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Posts Tagged ‘Seasons Book 1’

BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 30 August 2017 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE – EXCERPT

SPECIAL EDITION – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

Available on Amazon 31 August!

 

My step wasn’t light but the ground was soft and my approach most quiet. Willow nickered gently as Mikal led her along the path.

“What is it, girl?” Willow’s ears perked at my approach. “Ce, what are you doing here?” He turned back toward the stables. “Is something the matter? Are the children—”

I placed my hand on his, raised my eyes to his. “All is well, Mik.” I whispered a kiss along his scruffy jawline.

He cocked his head, brought his hand to where my lips had brushed, so near to his. His eyes shuttered as his hand caressed my cheek and he drew his mouth to mine. His lips hovered for the barest of seconds, then closed in with such tender tension.

I brought my hands to his chest, stroked upward, intertwining my fingers behind his neck.

Mikal deepened his kiss, and the baby kicked.

Mon Dieu.” He relinquished the kiss and caressed our child.

“She likes when you kiss me.” I inched closer, pressed my belly against him. “I like when you kiss me.”

But I moved to Willow’s other side, as Mikal resumed walking. We came to a vein of the river that split off, providing safe drinking—no alligators. Mikal tied Willow to an oak branch and came to me. He took me in his arms.

“I like when I kiss you, too, mon amour.” His hands teased up the length of my bare arms, caressed my shoulders and neck, and tangled in my hair.

I tipped my head back at his touch, and he touched his lips to my shoulders, my neck, my ears.

He moved his hands down my back and my body quivered at his touch. My gaze locked on his, I traced my hands up his arms, cupped his face and drew him to me.

The kiss was explosive, fiery, leaving us at once sated and longing for more. Mikal split the kiss, drew in a ragged breath, and murmured, “Je t’aime.”

He pulled me tight, touched his lips to mine again. Sparks lit the flame, the kiss intensified, heat that had nothing to do with August humidity cloaked us.

Je t’aime,” he repeated, pulled away but didn’t release my hands. “Je t’aime.”

Mikal put space between us, stepped to the water, splashed his face with his free hand. Then splashed me. I couldn’t even feign irritation, the cool felt quite refreshing.

“What was that about?” He found his breath, and it seemed, his senses.

“Can a wife not tell her husband she loves him?”

“You told me well, Wife.”

 

The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.

 

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.

 

Mercedes has always been an avid reader and devours each new Sherlock Holmes mystery as soon as she gets her hands on them. When one of her friends comes to her, Mercedes vows to keep Simone’s secrets and uncover the truth.

 

But as Mercedes plays detective to her friends’ questions, she discovers something far more shocking—she herself is not who she thought she was.

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, The Long Shadows of Summer, Excerpt, Mercedes’ Dream, Release Feature, Seasons Book 1

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BLOGWORDS – 28 August 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE FEATURE – EDWARDIAN LIFE

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – EDWARDIAN LIFE

“I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

 

 

“Break the rules. That’s my number one rule. I know the rules [of grammar] and I know how to break them.”

 

Seasons is a merge of cultures—Edwardian Era, La Belle Époque, and the remnants of plantation masters and slaves. Saisons House runs as any aristocratic household, but the Dubois family are kind and benevolent masters and have been through generations.

 

There were those of nobility that were blissfully ignorant to harsh conditions of the very ones who served them. The long hours—rising before dawn, and in service sometimes til midnight or later, at their masters’ beck and call. Masters depended on servants to do virtually everything pertaining to running the house—or tending the children and assisting the master and lady get dressed.

 

Equality, however, was unheard of, and for all their generosity, the Dubois family were still nobility, and maintained expectations. The social calendar was demanding, and unrelenting. My town of Saisons is not large, but the social climate thrives, drawing from nearby Charleston and Savannah. Being a family and town of French heritage, they take their cues from Paris as well as London and the surrounding Southern plantation culture.

 

Life was rigid and strict for servants. But for all their wealth, there was a continual string of events the aristocracy was expected to attend—sporting events and house parties, concerts and balls and charitable benefits, besides interviews and fittings for new gowns and suits. And each social appointment demands a new ensemble. And while seeming frivolous and easy, the demands did not relent until well past midnight, to begin again with the sunrise.

 

The lady of the house dressed for breakfast and changed for her morning outing or errands. She changed again for luncheon, and yet again for dinner and evening activities. And each change required the assistance of her ladies maid. That was a minimum of four outfits in one day.

 

For all our 21st century disdain for the mentality of the aristocracy, they were rather imprisoned as well. A woman born to privilege would never have thought to go belowstairs or enter the kitchen, let alone perform menial tasks. To eschew her station and wealth would thrust her into poverty, and with no skills.

 

The formality of society didn’t allow spontaneity, or impulsive or impromptu activity. No day at the park with the kids. No last minute leisurely Sunday ride through the country. That was the nanny’s job.

 

All was not paradise on either “side.” Neither side was golden. There were difficulties on both sides. The grass is always greener and all… How many stories have been written about a character giving up all he or she had to live life differently? How many stories are out there of forbidden love between classes?

 

It occurs to me, as I cull through my notes, that perhaps life works better when we work together. When no one class is entitled to the services of another. When no one class is “less than” because of birth or monetary status, i.e. poverty. When those who have reach out a hand to those who don’t.  Helping each other. Teamwork. Collaboration. Drawing on each others strengths. Not demanding what isn’t ours, but sharing what is. It would turn the orderly Edwardian world on its collective head.

 

I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa in 2013.  Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, made countless notes for story ideas, and earned my BFA in Interior Design.  I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years.  My characters face many of these same demons.

 

I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.

 

I have three novels published, the unsavory heritage series. Tessa, Clara Bess, and Cissy are available on Amazon, both for Kindle and in print. I also have several poems included in an anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live (Anthologies of the Heart Book 1) by Mary Blowers, as well as a short story, Sarafina’s Light, also in an anthology, Blood Moon, compiled by Mary Blowers. I am currently working on The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, Book Two in my new series, Seasons. It releases in November, following The Long Shadows of Summer, which releases in August. Books 3 and 4 in the series will be out in 2018.

 

http://robinemason.com

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-E-Mason-Author-Artist/224223274404877
http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S
https://twitter.com/amythyst212
http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

https://www.instagram.com/robinemason212/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108929134414473292325

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

 

 “There is freedom waiting for you, On the breezes of the sky, And you ask “What if I fall?” Oh but my darling, What if you fly?” – Erin Hanson

 

 

#Blogwords, The Long Shadows of Summer Release Feature, Seasons Book 1, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Edwardian Life, La Belle Époque

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BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 23 August 2017 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE – EXCERPT

SPECIAL EDITION – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

Available on Amazon 31 August!

 

The black water swirled around me, my hair floating atop like silk. My body, though, had vanished in the depths beneath me. I was floating along on the river but didn’t seem to be moving. I felt more than heard fish swimming. Snakes slithered across me but didn’t seem to notice me. Alligators hissed and growled next to me and I was sure one would bite my head off. If my body was even there.

The darkness was as tangible as the water; neither stars nor moon evidenced above. Trees stood silent sentinel and Lissette appeared in their naked branches. She was evanescent, a filmy representation of herself, eyes vacant, hair black as… Pearl’s. I had never noticed how Pearl looked like Lisette. Her hands were as the branches on the trees and her legs were shrouded by a billowing swirling gray gown.

The silence was maddening. More maddening even than my inability to move. I only saw movement about me—Simone was suddenly by my side, sitting in a chair and talking to someone I couldn’t see. The chair didn’t float but sat squarely on the surface of the water.

Pearl was running along a path that followed the river, going nowhere as I was. But Pearl wasn’t Pearl; she was a boy. Dressed in white knickers and black boots, her hair was gone, cut short.

I struggled to be released from… from what I didn’t know. I was not bound by tethers or ties, but neither could I move. If my body was even with me any more.

My eyes riveted to the wall of the church, Saint Allyons, that rose at water’s edge. Scarlett looked directly at me as she plunged into the depths and disappeared. Then she suddenly was atop the wall again, leaping—or did she fall?—into the midnight water. Like a carnival ride, she was on the wall—she didn’t climb, she was just there—again and again.

I felt my body shift and felt pains of labor. But my womb produced nothing. The trees became burning walls. Lissette stood beyond the flames and pointed at me, accusing, but no one else was there.

 

 

The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.

 

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.

 

Mercedes has always been an avid reader and devours each new Sherlock Holmes mystery as soon as she gets her hands on them. When one of her friends comes to her, Mercedes vows to keep Simone’s secrets and uncover the truth.

 

But as Mercedes plays detective to her friends’ questions, she discovers something far more shocking—she herself is not who she thought she was.

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, The Long Shadows of Summer, Excerpt, Mercedes’ Dream, Release Feature, Seasons Book 1

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BLOGWORDS – Monday 21 August 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE FEATURE – GUEST POST – PEPPER BASHAM

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – PEPPER BASHAM

 

Britallachian romance peppered with grace and humor.”

 

 

I love a good romance, whether it’s set in an Edwardian era manor house or a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains.”

 

Servants in the grand houses of the late 19th and early 20th centuries worked hard—and by hard, I mean their diligence, work hours, and lack of recognition could only be somewhat compared to a mother of triplets.

 

Servants performed the grunge work—the thankless activities—many times starting before dawn and ending after dark. The jobs of Victorian and Edwardian era servants were relentless, and to really become someone of high rank in a household…well, it usually took a lifetime.

 

In most aristocratic households, the servants walked about ‘unseen’ by the family, unless they were upstairs staff such as butlers, housekeepers, lady’s maids, and footmen, as well as governesses/nannies. The lord and lady of the house were raised to only acknowledge them if absolutely necessary and the below stairs servants were not to initiate conversations with the family unless specifically requested.

 

Television adaptations like Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey give us a glimpse into this ‘underbelly’ of downstairs, but their portrayal is much more glamorous than actuality. Mutual respect between servants and families was not necessarily a common theme.

 

Before the break of day, servants completed a massive pile of chores to ensure every need of the family was met.

  • raked and laid out the fires in the fireplaces
  • open shutters in the rooms where the families would gather
  • made certain each room was straightened up from any disorder from the previous day
  • dusted (including cleaning the floors and carpets)
  • empty chamber pots (if the house did not have indoor plumbing yet)

 

And then the servants might have a chance to eat their breakfast.

 

Throughout the day there were various other chores to do. Making beds, fetching food and cleaning up. Mending shoes. Preparing the family for outings.

 

Basically, mind-reading to anticipate what the family might want or need.

 

Sometimes the jobs became ridiculous, like ironing the master or mistresses shoe laces or clipping toenails.

 

This necessary ‘underground’ lifeforce of the estate house completed monotonous, repetitive jobs and, many times, only chose this occupation as an alternative to starvation.

 

It was a HARD life…and yet, there are stories of people who found their position and skills valued by their employers.

 

In a story I heard recently while touring the Biltmore, the tour guide told about the differences in which George Vanderbilt and his wife, Edith, viewed their servants. Though George was a kind man, he was raised in wealth his whole life—with less of a reputation of speaking to servants, but Edith broke the mold. She stepped over the divide between class distinctions by having conversations with the servants, sometimes even writing them letters and personally giving them gifts. Her generosity of heart, I’m certain, influenced her husband—because there are later stories of how he interacted with his employees in kind and generous ways.

 

That said—the life of a servant remained a tough one, and the only blessing among the grueling conditions was to have kind employers, marry someone who could take you out of service, or find another job (which is what began to happen more and more during WW1 and beyond)

 

Another time, maybe we could discuss the many different servant roles in the Victorian/Edwardian era, but until then I’d just like to say…if I could go back in time to the Edwardian era….I’d definitely want to come back as aristocracy 😉 (Besides, their clothes were lovely)

 


 

 

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader’s Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and a finalist in ACFW’s Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. In December 2016, her third historical in the Penned in Time series, The Thorn Healer – released with a 4 1/2 star review from RT and a Top Picks rating. You can get to know Pepper on her website, http://www.pepperdbasham.com, on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.

 

 

 

www.pepperdbasham.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pepper-D-Basham

https://twitter.com/pepperbasham

 

https://www.pinterest.com/pepperbasham/

 

 

#Blogwords, The Long Shadows of Summer Release Feature, Seasons Book 1, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Pepper Basham, A Servant’s Life

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BLOGWORDS – 29 April 2017 – WRITING RECOVERY MODE

WRITING RECOVERY MODE

 

I’ve said it before. I’ve posted about it and blogged about it.

 

I DON’T GET SICK.

 

I really don’t.

 

This time though…  Bronchitis steamrolled me, and it’s lingered for weeks. Ten if you’re counting. I did. I’m over the bronchitis now, but my writing suffered miserably. Already I have cut writing my own posts to devote that time to writing, well, my stories. Of all my features, interviews are the next most time intensive for me. I love them, enjoy getting to know other authors. Rather than going totally “dark” and for the sake of me – my health – interviews and recipes are on hiatus, through April at least. Otherwise, I’ll never get Seasons did in time!

 

To date, I have written roughly 20K words this month, and while not impossible, it’s a tall order to reach my goal of 50K in the next 8 days! YIKES! I also have to edit The Long Shadows of Summer to be ready for my editor, soooo…..

 

WRITING RECOVERY MODE will continue through May, although (perhaps) not so intensive.

 

That said, I had designated April as my personal writing challenge month, RemApWriMo, copied after NaNoWriMo. (thus the 50K word challenge.) The challenge continues.

 

In my defense, I had some obstacles to overcome that I’ve not faced in my precious writing. This story clips along at a speedy pace—all four stories take place (and will be released) within the span of a year. Unsavory did not on either count, and I had more time to get to know my characters. I had to stop and realign my who’s who for the new series (which saves time in the long run) and will have to do character sketches as well. I love these (fictional) people but they’re all talking so fast and all at once…

 

 

Blogwords, Author Down, Writing Recovery Mode, #nointerviewsinapril, The Long Shadows of Summer, Seasons Book 1, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, RemApWriMo

 

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BLOGWORDS – 27 April 2017 – WRITING RECOVERY MODE

WRITING RECOVERY MODE

 

I’ve said it before. I’ve posted about it and blogged about it.

 

I DON’T GET SICK.

 

I really don’t.

 

This time though…  Bronchitis steamrolled me, and it’s lingered for weeks. Ten if you’re counting. I did. I’m over the bronchitis now, but my writing suffered miserably. Already I have cut writing my own posts to devote that time to writing, well, my stories. Of all my features, interviews are the next most time intensive for me. I love them, enjoy getting to know other authors. Rather than going totally “dark” and for the sake of me – my health – interviews and recipes are on hiatus, through April at least. Otherwise, I’ll never get Seasons did in time!

 

To date, I have written roughly 20K words this month, and while not impossible, it’s a tall order to reach my goal of 50K in the next 8 days! YIKES! I also have to edit The Long Shadows of Summer to be ready for my editor, soooo…..

 

WRITING RECOVERY MODE will continue through May, although (perhaps) not so intensive.

 

That said, I had designated April as my personal writing challenge month, RemApWriMo, copied after NaNoWriMo. (thus the 50K word challenge.) The challenge continues.

 

In my defense, I had some obstacles to overcome that I’ve not faced in my precious writing. This story clips along at a speedy pace—all four stories take place (and will be released) within the span of a year. Unsavory did not on either count, and I had more time to get to know my characters. I had to stop and realign my who’s who for the new series (which saves time in the long run) and will have to do character sketches as well. I love these (fictional) people but they’re all talking so fast and all at once…

 

 

Blogwords, Author Down, Writing Recovery Mode, #nointerviewsinapril, The Long Shadows of Summer, Seasons Book 1, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, RemApWriMo

 

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BLOGWORDS – 26 April 2017 – WRITING RECOVERY MODE

WRITING RECOVERY MODE

 

I’ve said it before. I’ve posted about it and blogged about it.

 

I DON’T GET SICK.

 

I really don’t.

 

This time though…  Bronchitis steamrolled me, and it’s lingered for weeks. Ten if you’re counting. I did. I’m over the bronchitis now, but my writing suffered miserably. Already I have cut writing my own posts to devote that time to writing, well, my stories. Of all my features, interviews are the next most time intensive for me. I love them, enjoy getting to know other authors. Rather than going totally “dark” and for the sake of me – my health – interviews and recipes are on hiatus, through April at least. Otherwise, I’ll never get Seasons did in time!

 

To date, I have written roughly 20K words this month, and while not impossible, it’s a tall order to reach my goal of 50K in the next 8 days! YIKES! I also have to edit The Long Shadows of Summer to be ready for my editor, soooo…..

 

WRITING RECOVERY MODE will continue through May, although (perhaps) not so intensive.

 

That said, I had designated April as my personal writing challenge month, RemApWriMo, copied after NaNoWriMo. (thus the 50K word challenge.) The challenge continues.

In my defense, I had some obstacles to overcome that I’ve not faced in my precious writing. This story clips along at a speedy pace—all four stories take place (and will be released) within the span of a year. Unsavory did not on either count, and I had more time to get to know my characters. I had to stop and realign my who’s who for the new series (which saves time in the long run) and will have to do character sketches as well. I love these (fictional) people but they’re all talking so fast and all at once…

 

 

Blogwords, Author Down, Writing Recovery Mode, #nointerviewsinapril, The Long Shadows of Summer, Seasons Book 1, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, RemApWriMo

 

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