Why I Write Regencies – By Guest Author Vonnie Hughes


by Vonnie Hughes

If you check the ‘historical background’ page of my website you’ll get a glimpse of my fascination with the Regency period.

It was such a short time in Britain’s history, but has given rise to many things such as the development of canals as trade with their partners hotted up after the imprisonment of Napoleon, freeing up trade routes, and resulting in large numbers of goods that needed to be transported all over England. The Royal Astronomical Society was founded, along with the early prototype of the bicycle, the development of the railway system, and the Act of Union with Ireland in 1801 etc. All this is from the British point of view. In the USA Whitney came up with the principle of manufacturing interchangeable parts as pertaining to firearms. The statue of the Venus de Milo was discovered in Greece (1820) and so it goes on.

And this is one of the prime reasons I enjoy writing Regencies. In spite of many Regencies persuading you that it was all about Almacks and dukes, the Regency era was actually a time on the cusp of great changes, not just in Britain but all over the world. Minds were opening up, no longer relying on the dogma of the past.

In 1814 The Times adopted steam printing. By this method it could print 1,100 sheets every hour, not 200 as before—a fivefold increase in production capability and demand. This development brought about the rise of the wildly popular fashionable novels.

I appreciate how the Regency era is also noted for its achievements in the fine arts and architecture (Nash springs to mind), and remember the striped wallpaper still known as ‘Regency?’ Those years encompassed a time of great social, political, and economic changes that shaped and altered the societal structure of Britain. Remember that in London alone, the population increased from just under one million in 1801 to 1.25 million by 1820.

One of the reasons that the arts flourished during this era was because of the patronage of ‘Prinny,’ the fact and at times ridiculous Prince of Wales. We might laugh at him, but it’s thanks to him that the development of British architecture flourished, even if his schemes often left the common people paying for his overblown designs.

The Regency era opened up the market for many authors including Sir Walter Scott, Maria Edgeworth, Mary Shelley (who incorporated the general mistrust of science during the earlier part of the Regency era), John Keats, and William Blake. Then there were the playwrights and artists…the list goes on and on to confirm how minds began to open to new possibilities during that time.

And that, friends, is why I love to set some of my books during the Regencies. There are so many possibilities! Oh yes, there was a lot more to the Regency period than those autocratic dukes and the patronesses at Almacks.

Here’s a brief look at my Regency novella. I hope you enjoy it.

When Alexandra Tallis discovers that her witless sister has imprisoned their father’s nemesis, Theo Crombie, in their attic, she quickly frees him, fighting an unladylike impulse to keep him as her own special captive. Despite the brutal beating she receives from her father for her actions, Alexandra continues to yearn for the delicious Mr. Crombie even though she knows that nothing will ever come of her dreams.

Injured and shackled in a stranger’s attic, Theo unexpectedly discovers the woman of his dreams. But how can he pursue those dreams when her bizarre family’s complex relationships threaten the very foundation of his existence? Somehow Theo must find a way through this maze to claim his lady.

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Vonnie Hughes is a multi-published author in both Regency books and contemporary suspense. She loves the intricacies of the social rules of the Regency period and the far-ranging consequences of the Napoleonic Code. And with suspense she has free rein to explore forensic matters and the strong convolutions of the human mind. Like many writers, some days she hates the whole process, but somehow she just cannot let it go.

Vonnie was born in New Zealand, but she and her husband now live happily in Australia. If you visit Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand be sure to stroll through the Japanese Garden. These is a bronze plaque engraved with a haiku describing the peacefulness of that environment. The poem was written by Vonnie.

All of Vonnie’s books are available on The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.

Learn more about Vonnie Hughes on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Goodreads.

People Watcher

I’m sharing a bit of nostalgia here, for a time in the summer of 2007 when I would sit at the Getty museum gardens and write poetry.

This was a time in my life when my children were too young for me to pursue writing longer works. That’s probably why I ended up writing so many – at least 100.

The first time I put pen to paper when I was six years old, I wrote a poem. My first published work was a poem. Lines still come to me now and then. Maybe there are some new ones on the horizon.

People Watcher

A young woman

A child with bouncing curls, a princess crown, and dancing eyes

An elderly woman who can no longer walk and skin so thin you can see through it

All hold beauty, life, nurturing, and mystery

A boy with the eyes of a sage

A laughing toddler

A teen with hormones arage

A man with a bride

A man with a cane

All hold beauty, life, strength

And the mysterious ability to make me smile

Thanks for reading,


Click this link to read Owl Vs. Animal Charmers.

Writing Advice From The Pros With Award-Winning Guest Author Catherine Castle – Don’t Repeat Yourself

I Have a New Castle!

by Catherine Castle

Have you heard the story about the goldfish? She was swimming in her bowl and passed the front entrance of the castle that decorated the small aquarium.

“Oh, I have a new castle!” she exclaimed. Then she went around the bowl again and spied the fortress once more.

“Oh, I have a new castle!” she exclaimed.

She went around again, and not remembering what’d she just seen she exclaimed once more, “Oh, I have a new castle!”

And again, “Oh, I have a new castle!”

And again, and again.

The moral of this story, beside the fact that goldfish have memories that only last for three seconds, is that you, the author, may forget you’ve written a particular piece, or pieces, of information in your story and repeat yourself. While you might not remember dispensing the information, you can bet, that like those of us who are laughing at this funny story, your reader will remember those words, phrases, and information that you’ve inadvertently added more than once.

Don’t get bent out of shape if you discover this in your work. It’s a natural result of writing a book over a long period of time. Most authors only write a few thousand words in any given day, and unless you’re writing a short story, blog post, or essay, it will probably take weeks, or months, before you’ve finished your project. With all the stuff that happens in between your times at the computer, it’s only normal you’d forget something you’ve already written, especially if you get in the zone and your muse or characters take over.


Here are a few tips to help you catch those repetitions.

• If you know you’re fond of certain words or phrases, and you use them a lot, make a list and do a search for them at the end of each day’s writing. A quick way to search is by using the find function of Microsoft Word. Type in the word, ask the computer to highlight all forms, and see how often you’ve fallen victim to repetition.

• Eliminate repetitive words and phrases as you go. By doing this you will make the chore less bothersome at the end of the book. A daily reminder of your trouble words will also help prime yourself to catch them as you work.

• Reread the previous day’s work (or even a couple of days work if you’ve been away for a long time) when you sit down to write. By keeping what you’ve written fresh in your mind, you will be less likely to repeat yourself.

• Keep a list of the important points/information you want to be sure to include in your story. When you’ve made that point, notate it, indicating where in the book you placed the information.

• Double check how many times your characters repeat a story or information. If the event or information they are revealing to another character has already been shown to the reader, if may not be necessary to repeat the whole story again. The author of Downton Abbey was a master at this technique. When something was being related to other characters that had happened in an earlier episode, he often had a one sentence referral to the incident. Enough to trigger the viewer’s memory, but not enough to bore one to death. For the written word, a simple She told him what happened at the skating rink and the character’s reaction to the story may be enough to get the point across without rehashing the information a second or third time.

• Consider becoming a plotter. When you draft your book’s scenes in outline form, chapter synopsis, or whatever works best for you (and follow them), the tendency to repeat oneself is reduced. Yes, you may still have to double check that you’ve eliminated those pesky repetitions, but you will find they are fewer and, hopefully, farther in between.

What tips do you have for eliminating repetition in your work?

Here’s a brief intro to my inspirational romantic suspense. I hope yo enjoy it.

Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicably attracted to him, he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them by making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.

Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion, and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.

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Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. A former freelance writer, she has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit (under her real name) in the Christian and secular market. Now she writes sweet and inspirational romance. Her debut inspirational romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing, has garnered multiple contests finals and wins.

Catherine loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Thanks for reading,


Answering Reader’s Questions From The Saunders’ Choice Blog Tour

Last week was a blast. I traveled to 50 blogs, meeting most of these bloggers and readers for the first time. I was impressed by the questions asked and I was stumped on a few until I took time to work out what I thought about a few of them.

Read on. You’ll know which ones they were.

Q: Which character do you most relate to from your book? Congrats on the release.

A: Thank you for celebrating the release with me. I think I most relate to Riddle, who is sweet, magical, and even more reserved than I used to be.

Q: Where do you do most of your writing? Congrats on the release.

A: I do most of my writing at home and move around the house a lot. Sometimes I’m kneeling, other times standing, most of the time sitting, which I’m obviously trying to change. When you move the body, you move the mind.

Q: Do you plan on doing more writing while locked up due to Coronavirus?

A: I do plan to write more, with or without social distancing. I’m currently writing the final book in the Natural Gifts series.

Q: Did you design the cover of your book?

A:  I turned cover design over to the very talented Victoria Cooper last year. She and I agree that Saunders’ Choice is our favorite cover in the series so far.

Q: Gina, What do you most enjoy about writing in this genre?

A: What I love about writing fantasy romance is all the magical beings I get to meet and the worlds they inhabit. Thanks for asking.

Q: My question for the author is: Is there a story, novel, movie, television series, etc.-that you would want to write a continuation of? I remember back in the ‘90’s when we got ‘Scarlett’, the sequel to Gone With the Wind. Any ideas?

A: I loved thinking about this question. There are two TV series that ended that I would love to see continued; Warehouse 13 and The Librarians.

Q: My question for the author is: Were you always intrigued by mermaids? Are you a fan of the Disney animated classic, ‘The Little Mermaid’? How about the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale?

A: I used to pretend to be a mermaid, diving to the bottom of my neighbor’s pool and looking for treasure chests. My daughter and I are now joined by my granddaughter when we watch Disney’s version of The Little Mermaid. I don’t believe I’ve read the classic story by Hans Christian Andersen yet.

Q: What is your current read?

A: I’m reading a contemporary romance right now – Charming You by Kris Jayne. It’s the first book in her Thirsty Hearts series.

Q: My question for the author is: Are you a big fan of any famous fantasy works, like ‘The Hobbit’ or ‘Game of Thrones’?

A: I love this question. I love Harry Potter and Narnia. Two of my favorite fantasy worlds.

Q: Favorite color?

A: I am partial to most of the blues, purples, and greens. I think it shows up in my book covers.

Q: My question for the author is: Have you noticed any positive changes for women in your field, since you started writing professionally?

A:  I have noticed prizes specifically for women authors and residencies for us. I see both of those as positive changes.

I told you it was fun!

Now for some news. I’m involved with two special events right now.

Saunders’ Choice (A standalone Natural Gifts novella that can be read in any order), The Dreaming (Natural Gifts Book 1), and my non-fiction self-help workbook, Keep It Simple:Permission to Illuminate Your Life Easily, Effortlessly, & Joyfully are all on sale for 0.99 (Kindle). Click on the #feedyourreader picture and you’ll be taken to a list of all the books that are on sale and enter the #giveaway for a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card.

Fresh Fiction is running a #giveaway to celebrate Saunders’ Choice. You can enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Good luck with the giveaways! I’d love to see one of you win one or both of these prizes.

Here’s one last piece of good news. This one comes directly to your inbox. It’s a free animal charmers story featuring Stan and Lucy from Desert Sunrise.

Take care of yourself and reach out if you’re having a tough time. No one is alone.

Thanks for reading,


Midwestern Mushroom Soup – Guest Author Chris Pavesic

Chris Pavesic joins us today with a soup my family and I have been making since she posted the recipe on her blog. I have added vegetarian sausage to it for extra protein, or substituted the brown rice for chickpea-based orzo for the same reason. Vegetable broth is always used in place of chicken because my daughter is a vegetarian. No matter what I do with this recipe it comes out amazing.


  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup brown rice
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lb. fresh button mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed, sliced
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Large saucepan
  • Flat saucepan


1.  In a large saucepan, combine onion, rice and stock.  Bring to a boil, then simmer 25 minutes.  

2.  Meanwhile, melt butter in flat saucepan.  Gently cook mushrooms about 10 minutes or until brown and most of moisture has evaporated.  Add mushrooms to stock.  Stir in sherry and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer 10 minutes.  

Makes 6 servings

While you eat your meal, why not enjoy a good book?  




Thank you for reading,


Saunders' Choice By Gina Briganti Book Blast Tour Stops For Friday, 3/20/20

It’s the last day of the blog tour. We’ve had a lot of laughs meeting close to fifty wonderful bloggers. I’m including all the stops today so you can go through and enter the giveaway at each stop.

Thank you for all the support these last three weeks!

March 16:
1: Our Town Book Reviews
2: Books to Light Your Fire
3: Books,Dreams,Life
4: Edgar’s Books
5: Jazzy Book Reviews
6: Linda Nightingale, Author…Musings
7: Locks, Hooks and Books
8: The Reading Addict
9: ts stuff
10: books are love
March 17:
1: All the Ups and Downs
2: Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters
3: Danita Minnis
4: Ilovebooksandstuffblog
5: Mythical Books
6: Romance Novel Giveaways
7: It’s Raining Books
8: Read book. Repeat.
9: Readeropolis
10: Sea’s Nod
March 18:
1: Literary Gold
2: Read Your Writes Book Reviews
3: So Many Books
4: Straight From the Library
5: Gimme The Scoop Reviews
6: Independent Authors
7: kristaldawnharris
8: Mary Kit Caelsto
9: Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’
March 19:
1: Fabulous and Brunette
2: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love
3: Iron Canuck Reviews & More
4: Just Books
5: One House Schoolroom
6: Viviana MacKade
7: Long and Short Reviews
8: The Phantom Paragrapher
9: Travel the Ages
March 20:
1: Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Love
2: Beyond Romance
3: Christine Young
4: Kit ‘N Kabookle
6: Sybrina’s Book Blog
7: Two Ends of the Pen
8: Wake Up Your Wild Side
9: Wendi zwaduk – romance to make your heart race
10: Tina Donahue Books – Heat with Heart

Two more bloggers featured Saunders’ Choice and I would like to say a special thank you to them; Sloane Taylor and C.D. Hersh. These talented authors have wonderful books for you to discover on their blogs.

Thank you for reading and good luck in the drawings.


Saunders' Choice By Gina Briganti Book Blast Tour Stops For Thursday, 3/19/20

We’ve got another amazing lineup of blogs to visit today. I invite you to visit each one and enter to win the $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card.

March 19:
1: Fabulous and Brunette
2: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love
3: Iron Canuck Reviews & More
4: Just Books
5: One House Schoolroom
6: Viviana MacKade
7: Long and Short Reviews
8: The Phantom Paragrapher
9: Travel the Ages

Thanks for reading,