Romance Weekly

RRW The wonderful Carolyn Spear led this week's hop…


This time the challenge comes from the very talented S. C. Mitchell:

Flash Fiction Challenge: Give us a romantic scene to set the mood for Valentine's Day.

Here's mine...

Stephanie closed her eyes to blot out the glare of the computer screen. She felt empty, except for the churning frustration. Writers' block. Or in this case, copywriters' block. The client wanted something fresh to sell engagement rings over the upcoming holiday. But, what new could be said about Valentine's Day that hadn't already been? It was a joke. Hearts, flowers? True love? Like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. There was no such thing. Soul mate? Not so much.

How about that old faithful image of the fairy tale knight in shining armor riding up on his white horse? Yeah, right. She mentally rolled her eyes.

She had to get outside, away from the torment of the keyboard that just laughed at her lack of creativity today.

Bundled up in a parka and scarf, gloves and a hat, Stephanie headed to the park. It was freezing out. But she hoped the fresh air would do her good, maybe clear her brain and allow her to enter the fantasy world of make believe romance.

You're a copywriter. You can make stuff up, right?

There were few brave souls out today, since it was too cold for the less hearty. She walked quickly, afraid she might freeze to death if she didn't keep moving. Without thinking, or looking, she rounded a corner. It all happened in a split second.

The horse reared and its rider twisted to keep the animal from stomping her to death. She heard "Look out!" but she was already trying to jump out of the way. She stumbled into the bushes and fell, face first, onto the frozen earth.

Then, strong hands were reaching for her. Gently, a man lifted her head into his lap and stroked her cheek. Stephanie blinked and found herself staring into eyes the deep green of a summer meadow. They were filled with concern.

"Are you all right? I am so sorry. I didn't see you."

"It was my fault…" she started to say, but the fingers touching her face were leaving a trail of irresistible warmth.

"Let me help you up."

She stood a little shakily and did a mental inventory. It seemed nothing was hurt but her pride.

He looked at her expectantly. He was so incredibly handsome, it took her breath away.

"I—I think I'm fine." She gave the man a half smile.

"Stay here. I need to get Popcorn."

Stephanie was confused. "But, I'm not hungry."

He laughed, a rich baritone sound. "My horse."

"Your horse's name is Popcorn."

"My favorite food." He said it as if it made perfect sense. And oddly enough, it did.

When he returned, she noticed the horse was pure white. Of course it was. This was too good to be true.

"I cannot tell you how sorry I am." He was so sincere and so amazingly attractive.  "Can I take you to dinner to make it up?"

If his name was Prince Charming, she'd lose it.

She held out her hand. "My name is Stephanie."

He wrapped his fingers around hers and electricity passed up her arm. "Charles. Charles Prince."

Stephanie shook her head to loosen her preconceived notions. Did this mean there might be a Santa Claus? Or at least a fairy godmother!

Happy Valentine's Day and may all your dreams come true!

Since this was his idea, let's hop over to read the fabulous S. C. Mitchell's flash fiction.

S.C. Mitchell

Romance Weekly

RRW Welcome and thanks for stopping by. Did I really ask this question this week?

What is your favorite romance genre and why?

I didn't specify if that was for reading or for writing, did I?

Well, for reading, I love a good romantic suspense. And then there are historicals. And of course, can't forget contemporaries written by some of the best, like Kristin Higgins. Truth is, I love a good story. Draw me in, introduce me to the characters and let me sink into their world. So, bottom line, it doesn't matter what genre as long as it's well written.

For me as a writer…well. I obviously jump all over the place. I had so much fun researching and writing my historicals...

There's my contemporary…which is also kind of a romantic suspense...


Then, there is my "Dance" series, which is historical with a touch of the paranormal…

(coming soon)

(and working on the fourth one…"A Dance in Time")

And I have just released my two new romantic suspense novels…

Maybe I just can't make up my mind….

But I hope they all speak to my readers and take them on a journey….

Now let's hop over and see what the fabulous A.S. Fenichel's favorite is….

AS Fenichel newest

Romance Weekly

RRW This week, the challenge from the very inventive Jenna Da Sie:

Would you rather? 1) Would you rather go way back in time and meet your ancestors Pre 1800’s or go way into the future and meet your great grandchildren Post 2200? 2) Would you rather have no internet or no cell phone? 3) Would you rather talk like Yoda or breathe like Darth Vader? 4) Would you rather have the ability to fly or read minds? 5) Would you rather have mermaids be real or unicorns be real?

  1. As an historical romance writer, I think we tend to romanticize the past. After all, there were no medicines, no plumbing, no conveniences we take for granted. The variety of food was limited and people probably mostly smelled bad…just saying. So going back in time for real loses some of its appeal. Also, there is so much written about the past and my imagination loves to fill in the blanks.

Now…the future…I cannot even begin to grasp how many advances in technology will be forthcoming. Look how far we've come in the last sixty years or so. So many possibilities. It might be a joyous experience and it might be terribly depressing, but I think I'd like to know.

  1. I can live just fine without my cell phone, but I go crazy if the internet is down even for a few minutes. I can't imagine going back to doing research without Google. And with email, unlike just talking, you can think about what you're going to say before you blurt out something you wish you hadn't said.
  1. I would much rather talk like Yoda and be like Yoda. Besides, who want to be a 'breather'?
  1. This one is easy. I would definitely rather read minds! Of course, if I knew what everyone was thinking, I might just want to be able to fly (away).
  1. I think I'd rather unicorns be real. I would love to be a mermaid for a day or so, but long term…unicorns speak of love and peace and all good things. Yep, unicorns get my vote.

Let's hop on over to the incredibly talented Carolyn Spear and see what she would rather ...


Romance Weekly

RRW This week's challenge comes from the amazing S. C. Mitchell:


Tell us about the people living in your head right now. Do an interview with the hero and/or heroine of your current work in progress or your latest release.

There are a lot of people living in my head right now. Tom and Beth are investigating a serial killer. (Available now!)


Nick and Lily are trying to save her restaurant – and her life. (Available soon)


Margaret has disguised herself as a Court Jester in 1616 England and is falling for Lord Seth, who is looking to save his clan. (Also available soon)


But the ones battling it out for attention the loudest are Grace and Shera.

Grace is the heroine of the fourth in the "Dance" series. I was only going to tell the stories of three of the women, but Grace wouldn't stop nagging. Okay, Grace…what do you have to say for yourself?

My husband is unkind and my life is miserable. I need to escape somehow. But then, I discover a bottle with a note and find a way into the past. Waiting is Pierce and so many new challenges. Can I stay with him or must I go back to my terrible life?

And you, Shera…what is it?

I have been kidnapped and taken to Morocco to join the harem of some Sultan. I need to escape and find who did this to me. My only possible ally is a dangerous man by the name of Kincaid whose wife has been taken and killed. Can I enlist his aid? Will his desire for revenge ever allow him to love again?

Two women seeking their fates….

Yes, Ladies, I'm working on it!

I wonder what the fabulous author of this challenge has going on with his characters. Let's hop over and see...

S.C. Mitchell

Romance Weekly

rrw This week I asked some questions of my fellow authors:

What do you love best about your writing? Like the least? And what are you doing to fix the things you don’t like?

Let me start by saying I love to write. Love it. Love the research, the plotting, creating the characters. Once I decide which tale to tell, it fills my brain. I will wake up sometimes in the middle of the night with a thought to make the story better. I find the entire experience exciting. And there are times when I can't really believe I've already written nine books and have so many more ready to step up.

What I like the least is the business of writing. I worry about sales and social media and standings. I stress over choosing the right covers, the formats, and wondering if we caught all the typos. Am I doing enough marketing?

What am I going to do about the activities I don't like? I think they are just part of the process. So, I will accept that there will always be things I don't like to do but are necessary. That seems to be true about so much in life, doesn't it?

So, it's the bitter with the sweet. But it makes me appreciate the sweet that much more.


available now                     coming soon

Let's hop over and see what the incredible A.S. Fenichel loves and doesn't love…

AS Fenichel newest

Romance Weekly

RRW Welcome to the first challenge of the New Year. The wonderful Lyra Parish has posed these questions:

How did you be spend your New Years? What literary goals have you made for 2017?

It's been a long time since I've made it to midnight on New Year's Eve. I guess I just get up too early in the morning, since I find myself falling asleep around ten. I know…boring.

But that doesn't mean I don't welcome the chance to start a brand new year with all of the possibilities. Last year this time I was just finishing "The Dream Dancer", the first of three. This year so far, I have almost completed "Jester's Dance", which is the third book in the trilogy.


"Payback" just came out and I am hoping people like it, even though it's very different from my historical/historical paranormals.


Very soon, my next romantic suspense, "Once Upon a Tablecloth" will be out.


And then…Book Ten. I have no idea what it will be about or where it will take place. That's part of the fun. The whole world is open to choose. Any time, any place, any hero and heroine.

This year I want to write book ten and at least two more. And to be better as a writer with each one. Those are my goals for 2017.

I hope you all make resolutions you can keep and you have joy by the armload. Oh, and of course, keep reading!

Let's see what the incredible Jenna Da Sie has planned for the New Year.

Romance Weekly

RRW Happy holidays and thanks for stopping by. I asked the question this time:

If you could get anything in the world you wanted for Christmas, what would it be?

Well, there are all the really important wishes, like peace on earth and that cancer would be eliminated and no one would ever be hungry. If I could right all the wrongs or stop the bullies, that would be excellent.

There are the silly wishes, like my house would never get dirty or my dog would stop shedding mass quantities of hair.

And there are the writer wishes. I wish that the stories I tell would inspire, would help someone through a tough time, would take someone away into another place, another time. I would like to believe that my books have a positive impact and make the world a tiny bit better. If "Hannah's War" could give one woman the courage to run from an abusive relationship, if "Emma's Dance" could give someone the strength to fight for love, if any of my other novels could give someone hope for happiness and true love, that would be awesome.


Oh, I write because I love it, I have to, but it would be great to believe that it makes a difference.

Merry, Merry Christmas to you and yours!


Now, let's hop over and see what the fantastic Tracey Gee wants….



Romance Weekly

RRW Happy Tuesday and welcome.

This week's challenge comes from the incredible Jenna Da Sie:

What are some helpful tools and resources that you use for writing?

I can sum that up in one word: Google.

I have no idea how we ever managed without it. Oh, yes, I remember hours and hours at the library, pouring through research books, which sadly never gave me enough of the details I was looking for. Google can tell me how far apart castles are in England, what food people ate in the 17th century and the symptoms of cyanide poisoning.

I found out what medicine was available during the Civil War and how many Black doctors there were then (fifteen). I discovered Smokey Row and what a sailing ship looked like in the 18th century. And the best part is I can stop writing just long enough to clarify a detail to make sure it's accurate and get right back to the story. Because sometimes I don't know what questions I need the answers to until I'm in the scene.

I am grateful for Google every day.

Some writers listen to specific music or light candles or dress up to write. Me? I make sure the dog is at my feet (or on the couch behind me), the room is quiet and Google is ready to go.

And coming soon.....

Let's hop on over and check out what tools and resources the fabulously talented Brenda Margriet uses to enhance her work.

Brenda Margriet newest

Romance Weekly

rrw Thanks for stopping by and welcome!

This week I asked the group to tell us about their first kiss….

Here's mine...

The moonlight spilled on the flowers in the garden, fragrant with the warmth of the evening. He took my hand and pulled me into him, very gently, and lifted my chin. His lips brushed mine and heat seared through my body as the kiss deepened and the passion made the world melt away.

Yeah, sure, that happened.

Truth be told, if memory serves, we were at a party. I was about thirteen or fourteen. We slipped into the darkened dining room and he pressed his mouth against mine. I had braces, so the wires cut into my inside lower lip. The whole experience was terribly, painfully awkward. Passion? Not so much. But, as with most things you do for the first time, it isn't going to be the stuff dreams are made of. And I suppose that's why we have romance teach us to reach for the stars.


and coming soon...


Let's see what the fabulous and talented A.S. Fenichel can tell us about her first time.

AS Fenichel


Romance Weekly

RRW This week's question is from the very talented Lyra Parish:

How many projects do you currently have started? Can you give us a quick sentence description of each one?

Right this red-hot second, I have three projects in various stages. The first two are romantic suspense. Both are in final editing.

"Jester's Dance" is the third in the 'Dance' series and is on the way to completion. I hope to release it before the end of the year…but you know how that goes sometimes.

Below is a little blurb on each of the three.


Several surprises await Beth Abbott when she returns to her small town. As a detective, she expects very little in the way of interesting crime. But victims of a female serial killer change that. And then, there's Tom. Another detective with the local force, he wants to capture not only the perpetrator but also Beth's heart.

"Once Upon a Tablecloth"

Nick Jordan is a restaurant 'fixer' as well as an entrepreneur in his own right. When he shows up to help Lily Mercer save her place, he encounters more than he expected. The two must join forces to save the restaurant and their lives and end up finding each other.

"Jester's Dance"

The Lady Margaret, widowed and lonely, seeks adventure and goes to court disguised as a jester. She falls in love with a handsome Scotsman, Seth, who enlists her help to rescue his family. Together they must face danger, intrigue, and enemies determined to pull them apart. Can their love survive? Can they?

What's next after these? Not sure yet, but I'm hoping it'll come to me…

Meanwhile, I still have some others that are already published.

Let's hop on over to the fabulous Carrie Elks and see what she has working.

Carrie Elks newest

Romance Weekly

RRW For the US Thanksgiving we're doing a recipe swap. Give us your best, most favorite yummy. Share the love!

Welcome to out blog hop and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I would love to say the following was passed down through the generations in my family, but the truth is, I don't remember anyone in my family who could cook. So, I'm not sure where this came from. But, somehow, it found its way onto the menus when we contributed to the Thanksgiving feast. And I think it's pretty good! And even if you don't like it, there's enough alcohol in it so you might not care.

Special (Tipsy) Cranberry Sauce

1 large package (6oz) Strawberry or Raspberry Jello

2 cans whole berry cranberry sauce

1 can pineapple chunks, drained - reserve juice

Cup of walnuts (optional)

1 cup (or a little more) of dry sherry

Make Jello by adding 2 cups boiling water, stirring well, then instead of adding 2 cups cold water, add juice from the canned pineapple and enough sherry to make two cups. Mix into jello. Then add cranberry sauce, pineapple chunks and, if desired, walnuts. Mix well. Put in refrigerator and allow to set (several hours). Enjoy.


Let's hop over and check out the fabulous A.S. Fenichel's favorite recipe.

AS Fenichel

Romance Weekly

RRW This week's question comes the incredibly talented Brenda Margriet:

Brenda Margriet newest

Winter means different things to different people. What do you love about winter? Why not share some of your favorite winter photos from previous years. Have you ever written a book set during winter?

When I was a little girl, winter meant snowmen and sledding and snowball fights and the holidays. Now, without as much time for play, I still love the beauty of an unbroken white field, stretched out as far as I can see. I love snuggling up in front of a roaring fire with a hot drink and good friends. And cozying up to my husband in the cocoon of our bed after a long day. Oh, and did I mention I love sweaters?

Winter comes and goes in my books and I haven't written one where the season is an important part of the story. Maybe I should. Because winter means Thanksgiving and Christmas and family and friends and joy and good food and presents and remembering to love each other.

I have moved around a lot in my life and I don't have any photos to share, but I keep images in my heart and sometimes that makes them even more vivid.


Let's see what the absolutely amazing S.C. Mitchell loves about winter.

S.C. Mitchell

Romance Weekly

rrw I came up with this week's challenge:

 If you're published, how is the business different than what you expected? If you're planning to publish, what are your expectations?

When I first started writing novels and submitting them, I expected lots of rejections. And I got 'em. But, even in some of those, there were enough encouraging words. I kept at it and I am happy to say I am published. But the reality is very different from what I expected.

I was around in the days when you submitted to a publisher, they wrote you a contract and, after editing, you sat back and starting working on the next book. Now, with millions of books flooding the market every year, most authors must handle their own marketing and promotion. Social media alone can keep you busy day in and day out. Self-publishing used to be only for the writers who paid for a vanity press. Not anymore. Now it's another avenue that offers all kinds of opportunities. And learning curves.

I am a hybrid. I am traditionally published and self-published and I spend hours every day keeping up with my writing and managing all the aspects of getting my name out there so readers will, hopefully, buy my books. I am not famous and I am not rich. Okay, that wasn't really an expectation. But, why not aim high?

The good news is – the business makes your reach exceed your grasp. There is always another goal, another milestone. The most important of these is to ensure that the next book is better than the last. And I work at that every day.

Let's see what the incredibly talented S. C. Mitchell's expectations were…

S.C. Mitchell

Romance Weekly

rrw If you just hopped over from the amazing A.S. Fenichel... welcome.

AS Fenichel newest

This week, another challenge from the very talented Lyra Parish:

When did you realize you would be a writer? Is it something you always knew or did it come about some other way?

We are what we are. Sometimes, it takes a little time to figure it out, with the world so much in the way.

I started working when I was sixteen. I went to school, too, then college. I got my degree in English Literature and Psychology. And I loved the theatre. So it was there. That seed. The need for reading and drama. But, I had to make a living. Like Walter Mitty, I dreamed of being successful in a string of other pursuits, but … I had to make a living.

I would dabble in writing whenever possible, but it took me years to realize I could work a 'day job' and still write.  Yes, it was tiring, but when I first put words to paper, it was also an epiphany. Because I finally realized that we can always make time for the important things in life.

I remember times I was composing stories in my head while I was working, scribbling notes on bits of paper so I wouldn't forget thoughts. I still do that. Finally, though, I was able to quit my 'day job'. I have so much more time to write now, but there is also laundry and shopping and cooking and errands. And when I find the day slipping away, I look at the placard Kristin Higgins gave out at RWA last year:

"Go away, honey, I'm writing."

There should be interruptions for nothing less than arterial bleeding or the zombie apocalypse. Okay, fevers over 103 degrees. Because I am a writer first. That is who I am. I will take care of everything else, I promise, as soon as I finish another few words (make that 1000 or so).

Let's hop over and see what started the incredible Brenda Margriet on her journey.

Brenda Margriet newest

Romance Weekly

rrw This week's question comes from the wonderful Jenna Da Sie:

What was your favorite Halloween costume you've ever worn? Where were you and what did you do?

My childhood was not traditional, so I didn't get dressed up every year and go trick-or-treating. I don't remember any specific activities, so no one party or adventure stands out. But, that doesn't mean I don't love Halloween. I do and always have.  It comes when the weather has just turned cool and the leaves are a riot of color. There are giggling children everywhere and people let their imaginations run wild.


Halloween brings the paranormal to life. We believe that spirits rise and walk with us and spooky things surprise from every corner. We tell ghost stories and shiver with delight.


Everyone likes a good (safe) scare now and again and ghosts and goblins are nothing compared to what goes on in real life. Halloween makes terror manageable. And isn't that nice, for a change!


Happy Halloween!!!!!!

Now, in case you didn't start at the beginning, let's hop back to the fabulous Jenna.


Romance Weekly

RRW If you've just hopped over from the fabulous Brenda Margriet, welcome!

Brenda Margriet newest

This week's question comes from the incomparable Lyra Parish:

How many words have you published or written?

Thousands and thousands. I have published maybe 360,000. But written? Too many to count.

My mother died recently and I was going through old things and found stories I had written when I was five or six.

Years later, I became a certified self-defense instructor. At the end of each class, the students and teachers brought a small, meaningful gift for the group related to their experience. My gifts were short stories about the class and how it helped me grow and become more whole.

I went on to write TV shows and screenplays and, of course, novels. Words on paper express my thoughts so much more effectively than the spoken word. Writing also unleashed my imagination. I can go places and do things and get into the heads of others in a way I could not do with simple daydreams. All I have to do is hours upon hours of research, which luckily I really love.

I travel through time and confront conflicts and, unlike real life, it always comes out exactly as I planned.

So, how many words will I write in the future? I hope thousands upon thousands more. And each time I put words to paper, I want it to be better than the time before.


Let's go see how many the wonderfully talented A.S. Fenichel has written.

AS Fenichel newest

Romance Weekly

RRW This week's question comes from the marvelous Carrie Elks:


The new fall TV schedule is here - what are you watching and why do you love it so much? Does what you watch influence your writing?

I am an avowed member of Bachelor Nation and I am proud of it. And of course it affects my writing. The show has everything—drama, tears, joy, and most of all, hopefully, although it doesn't happen every time, true love!!!!

I also love Criminal Minds. When I was doing research for both my recently completed romantic suspense stories, the experts told me this show was the most accurate for profiling. It was a definite help in building my plots. Besides, how can you not crush on Matthew Gray Gubler and Joe Mantegna? And thank heavens for reruns so I can keep watching Shemar! Oh, yes, I forgot…I only watch it for the profiling. Sure I do.

Designated Survivor has me hooked, as well. I have no doubt it is fact-based when it comes to the machinations in Washington. And, with the elections so near, it is definitely timely. I don't know that I'll ever write a political story, but it certainly is interesting.

One more…Married at First Sight. Makes you believe in the old fashioned way of falling in love…just saying. But the process in this show is fascinating.

I tend to wax and wane on most of the other shows. My choice is movies, especially the older classics. When I need romantic inspiration (or a good cry), just give me "An Affair to Remember" or "Now Voyager". Or "Charade", "Roman Holiday", "Breakfast at Tiffany's". I could go on and on. Even some of the (no judging, please) Hallmark movies or LMN.

Given the alternatives, though, most of the time, I will read a good book.


Let's hop over and see what the fabulous Brenda Margriet watches.

Brenda Margriet newest

Romance Weekly

RRW This week's question comes from the incomparable Lyra Parish:

Lyra Parish

When you release a new book, do you have a release day tradition?

I wish I could say I send up balloons or drink champagne, but the truth is, I am so relieved, I just sit back and take a break. Publishing is so much more complicated than I ever imagined before I started on this road. It has so many parts and takes much longer than I thought. Whether for my traditionally published or my self-published books, the process is pretty much the same. First, find a traditional publisher. Or decide to be my own. Then there's the editing. I believe in a minimum of twice and then running it past a proofreader. Then, cover art, formatting, etc.

Seeing the cover for the first time is like watching the book actually come to life in a more tangible way. It's definitely my favorite part.

Before release day, I have to make sure my marketing plan is in place, including arrangements for pre-order. After all, it doesn't do any good to write a book and then not let anyone know it's out there.

And then, finally, months (or even years) later, there it is. Available. Pretty exciting. Until the panic sets in. I have to write another book. Now.

Okay, so I take a day off and maybe get a mani-pedi or go shopping. And then, back to the old computer to start another journey.

Just being able to write every day is a celebration.


Let's hop over and check out the fabulous Brenda Margriet's traditions…..

Brenda Margriet newest

Romance Weekly


This week's question comes from the incredible Jenna Da Sie:

If you had to give up something – TV? Wine? Starbucks? What would it be and share how you handle it (or don’t).

There aren't too many things I couldn't live without. Then again, sometimes I forget how much I take for granted. Yesterday, we had a water leak and had to live without running water for a day while it was fixed. Definitely cannot give up running water!

Electricity? Maybe. I could write by candlelight and cook on an open fire – for a while, anyway. It might be a romantic adventure.

TV? I've given that up on occasion and not missed it. I found I read more and that was nice.

Starbucks? I like my morning coffee, but I could give it up and be okay.

Wine. Okay, now you're hitting the Achilles Heel. Yes, I could give it up, since I don't really drink to excess. But I would really miss it. That glass of wine at the end of the day is so much more than a drink. It signals the end of the workday and time to reflect on what I accomplished since the morning. It's the time my husband and I sit down together and share. It's signifies the time to take a deep breath and let go of the day.

Could I give it up? Sure. How would I handle it? I have found that when one thing goes, another takes its place. So I would have to come up with something else. That's the amazing thing about people. We adapt. We manage when things change. And they always seem to work out for the best. In the meantime, it's past five, so I'm off to the kitchen to pour.


Let's hop over and see what the amazing S.C. Mitchell would give up.


S.C. Mitchell

Romance Weekly

rrw This week, the challenge comes from the incredible A.S. Fenichel:

AS Fenichel newest

When doing research for a book, what fun facts have you discovered that have no place in your book but they are too fun or awesome to not share? Give us one or two and if you can remember what you were trying to learn, that would be great too. :)

While researching medieval times, I came across some very strange facts about babies. First, most were swaddled tightly to keep their limbs from growing crooked. It also kept them out of trouble, since it kept them from moving. Claustrophobia anyone? And, in some instances, they were hung on a hook by their swaddled clothing while their parents were otherwise engaged. This was to keep them safe. Now, does that sound like a good time? Does give new meaning to 'hanging out'.

Potty training was to be accomplished before the babies were six months old in some cultures long ago. Their clothes were designed with an opening at the bottom and they were taught to sit on a small hole in the ground.

As children got older, they were literally tied to their mother's apron strings so she always knew where they were.

And then, of course, when boys of the nobility were at the ripe old age of seven or eight, off they went to be fostered with someone who could teach them the knightly arts.

Another fun fact was the origin of the royal name Plantagenet. It came from a sprig of broom with yellow flowers, a little plant that the Count of Anjou liked to stick in his hat.

From Wikipedia: Henry II, 1154-1189, is considered by some to be the first Plantagenet king of England. Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York, adopted Plantagenet as his family name in the 15th century. "Plantegenest" (or "Plante Genest") had been a 12th-century nickname for his ancestor Geoffrey, count of Anjou and duke of Normandy.

I found this out when I was looking for Old English names. And led to discovering where other surnames came from. Fascinating.

I love research and finding tidbits that inspire. I was Googling (what did we do before Google?) facts about the Civil War when I found out about Smokey Row. Which was the beginning of the plot for "Hannah's War".


Sometimes the story demands the research and sometimes it is the other way around. But learning about the people who lived before us is always an adventure.


So let's hop on over to the lady who asked the question and see what she has discovered.