This blog follows how a romance novel set in the Borders of medieval Scotland is researched, written and hopefully *hopefully* published.

Join me on the writing journey and get inspired to try writing a little romance into your own life!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Sunday Scribblings Prompt: The End

This week's Sunday Scribblings' prompt was "The End." So, drawing form my work in progress (Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills) I worked towards that end ;-)

She held him, panting, her eyes finally closed against the horrors she had just witnessed.

He shivered in her arms, naked beneath the emerald green mantle she threw over him. His skin was tight and hot--fevered--she suspected; it slid tautly across muscles still bunched in anticipation. She opened her eyes, drinking in the sight of him. Mortal, vulnerable. Rescued. “Shhh,” she cooed, a finger pulling the sweat-soaked hair back from his glowing and narrowed eyes. “Tam Lin...”

He quaked at her words, and his lips twisted in a pained smile. The eerie glow left his eyes. “No,” he whispered. “Not Tam Lin—Thomas.”

Jennet grinned. It was over. The battle was won, her lover was freed. Surely their troubles were at an end and tomorrow they would be wed and greet a life filled with grand beginnings. Jennet had never thought how much joy an end could bring...

But it seemed one end was not enough. Indeed, it seemed that Jennet had reached another end, the end of the Dark Queen’s patience. The Queen’s voice broke through her reverie, sharp as newly broken glass. “You have taken my Tam Lin, girl. Stolen what was yet mine.” Her steed stamped a golden hoof, sparks glittering across the scattered flagstone of the old Roman road. Leaves skittered across the ground making noises like tiny scraping claws before they began to swirl around Jennet’s circle, widdershins.

Jennet hissed, crouching above the still prone form of Thomas, protective as a mother wolf. She had not forgotten the danger that stood just at the edge of her carefully warded circle—how could she when the eyes of all the ambassadors of the Realm stood glittering and glaring down at her frail mortal form nearly draped (with no great grace or forethought for propriety or aesthetics, she knew) over a newly mortal man. Yes, such disapproving eyes were hard to forget.

She stood, pulling herself to her full height—damnably diminutive when faced with the long slender elves and graceful fae. But such thoughts merely gave her a fiercer determination. “He was never yours,” she said, biting each word off crisply. “And he never shall be again.” Her chin jutted out with newfound arrogance.

She deserved a bit of arrogance, didn’t she? After all, she had just wrestled the Dark Queen’s favorite chew toy from her icy grasp... Her circle flared--and flickered. The dark and drifting things (which defied explanation from all Jennet knew of myth, legend and religion) at the edge of her circle rolled closer. Jennet blinked. Not now, she willed, digging her toes into the ground and connecting with the earth, the root of her blossoming powers. The circle glowed a cool blue, and steadied.

The faeries took a respectful step back.

The Dark Queen raised an elegantly shaped eyebrow, nonplussed by a show of mortal power. “He was mine in more ways than you can imagine, little one,” she purred. “He was marked...”

“What? This old thing?” Jennet asked defiantly, slipped a toe beneath the serpent-shaped brooch and flipping it across the boundary that held she and Thomas safe.

The Queen snarled.

I marked him first,” Jennet declared, grabbing Thomas by the shoulders and pulling him to a kneeling position before the whole of the Unseelie Court. Around his neck the leather lacing still hung, and at its center the silver bell winked boldly.

The Queen shrieked her rage and raised a quivering hand towards the pair, eyes glowing bright as hellfire....

Sorry, I can't really do the end, like "The End," you know? And yes, this is rough, and yes, I'd probably rework some parentheses so they'd disappear into the story, but hey. ;-)

Hope you enjoyed it nonetheless...


Romance Writer's Word of the Day 8/31/07

Today's Romance Writer's Word of the Day is:


Sybarite [SIB-uh-rite] is a noun meaning "a person devoted to pleasure and luxury."

Here's a sentence:
She sighed, just looking at the extravagantly decorated silver tray stacked high with delicate pastries. Surely her unnamed sponsor was quite the sybarite.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

One More Handy Site on Publishers...

Ok, I REALLY need to get some work done, but instead I'm just strolling the web... Here's a site by author Piers Anthony (you may know him if you've read fantasy or sci-fi--Remember the Xanth series?). He started a "survey" (more like an alphabetical database) of publishers with focus on internet publishing houses. He summarizes what he knows of each (having used some "stool pigeons";-) who let him know about their personal experiences with different publishers.

Frankly, it's like a "Better Business Bureau" site of ebook publishers :-). Cool :-)

So, when you're done figuring out your "short list" of who you'll submit your story to, you may want to look them up here (there's an alphabet so you can hop about 1/3 down the page, I think) and see if they seem kosher.

Hope it helps!

Something I Just spotted and Wanted to Share...

This site, The Passionate Pen, lists publishers of romances, from the traditionals (like Avon and Harlequin) to ebook publishers, etc.

Each listing includes links to the company's site or their submission guides. Woo-hoo! You don't need to be an RWA member to check out this database and you don't need to buy a book. Cool!

So, take a gander at the Passionate Pen's site and maybe you can find a publisher (or three) to look at your work...


Update, update! I just found a few supposed Romance Publishers not at The Passionate Pen. As always, do your homework to find who or what works best for you as a potential publishing house. But here are a few places to also look...

ArcheBooks Publishing --agented authors only!

Arrow Publications, LLC -- romance stories in graphic novel format.

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 8/30/07

Today's Romance Writer's Word of the Day is:


Vainglory [VANE-glor-ee] is a noun meaning "pride to the point of vanity" or "a showy display."

Here's a sentence for you:

With a flourish of his sword, McGovern made a deep bow to the ladies in the crowd, just as MacDougal's sword point jabbed into his opponent's rear--ending McGovern's vainglory when he yelped his surprise.

Yes, it's an awkward sentence. I wanted something sort of humorous, but I'm not happy with it as it stands. Anyhow... Do you have a character who'd fall victim to a vainglorious action?


Thought for the Day 8/30/07

Here's a thought for you...

"Perfect Love casts out Prudery together with Fear."

-Richard Garnett

What do you think, does Love make people bold--fearless? Does it make lovers less likely to be "prudes?" ;-)

Personally, I'd never dare say the love my hubby and I share is "perfect" (can anything really be perfect, after all?) but knowing I've got someone in my "corner" has emboldened me (sometimes to hubby's chagrin ;-) . And no, we're not nearly so prudish as we (okay, okay, as I) used to be. ;-)


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Romance Writer's Word of the Day 8/29/07

Today's Romance Writer's Word of the Day is:


Boulevardier [boo-leh-var-DYEY] is a noun meaning " a man who often wanders fashionable areas and is socially sophisticated; a man-about-town (most often Parisian)."

Here's a sentence:
He seemed quite out of place in the cramped bookstore, looking as if this handsome boulevardier had wandered too far from the bright lights of the Champs-Elysées.

What sentence might you use the word in?

Thought for the Day 8/29/07

Here's a thought for you to chuckle at...

"God is Love, I dare say, but what a mischievous devil Love is."
-by Samuel Butler

What other quotes or anecdotes have you run into that show the way an emotion opposes its own nature?


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Poll Below

There's a new poll posted near the page's bottom. It's a quick one, and it's just there because I'm curious (and feel guilty that I haven't read much of the classics in this genre). It's not a complete list (by any means) of classic romances, and please, if you would recommend a classic romance (even not one listed) you read to others, please leave a comment about which and why.

Thanks a bunch!

Friday, August 24, 2007

First Poll's Results...

A while ago (when we were first able to do polls here) I hosted one. I was quite proud to get 8 participants (I prefer quality participation to quantity anytime and if you're participating, surely you're of high quality :-). Anyhow, the poll was:

What is Most Important in a Good Book?

The options I gave (and votes gotten in return) were:

Characters I can personally relate to. ...........................2
Intriguing setting. ...........................................................1
Conflict and resolution. ..................................................1
Strong plot construction. ...............................................4
Tension. ..........................................................................2
Hooks and cliffhangers. ..................................................1
Romance and passion. ....................................................1
Twists and turns. ............................................................1
Ability for me to escape into the story completely. .......3
All are equally necessary. ...............................................1

*You may have noticed--"Hey--that adds up to more than 8!" Yup. People were allowed to vote on more than 1. Makes for funky math, but interesting results anyway.

I'll be putting up new polls (at the page's bottom) every once in a while. I hope you can participate :-)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Word Count

Today I wrote 686 words in my "Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills" novel. It's an early scene between Jennet and Thomas, happening about ten years before the novel's main action. I think I'll use it, but I'm not sure yet. I like it, but I've got to figure out how it fits in best. Possibly in flashback--but I don't want to get carried away with that particular thing ;-).

What do you worry about having too much of in something you write? Is there any literary device you worry you use too often?

Are YOU writing? What?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Easing Back in to Blogging...Tangent Alert!

I've actually been getting some work done on "Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills" (I need to update my word counts) as well as other projects.

Our Highland Cattle arrived Friday (Tracy a pregnant cow with bull calf at her side, Seamus a white 17 month old bull, Brigit a red 17 month old heifer). I'm still perturbed at the guy we bought them from--the bull calf was cut up from a tangle with barbed wire (my only guess) and the guy didn't treat him. Tracy's too skittish (and motherly) to let me near him to treat the wounds and I'm just hoping her attention and the cool weather will keep the flies at bay. The previous owner said if the calf dies he'll refund our money. Then he said he'd let us have a different bull calf instead. Ugh. I'm just glad I don't need to deal with that guy again (I hope).

So the cows are in a pasture that stretches into an old apple orchard on the property. Apples are dropping early this year (because of this freakish cold snap) and the cows are eating their fill!

We just got the Jacob sheep's new pasture fenced, so I need to move them today. They seem to be doing pretty well (had quite a scare with one of them a week or so ago now).

Acquired two mutt-ducks (Charlie and Matilda) and three African Geese (two boys, 1 girl), and 5 pigeons (3 girls, 2 boys). This place is starting to fill out as a nearly-respectable farm.

Trying to get together with Deb and her pal, Robin, to do some writing exchanges, but our schedules aren't meshing so well. Deb's working on her first novel (paranormal romance) and Robin's trying her hand at a YA. I think I'll have them scope out "Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills" but I have several other projects that could use an editor's eye, too... I guess it's a moot issue until we can actually arrange to meet ;-).

I'm doing some "writing for money" type stuff right now (noticing a need coming up--the holidays are coming too fast!). Ah well... Sara had a post about who you write for here--Aspiring Romance Writer. Check it out!

I'll be back with Romance Writer's Word of the Day starting again next week...

Take care!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sunday Scribblings Prompt: Dear Diary

Ok, so my novel-in-progress (Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills) wasn't initially intended to include diary or journal entries, but reading "The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheevers" by Julia Quinn and seeing this Sunday Scribblings prompt, I thought: Eh, let's give it a try... ;-)

So here's something Jennet might write if given a journal to fill...Please note, this isn't truly in her "voice" as I'm rushing to do this before I trot off to the gallery and I usually rewrite things to get the voice in the period I'm writing (especially when my hubby's watching Spongebob in the same room). Ugh ;-)


Today I told Thomas I love him.

I waited until our game was over --I let him win--and then I said it. It was easy, really. Just three little words. He jumped up like I burned him. He just gawked at me.

I think that was when I stopped breathing. I could see the lump in his throat as he swallowed. He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. He stood there, suddenly mute. Stunned beyond comprehension.

I started breathing again, but I burned beneath a blush. He made some lame excuse and raced off. Something about meeting his grandfather for hunting. I stared after him for the longest time.

I know he feels something for me, there's a magic in his kiss. I mean, we've been friends forever, and he's shown he likes me more than other girls.

Maybe he just doesn't love me... Marion says boys do that sometimes. They do one thing and mean another. They get frightened at the oddest things. They can corner the biggest buck in the forest with only one arrow left, but they can't talk about their feelings.

She said boys do that all the time. I tried to explain that Thomas isn't a boy, but she glared at me. I guess his failure to tell me what he feels relegates him to boyhood. I think that means there are a lot more boys out there than I ever imagined.

So that's my answer to this week's prompt. Hope you enjoyed it at least a little! And yes, the Highland Cattle are finally here, the African Geese broke loose this morning, so I was scared the cattle were out, too. Thank God that wasn't the case! The geese are hanging out at another watering hole on the property (where the Jacob sheep will be moved soon enough). We just don't care to chase them and hope they'll settle there happily until we get the rest enclosed.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Just a Quick Post...

If you enjoy history, Georgian or Regency romances, or just odd stuff people used to own or people collect now...

Anyhow, here's a site you might enjoy.

Candice Hern's Collections. Candice is a romance novelist and a collector of intriguing things. Just skimming her collection of "Lovers' Eyes" I feel like I've learned something uniquely precious. But then, I am a nerd ;-) . Go, enjoy...


What is the most interesting city or setting to you?

Woo-hoo! Didn't You Know It!

Which ancient leader are you most akin to?
created with
You scored as Ghengis Khan

you scored ghengis khan! He was a Mongol political and military leader or Khan (posthumously Khagan) who united the Mongol tribes and founded the Mongol Empire (�� �онгол Ул�), (1206�1368), the largest contiguous empire in world history.

Ghengis Khan


Julius Caesar


Henry V (England)






Napoleon Bonaparte


Alexander the Great


Pride and Prejudice

Which Pride and Prejudice Girl Are You?
created with You scored as Elizabeth

I am Elizabeth. I am headstrong and intelligent. I love to be myself, and am very loyal to my family. I can sometimes be prideful and "prejudiced," but I try to remain open minded and I usually regret past mistakes.







Mrs. Bennet








Super Me!

Which Superheroine are you?
created with
You scored as Huntress

You are the Huntress... No matter how many times you try and prove yourself to be good, you always seem to be stuck in the same rut, with the reputation as a "bad girl". Guys love to hang around you because you're easy to talk too.



Black Canary