Here in sunny Northern California, the air is starting to get a little nip to it. It’s time to abandon the bare feet, get the socks out and face the annual humiliating ritual of trying to find a pair of boots to fit me. I’m a fairly average American size ten. I have long arms and tiny skinny wrists, like my father’s side of the family. From my mother I inherited the dreaded ‘cankles’

As Mr. Kate occasionally points out to me in a helpful way,(as if I hadn’t noticed),I have no ankle. I just have a sturdy lower leg and a foot. Imagine, if you must, an upturned 2 litre bottle of soda-that’s what the bottom half of my leg looks like. So every year I dream about finding a pair of boots that will stretch over my cankles and leave me looking cool, sophisticated and dashing in an Emma Peel, Avengers kind of way.

I don’t go into shops anymore and actually try on boots-oh no-I gave that up a few years ago when being red-faced and lying on the floor trying to pull the blasted things up lost its appeal. Mr Kate got a bit tired of the tears and depression on the journey home afterwards which was understandable.

I tried mail order-extra wide, guaranteed to fit cankles. Not mine. I currently have yet another pair sitting in my closet waiting to be sent back. I can’t even count how many times I’ve had to do that.

But I have found something that fits. The rumor that I took up Western horseriding just so I had a legitimate excuse to wear cowboy boots is not true-but hey-it’s a bonus. I love my wide roomy cowboy boots. Now my English riding zip up ankle boots worn with black breeches make me look like Max Wall-not a pretty sight.

Every year all my sisters call my mother and complain about our cankles , even the skinny ones. She just sighs and mutters about genetics and that we all got good skin from her or something equally unhelpful.

Hope dawns on the horizon-my sister sent me a catalogue for a company called DUO in the UK who offer Italian boots-get this-you measure the widest part of your cankle/calf and send it to them and they send you the boots to fit! I bet the genuis who thought that up has cankles or very thin legs which I understand can also cause a problem for the bootally challenged. The only problem is the exchange rate, the cost of postage and other mundane facts of real life.

I’m hoping I can persuade Mr Kate that buying me a pair of said boots would save him money in the long run, considering all that return postage, as well as stopping the yearly tears, and making me look absolutely fabulous!

Still writing and editing like mad-honest!

OK_since a few people have asked me-here’s the URL for the boots!

Georgette Heyer and other fascinating stuff

I promised to answer my own question from the previous blog about Georgette Heyer and her wonderful books. There is a link to a great site all about her on my website-(on the links page suprisingly enough). She wrote her first book at the age of nineteen and just kept going. I love her stories, her heroes are to die for, her heroine’s are witty, beautiful and enterprising and her feel for the Regency time period is unmatched.

Am I gushing? Not really. If there hadn’t have been a Georgette Heyer there wouldn’t be a recognizable romance sub-genre called “Regency”. She was the first person to write it and her books are still in print thirty years after her death and more than half a century since she wrote the first one.

My favorites have varied depending on how old I was when I read them. I prefer her slightly later books with older heroines and less typical situations. I spent all week trying to work out my favorite three books and I still keep changing my mind-but here goes:

1. “Venetia”-Damarel is my favorite hero. He’s cynical, tainted by scandal but immensely careful in his dealings with the heroine. Veentia’s sense of humor and pure goodness make her lovable too.
2. “These Old Shades”-again an older hero who’s seen it all. a young heroine who sees through his coldness and loves him anyway.
3. “Friday’s Child”-because the hero has to grow up when he makes an impetuous marriage.

Coming in a close fourth; “The Nonesuch” An Infamous Army” “Frederica” and “The Grand Sophy”

Favorite heroes? Damarel, The Duke of Avon and Alverstoke.
Favorite heroines? Venetia, Barbara Childe and Hero Wantage

Now I’m going to be plagued by all those I’ve missed out, but if you’ve read any of her books or intend to, this might be a good place to start!

Now on to writerly stuff. I’ve written my prologue for the new new version of BRANDED-I hope it’s ok, although it ended up long enough to become a new chapter. I’ll send it off this week-so fingers crossed.
I got my release date for Eden’s Pleasure (March 9th 2006) and an ISBN number-ok I’m a dork enough to be excited by having an ISBN number…
My CP’s seem to be enjoying my much revised medieval novel which takes some of the more traditional medieval cliche’s and turns them around. It was fun to write something so raunchy and straight forward after the Regencies. I’ve edited 20,000 words out of it already so it’s cleaner and meaner.
I’m in the final stages of another erotic romance and I’m pleased with it so far.

One of my friends came back from a trip to the UK and brought me a huge bag of Galaxy chocolate (thanks Lorraine) I’m in chocolate heaven …
I’m off to the UK on NOv 24th to celebrate one of my sister’s 25th wedding anniversary. It will be fun to go BY MYSELF (I have 4 kids) and great to see everyone gathered in one place which makes my trip so much easier.

I’m thinking about new books to write at the moment. I can’t decide between the futuristic one, the third in a Regency trilogy or something completly different! Does anyone else have this problem or is it just me?

Time flies…

I can’t believe it’s a week since I last sat down to write my blog. The older I get, the quicker time seems to fly by. I’m so busy getting through the days that when I look up, it’s the weekend again and I’ve achieved…nothing.

When I’m writing, I usually get to the last quarter of the book and finally ‘know’-what’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen and exactly how the story will end. Plotters will scream at the very thought, but as a true Panster, that’s how I do it folks! Anyway, at this exhilarating point, I want ‘real’ life to stop so I can go and write the story 24/7 until I’m done. Unfortunately, with 4 kids I just can’t. It makes me grumpy and frustrated, but I have to remind myself that ‘real’ life is actually the important part and that I should participate in it-albeit reluctantly.

I’ve always had a deep inner life. I can happily day dream my way through anything. I used to think that everyone had characters inside their heads shouting out their stories-apparently they don’t. Only other writers understand that the paper people become real once you let them out onto the paper.

I have a gazillion stories waiting to be written. I only have 24 hours in a day. Sometimes I worry that I’ll never get them all written. Sometimes I worry that I’m missing out on ‘real’ life pursuing a dream. What to do?

In the real world-after deciding that caution and ‘thinking things through’ was the way to approach the whole financial mess of getting another house thing, Mr Kate and I saw a fantastic property today which managed to encompass all our dreams-(apart from the price which was more in the realm of nightmares). Now we’re busy justifying why we might just have to have this place…

Last thought-any Georgette Heyer fans out there? Favorite book? Favorite hero/heroine? I’ll give you mine next blog

The cookie gene

As you might have guessed, I’m not really a Californian. I was born and bred in Britain where cookies are biscuits, biscuits are scones and panties are knickers. I try very hard to live up to the homemaker homebaker image most of my American friends carry off with ease but I reckon I don’t have the cookie gene.

Everytime I make cookies, brownies or pie something goes wrong. My kids used to dread my brownies. They either come out like bricks or goo. I’m not even talking complicated stuff here, I’m talking out of a box brownies. I’ve even stood over my friends taking notes and still managed to destroy something.

Today I made pumpkin pies-pre-baked pie cases, of course and pumpkin out of a can. To my surprise, they came out OK, apart from the burned to a cinder edge. After seven years here, perhaps I’m finally getting it.

The other American tradition I’ve fallen in love with is bull-riding on OLN. Not a lot of this in the UK! I can just about ride a horse so watching some crazy guy stay on the back of a bull for eight seconds makes me feel even more inadequate. Mr Kate and I even went to Las Vegas last year to watch one evening of the finals. I’ve never seen so many cowboys before in my life. It was quite a thrill for this writer, purely for research purposes of course…

Finally l really should get back to writing. I’ve completed my second set of edits, found an excerpt and written a blurb with a lot of instant help from my online crit team at rocking RWAOnline-thank you guys. Hopefully all will be acceptable to the publishing gods. I’m also starting the KIA challenge which is a contest for page count during the month of October-Go Historical Hotties!!