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Friday, November 30, 2012

Roll Call

Early February 2011: It’s time to revisit the long, very long, list of characters who have appeared in The Suitor List, Perfectly Flawed, and A Grand Deception.  

I wonder if there is anyone who would like to come forward and appear in Book 4?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book 4 . . . still on page 1

Late January 2011: I’m working with the characters whom I wish to tell the story through.  I’ve sort of have my mind set on three.  

I know the main character’s story… sort of.  

Then there’s the “other” main character… she’s still a bit of a mystery to me.  So far she has remained silent. 

Then there’s the third character who comes alive to me in short scenes.  Maybe that’s where I should begin my writing.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Back To Book 3

End of January 2011: I finished the final edits and sent off A Grand Deception.  I’m pleased with the ending yet as I move through the end of the book I feel there could be a bit “more” there. 

I’m reading the last four chapters to my critique group, hopefully they’ll have some suggestions to where I can make improvements.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Familiarizing Myself with the New Year

Mid-January 2011: I use the internet to find more about the year 1816, especially what’s happening in the UK.  

OH—something big!  It’s the “Year Without a Summer.”  Not sure that will play a big part in the book but it shall certainly influence the characters, and how they dress, somewhat. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Book 4, Page 1

Early-January 2011: I opened the file for Book 4 and instead of finding notes and partially written scenes, I’ve found  . . . nothing.  

::gulp::  I hadn’t been prepared for this.

The Hubby says, “At least you have that paragraph.” Was he trying to be helpful? 

I know what happens in the book, I just don’t know how it happens. This is going to be a bit more work than I first thought.  There’s no jumping to the fun writing part.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Late December 2010: Last day of the year . . . 

the first draft of A Grand Deception is finished.  

I’ll let it sit for a week and do a final revision before handing it over to the hubby for his comments.

During that week, I’ll pull out my notes for Book 4.  It’s the Duke’s story.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Romance Reviews Today!

Jane Bowers - Romance Reviews Today - 

THE SUITOR LIST- Shirley Marks
ISBN: 978-0-8034-7796-4
January 2010
Historical Romance

1811 - Faraday Hall, Essex, England

When the story opens, the three Worth sisters are discussing Lady Augusta Worth's impending trip to London, where the eldest daughter of the Duke of Faraday is determined to find a husband. Although she arrives in London at the very end of the season, her purported beauty, wealth, and intelligence cause two broken engagements and bring several eligible peers scrambling back to town. Her two weeks are a flurry of social engagements and visits from myriad eligible and handsome gentleman, which begs the question: How can a girl ever decide amongst them?

The Duke solves the dilemma by offering to host a house party in which no fewer than fourteen of Augusta's prospective suitors are invited to vie for his daughter’s hand. Although he wants her to make a suitable match, the Duke also desires his daughter’s happiness. Thus, the Duke and Augusta’s sisters have a plan to discover and eliminate any undesirables amongst the gentlemen guests.

I confess I had a hard time engaging with the heroine of this novel in the beginning as she came across as completely superficial and egocentric. I also wondered how every one of her fourteen suitors happened to be rich, titled, and handsome, with not a toad amongst them. They all seemed a bit too “perfect.” However, as the story progressed, one by one, the flaws of each suitor were unveiled.

Although the first half of the book seemed to drag due to what I felt was a very stilted writing style, it improved in the second half when the plot became more interesting due to the sisters’ interactions with the guests. I particularly found Muriel’s talent for lip-reading a clever and original touch.

THE SUITOR LIST is a frothy and entertaining Regency romance, vaguely reminiscent of Georgette Heyer in its light comedic touches and its peppering with Regency-speak. The sisters were close knit and mischievous, the plot amusing, and the romance was, in the end, sweetly satisfying.

Romance Reviews Today

Friday, August 17, 2012

Booklist Reveiw!

Booklist – January 2011

Lady Augusta, the oldest of the Duke of Faraday's three daughters, 
quickly becomes the toast of the London season when she arrives 
fashionably late. Her father and aunt want her to find the ideal match 
from a long list of suitors, so they host the men and a few other 
eligible ladies at their country home just after the season's end. 

Augusta's younger sisters, incomparably beautiful Charlotte and 
the feisty and clever Muriel, are enlisted to help cull the unsuitable men. 
Some make inappropriate advances to Charlotte; others are caught 
wagering on who will win Augusta's hand; and yet others are eliminated 
for silly quirks. Augusta's true love ends up being the last person 
she considered. 

Marks' fifth historical romance is a fun but insubstantial escapist read. 
The sisters are appealing heroines, but the slew of throwaway characters 
can be confusing.--Walker, Aleksandra

Copyright 2010 Booklist 
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Publishers Weekly Review!

November 15, 2010

The Suitor List 
Shirley Marks, Avalon, $23.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8034-7796-4 

Marks (Lady Eugenia's Holiday) comes up with a Regency version of The Bachelorette in this cute historical. Lady Augusta Worth, the beautiful daughter of a duke, could have her pick of the eligible men in England, but is determined to marry for love. Encouraged by her family, she invites a dozen promising prospects to a house party in the country where perhaps she can identify her soul mate. Her high hopes are dashed by her family's antics as they chase away candidates whose behavior reveals their unworthiness, leaving only Augusta's oldest friend and neighbor, Richard Wilbanks, whom she has somehow overlooked. Marks's attempts to infuse the story with humor are heavy-handed and the outcome too well telegraphed, but the setting and story pacing are pleasant. (Jan.)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

2012 Literacy Signing

I'll be signing A Grand Deception at table 306 
as a new Montlake Romance author 
along with HUNDREDS of other Romance authors at the . . .

Wednesday, July 25, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. 
Anaheim Convention Center, Ballroom (third floor) 
Anaheim, California

 Proceeds from book sales go to:
 ProLiteracy Worldwide, Read Orange County, 
and Literacy Volunteers—Huntington Valley 

 No outside books are allowed in the event.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Holidays Arrive

December 2010: It’s the release of The Suitor List!

I’m writing like a mad person to get to the end of Book 3. It’s going to be really close. I’m having so much fun with this story. It’s turning out better than I had anticipated back in November. So, so close . . . I can taste the ending!

 I keep having to fix the Barnes and link on my website. They’re having problems keeping a page for The Suitor List. It’s there, then it’s not. Then it’s back!

I’m hoping to finish Book 3 by the end of the year and spend the first few weeks of January 2011 polishing before I send it in.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Homestretch and Status

Late November  2010:  I’ve written past the gap I had earlier and I’m sailing toward the end of the story. 

I’ve updated my website since the library release on The Suitor List was October.  I gave it a “citrus” flavor.  I’m still undecided if I should commit myself to a Blog.

The Thanksgiving holiday stalls my writing progress.  I dive right back into the book after the kids leave.

Perfectly Flawed, Book 2: I still have no word whether the revised manuscript has been accepted.

The Suitor List, Book 1: I’ve decided to print some “series” stickers and apply them myself.  Not much else I can do about it now. 

No use stressing about it. Might as well sit back and have a cuppa . . .

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

2010 Maui: Week 2

November 2010 - Been working on the gap in my book.  After three days I think I’ve figured it out. 

I’ve made lots of notes and written many new scenes.  It’s taken me a whole week but I know how the middle of the story works.  

I’ve got lots and lots of notes, I can’t wait to get home and finish.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Book 3 … For Real

November 2010 – Week 1: My annual trip to Maui. I’m thinking maybe there’s a follow up book to Honeymoon Husband… Is that only because I’m working in 1815 and need to distract myself?

Going back to Book 3 . . . I’ve discovered I have the beginning of a story and the end of the story… how do I get these two halves to meet?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Trying Again

October 2010 – Moving into my new office and trying to find my work, notes, anything… I sure do make this writing stuff difficult for myself. I’ve got my desk set up and sorted through my notes. I’d love to have the third book finished by next month… I don’ t think that’s going to happen.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Back to Book 3

September 2010 – I’m so removed from my story…

The kids are off to college and I’ve made the mistake of helping them move. My knee and my back are injured from lifting furniture.

Another unhappy realization . . . I’ve just seen the cover for The Suitor List. There’s no reference to it belonging to a series, no cool series logo of which I had had hoped. I mentioned it being Book 1 of my Gentlemen of Worth series in my Bio on the flap at the back of the book but the reference had been removed. And it’s too late for any changes. It’s too bad I was not able to see it at an earlier stage.

I guess it’s supposed to be a secret.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Back Home

August 2010 – I’m back from conference and trying to get settled and back to Book 3. My kids are home from college, I don’t see me having any time to work. This might have to wait until the end of September when they return to school.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Book 2 Complete

July 2010 – Book 2 is finished and mailed. Now I’m packing for the RWA Conference in Orlando, Florida.

The conference was to be in Nashville, Tennessee until they had that horrible flood. Now it's being held at the Swan and Dolphin Disney Resorts. What could be nicer?

I met with a dozen or so Avalon authors, met the new Editor Lia Brown, met her wonderful hubby—they make the most adorable couple—Romance novel worthy… but Gina Ardito has dibs on writing that story.

While I’m in Orlando why not hop over to the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

I meandered down Diagon Alley, marveled at all the paintings and statues in Hogwart's Castle, tasted Butterbeer, regular and frozen, had some pumpkin juice, shopped in Zonko’s, HoneyDukes, Filch’s Emporium, Dervish and Bangs, sent Owl posts.

I went on the Forbidden Journey THREE times, Flight of the Hippogriff, stood in line to see Olivander’s Wand Shop show.

Now I have regrets about sending in my last manuscript. I realize now I should have used owl post.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Book 2 Revisions Continue

July 2010 – Finished with the book. I’m printing it out and giving it a last look, making sure it reads well. But I keep tweaking it, changing words, phrases . . . adding lines here and there.

I can’t seem to stop myself from changing it. I’m hoping to finish and send it to my editor by next week. With the small changes I keep adding . . . well, it’s going to take longer than I expected.

I do know that I WILL finish by the end of this month!