June 01, 2018

Regency Restrictions

I love Regency romance and one day I will write a true Regency era romance, but I have become quite found of the freedom I have with Sci-Regency. I’ve talked before about how I ended up with the Sci-Regency because gay relationships were punishable by death at the time and I did not like the bittersweetness of death looming over my characters.  Though its always good to know history, sometimes it doesn’t make for the best reading especially where romance is concerned. 

History while extremely important to know—I am a firm believer in that saying about being doomed to repeat history if we don’t learn it—is not always glamorous.  Take the lack of air conditioning?  Can you imagine all those sweaty bodies packed into a ballroom?  Or how about the lack of electricity. I don’t know about you but losing electricity puts my family in a murderous rage. Well not really, but close enough, you certainly don’t want to be around any of us for more than a minute if we don’t have simple things like lights, cool air (we do live in Texas), and refrigerated food, not to mention computers, video games and TV. Oh and don’t for get...this is a BIG one: indoor plumbing! I think we can all agree on that one. Then there are all the medical advancements and transportation. But those things are even the hardest to remember.  No there are other things to consider, like social customs, word choice, and legalities (ie: women’s rights, property rights, things like freedom of speech that all of us Americans take for granted).  

Are you getting an idea why I haven’t written a true Regency and hopefully gaining respect for authors who are brave enough to tackle historical romance? 

In my Sci-Regency, I try to use some of the things we all love about the era, but I’m not a stickler. I definitely use my own liberties. It was never meant to be a true reflection of the Regency, but a dabbling, a taste, a modern version with technology. I pick and choose what to use and what not to.  The customs of my Sci-Regency and the social mandates are no where near as strict as they were in 1811. The things that could actually ruin a ladies reputation were insane by our standards. My gentlemen have some of that, but not nearly as strict. The lack of rights? Well, I certainly didn’t use that. My gentlemen can own property and are not in essence property themselves, but I did give them the restriction of age as they are not considered of age until twenty-five. Technology?  Well, my guys have everything from space travel, to horses and traditional carriages, to hover vehicles. It’s really too bad we can all do in life what I get to do in stories: pick the things we like. 


I don’t write true Regency romance I do love and respect it and I keep saying... “one day.”  If you have not read a true Regency romance, I urge you to do so. I have tons of recommendations for awesome authors, or check out my RWA chapter, The Beau Monde or for other historical genres go to Hearts Through History

April 19, 2018

Awesome Roll Recipe

I know I've been posting a lot of recipes lately and my apologies for that. I promise to get back to a variety of blog posts. I'm always on the look out for bread machine recipes and I found a really good one. Oh my golly goodness! I made these the other night and all I can say is, "wow!"  These are delicious.  Enjoy!!!

Copycat Texas Roadhouse Rolls (in Bread Machine)


Ingredients


  • ¼ cup warm water temp between 80-90 degrees F
  • 1 cup milk temp between 80-90 degrees F
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 ½ cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1 envelope dry active yeast

Method


Place ingredients in bread machine in order listed. If your bread machine suggests a different order then follow that order. *Ensure your liquids are the proper temperature by using a thermometer. If liquids are too hot they will kill your yeast. Set bread machine for the dough cycle. Once complete, remove dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle with a 1/2" thickness. Fold the dough in half and let rest for 15 minutes. Use a pizza cutter and cut into 18 squares. Place on a cookie sheet (I lined mine with a silpat mat) and bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. When you remove them from the oven brush the tops with butter to make them shine. 

Source

Must Have Mom.  


April 12, 2018

Chewy Coconut Cookies

I made these yesterday because I was out of chocolate chips and my youngest was dying for some cookies. They turned out really well.  Nice taste.  Like a butter cookie with a little extra.


Chewy Coconut Cookies


Ingredients


  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ⅓ cups flaked coconut

Method

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine sugars, butter, egg and vanilla.
2. Gradually blend in the flour, baking soda, and salt, then mix in the coconut. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet. 
3.Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly toasted. Cool on wire racks. 

April 11, 2018

My Digital Art Journey

I’ve bought myself a pen tablet with the display—it’s like having my very on sketch screen—and I’m finding that it is a great way to let my brain rest from writing.  Not only that, but it seems to be helping my writing. It’s like one form of creativity boosts the the other.  I had never thought of it that way before.  I did realize that usually when a person is good in one art they often excel in other arts as well.  I started as an artist, ended up a dancer and now a writer.  

I no longer dance and yes I miss it, especially tap which was my preferred genre of dance, but I have started dabbling in art again. I’m determined to learn how to do digital art.  And oddly, just getting into that has made be drag out my sketchbooks and my watercolors.  I’m also thinking about buying some oils and canvas. But I digress.  I am going to learn how to do art on the computer. So far so good, but it’s definitely different.  

Shading and coloring is both easier and harder on the computer.  Harder because the colors don’t bleed like on paper and smudging is not as natural...  But if you mess up you just press undo, go to your last saved, or delete the layer. 

Sketching? umm... yeah...  LOL  It takes getting used to. With a rubber nib on the stylus you get more drag, like a real pencil, but I have to admit I still prefer good ole paper and graphite. And lets face it kneaded erasers have always been fun to play with. 

So I’m dabbling again and I couldn’t be happier.  I guess the point I’m trying to make is, you should always do a little something for you.  Don’t get so bogged down in work that you forget to have fun.  Having fun feeds the muse!  And a happy muse gives you really good material!  And for those of you who aren’t writers?  It’s good for you too.  I encourage you to find something just for you and have fun with it.


I’ve decided to share some of my failures and triumphs on my digital art journey on my tumbler account for those of you who are interested. You can find it here: JL's Tumbler Blog along with my first post.  My digital Bob Ross painting :)

March 01, 2018

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

I've been craving this lately. It is sooo good. And as far as sweets and cakes go, it's not the worse for you.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

CAKE BATTER:
1 ½ cups fresh blueberries
⅔ cups all-purpose flour, plus 2 teaspoons, divided
⅔ cups whole wheat flour
¾ cup old fashioned rolled oats, uncooked
¼ cup walnuts
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
¾ cup lowfat buttermilk
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg


TOPPING:
¼ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup rolled oats
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cup chopped walnuts
a pinch of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.

Rinse the blueberries. Let the berries air-dry or blot with a paper towel. In a separate bowl, add 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, baking powder, salt & sugar; mix. Combine egg, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; mix. Add berries and walnuts until distributed throughout.

In medium bowl whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, oats, brown sugar, & cinnamon. Cut in butter using two forks, a pastry blender, or your fingers. Mix until combined and crumbly. Add walnuts and mix. Sprinkle topping on batter. 

Bake 35-40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out dry.


February 21, 2018

Whacky Research

My critique partners and I have a running joke that the FBI has us on a watch list because of the things we lookup in the name of research.  I certainly hope that isn’t the case but I have to admit I’ve looked up some pretty strange things for research.  Here are just a few.


The history of carrier pigeons.  I did a M/F stories and needed a pigeon.  I needed to know how far back in time they were used. Just so happens? Quite awhile back  LOL

In the same book I needed to know the ancient language in Greece.  It’s called Koine, or at least it was in the time period I needed.

I’ve looked up Werewolf lore.  Which probably doesn’t surprise anyone.

Prince Alberts  The piercing not the man. <blink blink> Yup, you read that right 😜 

Molotov Cocktails.  Uh huh, see why I think the FBI has me on a list?

Flying helicopters in bad weather.  You can do it, but they advise against it.

Equine encephalitis.  Nasty virus!  Get your horses vaccinated, people. 

Regency era townhouses.  Very interesting.  Check out my Sci-Regency Pinterest board.

The Mexican drug cartel.  <whispers> "FBI watch list."

Southern sayings. I know several of them. My family is a font of information in this era, but there were a couple I’d never heard. For the life of my I just don’t understand how anything could taste so good you’d slap your granny. I mean really! And what exactly does Katie bar the door mean?  Is it like “Hey, Katie!  Bar that door!” Or is there a bar called a Katie Bar?  I don’t know, but if you want a good laugh check these out. 

Baby Names.  The FBI probably thinks I have about 25 children LOL

Mexican swear words.  I actually know a few of these too 😏  but I learned a lot more by looking them up.


Regency Era Dances. Surprisingly the waltz we know now is not the waltz they did. 

February 12, 2018

My Favorite Places on the Web

Everyone has their favorite places on the internet and I thought I’d share some of mine. 

The Weather Channel  I’m a weather junky.  I live in Texas an if you know anything about North Central Texas you probably realize we have very iffy weather in the spring.  Hail, thunderstorms, tornados and high winds. I somehow ended up being dubbed as “the weather girl” I guess because I’m always at home writing, so everyone expects me to keep an eye out on the weather.  I have a weather radio, and several apps that help forecast weather too.  I really don’t mind playing weather girl because I love storms.  I love to see them build and I love watching them. There is no finer writing weather than a stormy afternoon. Hail seems to be the biggest concern from my family.  Well all except my MIL, she doesn’t want hail but the word tornado terrifies her.  Me? Not so much. I’ve lived here my whole life and I’ve yet to be in one. 

Harlequin  I know I’ve said before I’m a Harlequin fan.  I always check out the new releases and it’s nice because I can buy epubs of Harlequins the month before they release to the public.

Pandora  I like to occasionally listen to music when I write and I can’t listen to words.  I end up singing, so Pandora is a great place to find instrumental music. 

The Quizzing Glass Blog I’m a member of The Beau Monde RWA group and AS I’ve stated before Regency romance is my absolute favorite genre.  The is a great place to find new releases. 

Nancy Mayer’s page Nancy is our resident researcher in The Beau Monde.  If you need to know something on the Regency, Nancy’s page is your first stop.

Amazon Because who doesn’t love the evil empire?


Thesaurus  I think this one speaks for itself ☺ 

Allrecipes Again, this one speaks for itself.

Desktop Nexus  I love changing the desktop pics on my laptop.  

The Pet Poison Hotline This is awesome when picking out flowers in spring.  I highly recommend it if you have a pain in the butt like Hiccup ( and Astrid) who eat things they shouldn’t. 


My Aquarium Club  For all your fish questions.