character interview, Characters, Liberty for Paul

REPOST: Character Interview with the Earl and Countess of Townson (Andrew and Brooke) discussing Liberty and Paul

Good morning, all. Thank you for joining us on this nippy Monday morning. Today I am interviewing Andrew and Brooke Black, the Earl and Countess of Townson. Brooke is Liberty’s eldest sister and seemed to be her greatest confidant during the time in which Brooke was securing her own match. Would you agree with that statement, Brooke?

BB: Absolutely. Liberty came to me several times during my courtship with Andrew to complain about “him” as she’d taken to referring to Paul Grimes.

What kinds of things did she say to you about him?

BB: Oh, well, nothing you don’t know already. She hated the man–

AB: And, I think it’s just as important to add, he rather disliked her, too. However, his reasons seem to hold far more water than hers.

BB: He’s right. The poor man had far more reasons to dislike her than the other way around.

Now, Andrew, quit grinning like a simpleton. I know it must be rare your wife admits you’re right, but try to dim that handsome smile, it’s hurting my eyes. Instead, why don’t you tell me about some of these incidents?

AB: To be quite frank, the one event I was privy to hear about is not one I–or any man for that matter–would like to discus, much less think about again.

Brooke, I see you giggling. Care to answer for him?

BB: No, I quite agree with Andrew’s ascertainment. I can see why a man would be loath to remember such a thing. Nor do I wish to revisit that particular conversation. Instead, I’ll just tell you that it took me about fifteen seconds to surmise the two disliked each other when I first saw them seated next to each other at dinner. She confirmed it, however, the next day when she burst through my door like a madwoman and declared she absolutely hated him and rattled off the most awkward story I’d ever heard, up to then, that is.

Are you saying that the awkward story that goes along with the memory Andrew is so vigilantly trying to repress over there is currently the most awkward story you’ve ever heard?

BB: Yes. I’d say so. Her second tale was far worse than the first.

Well, considering she’d practically accused him of lacking ballocks during the first story, I can only imagine how much worse the second story was. For Andrew’s sake, I’ll stop this vein of my interview. How about we talk about Mr. Grimes. What do each of you think of him?

AB: I rather like the man. He’s a good man to have around when you’re in a tight spot.

BB: Oh, stop. Andrew only likes the man because he agreed to marry us on the spot without asking any questions or putting his palm out for money.

AB: No better way than that to endear oneself to an impoverished man.

That’s right. You had what was it, forty pounds to your name at the time?

AB: Sadly, yes.

And now?

BB: Let me answer this one! To quote Andrew, “I have enough, madam. Discussing money matter is considered vulgar in English households. But if you truly must know, I have enough for you to have this…” Then he usually whips something he’s bought for me out of his pocket.

You actually ask your husband about his finances?

BB: Only because I know it leads to him giving me something! The first time I did it, it was completely innocent. It was right after he installed his mines and I asked if they were producing. He scowled, told me money matters were a man’s affair, then gave me the wedding ring he couldn’t when we married. Now, I just ask him to see if he has something for me.

Smart girl. I wrote you well. It seems Andrew’s mines were just the ticket. Very good. I’m glad it all worked out. For both of you. Now, back to Paul, Brooke what are your feelings on the man?

BB: I truly don’t know him so well, I’m afraid. When we first met, I thought he was a bit off. Cold. But the few times I’ve been around him in the past few months, I’ve rather warmed to him. He’s actually not so cold and distant, nor boring and stodgy like Liberty seems to think.

AB: I agree. He’s actually rather nice when you get to know him.

Do either of you think Paul and Liberty should set aside their differences and make a match of it?

Both: NO!!!

BB: You better not suggest such a thing to Liberty, steam will start spiraling out of her ears.

AB: I’d like to amend my former statement. I don’t think the two would willingly put aside their differences and try to make a match of it–nor would we all wish for them to. However, if something–such as a scandal–were to come up that would force them to marry, I think they could eventually push aside their dislike for the other enough to give off the appearance of a cordial marriage.

Cordial? Not love?

AB: Probably not.

Is love so important?

BB: I think so. I know we can’t all marry for love, but love does make the harder aspects of marriage easier. I don’t care who her husband ends up being just as long as somewhere in his heart he loves my sister and her insufferable ways. If he does, I”m nearly certain she’ll be hard pressed not fall in love with him, too.

AB: But in the meantime, he better guard his–

Oh dear, look at the time. I think it’s time for you two to back to living out the rest of 1812, while I go make breakfast and pack lunches. Join me next time when I talk to Madison, Liberty’s other sister, to see what she can tell us about Liberty, Paul and their rocky relationship last year at the house party.

character interview, Characters, Liberty for Paul

REPOST: Character Interview with Turner, the butler from Liberty for Paul

Another old interview repost for everyone to enjoy! 😀

 

Good morning! Today I’ll be talking to Turner, the Banks family butler from Liberty for Paul. Please excuse my tardiness this morning, Turner. I seem to have been caught up in tasks such as laundry and cleaning. In the year 2011, the words: maid and mother have become interchangeable, I’m afraid. But I’m sure you understand household tasks better than anyone being a bulter and all, right?

That’s right.

Good. So tell our readers, what is it like being the butler for the Banks family?

Quite interesting really. There’s always something going on in that appallingly decorated house. Sometimes I’m allowed to admit a certain earl and sometimes I’m not. One time–

Excuse me for cutting in, sir. Please remember our stenographer over there is writing down everything you say and posting it for all the world to see. We wouldn’t wish to unintentionally get you fired for revealing too much private information.

Right you are. I’ll just say the house is always abuzz.

Abuzz? I wasn’t aware someone from the early 1800s knew that word.

We don’t. I’ve never heard it before. But I overheard you use it while you were talking to that little black box thing a moment ago and gleaned it meant a lot was going on. Did I use it incorrectly?

No. You used it correctly.

Good. Then it is safe to say, the Banks house is always abuzz with some sort of exciting activity.

Very good. Let’s move to our next question. Would you say, with the exception of during this interview, that one of your most important roles as a butler is to exercise discretion?

Yes. Always. I should hate to bring embarrassment or shame upon the Banks family by revealing something that might be considered…uh….shameful or embarrassing, such as the time I found young Liberty in a compromising situation where she was–

Remember our stenographer?

Of course. How could I forget her? She’s rather fetching, she is.

Yes, well, please remember she is taking notes of everything you say. Turner, be completely honest now, is there anything that might make you abandon discretion and spill all you know to an outside source?

Absolutely not.

Nothing?

Nothing.

Hmm. What about a thousand pounds?

One evening in December, around Christmas, I saw Miss Liberty heaping clothes–

Well, I guess now we know his price.

No, you don’t. I gave my story to Lady Algen for a tankard of ale and a plate of hot mutton.

All right, then. I think that does it for today. Enjoy your weekend and come back Monday for another character interview. Now that we’re off the record, dish the dirt.

I was walking down the hallway, trying to look busy when I saw a slightly open door and a pile of men’s clothes sitting just outside. Being the ever dutiful servant that I am, I brought them downstairs to be laundered. Then when Mr. and Mrs. Banks came home, I led them upstairs to greet their guest and when the door opened, there it was,  Mr. Grimes and Miss Liberty were…

character interview, Characters, Liberty for Paul

REPOST: Character Intereviews, John and Carolina Banks, Secondary Characters from Liberty for Paul

Here’s another Liberty for Paul character interview. This time featuring her parents, one of my favorite couples, John and Carolina Banks (John and Carolina get their own chance to squirm as propriety flies out the window in their own story, His Yankee Bride).

Good morning, as you know, I’ve been dragging the characters from Liberty for Paul out from under the cobwebs of my mind and conducting interviews with them this week to give an insider’s look at the relationship between Paul and Liberty and what to expect in their story. Today I am speaking with John and Carolina Banks, Liberty’s parents. What can you tell me about said relationship, Mrs. Banks?

CB: Not much, I’m afraid. The two seem to despise each other to no end and never really speak to one another.

Yes, I gathered that. Mr. Banks, do you have anything to add?

 

JB: No. I think Carolina said it best. For some reason the two have been at odds since just after I first introduced them.

I see. Mrs. Banks, I assume you were there, too, do you think something happen at that first introduction that caused the friction?

 

CB: It’s possible.

Possible?

 

CB: Well, he might have inadvertently crossed a line as far as Liberty is concerned.

And?

 

JB: It’s probably best we don’t go into all that. I love my daughter and would do anything to protect her from scorn, so since talking about such a topic may not be in her best interest, I think it best we speak about something else.

I find it rather curious you say you’d do anything to protect Liberty. Just how far would you go?

 

JB: As far as I have to. But hopefully she’ll continue to stay on her best behavior and I’ll not be forced to behave inappropriately.

Her best behavior, eh? And what of Mr. Grimes and his behavior?

 

CB: Pish posh. Paul is a very fine gentleman. Besides Liberty’s imagined impropriety about the man, he is a perfectly respectable man. I complete faith in him.

Let’s have a moment of honesty, have either of you ever thought you’d like to see him as your son-in-law?

 

Both: YES!

 

JB: Unfortunately, that won’t be happening. Madison has a very strong aversion to marriage in general that matches Liberty’s aversion to Paul.

And if by some chance he did become your son-in-law?

 

CB: Then we’d be attending a funeral a short time later.

JB: The only question is: whose?

All right. Let’s say for some unseen reason the two do decide to marry, urp hold your objections, this is all hypothetical. Now, say they decide to marry, I’d assume Mrs. Banks, as her mother, you’d help her plan an extravagant wedding.

CB: Of course I would! It’s the mother’s duty to guide her daughter on her most important day.

And what of the very important wedding night? Will you be “guiding” her about that, too?

 

CB: I—I—I sup—suppose so, yes.

Would you care to give us a quick rundown of that speech?

 

CB: Absolutely not. That is a private conversation had between a young girl and her mother!

Forgive me. I didn’t mean to pry. I was just making sure she was going to be properly informed.

 

CB: She will be. Not that it’s any of your business.

Good to know. It would be absolutely terrible if she lacked the knowledge on such a sub—

 

CB: She’ll be informed. Now can we change the subject, please?

Of course. Would you like me to open a window, your face looks awfully red?

 

CB: Just finish your questions so we can go back to the Regency where we belong.

Right. Well, actually I think I’m out of questions and nearly out of time. But before we go, Mr. Banks, can you please tell us how you’d handle things if an article were to appear in the newspaper suggesting Liberty tried to seduce Mr. Grimes?

 

JB: What?!

 

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

 

JB: I don’t know what I’d do after I scraped myself up off the floor in shock. Fall back down again, perhaps.

Very good, then. That’s all we have time for today. Join us tomorrow when we talk to Elizabeth Black, the dowager Countess of Townson. Until then, you can find out how Mr. Banks responds if such an article were to appear (hypothetically, of course) or if Liberty is properly informed of what to expect by clicking here. Until then, good day.  

character interview, Characters, Just for Fun, Liberty for Paul, Scandalous Sisters Series

REPOST: An Interview with Paul Grimes, Hero of Liberty for Paul

This originally posted March 2011–and is “set” before the book, Liberty for Paul.

Good afternoon, Paul. Thank you for agreeing to talk to me (like you had a choice).

No problem. It’s my pleasure and…er…duty.

Oh, stop that scowling. Just saying the word duty isn’t going to lead to talks of propriety. At least not from me.

Good.

Good. Tell us, how would you describe yourself?

Physically?

Yes, and your personality traits if you will.

Hmm, well, I’m slightly above average height, I have green eyes, blondish hair, wear spectacles. I don’t know what else you want me to say.

Do you have any distinguishing marks or scars on your body?

(Coughs) Yes…er…a scar. Next.

By the way you’re blushing, Mr. Grimes, I daresay you have something to hide.

No, nothing to hide.

So you do have something. interesting. And where, pray tell, is it?

That information is unnecessary. Next question, please.

Fine. I’ll let the matter drop. For now.

Thank you.

You’re welcome. All right, what are your feelings about Liberty Banks?

(No immediate answer)

Sir, unclamp your jaw, please and answer the question.

Liberty and I have an unusual relationship.

That’s an understatement. Now, would you be so kind as to explain your relationship with Miss Banks?

It’s a love-hate relationship really. See, we both love to hate each other. Kind of. Well, actually no. It’s more like she has a passionate hatred that seems to consume her soul toward me and I just merely find her annoying. Unfortunately, her undisputable hatred for me has led to several…shall we say, uncomfortable moments for me.

Such as?

Where to start… Let’s see, she’s openly called me a coward and questioned my manhood, she’s “inadvertently” elbowed me in the groin and she’s hurled a book at my head that knocked me unconscious and left a bump the size of an egg on my forehead for a week.

Hmm, that doesn’t sound very endearing.

No. It doesn’t.

So is it safe to say you wouldn’t enjoy being married to her?

Now, that, Ms. Gordon is an understatement. I have no desire to be in a room with her, let alone married to her.

All right, calm down. We won’t speak of her anymore. Let’s talk instead about you.

What would you like to know?

Who is Lucy Whitaker to you?

I didn’t see that one coming. She’s a woman I once admired.

Admired?

All right. I proposed to her. But it was a long time ago and I don’t wish to discus her, her son, her wretched aunt or anything that has to do with that family.

Understood. Let’s talk about your relationship with John Banks. How exactly did you and Liberty’s father become acquainted?

He agreed to act as my mentor last spring when I approached him about a sticky situation that was going on in my church.

A sticky situation, you say? Care to divulge?

Not really.

Mr. Grimes, I’d have never thought you’d be so difficult to interview. You’ve a mark upon your person you don’t wish to discuss, a former love interest you’re not inclined to talk about and now you hint at secrets you will not share. You seem to be far more interesting than the bore we met in Intentions of the Earl. Do you have anything further to say for yourself?

No. I don’t think so. Oh, wait. Something about the way you’re looking at me just now makes me think I’m going to marry, fall in love with and share all my secrets–including my scar, former proposal, and unpleasant church situation–with that hoyden Liberty Banks.

You’re a smart man, Mr. Grimes. All those things and so much more will be happening to you very soon!

Characters, Writing

Blast from the Past! My style of Historical Romance? History or Romance?

Let me preface this post by saying this was originally posted April 19, 2011 only 5 days after To Win His Wayward Wife, the third and final installment in the Scandalous Sisters Series was released. When I wrote the first three books, I had been under the illusion that if a story is good enough, it would be okay if I wasn’t 100% historically accurate. (I mean come on seriously, how many daughters of nobility would be throwing away their virginity before marriage? How many would even enjoy the act? And how the heck, do the hero and heroine almost ALWAYS end up alone so they can be romantic before marriage? Highly unlikely, but we all read and accept it without a second thought.)

Oh, how wrong I was. At this point, all three of those early books were topping the Regency charts and the scathing reviews started rolling in at a rapid rate. The chief complaint: they weren’t full of historical facts or talks of politics or other such things I didn’t find pertinent to the story, but clearly someone did. 

So, I wrote the following post and with a little nervous hesitancy, I’m reposting it for anyone who hadn’t “met” me yet, to enjoy my getting ambushed by my own characters!

 

All right, so today I promised to tell you what my books are and—

Rose, we need a moment of your time!

*Turns head to see Brooke, Madison and Liberty all standing with their arms folded across their chests, looking decidedly upset* Ahem, ladies, is this something that could wait? I’m trying to do a little work just now.

Brooke: No, this cannot wait. There is a pressing matter we need to address, now!

Now? Are you sure we need to do this now?

Liberty: Yes, Mrs. Gordon, now. 

All right, what’s going on?

Liberty: Well, it has come to our attention that you didn’t do your job right.

Excuse me?

Brooke: These books are historical romances, correct? 

Correct.

Liberty: Well, apparently there’s been a complaint about the lack of history lessons in the books!

Oh, was there now? Hmm, and the three of you care because… *Raises one eyebrow like Andrew and does rolling hand gesture to get them to give their reasons so we can have this out and they can go back to the corners of my imagination*

Brooke: Because…because…well, I don’t rightly know. *Shrugs and looks a tad uncomfortable*

Exactly. Girls, let me just explain something real quick, these are romance novels, not history primers. *Pauses and tucks a tendril of hair behind ear* Liberty, remember when you read all those romance novels?

Liberty: Yes, but I don’t see what that has to do with anything.

Just bear with me. Well, would you have enjoyed them nearly as much if there was constant talk of world politics, war, poverty or some other depressing subject while you were trying to read a romance?

Liberty: No! That would have detracted from the story.

Just so. And that’s why I didn’t wax on and on about that type of nonsense. See, readers crack the spine—or fire up their Kindle, Nook or other eReader in this case—and start to read in order to escape from the hassles of the world and the heavy burdens they face. Not to leave these harsh realities just to read about someone else’s.

Brooke: That does make sense…

Told you so.

Liberty: What of a compromise? What about a little history? You know, some random facts, just nothing about war and or other dreary subjects?

*Sighs* Did the three of you even read the books? I did slip a few history factoids in each of them. Admittedly not a lot, but some. Let’s see, does the talk of Kings Henry the VII and VIII at the museum ring a bell?

Brooke: Well, I…uh…

Wasn’t paying much attention to much of anything the day at the museum?

Brooke: Yes, well, my thoughts were— 

Occupied thinking of Andrew and that torrid kiss the two of you’d just shared in that empty room?

Brooke: Rose, my private life with Andrew is not the point of this conversation. Your lack of history lessons is.

All right, what about the origins of your names? Hmm. Did you forget about that?

Brooke: Well, no, but I hadn’t really thought of that as history, but I guess it is.

Yes, it is. Oh, wait, I have another example, one Liberty might remember very well. Remember when you were in the pantry and Paul was in the tub singing Yankee Doodle—

Liberty: All right, all right, you’ve proven your point. *Flushing bright red*

That’s what I thought. Anything else? Madison, do you have something to add? You’ve been awfully quiet over there.

Brooke: Don’t mind her; she’s still steaming about the “Pouting Princess” remark.

*Rolls eyes and bites lips to keep from grinning * Oh, don’t get your feathers ruffled. She’s entitled to her opinion.

Madison: It’s not her opinion that bothers me, it’s yours!

Mine?

Madison: Yes, yours. I happen to love him, faults and all. But to hear you snicker at that comment hurt my feelings.

You have got to be kidding me.

Madison: No, I’m not. All right, I am. My feelings aren’t really hurt and I honestly confess had the comment  been made about either of their husbands I would have died laughing, too.

So then what’s the problem?

Madison: There really isn’t one. Brooke dragged us all here and told us to wear our angry faces. I honestly don’t give a flip about the lack of historical politics mentioned in the books. I agree, they’re for entertainment purposes only. When I told her this, she told me to imagine my husband wearing a tiara and a pink frilly dress. That’s what I’m steaming about. I’m unhappy with Brooke.

That’s nice. *Snickers at Brooke* Just remember you’re the one traveling back with her, not me.

Brooke: Can we leave her here? Just for a while?

No. She’ll be back on Friday anyway.

Brooke: You know, Rose, that’s something else I wanted to talk to you about. Andrew and I were never interviewed about our book. All you did was write up droll summaries of our characters. Talk about something that’ll make a reader fall into a deep sleep.

So are you saying you’d like me to do a round of interviews with you, Andrew, your parents, sisters and the Dangerous Duke?

Brooke: Yes! Do that and I’ll forgive you for…for that other nonsense.

Hmmm, but don’t you think it’s too late? I mean the book has already been out for two months.

Brooke: That’s not too late. Surely there are some people who have yet to read it. Perhaps they’d enjoy the interviews rather than the boring drivel you posted previously.

*Rolls eyes* All right, Brooke. You win. Next week I’ll start in on the interviews for the characters in your book. Then after that’s all done I plan to have one more go around with everyone to catch up with what they’re doing after the end of the books. Fair?

All three: Fair.

Liberty: All right, now that we’ve voiced our complaints and were so nicely put in our places perhaps it’s time to go back to the past.

Good plan. But wait, before you go, there’s something I wanted to you see.

Madison: What’s this?

Another review. This one posted just Sunday on Shameless Romance Reviews. [Site no longer exists–in 2016 😦 ] I think you’ll be much happier with it.

Here’s a few of the things she had to say,

“I read for the entertainment of a good story, and this book kept me turning the pages.

“I thought the characters were wonderfully written, Rose Gordon really brought out the personalities well, and their emotions and thoughts are always known to the reader.”

Oh, and listen to this last part,

“The secondary cast of characters were great as well. Gateway is that bastard you love to hate. And the sisters, Liberty…she tries to be the prim and proper one, doing everything by the book, she tries anyway. She is a little bit of a drama queen too. And Madison, who is wise beyond her years, I bet there’s a story behind that one.”

Madison: Seems like nobody has anything nice to say about him.

Brooke: Dearest, considering he tried to pay Andrew to ruin your reputation, you cannot argue with her conclusion.

Liberty: Besides, he really is a bastard. And I should know, I seem to surround myself with them.

Very good. All right, ladies, I think it’s time to go back to 1813 now. If you’d like, you may take a copy of that with you.

*Girls exit, chatting about the wonderful review*

Well, I guess I did tell you what my books are and aren’t, didn’t I?

Mrs. Gordon I need but a moment of your time, please.

*Turns head* Why if it’s not, Alex, one of my all-time favorite heroes.

*Snorts* Does that mean I’m one of the winners in a six way tie?

No. Just a two-way tie.

*Shakes his head and plops down in the closest chair* I’m flattered. Now, there was something I wished to talk to you about. What were you thinking naming my magazine Popular Plants?

Um…well…don’t kill me, but I hadn’t been thinking about it when I jotted that down. It was one of those things I meant to change later, but I just needed a quick name to throw in just then because the scene was coming together so quickly…but then…but then…well, I forgot to change it. I’m very sorry.

Yes, well, see that it doesn’t happen again.

That’s not possible, I’m afraid. Now that it’s been published that way, whenever I refer to the magazine in future books, I’ll have to keep calling it that. I’m dreadfully sorry.

*Groans loudly* Why do you need to write a story about me anyhow? I’m perfectly content without a wife.

Yes, well, as content as you may be to continue living the bachelor life, you won’t be able to much longer. It seems your father may have done something that is about to put you on the fast track to marriage.

What? What did he do?

I’ll let him tell you about it later. *Glances out the window* You better get back out there before they take off in the time travel machine without you.

I’m not worried about that. Between the three of them they don’t know how to run it. I’m always the one who gets it going for these little trips.

Is that so? Well, that won’t be possible any longer if I write you have an accident where you hit your head and lose half your precious brain cells.

You wouldn’t dare.

Wouldn’t I? If you don’t get going that’s exactly what I’m going to do. You better go, I’m opening up my file titled, “Her Sudden Groom”. Hmm, where could this accident go? The first page perhaps?

All right, all right, I’m going. But if you think I’ll be coming back here for some any of your ridiculous interviews, you’re mistaken.

We’ll just see about that.

Characters, Passions of a Gentleman, Randomness, Real Life, The Wooing Game, Updates, Writing

What I’m working on

What I’ve been working on…

…and no, it’s not the railroad (although I do live waaaaaay too close to the train tracks, but that’s another complaint for another day).

I’ve been a little silent the past few weeks. It’s been busy ‘round here. The end of the school year is swiftly approaching which means track meets, awards banquets, photos, talent shows, auctions, spring colds, the list goes on and on.

Then there’s the writing front: Finished The Wooing Game! Writing full-force on Passions of a Gentleman. Nearing that “make a mad dash for the finish line” point. As soon as it’s done and in the editing stage, I’ll put it up for pre-order.

And once again, my blog has gone dead.

But I have an idea. Character interviews have always been fun. A few years ago, I did them on my early books and I think it’s high time I repost them as I had literally about 10 people reading them back then, so maybe a few more can enjoy them now. Also, I plan to intersperse some interviews from different authors/books so I don’t bore you all too much!

Behind the Scenes, Bob, Characters, funny, I'm human too, Just for Fun, Liberty for Paul, Scandalous Sisters Series, things that make me laugh, Wicked Wednesday

Antique stores–not just for antiques anymore!

I live about 15-20 minutes away from a quaint older town that still has a historic downtown which consists of a main street with massive turn-of-the-century buildings that contain some items as old (or older) than the buildings.

The buildings are old. The floors creak and groan when you walk on them. Some (okay, almost all) of the stores have a…er…aroma when you walk in that seems to get stronger when you pass by specific areas.

I love it!

But what makes these stores interesting is that they’re not antiques all owned by the store owner, but rather the store is divided into sections or booths and it’s like an indoor, year-round flea market. And, what’s also neat is it’s not just limited to antiques. Sure, I’ve found some totally awesome antiques in some of these shops: vintage typewriter, candlestick phone, wall-mounted crank telephone (with guts), ice tongs, cotton scale, 50s style milk bottles–and the carrying crate; I’ve also found plenty of new items that are either made to look vintage or they’re just plain modern, but obviously people (including me…) are buying them or they wouldn’t be putting them in these booths any longer. Some of these include: bath salts, candles, salsa, custom made signs, CDs, tapes, records, DVDs, VHS tapes, greeting cards either handmade or a package of unwanted store-bought cards, soap, fancy mirrors, miscellaneous silver pieces, crayons, mis-matched plates, etc. You name it, it’s in there somewhere. I once half-jokingly told my husband Bob that it’s like some of these people are having a garage sale without the garage or the need to actually bother with running the drawer themselves. If/when it sells, it sells and if it doesn’t, they just go collect it all when they’re ready to stop renting space.

It’s truly a wonder (and I bet you all have at least one of these little treasure troves near you).

About once a month, I go troll through the row of stores. Yesterday was my January “run”. Some months I just go and look and try to keep my jaw hinged. Other times I buy something in each store. I don’t plan it that way, but it happens. I go in. Something calls my name and I have to take it home. I actually save up each month for these trips.

Yesterday only one thing called to me, and oh, did it scream! Now, it’s probably not what anyone else I know would have walked out with, but it had my name written all over it and shows you that I, too, can be just as scandalous as any of the Banks sisters…specifically Liberty. 😉

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So of course, I had to hang it above the door to my laundry room although I doubt anyone will…

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(Oh, hey, look as an added bonus, this falls on a Wicked Wednesday!)

Characters

An apology…of sorts

To anyone I might have frightened with my post yesterday, I must apologize.

What about those who you annoyed? Or worse, those you’re annoying with this post?

*slowly turns to face my unexpected and dare I admit uninvited guest* Jack? Second Lieutenant Jack Walker, what are you doing here?

I’ve come to find out why you abandoned me in the wilds of Indian Territory where I’m sneaking out of the barracks to go visit the Cherokee camp while my wife has a high fever lying lifeless in our bed.

And the problem is…?

*his stare would suggest I’m a complete idiot* I’m risking my life by sneaking around an Indian camp at night and my wife is lying in bed, dying and you’re listening to chapter five of Her Reluctant Groom on audio and even worse, answering comments left on that ridiculous interview you had with that dimwit Lord Belgrave. *shakes head* In the scheme of things, a name change and who has a “tendre” for who, whatever that is, is complete nonsense. If the man is giving you trouble, forget his story and work only on mine.

Oh, you’d like that wouldn’t you?

Of course I would. Other than writing just enough words that put me leaving the barracks to go wandering around after dark in search of something to cure my wife, you haven’t written anything on my book for three days, either, lest I remind you for your conveniently scheduled hair appointment yesterday.

And just why is it that only the heroes and heroines of my books can have nice hair and I can’t?

You can, too. Just schedule the appointments for the afternoon. The mornings are mine. Besides, it already looks horrific.

That’s because I just got up from sleeping on it all night.

*shrugs* I peeked in yesterday. It looked bad then, too.

Only because my husband insisted we go on a 15 mile bike ride as soon as I got home. Wearing a helmet in 90-degree weather for a little over an hour isn’t exactly a step in hairstyling.

Either way, it looked bad and you took time out of writing to ride a bicycle. Gracious, Ms. Gordon, get your priorities in order.

We’re training for a 150 mile bike ride.

And I’m trying to save my wife’s life. You must make priorities.

I do believe that’s a bit of the pot calling the kettle black, don’t you?

*face flushes* I’ve come a long way in the past 27,000 words, I’d say.

Yes, you have, but you still have more to overcome.

Why is it that those of your sex like to torture those of mine?

Because you deserve it. Should I remind you, and tell everyone here, why you deserve it?

No.

Then go away.

Not yet.

Fine. Stay. As you said, this is the morning and the time of the day when I work on your book. I guess you’ll just have to continue to wander the wilds until you leave me be. I hope you don’t cause greater harm to Ella by doing so.

That’s what I still want to talk to you about. Ella and Eliza? That goes too far. Do you just have no imagination?

Now, see here. I started writing about Eliza and Patrick…er…Sebastian before I finished Marcus and Emma’s story. Of course at the time, I thought Lord Drakely’s name would be Sebastian, but when I read a very popular book that had a Sebastian and Juliet pairing, I switched their names. *shrugs* Not that it matters overmuch. I think it worked out better that way, especially when it came time to name Jack–not you, Marcus and Emma’s adopted child–

See what I mean? No imagination. You are recycling names!

In all fairness to me, I did not know I’d be writing YOUR book when I named their child. Besides, a generation and an ocean apart, not a problem. As I was saying, however, I named Eliza Eliza before Ella even entered the picture. I only recently named Ella Ella after I realized I’d outlined another book with the name Kate as the heroine. I couldn’t  have two (potential) Jacks and two Kates in my books, and since well, not to sound cheap, but to be frank, I’d just had more than 5,000 book plates printed up naming you as Jack (not to mention it’s been all over my website and in the back of my books), I couldn’t change your name, too. So I went with Ella. I didn’t even give a second thought to Eliza at the time since I was writing only one book.

Frankly, I’m surprised you haven’t written the wrong heroine’s name into the wrong book.

It’s a gift.

*narrows eyes* Change Eliza.

And why not Ella?

*grins* This isn’t a friends to lovers plot, you can keep the E name.

And who says this isn’t a friends to lovers plot?

We haven’t known each other all of our lives.

No, but answer me this? Are the two of you already lovers?

Well, no.

So then, you’re friends?

I hope so.

I bet you do. But tell me, if she was a mail-order bride, just why haven’t the two of you made that jump.

Stop it. The situation is bad enough without you making the details known on here.

As we agreed on earlier, you’ve made a lot of process in 27,000 words. *long pause* Perhaps in another 27,000 she’ll let you kiss her knuckles.

*face goes blank, then turns dark red–jaw clenched and a muscle ticking in his cheek* It had better not. I expect something else to be happening by then.

You, too? Gracious, do any of my heroes think of anything else?

*fourteen sets of footsteps storm the stairs, making the house shake as if a sudden thunderstorm had developed”

Wasn’t it noted not so long ago that Brooke seems to always be increasing?

Yes, and I’ve suggested a time or two that perhaps you should do something so you can still enjoy the activity, but not have so many offspring, the same way I do.

Gads, Alex, my son, must you ruin such a blissful activity for the man with all of your science talk?

“Science talk” as you’ve termed it, doesn’t deter me from seeking out Liberty any chance I get. In fact, every spring when I see a hedgehog sniffing– *words died and his face turned red, looking around the room*

Pray continue. I’m very interested in whatever scientific discovery Alex shared on the matter and I’m sure Madison will be, too.

I still cannot believe YOU have to recite science facts to get your wife to shut you up with a kiss. I’m sure that’s what has led to so many spawns. I, on the other hand, have to merely exist.

Oh, stuff it, Marcus, not everyone’s wife has loved him since they were children. Some of us have to woo her and make her forget she’d once called him Lord Presumptuous.

Um, well, my heroine claimed to be in love with me since we were children, but I still had to “woo” her, as you put it.

Perhaps that’s because you know nothing about how to treat the lady you love. *Wallace’s soft eyes surveyed the room of men with something in them akin to…compassion and perhaps triumph* Unlike most of you, I had a very satisfying wedding night and all I had to do was go into her bedchamber and kiss her.

Don’t look at me. I had a wedding night, too; followed by a very enjoyable return trip home from Scotland.

And I’m the luckiest of all, I got two wedding nights! 

*buries head in hands* I’ve created monsters. Randy, lust-driven monsters.

Don’t include me in that. I haven’t said anything.

No, Wes,  you haven’t. But I have no doubt that’s only because you don’t want me to grow angry with you embarrassing me by revealing your primal urges on my blog and having me delay the release of your book because of it.

How did you know?

Because I know you. *turns eyes to Jack and Sebastian* Do either of you have anything to say?

Yes, I’m not afraid of you. Finish my book, or I’ll come make a blog post about my ‘primal urges’ as you call them.

Sebastian, so gentlemanly of you to issue me a warning.

There won’t be another.

Jack?

You have to the 40,000 word mark to make things happen, then I’ll be bringing about a heavy dose of writer’s block.

Excuse me? That’s not very far into the book.

Then make more than one scene. A dozen would be nice.

That will NOT be happening.

No, she’s saving that for MY book.

*masculine chuckles fill the room, followed by snippets of lines: “don’t count on it”, “only in your imagination”, “lucky bast–“*

That’s enough! Get out of here, the lot of you depraved lechers. Even you, Jack. Go. 

What of me?

Gabriel?

You haven’t forgotten me, have you?

*sighs* No.

You do realize you’ve had dozens of requests for my story, don’t you?

Yes. I know. I just need more time.

More time?

How about this fall? *offers a stiff, unsure smile* After I write Gray’s story?

I suppose. *narrows eyes* Just don’t forget.

Now that they’re all gone, I can resume–

Writing my book, correct?

Jack? I thought I commanded you out.

You did. But I’ll just hang back, over here by the window, to make sure you keep writing on my book and not “resume” listening about Lady Bird’s Ladybird Memoir, a book I wouldn’t mind seeing you write…

Out! Out! Out!

Fine, but not until you open the document that contains my book. Good girl.

*deep sigh* So much for my public apology…

Characters

A visit from a man who will put Lord Presumptuous to shame!

Good Monday afternoon!

I’ve decided to blog because I need a break from–

Rose? Is that you I hear clicking on the keys?

*finger to lips*

I can still hear you!

*sighs* All right, Sebastian, what do you want?

Eh, so I’m Sebastian still? *lifts eyebrows and stares me down*

For now.

*continues to give me a stare that he thinks will cow me…but it won’t*

Can I help you?

Yes. Open my book back up and keep writing. We were in a good part.

A good part?

Yes. I was just telling that menace Mr. Cole just how it was going  to be and where he could go if he didn’t like it, then you stopped and abandoned the scene for three days. THREE whole days.

It was the weekend. I spend the weekend with my husband and kids.

*pulls a face* I suppose that’s understandable. *crosses arms and narrows his eyes* But now the weekend is over and you have not resumed.

That’s because I planned to go back to the start and write in what’s really going on.

Which is?

You have feelings for Rachel.

*nods* That’s true enough. I have feelings for her.

See! I knew it. You’re in love with Eliza’s cousin.

*chokes* In love? Eliza’s cousin?

Yes and yes.

No and no.

And are you the one writing this story?

No, but I am the one playing to such foolish nonsense in your head, madam.

What foolish nonsense?

First, Rachel is Eliza’s sister, not her cousin. Second–

So, sister, cousin same thing.

No, it’s not because then it eliminates the title you picked.

Her Sister’s Intended? *flicks wrist* I can come up with another title. That one wasn’t so grand anyway.

I’m sorry, madam, but Her Cousin’s Intended doesn’t have the same ring. Besides, that could be taken in a way that you might not mean it, if you take my meaning.

I do, and that will be enough of that. Sebastian, you must understand the titles I had for this series won’t work anyway: Her Sister’s Intend and His Brother’s Betrothed? There could be a major mix up with another of my series of books.

So what, those who can read the series name–or heaven forbid take time to go to your website–won’t be confused. *grins* Besides, your loyal readers will know exactly where these books belong. So leave Rachel as Eliza’s sister and leave the titles alone. You have much more to deal with.

Well, I’ll have you know, not that I have time to be talking with a figment of my imagination, but, my changing Rachel from Eliza’s sister to cousin has nothing to do with the title. See, the way I see it, you’re in love with Rachel.

The devil you say. I have no love for Rachel.

Nor Eliza I’d say. *quirks brow at the infuriating hero of a book I still have not titled who dares to interrupt my blog post* If my memory serves you don’t much care for her, either.

*shrugs carelessly, then crosses his arms* I don’t see the problem here. You’re not even a fifth of the way through the book. If every book had love in the first chapter it’d be boring.

Ah, but see, if you have a deep love for Rachel then it makes things more interesting.

In the words of Alex Banks: Hell’s afire! I am not in love with Rachel.

Yes, you are.

No, I’m not!

There has to be some sort of conflict.

And there is.

What?

As you’ve so eloquently stated for all of your readers: you’re a fifth of the way in, and I don’t like the heroine. Nor her me, if I had to guess.

You’re correct. I think you took care of that quite thoroughly very early on.

*throws hands into the air* Then what’s the problem?

It’s just too much like Marcus and Emma or Elijah and Amelia.

No it’s not. Well, not unless you’re saying that every time you have a ‘friends to lovers’ plot (which makes me cringe at the part of the book that you left me in…where I don’t like the heroine, but I’m sure by the end, I’ll be all about being her lover–I do have faith) you always have a main character whose name starts with an E, which judging by the look on your face, I see that you just discovered that. *chuckles* Otherwise, I see no issue.

*conveniently ignoring the fact that he’s correct about the name thing and making a mental note to consider changing the heroine’s name* Don’t you? Marcus and Emma grew up together and he was engaged to her older sister. Elijah an Amelia grew up together and he wanted nothing to do with her, either. This is just like the two of you: grew up together, she’s crazy about you, you hate her and intended to marry her older sister.

First, let’s establish that my feelings for Rachel is only that of a friend. I have no genuine love for her. She talked me into marrying her and I agreed. I had to keep my word, no matter ho much I might wish I can convince her to cry off.

I do believe Marcus didn’t truly wish to marry Louise, either.

*his hard stare resumes and he clenches his jaw* Neither Marcus nor Elijah hated their heroine as a girl. They might have found her annoying at times and tolerated her, but neither completely disliked her. Plus, they both fell in love when she wasn’t looking. I can tell you without doubt, that didn’t happen to me in those years we were separated.

*Lifts eyebrow in question* Really?

Yes. Now, I do believe that is enough conflict without making me have some blasted tendre for her sister.

But it’s so…common.

And having a love triangle isn’t?

I don’t think you’re understanding. I have no intentions of making the sister do things to thwart your romance with Eliza. More of a “niggle”, if you will, in the back of your mind. What on earth is that grin about?

You just referred to Rachel as Eliza’s sister! You must want to change it back, too.

*re-reads line…* Indeed, I did. But it’s of no account. They’ll be cousins, that way it’s not quite the same where you grew up with them both. Just that you met the cousin, fell in love with her and Eliza merely got in  the way and disrupted your plans of marrying her.

And your readers are going to like this?

Sure. Stop sneering. All ladies love the pining hero. In fact, my most loved hero to this day was one who pined for the heroine for half a decade.

Yes, pined for the heroine–not her cousin.

Pish posh. It gives a new angle.

A stupid angle.

I don’t think it’s stupid–

*sighs so loud it cuts my words off* You wouldn’t. What you need to do before you go changing story lines mid-book is just go back where you left off, delete the contrived paragraph about my longing for Rachel and continue on. We were in a good spot. Eliza was just starting to talk to me again and I was telling her brute of a father to stay out of the way.

Sebastian, it’s not that easy.

Yes, it is. I think doing that is far easier than changing the whole story…then blaming ME for it.

Oh dear, I think it just got a bit hotter in here. *fans face*

Yeah, you didn’t think I’d find out about that, did you?

Well…uh…no.

Have no worry, Mrs. Gordon. Even we figments of your imagination, or perhaps it’s especially those figments of your imagination, know what you post on Facebook.

I can explain. See, when you were speaking to Eliza’s father about your plan to once and for all get rid of her, I thought it would add to the story if–

And that is your problem. I won’t name names, but since you put my book on hold two years ago, I’ve been watching and it seems on the books where YOU decide what is best for your characters, you not only had a harder time writing those books, but you also…well…to be blunt, those are the books with sales in the privy.

Lord Belgrave!

Hey, I’m just telling you the truth. The books where you “let it go” and took cues from your characters have far more passion in them. They might not follow all the rules of a typical romance, but your love of the story is certainly easier to spot. Who cares if you just did a friends-to-lovers plot only two books back?

Good grief. I’m not on the ledge about to jump off the cliff, never to write again.

I know. I just wanted to make sure my book gets written and if having an awkward chat with you means it happens, then it was worth the wait.

And just what makes you think you’ll be who she chooses?

Besides about half the book being in my point of view?

Yes, besides that.

*shrugs* I might not like her and she might be unforgivably angry with me, but as I said earlier, I’ve read your other books. Liberty hated Paul who could barely tolerate her in return; Madison wanted nothing to do with Benjamin; Patrick kept making an arse of himself to Juliet, garnering him the nickname of Lord Presumptuous; John ran from Carolina and her scandalous tongue; Elijah finally came around as did his brother Henry–then of course there is your new book with Wes and Allison, which I just finished. In the end, all of those couples worked out, so I have no doubt I’ll one day find Eliza, who I’d honestly suggest you change her name and not mine, attractive. Mind you that I’m not exactly looking forward to the antics that bring this about, just another reminder that I’ve read the other books, but I’m very certain I’ll enjoy the outcome.

Good grief. You men are all the same.

Can you blame me? You’re the one whose kept this book in an abandoned file on your desktop, condemning me to a very long period of celibacy.

Well then…Uh, I’m not sure what else to say.

That you’ll leave the book as-is, or should I say, “as-was” before you started mucking up the beginning earlier this afternoon.

How about a compromise?

I don’t compromise, madam. You should know that. If I did, there truly wouldn’t be any conflict in this book.

Then you’ll have to continue to be celibate.

Oh, all right, a compromise.

I’ll agree to re-read over what I have before deciding either way. 

Perhaps if you’d just done that to start with instead of just jumping right in where you’d left off, we’d both be a lot happier right now.

I don’t like your attitude, and if you don’t become a bit more pleasant to be around, then I’ll have to call off my deal.

Fine. Re-read it and give it another chance.

*opens file* Is there a reason you’re still here?

Just want to see what you do?

It would go faster if you didn’t stand over my shoulder.

It would also go faster if you quit thinking of how to change the story….and my name.

Who told you that?

I’m not a simpleton, Ms. Gordon. I know everything; including that you’ve already once swapped my name with that of another hero you have.

What is so wrong with a name change? Sebastian is long and easy to misspell when typing fast.

Then slow down. It’s not going to kill you if it takes an extra hour to finish the book. My name is far more important than that.

Is there another reason you don’t want a name change, perhaps?

Yes. The names you’re considering are cast-offs that your husband wouldn’t let you name your children.

So are Andrew, Benjamin, Alexander, Marcus, Elijah and Henry.

But you did name one of your sons Henry.

No, I didn’t.

*arches brow* Do I need to ping back to an older post?

Ha. Just because I’ve named my kids Eddie and Henry on here doesn’t mean that’s their real names. It wouldn’t be the best thing for me to post my children’s real names on the Internet.

Oh.

Is that all?

I suppose. But remember, if you don’t keep the book how it originally was, I will be back.

So much for my blog post. As you can see from a very opinionated character who has decided to air my dirty laundry that my writing two books at once has been going very well, except that I had a brilliant idea (then tried to give the credit–in a way, to the hero….). I did think the friends-to-lovers plot might be a bit overdone for me. Out of 11 books I have out, two have this theme. I started going back to re-read what I have (something I didn’t do completely before picking it back up; instead, I only read the start of a chapter, not the other three I already had completed). That’s when I got really conflicted about what I wanted to do and decided to do a blog post. But Sebastian, Lord Belgrave one of the most pushy, dominating and infuriating heroes I’ve ever had the pleasure to write about interrupted me. So…for those of you who might have seen my post on Facebook on Friday about a plot suddenly being shaken up by the hero, I have to take part of the fault in that and I am now going back to re-read and re-evaluate. THIS is part of being a writer. 

Now, that I’ve probably scared you all by posting such a conversation, I shall bid you fare-the-well and get back to work!

Characters, His Yankee Bride, Mr. Henry Hirsute, My own craziness, Randomness

Frank Discussion: Is this too much leg?

[Disclaimer, not for the squeamish or faint of heart.]

In January, on a hunch that I’d deviated from my previous pattern card when choosing book covers, I decided to have mine redone where the focus was more on the dress/background and no faces could be seen just as I’d done in the past. [Side note here, my husband still thinks the original Regina was super hot… Really? This just makes me shake my head, but whatever.]

As I was discussing with Lily Smith about what I’d like to see and she was sending me samples, I was also plaguing the inbox of a few of my readers who have dared allowed themselves to offer me opinions about things in the past. How fortunate for them, right?

I sent them the new idea for the lady to portray Carolina on the cover his His Yankee Bride:

Red Beauty

I don’t have rights to the original photo so I can’t post it, but without the writing there, it looked like you could see more leg, to be sure, and one of the reactions was, “Isn’t that a little leggy?”

Why yes it is, Carolina is the mother of three scandalous hoydens and a bit of an unruly one herself who probably would have loved to have sat positioned like in a chair in the middle of a field if she thought it would get John’s attention.

But Carolina isn’t my only “leggy” character. I have another who seems to have stolen the show:

Mr. Henry Hirsute!

This young man has no problems showing his legs to anyone:

Scandalous I tell you! Given the time period in which he is being discussed, he really should be more mindful of showing certain body parts to the world. But he doesn’t seem to–he shows off his long, strong legs, hairy abdomen, even his derrière, which let’s face it could use a trim. Manscaping, anyone?

I’ve personally had three of these: Harry (very original, I know), Mr. Fuzzinelli, and Quatzequatel (named after a famous Aztec god). Harry (who we could never agree on how to spell this: Harry like the man or Hairy like the adjective…) died a very tragic death: he was eaten by his own food. We dug a grave, had the funeral, laid him to rest and waited two years before getting Mr. Fuzzinelli who ODed. No kidding. At the pet store, they tell you that you need to put a sponge in their box so A. they can drink and B. it does something for the air, makes it more humid, I think; because we all know in Oklahoma there’s not a drop of humidity in the air…  What they don’t mention is that it needs to be a certain kind of sponge and that a regular old kitchen sponge will not do. Apparently, the sponges you buy on the cleaning aisle come pre-sprayed with all sorts of chemicals. Chemicals which kill tarantulas. And so it happened, that Mr. Fuzzinelli, spent too much time on and near his sponge that he ODed on the chemicals and died.

Ironically, this happened while we were away for a weekend and someone else was taking care of him. How wonderful for us that they saved his body… And so, another grave was dug, funeral had, and he was lain to rest.

Because the people felt so bad, they got us another one!

Sadly, my heart just wasn’t in it to take care of another one and he didn’t last too long. Just a few weeks, I think. I fed and watered him, but that’s about it. I just took care of him because he was there, I had no real attachment, so when he died, I didn’t try to investigate his cause of death, just gave him a flush and banished his tank to the attic.

I’m heartless, I know.

From time to time, when I get upset, Bob will ask if I need another hairy spider, if that will cheer me up.

No, no spiders. In fact, no spiders are welcome in my home any longer. When I was younger, I’d kindly remove them from whatever surface they were on and put them outside. These days they get the TP treatment. One in particular…

Last night after watching a very upsetting movie I went to bed. After tossing and turning a bit, I got up to go to my office and work for a while longer. And that’s when I saw him! That vile creature that dared allowed himself into my home without permission!

Brown Recluse

The picture isn’t very good, so it looks like a regular spider, but he’s not. He’s a Brown Recluse (or a fiddle back), one of the worst kinds of spiders there are! (My husband snapped this from about 10 feet away LOL) I don’t know all the details on what’s in him that does this, but his bite will kill your skin and the tissue underneath–then the tissue all around it will also die and the wound will keep getting wider and deeper. People have died from these and the pictures are horrible!

I was able to keep my calm so not to scare him and make him run where I couldn’t get him, but I did call down for my husband to bring me some toilet paper, ASAP, with which I killed the menace–then made an overnight call to the exterminator who will be coming out today if I have to go track him down and bring him here myself!

Anyone else have any plans for the day as exciting as mine? What about leggy creatures, who do you think is more appealing to look at: Carolina lazing on her plantation or the eight legs of a spider?