Winners, Awards, & Voting Ends Today

Good afternoon!  If you've noticed the Announcements sidebar on the right, you know that Anne Gracie and Loretta Chase are on the list of 12 Favorite Books by Favorite Authors.  Your vote will help them improve their ranking. Voting ends today, so if you would like to vote, go here: http://likesbooks.com/favesbyfavesballot.html

FrenchMistress Winners!  We have more winners!  Patricia Barraclough has won Don'tTemptMe a copy of The French Mistress by Susan Holloway Scott, and Lady Doc has won a copy of Don't Tempt Me by Loretta Chase.

Congratulations to Andrea Pickens!  Seduced by a Spy has won the Daphne du Maurier award for Best Historical Mystery/Suspense.SeducedBySpy

Musing on Muses

Andrea here. Today, I’m taking a break from talking about research topics to muse on . . . well, The Muse and what kindles our inner fire.

So what sparked the idea? Well, my older brother and I were recently packing up all the personal memorabilia from my mother’s condo in readiness for a rental tenant moving in. As my Mom was an incredibly creative person—she recently passed away at the age of 85—it was quite a task.

Not only was she an accomplished painter and computer artist (having decided to master PhotoShop and her Mac at age 78) but a talented photographer as well . . . here she is—at age 84— getting ready to go up in her friend Morgan’s plane to do aerial photography. (She also had a pilot’s license but let Morgan do the flying.)

Mom-and-plane

 She also turned her hand to a number of other crafts, including studying hand bookbinding with one of the head library restorers at Yale. Combining this skill with her expertise in photography, she made exquisitely detailed family scrapbooks. She had always taken lots of pictures of us growing up, and carefully collected a wealth of other memorabilia, like drawings and letters, to go along with the photos. Each year had its own book, and with her typical Swiss precision, she meticulously labeled events, pasted childish artwork in place, and preserved little treasures such as letters from first grade teachers, sporting ribbons, etc. So, needless to say, the process of boxing all the books and art proceeded VERY slowly as my brother and I stopped often to look through the record of our lives. 

As I sat perusing the pages, watching myself progress from infant to toddler to college undergrad and beyond, the experience brought some very interesting observations into focus. I tend to be reflective (I think most writers have a strong streak of introspection) but seeing a visual record of my ”self” and my interests really got me to thinking about how we find our passion in life.

Here are a few of the fascinating things I realized:

From a very early age I loved creating stories and art. Still do. Here I am as a four-year-old, hard at work at my desk. (These days I probably spend a few more hours glued in my chair, but you get the picture!) My earliest creations were Westerns—I’ve since moved on to Regency England, but at four, I had not yet read Jane Austen.
AD-4-yr-old-artist-2

AD-4-yr-old-art-composite-2

I tended to immerse myself in a character—I loved to dress up and imagine myself in a whole other world. Still do. (The imagining part, that is. These days I forgo the Davey Crockett and cowboy outfits as I write. Sorry, no ballgown or tiara either.)

Cowboy-Crockett-composite

Writing down my stories, sometimes with detailed illustrations, was something I really loved. Still do. And travel always sparked my imagination. Still does. For example, my parents took me to Gettysburg when I was nine, and that summer I wrote a Civil War short story based on the experience of seeing the battlefields, and reading all about the clash of armies.

First-story-compositie
In reading over letters from teachers, awards, etc, I saw there was constant reference to books, history and art. A quote from my fourth grade teacher reads, “Andrea is the class master of history.” In junior high school, I was voted “Best Writer.” In college I won an award for best printing project by an undergraduate. It was for a book of quotations from Thoreau, illustrated with original etchings. I set the type (old-fashioned lead letters) and printed each page by hand, then bound the book using marble paper I had made myself. (I was a graphic design major, so I got to study all sorts of fun things while my roommates slaved over pre-med courses.)  Anyway, those three subjects still captivate me.

And lastly, I saw that another childhood interest was archeology. (No wonder I adore the Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters.) I was enthralled by the past. Still am. And I was enchanted with marine biology (Go figure that one—I had absolutely no aptitude in science, but I loved the ocean. Still do. It must have been all those Jacques Cousteau documentaries. I still dream of going on a research boat to study great white sharks . . . even though I get terribly seasick.)

But getting back to what makes us who we are, the essence of what I learned was that my childhood passions are remarkably similar to my current ones. The things that captured my imagination as a five-year-old still shape my life today.

When I talked about this with some of my good friends, we discovered that each one of us was different. Some of us knew from the start what we wanted to be when we grew up. Others needed time to find their true calling—it wasn’t until adulthood they that realized what made them happy. And some of my friends are still searching for what makes their heart sing.

It was fascinating to hear how some discoveries are stumbled upon—a chance visit to a museum exhibit sparking a passion for collecting teapots—and some come from out of the blue. My avid gardener friend has no idea why she suddenly developed the urge to dig in the dirt. As a child she had absolutely no interest in plants and couldn’t tell a daffodil from a daisy. And my mother, who couldn’t have cared less about birds when I was a child, suddenly became fascinated by them, which sparked a whole new passion for painting them in watercolors. (Here is one of her paintings.)

Mom'sbird

I feel incredibly lucky to have a passion in life. Not to speak of being paid—albeit a pittance—to do it.

So, what are you passionate about? And how many of you knew from an early age what inspired you? How many of you came to it later in life?

(I will be selecting a winner to receive a copy of The Scarlet Spy from those who comment, so be sure to enter a post!)

 

Sad News about a Great Lady: In memory of Edith Layton Felber

Edith_Layton_home To our regret, the Word Wenches must announce the death this morning of Edith Layton after five years of very private struggles with cancer.  During those years, she continued to write her wonderful books, post blogs, and welcome two much adored grandsons into the world. 

If any of you met Edith in person, you know what a warm, incredibly funny person she was.  And if you’ve read her books—you know exactly the same thing.   

She was a born New Yorker, with all the wit and sassiness that implies.  She was proud of her Jewish heritage, and adored blond men with English accents.  She loved her three children and two grandchildren deeply, and they returned that love. 

Edith was one of the first writers I met at my very first conference, when I’d just sold my first Signet Regency, and she has been a friend and mentor ever since.  I could go on about her for a very long time, but this blog is a tribute to Edith, and Rose there are many, many people who remember her with equal warmth.  Below are some of those tributes.  Please add your own—later we wish to collect these for her family.

From Wench Andrea Pickens:

I remember very vividly my first meeting with Edith. I had just sold my first Regency to Signet, and was attending my first RWA Conference. I was completely clueless about the publishing world, having by sheer blind luck managed to stumble through the process of  finding an agent and actually selling my manuscript. My editor, Hilary Ross, rolled her eyes at my dumb questions and said, "I think you need some advice." Looking around, she spotted Edith having a cup of coffee in the lounge. "Oh, there's Edith Layton. She's the perfect person to talk to."

Rose--Jo I froze in my tracks. THE Edith Layton? The goddess whose books I adored? No way I would dare approach her!  I tried to dig in my heels but Hilary had me firmly by the elbow and marched me to the chair—or rather, the throne. Edith, as always, looked perfectly regal decked out in her jewel tone florals and gorgeous jewelry. I was probably tongue-tied, but it didn't matter. She smiled and with her pithy wit and warmth spent the next little while making me feel welcome to the sisterhood of writers. I'll never forget her incredible kindness—and her generosity in sharing her experience and advice with a total stranger and unfledged author.

I was lucky enough to become friends with her over the years, and as a person and author she enriched my life more than I can say. Oh, I will miss you, Edith!

From Wench Jo Beverley:

I'll always remember Edith smiling. She's always been a warm and vibrant member
of the romance writing community, especially the regency romance writing
community. She'll be missed for her liveliness and her wit both in her person
and her books.

From regular Wench guest Margaret Evans Porter:

It's hard losing someone I've known since before I was published–more than 20 years.  When I first met Edith in person, at an RWA conference, I was an over-excited fan-girl who had just sold her first Regency.  In the blink of I eye, it seemed, I became not only her fan, but her friend.  We often corresponded by letter, way back in the pre-email days, and then by email. 

Purple flower There are so many memories, mostly associated with writers' conferences, but some were not.  Like the time I was at her house on Long Island and Abraham, her huge Bernese Mountain Dog jumped right into my lap, and we laughed and laughed.  Her home was full of love and laughter, with an eclectic mix of art and antiques.  I remember her study, her writing room, where she crafted all those memorable stories–the crammed bookshelves and books piled on the floor.  I adored Norbert, her delightful doctor husband, who accompanied her to many a conference (as did Abraham the dog, sometimes!) 

I fondly remember more than a few dinners together in various hotel restaurants–good food, entertaining–and often hilarious–conversations.  Eventually I met Susan and Adam and Mike, the kids of whom she was so proud.  She didn't have many years as a grandma, but how thrilled she was to be one.
 
She was incredibly talented and a consummate professional and so very brave.  I'm thankful for her body of work.  The phrase associated with Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: "the face without a frown."  I've always thought of Edith that way, and told her so.  Because whenever I think of her, I see her smiling. 

From Robin Rue, a former agent of Edith’s:

She was a wonderful, classy, talented lady.  I loved working with her, and had so Orange rose much respect for what a research wonk she was.  She will be missed. 

From Wench Susan Holloway Scott:


When I was first published as a romance writer, one of the greatest compliments a reviewer paid me was to say my writing reminded her of Edith Layton's. Of course Edith's writing was in class by itself, full of the same wit and charm that were hers as a person. While books fall in and out of print, that special spark will continue through her much-loved children and grandchildren. 
The world is a little less merry today without her in it…we miss you, Edith!

From Wench Susan King/Sarah Gabriel:

The first time I saw the legendary Edith Layton was at an RWA conference, when I was a newbie in awe of her and she didn't have a clue who I was. Someone said, Vase "Look, here's Edith, let me introduce you–" I turned, and there she was riding alone down an escalator in bright sunlight — what a grand entrance! Dressed to kill, red hair and lips, and the biggest, warmest, most wonderful smile. She grabbed me in a hug – didn't know the trembling newbie but was sweet to her – and she was deliciously friendly, then and each time we met and chatted over the years.

What a Grande Dame she was, and showed the rest of us how to be the best – the bestest, as she would have said – that we could be, as writers and people. I was delighted each time I saw her, thrilled when she joined Wenches, and deeply grateful when she read my Lady Macbeth, loved it, effused in e-mails as we discussed writing medievals, and gave me a kind and generous quote that I will always treasure. That quote is frameable art to me now.
 
What I'll also remember about Edith is how funny she was just by her bubbly nature, without ever trying. And I will remember her wonderful, whimsical way with words (though she didn't like a string of "W's" in speech for some reason, sorry, Edith!). I learned new words from her, like: bestest, luff, lurvings, lurve, mostest, and she was all of those — the bestest, the most luffing, the mostest ever.
Thank you, Edith. We adore you.

From Wench Patricia Rice:

I remember meeting Edith first at a conference when she and Joan Wolf were sitting behind me, discussing horses.  I was a brand newbie, and they were two of my absolute favoritest authors. It was all I could do not to fall on my knees and worship, but I was too backward to do even that much. 

Later, after meeting Edith through our NAL editor's dinners, I learned she was the funniest, warmest woman I've ever met, par none.  Even through the devastation Purple flower 2 of the loss of her husband, she was reassuring others that she was fine, and she was making jokes in his memory. She and her wonderfully talented children showed me the real NYC nightlife and created evenings I'll never forget.

My life would not be the same if Edith hadn't been in it.  I'm not certain my life would have been the same even if I'd never met her, because it was wonderfully witty books like hers that enticed me into writing.  Beautiful amber and sunshine to you, Edith–I know you're up there, shining down on us all and laughing right now.

From Wench Anne Gracie:

I've only known Edith cyberly, on Regency loops and author loops great and small, but even on line, out of thousands of voices, hers always rang true and clear and original.  And funny. As for her books, I have a pile of keepers here in which she will live on forever.

My deepest sympathy to her family and her many close friends. And to her dog.
Vale that Layton Woman.

Pacific Northwest Oct. 2008 010 From Edith's long time editor, Hilary Ross:

From the beginning I liked Edith's books very much and enjoyed being her editor.   Then she needed a title for the last book in the Love trilogy.  I suggested the title Surrender to Love.  Edith wrote me that it sounded cheap, like something out of a movie magazine.  I wrote her back that it was a quote from Virgil. 

I then received an hysterically funny letter from Edith full of pseudo Latin along with agreement to use the quote as a title.  From that moment on I knew I had to have Edith as a personal friend.  It did work out that way and I will always
remember our close friendship and all the wonderful times we had together.  I will miss her tremendously.

From Wench Loretta Chase:

So there I was, a million years ago, trying to decide if it made sense to write romances.  My sister gave me some traditional Regencies to read.  One of them was The Duke’s Wager.  At the time, I still had a bit of snobbishness about romance.  But Edith cured me.  “She can write!  She can actually write!” thought I, astonished.  Lots of writers can tell a story, but she had a style, distinctive, and a true love of language.  Oh, those wonderful sentences! 

I met her at a New Jersey Romance Writers conference, where she was responsible for my first fangirl episode.  There she deservedly won an award for that very book.  The speech she gave was exactly like her writing, absolutely, totally Edith.  I was exchanging emails with her only a short time ago.  I can’t believe That Layton Woman, so full of life, is gone.

For more information about Edith, go to her website, http://edithlayton.com/ Or click on her name on the bottom of this blog, and that will bring up a page of her wonderfully witty blogs.  Here's are links to two delicious posts written by her daughter, Susie Felber, and titled Daughter of Romance 1 and Daughter of Romance 2.  They have lots of great pictures of Edith at work and at play. 

Plus, in the column on the right under "Additional Pages," you'll find a file for a downloadable commemorative Layton bookmark.

Pacific Northwest Oct. 2008 011 Tell us what Edith and her books meant to you, so we can smile through our tears. (To leave a comment, click on "comments" at the bottom of this post.)

Mary Jo and all the other Wenches

PS:  Several people have expressed regret that they've read the last Edith Layton book.  In fact, she finished one two months ago, so there is one more by the grande dame still to look forward to–MJP

Winners of the Diabolical Anniversary Contest!

Cat 243 Dover by Mary Jo

This was one seriously difficult contest!  If there had been space for longer excerpts, it probably would have been easier, but with seven writers represented, that would have been humongously long.  Plus, we’re all writing historical romances, most of them set around the same time period.  My hat is off to all of you who were willing to take a guess.

If it’s any comfort, while you struggled to identify the writers, we struggled to come up with an equitable way to distribute prizes and reward both accuracy and speed. 

And now for the identifications!

Only two of the books have been published (Susan King and Nicola Cornick)—the others are in the pipeline, which was still another form of confusion: 

1) Susan King as Sarah Gabriel, The Highland Groom (1/09)
 
2) Nicola Cornick, An Unlikely Suitor (published)
 
3) Jo Beverley,  The Secret Duke (4/10)
 
4) Pat Rice, Mystic Warrior (7/09)
 
5) Andrea Pickens w/a Cara Elliott—To Sin With A Scoundrel  (3/10, I think)
 
6) Anne Gracie, To Capture a Bride (9/09, I think)
 
7) Mary Jo Putney, untitled 2010 Lost Lords novel (5/10)

Now, for the winners.  No one got all of the authors correct, but two people got five right, and two people got four right.  So—the two people who got the five correct answers will get two books each, and the two who got four correct answers will each get a book.  The books will be come from the authors in the order of the list above.

Top winner—Cheryl C., the first to come up with 5 correct answers.  She’ll get books from Wenches #1 and 2: Susan King/Sarah Gabriel and Nicola Cornic.

Co-winner, who also got five correct answers—Liz M.  She’ll get books from Jo Beverley and Patricia Rice.

Second places (four correct answers): 

First runner up is Stephanie.  She gets a book from Andrea Pickens. 

Next runner up is Cyclops8, who has a good eye for a being that has only one eye. <G>  She’ll get a book from Anne Gracie.

That leaves one book—the ARC of Loving a Lost Lord, my July book.  Because this was such a difficult challenge, we decided to give book #7 to a person chosen at random from all those who had the courage to enter.  And the ARC winner is–PamBook! 

A few observations on the contest.  The most commonly guessed correct answer was for Nicola Cornic after the very knowledgeable Laura Vivanco correctly identified the author, title and series.  Nicola had thought that book was read by maybe 7 people, so she was gratified.  <G>

Pat Rice’s book was also identified quite often, possibly because it’s the third book in a trilogy and had a lot of clues for the perspicacious.  I think Anne Gracie and I were confused with each other the most often—we were both honored by the comparison. <G> 

Thanks so much for playing with us!  I wonder what we’ll do next anniversary. <g>

Mary Jo

Happy Anniversary to the Word Wenches! Or, “A voice, a voice, my kingdom for a voice!”

Cat 243 Dover by Mary Jo

The Word Wenches have been blogging for three years, which is no small feat in the ephemeral world of cyberspace.  That means it’s time for a special anniversary blog.  Who could forget our famous Getting Naked with the Wenches blogs to celebrate our first year, Parts I, II, and III

Last year, we posted pictures of ourselves as young ‘uns, and asked our readers to identify us.  How could we top that?

Aha!  A thought occurs.  One of an author’s most valuable assets is her unique voice: the sum of how she uses words, her interests, and her view of life.  Voice is often the difference between a good book that we love and will reread, and an equally good book that we read and forget. 

All the Wenches, current and Emeritae, have strong voices.  Admittedly I’m not exactly objective, but when I’m reading comments to posts, I can always identify my fellow Wenches just by how they use words.  (And we can often identify regular commenters, too.) 

So—today’s contest is samples by all current Wenches, plus one new Wench who hasn’t yet been launched (that will happen next week), but who is already an Honorary Word Wench, so you aren’t working entirely blind. 

Below are seven samples, mostly but not always of books that have not yet been published.  The illustrations are just for fun.  How many can you identify?

Each of us will be giving away a book, though we aren’t yet sure how we’ll pick winners.  But if you can identify all or most of the Wenches by their voices, you’ve got a good shot of winning a book/s.  So without further adieu:

Castle stairs Wench 1:      

“She moved through the mist, lovely as a fairy sprite in a gown and bonnet gray as fog. Just a glance told him that she was all he could ever desire in a woman—gracefully shaped, with the sort of mysterious allure that would endlessly fascinate a man. With such a woman, the days, and the nights, too, would be filled with the happiness that had so long eluded him. He wondered who she was—and then wondered how quickly he could convince her to leave the hillside, and his property, too. She was trespassing.      

Folding his arms, he watched as the young woman took the slope upward to where the foothills met the mountain. Behind him was a stone wall, inside that a valuable cache, and within arm’s reach, a loaded pistol with which to protect it. He stood still and silent, breathing, waiting. “

Night forest Wench 2:

    “She felt oddly at a loss, as though the clear definition of their relationship had  somehow been blurred.  He was a shopkeeper’s son and she was an admiral’s daughter, and with the shop counter between them she had allowed herself to dream a little.  He might always speak to everyone in the same manner, but there was a decided hint of warmth when he addressed her, an admiration in his eyes that had made her heart beat a little faster.  Then he had been so kind to her when her father had died.  He scarcely knew her and yet his words of comfort had been so perceptive.

    Caroline was right – she had been calling in at the draper's shop more often of late, contriving an order of ribbons here, a pair of gloves there.  She blushed to think of it now.  She had thought… But here her thoughts became at the best confused. 

    Was she a snob, aware of her status and the relative inferiority of his, or was she above such things, scornful of those whose lives were ruled by rank and privilege? 

Whatever the case, she had never met Barnabas Hammond in a situation such as this and it made her feel strangely vulnerable.

The odd effect he had on her caused her voice to come out with decidedly squeaky overtones when she would have preferred to sound authoritative. 

“Mr Hammond, what do you mean by creeping around in the dark – and with this-” She gestured with her foot towards the offending sack.  It seemed obvious that he had been poaching and worse, that his quarry was still alive.“I would have thought better of you!”  She finished with self-righteous indignation.

“Would you?”  Barney Hammond sounded surprised and amused.  “Naturally, I am flattered, Miss Brabant, but why should you?”

Bowsprit Wench 3:

“Laughter can take many forms, from the gibber of madness to the pure delight of a happy child. The laughter that slithered out into the misty Dover night was the sound of cruel men with a victim in their clutches. It stopped the man in the street.

To his left, water slapped against the wharf, and wind rattled the riggings of ships and jangled a buoy bell. To his right, lanterns hung outside buildings were merely gleaming globes in the sea mist, giving only enough light for him to avoid the larger detritus of any port — rope, bales, and broken casks.”

Firestorm Wench 4:

“Taking a deep breath to steady her ragged nerves now that she was so close to her objective, she entered the edge of the woodland.  As if a fire-breathing dragon lurked in the shadows under the trees, a cloud of smoke engulfed her, and she coughed harshly.

A rabbit dashed across her foot. She tripped and caught her balance on a tall standing stone. The rock was so hot, she quickly withdrew her palm before it burned.
 

She dragged her gown up from where it tangled her feet, and held the fabric in her hands, striding faster. She doubted anyone could see her in this murk, and her lungs would appreciate a hasty departure….

 A demon shot through the smoke at inhuman speed. She glimpsed only a blur of broad, filthy bare chest before iron arms tackled her waist. She shrieked as the creature tore her heels from the ground and tumbled with her into the ashes on the far side of the lane.

 Another fiery geyser spewed into the air on the spot where she’d just been standing.”

H-HeroCape Wench 5:

    “The lady was still wearing the same hideous headcovering as when she had left the house. Its voluminous clouds of black gauze made her look like a walking stormcloud. 
     “Get out!” Her thunderclap of fury did nothing to dispel the impression. “This instant.”
    Strange, but for a heartbeat Lucas had a prickling feeling that they had encountered each other before. He shook it off and replied, “Not until you do me the courtesy of hearing me out.”

    “How dare you accuse me of bad manners! You are hardly entitled to lecture anyone on proper behavior.”

Lucas tapped his forefinger to the erotic etching. “Neither are you.”

    Her shoulders stiffened and her head came up a fraction. She was taller than he had imagined, and for some odd reason he had the impression that beneath the crow black coverings the arch of her neck was graceful as that of a swan.
    “Get out,” she repeated. “I warn you, I don’t mean to tolerate this invasion of my privacy.”

    Lucas crossed his legs and waggled a boot. “What do you intend to do—pull out a pistol and shoot me? I had heard that poison was your preferred weapon.“
     “If I gave you a choice, I should imagine you would choose a blade. Word has it you fancy yourself quite a swordsman.”
    He laughed. “Touché, Lady Sheffield.” Pressing a hand to his chest, he exaggerated a grimace. “I appear to be hoist on my own petard.”
    The gauzy veil did little to blunt her daggered look. He could feel a thousand little points of steel prick into his flesh.
 “Your petard will not be hoisting itself—much less anything else—in this house,” she retorted.”

Wench 6:

    “A. nodded and stepped forward. The smile in his eyes made her feel a little shy. And the dress was all right, he'd said so.
      Behind her, Mrs. Ferris cleared her throat in a meaningful way and R. looked
H-HeroineRegencyGreenpast A.
      “Mrs. Ferris, I presume,” he said with a smile. “R. at your service.”
      “You are here to escort this girl?” she said in faint disbelief.
      A. bridled at her tone.
      “I am,” R. confirmed, holding his arm out for A. to take. She stepped forward and placed her hand on his arm. He covered it with his own.
       Mrs. Ferris's lips thinned. “She said you were her grandmother's friend.”
      “That is correct.”
      “But I was expecting a much older man.”
     He raised one dark brow. “Were you, ma'am?” he said in a manner that suggested, ever so politely, that it was none of her business. “Life is full of disappointments, isn't it?” And he led A. away.
      She maintained a dignified walk until they reached the end of the corridor, then she gave a gleeful little skip. “I am so glad you were rude to that woman. She is such a—a-”
      “I wasn't the least bit rude,” he said. “I was extremely polite.”
      “Yes, politely rude.” She tried to think of how to describe what he'd done. “Like a very polite wasp.”

Campfire Wench 7: 

     “I was interested even when you were a village midwife,” he said slowly.  “Granted, your rank will make it easier for others to accept you as my wife, but the main reason I looked elsewhere was because you appeared to want nothing to do with me.   I didn’t think I could change your mind, but I did want to see you again.  Just in case.”  
     She looked down at the embers of the fire.  “You humble me, Major.  I don’t deserve your regard, but I’m grateful for it.”
     “To say you don’t deserve my regard implies that I have poor taste,” he said with lurking humor.  “Quite the contrary.”
     She laughed.  “My apologies.”  Her laugh turned into a yawn.  
     “Sleep now.  You must be exhausted.”
     “I am.”  She raised her gaze to him.  “I would never have imagined such a day as this one.”
     “Nor would I.  Yet here we are.”  He gave one of his rare, surprisingly sweet smiles.  “I think we shall deal well together, Julia.”
     “I hope so.”  She lay down and wrapped the blanket around her, so tired that she didn’t mind the unyielding floor.  Agreeing to marry a virtual stranger was madness.  But it was good to have someone concerned on her behalf.  She’d been alone so long….”

So who is who?  Which voice belongs to which Wench?  The best answers between now and midnight Friday will win some books.

LovingALostLordrevise And just to liven the pot–I'm giving away an advance reading copy of Loving a Lost Lord.

Have fun solving our anniversary puzzle!

Mary Jo, asking forgiveness for quirky Typepad spacing