Friday, 20 May 2016

Happy Book Birthday, Her Endearing Young Charms!

20 May 2016

Her Endearing Young Charms is out today! Have you got your copy yet?

Miss Merribelle Hales spent years imbuing a silver locket with man-attracting charms. On her way to her first London Season, her locket is stolen--along with a kiss--by a highwayman. Her only clue to his identity: a pair of intense eyes. This vexes her. Without her best charm, how will she ever be able to compete on the Marriage Mart? It would be so much easier if she didn't have to compete at all.

Lord Alexander Rochester has worries aplenty. His ailing father's estates are woefully in debt, so he must seek a wealthy wife. His courtship of Miss Hales goes terribly awry with a simple kiss that leads to his slapped face and an accusation of theft.

It's a case of mistaken identity. Alexander knows and fears the real culprit. He faces the loss of his father, his estate and Miss Hales--whom he's loved since childhood--by the hands of the Handkiss Highwayman.

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (paperback) | Barnes & Noble | KoboBooks | iTunes | Smashwords

Awesomesauce: Get the Kindle edition of Her Endearing Young Charms free through Kindle MatchBook when you buy the paperback edition from Amazon.

Her Grace is off to enjoy some birthday cake. If you enjoyed Her Endearing Young Charms, she encourages you to leave an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads or other reputable book review site. This helps other readers discover great books.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

A to Z Challenge - recap

So here I am at Stupid O'Clock with a bit of time for quietude and reflection. I made it to the end of another A to Z Challenge. This year was a lot easier (and nicer) than last year. There's a good chance I'll do it again next year.

Things I learned:

  • Short and sweet is perfectly acceptable.
  • Writing to a theme is a good idea.
  • Scheduling posts is your friend.
  • I am not an everyday blogger.
  • Blogreaders really like lists.
It was good to be able to visit other fascinating blogs. Some of the blogs I visited and really enjoyed:

You might not hear from me for the next month. May is Birthday Month and I've got a lot of birthdays to cater for. Also, the Rockingham Book Fair is coming up this weekend (I'll be there. Come visit!), Eurovision is the week after and I've got a major project due on the Environment and Climate of Mars and its Potential Habitability (astrobiology).  Much going on.

Meanwhile, it's also the Book Birthday for Her Endearing Young Charms. To celebrate, I'm having a giveaway on Goodreads. May 11-20. Please enter.

Her Grace thanks you for reading this month.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

þ in your side?

Sometimes I wish we kept the letter þ (thorn). It's a shame it disappeared from our alphabet.

Want to know more? Go google it. While I was touching on some research for the letter þ, I made the mistake of reading the commentary on the bottom of the articles.

Stupid  me. Everyone knows you never read the comments on articles. They're full of aþþholes' vapid opinions.

Monday, 2 May 2016

& (Ampersand)

Looks like a treble clef sometimes.
I love how the English alphabet once considered the stylish ampersand (&) a letter of its own.

I'll use it from time to time as it was intended, but only in casual speech--never formal.

I know it represents the latin 'et', meaning 'and'. Who doesn't? It arose as a form of shorthand that stuck in common usage.

I can understand why it was removed from the English alphabet and have no quarrels over it's demotion.

Question: What are your thoughts on the ampersand as a letter of the alphabet?

Her Grace will have a soft spot for the ampersand but will not lend it any additional airs or graces.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z - Ze End (maybe)

Michael Cui gets it.
Yeah, Z is another one of those awkward letters in an A to Z list, especially with a theme about reading. (I read The Zephyr once.)

Me, I'm just glad I've nearly gotten to the end of the A to Z Challenge. I've read some good blogs and met some fascinating new people.

This year was much easier, thanks to some lessons I learned from last year. Will I blog A to Z again next year? I think I very well might. Let us see how life goes then. I'll still have grad school, I'll still have books coming out and I'll still have lawns to mow. I wonder what I'll learn about myself between now and then?

Question: What did you enjoy most about the A to Z Challenge? Did you find any new fascinating blogs? Did someone's post really stick out to you? Do share.

Her Grace invites you to tune in Monday and Tuesday where she continues the alphabet with two letters that have disappeared recently from the English language.


I'm sure you've noticed the datestamp on this post.

Yes, I was supposed to post Y yesterday, but things happen.

A few days ago Second Ladyship asked me what kind of superpower I would like. I told her I would like power over Time. I wish I could hoard or spend time the way I do money. Sometimes, like the next few weeks, I've got too much to do and not enough time in which to do it. Other times I've got a spare five minutes and nothing really useful with which to fill it. If only I could squirrel away those five minute coins into a really useful hour's worth of free time, that would be marvelous.

This week I have:

  • A book fair coming up. Have a few things left to prep for this.
  • Collaboration with other post-grad students on a science mission to Saturn's moon of Enceladus.
  • Analysis paper on all the missions to Mars (Viking, Curiosity, etc) in relation to astrobiology.
  • Massive cleaning.
Three of those things are really cool. One of them is not. They are all taking up my time.

List of things I wish I was doing this week, but don't have time:
  • Writing. Yep, I won't get a single word of fiction in over the next couple of weeks. Sorry, Amanda.
  • More promo for Her Endearing Young Charms, which is out 20 May.
  • Painting that long-overdue mural on my office wall.
  • Binge-watching something on TV. Normally I get maybe an hour or so a week. Yes, I spend more time exercising in the pool than I do watching TV.
  • Reading. Have several books I bought in my TBR pile a few weeks ago that I haven't gotten around to cracking yet.
  • Sit at the beach on a warm Djeran afternoon.
Things I'm glad I don't have to do this week:
  • taxes
  • full-time Day Job work
  • piano practice
  • lawnmowing
  • riding the bus due to a broken-down car
  • social work
So here's to Yesterday.

Why yes, I am a fan of The Beatles.

If you're also a fan, you might enjoy fellow blogger, music enthusiast, author, and fellow Woodland Creature (and regular Carkoon resident) Colin Smith's A to Z challenge dedicated to flash fiction inspired by Paul McCartney songs. It's so cool; check it out.

Her Grace may forgo blogging for a few weeks while she finishes her astrobiology obligations.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X marks the Spot

Remember my confession for dog ears?

Today I talk bookmarks. I have a friend who, every time she buys a new hardcopy book, also gets it its very own bookmark to keep forever.  (I've got one or two bookmarks here and there. Otherwise I don't really bother.) Yes, I'm that gal who leaves books open face-down instead of sticking the nearest shopping receipt in to mark my place.  Then again, I'm that gal who slips used lottery scratchies in the backs of library books.

When I worked in the library, if we found a bookmark left in a book, we'd take it out and file it in our lost and found, in case someone came looking for it. And they did. You'd be surprised at how many people are attached to their bookmarks. At least, I was. Granted, some of them were really  nice, like cross stitched ones, those pretty metallic ones with a butterfly on the overleaf, and so on.

Bookmarks have other uses, I'm told. Many a fellow author has recommended bookmarks as handouts (instead of business cards or postcards) at literary conventions. People always have books at conventions (at least, the kinds of conventions I go to), and some of them bother to read them there. Hand them a bookmark and they'll most likely stick it in a book. I see the wisdom of this, as the reader will look at the bookmark every single time they open the book. Multiple, repeated exposure.

Must try that sometime.

Question: are you an avid proponent of bookmarks, casual user or a dog-earing, open-faced villain like me?
Her Grace hates having to come up with entries for the letter X on A-Z lists because X is a very lame letter in the English language. Why on earth do we still have it?