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It's easy and it'll be fun.

Here's the process.


GOAL
Spread the word of the New Release of A Devilish Slumber, a Sleeping Beauty-inspired Regency paranormal romance

METHOD
My HeadTalker Campaign is up and running. >2,000,000 social media reach strong so far. I would love your support as well. You can join through 4 social media outlets - Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler and/or Linkedin (use 1 or more).

COUNTDOWN
The date set for the campaign's release is March 3, 2015 - 10 days and counting.

ACTION
Join 141 others (so far) who have signed on to this campaign by following the link below. Then click on one of the 4 social media BLUE BARS and the program will lead you through a one-time only, 2-step set up process. And thank you very much for your support!


JOIN A FAIRY TALE AWAKENING!

And help spread the word...

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A Devilish Slumber begins The Rue Alliance series, 3-book fairytale-inspired Regency romances, published by ImaJinn Books, an imprint of Belle Books.

A Devilish Slumber was inspired by the fairytale, Sleeping Beauty.


READ AN EXCERPT

A Devilish Slumber
The Rue Alliance, Book One
By Shereen Vedam

Midnight, Wednesday, April 8, 1813, London, England

A SCREAM RIPPLED across the misty, dockside air.

A Devilish Slumber 600x900x300Sir Phillip Jones's pulse lurched at that mournful cry. Gripping his walking stick, he raced down the hilly road of the deserted warehouse district in Wapping. A second muffled scream rang out and was then abruptly cut off. No longer concerned about keeping his movements covert, he ran toward those terrified shrieks. Rounding a corner, he tore past a man staring toward where the screams had come from.

"Imbecile," the large man grumbled from behind him.

Phillip was ten feet away before it registered that the man had sworn in French. By then, the woman who ran out of a warehouse gripping a bloody dagger had captured his focus. For a split second, her face was clearly highlighted by a stray shaft of moonlight piercing the mist. He stumbled to a halt, his chest heaving for air as stunned recognition sank in.

Rose?

The lady started and swung toward him. Had he spoken aloud? Pulling her hood up, she then sprinted off into the night.

Phillip instantly gave chase, but when he reached the open warehouse door through which she had fled, he pulled back. If that had been his Rose, he knew where she lived.

Rapidly retreating footsteps behind him suggested the irate Frenchman, probably a sailor, was also prudently withdrawing from this possible crime scene.

Inside the warehouse, despite the wide open door, it was pitch black, but that coppery scent of fresh spilled blood was unmistakable in the chilly sea air. Instead of blindly stepping in, Phillip pulled out his candle and circular silver tinderbox from his pocket. He had not survived the dangers of being an intelligence officer for the past five years by acting foolishly during a crisis.

He methodically placed the candle's wick end into the hole on the lid and struck the flint until the candle lit. Then, with flickering candle attached to the tinderbox's socket, he cautiously proceeded inside, his walking stick, with a sword hidden inside, raised to act as a club. If someone lurked within this warehouse, he would need blunt force, not blade finesse.

The warehouse was empty except for the victim who was slumped on the grimy floor, blood pooling at her side. Her throat had been slit. Her eyes were wide open as if in shock. He lowered his weapon, placed his candleholder on the ground, and knelt to check for signs of life. Her arm was limp and there was no pulse at the wrist, and not even a hint of a breath. Her skin was still warm, but her spirit had been effectively extinguished.

With a defeated sigh, he searched her reticule and found calling cards which confirmed her identity. This was indeed Mrs. Beaumont, the woman he had come to meet tonight. Not many from this riverside section of London could afford the luxury of calling cards. Her gown was serviceable, but not of high fashion. He strode restlessly around the empty warehouse, kicking aside empty crates and litter, poking at the walls in search of a hidden door, anything to prove that Rose was unlikely to be the culprit of this crime.

Anger built as he returned, empty handed, to the body. With a grunt of frustration, he flung his weighty walking stick across the room. It struck the wooden wall with a satisfying bang and then clattered as it rolled across the hollow chamber.

Shoulders set with resolve, he proceeded with his last distasteful but necessary search. He examined the underside of Mrs. Beaumont's sleeves and delved into her bodice. Nothing. He then lifted her gown in case she had strapped something to her limbs. Disappointed there too, he removed her boots and stripped off her stockings. Finding nary a clue, he carefully redressed her, making sure she would be respectably covered before the river police arrived. All the while, words rang through his mind. That cannot have been Rose running away.

As he re-positioned her arms at her side, he noticed one of the lady's clenched hands. Pulse speeding in anticipation, he raised her fist for closer study. Probing with his forefinger revealed something held inside her fist. He pried her fingers apart until they revealed a scrunched-up handkerchief. Drawing his candle holder closer, he carefully spread apart the material on the floor. There, on the top right, was a small, black, neatly embroidered crest of a raven.

That further evidence of Rose's guilt left him in choking silence as he battled the urge to compare it to the handkerchief now burning a hole in his breast pocket. Finally, knowing he had no choice, he pulled out the other and gently unfolded it beside the crumpled one. The two crests were a match. His handkerchief had been a gift from Lady Roselyn Ravenstock.

Read more of this intriguing, paranormal, Regency romance novel's opening . . .


BUY LINKS

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The best way to improve our writing is to pay attention to what our readers want. Though it might sometimes feel as if they ask for the impossible, satisfying reader-needs is a sure fire way to win their hearts.

So what do readers want? Why, it’s simple. They want writers to grant them five wishes.

Wilcox in public domain
WISH #1 – Indulge me
– This wish is not about drinking hot chocolate on a cold winter day, but it could offer an avid reader an equivalent amount of enjoyment. We grant this reader wish when we pay homage to writing basics. Eliminate typos, revere grammar, be concise, and use literary techniques with skill to the point where readers becomes so immersed in the story, they are unaware we have even used such tools. Mastering this wish will take patience, practice and persistence. Start by building a relationship with yourself through your writing – write every day, week, month and year. Then begin to edit with a reader in mind.  Read more...


Hope you can drop by to check out the other 4 reader wishes, and share one of your own, to be entered for a chance to win a Kindle copy of One Winter's Night: A Regency Yuletide Collection.

One Winter's Night 150

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A Season for Giving is a prequel to my 3-book, Rue Alliance (fairytale-inspired Regency romance) series set for release early next year by ImaJinn Books. This novella is part of the Christmas Regency anthology: One Winter's Night: A Regency Yuletide Collection.

A Season for Giving was inspired by the fairytale, Goldilocks.

READ AN EXCERPT

A Season for Giving
(in the Christmas Regency anthology, One Winter's Night)
By Shereen Vedam


December 20, 1812, London, EnglandOne Winter's Night

CHRISTOPHER DE WYNTER skimmed his hand across the page as he wrote down the time, date, location, and purpose behind this final experiment. Flickering candlelight from three lit candles accented his perfectly-written script. His mama used to say his writing was a work of art. It was in Christopher's nature to be precise, a useful trait for his work with volatile mixtures.

And important work it was. He designed trigger mechanisms for guns that soldiers in combat could use in a dependable and safe manner. He had recently been inspired to use a small canister linked to a braided rope-type fuse in place of the less reliable fuses made of straws or quills filled with black powder. He hoped that one change would greatly reduce the hazard of accidental explosions.

With the war still raging, the navy had gone to great lengths to ensure Christopher's work was kept top secret. If successful, his new fuse could hasten the end of the war and save numerous lives. Still, such an invention was best kept out of the hands of the enemy. Only his family and his naval commander, Sir Trigg, were privy to his work.

Christopher had been given permission to use the Royal Arsenal's laboratory in Woolwich to work on his theories. Its location, on the outskirts of London, was far from his family home in Mayfair, so on those nights when he worked late, he stayed in the barracks nearby.

While there, he still took pains to ensure his most dangerous work was conducted only when no one else was likely to be nearby. He scheduled his tests when his colleagues had left for the evening or were at church on Sunday when the adjacent offices were certain to be empty.

Despite painstaking precautions and triple checks of his routines, occasional unexpected explosions did occur, and they were hard to keep quiet. Come daybreak, neighbors nearby were known to complain about the loud blasts at night and charred debris spewed on the streets. Those annoyances were tiny compared to the stir that would be caused if such disruptions were to happen in his laboratory at his home in Mayfair, where the ton of London, with strong connections to members of Parliament, resided.

As for his own safety, Christopher, with an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a predisposition for working with chemicals, had spent the last couple of years surviving the dangers of his chosen profession. It helped that he had a special family talent that enabled him to escape an imminent blast. An unusual inheritance passed down over many generations had kept him out of harm's way.

The story went that one of his ancestors, a Spanish gypsy, had been a tightrope dancer in a circus until, in retaliation for a perceived wrong, a witch had cast a curse that clashed with the gypsies' protection spell.

Read more of this intriguing Christmas, paranormal, Regency novella's opening . . .


BUY LINKS


MEET THE ANTHOLOGY AUTHORS

JOIN THE GOODREADS GIVEAWAY (this giveaway is now over)

  • On until November 30th, 2014 - chance to win a paperback copy of the anthology, One Winter's Night


Please share the news of this new release with your friends and family.

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The Wild Within: British Columbia, Canada

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Loved this video of my home province in Canada.


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If a crime’s committed during the Regency, who you gonna call?

In the early 1800s, Bow Street runners were as familiar as Ghostbusters(1) are now. This was a time before Scotland Yard(2) (created in 1829) and before being a constable was a full-time, paid position. It was an intriguing period in history when England was on the verge of becoming industrialized.
Jane and George puzzle
In 1811, Prince George IV (pictured in the portrait) became Regent of England because his father, King George III, due to a malady, was declared incapable of performing the necessary royal functions. This was also the year Jane Austen released her first novel, Sense and Sensibility.

In Britain, during the Regency(3) era (a mere 9 years: 1811-1820), like pieces of a puzzle, the elements that would impact policing procedures for decades to come were being assembled.

Read on...

(as a bonus, that Regency cartoon, I've been working on is at the bottom of the post!)

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Christmas in July - Skating in Regency Times

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Christmas in July Giveaway HopWelcome to the "Christmas in July" blog hop!

I want to highlight a favorite winter activity that often took place at Christmas time during the Regency era - skating!

When the normal courting rituals involved no contact between men and women except for the occasional hand holding during a short portion of a dance set, skating offered a rare opportunity for much more thrilling, perhaps even full body, physical contact. After all, one might need a gentleman's assistance while crossing that slippery ice. And if a lady needed some steadying by a strong pair of arms, a bit of cuddling even, to keep her safe and upright on the ice, what chaperone would deny such necessary assistance?

There were many places to skate in winter, such as rivers and ponds that froze over. The most exciting place to skate, however, must have been in London when the River Thames froze to a safe ice thickness. This could happen in tidal flat areas. This is where Frost fairs have traditionally been held in London for centuries. The very last frost fair occurred in February 1812 (the weather warmed too much after that for the ice to freeze over). But when a frost fair was on, people from all walks of life came out to enjoy what was on offer on the ice.

373px-AModesMannersC skatingVendors would set up stalls and street booths to sell brandy, tobacco, meat pastries, gin-beer and fruit, as well as mouth watering sweets like brandy balls and gingerbread. Couples could put on their curved skates and head out onto the ice where they could twirl and cuddle for much longer than one country-dance set.(1)

This form of entertainment allowed for more than hand-holding and would have also given couples the chance to have intimate conversations and some fun! No wonder skating, despite the danger of falling and spraining an ankle, remained popular during the Regency era.

In the countryside, especially in the fens area of England where farmhands found little work in the winter, local squires sometimes held races over frozen ponds and allowed their workers to compete to win loaves of fresh baked bread. This sport gave a man a chance to show off his prowess to a special woman among the many spectators. Since most of the common farmhands could not afford the pricier metal skates, they oft times strapped on animal bones to their boots to use in place of skates.(2)

All in all, skating offered a chance for couples in all walks of life during the Regency period to take courtship to a much more intimate, physical level.
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In celebration of all things wintery and Christmas, below is your chance to win a Kindle copy of A Beastly Scandal ($4.99 value on Amazon), which takes place during Christmas time.

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References:
(1) Frost Fairs (http://englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.ca/2011/12/great-frost-fair-of-1814.html)
(2) Skating in the Fens (http://www.fenskating.co.uk/)

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Continue with the . . .
Christmas in July blog hop
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Maleficent - A Short Movie Review

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Maleficent (premise on IMDB)
"A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land."
Maleficent (2014) Poster
I shall begin by noting that I love the Sleeping Beauty fairytale, whether the version is from Disney or any other source. So I was looking forward to this story and was truly prepared to love this retelling.

Add to that, I'm a fan of Angelina Jolie. And in this movie, she did not disappoint. She came across as a strong character, well rounded, complicated and compassionate with hints of humor and poignancy.

If only the rest of the movie's denizens would have been allowed to parallel her character development. Unfortunately, like the title, she did indeed steal the show. I blame that on the writing behind this retelling.

Olaf transparentFor instance, Disney's Frozen had brilliant primary, secondary, and tertiary characters. Who can forget Olaf? Or his wonderful line: “Oh, I don't know why, but I've always loved the idea of summer. And sun, and all things hot.

Imagine Olaf as an ordinary round snowman who never sang or danced or dreamed of roasting in sunshine. Now imagine him not making a remarkable sacrifice for those he loved.

That is what Maleficent lacked. A colorful, three-dimensional ensemble. Most of the film seemed a black and white epic with one player in Technicolor, Maleficent. All others, Phillip, Stefan, the three fairies, and even Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) seemed like stock characters. Diaval (Maleficent's sidekick/conscience) had some good moments, but they were few and underdeveloped. Aside from the main character, no one had any meaningful dialogue or depth, and hardly any humor.

Maleficent did have a wonderful character arc, but everyone else who co-starred with her was denied that privilege. It didn't help when she kept putting most everyone to sleep whenever conflict arose. This movie shows the difference between treating all characters given screen or page time with equal tenderness and care for their development vs. focusing on one to the exclusion of all others.

As a result, Maleficent, though intricately built, was missing its heart. It lacked Olaf, Hans, Sven, Kristoff and Oaken. It even lacked Anna.

Favorite term: "Little Beastie."

My rating of Maleficent is 3 fairy godmother wands, mostly for Jolie's excellent portrayal of Maleficent, and some wonderful fantasy CG elements.

My other Short Movie Reviews


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This week we’re going to explore one of my very first fantasy short stories, Baron of Dragon’s Reach, published by The Wild Rose Press. Many of you are probably aware of my love for the Regency era.

What you may not be aware of is that while at university, my minor was in Medieval History. I have loved fantasy for a very long time, since I was in Grade 9, when my brother first dared me to read Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. The book was huge and I hated big books. Also, I had never read a fantasy novel and the language, phrases and expressions, felt difficult. But once I finished it, I never looked back. Fantasy stories are my secret pleasure. So, little wonder that while at university I gravitated toward the medieval era, the historical time period in which many fantasy novels are set.

In Baron of Dragon’s Reach, as well as in the two other books I’ll highlight during the rest of June, we’re going to leave the elegant ballrooms and extensively designed parks of Regency England and get our hands and feet dirty in grimy, down-to-earth, feudal societal existence. A time when people were awed by science and magic as easily as they were by God and the Devil.

Read more here.



baron of dragons reach_wrp430_680
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To Capture Love - A story's first breath

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THROWBACK THURSDAY: This is the TWRP promo day when I'm supposed to speak about what inspired me to write this particular Regency tale, TO CAPTURE LOVE. I'm going to do so but also speak about that moment when the story took on a life of its own.

WHAT INSPIRED ME
Before I begin any story, I always do 3 things:
(a) Set a goal. Decide on length (short or long, this was short), genre (Historical, contemporary, mystery, fantasy, this would be a Regency) and decide on tone (light, dark, mysterious, spooky, this was meant to be light)
(b) Pick 3 random words from the dictionary to trigger my creative juices to flow (never underestimate the power of 3). My words were: Enlightened, Pauline and spray.
(c) Outline the 5 stages of the story: New Beginning, Change of Plans, No Turning Back, Major Setback and Resolution. (sometimes 5 works too.

STORY CLAIMS ITS RIGHT TO LIVE
For all that planning, there is a moment in any storytelling experience when characters take their first breath and come alive on the page. It’s hard to describe, other than to perhaps say that it's magic. Like when a fairy godmother waves her wand and turns that soiled, lumpy, orange pumpkin into a golden carriage fit for a princess.

Read more here...https://www.facebook.com/ShereenVedam/posts/583874101726539

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