Where Are the Poppies Now – Tales From Those Who Bought Poppies

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 Read More

Emotionally Involved

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 Read More

Building a Story Around History

My life would be so much easier if I just wrote in the twenty-first century where I’m familiar with everything around me.  I can see why contemporary authors often pound out book after book of modern love stories.  Unless they are focused on some particular subject, research is pretty much quick and easy. I’m sure in some cases, it’s not needed.  The only book I’ve been lucky enough to write with little effort is my one contemporary romance. However, I apparently love to torture myself by picking difficult subject matter.  Lady Grace is no exception.  Set during World War I in England from 1914-1919, I’ve been spending hours researching everything from aspirin to Belgian refugees in order to place this story in a believable setting.  Research teaches me (a person who once hated history), and I am often fascinated about what I learn. As I finish the first draft (yes, Read More

World War I Posters

The call to war is evident by the myriad of propaganda posters encouraging the general public to enlist, serve as civilians, donate money, or to take in the downtrodden. One of the scenes in Lady Grace touches on the heroine’s thoughts of a poster she sees at the train station depicted below, “Women of Britain Say GO!” Rather than inciting empathy for the cause, she questions the ability of any rational woman to encourage their husbands to join and face the probability of certain death. Writing about this era in England has been a challenging exercise in examining the struggles of those left behind and the fears they may have endured. Of course, there is often passionate love based on the uncertainty of survival. As you can see from the examples of posters below, each carries their own theme that is meant for the very purpose of moving individuals to Read More

Madam, it is my painful duty to inform you…

As part of my research for Lady Grace, I needed to know how families were notified of the death of their loved ones. The next of kin of officers often received telegrams, while the families of non-officers received a letter. The link to the article below talks more of the sad process during World War One and contains examples of correspondence. From looking at the demise of my distant cousins in the war, I discovered that their bodies were never returned to their homeland. They were buried where they fell in the distant lands of France, Belgium, and Turkey. Not having their bodies returned to be buried near their families surely added to the grief. I’m reminded of the movie Water Diviner, with Russell Crowe, that was released a few years ago. It’s a story about three of his sons who died in the battle at Gallipoli, Turkey (where Thomas Read More

Men in Uniform – World War I (Lady Grace Research)

I really wanted to put a man in uniform on the cover of Lady Grace. Days – I spent days hunting pictures on stock photo websites. Only a few decent ones came up after searching World War One soldiers, most of which could not be used because they were editorial. (In case you don’t know what that means, they cannot be used for commercial purposes like book covers because there is no model release. For example, taking photos of men in uniform during a public re-enactment exercise.) However, I did find one I really wanted but they wanted $300 for usage rights. (Gasp for a tiny image in the background behind Grace.) CLICK HERE TO SEE IT After giving up there, I went to the public domain and did find a few that I downloaded. In fact, I had been ready to put the face of one particular gent on 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