Monday, July 29, 2013

10 Questions with Arabella Sheraton

The ten questions game is back! Last year some brave authors agreed to answer a set of goofy interview questions for your entertainment and mine. We called it Musaling Monday. We're continuing with Musalings, but this year the spotlight will be on my fellow Aurora Regency authors. Cause I'm all about the Regency. The first victim...I mean GUEST is the lovely Arabella Sheraton.


1.      First the easy one: Can you tell us a little about yourself? (Told you it was easy)
I live in South Africa. I grew up on a diet of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and many other writers of that period. I also love history and generally find the past more fascinating than the future. I have been steeped in Regency writers since I was a teenager. From Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer, I read 'em all! The Dangerous Duke was my first romance novel and I wrote it for fun, actually to entertain my disabled mother who just adored historical romance. I didn’t think it would ‘go anywhere’ but MUSA and readers have proved me wrong. I have written seven Regency romance novels now, and four have been published with the others slotting into MUSA’s 2013 calendar.
2.      If you woke up one morning with super powers, what would your name be?
I think – because my superpower would be flying – I should have a name that makes people think of the wind/sky etc. So I think Aura, the Titan goddess of the breeze in Greek mythology.
3.      Would you use your powers for good or evil?
Absolutely for good. There are enough bad people around already that need a good shaking up to get their minds right.
4.      Cape or no cape?
Now that’s a toughie. I love the idea of a cape swirling around as I fly to rescue people or stop buildings from toppling over, but having watched the movie The Incredibles, I see that a cape can be a dangerous item. It can get trapped in things, and I don’t want my enemies to use it against me. 
5.      Who is your favorite super hero?
Another toughie. I love Thor, the Norse god of thunder (Avengers) because he can fly, he has a hammer to knock the baddies into next week, and he manages his cape very well. Runner-up would be maybe Hawk-Eye. I love the idea of a bow and arrow.
6.      We all know the Zombie Apocalypse is coming. Would you fight them or run away like a little girl?
Run away? Absolutely not! It’s a superhero/ine’s duty to stand and fight, with whatever forces and allies we can muster. As a superheroine, I would know everyone in the business and I know I could rally the troops in an instant. World War Z is opening in my country soon so that will be an excellent opportunity to study the enemy in action and discover their weaknesses.
7.      Say that you did fight the zombies with your super powers and you ran into a hardware store and the zombies were, like, fast zombies and they were right on your tail. What item would you pick up to defend yourself? 
That’s easy. Zombies eat brains (although it doesn’t do them any good because they remain complete idiots) so one has to cut off the top of their heads. Not their whole head, because it will regenerate or the zombie could stick it back on. Slicing the top off their heads whacks the brains. Anyway, I’d zip into the hardware store and pick up the latest hand-held chain saw available and go for it. As I fly over their heads, I will have excellent and unerring aim to take off the tops of a few heads as I swoop past. They can’t fly, although I have heard they are able to swarm up the sides of buildings, so I will still have the advantage.
8.      Have you ever written a superhero novel? 
No, but there’s always an opportunity for a superhero in Regency times. Not sure how she will manage with skirts though. No matter, she could always have a special costume. A superhero would have it much easier but I think women need to chance to show what they can do.
9.      Pimp it if you’ve got it. What’s new and next for you?
The Lady’s Revenge, which is the sequel to Lord Blackwood’s Valentine Ball, is next on the list. Women are ferocious when scorned and alas, Lord Blackwood (thinking his previous amour is dead) is about to propose to another woman. Imagine his shock and horror when lady number one comes back from foreign climes and does not want to let him go… Revenge is a dish best eaten cold.
10.   No one gets off the blog without writing a rejection haiku. Will you share yours?
My haiku is about not giving up. I was never rejected with my Regency romances, but I also write Middle Grade adventure for kids and I have suffered “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” but decided to “take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them.”
I have used the traditional 17-syllable, 3 line format.
Rejection is woe.
How I have suffered each blow
Surrender? Oh, no!
 Where can you get more Arabella in your diet?

Her Facebook page, Website, Barnes & Noble page


Now to make this even more fun, I'll give away a copy of Arabella's backlist. Just leave a comment with contact information and I'll randomly draw a name on Tuesday. 

Until then, keep it Regency, y'all!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Feel the burn!

Funny comic Rita Rudner once told a story about a friend who was in labor for thirty-six hours. She winced and said “I don’t want to do anything that feels good for thirty-six hours.” 

OMG, so true.

It seems that the longer you do something, the less fun it becomes. But nothing worth having is ever easy. So I’ve been working out for weeks now, trying to lose weight and—more importantly—get fit and healthy. These work outs kick my butt. The reasons I work out are as follows: it’s good for me. End of story. Period. I’m no gym rat. I don’t feel energized after. I work out at night so that I can shower and die on the bed. But I’m pushing myself. I just keep repeating: it’s good for me.

So, I’ve been doing the Slim in 6 series and decided to mix it up. I added in the Slim and a Six-Pack routine to my evening. Hey, it’s only 15 minutes of intense ab work. Now I really need to work on my core, so I’m thinking it’s awesome. I can give this 15 minutes. How bad can 15 minutes be?

Five minutes in, I was loving the routine. I love Debbie Sieber because she always makes me think I can do it. She makes things as fun as possible, mixes it up so you don’t overdo on any one thing.

Me: Yeah, gonna have six-pack! Can I get an amen?

Teenage Son walks into the room. “What are you doing?”

I’m on my yoga mat in stretchy pants and an exercise bra with Debbie Sieber on my TV. I think this should be fairly obvious, but I answer him anyway.

Me: Working my core. Gonna have a six-pack.

Son: Okay, cool. I just wondered what all the grunting was in here. Can I have the Wii?

Me: It’s only a 15 minute work out. You can have this TV when I'm done.

Son: That’s not bad. Maybe I’ll start doing this DVD with you.

Me: I wouldn’t mind a workout buddy. We should do this together.

He keeps watching. He’s not actually watching me, just the screen. I’m guessing he was ogling the fit women in their cute little costumes, but whatever.

Son: We do those at the field house but with weights to make you really get a work out.

Me: You need to leave the room right now.

If I could have gotten up and chased him, I would have, but I was on my side participating in a little hell known as side planks. We were now 10 minutes into the routine. I was sweating profusely and struggling.

Me: Abs are hard. Core work is hard. This sucks. I can’t believe I’m doing this voluntarily. What’s the matter with me? I don’t need a six-pack. I just need to lose a little weight. Gah! Debbie Sieber is not a nice woman. Don't be fooled. She's a sadist. She's trying to kill me.

Those last five minutes were pretty much a stream of expletives with me just trying not to die.

But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was waking up this morning. Can’t move. I have muscles there? How did I never know I have muscles along the sides of my torso and if you piss them off they burn like fire.

Two Advils and a hot shower later I was finally ambulatory. Now I’m proud of myself for finishing. I’m dreading tonight, but I just keep thinking it will be worth it.

If I don’t see anyone around in the next week, I’ve probably fallen and I can’t get to the keyboard without traumatizing my muscles further. I'll just lie there reminding myself that it's good for me.

Until next time, keep it regency y’all

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Roommate Solution

Meet Panini's new roommate, her daughter Patches.

Just check out her crazy pattern. I just love the spots on her beak.

Patches (AKA Patchy the Pirate) is one of a kind. Remember how I said Panini wasn't always faithful to her drake? Apparently when the mood was on her during mating season, she got busy with Sushi, my Embden gander. An Embden is solid white with blue eyes. When her grey African genes mixed with his solid white genes, the babies all turned out with interesting patterns, but none more so than Patches.

Earlier this week, I thought we were going to lose Ms. Patches. She was walking in circles, staggering, dragging her wings. In short: one sick goose. All of these are symptoms of several things including a dietary deficiency and a bacteria that can live in stagnant water and kills birds. We isolated her immediately and began treating her for both. To be honest, given the severity of her symptoms, I wasn't sanguine. I should know better. Birds will always surprise you. They're more delicate than you think. They're also more resilient.

Within 48 hours, she was doing great. We put her in a pen next to Panini. Now it's like they've always been together. Panini is thrilled to have another goose for company and Patches is a sweet little girl, not too wild to hang out with her hobbled mom. All this is good news because Panini has decided she is so totally done with her confinement. She feels much better and sees no reason she shouldn't be allowed out to graze with everyone else. Vet's orders falls on deaf ears, drowned out by furious honking. I set her and Patches out to graze by themselves for short periods. Panini tries to run from me like a naughty toddler when it's time to go back in her pen. She isn't fast enough to get away.  Thankfully she isn't much of a flier. That would be a real problem.

The good news is that we are almost at the four week mark. Woo hoo! Just two more weeks and we can get her cast off.  No one will be more excited about that than Panini. Well, almost no one. I'm pretty sure Patches wants out, too.

I'll be back this week with more farm updates and some actual writing news. Title reveal anyone? Mad Hatterly 4 does actually have an official title, blurb, and tagline. I can't wait to share them with you.

Until then, keep it regency, y'all