Now is the winter of our discontent

Winter snow on the Tararua Ranges, which bound my valley on the west. Over the hills to the east is the coast on which I’ve set my fictional Valentine Bay

Here in New Zealand, we’re waking to frosty morning and chilly days. I’d like to hibernate my way through winter, but that’s not about to happen.

Instead, I’ve finished my novel Unkept Promises and put it up on preorder, nearly completed To Wed a Proper Lady, and made a good start on The Granite Earl and the Ice Princess.

More about Unkept Promises in a minute, but first, here’s the start of another project — next to get my full focus. It’s the as-yet-unnamed novella for the next Authors of Main Street Christmas project, due out in November. I’m returning to Valentines Bay for this one, in which a professor on sabbatical to finish writing up some important research finds himself intolerably distracted by the local baker, and an author who is helping out her injured aunt by looking after the bakery can’t get any of her real work done because of an irritating academic.

Patrick had read the same paragraph at least four times, and still could not make head nor tail of it. Worse, he’d written it himself, and reviewed it in the last two edits.

It was all Her fault. Even when She was being relatively quiet, as she was now, he was intolerably aware of Her. She irritated him so much, that even breathing the same air, She left him without enough to fill his lungs. And when She forgot herself and began singing to whatever infernal noise She had playing through Her headphones! Well! He’d defy a saint not to turn murderous.

When he found out that the nice old duck who owned the place was laid up with a broken hip, Patrick should have cancelled his booking. Or demanded his meals delivered to the little flat he’d rented above the bakery. Or any arrangement that would have allowed him to escape this torture.

He gave up on the page and took a sip of his tea. Cold. That was all of a piece, though — he looked at the clock above the bakery counter to check — it had been one hour since She bought it.

She was watching him. Glaring, really. Before glaring back, Patrick quickly checked his reflection in the shop window alongside. Hair tidy. Shirt collar and glasses straight. No. Nothing there to arouse Her animosity.

I’m trying for a romantic comedy this time, rather than romantic suspense. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Now. Unkept Promises. If you read historical, and like stories with slightly darker shadows than the frothy ball dress style of story, give my Golden Redepennings a try. Unkept Promises is the 4th book in the series.

Which brings me to the next part of the quote in the title of this post: Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer. That’s how I feel about finally getting Unkept Promises up on pre-release and away to the proofreader.

Unkept Promises

Book 4 in The Golden Redepennings series

She wants to negotiate a comfortable marriage; he wants her in his bed

… oaths and anchors equally will drag: naught else abides on fickle earth but unkept promises of joy.” Herman Melville

Naval captain Jules Redepenning has spent his adult life away from England, and at war. He rarely thinks of the bride he married for her own protection, and if he does, he remembers the child he left after their wedding seven years ago. He doesn’t expect to find her in his Cape Town home, a woman grown and a lovely one, too.

Mia Redepenning sails to Cape Town to nurse her husband’s dying mistress and adopt his children. She hopes to negotiate a comfortable married life with the man while she’s there. Falling in love is not on her to-do list.

Before they can do more than glimpse a possible future together, their duties force them apart. At home in England, Mia must fight for the safety of Jules’s children. Imprisoned in France, Jules must battle for his self-respect and his life.

Only by vanquishing their foes can they start to make their dreams come true.

Buy links:
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/947394
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TXXK53N/

See my book page for the previous three books, and The Golden Redepennings web page for more about the series. And all my novels, including these, are on 50% discount at Smashwords this month.

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Jane Austin Exhibit? In HAMILTON, NZ?

Do I have a special treat for you today!

JaneAusten

Today we went to the  Jane Austin Exhibit at the Hamilton Museum in Hamilton, New Zealand. And that means you get to see what we saw.   

 There were various items of clothing from an Australian collection of British clothing from the time of Jane Austen’s writing, around 1815. We met with our local Coast to Coast Chapter of the RWNZ. It was great to see some of the names of certain items of clothing which had previously eluded me!

JaneAusten  JaneAusten
JaneAusten

JaneAusten  JaneAusten  JaneAusten   JaneAustenJaneAusten

JaneAusten

JaneAusten  JaneAusten     JaneAusten Another JaneAusten

 

 

 

Jane Austen

Another surprise treat for you,

The Bluestocking Belles, of which both Jude Knight and I are also members, are having a launch party for our own upcoming Christmas Boxed Set, too!

Help the Bluestocking Belles celebrate the release of the cover of their 2018 joint project. Games, prizes, pretty dresses, and books. What could be better? There will be heaps of prizes, books, and lots of fun. And you’re invited!  It’s TOMORROW!

Right here! 

https://www.facebook.com/events/2089367241318177/

Saturday, September 8 at 2 PM – 9 PM EDT (Sunday in NZ!)

Hope to see you there!

Jane AustenMy Works in Progress

I’ve just completed a story for the Bluestocking Belles and immediately got stuck into my two current WIPs, one for Authors of Main Street, and one for ME… or rather… more than one for me…

You see, it’s a little like this… Tatiana (unusual… lol…  for me) has become… slightly… long. STOP laughing and just read on.

Tatiana

JaneAusten

The long-awaited Tatiana, another book in The Long Trails series, will become a series of its own. As Matt has repeatedly told me, it WILL be long… like… War & Peace long, so it will be multiple volumes. Too crazy to print, otherwise! The good news is that the first volume is expected out in time for Christmas!

Here’s the blurb!

When the tsar holds the reins, nothing is sure— even life itself…     

Stableman’s daughter Tatiana rises to glamorous heights by her equestrienne abilities, but the tsar’s glittering attention is not always gold.

She and her husband Vladimir become pawns in the emperor’s pursuit of a coveted secret weapon. While Tatiana and their infant son are placed under house arrest, Vladimir must recover the weapon, or lose his wife and young son.

With the odds mounting against them, can they find each other again—half a world away?

Watch for it for Christmas!

This book will follow my New Zealand Historical Fiction,

A Sea of Green Unfolding

available everywhere!

JaneAusten

Jane Austen

AOMS Christmas Boxed Set

My current AoMS Christmas contemporary is set in rural North Island New Zealand in the 1990s. It features Lena from the Once Upon a Vet School series, but several years on. It will later be part of the OAVS series, but for now, it is an AoMS Christmas Boxed Set novella!

Watch for it, it will be out in the next few months!

Here’s my part of the boxed set!  (and no, you cannot see the cover yet!)

Have a wonderful month, all! Take care and happy reading and writing!

xx

Lizzi Tremayne

 

 

Summer Romance: OAVS 8: Fifty Miles at a Breath

 

Hi all!

I’m flat out… well, past flat out, to finish your next story and another one shortly thereafter. One thing about being a self-pubbed author in two boxed-set groups…. there are deadlines to keep me honest!

Summer Romance on Main Street

Your new stories will be out very soon! As you’ve probably heard, we’re not only doing a Christmas boxed set this year, but also a Summertime one! Summer Romance on Main Street will be out this month!  Keep checking back here to hear when it’s out!

In case you’re wondering, yes, I have changed the cover image for Once Upon a Vet School #7: Lena Takes a Foal.

Here it is!  (and yes, that’s me, my horse Maya, and my youngest son…)1 1 OAVS 7 New EBOOK cover kb 500 2017 05 01

Join us for another story in Lena’s series of Once Upon a Vet School!

And you will too, when you read Once Upon a Vet School #6: Fifty Miles at a Breath (Page coming soon!) in our upcoming boxed set, Summer Romance on Main Street!

I’ve done endurance riding and ride-and-ties myself, plus crewed and vetted for many more.  I thought it might be nice to give people a little glimpse into that world.

So here’s a little excerpt from OAVS #6: Fifty Miles at a Breath: 

 


From Once Upon a Vet School #6: Fifty Miles at a Breath

Prince was back in the corral attached to his trailer when I arrived at Blake’s camper. The stallion whuffled softly to me and lipped at the grass I’d found for him. I may be a disaster with men, but I know how to make horses love me.

“He’ll leave me for you, if you keep that up.” Blake’s eyes glowed down at me from the open door of his camper.

I grinned.

“Come on in and have a drink with me, but leave Prince out there. He’d wreck the camper, so he has to stay outside, but you look like you have better manners.” He waved me in. “Beer? Juice? Whiskey?”

I thought the juice might be safest, in my present state of mind.

The comfortable cab-over camper looked well used, but well cared for. Blake caught me looking it over.

“It’s not fancy, but it’s gone a lot of miles. We take it camping in the high Sierra and to a lot of endurance rides.”

We?

I gulped. Getting ahead of myself again.  Of course, a man so vivacious and fun would have a wife. I swallowed the bitter disappointment and accepted the juice with thanks. “High Sierra?”

“Yes, we take the horses and camp up high, near the tree line, and take day rides out from the camper.”

I grinned at him beneath my brows. “That’s not real camping, in a camper.”

He snorted. “Have you ever done it?”

“I’ve camped for years.”

 He lifted one brow. “In the High Sierra?”

“Well, no.”

“Wait until you try it. You won’t think I’m such a tenderfoot, then.”

That got me. I had no idea what he meant. And I probably wasn’t going to find out. Surely he was married. Probably to one of those money- grubbers he’d mentioned last time we spoke.

“So, you’ve finished your meeting?”

“Sure have. I know where I need to be, and when. Stethoscope  in hand and secretary assigned. One Janelle Knight.”

“Nice girl, Janelle. Known her  parents for years. She wants to be a vet.”

I shuddered, then grinned. “I’ll try not to put her off vet school.”

“That tough?”

“Let’s just say the course is designed to be passed, but it’s tough. Their selection process is pretty strong. So far, we’ve not lost any of our classmates through the first three years of the program, and gained one from the previous class who had a little trouble adjusting back to school life after  he retired from a navy career.” I smiled. “His life dream was to be a vet. Fortunately or unfortunately, he grew up in  a navy family, so into the navy he went.”

“Wow, what dedication.”

“Yep. He adds so much to our class.”

“Let’s go, or will miss dinner.” Blake held the door for me as I climbed down the steps.

Gentlemanly.

I didn’t see much of that these days. I grinned over my shoulder as I thanked him, then promptly tripped over the trailer brake.

Pull it together. A guy’s nice to you and you melt.

 I managed to hit the ground with my feet, rather than my head, and stood waiting beside Prince while Blake climbed down—carefully, I noticed.

We headed in the general direction of the cookhouse. Blake stopped at this trailer and that to introduce me to his friends.

The on-duty ambulance rolled slowly to a halt near us, the driver looking around and talking on his radio.

“What’s up?” Blake asked someone.

“Faye Waters took her horse out for a ride and her horse came back alone. Not sure what happened, but they found her on the ground, her head against a rock. She had her helmet on, but she was unconscious.” He nodded his head at the ambulance. “They’ve radioed for a chopper and it’s on its way. They’re finalizing a landing spot now.”

The other ambulance attendant  hopped out. “Can you all please clear the area? The chopper is on its way,” he called out, in a loud voice.

 We moved to the edge of the clearing and searched the sky for a helicopter.  Blake saw it before I could even hear it.

“He’s going a pretty good clip.” Blake raised an eyebrow at the chopper, racing toward us.  Suddenly, it was right  above us, coming faster than I could have imagined, dropping like a stone into the clearing before us. It was only twenty feet above the ground, too close for comfort. A graying man walked past them, struggling to lead a gray Arabian as it danced sideways, snorting and tugging at its lead. The man glanced around, and then up to see what was frightening his charge.  Suddenly, his horse galloped past me, so close I felt the wind from its passing. I turned back to see if the man was okay, but he’d vanished.

Blake dashed off to catch the horse and I ran over to where the man had been. Where had he gone? I peered over the riverbank near where I’d last seen him. There he was. Ten feet down, hunched into a ball on the rocky riverbed, hands and arms cradling his head. His whole body shook.

“Are you all right?” I called out, but he didn’t respond. I scrambled down beside him and reached a hand out toward his shoulder.

“No!” Blake’s voice rang out from high above me.

I froze, but not before I’d touched the hot skin of the man’s shoulder and my world went ballistic. I tried to scream past the fingers digging into my face and covering my mouth, and then a band of flesh-covered steel clamped tight across my throat.


 

I’ve always adored Lena, and Blake’s pretty cool, too. Hope you love Lena and Blake’s story, coming SOON!

xx

Lizzi Tremayne

 

Update on Lizzi Tremayne and Get Your Free Sampler!

Hello All!  I hope March finds you well! I’ve been busy marketing the three books I released in 2017,

history   history

marketingas well as my first, A Long Trail Rolling.marketing

The biggest challenge I find as a full time writer, part time veterinarian, small farm owner, and manufacturer/distributor of Equi-Still Portable Equine Stocks is organizing my time for writing as well as marketing (publicity, social media, etc.) my books, with all the other things to boot.

Certainly, I need to improve in this area (Perhaps by stopping some of it? Doh?), as my ticker is not handling the load, but with the right meds and more sleep, I’m staying out of atrial fibrillation this week.  That’s good. Marketing isn’t as important as my health. Contrary to my belief, I’m not 21 anymore. 🙂

Thus I find myself again with the ever-present spreadsheet and Asana (It’s on my resources page, here), working on organization.

What I’ve done well lately…

One of the great things I did in February was putting together a Lizzi Tremayne Sampler of the first books in The Long Trails series, so you can have a taste of my writing!

marketing

It’s free here, just for signing up to my newsletter list.

I keep my newsletter subscribers updated on news, special offers, and contests–open only to them!

Sign up here

So what am I up to now? More marketing?

Well, always… but I’m planning and researching three more novellas to be publishe this year, two for Authors of Main Street boxed sets, more of the Once Upon a Vet School series, and one for the Bluestocking Belles’  Christmas boxed set, which will be a side-novella off my The Long Trails series!

And one more book… just one more…

Research continues for Tatiana, the upcoming Book Four of The Long Trails series, and if you read my latest blog post here, you’ll see how far down rabbit holes I can fall!  Come have a read!

marketing  marketing

That’s it for me tonight, off to bed, nearly on time. I hope you have a lovely March!

Remember to get your free copy of my Lizzi Tremayne Long Trails Sampler today!

Take care, until next time,

xx

Lizzi Tremayne

 

 

Our Christmas Tree, or New Traditions for New Lives

This year, with my boys grown and moved away, my partner and I decided to simply decorate our living room for the holidays with a ficus tree, a veer away from tradition. Rather than purchase a cut-your-own pine Christmas tree, for the first time we chose to honour our own tree—the one which lives with us every day in our home.

traditional non treeMy partner, a native of the UK, has a history of disappointment and sadness at our New Zealand Christmas. I, too, was transplanted to New Zealand (by choice, of course…). Getting used to a summertime Christmas hasn’t always been easy for me, either.

Tradition at NZ Christmas

Credit to NZ Post, with thanks, at https://stamps.nzpost.co.nz/

Seasonally-inverted southern hemisphere Kiwis (New Zealanders) have imported the northern hemisphere holiday traditions—but someone forgot to change the dates. In doing so, we’ve essentially lost the fundamental reason for celebration of the midwinter festival: the anticipated return of life after the still-to-come times of hardship—the release from darkness and want, toward the time of renewal and plenty.

tradition Cold Winter

©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. OjŽda

Early on, I realized this concept was more deeply ingrained in me than I’d dreamed. Moving to New Zealand was a big change in more ways than one.

Whether we move away from our childhood home or relocate a long way from our families and close friends later in life, we may find the need to create our own holiday traditions. As children, and now grandchildren, enter our lives, our roles may change even further, necessitating further adjustments.

Those living far from their birth homes often confirm that being away from family and close friends can be daunting.

Tell me about it.

My first December 25th in New Zealand had to rate as my most depressing Christmas up until that date. I had a wonderful boss, but no real friends outside of work, as I had spent every weekend with my boyfriend out on the coast, an hour away from home—and he ended our relationship over the phone, out of the blue, on 23 December.

Tradition not so good.

Thanks to https://awakened2torah.com/2017/07/19/stay-in-the-box-jack/ for the use of the photo. 🙂

Looking back, I can see it was for the best, but at the time… let’s say it wasn’t ideal.

On the other hand, sometimes one must sink to great depths to plumb the true strength of one’s spirit and guts.

Eyes blurred by tears, I managed to create the day for myself by cutting out intricate paper snowflakes from wrapping paper.

Tradition snowflakes paper

Thanks to The Balance for use of the pic! https://www.thebalance.com/

I still remember as if it were yesterday: The paper was red on one side, white on the other, and thin enough for light to shine through it. In fine pencil, I wrote around the perimeter of each, and on inner circles, what the holiday was really about—about the day being about love, and not presents. About those whom I cared for, and who cared about me. About the beautiful country in which I had ensconced myself, the tremendous job as an equine vet in an otherwise eight-man dairy practice.

tradition NZ view

The little piece of NZ beside my home on the cover of my third novel

As the years passed, I found new ways of satisfying the yearnings in my heart at Christmas time when I was unable to return to my family for the holidays. Celebrating a sit-down, full-on Midwinter dinner on 21 June for a roomful of my Kiwi friends, many of whom had never experienced a northern hemisphere Christmas dinner, not only did something for them, but did something for my own heart. It gave me my Christmas back and let me begin to enjoy true Kiwi summertime Christmases.

“Christmas is so commercialised, I don’t want anything to do with it,” I’ve heard from several friends lately. This isn’t a problem for me. I don’t watch television at all, and since I began writing, I avoid town… even my radio time has diminished. I don’t hear the commercials or Christmas jingles, so the commercialism isn’t a part of my life. I have only my memories and traditions from which to browse.

In speaking with my partner in mid-June about it, he said Christmas really didn’t mean anything to him. We discussed it at length, what would make it for him, what makes it for me. The result? He enjoyed his holiday, and this year we will have a midwinter Christmas feast and hopefully, he will regain his joy of the holidays, no matter what time of year they arrive.

I hope this helps someone, estranged by distance or circumstance from loved ones, find peace in their life.

In Once Upon a Vet School #7, Lena Takes a Foal, Lena finds herself in a situation. She was going to stay in her vet school town and take extra Large Animal ICU shifts over the holidays, as her family was out of the country, but she was invited home with her hero, Kit.

Here’s a little excerpt of their traditional Christmas:

Once Upon a Vet School #7, Lena Takes a Foal

Kit’s pickup eased off the highway into his family’s driveway, snow crunching beneath the tires. He slowed as we approached a beautiful bay Thoroughbred with a matching foal at foot, standing behind the post and rail fence.

“She’s my favorite jumper — the one I kept when everything got split up,” he said, and tightened his jaw.

“Glad you still have her then,” I said, taking a deep breath, and squeezed his fingers. “It’ll all be fine.”

“I know. Thank you for comin’ home with me,” he said, as we drove on toward the house.

“Glad you asked,” I said, taking my eyes off the pair of horses and looking forward through the windshield at what could only be Kit’s family members, by their resemblance.

“The welcoming committee awaits.” He smiled and shut off the engine, opened my door and handed me out into the freezing, dazzling sunshine, accented by the tang of the snow-drenched pines. His arm, warm over my shoulders, led me toward the group.

Any anxiety I might have had about meeting his family vanished into thin air as handshakes turned to hugs. Kit’s sister, a female version of him, stood tall and leggy in designer clothing and manicured nails, while his father offered a hint of the distinguished gentleman Kit would become. His beautiful mother was kindness itself as she pulled us in the door, toward her warm, cinnamon-scented farmhouse-style kitchen.

Christmas music played in the background when we eventually migrated from the hand-hewn kitchen table toward the living room with our foaming mugs of fresh eggnog. The huge tree caught my attention, its fairy lights and ornaments glittering against long pine needles, but my mouth dropped open at the view of Lake Tahoe completely filling the longest wall of the room. Its blue-black expanse shimmered against the snow on the surrounding mountains.

“Who’s dishing out the presents?” Kit’s mother asked, settling herself on the sofa.

“My turn.” Kit’s sister smiled and began delivering packages around the room.

I hadn’t expected anything, but had made gifts over the month since Kit had invited me. For his mother, a gardening apron; his sister, some padded hangers for her fashionable clothes; and for his pop, a big tin of the Danish Christmas cookies I’d grown up making with my family. Kit had already inhaled most of his cookies on the way up the mountain.

Soon there was a pile of gifts beside me. I stared at Kit over the top of it, my mouth open.

“What did you expect? You’re part of the family, now.

Enjoy it,” he said, and leaned across to kiss me.

My face heated. I couldn’t have been more pleased, as I picked up the first gaily wrapped package.

“A western shirt,” Kit said, holding up his first present. “I haven’t had a new one in years, thank you, Lena!”

“That forest green with chocolate is perfect on you,

Kit,” his sister said. “It looks designer, where did it come from?” She turned to me.

“It’s a Lena original,” I said.

“No, it can’t be,” she said, peering over her brother’s shoulder at the label. “It is!”

“What does it say?” his mother asked.

“Made Expressly for Kit by Lena,” she said.

Kit pulled it on and clicked the pearl snaps.

“It fits,” he said, astonished. “They never fit… and it’s actually long enough.”

“Of course, it fits, I’m a professional. Just remind me to give back your ratty old denim work shirt that was falling apart at the seams.”

“You didn’t cut it apart, did you?” Kit said, horror written all over his face.

“Your precious shirt is safe,” I said, squeezing his fingers. “I know how long it must’ve taken to get the fabric that soft.”

“You got that right,” he said, with a grin.

I glanced around, but everyone was absorbed elsewhere.

“Truth be told,” I whispered, “you might not get it back.”

He frowned, and I quirked my lips at him.

“What have you done with it?” His brows narrowed.

“Nothing, but it’s awfully nice to sleep in… it’s got your scent.”

He peeked toward the rest of the family, then turned back to me, eyes glowing.

“Now that, I’d like to see,” he said, in an undertone. “You can keep it, if that’s why you need it.” He chuckled.

The first present I opened was a beautiful copy of Robert Frost’s Birches.

“That’s for you, my dear,” Kit’s mother said, after I unwrapped it, “because you’re a swinger of birches.” Her eyes glowed as she gazed from me to her son and back again.

Everyone was happy with my homemade gifts and I was touched by the thought that had gone into their presents for me.

Kit disappeared for a moment, then returned to the room carrying a large, gaily decorated box. I glanced up at him with a smile and returned to reading about birches in the snow, my legs tucked up beneath me on the sofa.

All talk in the room ceased and I looked up to see Kit standing before me.

“This is for you.” He gently handed the package to me and sat down. “It’s breakable. Very.”

Looking sideways at him, I slipped my feet to the floor and pulled the end of the silk ribbon to untie the bow, then pulled off the paper. Whatever it was, it’d been packed securely.

Kit cut the heavy tape securing the box with his pocket knife and I opened the flaps.

Traditional Christmas in Once Upon a Vet School

Want to read more? 

Once Upon a Vet School #7 is available in print and digital. See details on my website here

It’s also available as part of Author’s of Main Street’s current boxed set Christmas Babies on Main Street here 

Come on by and check out my website here!

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Enjoy creating your own holiday traditions!

xx

Lizzi

 

Happy Holidays, and Size Does Count

We hope that no matter what you celebrate that the season has been kind to you.

I think the Authors of Main Street took a few days off from posting this month.  The holidays sort of all come together in December. Except we on Main Street forgot to warn each other and to warn you, our faithful blog readers, that we were going to be busy. Like wayward children we hope in the spirit of the holidays that we’re forgiven.

This Christmas came a day early for me. My youngest daughter couldn’t be with the family this year. She spent most of the day in the hospital’s ER. Don’t feel sorry for her; she’s ducky fine. She’s one of people who gave up a day at home with family to be there for others who need her more. She’s an RN. She was on her regular work schedule.

As a family, we had to celebrate without her. But we didn’t forget about her.  Like so many people, we lacked one of our loved ones. At least we knew she was alive and well, and only a few miles away providing comfort and care to those who needed it. Many families aren’t that lucky.

Christmas Eve was our family dinner. Just immediate family, my oldest daughter, the men that my girls love and my two granddaughters plus, one granddaughter’s boyfriend were at my oldest daughter’s house. (My granddaughter is allowed to have a boyfriend, she’s over 21. The question is – am I allowed to call him a boyfriend?)  Dinner was delicious! And I didn’t have to cook any of it!

My gift from the family was a beautiful computer monitor that is huge! Just in time for another set of edits! I  love the monitor and I love my girls for giving it to me! Even the granddaughters chipped into it. Don’t ask if it’s HD or any variety of letter combinations.  I’m the least techno-oriented author you know. It’s BIG! That’s all that matters.

See, size does count! I learned that when I was little. The bigger the tires, the easier it was to get through the snow. The larger the bank account, the better. And now it’s the large flash drives that count. And let’s not forget the large hard drives. It’s large and hard – oh yeah!

There’s a lot of things I can laugh about as this year comes to a close. It hasn’t been a bad year, if you stack it all together. There’s been worse years and there’s been better. I lost a good friend this year.  He was a few years older than I am. He taught me things about a camera that I never knew. After seeing my granddaughter’s photography when she was four years old, he taught my granddaughter even more about using a camera and encouraged her to continue with her photography. He called me one day and said he had something for me. I thought he was joking when he asked me to stop by his house. When I got there and he handed me one of his cameras and a super-duper lens, I broke into tears. I’d used that camera so many times when we worked on projects together, and he knew I couldn’t afford one for myself. He had bought a new one and decided that owning what he did was a bit much.  So he gave me one.  It seems like every year the grim reaper claims another friend a little too soon.

But on the brighter side, I have a book getting ready to release this spring. It’s undergoing some scrutiny within the Deaf community. It’s contemporary and a wee bit different from my other contemporary romances. The romance (love) is never in question, the relationship has a long path to travel. Why? He’s Deaf. She has her hearing and doesn’t know sign language. Her mother is dead-set against her marrying a disabled man. And like most Deaf, he doesn’t consider himself disabled. He thinks those with hearing have the problem because we don’t understand him. He understands us, so why can’t we understand him.

I’ve not created a super hero, I’ve merely presented a man who is Deaf, Deaf of Deaf, an average, young Deaf man. That might come as a shock. Most are well educated, underpaid but educated, many with advanced degrees.

Being deaf is considered legally a disability. It is difficult especially for those who have lost their hearing. But the Deaf of Deaf, those born deaf with deaf parents don’t consider themselves disabled at all unless they do have another problem. But deafness alone, no. That is not a disability. But if a person has lost their hearing, it is disabling.

I don’t know more than a few words in ASL, American Sign Language, and I can barely do the alphabet. I keep plugging away at it.  So it took lots of help to write this book and I’ve gotten involved with the Deaf community here in Tidewater, Virginia. Some look at me with suspicion because I seriously need to learn their language. Others are so friendly and welcoming. But every time I’ve gone to an event with them, I’ve had fun and learned something new.

So watch for my book Silent Journey to be published this Spring.  And yes, I’ll be back here on New Year’s Day.  May the year 2018 bring us all lots of wonderful things. And here on Main Street, we are planning a very exciting year for our readers. How about another boxed set this summer, plus our usual Xmas holiday one? That’s two in one year!

Here’s a little something for everyone.  Click on it for the link to download a full-sized version from Freepik. I use this company all the time! Mine is getting printed by month for my desk.  Yes, I have a calendar in my mobile phone. I just transfer all those appointments to the calendar by my computer. All I have to do is look up!

 

Calendar 2018. Vintage decorative elements Oriental pattern, vector illustration Vector       FREEPIX

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018

Happy Holidays y Que le Vaya Bien!


I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, filled with the people you care about most in the world. If you couldn’t be with them, I hope they were in your heart.

My youngest son, my partner, and I are far from our New Zealand home… in Fort Worth, Texas. We had quite a different Thanksgiving holiday. Matthew had never had one, being from the UK and then NZ, and my son Elliot has only had what I could cobble together in New Zealand for the traditional dinner. For me, this was my first one in a restaurant! 

Luckily we booked a few days in advance and actually found a restaurant with room for us which did a non-yuppie thanksgiving feast. I ate too much… once again. I could seriously have done without the pumpkin cheesecake.  I ate it like it was pie…but it was far from that… being mostly cream. A few miles’ walk back to our hotel helped considerably.

 

The dinner was spectacular and afterwards, the entertainment was hysterical…some people at the next table had their turkey hats on…complete with gobbling and wriggling legs.

Last week, we enjoyed some great Southern hospitality in San Antonio, where we exhibited our Equi-Still Portable Equine Stocks at the AAEP (American Association of Equine Practitioners) Convention last weekend.  6000 equine vets all in one place! This was just one lecture!

The stocks are pretty versatile….here’s our smallest visitor to the booth!   

We headed out east three times to eat at Taqueria Los Dos Laredos Mexican restaurant where few spoke English. The best kind.  Plus, I got to practice my rusty Español. 🙂

We stayed at the historic Menger Hotel, established and in operation since 1859. Carriage horses from the Lollypop Carriage Company waited right outside

and the Alamo is across the street! Right up my alley. 🙂

I’ve had a week off from writing, but after publishing three books so far this year, I guess that’s okay.  Plus, I’ve been accumulating new stories…

I hadn’t known the history of the Alamo before, but “Battle for Texas” in the mall nearby gave much more detail on it than was even present at the Alamo site itself.

I’m already ruminating on how to include it in one of my upcoming stories…maybe in one of the novellas I’d like to write about Krzysztof’s life!  We’ll have to work on that one. 🙂 It’ll have to be heresay, as the Alamo fell in 1836 and the Galician Slaughter, the stimulus for Aleksandra’s father and mother leaving Poland, occurred in 1846. :/  That’ll take some thinking.

Today we visited the historic Fort Worth Stockyard Station. It was pretty cool.

Instead of tearing the old stockyards down, as often happens, they transformed much of the site into a tourist attraction, full of stores, restaurants, and wedding venues, with some of the old stock areas still in evidence. It’s lucky for people like me, who want to see those too!

Billy Bob’s famous honkey tonk/ dance hall is there, but as it was Thanksgiving today… well, everyone was home with their families. Few places were open. But that, too, I liked. We got to see the place without hordes of people!

Have a wonderful holiday, talk with you next month!

Hasta luego y que le vaya bien from the travellers!

Thanks for coming by!

xx

Lizzi

PS…

If you haven’t yet ordered your copy of Christmas Babies on Main Street, it’s available now!  Click here to get it now!

Hope you love the heartwarming stories therein. If you do, we’d love you to leave a review on Amazon!

Thanks again for visiting

xx

Lizzi