Grace's Mosaic Moments


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Making Masks


4/5/20:  Too busy making masks to create a new blog.
Also, want to certain the mask-making information stays current.
HANG IN THERE, EVERYONE.
This, too, shall pass. 

Updates added 4/5/20 under SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS,
including How to Make Self-ties 


3/30/20:  New Hints added under Special Instructions
 for those making masks on an assembly line basis.

~ * ~

At this perfectly awful time, we all need a bit of beauty . . .

Easter Wreath posted to FB by Sheri Cobb South


MAKING MASKS

I've spent the last few days experimenting with different mask patterns. I am going to list them all below, with links to patterns, instructions, video. Are they worth the bother? The CDC has put out a bulletin which reads pretty much as "homemade masks are better than no mask at all." In some areas, I understand, hospitals are welcoming homemade masks because they have run out of the professional ones. Others—the unbendable types—will tell you, "forgetaboutit." So it's up to you or to your local hospitals, nursing homes, etc. If there's a need (or desire), below is information on how to make several different kinds of masks.

My experiments this week led me from the mask pattern provided by Jo-Ann Fabrics to variations on the Fu Mask (pattern available on the Net). It should be noted that Jo-Ann Fabrics is supplying ready-cut fabric and thread for making masks to their pattern, a very generous contribution to this crisis. (Just call ahead to make sure they haven't run out.) 

Addendum:  I just saw an email stating Jo-Ann Fabric has donated enough fabric to make 1.5 million masks! Also, if you place an order online, Jo-Ann is offering curb-side pick-up of your order; i.e., they are stepping up - hope you will too.

Since I can't stand anything obstructing my nose—I'm absolutely certain I can't breathe!—I decided to search beyond Jo-Ann's rectangular masks. I settled on the curved-seam Fu Mask, which allows more room for the nose. I made this pattern in several variations. See below.

Special Note:  "String" elastic, as seen on professional masks, is in short supply, as well as difficult to work with. To use different fastenings:  if you are fitting a mask to a particular individual, you can use 1/4 - 3/8" elastic or self-fabric in a C-curve on each side. (See #4 below.) But when making masks to accommodate a wide variety of unknown shapes and sizes, only 4 ribbons or self-ties will work. For example:  When I followed the Jo-Ann pattern, using a 7" C-curve of quarter-inch elastic on either side, the mask hung down around my mouth! I had to shorten it to 5½" before it would stay on. So, from my experience at least, 4 ties are more practical.

Before making any mask, please see the Special Instructions at the end.
 


1.  My personal favorite.


This version of the mask includes lightweight interfacing, which stiffens the fabric, giving people with phobias like mine more room for their nose. Below is another pic. Both masks are made from all cotton cannibalized from aprons the grandgirls have outgrown. For the ties, I cut the apron strings in half & zigzagged the raw edge.


Also made with interfacing



2.  The same mask but without the interfacing - just two layers of cotton.


 Less fuss to make; also, using ribbon takes less time than creating self-fabric ties.


3.  The same mask with one layer of cotton attached to iron-on interfacing.




 This one is not as pretty, but easy & lightweight. Ties are attached with a 1/4" turn-under to secure the raw edge. This is the one I'm keeping for myself, if I should feel I need it.




4.  Rectangular Jo-Ann's Mask (with pleats)

Please note the C-curve fastening.



An excellent how-to video by Jo-Ann Fabrics is available on You Tube:  click here.


Grace Note:   I was about to post this blog when I went rummaging in the back of my elastic drawer & discovered I actually had some string elastic in both black & white (maybe 20 or more years old but still viable.) So naturally I had to experiment with it. The problem with string elastic is that you have a make a knot at both ends before you can use it. This makes it difficult to attach to the cloth before stitching the two pieces together. I ended up inserting each of the four knots as I went along. Below is a photo of what one side looks like pinned in place before putting the lining on top (right sides together). For my experiment I cut 2  7" pieces. About ½" extends beyond each knot, leaving a C-curve of not much more than 5". But it extends to fit well over the ears [unlike ¼" elastic (in the photo above) which doesn't stretch as easily]. "String" elastic is rather a pain to work with, I discovered, but is the best imitation of the professional masks.


Note knot is almost at the edge of the fabric.

5.  Rectangular Jo-Ann's Mask with String Elastic


Finished result, using "string" elastic





Masks 1-3 (in Small, Medium, Large)

For the basic Fu Mask pattern,  click here.

For Fu Mask instructions,  click here.


Materials needed:

Jo-Ann's Rectangular Mask:  

cotton, 9 x 12"
Choose one:  14" narrow elastic (cut in 7" segments or less)  OR  48" ribbon (cut in four 12" segments)* OR 14+" string-style elastic

Fu Masks (curved center seam):   


One-quarter yard cotton or scraps big enough to cut FOUR (4) of the c. 8" x 6" pattern.
Choose one:  14" narrow elastic (cut in 7" segments or less)  OR  48" ribbon (cut in four 12" segments)* OR 14+" string-style elastic

For Mask 1 you will also need one quarter yard lightweight iron-on interfacing. Cut TWO. Trim c. 1/8" all around on both. Apply to Front mask pieces BEFORE sewing the center seam.



SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS:

Masks 1-5:  Use ¼" seams throughout. 
Placement of elastic, ribbons, or self ties should be just inside the ¼" seamline. (The elastic in the black mask above is a bit haphazard - I felt lucky to get it to stay into any kind of place at all!) 

Masks 1, 2, 4 & 5:  When turning mask right-side out, use blunt-end scissors or something similar to poke the corners out to 90°.

Masks 1 - 5: The masks will look better (with crisper corners) if, before turning right-side out, you clip the seam diagonally at each corner & trim a bit of the seam on each side of the diagonal clip. 

Mask 3 only:  Cut two of fabric, two of interfacing. Trim 1/4" off the TOP ONLY of all four pieces. (This compensates for the seam you won't be stitching and keeps the mask from rising up in front of your eyes.) Apply interfacing to wrong side, placing wax paper or similar underneath to keep interfacing from sticking to ironing board. Stitch Center seam. Open seam & top-stitch down each side, flattening seam. Serge or zigzag around the edges (I used 3.5 wide by 1.5 spacing.) Attach ribbons on front by turning under ¼" & stitching in place.

*HINTS added 3/30/20 - for those making multiple masks.

1.  Assembly-line style. It seems to be more efficient, if a bit teeth-grinding, to cut out multiple masks at one time, iron on interfacing in one fell swoop, stitch as many center seams on the Fu masks as you can stand, attach several sets of ribbon as the next step, etc., etc.  

2.  Interfacing.  Everything goes faster if you make a separate Interfacing pattern (mask pattern with 1/8" cut off all the way around). This saves having to trim each set of interfacing. 

4/5/20:

3.  As elastic, ribbon & interfacing become distant memories, keep in mind that you can make self ties. Experienced seamstresses have their own methods, but for those who don't, This is how I did it;

1.  Cut a straight strip of fabric 1-3/8" wide.
2.  Fold one end in half, tucking in the outer edges c. 1/4" each side. 
3.  Set machine to slightly longer stitch than regular stitching (topstitching length).
4.  Anchor the fold with the machine needle down.
5.  Pull on the fabric & it will fold itself with only a little help from you
6.  Topstitch down open side.

Cut into desired lengths. I will probably anchor the open ends with Fray Check. Clear fingernail polish will do.

Last night I also experimented with making a chain of cotton yarn as a possible tie. Haven't actually used it, but it seems feasible. Shoelaces also ought to work. Videos of how to crochet a chain are available on the Internet (4-ply cotton yarn preferred). Update:  I am making all my masks with crocheted cotton chains now.

Whether for yourself, your family, or for outreach to those in need,
I hope you find this information helpful.

~ * ~

Masks added after 3/26/20

Mask Stained Glass - c. 6x9
Mask Coral & Black - c. 6x9

 
Mask Coral - c. 6x9





Mask Tan (Large) - c. 7x10







Mask Patriotic
 
 










Mask Navy














Mask with crocheted ties (chain stitch)
The black blob in the upper left is Squeak's paw - she thought I put the towel down just for her & refused to get off. 

~ * ~


For Blair's website, click here.
 
For a link to Making Magic With Wordsclick here. 

For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Amazon, click here.

For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Smashwords (20% free read), click here.

For a link to Blair's updated Facebook Author Page, click here.





Thanks for stopping by,

Grace
 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Florida & the Virus

UPDATE. I'm accumulating information, and hopefully expertise, on making masks. My next blog will include links to patterns & video, and include what I've learned while making a variety of masks this week. Meanwhile, for those who are anxious, check out the YouTube video made by Jo-Ann's Fabrics and the pattern & instructions for making a Fu Mask (my preference), available on the Internet.



My son sent me a list of ten "Corona Memes." I am re-posting 3 of them to Mosaic Moments. Obviously, we need all the smiles we can get.






FLORIDA & THE VIRUS

Thursday, March 19.
Hard to believe only a week ago I was buying groceries, though the shelves were already clean of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Why the run on toilet paper I have no idea, nor did anyone else in the store. We were all talking freely to each other, only vaguely worried about a virus that had produced but one case in our country, a man just returned from a Nile cruise in Egypt. (More important that day, my family had to be out their house before Friday's Closing.) But two days later, daughter called to postpone my visit to the new house and get a transponder for the gate of their new community. As a "most at risk," I was to stay home, she told me, go nowhere—including no church, no choir—have my groceries delivered.




My son called from Connecticut to give the same caution as my daughter. So here I am, grateful that I already have a "work at home" job, my cat to keep me company, and feeling self-righteous because I early-voted last Thursday, completed the 2020 Census online, and sent off my IRS figures to my accountant. (My one venture out to a nearly deserted post office and to pick up a prescription in the drive-thru line at Walgreen's.) 
Looking on the bright side, my next book will likely get done faster. I am getting a lot of gardening done - long neglected due to my broken foot last fall. Which means spring gardening is a real challenge, with lots more debris to clean up than usual. (I'm gradually getting back in shape, but there's a lot of huffing and puffing.) Since my reading schedule has always been heavy, few changes there. But I am enjoying having an extra project during this time of being house-bound—I am finishing up my fifth princess gown for the church's spring musical and will likely make one or two more. Of course the musical has been postponed, but I am confident it WILL happen sometime, and those gowns will be ready!
Squeak, interestingly, seems to pick up on the general tension. She cuddles more, sleeps with me each night, not at the foot of the bed as in the past but cuddled up as tight as she can get. Reminds me of my previous cat, Ghostie, who was a stray I fed while living in Venice. Knowing she would starve when we moved, my son cornered her, forced her into a carrier, and moved her to Orlando with me. The day after we arrived, she was gone for four days, coming back only after being defeated by the superhighway leading back to Venice (or so I speculated). Anyway, she stayed put, but never cuddling (as was her habit) until I came home after a week in the hospital, at which point she curled up on my bed and stayed there until I was up and around. Amazing how animals sense our feelings.




As for the rest of Florida . . .
It was truly the end of the world as we know it when Disneyworld, Universal & the other theme parks closed their doors, a number of hotels along with them. Orlando International - something like the fourth busiest airport in the U.S. - is nearly a ghost town. Bars are closed, restaurants asked to "distance" their customers. Schools are closed, many going to online classes after Spring Break (this week). My church is still functioning but the choir has been given leave. Everyone is asked to practice "social distancing." Even the anchors on my local TV station were delivering the news from separate studios. Our grocery stores are now offering "early shopping" hours for seniors,but I still intend to explore Publix Delivery, a whole new concept for me. 
Although Disney is paying its employees during the shutdown, most businesses cannot manage that; plus, all peripheral businesses are adversely affected, which is a goodly portion of Orange and Osceola counties. And every business, large and small, is affected by people staying home, making this a really tough time economically as well as medically. My county (Seminole) is now up to 8 cases, Orange County (Orlando), 15. And yet, Spring Breakers are still going to the beach—88 rip tide rescues at Daytona Beach last Sunday alone. Evidently, there are altogether too many college students who consider themselves indestructible. Sigh. 

One disturbing bit of news—this news report was from MY country:

Gun stores are selling out of guns & ammunition, the majority to first-time gun owners. Apparently, too many apocalyptic movies & TV shows out there. Sigh. Fortunately, most people are standing up to this disaster with fortitude (barring the hoarding of toilet paper, that is). We, all descendants of immigrants, are a hardy lot. We will cope. And hopefully, do it with grace and courage.

I offer my sympathy to other affected countries, particularly those who are suffering so severely. Perhaps this is a reminder we are all one world—that we suffer together, will rise together, hopefully better able to see "we" instead of "me."

Saturday, March 21
Eight cases of Covid-19 in my county. Two neighboring counties - Orange & Osceola - have instituted an 11pm - 5am curfew. Restaurants are now Delivery or Curb-service only. Yet the beaches, crowded by spring breakers, are still open. The Florida Keys, however, are shutting down to all outsiders as of Sunday (tomorrow) night. 

Closing with a pic we all need . . .


A stream of flowers (Holland)

~ * ~
For Blair's website, click here.




 
For a link to Making Magic With Wordsclick here. 

For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Amazon, click here.

For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Smashwords (20% free read), click here.

For a link to Blair's updated Facebook Author Page, click here.





Thanks for stopping by,

Grace
 

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Fantasy, SciFi, Paranormal



Late-night Friday, March 6, Space X launched the last of its first generation of space capsules, sending supplies to the space station. My daughter made an excellent video of the launch from Longwood, about 35 miles west of the Kennedy Space Center. It was the first time any of us had seen the secondary "burn" (rocket ignition), that sends the booster back to land after it detaches from the space craft. Except at the time of the video, no one recognized why a second explosion suddenly lit the sky, and since even the children know about Challenger, there were a few bad moments recorded on the video. 

(FYI, I was standing in my driveway in Venice, FL, watching the launch from 90 miles away, when I saw that sudden "V" made by the Challenger explosion and rushed back inside to hear the TV announcer intone that obviously there had been an "anomaly.")


For Susie's video of the launch, complete with a couple of scary moments, click here.


Found on Facebook


FANTASY, SCI-FI, PARANORMAL

As so often happens with this blog, a book I read this week (recommended by my son) set me to thinking . . .

Firstly, it was among the most fascinating books I've ever read, if not the most fascinating. The writing was excellent, but the imagination involved simply blew me away. Wow! It was a long read, but I finished it in record time and am already beginning Book 2 of the series. Is this a series I will want to add to my "read over & over" list? Probably not. It's too dark, too harsh, too agonizing at times for a Happily Ever After author like me. But oh my, when it comes to story-telling . . . 

Secondly, I stopped to ask myself where this book sat among the many genres of Fiction, and I realized that in bookstores it had to be shelved under Fantasy. I can hear some of you murmur, "Fantasy? Elves and fairies are dark, harsh & agonizing?" Except, that's the problem with the genre title of Fantasy. It conjures the wrong image. I had read through most of Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series before I realized it was Fantasy, not Science Fiction. I mean, it was set on a planet far, far away (long before Star Wars), so it must be SciFi. There were a lot of odd creatures, but no elves, fairies, witches, wizards, etc., so how could it be Fantasy? But that was back when I was only a reader,  not a writer. 

Truth is, Fantasy covers a LOT of territory. If you're writing about dragons, for example, it's Fantasy. In Naomi Novik's Temeraire series, you could add in Alternative History, but all those dragons make Fantasy the primary genre. And the book I praised above—no matter how dark, no matter how many four-letter words, no matter if some of the good guys get killed—Scott Lynch's Gentlemen Bastards series is Fantasy. He has built an intricate world of his own making, peopled it with hordes of incredibly well-delineated characters, all set in a time vaguely reminiscent of our own 16th or 17th centuries. There is nothing "scientific" about it, except perhaps continued references to a far more advanced culture pre-dating their own. (Somewhat reminiscent of what happened in Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders series.)

Yes, Fantasy can be fairies, elves, witches, and wizards, but it includes so much more. Never be afraid to reach out and enjoy the truly thrilling sweep of some people's imaginations. It can literally put you into a whole new world.

If you're wondering where Steampunk comes in this discussion, I'd call it a form of Fantasy. The world of Steampunk is not as as drastically different from ours, being based on late 19th c. Earth, but Steampunk "science" is based on putting recognizable devices into an era where they did not exist. Examples:  vast arrays of dirigibles, vehicles that run on steam, computer-like devices, radio-like transmissions, etc. Therefore, since we are playing Time Travel with scientific devices, Steampunk is a form of Fantasy.

So what makes Fantasy different from SciFi? 

In a strict definition, Science Fiction contains "real" science. It is not simply set in the future. The devices—whether computers, engines, space ships, fighter planes, communication machines, etc.—must be within the realm of possibility; i.e., based on proven scientific knowledge. Linnea Sinclair once told me she wrote "Futuristic" (SciFi with strong emphasis on Romance), but truth is, the scientific details in her books are so precise, a number of bookstores shelved her work under Science Fiction. She is definitely among the authors whose books I have read several times over. Somehow she gets it all in there - all those pesky technical details plus the romance. Most of us don't have the technical knowledge to do that. 

So . . . SciFi contains "Real" Science in stories set in worlds that could actually exist. If a book's "world" contains dragons who talk, for example, it's Fantasy. If it's a world, no matter how odd, that could conceivably exist—Tatooine, for example—then we're talking SciFi. Wookies are okay, as is the mystique of Obi Wan—every culture has things impossible to understand—but personally I draw the line at Ewoks. For me, that's when the series crossed into Fantasy.

Is Paranormal just ghosts, vampires, and shapeshifters?

Absolutely not. That's another common fallacy. Although Gail Carriger did the impossible— made me enjoy reading about werewolves and vampires—the Paranormal stories I love the most are those that involve amazing gifts of the mind. Which is why I'm so fond of the works of Jayne Castle. All her books have heroes and heroines with special "gifts." In fact, the variety of talents, including those of the bad guys, is absolutely amazing.

So no, when you hear "paranormal," do not dismiss it as things that go bump in the night. The variations of Paranormal are as endless as they are intriguing. And yes, there's allowance for a touch of fantasy here as well. For example, Jayne Castle's much-loved "dust bunnies," which pop up in all her "Harmony" books. And why shouldn't a planet far, far away have a dust-ball-like creature with four eyes? (I have no idea why I love dust bunnies but am totally turned off by Ewoks. Maybe because dust bunnies occur in all of Ms Castle's books, whereas Ewoks seemed a fantasy intrusion into a serious SciFi series.)

A quick note on Futuristic.

There was a time when Futuristic meant Romance set in the Future, but over the years it seems to have transformed into Hot Sex set in the Future. And I'd love to know where that leaves series like Lindsay Buroker's Emperor's Edge and Meljean Brook's The Kraken King. Steampunk/Alternative History? Flat-out Adventure in an Alternative Universe? Or just Adventure in a realm far, far away? 

In any event, there are fabulous worlds out there, just waiting to pull you in. Don't get stuck in a rut of reading just one genre; take a chance, plunge right in to the worlds of Fantasy, SciFi & Paranormal. If a charming con artist or a former assassin isn't your idea of a hero, try the works of Jayne Castle who writes the heros and heroines we'd all like to think we are. Or perhaps you'd be as enchanted to discover the Gail Carriger's special take on vampires and werewolves as I was. Or the truly tough heroines and semi-mechanical men presented by Linnea Sinclair? And if you don't mind dark & agonizing, please indulge yourselves in the works of Scott Lynch, who has more imagination than any other author I have ever encountered. Or if you prefer your ghosts gently presented, the romance mostly behind closed doors, you can take a peek my The Ghosts of Rushton Court, so far my best-selling Regency Gothic.

But please—I'm begging you—take a chance on above genres. I suspect you'll find they have a lot more to offer than you thought they did.

~ * ~





The Blue Moon Rising series



~ * ~

 
For a link to Making Magic With Wordsclick here. 

For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Amazon, click here.

For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Smashwords (20% free read), click here.

For a link to Blair's updated Facebook Author Page, click here.





Thanks for stopping by,

Grace






 

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Grace's "most read" Authors

GROWING UP!



Hailey - 2003
2012 (Thing 1 with Riley & baby Cassidy)



2016


2018 (with barracuda)
Stony Creek Trail, Branford, CT - 2019
 
Genuine Florida Driver's License + Car


And now our baby can drive all by herself. Ack! Truth is, the family is moving, and though still in the same county, not in the same school district, so a car & driver were necessary for both Hailey & Riley to remain in Lake Mary High School. Therefore, used car + brand new license. I'm sending up prayers.

I wasn't going to add any more to the above, but Hailey's mother posted a pic to Facebook on Friday morning that has to be included. Susie, having spent nearly a decade adding to her income as a professional singer by doing beauty makeovers for LancĂ´me, is well qualified to transform Hailey for something at school called "Decades Day." (I believe that's Mom's '80s jacket she's wearing.)




~ * ~

GRACE'S "MOST READ" AUTHORS

No, I am not going to name names—I'd like to keep my friends, thank you very much! But over the past year I've become more and more aware just how far my taste has strayed from Romance even though that is considered the genre I write. Truth to tell, I never embraced the simplistic Harlequin/Silhouette view of Romance, never read any of those little books displayed on their own rack in bookstores. And I did not try to write one until I knew I had a chance to be published if I did (He Said, She Said - Kensington Precious Gems). I wanted to write Romance, yes, but with action, adventure, suspense, a murder or two, etc., etc. And that's what I ended up doing, my only other "cave" to Traditional Romance, my six Regencies for Penguin Putnam's Signet. (Fun to write, but shorter and far less adventurous than The Sometime Bride and Tarleton's Wife.)

But even when I went indie in 2011, I continued to write Historical Romance and contemporary Mystery/Suspense with a strong emphasis on Romance. So how did I stray from the fold in my reading? Truthfully, I'm not sure. But this week I took the time to make a list of books and series I keep going back to, reading over and over again, enjoying them anew each time. To my complete astonishment, only three were Regency authors. And one, I admit, was an author who wrote the Australian version of Harlequin/Silhouette novels. (Guess she just struck the right chord with me.)

Of the remainder, two write contemporary mystery series, some of them better than others. But I've read them all more than once, and buy each new book as it comes out. Yet another author favorite writes contemporary mystery with a goodly touch of the paranormal. And four write Fantasy/SciFi with more than a little paranormal, and varying degrees of Romance. One went eleven books into a series without so much as kiss; one writes books well sprinkled with hot sex. (So no surprise that I took time out from the Regency to write my Fantasy/SciFi series, Blue Moon Rising.)

At the RWA conference here in Orlando a couple of years ago, someone at a SciFi seminar made the remark that Regency and SciFi have a lot in common—most particularly, the creation of an entirely different world than the one we live in. So perhaps it's not so surprising I feel at home in both worlds. And I have discovered from my sales figures that many Regency readers must also enjoy a goodly dash of adventure and the paranormal, for my Regency Gothics outsell all my other books.

Why have I veered more and more toward Fantasy/SciFi and the paranormal? Well, in high school my extracurricular reading was almost entirely SciFi. And then I discovered Anne McCaffrey, enjoying all her series, although the Dragonrider series remains outstanding in my mind, one of the great classics of the genre. And then I discovered Georgette Heyer and became a Regency fanatic, long before I ever heard of Romance Writers of America. As I recall, my mother—the children's book author, Wilma Pitchford Hays, who put me through college writing series romance for Modern Romances—first steered me toward RWA (and later toward e-books). And after that, I was caught in the web, struggling between what I wanted to write and the kind of book that would get me published!

So, as I've said so many times over the years, it was the e-book industry that allowed me to write the stories I wanted to write. First, my thanks to early e-publishers who put my "real" work out there. And, finally, indie pub that allowed me the freedom to be the storyteller I wanted to be. But wait . . .

We all want to make money—that's a trap we can't ignore. Hence, my emphasis on my Regency Gothics. And back to the appeal of the Paranormal.

I suspect the harsh reality of our world—not just the present but back into the mists of time—accounts for our desire to believe in something more. This "more" most certainly includes our many religious beliefs, but there is always the temptation to go beyond, to tell tales of things that go bump in the night. I, who inevitably stick to Happily Ever After endings, prefer my paranormal creatures to be benign, but that's just me. If your taste runs toward Stephen King, fine. Yes, it's escapism. But we all need it, never more so than right now when our politics has turned almost as scary as the coronavirus.

Therefore—to name another name, even though I said I wouldn't—perhaps that is why I prefer the works of Jayne Castle to the works of Jayne Ann Krentz or Amanda Quick. (All three the same author.) I read all her books, but it's the Jayne Castle books I read over and over again. JC writes stories set in a fantasy world far, far away, with the Paranormal exploding all over the place in every book. I don't know how many times when I was "down," I've lost myself in the Fantasy world of the planet Harmony, and immediately felt better.

As for Mystery, I enjoy the intellectual challenge of "whodunit"; most particularly, I enjoy the expert writing often found in the Mystery genre. And if there's a goodly dash of the paranormal, all the better. 

Moral of the story:  Do not turn your back on Escapism. It's fun and it's good for morale. If Romance does it for you, great. For me, I prefer Action and Intellectual Challenge, though my favorites also have a goodly dash of Romance. So never fear stretching your reading—or writing—beyond the confines simple Romance. Who knows? If you like the Regency World, you just might find Fantasy or SciFi series you like as well. Or vice versa. Be flexible. Give other people's worlds a try.

~ * ~

 
For a link to Making Magic With Wordsclick here. 

For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Amazon, click here.

For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Smashwords (20% free read), click here.

For a link to Blair's updated Facebook Author Page, click here.





Thanks for stopping by,

Grace