Category Archives: Romance



Awake, my fair, my love, awake,
So that I may gaze upon you!
And if one is eager to kiss your lips,
In your dreams this do you see,
Lo, then I myself of your dream
The interpreter will be.

Judah Halevi (1075 – 1141)

Based on the translation by Alice Lucas that’s reproduced on page 43 of A Treasury of Jewish Poetry: From Biblical Times to the Present, edited by Nathan and Marynn Ausubel (Crown Publishers, 1957).

A-Z Challenge.

20130403-205006.jpg is for Death. And the only thing we can be sure about in this life…..we’re going to die some time.

Now, I don’t mean to be morbid or depressing but really, death is very much a part of life. The cycle of life…we are born…we live..and then we shuffle off this mortal coil.

But, mercifully most of us don’t know when Mr G Reaper will come knocking. We hope it won’t be until we are too old or too sick to care and are ready to go with him. However….some unfortunate souls know only too well when they will be sent to the next world, and in the first story I had written for many years, my hero, Edward was one of these. He was about to be beheaded.

Poor Edward; based on a real historical figure, he was banged up in the Tower of London on a charge of treason, and spent his time dreaming of his home ‘Borley Hall‘ in Essex. His last wish was to come back as a ghost so he could walk there again, presumably ‘Sans Tete’.

The story was entitled ‘Twenty Three Steps To Borley‘, the steps of the title being the number of steps Edward counted from the Tower to the block. The final step, the twenty third was the moment the axe fell and his spirit was free.

Then, I had the ‘What If’ moment that many writers have. What if Edward’s valet had harboured a secret love for his master and, at the last minute so to speak, confessed his love to Edward. I wrote Ned & Will, A Love Story and published it on my blog in four parts. I had to change Edward’s last name to Wharton as the original name was Waldegrave (pronounced Wallgrave) and there are still members of that family living….what’s more, they are MPs. I didn’t want to offend or anger anyone with my scribblings.

So Edward and William consummate their love in a mean prison cell with a storm raging over London. (I do love my rough weather metaphors) and its all very sad and poignant but tender and loving. I adored writing it but with a little more experience under my belt, I can see its flaws. But I am very very fond of my two boys and didn’t want to let them go. So, I transposed Edward and Will into one of my WsIP ‘Defying Leviticus‘ which is also the name of this blog.

Now, I have another WIP which begins in a churchyard with the protagonist grieving over his lovers grave.

Hmmm! I’m not morbid, honest. But death can be so wonderfully, gruesomely exciting (in fiction) and, if it is bloody and sudden as in Edward’s case, it is full of high drama and tension; but the quiet death resulting from illness or old age is sad and touching.

And, as an author, you get to play God and choose how your character dies. Now that’s something to think about.


Week-End Writing Warriors


This is my first WWW and a late one as well. I do apologise for that. I’ve been terribly busy this week-end with family visits etc.
Anyway, here is a very rough first few sentences for a story I’ve had kicking about inside my head for many months. It’s about two young men, Ellis and Robert who have grown up together in the seaside town of Scarborough on the East coast of Yorkshire. It is set in the early years of the 20th century. As they go from boyhood to manhood so there friendship blossoms into something more.

I spent many childhood holidays I Scarborough and always felt very melancholy around the castle ruins. I often wondered why that was. It’s a very sad place I think..and not just the castle but Scarborough as a whole.

But, enough of that. To read more excerpts from other Warriors go here and enjoy.


I remember somebody once telling me that seagulls were the souls of dead sailors. And as I lie here in the shadow of the castle ruins listening to their mournful, pitiful cries as they circle the keep, I’m half inclined to believe it.

Ellis’s father, now dead, was a fisherman. And I cannot help but wonder, is he circling the keep with others of his kind? Is he perhaps screaming out his grief for his dead son as he glides and tumbles above me? I wouldn’t be surprised if he was…..because I was the cause of his sons death and, as the father died so soon afterwards (some say of a broken heart) I blame myself for both their deaths. And I have lived with that burden of guilt these six months past.

I notice how one of the birds has wheeled away from its fellows. Swooping down it lands on a jagged piece of rock very close to me, flutters then folds its wings, and cocking its head it regards me with a beady yellow eye.


Romance and Hollywood.

20120830-180620.jpg Ah, romance. What defines romance? Well, as an extremely romantic and idealistic teenager romance, for me, meant Cathy and Heathcliffe roaming the moors looking wind blown and terribly intense and declaring that they would love each other unto death and beyond. And I wept buckets when Heathcliffe stormed into the bedroom to see the dying Cathy and then carried her, all draped in a floaty diaphanous nighty, to the window so she could gaze her last on their old stomping ground, the beautiful Hollywood Moors. 😏

Or maybe even the beautiful Garbo as Camille calling “Armand! Armand!” as she lay on her death bed looking absolutely perfect through a dreamy gauze.

Ah yes, it should be perfect, this thing called Romance. Noble looking men and the ladies, even on their death bed and presumably riddled with TB, always looked impeccably made up and coiffured. And God forbid that their should be blood or any other bodily emission. Oh no! Except of course a tiny splotch on a lace hanky as the heroine smiled bravely and the hero held her hand and frowned with concern as she nobly accepted her fate.

20120831-105859.jpg Now of course, I prefer my romance with a little more subtlety. The Hollywood romances of the 1930s/40s were about as subtle as a run away lorry and were written and directed to be ‘Three Hanky Jobs’ if not a whole box of Kleenex.

I know some people would not regard that wonderful film, ‘The Remains of The Day’ as classic Romance; oh, but I think it is. It’s subtle and so poignant and heartbreaking.
The love which the house keeper Miss Kenton has for the manservant Mr Stevens (beautifully portrayed by Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins) is apparently not returned by him. We witness the poor woman’s utter despair as she tries to get the buttoned up Stevens to admit what he feels for her, if anything.
But alas, Mr Stevens is dedicated to his job and remains aloof and Miss Kenton marries another man. Years later, they reunite and Mr Stevens apparently realises what he has lost. It is sad and poignant beyond belief in my opinion; and the quiet despair of Miss Kenton must, at some time or another been felt by most of us and we can relate to her. Much more realistic in my opinion than those old Hollywood tear jerkers however great they were to watch and sob at after Sunday lunch. Consequently, I really think that this realism adds to the romance, because we understand how she feels.

So there it is. My idea of romance. Subtle, poignant and with a touch of gritty realism which we can relate to. But,I still love to indulge in the old B&W Hollywood tear jerkers; although these days, the tears I shed as a soppily romantic teen are much more likely to be replaced by sneers and cynicism.


I do hope you enjoy the blog hop. To visit other blogs taking part, see Here.


Blog Hop

What is your favorite thing about Romance? Well, we authors are ready to share our romantic tips and favorite romance reads! Starting on Friday and ending on August 31st, over 100 Authors and Bloggers will share their favorite things about romance, reading romance, and dating.

And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 100 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.

But that’s not all….

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 100 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!

Yep. ALL of that! Whoot! Be sure to come back here on Friday and over the weekend to enjoy some stories and facts about our favorite Romance events and reads and enter to win!



I shall be contributing to the blog hop so watch out for some startling revelations. 😉