Why Pseudonyms?

By Mary Jo

Today's Ask A Wench was inspired by a question from regular reader Pamela DG, who wanted to know why authors use pseudonyms.  I said the answer was complicated and worthy of a blog. For asking the question, Pamela will get a book from me. 

Writing with a pseudonym, a name not one's own, can occur for any number or reasons.  The Wenches explain why:

From Nicola Harlequin-cz-chuda-snoubenka-105

I’ve never written under a pseudonym. This was not a conscious decision. I was literally so naïve when I was first published that it did not cross my mind to consider it. This seems remarkable to me now but I had had no experience of the publishing world other than a godmother who wrote religious books under her own name. I quickly came to regret my naivety. For a number of years I wrote historical romance for Mills & Boon alongside working as an academic registrar in a university. One day a mischievous colleague read out a passage from one of my books in a meeting, which was quite embarrassing. I wasn’t ashamed of the books or that I had written them but I didn’t want my writing and my other work life to cross over.

Once I started to write full time it didn’t matter at all and it’s never really given me any problems since. There has only been one odd occasion when a publisher kept referring to Nicola Cornick as my pseudonym and refused to accept that it wasn’t!  That said, if I was starting over again knowing what I do now, I’d probably use a pseudonym. I don’t dislike my name but it does give you the opportunity to call yourself something you’ve always wanted to be! One of the reasons I like my Czech editions is that I love being called Cornickova!  

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Crafty Skills and Writing Thrills

Joanna here with this month's question for the Wenches:

Do you have a hobby or handicraft that's important to you? Does it ever find its way into your writing?

 

Mary Jo sWench MaryJoPutney_RiverofFire_200pxays:

Alas, I am not crafty, except perhaps in my plotting.  I learned basic sewing as a girl and made some of my own clothes because that's what girls did in that time and place, but I wasn't enthusiastic about it, and I was a complete loss at handcrafts.  I botched cross-stitch and never mastered crochet and had zero interest in embroidery.  I did learn to knit in college because it was a way to keep hands busy when we sat around and talked, and I even managed a few large needle sweaters.  But they weren't very good except for basic warmth, and I haven't knit since I got out of college. 

 

 With the exception of young Bree, the hero's daughter in Sometimes a Rogue, my female characters aren't very interested Wench NotQuiteAWifeMMin handwork, though they can mend things as required. And now that I think of it, Laurel, the heroine of Not Quite a Wife, crocheted baby blanket squares while on a long carriage ride, but that was more because poor babies needed warm blankets.  I don't think she was much interested in crocheting for crochet's sake.  <G>  So I guess you could say that my lack of handicraft interest has made its way into my writing!

 

  On the other hand, while I don't have much gift for crafts, I have my share of interests.  As an art school graduate and a professional designer, art and design creep into stories, most strongly in River of Fire, where all the major characters are artists and don't know how they feel unless they have a paint brush in hand.  <G>  And I love music, though again I have no particular talent other than being able to do some research, but it's fun finding a four hand piano version of Vivaldi quartets on youtube, then telling my characters to take it from there.  <G>  A nice thing about writing is all the elements we can weave into our stories!

 

Nicola offers us music:

It’s interesting how many writers are also creative in other artistic fields. I have absolutely no talent for painting or drawing, or sewing, Wench Unmasked - US publishedknitting or making anything with my hands. As a child I did make patchwork cushions in my sewing classes at school and I was also passably good at cookery, which I think is another creative talent. However it was music that I loved and singing was a hobby of mine from childhood.

 

 I studied music at school and learned the piano and wrote some (bad) songs. I joined my school, college and church choirs and was also a member of a local choral society that toured Europe one summer. That was very exciting. My first love was always church music but I have tackled just about everything except opera! My singing tutor was a very fierce Scots lady called Mrs Buchan who had been a professional singer and was a very inspiring teacher.

 

 A number of characters in my books are musical and have good signing voices. Some of my heroines are talented at the piano or other musical instruments. When I am researching a book I do enjoy seeing which pieces of music were popular in the period and choosing something that my heroine might be singing or playing in the drawing room after dinner to entertain the other guests. In Unmasked, the heroine Mari gives away the secret of her ancestry by singing a Russian folk song.  When I write musical characters I am always reminded of Mary in Pride and Prejudice who loved playing the piano even though she had little aptitude for it, and her father saying: “You have entertained us long enough!”

 

Susan is musical as well as craftsy:

 

 

Writers and some kind of creative handiwork are a natural fit — the creativity often spills off the page and Wench susan 1into some other expression like arts, crafts, gardening and so on. And if we're not craftsy otherwise, we can scribble and type a mile a minute, and that's a talent of the hands if there ever was one! 

 

 

I went to art school, so for years I did paintings, drawing, prints and so on, even while I thought about stories. I haven't made art for years (though I do want to return to it), but I always have some kind of handiwork going. I try different things rather than stick with one, so I am master of none and explorer of many. I've done lots of crochet and knitting, and usually have a knitting project going; I've churned out throws and scarves and such, and keep it simple (I love big circular needles and soft yarns, and have no patience for small-stitch projects). I've done beading, basket weaving, needlework, sewing, collage, murals, scrapbooking — it often comes down to my degree of patience for the thing. I especially love to refinish furniture and paint rooms. My routine after completing a book usually involves painting walls or redoing furniture. Give me a ladder, a can of paint, some music and I'm happy.

 

Wench susan 2Some of the art has worked into my novels – I've written about a painter, an illuminator, a sculptor, an art historian and so on. I also wrote about harp playing after taking lessons in Celtic harp years ago. I loved it, and better understood long-ago harpers and harp music. That definitely helped when I wrote The Angel Knight, Lady Macbeth and Queen Hereafter, and if I write about a harper again, I'll dust off my Irish harp and tune it up!  
 
Cara/Andrea brings us:
 
I have an art background, so I’ve featured a both a heroine and a hero who was an accomplished Wenches A Diamond In The Rough-medwatercolor artist. But I’m also the Wench “jock”, as I enjoy sports as a way of relaxing. A while back, I took up golf—I’m pretty athletic, but it was one of the hardest endeavors I’ve ever tried— the swing may look easy, and the ball is not moving, but trust me, getting the timing right takes practice and patience! However I really enjoyed both the cerebral challenge and walking the course. After a day of writing, I love going out in early evening and playing a few holes. I can’t tell you how many plot tangles I have unraveled on the fairways. There’s something about switching gears and doing something physical that clears the brain synapses!
 
On a trip to Scotland, I visited the Old Course at St. Andrews, where golf was popular during Rgency times, and then was lucky enough to play a round with the Duke of Roxburghe, who is a passionate golfer . . .which got me to thinking! I decided it would be great fun incorporate my new hobby into a Regency romance. I did a little research on clubmaking (there are some wonderfully quirky clubs, like clerks and mashies fron that era) and then penned A Diamond in the Rough.The heroine is a great golfer but must disguise herself as a boy and work as a caddie to be allowed to play at St. Andrews. She’s assigned to teach an English lord how to play the game in order for him to play a match to win back his ancestral home, which his wastrel father has gambled away. And well . . . the game is on, in more ways than one.
 
 
Jo comes back with a very down-to-earth hobby:
 
Wench josgarden2Gardening. I'm not sure I've ever written a garden-obsessed character, but my books often have garden scenes and named plants with significance. My
characters are going to have gardens as most people in the past did until the
worst town developments of the 19th century, which led to the allotment
movement — an awareness that people, especially the poor, need a place to grow
food and also to have touch with the land and growing things.

Most of my characters are wealthy enough to have estates and gardeners, but they still take an interest. Interestingly, my book-in-progress, The Viscount Needs a Wife, has a hero and heroine who don't. They're both London people, not fond of the countryside, and know nothing about how to grow anything. I like to be different!

 
Anne says (and this is so cool. I had no idea about the dolls):
 
Wenches myWrapBraceletsI nearly always have some craft activity on the go, whether it's hand-made Christmas decorations, small things for dolls houses, or various kinds of jewellery. I'm more slapdash than meticulous, but I do enjoy making small things.
 
I used to babysit a friend's daughter on a regular basis and as a result I developed dolls house disease. I made lots of tiny things for a dolls house that one of my adult students had given me when she'd learned I was looking after a little girl and had No Dolls!!
 
It was a weekly ritual — my little friend would arrive, we'd get out the dolls house and the box of contents and set the house up from scratch — different every time. At the end of the day she'd tell me what new thing the dolls house needed, in that very cute imperious way three and four year olds have. "I think the dolls house needs. . . a dolls house." Or "I think next week the dolls will go . . . to the races. They'll need hats." This was after Melbourne Cup day and someone had been watching "Fashions on the Field" on TV. So I made hats for tiny dolls.
 
Currently I'm playing with jewelry. Fiddling with small things helps me concentrate and you'd be surprised Wwenches DollHathow often, while apparently concentrating wholly on a necklace or bracelet, I solve a plot problem. I go through stages with the jewelry, too. Not so long ago I was making things using natural crystals, which I love, but was sidetracked recently when a friend suggested I make a beaded leather wrap bracelet — and I was off and playing.
 
Few of these things ever find their way into my writing. I wrote one story, The Virtuous Widow, a Christmas novella that included a dolls house, and that was inspired by my little friend and our dolls house games — she's mentioned in the dedication. Nothing since then, but you never know . . .
 
 
Wenches pat rice wickedPat rounds us off with some wonderfully practical hobbies:
 
I garden and I fix up old houses, so I’m going to guess those aspects of my life creep into my books on a regular basis. I believe readers have upon occasion remarked that they know they’re going to get houses and kids when they read my books. Apparently I’ve disguised the gardening fever better. Even in Formidable Lord Quentin, when the characters have plenty of fancy London houses that need no work, my protagonists end up in a neglected rural mansion battling rodents and bird nests. We have the kids and horses in that one, but no garden.
 
I outdid myself in Wicked Wyckerly, though—the heroine owns a farm and gardens, the hero owns a truly neglected mansion AND townhouse, and we have kids galore. But I’m thinking children probably aren’t a hobby!
 
 
So. What about you? What hobby brings you joy and makes you more creative? If you were to write a book, which of your avocations would sneak into the text?
 
Some lucky commenter will win a copy of any of my books they choose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mischief and Mistletoe — the genesis

Anne here, doing a kind of Ask A Wench — talking about how our Wenchly anthology, MISCHIEF AND MISTLETOE  (released on 25th September) came about. We think it's the first time a group of authors who blog together have brought out an anthology together. To illustrate the process, I'm using snippets of the email discussion the Wenches had in working out the concept. They're all in blue, so you'll have to guess who said what.
1mischief&mistletoe-small

The idea originally came up in a discussion in Mary Jo's room at the RWA National conference in Washington DC in 2009, where Mary Jo, Jo, Pat, Nicola, and I had all met for the first time as wenches. We talked about doing an anthology together, agreed it was a great idea and then… got swept up in various activities and forgot about it.

In August, 2010 Pat raised the idea again on the wenchly loop. Her email started: I'm procrastinating major big time, as may be obvious. <G>
She suggested we could each write a story of around ten to twelve thousand words, either with an overall story arc, or based around a loose theme.
"We just need a tie-in factor."

Anne: I have to say, we all seized on the idea with enthusiasm and the suggestions flew thick and fast. The discussion went something like this:

*We could set all the stories under a full moon or at the time of a full moon.

*Love the anthology idea, and the idea of a loose theme, by moonlight or otherwise.
 

*I quite like the idea that the moon is involved — maybe "They met  by moonlight" or  "Wenches by Moonlight" or something like that. One moonlight scene in each story and that's the connection.


Moonatsea*With any concept we'd have to make sure we had a variety of themes and no outright repetition of them. But beyond that, lots of scope for variety.

*This is why I like doing short projects.  Feeds the muse, who likes variety.

Anne again: Most of us loved the full moon idea but then we discovered it had already been done, so that was that. But we thought Winter might be a good time of year to set the stories in. We thought we should have wenches in the title, as it was a celebration of the Word Wench group, and then for a while we debated the idea of wicked wenches.

*I keep thinking Wicked Wenches.
Then the link could be wickedness. I think it would have to be a  fairly serious badness, but it could be theft, a really bad lie, sex, treason, all kinds of things. Or even, probably only by one Wench, an  unjust reputation for wickedness. Or does anyone fancy the 7 deadly  sins? *G*

*The Wicked Wenches has possibility! Since there are 8 of us, 7 sins probably aren't enough. And I'm not sure I want to argue over who gets Gluttony. 🙂
Servingwench

*Deliberately wicked – because she has no choice.
I like. Oh there are so many wicked little things a heroine could do that can be justified in a romance plot…

*What are the side effects if we brainstorm this during a retrograde?  <g>

*Actually, considering that the idea was first bruited about more than a year ago at the DC RWA conference, returning to it on a retrograde makes sense. 

*I'm not sure about having "wicked" in the title. It suggests more erotic stories, and I don't think that's what we're going for here.

Anne here: We all agreed that we wouldn't have "wicked" in the title, because it would make people expect more erotic stories, but we still liked the idea of some kind of wickedness in the story. But how wicked is wicked? And could we still make our heroines likable?

*I don't know that I would want to put a level of badness, since it could be relative. A proper young lady who slips outside to kiss under the full moon might be called a wicked wench by her parents. Just depends on the level of conflict we want.

*True, but I always feel cheated if a story in an anthology seems to wimp out on an edgy concept. I don't think it means the wickedness has to be awful, but it has to  have that edge to it.
But you're right that it's relative. The proper young lady being caught with her clothing considerably disheveled, with a man with a very wicked reputation could do it. Whereas if the Wench were a whore, it wouldn't be seen as wicked at all!


BlueMoon*I "vote" for Wicked Wenches, with maybe a moonlight theme, if others like it. (In other words, I'm easy, and quite happy to go with the flow.)  

*My vote would also be for WICKED WENCHES, and if people want to add moonlight, all the better. <G>
 

*Yup, I'm happy with this. I suspect the "wicked" will push me out of my comfort zone, which is a good thing.

*Good point about comfort zone. It's always good for us to go out on the edge, wherever that edge is for us personally.

*I'd say as soon as anyone has a wicked concept they want to use they should toss it out so that others can try not to use the same thing.

*Okay, if we want to do Wicked Wenches, then we want to make it deliberately edgy? Not sweet misses kissing in the moonlight but a miss who has deliberately done something she knows is wrong.

Anne again: I'll spare you the rest of the discussion — we made long lists of different kinds of wickedness, and as for titles — well, we have dozens.
But the stories were, in the end, linked in the following ways:— a dash of wickedness during the winter season, which for some of us also meant the holiday season. Hence the title, Mischief and Mistletoe. Most of the stories also involved an inn, named after a wench of some sort. Mine was the Wench and Haggis Inn, so you can guess where my story is set.

Mine's called The Mistletoe Bride and here's the set-up. Ronan McAllister must marry an Englishwoman to receive his inheritance but having one distastrous marriage behind him, he's reluctant to marry again. His lawyer offers to find him a dying woman to marry and reluctantly Ronan agrees.(You can read the scene here)

Of course the scheme goes wrong, there is a mix-up at the inn, and Marguerite Blackett-Smith finds herself with a wicked choice. Here's a tiny snippet of the story.

     The thought of having to leave this cozy, friendly house and take up residence with an uncle who was the most notorious skinflint in the county made her stomach sink with dread. But there was no help to it — they thought she was Peggy Smith and—
    
And Peggy Smith was dead.
    
Peggy Smith, who'd promised to marry a man for money and then disappear from his life, no questions asked.    
    
What if . . ?

I have to say, I really enjoyed writing this story. It did stretch me out of my comfort zone a little, writing a heroine who deliberately does something wicked, but I liked Marguerite and I really enjoyed watching Ronan open up to her in the end.(You knew it was going to end happily, right?)

I also really enjoyed reading the other wenches stories — it's a wonderful demonstration of our different voices and I have to say, I'm very proud to be part of this collection.

So, I'm giving away a copy of Mischief and Mistletoe, and I want to ask you, how wicked is wicked when we're talking romance heroines? Are heroines harder to redeem than heroes? Have you ever read a book where the heroine was, in your view, unredeemable? Did any author make you change your mind? Or if you don't want to wrap your head around wickedness, what's one of your favorite holiday stories? 

Now We Are Six—and a Surprise Announcement!

Cat 243 DoverMary Jo here, hosting the sixth anniversary celebration for the Word Wenches!  This is a long time for a blog to survive and flourish.  But we’re still having fun, still finding new topics to chat about, and new people to have as guests. 

Today, the Wenches reminisce about how they came to Wenchdom.  The announcement will be at the end.  (And no, it isn’t that we’re shutting down!) So here are the Wenches, and covers of books they published the year that they joined the blog.

Keepingkate250Susan King
 23455551.thb
I remember, six years ago, having an email discussion with Mary Jo and Pat about starting up a group blog, followed soon after by a lunch with our shared website guru, Eileen, who brought more ideas quite literally to the table – and the fledgling concept of Word Wenches was born.

At the time, I was writing Scottish historical romances for Avon as Sarah Gabriel, having already written several historicals as Susan King. When I moved to Avon as Sarah, I was secretly hoping to write bigger mainstream novels someday as Susan. Sarah G. wrote two more historical romances, To Wed a Highland Bride  and Highland Groom — and then Susan K. got the chance to research and write Lady Macbeth followed a couple of years later (these research-heavy books take time!) by Queen Hereafter.

Exploring the differences in writing for hardcover/trade over mass market genre has been exciting and challenging, and I hope I've grown as a writer and historian (certainly I've learned more patience…) . Currently I'm balancing several writing projects at once, so life is a bit crazy at the moment. I'm researching historical novels while converting my old Susan King backlist to ebook (Black Thorne's Rose, Laird of the Wind, and others are now available, with more soon). I'm also writing some nonfiction history, a refreshing change, as it needs a different focus and voice.

Yet one of the brightest highlights of these past six years is the Word Wenches. When I was first published, a very well-known author (I was so in awe!!) told me that the most valuable thing I would find as a published writer would be the friendships. She was right. I feel very blessed and fortunate to be a Wench — and to be able to call each Wench a true friend. That's part of what makes our little blog so special, I think  — we truly care about the blog, our readers, our books, and each other.

MagicManoriginalPatricia Rice:

2006 seems a millennia ago in book terms! I was still writing contemps, Magic Man and Small Town Girl were on the shelves, and my husband had just taken a new job and we'd moved to St Louis. These days, my contemporary romances are on the e-book backlist shelves, the MAGIC series is being reissued, I'm writing about the contemporary descendants of the Magic characters, and producing original e-books and writing urban fantasy. What a long, strange trip it's been!

 

To Rescue a RogueJo Beverley:

I knew I should blog and started to, but really couldn't keep up with it. Maybe some people love to journal, and others don't, so the Wenches was a great way to do my bit.  When I got Mary Jo’s e-mail inviting me to join the Word Wenches, I said yes immediately.  I really like what we’ve built here, and that we've created a flexible, dynamic group that can adapt to the ever-changing blogosphere.

 

MarriageSpell 2 CompMary Jo Putney

Like Jo, I thought blogging would be A Good Thing, both for promotion and as a way to interact directly with readers.  I knew darned well I'd never manage one on my own, but with friends?  All of a sudden, an exciting idea took shape. 

Since I knew how busy we all are, I suggested that we enlist Sherrie Holmes, whom I knew from the Regency loops, to keep us organized, a job she's done beautifully ever since, while keeping us wildly entertained behind the scenes. <G> 

Over the last six years, I've changed publishers and added a new genre, YA historical fantasy, and it's all good.  I like blogging, even though it takes time away other things, like writing books.  It's fun to delve into random topics, and it's fun not to have to worry about every word the way I do on my novels.  I also like the chance to interview other authors whose work I admire, like <BLARE OF TRUMPETS!!!>:

His Captive LadyAnne Gracie

In May 2006 I was probably working on the last of my "perfect-in-the-title" series, The Perfect Kiss. I was already a big fan of the Word Wenches as writers, but I can't remember exactly when I first started reading the blog. It was pretty soon after they started blogging I think, but in those days I was a bit shy about leaving comments. It was my regular morning ritual — to read the wench blog and all the comments — I loved the level of interesting discussion in the comment stream.

I do remember when I met Mary Jo and Jo and Pat at my first NINC (Novelists Inc) conference in March 2007 and I made some comment about them changing the blog from a post every day to only 3 times a week —  that was a word wench addict speaking. I do remember their expressions  when I said how I missed the daily dose of word wenchery.  I have to  laugh now, when as a word wench, I look at my calendar and exclaim,  "Another blog? Already?" because it's quite hard to come up with something fresh every fortnight. I don't know how they each blogged  once a week and still managed to write books.

I joined the word wenches in October 2008 and I remember how thrilled  I was when I read the email from Mary Jo inviting me to become a word wench. It's a wonderful group and I'm still very proud to be a word wench.  (His Captive Lady was published that year.)

The Scarlet Spy, jpgCara Elliott/Andrea Penrose

Now We Are Six . . . I love that I get a chance to trumpet A. A. Milne’s classic title, as it reminds me that from a very early age on, books were such an important part of my life. And they still are! Six years ago I wasn’t yet a Wench—and I wasn’t yet Cara Elliott or Andrea Penrose! So, much has changed for me personally as well as for publishing in general since 2006. E-readers were still just a flickering diode, bricks-and-mortar stores were still dominating the reading landscape, and I was just transitioning into mass market historical romance.

Things keep moving at cyber-speed, and there are a lot of crazy ups and downs in the book world, but for me, a constant has been the sense of camaraderie and community that comes from being part of this amazing group. I remember very well getting the call from Mary Jo asking if I’d be interested in joining the Wenches . . . and I nearly fell off my chair. Me? Needless to say, I was speechless with shock. And with excitement at the chance to rub cyber-shoulders with such wonderful authors. We’ve all become great friends, and have a wonderful time together, sharing laughter and our love of good books, as well as hugs when there’s a bump in the road.

It’s a very special part of my writing life, made even more so by the fact that we get to interact with such a wonderful group of readers.

ConfessionsofaduchessNicola Cornick

2006 was an exciting year! It was the year that my first book for HQN, Deceived, was published. I was working on the follow up, Lord of Scandal, that spring. At the same time I was in the second year of my MA in Public History at Ruskin College in Oxford and was working very hard on my dissertation on heroes and hero myths. There was a lot of writing of one sort or another going on! I also remember wonderful holidays in Norfolk and Wales that year and a memorable trip to Atlanta for the RWA Conference.

I heard of the Word Wenches early on and was over-awed by their combined star power, their fabulous books and their historical knowledge. I dropped into the blog regularly but I never imagined I would ever become a Wench. When Anne Gracie emailed me to invite me to join I almost fell off my chair with shock and excitement. My husband says I didn’t speak for half an hour! I learn a lot from reading the blog and I love that. I also enjoy the fact that the blog has an international feel with Wenches on several continents and I love the discussions with the other Wenches and our readers. It’s wonderful!

Forbiddenrosejoannabourne2Joanna Bourne

Six years ago I'd just come back to the States after many years overseas.  I did all the settling down things you do.  Picked out a dog and cat from the animal shelter.  Put the kid in school.  Bought a house.  Planted peonies.  I was on a roll.

I'd been agented for a couple of months at that point, and we'd begun what would turn out to be a year-long quest to sell that The Spymaster's Lady.  I was working away on Lord and Spymaster, figuring if I couldn't sell a historical set in Napoleonic France, by golly, I'd sell one set in Regency England.

When Word Wenches showed up on the internet, I read them regularly.  Pretty soon, the Wenches were bookmarked because they kept popping up whenever I went searching for some interesting historical material. 

Zip forward a few years.  I met Anne Gracie in person at the RWA National Conference.  What a lovely, funny woman.  Through her, I meet the other Wenches.  I was delighted and very surprised to be asked join Word Wenches.  Leapt at the possibility, though.  Snap.

So here I am, the most recent, baby Word Wench, with a bare two years tenure.  Still, as they say, wet behind the ears.

Mary Jo again. 

As you can see, the theme of fellowship is an important thread here.  It doesn't matter that we haven't all met in person, or that we're scattered across three continents.  (The latter is part of the fun!)

Writing is a solitary profession, and while we’re mostly introverts, we need to spend time interacting with out tribe.  And the Word Wenches—and our readers—are a tribe.

Mischief and Mistletoe FINALSurprise!

Now for the announcement: we’re publishing a Word Wenches Christmas anthology this year!  MISCHIEF AND MISTLETOE will be released by Kensington on September 25th in a trade sized edition. (The larger size of paperback.) 

It contains eight Christmas novelettes, one by each current Wench, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.  After reading the proposals, I was struck by how characteristic they are.  Whatever themes Wench a writes in her full length novels is right there in short form. <G> 

The anthology came about rather like the blog itself.  I think it was our web goddess Eileen Buckholtz who first suggested the possibility.  (She's a born marketing genius.)

We kicked the idea around for quite some time until we agreed on what we wanted to do.  Susan organized our short synopses into a proposal, we sent it off—and lo!  Multiple offers!  I was amazed.  But delighted. <G>

Win a copy!

So—come October, a copy of Mischief and Mistletoe will be sent to one commenter on this blog between now and midnight Thursday.

In addition, last summer regular Wench reader Jane Irish Nelson suggested that we should do an anthology.  We didn’t say anything then, but we think she deserves a book for figuring out what we were up to. <G>  Jane, remind us in October if we forget!

So there we are: six years of Wenchdom.  Of history and humor, learning and laughter, philosophy and fellowship.  Nothing is forever, but we're still going strong.  We hope you'll continue to enjoy the journey with us.

Do you like anthologies?  Holiday anthologies?  Any comments on our six years of blogging?  Please share!

Mary Jo, Susan, Pat, Jo, Anne, Andrea, Nicola, Joanna, & Sherrie the Cat-Herder

 PS: It's been suggested that links to Barnes and Noble and Amazon would be useful for those of you who want to preorder.  So here you go!