Tag Archives: Arabella Stokes

Friday Foto: Dang, I Clean Up Good!

Well, greetings from Atlanta and the 2013 Romance Writers of America National Conference! I am so happy to be here! Not only is this the one week all year that I am with thousands of other women who think it is perfectly normal to have talk to the people in their heads, but Atlanta holds a special place in my heart. The first book in my Oswald’s Corner Romance Club series is set in Georgia, both in my fictional town of Oswald’s Corner (Pop. 9,242) and in the real “Big Peach.”

And since I am determined that this is the year the Ladies of Oswald’s Corner find their way into hard print, I went all out and signed up to have my author’s head shot made at RWA this year. And, my darlings, Crissy and Damon of Studio Sixteen did a lovely job! I’m not sure it looks like me, exactly — but it looks like I want to look, so that is even better.

Let me know what you think — Given the raw material they had to start with, I think it’s a masterpiece!

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Interest in Pinterest?

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If there is one thing Ol’ RomanceMama is always on board for, it is wasting time. Many would say that I have taken concept of timewasting to an art form, but I beg to differ. At least for the most part. You see, what looks — and often feels — like wasting time is really nothing more nor less than good ol’ Muse Nourishment.

Sometimes your Muse just needs a bit of free time, so she can wander lazily through the garden, sniffing a fragrant blossom here, rooting out a weed or two there. Gardening, in this metaphysical sense, is the best thing your muse can do to recharge her little creative batteries.

Which, my darlings, leads us to the subject of the day — the latest, and to my mind, greatest, of the social networks: PINTEREST.

Now, you may be kind of like I was with twitter — I didn’t know anything about it, but I knew I didn’t need it. A total timesuck, I called it. A cheap and shoddy replication of Facebook, with less content. Yeah, well, I was wrong about that, wasn’t I? So when faced with trying Pinterest, I gave in gracefully and gave it a shot.

Kiddos, I am here to tell you — if you, like me, are one of those visual type people to get inspiration from images, run — don’t walk — to the nearest computer and open yourself up a pinterest account.

What is it, you ask? Well, remember that bulletin board you had over your bed when you were in high school? Take that, network it with all your friends’ bulletin boards, and give it the ability to instantly download images from the entire World Wide Web. In short, it is a corkboard on speed, with none of the morning-after trembles.

I have filled my Pinterest boards with pix of the hot British actors upon whom my heroes are based, lovely historical fashions and decor to flesh out the worlds they inhabit, and a heaping helping of snarky quotes and sayings, just because I am the world’s biggest fan of snarkiness. And not only that, all the people I follow on Pinterest pin the same kind of wonderful stuff on their boards, so I can browse through it at my leisure.

When poor Bridget, my muse, starts feeling like her creative well has run dry, I give her a few minutes to play in the Pinterest garden. Yes, I have to limit it — too much of anything, despite what Mae West said, can be a problem.

But with a judicious use of Pinterest, Bridget starts running on all her creative cylinders, and a happy, productive muse means the daily word count stays where it ought to be.

So, y’all wander over to Pinterest and check it out. I’m on there as Arabella Stokes — if you like attractive British actors, pretty period costumes and sarcastic humor, follow me. And if you don’t like them, why are you reading my blog in the first place????

Susan Takes Charge

     I can see that I am going to have to take a hand here. Miss Stokes, while a lovely girl (for a Colonist), has a troubling lack of attention to detail. She gets lost in her writing, and simply forgets the day-to-day matters that must be dealt with – well, daily.

            On the other hand, while I might not spend my days working as a barrister – goodness, these modern women! –  I have finely honed talents for organization and management. You twenty-first century women may scoff, but the life of an eighteenth century noblewoman was itself a career. I must manage seven large houses, dealing with the needs of our staff and my husband’s tenants, oversee the rearing and education of the next Duke of Danesleigh and his siblings, and maintain the lifestyle expected of a member of one of the oldest, noblest families in England. Not to mention making sure the Duke is well-pleased at all times. (I blush as I write this, but I know Miss Stokes and her readers have a great deal of interest in this aspect of my life.)

            Hmm. I am not accustomed to this modern lack of attention to etiquette, you know. As Miss Stokes has failed to observe the proprieties, I will introduce myself.  I am Susan Gerard, nee΄Lanier, Duchess of Danesleigh. You have, no doubt, heard of my husband, Edward, Eighth Duke of Danesleigh. He is quite renowned as an expert on Natural History, or what you moderns call a “scientist.” 

            Miss Stokes was kind enough to write a history of our courtship and the early days of our marriage. While it was somewhat distasteful to see the  intimate details of one’s life in print, Edward says that the public has a never-ending curiousity about the lives of the nobility, and that we must submit gracefully to the intrusion.

            Thus, I take pen in hand – No. Let us be precise, as dearest Edward would say. I take this device, a netbook as Miss Stokes calls it, in lap, to write a brief essay for inclusion on Miss Stokes’ “blog.” What a hideous word! It sounds rather abrupt and misshapen, do you not agree? Surely, even with the coarseness of modern communication, you people could have called it something more attractive.

            I refuse to use such an unpleasant word. I shall henceforth refer to Miss Stokes’ posting of essays, artwork and other ephemera as her “Electronic Journal.” And each entry I compose will be referred to as a billet-doux.

            Yes, I know that a billet-doux is, strictly speaking, a love letter. But after all, Miss Stokes feels a great deal of affection for her readers. And with the other liberties you Colonists have taken with our lovely English language, a slight deviation from definition should trouble you not at all.

            Thus, on behalf of The Duke, our children, and our amanuensis, Miss Stokes, I welcome you to this Electronic Journal.  If dear Miss Stokes gets caught up in the demands of her day-job and rearing her family of lively young misses, I shall step in to send her readers a billet-doux from time to time.

            I thank you for stopping by, and I look forward to corresponding with you in the future, 

                                                                                    I am, most cordially yours, etc.

                                                                                   Susan Danesleigh

A Resolution In Advance of New Year’s

I’ve been a bad blogger. I have been faithfully making my posts over on the Southern Sizzle Romance Blog, but I have been sadly neglectful toward my own personal little RomanceMama blog.
But I am turning over a new leaf, pledging to faithfully post from here on out. Why, you ask? Because, at long last, there seems to be a point!
I was trying to blog, doing reviews, writing like a mad writing thing, all with an eye toward getting a publishing contract. All the “experts” agree that establishing a web presence is vital these days.
But, dang, it all seemed so fruitless when I sent my poor little MSS out into the big world and they got shot down. Why did I need a web presence when I had no book to promote?
Now, my lovelies, I am pleased to announce that there is a method to RomanceMama’s madness. I am, in fact, a contracted author! My Georgian Historical Romance, Proof of Love will be released in Fall 2011 by Champagne Books.
So here goes with the whole web presence, blogging/website/twitter mania. Hold on, it’s gonna be a wild ride!!!!