Sometime in 1942, there was a squall as a little girl was born in the middle of World War II. Thank goodness, she was in the United States in Texas instead of overseas amid all the chaos. And though much of her life was uneventful, the rest made up for it.
My general surgeon father met my mother, who was a nurse, during his residency. They fell in love, married, had me, and then he was shipped overseas. As a member of the medical portion of the army (I’m sure a M.A.S.H. unit) there is no telling what he saw and lived through. Until the day he died, he never talked about what happened, at least, with me. Except, of course, when he met Ingrid Bergman who was entertaining the troops, and he came back with a picture of her. Not every soldier could brag about that. She was beautiful, but so were my parents. I was fortunate in that regard. They were also very healthy individuals living into their 90’s.
Growing up, I took classical piano for eleven years and, although becoming a concert pianist was a possibility, too many butterflies before my yearly recitals caused me to rethink that vocation. Thoughts of raising horses was my passion when a teenager. And still is.
In the meantime, while in school, sports were much more enjoyable than studying. Baseball, basketball, volley ball, tenniquoits, and sparring with an Olympic badminton player in college (with whom I did hold my own, but that’s all) were much more fun than cracking the books.
The oldest of four children with three brothers meant that I learned to defend myself early on. And it was a good thing too. When I was eighteen, my oldest brother and I got into a fist fight—which I lost—but gave him such a tussle, he never tangled with me again. Showed him!
I attended college 3½ years but quit spending my folks’ money when I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. Wound up getting a J.O.B. then getting married. My beautiful daughter is the love of my life. But the marriage ended in divorce.
A couple of years later I married one of the sweetest men on earth but nearly lost him in a motorcycle accident before our first year anniversary and did lose him after 22 years. He was my Mr. Darcy and is missed every day.
So, I found myself going back to work after 25 years of having the freedom of not dealing with a paying job. Being at someone else’s beck and call lasted about twelve years. And now, I work for myself and will never work for anyone else if I have my druthers. However, it can be a challenge with Facebook, writing my books, promoting them, promoting myself, caring for spiritual matters, keeping in touch with my wonderful daughter, taking care of myself otherwise, repairs to the house, and on and on and on. I declare…life ain’t dull.
In 2012, when I was getting burned out on the health industry that I’d been a part of, off and on, for over 20 years, I found JAFF. Jane Austen variations were a treasure trove of escape. I had read Pride and Prejudice, seen the 1940’s movie with Greer Garson and Lawrence Olivier, and seen Emma, and had also enjoyed Sense and Sensibility but had no idea there was any such thing as variations. I was in hog heaven. Books were always my escape from reality when a child, when a teen (reading half the night) and later in life. Science Fiction, fairy tales, Agatha Christie mysteries, books about cowboys and horses (Zane Grey) and especially, The Black Stallion series of books by Walter Farley were among some of my favorites. Even now, it’s too easy to do marathon reads. A major flaw is that once I start reading a good book, I hate to stop until I’m done. I’m very impatient to read to the end.
So now, in my more mature years…I DON’T do old…I find I’m having to be more reasonable about my scheduling of tasks, important and unimportant. Otherwise, nothing gets done. Oh, but to sit down with a good JAFF (and many are great JAFF) and a Mexican coke and put the world and its cares aside for a while is almost heaven to me.
Then, it happened. JAFF plot ideas started running through my brain. Groan!!! What was I going to do about it? There were three options: just forget them or set them aside and think about them or do something with them. Thus, the Darcy and Elizabeth Series was born much to some readers’ delight and others’…oh, well, can’t please them all. LOL. And it’s been a fun ride so far even with the criticism. After all, I’ve done five-minute Bible talks and other non-fiction for 45 years and only written fiction for three years. The two are not even similar, and I’m still a babe at this but willing to learn more. Bring it on! Never too old to learn.
And now, I find myself in the middle of some of the best JAFF writers in the world. Oh, my goodness. What have I let myself in for? Some fun association, some laughs, some great reading and some excellent research for my own books. In the meantime, I hope that I can be of value to Austen Authors and help further JAFF and the love of Regency romance in general. And I’m grateful to Jane Austen for her wit, her charm and her valuable contributions to the wonderful world of literature.
Now for the Giveaway! There are three eBook copies of Darcy Chooses and two eBook copies of the Regency romance The Four Lords’ Saga Series Box Set available to those who comment below. Please let me know which book you would prefer. The giveaway ends at midnight EDST on Monday, October 17, 2016. May you find yourself a winner!