Tuesday, April 24, 2012

His Unsuitable Viscountess -- blurb

My editor sent over the blurb for His Unsuitable Viscountess (published August 2012) . No cover yet but I like the blurb.

From hard-headed businesswoman…

A lifetime of living in a man’s world has given sword-making factory owner Eleanor Blackwell some very definite opinions – particularly about the duplicity of men!

…to blushing bride?

Benjamin Grayson, Viscount Whittonstall, seems to be cut from a different cloth—Eleanor responds to his touch with a passion normally only reserved for fencing! She may be spectacularly unsuited for aristocracy, but Ben has different ideas when he plans to safeguard her business with a very convenient proposal...

As you can see from the blurb Eleanor Blackwell is not your typical Regency heroine! It was so much fun to do research on Regency businesswoman. It was hard as there are very few proper biographies of these ladies, read I couldn't find one, just brief mentions in other non fiction books.
 Of course Georgette Heyer did not approve of women working so she did not have any in her books. Jane Austen did have a few but generally they were not protrayed as pleasant individuals. Jane Austen's model for Mrs Norris was reputedly a businesswoman -Sarah Rice who inherited her bank from her husband.
The Regency period had more businesswomen than the Victorian period. I suspect that this is because of the way business changed and went more towards being limited companies and stocks. If you are a sole partnership, you do have to be more hands on.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It is all in how you take the camera angles

I do love my editor. She took time over two days to chat with me about my manuscript -- what was working and what wasn't. Where she thought things could be improved and why. One of my problems was that I had tried to tie up all story threads in a neat bow and sometimes the endings are best implied, rather than spelt out.
It is going to be 2 weeks of hard work. I have refocus the manuscript and make sure that certain things aneed to be moved to the forefront, rather than hidden in the shadow. As someone once said to me a long time ago -- think like you are a director -- what do you want the shot to show?
I have cut about 7k but it needed to go to free up the words for better use.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Revisions hit

After Edith and Brand, I knew that I would not get an easy set of revisions again. The world doesn't work like that. I am actually more comfortable with more revisions.
These revisions will take some thinking about but the story will be better for it. I need to speak to my editor to fully understand what she is seeing and where I need to tease various threads out.
In many ways this story is closer to my heart than the Viking was. Is it because I do have extensive revisions on it? Am I contrarywise person and apt to love the more difficult stories more?

In Tracy Anderson Method News I am on Level 9 of the Continuity C1.1, so day 175. I have started to transition in the new Dance Cardio. I am looking forward to starting the next part of Continuity C1.2 next week. Back the free weights and standing abs! My body continues to improve. I will post a new picture next week. This part of C1.1 has seen consolidation more than anything.
There is an article in Hello Magazine about Tracy along with a few exercises to try.Tracy does do what she says. I do love her workouts.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lucky 7 meme

As Kate Hardy tagged me.
The meme goes like this. Take your latest work, go page 77, seven lines down and give the next seven lines.  Then tag 7 other writers and hope they do the same.

‘Once a waltz starts, you can come and find me if you wish to speak to them,’ Sophie said brightly. ‘There is no need to introduce me. There are a number of other people I need to speak to.’
Sophie silently prayed the waltz would be soon. Otherwise it was going to be torture waiting to speak to him and hoping that they had their story correct. But staying close to him was also torture of another sort.

It needs a little polishing but I am waiting for my editor's thoughts. That's my excuse and I am sticking to it.

Seven other people:
Kate Walker
Anne McAllister
Donna Alward
Cheryl St John
Marguerite Kaye
Hazel Osmond
Fiona Lowe

Let me know if you do it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New York magazine, smut and The Viking's Captive Princess

My brother in law let me know that the New York Magazine has done an article on *smut* aka the Romance genre for most normal people. At the end of the article, they have a flow chart to help the novice smut reader find the right book. If you don't care about demographics, want your romance set in the past, at sea and wearing a Viking helmet, they reccomend The Viking's Captive Princess.
As I do like the cover, I was pleased to see it there. Luckily despite it being out several years, it remains available as an ebook.
The article amused me, particularly as there is no getting around how popular the genre is.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Happy Easter

Wishing everyone a happy Easter holiday.
I am spending mine gardening and doing various writing projects as I wait for my editor to get back with her thoughts.
Slowly but surely the garden is starting to look less like an unkept jungle and more like a cultivated garden again. You would not believe the amount of ivy we have burnt over the last few days. My youngest son has learnt about what happens when you put a very dry ex Christmas tree on a bonfire. The holly tree will recover in time. It is a good lesson.

I had a piece of good news yesterday. My short story His Stand In Bride was published in print somewhere in the world (rather than just being in digital). It pleased me no end as I thought it was only ever going to be in digital. I also got paid some more money for it as per my contract which was very welcome. It remains up as a free read on Harlequin. in case people haven't read it.

Monday, April 02, 2012

The Tracy Anderson Method: Continuity L8

It has been an age since I posted anything about my Tracy Anderson Method journey. I am on Level 8 (day 162 of the Meta programme). I have been doing it consistently 6 x a week since late October.
I continue to do 60 minutes of the Dance cardio and do like the C1.1 cardio more than then Meta cardio. I think I am getting better at it.
The Muscular structure work is more challenging in some ways. This level has one armed planks, modified headstands and other delights. BUT I can do all of them. I can also keep up on the arms and the abs.
The big tip I have learnt is to point my toes during the floor ab work and really during most of the leg lifts, unless Tracy is clearly retracting her foot. It helps engage the abs and can really help if you have had separation of the abdominal muscle due to pregnancy. My over all body is far more defined, rather than a huge inch loss.
My eating habits tend to be a smoothie for breakfast, soup for lunch and a solid meal for supper. It works for me. Soup/liquid meals stay in your stomach longer than simply drinking a glass of water before you eat. I have fresh fruit, nuts or dried fruit for snacks if I feel hungry.
I have discovered that I was v lactose intolerant, particularly when there is a lot of fat involved. Not surprising as I had my gall bladder removed years ago. I can handle Greek yogurt in moderation. Cheese in v limited quantities. I can have a little bit of wheat but I do tend to avoid it and go for other grains now. My diet has a lot more fresh fruit and veg.
I am staying a solid size UK 8 (US 4). I do have to buy some more tops as I have been wearing my old jumpers etc. It has been pointed that I do look like an orphan wearing a bigger sibling's clothes. And while I can get away with this in the winter, the summer is another matter. Slowly, slowly, slowly my wardrobe is changing. I also need to get some shorts, and capris as my TAM started when the weather was getting cooler...
The best thing about TAM is the stress release and the way I feel after I complete a session. It just helps. There  is also a sense of accomplishment as I finish a level or move further on in the programme. All this helps with improving my personal body image and ultimately my self esteem.
I am very glad that I made me a priority.

As I am currently waiting on my editor, I am keeping busy doing other projects...including cleaning up the garden. This means wresting with the brambles, doing the ivy and generally doing all the big jobs I have avoided for awhile. It is great thinking time. As a writer you have to spend time thinking. Repetitive jobs can be great for this.