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Monthly Archives: September 2009

So this being the Risky’s anniversary month, I’m going to join in the celebration even though I’m still a wet-behind-the-ears Risky. I have such fond memories already. Fun with Google books, phosphorus pencils, Megan’s penchant for pictures of handsome men . . . You can’t have too many handsome men, if I do say so myself.

I wish I could give everyone a phosphorus pencil and wait for the stories about desks and papers set on fire. Alas, that is not to be. But I can offer one lucky commenter a copy of my February historical Scandal. If you look over to the right –> you can take a look at the cover — because I haven’t had time to switch the cover to my October historical, Indiscreet. If you already have Scandal and for some reason don’t want two copies (why not?) I would be happy to send you one of my paranormals instead.

To have your chance to win a copy of the book, leave a comment about one of the following things:

    1. if you had a phosphorus pencil, what would you do with it?


  • name your favorite literary blood fucking fiend: Eric, Bill, Edward, LeStat or someone else?



  • If you were a Regency heiress would you prefer lots of dainty slippers or an ermine muff? And would your eyes sparkle?



  • Something else entirely



Posted in Giveaways | Tagged | 27 Replies

My book is due November 1.

Let me say that again just for the adrenaline rush.

My book is due November 1


Right. So, today’s post will be a bit brief because although I have things well in hand on the deadline front, the fact remains that my book is due November 1 and I need the panic. It makes me spend more time writing and less time surfing the web or twittering.

Speaking of which, here is a link to one of the most inspiring blog posts I’ve read in quite some time. From @Moonrat’s Editorial Ass blog: Robert The Publisher’s Gem of the Day

The beauty of the post, aside from the humor and the gotcha meaning at the end, is that it’s inspiring for anyone, even if you’re not a publisher, editor or writer.

I’ll leave you with that as you go off to be inspired. I’ll be doing the same thing over at the book that’s due November 1.

But if you come back to comment about whether you agree, that would be cool.

Edited to add:

The winner of my Anniversary Bash post has not yet come forward. Amy, contact me! If I haven’t heard from you by wed Oct 7, I’ll select a new winner.

The winner (chosen randomly) is Amy! Amy please email me carolyn AT with your mailing address. If you already have Scandal, let me know and I’ll send My Forbidden Desire.

Thanks for stopping by and hey, Spike is an awesome choice of vampire.

EDT #2: Random comic. Not that I would ever surf the web when my book is due november 1.

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Congratulations, MariElle, you’re the winner of a $25 Amazon gift certificate. Please send your email address to

I didn’t pick a winner based on the quality of the jokes (it was through the impartial and humorless random integer method), but MariElle’s was pretty good–here’s her punchline again:

The young monk asks the old Abbot, “What’s wrong, father?” With a choking voice, the old Abbot replies, “The word was… ‘celebRate!!!’ ”

And don’t you like this authentic, sophisticated medieval wall painting?

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First of all, this week is Banned Books Week! Everyone go and read a banned book–or any book at all, really. Reading is rebellion! Reading is, well, risky!

And so is writing. I finished an “Undone” short story and am on the downward slope toward The End of my second Laurel McKee book (due November 1–wish me luck!), and it seems that is hazardous to my health. My finger seems permanently bent, and my behind is glued to my desk chair (all the Halloween candy I eat as I write is not helping, either). But I’m very happy to take a time out today and celebrate the birthday of author Elizabeth Gaskell, who was born September 29, 1810. (I confess that, aside from reading her book Ruth a long time ago–and remembering nothing about it–I did not come to her books until I saw the TV versions of Cranford, North and South, and Wives and Daughters, but I’m glad I have found them now. And didn’t you know I would find a way to use a pic of Richard Armitage??)

Gaskell was born Elizabeth Stevenson at 93 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, which was then still on the outskirts of London, the 8th and last child of William Stevenson, a Unitarian minister, and his wife Elizabeth, who came from a prominent Midlands family well-connected with other well-to-do Unitarian families. Only Elizabeth and her eldest brother John survived infancy, and her mother died barely 3 months after her birth. Her father sent her to live with her mother’s sister, Hannah Lamb, in Cheshire, and she grew up with her aunt and grandparents. Their town, Knutsford, was later immortalized as Cranford (Her father remarried in 1814 and went on to have 2 more children, but she did not spend much time with them. Her brother John was a frequent visitor to Cheshire, though, and she was very fond of him. He went into the Merchant Navy with the East India Company, and was lost on a voyage to India in 1827).

In 1832 she married William Gaskell, the minister at Cross Street Unitarian Chapel and a man of literary hobbies. They settled in Manchester, where the industrial setting (and the religious values she grew up with and lived with) offered much inspiration for her writing. They had 6 children, and eventually rented a villa in Plymouth Grove after the publication of Elizabeth’s first novel Mary Barton, and she lived in this house and wrote all her books there until her death 15 years later. The circles the Gaskells socialized with included literary figures, religious dissenters, and social reformers, including Charles Dickens, John Ruskin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Charlotte Bronte (who is known to have stayed in the villa at loeast 3 times; Gaskell later wrote her first biography).

The best known of her books now are Ruth (1853), Cranford (1853), North and South (1854), and Wives and Daughters (1865), as well as her Bronte bio, but her best sellers in her own life were her Gothic ghost stories, published often in her friend Dickens’ magazine Household Words.
She died at her home in 1865, aged 55.

A few good sources on Gaskell’s life are:
Arthur Pollard, Mrs. Gaskell: Novelist and Biographer
Winifred Gerin, Elizabeth Gaskell
And the website of The Gaskell Society (lots of fun!)

Have you ever read any of Gaskell’s books (or seen the adaptations?) Which are your faves? And what are some of your favorite banned books???

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