Grace's Mosaic Moments

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Matthew Wolfe - Revelations

 I'm delighted to announce that Matthew Wolfe - Revelations went live on Amazon and Smashwords on Friday afternoon—hopefully answering the many questions that have been building up over Books 1 and 2. (It was quite a challenge to get all the answers in there!)


 Matthew Wolfe's life has been one problem after another, most of them dramatic, many dangerous, and some heart-breaking. Despite all the friends he has made and all he has learned along the way, he knows only a tantalizing hint of his father's family and nothing about his mother's. As Book 3 opens, he is hoping to combine the pursuit of an elusive gang of gem thieves with a closer look into a possible personal link to the royal family of a small Alpine country, when, suddenly, Jocelyn Ainsley pops backs into his life and, along with her, his worst problem—the trauma of his mother's death in childbirth, which has left Matthew determined never to marry. (Even if a bastard from Seven Dials could ever raise his eyes as high as the daughter of a baronet.)

In this final book of the series, Matthew's dramatic past, his adventurous present, and his remarkable future finally come together, as he discovers both sides of his heritage, settles the Affair of the Gem Thieves in an unexpected and bittersweet fashion, and, with perhaps too much advice from friends and family, is forced to face the final challenge standing in the way of Happily Ever After.

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 You may remember that I began the Matthew Wolfe series about a year ago, deliberately crafting something "different" as a Covid-blues chaser. (And I needed a breather from all those Gothics, even if they are my best-sellers.) 

Despite all the drama in Matthew's life, I made an effort to take a lighthearted approach, always emphasizing friends and family. (Although, as it turns out—Spoiler Alert!—family can also include enemies.)

As I return to writing what may be my darkest Gothic yet (The Secrets of Stonebridge Castle), I will miss Matthew and his widespread crowd of family and friends. Despite all the trials and tribulations from The Making of Matthew Wolfe to Revelations, they were FUN. And I foresee a long and happy future for every last character, even the "bad guys." (That's the wonderful thing about being an author—I can make it all tune out any way I wish!)

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

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

Please remember that Smashwords offers a 20% free read.

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 NEXT WEEK:  As I've stated in the past, with the publication of Making Magic With Words, a 200,000-word compilation of my advice on Writing and Editing from 2011-2020, I turned my blog topics elsewhere. But as I formatted Matthew Wolfe - Revelations for upload to Amazon and Smashwords—something I've done forty-plus times before and still find a challenge—I decided to revisit the subject. So next week, a newly written version of an old subject:  How to Format Your Manuscript for Upload to Amazon and Smashwords.

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For Blair's Facebook Author Page, click here. 

  For Blair's website, click here.


Thanks for stopping by,

Grace/Blair Bancroft

Saturday, May 22, 2021

A Special Moment

 I postponed a couple of blog ideas this week in favor of a personal moment that comes but once in each lifetime:  Graduation from High School. And after the Classes of 2020 missed out on almost all year-end events and the Classes of 2021 missed out on so many events, both serious and fun, over the course of a whole school year, I feel it's important to record how Lake Mary High School, Seminole County, Florida, managed a genuine graduation ceremony for 690+ seniors.

They did it by everyone traveling c. 20 miles south to the football stadium at the University of Central Florida, where the ceremony could be held outdoors with plenty of room for "distancing" and the technical support of a massive video screen. And there they staged a truly grand occasion (live and videocast), including the Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem (performed in an fabulous arrangement by high school chorus members on video), Color Guard, recognition of veterans, all the classic speeches, plus student-made school-year videos, and finally each graduate receiving his/her diploma and crossing the stage, fist-bumping each VIP in the front row. (To wildly enthusiastic screams and yells from the family of each student as their names were called.) 

After the inevitable photo session, we celebrated with lunch at Bahama Breeze, followed by cards and presents for the graduate:  Hailey Hays Reale, who will begin her career at UCF next month.

With so many photographers in the family, I didn't make the effort. The following photos are from the Reale family, including Grampa Carlos, who managed to get a close-up of Hailey on the big screen as she received her diploma.

For a link to a video of Hailey getting her diploma, click here.

New use for the 50-yard line

Hailey on the Big Screen

Hailey with Proud Parents

Hailey and the Grammas

Celebrating at Bahama Breeze

Hailey, Cassidy, Riley at Bahama Breeze

Hailey & Pos, 2003

Hailey on Ice, 2016

Hailey - Barracuda, 2018

Hailey - Senior Prom, 2021



Hailey Hays Reale!

~ * ~

Available c. June 1

  ~ * ~

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

 For Blair's website, click here.


Thanks for stopping by,

Grace/Blair Bancroft


Saturday, May 15, 2021

Matthew Wolfe & Muffins

 It looks like the final book in the Matthew Wolfe series will make it online around June 1, as planned. Here's a peek at the cover of Book 3 which reveals the mystery of Matthew's parentage, gives us a peek into his future, and, of course, answers the question of whether or not he reneges on his vow never to marry.

 Mom and two grandmothers enjoying mimosas before lunch on Mother's Day, 2021. (With Kylo's help.)



My youngest granddaughter, age 14, and her adult cousin (male) prepared a Mother's Day lunch (for 8) of Baked Brie that was better than any I ever had a restaurant. 

A truly wonderful afternoon, with dessert (mini cheesecakes) served on the set of dishes once belonging to MY mother, the children's book author, Wilma Pitchford Hays.


Yet another clever spoof of the English language

 ~ * ~

This week I made a variation on the Muffin Meal recipe I've posted before. It was so tasty I thought I ought to pass it along.

Sausage-fennel muffins, looking just like Turkey-bacon muffins




This is one of my favorite recipes. It makes 16 meal-size muffins and can be frozen, with 2-3 popped out of the freezer bag for an instant meal at any time. (See below.)

2 cans of Pillsbury Grands biscuits.
1 pkg. of thin-sliced prepackaged (deli-style) turkey
c. ½-lb. bacon
1 pkg. sliced Swiss cheese

Honey Mustard (or your choice)
Saucy Susan (or other fruit sauce) 

Prep:  slice bacon crosswise into 1½-2" pieces. Cook until crisp. Drain on paper towel.

Prepare dipping sauce by combining honey mustard & Saucy Susan, to taste.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray or grease 2 muffin pans. (You will need 16 holes.)



1.  Slice each biscuit in half. (Keep  2nd muffin tube in fridge until ready to use.) Fit bottom halves into 16 muffin holes, pressing down & up the sides to form a “cup.”

2. Fold a turkey slice and lay it in the cup.

3. Cut cheese slices in half. Fold & place on top of the turkey.

4. Place one or two pieces of bacon on top of cheese.

5.  Fit the other half of biscuit on top, using your fingers to press the edges of top & bottom together.

Note:  any leftover bacon can be used to decorate the top of each muffin.

Bake 13-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. (For freezing, allow biscuits to cool completely.)  Serve plain or with sauce listed above.

Grace note 1: These muffins are designed to be "finger food." The sauce can be dished up from a central bowl to each plate. (Or whatever method works for the number of people being served.) As a single, I get to dip my muffins straight into the bowl. (Grin.) Or, if preferred, the sauce can be layered onto the cheese before baking.

Grace note 2: do not thaw frozen muffins ahead of use. When ready to eat, just thaw in microwave, then warm at a higher power level. [In my microwave - for 2 muffins:  45 seconds on Thaw (5), then 45 seconds on Full. (90 seconds from freezer to ready-to-eat.)]

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

 For Blair's website, click here.


Thanks for stopping by,

Grace/Blair Bancroft

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Squirrel Humor

 An emphasis on humor this week . . .

Below is one of those unattributed gems that pop up on Facebook. It was titled: "The Best Argument for the Oxford Comma." 




To my great joy, on Thursday evening the Lake Mary High School Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble performed in their first concert since the beginning of the Pandemic. It was truly soul-stirring to hear even the 9th and 10th graders playing with all the aplomb of professionals. And the performance of a select group of mostly 11th and 12th graders was even more amazing. (Our Riley, a 10th grader, was part of this elite ensemble.) There were also three stunning performances by soloists on the marimba. The applause, shouts, and standing ovation were well deserved. And all but one percent ( perhaps less) of the audience accepted the responsibility of wearing masks. Here's looking forward to many more concerts, including the revival of Jazz Band.

The Wind Ensemble (not just wind instruments despite the name)


 And now . . . a bit of humor found on Facebook (also unattributed)

Squirrel Tale

The Presbyterian church called a meeting to decide what to do about their squirrel infestation.  After much prayer and consideration, they concluded that the squirrels were predestined to be there, and they should not interfere with God’s divine will.

At the Baptist church, the squirrels had taken an interest in the baptistry.  The deacons met and decided to put a water-slide on the baptistry and let the squirrels drown themselves.  The squirrels liked the slide and, unfortunately, knew instinctively how to swim, so twice as many squirrels showed up the following week.

The Lutheran church decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God’s creatures.  So, they humanely trapped their squirrels and set them free near the Baptist church.  Two weeks later, the squirrels were back when the Baptists took down the water-slide.

The Episcopalians tried a much more unique path by setting out pans of whiskey around their church in an effort to kill the squirrels with alcohol poisoning.  They sadly learned how much damage a band of drunk squirrels can do.

But the Catholic church came up with a more creative strategy!  They baptized all the squirrels and made them members of the church.  Now they only see them at Christmas and Easter.

Not much was heard from the Jewish synagogue.  They took the first squirrel and circumcised him.  They haven’t seen a squirrel since.

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 I'd like to recommend a real "buy," particularly if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited (where all four books are FREE). I'm really fond of my SciFi/Fantasy/Paranormal series, Blue Moon Rising. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Rebel Princess, Sorcerer's Bride, The Bastard Prince, and Royal Rebellion - all in one neat little package. For a link to Amazon, click here.

~ * ~


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

 For Blair's website, click here.

 Thanks for stopping by,

Grace/Blair Bancroft 

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Part 2 of Grace's First Blog


 My two all-time Best-Sellers

A war widow, a second chance & a resounding surprise


A bride's new home has a host of unexpected residents




Can a marriage of convenience triumph over a deadly curse?


A young woman encounters misogyny, smugglers, a ghost cat, & an earl



How Not to Drive the Grandchildren Home 
from the Singing Christmas Trees - Part 2

At the end of Part 1, you may recall, all seemed to be well.  The three little girls and I had finally arrived home (one hour after leaving the church - usually not more than a 30-minute drive). We ate supper and were watching a movie when . . .

Mommy turned her phone back on and called to say that the concert was running longer than expected and could I please take the children home and put them to bed.  I was still nerve-wracked to the bone, but food had helped, so I only twinged slightly at the thought of putting the girls back in the car and driving three blocks.

I loaded everyone back into the SUV and arrived at their gated community a few minutes later. I reached for the gate clicker I assumed was on the visor, and . . . oh-oh.   No, the girls didn’t know where mama stashed the clicker, but they assured me I could punch in a code.  Alas, I had to tell them that the code only worked until six p.m.  After that, you have to have a clicker or someone has to be at the house to buzz you in.  ( I recalled one memorable evening when my son-in-law climbed the gate, all eight feet of it, at 1:00 a.m.)

“We can go in your car, Gramma,” said the girls. (They knew I had a clicker to get into their development.) So we turned around and headed back to my house.  But as I drove toward my house, it occurred to me that if I drove my car, we wouldn’t have the built-in garage-door opener on the SUV.  Without which I’d need a key to my daughter’s house.  And it seemed I no sooner had a key made than my daughter sends someone to borrow it.  So if I drove the girls  home in my car, we could get through the gate but might not be able to get into the house.  

Believe me, at this point if I hadn’t already decided I had a few thousands words to say to my daughter when she got home, this would have been the final straw. (And since I was on the verge of brain-dead, it took a 6-year-old to find a solution.)

As we pulled into my driveway, my middle grandgirl said, “Gramma, why don’t you get the clicker out of your car?” I sat there behind the wheel and gaped.  Out of the mouths of babes!  I told the girls to stay put, unlocked my front door (as, of course, I couldn't open my garage door as I was driving my daughter's SUV), pulled the gate clicker off my visor, and back we went to my daughter’s house.  As it turned out, we didn’t use the garage opener, after all, as the 7-year-old was gung-ho to try every key on my ring to see if she could open the front door.  Which she did while the rest of us stayed in the car and watched.  

She yelled for us to come in, and then proceeded to turn on the Christmas tree and the many other Christmas lights throughout the house.  A very special moment after all we’d been through.

When my daughter and her husband finally got home, the girls were in bed, their halos still shiny, and I laid out the whole tale, woe by woe.  My daughter looked at me and said, “Oh, I’ve been using the hand brake because the car keeps getting stuck in Park.”  Not that she’d told me that any more than she mentioned there was no gas.  I had, of course, been putting the car in Park all night.  Sigh.    

I’m not sure I’m going to the Singing Trees next year.  The memories of 2010 may haunt me forever.

 ~ * ~

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

 For Blair's website, click here.


Thanks for stopping by,

Grace/Blair Bancroft