Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sweet Reads: Chocolate-Filled Crescents and Emily Goes to Exeter

I'm a huuuge fan of Marion Chesney, and have been ever since I discovered her books at the library w/their wonderful sketched covers. The last few years I've been on a campaign to collect these books that bring back childhood nostalgia and I'm gradually building my collection through the used books available on Amazon and B&N.

Kirkus calls Chesney one of the best Regency writers, and I whole-heartedly agree. Some of my fav Chesney series are The Travelling Matchmaker(of which EGTE is the first), The School for Manners, The Poor Relations, and The Daughters of Mannerling.

For the most part, Chesney's stories follow a formula- girl meets guy, falls in love(most times reluctantly, though not always), a complication arises(a past jilted lover, spies, jealous debutantes, overbearing Mamas, etc), and all looks to fall apart, until due to an intervention(usually by some wiser older character) the lovers are reunited and headed to the alter...or Gretna Green. =)

Here's an excerpt:

"...But Miss Cudlipp with great bravery approached him and asked him why he was staring, and he you know what he said?"

"'Your beauty has pierced my heart,' or some such thing?" suggested Hannah.

"Well...not exactly, but he said, 'The fair maiden yonder has struck my heart a blow. I am blinded by her beauty.'"

"Fiddlesticks," muttered Miss Pym.

"What did you say?"

"I said 'Fiddlesticks' because I thought the fire was dying down," said Hannah. "Go on about Mr. Williams."

"He begged permission to call, and so I gave him my direction," said Emily. "But when he called, my parents refused to have him admitted. They then asked around the town about him and found that although of gentle birth, he has little money, and so I received a terrible punishment."

"They beat you?"

"No, they took my novels."

Very proper, thought Hannah.

* * * *
Chocolate-Filled Crescents

1 can(8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips
powdered sugar, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350. Separate dough into eight triangles.

2. Place tablespoon of choc. chips on wide end of each triangle. Roll up, starting at shortest side of the triangle, rolling to opposite point. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake @ 350 for 15-20 mins or until golden brown. Sprinkle w/powdered sugar.

The best way to eat these little yummers? Warm out of the oven with a glass of milk. Delish! I also imagine that they'd go well w/a cup of coffee. That is, if you like that foul brew...*shudders* ;)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Cut Scene Sunday

There's this scene that I recently cut from my WIP. I really like it, but there's an element in it that's too similar to a really important scene that comes directly after it. So, it was cuts-ville.

But b/c I like this scene so much(not really sure why, there's no completely mind-boggling happenage in it... *shrugs*) it makes me sad to think it's going to be labeled as 'not for use', and stuck away in a folder somewhere.

I would like for it to see the light of day, so I'm going to post it here. I hope you enjoy it(as much as is possible when you're plopped into a story w/no idea of what's going on), though please keep in mind this scene is from a story that's in the rough-stormy-seas-stage of the first draft.

* * * *
I stand, tray in hand. Weave my way through the tables to the line of trashcans. Overhead, sculptures of fantastic creatures made from twisted wires and small disks of color stretch their wings. I dump my empty milk carton and a few pieces of fruit into the trash.
"What's that from?" Layne asks.
A crescent shape scar mars the inside of my forearm. I bite my cheek to keep the heat of unexpected tears at the back of my eyes, out of sight, where they belong. It doesn't take much these days for the sudden longing for home to overwhelm me.
"A cow stepped on it when I was little," I say, joining the line to drop off my dirty tray.
"A cow?" Layne snorts. "Really? That's so--"
"Country fresh farm girl?" I say sarcastically.
Only Moirah still trots out the full title from time to time.
"No." Layne scratches at the back of his neck. "I was going to say random. 'Cuz that's definitely not what I thought was going to come out of your mouth."
I have to smile at this. But then it falters as I step up to the washing station and catch sight of him-- Lo, half obscured by a rack of pans, working busily at a side counter piled high with dough. The washer woman tries to take my tray from me, but it's stuck rigid in my hand as I stare fixedly at my cousin. She takes a peek behind her, then quickly flaps a sudsy hand at her helper.
"It's her," she mutters. "Get him outta here."
The helper flashes a panicked look at me and cutting about, heads toward Lo. And suddenly I'm unfrozen. My tray clatters against the stainless steel counter as I vault onto the smooth surface and start to slide across until--
An arm around my waist yanks me back. I twist in the tight grip. But it isn't Layne, like I'd expected, but Darcy. I react like a mad cat, a low hiss of air coming from between my teeth as I struggle against his chest, trying to break free. When that doesn't work I jam a hand beneath his jaw and push up against the hardness of bone and stubble.
"Stop it," he grits through his teeth. "The rule is you don't see each other. Do you want to break that? Think of what she might do in retaliation."
An image flashes to the forefront of my mind-- Lo, on the floor, holding his bleeding feet. It was the last time I'd seen him, the last time Moirah had punished him because of me. I let Darcy go. Along his jawline is a series of marks from my nails. They're red like the anger that's rising up in me, the bubbles that warn of the boil to come.
Snow. A blizzard falling, blanketing the countryside. Cold, cold, cold.

 The anger retreats, though it's still there, simmering, waiting for it's chance.
I turn slowly about, out of Darcy's arms. Lo's gone, the dough sitting forlornly on the counter, a lumpy mountain swirled about with flour.
Like snow.
Cold, cold, cold, I remind myself, pushing back at the heat beneath my skin.
The washer woman takes my tray and sends a jet of water over it. Eggs bits and toast crumbs fly off in the spray.
"He was supposed to be in the back. Someone put him at the wrong station. Go on now, Tam," she says, not unkindly.
I hesitate, staring at her. She knows me. Has Lo talked to her about me? Shame rushes through my veins. I've not talked to anyone about him-- except for Max, in my early days on the hospital floor.
I leave the cafeteria and go straight to the arena, even though it isn't open yet.
Sit down in a dark corner, with my head on my knees and try and think cool thoughts.
* * * *
 And now I feel better. Even w/this scene being cut, it still had its moment to shine(with as much weak light as a first draft can muster anyway). And if you held out through the entire scene, thanks! Tam & Co. appreciate it. =)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bookish Pics

Here are some pictures I found on the interwebz, related to books and writing that I really liked. Enjoy!

 The ocean and a good book...heaven!
 I love the artistry in this picture, but...ow, that looks uncomfortable. This girl is dedicated to her craft! ;)
 A pretty way to remind myself of what I should really be doing...
 Yes, please!
 She has lace on her sleeves!
 Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate's life for me...
The book spines say it all.
I love the dots of lights, and though this could have been taken on a back porch somewhere, it makes me think of Venice or Paris.