Thursday, March 31, 2011

Preview of my First Book Cover: Colonial Courtships

I'm so excited to share with you the very first book cover I've had, designed for one of my upcoming books.  Colonial Courtships is due out in May 2012 and features my novella Carving a Future.  It was so much fun to give input to the cover designers, and they even used the model that I picked. This cover shows the inside of the inn which is prominent in the story. This cover will be used in Barbour's catalog, but there may be yet a few minor adjustments made before a final version is released. I can't tell you how I looked forward to seeing my first book cover! It makes it all seem more real. Soon I will be submitting the input for the design my The Shadow Catcher's Daughter and look forward to seeing what they do with that as well.


Colonial Courtships

Historical Romance Novella Collection
by: Carla Olson Gade, Amber Stockton, Laurie Alice Eakes, Lisa Karon Richardson
May 2012 - Under contract
Barbour Publishing

Collection Summary: Set during the years 1753-1762, Colonial Courtships features the four Ingersoll brothers who reside in Glassenbury, Connecticut with their widowed mother at their family hostelry, The Red Griffin Inn. In Carving a Future, eldest son Nathaniel Ingersoll has worked many years toward his dream of becoming a master ship figurehead carver, but then he risks all to save Constance Starling, who arrives on the Connecticut coast too ill for anyone to accept her indenture. Trading Hearts tells the tale of Jonathan Ingersoll who makes a way for himself as a merchant trader and meets Clara Marie Preston working in her father’s inn, but competition and animosity from her brother put his career at risk and his chances at love on a low scale. Over a Barrel is the story of baker Gideon Ingersoll, after years of fighting alongside the British on the frontier wants peace, not the love and adventure thrust upon him when he finds a child in one of his flour barrels and Sarah Carter, the girl’s mother, claiming they were abducted.  Impressed by Love is about the youngest son, Alden Ingersoll, who is press ganged into tending a British naval captain, and his only goal is to get back to his medical practice and patients, until he catches sight of the captain’s fetching niece, Phoebe Carlisle. Will adventure thwart the brothers' plans or set them on a course of love?

My Novella: Carving a Future (1753):  Ship figurehead carver Nathaniel Ingersoll has apprenticed for many years under his Uncle Phineas and hopes to become a master ship carver in his own right. Constance Starling was spirited away from England to the Connecticut coast as an indentured servant, arriving too ill for anyone to accept her. When Nathaniel takes pity on her, he purchases her contract. Has he jeopardized the future he has worked so hard to achieve for the welfare of a weakly servant?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Imagination Box

I'm doing some spring organizing and decided to finally do something nice for all my crafty stuff and office supplies. So I thought I'd show you the before, and after of my piles.

Have you ever heard of a "haul". From what I hear that's when a fashionista hauls out their shopping finds and tells all about it. Well, I found some very inexpensive pretty storage boxes at my favorite store, T. J. Maxx, and decided I'd show you my project: an over-haul of my very old and ugly craft cart.

I have a nice new cabinet for my closetless writing studio where I can finally tuck my things away instead of having piles around and this is where I'll tuck my boxes, my "imagination boxes" away. Though the cabinet isn't yet assembled, it will be soon. Then I can move on to my larger task of organizing my writing studio! Of course this was just one part of the project, but it feels so go to have it done. I'm good at micro-managing and procrastinating on the big stuff. But it gives me some inspiration and enthusiasm to go forward. Kind of like writing that special scene that you pulled from your imagination box.

Ribbon, scrapbooking papers, rubber stamps & inks
Supplies: paints, brushes, drawing tools,
tape, glue sticks, etc.
Stamps: rubber stamps, inks, embossing powder
Scrap papers: scrapbooking papers, cutouts, cards, small albums

Of course, Dasha, has to get in the middle of things!

Crafty embellishments, floral wire, unfinished projects!
Ta! Da!
I're wondering if I tossed anything away? Not very much. It all seemed to fit into the boxes nice and tidy once it was arranged properly.

 What's going on in your imagination box?

Monday, March 28, 2011


When I'm writing a story, I pay particular attention to days and dates and often refer to calendars of that time figuring out my story timeline. My Colonial Courtships novella takes place in the year 1752, which was a remarkable year in history, for it was the first year that America began using the Gregorian calendar.  So though I'm a wee bit late on this, I want to wish you all a HAPPY COLONIAL NEW YEAR!

260 years ago - March 25, 1751 - was the last first day of the new year in the Julian calendar. The following January 1 marked the first day of 1752 under the Gregorian calendar (and incidentally, Betsy Ross's birthday). 11 days were also omitted from the calendar that September. So both 1751 and 1752 were short years. The reason March 25th had been used as the first day of the year is because it coincides with the equinox when the length of day and night are equal, also the Feast of the Annunciation.  But in accordance with the 1750 act of Parlament, England and its colonies were required to change calendars in 1752.
Sometimes in research you may find a reference to a date such as February 1, 1701/02. This refers to "old style" and "new style" dating. To compensate for the discrepancy between the solar year and the Julian calendar and to be in sinc with most of Europe who had already made the change, the King ordered the 11 days to be wiped from September. The missing days created havoc for many, but workers were required to get paid for all 30 days of the month, although they did not exist. In fact, this is when "paid leave" came into being.

A waste of time to pay so much attention to this type of detail (pun intended)? Well, it depends on the importance and relevance of dates in the story, which may be particularly useful in historical fiction. If I say they are celebrating New Year's Day in the year 1750, it surely won't fall between Christmas and Twelfth Night. In fact, spring would be on its way.

1752 Calendar Change

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sticky Notes: L. M. Montgomery

"I cannot remember a time when I was not writing, or when I did not mean to be an author. To write has always been my central purpose around which every effort and hope and ambition of my life has grouped itself."
- Lucy Maud Montgomery

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mainely Me

Today I just thought I'd share a little stuff about life with me here in Maine. Spring is trying ever so hard to show itself. Even as the snow melts, more is still falling. It usually takes a while before springtime arrives. They say Maine has 5 season, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Mud. We are deep in mud season now and I've been trying to muddle through with an increase in my migraines and daily nausea. But I'm finding some nice things to enjoy and celebrate. My stepdaughter from my previous marriage had a new baby girl last week. My niece turned 14 a few days ago. And yesterday my oldest son, Justin, turned 24 and in 2 short months our other son, Brandon, will be 23. I'm suddenly feeling very old, although I'm still 49 and holding.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Colonial Research Trip in Maine

Me in front of lobster traps on the pier.
One of the highlights of my long Maine winter was my recent research trip to the Kittery, Maine area. The trip included attending the Dressing a Colonial Lady presentation in S. Berwick in the evening. But during the day I enjoyed a fascinating time traversing around the southern tip of Maine with the companionship of my mother. The area boasts some of the oldest towns in the state, as the area was first settled in the early 1600's by some of our ancestors. I had long desired to explore the area for research for my family history which also includes writing research as I hope to someday tell the fascinating tales of some of my prominent ancestors.

If not for the Dressing a Colonial Lady event by the Old Berwick
Historical Society I doubt that I would have even thought of exploring a Maine coastal area in the dead of winter. It's just not something you do.  Although Maine in the summer is blossoming with tourists and many attractions, most places are shut up tight from October until June. But the peculiar timing of our trip did provide an interesting perspective of the quiet trails and pretty shores of the state which was once part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday's Fortune

Oi, there maties! There's a great deal of buried treasure out there. So, I'm starting a new feature called Friday's Fortune where I'll be bringing you some of the bounty that I've discovered from navigating around the net. In my book, treasure is worth more when you share it. Enjoy!

Treasure. . .
Buring Writing Beneath the Research  by Carol Garvin ~  "There’s something about research that is addictive. There is always just one more reference to check; one more page to read; one more website to discover and devour. . ."

Priceless. . .

Eternity in an Hour by Latayne Scott at She Reads ~ "Not only does the finished product of a book reflect the way God has enabled an author to write, the book itself illustrates the relationship between time (the realm of where we live) and eternity (where God lives). . ."


Heroes: Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul  by Pepper Basham at Writer's Alley ~ "I know, I know – there are some great posts in cyberspace about the perfect hero. But I want to examine . . . A few heroes from novels and what makes them heroic. . ."

Monday, March 14, 2011

What We Learn

"It is not so important to know everything as to appreciate what we learn."
Hannah Moore