Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #50

I'm back!

I took a little hiatus. My physical condition is exasperated by stress, so I decided to step away from writing and my self-imposed deadline. Sorry, faithful readers, CATHERINE will probably not get published prior to the end of the year, but THE END is in sight, and I can probably have her out by early 2018.

Having said all that, here is my contribution to Weekend Writing Warriors. For a brief run down of their rules and how to participate, as well as to find other authors who also do this crazy writing thing, click HERE.

I've bounced ahead in my story of CATHERINE and thought I'd share a moment between two sisters.
Kitty settled herself against the pillows and while waiting for Mary, turned her thoughts toward the enigmatic Lord George. He perplexed her greatly. One minute she perceived great intellect, similar to Elizabeth and Darcy and then, like a coin turning over, he played the foppish fool. What was he hiding? Better yet, whom was he hiding from? The question played around the edges of her brain until Mary returned with a small bowl of preserves in one hand, an empty tea cup in the other.
Within minutes both of them were enjoying their tea and a scone. Kitty couldn’t remember a time when she and Mary had sat together, other than at church. In some ways, both of them were overlooked. Jane was the beautiful sister, Elizabeth the wit, and Lydia the favorite and when all five sisters lived within the walls of Longbourn, she and Mary had been afterthoughts to most people. 

That's it for this week. As always, stay safe and hug someone you love.

Always with love,
Sue B

IT'S RAINING MEN ~ Video Montage


SHARP DRESS MAN ~ Video Montage


Sunday

FIRST PAGE REVIEW

Well, this is exciting. Weekend Writing Warriors have started something new for readers, and authors (who are readers as well). It goes like this...

Do you want to know what readers think when they read the first page of your book?

Welcome to The First Page Review blog hop happening during the month of October! The idea is simple. Sign the linky list,
HERE, linking your own blog post that contains the first page--NO MORE than the first 1,000 words of a WIP, a manuscript, or a novel, published or unpublished.

This month-long blog hop is meant to answer one simple question for each participant. After reading your first 1,000 words, would a person continue reading it?

If you are so inclined, you can comment about why you would or wouldn't continue reading--in fact, that would be wonderful. If you do, please be professional and show respect for the author. 

This list will remain up for the month of October.

So - here is my First Page Review from CATHERINE, a work in progress.
The drawing room was quiet, save for the shuffling of papers and every now and then a soft, yet impatient sigh. “Darling, as much as I love our trysts, I’m feeling a trifle neglected.”
Lord George Kerr lifted his gaze from the documents spread before him and glanced toward the beautiful woman.  Lady Evangeline Anstruther, better known as Madame Reauchard, was currently draped in a seductive manner on the settee. He appreciated the way the crimson brocade couch acted as a perfect foil for her exotic features and raven hair.
“Evangeline, you know our agreement. I attend your exquisite establishment and you whisk me away to your drawing room, whereupon I gather information for King and Country.” He grinned at her sultry pout. “Now, be a pet and make some noise. Otherwise the servants will think I’m not a satisfactory lover.”
“If you only knew how envious my maids are. They remain convinced you are Casanova reincarnated. How they would laugh if they knew we only drink tea and talk.” She arose from the divan and glided behind his chair, combing her fingers through his hair, the scent of her perfume a heady aphrodisiac. “Could I not entice you, just this once?”
He stilled her hand and brought her palm to his lips. Pressing a kiss against the soft skin, he turned slightly to face her. “While I admire your tenacity, I cannot give what you ask. The only woman I will share a bed with will be my future wife.”
“I did not say we had to be in a bed.”
“Evangeline,” George warned in a low voice.
“Very well,” she purred, turning aside with an elegant shrug of her slim shoulders before she stopped and glanced toward the door. “Someone is coming.”
She moved swiftly to the divan. Without questioning her instinct, which had proven itself time and again, George laid his coat on top of the papers and joined her, positioning his body so that his head rested against her soft lap. With one knee slightly bent, he placed his left foot on the couch and stretched the right leg to the floor. She glanced down at him, her exquisite features tight with concern.
“Prepare yourself, Lord George. In order to facilitate our ruse, I must expose more than you would like.”
“I believe I’ll survive,” he replied in a dry tone.
She slipped the filmy gown down one arm and it gracefully puddled against his cheek. The door to her boudoir burst open and her lady’s maid, Colleen, the only one who knew of their true connection, trembled within the door frame. Behind her stood two men with hardened faces and loaded pistols. It may have been the way the candles reflected against his features, but George thought the eyes of the smaller man widened when his gaze fell upon the two of them.
“What is the meaning of this?” Evangeline demanded with a perfect Parisian accent. She tugged the gown back onto her shoulder while George remained where he lay, a deceptive picture of languor and satisfied coitus.
“I’m sorry, Madame,” Colleen began.
“Quiet, slut.” The larger man backhanded Colleen and she stumbled to one side.
Still semi-reclined, George slid a hand down his leg toward his boot. Meanwhile, Evangeline pushed George’s head off her lap and arose in an apparent state of agitation. She intended to clutch the divan as though frightened, which allowed her to retrieve a hidden weapon strapped to the back of it.
George was familiar with this ruse because she’d done it to him in France.
“Please don’t hurt me,” she begged and stumbled, steadying herself by gripping the back of the divan. “Why are you here?”
With both men distracted by her nervous display, George was able to unsheathe the knife and palm the deadly weapon. Colleen inched away from the two men who now advanced further into the room.
“Make sure they don’t move,” the smaller man said, moving toward the table. “Shoot the prancing dandy first.”
“With pleasure, Reggie.”
It was only through years of conditioning that George didn’t betray concern that Reggie would discover the smuggled documents. If he escaped with the knowledge of their clandestine operation, then many courageous people died for nothing. It was time for him to act.
He arose from the couch like a sleepy giant.
“You hafta wait your turn,” he slurred out, weaving on his feet as though drunk. “I paid a lot of money for her favors. You can have her when I’m done.”
“How dare you pass me off to these… these ruffians!” Evangeline raged and stomped her foot, the pistol hidden against her side.
Her tantrum had the desired effect. The man momentarily shifted his attention from George to Evangeline. Without hesitation, George whipped the knife toward him. Surprised, the thug glanced down at the hilt of the knife protruding from his chest. Then, a dark red stain slowly spread across his dingy shirt. In a matter of seconds he sank to his knees, dropped the gun and crumpled to the floor.
At the sound of his accomplice hitting the floor, Reggie turned, but before he could even point his weapon Evangeline had raised her arm and with deadly aim made sure he never breathed again. George eyeballed the bullet hole in the assailant’s forehead.
“Remind me to never challenge you to a duel, Madame Reauchard.”
She lowered her arm and cut him a sideways glance. “You are most fortunate I adore you, Lord George. Otherwise that may have been you on the floor after hinting I’d be your peace offering.”
“It was a means to an end.” He took hold of her free hand and brought it to his lips, murmuring against her skin. “I am forever grateful you did not shoot me in France.”
“Bah, Cavendish was right. You are a terrible flirt.” She tugged her hand from his light grasp and signaled to Colleen. “Let us find out who these two Cretans are.”
There you have it, and it's exactly 1000 words - Not Bad.
Would love to hear your comments.

 

Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #49

We left off and Evangeline was being nagged by a disquieting thought...
Had she been discovered and this was but a game of cat and mouse for the dark stranger, or had he happened upon her and recognizing her decided to follow her movements? Much as she'd love to shadow him today, she wasn't prepared and so, the hunt would begin in earnest tomorrow. Utilizing one of her carefully crafted disguises she'd wait for him to show. As this was where he 'lost' her, she theorized he'd resume the search in the same area, hoping to stumble across her again.
Strolling down the street, stopping every now and then to test the ripeness of a fruit, or smell the flowers from the ever present flower girl, she wondered who or what he'd become tomorrow. His last two creations had been ingenious and she would have missed him today if not for that scarf. First rule of being a good spy - never, ever draw attention to yourself. She tutted and shook her head. Cavendish drummed that into her head day and night for weeks prior to them joining Viscount Castlereigh's delegation to Spain in 1808.
Ah, Cavendish.

So, she is about to hunt the hunter and is appreciative of his creativity, but who is Cavendish?

For information about what Weekend Writing Warriors is all about and their ever pesky rules of keeping your creative juices corralled to eight-ten lines, click HERE. From there you can also click on other authors links and read what they've contributed this week.

Always with love,
Sue B

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #48

Welcome back my fellow Weekend Warriors! I took a break for a couple of weeks and recharged my batteries. I have a few health issues which preclude me from typing, and I was a bad girl continuing to 'mouse' around, and... well...my body said 'STOP'. Naturally, I did.

So, I read a lot, caught up on all the movies I've seen 30+ times each and baked. Baked and baked and baked. I need to get back to writing to bring my blood sugars down.  LOL  My family thought this was fabulous, but then, I live in a testosterone laden house and they love the fact there were fresh cookies and cakes to be snacked on.

We left off with Evangeline sneaking out of the church to evade her unknown stalker.
Upon exit, she shaded her eyes from the bright sun and crossed the pretty garden, enclosed by a high wall. She wasn't worried about becoming entrapped within the enclosure, the gate to the garden never closed properly and was one of the spots she and a courier met to exchange documents and money. Within seconds she'd pushed through onto the alleyway which ran alongside the east side of the church.
She had only minutes to spare before her shadow realized she no longer remained in the building, so she practically flew across the street and entered a stairwell that led to a small apartment above the book store. Once inside she removed the dark blouse with its fake bosom and tugged off the blonde wig, allowing her long mahogany curls to cascade down her back in messy curls as she hastened toward the window. Although the wig made her head unbearably itchy on hot days such as this, it was a necessary evil to keep her identity secret. Her shadow was on the lookout for a buxom strawberry blonde, he wouldn't think twice about the petite brunette exiting the book store.
Partially concealed by the gauzy curtain, she watched the front of the church, anticipating it would not be long before he appeared and was not disappointed. Minutes after her escape, the man burst through the main doors, and glanced up and down the street in search of her. She almost laughed out loud at having evaded him, but a disquieting thought nagged at her.
So, what is bothering her? Make sure to come back next week and find out, until then please check out other authors participating in this fun writing exercise by clicking HERE.

Always with love,
Sue B

Tuesday

Tidbit Tuesday

I enjoyed writing the scene where Kitty and Lord George run into each other. Literally. Here is their 'cute/meet' Regency style.

She’d turned onto the road which led to Longbourn, traversing the small slope immediately following when she heard thunderous hooves pounding from behind. Before she could move out of the way, a horse and rider nearly ran her down, jumping over her body at the last minute. Startled, she screamed and tumbled into the ditch.

Arms flailing helplessly, she rolled once and came to a soggy stop at the bottom of the shallow gully. With shaking hands she pushed her bonnet back off her face and took a few precious seconds to gather her wits. Nothing was broken, that she could tell, and her heart raced along as though she’d run all the way home from Lucas Lodge. She heard the rustling of grass as the rider of the horse slipped down the embankment toward her.

“Are you hurt?” he queried.

She nodded, not trusting her voice. Tears threatened to overflow onto her cheeks with the realization of how perilously close she’d come to being injured, or killed.

“Here, take my hand. I’ll help you up.”

She raised her hand, but when he went to pull her toward him, she cried out at the sharp pain in her side.

“You’re injured!”

“I don’t know,” she managed to breathe out and pressed her palm to her side where the pain still radiated.

She finally glanced up at the rider and gasped. Before her stood Lord George Kerr. They’d met briefly at Lizzie and Darcy’s wedding breakfast at Pemberley, their conversation lasting only a few short minutes before she’d been called away by Mama.

“Miss Catherine Bennet!” He seemed equally surprised. “I’m so sorry for having caused you such undue pain. Please let me help you up this embankment.”

Her cheeks flamed with embarrassment. She’d been giddy about the small attention she received from him last November and for months painted a romantic dream around his dark good looks and storm colored eyes. Now, the fantasy presented itself in living color and she was mortified to be covered in mud and weeds, through no fault of her own.

He slipped and slid closer and with a perfunctory ‘Sorry’, cradled her in his arms and lifted. She clenched her jaw tight and tried to not cry out, but couldn’t stop a small whimper from escaping.

“I’m truly sorry, Miss Catherine. I wouldn’t blame your father if he called for a public flogging because of my recklessness.”

“No worries, Lord Kerr,” she panted out in quick breaths. “Father isn’t bothered by much. Mama wore him down years ago.”

She thought she heard him chuckle and dared to glance up at his face, which was achingly close now that he held her in his arms. She noted a firm chin and full mouth, which was most definitely curved in a smile at her comment. Before he caught her staring, she fixed her eyes on the ditch they were in.

“There is a natural incline over there.” She pointed to the area where the gully gradually met the road. “If you must carry me, this would make it much easier to gain access. I don’t wish to be a burden.”

“Miss Catherine, you are no burden. I swear you are as light as a feather, but I agree, the access is much easier over there.” He began walking toward the berm and within minutes set her on her feet, holding her arms for a few seconds longer until he was sure she wouldn’t collapse.

“I’m fine, Lord Kerr. I’ll be on my way.” She attempted a small curtsy and winced.

“What kind of gentleman do you think I am, allowing an injured female to walk home when I have a perfectly fine horse to carry us?”

“No!” She pulled away from him and almost fell again in pain. This time, her ankle refused to hold her weight. With lightning fast reflexes, he caught her before she hit the ground. “We can’t ride together. What would people say?”

With his arms wrapped firmly around her, he glanced up and down the road. His eyebrow arched and he grinned. “What people do you see, Miss Catherine?”

“You never know who could come along. No, I’ll have to walk.”

She pushed lightly against his chest and he allowed them to separate, but kept his hands firmly on her forearms, to steady her balance.

“No.” His tone was resolute. “I’ll walk, you’ll ride Buttons.”

“Buttons?” She tried not to laugh out loud as it hurt, but the horse was a handsome steed, worthy of a name like Zeus, Juno, or Lightning.

“Laugh if you must. I bought him from a friend whose son named the beast. To change it now would confuse him greatly.” He placed his hands around her waist and lifted her with ease onto the saddle. She grimaced from the pressure on her ribs and once again he apologized. “Let’s get you home and then we can send for a doctor.”

With that he swung up behind her and she stiffened, arching her body away from his strong, solid one. He slid an arm around her waist, his other hand loose on the reins.

“Relax, Miss Catherine. I’ve got you.”

Jaw clenched tight, she nodded and relaxed her body into his.

“You might want to hold onto my arm, to give you better balance.”

He was wedged against her so tight his voice resonated through her body, and his essence, the sheer maleness of him surrounded her. The sensation was as much frightening as it was exciting. Face aflame, she did as he bade. All her romanticized day dreams of Lord George having his arms about her did not come close to the real thing.

Soon the thrill of his arms around her subsided. With each rocking step Button’s took, pain spiraled across her ribs and it required all her concentration to take in shallow breaths.

“We’re almost there, Miss Catherine. I can see a house through the break in the trees.”

She lifted her gaze and almost wept at the sight of Longbourn. Both her mother and father exited the house to greet them, no doubt having been warned by a servant they were coming up the drive. She expected a full on assault by her mother and was not disappointed.

“Whatever happened?” Mrs. Bennet’s mouth gaped open at the sight of Kitty seated in front of Lord George, his arms around her in a familiar fashion.

Lord Kerr slid off the horse and turned toward Kitty. She placed her hands on his broad shoulders and with great care he lifted her off Buttons. She fully expected him to set her on her feet, instead, with little effort he swung her up into his arms and turned to face her parents.

“I apologize for this breach of decorum, but Miss Catherine has been injured. Do you have somewhere I may take her?”

“Right this way, Lord Kerr.” Mr. Bennet said, waving his arm in the direction of the door. He’d obviously recognized Lord George from Lizzie’s wedding.

“Oh my nerves. My body is trembling. Hill, I need my smelling salts.” Mrs. Bennet held the back of her hand to her forehead and swayed on her feet.

Sunday

Keith Green - Your Love Broke Through

I took a break from Weekend Writing Warriors to share a little bit of my Christian faith, and what better time than on a Sunday - the Sabbath. :)

I was listening to an interview with Keith Green - fabulous ministry in song for the Lord - on 100 Huntley Street a few months before his death in 1982. He said something that jumped out at me concerning young people who attend church with their parents, (because they HAVE to), and don't have a personal relationship with the Lord. Sometimes they believe that because they have been brought up in the church that they are all right.

They're not.

You must make a decision on your own. You must make the choice to follow God. There is no other way. Keith said to the host, David Mainse, God does not have grandchildren. Wow. To the point and a reminder that WE are the only ones responsible for our choices.
Below is a recording of one of his songs. I hope this touches your heart like it did mine.


Friday

This and That

And the scribes and the Pharisees led a woman who was taken in adultery and standing her in their midst saying to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery: and in the Torah of Moses it is commanded for us to stone such as those. Therefore what do You Yourself say?" And they were saying this testing Him, so they could accuse Him. But Y'shua, bending down, wrote with His finger in the dirt. And as they were continuing to ask Him, He straightened up and said to them, "The one of you who is without sin must cast the first stone." Then bending down again, He wrote in the dirt. And those listening were leaving one by one, beginning with the elders. Then only He and the woman in the middle were left. And straightening up Y'shua said to her, "Woman, where are they? Does no one accuse you?" And she said, "No one Lord." Then Y'shua said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, from now on you must no longer sin."
John 8: 1-11

This is a beautiful parable of not only the woman who sinned, but of us. Each of us has sinned and the devil loves nothing better than to throw our past mistakes in our face and taunt us that we deserve to die. But Christ writes in the sand and the devil has to flee. Do you want to know what He would write in the sand for us?

IT IS FINISHED

Christ died on the cross so that if we believe on Him, our sins are forgiven, never to be remembered. Never let anyone tell you that you are a worthless person, for you are so precious that even if you were the only person on this planet - Christ would still take on all your sin so that you can stand before God forgiven. How awesome is that?

Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #47

Welcome to another instalment of Weekend Writing Warriors where authors showcase a portion of their work in a miniscule frame of 8-10 lines. Cruel and Unusual punishment, I assure you. However, these are the constraints within we all work (although some of us use creative punctuation and break every grammar rule to stay within the confines).

Have said that, here is my contribution for the week, continuing on where Evangeline has entered a church to escape the man who's been following her these past few days. Just as she sat down, he entered so she dropped to the floor and rolled under the pew.

Enjoy.
She gathered her skirts close to her legs, grateful they didn't swish. Having determined she was being watched or followed, she'd carefully chosen a dark muslin gown, choosing not to wear a corset or any type of bulky underskirt. The last thing she needed was the creak of whale bone or the rustle of petticoats to give away her location, or impede a hasty retreat.
Every nerve in her body tensed as she strained for any sound, any noise that would indicate his location in the sanctuary.
There - a soft shuffling noise near the confessional. Did he think she was careless enough to conceal herself in the most obvious spot? She almost sniffed aloud with disdain. The door latch to the confessional clicked and she belly crawled along the cold marble floor toward a side stairwell used by the priests to enter and exit the building.
Keeping low, she slipped behind a large column and crept down the hall. When she was sure no one from within the chapel could see her, she straightened and hurried down the short corridor, her soft soled slippers not making a sound.
Clever Evangeline! I'm enjoying this heroine.

To learn more about Weekend Writing Warriors and to link with other authors partaking this weekend, please click HERE.

Always with love,
Sue B

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #46

Welcome back everyone. Are you all ready for the next year of school, or back to work? I've got grandkiddo #2 ready to rock and roll. This is his last year with us and then he and his dad (after the wedding in June) move out. More news on the home front - grandkiddo #1 wants to move in with us so she can be with her dad and brother. I might be ferrying two kids around this year. Yikes!

I'm sure I retired. I know I gave notice and get a pension cheque, but I'm still working hard. What is wrong with this picture....? I love 'em to death, but - man - I cannot wait to be just the grandma, fill them up with candy and shoot them home. Upside to all of this is when my son marries, I gain some more grandchildren as his fiancé has two little ones. Christmas just doubled in fun.

Enough of that, let's get on with this week's Weekend Writing Warriors. We left off with Evangeline wondering if the man following her was friend or foe. She felt of stirring of recognition when she finally caught a glimpse of his face, but she can't be sure. Was he friend or foe?
When her contact from England failed to show at the designated time and place three months ago she'd begun to see the enemy in every stranger, in every greeting and today she suspected the enemy finally had a face.
Turning from the window, she continued down the street until she came to the church. Mounting the stairs, she breathed a prayer that God would grant her one more day. One more day to find a way back to England and continue the work she and her husband were commissioned with two years ago to rid France of a tyrant.
She pushed the heavy door open and stepped inside, allowing her eyes to adjust to the quiet darkness before moving further into the sanctuary. Hopefully her shadow would also be hindered when he finally chose to come inside, unless he waited across the street, like he had the past three days.
Keeping a routine was important in determining whether he was dangerous and she'd allowed him to keep an eye on her, but today - today - the tables would turn. The hunter would become the hunted.
She moved down the aisle and slipped into a row of pews near the front of the church just as the creak of the front door and a brief flash of sunlight alerted her to the fact someone had entered the building. She laid low on the seat, dropped to the floor and rolled beneath the bench.
 The tension mounts....
Please take the time to check out other author's contributions and for further guidelines on how Weekend Writing Warriors work HERE.

As always, hug someone you love today.

Tuesday

Tuesdays with Tupperware ~ Modular Mates

I started buying Tupperware in the early '80's. Hubby was posted to Edmonton, Alberta and one of my neighbours who also lived in PMQ's (Private Married Quarters for those of you uninitiated in the military lifestyle) invited me to a Tupperware party.

Modular Mates had just been introduced by Tupperware, and I was hooked. Being that we moved every two or three years, MM's became my saving grace as 1) they kept my food fresh and I didn't have to throw out a ton of food prior to a move, and 2) they packed up really easy. I called them Lego for adults.
As you can see, I LOVE my Tupperware. These are actual photos from my own pantry, fridge and cupboards. There are tons more, but I truly don't have the space in this blog for everything. If I were to recommend ANY piece of Tupperware - it would be the Modular Mates. Organization and freshness are unparalleled with this produce.

When it comes to shopping, a quick glance tells me which containers need to be filled. Also, I never have organization problems because even if the container is empty (or near empty) its space is always secure. No more pushing around bags and boxes to make space.

In my fridge, I put as much as I can into Tupperware Fridge Smarts. Vegetables and fruits thrive in these container. I can't begin to tell you how many times I had to throw out strawberries and raspberries because they'd gone mushy. Our fridges are designed to remove any moisture from within and when you have a carton or bag of milk, you slowly lose your 'freshness' daily. Something as simple as transferring your milk, or juice to a handy slim line pitcher maintains freshness. You'll see that I have chocolate and regular milk in mine.

Next week I might show you my cooking products from Tupperware. Yes, I know. I have a problem. Deal with it.



Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #45

Can you believe summer is almost over and school starts in a few short weeks. Wait... I hear angels singing.

This is the last year our son and grandson lives with us full-time. Next year my son is getting married (come on June 30th) and then - THEN - I'm fully retired and can enjoy the peace and quiet of my home with hubby. Don't get me wrong - I love them to pieces but I've raised my children and we are too old to chase after a nine year old.

Now, down to business. I'm branching off on another story (I know, I know, but I love having the iron in a few fires). This is from An Elaborate Ruse, which will be Evangeline's story. You may recall Evangeline and her husband were both in France. While she returned to England, her husband the Earl of Anstruther remained in France and forwards secret documents to her and Lord George. This is the beginning of Chapter One where Lord George has finally tracked her down, although she doesn't know who he is - at first.
Evangeline cast a furtive glance over her shoulder and confirmed her suspicions. He blended into the crowds with ease and if she hadn't been intrigued by the color of his scarf, she may never have noticed him.
Walking at a sedate pace she paused in front of a small café, ostentatiously to peruse the multitude of mouth-watering confections arrayed in the window. Instead, she scanned the busy street reflected on the pane. A smile lifted the corner of her mouth as she spotted him, chatting up a little flower girl, her basket full of violets and roses.
He was clever, this rogue who'd been following her for most of the morning. Right now he'd removed the distinctive scarf from around his neck and replaced it with a soiled rag and wore a cap pulled low over his forehead. She shifted further down the window and when sunlight lit his face for a brief moment, she felt a flash of recognition.
Panic began to crawl up from her belly. Was he friend or foe?

I hope you enjoyed my entry this week. An Elaborate Ruse will not come out until Fall 2018 - unless I light a fire under my butt and get her finished early. Please take the time to visit other authors who partake in this fun weekend blog hop by clicking HERE.

Tuesday

Tuesdays with Tupperware ~ Strawberry Ice Cream

What is better on a hot summer's day than homemade ice cream? I have a wonderful Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, which I use regularly and store all my ice cream in my medium deep Freeze It, but sometimes I want something different and I've now found it.

I made Strawberry Ice Cream using my Tupperware Power Chef Premium System. Most videographers that I watched used the Tupperware Quick Chef Pro, but I don't have one (yet) so I improvised and it worked out quite well.

I started making the ice cream around 2:00 pm and by 2:20 I was finished. All that was left was for the ice cream to harden a bit so it could be scooped out, however if you love soft ice cream, then you can eat it right away. It did scoop out, but was a little slushy in the bowl.

Once supper was complete, I scooped out some ice cream and hubby enjoyed a refreshing taste of strawberries on a hot summer's eve.

Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #44

Last week Lord George found his observations of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet entertaining, particularly the lady of the house who was quite aghast at the amount of his bogus wager. We left with Mrs. Bennet speaking... "Ten pounds!" Mrs. Bennet gasped out loud, her hand fluttering to her chest. "You must have a great deal of money if you can bet such exorbitant amounts."
If only he were in this part of England for such a whimsical reason. While Mrs. Bennet nattered on about placing bets and how she'd heard that some of the men in the village were known to play cards for money, George mulled over the true reason he was in the vicinity of Hertfordshire.
After his dinner at White's with Max and the snide comment made by the Viscount Stanhope, George realized that the man Evangeline shot was non other than Stanhope's valet. He recollected the surprised expression on the valet's face when he first entered the room, which convinced George that his presence at Evangeline's home was not expected. As the valet died with that information there was a good possibility Stanhope was still in the dark about George's covert activities.
Then again, Stanhope might not be involved at all. Servants heard and saw the underbelly of London Society and a cunning one could use that information to upgrade their station in life. However, George was convinced the valet was not one to willingly get his hands dirty, which led him back to taking a closer look at Stanhope.
He planned to reconnoiter Stanhope's estate and see if anything, other than a very dead valet, pointed to his involvement with the French. Running over a beautiful young woman on the road was not part of the plan and with that one small diversion, his hope of remaining incognito had gone up in a plume of lavender scented smoke. 
Thank you for participating in this weekend writing exercise. Please feel free to leave a comment and don't forget to check out other author's selections for this weekend HERE.

Tuesday

Tuesdays with Tupperware ~ One Pot Beef Casserole

First,  let me state - I AM NOT A TUPPERWARE CONSULTANT. I don't sell Tupperware (although I did in the early '80's) but I use it and I'm kinda in love with a few of their gadgets. I thought I start posting pictures/ recipes / tips for how to use Tupperware for good... lol

Today, I'm posting pictures and a recipe of something I made today using my new Tupperware Microwave Pressure Cooker. This is only the second time using it - the first was a chicken teriyaki meal (YUM).




Monday

Mondays with Jane ~ Persuasion 2

His good looks and his rank had one fair claim on his attachment; since to them he must have owed a wife of very superior character to anything deserved by his own. Lady Elliot had been an excellent woman, sensible and amiable; whose judgement and conduct, if they might be pardoned the youthful infatuation which made her Lady Elliot, had never required indulgence afterwards. -- She had humoured, or softened, or concealed his failings, and promoted his real respectability for seventeen years; and though not the very happiest being in the world herself, had found enough in her duties, her friends, and her children, to attach her to life, and make it no matter of indifference to her when she was called on to quit them. Three girls, the two eldest sixteen and fourteen, was an awful legacy for a mother to bequeath; an awful charge rather, to confide to the authority and guidance of a conceited, silly father. She had, however, one very intimate friend, a sensible, deserving woman, who had been brought, by strong attachment to herself, to settle close by her, in the village of Kellynch; and on her kindness and advice, Lady Elliot mainly relied for the best help and maintenance of the good principles and instruction which she had been anxiously giving her daughters.

This friend, and Sir Walter, did not marry, whatever might have been anticipated on that head by their acquaintance. -- Thirteen years had passed away since Lady Elliot's death, and they were still near neighbours and intimate friends; and one remained a widower, the other a widow.

That Lady Russell, of steady age and character, and extremely well provided for, should have no thought of a second marriage, needs no apology to the public, which is rather apt to be unreasonably discontented when a woman does marry again, than when she does not; but Sir Walter's continuing in singleness requires explanation. -- Be it known, then, that Sir Walter, like a good father, (having met with one or two private disappointments in very unreasonable application*) prided himself on remaining single for his dear daughter's sake. For one daughter, his eldest, he would really have given up on any thing, which he had not been very much tempted to do. Elizabeth had succeeded, at sixteen, to all that was possible, of her mother's rights and consequence; and being very handsome, and very like himself, her influence had always been great, and they had gone on together most happily. His two their children were of very inferior value. Mary had acquired a little artificial importance, by becoming Mrs. Charles Musgrove; but Anne, with an elegance of mind and sweetness of character, which must have placed her high with any people of real understanding, was nobody with either father or sister: her word had no weight; her convenience was always to give way; -- she was only Anne.

To Lady Russell, indeed, she was a most dear and highly valued god-daughter, favourite and friend. Lady Russell loved them all; but it was only in Anne that she could fancy the mother to revive again.

Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #43

What a crazy week! I almost forgot to sign up for #WeWriWa, AND, I missed visiting everyone else's blogs for their weekly entry. Profuse apologies to all my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors.

That said, I squeaked in under the wire and am continuing on with Katherine. You can read last week's post HERE.

I have shamelessly fidgeted with punctuation in order to comply with the ten line rule.
George noted a tightening of Katherine's lips and a faint blush staining her cheeks, the only visible clue that her parent's behaviour shamed her deeply and felt a tug of compassion. For some reason he felt an insane desire to spirit her away so they could never embarrass her this way again, but for now, he placed the well worn cloak of a shallow man around his shoulders and waded into the inane world of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet.
"I don't mind answering Mrs. Bennet's questions and it's not Miss Katherine's fault for her accident, you see, I was in a mad rush to deliver a letter."
"What, the post doesn't run from London anymore?" queried Mr. Bennet as he dropped the top half of his paper down and looked at George in mock astonishment.
George revised his opinion of the couple, although Mrs. Bennet was rather empty-headed, Mr. Bennet was an observer of people, he'd have to tread carefully around the man.
"Yes it does, but a friend of mine, Lord Alvanley, placed a bet at Whites that I couldn't deliver the letter to a mutual friend's door in less than twelve hours. Alas, I now owe him ten pounds."
"Ten pounds!" Mrs. Bennet gasped out loud, her hand fluttering to her chest. "You must have a great deal of money if you can bet such exorbitant amounts."

Can you see the dollar signs, or should I say 'one pound notes', floating in Mrs. Bennet's head? Check out other fantabulous authors who participate in this fun weekly exercise HERE.
            

Friday

Friday with Friends ~ Jenna Victoria

Who is Jenna Victoria, Author?
Her family's claim to fame is a maternal grandfather who co-created Twinkies, Snowballs and Hostess cupcakes (with the white swirl) for Intercontinental Baking Company, circa 1950's. Since one of those involves chocolate, it's all good.

Jenna writes books for readers who enjoy sweet compelling romances, and also for those who look for her "fiction that feeds your faith" titles - happily-ever-after romance and romantic suspense stories with a Christian worldview.

About the Book:

From Homeless to Heartache, Bookkeeper Mollie Wright knows about living on the streets, and her purchase of sweet Lilac Cottage is a dream come true. She is determined to stay and fight when a legal error puts her ownership at risk.

 Attorney Sean Grady never wanted his great-aunts to sell their cottage in Westchester County, New York, so when a paperwork snafu puts the deal on hold, he moves swiftly to evict the pretty, feisty squatter. Mollie finds unexpected allies in Grady Cove neighbors and a member of Sean's own family but knows the clock is ticking.

Will a theft and her past secrets force a showdown to heartache, or will Mollie and Sean discover home is where your heart is?

BUY LINKS:  Book | Audiobook


Thanks for visiting my blog. Take care, and remember to hug someone you love today.

Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #42

Welcome. Last week Kitty thought Lord George protested a little too much when she made a passing comment that his referral to Napoleon sounded somewhat personal, as though he'd been to France. You can read that HERE.

I've skipped ahead a few paragraphs and we are now in Lord George's POV and Mr. Bennet, Mrs. Bennet and Mary Bennet have joined him and Kitty. Which is a good thing because Kitty worried. Although Lord George was clear across the drawing room standing by the fireplace, the fact they were unattended in the drawing room was socially unacceptable.

George watched with mild amusement as Mrs. Bennet fussed with her skirts, chastised the girls for any number of things not worth worrying about and almost laughed out loud when she finally turned her full attention on him. The calculating look in her eye, barely concealed by much fluttering of her eyelashes, led him to believe she had him pegged for son-in-law number four.
"We barely had time for conversation, what with all the excitement of Kitty nearly being killed," began the lady of the house.
George caught a slight eye roll from Katherine, who hid it by looking down at her fingers, which continued to pleat and tug at the blanket covering her legs.
"What brought you to Hertfordshire, Lord Kerr? Surely there are lots of pretty girls in London to catch your eye, although Kitty is quite lovely, when she's not covered in mud." Mrs. Bennet's head tipped to one side as she awaited his answer. She reminded him of a pet bird his mother kept, which always tilted its head and fixed one eye on him, waiting to see what he'd say or do.
"Lord Kerr is not required to share his itinerary, nor does he answer to us as to what ladies he knows in London," Mr. Bennet said, shaking out his newspaper in agitation. "It's not his fault Kitty was in the middle of the road, silly girl, always dreaming her life away."
Thank you for reading my contribution to Weekend Writing Warriors. I'm sure a lot of you are at the RWA conference. One of these years I'll attend, but I'm saving for a fab vacation in November.

To catch up with other authors, please visit the link to Weekend Writing Warriors HERE. They are a talented crew and you won't regret it. Most authors have their selections up on the Sunday.

Tuesday

Tidbit Tuesday

My first book ever published was According to Plan, a contemporary romantic suspense. Heavy on the romance, light on the suspense. I thought I'd share a brief snippet where I exercised my descriptive narrative muscle. I hope you enjoy.


 


Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #41

Welcome friends.

Katherine is situated on a settee in the drawing room alone with Lord George Kerr. He has declared how many can't wait for Napoleon, or as he referred to him - La Corse - to be defeated. Would you like to catch up, read the post HERE.
"You sound as though you've been there and seen that for yourself."
If she hadn't been watching him so closely, she wouldn't have seen him give a start. Minutiae in terms of reaction, but there all the same.
"No, not this boring English gentleman. My French is deplorable, almost as bad as my Latin." He pretended to shudder. "I took an interest in what Old Boney was up to when Nathan enlisted, I played no part in the war."
The gentleman doth protest too much.
A revised quote from Shakespeare fluttered through her mind at his declaration. Kitty determined Lord George did not want her to question his connection with France and nervously pleated the throw rug on her lap.
That's all for this week. Thanks for stopping by. For more information on Weekend Writing Warriors, as well as to read other talented authors, click HERE



WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #40

I've been sharing from Katherine, and I'm loving how the story is unfolding, but today I thought I'd share from a paranormal/time travel that I work on whenever I can't think of what to add to my current WIP. It's my stress reliever.

This is from Craven Desires. The image to the left is part of the cover. Dreamy, or what?

Ma'alcom, a dark Druid, has two goals. The most pressing one is to rule the clan. The only thing standing in his way is his cousin, Robert Douglas MacKinnon, Laird of Craven Castle and a powerful Druid in his own right. Ma'alcom has captured Laird Craven's wife and in order for Craven to claim her, he must fight a champion of Ma'alcom's choosing, a giant of a man, topping Craven by a good six inches.

Unbeknownst to all of them, Eve included, she has been imbued with Fae powers... well, that is for another snippet....but they're about to get a taste of what she can do.

I've done a bit of a time jump in this excerpt, in order to leave you on the edge of your computer chair.
Ma'alcom twisted the rope until it bit into her skin and tossed the remaining length of rope over the branch of a tree, stretching her arms until she was forced up onto the tips of her toes. She struggled to stay on the balls of her feet, to help ease the pull on her shoulders.
"Don't think your lover will save you with magic, for the area in which he'll fight my champion has been heavily warded," Ma'alcom bragged before he stepped away and surveyed her, much as an artist would assess a new painting. "Unfortunately, this means my magic will be rendered useless as well, but such is the sacrifice I'm willing to make in order to keep the battle fair."
Hours later, as the full moon rose to its zenith, Eve watched the two men circle each other, testing the other's reactions, gauging their skills. She knew Ma'alcom intended Craven to be distracted by the thought of her strung up on the edge of the warded boundary and prayed fervently he would win and---
Pain sliced through her leg and she involuntarily cried out. Ma'alcom raised his dagger and watched blood drip off the end of the blade. Momentarily diverted, Craven lowered his shield and the giant swung his mallet.
"No!," Eve cried out, and the wood became silent, leaving only her and Craven.
Ooooohhhh, what do you think happened?
Please check out other participants in Weekend Writing Warriors HERE

Tuesday

Tidbit Tuesday

I've been working on KATHERINE, hoping for a fall 2017 release, and I'm close. So very, very close. I've shared numerous excerpts from this story line, and if you're interested in seeing the very beginning of Kitty's story, check out my Weekend Writing Warrior posts.

This excerpt is from another story I'm working on ( I like to have many irons in the fire... ). It's from GEORGIANA, which shall be released Spring 2018.

*~*~*
Georgiana Darcy bumped along the narrow road, the basket of preserves on her lap threatening to spill over with each jostle. She gripped the handle tighter and continued to gaze out the window, enjoying the vista spread before her. In two months time she'd leave this all behind and head to London in preparation for her first Season.
The thought of leaving Pemberley and all that was familiar caused her stomach to clench. She knew the fear was irrational, but the thought of meeting so many new people almost made her sick.
"Are you quite all right, Miss Darcy?"
The polite enquiry came from the Reverend Lord Nathanial Kerr, better known as Mr. Kerr to the parishioners of Kympton parish. His dark curly hair, broad shoulders and ready smile caused many a young lady to wish he belonged to her, but he had no eyes other than for his wife, the former Miss Caroline Bingley.
"I'm fine, Lord Nathan. Thank you."
As attractive as Lord Nathan was, he didn't make her heart race. No, that pesky organ only galloped along like a new colt around the vicar's brother, Maxwell Kerr, the fifth Duke of Adborough. Try as she might, no amount of internal scolding changed how she felt around him.
They hit another bump and her maid straightened her bonnet.
"Only one more mile, Sarah."
They were taking some much needed food items to one of Pemberley's tenants. This would be one of the last times she had the chance to drive around the estate as she would be leaving for London and who knew when she'd return, if ever. If all went as planned, she'd make her debut, meet a suitable gentleman, fall in love and get married.
Her stomach clenched again.
*~*~* 
 

Monday

Mondays With Jane ~ Persuasion 1

Chapter One
Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensation, arising from domestic affairs, changed naturally into pity and contempt, as he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century - and there, if every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an interest that never failed - this was the page on which the favourite volume was always opened:

'ELLIOT OF KELLYNCH HALL.

'Walter Elliot, born March 8, 1760, married July 15, 1784, Elizabeth, daughter of James Stevenson, Esq. of South Park, in the county of Gloucester; by which lady (who died in 1800) he has issue Elizabeth, born June 1, 1785; Anne, born August 9, 1787; a still-born son, Nov 5, 1789; Mary, born Nov. 20, 1791.'
Precisely such had the paragraph originally stood from the printer's hands; but Sir Walter had improved it by adding, for the information of himself and his family, these words, after the date of Mary's birth - 'married, Dec 16, 1810, Charles, son and heir of Charles Musgrove, Esq. of Uppercross, in the county of Somerset,' - and by inserting most accurately the day of the month on which he had lost his wife.
Then followed the history and rise of the ancient and respected family, in the usual terms: how it had first settled in Cheshire; how mentioned in Dugdale - serving the office of High Sheriff, representing a borough in three successive parliaments, exertions of loyalty, and dignity of baronet, in the first year of Charles II, with all the Marys and Elizabeths they had married; forming altogether two handsome duodecimo pages, and concluding with the arms and motto: 'Principle seat, Kellynch Hall, in the county of Somerset,' and Sir Walter's hand-writing again in the finale:
'Heir presumptive, William Walter Elliot, Esq., great grandson of the second Sir Walter.'
Vanity was the beginning and the end of Sir Walter Elliot's character; vanity of person and of situation. He had been remarkably handsome in his youth; and, at fifty-four, was still a very fine man. Few women could think more of their personal appearance than he did; nor could the valet of any new made lord be more delighted with the place he held in society. He considered the blessing of beauty as inferior only to the blessing of a baronetcy; and the Sir Walter Elliot, who united these gifts, was the constant object of his warmest respect and devotion.

Wow - Think much of yourself, Sir Walter? Can you hear the wit and sarcasm in Jane's words? I'd love to hear your thoughts of the beginning of Persuasion.