#JaneWithATwist – The General’s Order

Soon after their reaching the bottom of the set, Catherine perceived herself to be earnestly regarded by a gentleman who stood among the lookers-on, immediately behind her partner. He was a very handsome man, of a commanding aspect, past the bloom, but not past the vigour of life; and with his eye still directed towards her, she saw him presently address Mr. Tilney in a familiar whisper. Confused by his notice, and blushing from the fear of its being excited by something wrong in her appearance, she turned away her head. But while she did so, the gentleman retreated, and her partner, coming nearer, said, “I see that you guess what I have just been asked. That gentleman knows your name, and you have a right to know his. It is General Tilney, my father.”

                ~ Northanger Abbey


There is our introduction to General Tilney. It is brief, it is complimentary and it is intimidating at the same time. What sort of man is the General, really? What sort of drink could encapsulate the mystery surrounding him?

Catherine Morland is alternately pleased and uneasy with his attention. Upon first making the General’s acquaintance, he demonstrates a temper that is as quick to anger as it is civil and welcoming. Through Catherine’s eyes we begin to weave a character inspired by her love of the gothic novels she consumes.

Gen Tilney

In selecting a drink to fit General Tilney’s persona, I followed the direction of Catherine’s thoughts and feelings through the course of the book. How delighted I was to find a liqueur with a description which I believe very fitting!

While this is certainly a non-period beverage, I was quite pleased with how it matched with the General’s quirks of personality. My preference was for something dark and dangerous, in keeping with Catherine’s increasing suspicions that the General had murdered his late wife!

Let us not put aside her fanciful imaginings as wholly untruthful, however, for at the close of the tale we are given to understand that the General may not be a murderer, but he is far from being a pleasant gentleman whom all could admire.

I present…..

General Tilney, on the rocks

  1. 2/3 oz of Goldschlager – a spicy, cinnamon schnapps that is clear with real gold flakes.  It has a sweet, syrupy quality with very marked, hot spicy flavours that Goldlinger.  A hot bite to the finish.


  1. 1 oz of Kahlua – a coffee flavoured liqueur


Pour into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice, stir.

Gen Tilney on rocks

This is a sipping drink which rolls smoothly over the tongue, flavours emerging in the back of the mouth, and lingering. The cinnamon stands out, then the coffee becomes more apparent.

I was not the sole tester for this. Of the three of us, however, I was the only one that appreciated the cinnamon. I was also the only one that is not a fan of coffee!

For those who dislike coffee as much as I do, try substituting Bailey’s Irish Cream for the Kahlua and top up with some milk. It’s not as dark or dangerous, but it is definitely delicious!


Thank you for following our Jane with a Twist trail! Tomorrow, KC Kahler returns with spooky cocktails for Catherine Morland and Isabella Thorpe!

Pelham Book Fair and Signing

Saturday June 22nd is the Pelham Library Book Fair and Signing. This will be my first book fair appearance!  I am excited to meet other local authors and those who are travelling from more distant parts of Canada for this event.

I hope to see some familiar faces and forge new friendships, as well as learn from those more experienced in this art!

.Pelham Book Fair


Life suddenly became busier than imaginable, for both me and my editor.  Thus our completion of A Tarnished Image is later than anticipated but I have just forwarded it on to Ellen for formatting.  Whee!

June will also bring my first ever participation at a book fair!  The Pelham Public Library is showcasing a number of local authors of various genres on June 22nd.  I am fortunate to be included with that talented group. 🙂  I thank my friend Elaine, who is organizing this event and invited me to join in.

Summer is coming, vacation time and I am looking forward to some relaxation as well as immersing myself in characters again.  They need an airing, I think. 😉

A Tarnished Image, the sequel to Reflections

Well, I finally finished the revisions and sent A Tarnished Image to my editor, Mary Anne, for another look-see. Hopefully it will soon be on its way to Ellen for formatting!

Working life has been quite busy so I have been imagining the coming spring and summer warmth will allow me more creative time.  That and I must stop thinking of writing as something for spare time but as an important method for me to relax, too!  After all, there is nothing more delightful than sitting outside on a sunny day with a notebook and some characters running wild in my head.

The flowers are starting to poke their heads from the cold earth so the days of enjoying the sun and fresh air cannot be far behind.blossoms



The Next Big Thing

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:


What is the working title of your book?

While I’m currently editing A Tarnished Image (sequel to Reflections) and after that it will be Parallels (the last of the trilogy) I have one particular wip I’d love to finish up and pitch.  The working title for that is ‘Arrested’, but also affectionately called ‘Psycho Darcy’, and it’s definitely a working title.


Where did the idea come from for the book?

I don’t really remember now but often I just open a notebook to a blank page and start writing anything that comes to mind. This one opens with Will Darcy in a jail cell, arrested for being difficult during a police investigation; the disappearance of his sister.


What genre does your book fall under?

I guess the most accurate would be a crime drama/mystery but it’s also got a psychological drama bent.  It’s unlike anything I’ve ever written before.


Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

That is not something I ever really consider so I can’t answer the question.  I’m not a tv watcher and don’t see many movies.  I’m a book nerd!


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Where the heck is Georgiana and did her brother really kill her?


Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’ve not finished it yet but I’ve never self-published so I’d prefer to pitch it to my current publisher first.


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’ve been working on it off and on for about 5 years, I think!  I’m itching to get the rest done, though, now that I’ve reached the climactic point.  There are just a lot of details that require some precise research and that is what slowed me down, plus the break while prepping the Reflections trilogy.


What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

That’s a tough question to answer since I don’t read the crime drama genre!  Plus, there is still the romantic element in this story and the psychological angle.


Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I love the challenge of doing something different. When I finished Fragments (another modern which examines the path of recovery for Elizabeth after she’d been in a coma for several months) I wanted to sink my teeth into another unexplored area.  Chatting with my longtime JAFF buddy, DawnR, was a great motivator because she is full of excitement and encouragement, not to mention she provides excellent feedback for story flow and detail.


What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

There are a lot of skeletons in the Darcy closet and Will is carrying a lot of baggage in this story. Ms Elizabeth Bennet is the legal counsel for Will Darcy, securing his release from jail after he ticks off the investigating officer with his uncooperative attitude.  He doesn’t endear himself to his lawyer, either.  She’s having a hard time believing he has nothing to do with his sister’s disappearance but her job is to make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid and get arrested again.


Thanks to Barbara Tiller Cole for tagging me!http://www.darcyholicdiversions.com/2012/09/ever-go-to-movies-to-see-previews-of.html


Not everyone I’ve tagged is a published author, nor may desire to be, but they do write and love it. 🙂  If and when they choose to post their answers I will add their links here.


Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.


Rules of The Next Big Thing

***Use this format for your post

***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress)

***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Reflections available in a couple of weeks!

Hurrah!  Any day now I will have the proof copy of Reflections in my hands!  It’s such an exciting, yet nervous, feeling.  Release date is currently set for Sept 15th.  As I await this with sweating brow I am feverishly working on the updating and revisions to A Tarnished Image, the sequel to Reflections.

For a series of stories I had no intention of ever revising this has taken on a life of its own.  I find myself embroiled in battling commas in places they were never meant to be, coaxing characters to confess more of their innermost thoughts and feelings, and exploring others in greater detail (look out Wickham!).

If I am finding ATI to be challenging in this editing phase, be sure that the final story (Parallels) will be even more so!  The first two stories were set in 1995. I wrote them in 1997/98 so that is pretty straightforward. The third, however, jumps ahead 20 years.  In 1998 you can well imagine that no thought entered my head of how communications technology would have shaped our current society in that period of time!  Thus my revisions must address the phenomenon of text messaging, iPads, Skype and video calling, and how that must now be considered in a story that focusses on the relationships between people.  Communication plays such a large role in how people understand one another, how they form relationships and sustain them.  To ignore such a huge difference between the 2015 I wrote 15 years ago and the real world of today would be doing an injustice to my readers, my characters and myself.

All of that will come in due time. I must thank my editor, Mary Anne, for her work with me in vetting Reflections.  Also Zuki for the fantabulous job she did in creating the cover art!  Ellen, thanks for the final stage punctation and grammar check as well as your feedback on my other queries.  Ladies, you are invaluable!

A Big Step

Life deals us a lot of challenges. That’s what I like to explore; the challenges, be they emotional, intellectual or social.  I’ve dabbled with writing since grade school, never anything serious until I was struck by the Jane Austen bug.  The allure of the ‘what if’ scenario, combined with life experiences be they new or in the past, grabbed me by the muse and held on tightly.

Nature is a great inspiration. I am fortunate to live in a rural setting where I can enjoy the sounds of nature (when the farm equipment is not doing its job) and let the sun warm my face as the birds tell their tales around me.  The occasional field mouse scurries past and the branches of the trees whisper in the breeze. Okay, often there is a prevailing wind but that only makes the paper rustle and add to the challenge of putting the words together .. in … just… the … right… order.

My first draft of Reflections was 21 pages and written in 12 hours on a summer day in 1998.  It wasn’t my first attempt at Austen fic; that first effort has not seen the light of day and is far from finished.  No, this was something inspired during an outing with my son, 5 years old at the time, and I could not rest until I had completed it.  At three a.m I wrote The End on a brief but satisfying mission and went to bed, pleased with what I’d accomplished.  A few months later I started posting it online at DWG and it metamorphasized into more than 100 pages!

The rest is history, as they say.  One story led to another. They are like potato chips; you can’t stop at just one.

Over the years I have pushed myself to new challenges, with the occasional silly fluff piece for amusement, because I enjoy the cerebral workout.  There is a folder on my computer that contains approximately 20 idea files.  Some are worth further exploration and some are not.  Every once in a while I pick one out as a project.  I shall never be short of material to work on. Whether I finish them is another matter!  It is, however, a great exercise when the muse is being .. er… shy.  Or is that arrogant?  Too proud to participate?

Or perhaps just tired of practicing.

Last, and most definitely not least, I want to add my gratitude to family and friends who have encouraged me, supported me and share in my excitement at this time.  I’m not one to (as Dad would say) toot my own horn but if there was ever a time to do that, it’s now!

Thank you!!