Grace's Mosaic Moments


Saturday, December 19, 2020

Politics & More Politics

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS

to all as we attempt to keep traditions alive
in times more dire than most of us have ever known



As a grandmother, I'm not quite sure how to react to the following photo. Initially, Wow! Later, a bit of a cringe. And yet I come from a long line of gun-toting Nebraskans. As I recall, my mother was better at hitting a target in a lake in Maine than either my father or his friend from Harvard Graduate School who owned the cottage where we were staying. But basically, that's the only time my parents shot after moving to New England (too many people around, my father said), and I was raised gunless. The same for my three children - my husband gave away his guns when we were married. But my daughter married a devoted member of the NRA, and the grandgirls learned to shoot at an early age. Looking back, I'm inclined to think that's probably more good than bad, but there are times this photo gives me the willies. Nonetheless, I give you . . . the Reale Rangers. (And yes, the guns are real.)


Hailey, Riley, Cassidy

 

POLITICS TIMES TWO

I've been avoiding politics since the election - no sense beating a dead horse, as the saying goes, but since our President has been so busy doing just that, I can't resist posting a couple of things that have come my way in the past week. The first was shared by my son. Please note that it is a FABRICATED rebuttle to some Texans threatening to secede from the United States if Trump does not remain in office. But it's extremely well done, and well worth reading. (It comes under the heading: "Some People Are So Clever!")

 

This content was created by a Daily Kos Community member.

From the Office of President of the United States.

Dear Texas,
 

We have received your petition to secede from the United States, and have forwarded it to Congress who will act on it with their usual speed.
 

Any Texas citizen holding a US passport is required to surrender it immediately. Entry into the US will require a valid Texas passport. Anyone staying longer than two weeks will have to obtain a visa. Any Texas citizen (those with birth certificates issued from Texas or currently holding a Texas driver's license unless they can show a non-Texas birth certificate) in the United States have 72 hours to leave or be deported with a permanent ban on returning to the United States. This includes former Representatives and Senators from the former State of Texas.

Funding for highways, transportation, bridges, infrastructure, education and medical facilities will cease immediately. Your representatives to the US Congress are ordered to leave Washington DC immediately.
 

All US licenses to do business are revoked. All business interests headquartered in the Country of Texas are immediately severed from doing any business in the United States, until appropriate international business agreements are in place and appropriate international business licenses are negotiated. All power lines and pipelines that cross the border will be disconnected immediately, to be reconnected only when appropriate international contracts, treaties and agreements are in place.
 

The FAA will no longer operate at your airports, and all air traffic controllers are terminated. All air traffic management over the new independent Texas is your own responsibility, effective immediately. All Federal Civil Service employees in the country of Texas are terminated. All flights between Texas and America are canceled until appropriate international agreements are in place.
 

The FCC will no longer operate in Texas effective immediately, so you will be responsible for licensing your own telephone, radio, television and Internet providers. All telecommunications circuits between the two countries will be severed immediately, to be reconnected once appropriate international agreements are negotiated.
 

All US Federal services operating in Texas are terminated and their functions will be relocated to the territory of the United States immediately. Citizens of Texas who were formerly employed by the US Federal Government and wish to continue in their now-relocated jobs may apply for United States green cards through the usual channels.
 

All payments for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Disability to Texas citizens are halted with immediate effect. Recipients will have to reapply, and Congress will decide if foreigners are allowed to receive payments from the United States government. Any funds coming from the United States federal government will be halted immediately.
 

Effective immediately, the independent country of Texas will no longer receive protection from the United States military. All military bases in Texas will be closed, and personnel relocated to bases in the United States, except for a contingency left to guard the Texas-US border. Effective immediately, the United States Coast Guard and Immigration and Customs Enforcement will no longer operate in Texas waters, aside from actions specified by International Maritime law and custom. U.S. Customs officials will be removed from all border crossing stations immediately. We suggest you form your own navy and immigration department immediately to protect your borders against foreign invaders, drug smugglers, terrorists and illegal aliens.
 

Good luck.
 

Sincerely, Joseph Biden
President, United States of America
 

P.S. Attached is an invoice for your portion of the bill of the National Debt.

~ * ~

And on a more serious note, here is a commentary on the Trump presidency (found on Facebook):

Over the weekend, Republican Steve Schmidt, who ran John McCain's 2008 campaign for president, was interviewed on MSNBC. In response to a very general question regarding the Trump Presidency, Mr. Schmidt spoke for two solid minutes and gave the most insightful and brutally honest response of what the Trump Presidency has done to our great country.


“Donald Trump has been the worst president this country has ever had. And, I don't say that hyperbolically. He is. But he is a consequential president. And, he has brought this country in three short years to a place of weakness that is simply unimaginable if you were pondering where we are today from the day where Barack Obama left office. And, there were a lot of us on that day who were deeply skeptical and very worried about what a Trump presidency would be. But this is a moment of unparalleled national humiliation, of weakness.”


"When you listen to the President, these are the musings of an imbecile. An idiot. And I don't use those words to name call. I use them because they are the precise words of the English language to describe his behavior. His comportment. His actions. We've never seen a level of incompetence, a level of ineptitude so staggering on a daily basis by anybody in the history of the country whose ever been charged with substantial responsibilities.”


"It's just astonishing that this man is president of the United States. The man, the con man, from New York City. Many bankruptcies, failed businesses, a reality show, that branded him as something that he never was. A successful businessman. Well, he's the President of the United States now, and the man who said he would make the country great again. And he's brought death, suffering, and economic collapse on truly an epic scale."


"And, let's be clear. This isn't happening in every country around the world. This place. Our place. Our home. Our country. The United States. We are the epicenter. We are the place where you're the most likely to die from this disease. We're the ones with the most shattered economy. And we are, because of the fool that sits in the Oval Office behind the Resolute Desk."

~ * ~

 

A reminder that The Making of Matthew Wolfe is designed to add cheer to your Holiday Season as well as to help alleviate the Covid blues. And it's on sale at 99¢ through December 31. (You can take advantage of that 20% free read on Smashwords to see if it tickles your funnybone.) And for those who do not own an e-reader, Amazon makes it very easy for you to download books directly to any device, including your computer and your phone.

 


 

For a link to Matthew Wolfe on Amazon,  click here.

For a link to Matthew Wolfe on Smashwords, click here.

 You will also find background details on the Who, What, Where, When, & Why of Matthew Wolfe on my Facebook Author Page.

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

 



 For a link to Magic on Amazon, click here.

 Please note that Making Magic with Words is FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft) 

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Would you believe - a Sports post?

 Photo gallery first this week:


I fear Ganesh may be in for a surprise.



Found on Facebook, though none can rival the town in Wales - the name that extends all the way across Ireland. (I've been there, by the way.)
 



And for something even odder than the names above - our Hailey playing Powder Puff football at Lake Mary High, with the boys' football team acting as cheerleaders. 

 

Hailey & friend

For a video of girls playing football (American style, but no tackle), including actually completing a couple of passes, click here.

 

Grace note:  I've been saving the article below for when we were most in need of a smile, and these dark days seem to be it . . .

 

A Soccer Tale

From the front page of the Sports section of the Sunday Orlando Sentinel, November 22, 2020 (columnist - Mike Bianchi):

If only Exploria Stadium could have been filled to the rim with chanting, cheering supporters in order to give thousands more of our city's long-suffering sports fans the opportunity to witness the greatest moment in Orlando City [soccer team] history

That is the only regret of this historic, euphoric day in Central Florida when Orlando City played, hosted and won its first playoff game in the most dramatic, ecstatic, amazing, hair-raising, heart-stopping, champagne-popping manner you can possibly imagine.

How does this even happen? How does Orlando City break a 1-1 draw and win on penalty kicks with a substitute, fill-in goalkeeper who hasn't played the position since he was a kid out on the soccer sandlots in his native Argentina?

Can you believe it?
Can you conceive it?
What a team.
What a coach.
What a game.
What a magical moments in time.

So, what caused Mr. Bianchi's euphoria? It seems the game was tied in Overtime, the Orlando goalkeeper ejected on a penalty. The referee declared that substitutes were not allowed, and there was Orlando City facing a penalty kick with no goalie. So one of the team on the field, who had played goalie only as a child, volunteered. And saved the day, Orlando later winning on a penalty kick in a second Overtime period.

~ * ~

 

 

I just finished Chapter 5 of the next installment in the Matthew Wolfe series, tentatively titled, Matthew Wolfe—the Adventures Begins. I invite you to check out our young hero (who is rapidly growing up) with a 20% free read on Smashwords, so you'll be ready for what comes next.

For a link to Matthew Wolfe on Smashwords, click here.

For a link to Matthew Wolfe on Amazon,  click here.

 You will also find background details on the Who, What, Where, When, & Why of Matthew Wolfe on my Facebook Author Page.

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

 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft) 

 

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Update on Writing Oops & Photo Gallery

 Just a quick note to remind everyone that The Making of Matthew Wolfe is designed to add cheer to your Holiday Season as well as to help alleviate the Covid blues. Take advantage of that 20% free read on Smashwords to see if it tickles your funnybone.

For a link to Matthew Wolfe on Amazon,  click here.

For a link to Matthew Wolfe on Smashwords, click here.

 You will also find background details on the Who, What, Where, When, & Why of Matthew Wolfe on my Facebook Author Page.

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

~ * ~

 

UPDATE ON WRITING OOPS

 I plowed through the rest of the book mentioned two weeks ago, and here's what I found:

I ended up deciding that it was a pity this author had not been a newbie in the days before indie-pub. Really good potential, but yet another debut novel published before the author was ready. Simply too many things wrong to pass this book off as anything but an amateur effort. The misuse of words continued—not typos, but out-and-out incorrect words, to the extent I continued to wonder if English was the author's second language. (An even more urgent reason to have the book previewed by an expert in English usage.) Beyond that, there was a whole slew of beginner's mistakes: incorrect titles, errors in punctuation, profanities used in the presence of ladies (in Regency society), use of modern expressions, etc., etc.

And worst of all, the plot that had drawn me to the book in the first place began to deteriorate about half-way through, moving beyond the realm of "suspended disbelief" to total incredulity.

Moral of this tale: exactly what I've been preaching for the last ten years. Do not be arrogant enough to believe you're ready until you have done something to prove yourself. Enter writing contests; find a critique group; read, read, read the best in your genre; do your research. And above all, be aware that authors don't blossom, full blown, without having grown a strong stalk, waited out the bud stage, and added the fertilizer of extensive reading and research. 

I'm not saying you have to go ten years before publishing that first indie book. But please, do not shoot yourself in the foot by publishing something that's going to put off readers from any future book you write! 

~ * ~

And don't forget that somewhere around 200,000 words of Writing & Editing advice are available in my Making Magic with Words.


 For a link to Magic on Amazon, click here.

 Please note that Making Magic with Words is FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

 

Earlier this week, I was rummaging around in a box of stuff that needed to be filed or thrown out or something and discovered a couple of gems I scribbled down—who knows where or when. I have no attributions, just the words I recorded in a tiny notebook I keep in my purse. (I hasten to add I read them somewhere; I cannot claim them as my own.)

"Romance is the literature of hope."

 "A writer is a writer not because she has amazing talent. A writer is a writer because, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep on writing anyway."


This Week's Photo Gallery

 

Ganesh made it to the top shelf


 

Here's a great parody a friend shared on Facebook:

 


 

And for the most spectacular photo of the week, the Milky Way - by Stephen Harry & Neil DeGrasse Tyson




For a link to Blair's website with a list of all my books, click here. 

 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)

 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

The Making of Matthew Wolfe

 I am delighted to present my personal entry in the anti-Covid stakes: a bittersweet coming-of-age story, with friends, family, plenty of warm fuzzy, and as much comedy as I could manage. This is the first book in a series of novellas that detail the rise of Matthew Wolfe from a prison hulk on the Thames to . . . well, who knows how far he will go? Author's Note and blurb below.

 

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE. Welcome to a Regency series with a twist! Although the Matthew Wolfe books feature the adventures of a supposed nobody off the mean streets of London, they are designed for Covid relief—light, warm-hearted, even whimsical. Hopefully, by the time Matthew has found his Happily Ever After, our World will have righted itself and we will be well on our way back to normal. Meanwhile, here is the first in a series of novellas told as an old-fashioned “serial,” each book with a cliff-hanger ending.

Matthew Wolfe, born and raised in the squalor of London’s inner city, should be a nobody, forever destined to obscurity, or perhaps the hangman. But wait . . . he can read and write, is a whiz at math, can speak like a gentleman, even knows more than a bit of French. And when the boy from London ends up on a hops farm in Kent, surrounded by remnants of the Royal 10th Hussars and a passel of children, what will this fish out of water do?  Retired military and their ladies, children, dogs, a regal cat, an Arabian stallion, neighbors in need, and a determined twelve-year-old—all assist Matthew on his journey toward the person he is meant to be..

 Links to The Making of Matthew Wolfe on Amazon & Smashwords can be found below.

 

This Week's Photo Gallery

 

Ganesh - Can I really make it all the way to top of the cupboard?


Over Thanksgiving vacation the Reale family & friends went scuba diving in Key Largo. Here are three of their underwater photos.

Cassidy Down Under

Mom blowing bubbles on the left, Cassidy up top

Photo by Cassidy - look closely & you will see . . .

It's time to get out of the water!


And from New Zealand the pi├Ęce de resistance . . .
Photo by Nick Crarer

 

  

~ * ~

For a link to Matthew Wolfe on Amazon,  click here.

For a link to Matthew Wolfe on Smashwords, click here.

Wondering if you would find a book about a seventeen-year-old interesting? (I guarantee the comic moments.) Please remember that a 20% free read is always available on Smashwords. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Grace (Blair Bancroft) 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Writing Oops & Recipes

Below is a statue from Prestopans, East Lothian, UK - a commemoration of the large number of women who met their deaths in that area when accused of witchcraft. It is also an astonishing work of art. (Found on Facebook)



This week's Ganesh fix

Ganesh has a rival for cuteness - This is Emma

~ * ~

 

Writing Comments - Good & Bad

This week I read Fortune and Glory, Book 27 in Janet Evanovich's long-running Stephanie Plum series. For anyone who enjoys comedy with their mysteries, these books are not to be missed. They have also divided readers into two camps: Morelli fans and Ranger fans. I am happy to say that Ranger fans (as I am) will love this one. So, even if no one could work "twenty seven" into the title, this is vintage Evanovich. Don't miss it!

Alas, in my search for new authors, I chose a book that had all the hallmarks of a good Gothic and was horrified when I discovered:  a whole slew of misused words - bad enough to make me wonder if English was a second language for the author. On top of that, the heroine knew the names and background of people she'd never met. The writing was also marred by labored analogies and that old bugaboo, incorrect titles. And I'm only struggling through Chapter 3. Definitely a book I am now reading as a source of lessons about what not to do, although, admittedly, the plot that drew me to the book still shows promise. (To be continued - unless I toss the whole thing to Archives before finishing it.)

~ * ~

 

THANKSGIVING RECIPES

Below are two tried & true recipes for the holidays. I make the same stuffing year after year. And since no one in the family is a fan of pumpkin pie, we frequently have fruit pie in its place. So if you're looking for something different this year . . . even though the "crowd" will likely be smaller, here are a couple of possibilities:


Grace's Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing

2 12-oz pkgs Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix in your choice of flavors
4 cups Swanson chicken broth
8 TBspns butter, melted (Have a second stick on hand.)
1 yellow onion, chopped
2-3 stalks of celery + leaves, chopped
8 oz. Jimmy Dean sausage - (with sage, if possible)
Pine nuts (to taste)
Fresh or dried cranberries (to taste) - NOT the ones with sugar!
Fresh rosemary, chopped
Other fresh herbs, chopped, if you have them, particularly parsley

Allow at least an hour to transform the above into Stuffing.

Prep:  Chop onion. Select inner & outer celery leaves (light & dark green); chop finely. Cut 2-3 inner stalks of celery into small slices. Cut sausage in half; freeze half for another time. Select 1/2 - 2/3 cup of cranberries - set aside with onion & celery. (If using dried cranberries, no prep necessary.) Strip leaves from rosemary; chop with other herbs (opt.). 

Cook:  Spray large skillet with cooking oil. Brown sausage, adding onion & celery when sausage is nearly brown. When onion is translucent, add pine nuts, cranberries & fresh herbs. Stir & set aside.

Prepare stuffing mix as directed on package, using more butter if necessary. Stir in all the additions from the frying pan.

And that's it. Your stuffing is ready for a 20+ lb. bird with enough left over for baking in a casserole dish. (The recipe is easily halved for a smaller bird.)


 MIXED BERRY PIE


1-2 packages of frozen mixed fruit* (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries) - enough to make c. 6 cups of berries (or fresh fruit, if available)
3/4 - 1 cup sugar (to taste)
1/4 - 1/3 cup tapioca
½ - 1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
flour
Betty Crocker refrigerated pie crusts (pkg. of 2)

*For fatter pie, use more berries.

Thaw and drain frozen fruit. This can take several hours - best thaw overnight in refrigerator, then drain in colander for at least 2 hours. Otherwise you will have an overly juicy pie. Follow package directions to allow 15 minutes for pie crusts to warm up. (If you're a "dab hand" at pastry, by all means make your own crust, but for most of us Betty Crocker will have to be good enough.)

Preheat oven to 400°.  In a large bowl, combine thawed fruit, sugar, tapioca & spices. Mix well, being careful not to crush berries.

Unroll one pie crust (preferably on a big pastry board, floured to keep crust from sticking). Place crust in bottom of 9-10" pie plate. Add a bit of flour to the bottom to absorb the berry juices. Add the fruit mix. Remaining crust may be placed on top or cut into strips for a latticed crust. Seal edges. (If using whole crust, make slices in top for venting.) Brush top with egg wash.* Bake 45-50 minutes or until juices form bubbles that burst slowly.

*Egg wash = 1 egg, whisked. Add ¼ cup of water, whisk again.

Grace note: I have always used the fruit mix above, but you might want to experiment with the other frozen fruits available. This recipe should also be adaptable to fresh fruit. 

~ * ~

I would like to recommend the following for your holiday reading: 

 


 Two wounded people find each other under the mistletoe.

 


A poignant tale of Happily Ever After rescued by the spirit of Christmas




Though not written specifically for Christmas, the holiday season plays a large role in this tale of a young woman who, in essence, hires a husband.

 


Again, though not written specifically for Christmas, a Christmas gift plays an important role in the story. (The Making of Matthew Wolfe should be available within the next ten days.)

 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (who writes as Blair Bancroft)

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Pics & Politics

 A true Mosaic Moments this week - a few photos to brighten your day, followed by pithy headlines from the Orlando Sentinel, November 8, 2020.

 

A belated wedding photo - Cassidy with her escort down the aisle.

 


 

Two more photos of Ganesh, the world's most photogenic kitten. What will we do when he grows up?  (Owner & photographer: Edith Maxwell)


 


 Below, a special treat for authors & all others who enjoy sinking their teeth into the heart of the English language. (Though I confess I've never before heard of a "whosemegadget.")


Below, the Citrus Singers (only 12 this year instead of 20+) are performing, as usual, at the Orland Museum of Art's Festival of the Trees. Except they will be singing outside instead of in the auditorium. Here are the masks I made from ONE old Girl Scout Cookie apron. (It was a full back AND front apron, the masks lined with matching green cotton from Jo-Ann's fabrics.)



 And now, the Serious Stuff -

POLITICS

I am not going to admit how many years I've been reading the newspaper, but I have never before seen a front page, let alone a Sunday front page, that looked like this—the entire top half devoted to a single photo. (Orlando Sentinel, November 8, 2020).

 


 

 

You heard Florida went for Trump? Well, let me tell you, Central Florida - the intellectual heart of the state - did not (as evidenced by the front page above). Alas, due to the Electoral College system - which definitely needs tweaking - Trump will get all of Florida's votes, but my county and others mid-State went solidly for Biden. 

Here are some Headlines from inside that same issue:

Trump defied gravity but hit reality.

Trump, GOP gaining Latino support (Grace note:  particularly in South Florida)

World leaders congratulate Biden and Harris on victory

From the editorial page: 

What American voters are trying to tell us

Trump's right:  Election about him

A national nightmare is almost over

And sadly, on a related topic:

Historic marker puts Ocoee Massacre in perspective*

     *To Florida's great shame, on Election Day,1920, blacks were not only prevented from voting, more than thirty were killed, their houses burned, businesses destroyed. Now, at long last, on the one hundredth anniversary of this atrocity, a memorial marker has been erected.

~ * ~

Special Note:  our first operational (not a test )manned flight to the International Space Station was scheduled for Saturday evening (Nov. 14), but due to continuing rough seas from Tropical Storm Eta, it has been postponed until Sunday. The reason for this: the need to recover the booster rocket which lands on a barge at sea.

~ * ~

THE MAKING OF MATTHEW WOLFE - available, hopefully, in less than 2 weeks

 

And please don't forget:


 

Or the compilation of all my articles on Writing & Editing since 2011:




The Vicar's Daughter is available from a variety of online vendors, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

 

Making Magic with Words is available only on Amazon Kindle.


Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (w. a. Blair Bancroft)



 

 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Blair's Newsletter

Sneak Peek - Draft of Wolfe 1 Cover

Yahoogroups went the way of the dodo bird last year while I was struggling with my broken foot, and when I recently got around to attempting to set up a new Newsletter, I ran into some road blocks, including one newsletter service that refused to answer a vital question until I had "opted in." Sigh. So until I find the right Newsletter Service, I've decided to post my newsletter here. Why not wait? Because the first book of my new - and different - series will be out before Christmas, and I'm anxious to tell everyone about it, and get your opinion. So here it is.

Something New out of the Blue

Well, at least I think it's new. After a string of Regency Gothics and Historicals and all the work that went into Making Magic With Words (the compilation of all my blogs on Writing and Editing since 2011), I was feeling the urge toward something lighter. And then came the pandemic and all the political brouhaha, and I knew the time had come to stick my neck out and write something different enough to offer a distraction from all our problems—an action tale but with strong elements of comedy, empathy, and triumph of the human spirit.

So I stole a character from The Abominable Major—Matthew Wolfe, the young man who nearly gave his life doing the major’s bidding and now, thanks to a whole slew of supporters on a hops farm in Kent, is setting his feet on a brand new path. To fame and fortune? Or renewed disaster? Only the Matthew Wolfe series of novellas can answer that.

The first book, The Making of Matthew Wolfe, has a familiar setting—Kirkwood Farm in Kent, the hops farm established by Colonel Marcus Trevor and Major Courtland Randolph to shelter the officers and troopers of the Royal 10th Hussars who needed a place to lick their wounds, both physical and mental, after long years of fighting Napoleon Bonaparte. Considering their own pain, giving shelter to a young man bruised and battered by life in London does not seem so far-fetched.

But Matthew, grateful as he is, knows he is not destined to be a hops farmer. And despite all his new friends in Kent, including a very young lady who teaches him to fish, at the end of Book 1, he will be off to London, hoping to learn more about his origins, and ready to begin a whole new set of adventures.
 

So what makes this series "different"? 

Most Regency series with a continuing central male character are mysteries. And seldom feature humor along with the action. Basically, the Matthew Wolfe series is a Rags to Riches tale, presented in classic serial-style, and with as many light touches as I could manage. How many books? I have no idea. I’m letting Matthew figure that out for himself. Hint: maybe until the 12-year-old girl in Book 1 grows up?

The final chapters of The Making of Matthew Wolfe occur at Christmas, and I expect to have the book available in time for a good Christmas read. I would be most grateful if you’d let me know what you think of this slightly off-beat approach to a Regency novel. (You don't have to wait to read it - just tell me whether or not you might be willing to give a book about the adventures of a seventeen-year-old from Seven Dials a try.) You are invited to email me at:

blairbancroft@aol.com


Other comments or complaints are also welcome. Do you have a favorite Blair Bancroft book? Maybe one that turns you off—information that’s always good to know. In the case of Matthew Wolfe, Book 1, how do you feel about a 12-year-old heroine? And after you've read The Making of Matthew Wolfe, I would be most grateful for a review on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, or other online vendor.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t read The Lady Takes a Risk (the original tale set at Kirkwood Farm) or its sequel, The Abominable Major, you might consider them now. They are not necessary to an appreciation of the story of Matthew Wolfe, but they give more insight into the characters and events mentioned in The Making of Matthew Wolfe.

In case you missed some of my recent books, here’s a list:

Gothics
The Vicar’s Daughter
Shadows Over Greystoke Grange

 

Regency Warrior Series
The Abominable Major
The Lady Takes a Risk


Non-fiction
Making Magic With Words

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this first post in my new Newsletter.


All the best,
Blair




Saturday, October 31, 2020

Wedding 2020

 As you will recall from last week's post, there was a wedding in Orlando on Saturday. Here are a few photos to demonstrate that the gowns and matching masks were worth all that effort.

 



The grandgirls & mother w/Gramma Reale

The grandgirls with Daddy

Cassidy, Hailey, Riley

 ~ * ~

This was a great week for photos, and I am taking full advantage of it. Below is another "hawk" photo that qualifies as a Work of Art. Posted to Facebook by Ann Baldwin.






 Back to normal . . .


Hailey, Cassidy, Riley

Early Christmas photo, 2020:

 

Cassidy, Hailey, Riley

 For Old Times' Sake:

Same line-up, 2009

 

In the end, Cassidy got the photo op of the week at the Air Show in Sanford (10/31/20) - Evidently they approve her ambition of becoming a fighter pilot.

~ * ~

 


 ~ * ~

 

To find The Vicar's Daughter on Amazon, click here.

To find The Vicar's Daughter on Smashwords, click here.
    (Smashwords always offers a 20% free read.)

For "inside information" on The Vicar's Daughter, please check out my Facebook Author Page. Click here.

 

For a link to Florida Wild on Amazon, click here.

For a link to Florida Wild on Smashwords, click here.

   (20% free read available at Smashwords.com)

  
For Blair's website, click here.

 

Thanks for stopping by,
Grace (Blair Bancroft) 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

MAKING MAGIC WITH WORDS

Friday, October 23. Here's a peek at what I've been doing for the last ten days - doesn't look like much, but it forced all other creativity to a screeching halt. In fact, we almost didn't have a new blog this week. My daughter Susie and her three girls are part of a wedding taking place on Saturday, October 24. Although all four gowns are the same color, each is of a different design, about 6" too long, two in need of fiddling with the shoulder straps as well. And oh yes, not shown here: the eight mauve masks made from cutting up the gown on the left! Finished yesterday, I was finally able to get back to work this morning, writing a chapter on my current WIP, The Making of Matthew Wolfe (Book 1 in a somewhat new approach to a Regency series).

Update. And then the bride's prospective mother-in-law burned a hole - a large hole - in the wedding veil. Susie knew better than to ask me to fix that on top of everything else! So she borrowed my best scissors, bought tulle and fabric glue at Jo-Ann's and set about detaching the headdress and LONG, elaborate lace trim from the old veil and re-attaching it to the new veil. I am looking forward to photos of the wedding with bated breath. (The Kone/Reale families are certainly polishing their halos this time 'round.)

 

"Cut-up gown," Cassidy, Riley, Hailey, Susie

 
 
This week Susie posted to Facebook a couple of photos from out of the past:
 
Not really a teen rebel, but she sure looks it . . .

(1985?)

 
Not so many years later . . .
 
On stage at one of her many gigs

 
Our Ganesh fix for this week:
 

 

 

MAKING MAGIC WITH WORDS

 


This seems like a good time to remind everyone of the existence of my only work of Non-fiction:  the compilation of all my blog posts on Writing & Editing since I began my blog in January 2011. Hey, it's the best buy around - 771 pages, 200,000+ words FREE on Kindle Select and only $4.99 to download. Topics range from a 9-part Writing Workshop to Developing Characters, Adding Color, Writing No-no's, and that old bugaboo - Grammar. Also includes Writing a Series, World Building, Women's Fiction, and a 5-part Dictionary for Writers. And that's just in the WRITING section. There's also a lengthy section on the various aspects of EDITING, including a 7-part series entitled, Edit the Blasted Book and a 6-part series on Copyediting (which is a quite different kettle of fish). And if that isn't enough, there's a section called RANDOM THOUGHTS, which includes articles on many writing-related subjects, from "Why Read Romance" to "Writing Mistakes I Have Made."

If you're having as much trouble with the new Blogger as I am, MAKING MAGIC WITH WORDS is a much easier way to find the information you need. And yes, each item in the the Table of Contents is linked to the article for easy finding. 

 For a link to Making Magic, click here.

 ~ * ~

 

To find The Vicar's Daughter on Amazon, click here.

To find The Vicar's Daughter on Smashwords, click here.
    (Smashwords always offers a 20% free read.)

For "inside information" on The Vicar's Daughter, please check out my Facebook Author Page. Click here.

 

For a link to Florida Wild on Amazon, click here.

For a link to Florida Wild on Smashwords, click here.

   (20% free read available at Smashwords.com)

  
For Blair's website, click here.

 

Thanks for stopping by,
Grace (Blair Bancroft)