Find Your Joy.

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Can I be honest?

2018 has been a bit of a trash fire of a year, hasn’t it?

Stepping away from the chaotic whirlwind of bad news has been a struggle. Being creating in 2018 has been even more difficult. It’s important to write, even in the middle of the muck.

I think, more than any other time, it’s also important to find happy moments and pursue them.

For me?

This weekend, that meant baking, reading, and video games.

Baking? That went brilliantly. I made Mary Berry’s recipe for profiteroles, photo evidence above. They tasted AMAZING. They also didn’t last the weekend lol. Yum.

Reading? I finally got around to reading Alison Weir’s Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen, which I enjoyed immensely. I love a good historical fiction. And this one was definitely half fact and half fiction. Brilliantly done though.

Video games? I’ve gotten completely obsessed with the latest Assassin’s Creed game, Odyssey. Epic, brilliant, amazing. Love it so much.

Now, I’m back to writing on my new work in progress–an urban fantasy. Should be great fun.

How about you? What moments of joy are you finding for yourself this year?

Snow.

The weatherman told us we’d get a little bit of snow on Friday.  The bastard lied.  We got non-stop thick snow for most of the day and wound up with around eight to ten inches. My dog was not amused.

She hopped around in it for a bit, completely disappearing.

I loved it…right up until the point when both our power and internet decided to go out.

I handled it fairly well.  I lived in the Dominican Republic for two years when I was in my twenties, dealing with power outages was a daily occurrence, so  I have loads of experience.

What do I do with my time? I reread the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs (the ones I had in paperback in any case.) I also read a few of Mary Balogh’s novels.  Oh, and I made some headway on a less exciting non-fiction book that I’ve been putting off.

My beloved hubby did NOT handle being without power and internet.  Accurate depiction of him:

He also whined a bit (and by that I mean constantly), and I ended up feeling a bit like this:

Did you get any snow this weekend?

The Romance of History

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My guilty pleasures often include reading a lot of Regency Romances and watching period films such as Persuasion and The Golden Bowl, or TV mini-series like, Downton Abbey and The Tudors.  I love the glitz and glamour of it all.  I do also enjoy injecting my pleasures with small doses of reality every once in a while.

Historical romances whether in written form or film all tend to gild the lily on what life was really like in whatever time period they are representing.  It’s enjoyable, but gives us a rose-tinted view of what history was truly like.

My hubby and I recently watched a fascinating BBC mini-series from 2001 called The Manor House.  They took a family along with twelve other volunteers and moved them into an estate house for a three month experiment where they all had to live as Edwardians.  From clothing to food to everything, it all centered around them living life as it was in the early 1900s.

The family became nouveau riche, titled and waited on hand and foot.  The other twelve volunteers became their servants from butler down to scullery maid.  It was a true glimpse at what life in a Downton Abbey style home would be like.  And it was nothing like the TV show.

It was fascinating to watch modern minds struggle with life in the 1900s.  The upstairs folk, naturally, handled it better.  The downstairs servants struggled with the inequality of it all.  I found it really intriguing to watch.

Three months really gave them long enough to truly immerse themselves into the roles they were playing.

It’s definitely worth watching if you’re at all interested in period films/romances.

The Reading List: April

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The books I’m reading from Kindle Unlimited this month:

1. The Rebel Earl

2. A Wilder Rose

3. Royal date

4. 65 House Cleaning Hacks

Useful, but nothing to write home about.

5. Cleaning and Organizing Hacks

See above lol.

6. Furniture and Draperies in the era of Jane Austen

It basically covers a lot of what would’ve been in Ackerman’s during the time.  Fascinating.

7. Letters from the Heart

8. Jane Austen and Food

Completely and totally fascinating if you’re as obsessed as I am with Jane Austen and the Regency era.

9. All Roads Lead to Austen

The Reading List

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This month, I’m reading:

1. Nothing Left Sacred – I’m always up for a good book on the Tudors

2. Anne’s Wardrobe – pretty light reading, but a fascinating look into Tudor times.

3. The Blood of the Fifth Knight – Haven’t read yet.

4. Katherine Howard: A New History – I don’t tend to read a lot about Henry’s fifth wife, so this was fascinating.

5. Helen of Sparta – Haven’t read yet.

6. The Marriage Mart – Have I mentioned I adore a good Regency Romance? I really do.

7.TBD

8. TBD

9. TBD

 


 

Last Month’s List:

1. The Creation of Anne Boleyn – Finished

2. Make Mine a Ranger – Finished

3. Cotswolds Memoir – Still Reading.

4. Edward III: The Perfect King – Finished

5. Frugal and Delicious – Finished

6. An Inconvenient Ward – Finished

7. Seal The Deal Finished

8. The Stolen Crown – DNF

9. A Love Most Dangerous – Finished

The Reading List

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This month, I’m reading:

1. The Creation of Anne Boleyn – Fascinating. Not my favourite Anne Boleyn book, but I enjoyed parts of it.  What I didn’t care for is how the book seemed to be an endless complaint about other Tudor historical authors.  It got to be a bit annoying and turned me off of the book.

2. Make Mine a Ranger – sexy military men? What can I say, my weakness.  Great book, might have to read the others in the series.

3. Cotswolds Memoir – I added this one because I’m going to be working on Judy & Carl at some point, and I think that’s where they’re going to go.

4. Edward III: The Perfect King – (To be read)

5.  Frugal and Delicious – Interesting, but…not sure how much of it I’d actually use.

6. An Inconvenient Ward – I’m a sucker for a good Regency romance.

7. Seal The Deal (To be read)

8. The Stolen Crown – I wanted to enjoy this, I really did. But the first person POV just…felt really awkward.

9. A Love Most Dangerous –  (To be read)


Last Month’s List:

1. Perseverance (Finished)

2. The Everything Zen Book (Still Reading – there was no way I was reading this in a month lol.)

3. Waking Up Catholic (Finished)

4. Sweating Sickness in a Nutshell (Finished)

5. To Marry an English Lord (Finished)

6. The Fiction Writer’s Book of Checklists (Finished)

7. The Yuletide Countess (Finished)

8. Kitchen Confidential (DNF)

9. Katherine (Finished)

 

The Reading List.

ebook and books II

So I have Kindle Unlimited at the moment, to make it worth it.  I need to read at least nine books a month, otherwise there really isn’t much point in having the account.

This month, I’m reading:

1. Perseverance

I’ve finished this one already.  It’s an interesting look into Anne Boleyn.  (I’m a huge Tudor nerd).

2. The Everything Zen Book

Slowly making my way through this.

3. Waking Up Catholic

Finished this one as well. I enjoy reading books on religions.  I tend to read a little bit of everything.  It was well written and I did learn a number of things I never knew about Catholicism.

4. Sweating Sickness in a Nutshell

Finished this one.  It was a fascinating look at an epidemic that went through England in the 1400s – 1500s, then disappeared.  Have I mentioned I’m a history nerd?

5. To Marry an English Lord

6. The Fiction Writer’s Book of Checklists

7. The Yuletide Countess

8.  Kitchen Confidential

I love Anthony Bourdain–in small doses.  I enjoy his shows quite a bit–in small doses.  His book is not small doses.  I couldn’t make it through it. 

9. TBD