How do you commit murder? Well, in the Victorian era arsenic was a good way to do in your rivals, spouses, and enemies. Blythe Court, contains arsenic, and you may wonder if my use is accurate. Hopefully, you know by now I do my research, even if it really does sound extremely odd when you read the story. Arsenic, in case you need a quick education, is a chemical element. It occurs in many minerals. During the Victorian era, it was widely used in commercial products. It was also available to purchase in bottle form from a druggist—half an ounce cost a penny, enough to kill 50 people. Unbeknownst to the Victorians, they were slowly poisoning themselves from wallpaper to clothes. The poison caused agonizing deaths until they finally realized the dangers of the chemical and began putting restrictions in place. Here are a few of the products that contained
When I write historical romance, I take the time to research. All of my books are carefully laced with background material regarding the setting and era in which my characters lived. Thorncroft Manor was no different. The majority of my research in this novel related to the city of Pendeen and the Cornish mines along the coast of Cornwall, England. Most of the facts about Cornish mining were taken from the websites linked below. If you are interested in learning more, here is an opportunity to read about the real miners who toiled in the depths of the earth. Life from the past always fascinates me, no matter what the subject. Research helps stories come alive when you travel back in time to how people lived, worked, and loved in centuries past. “In 1839, 7,000 children were employed in Cornish tin mines. Until the age of 12, young boys worked
I’ve been doing some cleanup on my Legacy Series Book blog and came across this post I wrote long ago. The entire series is on sale, by the way, until June 21st for 99 cents. This blog post came after writing book two, I believe. It speaks volumes. The Blood – I guess I equate the blood part to various aspects of being an author. It’s the pain you go through being a writer from the voices in your head to the critical, and sometimes cruel voices in your reviews. When you pour your soul into any work, you bleed. A part of you becomes imprinted upon the page. Your thoughts, struggles, and life experiences are woven between the chapters and hidden in certain words. Usually, your readers are none the wiser they exist, but they do. Once your DNA is in the work, then comes the blood from people
Tomorrow marks the end of the First World War one hundred years ago. These are my ancestors who lost their lives. I dedicated my book Lady Grace to their memory.
I’ve officially pulled all of my books from Kindle Unlimited, which is the service where you can subscribe for a monthly fee to read multiple books. Unbeknown to many readers, the services are plagued with problems. Suzan Tisdale wrote an open letter to Jeff Bezos regarding the KU stuffers, scammers, and thieves that may be an eye-opening account I encourage you to read. CLICK HERE. Other authors are leaving the service as well and releasing their books on all platforms such as iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc. If you are unaware, to be in Kindle Unlimited, you must sell your soul and be exclusive with Amazon. Authors are banned from selling their books anywhere else. If those problems are not enough to discourage authors, the fact that I make a whopping four cents when someone reads eight pages of my book is enough to keep me in the poorhouse of authors.
After finishing three Ladies of Disgrace stories, I’ll probably put that idea aside for now. However, I’m so happy at the great reviews Lady Charlotte has received! Thank you very much. It was a fun book to write, and it appears everyone likes Charlotte. What’s next? I’m still mulling over my options regarding what to write – contemporary, historical romance, time travel, or another family saga. In my files, I actually have three other books I’ve started writing, but they’ve all fizzled out. Not feeling the muse. At the present time, I’m seriously considering another family saga based on my family ancestry. I have amassed such a wealth of information from the rags to riches story of my second great uncle and his descendants from the 1850s through 1930s. From the struggling poor, a family suicide, the will to succeed, with subsequent marriages and children I have enough plot to
A few months ago, Lady Grace received a five-star review from Readers’ Favorite. Today I received an email that my review had been posted for Lady Charlotte and am happy to report another five stars. You can read the review at this LINK. If you’ve read any of the three books of the series, please leave reader reviews as well. Here is a link to one of my blog posts about the importance of reviews for authors and how a few words help. READ HERE Thanks so much for following this blog and reading about my ladies of disgrace.
As some of you may or may not know, I also have a historical romance website to help authors market the genre. It’s not that popular but is gaining in popularity, and I regularly post on it my thoughts or historical romance news. You can find me a Historical-Romance Books. This morning I posted about the historical romance genre as a whole because of what I’ve noted. If you’ve read any of my books, you know I don’t exactly follow the cookie cutter of the genre and am all over the place with various story types and eras. I just can’t conform and perhaps that is my downfall. Nevertheless, here is the post in the content below. What are your thoughts about the genre? Are we in a rut? Frankly, overall, I think we are. Ah, the dictionary — it gives me the exact words to describe this post. RUT
I had a great time writing Lady Charlotte, which is a tit-for-tat relationship between Albert Beckett and Charlotte Rutherford. Cedric, Charlotte’s cousin, thinks her behavior is an embarrassment to the extended family and sets out on a bid to reform her ways. He chooses Albert Beckett to take on that task, who you will soon find out spouts an awful lot about what constitutes good society. So, where did I get all this stuffy fluff about behavior? It’s from a book that I’ve used quite a bit in research entitled, The Habits of Good Society: A Handbook for Ladies and Gentleman written by an Unknown Author in 1872. I wrote a review of the book on Amazon that will give you an idea of its contents: When writing, I try to be as accurate as possible regarding the times. However, this book goes far beyond what I would term a typical
I was one of the lucky ones to purchase a poppy from the Tower of London. As you know, I dedicated Lady Grace to my fallen cousins who lost their lives in World War I. I’ve been able to replant the poppy on this wonderful website! Please visit, comment, and read their story of where the poppy has been planted. Find my Tower poppy at: https://www.wherearethepoppiesnow.org.uk/the-poppy-map/ Source: Where are the Poppies Now – Tales from those who bought poppies
As you may or may not know, I’ve written one contemporary novel, Conflicting Hearts, under the pen name of J.D. Burrows. I entered the book into the annual competition at Readers’ Favorite and received a Finalist Award under Fiction/Social Issues. Here is the press release regarding the acknowledgment. There is an awards ceremony in November in Miami, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to attend. It looks like great exposure. Reader’s Favorite recognizes “Conflicting Hearts” in its annual international book award contest. The Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries, ranging from new independent authors to NYT best-sellers and celebrities. Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for
Marketing is a pain. It’s expensive. It’s a time-consuming task. It’s necessary to get visibility in a saturated marketplace. My biggest obstacle in releasing a new book is the lack of reviews that plague me on Amazon for months on end. Without reviews, I cannot market. Without marketing, I cannot sell in a saturated marketplace. Amazon is the toughest place to obtain reviews. Star ratings are plentiful on iTunes in comparison. When I say that the best way to thank an author is to write a review, I sincerely hope that you will consider supporting the authors you read in this fashion. A few words and a number of stars help immensely to aid authors in getting noticed amongst a crowded marketplace. Did you know that after 20-25 reviews, Amazon notices and will include me in the “also bought” list or the “you might like list” as you browse for
Released! Lady Grace. Thank you, everyone! As a young woman of twenty-one, Grace did not think it unusual to marry a man of forty. Although she wed a kind and respectful individual, something remained absent from their relationship. Before she could fully understand her growing despondency and restless emotions, England declared war on Germany. Like a jigsaw puzzle turned upside down, the pieces of Grace’s life scatter in different directions. When her husband leaves for France to fight for king and country, Grace is left behind to face years of loneliness, temptation, and loss. After the declaration of peace, the picture puzzle of her life is reassembled but paints a vastly different scene than it did before. Amazon – Published on July 28, 2017, 4:09 PM – Available Now Kobo – Published – Pre-Order Available 8/1 Apple – Published – Pre-Order Available 8/1 Nook, Scribd, Intera, 24 Symbols, Playster, Google Play
I rarely know if these do any good as marketing tools, but I sure have fun making them! For a much clear version, visit my Author Updates on Amazon.
As I’ve been editing and rewriting portions of Lady Grace this past weekend, I have realized that I am emotionally involved in this book. Naturally, as a writer that often happens when you create characters and bond with them. It certainly did to some extent with the Legacy Series since I had so many lives that I followed on paper for twenty plus years. Lady Grace, however, has been an emotional journey. I don’t think that I have blubbered so much penning and reading my story. It finally dawned on me why my emotions have been so stretched after watching a new interactive documentary now streaming on Netflix entitled “Our World War” that originally aired on BBC. You can read about here on the BBC site. It’s not an easy show to watch because it puts you in the middle of the war as if you’re standing in the trenches