Another random fact about me: I LOVE the Lord of the Rings. Aragorn is my fave.
He's one of my desk/office buddies. Lately, he's been hanging out on the shelf next to my friends from The Princess Bride, but he makes little appearances on the desk now and then. Isn't he a cutie?
I LOVE Tolkien's worlds. I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy prior to seeing any films, unless you count the creepy Hobbit cartoon from the 70's. In fact, my senior literary thesis class was called "Tolkien and Friends." One of the two professors team-teaching (they both resembled hobbits, by the way) had actually MET Tolkien years previous. It was an incredible class. I learned so much about the interpretation of literature and film.
So who's your favorite Tolkien character? Do you have one? Why is that one your fave?
I love Aragorn - both book and movie version, which are quite different - for his honor and strength of character. He's a wonderful fictional hero. And my lil' Aragorn inspires me to write men of valor in my tales of romance!
Get your own Funko Pop Aragorn for your desk/shelves HERE!
Do you have a comfort item as an adult?
I love my headphones. They're one of my comfort items for MANY reasons. First of all, they're super comfy. And cute. Rose gold accessories? Yes, please!
I slip them on when I'm working and need to focus - they mute the world, OR I can play ASMR videos on YouTube. My favorites are thunderstorms and crackling fireplaces. Sometimes, I listen to music.
These headphones let me enjoy audiobooks while I rest.
These headphones let me stay in a private bubble, even in public places like airplanes and airports. Wearing these is a signal - this person is not open to talking to strangers right now. For me, it helps so much. I'm so grateful for them. They give me a bit of quiet in a chaotic world.
What about you? Do you have something that you love, as an adult, that gives you peace? (Yes, I know I'll have many of you who immediately cite books or scriptures, I'm thinking outside those boxes today!)
There were a lot of different requests when I asked readers what they wanted from me, but most of them came down to one BIG suggestion: MORE Behind the Scenes features. Readers want character casting, you want to know what I'm reading, what I'm working on, and you LOVE photos of my dog.
I obviously can't include everything all at once, but I can sure give everyone updates!
First of all, I AM putting up my personal favorite reads all the time on my Instagram account. If that's no fun for you though, know that I'll try to include more via the blog, too.
Second, IZZIE. She's had a great week. She spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the countryside running around on a multi-acre lot. She chased horses down the fence line, met a new dog, and tried to babysit some chicks. Honestly, that was the cutest. She kept sticking her head in their little box and looking at us with this big puppy grin. We introduced to the chicks to her carefully and used all our "gentle" training words so she'd be kind. Worked like a charm. She adored them. (Pic below of her hanging with her horse buddies.)
Third, ME. Okay. What's new with me? I'm in the middle of working on my next Regency romance... A Companion for the Count. And while the story is coming along well, I'm still nervous about getting all my chicks, er, ducks in a row with this one. Over one thousand people have pre-ordered this second book in my Clairvoir Castle series. That's a wee bit of pressure. But I'm sure it'll be great. Right? Right!
Fourth, ARTISTS. Did you know that I'm always on the lookout for artists taking commissions? Especially if the artists have shown interest in historical fiction or historical drawing techniques. Maybe you've seen the drawings on Instagram or received a postcard from me. I absolutely LOVE working with artists to visualize scenes from my books. Incidentally, if you or someone you know might be interested, drop me a line. I'll be sharing more artwork in a blog post very soon. If you want to see a couple of the works I've commissioned, click here for two scenes from Engaging Sir Isaac. Sneaky fact: If you order a paperback of this book, these two illustrations are actually in the book!
That's about it for sharing today. But there will be more.
Thank you for being here! Feel free to respond to this post with questions and comments. I LOVE THEM.
My beautiful, thoughtful, wonderful author friend Arlem Hawks posted on her Instagram account her word of the year. She's done this several years in a row, and after the disaster that was 2020, I've decided I want to join this tradition.
But I'm terrible at following rules and guidelines, so I chose two words. (I'm also indecisive.) The two words I've chosen are HOPE and LIGHT. I thought about it for a while. They're simple words, and they've been part of my life for a long time, so purposefully embracing them for this coming year felt like the right thing.
I immediately set on two quotes for my words, too.
Light, of course, reminded me of Victor Hugo's quote which I've put above, with a photograph of two of my children playing in the light and water of the Atlantic Ocean.
My other chosen word reminded me of the Emily Dickinson poem:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers - (314)BY EMILY DICKINSON
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
What would your words be?
As many of you know, all my plans to visit the UK are on hold. Most likely until 2022. Given that we gave away almost everything we owned, and moved in with family in anticipation of only spending a month in that situation before visiting Europe, we now find ourselves without a permanent home and almost no personal belongings.
Yet we are grateful for our health, our safety, and our blessings. We're a strong family, and even though the world is in crisis, we need to move forward with our dreams. So we've taken all that we saved for our grand trip abroad and put it somewhere else - into the search for a house.
You might wonder what it's like to house hunt in the midst of the apocalypse (tongue-in-cheek use of the term, I assure you).
First, we had to move out of the house we were sharing with relatives. With four adults working from home, and four children needing to do school work, and several health concerns in the family, it wasn't safe or practical for all of us to stay in the same house.
So for the past three months, we've been moving from one temporary place to another - using AirBnB credits received after cancelling the UK trip. We've moved every month since February.
While moving about, we've gone only twice to physical house showings. Both times wearing masks and not shaking hands with the people showing us the house, as well as standing across the room from agents.
We've also toured homes virtually, with an agent going through the house turning his camera phone to face out while my husband and I watched on a laptop.
We've done everything over the phone, signed every document virtually, and I still haven't physically stood in the house we found. But I'm SO thrilled to share that we have found a house!
If all goes well, in a month's time, I'll own my first home.
One dream has made way for another. I hope everyone who reads this can find ways to make your dreams come true. There is strife all around us, but I hope you are able to find happiness and the strength you need to move forward!
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Sally Britton's books on Goodreads
His Bluestocking Bride (Branches of Love #3)
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Miss Devon's Choice (Branches of Love #5)
ratings: 517 (avg rating 4.45)