Classic Agatha Christie Murder and Mayhem

I love Agatha Christie mysteries, so I’m looking forward to watching Lifetime’s new version of “And Then There Were None.” The first episode airs tomorrow with Miranda Richardson, Sam Neill, Charles Dance, Anna Maxwell-Martin (who looks kind of creepy in the trailer), and the gorgeous Aiden Turner among the cast.

Not too long ago I saw the 1940’s version with Barry Fitzgerald in one of the lead roles, and enjoyed it; so I’m ready to be thoroughly entertained by this new, atmospheric version of the classic murder mystery.

imagesSo what do Agatha Christie murder mysteries have to do with Regency-era romance?

Absolutely nothing.

But every now and then we all need to cleanse our palates from the every-day stuff. Murder does that for me. A dose of poison and some mayhem give me a much-needed break from my usual world of excruciatingly proper manners and witty ballroom repartee. So I’m going to spend my Sunday evening watching to see how and when the first guest at dinner will fall. Judging from the trailer, there may even be a couple of made-you-jump moments.

But that’s Sunday. By the time I wake up on Monday morning, I’ll be refreshed and ready to type away at my next story of polite heroines and witty heroes.

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New Pinterest Board: The Brighton Pavilion

For the last few weeks I’ve been revising and editing my book Miss Hamilton’s Hero so it can be released as an e-book (it was originally published as a paperback by Zebra Books in 1999).

Original Front Cover 1997

The original 1997 cover for Miss Hamilton’s Hero.

As I was editing and rechecking facts, I was struck by how different my writing process is now. Back in the 1990s I used a big 3-ring binder to capture all my notes and research. I kept a photo album from my trip to England open on my desk so I could constantly flip through my photos of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton. And when I imagined how Rosemount (the hero’s estate) would look, I used … well, my imagination, because at the time I didn’t have an actual photo of an English manor house constructed of rose-colored stone.

Stables at Royal Pavilion by John Nash

Even the stables at the Royal Pavilion were magnificent, as seen in this illustration by John Nash.

What a difference sixteen years make! Today I use Scrivener to organize my writing and research, and Pinterest is my one-stop resource for finding and saving photos of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton. I also used Pinterest to save images of Aston Hall in Birmingham, England, which perfectly matches the way I imagined Rosemount would look.

Aston Hall from Pictures of England dot com

Aston Hall from Pinterest.

You’re invited to stop by and view my inspiration board. I hope you enjoy it! Just click here to visit Pinterest and see all the images that inspired me and fired my imagination.

Miss Hamilton’s Hero will be released on Amazon Kindle in late February 2016.

When Miss Penelope Hamilton is sent to live with her grandmother, the fashionable Mrs. Kendrick, Pen’s carriage is held up by the most wanted highwayman in all of England. But that’s just the beginning of adventure for Pen, for she soon discovers that Mrs. Kendrick’s magnificent estate is not what it seems…and neither is her serious and handsome step-son, Owen. For Owen is keeping a secret that will soon impact Pen and her grandmother, unless Pen can find a way to earn Owen’s trust … and win his heart in the process.


A Mothers’ Day Story

Sunday is Mother’s Day and I’m already wishing I could spend the day with my mother. In fact, I’d settle for spending just an hour or two with her; but since she’s living three states away, we both know that my wish won’t come true . . . not this year, at least.

Cover_Sweet Companion 2015 resizedEven though we can’t be together, my thoughts are already with her. Mother’s Day is a commemoration that seems to bring out the best in people. It’s a day to dwell on family, appreciation for possibly the toughest job in the world, and celebrating the one person you can always rely on to love you no matter what.

A few years ago I wrote a Mother’s Day story called Sweet Companion (set during the Regency Period, of course!) about a son who learns to appreciate his mother a little more, thanks to an interfering young lady.

Sweet Companion is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes. Click a link below to read the story on your favorite device.

iBookstore     Nook button     Amazon Kindle

Jane Austen on the £10 Bank Note

The Bank of England announced that Jane Austen’s image will appear on the new £10 bank note.

Bank of England Jane Austen 10 Pound Note

The new bank note featuring the beloved author of Pride and Prejudice will probably start appearing in 2017.

In addition to Jane Austen’s image, the bank note’s planned design includes:

  • A quote from Pride and Prejudice – “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!”
  • An illustration of Elizabeth Bennet, one of the characters in Pride and Prejudice
  • An image of Godmersham Park in Kent – the home of Jane Austen’s brother, Edward Austen Knight, and the inspiration for a number of novels
  • A central background design of the author’s writing table which she used at home at Chawton Cottage in Hampshire

Click here to read about the announcement and the public campaign that influenced the Bank of England’s decision.