Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bookmarks: Royalist Rebel

For this second installment of PDP's Saturday Bookmarks series, I'd like to introduce you to author Anita Seymour, aka Anita Davison. I met Anita due to our mutual admiration for The Brimstone Butterfly, Caro Riikonen. Caro blogged about and posted photos of the great British houses and castles she toured. She was a private person with a unique voice, and I eagerly awaited her every post.

One day Caro's friends posted a final message to her readers. Caro had taken her own life.

Saddened, and wanting to know more, I googled Caro. I found a post by Anita, lamenting Caro's passing. I commented, and we've been corresponding ever since.

Royalist Rebel, Anita's new book, will be released in five days! Here's a glowing blurb from international best-selling historical fiction author Gillian Bagwell, formerly of the Pasadena Shakespeare Company:

"Royalist Rebel brings to vivid life the perilous days of the English Civil Wars, when the families who had been the most loyal to the crown had the most to fear. Elizabeth Dysart is an engaging heroine, and our blood thrills with hers as she looks danger in the eye and meets every challenge with courage. Anita Seymour skillfully recounts one of the most tumultuous periods in Britain’s history, and her novel is a great addition to the heartbreaking story of those times."
--Gillian Bagwell, author of The Darling Strumpet, The King’s Mistress (U.S. title The September Queen) and Venus in Winter. 

Royalist Rebel by Anita Seymour

Intelligent, witty and beautiful, Elizabeth Murray wasn’t born noble; her family’s fortunes came from her Scottish father’s boyhood friendship with King Charles. As the heir to Ham House, their mansion on the Thames near Richmond, Elizabeth was always destined for greater things. 

Royalist Rebel is the story of Elizabeth’s youth during the English Civil War, of a determined and passionate young woman dedicated to Ham House, the Royalist cause and the three men in her life; her father William Murray, son of a minister who rose to become King Charles’ friend and confidant, the rich baronet Lionel Tollemache, her husband of twenty years who adored her and John Maitland, Duke of Lauderdale, Charles II’s favourite.

With William Murray at King Charles’ exiled court in Oxford, the five Murray women have to cope alone. Crippled by fines for their Royalist sympathies, and besieged by the Surrey Sequestration Committee, Elizabeth must find a wealthy, non-political husband to save herself, her sisters, and their inheritance. 

Royalist Rebel by Claymore Books, an imprint of Pen and Sword, is released on 17th January 2013
For a little background on the novel, see Anita’s Book Blog.

The Brimstone Butterfly remains a superb resource for authors of history and historical fiction who need a peek inside those famous houses. And though Caro never knew it, she introduced me to a friend. Royalist Rebel is featured on the front page of the Ham House website. It may not surprise you that the Brimstone Butterfly visited Ham House, too.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Global Colding

The guy on the radio said we might have frost on our windshields tomorrow morning. 32 degrees is our predicted overnight low. That's considered freezing on the Fahrenheit scale.

Frost. Pasadena.

For yesterday's dog walk, John wore a woolen scarf around his neck. He also wore shorts, but still, something's not right.

These old houses--okay, this old house--is porous. I've never been crazy about dusting (warn me if you're coming over) but the cool breeze floating in around the window frames is even more disconcerting than the particles it brings with it.

Our heater works, so we'll have ourselves some winter and I'll cozy up indoors at the window. The skies are inordinately clear. The mountains rise, sharply, to meet the blue. The clouds are so towering as to inspire religion.

But doesn't it seem unusually cold for Pasadena?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Meanie Streets

I thought I was brave to snap this photo with a car coming. Now that I upload it, the car looks far away.

One thing I love about January: I can take night shots and still be home by 6:30. I tempt fate! I brave the night! I will stay out until 6:45! 7:00 maybe! I dare to stand in front of an oncoming car that's a mere 500 yards away, going 15 miles an hour! Haha! Bring it on, you dastard. I AM NOT AFRAID. Try and stop me, JUST TRY.

Silly one, you cannot stop me. I am fearless. I have an iPhone, a packet of kleenex, and a little tub of Vaseline in my very pockets. I have keys! And my companion is a dangerous, elderly dog who obeys my every command except the ones he doesn't know, like "kill" and "come here."

So don't mess with me or I will take your picture! And my dog will ignore you to death!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Girl, Interrupted

"Suzie! Time for dinner!"


Scuffle scuffle run run run blam! In the chair.

"Did you wash your hands?"

"Aw, Mom, I'm hungry!"

"I don't care, wash your hands."



Chair scooch. Stomp stomp stomp. Splash.

"Good. Did you pick up your toys?"

Towel flip. 

 "Fine. Let's eat."

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Script Kitchen

John and Tara report strong response to Script Kitchen, so they'll open a Sunday class soon. Date and time TBA. Questions? Want in?

Tara Samuel and my husband John Sandel finalized plans yesterday for the screenwriting class the two of them will begin teaching in--wow--just over a week. We're pretty excited around here.

Script Kitchen will include 7 students in 6 weekly classes, "focusing on story structure and how the hero determines the tale." John and Tara believe we all know deep down how a good story is supposed to work. (You know when a story doesn't work, don't you?) In their class you'll find out how much you know and how to apply it to creating a screenplay, full length or short.

I'm sorry they're not teaching novel writing. Next time, maybe? I learned everything I needed to know about story structure from John.

There are still a couple of openings. Here's the info:

In the picture, Tara is not taking dictation. I gave her the notepad as a prop because all she had was that little ole' apple and John had a whole bowl of chili. We offered Tara some chili. Really we did.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Zen Monday: #227

I'm sorry we skipped our Zen last week. It was New Year's Day, or Halloween or something, and I forgot.

Regarding today's photo, I was bummed that my camera focused on the background instead of the important information about Hell. Then I discovered the neighborhood had been plastered with these bits of litter paper, so we can all find out what we need to know.


I don't usually share this much information on Mondays, but I'm anticipating the flood of requests.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Seeing Sierra Madre

The other day I enjoyed the company of:
Sierra Madre,
Bean Town coffee,
not necessarily in that order.

Adele is the host/writer/photographer/historian at Seeing Sierra Madre: One Photo at a Time. She and I met at Bean Town for a cup, then headed north on Baldwin Avenue with our cameras. Right away, we came to this cute shop called Belle's Nest. Take a look at their website and just let the slide show play for you.

I might post more Sierra Madre pics from time to time. Adele and I aren't territorial. Meanwhile, check out her blog. She includes a lot of local history in her posts. I enjoy seeing Sierra Madre through her eyes.