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Lady Grace & The Great War

Researching this story timeline is an interesting and somewhat sobering journey. I am aware of some things during that time period because my ancestors lived in the Manchester area during the war years of 1914-1918. I have a few reference books with newspaper articles that give insight into the times and struggles at home while the men were away fighting. My ancestors lost sons and husbands to the war, which are my second cousins two times removed on the generational chart. (This means we share the same third great-grandfather. Their fathers were my second great uncles, Robert Holland and Henry Holland.) Since I’m an avid ancestry nut, I have been able to trace military records and references to their losses. Below is a sampling of the information I have discovered. The story of Lady Grace will include two men in the military – Grace’s husband Benedict and Arabella, her friend, Read More

Lady Grace – New Book In Progress

Lady Isabella is out for editing, and it should be ready for release February 1 in eBook and print. After mulling over a few story lines and time eras, I felt compelled to backtrack to the time period of World War 1 for my next story entitled Lady Grace. I had thought about choosing other names for the title, but the name Grace stuck with me because of the personality of the young woman that I will be writing about. In 1914, Grace has given birth to her first child and her husband, Benedict Russell, has left for the front. Of course, anytime that I decide to write about something new, I’m strolling down research lane. The premise of this story is going to make me study more than fashion, makeup, and hair. It’s also going to cause me to research England during World War I and the sacrifices that Read More

Looking Back at 2016: Important Publishing Developments Authors Should Know | Jane Friedman

45% of all books purchased in the US in 2016 are digital In adult fiction, sales in the US are roughly 70% digital 30% of all US adult fiction purchases are books by self-published authors Source: Looking Back at 2016: Important Publishing Developments Authors Should Know | Jane Friedman An interesting article worth the read, especially that 30% of all U.S. adult fiction purchases are books by self-published authors.   Read More

The Year In Review & The Year Ahead

It’s difficult to phantom that another year has flown by.  It’s time to say goodbye to 2016 and welcome 2017. This past year has been a busy one with the release of The Price of Passion, a Portrait of Perfection, and A Christmas Mission. In addition, I did new covers for The Legacy Series and continued to update the old text with updated versions. The poor and trampled upon The Price of Innocence continues to receive its critics on Amazon, but strangely enough, on other retailers, it does far better. The iTunes version has over 349 reviews averaging at 4.5, while Amazon has plummeted to 3.2 with 103 reviews after my BookBub advertisement. I take it on the chin because I know there are many who love the series but may be too shy to review. (The advertisement, however, gave me a huge sales spike for the series so I Read More

Lady Isabella in Editing – February 1, 2017 Release

Lady Isabella is in editing! Release is scheduled for February 1, 2017. I have been editing using Grammarly and ProWriting, checking the placement of commas, rewriting sentences, fixing grammar, and will soon send it off to an expert editor who knows better than software programs. Victory Editing has been booked to do the final pass in early January. Afterward, my first lady of scandal will be released in eBook and Print.  I may do audio as well. Since all of my ladies of disgrace will be in red dresses, I thought I would do some research on fashions for the 1930’s. Here is an interesting look at the modest fashions of the day for new holiday frocks.  To read more, follow my Ladies of Disgrace blog (FOLLOW HERE) for interesting posts about my progress and upcoming books in the series.  You might enjoy the various topics on the era’s fashions, Read More

I See the Finish Line

When I’m almost finished with the first draft of a book, I start to get giddy.  Especially when I think to myself — this is a good story.  Even if some readers do not enjoy it, I’ve learned that if I enjoy it, it usually comes out okay. However, if I write something and struggle with the process, it doesn’t do as well. I suppose it has to do with inspiration, though I don’t often understand the muse that drives writers. I have two more chapters to complete!  It’s currently at 35,000 words, so I’ll be close to my goal of 40,000.  Word count often fluctuates, too, when you begin editing. Here is a list of the final chapters, which I hope continue to pique your interest.  Also, if you haven’t been following my Ladies of Disgrace blog, you’ll be missing out on all of my research from horse racing Read More

The Love/Hate Relationship for The Price of Innocence

My recent promotion on The Price of Innocence has once again skyrocketed the book into bestseller sales ranks, giving it more exposure than usual. It appears that I am having a repeat of my 2012 experience when I participated in May with a free giveaway. Since this book was first released in 2009, I have consistently advertised it as historical fiction, with romantic elements. It is not historical romance. If you’re looking for traditional feel-good romance, that is not The Legacy Series. If you read the series, proceed with caution. It’s not the normal cookie-cutter story to sweep you off your feet. It is a family saga that covers twenty-plus years. My characters face hardship and challenges. The story is filled with reality; and its themes are the price we pay for innocence, deception, love, and passion. The Price of Innocence has been reviewed by Writer’s Digest (read here the Read More

My Visit to Lyme Park (fictionally known as Mr. Darcy’s Pemberley)

My visit to Lyme Park while visiting Manchester UK this October was for the purpose of taking my book, Blythe Court, and standing in front of the estate and snapping a picture. Lyme Park is on the cover, as well as “The Cage” on a hill in the background. Of course, most of my readers are probably more interested in the fact that Lyme Park was Mr. Darcy’s Pemberley in Pride & Prejudice with Colin Firth. Getting to Lyme Park is fairly easy coming from Manchester.  I took a train from Piccadilly Station to Disley, which took approximately 36 minutes. When I exited, there is a steep climb up to the roadway. The directions I received from the National Trust was to turn left and walk a half-mile.  There is a sidewalk the entire way but the road is extremely busy with cars and trucks whizzing by your side only a Read More

My Visit to Elizabeth Gaskell’s Home in Manchester

Today I had a wonderful and inspirational experience visiting the home of Elizabeth Gaskell in Manchester, UK, at 84 Plymouth Grove. Her most memorable works were Cranford (1851-53), North & South (1854-55), and Wives & Daughters (1865). She also authored many other works over the years such as short stories and novellas. After arriving at the home, I was greeted by informative volunteers placed in each of the rooms ready to give visitors the background on the house and the fascinating lives of its former occupants.  The home itself is actually Georgian in design, but the interior, of course, in the mid-1800s was Victorian. Elizabeth and her husband William moved into the home in 1850 (it was built in 1838). The home has welcomed many to its doors, including Charlotte Bronte and Beatrice Potter,  The narrator told us that the doorbell knob had been pulled by others, including Harriet Beecher Read More

Ladies of Disgrace – New Book Blog

As some of you may know from my past endeavors, I like to do book blogs as I write.  They are informative tidbits of information regarding my research behind the book and also a therapeutic respite for me while writing. I’ve decided to start a blog elsewhere to track my journey and hope that you will come and join me as I work my way through the various characters of fallen women in different eras.  I’m stretching a bit and jumping into the 1930’s to give you Lady Isabella. While living in the turmoil of English scandals and fearing the rise of the Nazis in Europe, she finds herself personally struggling with the consequences of her own indiscretions. Please join me over at Ladies of Disgrace at this link on WordPress to follow by email.  Ladies of Disgrace. All my best! Vicki Read More

Feminine Accomplishments (1872 Style)

“An English lady without her piano, or her pencil, or her fancy work, or her favorite French authors and German poets, is an object of wonder, and perhaps of pity.” (The Habits of Good Society: By Unknown Author, originally published 1872. Copyright 2012 Forgotten Books). Chapter VI is another fascinating look into life in 1872 as penned by someone who lived during the time period. In order to be a member of good society, young ladies should possess a skill besides dancing. Women are discouraged from being talkers.  “We are not, we English, a nation of talkers; naturally, our talent is for silence.” (Perhaps that is where the stiff upper lip mentality comes in because one never talks of their misfortunes or petty irritations.) Since the female population should not be prone to excessive conversation, they must compensate through some form of talent to be shared with others. Music, of Read More

Dancing (1872 Style)

A lady – beautiful word! — is a delicate creature, one who should be reverenced and delicately treated. It is therefore unpardonable to rush about in a quadrille, to catch hold of the lady’s hand as if she were a door-handle, or to drag her furiously across the room, as if you were Bluebeard…”  (The Habits of Good Society: By Unknown Author, originally published 1872. Copyright 2012 Forgotten Books). Recently on my author Facebook page, I’ve been posting videos of period dramas with romantic scenes of waltzes.  Some of my favorites are from The Young Victoria, War & Peace (2016), Cinderella, and Crimson Peak.  They look so romantic with women in gorgeous gowns being swung around the room by handsome men. According to The Habits of Good Society, there were rules to be followed if you were considered to be an “accomplished” individual on the dance floor.  The introduction above Read More

The English Victorian Wedding – 1872 Style

I am back to poking around one of my favorite books, “The Habits of Good Society: A Handbook for Ladies and Gentlemen,”  available on Amazon in print form.  Tucked on page 316 is Chapter XV. Marriage.  It begins with this quote: At a time when our feelings are or ought to be most susceptible, when the happiness or misery of a condition in which there is no medium begins, we are surrounded with forms and etiquettes which rise before the unwary like spectres, and which even the most rigid ceremonialists regard with a sort of dread.” Here is how courtship, engagement, and the wedding process is described by the anonymous author of this fascinating peek into 1871 life. First, an offer of marriage must be made, and even in 1871 it is the custom that the lady surrenders to the will of her parents.  They must approve of the match, Read More

Edwardian Era (1900-1914 Life in Manchester/Salford UK)

As most of you know, I am somewhat obsessed with researching my family history.  My maternal ancestors were English, and my grandparents were born in Manchester during the Victorian Era. I have been transporting myself back to 1900-1914 in Salford where they lived before immigrating to Canada, through Roy Bullock’s book that I purchased on Amazon. The book is a compilation of interesting newspaper articles. Reading these accounts helped me glean information about life in the late Victorian times to the early Edwardian era. Some of what I learn, I put in my books. Salford, as a community, appeared to be a group of individuals who often celebrated, came together on social issues, (yet were often divided, too, with references to socialism), and suffered through unemployment, poverty, and smallpox during this era. Articles dated 1909 gave great insight into the economic climate before my grandparents left in 1910. The times Read More

The Truth Behind Facebook Pages

Recently, I boosted one of my posts by paying Facebook $20. Most authors make Facebook pages to gain and interact with readers. At the present time, I have 1,828 likes on my page.  How many people see what I post?  Hardly no one, unless I pay.  Here is a recent sampling of the number of people I’ve reached in the past few days: 88 People – Posted a link to my entertainment blog on a movie I recently reviewed. 6 people – Made a two sentence comment about someone who read The Price of Passion. 44 people – Gave my best selling statistics on Amazon UK for Dark Persuasion 5 people – I wrote three sentences complaining about how many people I can reach in my audience when I post. (I’m feeling censored – 5 out of 1,828 know how I feel.) If I want anyone to read what I Read More