Grace's Mosaic Moments


Saturday, January 22, 2022

Attention, Seniors, Potential Seniors

In need of a Covid Blues-chaser? A book chock-full of amazing characters, live and ephemeral? I invite you to try The Secrets of Stonebridge Castle.

 


 ~ * ~

Alas, it's Friday morning, and I'm adding an addendum to this week's planned blog. In a story as ancient as time, yet fraught with the stresses of the twenty-first century, there was an incident at my granddaughters' high school on Wednesday.

I sat down as usual to watch the news after a morning of working on my latest book, and saw "BREAKING NEWS," an unusual trailer for our local TV news. Probably a bad car accident, a hospital overflowing with Covid patients . . . but no, they were showing police swarming a high school. Seminole High, where my granddaughters go to school. No details, just lots and lots of police cars. I called my daughter, who answered the phone with, "Yes, I know all about it. The students are all fine. Parents told not to come to the school." (This info via robocall.) But with all the awful school shooting incidents of the last few years, there was a lot of angst going around.

It was several hours before we learned that the 18-year-old quarterback of Seminole's outstanding football team had been shot 3 times - by a 16-year-old. Over a girl. And not until Thursday night was it revealed that he had been shot in the wrist and both legs in what appears to be a deliberate attempt to ruin any chance he might have of playing college football, or beyond. A truly diabolical vengeance that seems to come more from the mind of some sophisticated author of fiction than a 16-year-old student. 

Fortunately, one of my granddaughters was not in school that day, missing "lockdown," police swarming everywhere, dismissal being delayed, anxious parents in long traffic jams around the school, and goodness only knows the reaction of the students as they huddled in place inside. Our Cassidy, however, took it all in stride, assuring me she was far away (it's a huge campus) and she was not "traumatized" because she sees "stuff like that" all the time in her Police Explorers group. 

Cassidy's stoicism aside, the daily headlines are bad enough, but when violence comes so close to one's own . . . 

The world I grew up in—despite the shadow of WWII—was so different . . . Sitting on well-trodden wooden steps in the school's stairwell during Air Raid Drills is a far cry from a fellow student being shot on campus. Sigh.

~ * ~

 

If you looked closely at the title of this week's blog, you should have realized that it can be translated as ATTENTION, ALL!

The marvelous bit below was found on Facebook and really resonated with me. The original was beautifully laid out with large type, lots of color and all caps here and there. It would not save that way, so please forgive if I only pretty it up a little. The philosophy of it is well worth reading, because, as I pointed out, if you are not a Senior Citizen, you will be. Apologies to the author, who was not cited on Facebook. The title is my own. And, sadly, for all the inherent humor, the words all too often reflect the startling changes illustrated by the incident this week at Seminole High.


     ODE TO SENIOR CITIZENS


            Senior citizens are constantly being criticized for every conceivable deficiency of the modern world, real or imaginary. We know we take responsibility for all we have done and do not blame others.

            HOWEVER, upon reflection, we would like to point out that it was NOT the senior citizens who took
            The melody out of music,
            The pride out of appearance,
            The courtesy out of driving,
            The romance out of love,
            The commitment out of marriage,
            The responsibility out of parenthood,
            The togetherness out of the family,
            The learning out of education,
            The service out of patriotism,
            The Golden Rule from rulers,
            The nativity scene out of cities,
            The civility out of behavior,
            The refinement out of language,
            The dedication out of employment,
            The prudence out of spending,
            The ambition out of achievement or
            God out of government and school.
            And we certainly are NOT the ones who eliminated patience and tolerance from personal relationships and interactions with others!!

            And, we do understand the meaning of patriotism, and remember those who have fought and died for our country.

            Just look at the Seniors with tears in their eyes and pride in their hearts as they stand at attention with their hand over their hearts!

            YES, I'M A SENIOR CITIZEN!

            I'm the life of the party..... Even if it lasts until 8 p.m.
 
            I'm very good at opening childproof caps..... With a hammer.

            I'm awake many hours before my body allows me to get up.

            I'm smiling all the time because I can't hear a thing you're saying.

            I'm sure everything I can't find is in a safe secure place, somewhere.

            I'm wrinkled, saggy, lumpy, and that's just my left leg.

            I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.


            Yes, I'm a SENIOR CITIZEN and I think I am having the time of my life!


            Now if I could only remember who sent this to me, I wouldn't send it back to them, but I would send it to many more too!
            Spread the laughter - Share the cheer
            Let's be happy - While we're here.

 ~ * ~

 For a link to Blair's website, click here.

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

 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)



Saturday, January 15, 2022

What is "layering"?

A fairly lengthy photo gallery this week . . .

I don't know if the following photo is authentic—I suspect it's staged—but the situation is both plausible and funny.

 

As the person who posted the photo below to Facebook said: "I don't think I know how to 'pararllel' park."

 

My son just sent me the cat photos below. The first, his kitten Buffy. The second a photo Elon Musk never anticipated when he sent up all those Starlink satellites. Evidently, there's a built-in heater to keep snow from accumulating on a dish that has to be pointed skyward, and the dish owner's kitties, all five of them, discovered it was a great place to hang out on  snowy day.


Buffy, May 2021



Below, another gem from my son. This appears to be an authentic page from a phonebook back in the days when you could pay for additional listings. Look closely - this is a real gem. (I saved this page as "BatmanPhonebook," but the original title was: "No spotlight needed.")



 ~ * ~


WHAT IS "LAYERING"?

Many, many years ago—at my very first Romance Writers conference—I learned of a small seminar being given in someone's hotel room. I don't recall what it was called, but I recognized that it was something that would be helpful. The presenter was Tami Hoag, who was just beginning to make a name for herself in what was then called "Mainstream" Romance; i.e., romance considerably more in depth than the romances published by Harlequin and Silhouette.

And it was there, in that crowded hotel room, where we sprawled anywhere we could, listening to Tami's bon mots, that I learned about "layering." Yes, I'd been doing it, but I didn't know that was what it was called. And—oh joy!—I learned there were other authors who wrote from "out of the mist," creating as they went along (which necessitates going back and adding all those little details that weren't on the tip of your fingers in the first draft). It is, in fact, the only way I can write. (If I had to plot all the details ahead of time, I'd be so bored with the subject, I'd never bother to actually write it.) And—sniff, sniff—there were actually other writers like me. (Some of my faithful blog readers may recall my saying that although I tried to write in the era of typewriters, I found it impossible, as adding or deleting anything required retyping the entire manuscript!)

So what is "layering"? 

Authors who practice layering are usually those who prefer to "wing" it; i.e., create their books on "a wing and a prayer" (an expression from WWII, by the way, re fighter & bomber pilots making it back home only on a wing and a prayer).

Basically, we create our main characters, have an idea of where and how we should begin, take a deep breath, and start to type. What we have at the end of our writing stint for the day is a rough first draft, which may have a lot of holes. In my case, it's often physical descriptions. Prior to writing, I have created a vague idea of my main characters' personalities, but I usually forget physical descriptions entirely. Also, I may be so immersed in writing snappy dialogue that I forget the background/setting descriptions so many readers treasure.

As the books grows, I may discover the all-important motive that was in my head never made it onto paper because, again, I was concentrating on what my characters were saying or thinking or doing, and not making it clear WHY they were doing it.

My writing needs to be spontaneous—frequently I sit down to write the scene I thought came next and find myself writing something altogether different. (I had jumped the gun in my planning, leaving out a scene necessary to the plot, to character development, etc., etc.)

All this means LAYERING—going back and adding more details, more color, more explanations, more controversy, more joy, more angst—whatever your book needs to rise above a series of ordinary declarative sentences and become a tale that will capture your readers' attention - and keep it right up to the very last page.

To illustrate what I mean, I chose a chapter of my current work-in-progress, a SciFi Adventure/Romance entitled The Crucible Kingdom. I made the following changes to the first draft of Chapter 32:

6 inserts longer than two sentences - long enough to required scribbling on a legal pad

49 shorter inserts or word changes - short enough to scribble on the page

5 deletions (4 of them short)

1 typo 

Among the inserts were bits of backstory, a more thorough look at the hero's character, and a more detailed look inside the heroine's head. As an example, here is a "before" and "after" of our heroine's thoughts:

Original:

Alora had done her homework on the rebellion.

Revision (minor expansion):

Alora had read every scrap of information she could find about the rebellion.

Original:

    Unfair. She knew her attitude was unfair. She had offered herself to Ryn. . . .

Revision (extensive expansion):

    Unfair. Many Regs had joined the rebellion. Correction:  a Reg had begun the rebellion. Talryn Rigel, the rebel leader, was distantly related to Emperor Darroch himself. His father, retired Admiral of the Fleet Vander Rigel, had died for the rebellion. Admiral Rand Kamal, designated heir to the Empire, had turned his back on the throne. Captain Alek Rybolt had gone over to the rebels, taking the Reg's newest battlecruiser and crew with him. The list of those the Empire called deserters or traitors was long. Ryn was in good company. If only she could forget that the Regs considered themselves the Master Race. And, let's face it, who had ended up on the throne? A Reg. With Rand Kamal, another Reg, heading the efforts to bring independence to the star systems that once comprised the Empire.
    Supposedly. Who could really trust a Reg?
    Alora's face crumpled into a grimace. She had offered herself to Ryn. . . . 
 
* * *
The revisions I made to Chapter 32—whether a single word or a whole paragraph—are just the beginning. When I finish Ch. 35, I will re-edit 30-35. And when I've written the final paragraph, I will re-edit from the top at least twice, constantly tweaking my words in an attempt to make it better. Among the many questions I must ask myself:  have I kept my characters consistent as well as interesting? Should I have placed more emphasis on the heroine's doubts about sleeping with the enemy? Do I need better explanations to help readers "suspend disbelief" in what is admittedly more fantasy than science fiction? Have I belabored some points and need to wield the Delete Key? And most of all, have I made my characters likable, even when they're being difficult?
 
As I've been saying for more years than I care to remember:  Edit, edit, edit, and edit again, until your work is clear, colorful, and full of characters and events people want to read about. Demand the best of yourself. Never settle for "good enough."  

 ~ * ~

 For a link to Blair's website, click here.

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

 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Editing Rant

Authors, in particular, will enjoy the list below, though the cleverness can be admired by all. (I would suggest, however, that the title should be BOOK REVIEWS - GLOSSARY OF TERMS.)

Credit:  Derrick Jensen, on Facebook


Over the many years of this blog, I frequently punctuated my advice on Writing and Editing with rants about problems I encountered in my own work and in books by others; on occasion, about problems that cropped up in the vast number of writing contests I judged. The rant below is from 2016, but the comments are timeless. Any author, including the best and most experienced, can go astray. For example, since I began writing in the early 90s, most of the editing of my own work consisted of adding layers—more descriptions, more colorful detail, more motivation, etc. Yet, lately, I find I have a tendency to obscure the impact of a sentence in too many words, and I find myself deleting instead of adding details. After fifty books, you'd think I'd know better, but  . . .

Which is the entire point of the article below. Newbies may make more mistakes, but every author has to stay eagle-eyed, keep himself/herself on track. No Running Off at the Keyboard. Pertinent details are good. Throwing in everything but the kitchen sink is not the answer to good writing. If you don't put your readers to sleep, you'll send them fleeing to Netflix or Acorn; perhaps even to yet another episode of NCIS! If you'll pardon an oldie but goody, STAY ON POINT! Whoever first said, "Less is More" knew what they were talking about.


February 13, 2016


RUNNING OFF AT THE KEYBOARD

 Rant time again. I watched a perfectly good book go downhill fast this week as it went from a fine story of love and suspense to too much repetition, too many ponderous details, and a plot that belabored its denouement to the point of extinction. And it's not only indie authors without adequate content editing who are making this mistake. One of my all-time favorite authors, print-published by a major publisher, is also guilty of similar errors in her most recent works. In her case, perhaps her editor thought she was so well-known, her readers would swallow whatever she wrote. Well, this reader didn't. I flipped through the last sixty to eighty pages of her last two books just the way I did with the indie book I just finished.

But how to explain the fix needed? That's a tough one. Even as an experienced editor, as I read the book, I asked myself, "What would I tell this author to cut? How can I explain she's beating a dead horse, that a book has to keep moving forward? Once the action plot has been resolved, the villain exposed or the book's major challenge resolved, then it's time to settle the romance and move into Happily Ever After. In the book that set me off on my rant, more than three-quarters of the book was a gripping story, unique and well told. And then it began to dither, evidently trying to be a 100,000-word book when 80,000 would have been enough. Similar scenes were repeated over and over, the story going nowhere. Details that had previously enhanced the story now seemed to bog down the pace, just when it should be picking up, moving toward a conclusion. Emotion that originally captivated now poured off the pages in a flood, repetitive, unproductive. Signifying nothing. What was exciting became boring as the same old plot points were flogged across the page, again and again.

 Stories must constantly move forward. The hero and heroine solving problems, discovering new ones. Wading through the intricacies of a relationship. Floundering, moving on. The dialogue as fresh and innovative on page 250 as it was on page 25. But the writer has to be able to sense when the story needs winding up. When it's time to build toward the big action finale, after which the story should quickly ease into a resolution of the love story. (And, yes, it's always in that order. That's one of the unbending "rules" of romance.)

 Going back for a moment to word count—never, ever, take a story that can be told, and told well, in 80,000 words and try to "pad" it to 100,000. Your readers' eyes will glaze, guaranteed! If you absolutely, positively believe your book must be 100,000 words, then you need to add more action, sub-plots, and secondary characters to sustain 100,000 words.  As previously stated, it's deadly to pad a story by finding new words to say the same thing twenty times over! So . . .

1.  Do not fall in love with your own words, spewing them out in an endless repetitive stream.

2.  Do not make the mistake of thinking that just because you write well, with emotion, color, and clever dialogue, you can get away with repeating yourself. Say what you have to say, say it well, then let go. Your readers are busy people, bright people. Don't waste their time belaboring a point.

3.  Do not reveal the villain (or whatever major revelation is the climax of your tale), then spend fifty-plus pages on a sub-plot with only an occasional vague reference to your book's main storyline.

4.  Do not write endless pages of emotion-filled rhetoric, which end up overwhelming and destroying what might have been a climactic moment. A moment now drowned under an avalanche of histrionics.

5.  Instead, write that Big Moment for all its worth. Pull out all the stops. Action, details, color, emotion. Wring every ounce of drama out of it. Then LET IT GO!  Move on to the quiet moments that come after—the relief, the explanations.

6.  And then comes that absolute "must" (in Romance, that is)—the resolution of conflict between the hero and heroine (with optional sex scene and/or glimpse of the future).

Grace note:  There are many nuances to the above, but I hope you get the gist of it. "Running off at the Keyboard" is a kiss of death. Don't fall in love with sound of your own voice. See your work as others see it. Tell readers what they need to know, tell it well, then "hands off!" Enough is enough, and any other clichĂ© you can think of to keep you from turning a lean, mean, fighting machine into a candidate for Extreme Weight Loss.

~ * ~

To my astonishment, Tarleton's Wife sold almost as many copies this month as The Ghosts of Rushton Court and The Vicar's Daughter, two of my most popular Regency Gothics. Why is that astonishing? Because Tarleton's Wife was first published in December 1999, exactly 22 years ago! If you haven't read it ...

 


Tarleton's Wife:  a war widow, a second chance & a resounding surprise
 
Available from Amazon, Smashwords & most ebook vendors.
 

~ * ~

 For a link to Blair's website, click here.

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

 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)

 

 

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Post-Holiday Comfort Food

Spider Webs - This amazing photo taken by Maggie Toussaint

What's kept me busy for the last few weeks.

Rehearsal photo (taken by our director, Tim Hanes) for Lessons & Carols, our big Christmas performance, for which we're joined by our Youth Choir, a Senior Chorus from Orlando, numerous singers of all ages, and an orchestra (beneath the windows). I'm happy to say it was a big success, particularly after being canceled last year. Everyone really sang from the heart, and it was a truly memorable event.

 

THE CITRUS SINGERS

 

 

After a hiatus last year, The Citrus Singers once again performed the National Anthem at the start of the Cure Bowl here in Orlando. They have done it beautifully for years, but now that they're older - well, wow! Some of them even hit those special high notes at the end. To hear the Girl Scout rendition of "The Star-Spangled banner, click here. 

 

And now, one of those gems found on Facebook:

These  insults are from an era “before” the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words.

 1. "He had delusions of adequacy ” Walter Kerr

 2. "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”- Winston Churchill

3. "I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure. - Clarence Darrow

4. "He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”-William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

5. "Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"- Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

6. "Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it.” - Moses Hadas

7. "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” - Mark Twain

8. "He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.” - Oscar Wilde

9. "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one.”   -George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

10. "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one.” - Winston Churchill, in response

11. "I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here” - Stephen Bishop

12. "He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” - John Bright

13. "I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial.” - Irvin S. Cobb

14. "He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.” - Samuel Johnson

15. "He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up. -  Paul Keating

16. "He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.” - Forrest Tucker

17.  "Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?” - Mark Twain

18. "His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.” - Mae West

19. "Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” - Oscar Wilde

20. "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination.” - Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

21. "He has Van Gogh's ear for music.” - Billy Wilder

22. "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But I'm afraid this wasn't it.” - Groucho Marx

23. The exchange between Winston Churchill & Lady Astor: She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison." He said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."

24. "He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know." - Abraham Lincoln

25. "There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure." -- Jack E.  Leonard

26. "They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge." --  Thomas Brackett Reed

27. "He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them." -- James Reston (about Richard Nixon)

~ * ~

 

POST-HOLIDAY COMFORT FOOD

(Excerpts from the Cookbook I prepared
for the Grandgirls this Christmas)

 

PICADILLO


This really great-tasting meal freezes well. (Ingredients and Seasonings are flexible, depending on the amount of meat and your personal taste.)

Note: Although this is an easy recipe, there a lot of ingredients. Things will go more smoothly if you prepare all the additions ahead of time: chop the onion & garlic; lay out all the other ingredients like soldiers on parade.


olive oil or olive oil spray
1 - 1½ lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped or sliced into small bits
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14½ oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
¼ - ½ cup golden raisins*
¼ - ½ cup sliced green olives
¼ - ½ cups slivered almonds
capers, to taste (optional)
½ - 1 tablespoon chili powder
½ - 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
c. ½ teaspoon salt - less if using capers
c. 3/4 cup beef broth - or heaping teaspoon of beef granules + 3/4 cup water
White rice

*Regular raisins can be substituted, but it’s just not the same.

Brown ground beef in small amount of hot olive oil in large nonstick skillet, adding onion & garlic when beef is nearly brown.Turn down heat to medium. Cook until onions are soft (translucent). Drain liquid.  Add tomatoes with juice, raisins, olives, almonds, capers & all seasonings. Add beef broth. Stir to mix well. Simmer c. 30 minutes for best mix of flavors.

While picadillo simmers, cook enough white rice to serve each person. Serve picadillo over rice, with added almonds, if desired.

Note: picadillo varies according to who makes it - some add apple, some use tomato sauce, some use tomato paste, etc.  Add the amounts of raisins, olives, almonds, & capers that suit your family’s taste.

 

CASSOULET


This is one of those recipes that appears to be completely ordinary but has an extraordinary flavor. Well worth trying.

½ lb. bulk sausage*
1 small onion, sliced (½ cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
½ lb. (1½ cups) cubed cooked ham
2 tablespoons snipped parsley
1 bay leaf
2 15-oz. cans navy beans
¼ cup dry white wine
Dash, ground cloves

*I use Jimmy Dean.

In skillet, cook sausage, onion & garlic until meat is lightly browned and vegetables are tender; drain off excess fat. Add ham, parsley and bay leaf; mix well. Stir in undrained beans, wine & cloves. Pour into 1½-2 qt. casserole. Bake, covered, at 325° for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 40-45 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Serve in bowls. Serves 6.

 ~ * ~

In the midst of the latest Covid surge, may I recommend my Matthew Wolfe series (3 novellas), designed specifically as a Covid-Blues-chaser. Old-fashioned family entertainment—the tale of a young man's rise from rags to riches in Regency England. Humor, action, a dash of romance. No sex scenes. Try it. You just might like it. Below, the cover for Book 3.



Available at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, 
and most online ebook vendors.

~ * ~

 

For a link to Blair's website, click here.

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

 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)

 

 

Saturday, November 27, 2021

For Your Christmas Reading

 At Thanksgiving dinner we discovered that my middle granddaughter, Riley, has become an entrepreneur. At sixteen. She's been making necklaces of polished stone for sometime, but she has recently added necklaces featuring fossilized sharks' teeth she found herself while accompanying her mother on her fossil expeditions. Many are quite different colors from the black ones found along Venice beaches where we used to live. Those imbedded in INLAND sand (covered by water millennia ago) are varying shades of blue-gray and beige. 

And this week Riley fulfilled her first mass order for display at Colonial Room Country Store on Main Street in Sanford. Photo below. (And yes, the double entendre of her brand name is deliberate.)




BLAIR'S CHRISTMAS STORIES

 Over the years I've written three stories that feature Christmas:  two novellas for Christmas anthologies, and a traditional Regency in which Christmas plays a strong role. The novellas have many poignant moments on the way to Romance. The trad Regency is more of a tug of war between two strong personalities.

 


After suffering social disaster at her very first ball—severely aggravated by the horror of an unfeeling family—Miss Pamela Ashburton hides herself in the country, expecting to live out her life as a spinster. Major Will Forsythe, injured in body and spirit at Waterloo, comes to the country to escape the concern of well-meaning relatives. Privacy, peace and quiet—that's all he wants. Until he meets a holiday sprite in search of mistletoe. And the Christmas spirit, in the form of a cluster of white berries, gives them both a second chance.



 A Lady Learns to Love is the poignant tale of a family faced with tragedy, amplified by unforeseen circumstances, who still manage to survive, aided by the spirit of Christmas.

Marriage, yes. Love, no. Lady Christine Ashworth's glorious Season in London comes to an abrupt close with the death of her father. Her home now belongs to someone else; her fiancé is conspicuous by his absence; and her younger sister is as miserable in their new home as she is. What can Christine do but accept an offer from the despised heir, even if she now considers all men anathema, particularly the perfect stranger who has taken her father's place?



Miss Aurelia Trevor has a problem. Until she reaches the age of twenty-five, she will have no control over her beloved Pevensey Park, and by that time her unscrupulous uncle will have run it into the ground. Marriage to someone other than her uncle's leering son is her only way out, but, one by one, she rejects the men on her list of suitors. In desperation, Aurelia does the unthinkable. She hires a solicitor to find her a husband strong enough to stand up to both her uncle and her cousin. And soon learns the truth of that old adage: Be careful what you wish for.

Thomas Lanning is a man of the City. Unlike Aurelia, who stands to inherit vast land and wealth, he has made his own place in the world. He is not at all tempted by the suggestion of marriage to an heiress, but other considerations, such as a power base for a seat in Parliament, tweak his interest. Plus an unexpected twinge of chivalry when he hears the full extent of Miss Trevor's difficulties with her uncle and his family.

Aurelia, who only wants to live in peace on her acres, finds she has acquired a ready-made family in Thomas's younger sister and brother, as well as a head-strong husband whose campaign for MP fills her household with a shockingly odd assortment of characters. It seems her marriage of convenience is fast becoming a marriage of inconvenience. Just how far will this strong-willed pair bend to accommodate each other? And will they do it before it's too late?

~ * ~

 

For a link to Blair's website, click here.

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

 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)