Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tweet With Photos

Hubby bought a pink LED flashlight for me--just because it's pink. I thought that was so sweet of him :-) While this photograph may not be very inspiring or artistic, I posted it on Twitter. This morning, the results so far were: 

Total engagements9
Photo or video clicks
Link clicks

I know if I had simply posted a sentence, it wouldn't have received as much attention. I also know that posting from Instagram would not have gotten such results either because Instagram only posts the link. The same is true of Hootsuite, where a link is given to the photo.

My last post on this blog was simply a graphic I made up on Canva.com with a quote from my latest release pasted over a photo I took of Marlu Lake. The results on Twitter were:

Total engagements9
Hashtag clicks
Photo or video clicks
Profile clicks

Obviously, if I had more Twitter followers, I might have had even better results, but in comparison to my results for a sentence, a link, and some hashtags, this is a much larger percentage of hits. (Of course, I should have added a hashtag to the flashlight as well.)

In one of the best photos I posted last week, I did everything right. I posted a short quote from my latest release, added hashtags and a link to the book on Amazon. Below are the results for that:
Total engagements7
Hashtag clicks

A picture is worth a thousand words. On Twitter, a photo can actually stop people from scrolling for a moment.

I suggest you Tweet with pictures. It helps.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

History Happened Right Here

This is a map of Leedsville. It isn't called Leedsville anymore. The little town has changed a lot over the years. However, I used it as the setting for Patriot's Heart and the heroine of Patriot's Pride, Margaret, grew up there and hates being far from her family who still live there. Though she journeys to England, she longs to return to little Leedsville.

I live there now, which is why I choose the location. I am fascinated by history and there's plenty of it in the area. I did one blog post on the topic http://penelopemarzec.blogspot.com/2014/02/where-did-idea-for-patriots-heart.html when Patriot's Heart was released. 

Hubby and I regularly visit historical homes and museums in the area. I've lived in Monmouth County since I was five years old. I was fascinated with the tale of Captain Kidd from an early age. My parents took me and my siblings to see Molly Pitcher's well--or what people thought was her well, now the opinion about the location has changed. Still, 296 engagements with British troops occurred within New Jersey, more than in any other colony in the Revolutionary War.

History happened right here. 

Friday, June 19, 2015


Today's the day!

PATRIOT'S PRIDE is now available. The cover shown above is that of the print edition, which you can find on Amazon at Patriot's Pride, print edition. Set after the American Revolutionary War, it is the sequel to PATRIOT'S HEART and follows Margaret, the younger sister of Agnes.

Below is an excerpt from the beginning of the book.

May 24, 1784 New York

Margaret McGowan watched the distance between the ship and the pier widen into a watery chasm. Swamped by an overwhelming sense of loneliness, she clenched her teeth and scolded herself for being such a ninny. She had the opportunity to go to England. She would visit Broadcraft Hall, the ancestral home where her mother was born and her grandfather had died. In all her eighteen years, she had seldom traveled far from Leedsville, New Jersey, until now.

A grand adventure awaited her.

Despite reasoning with herself on the importance of this enterprise, a renegade tear rolled down her cheek as she leaned on the rail. She loved her family, but they barely scraped by after losing the house and the livestock during the war. The doling out of a hundred acres for every soldier in the Continental army had been an empty promise. Worst of all, though Uncle Fitz had returned from his service, her father never did. He died on a prison ship.

She offered a heartfelt prayer for her dear ones. In truth, this journey was for them too.

Calmer, she opened her eyes and took in a ragged breath. The harbor blended into the line of hills in the distance, and she turned away from the rail. She pulled the shawl tighter about her body and set her jaw. This trip was essential. In his last will and testament, her grandfather, the Earl of Broadcraft, stipulated that either Margaret or her sister must be present for the reading of the will. The solicitor explained much concerning the entail in a long letter. Since her mother had married a commoner, neither Margaret nor her sister would inherit the estate or, as women, the title.

Therefore, the entail and title belonged to Lord Isaac Whittington, the earl’s first cousin, once removed. Yet, everyone assumed Margaret and her sister would receive something of value. Otherwise, why should one of them be present when the will was read?

Margaret hoped for a portrait of her mother, whom she had never known, and perhaps even a portrait of the earl himself. In the past six years, they had corresponded by letters. She would value a likeness of her grandfather as a true treasure. 
Her gaze swept the deck, and a shiver of apprehension moved through her. Though the ship was far larger than the McGowan’s barn, the vast ocean surrounding it made it appear quite small. What if it sank? 
She shoved the frightening idea to the back of her mind and watched the other passengers strolling on the deck. In the front of the ship, she spied the two women who were to share a tiny cabin with her and her companion. Cecelia Cavendish, who was blind, and her cousin, Louisa Boulton, were young, probably near to Margaret’s own age of eighteen. Cecelia intended to go to Paris to meet Franz Mesmer, who claimed his treatment cured blindness. Margaret never heard of Franz Mesmer. Furthermore, she doubted his method. Only the Lord performed the miracle of giving sight to the blind. 
Louisa’s behavior disturbed her. Shying away from everyone, Louisa muttered to herself. She sat tucked between a mast and a barrel, staring at her fancy shoes. It seemed apparent the two women with their silk gowns came from wealthy families. Cecelia wore dark glasses, but possessed fine features. She sang in a sweet voice, entertaining the sailors as they went about their chores.  
Margaret glanced down at her plain brown frock, which she wore to church on Sundays. The midwife had given it to her three years ago in exchange for her baked goods. Cecilia and Louisa came aboard with two large trunks each, while Margaret’s necessities fit into a single small one. Still, the cousins must travel farther, for the ship would be going on to France after it stopped in London. Cecelia claimed she and her cousin spoke fluent French. 
Margaret did not know French. She’d acquired several German words from Hobart, her family’s hired man, and some Latin from her brother-in-law, but few Frenchmen stopped for any length of time in the small town of Leedsville. 
She rubbed the top of each shoe on her stockings to remove the dust. Despite her common clothing, she was the granddaughter of an earl. With her head held high, she decided upon a promenade around the deck. However, walking became difficult when the ship reached open water. Monstrous waves soon stymied her plans.  
She stumbled twice, holding onto railings as the ship went up and down. Out of nowhere, something hit her in the face. Unprepared for the force of the blow, she lost her balance and fell backwards. Two strong arms caught her, which prevented her from crashing on the wooden deck in an ungracious heap.
Are you hurt?The deep male voice came from behind her as he set her on her feet.

She stared at the rather elaborate hat on the deck in front of her and touched the welt swelling on her forehead. “No. Startled, though. I didn’t realize I needed to watch out for flying hats. Thank you for catching me.

My pleasure.He steadied her as she straightened her skirts. If I may introduce myself, I am Derrick Fortune, of Philadelphia.

He carried an unmistakable note of pride in his tone. Did he think she had heard of him? Well, she had not.

Miss Margaret McGowan, of Leedsville, a small town in New Jersey.She fussed with one flounce before she stepped away, turned, and glanced upward. He stood rather tall, forcing her to tilt her head back. His clothing, though somber, was fashioned from fine cloth and showed the lines of impeccable tailoring. She would not call him handsome, for his sunken cheeks gave him a gaunt appearance. A disturbing thought heightened her anxiety. Did he suffer from consumptionthe same disease which had taken the life of her dear Francis?

Is Leedsville near a more notable city?he asked.

She frowned. We have no cities nearby, but there are larger towns like Monmouth Courthouse. That’s where the Battle of Monmouth was fought.”

A pained expression crossed his features. Yes. I know of it.The look in his soulful dark eyes caught her, and a curious sensation swept over her, leaving her somewhat bewildered. Perhaps the excitement of the journey affected her more than she thought at first, or the wretched movement of the ship unsettled her. 
 You can find PATRIOT'S PRIDE at the publisher's site, Prism Book Group, as well as at All Romance Ebooks, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and other book distributors. The ebook edition is only $3.99! A true bargain. :-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Receipts to Recipes

I have been collecting recipes for a long time. Originally, I filed them in a box for 3 x 5 cards. However, I didn't copy them all to 3 x 5 cards. Some were letters, which I simply folded up and filed in the proper category. Some were clippings from the newspaper. (Hint: Newspaper clippings don't hold up well with time.) Some recipes came from the back of a box. A few were scribbled hastily on a small slip of paper.

Nowadays, I use a three-ring binder to keep my recipes in order. If I find a recipe online, I print it out, slip it into a plastic sleeve, and file it in the proper category in the binder. So much neater than the old 3 x 5 file box!

My heroine in PATRIOT'S PRIDE collects recipes, too. However, she calls them receipts. For a long time, recipes were called receipts. 

Dictionary.com has this reference:

receiptn.late 14c., "act of receiving;" also "statement of ingredients in a potion or medicine;" from Anglo-French or Old North French receite "receipt, recipe,prescription" (c.1300), altered (by influence of receit "he receives," fromVulgar Latin *recipitfrom Old French recetefrom Latin recepta"received," fem. past participle of recipere (see receive ). Meaning "writtenacknowledgment of money or goods received" is from c.1600.Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

There is a more detailed explanation in The Grammarphobia Blog, which you should read and can find in the link below:

Language changes with time--just like newspaper clippings. Newspaper clippings get old, brown, and crumbly. Words fall into disuse. Most people decided they liked the use of recipe rather than receipt for cooking ingredients.

Margaret, my heroine from 1784, calls her collection of cooking ingredients receipts. She's still living in a time when the word was very much in use.

Do you think historicals should use words from the time period? Or should an author change the terms to those in use in our contemporary society? 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Cover Reveal for PATRIOT'S PRIDE!

Available on June 19th! 



Derrick, a surgeon, is haunted by his brother’s death. When his prayers went unanswered, he turned his faith to science. He believes studying with an esteemed surgeon in England will return meaning to his life.

Margaret’s fiancĂ© died at the hands of a doctor who bled him to death.  On board the Prosperity, she meets the arrogant Doctor Fortune who considers her no less than a milkmaid. She considers him a butcher. Though she must journey to England to hear the reading of the will of her grandfather, the Earl of Broadcraft, she finds herself constantly confronting Derrick on his methods of healing. Yet, there is something about his soulful eyes that attracts her.

When a British ship presses the Prosperity’s sailors into service, Margaret and Derrick must work together if they are to reach England. But can they ever learn to trust each other enough to allow love into their hearts?

PATRIOT'S PRIDE is the sequel to PATRIOT'S HEART, but it can be read as a stand alone. Click on the image of the cover of Patriot's Heart to go directly to Amazon where you can read the reviews for that book. 

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Surgery in the Old Days

Surgery in the old days had a very poor success rate. This is a doctor's amputation kit from 1822, it isn't much different from the tools used by the hero in my soon-to-be released historical, PATRIOT'S PRIDE. My story is set in 1784, and the hero, Derrick Fortune, is very familiar with the use of the saw. He attended lectures at the School of Medicine in Philadelphia. However, when the Revolutionary War broke out, he and most of his fellow students along with the faculty  were pressed into service to tend to the wounded.

Derrick was quick with the saw, but despite his best efforts many of his patients died. In fact, only a third of those who went through an amputation lived. They died of infection. No one knew about bacteria in those days. (You can read a brief overview here: http://www.ushistory.org/brandywine/special/art06.htm)

After the war, Derrick decides to go to England to study with John Hunter, a renowned surgeon. (You can read a brief summary of John Hunter's life here: https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/museums/hunterian/history/johnhunter.html) Derrick hopes to find a way to prevent sepsis and he believes science holds the key.

I should have the cover for PATRIOT'S PRIDE soon. Then you can see exactly how handsome Derrick is!

June 19th is the release date for the book. I'm so excited. :-)