A Doll for Christmas

bunnyhugs.jpgI have a book to review for you.  It’s romantic suspense.  And it’s around here somewhere, I just know it.  Tiny little thing.  I will find it.  Promise.

Until I do, I just wanted to show you the doll I’m getting for Christmas.  I’m a collector, you know.  I’m going to name her ‘Merrily,’ as in ‘Merrily, merrily, Christmas bells are ringing.’  http://www.ashtondrake.com/products/302114001_linda-murray-baby-doll-with-plush.html?searchTerm=bunny+hugs&N=9047&canonicalUrl=%2Fsearch%2Fbunny%2Bhugs.html

I always *strongly recommend* that you watch a YouTube video of any doll you order that you cannot see in real life.  This is because a doll is a *three-dimensional* art form, a sculpture.  What she looks like in real life will be very different from what she looks like in a *two-dimensional* picture.  You can see the Bunny Hugs doll’s face at about 2:00 minutes into the following video.  It’s always the face which sells me.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc3wQ8vSDls&t=148s

At the moment, I have Evangeline who is a ‘Moment in My Arms, Forever in My Heart’ doll.  I have a JC Toys doll my mother gave me, but I don’t have her picture and I still need to do some restoration work on her.  I also have a Chatty Cathy doll who is over fifty years old who needs to be completely restored.  This is Evangeline and her link is below the picture.



By the way, I have a story in the works based on the true story of how my mother-in-law escaped East Germany after World War II.  She was a little girl at the time and lost her beloved doll in the process.

Historical Arts & Crafts

THE TUDORS - Season 4
Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn, Joss Stone as Anne of Cleves, Joely Richardson as Catherine Parr, Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII, Tamzin Merchant as Katherine Howard, Annabelle Wallis as Jane Seymour, and Maria Doyle Kennedy as Queen Katherine (Season 4-keyart) – Photo: Courtesy of Showtime/Showtime – Photo ID: tudors_gal4_kal_horizontal_b



Every time I watch the Tudors, I come away desperately wanting to write letters and make jewelry.  I’m pretty good at the jewelry making part, but I still need to get into the letter-writing part.  https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=niZANtuZomIC&source=productsearch&utm_source=HA_Desktop_US&utm_medium=SEM&utm_campaign=PLA&pcampaignid=MKTAD0930BO1&gclid=CImozM-S-dACFeIcMgod9qIOzA&gclsrc=ds&dclid=COj-38-S-dACFVQ4TwodrPQBiQ


It’s an art form lost in this modern age of email and Twitter.  Check out the Book of Hours’ once belonging to the real Anne Boleyn.  http://onthetudortrail.com/Blog/anne-boleyn/anne-boleyns-books-of-hours/


I also want to get into doll restoration so that I can donate them to charity, but I guess that’s not historically inspired.  As for jewelry, I already know how to make it.  I’ve made one which looks like this one Anne is wearing.  She wears it several times throughout the series, because it is stunning and it goes with many different outfits.


Want to make a crafty person on your list happy over the holiday season, get her a gift card for Barnes & Noble or her favorite arts & crafts store.  🙂  She might just create something special for you for your next birthday.

A Christmas Present

I’ve posted a free short, short, you know, really short story on my Ice Princess Trilogy sister blog.  I wrote it years ago and it’s set in that fictional universe.  I love it for the fun, but also because this was the story which inspired me to write stories for Bianca.  After that story, I was trying think of good stories for her and I asked myself, “Now, what kind of story could Bianca get herself into the most trouble?  Ah!  Time Travel!”  And so now she’s running around medieval England loudly wondering how women survive without coffee and chocolate, especially when the men don’t bathe.  Anyway, here’s the story, it’s called ‘The Christmas My Sister Blew the Head Off Malibu Barbie.’  https://iceprincesstrilogy.wordpress.com/


Today is the first day of Advent, celebrated by many, Christian or not.  I didn’t start until I married into a family which celebrates it.  Our calendar looks sort of like this one and I put Hershey kisses behind each door.


Here is a primer on Advent-   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advent

You can buy the calendar above by following this link-   http://www.hearthsong.com/wooden-house-advent-calendar.htm?aff=10051&gclid=CPiK6aLQ0NACFQ8vaQodrAsPYQ

Revisions, Revisions

Sorry about the delays.  Holidays and bad colds, you know.


Anyway, I’m in the throes of final revisions on A Vintage Heart in Hollywood.  I’ve actually been thinking of changing the title to A Vintage Nanny in Hollywood, just because I noticed Harlequin likes to stick the Romance genre tropes right in the title whenever possible.  And this is a nanny story.  It’s just I’ve tried to make the nanny authentic, not an old girlfriend who needs a job and who’s never seen a real kid before or a glorified babysitter.  A uniform-wearing, etiquette-knowing, college-trained nanny, a nanny who’s gently calmed a hundred crying babies, who changes poopy diapers like a sushi chef makes makizushi , a vintage nanny. 

The nanny in my story was trained at the Braemar Nanny College, which is completely fictional and somewhere between the British ideal and the American reality.  Here is a documentary film on the real and most famous nanny institution of all time, the Norland College – ‘Britain’s Poshest Nannies’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUarKD_fbq8

Once these revisions are done, it’s on to revising my previously ePublished novel, my very first published novel ever, for Indy Pub.  Once I’m done with my Indy Pubs, I can finally get on An American Elf, which is new story creation and the most fun ever.

Unless A Vintage Heart is picked up by a regular ePublisher in the meantime.  Then, that whole schedule gets revised to accommodate edits and marketing and all that.

Anyway…tomorrow is December 1st.  Are your Advent Calendars ready?  Ours looks kind of like this-

getdynamicimageYou can buy this one by following this link-


Wartime Farm at Christmas

wf-bookThe Wartime Farm is a historical reality show, but the participants are historians.  It’s one of my favorites, because it demonstrates how people lived.  There’s a lot more to history than dates and famous names, you know.

The group got together for a Christmas special and I like it especially, because it demonstrates the essentials of what Christmas is all about.  Enjoy.  The Christmas Special is at the bottom of the playlist.  Here’s a link to the YouTube videos-  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL59GlH-H0rGGl7RUe5T7XzT4_ToqqNL5R


…from Thanksgiving Day.  It was wonderful, but the way.  Don’t do Black Friday.  I hate shopping anyway.


The thing to know today is that Christmas is next!


Unless you celebrate other holidays before then, like Hanukkah or St. Nicholas Day.  The final chapter of my Free Serial Short Story will be up tomorrow after Twitter Treats.