Saturday, August 30, 2014

US cover for To Marry a Matchmaker

I love the feel of this cover so I am very pleased that it will be used for the North American version of To Marry a Matchmaker which is released digitally on 1 October.
It is the prequel to An Ideal Husband? and I am hoping US readers will enjoy it.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Some news

Awhile ago (June 2011 to be precise) I found out that three of my books To Marry A Matchmaker (An Ideal Husband? is the sequel to this and has been out for over a year -- so much for me trying to force the issue), Compromising Miss Milton and Breaking the Governess's Rules were caught up in the transition to simultaneous publication for the Harlequin/Mills and Boon Historical series. They had already appeared in the UK but not in the North American market. They were supposed to go out digitally.
I found out that all three (!) are listed to be published electronically in October 2014.  I don't have anymore info than this but I am trying to find out.
It is a bit like waiting forever  for a number 7 bus and having three come along at once. I am just thrilled that my US and Canadian readers who read electronically will be able to get these books.
I knew this was happening and so have saved a few print copies which will be used for giveaways.
But it feels good to be moving forward.

Monday, August 25, 2014

3 Years of TAM

Today I officially completed three years of exercising with Tracy Anderson. I also finished Y3 Month 6 and am officially done with the band and the pole.

My thoughts on the band  (after using it and reading about others experiences). The band you can buy from her site appears to be junk. It often snaps after the first few uses. She has sold two different bands. The band which is currently on offer is the smaller band which is suitable for 3.2 but not 3.1. 3.1 has moves which you need to be able to be completely within the band.
I used a yellow theraband. I bought a roll off Amazon UK and tied it to a about a metre length. I found when I went shorter, it had tendency to snap. I needed the whole roll in the end and did retie when various loops broke.
Some people say that yellow therabands are too light weight resistance. I don't know.I went with what people were using. Some people have seen bulking. The bulking seems to be solved by making the band longer and using a lighter (ie yellow) resistance.
The moves are hard what ever the resistance. We are talking generally 50+ min of intense MS work. L7 on 3.2 is 41 min. L8 is 1 hr and L9 is 56 min for example.
For all the *trouble* with the band snapping, I did like the moves and felt v much puppet on a string in 3.1. the band is used in a slightly different way in 3.2. There are more pole moves. The pole can be painful but good. It does really stretch your triceps, for example.
I have seen how my strength has grown. I can do rollover type planks without too much difficulty. The plankorama is coming up so this is good. My balance is much better. In 3.2 L9, the easiest exercise for me was the modified headstand.
I have come a long way in three years. I am an on-going work in progress. I do like doing TAM. I enjoy the challenge.
But I am looking forward to no added equipment except for handheld weights and the ankle weights.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

'15 significant anniversary?

In 1915, we had WW1 in full swing
In 1815 we had Waterloo
In 1715 we had the Jacobite rebellion with Bonnie Prince Charlie.

I just realised this when I heard a woman at the Tourist Information speaking to a lady at Dilston Hall. Dilston was the home of the Earls of Derwentwater. The Earl was beheaded for his part in the Jacobite rebellion. It is why a lot of land in Haydon Bridge  belongs to  Greenwich Hospital.  It became part of the Crown's lands as a result of the rebellion.
All three events really changed society. As a result of the Jacobite rebellion, many left Scotland and went to the US, primarily the Carolinas including some of my forebearers, Their sons and grandsons later took part in the American Revolution. The fighting was absolutely bitter in the Carolinas.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Did I raise my daughter to be a feminist?

This morning the Times had an article on how to raise your daughter to be a feminist.
As my daughter is 21, it is perhaps too late. There again as she just her BSc  in Geography (2.1) and is about to do a Masters in Rivers Environmental management plus nearly slotted her grandfather when he suggested that she might make some man a good wife (my father in law is of a certain generation and I often have to  rise above, darling, rise above), I believe she is a feminist. For the record, she also likes to bake and seems to prefer short skirts (too short for my dh's taste but then he is her father...) to trousers and inhales romance novels.
In short, she is a Modern woman who refuses to be defined by narrow stereo types. Hopefully some day she will decide to make an honest man out of a man who adores the ground she walks on, but it is her choice (as she keeps telling me and I am not supposed to hold my breath for grandchildren).
She is also between two brothers. She says you can tell who has brothers and who doesn't. And she doesn't take many prisoners as she knows what brothers can be like.
My sons are  for the most part polite and I like to think treat women in a courteous and considerate manner. There are times that they are MEN. (And it is hard when despite your best efforts, genetics take over and your sons become MEN)  Thankfully they have decided not to share their doings with the rowing club or the kayaking club. I don't friend them on Facebook as well I prefer to think of them as not being MEN but nice, polite humans.
But  I did realise when a woman becomes a mother, she wants her children to succeed -- whether or not they are of the same sex as her. When you become a mother of boys, you discover that boys just like different things.  You want to push all your children (I do have tiger mother tendencies at times).  But it is important to treat your children like people. And I think everyone has a mind and a mind is terrible thing to waste. And I do hate it that journalists feel they comment on how many times Angela Merkel wears a jacket but not how many times David Cameron wears the same suit.  But hopefully as the generations grow, it will become a more equitable place.
So did I raise my daughter to be a feminist? No, I raised her to be a person. There is a subtle difference.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Faulty logic

Today a story in the Daily Telegraph reminded me of faulty logic -- you know the one  which goes cats has four legs, whiskers and a tail A dog has four legs whiskers and a tail. Therefore a dog is a cat.
After a protest outside its doors, urging a boycott of Israeli produced food, a Sainsbury manager decide in order to avoid trouble, he would clear all KOSHER food from its shelves and duly did. I am not about to debate the rights or wrongs of boycotting food produced in Israel, but merely want to point out that no all Kosher food is produced in Israel and not all food produced in Israel is necessarily labelled Kosher.
In a country famed for its tolerance of religion like the UK, it alarms me to see creeping Antisemitism and the banal response from Sainsbury. There is a huge difference between people who are Jewish and the Israeli government's actions. It is like blaming everyone who happens to be Muslim for the actions of the IS.
I suspect the better response would have been to call the police and to ask them to deal with intimidating protesters.  Lawful protest is fine but intimidation is not.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Nearly three years of doing the Tracy Anderson Method

On 25 August 2011, I started doing TAM with Tracy Anderson's book -- The 30 Day Method. After finishing that, I then went on to her Metamorphosis and Continuity programmes.
I continue to do TAM to this day.  I am on Year 3 Month 6 L9. In many tangible ways TAM has changed my life.
Thus far I have survived the ball, the chair, the hoop (easily my most hated), the band  and the pole. When I start Y3 Month 7 (3.3) is a plank-o-rama but no added additions beyond the hand held weights and the  strap on weights. It apparently is very hard but I am sure I will be up for the challenge.
Something that I started for very shallow reasons has become necessary for my mental health. I enjoy doing TAM and it makes me feel better. This year has been horrendous in many respects (my mother in law was taken into care with severe dementia and my father in law now lives in what was our dining room. He  had a hip replaced in June. He is not a good patient. He shows no sign of wanting to leave... It is complicated but we are muddling through) TAM has helped me keep my sanity.
It is the one exercise programme that I have kept up. My life is littered with exercise programmes  I started and didn't keep up for more than a few weeks. To have kept for three years really is astonishing. I tend to workout 6 x a week with one rest day.
Year 3 with its longer muscular structure workouts has necessitated me taking rest days, sometimes even the odd extra day. I find I am more likely to get sore now than in the early stages of Meta. I do like the longer MS workouts in some ways. I know I am certainly sweating lots. MOre during the MS than during the DC.
I still do my Dance cardio, normally 30 min. I used to do an hour of the DC and then brought it down to 45 min, but with the longer MS, I just don't have the time. I am a better dancer than I was which is possibly not saying not much. But I enjoy it.
I do the DC straight after the MS and it does loosen my muscles.

And my body? I am happy with it. I am 50 and apparently really don't look it (I also started dying my hair about a year ago -- brown and I do think people judge women on if they have gray hair or not. My gray stopped at my ears so the back of my head was completely brown while I had gone v gray/white at the front)
 I have kept the weight off for the most part (see about the above situation -- I am not perfect, nor am I a saint and sometimes...eating for emotional reasons can assist. It has truly been a nightmare). If I had not been doing TAM, I hate to think what would have happened! TAM has really had my back. (And I do know the stats for people who have lost as much I did!) My current slight increase in weight might also be due to the decrease in the DC. But I am fine with being a UK size 8/10 (US 6). When I was US 2/4, I was far too boney up top and strangers used to tell me not to lose any more weight!  I have noticed that since things are settling down a bit, I seem to be losing again/my clothes are fitting better.
I can see myself getting stronger and more capable. My balance is excellent (although I do on occasion tumble -- not good when you are holding a pole!)
My posture is better and my confidence has grown. I like being able to eat what I want (within reason). I like not having to count calories.
So TAM works for me. It is something that I do. I will have to see what I am like at the end of 5 years -- will my body have been completely re-sculpted? I know I am having fun trying.
I think it is important for people to exercise. I don't think there are any real shortcuts. I have found something that works for me and right now that is enough.

I should probably write more but I have a 1 October deadline for my latest wip.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Saved by the Viking Warrior on sale

As today 1 August, Saved by the Viking Warrior is on sale at  Harlequin and Mills & Boon.

I also found out that two of my earlier books -- An Impulsive Debutante and A Question of Impropriety are being republished (officially in April 2015) but you can get them as part of a boxed set with 22 other great books set in the Regency as part of the In Regency Society series.  AID and QI are titled Prejudice in Regency Society. I love the cover!

And Taming His Viking Woman comes out in February 2015.
Now to get the next one done...