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My sister collects shoes, she has so many pairs and as she’s half a shoe size smaller than me it’s annoying that I can’t borrow them!

Me, I’m a handbag girl. I have so many and what’s more I barely use them all. I have a couple of favourites and usually stick to them. 

In the Regency era, the women were not much different when it came to handbags or reticules or ridicules as they were sometimes called. In fact, accessories were an essential part of any woman’s wardrobe. Gloves, hats, fans, and bags.

Women sometimes decorated the bags themselves. They were usually draw-string opening and would come in all shapes and sizes.

As women’s dresses usually had no pockets, her reticule was the place she could carry money or her handkerchief or smelling salts for when they swooned (usually from too tight a corset).

I have so much rubbish in my handbag. Sunglasses, glasses, makeup bag, wallet, brush, pens etc. I don’t know what I would have done in the Regency era. I suspect my reticule would have been huge!

 I love my Longchamp back pack that I bought in New York in 2015 when I was RWA conference. I usually use backpack handbags so my hands are free when shopping, but also it’s better for my back and neck.

Do you have a favourite handbag? 

 

 

It’s release month for A LOVE TO REMEMBERbook #7 in my Disgraced Lords series. I had the most fun writing this book, because both the hero and heroine had an aversion to marriage—each for good reason.

But as in any good romance something had to change, and as usual it took my heroine, Rose Deverill, the Duchess of Roxborough to shake things up.

Philip Flagstaff, Earl of Cumberland and Rose have been lovers for two years but neither one is willing to be brave and have faith in their love. How was I going to make these two face their fears and reach their happy ever after?

That’s when I went to Rose and said, “Come on, marriage is nothing to be afraid of. Let me ask you these 5 questions to see if you’re ready for marriage.”

I’d already got her best friends, Marisa (A Whisper of Desire book #4) and Portia (A Touch of Passion book #3) to review the questions and they both said they were perfect. They would make Rose take stock of her life and situation.

 5 Readiness Questions

  1. Have you resolved your major relationship dilemmas from the past?

Rose: “I think so. I mean, I was married off by my father to a much older man and I found nothing I wanted in a marriage—certainly not love. However, I was gifted with a son, Drake, whom I love dearly. Being Philip’s lover for past two years I now understand that when love is involved marriage might not be as hard and unyielding as I once thought, and it might even be wonderful, plus I want more children.

  1. Are you ready to give up the freedom of continuing to experience other relationships?

Rose: I became a widow five years ago at one and twenty, and I decided to ensure no man ever wanted to marry me again. I wanted freedom, my freedom. So I took lovers, and was not very discrete about it in order to build a terrible reputation. However, as soon as I started my affair with Philip I was ready to give up my wicked ways.  I’ve been, if not in love, at least infatuated with Philip since I was a young girl of sixteen but he’d never noticed me before. I’m worried that my reputation is what drew him to me and he does not see me as a viable marriage option.

  1. Are you able to accept your own limitations and share them openly?

Rose: I believe so. I realise that having had a taste of freedom I can be a bit outspoken and independent, but Philip and I think alike and I don’t think he is wary of my opinions.

  1. Do you think you can stay the course even if there are unexpected challenges?

Rose: Oh, I’m sure there will be challenges, I have a six-year-old son! Luckily Drake loves Philip and I’m sure Philip feels the same way. He spoils Drake, taking him to the museum and to the park etc. The challenge for me is to ensure Philip loves me, really loves me. Our families are friends. Portia, Philip’s sister is my best friend. I don’t want him to marry me put of a sense of duty or because he loves Drake. One loveless marriage was enough. No. I want all or nothing…what frightens me is that Philip may say no, and I’ll have nothing.

  1. Do you understand that love and commitment need constant reinvestment of time, energy, and love?

Rose: Of course. That’s why I’m willing to fight for what I want, for what I deserve. Love is a prize to cherish and nothing so perfect comes without work. I just hope Philip understands how I feel.

I hope you’ll read A Love To Remember and cheer for a happy ending to Rose and Philip’s journey.

QUESTION:  Leave a comment and you could win an eBook copy of LOVE ME, book #1 in the Coopers Creek series  – What is the name of Rose’s son?

Open internationally. Closes 16th September 2017. 

I love writing romance stories, and although I earn money from it I’ve never considered it a job—more like a passion. Probably because I’ve always had stories and characters and plots in my head.

I do realize that I’m very, very lucky. Not everyone gets to do something they love in order to pay the bills. Don’t get me wrong, the majority of authors usually have to have a second job to make ends meet. We aren’t all Nora Roberts.

The test I use to know if the work I’m doing is something I love is the ‘if I won the lottery’ or lotto as it’s called in NZ, would I still write? The answer is a resounding yes. LOL, don’t get me wrong, a lotto win would also make my life a lot more comfortable.

In addition, I have to say the romance writing world has opened up more than just an income. I’ve made so many new friends from both fellow authors, and readers—all around the world. That has been the best part of my writing journey. The people I’ve met all love one thing, romance stories. We have something in common regardless of where we live in the world.

The other thing about being a romance writer that I LOVE is the perks. What do I mean by perks? 

It’s the knowledge and teaching that other authors are always happy to give for free. It’s the cover quotes they provide when an author loves your story. It’s the promotion authors do for each other, and it’s the free books I get given from fellow authors. 

Today I went to my PO Box and I had a lovely parcel waiting.  I love getting parcels. I got home and excitedly opened it to find a friend I made through romance writing, Angela Bissell, had sent me her new book and when I opened it, she’d dedicated the book to me!!!!! I was so thrilled. A Night, A Consequence, A Vow.

Angela had never written when she joined RWNZ and I was already published. But I could tell from her first synopsis that she read out at a RWNZ meeting that she was going to be a fabulous story teller, way better than I. All her work is full of emotion.

She put all her heart and soul into learning her craft and I hope I encouraged her along the way, and now this is her third book and not only that, she has signed with my agent too. 

I get such a kick out of helping my fellow authors achieve their goals and seeing someone learn their craft and become successful. So, thanks Angela, it has been fun and your friendship is worth a lot to me and I love that we have something that we can both enjoy—stories.

What is it that you love about your job? What makes you want to get up in the morning? If you won lotto what would you do with your life?