Monday, February 28, 2011


The three stages of Hunkdom...

After fifty years I have finally solved the quandry of the Academy Awards. Just tune in the last half hour. Except for the gowns, there is really nothing else of interest any way, they have never been able to make this show interesting, only longer and bigger and uncut (sounds vaguely obscene)

Colin was a wreck. Imagine sitting there throughout that babbling inanity with the big question of the night being are you going to win as expected or become the evening's big embarassment. He did splendidly. I can't help but like these Englishmen, they know how to behave in public, and especially how to dress.

Helena Bonham Carter should be sedated.

Did not care for Mrs. Colin's dress but she never asked my opinion so...

What is with Geoffrey Rush's hair, anyway? Is he ill? Is it for a part? He is one of those people better off in a role than in person.

For the rest of the evening we watched the end of Any Human Heart and it was magnificent. I cried and cried at the end, just like I cried when I finished the book. I even liked Kim Cattrall in this and that takes a lot for me. The whole series really suffered from being placed after the great Downton Abbey series. AHH is such a serious, depressing piece (men writers, I tell you they kill you every time.)

Did you know that the nickname "Oscar" is for Bette Davis' uncle. First time she saw the statue she said it looked like her uncle. Oh, you knew that. Why didn't you stop me then...

Galliano was represented by several dresses. I am certain the actresses did not know about his anti-semitic rants. Cate Blanchette, Nicole Kidman, Natalie isn't she adorable Portman.

Sharon Stone looked like she had turned into a vampire or had superpower in her eyes. Very disturbing looking woman.

Bill Crystal - I love him but no more botox for that boy.

Colin said he was going to cook for a while. I know several woman who would like to taste...

Anne Hathaway is darling but not a good choice for hostess. I have no idea who the other guy was. He looked like my sister in law's sister's son. The odds are against that though.

I have read that there is an art to walking down the red carpet, especially for a woman in a gown. I like his wife - she seems very normal - gorgeous and skinny, but normal.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Joe Wright, the director for the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie will now do Anna Karenina with Kiera Knightley in the lead role. I hope she can pull it off and I hope he doesn't just drool over her like he did in Pride and Prejudice. I have my fantasy cast for this too and I've been posting it all over the place - Kiera as Anna, Matthew Macfadyen as Vronsky and Colin Firth as Karenin. Her husband was twenty years older than her - I think - so Colin would be perfect for that and, of course, Matthew is just perfect. And I love period movies and would rather see them both in this than The Promised Land which sounds depressing as hell (must have been written by a man). Of course, Anna K is no walk in the park either.


While I was writing over those long four years this song would play every day at Subway and it got embedded into my head and I would think of it often. Especially during the Epilogue. I pictured it like the end of a movie with the carriages coming down the Pemberley drive carrying children and grand children and Darcy and Fitz walking down the stairs to greet them, their wives coming out and the camera panning upward and overhead taking in a larger and larger shot. I wonder if anyone else writes like they are watching a movie.


I saw this video on twitter and just had to share it. I am certain there is a Darcy and Fitzwilliam review in this pile somewhere.


I have gone past obsession about the book. No kidding I can hear you say. Well, somewhere in the murky corners of my brain I have decided that if I don't promote this book constantly it will be forgotten. So, I am getting some information together to see what I can do since I don't think Sourcebooks is working overly hard to promote my little book. I wasn't even approached by our little local newspaper; as if this town produced novels by the thousands. We were volunteering at the thrift shop Saturday and I spoke to a lady about the book and I was complaining that the papers had ignored it - she said she'll call them and complain. I hope she does.

Later we went to Subway for lunch and it was jammed. Two very wealthy looking older women entered (obviously their first time in a subway) with an older gentleman. He immediately began joking with my husband and my husband, being the person he is (he loves talking to anyone, especially strangers) had the man laughing. Then Richie told him, "my wife wrote a book." They all swarmed around me like I was Helena Bonham Carter (heh,heh)

They live on Long Boat Key (very, very rich evidently) and also in Connecticut (will you adopt me sir) The wife was so charming and bubbly. She grabbed my card and said, "I heard about this book!" I said, panicked, "No you didn't. It just came out." She said, "yes, I heard about it in New York." I told her how the Janeites were dissing it and she nodded and mumbled about knowing that. She kept saying, "I heard something about this book." Now I was hysterical. "Was it bad?" I am nothing if not consistent. I can annoy anyone with my whining. She said, "No, no, no. But I read about this." Anyway, she was going to get the book on Kindle and she was so excited for me. What a nice lady.

Her sister was with her and she looked like Dina Merrill on a good day - dripping with money and east coast elegance. The husband was very funny - looked and sounded like Henny Youngman. They were all in their eighties but moved around like they were in their forties. So I am daydreaming that they go back to New York and make the book into a play. It could happen. Oh be quiet.

I'm selling the book, one at a time. Fuller brush books.


Lucy - watched Love Naturally last night with CF. Love that Christmas song and he was beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Talk about a smile.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


The annual ridiculous award season is upon us and seeing as we all know who'll win for Best Actor I thought I'd write about the movies that are up for the great prize.

I've seen only two. The King's Speech and Black Swan. Of the two The King's Speech is far superior in that (1) it has a complete beginning, middle and end; and (b) Colin Firth is good to look at, and (iii) it made some sense.

The Black Swan had none of these.

Natalie Portman was very good but - oh my - the scene when she's walking and her legs bend backward like a Florida lawn ornament. Eeeh! The whole movie was like a Salvador Dali painting - quicksilver - you can't really grasp anything.

I had a thought that Colin Firth was just doing Darcy as an older man in the movie. Similar expressions and personality. Darcy at fifty getting the oscar! Who'd have imagined.

Three Musketeers in 3D

Can't wait for this movie with two of my favorite actors - Ray Stevenson and the absolutely wonderful Mathew Macfadyen (in yet another bad haircut) Well, I hope this is a good movie because the both deserve a big break.

I watched the first episode of Any Human Heart (again my boy Matthew) but couldn't watch the second - it was way too sad. I cried like a baby when I finished the book and was depressed for a couple of days. I'm telling you, men authors can be quite the sad sacks. I haven't read any Nicholas Sparks but I hear he's sort of rude and besides all the movies of his books end with the hero dying. I'm getting depressed again. Time for....

More Matthew

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Great Books and Kenneth Branaugh

I have a rather eclectic range of books that I like. Very little of my reading involves the well known authors of our day - Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, etc. I can't even think of some of the others - I haven't really tried too many because almost everything is crime fiction it seems and the more respected ones are usually male and men writers depress the hell out of me.

I generally like positive books with happy endings. Shallow, yes I am. Or you betcha in Sarah Palin speak. college I wanted to seem very intelligent so I read War and Peace and Nietzsche and Sartre and Kafka and Camus and Proust. I didn't understand most of them (especially Proust) but I did read them. I kind of liked the Sartre book about the cockroach actually.

Anyway, I know that literature is only considered art when it has at least an ambiguous ending if not out and out tragedy. A happy ending is considered frivolous - that's a pretty sad statement on our current lives though, isn't it? Are we all really leading such dreadful existences that we have to depress each other in print too?

The book I am currently reading is called Mortal Fear by Greg Isles and is from a few years ago (I am cheap - I always get my books from the library). It is about a man who works from home as a day trader. His school friend has gotten him a part time job monitoring an on-line sex chat site where people explore fantasies on different levels. There is a serial killer (isn't there always a serial killer in these books?) and our hero notices that one of the sex websites more prominent members is the killer's latest victim, then further research reveals that several of the women that use the site have been murdered - really brutally too.

The book is a wild ride; I never know what is going to happen next. This author could not have outlined this book because every page is unpredictable, goes in a different direction. Another thing I like about it is that it doesn't repeat ideas over and over and over. I now know the pressure of providing 70,000 words to a publisher can cause some writers to drive a point into your head with a sledgehammer - quite like our serial killer here.

Before this my favorite Crime Fiction was Wallander by Henning Mankell (or Mankell Henning - I can never remember which), the Swedish detective made famous lately by Kenneth Branaugh.

Wallander is in his fifties, overweight, diabetic, a melancholy Scandanavian (it's in our blood evidently). He has a daughter he doesn't understand abd a crazy father who paints the same picture over and over and sells them to motel chains. I really loved that series, only six or so but they are all intriguing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Marilyn Monroe, Sarah Brightman and Colin Firth

Marilyn Monroe - Gentleman Prefer Blondes

One of the best things about this blog is that I can, obviously, present all the things that I have enjoyed over the years. I see Madonna or her illegitimate offspring, Lady Gaga and I remember a blonde that was popular when I was very young. Maybe this is typical as you grow older but even now I think there is no blonde who can compare to Marilyn Monroe.

I wasn't always a fan. It was not until much later when I looked at her old movies that I appreciated how incredibly talented she was, how breathtakingly beautiful. This is one of my favoriate moments in the movies. I love the line, "stiff backed or stiff kneed, you stand straight at Tiffany's!"

Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend (amen to that)

Sarah Brightman - Figlio Perduto

At the end of The King's Speech as he is walking out of the room where he finally made his broadcast this song was playing in the background and I began to cry. It is Sarah Brightman's best song ever, Beethoven, the story about a little boy begging his father to save him as they ride through a dark spooky forest at night. The evil fairy is after the boy but his father doesn't seem to hear the child begging him for protection. That's why I cried and why it was so very apropos at the end of that movie after you hear how cold the King's father was and how he had taunted the little boy instead of helping him. I could still cry.

The Wedding Entrance

I am probably old enough to be a grandparent to these kids but I could so totally see myself going down that aisle with them - too cool. I love the bride's entrance and the chubby groomsmen. Really love to watch this.

Hope they are still married.

Monday, February 21, 2011


My husband, my best friend and I walk into a bookstore... Sounds like a bad joke and it almost was. This past weekend we were in Savannah Georgia to attend the book fair. First of all, Savannah is lovely and the old homes are gorgeous. My old buddy Fay flew down from Chicago to witness my inaugural book signing event - the Friday before the festival at the Oglethorpe Mall, Barnes and Noble. The woman on the right is Regina Jeffers.

We were placed by the door, well out of sight except for the mall kids that zip in and out with their Ipads or Iphones or Ishoes or Iwallets or whatever they have invented in the last two days. We would have done better with Girl Scout cookies. At one point a toothless man finally approached us and I couldn't understand him at all. It turns out he was just really lonely, his wife had passed away a few months ago so he sat with us too. Oh well...

The following day was Saturday and Savannah is gorgeous. First of all let me tell you that their port-a-potties are the best. The Royal Seat or something like that. Ladies, you would not believe it - there was running water and a sink and it was clean and there was piped in music. And FIVE STALLS FOR THE WOMEN. Only one for the men and they had to jump over a bush to get to it. You just know who runs the Savannah Book Fair. Southern Ladies Rule!

I was really stiff at first, wouldn't even look at the people approaching and kept walking around the place. Finally I took a walk with Rich and we talked, he calmed me down but I was near tears. Then when we returned one young girl walked right up to me and asked, "Are you Karen Wasylowski?" I mumbled, "yes." She smiled and said, "I want your book." Everything changed after that! Whoever she is I could kiss her. I felt like a million bucks.

In the next two hours I sold twelve books. I came up with the tag line that Darcy and Fitzwilliam is Pride and Prejudice Meets Tom Jones. Most of the people lit up when I said that and bought the book.

Onto Books-A-Million here in town in March and then Fresno and the DREADED JASNA women in April. I will commence the rosary now...

For my angel, Lucy P...


Saturday, February 19, 2011


We are in Savannah for tomorrow's Savannah Book Fair. I have to admit that the sooner this whole sorry business is over the happier I will be. It's an unholy mess. Three hours we sat Friday night at Barnes and Noble by their back door like Girl Scout cookie sellers - we sold a few books but is it worth the mind numbing boredom?

All in all the reviews on the book are mixed. I have some great reviews but the Darcy lovers don't want anything but a Harlequin Romance for him and Lizzy - or they want vampires. I wish I had never written this book, never pursued getting it published, never even heard of Pride and Prejudice. The one review I read by mistake was particularly cruel for some reason. I found her picture on one of the facebook sites and had to restrain myself from telling her what I thought of her. The bad review was on Austen Prose. The five star review was on Jane Austen Today and Jane Austen World. The lady running Austen Prose is coming out with a book...

I have to admit that I love this Youtube video of one of my favorite HBO series - Rome. Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson) stole the series with his character, you could see them rewriting to fit more of him into the show.

Besides, this is what I'd love to do to the few reviewers that didn't like my book...


It's been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and fish... All before making a human. He made and provided what we'd need before we were born. These are best & more powerful when eaten raw. We're such slow learners...

God left us a great clue as to what foods help what part of our body!

God's Pharmacy! Amazing!

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... And YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocadoes, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.
Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bits and Pieces and Richard Armitage in The Hobbit

A CBS reporter was attacked, beaten and raped by the jubilant crowd when the Egyptian president stepped down. I cannot imagine what a horror that was for the woman who was eventually saved by a group of women and the soldiers.

I have just returned home from the hospital to visit a dear friend of mine - Sr. Nora Brick, called the Mother Theresa of Bradenton. An 82 year old Franciscan nun who has spent her adult life teaching underprivileged children, feeding the poor and helping the migrants survive the ghastly conditions they live in, was beaten bloody in her poor little trailer last evening. How anyone could attack one of the few people I can honestly say is a living saint is baffling to me. I pray for the man and hope to heaven the police find him before the migrants do. I was speaking to two of her fellow sisters who were looking over her at the hospital. One of them told me she had such an overwhelming feeling about Nora last week and announced that they had to come and visit her. They are from the mother house in Boston, these two sisters are the big bosses there, the Provincials. Anyway, they arrived on Sunday night and saw the man stalking sister. They will take her back with them and force her to retire. It's time.

This looks like it will be wonderful. I loved the Hobbit, even more than Lord of the Rings because I couldn't really make sense of LOTR. I came across a trailer for the movie with an incredibly good looking Richard Armitage. Maria Grazia where have I been? You were right all along. Very spiffy looking gent.

GUEST BLOG - Jennifer Becton
I did a guest blog about Mrs. Maria Fitzherbert, a character in my book, Darcy and Fitzwiliam, who was a real life person. She fascinated me.

Yet another guest blog. I have run out of things to write about. Besides I had a colonoscopy today and I don't feel too peppy. Yesterday was straight from hell.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

We are Spiritual Beings going through
a Temporary Human Experience

"Freedom and I have been together 10 years this summer. She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings. Her left wing doesn't open all the way even after surgery, it was broken in 4 places. She's my baby.

When Freedom came in she could not stand and both wings were broken. She was emaciated and covered in lice. We made the decision to give her a chance at life, so I took her to the vets office. From then on, I was always around her. We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to lay in. I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes. We also had to tube feed her for weeks.

This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still couldn't stand. It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if she couldn't stand in a week. You know you don't want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning. She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in on that Thursday afternoon. I didn't want to go to the center that Thursday, because I couldn't bear the thought of her being euthanized; but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from ear to ear. I went immediately back to her cage; and there she was, standing on her own, a big beautiful eagle. She was ready to live. I was just about in tears by then. That was a very good day.

We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove train her. I got her used to the glove, and we started doing education programs for schools in western Washington. We wound up in the newspapers, radio (believe it or not) and some TV. Miracle Pets even did a show about us.

In the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. I had stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere), so I wound up doing 8 months of
chemo. Lost the hair - the whole bit. I missed a lot of work. When I felt good enough, I would go to Sarvey and take Freedom out for walks. Freedom would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer. This happened time and time again.

Fast forward to November 2000, the day after Thanksgiving. I went in for my last checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not all gone after 8 rounds of chemo,then my last option was a stem cell transplant. Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for the results. I went in Monday, and I was told that all the cancer was gone.

So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her up, and we went out front to the top of the hill. I hadn't said a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me and wrapped both her wings around me to where I could feel them pressing in on my back (I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she touched my nose with her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that for I don't know how long. That was a magic moment. We have been soul mates ever since she came in. This is a very special bird.

On a side note: I have had people who were sick come up to us when we are out, and Freedom has some kind of hold on them. I once had a guy who was terminal come up to us and I let him hold her. His knees just about buckled and he swore he could feel her power coarse through his body. I have so many stories like that.

I never forget the honor I have of being so close to such a magnificent spirit as Freedom. Hope you enjoy this."


I have no idea if this is a true story, but it was so lovely and filled with hope and I love animals. I want some dogs again, I really miss mine.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Masterpiece Classics - this Sunday, February 13 Episode One

"A man's journal is not only a chronicle of his life, but a peek into his soul. So is the case with Logan Mountstuart, the protagonist of "Any Human Heart" (airing as part of "Masterpiece Classic" for the next three weeks, beginning at 9 p.m. Sunday on PBS).

Based on William Boyd's novel, the film follows Mountstuart through the various stages of his life: as a young man (played by Sam Claflin), through adulthood (Matthew Macfadyen) and into his twilight years (Jim Broadbent).

When we first meet Mountstuart, the lustful youth is making a wager with his chums on who will lose his virginity first. This lightness weaves its way through the darkness that will inevitably find Mountstuart as his life progresses. His love affairs help shape Mountstuart into the man he becomes, despite how they end -- and they all do, for better or worse.

But it's not all romance and heartache. Adventure is Mountstuart's friend. He becomes a published author to his great delight but, after years of false starts on his third book, puts on his journalist's hat and covers the Spanish Civil War. Then there's his stint in British Naval intelligence; his move to New York, running a local art gallery; and that time he fell in with a terrorist cell.

Mountstuart also runs into familiar faces over the years: Winston Churchill (Gerry George), Ernest Hemingway (Gulian Ovenden), Ian Fleming (Tobias Menzies) and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (Tom Hollander and Gillian Anderson).

At times fantastical but nonetheless relatable, "Any Human Heart" is a high-wire act that thrives due to the script and the performances. Boyd's screenplay is clever, droll and human. Mountstuart is realistically fleshed out, filled with foibles, naïveté and a degree of selfishness that allow him to constantly evolve -- even to the detriment of others.

The trio charged with giving life to such a man does so with brio, gravitas and gumption. Claflin brings out Mountstuart's innocence and zest for life, making it engrained in the character from the beginning. Macfadyen does the heaviest lifting by revealing Mountstuart's heart and picking up the pieces as it's shattered more than once. Not to be outdone, Broadbent picks up where Claflin and Macfadyen leave off, layering in the shadows of a man haunted by those who were taken from him, as well as from the mistakes he's made, yet enjoying the freedom that comes when peace is finally made within.

Logan Mountstuart's life is filled with experiences that would make some men envious. And while some may think they've seen this story before, take a moment to reflect on the opening line of Henry James' "Louisa Pallant," from where "Any Human Heart" takes its title: "Never say you know the last word about any human heart."

Joanne Thornborough is a film and TV critic, and a copy editor for The Daily Journal.

Blooper reel for LucyP - Colin Firth in a movie I've never heard of

Evidently the rage for Colin Firth is sparking new interest in Jane Austen. Hallelujah! That's good news for me and the others of my ilk and our feeble attempts to recreate yet another episode for the on-going soap opera - Pride and Prejudice. What is it about that story that we all love so much? One of the persistent questions I get asked is which Darcy do I prefer and I don't know anymore. They are both lovely but I wish they had given Matthew a better appearance in the movie. I've even heard him comment about how rough they made him look.

Week three and I have developed definite stomach problems with this book business. I have several blogs this week. Jane Austen Book Club, Maria Grazia, posted her review. She had e-mailed me how she kept her husband awake, laughing over the book. The review said it was a little too long and questioned the "new" language - read swearing. I have some questions she forwarded to answer and she'll post them on February 16, then I have another two blogs to write - maybe three. I forget.

Never again.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


“Will you calm yourself, Darcy, and sit down before you fall down!” Fitzwilliam motioned with his palms for his cousin to relax. “My God man this is not you! Take slow breaths – that’s it.” After assuring himself that Darcy was finally settled, Fitzwilliam turned on Georgiana and started to scream. “What in hell are you doing dallying about half naked with some cork brained little sailor?!”

“Well, that wasn’t really helpful, dear,” Amanda offered delicately while at the same time motioning for Lizzie to sit on the couch. They sat in dazed fascination at the three combatants before them. Lizzie reached for the glass of wine that Amanda offered her.

“Lieutenant Ashcroft.” The butler intoned and bowed, then backed out with a shriek as Darcy lunged for the young man.

“I won’t fight you, sir.” He said as he darted behind a chair. “I never hit my elders or children. Or the infirmed.” Darcy was not amused. His chest heaved up and down as he attempted to catch his breath.

“Someone please find me a crutch so that I can beat this infant bloody!” Darcy made a feint to the right and then to the left of the chair, but the seducer was much quicker, and much younger, and much thinner. “And please someone make the room stop spinning for a moment.”

He momentarily gave up trying to out maneuver the lad and gave himself over to his exhaustion, his hands grasping his knees, his breath coming in short raspy gasps. “Fitzwilliam!” he pointed one quick finger to Ashcroft. “Kill!” His other hand went up to cover his heart.

“Georgiana and I are married! We were married four days ago,” Ashcroft finally shouted and Georgiana’s breathing stopped; her eyes closed. “I am sorry, Georgie, but it had to be told.” She walked to the front of the chair that had protected her and slumped into it. Ashcroft crouched before her. “I cannot have them thinking badly of you.”

“I beg your pardon, young man?” Darcy looked up from his bent position.

“You married a sailor?” Fitzwilliam’s nose wrinkled up in his disbelief at her obviously lowered standards.

“He’s not just a sailor!” she shouted indignantly, unable to take another insult to her beloved. “He is First Lieutenant Beverly Ashcroft of His Britannic Majesty’s sixty-four gun ship the Vanguard, one of the youngest first lieutenant’s in His Majesty’s naval force.” Ashcroft took her hands into his and kissed them. “And next year he will probably have his own ship, and he will be very famous and very brave and I love him with all my heart!”

Georgiana brought his hands to her mouth and returned his kiss, her two guardians staring at them in shocked silence; they then looked up at each other. Seeing the look in his cousin’s eyes, Fitzwilliam placed what he hoped was a calming hand on the other’s arm. “Darcy, get control of yourself before you speak.”

Darcy stood up slowly. “Do you mean to tell me,” his voice was barely recognizable, a gruff imitation of the usual civilized tone Georgiana knew so well. “Do you mean to tell me that you have been sneaking around our house like some couple from a French bedroom farce, climbing in and out of windows and pottery sheds?” His hands were clenched on his hips in anger and dismay that she had not told him about this; that she had again felt the necessity to elope rather than trust him.

Ashcroft stood up and faced Darcy. “No sir, we have not been reenacting a French bedroom farce, as you put it. We have not even seen each other since the wedding some four days ago. I thought to have a moment alone with my wife today, since I would not be allowed to enjoy this glorious occasion without her two ancient bodyguards looming over us.” Ashcroft’s eyes went from Fitzwilliam to Darcy.

“No need to get so snippy,” muttered Fitzwilliam.

“Also, I will be leaving on the Vanguard in four days and will not return for six months. I wanted to have at least one moment with the woman I love before we are forced to part.”

Fitzwilliam had walked over to the side, and was now dragging two chairs over for himself and Darcy to sit on. He stopped in his tracks.

“You poor sod! You mean you haven’t even done the deed! Why in hell did you marry her if you weren’t going to…?” Amanda gave an exasperated sound and then clamped her hand over her mouth when Fitzwilliam shot her a warning look.

Ashcroft inhaled deeply, successfully controlling his quickly rising anger. He calmed his voice to a civilized tone. “It was Georgiana’s decision to remain in secret. It is Georgiana’s belief that you both have great expectations for her regarding her first season. She is of the mind that since you had promised this to your dying father that you would both shrivel up and expire if it was denied you.”

He kissed Georgiana’s hand and then gave a hard stare back at the two cousins.

“I, on the other hand, find it hard to accept that the woman I adore will be peddled on the marriage mart like the other desperate debutantes, while I am away at sea and unable to defend her. No offense, but I have not been overly impressed with your guardianship to this point. Further, I cannot bear to be away from her for six months while other men ogle her and discuss her as if they were considering purchasing a quarter horse at Tattersals. And, as long as we are being so up front and chatty, did either of you give a thought to the fact that Georgiana herself has been dreading the crowds and the rude people whose company she will be forced to endure. I confess I pushed her into a secret marriage, overriding her fears that it would cause you both the same pain that her episode with Wickham did so many years ago. It is my fault, not Georgiana’s, and I would appreciate you directing any retribution to me and not to her.”

Turning slowly to face each other Fitzwilliam and Darcy were blessedly speechless for a moment; but only a moment. Then Fitzwilliam positioned their chairs before Georgiana. “Could you excuse us for a moment, Ashcroft.” He not so gently shoved the man’s legs to the side as they sat down before her, each taking one of her hands; Darcy leaned over to wipe away the tears that rolled down her cheek. To his credit, his anger now cooling, Ashcroft obediently walked back a little distance behind the two seated men and smiled his encouragement to Georgiana over their heads.

“Please forgive me, brother, Richard. I did not set out to fall in love and ruin all your plans for me – it just happened. I tried to be strong – we both did – but I love him so very much.” Tears continued to slide down her cheeks as she bowed her head.

Darcy let out a huge sigh. “But why, my sweetest darling, did you not come to me, to either of us, and tell us about this?” His heart was breaking to see his beloved baby sister so distraught; to know that for the second time she had not felt able to confide in him.

“Well, I always seem to disappoint you, brother.” Georgiana sniffled and blew her nose loudly on a handkerchief Ashcroft tucked into her hand. “First with Wickham, and, you know, there is my ridiculous shyness with everyone. Well, good gracious, I am so very tall and too quiet; not at all what the haute ton deems as a ‘diamond of the first water’. I just don’t feel like I fit in; and I tried, brother; I really did. I know that this season means a great deal to you both because I know you are both honorable men who would never go back on a promise.” She inhaled deeply and raised her chin, trying to quell her tears. “Especially not a promise made to papa.

“I have made a vow that I will not disappoint either of you again; we have decided that we will keep the marriage quiet until the season is over and then it can be announced.” She looked over at a scowling Ashcroft shaking his head. “Well, most of the season anyway. It will be fine, Richard, brother. Really it will.”

Richard exhaled his breath slowly. Georgiana had no idea of her beauty and was totally loyal to those she loved. She had been that way since childhood; a true innocent who only saw the goodness around her.

Darcy reached forward and tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear, then cupped her cheek with his hand. “Have I been so blind to not see you are a grown woman now?” He regretfully looked at her as if for the first time. “You certainly are no longer my shy little girl.” He leaned forward and kissed her forehead, his own eyes growing moist. “And you are certainly not too tall. You are a goddess among midges. You are lovely and beautiful and very elegant. Here I thought you would get a swelled head if we praised you too much; but, it appears you needed to hear us say this and tell you how very proud we are of you. And you are definitely a ‘diamond of the first water’, slap up to the mark.

“And as for Wickham,” Richard found this so hard to admit to her, but it had to be said, “we failed you Georgiana, you never failed us. As a result perhaps we have been a little too smothering; a little too eager to keep you our child. In your own sweet wonderful way you have been concerned with our feelings almost to the exclusion of your own happiness. You are a very kind and compassionate person.

“A much better person than either of us, eh Darcy?” Fitzwilliam muttered. They sat in silence for several moments. Ashcroft walked up between them and placed a hand on each man’s shoulder.

“Yes, Georgiana is very kind and compassionate, especially in regard to you two. Why, she loves you both so much that she desires you two to have the supreme pleasure of taking her weekly to the balls at Almacks, to spend hour upon hour drinking tepid tea and watered down lemonade, making polite conversation with the achingly elegant Almack Patronesses, the Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse – Death, Disease, Pestilence and Famine.

“What supreme joy you will have, attempting intelligent conversation with any number of pimply, awkward seventeen and eighteen year old boys and girls, not to mention their plump and conniving mamas; then there are the dowager matriarchs who are constantly on the look out for deviations from good form, the lecherous widowers looking to pounce on the wealthy innocent when their guardians turn their backs. They are all fine sport to watch.

“Yes, you will both have this season to remember for all your lives. A season that your beloved little sister has convinced herself would reduce you both to sobbing wrecks if it was denied you.” He squeezed their shoulders tightly one time and then once again. “Lucky men. Lucky, lucky men.” He squeezed again. “So lucky,” he murmured and backed away.

Georgiana was appalled.

“Beverly Ashcroft you stop it this instant. You are deliberately making a mockery out of something that has been very important to them for a long time.” She looked dearly into her brother’s eyes and then her cousin’s, placing a comforting hand on each of their cheeks. “This is an important occasion for the elderly to be able to provide for their charges.”

Darcy and Fitzwilliam lowered their heads so far that their faces were hidden from view, only occasionally turning to sneak glances at each other. She could see their shoulders begin shaking and heard the muffled sounds.

“You see, Beverly! You see what you have done! Now they are crying; my poor, poor darlings!” Georgiana bent further over in an attempt to look into their eyes as Darcy and Fitzwilliam swiveled their heads from her view.

Finally, they could suppress their laughter no longer. They gulped and snorted and whenever either of them thought that they had regained their composure, off they would go again, nearly falling from their stools.

“Forgive me, Georgiana,” Darcy wiped his eyes gasping for breath; Georgiana was shocked. After several moments he was able to compose himself enough to speak.

“You know dear, if you don’t want this season, I think that we could survive not experiencing your venture into the marriage mart dear.”

Fitzwilliam had finally calmed down enough to speak, “…seems to be a bit counterproductive at this point, anyway.” He looked quite serious for as long as he was able and then began laughing again.

“Do you mean to tell me that neither of you really wanted this? That you were not looking forward to the next four months?” Georgiana’s voice had a decidedly icy edge.

“Well, actually…that is exactly what we mean dear.” Darcy took her hands and held them. “I mean, if you want it, we will move heaven and earth for you to have your season. But, dearest, since you are married now it would really be pointless; and…I would rather kiss a monkey than dance with Princess Esterhazy’s daughter again…”

Fitzwilliam’s laughter began to subside. “God, Georgiana.” He gasped for breath, wiping his eyes on his shirt sleeve. “We were forced to attend Almacks decades ago, for what seemed like centuries; we ran with the ton ‘sinful’ for a while, remember? My lord, they are a horrible lot; absolutely vile and wicked. To tell the truth, it was just one drunken debauched party after another.”

“By God, but those were the good old days now that I think on it, weren’t they?” added Darcy through his laughter. Richard smiled evilly.

“Richard!” Amanda warned.

“William!” Lizzie shouted at the same moment.

Ashcroft crossed his arms in front of himself and smiled at his adorable wife. “You have a sweet, gentle, shy disposition, Georgie; whereas, the ton are rarely kind and seldom have any compassion. It would be better to select a few good people to befriend and not beg for the approval of the rest.” Georgiana looked up at her husband and blew him a kiss.



I am getting some flack from people who don't believe there was any swearing in the Regency period. I have pasted the following reference which includes both 'balls' and 'fuck'. Those words are not 'modern' words as some have suggested, they have been around forever, not in public discourse but among soldiers or men who are alone together and in a highly agitated state.

Believe me the book was proofread five times and I was called out on the terms 'hormonal' which would have greater explained Lizzy's temper in the beginning of the book, and 'bear hug', 'pit bull', 'caveman', etc. The list was endless and aggravating. They even checked the Soldiers Song I used to introduce Fitzwilliam's Volume II. Sourcebooks is a very tightly run organization - they would have noticed the F-bomb if it was out of period.

The more sensitve ladies are offended and I apologize; however, my book was written from two men's viewpoints, so I went with male type of aggressive language. It was not done to titillate or shock.

Swear Words, Taboo Words, Euphemisms
"The Writers Guide to Everyday Life in the 1800s" by Mark McCutcheon, Writers Digest Books, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1993.

Although seldom found in print, swear words or taboo words were undoubtedly uttered just as profusely in the streets as they are now. In polite or mixed company, of course, euphemisms were used, especially by women and children. Many connotations of words used today remain curiously unchanged from the nineteenth century to the twentieth. In cases where no definition appears, the reader can use his or her imagina- tion and extrapolate from current usage. Also note that some words that seem harmless today were considered highly vulgar not so long ago.

adventuress: euphemism for a prostitute or wild woman.

ass, ass-backwards (also bass-ackwards), asswipe: used throughout the century.

balls: shortened from ballocks, used throughout the century.

bastard: used throughout the century.

bitch: in the sense of a slutty, promiscuous Person (as a dog in heat) and actually applied to either sex early in the century. Its useto denote a crabby person, especially as applied to a female, came much later.

blazes: euphemism for hell or the devil.

bloody, British swear word, from mid-1700s on.

boat-licker: the equivalent of an ass-kisser.

breast' not used in mixed company. "Delicate" citizens went so far as to call a chicken breast a bosom.

bull: a taboo word due to its association with sexual potency. Polite folk spoke of a cow brute, a gentleman cow, a top cow, or a seed ox.

bull: in reference to lies or exaggerations, widely popularized by Civil War soldiers, from 1860s on.

cherry: vulgar term for a young woman, from at least mid-century on.

clap: for venereal disease, from the 1700s on.

cockchafer, cocksucker, cockteaser: all from at least mid-century on.

condom: taboo because contraceptives were illegal for most of the century.

crap: euphemism for ***** from at least mid-century.

****: highly vulgar, used throughout the century.

cussed: a somewhat acceptable swear word, meaning cursed, contemptible, mean, etc.

damn: a more powerful swear word in the nineteenth century than now. devil: a more powerful expletive in the nineteenth century than now.

dickens: a euphemism for devil, e.g., What the dickens are you going on about now? Popularly used from the second half of the century.

drafted: a mild expletive, sometimes used as an euphemism for damned, throughout most of the century.

fart: used throughout the century, e.g., I don't give a fart. Not worth a fart in a whirlwind.

french pox: euphemism for syphilis.

fuck: used throughout the century.

The Three Musketeers - 3-D

The wonderful Matthew
Macfadyen as Athos

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How do celebrities live with criticism all of their professional lives? There must be some sort of drive in a person to put themselves out on the firing line day after day, month after month, year after year. What would compel actors, artists, writers to put themselves out there, to face the judgment of people who might be just reacting to a bad day themselves? They have to be insane, the rewards cannot possibly justify the humiliation.

Ah, well. I have another two weeks to go in the god-awful month until the first of March and another set of books will come out and mine will be forgotten. Thankfully.

Now to put things into perspective, the commercial I adored from the Superbowl was Darth Vader boy. How adorable can anyone get? It turns out he's six years old and has a heart defect, a patient at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. He has Tetralogy of Fallot with a good long term prognosis. He's my hero. I'm not going to moan about someone not liking my book ever again (until tomorrow anyway)

For LucyP - Colin won AARP best actor in a movie made for grown-ups. There aren't many movies for grown-ups anymore. Excellent choice. Good picture too.

Jerry Seinfield
"Where lipstick is concerned, the important thing is not color, but to accept God's final word on where your lips end."

Monday, February 7, 2011


I loved this review so much I had to put it in here. Several of the bloggers are furious with me because Darcy and Fitzwilliam is not what they expected - another Regency Romance. I tried to make the characters human, all of them, and find reasons for their actions. The men swear, talk politics, the women bash the men, children are worried over, couples fight, forgive and go on... Just like Thanksgiving at anyone's home.

Jane Austen Today, February 7, 2011
Darcy and Fitzwilliam by Karen Wasylowski: A Review
Book review from the desk of Shelley DeWees… Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A Tale of a Gentleman and an Officer by Karen V. Wasylowski

Imagine, if you dare…

A soldier stands in the background, far away from the shaded beauty of the stairs directly below you. You can barely see the red-backed, leather-booted militia man but you can tell he walks with purpose, conviction. He’s looking to the right as if he’s about to turn into the lane and boldly move off into the next phase of life with his head held high, confident in his poise and precise in his footfalls. The beautiful spring day is made better by the vision of sun dappled ferns and leaves scattered haphazardly on the stones, billowing around as if they’ve just been disturbed by something….a man….a cloaked man, running after the soldier with a clear demeanor of distress. He runs as if he’s got something to say, something important.

Mysterious. Intriguing, you might say. Gracing the cover of Darcy and Fitzwilliam, Karen Wasylowski’s debut novel, the scene seems to speak, “Yes. Open me. Read me. It will prove interesting.” My senses were tingling, but guardedly. It was going to be a compelling tale of male bonding and growth, perhaps interspersed with a few allegories of debauchery and decadence. Was I about to stumble into a literary man cave? A wordy representation of a place where no female ought to poke her nose? Though the contemptible word “bromance” was used in the author’s own description of her work, her “baby” as she called it, I was moved to give the whole liking it thing a real shot, a good ‘ol college try. With such a lovely cover, it had to be better than a bromance, right? Would a sneaky look into a man cave be that bad?

Well, no. This story is amazing. It’s not just a glimpse into the idle lives of the extremely rich and entitled, and certainly not a flippant narrative of a life unbridled by the constraints of the middle class. It’s not just drinking and billiards, gambling and shooting, and it’s certainly not what I thought it would be (the man cave analogy is officially rebuked). This is a visceral tale that positively drips with social commentary, tackling problems that few Austenesque writers would attempt to undertake.

Ms. Wasylowski weaves a brilliant account of two separate lives, those of a married, measured, quiet man whose strength is in the details, and another loud, energetic, sometimes irksome chronic bachelor who uses his charisma to get what he needs out of life. I’m sure you know which is which, but I bet you’ll be surprised at just how engaging these two characters are. The book itself is divided into two volumes, the first of which deals with Mr. Darcy and his new bride. They’re happy but not irritatingly so (how refreshing), and in fact they engage in a knock-down-drag-out brawl within the first seven chapters! Elizabeth and Darcy slowly figure out their new life together, discovering flaws, faults, one giant secret, and stirring up all kinds of interesting social issues in the meantime. Sexual disparities show up, and Elizabeth marvels at her ignorance and jealously while Darcy is forced to deal with the formidable Lady Catherine DeBourgh (who, in this representation, is a feisty and delicious character). Later on in volume two, the life of Fitzwilliam “Richard” Darcy is explored more thoroughly, and the reader watches helplessly as his greed and foolishness finally catch up with him. What is he to do? Searching for answers at the bottom of a hip flask hasn’t been working out. He’s looking to find someone to spend his life with, but is forced to sift through piles of societal restrictions once he’s found her. England’s position on women, marriage, homosexuality, alcohol, even America’s treachery come into the picture, not tiptoeing over but literally smashing his dreams. What’s a guy to do?

There is little else anyone can say to you, clever reader, except this: Read this book. A cutesy romance of love and lace it is not. Darcy and Fitzwilliam is a gripping interpretation of life in Regency England, bravely attempting to bring issues of tension to the table. Domestic violence, alcoholism, harsh words, sex, royalism, and loathsome small-mindedness abound, and all through the vision of Jane Austen’s characters.

It’s intoxicating. It’s absorbing. It’s excellent.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Georgiana's Story - Part Deux

The saga of Georgiana and her sailor continues....

Ashcroft’s hand pulled the sleeve of her gown down lower, exposing her breast to his worshipful gaze and he bent to kiss and caress the snowy white peach, his hand then once again covering it as his mouth devoured hers. They were both moaning so loudly that a faint comment outside, such as, “are you certain you saw her come out here Peter?” And then a curious, “Heavens, what is that sound?” in a voice very similar to Darcy’s, never even registered in Georgiana’s brain. When the door to the shed was flung open the light pouring inside immediately caused them both to pull apart and squint toward the opening.

“You bastard!” was only the first thing Georgiana heard Darcy scream as he leaned in and started to pull Ashcroft out by the throat. “Get your filthy hands off my sister! Georgiana! Are you all right?! Who is this filthy bastard?! Did he touch you? Oh My God, he is still touching you!

“Release her you filthy bastard! You are a dead man!”

Suddenly, there were other screams and cries, other voices wandering outside. Darcy’s voice overwhelmed them all. Peter the gardener, usually stoic and mute, suddenly began to run around wildly screaming, “Rape! Rape!”

“Brother! Brother!” Georgiana cried and shrieked as she yanked her sleeve back up and tried to drag his hands from Ashcroft’s throat while her poor husband gagged, his eyes bulging, his hands motioning wildly to Georgiana to say something, anything.

“I will annihilate you, you decaying animal! Someone call a magistrate! There is a rapist here! A rapist I say!”

The last words screeched by Peter the gardener, seconds before he twirled about and blacked out, was, “RRRRRRAPE!”

Georgiana tore out of the garden and ran stumbling to Fitzwilliam’s house, crying all the way in a tone that had dogs barking in the distance. When she arrived and the door was not immediately flung open at her eye splitting shrieks she began banging on it. “Richard!” she screamed up to where she knew his one completed and finished room was located. “Help me please! He’s killing Beverly!” The butler rushed to the back and opened the door a small crack, only to have Georgiana push past him. “He’s killing my Beverly!”

Richard had been slouched on his chair, his feet restng upon a cushion as he ostensibly read that morning’s newssheet. The snores emanating from his wife’s gaping mouth as she lay motionless on the settee, snugly warm before the fire, was thus far the only racket capable of keeping him conscious. His own head kept slipping back as he struggled to remain awake for the exact moment to administer her medicine, but his eyes were determined to close. At the sudden rumpus he raised his head up and stared stupidly at the doorway. Still groggy with sleep he tried to shake off his stupor. He rubbed his eyes. “What the hell is going on now?” he grumbled. "Amanda, what have you done?"

After a full morning of playing Pirate Marauders with son Harry and the blessed ending of a two week self imposed celibacy (a celibacy that was due entirely to an irrational and momentary belief that perhaps Aunt Catherine’s theory was correct - the sight of a penis coming at it would panic a defenseless babe within the womb), Richard was finally able to relax. Somehow thinking his unborn twins were creating the disturbance he leaned over to place his ear upon Amanda’s stomach. All sounds there pointed strictly toward digestion..

Georgiana burst into the room. “He’s killing Beverly!” She gasped for breath and staggered into the room clutching her chest.

“Who is dearest?” Panic gripped Fitzwilliam as Amanda’s eyes fluttered open; she struggled to sit up. “Who is this woman being attacked?!”

“Beverly! My brother is in a rage and strangling Beverly!”

“Oh, don’t be ridiculous, Georgiana. Even Darcy wouldn’t kill a woman.”

“AARGGGHH!!! First Lieutenant Beverly Ashcroft!! Beverly!!” Richard turned to Amanda and they both shrugged. “My Beverly!!” Georgiana whined, aggravated at their sudden slow wits.

In the distance they heard the back servant’s door bang open and shouting down below, then footsteps pounding up the stairs, and then Darcy burst into the room, his face mottled and his mouth twisted in fury. Lizzie arrived seconds after him calling for him to calm himself before he succumbed to a seizure.

“I will kill him! He escaped! He’s an escaped rapist! I will kill him!” Georgiana ran behind her cousin for protection. “Hopefully I will reach him before I have my heart attack!”

Frustrated beyond endurance, Fitzwilliam threw his newspaper down on the ground. “Someone please tell me what the hell is going on!” he finally bellowed.

“My sister’s breast, Fitzwilliam! Yes, it was horrible! Horrible! I saw my sister’s naked breast. I am shocked that my eyes are not bleeding! It was encased in the paw of a degenerate soldier!”

Georgiana stomped her foot. “Degenerate sailor, not soldier! He is a First Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, brother; now please stop! It was not as it appeared.”

“Get me a gun, Fitzwilliam; or a knife, a fork. I care not which. He escaped, he’s thin and wiry, the cad, and very young.” Darcy gasped again for breath. “Very young; nearly prepubescent. But I will find him and make him fight me. I will call him out and kill him. Perhaps I can trip him and club him to death.”

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Any Human Heart

Masterpiece Classic is my favorite show on television. It's always good, even when it's mediocre, like the last Wallender series. I loved Henning Mankel's character, Wallender (or is it Mankel Henning?) The first MC of three of the books were wonderful. The last, not so much. The wonderful Downton Abbey just finished up four episodes and will come back again in a few months, beginning the second half of the story two years later, in 1916.

In the meantime they will show 'Any Human Heart' one of my favorite books, right after Pillars of the Earth. It's the story of one man's life and the people he meets along the way - Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, the ghastly Duke and Duchess of Windsor. But it is his day to day life that I found so touching in that it's not tremendously successful, but far from a failure - it's just there, like all of our lives. In the end you think, oh this man has suffered terribly, but he reflects upon his life and remembers mostly the good. Then you do too.

I sobbed like a baby at the end of the book.

Of course, I am partial to this because it stars my favorite Darcy - Matthew Macfadyen. He's lovely. If you have any doubts go to Darcylicious and look at some of their pictures of him. Eyebrow waggle good looking.

BRAIN TEST ALERT This is fun to take and you can cheat if you take it a few times. Not certain if that doesn't defeat the whole purpose but...

"I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Georgiana's Story

Georgiana Darcy is a woman in love, a woman secretly married to a man with a bizarre name, an officer in the British Navy. She feels obliged to keep this brand new marriage a secret because her two old guardians, Darcy and Fitzwilliam, have longed all of their lives to see their little girl presented at court and given a season on the London marriage mart. Here she is, Georgiana, and the love of her life... (play the recording as you read about Darcy's little sister)

It was Presentation day and Georgiana Darcy was already dressed and waiting for the others. She checked and rechecked her feather to make sure it wouldn’t dip or bend betraying her clumsiness and her naivety to the monarch. She bowed, she dipped, she bounced up and down on her toes and her heels until she was satisfied that the Regent himself would have to run up to her and rip it forcibly from her head before it would fall; and even then he would need to have braced his feet against her chest for enough leverage. She sighed and nodded. One worry out of one thousand alleviated.

Her dress was another story; a huge white old fashioned monstrosity which stuck out on the sides with panniers, flat in front and back and a ridiculously low cut tight fitting bodice, with short puffy sleeves and ruffles everywhere. She was humiliated and she could not easily pass through doorways; she had to travel sideways like a fiddler crab. She looked like a busty Little Bo Peep. Would this season ever be over? The entertainments were getting larger and the parties louder and the shyness she had hoped to have conquered was now often paralyzing her. Georgiana missed the quiet country.

Pacing back and forth she wondered if she would see Beverly that day. It had been four days since their secret wedding and four days since she had been briefly alone with him, still a bride in name only. In a few days his ship would be gone and she was already feeling the longing ache of missing him. Six months he would be gone from her and six months may as well be an eternity when you are nineteen. She heard a sound; a stone hitting her window causing her to look up briefly, but her mind had moved onto new worries: her curtsey. Heaven forbid but her curtsey had to be knee to floor, graceful and fluid, whatever that meant. She resumed her practice.

“Knee to the floor, knee to the floor, knee to the floor…,” she repeated until she had reached the acceptable bowing position, her arms gracefully loose at her sides. She attempted the required graceful and fluid rise and could not. “Can’t get up, can’t get up, can’t get up…” she panted. She panicked. She was stuck. How in the name of St. Timothy’s shin bone was she supposed to stand back up? The muscles behind her legs screamed at her as she made one or two attempts. Nothing. She was frozen. Suddenly another, larger, stone cracked against the window, frightening her. She toppled back onto her rear, her legs shooting out from under her. “OOOFFF!”

Her arms flew around wildly searching for purchase, and in a terrifying moment one of her breasts popped out from her low cut bodice. “Oh good gracious,” she whimpered and quickly stuffed it back within her gown. A small brick hit the window frame. She could no longer ignore this racket. She made her way clumsily back onto her feet and ran to the window to see her bridegroom, Lieutenant Beverly Ashcroft, standing beneath it, straddling a fallen tree trunk. He waved at her and threw her a kiss then motioned for her to go out to the garden and meet him.

She ran down the stairs sideways, weaving her way through the servants who where streaming upstairs and down with furniture and candles and hundreds of other unidentifiable things, yelping and dodging her as she passed. All was in chaos, everyone busily preparing the great hall for the following day’s ball. She nodded her thanks to one and all, trying not to break into a run. She finally reached the downstairs door, opened it, slipped outside and jumped into his arms.

“Oh my darling,” he whispered into her ear. “Are you as undone as I am?” She nodded quickly smothering his mouth with her kisses, her hands cupping the beautiful sides of his magnificent face.

“Perhaps getting married secretly wasn’t the best idea. All I can think of now is what I am missing.” He crushed her closer to him and kissed her senseless for a few minutes. “Do you have some time now? Can we go somewhere to speak ? Anywhere? To speak dearest, I swear. Just to speak.” He looked so pathetic that her heart swelled with desire and love for him. Truthfully though, he could have looked like a tomato and her heart would have swelled with desire and love for him.

“Yes, please. I would dearly love a good conversation right now.” She dragged him through the rear vegetable gardens to the recesses of the property, back into a storage shed. Realizing that the floor would dirty the hem of her gown, he removed his coat, placing it on the floor for her to stand on; then closed the door behind them. It would have taken only a moment for their eyes to adjust to the light, but in that moment they were already in another world of senses and emotions.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard scheduled to coincide with my Publication day - film at eleven

OK, what rooky angel is assigned to me that allowed a flipping blizzard to attack the civilized world when my book is premiering? Of all the guardians in all the gin joints in all the universe did I really need to get an Alaskan one? "You call this snow - I'll show you snow." Really.

Then my blog on February 1 didn't show up, it will be on February 14 now on Laura's Reviews. The other blogs I'm doing this week got their information to me late and they are closing down due to the storm. Stay at Home Mothers - the heart of blogdom - are going nuts with kids underfoot on a snow day, perhaps a snow week. Ah, well it could be worse I suppose.

Here are some other mishaps in the world around us...

So get on your boots, take a flashlight and provisions, and go out and buy my book. You can do it, you come from sturdy stock. And also, call Borders and see why they are only selling it on-line, ignorant baboons. Call, write, scream.
Now, here is my daily Youtube fix for LucyP and the Firth gang...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Publication Day - Darcy and Fitzwilliam

It isn't every day one of your dreams comes true, and the older you get, truthfully, the content of your dreams changes. Things that are important at 25 or 35 or 45 change constantly. I am so grateful for all that I have experienced, for my life. I met a very kind, wonderful man and married at an age when it is said you have a better chance being kidnapped by terrorists than landing a husband. Luckily for me, I found a good one,husband that is, not terrorist, and I held on. I had wonderful parents, truly loving people, and I have a great brother. Then, out of the blue, I get a book published. It was a dream of long ago, it doesn't improve my opinion of life, but it's a good, happy feeling. So a long ago dream came true today for me and I thank God with all my heart for this gift, the icing on a cake of happiness. I love my family and my friends, and as of this day in time, we are all healthy.

It doesn't get better than that.

It takes a long time to realize that these are the things that make a life successful.

Sorry about the blizzard.