The Latest News ~ A Dangerous Man

Dear Readers,

I’m excited to announce the re-release of A Dangerous Man, a tale of love and suspense set in Regency England.

Affaire de Coeur called it “a beautifully crafted story of unyielding passions, societal influences and family scandals…”

While the official release date is September 22, 2015, pre-order is available now through these fine stores:

 Amazon     iBooks     Kobo     Barnes & Noble

But please note: While this new release has been lightly revised, the story remains essentially unchanged. So if you’ve read the original copy published by Kensington Publishing Corp. in 2008, there’s really no reason to purchase the new version, unless, of course, you want a copy with the lovely new cover, designed by the wonderfully talented


ISBN ebook: 978-0-9885505-5-1

Here’s the new blurb:

“You will marry me, Miss Jamison…in two days.”

Leah Jamison is too practical to expect a romantic proposal from a man she only just met, but even she is shocked by the bold command issued by the darkly handsome Richard Wexton, Duke of St. Austin. Why the nobleman wishes to wed her and how her father brought about the match, Leah cannot imagine, yet the moment Richard takes her into his arms, undeniable passion flares between them. But Leah senses a darkness in Richard, and lingering wounds from a past betrayal that haunt him still. She vows she will heal his heart and win his love—and no one will stop her.

As the spare heir, no one paid much attention to Richard and his affairs, but when life makes him a duke, he becomes the most sought after bachelor in London. That is, until a scheming miller discovers Richard’s darkest secrets, which he threatens to reveal…unless Richard marries the man’s daughter. Outraged, yet desperate to protect those he holds dear, Richard weds the lovely Leah, and vows to banish his unwanted bride the moment they leave the altar. But Richard’s anger quickly dissolves into desire…and passionate love. Now the greater danger he faces comes not from his enemies, but from his yearning to yield the secrets of his heart into Leah’s safekeeping.

For more reviews or to read an excerpt, please visit the book page at my website.

While not available for pre-order, A Dangerous Man will also be released as a trade paperback in September 2015. Here’s a peek at the cover:


ISBN Print Edition: 978-0-9885505-4-4

Game of Thornes

A few years ago, we visited Chicago. We only had a few days to take in the sights, so we marveled at the architecture and explored the King Tut exhibit, which was on display at the time. I wish I had known about the Thorne Miniature Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago. I would have found some way to squeeze in a visit.

According to the Art Institute’s website, these models were brought to life by Mrs. James Ward Thorne of Chicago and their exhibit consists of 68 miniature rooms, depicting European and American furnishings and decorations in exquisite detail.

Also on the Art Institute’s website is a marvelous interactive game, The Game of Thornes.

To play, visitors wander through a maze of various rooms, exploring the objects within in search of clues that will lead to the exit, where a lovely surprise awaits intrepid travelers who solve the puzzle and reach the end. Not quite as exciting as an in-person visit, I imagine, but just as intriguing for the chance to explore these marvelous, miniature rooms, if only from a distance.

If you have a few minutes, give the game a try. It’s challenging and fun.

Another collection of these magnificent rooms can be found at the Knoxville Museum of Art. I hope you’ll visit the Knoxville Museum’s website, as they have a nice summation of how and why Mrs. Thorne created these rooms. They also have a wonderful Flickr slideshow, showcasing their collection. From there, I learned a third collection resides at the Phoenix Art Museum, which states a total of five museums have the privilege to house these miniature marvels. I could not find links to the other two museums, but will update this post as soon as I do.

As you can see, I am now completely fascinated by these lovely works of art. Now I need to learn more about Mrs. Thorne, a most intriguing woman.

My thanks to @john_overholt on Twitter for bringing this previously unknown-to-me bit of history to my attention. Now I only hope I have a chance to return to Chicago and travel to Knoxville and Phoenix to visit these amazing exhibits and see these beautiful rooms.

Holiday Baking and Cookies

My cookie baking career started as a mother-daughter special tradition when my daughter was too young to understand what we were doing, but oh, how she loved to lick the chocolate-covered spatulas. As she grew older, she graduated to rolling the dough, then painting on the decorations, until finally she invited her friends into the house for cookie baking parties while I sat back and sipped eggnog–and how nice is that!

cookies cooking

Back then, the Fanny Farmer Baking Book was my go-to source. Now that cookbook belongs to my daughter, its well-worn pages spattered with batter and memories and love.

For the last few years, the cookbook I’ve used is Sweet Maria’s Cookie Jar, and I highly recommend it. Every recipe I’ve tried is delicious.


In the past, I’ve made 10-15 varieties, but this year I am absolutely, positively, cutting down to six.
-Gingerbread, of course, though this recipe is from my original cookbook.
And from Sweet Maria’s:
-Eggnog Cookies, p. 140
-Pumpkin Pie Drops, p. 125
-Snickerdoodles, p. 22
-Maple Walnut Drops, p. 24
-Italian Drop Cookies, p. 59
-Pecan Sandies, p. 86
-Thumbprints, p. 131

Wait a minute. That’s eight, and my list has about ten more that are simply delicious. I. Must. Cut. Down.

Do you like to bake? Have a favorite cookbook? A specialty cookie you must make every year or your family will grumble? How do you decide which to include and which to forgo? This inquiring mind wants to know 🙂

Have a great day!


Last week, I purchased the electronic edition of JANE AUSTEN’S ENGLAND: DAILY LIFE IN THE GEORGIAN AND REGENCY PERIODS by Roy Adkins and Lesley Adkins. I already owned the hardcover, but it sat on my shelf for over a year and I never pulled it down. This was not due to a lack of interest in the material, but rather a reflection of my changing book-reading habits. I primarily read on my e-reader now. I don’t mind the duplicate purchase. More and more, I’m finding I love to own both versions of my favorite books, whether they be research or fiction.

 This particular volume intrigued me, not because I needed another daily-life-in-the-Regency type book–I already own and have read many of these, for obvious reasons–but in the first chapter of JANE AUSTEN’S ENGLAND, the authors included a discussion on “smock weddings.” This was something I’d never read anywhere else, and I find myself intrigued and hoping for many such tid-bits.

 According to the authors: “‘Smock weddings’ were a peculiar type of ceremony at which the bride was married naked – although usually she was barefoot and en chemise, wearing only a shift (‘ chemise’), smock or sheet for propriety. The point was that if she brought no clothes or property to the union, the husband-to-be was thought not liable for any debts she might have. Such weddings, randomly reported, occurred mainly in the eighteenth century, particularly for widowed women whose deceased husbands had left debts.” (1)


 The authors go on to describe several examples of these ‘smock weddings,’ and I’m hooked on this book.

To learn more about the authors and their books, please click on the following link to visit their website: Roy Adkins & Lesley Adkins

What about you? Do you prefer digital books? Paperbacks? Hardcovers? Or a mixture of both? Or, like me, do you find yourself purchasing both digital and paperback versions of the same book?

 Whichever you choose, I wish you many hours of happy reading!



  1. Adkins, Roy; Adkins, Lesley (2013-08-15). Jane Austen’s England: Daily Life in the Georgian and Regency Periods (pp. 7-8). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.