Grace's Mosaic Moments

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Shadows Over Greystoke Grange

Why did an exploding rocket make everyone at Cape Canaveral happy this week?

Because it was the final test of the Dragon Crew Capsule. A successful launch deliberately blown up to see if the crew capsule would jettison as planned. It did, descending into the Atlantic with the aid of four parachutes, was successfully recovered, and is now back on land. At long last, we're getting close to launching astronauts from the U.S.

~ * ~

And now . . . the second half of the editing-two-books-at-once struggle:

Shadows Over Greystoke Grange, my eighth Regency Gothic,  is now available on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords.

At eighteen, Adria Lovett can think only of making her come-out and finding the love of her life. Until, scant weeks before leaving for London, her world crumbles around her, pitching her into a situation shockingly contrary to anything she has ever known.

And yet, though far from London, Adria finds herself surrounded by a bevy of young men—none of them what she envisioned when dreaming of her future. There is Dudley Greystoke, who should be Sir Dudley but is not; Chandler Satterthwaite, who has strayed far  from the fold of his father, the vicar; the supposedly reliable Ned Steadman, son of the local squire; Garth Maddox, son of a gamekeeper, who calls himself Myrddin, the Welsh name for Merlin. And Drake Kincade, son of a wealthy merchant—the Drake Kincade, known to many as “the Devil’s Spawn,” who has fled to the country to escape a bride selected by his father.

And then there is Dudley Greystoke’s twin sister, Daphne, a young woman as willful as she is beautiful, who plunges Adria into the world of witchcraft—a world already complicated by a barrage of evil deeds ranging from nasty pranks to murder.

Grimoires, spells, devil-worship, rape, and murder—not at all the Season Adria dreamed of.

~ * ~

I have also updated my Facebook Author Page to include background information on both Shadows and Making Magic With Words. (Links below).

Grace note:  Sadly, Smashword's format translator could not cope with the many transitions Making Magic endured before being uploaded to Smashwords: 206,000+ words reformatted from Blogger to Word Perfect to RTF to DOCX to DOC. Sad, but not surprising. So Making Magic is currently available only on Amazon Kindle (which includes a download to your computer).

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

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

For a link to Making Magic With Wordsclick here.

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

Grace note:  my website is being updated, so we'll skip the link to that one this week.
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To end this week's blog on a fun note, I share this incredible photo found on Facebook. As someone whose balance no longer allows me to keep myself upright on a bike, let alone me and something as small as my cat, I am in awe! (Please note the leafy cushioning.)

Thanks for stopping by,


Saturday, January 18, 2020


Done at Last!

On Saturday afternoon (1/18/20) Making Magic With Words was uploaded to Amazon Kindle. Yay, hurray!

For a link to MMWW on Amazon Kindle, click here.

PLEASE, faithful readers, pass the news along, write a review.
I'd really, really appreciate your help spreading
the word about this one. 

Here's the Blurb:

Making Magic With Words offers easy-to-understand advice on Writing, Editing, and a wide variety of Publishing topics—206,000+ words designed to get you started on your writing project, support you every step along the way, and advise you on what comes after "The End." Topics range from choosing a genre to the difference between an editor and a copyeditor. From how to develop your characters to the nitty-gritty of punctuation. From Point of View, Hooks, and Show vs. Tell to helpful aids like ASCII codes, Microsoft codes, and how to work with Track Changes. From "Edit the Blasted Book" to Where and How to submit. Making Magic With Words also includes step-by-step instructions on many of those tricky little technical problems we have to cope with in the Age of Computers, such as how to change manual tabs to automatic.

Making Magic With Words is a compilation of nine years of blog posts on Writing and Editing, which first appeared on Grace's Mosaic Moments and are now organized by topic under three major headings:  Writing, Editing, and Random Thoughts. The author was trained as a teacher, spent more than thirty-five years as an editor, and a quarter century as an award-winning author. Blair Bancroft has published more than forty novels, including Regency (Traditional, Historical, and Gothic), Suspense, Mystery, and SciFi. Additional information can be found at

~ * ~

As Grace's Mosaic Moments enters its 10th year, once again . . .
Thanks for stopping by,


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

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

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Updates on Grace/Blair's Books

In more than a quarter century of writing, I have never before had two books in final preparation at the same time. It's been interesting.


After a struggle of more than two years, Making Magic With Words is in the process of having over two hundred titles in the Table of Contents linked to articles listed under: Writing, Editing, and Random Thoughts. The word count:  206,000+. So . . . coming soon.


Shadows will be my eighth Regency Gothic. I can only hope it will be as well received as The Blackthorne Curse and The Ghosts of Rushton Court, which vie with each other every month for number of books sold. A very special Thank-you to those who have so loyally supported my Gothics set in Regency England. Hint: no ghosts in Shadows but plenty of witchcraft, scary moments, and murder. Shadows is currently in final editing. Adding a new wrinkle to the presentation of each chapter delayed the whole process, but I'm enjoying the results and hope you will too.

Here is a peek at the cover - the setting, Shropshire.

Inside info: Our heroine is only eighteen and has not yet made her come-out; therefore she would never, ever have a red dress. But she makes such a great contrast with the gloomy Gothic setting behind, who's quibbling? I took one look at this coverand said, "I love it!"

And under the Heading of 

The Blue Moon Rising Series

A SciFi Saga in a quadrant far, far away

~ * ~

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


Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Winter Recipes

As you may have guessed, in the struggle to finish organizing and editing Making Magic With Words, the very thought of another post to add to the maze has been enough to make me cower in horror. Happily, MM is down to a final formatting check before being sent to the tech who will link each item in the Table of Contents to the correct post. And then, after two years of effort, the compilation of nine years' advice on Writing, Editing, and other aspects of Publishing will be available as an e-book. Here's a peek at the cover:

Therefore, today's blog features two favorite "winter recipes." Easy to make and exceptionally tasty. The original recipes were clipped from magazines so many years ago I have no idea of the source.


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

In skillet, cook sausage, onion, and garlic 'til 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, and cloves. Pour into 2-qt casserole. Bake, covered, in 325° oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 40-45 min. more, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Serve in bowls. Makes 6 servings.

Grace notes:  I use Jimmy Dean Sausage, spraying the pan with olive oil before frying. A medium onion is fine - I process the onion & garlic together in a small electric chopper. I also add other herbs when available - thyme, rosemary, chives, etc. For my most recent batch, I added Behringer rosé instead of dry white because that's what I had on hand. For an even more piquant flavor, add an extra bay leaf & additional ground cloves.

Other optional additions:

A few green peppercorns
Chick peas (a 3-qt casserole may be needed)
Additional garden herbs


6 lb. fully cooked ham shank*
½ lb. small white onions, peeled
Whole cloves
1 lb. carrots, scraped & cut into 2" lengths
2 lb. small potatoes, pared*
4 sprigs parsley
1 tspn salt
¼ tspn pepper
¼ tspn dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 can (13-3/4 oz) chicken broth
2 lb. head cabbage, cut in 6 wedges

Preheat oven to 350°. Trim fat & rind from ham. Coarsely chop 2 onions, place in deep roasting pan. Stick cloves in remaining onions and place in pan along with carrots, potatoes, and ham. Add parsley, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Pour chicken broth over all.

Bake, covered, 1 hour. Arrange cabbage wedges in pan; bake, covered, 30 min. more.

To serve:  Arrange ham on large platter, surround with vegetables; spoon some of pan juices over all. Serve with Mustard Sauce.

*Ham shanks were common when this recipe came out. Evidently, not so much any more. A standard cooked ham will do. This recipe also predates the small, ready-to-use carrots now available everywhere and the mini potatoes (particularly the bags of mixed colors) that need no preparation beyond a quick rinse.

Mustard Sauce

Original recipe:

½ cup mayonnaise 
1 tspn chopped onion (dried will do)
½ cup prepared mustard

Grace note:  I frequently substitute poppyseeds for the onion.

~ * ~

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

For a link to The Abominable Major on Amazon,  click here.

For a link to The Abominable Major on Smashwords,  click here.   

Thanks for stopping by,