Monday, November 30, 2009

Some of the art from the Regency Era

Allow me to present the masters of the Romantic landscape John Constable ‘the English romantic’ and Joseph Mallord William Turner, "the painter of light". Though polar opposite in life they each brand with their influenced the pricturesque landscapes we have know come to associate with the Regency period.

John Constable painted by Ramsey Reinagle

John Constable was 52 when he was finally elected to the Royal Academy and even though he remained popular to the end he did not experience half the fortune or success Turner did. Constable love his art but he loved his country and his wife far more saying this of his England, "I would rather be a poor man [at home] than a rich man abroad." This he said though in is life time he sold more painting in France than in his native a England.

Here is Constable at his most ideal

And here 'Salisbury Cathedral' Constable's most famous piece


Joseph Mallord William Turner a self-portrait

Turner entered the Royal Academy Art schools in 1789, when he was only 14 years old, and was accepted into the academy a year later. He was the rearest of artist for he was both successful in is lifetime and tormented by his devotion to the purity of his art. It was once said that, ‘There can never have been another artist who endured and braved so much for his art,’ I don’t know if that’s my belief entirely but I do respect his courage and daring. For his devotion to his art he lost friends and much of his support from the Royal Academy but he was their brightest so he was tolerated. He exhibited there until 1850, the year before his death. He was 76 years old.

A price that has motivated me to take back up my paintbrushes.

And this is proof positive that Turner paints the light.

Have a lovely week,

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sample Query Letter and Synopsis

Dear Wild Rose Press,

Eli Hastings, the charming Duke of Ravensworth fell instantly in love with the stunning beauty on the canvas, never imaging she was real let alone the sister of an acquaintance.

My novelette Ravensworth is a 14,000+ word historical romance set in 1820’s England, and tells, with heart, the story of how the duke and the beauty in the painting came to fall in love.

Eli purchases the painting of Miss Jaclyn Stuart at an open market in Kent and put it on display for is friends.This sets into motion the events that would eventually lead to the poor young woman’s ruin and subsequent exile from polite society.

Jaclyn was taught to paint by her grandfather and painted a nude self-portrait intended for her eyes only until it was stolen from her studio. Jaclyn is sent to France until the worst of the scandal fades returning to England years later to live in near obscurity until Jaclyn’s sister Sarah takes it upon herself to throw the two together.

Though outrageous, Sarah’s attempt at matchmaking bears fruit and the two are soon fast friends with an undeniable attraction between them only Eli is already engaged. When it becomes evident that Sarah was conspiring with Eli’s cunning fiancée Charlotte who as it turns out was madly in love with his cousin Brian, the matter is quickly set aside.

When Sarah and Charlotte’s recklessness threatened to further destroy Jaclyn's already tattered reputation, Eli asks her to marry him. She refuses for fear he was only asking out of a sense of obligation but he soon convinces her otherwise and a few days later the two happy in love marry.

Thank you for your time and consideration I have included the novelette's synopsis. The manuscript is complete and available upon request.


Simone Ogilvie

Novel Synopsis

Our Hero: Eli Hastings, Duke of Ravensworth was a ruthless lord, head of his brood and a man madly in-love with a woman he never had the chance to meet in person.

His Heroine: Lady Jaclyn Stuart was a fiercely loyal and talented young woman who lived in near isolation after he displayed her nude self-portrait.

The Novel: Is based primarily around Eli and Jaclyn’s romantic relationship. The first few chapters introduce and give, in detail, the foundation of the two such as who they are, and where their heart lies. There are secondary story lines but their sole purpose is to add to the lead characters’ interaction so the story remains focused on their development.

Together: Eli and Jaclyn are a passionate pair that entertain and delight. They are genuine in their approach to each other and are faithful to the love they share so that they comes across as endearingly romantic without being trite or overly sentimental.

Their story: Ravensworth opens with a bang. Eli wakes with a sore head in Jaclyn’s bed, her concerned face close to his while her upset parents look on. He is having difficultly remembering how he came to be there but figured from the blood on his neckcloth that he was knocked over the head.

In between the furious words of Jaclyn’s father, Lord Stuart and Eli’s explanation, the truth of how he came to be in her bed is set forth by a distraught Jaclyn who pointed the finger squarely on her sister Sarah. Soon Eli, Jaclyn and her parents are working together to contain the potential scandal Sarah and her co-conspirators have set into motion only Eli's unfaithful fiancée Charlotte who was the mastermind behind the whole thing made certain that was not possible.

See, Charlotte wanted out of her engagement with Eli so she could marry his cousin Brian only her father would not allow her to cry off to marry a mere lord when she could have a duke. In desperation, Charlotte turns to the simple-minded Sarah whom she convinced that it was a win-win for all involved if they made it so Eli compromised Jaclyn and was forced to marry her.

Jaclyn’s parents are soon convinced that despite where the fault lay, Eli must marry Jaclyn but the two young people are resistant for concern of the believed innocent Charlotte and work in secret to come up with an alternate solution. That is until Eli’s cousin Brian pays him a late night visit to confess his love for Charlotte and his part in the plan to compromise him into marrying Jaclyn.

Furious at his idiot cousin and reckless fiancée Eli calls on Lord Stuart who, by now has accepted his daughter Sarah’s hand in Jaclyn’s compromise in order to make a formal offer for Jaclyn not thinking she would object once she learned the full truth. She is resistant to his offer half out of concern for Charlotte who, until then, no one had heard from directly and partly that she did not want to marry him because he was trapped into marrying her.

Particularly now that she was falling in love with him. But he was not to be deterred for now he stood to gain all he ever wanted so he kissed her to prove how deep he truly felt for her. The two share a passionate moment and agree to marry when Charlotte turns up to make clear her intent to come out of this whole debacle in her father’s continued good graces.

Eli, too happy in love with Jaclyn to care what his silly ex-fiancée does going forth, agrees to her terms and a few days later he and Jaclyn marry.


This I wrote and sent to Wild Rose Press an ePublishing site with the hope they'll accept it. If they don't I'll publish the story here in chapters for your entertainment.

Have a lovely weekend,

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ladies of the Regency this time Women of letters

Each are beloved by me and I hope you'll be inspired to take a closer look at their writings.

Mrs. Maria Edgeworth was a good Irish novelist whose writing made Sir Walter Scott wondered if similar stories could be written of Scotland. This says quite a bit of her talent. Oh, Jane Austen was also a fan of her work and because of her novel 'Ormond' I have named all my novels thus far after in honour of the male-lead.

Susan Edmonstone Ferrier a Scottish novelist who was encouraged by Walter Scott. Proving once more that serendipity may yet have a role in all our lives, if not as much as real talent and Susan had scores of that. Her novel 'Marriage' is a satirical, racy and humorous tale that exhibits her keen sense of the ludicrous while highlighting the madness that was regency England.

Lady Sydney Morgan a woman as Irish as Mrs. Edgeworth, though considerably livelier she was not as based in her work but she did have a degree of success as a writer. I highly recommend Lady Morgan’s 'O'Briens and the O'Flaherties' for it’s romantic yet sensible story.

Fanny D’Arblay Burney was part of Prinny’s entourage with a large body of work and a degree of critical success. Oh, and fair bit of scandal was associated with her name because of her impoverished French husband. The title of Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' was taken from a sentence in Madame D’Arblay novel 'Cecilia'. For me the most compelling thing written by Fanny will always be the letter she wrote to her sister Esther tell of the mastectomy she under went while living in France. It remains until today one of the most gripping and earliest accounts of a mastectomy.

Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley was by far the most scandalous of the ladies of letters, said to be the cause of her husband's first wife Harriet's suicide though the truth is that Harriet was pregnant by a man who was not her husband and could not take the disgrace. Though her husband's elopement with Mary while he was still married to her could not have helped it was also rumoured that Mary and Percy did invite her to come live with them in a sort of ‘ménage à trois’ someplace on the Continent. All that aside she was a brilliant writer. Everyone knows her 'Frankenstein' but I highly recommend her tragically romantic 'Mathilda'.

Jane Austen what else can be said of Miss Austen besides without her there would not be a market in which for me to make an attempt and for that she as my eternal gratitude.

All my very best to you all,

Monday, November 23, 2009

Huntley The End to The Harlequin Historical Undone

Link to chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5

Chapter Six

Her mother had some of those very concerns.

“I was not even aware the two of you were acquainted,” her mother said once Sheppard informed them of Theodora’s willingness to marry him.

“We met briefly at Lady Derby’s ball earlier this spring,” Sheppard explained.

“And your family will have no objections to you offering for a lady left in disgrace?” the Viscountess continued suspiciously.

She loved her daughter but entertained no delusions of the circumstance of her current standing and did not want her blindsided should that indeed be a possibility.

“My choice is mine alone to make,” Sheppard said with authority.

“I’ll take that to mean that you have yet to tell them.”


“Don’t interrupt Theodora,” her mother chided without falter, “It’s my duty to see that you come to no further harm and there have long been rumours of an expectation from the Spencers for their Eloise.”

“Now, my dear,” the Viscount said with pacifying hand on his wife’s arm. “This is cause for celebration not fretful suspicion.”

“You’re right of course,” she agreed with measure. She was convinced that something was afoot but would never do anything to shame her daughter. That did not mean she would not uncover what it was they were hiding from her. “I’m certain Lord Monthermer would not have come if he was expected elsewhere.”

“The Spencer estate borders my grandfather’s principle seat in Brighton and it is true that our families had hoped I would consider Lady Eloise for marriage but I assure you, I’ve given them no reason to believe me so inclined,” Sheppard offered.

“When will you present Theodora to your family?” the Viscountess asked to her husband’s horror.

“His lordship has given us no cause to question his word, my lady and we will treat him with the respect he deserves,” the Viscount admonished.

“My lady,” Sheppard said into the ensuing silence. “Be assured that I do not take offence, in fact I completely understand your apprehension after all you’ve been made to endure these last weeks but please know that my intentions are honourable.”

“We know it,” the Viscount said with a slightly embarrassed smile.

His wife reiterated his point and soon they were on to talk of wedding announcements, an engagement ball and a wedding date. They all agreed that in light of recent events it aught to be a small wedding with family and a few friends six weeks hence. She would be presented to his family in the coming week and there would be an engagement ball hosted by her parents.

It was all very tidy and within an hour, Sheppard left a solemn Theodora in company with her parents. They would marry six weeks later at St Mark’s near Oxford Street in front of God and five dozen of their nearest but barring a few very scandalous carriage rides the two were no allowed one moment alone together.

There was, after all, a wedding to plan and when she complained that she knew nothing of him, her mother said with authority, ‘You will have the rest of your life to get better acquainted with him.’ Still she could not help but be apprehensive.

She tried getting him alone for a few minutes at the engagement ball and again before, they attended the theatre with his grandfather and her parents but to no avail. Then on the afternoon she was summoned to his Aunt Gertrude’s without any effort on her part, he turned up to escort her home.

The tea had been brutal. It was a week before the wedding and she had gone alone because her mother – who, by the way, had turned into a wedding-obsessed lunatic – was too busy organizing the wedding breakfast with her new French chef to attend.

Her father, that Judas, didn’t even get out the carriage to see her inside. He delivered her to Lady Derby, a swarm of Sheppard female relations, the elegantly understated nineteen year-old Lady Eloise and the new Baroness Somerset in Berkeley Square. They had all smiled prettily at her when she arrived and made pleasant enough conversation until she could take it no more.

It was outrageous that they invited Violet after what she and Daniel had done to Theodora. It was very bad ton to have them in the same setting without first alerting her and only her pride and breeding stopped her from creating a scene.

She could not see the point to whatever it was that they were attempting now that the wedding was only days away. It was clear they had meant to terrorize her but what she couldn’t understand was why they had waited so long.

Why not make the attempt once they were told in the days before the announcement was made public, when it could have made a difference?

She couldn’t make sense of it but she was through pretending she wasn’t wise to their attempt and decided to goad them into revealing their hand. Theodora took a breath then addressed their leader, Lady Gertrude Derby, “I feel nothing but gratitude at your efforts on my behalf and thank you profoundly, my lady,” she said in an instant of guarded silence.

“You’re welcomed and most welcome, dear,” Gertrude said with a practiced smile.

“It’s a kindness I shan’t forget and though I will never be able to repay it in kind, I shall the instant I’ve settled into marriage, extend just such an invitation to each of you,” she said with relish.

With her duty to her hostess out of the way, she proceeded to needle a reaction from them for though, she might never have their friendship she would have their respect.

“Particularly you, my dear Lady Eloise,” Theodora said to a collective intake of watchful breaths. “I understand from Sheppard that your parents’ estate in Brighton is but a stone’s throw away from Huntley’s where we will settle once married and since I have no friends there I pray we could be friends.”

“I’m certain we would be brilliant friends,” Eloise said with a charming smile, “Though I doubt it will be in Brighton for you see it’s my hope to be married by season’s end myself and I can’t guarantee it will be to a gentleman who resides in Brighton.”

“Of course, how silly of me. Do forgive it.”

Eloise didn’t get chance to reply for just then Lady Derby’s butler arrived and announced Sheppard who entered the room took one look around and issued a terrifying glare to his aunt. He exchanged pleasantries with all before taking the seat next to Theodora.

A move that would act as forerunner to a mass exodus of sorts. He could see what they were about and had taken a hard line, that much was clear the instant he entered. In the end, it came down to either staying and supporting Gertrude or leaving and not alienating the future Marquess Huntley.

In less than ten minutes, only Violet and Eloise remained at Gertrude’s side. All the others made quick their excuses and ran for the doors once they were gone Sheppard offering Theodora his arm with, “Come my dear, I’ve come to see you home in your father’s stead.”

Gertrude made as if to rise and see them out but thought better of it after a punishing look from Sheppard. Once outside in the carriage Theodora asked, “How did you know to come just then?”

“I saw your father at White’s and he told me he had delivered you there for tea though from the looks of things when I arrived I’m not so sure you needed me there.”

“No, it was good you came and offered your support. It lets us all know without doubt where you stand.”

“Surely you don’t question my fondness for you?”

“I have nothing but questions about what it is you do feel for me,” she said honestly. “I feel your eyes on me when I’m out of your reach and it is as a caress so I don’t doubt that you ache for me. I know that because I feel just so about you.”

“And you feel there is fault in what there is between us?”

“I don’t know it’s enough to base a marriage on and I feel that it is probably what your aunt objects to.”

“Gertrude’s only quarrel is that I’m out of her control,” Sheppard with weighted patience. “As for the rest it’s honest in a society where people marry for fortune, heirs and because someone trapped them into it. I’d gladly settle for the honesty of our shared lust for each other.”

“The honesty of lust is as good a place as any to begin I suppose,” she agreed.

She was not fully sold on his reasoning but would push no further today for he had just publicly declared his support for her. Besides, him saying what he did showed, he cared enough for her to offer words of assurance. That and she hadn’t seen him outside a public setting for well over a month.

He grinned at her as if he guessed her train of thought and she smiled then said, “There isn’t time Sheppard. Park Crescent is but a moment from Berkeley Square.”

He wasn’t listening. He had come with something specific in mind and had instructed the coachman to take the scenic route. He pulled the curtains while holding her arrested with an unblinking gaze and she pulled her bottom lip between teeth in a sort of give.

“I lay awake at night for want of the taste of you,” he said into the expectant silence. “Will you allow me to taste you sweetheart?”

She couldn’t have imagined such a thing when she shook her head in acquiescence. It was benediction and unholy worship. Him kissing her lips in prelude and tender promise before exposing her breast where he suckled until her womb quivered. She clasped him to her bosom and pressed her lips to his brow.

His murmured words affecting her every bet as much as his confident knowledgeable touch, so soft, so sweet, I will never get enough, you make me a glut, tell you like my touch, tell me you crave it, can’t live without it.

She can’t speak because his hands are on her naked breast robbing her of coherent words so all she is able to do moan in contentment but he’s obsessed by his need to hear her say she wants him.

“Tell me of your desire,” he says with eager nip at her tender erect nipple and she gasps her words lost to her passion.

“Tell me how to touch you so I may build in you the fire that you’ve started in me,” he pleaded with grazing teeth over her nearly painfully aroused nipple.

“Tell me not to stop.”

“Don’t stop,” she said her voice caught somewhere between excited rasp and adherent plea encouraging his hunger, “Don’t ever stop.”

He touched her and it was a memory long imprinted, left sedentary waiting for the feel of her to wake it. This woman was made for him, he could see it written in her flesh, taste it in her essence, feel her heart. She was essential to his survival, first breath, living soul, raw passion.

He was touching her as he did the afternoon she accepted his hand, his fingers cool and bold as they probed where she burned hot and wet. Then he held deliberately still, his eyes predatory and impassioned then he push up the hem of her frock until she was bare to his stare, appearing as an exotic flower in full bloom.

His heated gaze causing her to offer brazenly. Touching herself as he had done beckoning him with flush wanton flesh while the soft flare of her bountiful hips signalling both fertility and blatant sexuality. Sex pouring from her as she delighted in the liberty his adoration had allowed.

Sheppard could not look away, his eyelids heavy with want, his breath an eager pant as he watched without moving. Then he employed decisive movement, kneeling to burying himself between her legs. Kissing her unhurriedly, his tongue a light flicker over her aroused flesh, the delight of it transformed her breath to a shallow continuous gasp.

His ministration was sweet torment and Theodora couldn’t help but raise her hips to his kisses. Grabbing handfuls of his hair in both her fists, holding him prisoner as he laboured to bring her joyful end. He consumed her with fervent appetite pulling from her, breathy whispers, then his name. He rose, lifted her onto his lap, and cradled her in his arm until she came down from her rapture.

She was slow to rise her face nestled at his neck, the warm air inside the carriage now perfumed with what they had done and the musk from the tight, barely contained coil of his body rose to mix with it to drive once more to want.

She simply couldn’t get enough of him and pressed adherent little kisses along the exposed inch of his neck above his neck cloth. Pushing back his jacket and wriggling in her seat against his arousal then suddenly it was too much for him to bear. He pled with her.

“Be kind sweetheart,” he said with staying hand over her impatient ones. “I’ll come undone then there will be nothing left for us to do on our wedding night.”

“You’ve made me ravenous,” she said lustfully and pressed her lips to his ears then said, “Now feed me or I shall die.”

He captured her face in both his hands so he could look her in the eyes then he said, “Be sure for this here takes all my willpower and I don’t know that I’ll be able to stop if you proceed any further.”

Theodora’s answer to his lament was to lean in seductively and lick at his lips. Sheppard grinned then said, “You only say that because you haven’t given any thought to the actual logistics of it.”

“I said nothing,” she said innocently while bathing his face with hot breathy kisses, “I but offered motivation.”

“Yes well this will only work unless you are willing and able to take the reins,” Sheppard said with wet stimulating tongue over the soft firm flesh of her still bare breast. “What say you my sweetheart, to riding us both to oblivion?”

“You will show me how?” she asked running her fingers over his lips and teeth until he pulled one the roaming digits in his mouth and sucked on it then he said, “I absolutely will.”

Theodora took hold of his meandering hand and licked at his fingers then sucked on one of the ones he had used before to stimulate her to orgasm and it all but unravel him. Then she eagerly peeled off his jacket and waistcoat sending with them her inhibitions to rest in the corner. Kissing him breathlessly, squirming in his lap until he was forced to still her.

“What’s the matter?

“I’m over stimulated and you writhing in my laps is pulling at my control,” he explained and Theodora with mischief in her eyes wriggled deliberately in his lap. “You behave, or there will be nothing for you to ride to your greedy end.”

“It’s good I’m able to bring you to your knees the way you’ve done for me,” she said with a little pride and purposefully ran her hands over the rippling muscles of his flat stomach, wide chest and around his neck.

Theodora meant to do to him some the things he had done to her. She kissed him deeply and slowly, pulling his shirt from his trousers so she could drag her nails over the defined expanse of back. Then she lifted his shirt and suckled at his nipples, grazing over them with teeth and wet flickering tongue until he growled.

“You like that I think.”

“I love that,” he purred.

“Shall I?” she asked with agile fingers over the buttons of his trouser flap.

“Oh, yes,” he said enthusiastically.

Theodora impatiently unfastened the buttons and freed him from the confines, her cool excited fingers gingerly skirting over the taut silken skin of his masculinity. Sheppard tossed his head backwards his entire body tensed then shuddered and she tightened her grip around the shaft, rubbing her thumb over the sensitive tip.

“Christ Thea… You’re killing me,” Sheppard said with sweet baritone roar, his teeth bare, his eyes awash before capturing her hands as he covered her mouth with his, sucking on her tongue.

He fuelled her want with his desire. Kissing a line from her lips to the valley between her breasts, cupping, fondling, licking and sucking her nipples until she ran hot and wet between her thighs. Then she, with tortured whisper said, “I’d say it was time you showed me how to hold the reins.

Sheppard lifted Theodora so she sat astride and directly atop his throbbing erection. Her wet entrance poised over his demanding sex as he teased, nudging forward by inches until she impatient with want, impaled herself on the full length of him in one blindingly painful thrust.

They held a while, her face slightly pale, and his furious red as they both reeled from the penetration and had she been less aroused she might have reconsidered her position but she was ablaze and the bite of his penetration served only as fuel.

Sheppard was losing his footing waiting for Theodora to find hers. She was so tight and sweet around him it was all he could do not to explode. The she took a breath and rocked tentatively, riding him slowly at first getting the feel of him, adjusting her position in order to maximize the tiny waves of pleasure.

Tightening her inner muscles about him to pull him closer to madness while he flexed his thigh and grabbed her bottom guiding her with a supportive hand on her hips. Then she sunk her teeth into his shoulder pinching through fabric skin and muscle as her body tightened in response to the mounting agony.

He was magnificent.

He filled her completely moving with expert precision feeling, to her, at once, as velvet and steel. As their breath synchronized and ripples of ecstasy radiated from where the laboured together. Thrusting with long deep strokes, their bodies contracting, and perspiration falling while agony merged with pleasure. Then orgasm, she crying out his name, his blissful grunt.

“Honest and ours,” Sheppard said once they had recovered breath, “But by no means the only reason I wanted to marry you. I like you beside I’m mad for you and am half in love with you and the way you make me feel. My life until I met you had been solely about taking care of my family. You made me make room for me.”

“Only half in love… well it will at least give me something to work towards on our wedding night,” she said gleefully and kissed him with all the love in her heart.


They would go on two more such rides before their wedding only then a week hence and that only because her mother’s demands on them did not allow for more. Still, in spite of this and his dire warning of then having nothing left to do on their wedding night neither could wait to abandon their wedding guests for more private accommodations once the vows were spoken.

Harry left for America three months after their wedding. He wrote obsessively to their grandfather who missed him just as much and wrote back long rambling letters of complaint about his pending death.

Though Theodora never received apology from Daniel and Violet she forgave them after they fought courageously to take the love they found. It will never excuse what they had done to her but it freed her to find the happiness she now shared with her darling Sheppard and for that, she would always be grateful to them.

Gertrude still struggled with the fact that Sheppard did not marry the woman she felt perfect for him but she loved him and tried, although begrudgingly so, to accept Theodora.

Three months after their first anniversary Lord and Lady Sheppard Monthermer welcomed, into the world, their daughter Elena Grace a howling ink-black haired child and her brother Montgomery Maximilian with like hair, who seems to have a calming effect on his sister.

All are happy and well.

Part six of six
by Simone Ogilvie.
I'll have a new story for December,thanks for reading.

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Process, This Time On the Matter of Love

Who says I love you first?

The 'I love you' often signals the end of a romance novel, which is a complete contradiction to real life where the 'I love you' often marks the beginning of a life filled with turmoil, a possible wedding that ends the romance promptly, then followed by children and a sexless marriage.
Grim, yes, I know... But thankfully that is for other people and the Oprah show to contend with, for I write romance novels.

The 'I love you' in my novels is an epic ideal meant to entertain and lighten the day of the reader. For this to work there needs to be an appropriate degree of gravity given to the moment, but to tell the truth I’ve seldom seen it done to my liking.

Except maybe once in a film called ‘Une Liaison Pornographique’ when the female lead professes her love to the male who weeps in a sort of silent lament because he did not know how much he truly felt for her. It touched both her and I deeply. Now, you must understand that neither her nor I are the type for a crying male, but it fit with his character and the mood of the film.

I use it now as the guide for the 'I love you's in my novels; this moment that need only be authentic to the characters. In my first novel Ellesmere, for instance, the two were strong-willed and contentious, so their declaration of love was just so. She tells him she loves him and he cites for her the flaws in her logic only to relent after seeing the truth in her argument.

The novel, I’m storyboarding now, has the male lead declaring his love through cake.

This proves once more that writing is truly semi-autobiographical, for it’s always been my practice to bake for the one I love. Trust me, nothing says 'I love you' more than a Black Forest cake made from scratch with real whipped cream... Unless, of course, you like cheese cake or would simply rather have it said.

Or in the romance audience's case, written in Times New Roman, font size 12 and dripping in romantic sentiment. There needs to be tender feelings expressed eloquently and, depending on preference, near the very end of the novel in sweeping sonnets. I’ll more than likely change the cake bit before I start writing in earnest.

All my very best and a lovely weekend to all,


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Synopsis For My Third Novel Brunswick

Novel Synopsis

Our Hero: Lord Philip Joshua Latimer was a methodical mercenary, charming gentleman and the love of Ursula’s life. Philip believes he loves Ursula but is held from declaring his feelings for fear of past hurt and haunting suspicions that she is still in love with his cousin Nicholas.

His Heroine: Lady Ursula Robinette is sophisticated, stylish but for her grandmother’s outlandish contributions to her wardrobe and is madly in love with Philip. Ursula is also a fierce friend to his cousin and her ex-fiancée Lord Nicholas Foxborough… a point of understandable jealousy for Philip.

The Novel: Is based primarily around Philip and Ursula’s romantic relationship. The first few chapters introduce and give, in detail, the foundation of the two such as who they are, and where their heart lies. There are secondary story lines but their sole purpose is to add to the lead characters’ interaction so the story remains focused on their development.

Together: Philip and Ursula are a passionate pair that entertain and delight. They are genuine in their approach to each other and are faithful to the love they share so that they come across as endearingly romantic without being trite or overly sentimental.

Their story: Brunswick opens with a brief prologue in Brighton, England during the early spring of 1822 as Ursula’s uncle the Earl of Brunswick, is in a deep predicament for lack of an heir due to the premature death of his son Noel. Now Brunswick, newly married to Philip’s mother conspires with his new Countess to bring Ursula and Philip together for their own ends. The elder couple summons the two young people to Brighton in order to pitch to them their proposal.
The book opens on the palatial grounds of an aristocrat’s wedding where Ursula is casting dead stares at the provoking bride who had just finished telling her that ‘her day would come even if she was a spinster, for she still had her looks and fortune.’ A smiling Philip intercedes on the silly girl’s behalf by making Ursula laugh after which she tells him that she has missed their friendship.

He in turns reminds her that she only missed him because she was not able to see the harm that they clearly do to each other with their scandalous behaviour. They are soon interrupted by the friends they came with and the conversation turns to marriage and the single state. Both are left raw by some the things said and when their companions stalk away due to the couple’s contention, the two are left alone once more.

This time there is something unsaid that hangs between them but neither addresses it, instead deciding to travel together to see Brunswick in Brighton. He watches her leave, feeling the whole time that she was keeping something from him. Philip returns to his home in Grosvenor Square where he is confronted by a truth being kept from him by his overprotective older brother about Gene, his first love. Gene’s husband, as it turned out, had died while Philip was abroad and she was on her way back to the ton after her year of mourning.

Nonetheless, the following morning, he and Ursula depart for Brighton where she, after a sleepless night, confronts him about the shocking state of their relationship and the near toxic routine, which they inadvertently reverted to whenever he was in England. He accuses her of still being in love with his Cousin Nicholas and she counters by say she would not carry on with him thus if she felt anything for anyone else. Then she reminds him that it was he who had been undecided and not herself.

With some of the awful things that were once kept quiet, now brought to light, the two having been friend for a long time, soon find accord. He asks her to tell him what it was that was so clearly weighing on her. She tells him that it was seeing him that was bothering her since his return and he in turn told her he was bothered that they had made love and was troubled by the fact that he did not want to marry him.

It is then revealed that she suspects she might be pregnant.

He tells her she no longer has an option on whether or not to marry about which she agrees. They arrive in Brighton to find the scheming elders and are soon told of their proposal, for him Philip the Earl’s new stepson to marry his niece and produce an heir. A perfect solution for the now believed pregnant Ursula, but then things are never so simple.

No sooner did everyone come to a compromise and the two resolve to marry in a few days do secrets held by all involved begin to unravel their delicate balance. It all starts when Philip confides in Ursula that Noel did indeed leave behind at least one legitimate heir.

She encourages him to tell Brunswick who immediately calls an end to the agreement he had made on behalf of Ursula with Philip in hopes that he could get her to marry Nicholas who had custody of Noel’s son due to his brief marriage to the child’s now dead mother.

Things are further complicated when Ursula realizes that she is not pregnant but is nonetheless brought closer to Philip due to their shared desire to be married to each other. They resolve to marry despite Brunswick’s opposition and so begins their dilemma as the old man enlists Nicholas’s parents the resourceful Duke and Duchess of Foxborough.

The Foxboroughs and Brunswick quickly make their alliance while the young people proceed, ignorant of their intent, to arrange a public announcement of Ursula’s engagement to Nicholas. Thankfully, Philip and Ursula’s grandmother were able to catch on to their plot before the damage done was too severe.

Still the elders were determined and by now had, as their accomplice, the Earl of Escot who had in his position Noel’s legal heir, a pretty little girl called Saffron to whom his son had been father for most her life. In the midst of all this Gene, Philip’s first love now an elegant Duchess, returns to the ton.

Ursula frets that Philip is still in love with the returning Duchess of Mar and encourages him to go see her in order to be sure he wasn’t. Only for the Duchess to reveal to Philip that she had married Mar though carrying his child because of a sinister plot by her father who discovered that the Duke of Mar was sterile and favoured Philip.

The boy now almost fourteen was loyal to the memory of the late duke and refused to meet Philip who could never really be a father to him. This is a source of great distress for poor Philip who doesn’t know how best to serve all involved.

Devastated to learn that the Duchess had confided her truth to his eldest brother who kept it from him, Philip turns to the one person he is certain still had his best interest at heart, Ursula. She is every bit the steady shoulder Philip had hoped she would be and he realizes what he had always suspected, that she was the woman of his life…

And all the while, the elders plotted, now going so far as to include in their plans a lady who had been briefly engaged to Philip. Lady Sarah Lennox Lyttelton now married and heartbroken due to the recent loss of her baby presents the most effective obstacle for our two newly declared lovers when she arranges for Philip to be caught in a compromising position in her sister Naomi’s bedroom.

Naomi is a sympathetic character and one of Ursula’s oldest friends so of course this presents an interesting predicament for the couple. Still, Ursula being the most reasonable of all females weighs all the odds and stands true to her friend and love. She perseveres over the madness by holding strong to her wits and soon she, Philip and Naomi find a workable resolve when they arrange for Naomi to marry one of Philip’s cousins.

Now believed settled Ursula sets forth an ultimatum to her uncle to cease and desist in his attempts to run her life and is dealt the ultimate blow when he tells her, he, and not his dead brother as was believed, was her father. Overwhelmed by it all, Ursula flees to Kent to confront her mother who ends up giving the prospective she needed.

She wakes in the middle of the night to find Philip standing at the foot of her bed. He tells her he’s sure that she’s the one for him. They are happy in love and a week later they marry.
The End

I always come across authors who have trouble writing the novel synosis and I post the ones I've written with the hope they will help.

Wishing you all the very best,

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Still, More Ladies of the Regency

This Time, Lord Byron’s Harem. Well, sort of...

I say 'sort of,' because I did not include the young men he was rumoured to have had relationships with and that is because this is list of women of the regency. Also missing from this list is Lady Caroline Lamb and that is only because I already wrote about her in a previous blog.

 Anne Isabella Milbanke Noel, the Baroness Byron, Lord George Gordon Byron’s wife. Annabella was something of a twit with strict pious morals. She married Byron though she did not love him with the hopes of changing him and ruined both of their lives in the process.

Augusta Byron Leigh, the half-sister and believed mistress of Lord Gordon Byron. A pretty amiable woman whose is said to be the real reason for his exile. Also Augusta's third daughter Elizabeth Medora Leigh was widely speculated to have been fathered by Byron. A matter that was not help when one considers that her middle name was in honour of one his poem. Oh and Byron’s wife and only legitimate daughter accepted Medora as his.

Claire Clairmont, Lord Byron's mistress and the mother of his daughter Clara Allegra Byron. At only eighteen, so determined was she to have Byron that she followed him to Switzerland. She was also rumoured to have lived in a ‘ménage à trois’ with her stepsister Mary Shelley and Mary’s husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, a believer in free love, or rather, open marriages.

Jane Elizabeth Scott, Countess of Oxford. The very soul of discretion this one or so she appears when compared to the others on this list. She had a brief affaire with Lord Bryon and the two parted company without incident or much public fanfare. Oh, but there is that business of her children being fathered by such a varied bunch they where referred to as the Harleian Miscellany.
Have a lovely week,

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Huntley The Would Be Harlequin Historical Undone

Link to chapter 1 here
Chapter 2 here
Chapter 3 here
Chapter 4 here

Chapter Five

A week after their second kiss, Theodora was in her mother’s grand salon suffering pitied glances from her mother and a few her relations when their morose butler Kendel entered with a summons from her father to join him in his library. She rose with open glee and followed him into the hallway and down the stairs.

Her dear Papa… he was saving her from their sympathetic rumblings and happy banter by offering her a quiet place like he had done nearly a dozen times in the two weeks since their return to London. There was now a constant rotation of her well-meaning relation loitering in her mother’s sitting room offering her cheer and constant companionship.

It was starting to make her homicidal, but just at the moment when she started to seriously contemplate lacing their tea with poison, her Papa would rescue her. It was with this thought and wide smile she entered her father’s library to find Lord Sheppard Monthermer in company with her Papa.

The two rose when she entered and her father came round his desk and took hold her hand with a, “There you are, my dear.”

“Good afternoon Papa?” she asked with doubtful glance at Sheppard.

“Well that all depends on whether or not you are willing to consider marriage to Monthermer here,” her father said with expectant smile.

“Yes, Miss Cromwell I’ve asked your father for your hand and pray you’ll do me the honour,” Sheppard said with charming smile.

“Marriage?” she asked once more to much concern from her poor Papa.

“Teddy, are you all right?”

“I’m well Papa, thank you,” she said with a weak smile that did not quite reach her eyes, “But I wonder will you give me a moment alone with his lordship.”

“Now, Theodora,” her father said with knitted brows.

“Just a brief moment Papa,” she said with bright pleading smile that made her father instantly suspicious.

“Will you kindly tell me what’s going on here?” her father demanded.

“I’m not yet certain myself,” she said without taking her eyes from his, “But if you would grant me a moment…?”

“Yes, you said,” her father said with furious glare to Sheppard before turning back to his daughter and added, “Alright, you may have your moment. I’ll go inform your mother.”

“Thank you,” she said before walking him to the door which she set on it’s hinge before turning back to Sheppard to demand he tell her his reason for coming, “Let’s have it.”

“Will you not come here and sit with me?” he asked with an easy smile.

“Out with it, my lord, or as sure as you stand there I’ll have you removed from these premises.”

“I want you to marry me.”

“Who has put you up to this?”

“Pardon?” Sheppard asked in genuine confusion.

“It’s cruel, surely you see how awful it is,” she said her voice but a whispered. “I’ve been humiliated enough for a lifetime and this is more than malicious, it’s criminal.”

Her voice broke and Sheppard was at her side with kind hand on her arm. He had heard of her abandonment from that chatterbox Lady Herwich and had been at once relieved for himself and furious at Somerset for his rotten conduct. She straightened her shoulders at his show of sympathy.

She had already shed tears in front of him over Daniel and Violet’s betrayal and she would be damn if she was going to do so again.

“Forgive me,” she said some of her equilibrium returning.

“Of course,” he said graciously.

“Thank you.”

“Would you rather I call again when you’re better disposed?”

“Heaven’s no,” she said with grateful smile, “I don’t want you leaving here when there is clearly a matter we aught to address.”

“Then you will sit with me awhile?”

“Yes, if only to understand your reason for coming and offering marriage to a virtual stranger,” she said before preceding him to one the chair directly in front her father’s desk.

Sheppard turn his chair so he faced her then he said, “It’s become necessary for me to marry and the instant it did I thought only of you as the possible bride.”

“I hardly know how to respond,” she said bewilderedly.

“Say you’ll marry me.”

“My lord –”

“I’d much rather you called me Sheppard,” he said with wicked grin.

“Sheppard,” she said with accommodating smile. “My life is a tragedy and I would gladly marry you if only to stop my family’s pitied glances but I don’t mind telling you how terrifying I find the prospect of marry a complete stranger after being so sorely disappointed by two people I knew for a lifetime.”

“There is an opportunity here for your tragedy to be a triumph and all you have to do to make it so is trust me to take care of you.”

“And you will trust me to do the same?”

“Yes, absolutely,” he said without pause.

“Then you will trust me with your truth?”

“How do you mean?”

“Tell me why it’s so important you marry now and why it is I was your only possibility.”

“Not only possibility but the only one I thought of as possible bride,” he corrected before proceeding to reveal to her every last detail of his little melodrama: From the sudden death of his father and uncle to his grandfather’s complete heartbreak at their loss and his failed attempt to see them all well to Harry’s detriment.

“I can’t imagine the Marquess drinking warm lemonade at Almacks,” she said with barely contained laughter.

“You don’t have to imagine it. You could go see for yourself, he’s been in attendance there every Wednesday since his failed attempt at feigning heart failure was discovered.”

“Has he?”

“Yes, I just said,” Sheppard said peevishly. “And you needn’t bother pretending not to be amused for I would laugh at me too if I were you.”

“Not at you, I promise,” she said with little giggle, “It’s just that I keep imaging him having to dance with some eighteen year old as her mama smiles on encouragingly from the fringes of the ballroom.”

“There is something very wrong with you,” he said and laughed in spite of it all.

He recovered first from their shared laugh and took the time while she regained her equilibrium to study, by the light of day, this woman that had so captivated him. She was beautiful, golden and womanly he couldn’t help but stare.

“What’s the matter?” she asked once he found herself and realized that he was watching her.

“You’re beautiful.”

“You needn’t resort to exaggerated flattery in order to convince me, you know.”

“Here now,” said an affronted Sheppard. “I don’t know what sort of cad you take me for. You are beautiful and I said it for I thought so and for no other reason.”

“I was never pretty –”

“Of course you weren’t and that’s because you are beautiful,” he said confidently. “Pretty fades with youth as a rose in the rain whilst beauty like yours remains a lifetime thanks to brilliant bones, fine features and charismatic smile. You my dear are beyond vogue. You are a masterpiece.”

“A hundred years from now when we are old married people you must not think I accepted your offer due to your lovely words,” she said with gleeful smile.

“You will marry me?”


“And will you tell me why you’ve suddenly agreed to have me if not for my singing praise to your appeal.”

“You are pleased I’ve agreed?” she said suddenly too self-conscious to admit her real reason for accepting his offer.

“More than I can express. Now tell me why you have agreed,” he said while leaning in so his knees touched hers and she flushed.

“I’d be too embarrassed to say.”

“Shall I guess?” he asked this time taking hold of her hand and bringing it to his lips.
Theodora watched near breathlessly as he kissed first her knuckles, palm and then the inside of her wrist all while holding her eyes as he asked, “Is it because you have a good heart and hate to see me suffer the vipers at Almacks alongside my grandfather?”

She was having trouble forming words with him looking at her thus and could only shake her head like a simpleton. He smiled, encouraged before leaning in so his lips was at her ear then he, his warm breath crawling over her sensitive skin as his hand traveled up her bare arms and said, “I know… It’s so you can have foreknowledge of my Aunt Gertrude’s candleholder placements.”

This time she managed an, ‘Uh-huh,’ and he with smiling lips kissed her from earlobe to chin before pulling back some to hold her eyes, his hands now on both sides of her face. This time with a predatory gaze and his thumb slowly dragging over her lips he asked, “And you are certain it is not because I sang praises to your allure.”

She sighed and bit at her bottom lip where his thumb had caressed and he edged close as if to kiss her then said, “Well, I can’t think what it could be so I’ll go now and return once I have another guess unless…”


“Oh, she speaks,” he said with a wicked grin, his lips still but a breath from hers.


“Yes, sweetheart.”

“I’d like to be kissed before Papa returns,” she said with calm voice and violent flush.

“Then you should have done and kiss me.”

“I don’t know how.”

“Of course you do,” he said with provocative whisper, “You need but kiss me the way you’d like to be kissed and take care that you don’t leave me behind when you do.”

It was precisely the right thing to have said to build in her the confidence to express her want on his flesh. She kissed him with the vigour of a zealot and the appetite of a glut. Her eager little fingers running through his thick jet-black to drag and over his tender scalp while she nibbled tasted and devoured his mouth.

Her consummation was almost aggressive as she greedily robbed him of breath and control with the intensity of her desire. Her want for him seemed without end and he was left feeling at once heady and weightless at her worship.

It also gave her the advantage, which was not an entirely undesirable scenario as far as Sheppard was concerned. Particularly, since it felt so damn good but there was the matter of that unanswered question and that he did mind.

He was left vulnerable with his want for her and was desperate to have her as exposed as he was. He wanted to know something of her heart. To know how much she really felt for him and he’d have it too. He held her eyes for a long silent moment then he smiled like a wolf and went in for the kill.

Kissing her with assertive mastery, his lips parted over hers, hot, purposeful and sensual. Gauging the pressure and force giving her pleasure in order to yield from her flesh the appropriate degree of want. Sucking on her tongue, stroking her face, neck and arm waiting for the moment she purred breathless then he stopped.

She looked flustered, her body shaking as she searched his eyes for the reason. She could barely manage the words over her laboured breaths as she asked, “What’s the matter? Why have you stopped?” her words more a strangled pant than articulate language.

“Tell me?”

“What?” she asked her words urgent and bated.

“Why you decided to accept my offer?” he said with a slow, torturous hand down over her neck and bust.
“I can’t,” she groaned as he expertly fondled her breast through the thin layers of her silky muslin frock until her nipple stood erect and he squeezed it between thumb and forefinger. She made a thrilled little sound deep in her throat and her dark pupils engulfed the grey of her eyes.

“Not even if I offer an incentive?” Sheppard asked with smiling lips over her neck as he licked at the little hollow between her collarbones. He nibbled until Theodora whimpered, clasped his skull and held him captive to her.

He could hear the rasp of breath escape her lips as he pulled his teeth over the sensitive flesh at her jaw as he made his way back to her earlobe. Kissing tenderly with lips and tongue until her womb quivered then he said, “What say you, my angel.”


“’Hmm,’ yes, incite you until you confess or ‘hmm,’ Sheppard you’re brilliant don’t stop?” he asked once more with pause and eyes focused on hers with wicked grin.

“You mean to torment me into telling you?” she asked her eyes darting from his to where his hand held her breast in mid caress.

“Not torment, sweetheart… coax. But I could stop all together if you prefer,” he said and slowly lift his hands from her instantly bereft flesh.

“I don’t prefer and well you know it,” she said miserably and he was instantly sorry. It hadn’t been his intent to rob her of her smile but to titillate her into giving them both what they so clearly wanted. Now he would have to make amends.

“Yes, I know it. Now tell me, if I show you how sorry I am, will you forgive me?” he asked with gaming smile and she smiled back for he was every so adorable when he was contrite.

With that, sweet kisses and even sweeter torment was escalated to something Theodore could but marvel at, Sheppard lift her on to his lap in one effortless move. Then his hands were everywhere as he kissed her in a sort of languid arousing way.

She could feel his right hand move up her stockinged leg, up past her knees over her thighs. Then his fingers were perched above the crisp intimate hairs between her thighs and he pulled his lips from her with a heated plea, “Let me in sweetheart. Let me show you how good I can make you feel.”

Theodora could not imagine how he could possibly make her feel any better than she already did. Her womanhood tingling as her body burned hot causing her to trembling from the inside out. Still, she greedily rocked in her seat to allow him access, leaning in to kiss him only to gasp into his mouth when his finger flickered over the little hooded mound at the front of her pleasure centre.

Her teeth sunk into his shoulders to stop from screaming in delight as he fondled her most intimate places and all the while, the door rested only on the hinges.

She could hardly believe she was allowing him to touch her thus. She rocking in his lap against the unyielding muscles of his thighs with his erection pressed against her right hip as he caressed bliss from her hot wet flesh.

The rapid increase of her breathing due to his proficient strokes made it difficult for her to first maintain his deep kiss and then hold his eyes as he parted her tender folds and inserted his finger. Stroking, rubbing and caressing until her inner muscles tightened around his nimble fingers and her breaths came on top of each other and then she died a little.

Her heart gave out and her skin fell away then wave of elation, primitive and carnal shook her body back to life. It had been more than she could bear and while she was regaining focus, he made the sexuality intimate by licking her from his fingers. It was at once erotic and sweet and she kissed him, tasting herself on his lips.

It took them a full minute to recover laboured breaths and racing heartbeats. Then she, her pupils still dilated from want, held his focus in a silence that was both charged and comfortable. They lingered thus until she reached up and smoothed the soft curls of his short cropped hair before saying, “You’re so handsome I can hardly stand it.”

“Surely that is the most erotic thing ever said,” he said with open delight.
“Is it?” she asked in kind.

“Yes and now that you’ve said that to me, surely you can tell me why you have decided to accept my offer.”

“I’m afraid. I don’t know if it’s the sort of thing I should admit,” she said with suddenly sad downcast eyes and he took a hold of her hand and gave it an assuring squeeze.

“Here trust me. I’ll take care. You have my word,” he vowed.

“You made me smile so much so after our kiss in the garden that I resolved to call off my wedding to Daniel but lost nerve in part because of the promise I made to him but mostly due to fear it hadn’t affected you in the same way. Now that you’re here I feel it must have, in some small way but now I worry it won’t be enough to base a marriage on.”

“There is merit to your concern and I can’t offer you any guarantees it will be enough to build an entire marriage but I can promise I’ll endeavour to always put forth an effort to see you smile.”
She held a moment as if to measure whether to proceed then she said, “There is also the rumour of your pending engagement to Lady Eloise Spencer?”
“She was hand picked by my Aunt Gertrude to be my wife but I’ve never given her any cause to expect an offer,” Sheppard assured her but she was upset by this reveal.

Her brilliant smile no longer reached her eyes and he worried that she was drawing parallels between her failing with Somerset with his circumstance with Lady Eloise. He was one half right. Theodora was troubled by his revelation. She did not like that his Aunt Gertrude so favoured this young woman.

Gertrude was a force of nature and one with tremendous sway.

She could make life very difficult for Theodora and with her current standing in society already, so tentative, this could indeed be the beginning of some very unpleasant days for her. She was half in love with Sheppard but she simply would not allow herself to be humiliated any further this season and would have to be certain before proceeding any further.

She had had to endure women like Gertrude the entire nine years she’d been out in society and knew how cruel they could be. In fact, it brought to the forefront a few issues that had greatly affected her popularity and all because of what they believed her physical form said about her as a person.

In that, she was no different from anyone else. Everyone was judged on appearances in their society. The truth is only social standing outweighed a pleasing form.

Sadly, she was egregiously disproportioned due to a perversion of nature that had plagued her since the onset of puberty. She had a lush body that exuded sex which one would think a blessing in a society where marriage is the only occupation for a lady of her station.

It turned out that the kind of sex she exuded wasn’t the marrying kind. No, it was more the kind that turned seemingly rational females into jealous scorn-filled vipers and the men in their presence into lecherous snakes. It had also caused her parents to be overly watchful and she, very conservative particularly where her wardrobe was concerned.

It also built in her a determination, for others, particularly those that she cared about, to perceive her in the way she intended. As a complete human being who, though physically bountiful, was still capable of being small and vulnerable. But she needn’t have bothered for all she ever got for her effort was scorn.

Theodora was convinced it was also the reason she was still unmarried at twenty-three and it had been the driving force behind her agreeing to marry Daniel. Yet here she was after all that, agreeing to marry a man she was certain was ripe with lust for her but knew nothing of her soul.

She would have revealed all of this to Sheppard and was about to address the matter when her mother entered the room ahead of her father.

Link to chapter 6 here
Part five of six
by Simone Ogilvie

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November Blog Chain: A Writer’s Survival List or My process

First let me say what a blessing these Absolute Writer Water Cooler blog chains are to me… And it is not just because they offers me a fun easy way to fulfill my once month posting commitment to the-romantic-query-letter either. Though, I’ll admit to that being a tiny factor for the most part it’s the lovely people I get to meet. You have all been very kind to Simone and I, so thank you. I'm last in the chain, directly before me was Truelyana at the full chain is listed at the end of the post. Here now for your reading pleasure, my post.

Procrastination the most consistent part of my process

1) Sunday, for instance… I rose with the sun at seven sharp. ‘I’m going to write today,’ I tell myself, but my bed is holding me hostage. Stubborn bed… it refuses to listen to negotiations, so I linger there until nine. But I’m still motivated. When I finally do get up, I go to make myself a pot of tea.

2) Earl Grey or Exotic Chai? Or something herbal? I go with the Earl Grey for the caffeine, I make a three-minute egg, and double-toasted bagel, smothered with real butter. Yum!

By now, it’s ten o’clock and I still haven’t written a word. I know you’re saying, ‘One hour for breakfast? She’s ridiculous.’ But in my defence, I took a phone call from my mother. Not that it’s an excuse, but she did give me life so I have to indulge her.

3) I’m at my desk now, pen and paper before me. The sun is out. I put on some music – to set the mood. I take a sip of my tea and decide against the Earl Grey.

I return to the kitchen to boil the kettle. I’ll have some of the herbal tea instead.

So while I wait for the tea to brew, I call my sister, but I’m sure to tell her, right off, that I’m not able to talk long, what with my having to write and all.

4) At noon, I’m back in front of the desk, yet again. I’m ready to write but I’m pre-occupied with something my sister said. I drink my tea to calm my distracted mind. It works, only now I’m too calm.

I wish now, and not for the first time mind you, that I was more of a coffee-drinker, and contemplate going out to get a cup. We’re not really coffee-drinkers around here and we usually get our coffee from the outside.

I’ve all but dismissed this as wasteful, when my sweetie pops his head inside the door, back from his run and has come to entice me to join him in the shower. I resist for about ten seconds.

5) It’s two o’clock. I’m eating an apple and leftover Chinese from the fridge while my sweet distraction switches on his laptop and gets to work. I glare at him with hatred and a little self-loathing.

I hate that he’s able to focus on his task while I chatter on and still have yet to write. So I eat his portion of the Chinese food out of spite before returning to my writing desk with yet another cup of tea.

I’m uncomfortable. I’ve eaten too much.

I have to walk around for a spell you understand…

I can’t stand the sight of Mr. Discipline at his laptop, diligently working, so I drag on some proper clothes and go for a walk.

It is important to note though, that I’m only going for as long as it takes for me to feel comfortable again.

6) I run into Simone while out. She swears she told me she was going to be in my neighborhood. I can’t remember that. She invites us to dinner.

I pop home to shower and change. Even my disciplined sweetie decides to abandon his reports for dinner at Simone’s for no one can resist her pasta bake and triple chocolate brownie.

7) By eight o’clock, I’ve enjoyed enough wine and food to make me languid with contentment and we’re now helping Simone clean up the kitchen. I tell her how I’d planned to write all day.

She laughs.

I never really liked her.

Then she says, ‘What were you planning to write?’

I told her about the November blog chain on my writer’s survival list. She tells me that I should write about how procrastination is a great part of my process.

I’m furious with her for pointing this out and I tell her so. She apologizes and says, ‘Alright. What will you write?’

I say that I will do as she says for it is a good idea, not to mention a part of my process.

Everyone laughs, myself included.

8) When I get home, I make myself another cup of tea and set myself down in front of my desk. And fall promptly asleep.

This, I wrote in a dead panic, maybe twenty minutes ago, during lunch for tonight there is a staff meeting, them I have yoga and a late dinner with my sweetie. Oh and a deadline, that is imperative or I get nothing done.



DavidZahir -
shethinkstoomuch -
Lost Wanderer -
aimeelaine -
Ravencorinncarluk -
Bsolah -
Charlotte49ers -
Angyl78 -
truelyana - Claire Crossdale -

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More Ladies of the Regency Or One Half of The Prince-Regent-turned-King-George-IV's Conquests

I went with those I felt were most noteworthy.

First up, is Mary Darby Robinson, the English Sappho and the Prince Regent's first publicly known mistress. She was a poet, actress and an early feminist.

Elizabeth Milbanke Lamb, the Viscountess Melbourne, is as famous for being the Prince Regent's mistress as she is for being a confidante to Lord Byron with whom she exchanged letters while he was in exile though she was nearly forty years his senior.

Mrs Maria Smythe Weld Fitzherbert, the most notable mistress of the Prince Regent. The two married in the autumn of 1785, but the marriage was not considered legal under the Royal Marriage Act of 1772.

Frances Villiers, the Countess of Jersey and one of the more notorious of the Prince Regent 's Mistresses. She was said to have encouraged him to marry poor Caroline in order to secure her own position at his side and did so to success for over a decade. She headed the prince's household though he was married to Caroline until she was replaced by Isabella Ingram-Seymour-Conway, Marchioness of Hertford.

Elizabeth Denison Conyngham, the Marchioness Conyngham, the voluptuary and last mistress of our Regent-turned-King. An abitious commoner who was, by far, Prinnie’s most successful mistress.
All the very best,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Huntley The Intended Harlequin Historical Undone

Link to chapter 1 here
Chapter 2 here
Chapter 3  here
Chapter Four

“I finally killed him,” Harry said once he and Sheppard were seated in a serviceable breakfast room on the eastside of the stylish Belgrave Square townhouse.

“Harry, for the love of God, he’s seventy-six years old. Besides, I told you I think he’s pretending to force me into marriage.”

“I know how old he was Sheppard but Jerrold told me his physician said –”

“This is idiotic. Don’t flatter yourself. you couldn’t kill him even if you tried. He survived the death of both his wives, three of his five children and our adolescence,” Sheppard stated dismissively.

“Don’t you dare make light of what I did.”

“What exactly have you done?”

“This is tiresome,” Harry said unhappily, “I’ve made up my mind. I’m going to America.”

“Go to America if you must, but before you go, tell me why you didn’t leave before now?” Sheppard asked belligerently.

“You know grandfather wouldn’t let me.”

“That’s absolute nonsense. You are independently wealthy and have been so your entire life. You stayed because you are as fond of him as I. That is the only reason we allowed him to hold us so close. He did not rob us of our independence we gave it to him. After our fathers died, something in him died along with them and we tried to repair it by assuring him with our proximity.”

“An exceptionally astute observation Sheppard,” Harry said contemptuously. “It’s moments like these that give me a true appreciation for your advanced knowledge and age.”

“Come now,” Sheppard, said in a smug superior voice, “Even with your limited understanding, you can see my rationale.”

“Of course,” Harry proclaimed with mock enlightenment, “I didn’t give him heart failure… we all did. It makes absolute sense. So as my accomplice, you should come with me to America. In fact, I think we should bring the entire family, after all with the exception of Aunt Gertrude we all brought him to a weakened state with our proximity.”

“You damn well know that our proximity did not injury him so much as it hindered us,” Sheppard spat back combatively.

“Even if I know it, it does not change the facts. He is still bedridden and I must leave.”

“I know,” Sheppard said with miserable acceptance. “I’ll go now and talk to grandfather.”

“Yes, all right, I’ll follow shortly.”

It was imperative for Harry to have his own life and Sheppard would have to get the old man to see that. They both owed him that for ten years ago, when Sheppard, eighteen, and Harry, seventeen, were called down from Oxford because of the Marquess’ failing health, Harry sacrificed his independence to help restore the title Sheppard would one day inherit.

They had come home to Brighton only to realize that the estate had fallen into decline and without a shrewd eye, there to oversee the day-to-day management their greedy relations would soon bleed them dry.

The Marquess had a brilliant steward but he was almost sixty and quite ill equipped at dealing with the parasitic members of their family. He was however, able to guide them through the maze of paper work and make them knowledgeable enough to run the estate before retiring.

This would not have been a problem on its own, but add in the greedy relations, an estate in decline, the war, and a Marquess hell bent on interfering only when he was certain, it would make matters worse and you have the makings of a grand disaster.

As heir to the title, Sheppard was able curtail the vultures who did not want to risk the rancour of the future Marquess. He was even able stop the estate’s decline and to keep his grandfather in check. What he was not able to do however, was all this and generate new ventures to keep the estate thriving. He was not yet Marquess and he needed a capable ally.

Thus, Harry’s appointment as temporary steward and ultimately his reason for wanting to leaving for America now. It seemed the perfect solution for everyone involved. The three of them fulfilling the role of one, it worked like a dream and in less than four years the cousins had not only restored the estate to its former glory they had also doubled the family’s net worth.

Then, add to that, the Marquess’ health mending to the point where he was able to take on a few of his duties. And it would be easy to see why Harry thought it the perfect time for him to purchase a commission and pursue an occupation more befitting a gentleman of his birth and station.

Sheppard was in total agreement and was prepared to purchase Harry’s commission when the Marquess first voiced his reservations. When he realized that his qualms were not cutting muster with his grandsons, he resorted to blackmailing them with threats of his impending death. It worked until Sheppard vowed to make it a reality if he did not cease and desist at once.

Which led to Harry’s stunt and the Marquess’ failing health or so they thought. When Sheppard arrived at their home in Connaught, it was to find his shamefaced grandfather stuffing his face.

“What is the meaning of this?” Sheppard demanded.

“Jerrold was to warn me of your return and help me to bed to make the ruse convincing,” the old man said without shame.

“So there is nothing the matter with you?”

“If you call having to return to the marriage mart because my grandson refuses to do what is required of him nothing, then no. But, my heart is nonetheless broken after having to suffer the humiliation of going to Almacks at my age.

“What the devil are you going on about?”

“Duty,” the Marquess barked, “I will do my duty and marry so I can produce an heir who is fitting. Then you and your damnable cousin can go off and get yourselves murdered.”

Sheppard’s answer to his grandfather’s little tirade was a statement, not really intended to garner a response since he truly believed it to be a statement of fact.


“The devil! I am not senile. Fletcher did it and he’s my age,” argued the Marquess.

“First of all Fletcher is twenty years younger than you are, which leads me to believe that your mind has deteriorated farther than I originally suspected,” Sheppard mocked.

“It matters little what you believe so long as the ton believes it,” the Marquess scoffed.

“That’s extortion,” Sheppard shot back in disgust.

“I know,” laughed the Marquess.

“Well I won’t stand for it and neither will Harry.”

“Still, there are your Aunts to consider and they each have a daughter out this season don’t they?”

“You know they do,” Sheppard spat.

“Conduct, my Lord,” chided the Marquess in perfect delight.
That did it.

Sheppard’s only objective now was murder. He took two very deliberate steps towards his fool of a grandfather and fixed a menacing smile on his face. He stood in front of the old man’s desk and glared down at him. His entire persona now reading organized fury and that is when Harry walked in.

He looked at both men, smiled, then said, “Alibi or saviour… How will history remember me after this conflict I wonder?” It was rhetorical of course but it did the trick. His grandfather looked visibly relieved and Sheppard… well, he still looked murderous. Only now, he was doing so from the other side of the room out of arms reach of his grandfather’s neck.

“This will lighten your moods considerably,” said Harry, “Especially yours grandfather. For once, you were right; Lord Powis’ dependency on that damned lorgnette has finally caught up to him. He swears that he saw you leaving Almack’s last night.”

“There is nothing wrong with Powis’ bloody eye sight. He was there last night,” Sheppard snapped.

“What the devil for?”

“He was looking for a wife.”

“Who’s wife?” Harry inquired

“My wife,” informed the Marquess.

“You don’t have a wife,” the cousins replied in unison.

“Hence, Almack’s,” snarled the Marquess peevishly.

With a look of genuine concern, clouding his beautiful face Harry turned to Sheppard, pointed to his grandfather and asked, “Do you suppose this could be the onset of senility?”

“This too was my initial reaction, when he gleefully informed me of his little outing, but I’m afraid something far more sinister is afoot.”

“My leaving?” Harry asked.

“Of course, and he means to get his way.”

“What will this cost me?”

“That I am not yet privy to.”

“The cheek,” bellowed the Marquess furiously.

“Let’s have it grandfather, what will it take for you to let Harry go,” Sheppard asked resignedly.

“I was not aware that he was being held prisoner,” spat the irksome Marquess.

“Out with it old man,” commanded Sheppard.

“All I ask is that you both perform your duty to this family,” said their long-suffering grandfather.
“What duty might that be, sir,” demand Sheppard.

“Your duty to marry and produce heirs of course,” the old man informed them irritably, “Once you have done so then you may do as you please.”

“That could take years besides having a family changes everything. Doing what one pleases would no longer be an option,” Sheppard pointed out.

“That is curious,” said the Marquess contemplatively, “For you have a family now and yet you do as you please.”

“If that had been the case we would not be having this conversation,” interjected Harry angrily, “Your argument is flawed sir, for as the second in-line of succession to this title my duty is to king and country.”

The conversation was starting to take a toll on the Marquess who now looked physically exhausted and every bit his seventy-six years. He put his hand on his brow and closed his eyes before saying. “I lost two sons in service to king and country and I will be damned if I’m going to lose a grandson as well.” He got to his feet looked them both square in the eyes and said, “I would sooner die than put one more of my offspring in the ground.”

Both Sheppard and Harry knew it to be true. He turned, walked from the room and was immediately taken in hand by his man Jerold who seemed to have appeared from out of thin air to assist his master back to his chambers where he could rest and recover from his ordeal.

It took Sheppard almost a full week to get his grandfather to agree to a compromise that would satisfy everyone involved. According to the agreement, Sheppard as the heir apparent would marry and procure an heir in a period less than one year. Once he married and his bride was with child the Marquess, as a sign of good faith would give Harry his blessing to purchase a commission.

To this end, Sheppard enlisted the aid of his Aunt Gertrude to locate the beauty from her garden but had to turn to his Cousin Cynthia after Gertrude flat out refused due to her loyalty to Lady Eloise Spencer, the girl she felt he aught to marry.

Cynthia was reluctant to help him for fear Gertrude would get wind of it and sent him to Lady Herwich, a known gossip and all around busybody. Lady Herwich asked for description of the maiden but only after she had him swear it would not get back to Gertrude that the information came from her.

He promised then offered this descriptions: A lady of about three and twenty, fair of hair and eyes, buxom almost to the point of plenty, oh and taller that the average maiden standing at about five and one-half feet.

To this Lady Herwich said, “That my lord is Miss Theodora Cromwell, recently jilted bride and long past her twenty-third year.”

He thanked her and she made him swear once more that it would not get back to Gertrude that the information came from her.
Link to chapter 5 here 
Part four of six
by Simone Ogilvie

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Fifth Attempt at The Romantic Query Letter

Monday, November 2, 2009
10 Agents queried and now I wait.


There is an infinite longing in the glances that Lady Ursula Robinette always gives Lord Philip Latimer that he finds both heartbreaking and promising…

My novel Brunswick is a 100,000+ word historical romance set in 1820’s England, which tells of this promise and how the two came to build a passionate relationship despite their strong personalities and interfering relations.

Philip fell instantly in love with Ursula after she came upon him wet and naked atop his horse, offering him her coat with gaming smile before helping him mastermind vengeance on his cousins who had abandoned him in cold pond. At the time, she was already engaged to Nicholas, one the very cousin’s who caused their meeting and quick friendship.

After time and strange circumstances, Philip is asked to end Nicholas’ engagement to Ursula and the two share a passionate kiss that begins a long and complicated affair due to a miscommunication of intent and feeling.

Philip asks Ursula to marry him but she refuses for she feels that he does so out of a sense of obligation and he does not press the issue for he assumes that she says no because she is still in love with Nicholas. In love with each other, the two fall headlong into a torturous relationship of friendship and intimacy where they never discuss the things they do on Tuesday afternoon in her grandmother’s townhouse.

Well, that is until they each get a letter from the Earl of Brunswick summoning them to Brighton. Then the two, in close quarters for half of the day as they traveled from London, addressed some of the things that had been left unsaid between them.

Included are the novel synopsis and the first five pages. The manuscript is complete and available upon request.


Simone Ogilvie