Saturday, August 2, 2014

MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH ROSES - MARGARET TANNER


 
ROSES - MARGARET TANNER

Housekeeping and tidying up. Not my favourite topic or occupation, unless we are taking about tidying up my garden. In particular my rose garden, which I tend with loving care, because roses truly deserve special treatment. No chore to tidy up here. I banish any weed the moment it rears its ugly head near my “lovelies.”

Roses are my favourite flower. My husband thinks I am obsessed with them.  I always wear rose perfume, Bush Rose, Musk Rose. The Yardley (English company) Rose has a lovely perfume, as sweet and fragrant as its namesake. How many wonderful people have you met who are called Rose, Rosy, Rosemarie, Rosemary?

I have to confess that my garden is full of roses. Hubby hates them with a passion because he thinks they deliberately jump out and stick their prickles into him.

I love the old fashioned roses the best. They may not be quite as colourful as the modern day varieties, but they always have a gorgeous perfume.  Just Joey, a beautiful large bloomed orange rose with a delightful perfume is one of my favourites.  Another favourite is a blood red rose named Oklahoma, the perfume is as heady as wine. My garden has recently acquired a rose called. The Chocolate Rose. I have to say that although the bloom is pretty, it isn’t stunning, but it certainly has a chocolate perfume, and you can take that observation from a chocoholic. If there is one thing I know, it is the smell of chocolate.

It amazes me how often I seem to give the characters in my novels a floral name. It must have been an instinctive thing because I don’t recall actively trying to do this.

A few examples. In Haunted Hearts, the heroine’s daughter is called Rosie. In A Mortal Sin, the heroine is named Daphne. Iris is the wicked mother-in-law in Make Love Not War

I have also written a short story with the title Call Of The Apple Blossom.  Can you see a pattern here?

There is rarely a novel of mine that doesn't have at least one rose garden scene.
                       
So, there you have it. I wonder if there is such a thing as a roseaholic?



 
Falsely Accused has recently been released  by BWL and is available on Amazon.
On board the convict ship taking them to the penal colony of Australia, Maryanne Watson and Jake Smith meet and fall in love, but Jake hides a terrible secret that will take him to the gallows if it ever comes out.
On arrival in Sydney the lovers are separated. Maryanne is sent to work for the lecherous Captain Fitzhugh. After he attacks her she flees into the wilderness and eventually meets up with Jake who has escaped from a chain gang.  They set up home in a hidden valley and Maryanne falls pregnant.  Will Jake come out of hiding to protect his fledgling family? And how can love triumph over such crushing odds?

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Love's Treasure by Shirley Martin

romance : bride and groom silhouette kissing  Hi everyone,
 
I recently started a fantasy romance, and this is the first scene from the second chapter. I'm using this scene because it has more dialog than the first scene of the first chapter.
                                                               
 
 
 
 
                                                  LOVE'S TREASURE
 
                                                   by Shirley Martin
    
"You'll have to hurry, son. I'll explain the situation as you get ready. I've already ordered the stable boy to prepare a  horse for you."
    Inside his bedchamber within the palace of Airen Tir, Garth pulled on his trousers, all the while focusing his attention on his father. He wondered what the 'situation' was.
    "As you know," his father explained, "we have a few spies planted inside the palace of Volanar. They act as servants of the palace, but they serve us. Now let me backtrack a bit. Have you heard about a cache of gold hidden inside a cave of Misty Mountain?"
    "Misty Mountain?" Garth paused while pulling his linen tunic over his head. "I've always thought that tale was a myth. You think there's some truth to the story?" 
    King Treherne nodded. "I have reason to believe so. The story has persisted throughout the years, and my grandfather spoke of it in his last days, regretting that he'd never sent anyone to find the treasure. There surely must be truth to the tale."  He leaned forward, his hands on his knees. "Yesterday, one of our spies was in the archives room of the Volanar palace--"
    Garth fastened his belt. "The archives room? What was he doing there?"
    "He followed Princess Olwen, clandestinely, of course, and checked the room after she left. First lighting a candle, he saw an open book that revealed a map of where the gold is hidden far to the north of Elucera in Misty Mountain."
    "Wait a minute," Garth said, dropping several coins in a purse attached to his belt, where his sword already resided in its scabbard. "How do you know this?"
    "A carrier pigeon brought the news early this morning on a slip of paper. A small map was included."  He drew the paper from a pocket and handed it to Garth. "Study this map later, when you have time.. Another spy saw a young man he couldn't identify ride off in the middle of the night."
    Folding the paper inside his tunic pocket, Garth sat to pull on his boots. "That still doesn't prove that the man was headed for Misty Mountain."
    Treherne smiled slyly. "Remember I once told you about a hole drilled in the wall of the king's study, behind a painting? One of our spies heard the princess talking to her father about the hidden gold." Briskly, he stood. "Enough talk. I want you to ride as if your life depended on it." His eyes narrowed. "You need to redeem yourself, son. There is still your unexplained absence from the kingdom earlier this year."
    "And if I arrive at the cache of gold the same time as this unidentified young man?"
    "Why, you kill him, of course."  
----------------------------------------------
 
Find all of Shirley's books at Books We Love  


 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Winter Fire -- The Story of the Story




Leslie Nielsen as "The Swamp Fox"
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated by early American history. In fact, when I was ten, I wrote my first novel; it was very loosely based on the “Swamp Fox” TV series (a Disney production 1959-1960), starring Leslie Nielsen as the Revolutionary War hero, Francis Marion. I’d like to think I’ve come a long way since then.

At around this time until I was fourteen or fifteen, our family vacations involved visits to old forts, battlefields and living history sites from Montreal to St. Augustine in Florida. My father was a Civil War buff who owned an extensive collection of books on the subject, but he was eclectic enough to include sites from earlier periods in our itineraries. Strolling  through formal gardens and marveling at sumptuous bed chambers and ballrooms of Tryon Palace in North Carolina or expressing wonder over the three tiny rooms of an 18th century farmer’s house in Connecticut, I was deeply moved by the vibrations set off by the clothes, furniture and personal effects on display. Subsequent trips to Williamsburg, Virginia, and Old Sturbridge in Massachusetts, among others, provided far more insight than any high school history text could on how people in the past lived, worked and died, and with detail that struck all of my sensory nerves.


It was only natural that, when I took up writing seriously, I chose to set my fiction in the period I had come to love—the time encompassing the colonial and Revolutionary War eras in the U.S.

While searching for inspiration back in the days before the Internet, I became intrigued by “captive narratives.” In their time, and for a populace starved for the type of fabulous accounts that scream from today’s tabloids, this was an extremely popular genre depicting stories of white settlers taken in raids by Native Americans. Although all of these tales provided entertaining and informative reads (many supposedly in the teller’s own words), none was more gripping than the tale of Mary Jemison, a teenage girl who was captured by a French and Indian war party and adopted into the Seneca tribe in the area around what is now Syracuse, New York. Even as she mourned her family, Mary lived the rest of her life among the Haudenosaunee, marrying twice and giving birth to a number of children. By the time she was an old woman, Dehgewanus (as she was then called) had all but forgotten her native language and was venerated by her tribe. An equally engrossing tale is told in a more recent book. The Unredeemed Captive, by John Demos (Vintage, 1995), chronicles the efforts of a Massachusetts family in the early 1700’s to regain their daughter following a raid on Deerfield. After years of searching and countless disappointments, the father was horrified to learn that Eunice had married a Mohawk warrior and chose to remain with her captors.

By now, my story had begun to take shape, but I was still in need of a time and setting. Further research led to a campaign of 1779 during the American Revolution, which had as its target Six Nations warriors under Mohawk war chief Joseph Brandt and his Loyalist allies. (An exceptional account of this bloody chapter in American history is told in Allan Eckert’s Wilderness War.) Following a number of murderous attacks on frontier settlements and equally brutal reprisals,

George Washington dispatched Generals John Sullivan and James Clinton and their armies into Iroquois lands essentially to minimize the effectiveness of Brandt’s forces by burning their villages and crops. The resulting devastation on both sides led only to more retaliation. An unexpected by-product of this campaign was the recovery of a number of white captives and their return to “civilization.” Some went happily with the army, while others had to be forcibly removed from the burning remains of their adoptive homes.

This inspired me to ask myself, "What if...?" What if a white woman in like circumstances had been forced against her will to return to what was left of her family? 



I had read of incidents in which this had been the case, and in which these reunions, more often than not, were unpleasant (to put it mildly) for both the former captives and their relations. Many of the redeemed were scorned, shunned, and regarded with suspicion for their strange ways. After years of living among the “savages,” attempts to reintegrate into a society that was now foreign and strange ended in failure for these unfortunate people, who often ran away at first opportunity to rejoin their Indian families. Not all of these tales had a happy ending.

And so, with these accounts as its foundation, Zara Grey’s story took root in my imagination. Caught in a war pitting neighbor against neighbor, son against father, white man against “red man,” a young heiress of Dutch descent becomes both a pawn and a pariah, with murder in the bargain.

Ethan Caine, the male protagonist in this historical romance, has as his backstory a 1763 incident in eastern Pennsylvania during Pontiac’s Rebellion that polarized the region. A group of self-appointed vigilantes, the “Paxton Boys,” fed up by a lack of support by colonial forces, attacked and killed residents of a nearby village of peaceful Susquehannock. While the actual incident was unprovoked, the fictionalized account in my book involves a patchwork of accounts gleaned in my research. Young Ethan is deeply traumatized by these events and the ensuing senseless slaughter. Fifteen years later he is forced to confront his own prejudice and regrets when he rescues a young white woman dressed in clothes of Iroquoian design attempting to cross a half-frozen stream enroute to Iroquois lands.

The resulting novel,Winter Fire, a 1998 Golden Heart finalist, has as its core the inter-cultural conflicts of its time, colored by the perceptions and fears of people in the midst of war.
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

WRITER ROOTS


What makes a writer? There are said to be a lot of ways to get into this particular form of insanity, but I can only speak for myself. Personally, I believe writers are born, not made.

I’ve just returned from a small visit to an old friend. We reconnected through our 50th HS reunion, which is a little odd, as I didn’t graduate from that school, but from a grammar school in Barbados. My friend and I hadn’t spoken or written since the 9th grade. That summer, my mother fled an abusive marriage and went to see old friends in the UK. She thought she and Dad were taking a break; he knew that the marriage was over, although he didn't say so . When I left home that summer, I expected to return to the US by Christmas. My father, however, already had a woman waiting in the wings. Instead an eventual reunion, there was an ugly long distance divorce.  My school friends soon stopped answering my sad letters. In the '50's, a divorce sent you into social exile.

Over time, I’d set the past aside. "Lost and gone forever" and "stiff upper lip" were the lessons. Imagine my surprise upon receiving an out-of-the-blue note last summer from this long-lost BFF! Apparently, one of our old classmates was with the FBI. For the fiftieth reunion, he’d pulled out all the stops, and located everybody even remotely associated with his graduating class.

So what made this old friend so special?   Well, Gemma was a co-conspirator in the great game of acting out the stories that filled my head. Her Mom sent her to ballet class and they had a wonderful costume box, too, something that every well-equipped home possessed in those days. I wanted to retell the stories I'd read, and sometimes to rewrite them—what is now called “fan fic” -- but mostly, in those days, we shared a desire to act them out.

As we approached our teens, Gemma was among the few who would still engage in the make-believe which remained the center of my world. I was the story-teller, the director. Gemma intuitively understood the world of theater. She created dances and she had a fantastic sense of design, so she did costuming and make-up. Her house was large; her parents indulgent. We could stay up late, until our projects were complete.  Favorites came from history and Greek myths--the gorier, the better. Cleopatra and the asp, Iphigenia on the altar, the Princes in the Tower, Aida and Radames buried alive! We always had musical accompaniment, too, so there was Beethoven, Schumann and Smetana’s The Moldau and all of Tchaikovsky's ballets. We had Grand Opera, too. Puccini and Verdi wrote music full of high drama, and their librettos reliably ended with someone tragically expiring.

In our late sixties now, we reminisce, discussing marriages and schools, children and grandchildren, parents and trips abroad. Gemma became a college professor. I became (finally) a writer. Her job was a wiser choice, but I still can’t quit those old habits of falling in love with passionate characters, the kind whose stories I've just got to tell.
       

~~ Juliet Waldron~~
Historical Novels 
Mozart's Wife
Roan Rose
Genesee
and many more
 


 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Would you recognize an immortal on the street?

Find it on Amazon HERE
I love to suspend the reader's beliefs. What if? What if there were angels walking among us? What if the immortals described in legends actually existed? What if angels did mate with human females, as the Bible says, and produced long-lived hybrid beings who look like us and walk this earth, some fighting for good, others for evil? What then?

I like to think I could recognize one in the street. Could you? What would make them different from us? A glowing aura of goodness? A disturbing sense of evil? Probably none of the above.

Still, there should be a way to recognize an immortal, an angel, or a fae walking among us. Here are a few pointers:

Real angels do not have wings. Only in the tenth century did Western Christianity start representing angels with wings. But in the ancient biblical texts, they never had any, except for a specific category of angels described with three pairs of wings and four heads. According to ancient texts, the divine messengers we call angels looked human. How else would they have passed for humans when they visited Loth in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah? They are described in the scriptures as beautiful young men. So beautiful that the debauched inhabitants of the ancient city wanted to purchase them for sexual favors.

Immortals are very beautiful, that's a given. Angels are always gorgeous according to the scriptures. Besides, if you don't age and have supernatural genes, then you should be flawless and irresistible. This is especially convenient in romantic novels. We love our gorgeous immortals. Even the evil ones, like Lucifer, or the bloodiest of vampires, are said to have an irresistible charm.

There is a special light in their eyes. If eyes are the windows of the soul, then much of their good or evil nature should filter through the eyes of immortals, angels, Fae and other supernatural beings. Movies have gone so far as to represent evil beings with blazing red eyes. That would be a hoot and a half... and very scary, late at night on a street corner.

Immortals can be killed. That's why witches and sorcerers were burned at the stake. In Highlander, they can only be killed when you sever their head. In the Curse of the Lost Isle, my immortal ladies fear holy water and death by fire. Many methods are used to kill vampires. I've never heard of a way to kill an angel, but I'm sure there is somewhere a secret book of spells that teaches exactly that. Shame on the angel killers.


In the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval series, my ladies are Fae and considered immortal, or very long-lived. They are related to Morgane the Fay and their ancestors were angels fallen to earth and left behind, some good, some bad. They mated with mortals and their children had extraordinary powers. But as you will realize reading the series, such gifts in a Christian society can be a curse...

From history shrouded in myths, emerges a family of immortal Celtic Ladies, who roam the medieval world in search of salvation from a curse. For centuries, imbued with hereditary gifts, they hide their deadly secret, stirring passions in their wake as they fight the Viking hordes, send the first knights to the Holy Land, give birth to kings and emperors... but if the Church ever suspects what they really are, they will be hunted, tortured, and burned at the stake.
5 stars on Amazon "Edgy Medieval!"

Find out more about Vijaya and her books at: http://www.vijayaschartz.com 
Find all her books on Amazon HERE 

HAPPY READING 



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