Tag Archives: petticoats and promises

Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

  1. Petticoats and Promises is a Golden Crown Award Finalist for lesbian historical fiction, which was a nice thing to find out.
  2. Splendid Son and a friend came second in a local maths competition this week, so I am also bursting with maternal pride. (He was also man of the match in his football match today, so he’s having a good week.)
  3. I wrote a couple of difficult emails this week, which was good going on my part – and they were taken well by the people to whom they were written, which was good going on theirs. I’m counting this a success.
  4. I wrote a short (unpublishable, but I didn’t write it for publication) story a couple of days ago, which was pleasing.
  5. I’m getting on with the edits for an anthology I’m putting out with Nine Star Press, which is pleasing. I should have finished them by next Friday, I think.
  6. I had a truly awful day on Wednesday when I couldn’t do anything, but it turned out that it was actually just a sickness bug and not the start of the apocalypse.
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Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

Gosh, yet another ‘challenging’ week after I’ve been acutely ill as well as chronically ill and have basically felt like grumbling about EVERYTHING. So,  here’s a go at some positivity.

  1. Having lost my voice for most of this week, it is just beginning to return, which is good.

2. I was having a quick look at Petticoats and Promises to see if I could work out its position on the Amazon lists (I couldn’t), and discovered that it has some really, really nice reviews, which was encouraging.

3. Not being able to sleep has had a positive effect on The Sisterhood, and I’ve written about 5000 words in the last four days. The end appears to get further and further away, unfortunately: it is going to be a longer novel than I anticipated, but if I can get a grip of it, it might be a better novel, too. IF…

4. Manchester United managed to go top of the league this week (very temporarily), which considering that they’ve not exactly been setting the world alight is quite impressive. And they managed to win mid-week, too.

5. Talking of football, tomorrow Splendid Child and I are off to watch Charlton Athletic, using our Season tickets (which I managed to win unexpectedly) for the first time. I don’t think Charlton are likely to win, and I’m certainly not going to be yelling them on (see #1) – but one always hopes!

6. And continuing with the sports theme (look, what can I say? It hasn’t been a good week), I’ve been enjoying the Rugby World Cup matches. The less said about England the better, but it turns out that I enjoy watching even when my team aren’t doing well.

Review

Wow, my book Petticoats and Promises has got a really lovely review.

“Told in the refreshingly simple yet eloquent voice of the deeply passionate and emotive Serena, this tale quickly becomes a surprising page-turner. It’s a tale that will keep the reader’s interest from beginning to end, engaging him/her in the period and the personalities of the times.”

Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

 

1. THE PAPERBACK COPIES OF MY NOVEL CAME! I make no excuse for shouting at you – if you wouldn’t be excited by copies of your first paperback novel, I pity you.

 

2. I talked to a shop about potentially stocking my rugs/throws/comfort blankets. And we’ve agreed that they’ll stock some on a commission-if-sold basis for a month or two. I am counting no chickens, but it’s pleasing to know that I’ve tried.

 

3. I finished my article about mistresses. I can’t think of a title, which is annoying me, but I’m sure the lovely editor will be able to think of one if I can’t. (And I should stop dilly-dallying and send it to him so he can see it exists, incidentally.)

 

4. I’ve read some really good books this week, the best of which was White Feathers, by Susan Lanigan. A book about WW1, it followed a very real heroine and neither shirked the nasty bits nor over-emotionalised them. Brilliant.

 

5. I made a deliberate decision to stop trying to lose weight/improve my diet for the present. I want, and intend, to make changes in the future, but at the moment I’ve been struggling and it’s a relief to have stopped putting that pressure on myself.

 

6. I spent Thursday morning playing Mah Jong (the real game, not the extremely disappointing computer version) with my mother. This is an excellent way to spend time.

Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

 

1. I am slightly embarrassed to mention it again, but my novel Petticoats and Promises came out this week. I know, I know, I need to shut up about it. But squee! Novel! Exciting! Yay!

 

2. My lovely sister has been visiting over half-term, and it’s been excellent to spend time with her in person rather than hours on the phone (also good, but actual!real!sister wins).

 

3. AND I saw my gorgeous niece and her boyfriend on Monday, which was also excellent.

 

4. It was confirmed that I’ve been re-awarded disability benefits. As my Satisfied Saturday Six has been over-full of medical appointments over the last months (yes, I did have one this week – but there are NONE next week!), you may possibly have gathered that my health is not precisely the best. I appear to have started doing the SSS at a particularly difficult point in my life, which probably makes it more worthwhile for me, but a bit tedious for readers. Sorry about that!

 

5. It is half-term from school, which means that Child has been around more than usual. He is good value, and also had an excellent time on Wednesday on a day course which covered archery, falconry and bushcraft. I am somewhat jealous!

 

6. Talking of Wednesday, I also went out for a meal with my family that day. Mmm, steak. Mmm, red wine. Delicious.

Friday Fiction (Petticoats Excerpt)

There was really only one choice for this week’s Friday Fiction. You might (just possibly) have gathered that my novel, Petticoats and Promises, came out this week, both in paperback and in ebook. So there clearly needed to be an ‘excerpt’ moment here.

Serena, my heroine, and her best friend Clara are at their debut ball, but all does not go as expected…

 

It was a frightening time for me at the beginning of the ball, or would have been without Clara’s support. We stood by the doorway, welcoming the guests–speaking to stranger after stranger after barely known acquaintance. Clara had the poise that I lacked, and she laughed and chattered as I fought for the words that tripped so easily off her tongue. But Clara drew me into the brief conversations, and encouraged me to show myself to my best advantage. I might not want to marry any of the guests, but at the same time I did not want to be shown up as a country bumpkin. Perhaps I might be vain, but I wanted them at least to consider the prospect of marrying me, even if I had no interest in them!

 

Our cards were marked with our partners, and the ball began. As it was taking place at Clara’s house, it was she who led the couples out. I was content to take a secondary role, however, content to watch my love dance the figures and to follow where she led. I had never seen a gathering of so many people, and I was stunned by the heat and the noise, but at the same time I loved every second– the dancing, the drinks, the beautiful attire of the ladies and gentlemen. After a glass of champagne, I began to relax and enjoy myself, and I could see Clara doing the same.

 

My happy mood was not to last. Halfway through the ball, as I finished dancing with Edward Latimer, a man I had known since childhood, I looked up and caught a troubled expression on Mama’s face.

 

“Excuse me,” I said apologetically, as he offered to fetch me a drink, “but I must go to my mother.” I knew better than to dash across the ballroom: I had no wish to draw attention to my mother’s distress. Instead, I walked towards her as casually as I could. The mask slipped only when I was by her side. “Mama, what’s wrong?”

 

My mother forced a smile.

 

“Nothing, dear; why do you ask?”

 

I had never known her lie to me, and my suspicion of some intentional deceit was in itself more frightening than any truth might have been.

 

“What has happened?” I demanded urgently. I grasped her hand and held it between my own.

 

Her eyes fixed steadily on my own, her voice but a whisper. “I need you to be brave, Serena,” she said quietly. “I need you to return to the ball as if nothing has happened. Can you do that one thing for me?”

 

I nodded and squeezed her hand. If my silence was all I could do for her, I would keep my counsel. I paused a second, as the careless, laughing crowd turned about the room, and wondered whether any of them knew my mother’s secret. Clara danced past with her partner–a soldier who had received a major injury eighteen months earlier in the Battle of Leipzig. One of his legs was undeniably shorter than the other, but as he danced, his face showed no trace of the anxiety I saw in my mother’s. Whatever had upset her appeared to be only a family matter.

 

I looked around for my partner for the next dance, a Mr Feverley. He was a timid, young red–headed gentleman who stammered his request and looked appalled rather than grateful for my acceptance. He came hesitantly to meet me, still apparently deciding whether to dance or run, but his ambivalence was just what I needed. I began to forget my own troubles (and I still did not know what they were) even as I allayed his. I smiled at him encouragingly, and he managed the final few steps to my side with only the smallest of stumbles.

 

“Thank you for asking me,” I said, as he tripped towards me.

 

“My… my mother–I mean… my pleasure…”

 

My smile broadened. I recognised his mother from the hunted glance over his shoulder: a formidable woman who was determined that all of her relations should marry above their station.

 

“Don’t worry,” I murmured as the music started up again. “It’s only a dance, not a proposal to wed.”

 

Red–haired as he was, his face mirrored his scalp.

 

“It’s not–I don’t mean…”

 

“I know,” I soothed, and grasped his hand a little tighter. “Just relax and enjoy it. If truth be known, I’m as shy as you are. So let’s forget about it and dance.”

Wednesday Word of the Week

Behest – a person’s orders or command.

“they had assembled at his behest
Behest is a curious word. It looks like it should be related to ‘bequest’ but is actually closer to ‘request’. It also reminds me vaguely of behemoth, a peculiar biblical word.
Behest is also one of those words that I use in conversation and people give me a look which I suspect means “that’s only supposed to be used in books and not actually said aloud.” (There are many of these. They are not helped by the fact that I’m an unreliable pronouncer of words thanks to having picked up  a goodly part of my vocabulary from reading books.)
Whilst I’m on the subject of books and behest… Petticoats and Promises is now out (or will be tomorrow, possibly), and if people wanted to buy the book at my behest, that would be very excellent 🙂