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Yay for Happy News Wednesday!

The winner of the subscription to Susan Broadwater’s Regency Library is:

Jane Lark!

I’ve sent you an email, but feel free to contact me if it’s gone astray.

Writing News-ish

I have 5 chapters left to revise for My Darkest Passion, book 5 in the My Immortals series. Then it’s off to the copy-editor.

And that is why this post is short.

Other Happy News

My little dog is asleep on the chair behind me. That always makes me happy.

What’s your happy news?

So this week I am on a very tight deadline. Basically, I have been trying to write a book in about a month–after writing a book in about two months. Over Christmas. This I do not recommend, but it is one way of making sure things get done. 🙂 This week I’m trying to get as much done as I can toward the March 27th deadline so I can take Saturday off for St. Patrick’s Day, so there is no room left in my head for blogposts. I have NO idea what to talk about.

But my friend Kathy Wheeler has a great blog post up about managing time, and making time for things that are important to us. So I’m borrowing a topic from her and telling you what I’ve been doing lately…

1) Writing (obv), while not taking breaks to eat Peanut Butter Eggs (the joys of deadline+Easter candy time) and watch Dr. Oz in order to freak about about new germy things I never thought about before

2) Thinking about washing some of the laundry that has mysteriously spread out from the laundry room onto the kitchen floor, but it will probably have to wait until I turn in the book. By then it will have taken over the living room too, and swallowed up the cats

3) I did make time to go to yoga class. When I skip it (which I’m always tempted to do) I get all twisted up into the shape of my desk chair, and then there is also the matter of the Peanut Butter Eggs, so exercise is always a must. I don’t want to finish the book, only to find that my favorite “going out and celebrating” dress no longer fits…

4) Almost setting fire to my kitchen. Unlike Kathy, who managed to get the gas stove under control, I tried to broil a steak in the oven and heard a strange crackling noise. When I opened the door, you guessed it, flames shot out. Luckily I put it out quickly, but the house smelled for days afterward, the dogs have only quit giving me scared looks, and I realized everyone is happier (and safer) when I just get Thai takeout. Yay for shrimp pad thai and chardonnay!

And the pic–well, that will probably be me, giving in to exhaustion when I hit “send” on the WIP!

What have you been doing this week?? What are some of your time-management tips?

Happy 2012, everyone! I have a feeling this is going to be a good, healthy, happy year. I am starting off today getting ready to turn in the WIP (just doing a final smoothing-out, taking care of little details look before it goes winging off through cyberspace to London). Wish me luck!

This has been a very different project for me, as it’s the last of 8 books in a new continuity series coming out from Harlequin Historicals later this year. (Carole Mortimer kicks off the series and I end it). It doesn’t have a name yet, but when they asked me to take part in the project they said they envisioned it as “Downton Abbey in the Regency” (a grand house, an old family mired in scandal and financial difficulties, lots of crazy things going on behind a beautiful facade, etc). How could I resist this??? I adore Downton Abbey, and can’t wait for season two to start on PBS this weekend (I’ve been trying to avoid any spoilers, but it hasn’t been easy). This project has been a very interesting one, and a good way to change things up a bit (as well as get to know some other authors), but it has also been a challenge for a pantser writer like me. Often I have no idea what is going to happen in a story until I am writing it, but I had to be far more organized with this story, following plots that were already set up and trying to be true to other writers’ characters.

I hope it has all turned out okay (fingers crossed!). Then it is on to the next project…

In the meantime, as I frantically get on with editing, let’s look at some pretty. I confess, one of the big reasons I love Downton Abbey (besides the fact that I would sit and watch Maggie Smith be a sarcastic Dowager Lady Whatever for days) is the costumes. The Edwardian period is one of the very prettiest for fashions (IMO) and they’ve done a fabulous job. So here are a few favorites, plus a Vogue pic of the 3 sisters (which shows that Edith is not really so plain after all…)

Have you been watching DA? What do you think of it? And do you like to read continuity series in romance???

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Like Diane, I have deadlines, oh, tomorrow! Two projects have to go in, so I am a bit crazed here in the Writing Cave (and thanks to some scheduling snafus on my part, the new Victorian-set book had to be written in two months, so I am especially happy to see the back of it for a while!). So let’s look at some handsome men for today while I sit over here and quietly go crazy. There are lots of summer movies out now/coming soon featuring hunky heroes, none of which I have seen yet but I’m definitely planning to. (There’s Thor, the new Pirates of the Caribbean, and X Men: First Class, which I will probably see even though I am not a huge X-Men fan because, hello, it has Michael Fassbender AND James McAvoy…)

And on another note, my RITA finalist Countess of Scandal is an excellent deal in ebooks right now, only $1.99 on the Kindle and the Nook

What movies have you seen lately? Any you’re looking forward to? Read anything good lately???

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So, what has Amanda been doing this week? Well…..

1) Writing! One project done (I think–or maybe I’m just sick of it now), one to finish. Then one to start. And RWA in about 4 weeks. Good times.

2) What to do since the Vampire Diaries season is over and True Blood hasn’t started yet? Thanks to the wonders of Netflix streaming (honestly, what did we do without this??), I have been wasting much time watching many episodes of Top Gear. That show is made of awesome. Also Bollywood movies.

3) Getting my (very excited) little ballet students ready for their recital in two weeks. It is all pink tulle all the time over there now!

4) Also getting ready for book three of my “Daughters of Erin” trilogy to hit the shelves next week! Visit us Sunday for the chance to win a signed copy. It’s hard to say good-bye to these characters… (and the first reviews are coming in! Here and here...)

My current project (One Naughty Night, which will be out from Grand Central Publishing in June 2012) is Victorian-set, so I’ve been spending a lot of time reading Victorian research books lately. In trying to find something to blog about today, I discovered that May 24 is Queen Victoria’s birthday! So happy 192nd birthday.

Princess Victoria was born on May 24, 1819 at about 4:15 in the morning at Kensington Palace to Edward, the Duke of Kent (4th son of George III) and his wife Princess Victoire of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (sister of Princess Charlotte’s widower Prince Leopold). Princess Charlotte’s death in childbirth in 1817 set off a succession crisis–none of King George’s many sons had managed to come up with any more legitimate heirs, but they now scrambled to find suitable wives and produce little heirs to the throne. Victoria was born 5th in line of succession, after her father and his three elder brothers, the Regent and the dukes of York and Clarence. The Regent was long estranged from his wife Caroline, and now his only child was dead; York was also all but estranged from his wife, and she was too old to have children anyway; and Clarence (who married his wife Adelaide the same day as the Kents) had two legitimate daughters who died in infancy, even though he had copious amounts of children with his longtime mistress Dorothy Jordan. Victoria won the heir stakes.

She was christened in a small ceremony by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace on June 24. She was meant to be named Victoria Georgina Alexandrina Charlotte Augusta, or some combination therein, but the Regent threw a big fit which made the Duchess of Kent cry and made them take off the Georgina (after him) and the Charlotte (because of his daughter). The Alexandrina was after one of the baby’s godfathers, Tsar Alexander of Russia.

Victoria’s father died in 1820, and her childhood she later described as “rather melancholy.” For more information and images, you can go here

What is your favorite TV show right now? Did you watch the Vampire Diaries season finale (what did you think)?? Are you going to be at RWA this year? And who is your favorite dysfunctional family in history? (The Tudors, maybe?)

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