Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Everything Old is New Again!

 Is that a trick title or what? LOL

 Yes, it's Spring here so, yes, everything is growing again - the dreaded pollen-producing plants that look so fresh and springy and beautiful but are deadly to many of us are back! My neighborhood is bursting with the bright yellow forsythia bushes and I'm watching a nearby lilac bush that's getting ready. I've ordered 2 new orange azalea bushes for the front of my house... Can't wait to see them in spite of the sneezing and coughing that will accompany their arrival! I love that these are tall and narrow and lose all their foliage in the fall - the color is so dramatic.....

The true subject I was talking about was having to do with my writing plans. And a new contract. 

I'm kind of known for my medieval historicals, especially all my Highlander romances. Out of my 50ish stories written and published, 14 are NOT set in Scotland or involve Highlanders. I've even written 3 Regency-set stories and 2 are set in Scotland (the Regencies are loosely-based on Rock Hudson/Doris Day movies!). 

Well, in 2022, I'm going back to the Regency time period but the 3 stories I'll be writing are set in Regency Edinburgh (again! YAY!). And, even more fun for me, the heroes of each story are based on three of my own crushes! 
I have a mad crush on Josh Gates of Expedition Unknown and he is the basis for my hero who is an adventurer who discovers a hidden Roman city in Northern Africa! My other crush is Ian Buchanan - he is an actor best known for playing 'Duke Lavery' on General Hospital....and...sigh...he was my first Scot crush. The third hero is based on a couple geeky science and/or history men from northern England and Scotland.

Although the characters will be different from the men I. . . crush on, there will be something about each one that is about how I see them... So I can't wait to begin writing them! 

So, it should be fun! And the best part (well, one of them) is gathering up research bits and books to prepare for writing them. I need to refresh my memory about the Regency in Scotland and so I have history books, costume/clothing books, maps and more to get ready! 

    Do you like to read historicals set in Scotland? Do you have a preference about the time period or specific place/locations? Even if not Scotland, what's your favorite place to read about? Post below and I'll choose someone who does to get a wee giftie from Scotland! 


Terri's latest release was TEMPTED BY HER VIKING ENEMY, the final book in the Sons of Sigurd series that includes books by Michelle Willingham, Harper St. George, Jenni Fletcher and Michelle Styles. Still available in print or digital to read in order or by themselves! 

Coming in August 2021, THE HIGHLANDER'S INCONVENIENT BRIDE is a crossover story between my bestselling MacLerie Clan series and my A HIghland Feuding series! Fan favorites return in this enemies to friends to lovers tale.  

Stop over on my website for more info and some freebies, too! 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

A Hard Anniversary

 One year.  Wow. For the one year anniversary of Covid, I listened to Chris Hayes' Why Is This Happening podcast. He visited with a guest, Michelle Goldberg in an episode called One Year of Plague Living. They both live in the city and talked about how difficult lockdown was on them  I loved their point that we all had that shared experience of lockdown during a pandemic, but each experience was different and very individual. They wondered if there was anyone who didn't feel the strain of being shut-up for a year.

I very quietly raised my hand. (Of course, I was alone in the truck with just Tallulah, which made the action a bit quirky...but hey, I've been locked up for a year, so give me a break. LOL)

Imagining is my job and I can easily imagine that if I were a city person who was accustomed to eating most of my meals out and spending my days out and about, this enforced isolation would have been hard to deal with. But I'm a hermit by nature and I feel a bit guilty admitting how very little my life has changed over the last year.  I still write, pot, and take care of minions. Yes, I weighed the risks and still keep the minions a few days a week because their parents are in the healthcare field and their jobs are as necessary as things get right now. But otherwise, my life is mainly Himself and Tallulah. I still talk to family, mainly on FaceTime.  I shop a lot less but I hate shopping, so that's cool. Mainly, I write and pot. Pot and write. Take walks with Himself and Tallulah. Then write and pot some more. I'm either here in Erie, or in the county at The Cottage.

As I write this, I acknowledge that I am beyond fortunate. Not only that my job is inherently solitary, but also I'm hermitty by nature. I'm super lucky that I'm married to my best friend and a year together made me realize how lucky I am over and over again. 

It's not that my year hasn't had heartache. The biggest one was we lost Marge (I've blogged about her here before and she really was the inspiration for the May-December friendship relationship in Something Blue) early on in the pandemic. She was alone at the end and I still feel guilty about that. But I know she knew she was loved. The nursing home let us come for one compassionate visit the day before she passed. We got to say goodbye. Still, there's a hole in our family without her. The minions still talk about her.

It hurt when I canceled our family Thanksgiving and Christmas. The fact I canceled wasn't because I wasn't desperate to see my kids, but BECAUSE I was wanted to see them over the holidays for years and years to come. FaceTime is great, but it's not the same and we all know that. To lose a few holidays and a trip to Disney was so worth knowing that we'd have many holidays and Disney trips in the years to come.

It was an interesting podcast that really left me reflecting about this last year. (Books, podcast, movies...anything that can leaves me reflecting is worth my time.) One of the things I've been thinking about since the podcast is there's a light is at the end of this Covid tunnel. I'm more than willing to hold tight and shop less (I'm always happy to do that), mask up and social distance because someday I won't have to do those things.  Someday soon we'll have family holidays. And to be honest, someday soon I'll be in Disney again. 

And I spent a lot of time this last year (like so many of you) thinking about what's really important. I've always known the answer to family and friends. And yes, I think of all of you as friends. You've made this year so much easier for me. I hope that some of my glee has eased yours as well.

So while I wait for herd ammunity, I'll be potting in HollysWoods Studio, writing (I wrote a pandemic short story last year, aptly named Quarantine and I'm working on a new Hometown Hearts short story now) and hanging out with Himself and Tallulah. I'll take care of minions. I'll go along with my quiet, hermitty life and I'll enjoy every moment this spring out at camp. Today I saw Canada geese and mallards at the pond. And deer have been visiting a lot. Birds are loud when I walk and the snow is finally melting. Yes, we're going to go from ice and snow to the mud season. But I'm okay with that. Summer will arrive and things will be better.

My heart goes out to everyone who's suffered a loss. I hope this next year is a healing one for you. 

Things will be better...that's my lasting thought after the podcast.

However your year has been, I don't think anyone will complain when it's over. And it WILL be over. Until it is, stay safe! 


Crib NotesHometown Hearts #1

A Special Kind of Different: Hometown Hearts #2

HomecomingHometown Hearts #3

 Suddenly a Father: Hometown Hearts #4

Something Borrowed: Hometown Hearts #5

Something Blue: Hometown Hearts #6 

Preorder: Something Perfect: Hometown Hearts #7 available 5/21

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

In Two Years by Susan Sands

I don't like or want to rush time. Every day is a gift and is meant to be lived to its fullest. Having said that, I look ahead some days. With the hope that the storms of today will be over by then. Maybe not in a year, but in two years?

So, if I indulge in a little fantasy today about two years from now, if the good Lord's willing and the creek don't rise, it might look a little something like this:

In two years:

We'll be settled in a new house.

All my kids will be out of college and gainfully employed.

COVID will be a cringe-y nightmare we look back on.

I won't have to wear a mask in the grocery store, or anywhere else.

I can travel.

I'll be outside more than inside.

Kids will all be back in school face-to-face and there will be laughter and learning.

Businesses won't be boarded up and cities will begin to thrive again. 

People will make strides in acceptance and happiness.

I will have a bestselling book. :-) 

These are only a few of so many fast-forwards I hope for. There are lots of bigger and more important things the world needs that aren't here on my first-world list of happy thoughts.

My wish of hope and joy for you all is a given. There will always be struggle and strife and tragedy--the bad and the good together. 

I've started writing book two of my Louisiana series. So, I'll keep you posted on that front.

Since we're not two years into the future, let's all try to live our best lives right now. Pay it forward, be kind, and try to love the ones we're with. Life is nothing if not unpredictable, so we should treasure our days.

All the best!

Susan Sands