Category Archives: north & south

A little romance courtesy of John & Margaret


Just some pretty images of Mr. Thornton & Margaret for Sunday (or late Saturday, depending on where you are, my international posse).  I’m not feeling my best–cranky knee, dermatitis flared up, bit of tummy trouble–so don’t know that I will be posting a lot tomorrow.  We’ll see. Hoping to get some more writing done and finish re-reading The Hobbit. Happy Sunday to everyone!

Try a little tenderness . . .


A touch of angst and sweetness.  A excerpt from the second chapter in the latest revision to my novel-in-progress The Lady & The Panther  . . .

“I can’t claim to fully understand you. But I cannot believe you are a truly bad man, somehow.”

He gave her an enigmatic smile, tilting his head as he stretched out his hand to capture another errant strand of chestnut hair to smooth it back.

“And in spite of the fact you seemed fully ready–if not, dare I say, well prepared–to kill your husband, I cannot think you are a truly bad woman, somehow.” His voice was mocking and gentle all at once.

The colour in Lizzie’s cheeks deepened and she dropped her gaze.

“It is more than his lordship being a drunken, faithless lout, is it not? He’s ill-used you in some way, hasn’t he, Lizzie?”

She nodded slowly, her eyes still fixed on the floor.

“I also know what it feels like to be desperate,” Lizzie whispered. She raised her eyes to meet his.

So much pain inside this woman.

“Lizzie, ma pauvre petite . . .”  The stranger leaned forward and, ever so gently, pressed the tenderest of kisses to her mouth.  

Her lips were just as soft and sweet as he had imagined. Oh, I am being tested tonight.

 Not without some reluctance,  he lifted his mouth from hers, and gave a small sigh as he pressed his forehead against Lizzie’s.

 She was breathless. The kiss was–lovely. So unlike any she had ever received from Horace. So unlike any kiss she had ever expected to receive. Lizzie almost felt like crying again.

 The stranger lifted his head. He cupped Lizzie’s face in his hands, gently stroking her jawline, his eyes rather somber, his voice husky.

“Forgive me for the impertinence, Lizzie. But it seemed as if you–needed that.”

Gisborne in his sweet moments and tender JT at the train station were definitely inspiring me here.

I am reading a new book on writing  titled Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook the Reader From the Very First Sentence.

Author Lisa Cron makes an excellent case for how we as humans are hard wired to need stories in our lives, that stories tell us about what it means to be human. Here’s a quote addressing the subject of theme:

The universal is the portal that allows us to climb into the skin of characters completely different from us and to miraculously feel what they feel . . . it is only when expressed through the flesh-and-blood reality of a story, that we are able to experience a universal one-on-one, and  so feel it.

I think as a storyteller (for that is what I think of Mr. A as being) he is able to help us climb into the skin of characters with him, to see through their eyes, to experience what they experience, the joys, the sorrows, the pleasures, the pain. And in turn, inspire us to write our own stories of what it means to be human.

The devil, the details, and my muse


3,600 words. That’s what I’ve completed in the last couple of days.

Actually, I have written more than that, but I move things around, I take out a sentence here, a word there–it’s like a puzzle and you’re trying to get the pieces in just the right places. It’s a good thing I am not writing with a quill pen and ink, for the manuscript would be littered with blots and crossed-out patches, notes scrawled along the sides.  Hooray for modern technology.

English: Quill pen

English: Quill pen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s work and it’s a game all at the same time.  Sometimes it’s a frustrating game and you want to hit your head against something hard. But when it flows, it’s good.   When you get into that zone–whether it’s writing, or painting, or playing music or some other creative activity–you lose track of time. It’s pleasurable and exciting.

This is a period story that I’m writing, so the dialogue needs to have the flavor of 18th century England without being so archaic it sounds stiff and artificial to a modern reader.  And then there are the details you must check–the sort of windows one would likely find in a newly constructed London townhouse in 1750, the way a lady’s dress and undergarments would be constructed and embellished, cosmetics and hairstyles of the period, the role of a thief-taker in the criminal underworld–well, you get the idea.  The devil is in the details.

But then again, I know a very talented gentleman who does a great job getting the details right. You may be familiar with him and his roles.

And some of those details are just heavenly.

Ah, Richard Armitage. Endlessly inspiring.

Some hearts & flowers for Hump Day


That’s what we call Wednesday in the U.S. It’s the middle of the week and only two days away from Guyday Friday.  I have had a whole 3.5 hours of sleep. I may snooze this afternoon at the hair salon. I always get sleepy when I am being pampered.

Benny and I will both be getting our tresses trimmed. He’s tired of his John Standring curls–well, it is summer and hot weather and he’d like a cooler ‘do–and I’ve got sheep dog bangs and tons of white roots and I surely am NOT old enough to have so much of God’s platinum blonde hair just yet, am I? Well, I like to think so, anyway.  Although, if I don’t get more sleep, I fear I am going to look old enough for every white strand.

At any rate, here’s some images with a “hearts and flowers” feel to them. More fun with various free photo editors along with Photoshop Elements. I hope you all enjoy.  Visit, photofunia, or photo fun box to create your own giggles and pretty images.

Two weeks from today I will be flying to San Diego for Comic-Con International. In fact, right about now I should be at Dannelly Field in Montgomery getting ready to board the plane to Atlanta. Thank you to all who have supported my fund for the trip. While I earned the reporter position with Comic Book Resources through my experience and writing samples,  I would never have been able to make the trip without the financial aid of my fellow RA bloggers and fans. 

For those who still wish to donate, the button is still up. And Dawn still offers these lovely winged heart necklaces which she will make to order for you.  You can also purchase them through the PayPal button and send me your address info and the specified necklace length.

This charming little sterling silver necklace can be yours for $35 including shipping, thanks to Dawn, who will make it to your specified length. A generous portion of the sale goes to my Comic-Con trip fund.

The N&S Global Watch continues . . . thoughts on Thornton and Gisborne


Sir Guy, who really can be quite a sweetheart when he chooses to be, was very magnanimous about sharing Guyday Friday with Mr. Thornton as part of the North & South Global Watch.

After all, it would  have to be an extended marathon to view all 37 episodes of Robin Hood in which Sir Guy appeared (he’s quite proud of the fact there is more Sir Guy than any of the Creator’s other ChaRActers. He preens over it, truth be told).

My dark knight sees something of a kindred spirit in Mr. Thornton. Of course, they are both part of the Brotherhood of  ChaRActers lovingly crafted by their Creator and they do bear a physical resemblance– both are tall, dark-haired and rather regal, with a tendency to smoulder and brood very attractively.

They are two proud men who have struggled to reinstate the good name and fortune of their families. Both suffered tragic events at a young age–Thornton, the financial ruin and subsequent suicide of his father, and Guy, his father’s leprosy, and the loss of both of his parents and his home.

They both have tempers, which can flare quite suddenly; they possess passionate and sometimes tempestuous natures. When they love, they love whole-heartedly.   They can be stern and harsh, this medieval knight and Victorian mill owner, but they have their kind and gentle sides, too.

Both men have younger sisters who can be trials. Fortunately for JT, while Fanny may be a silly, affected goose who tries his patience sorely, she is no murderous shrew like Guy’s sister, Isabella. There is genuine affection between the Thorntons.

When Guy lost his parents, he had to go out into the world and make his way  and care for his sister–who seems to have always been difficlt– as best he could.

Hannah Thornton may be a dragon and a battle ax, but her steady presence in John’s life, offering encouragement and support that never wavered, made such a difference in the man her son became.

John might have felt at times as if no one loved him but his mother. For Guy, there was the lonely ache at his core, knowing that he had truly had no one, no one at all, save the poisonous sheriff and that vindictive sister. And when you have those two, you’re better off with no one.  He tried to fill the emptiness with his pursuit of power, status, wealth, but it never really satisfied him. He wanted, he needed love, affection, a home and a family.

Marian was the love of Sir Guy’s life. Sadly, she never returned his feelings. Thank goodness that the love of John’s life, Margaret, came to understand and appreciate the wonderful, honorable man Thornton was.  We need a happily ever after for a least a few of the Creator’s ChaRActers, don’t we?