Thursday, December 24, 2015

2015 Member's Choice Awards

It's an amazing honor to have One Glimpse 
nominated in this year's awards for Best Historical.

      I encourage everyone to participate in the awards and show support for your favorite works this year. Also, the nominations are a gateway to some amazing novels and new authors. Go have a look at the lists =) 

One Glimpse (Indulgence #2) - Amazon, LooseId, B&N, , etc.

       "For years, Sir Samuel Shaw has secretly lusted after the handsome and popular Lord John Darnish, a man known for his good humor, expert riding prowess, and very female mistress. Certain that John is an unattainable fantasy, Sam is shaken when an accidental discovery reveals John might not be as unattainable as he once thought. But what is possible is not always likely, and Sam finds himself trapped between keeping a friend and risking everything for the unlikely hope of something more.

John is terrorstruck when his drunken mistake threatens to shatter the double life he has worked so hard to maintain. His terror soon turns to hope when he finds himself drawn to Sam, who he is sure does not share his interest in men. But subtle things cause him to second guess and fear that his hopes are making him see what he wants to see."

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Regency Upper Class, and 'the right kind' of rich.

Cit!      Mushroom!      Counter hopper!

If you cut your teeth reading old regency romances like I did, you're probably familiar these terms. For those who did not, they represent a very particular form of class discrimination that was common in the upper classes of the 19th century and earlier. Gaining entry to the upper class wasn't a task one could accomplish simply by being rich. You had to be the right kind of rich, and those who made their money from the labor of their hands or sale of their goods were not welcome. Or, as so often happened when a titled person was in need of money, they were begrudgingly welcomed.
Regardless of the slurs being used, they all boiled down to the same upper class fear of the 'other' gaining entry to a very exclusive club. If someone could get in by wealth alone, that opened the door to a near endless list of potential gatecrashers. 
But, if it wasn't acceptable to make money through trade or work, how on Earth did the upper class maintain any kind of wealth? Well, a man had limited options if he wanted to maintain his reputation and still be called a gentleman. Our modern ears hear the word gentleman and think polite, kind, well mannered; the term had a much more specific meaning, once upon a time. A gentleman was, first and foremost, idle. If you worked, you were no gentleman.

The Land Lord: The most approved form of wealth for the upper class was land ownership and rents. As the most idle form of income imaginable, this is the very definition of 'no work'. Unfortunately, it could also be the most unstable. A bad turn in the weather could destroy crops, thus impoverishing the tenants and making them unable to pay their rent. Even the rich lord of the manor can't bleed a stone.
The Percents: Making money from money. The rich would place the vast majority of their capital into bank account that issued returns as a percent, essentially an annuity. They would live off the annuity alone, not spending the actual principal amount. At least, this was what the smart ones did. More than one upper class family was ruined when the patriarch outspent his income and was forced to chip away the principal to pay debts. In Jane Austen's novel, you often hear someone's income described as an annuity, "He has fifty thousand pounds in the six percents." Etc.
Dowries (marrying money): It was easier for a woman to rise in society than a man, since women essentially left their families and joined new ones upon marriage. Because of this, a broke man with maybe a title or grand familial connections could marry a rich girl from one of those "vulgar" merchant families and prop up his dwindling wealth. Pointing out the hypocrisy of disdaining merchant money while taking it in the form of a dowry would be pointless. The regency upper classes were connoisseurs of hypocrisy.
Military & Clergy: These were the only 'professions' deemed acceptable for the sons of gentleman, jobs they could hold and still keep their status. If you were a second or third son with no inheritance coming to you, this was your most likely path (unless your family name was grand enough to attract one of those rich merchant class girls). Still, it should be noted that if a man relied entirely on his military or clerical salary to live, he fell significantly in stature. Wealth was still important, after all.
Other professions such as the law and government service were acceptable, but they placed a man at the fringes, and unless he was able to marry up it was likely his children would drop down into the merchant class and float away from the top. 

Viewed with the historical perspective.

The best way to read historical fiction is through the lens of the time period itself. If you step into a regency romance with 21st century expectations, you are likely to be disappointed. It is easy for us to sneer at the money troubles of a gentleman and say, "Get a job!" when we consider the hundreds of thousands of working class people below that gentleman. We feel uncomfortable having sympathy for a character who, by every comparison to our modern society, would have been so privileged and coddled that it almost boggles the mind. We must struggle to understand a long gone world in which people were born into structures and never taught how to live outside of them. Men and women raised with narrow educations and  abilities, coupled with an ingrained fear and shame of doing anything outside that structure. Reputation was everything, to a degree that we today would be hard pressed to understand. It would take a incredibly strong person to give up their friends, society, to risk embarrassing their family and becoming and object of derision, all for the sake of stepping outside the structure for money. This is where genteel poverty comes from. The social penalties for stepping outside the structure, for working, were such that some families chose to live hand to mouth on the scraps of their dwindling wealth rather than work. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

5 Stars from Pinkerbelle!

I wanted to thank Pinkerbelle Rex (what a name!) for the amazing review of One Indulgence. Writing is not my first job and I doubt I will ever be able to make it my only job, so it truly is the reviews that "pay" me. Thanks for the wealth, Pink ;) LOL

I do believe this review is also at Rainbow Book Reviews

Thursday, October 22, 2015

An Utterly Ridiculous Poem I wrote on the back of a piece of junk mail.

Romance will always be my labor of love, but sometimes you just want to write some nonsense, especially while you're waiting for food in a restaurant and going through all the junk paper in the bottom of your bag. Here is something silly, shallow, and utterly pointless...
...and written in the
rhyme scheme, LOL ;)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

One Glimpse is now LIVE!

I wasn't expected One Glimpse (Indulgence #2) to be out until the 27th, but I learned that it hit tonight. So excited! It's been more than a year since One Indulgence was released, and so many personal circumstances forced me to do other things when I would have liked to be writing instead. Now that many of those things have been put to rest, I can get back to what I love. One Glimpse is out and I have already started work on Indulgence #3, tentatively titled One Kiss.

Happy reading, everyone! And, pssst! Be forewarned, this is a long one. 119K words. ;)

Now Available on Loose Id (other sellers too in the next week or so)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Cover Reveal!

As some of you may know (though I doubt many, since I've been remiss in mentioning it), my second installment in the Indulgence Series is set to be published on the 27th of this month =D I just got my new cover from the lovely people at Loose Id...and here it is.

One Glimpse is Sir Samuel's story, the moody baronet that was introduced in One Indulgence. I am particularly proud of this one and can't wait for it to be released in less than a month's time. Maybe I'll wear regency era clothing on the 27th just to mark the occasion? I would certainly turn heads at the grocery store, LOL! =) 

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Treasure Trove of Research for Gay History & Literature

Every writer knows about research and what a task it can be, but it's even more frustrating when the things you want to know just don't seem to be out there. At all. Anywhere. Writing about gay relationships in the year 1808 can feel, at times, as if I'm writing fantasy set in some Middle Earth nowhere...because I'm making everything up. It stands to reason there wouldn't be much information on such a subject, seeing as how at that time gay men faced the death penalty or cruel "therapies" administered by their families and conspiring doctors. Even finding much information on that is difficult because, unsurprisingly, the families and doctors who did such things took great steps to hide it all.

Still, the best thing about research is eventually you find the mother load. You strike gold in the Klondike and thank your lucky stars you stuck with it! I recently discovered the historian and essayist Rictor Norton. His website is a veritable library of not only his own essays and papers on various gay history topics, but also primary source documents from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Gay History & Literature - Essays by Rictor Norton

Such research can be anything but fun. It won't surprise you to know that a great deal of it is court proceedings and public declarations of sodomy charges and executions. =(  Still, there is much else to be gained from Mr. Norton's website, his research, and the goldmine of primary source documents he has assembled =)  

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


My manuscript for One Glimpse (Indulgence #2) is complete and has been sent off to the editor. Wow. It took me much longer than I thought it would to finish. While I spent roughly four months writing One Indulgence, it has been more than eight with One Glimpse. A lot of personal issues, like moving, interfered, but I finally managed to get through.

She is a long one, though, as just shy of 117K words. Don't let that scare you, though. We sometimes forget that novels today are much shorter in general than in the past. Why, Pride & Prejudice is around 123K words (I did NOT just compare my work to that of Jane Austen. My ego is nowhere near that large!).

Still, I like to believe I have crafted a story with no unnecessary fluff. Every chapter, every scene has a purpose. I can't wait to start the editing process (once the submission has been accepted *fingers crossed*) and get my baby out to be read. Sir Samuel is a very patient person, but I am not. =)

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Julian Garrott

I find a lot of visual inspiration in period works of art, but rarely do I run across something that matches my imagination so closely. When I see the elegant, soft spoken Julian in my mind, this is what I imagine. Although, Julian's sense of style would be much more polished and ornate =)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Amazon Review

Thanks so much to Ursus Jr. for the awesome review of One Indulgence. Like most new authors (and hopefully the told ones too) reviews truly make my day. One of the reasons I can't wait to get One Glimpse finished and out there is because it will probably, hopefully, take One Indulgence down to .99 cents for a while, and thus more readers! Here's hoping =D

Read other review on Amazon 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

1807 London

In my unending pursuit of accuracy, I was thrilled to run across this highly detailed map of London from 1807, which falls perfectly in the time frame for the Indulgence series. =) I think you right click on it to view in another tab you can zoom in and actually get the detail.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

NEW Review for One Indulgence

I would like to thank Susan at Joyfully Jay Reviews for the lovely review of One Indulgence. I highly recommend the site as a source of reviews. I've been led to pretty awesome reads myself from their monthly favorites lists. =)

For the full review, visit Review: One Indulgence by Lydia Gastrell

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My precious is on sale ;) lol

  One Indulgence is one sale at it's home location,, right now for
So far, Amazon has not price matched it, so you can get the best price by going right to the source. =D 
As always, thank you so much to all my lovelies at Loose-Id. I would be lost without them.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Two Riders in the Fog

I would tell you who the two men are that I imagine when I see this picture, but that would too much of a spoiler. I can safely say, though, that one of them is Sam. Like Richard, he enjoys the fog (Of course, Sam would hate the comparison because he and Richard just plain don't like each other, lol) 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Path in the Snow

I found this image on Pinterest and now I can't get it out of my mind. I wonder if I can work it in to One Glimpse. Something along the lines of following his path in the snow...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

40K and Wondering If My Muse in On Vacation

(I write about my writing process mostly as a way to help myself out and understand what I'm doing. It's the blog equivalent of holding imaginary rants in the shower while you wash your hair, lol) 
   As some of you may know, I am currently working on One Glimpse, the second book in the Indulgence Series (Don't worry. I won't ever reveal spoilers in any of my posts). The hardest part about many novels is, I think, the "setup". How do the main characters know each other? Do they already, or do I have to write a scene where they meet? Are there necessary back stories? Etc. Sometimes, it can feel like I'm building a ballroom brick by brick so the dancers can finally dance. Ugh. But, it's necessary. I've never been a fan of the love-at-first-sight trope mostly because I can't personally see it as realistic. And if I can't buy it, I can't write it.

Now...lust at first sight? I'll definitely buy that as being realistic. ;)

I also had to go back and do some major revisions on the first three chapters, including the creation of new character and a subplot that wasn't there before. I don't usually write in the "puzzle piece" format (writing scenes out of sequence and then putting them together), and in this case I realized that if I didn't add a subplot earlier I was going to have to do just that later. It all relates to the villain and his motivation.

Villains and Motive
     I find it difficult to understand, and thereby accept, villains that don't have a realistic motive for their behavior. I realize that there are people in the world who are just jerks, who just want to hurt other people for their own amusement or pleasure, but they are truly rare. Most bad people have some kind of identifiable motive, be it money, power, reputation, revenge, etc. It was as I was writing my villain at the 40K mark that I realized his dislike for Sam (our hero) at that point was too shallow to go much further. I needed to give him more motivation, otherwise the things he will do (which I haven't written yet ;) will seem strange for such a thin, mildly confrontational relationship. Hence the addition of the subplot.

The subplot also helps me to bring other people into the story, as I felt it was becoming a bit too "islandish" with just the two main characters.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Two Months and Finally Back

     After two months of moving, getting settled, and basically coming down from a pretty crap relationship (ironic for a romance writer, isn't it? lol), I can now finally put some effort back into my online doings =)

To Promote One Indulgence, I am running a Rafflecopter giveaway for a...

$25 Amazon Gift Card!
Just follow the link HERE and go through the motions. Tweet about the book, write a review on Amazon, or other silliness for multiple chances to win. The contest ends in 2 days. Good luck =)