine and listen to a great story.  I am also that person who has sat in a running car after I've reached my destination listing to a story because I can't turn it off at that moment.

So, when I read about the 2013 Audio Book Challenge at Teresa's Reading Corner I knew this is something I wanted to participate in.  My goal is 25 books.
2013 Audio Book Challenge

By the way, there are several bloggers and readers participating in this challenge. I've listed most of them alone the right-hand side of the page under "2013 Audio Book Challenge".  Check them out if you want to find out what everyone is reading.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What is it About Scrooge

I love the works of Charles Dickens. Always have and always will.  The man did not have an easy life, especially childhood and perhaps that is why his characters are so memorable, or his writings because he could draw on so many experiences. 

He was born in 1812 and sent to school at the age of nine. However, his father and (I think) the family was imprisoned for debt while Charles was sent to work in Warren’s blacking factory.  A few years later he was able to return to school.  He began is writing career as a journalist from which fame would soon follow.  Dickens is known for many wonderful stories such as Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, along with others that first appeared as monthly installments in various papers and magazines publish from 1836 to 1861.   I sometimes wonder what he would think of his books still being so popular this day in age, and that in some schools they are even required reading.    

There could be arguments made as to which is the most popular of Dickens’ work, but at this time of year none seem as famous as A Christmas Carol.  There are a number of movie versions but these are probably the more popular ones: 

Scrooge (1970) with Albert Finney
A Christmas Carol (1984) with George C. Scott
Scrooged (1988) with Bill Murray
A Christmas Carol (1999) with Patrick Stewart

But, we can’t stop there, other famous characters have also embraced Dickens:
Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962)
Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
The Jetsons Christmas Carol (1985)
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994)

I’ve also seen various renditions of this classic on different family networks, one being my favorite channel this time of year—Hallmark! (yes, I love the sappy Christmas movies and have this channel on practically 24/7) .  Some have even put a female in the roll of Scrooge, and others are a modern take.

 But right now, one if my favorites is A Christmas Carol: The Musical staring Kelsey Grammer.  The story is the same, but it has some great music.  This is probably my favorite from the show:



This month at one of the theatres were I volunteer they performed A Christmas Carol: The Musical, and my main task was making Jacob Marley a ghost as well as about 10 other young actors for their rendition of Link by Link.  I also had fun with the Spirit of Christmas Past, who is a "blind old hag" in the opening scenes of the show.  I had to make one of her eyes disappear and make her as old as possible. I knew I had been successful when people did a double take and almost didn't recognize her.  I love being given the opportunity to be creative in the theatre.

Which is your favorite version of A Christmas Carol and why do you think this story remains so popular?  If you are not a fan of A Christmas Carol what is your favorite Dickens story?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Have You Ever Been to London?

Have you ever visited London?  I am going this summer and need help planning. Stop by LadyScribes to give me your tips on what to do, see and the best way to go about it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Lass for Christmas


Lady Madeline Trent had grand plans for her future until she learned her family’s awful secret. When a fall through an icy lake lands her in the arms of a handsome Scot, her future is more unsure than ever.

Lachlan Grant, the Marquess of Brachton, may hold an English title, but he's a Scot through and through. He's bound and determined to marry a lass just as Scottish as he is, at least until his fate is altered one snowy night.

A Lass for Christmas is a novella of approximately 27,000 words and the fourth story in the Tenacious Trents series.

The Tenacious Trent Series is comprised of:

Compromised for Christmas which is found in A Summons from His Grace (published Nov. 2011) 
A Misguided Lord (published May 2012);and 
A Perfect Gentleman (published Nov. 2012)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Release! Scots, Spies & Salacious Lies


Scots, Spies and Salacious Lies are three Regency set Novellas. The first, Compromised at Christmas is the beginning of the Tenacious Trents Series

Compromised at Christmas…
Miss Elizabeth Whitton craved excitement and adventure. Unwilling to endure one boring Season after another, she convinces her uncle in the Home Office to let her work for him. * John Phillip Trent has been spying for the Home Office in the stables of Tuileries as Jean Pierre Bouvier for more than two years, his only English contact – Lisette Renard a servant girl inside the palace. * When a summons from the Duke of Danby slips through the proper channels, both Elizabeth and John’s covers are compromised. To escape the palace and France with their lives, they’ll have to depend on each other and the miracle of Christmas. (Compromised at Christmas was original published in A Summons from His Grace) 

~ * ~
Landing a Laird…
Heiress Lady Moira Kirkwood will do anything it takes to marry a laird to take her north - far, far away from London and her domineering mother. Unfortunately, a pair of gentlemen overhear her jest about Scotland and compromising a fellow if she has to. Before the sun has risen the next day, Moira’s name and a scandalous wager have found themselves inside the infamous betting book at White’s.

One penniless gentleman after another begs Gideon Baxter, Viscount Ainsely, for his assistance in wooing Lady Moira. Unfortunately, Gideon would like to woo the charming lady himself. If only she cared more for him than for the location of his estate, he’d could be assured of where her true feelings lie.
(Landing a Laird was originally published in The Betting Season)

~ * ~

Devil in My Dreams...
Devlin Bartlett was never meant to be Viscount Marston, yet he has inherited not only the title but three younger sisters, all of marriageable ages. He soon learns that thwarting the French was much easier than playing guardian to three young ladies, and decides the simplest solution is to marry them off. * Louisa Whitton needs to find a husband of her own choosing before Christmas. At her sister’s house party, she meets the perfect gentleman—thus foiling her grandfather’s plans. However, Marston refuses to even think about courting her until his sisters are wed, and he has the audacity to ask her to wait. Louisa’s grandfather will never agree, so she sets out to find the perfect substitute for Marston, forcing him to choose between his sisters’ future and his own.
(Devil in My Dreams was originally published in A Season to Remember)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Perfect Gentleman (Tenacious Trents - Book 2)


Announcing the release of the second  Tenacious Trents novel



Matthew Trent always knew what was expected of him and that was to become the Perfect Vicar and a Perfect Gentlemen. When Grace Cooper enters his life he is forced to face what he really wishes to become.
Grace Cooper has three options for marriage available to her in the small village where she resides. However, Grace would rather be placed on the shelf than enter into a miserable union.
When someone threatens her father and then makes an attempt on her life, it is Vicar Trent who vows to protect her and brings scandal to her doorstep, upsetting the delicate balance of both of their worlds.



Excerpt:


“I think you are a lovely and desirable woman.” Matthew wasn’t certain what he should say. Was she embarrassed or hurt or angry? He was never very good at understanding the feminine gender and it wasn’t like he was given many opportunities, especially in situations such as this. Perhaps if it hadn’t been ten years since he had been intimate with a woman he would have a better understanding.
“I behaved like a wanton.”
Matthew chuckled. “I wouldn’t call you wanton.”
“What would you call a woman who throws herself at her vicar, while in her bed?”
Matthew chuckled. Though the description did sound a bit promiscuous, he wouldn’t describe her as such. “Vulnerable, scared, lonely?”
“That is worse.”Tears welled in her eyes.
What had he said wrong?
“You only kissed me because you felt sorry for me after I threw myself at you.”
“On that point you are wrong.”
She blew out a breath and crossed her arms over her chest. “You are just being kind because you are a vicar.”
Matthew wanted to laugh. “There is nothing kind in my motivation in kissing you back.”
Confusion marred her brow and Matthew cradled her chin in his hand. “Do you have any idea how long I have wanted to kiss you? There are all manner of things I wish to do, but won’t because you are an innocent young woman.”
She bit her bottom lip and it took everything in his being not to kiss her again.
“And if I don’t leave right now, you are in danger of far more than kisses and caresses from me.”
“But you are a vicar. A perfect gentleman.”
Matthew gripped her chin tighter, but not enough to cause a mark or hurt her, and looked deep into her eyes. “Know this, Miss Cooper, I am a man and at this moment I am not feeling the least bit gentlemanly nor much of a vicar.”



Friday, October 19, 2012

A Season to Remember


Announcing the release of A Season to Remember.  Another anthology by Ava Stone, Jerrica Knight-Catania, Catherine Gayle and myself.  Each story is linked to our earlier anthology, The Betting Season, as well as the Summons Anthologies.  I cannot express how fun it has been to work with these awesome ladies on these anthologies. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.


In Jane Charles’s Devil in My Dreams...
Devlin Bartlett was never meant to be Viscount Marston, yet he has inherited not only the title but three younger sisters, all of marriageable ages. He soon learns that thwarting the French was much easier than playing guardian to three young ladies, and decides the simplest solution is to marry them off. * Louisa Whitton needs to find a husband of her own choosing before Christmas. At her sister’s house party, she meets the perfect gentleman—thus foiling her grandfather’s plans. However, Marston refuses to even think about courting her until his sisters are wed, and he has the audacity to ask her to wait. Louisa’s grandfather will never agree, so she sets out to find the perfect substitute for Marston, forcing him to choose between his sisters’ future and his own.

~ * ~

In Catherine Gayle’s To Enchant an Icy Earl...
As the Earl of Fordingham, Tristan Cavendish has lived by the code his father beat into him for so long he’s driven everyone in his life away, including his brother. Now he is alone. Loneliness dictates he must change, so he sets out to make amends with his only sibling. Alas, his brother seems none too inclined to hear him out, and a woman who must be a vision from Fordingham’s dreams walks into his path. Now, more than ever before, he knows he must change his ways or risk driving her away as well…but how? * Calista Bartlett is on the hunt for a husband—but one who is nothing at all like the betrayer who was her former beau. When she sees the Earl of Fordingham across the room at a soiree, she knows she’s found the very man who is everything her one-time beau was not. Fordingham presents an icy fa├žade to the world, but Calista discovers a passionate man who kisses her feverishly and warms her through to the bones. Can she ever convince him to let down his guard permanently?

~ * ~

In Ava Stone’s My Lord Hercules...
Miss Miranda Bartlett is on a mission to locate her missing friend. Determined hoyden that she is, she’ll do whatever it takes to get the answers she seeks too, even if that means dressing like a dandy, sneaking into a gaming hell, and surrounding herself with London’s worst reprobates. However, she didn’t plan on bumping into a Herculean gentleman along the way. The handsome and honorable Lord Harrison Casemore immediately thwarts her plans and seems determined to save her at every turn, making it more than difficult to accomplish her task. * Ever since Harry Casemore spotted the exotic temptress trying to pass herself off as a fop, he’s been drawn to her. He hasn’t figured out what she’s after, but he’s fairly certain he’d sell his soul if she’d just let him help her with whatever it is.

~*~

In Jerrica Knight-Catania’s A Penny For Your Thoughts... Penelope Bartlett has had a rough year, to say the least. She lost her eldest brother and her father in one fell swoop, and to make matters worse she had to miss out on her very first London Season. Now she's in the thick of the Little Season and all she wants to do is run away. It's torture to watch her siblings fall in love and she's simply not in the mood to make merry with all of them. Especially when they treat her as if she's still a little girl in leading strings. 
* Enter Drake Lockwell, Viscount Flitwick. He, too, is typically eager to escape crowded ballrooms and matchmaking mamas in favor of his own company in a deserted garden or library. But a chance meeting in his brother’s garden one night changes everything. Miss Bartlett is young and impetuous, yet he can't help but fall prey to her charms. Perhaps she will be the one to finally mend the hole in his heart...

Or will his secrets be more than Penelope is able to handle?

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Trouble with Muses

Today I am talking about the problems I have had with my muse, and one I borrowed, at LadyScribes.  Stop by and let me know if your muse has ever given you trouble.

http://ladyscribes.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-trouble-with-muses.html

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Misguided Lord

Now Available . . . A Misguided Lord


It is time for Clayton Trent, Earl of Bentley, to take a bride.  He knows exactly what he needs and the type of lady who should become his Countess.  His life is orderly, scandal free and exactly the way it should be until Miss Eleanor Westin careens into him, upsetting the perfect balance of his world.  She is everything his father said he should not marry.  Yet, he cannot put her from his mind, not even when a decade old scandal threatens the very foundation of his family.


Miss Eleanor Westin has spent her life in the country on the brink of poverty and raising her siblings after the death of her parents until her grandfather finally decides to do his duty and brings her to London.  Eleanor simply wants to find a gentleman who is willing to take on her family in the bargain.  Love is not even a consideration if she can land security.  Unfortunately, the only gentleman who has made any offer is Lord Bentley, and he will never do.  If only he would stay out of her dreams so she could forget him and his intoxicating kisses.


Available at:Amazon and Barnes & Noble 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Betting Season



In AVA STONE's By Any Other Name...

Lady Philippa Casemore caused quite a scene at her very first ball of her very first season. She even landed herself, somehow, on the pages of the infamous betting book at White's gentleman's club. Unfortunately, she doesn't remember one moment of the night in question. Not the music. Not the notorious rake she'd dragged into the middle of the dance floor. Not the flask of opium-laced brandy she'd downed without realizing it's contents...

Jason York, the wicked Earl of St. Austell, can't quite forget the lady who stole his breath away the previous night. Of course, his broken nose, courtesy of the girl's brother, did have a way of making an impression. When he stumbles into Lady Philippa the next day, his ego is more than bruised when she doesn't seem to recall him at all and a scheme to make certain she never forgets him again quickly forms in Jason's mind.

~ * ~

In CATHERINE GAYLE's Flight of Fancy...

Cedric Loring, the Earl of Montague, has been an honorary member of the Bexley-Smythe family for years. He’s always had a special, if sometimes strained, bond with Georgie. But when her name ends up in the betting book at White’s before she’s even made her debut, he knows no one can protect her quite like he can. If only she’d stop chasing after the very gentleman who could single-handedly see to her ruin.

Lady Georgianna Bexley-Smythe has the uncanny ability to remember nearly everything she’s ever read, and thus knows everything about almost everything. But as knowledge and experience are not interchangeable, she intends to make her first Season one of adventure. What could be more adventurous than seeing London from Lord Haworth’s gas balloon? Now she must avoid Monty long enough to make Haworth’s acquaintance and beg an airborne adventure.

~ * ~

In JANE CHARLES's Landing A Laird...

Heiress Lady Moira Kirkwood will do anything it takes to marry a laird to take her north - far, far away from London and her domineering mother. Unfortunately, a pair of gentlemen overhear her jest about Scotland and compromising a fellow if she has to. Before the sun has risen the next day, Moira’s name and a scandalous wager have found themselves inside the infamous betting book at White’s.

One penniless gentleman after another begs Gideon Baxter, Viscount Ainsely, for his assistance in wooing Lady Moira. Unfortunately, Gideon would like to woo the charming lady himself. If only she cared more for him than for the location of his estate, he’d could be assured of where her true feelings lie.

~ * ~
In JERRICA KNIGHT-CATANIA's The Marriage Trap...

When Miss Patience Findley discovers, at her first ball of her first Season, just how much her father's scandal has affected her chances of marriage, she resigns herself to being alone and dying a spinster. That is, until she hears that her friends' names have landed in the Betting Book at White's. In a moment of desperation, she asks her reprobate cousin to place a bet on her behalf, in hopes of trapping an unsuspecting gentleman into marriage.

Tristan Wallford, Lord Swaffham, loves a good challenge. So when his friend, Rowan Findley, claims that his cousin Patience cannot be cured of her melancholy state, Tristan lays a bet that he will be the one to cure her. He could certainly use the money, after all. But as the game begins, Tristan begins to realize that not only does Miss Findley not need curing, but she might be worth trapping for himself.