Tag Archives: historicals

5 Great Lines from Elizabeth Hoyt, Wicked Intentions


5 Great Lines from Elizabeth Hoyt, Wicked Intentions

1

“Like the legless man, I’m unaccountably fascinated by those who can dance.”

2

“Every word you have ever uttered, is engraved upon my heart.”

3

“If he presses, tell him it’s a female matter. That stop any question.”

4

“You’ve used me to punish yourself, haven’t you?”
He watched dawning realization spread over her face, a confirmation more positive than anything she could ever say, and that arrow twisted deep in his
chest. Yet still he had to ask the last question.
“Am I anything to you but a punishment?”

5

“I’d walk through fire for you,” he rasped, his voice hoarse and broken. “I have walked through fire for you.”


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.
Look for my newest release- A Surprising Day – on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.

5 Great Lines Married By Morning, by Lisa Kleypas


Today’s 5 Great Lines come from Married By Morning, by Lisa Kleypas. Enjoy.

1

“You are not a perfect woman.You have an evil temper, you’re as blind as a mole, you’re a deplorable poet, and frankly, your French accent could use some work.” Supporting himself on his elbows, Leo took her face in his hands. “But when I put those things together with the rest of you, it makes you into the most perfectly imperfect woman I’ve ever known.”

2

“I have a very pure soul. It’s only my private parts that have gotten me into trouble.”

3

“Fencing isn’t really fighting. It’s more like chess with the risk of puncture wounds”

4

“You seem to think you have a choice,” Cam said “But you have it backwards. Love chooses you. The shadow moves as the sun commands.”-

5

“I’ve told you before, I love like a madman,” he said. “Immoderate, jealous, possessive…I’m absolutely intolerable.”


Ava Delany
The Fetish Club Series, The Homecoming Series, and The Beginnings Series.
Look for my newest release- A Surprising Day – on Kindle, Allromanceebooks, and many other places where ebooks are sold.

A Tale of Two Book Offers.


OKAY! After a few weeks spent with my feet off the ground, I am now officially back to work and ready to blog. Gosh, where do I begin? In the space of little more than a month I have gone from 2010 GH finalist to Golden Heart winner for THE YARD MAN. And as the Aussie guy who sells the onion chopper on TV says––but wait there’s more!

On July 27, I was in the Dallas airport waiting for my connecting flight, checking my phone for messages. I was expecting to meet a GH finalist sister there, who was on the same flight to Orlando. There was a message, from a 212 area code. NYC. My heart rate accelerated slightly. Turns out it was Audrey LaFehr, Kensington, with a book offer for recently completed manuscript THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK.

Great! Awesome! (Insert numerous crazy-mixed feelings here.) I had an offer and no agent.

During the conference, my crit partner and I e-mailed every agent I had queried over the last four months and you would not believe the response. And I’m talking big agents. HUGE. It was both exciting and overwhelming. One afternoon, Richard Curtis sat down beside me at the Dolphin fountain and we struck up a conversation. (Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you––if you are in the Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida.) That evening THE YARD MAN won the Romantic Suspense category and Richard took my crit partner and I out for a glass of champagne. Three days later, after reading both my manuscripts, he offered representation. I could not be more thrilled. He is the perfect agent for me. We are muy simpatico.

On my trip home from Orlando, sitting in the airport, my cell phone rang. Damn! If it wasn’t another editor with an offer for THE YARD MAN.

From now on, when anyone asks me how to snag an agent or publisher, the simple answer has got to be: Always check your messages in airports. And spend plenty of time skulking around the hotel lobby at writer’s conferences!

On August 19, 2010, Richard called to confirm electronic hand shakes on two book deals. The offer we accepted for THE YARD MAN came from Danielle Poiesz, Pocket Books and we have also accepted Audery LaFer’s offer for THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK. Both offers are three book deals.

After a carefree happy dance around my desk, I sobered up fast when Richard called back and went over a tentative release schedule and my delivery dates for books two and three––of two contracts. I did a bit of quick figuring and calculated I have four books to deliver in just a little under 24 months.  Yikes!

As I prepare to hit the ground running, I appeal to blog readers and writers everywhere for HELP! If you have any practical tips, time saving ideas, or schedule-juggling-pointers, please drop a line in comments. This has been an awesome summer I will never forget, and now if you will excuse me, I have books to write!

G. Jillian Stone

There are fields in time that burn with desire. Meet me there.

Jillian is a 2010 Golden Heart winner for THE YARD MAN, which has sold to Pocket Books, release date spring 2012. Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever. Her recent novel, the story of a devilish occult detective who falls for a sultry Cajun beauty titled, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK has also sold to Kensington, for release in fall 2012. For blurbs on both books please drop by her website: www.gjillianstone.com

Catching up


I know I’ve been away much too long. I won’t be out of the loop from now on, but as they say, ‘life happens.’ I’ll do my best to give you a brief snapshot of where I’ve been during my time away from the blog. I’m only really starting to recover from all the excitement. Great thing is, there’s much more ahead.
Last month passed in a blurr. I was getting ready for my first-ever RWA National conference, (which was absolutely amazing). I caught up with members from The Greater Detroit chapter – my local chapter. I met some wonderful people, my fellow GIAMers, some fellow conference newbees, and Harlequin Romance Senior Editor, Kimberly Young in my hotel elevator. Ms. Young wasn’t wearing her nametag, but I recognized her voice from the podcasts on the Eharlequin website. By the way, those podcasts are chalked full of great stuff! If you’re a writer, and targeting Harlequin, definitely check them out.
While at conference, I spent time with chaptermate Renee Alexis and my roommate and pal, Jodi Redford I wish I had photos of the three of us at Animal Kingdom. If you haven’t yet been to Disney, IMO, you need to experience its allure and fantasy-like ambience firsthand. It really is a magical place. You don’t have to be a kid to have a good time. I’m sorry though, that I wasn’t able to check out the Magical Kingdom and meet some of Disney’s finest.
As for the conference,
RWA did a fabulous job coordinating all the workshops. The presenters of the many workshops I attended during the course of the conference provided me with a plethora of new material to add to my creative and business arsenals. I’ll mention two here, because it’s over two weeks later, and I still remember them. *g* Margie Lawson and the Carina Press spotlight with Angela James who did an excellent job giving the audience a clear picture of Carina and its mission. As a side note: I’ve just finished up Angela’s editing course with Savvy Authors If you haven’t yet taken it, you need to hurry up and get your spot for her next available class! She presents her lessons with no fuss, no frills added but with plenty examples to get her point across. And I loved that! Go ahead. I’ll wait. *g* Back to conference recap.
The Wednesday night literacy book signing, alone, was very interesting. I sat with Jodi Redford who was signing. To our left was Deanna Raybourn who is so down-to-earth and so nice to chat with. I had fun making small talk with her when she wasn’t busy with her readers.
Keynote speaker, Nora Roberts and Awards Lunch-in speaker, Jayne Ann Krentz are wonderful presenters who impressed me with their incredible amount of knowledge and sound advice, while making me laugh along the way.
The Golden Heart and Rita ceremony left me on the edge of my seat. I can’t imagine how anxious the nominees must’ve been. It was an emotional evening at times for me. I found myself tearing up when one of the winners, (any winner) would become emotional. I especially loved when Julia Quinn was inducted to the Romance Writers of America’s Hall of Fame after winning her third Rita in the category of best Regency Historical Romance with What Happens In London. And my fellow blogger, G. Jillian Stone not only won a Golden Heart, she also snagged an agent. 🙂 Go Jillian!
Since I’ joined RWA in 2006, I learned quickly that the Rita and GH ceremony along with the literacy book signing are infamous with members. Each year, up until now, I’d read others accounts of the conference and events there, and I’d wonder what it would be like to attend and experience them for myself. They were both pretty awesome! After attending this conference, I’ve gained an even greater appreciation for the romance genre, and writing in general. I’ve sharpened my own focus, expanding my dreams while narrowing my goals to the more practical few that I can control.
After returning home from Orlando, , I dove right into my family reunion, the MacInnis family reunion. My relatives from all over Canada flew in for the four-day event. I met second and third cousins, and wives/husbands/children of those cousins it made my head spin. But I had a lot of fun doing it. I heard the Harlequin party was a blast, but trust me, no one can party like my family. *g*
Next up for me, in September, is the year-long mentorship class with Lori Wilde I’m extatic for this course to start. This course looks like it’ll be a blast.
Well, there’s my not-to-concise recap. I hope those of you who attended conference had a fun time just as I did.

Let Jodi Redford Light Your Fire With Her New Release


New Release by Jodi Redford
Well, just as I promised last week, here’s this week’s new release info. 🙂
Out from Samhain Tuesday, June 29, is a new hot and kickass release from Jodi Redford And to celebrate her new release, Jodi is offering to one lucky person who leaves a comment, a $5 gift card to My Bookstore And More
Be sure to check out Jodi’s contest page. To celebrate her new release, she’s giving away an Advanced Reading copy of Light My Fire! There’s also some other cool prizes, but you’ll need to check out her contest page for the rules. But hurry, because the contest ends tomorrow.
Be sure when you leave your comments here to include your email address so Jodi or I can contact you. Best of luck, everyone! We’ll draw the winner on Sunday!

Light My Fire by Jodi Redford (Out this coming Tuesday from Samhain.)
Blurb:
Double the firepower, triple the heat.
Aiden Fortune’s orders are clear: Find the woman, claim her as a sexual
sacrifice-and share her with his horndog twin brother. Distasteful as it is,
the Drakoni council insists the ancient custom be honored. Or Aiden will be
banished.
One glance at Dana Cooper, and Aiden is thrown into the dragon version of a
tailspin. Claim her? Hell, yes, he’ll claim her. Problem is, she has no idea
her father signed away her destiny at birth.
Dana has dated enough whack-a-doodles to fill an insane asylum. Two gorgeous
men claiming to be dragons? Par for the course. Until they give her a
tantalizing glimpse of their inner beasts, which makes her think she’s the
one headed for a padded cell-for actually considering their offer of the
hottest sex of her life, for life.
Her resistance melts away under the onslaught of two men who pack enough
heat to set off smoke alarms in a six-block radius. Especially when she
realizes she’s falling for Aiden. But with a town full of dragon hunters and
an enemy lurking in the shadows, surviving a week of Aiden and Jace’s
double-teaming will be the least of her problems.
Warning: Contains two smokin’ hot dragons and their not-so-unwilling
sacrifice. A few wardrobe malfunctions and inappropriate use of
paintbrushes. You might want to have your local fire department on speed
dial.

Another new release by Jane Beckenham


For the next two weeks, I’m very excited to share two new releases from two of my good friends and fellow authors. This week,
Jane Beckenham
has a new release out with
Red Rose Publishing
which I’ll share with you in a moment, along with an excerpt to whet your apitite. Next week, I’ll be sharing info on a new hot number by
Jodi Redford
On with this week’s new release!
In Love With The Sheikh
Desert Rose Anthology
Jane Beckenham
Mainstream Romance: Contemporary, Interracial/Multicultural
ISBN: 978-1-60435-723-3
Cover Artist: Missy Lyons
Editor: Zena Gainer
Word Count: 49,380
Release Date: June 17, 2010

Desperate to discover her past, Lilly Duprés outbids Sheikh Kalim Raschid for an antique brooch. Her triumph is short lived. She can’t honor that bid. Accepting an offer to solve her financial embarrassment, Lilly discovers Kalim has every material thing yet spurns what she most desires. Love. Family. To belong.
After a lifetime spent watching his father hurt his mother, Kalim has vowed he would never imitate his father. But Lilly breaches his defenses leaving him vulnerable.
Faced with something he never wanted, Kalim must choose his future, and Lilly must accept her past, until life and love can come full-circle.

Replenishing Your Creative Well


Burnout can, and does happen to the best of us. Sitting around day after day, not stretching mentally or physically isn’t in any way healthy. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience. [G]
I’d love to sit and write twenty-four seven if I could. With the hundreds, heck, thousands of story ideas I’ve jotted down in some shape or form, plus those jockiing for center stage in my head could keep me busy for years. I don’t write nonstop, but when I do write, I’m more focused on my task because my creative well is full.
How do I replenish my well, you might ask? How do I reduce the amount of stress in my life? How do I manage not feeling burnt out creatively and physically?
I take the time to smell the roses and engage my other senses in the world around me. I listen to music. Read a book, (or several.) I go to a movie or have lunch with friends. I love sitting and talking with my grandma in her backyard. Or taking a drive on a breezy evening with the windows down to clear my mind.
I love to sing – always have. Putting on music or singing with others helps take my mind off my problems.
Doing house work allows me to step away from the computer, while still allowing me to focus on the problem at hand. Dusting, vacuuming or doing the dishes doesn’t take much brainpower. These chores help break the monotony of my day. When I’m ready to get back to work, I try to have healty snacks at my side, such as cold water, (not caffeinated drinks), nuts, fruits and vegetables. I’m still working on cutting back starches. One thing I’ll never stop eating is chocolate. [G] As far as I’m concerned, chocolate should be given its own food group. [G]
Sitting still while trying to figure out a crucial plot point won’t get you far. However, taking a brisk walk, a run, riding a bike, doing some light weight lifting, going for a refreshing swim on a hot day might just get those creative juices flowing once again.
It’s been well-documented that physical activity is bennificial. Here’s a link to the Mayo Clinic to one such article:

Seven Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

Exercise can improve your mood, self-esteem and self-confidence. It can boost your energy level. Ever have those days where you’re just so dead tired, you just want to eat then fall straight into bed? Try taking a walk instead. You’ll sleep better and deeper that night.
One disadvantage of being sedentary for too long is packing on those extra pounds. Exercise can help manage weight and even combat certain chronic diseases.
Just for fun, I won’t give you the second to last benefit listed in the article. LOL I’ll let you discover that particular bit of info all on your own. [wink wink nudge nudge]
If you have a group of friends to exercise with, all the better. You’ll get the benefit of social interaction along with a good workout. I’m a writer, not a hermit. I have to sometimes fight my desire to lock myself in my creative cage – to shut others out. Friends aren’t just good to go on a jog with. They’re good to bounce ideas off of or to simply spend time with.
When I’m having trouble putting new words on the page, sometimes I just need to sit and take in the quiet around me. It’s very difficult, but there are days where I can go without writing a single word. And rather than beat myself up for not writing anything new, I’ll go about my life, and when I’m not expecting it, an idea will reveal itself. When it’s time to go back to work, I’ll be ready and raring to go.
Stress can be found everywhere you look in some shape or form. What’s important is how we choose to manage it. I hope I’ve given you some helpful tips on how I handle stress and burnout. Now I’d like to hear what your methods are. How do you handle stress? Do you have a hobby or activity you enjoy that helps you unwind? How do you combat burnout? Feel free to share, and happy creating!

Using Music As Inspiration


There are some days where I have to drag myself to my desk to plant my butt in my chair. Days when writing a few words seems like an impossible and monumental feat. Granted, those days are few and far between, but they’re still unpleasant. I can only wipe the counter so many times and make sure my black Lab has enough water in her bowl. *g* I need to put my butt in my chair, open my WIP file, (one of them anyway), and write.
Lately I’ve been hooked on all things Historical, particularly movie adaptations of Jane Austen novels. The very popular Pride And Prejudice, (2005 version) and Sense And Sensibility, (1995 version). The musical score can really set the mood and tone for a specific film, or provide inspiration. Either way, there’s much enjoyment to be had.
These film scores, and others, (The Duchess), for example have really given me some wonderful ideas for future stories. I don’t know how this happens. I usually don’t write with music in the background as I find it pretty distracting, particularly music with lyrics. I’ll want to sing along. When that happens, I lose my focus. Oh sure, I get ideas from song lyrics, but I haven’t always listened to classical music. I’ve always found it to be lovely, but until I initially thought of attempting to write while playing something instrumental in the background, it never occurred to me that it could add something truly magical.
Purely instrumental pieces not only keep me focused on what I’m writing, but they add a certain excitement, a richness to my scenes that until recently, to me, weren’t present.
With a waltz playing in the background, my senses are much sharper as I write. In fact, I can’t type fast enough to keep up. I can see the ballroom overflowing with bejeweled ladies and gentlemen dressed in their finest. The skirts of the ladies swirl as they glide in the arms of their handsome partners across the polished floor, the crush, along with the smell of so many bodies crammed into one room can sometimes put me in the thick of things, so vivid is the setting to me. And all this because of music. Mabye this sounds silly, but that’s amazing.
I’m curious to hear from those of you who write with music in the background, what are some of your favorite songs, soundtracks and albums that inspire you? Who are some artists you can’t write without? Whether the mood of your scene is dark, soft, menacing, dangerous, do you put together a playlist or soundtrack for your WIP to match those moods? And if you don’t quite know what song could fit a specific mood, where do you find the perfect music to complement a particular scene? I’m interested in adding to my growing list of film scores, so please don’t be shy in sharing. 🙂

From Wannabe To Having The Write Success


Here’s another article I wrote a few years ago I thought I’d dust off and share. 🙂 I hope it helps you become more organized, or consider it. 🙂 I can speak from personal experience that by setting annual goals, then breaking those goals down into weekly goals is helping me immensely in moving forward and growing as a writer. 🙂

Have you ever met someone so passionate about something you can hear the intensity in their voice and words, and see it in their eyes? They absolutely love what they’re talking about. But have you ever really sat down with someone who wanted to be a writer but just couldn’t get past the idea of talking about writing—the craft, the business, what their writer friends are doing, and where they’re at in their careers? These people love the idea of what it is to be a writer.

Call me a snob if you must, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned (and it’s a very simple thing, mind you), it’s that if you want to be a writer, you have to write. Many writers have either stated these exact words, or paraphrased them in some manner, so what I’m advising here is nothing new.

I’ve met and known people who have developed their own “method” of writing, one which leads to not writing at all in the end. They use up too much energy being frustrated and worried about what others are doing, what they’re not doing. They allow their own fears to get in the way of going from unpublished to published. Or they wait for the muse to shoot some creativity their way instead of working on without her.

If you want to be a serious writer and build a career, you can’t rely on your muse. You have to put that butt in a chair or couch—wherever you’re most comfortable writing—and just do it. Writing isn’t just about creating stories, it’s a business.

It takes both discipline and consistency and yes, in my case, strategic planning regarding where I’m at, where I want to be, and how I’ll get there. I’m aspiring big, but starting small. You can do the same, but the only way it’ll work is if you stick to it.

There are, of course, no guarantees in life. Sometimes our best-laid plans go awry, but if we do everything humanly possible to stay the course as writers, we’ll always be moving closer to meeting our goals and reaching all we aspire to.

Not exactly sure where you want to be in a year or two, five or even ten? Or how you’ll get there? Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed and unsure of where to even begin? Sit down at your computer or grab a pen and paper, and brainstorm for five or ten minutes. Write down every idea you have, no matter how simple it seems.

Here are some ideas:

Write three books, get an agent, obtain RWA Pro status, get a website, build a social network by creating a MySpace, Twitter, FaceBook page, get a post office box, make business cards, create book trailers for your books along with other promotional items. Write for your dream publisher; hit the New York Times, USA Today or other major bestseller lists; start a blog, join a critique group, enter writing contests, judge writing contests, learn and understand the specific publishing models, and determine which is best for you. Get published. Study up on craft and the business of publishing. Sign up for online workshops each month, read books on writing. Read and dissect books from publishers you plan on targeting, familiarize yourself with the legal side of the writing business, and how to interact professionally with editors and agents. Learn how to research agents and publishers. Network with other authors. Attend book signings of friends; attend the RWA National conference, the Romantic Times Convention, or other smaller writing conferences. Design a workshop of your own to present, volunteer in your local RWA chapter or online chapters, and join any other chapters, and Yahoo groups to network with even more authors and potential readers.

Then, once you’ve written down all of your ideas, decide which ones are the most important now. Which goals do you need to accomplish before you begin tackling the others on your list? Do you really need a P.O. Box before you’re published? Order your goals by importance and divide them up into 3-month segments. Some goals might take longer than others, so be reasonable when allocating the amount of time to achieve them.

Break down your writing goals and decide where they fit in your big plan. Can you really write an 80,000 word manuscript in three months? Depending on your writing style, whether you’re a plotter or seat-of-the-pants writer, and if you’re a busy parent with family, kids, day job, you’ll know how to answer this. Be reasonable. You won’t meet your goals if you don’t make them achievable and give yourself enough time. You’ll only end up discouraging yourself.

If you don’t meet a goal as you planned, just move your deadline back by another three months. Even if you don’t meet all of your annual goals, save them for the next year. You’ll have other goals you’ll want to add as you move forward.

Keep your goals in a place where you can view them frequently. Review them often, and be proud of yourself when you cross one of them out. You met it and you’re on your way to success.

How Saying No Won’t Kill You


I always marvel at people who can have their fingers in ten or more pies and never break a sweat. They make volunteering appear effortless, and they should be applauded for giving so much of their time and expertise. I am not one of them. Does this bother me? Since I’m the type of person where saying no is difficult, yes, it can, but I am learning where to draw the line, and just say NO.
There are always volunteers needed, in particular, with writers. If not enough help is found events such as workshops, conferences, contests, RWA and it’s chapters, critique groups, book reviews, various Yahoo loops would not run smoothly or at all. So when do you finally say no, and how can you do it without feeling guilty for believing you let others down?
Part of being a writer is being able to write. The more time you give to others, the less you have to dedicate to your own work. Once your published, you’ll have even more to add to your plate. Things such as promotion, networking, revisions, and galleys will need your time and attention. They WILL need to be done.
Do you sometimes feel rushed or stressed out about not having enough time to get everything done? You not only have demands of your family, day job, and other outside obligations to meet, but the jobs you volunteered to fulfill that revolve around your writing. Do you wonder where the time goes? Hours can pass, and you’re still checking emails? Or you’re playing catch-up with critiques, or cutting it close to finish judging those entries for the three contests you agreed to judge?
Keep track of what you’re doing with your time. Keep a log or a journal, where you record what you do on a particular day, and how much time you spend on such things as email, critiques, moderating workshops or Yahoo loops, fulfilling your responsibilities as a board member of your chapter, presenting workshops, coordinating or judging contests, and contacting speakers for workshops or conferences. Do this for a week, then look back and see how much time you spent not writing.
If it was email that hogged your time, unsubscribe from those groups where you’re just lurking and not participating. If its critiques, tell your partner or group, instead of doing ten a week, you’ll do three, or how ever many you feel you can handle. Same with contests. Critiques and contest entries take time and effort. The feedback you provide is important, and if you can’t give either the time they deserve, than cut back. Your critique partners or those contest entrants shouldn’t be short-changed just because you felt rushed to get them off your to-do list.
Am I sounding harsh? Maybe. But honestly, if our goal is to help other writers, are we really meeting it by hurrying to do all that needs done? Instead, are we doing them more harm than good? Think about this when you feel the urge to volunteer. Can you REALLY dedicate the time that’s needed?
Force yourself to be more selective when the opportunity to volunteer arises. There are always benefits to offering your time. You can make new friends, find new critique partners, network with editors and agents, promote yourself and your books if you’re published, and if you’re pre-published, you can still get your name out there.
If you’re asked to help out with something, and you honestly don’t feel you can take the time, then just say so. You don’t have to explain why, or apologize, a simple, “I’d love to, but I’m not able to right now” will do just fine. Let the coordinator or organizer know to keep you in mind, and contact you when the next opportunity comes around. You might be able to help out then.
It’s difficult at first, to say no, when you’re so used to saying yes to everyone around you. Once you become more selective and yes, selfish with your time, it becomes easier. It feels wonderful and rewarding to help other writers learn and grow, but when you find your own work suffering as a result, it’s time to make a change. Your time is precious, so treat it like the gem it is.

Armor makes the Man (well his horse anyway.) Part 3


So imagine being large and strong enough a man to support the weight of all the armor needed for a knight to protect themselves on the battlefield. From head to two covered in leather, mail or Plate. Most of the times a combination of all three were worn. Not to mention being strong enough to then still wield a large weapon and shield. Now imagine that same knight needing a horse to carry him and the armor the horse needed.

Needless to say the normal horse wasn’t going to do the trick. The knight would need a large warhorse or charger to sustain his own added weight as well as that of his rider. The horse needed to be a special breed that would pay heed to commands given by leg command, as the knight needed his hands free of reigns to fight and hold his shield.

The horse also needed to be able to fight as well, the brutality of war insisted that the horse be able to trample victims and bite and kick to on command when needed. (Nothing like a strong Hero who has complete control of his steed to try and control our stong heroine)

Armor for the horse is called Barding and usually was made of leather or plate. The Barding covered neck, chest and body. Head armor helped to create a sense of fear in the enemy’s as they were made to look mythical and monstrous. The formal coat of arms worn over the armor was called the trapper.

These horses would have stood over 20 hands tall or well over 7 feet. There colors would have ranged from black, grey, bay or brown, pictures from the time show white tufts of hair around the lower legs. The actual warhorses were the ancestor of today’s draft horses, like the Clydesdales but its believed the actual horses used are now extinct.

Most Knights would have had at least two horses one for the long rides out to the battlefields and one for the battle itself.

If you enjoyed this blog please check out the other two installments all meant to help the historical writer with basic information. Next weeks blog is on weaponry.

Armor Makes the Man Part 2


This is the 2nd install in the series on Armor to check out the first install please go Armor Makes the Man part 1

The various parts of armor can border on insane, each era and each country having their own little quirks in what they used and how it was used. Some would have three pieces protecting the arm while others just one. To keep it simple and avoid too much confusion I have only added the basic pieces I am also including at the end a link to site with tons of information:

So working from the top of the head down…

The Helmet: Worn on the head, usually had a visor.

The Paldrons: Were the pieces that protected the shoulders and arms

The Breastplate/ Backplate: Used to protect the Chest and back.

The Faulds: Ring like pieces that protected the areas on the chest that weren’t protected by pieces of armor. Hips, lower back, stomach.

The gauntlet: Protects the hands and wrists.

The Cuisses: Protects the thighs

The Poleyns: protects the Knees

The Greaves: Protects the calves and ankles

The Sabatons: protects the feet.

The Spurs: Added last and used to get that horse moving.

For more details information I suggest the Pictorial Glossary of Armor Terms

"Pieces of Armor"

Pieces of Armor.

Happy Writing.

The I Heart Contest. Yet another journey into the dark heart of contesting.


A few months back, on a bet, my crit partner and I entered the I Heart Harlequin writing contest. Then, after several weeks of putting it off, I wrote a chapter and synopsis one week before the deadline. I even managed to dredge up a plot that worked without giving me too much heartburn/acid reflux.

I do not write contemporary, nor do I generally dream up the kind of stories that are the staple of the Harlequin Presents or Modern Heat lines. And this kind of writing is more difficult than you can imagine, because it requires a great deal of emotional character angst shoveled into a well worn story line. What I like about Harlequin editors is they come right out and tell the contest participants not to write anything too fresh or creative. (Whew! What a relief.) They want you to use the time tested plots “we have all come to know and love––just change up the characters a bit.” Well, I have to say, at least they’re honest.

Here is a kind of sample scenario:
Handsome Rex Ruthless billionaire, coerces young attractive waitress, Dixie Doosey into sleeping with him. Either that or he will foreclose on her Grandpa Gabby’s ranch. Then somehow (don’t ask how, it’s just too unbelievable) the rich hunky dunkster realizes he has fallen in love (sigh). Now he must do everything in his bank account to win her back, like pay off the huge tax lien on grandpa’s property. Then the enchanting waitress will have sex with him again, oh no, I got that wrong––I mean so that the she will marry him. HEA.

By the way, the story above was not what I wrote. If I had written the love tale above, I might have had a chance at winning.

There is an alternate plot that revolves around a love child custody battle and heroine abduction but you don’t really want to read that blurb, do you?

So, that’s it. Needless to say, I didn’t win. My crit partner is sad about the fact that I lost, because she wanted me to win badly. I suspect it would have given her great pleasure to see me struggle to complete a 55,000 word Modern Heat manuscript with the help of a Harlequin editor (for a whole year).

Boing. (The sound of my brain imploding.)

G. Jillian Stone

There are fields in time that burn with desire. Meet me there.

Jillian is currently finishing the second book in The Yard Men Series. Set in late Victorian London, Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever. To read more about her latest work in progress, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, please drop by her website: www.gjillianstone.com

The Year of the Electronic Entry: A writer’s journey into the dark heart of contesting.


This could be the year of the penguin (NAL) or the kangaroo (Pocket Books) for me. Or so I keep telling myself. As my one-year-of-contesting mark approaches, I thought I would take time to review my experiences on the RWA chapter contest circuit for any blog readers out there who might be contemplating entering contests.

SET REALISTIC GOALS.

No one, not even the savviest, most experienced contest diva finals every time. Some of these writers are impressive though, racking up more than a dozen finals in a year.

My original motivation/goal for entering contests was to make the finals, which meant my entry would bypass the slush pile and get onto an agent or editor’s desk. I frankly did not care about final placement or prizes. What I cared about was getting into the finals. And how is that working for me so far?

Here’s how it stacks up:

Out of eleven entries since May of 2009, I finaled four times. The Contest Divas tell me that I am doing very well for being a novice and entering the wrong category for over half those contests. Ah, which reminds me of the first big lesson I learned.

ENTER THE RIGHT CATEGORY.

I cannot emphasize how important this is. Since my novel is set in late Victorian London, I assumed my category was primarily historical. (Even though I knew very well I had written a suspense story with romantic elements.) Why was historical such a bad choice? By entering historical, I was up against all those high concept Regency manuscripts loaded with GMC in the first chapter. No wonder I was getting such a hard time from the judges! In fact, it is almost strange I managed to final twice and place first once! When I examined the judging criteria in historical compared to suspense, I immediately understood what I had been doing wrong. The Romantic Suspense category gives the writer more pages/chapters to let the hero and heroine meet as the suspense story unfolds. And your entry can be set in any time frame. (Contest rules don’t always state any time period.)

Sigh. No one helps you with these things, which is one of the reasons I am writing this blog. Hopefully, I will save another writer out there time, money and angst.

DO NOT ENTER CONTESTS WITHOUT AN OPENING THAT HOOKS THE READER.

If you don’t have a strong opening and first chapter, don’t bother entering. In this sense, contests do teach unpublished writers how to compete in the marketplace. Editors and agents have a three page attention span. Remember that when you query or send sample pages.

YES, you get read by editors AND agents AND QUERIES GET ATTENTION.

A side benefit of finaling in contests is that listing your contest credits seems to get the attention of editors and agents. It most likely tells them you are a better than average writer. The combination of listing contest finals and a strong query will probably get you a request for some pages.

So far, I have been read by an editor from NAL, Dorchester and Harlequin. And I currently have editors from NAL (NAL again, different editor) and Pocket Books reading entries. Who knows? Contest Divas who final often sometimes wait years for a contract. So, does it really pay off? I am still optimistic.

In the next couple of weeks I am expecting results on two recent finals listed below. I will continue to keep blog readers posted on my progress throughout the year.

Still waiting to hear on placement and/or requests:

The Seduction of Phaeton Black, Specialized, 2010 Great Expectations; The Yard Man, Finalist, Romantic Suspense, 2010 Linda Howard Award of Excellence.

The contests below are essentially over. (Even though I received a request from Dorchester, for the first place win, I never heard back after sending a partial. Six months have gone by. I think I have been blown off.)

The Yard Man, Second Place, Romantic Suspense, 2009 Where The Magic Begins; The Yard Man, Third Place, Historical, 2009 Indiana Golden Opportunity; The Yard Man, First Place, Historical, 2009 Golden Acorn Excellence in Writing.

G. Jillian Stone

There are fields in time that burn with desire. Meet me there.

Jillian is currently finishing the second book in The Yard Men Series. Set in late Victorian London, Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever. To read more about her latest work in progress, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, please drop by her website: www.gjillianstone.com

Where did that muse go…


So I have to admit that this week, I have a case of major writers block. Not only with my Novel writing but also with my blog. Nothing seemed interesting nothing seemed to flow and nothing and I mean nothing seemed to fill this sheet of paper with ideas.

I guess this week for me my muse started celebrating St Patty’s day early and had a pint to many so forgot where to find me. I can except that I suppose we all need a vacation now and then. But it really would have been nice if she had left me a replacement for the week so that I could have accomplished something. I have sat at this computer day after day and walked away feeling confused and frustrated.

So what did I do about it? I sat down with a few of my favorite Historical Writers and hoped that that would bring the muse out? IT DIDN’T but I did enjoy rediscovering why I love Historical romances so much.

First, there is innocence about them, 99% of the time the heroine is innocent. I love the awakening that happens in Historicals, the way the Rake or Rogue takes there time bringing out the inner temptress in her. I write erotica this is my way of getting away.

Second, the Hero is usually larger then life the supreme Alpha male in need of a strong woman (He just doesn’t know it yet)

Third, I am a sucker for History.(Not that anyone who has read one of my blogs would be surprised by this)

So now I think I will curl up with a few new authors I have been meaning to read Like April Dawn, and hope there muse will take over for mine.

Happy St. Patty’s day to all and if someone sees my muse please tell her to lay off the Green Beer and come home.