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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wednesday Regency: matchmakers and Jane Austen's Matchmaker

What's the difference? I was looking up some tidbits on matchmakers in the Regency, or just in general, for Improper Duke. It's nearly finished but I wanted a little more information just to flesh out the work part of Camilla's story. She's the matchmaker see in Improper Wager and for a couple scenes in Improper Christmas.

Instead, I came across this game! Jane Austen's Matchmaker.

Matchmaker is a sociable card game for 3 to 6 players, featuring characters from the works of Jane Austen.
Use your matchmaking skills to plot advantageous marriages. Protect your ladies from penniless rogues while using your charming scoundrels to wicked effect. All's fair in love and social climbing!

Anyone have this game? I'm curious to know if it's as cool as it sounds!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Improper Christmas: Scandalous Encounters #Excerpt

Improper Christmas: Scandalous EncountersMiss Lillian Norwood’s life changed completely. No longer the mistress of a formidable estate, she survives by the kindness of a distant cousin who wants little to do with her and the barely livable stipend from her childhood home’s heir. Now living in a new village, far from home, she volunteers to help with a Christmas feast for returned soldiers.

Mr. William Pennington, formerly of His Majesty’s Army, feels it his task to ensure this Christmas feast is the best the county has to offer. However, he does not expect Lillian and he certainly doesn’t expect to fall in love with her. William uses the preparations to court Lillian in the hopes to slowly win her.

But as Christmas draws closer and she shows no signs of returning his affection, will William allow others to get in his way? Or will Lillian finally realize she has more to offer him than fortune and lands?

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Chesham, England
November 1817

“I wish I wasn’t so cold.”

Miss Lillian Norwood smoothed a hand down the black silk of her gown. It was entirely too thin for winter, but was one she knew would dye best — and one that laced up the front. She shivered in the coolness of her bedroom and looked longingly at the banked fireplace.

Since arriving in this small cottage she felt the cold seep into her bones, wrapping around her in a frigid embrace. Even with the fire blazing, she found it difficult to warm herself. She could no longer afford a large stack of wood as she once had, and no matter how many blankets she used, she continued to shiver at night.

Even now, with the shutters pulled tight against their windows, the cottage was draughty, and wisps of chilled wind wrapped around her ankles and slithered up her skirts.

Seated on her vanity stool, Lillian wrapped the blanket more securely around her legs and tucked it under her feet. The too-thin silk gown would have to do. It was the only dyed dress she possessed.

The entire country mourned the death of Princess Charlotte not two weeks before, and all dressed appropriately for the death of a royal.
None here in her new home would suspect Lillian also mourned the death of her father. She kept that to herself, her private grief.

Lillian looked once more at her reflection in the small looking glass and allowed herself to drop the carefully constructed walls around her heart. Her father died six weeks ago now, and in those weeks Lillian packed up what few belongings she owned and moved a hundred miles from Essex to Buckinghamshire.

Away from the pitying looks and incessant whispers of neighbors and so-called friends. Away from the gossip that hounded her for years. And far, far away from the man she should have married. But Lord Granville fell in love with another.

He chose the daughter of a merchant rather than Lillian, the granddaughter of a viscount. And now that woman trailed scandal and gossip in her wake.

Lillian sighed. She felt a moment’s empathy for the other woman. No one deserved the vicious tongues of the ton or to be splayed across the broadsheets like that.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Knights and Snails: Research for new series

I'm in the outlining stage for 2 new series, once of which is based on a medieval legend. In researching the times, I cam across this post from the Smithsonian Magazine:
I...don't have any idea why. I didn't know they fought snails. Why would anyone want to fight snails?
But this is the first paragraph:
It’s common to find, in the blank spaces of 13th and 14th century English texts, sketches and notes from medieval readers. And scattered through this marginalia is an oddly recurring scene: a brave knight in shining armor facing down a snail.
There are painting and tapestries and manuscripts of those brave knights decked out in armor and swords and lances fighting snails. Now the snails don't look to scale, so maybe they were alien snails? I'm sure there's a story in there somewhere.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wednesday Curves: Christmas Curvy

They're finally playing Christmas music on the radio! I love Christmas music. I know people don't, but it's some of my favorite music ever. I also love reading Christmas stories as well. Not so much the feel good stories, but romance that take place during Christmas. With snow and songs and decorations.

Laura Dixon doesn't leap. She planned her life and career the way she wanted them to go. And does her best to ignore her family's advice on how to lose weight and catch a man. Mount Noel is her first major project with Gideon International Hotels and the Christmas themed hotel fits her perfectly, after all Christmas was her favorite holiday!

Maybe it was the ice skating or the Christmas music, or possibly the hot chocolate, that finally made her say yes when smart, handsome, and totally out of her league Tyler Kamari asked her out. Whatever it was, it was the right recipe for the holidays! Their entire time is a fantasy for her, a fantasy that makes crazy ideas sound perfectly reasonable. But when they leap ahead into something more than a fantasy can Laura accept that it was more?

This is a 38,000 word m/f story with explicit sex scenes, copious amounts of holiday cheer, and a curvy girl’s Christmas to remember.

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