Wondrous Memories

2022 is hurtling into history, and given events, will no doubt make a huge splash in future history books. My life wasn’t quite so momentous as world events, but our trip to Israel and Egypt is definitely one for my books, both fictional and real. What are your year’s wondrous memories? Do you have plans for more in 2023? Here’s to peace, love, and joy for all in the new year!


CamelI admire avid travelers who can recount events, name famous places, and give a coherent travelogue on the spur of the moment. I am not one of them. Since I have never had a reliable memory, I experience travel. I might close my eyes and recall the scent of saffron and cinnamon, the lights on the mosque, the tune of a street musician—and inevitably, the cry of “One dollar, only one dollar, miss!” as a Marketvendor shoves an armful of bracelets at me. I will not be able to tell you the name of the market or the mosque. Although the one I’m recalling at the moment is in Cairo—and I didn’t take a single photo because I was living it, not recording it. Fortunately, my husband was not so lax!

Read more

Ask a Wench for February: The Perfect Romance Convention

Screen Shot 2021-02-12 at 12.06.40 AMJoanna here, thinking how nice it would be to get away from all this rain.

Which leads to how the Wenches from time to time go to Writers’ Conferences where they attend sessions that help make them better writers and give talks that help other writers do the same, but mostly they hang out in coffee shops and gossip with friends because that’s what folks do at conferences.

So … what would be the most interesting spot for a conference if you could pick any time and place whatsoever?

Some thoughts on this.


Pat:  Oh my, this poses entirely too many choices. I’ll simply go with the first one that pops to mind—


Ranelagh. Maybe Mozart is playing
(Click on the image for a close up_

Ranelagh Gardens in its heyday, about 1765 when the likes of Mozart played in a rotunda painted by Canaletto.  Vauxhall would be another choice, but I like warmth, and the rotunda was heated.

Neither of them are available today in all their glory, so it would be a great joy to see how they looked as our characters wandered about, rubbing elbows with dukes and princes in the case of Ranelagh, and with maids and merchants if we choose Vauxhall.

We could have sessions with genuine lords and ladies and ask them all those eternal questions on how they wish to be addressed (do you really wish to be addressed as Your Grace, Duke? Or would your closest friend address you by the name you had growing up, Kingsley, as in Marquess of?). I would not presume to give a talk on the address question, but I would be happy to speak to The Future and Women’s Rights in Our Novels, if asked.

Read more

Twelfth Night: An interview with Anne Gracie

by Mary Jo  I always love Anne Gracie’s books, but I especially love this new one, Bride by Mistake, so an interview with Anne about the book is a perfect ending to the Word Wench Christmastide posts about favorite things. Not only did I hunt Anne down and beg to read it, but here’s a quote I forced on her after I read the manuscript: "The always terrific Anne Gracie outdoes herself with Bride By Mistake. When a protective young English officer rescues a Spanish girl and marries her to save her from an abusive suitor, he never expects to live long enough …

Read more