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Tag Archives: Richard Armitage

I read somewhere in my time wasting serious research online that the way to improve traffic to a blog was to cover certain topics so I thought I’d give it a try.

First, PETS. Here’s Samuel Johnson’s cat Hodge, of whom Boswell wrote:

362px-Hodgecat_flickrI recollect him one day scrambling up Dr. Johnson’s breast, apparently with much satisfaction, while my friend smiling and half-whistling, rubbed down his back, and pulled him by the tail; and when I observed he was a fine cat, saying, ‘Why yes, Sir, but I have had cats whom I liked better than this;’ and then as if perceiving Hodge to be out of countenance, adding, ‘but he is a very fine cat, a very fine cat indeed.’

colin-firth111COLIN FIRTH Picture of Colin Firth with wet shirt for no particular reason.

1814 v11 Ackermann's fashion plate 4 - Promenade DressNext, FASHION. PROMENADE COSTUME. From Ackermann’s January 1814: A Plain cambric robe, with long gathered sleeve and high arched collar, trimmed with net lace or muslin. A Spanish lappelled coat of fine orange Merino cloth; full epaulette ornaments on the shoulders: the whole lined throughout with white sarsnet, and trimmed with a raised border of white velvet or swansdown. A small, provincial bonnet of the same material as the coat, ornamented with a full curled ostrich feather. White spotted ermine or Chinchilli muff. Gloves grey or light blue kid. Half-boots of orange-coloured jean, or velvet. But she still looks cold.

firth2You may not ever have considered that when COLIN FIRTH plunged into that pond he might have encountered certain aquatic life forms. His attitude of discomfort may well have been not because he appeared in a state of undress but because he was anxious to get rid of certain attachments to his person

There is actually a bit of dialogue, struck from the script that goes as follows:

Darcy: Madam (bows). Would you have some salt upon your person?

Elizabeth: Salt, sir?

Darcy: A match, then?

Elizabeth: Oh, certainly. (Takes a matchbook from her reticule)

Darcy: The Meryton Go-Go Swingers’ Club? Ridiculous. Matches haven’t even been invented yet. I suppose I’ll have to wait until I get into the house.

Sucking_leech… Bringing us onto the next hot topic of HEALTH.  I thought this picture spoke for itself. I hope you appreciate that I passed over some truly disgusting pics to find one that showed the business but would not make you lose your lunch.

RichardArmitage05Talking of which, FOOD is always popular too, but I thought that instead, for a change, we’d have RICHARD ARMITAGE. Although I did find several artistic shots of his behind, I hate to tell you that it looked OK but pretty much like anyone else’s. Unless you were on very intimate terms with Mr. Armitage (and someone certainly was) you’d never have known whether it was his or his bottom double’s.

So there you have it, the Big Popular Topics and I expect our numbers will soar.

But seriously, is there anything you’d like to see us blog about here that we haven’t yet covered? Any celebrity bottoms?

I’ve been down with a sinus infection this week, so I haven’t got much to report on research or writing progress. However, there have been some bright sides to this week.

I just downloaded my copy of Interviews with Indie Authors: Top Tips from Successful Self-Published Authors, which contains interviews with over thirty self-published authors including yours truly. Romance writers are well represented, including RWA members Marie ForceBarbara Freethy and CJ Lyons.  I’m truly honored to be in such company!

The interviews were collected by Tim and Claire Ridgway. For those interested in the Tudor period, Claire created The Ann Boleyn Files website which provided source material for several books on Ann Boleyn.  You can learn more about the book at Interviews with Indie Authors website.

I found it interesting to read about the authors’ various paths toward success in self publishing. There’s broad agreement on some issues, such as the quality of the writing, proofreading and covers.  There are also a lot of differing opinions on how to promote indie works. Some credit their success to doing a lot with social media, which is very daunting to someone juggling as many plates as I am.

But my very favorite bit of advice from the book was from CJ Lyons: “Don’t get caught up in the promotion whirlwind, your best promotional tool is writing the next book. The more books out there the more your fans will do the promotional work for you.”

I like that, because I don’t have the time nor the desire to spend half of my day on Facebook and Twitter! I would rather be writing. I’m currently looking for ways to coax more writing time out of my schedule. One thing I’ve realized being sick this week is that my daughters are capable of more than I thought. They’ve mowed the lawn (even the sloping back bit), cooked meals and cleaned. I need to use them more. What are children for?

Being sick also gave me the excuse to watch North and South (based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell–the title refers to the industrial north of England versus the rural south) with my oldest daughter.  It was fun to watch her reactions to the hero, John Thornton, played by Richard Armitage.  They mirrored the feelings of the heroine, Margaret Hale, played by Daniela Denby-Ashe.

Episode 1: I don’t like him.
Episode 2: I’m not sure.
Episode 3: Maybe he’s redeemable.
Episode 4: OK, he’s cool.

We also watched the bonus material, which included an interview with Richard Armitage. To prepare for his role, he not only read the book but also did extensive research into the background of the story. So he’s intelligent as well as hot (well, the two go together for me).

When she overheard us discussing this, my younger daughter said, “Mama, you’re sick.”
And she wasn’t talking about the sinus infection.

So what has everyone been doing this week?  If you bought any books, did social media affect your decisions? What is your favorite way to handle being sick? If you have children, do you enjoy embarrassing them and how?


Some of you (okay, most of you) likely indulged in the deliciousness of Masterpiece Theater’s airing of Downton Abbey.

In it, Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, eyeballs the new heir–the sadly middle-class Matthew Crawley–and asks, with perfect seriousness, “What is a weekend?”

Oh, wow. Can you imagine not looking forward to Friday afternoon, and not having dread on Sunday evening? Not even thinking about a difference between, say, Wednesday and Saturday?

For all of us, I’d say, that is an impossible dream. So with that in mind, let’s tell Violet what a weekend is, and what we plan to do with it. I’ll start:

I am having a few friends over to watch North and South. Again. There will be swooning over Richard Armitage, some snacks, and perhaps more swooning over Nicholas, the rougher bit in N&S.

I will be catching up on True Blood; I’m two episodes behind.

Reading–currently engrossed in Stacia Kane’s City of Ghosts, hope to dive into one of the many Mary Baloghs I’ve got on the TBR pile.

Walking–now that I’m working, I sit a whole damn lot, and I hate it. I hope to get to the gym, too.

I will not be drinking ratafia, bossing the servants around, or bemoaning my lack of an Almack’s invite.

What are you doing?


Today we welcome Ann Lethbridge to the Riskies to talk about her latest, The Gamekeeper’s Lady. Frustrated Lady Constance becomes attracted to the virile gamekeeper Mellors and they run around naked in the rain threading flowers through each other’s–NO! Wrong book.

A lovely twist on the Cinderella theme. Her likeable characters entertain….. Romantic Times Ms. Lethbridge has created two wonderfully flawed characters, and whilst they are among the crème de le crème of ton society, each stand out, not for their fair appearance, but rather their honesty, honor, and individuality. Heroes and Heartbreakers

Ann, congrats on the release, and I should mention here that your yummy hero received the Romantic Times K.I.S.S. (Knight in Shining Silver) hero award for May 2011. What was the origin of this book?

Interestingly enough, the book started off being about Robert, the hero. He was such a bad boy in that opening scene. But as the book progressed it clearly became Frederica’s journey. I tend to see a scene and then just follow along with the characters. For this book it was the scene where Robert is in bed with his mistress thinking everything in the garden is perfect, only to have everything go down hill fast. Funnily enough, I wrote that scene by hand in the car on a long journey to visit my daughter at University. On the way home, I read it to my husband. We had driven quite some distance with me reading, when he jerked in his seat, stared out of the window and said, “I have no idea where we are. We missed our turning.” The words were less polite, but that was their meaning.

I thought that was a very good omen.

(Yes, but did he stop and ask for directions?) What’s the appeal of the black sheep character for you?

Redemption, I suppose. I think we all hope to do better, to be better, and the redemption of the black sheep character plays into that basic human desire. They are also fun to write, because they are a bit wicked and never quite lose that charm.

Your heroine is an artist. Were you thinking of any particular artist of the period? eg Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun?

How did you guess? Probably because there were so few well-known female artists at this time. The idea of her being an artist came from the character herself, it was what she wanted to be. Then I had to go and look and see if it was possible. I was thrilled to find Elizabeth and a few others who made the idea a workable proposition. There was an English woman in an earlier century, Anna Maria Sibylla Merian who painted studies from nature, and then Elizabeth who painted mostly portraits.

Do you feel your upbringing in England gives you an insight into the complexities of the class system?

I always said that if I had been born in the Regency, I would have been the upstairs maid, or the tenant farmer’s wife. My grandmother always said we came from British yeoman stock, although l in more recent history my family had a military tradition. That might have been the result of two world wars, however. Coming from there, one certainly tends to understand how British Society works, who fits where and how, but the system itself has never been completely static. I think my upbringing in England gave me a deep-rooted feel for the history of the country and a feel for the countryside and it is that which I tap into for my books.

Did your research for the book turn up anything interesting?

I did quite a bit of research on the role of the gamekeeper which in turn led me to a book in an old bookshop in England on the art of poaching. In the end, it wasn’t relevant, but I was quite fascinated to learn how to tickle a trout. Perhaps it will find its way into a book one of these days. A poacher would have to be a bit of a black sheep — perhaps a gypsy. I do love a good gypsy story. Uh oh.

If you were in charge of casting for the movie version, who would you pick?

For Robert, it would have to be Richard Armitage, he has an edge I really like, but can be sensitive too. For Frederica, I would pick Emily Blunt I think. She carries off the female of the era who goes beyond the normal expectations for a woman very well.

What sort of music do you listen to when you write?

Oh dear, I really don’t. I can manage with a bit background noise if I have to, but my preference is silence. I prefer to listen to the characters in my head. I have been known to use music to drown out other noises in the house when people are home. In that case, I like anything classical without words. Words tend to insinuate their way into my mind and I find myself singing along, instead of writing.

What’s up next for you?

Thank you for asking. I have a follow up book to The Gamekeeper’s Lady out in June. It is about Robert’s brother, Charlie, the responsible twin, and called More than a Mistress. In the Fall some time there is a follow up book to my very first book with Harlequin, another bad-boy brother which is titled Lady Rosabella’s Ruse. Currently, I am working on a story set in the Highlands of Scotland where my characters seem to be engaged in a tale of catch as catch can and I am madly trying to keep up with them.

Thank you so much for inviting me to visit with the Risky Regencies, Janet. Now it is my turn to ask a question of your readers. I would like to know~

Who is your favourite black sheep character? Or what kind of hero do you prefer?

I have a copy of The Gamekeeper’s Lady waiting to wing its way off to a lucky commenter, picked randomly by Janet. Thank you for dropping in and Happy Mother’s Day.

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