Word of the Week – Guy

Word of the Week – Guy

Guy is a word that, these days, can mean any generic group of people of mixed genders but more specifically, things relating to males. Dudes. Bros. Men.

But it started life in the English language meaning “a small rope, wire, or chain.” Um…what?

Guy is actually related to guide (not surprising when you think about it), and when you think about a guy wire. It’s been used in that way since the 1620s, as well for other guiding equipment like cranes and derricks, and it traces its roots back to Germanic words that basically mean “guide” or “guard.”

So what’s the deal? How did it change so drastically?

For that, we can thank a terrorist. Guy was also a French given name, related to the Italian Guido. And Guy Fawkes was one of the members of a rebellion against the English crown in 1605–the one caught with the gunpowder. We’ve probably all heard of Guy Fawkes Day, even those of us across the pond. Well, a critical part of the celebration of this day in November on which the king and Parliament were not blown up, was to parade about one’s town with an effigy of Guy Fawkes. Usually poorly dressed, because what commoners were going to donate good clothes to such a cause?

And so a guy began, by the early 1800s, to mean “a poorly dressed man,” like those effigies. But once we attribute a word to a man of a particular state, it seems the meaning is likely to evolve. Within 60 years, guy could mean pretty much any man and had become a synonym for “fellow.”

So there you go, guys. 😉 Once it meant “fellow,” our modern meaning was but a whisper away.

Word Nerds Unite!

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Cover Reveal of Christmas at Sugar Plum Manor

Cover Reveal of Christmas at Sugar Plum Manor

It’s Time!

For Another Cover Reveal!!

Last week I revealed the cover for An Honorable Deception and also shared pre-order links for both it AND this one…which actually releases first. 😉 

I know, I know, I’m so out of order! LOL. But it made sense in my little head to first finish out the covers in the on-going series and THEN jump to the holiday book! This one is a stand-alone.

Now, I know we’re not in the Christmas season now…but we also know how eager we all are to dive back into it when it rolls around again, and wouldn’t you love to have a head start on what holiday reads to put on your list in 2024?

Let’s meet…

Lady Mariah Lyons

Mariah loves the Christmas season, when she gets to help transform her stepfather’s estate, Plumford Manor, into a winter fairyland that she has dubbed Sugar Plum Manor. This year, however, it seems like the whole world is out to steal her Christmas cheer. All she wants to do is show her family who she really is…and, hopefully, how approaching life with whimsy and imagination isn’t foolish. It is, in fact, what faith is made of.

She doesn’t know what to think about the fact that Cyril, her stepfather’s heir, will be joining them again. Once, they were friends. Once, she’d dreamed they’d be more. But anyone fool enough to pay court to the duplicitous Lady Pearl isn’t worth her consideration…and gossip says Cyril and the lady are all but engaged.

An old friend…and the heir

Cyril Lightbourne

Cyril hasn’t returned to Plumford in years, not since he was a child, brought in to be introduced to the distant cousin whose heir he apparently was. But knowing that Lord Castleton doesn’t want him for an heir has made him neglect coming back…especially after he and Mariah, who had become fast friends during that enchanted visit as children, eventually stopped writing to each other. The girl, he had adored. But her letters had changed over the years, and he’s convinced she’s no longer the bright-hearted person he’d once counted as his dearest friend. Was it any wonder, then, that he’d let himself think he could fall in love with the beautiful Lady Pearl when fate threw them together in a way that allowed him to save her life? Yet she’d scorned him and sent him packing, all because he’d shown up bruised after defending her honor.

A Cold-hearted Rival

Lord Søren Gyldenkrone

Cousin to the Danish king, Søren is in England for one purpose: to find an English bride whose family is close to the royals, thereby solidifying relations between Denmark and England. He’d at first thought Lady Pearl to be the best contendor…but her recent behavior has left him apalled. And worse, the scrum over her resulted in the upstart Lightbourne tarnishing his family name. But when he realizes that the next young lady on his list of potential brides–the pretty Lady Mariah with her head full of fluff and nonsense–is special to Lightbourne, he knows the fates are in his favor.

He can get his bride and his revenge in one fell swoop.

Inspired by

The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman

this Edwardian-era historical romance is a tale of holiday spirit, love, and the power of family and friendship.

Ready? Here it is!
The cover of Christmas at Sugar Plum Manor!

What do you think??

I admit my first imaginings had an outdoor scene, with snow falling and beautiful plum-purples and golds…but I do admit it would have been tough to get the Nutcracker doll in that concept…and really, can you possibly go wrong with a gorgeous Edwardian ballroom, complete with Christmas tree, Nutcracker, and a stunning dress in holiday red?

Nope. You really can’t. The moment I saw this, I was over the moon. Such a perfect image of the high-society Christmas story that this is!

Now, I know Christmas and release day is still a while off, but you know me. I can’t resist putting it up for you now!

An early endorsement

From Christmas-book fanatic (and my amazing assistant) Rachel Dixon:

“This, THIS is what us Christmas book reading fanatics WANT and drool over every Christmas. You’ve fully captured the magic of Christmas and the Nutcracker, and balanced it beautifully with the hope of Jesus.” ~ Rachel Dixon, aka BookwormMama

Word of the Week – Backlog

Word of the Week – Backlog

This one is short but fun. I often state (ahem…complain) that I have a backlog of work I’m trying to plow through. And you all know what I mean.

But back in the 1680s when the word was coined, backlog meant something far different. In fact, it was a very literal log. As in, wood. That you put in the fire. It was the biggest log in the load, placed at the back of the fire to concentrate the heat and keep the blaze going strong. Which, if you’re like me, cues an “Oh, of course!”

So…how did it change its meaning?

Well, in the 1880s, backlog had taken on a figurative sense of “something stored for later use.” That transition kinda makes sense, right? You might have set aside good logs to act as those backlogs.

Well, over the course of the next 50 years, that “stored up” meaning shifted in “unfulfilled orders,” which was likely influenced by the other meaning of the word log–a record.

So there we have it!

Word Nerds Unite!

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Cover Reveal of Christmas at Sugar Plum Manor

Cover Reveal of An Honorable Deception

It’s Time!

For TWO Cover Reveals!!

Say what? Yes, that’s right, I have TWO new covers to show you.

First is the one you might be expecting…book 3 in The Imposters, An Honorable Deception. With book 2 releasing in a few short weeks, it’s no surprise that the cover for the final book in the series is ready for you!

But I also have the cover for my Christmas novel to show you, which will actually be releasing before this!

Today, though…Imposters. Unleeeesssssss you REALLY want to see the cover for Christmas at Sugar Plum Manor too. In which case, read on! 😉 There’s info at the bottom on how you can see that one a week early too!

But First…

Our Hero, Yates

First we have Yates. Technically Lord Fairfax, an earl…but if you’ve read his sister’s story in A Beautiful Disguise, you know he’s far more interested in running their P.I. firm and playing with the retired circus animals that live at their estate than attending the Sessions.

I don’t often write muscle-bound heroes, but Yates HAS to be…so that he can toss and catch his sister on the trapeze. And building ledges. And wherever else they need to get into and out of for their clandestine work. But in addition to all the muscles, Yates has a heart of gold and will do absolutely anything to protect the people he loves.

A New Acquaintance

Lady Alethia Barremore

Lady Alethia hires the Imposters to help her find her dearest friend–her Indian ayah (nanny) who has gone missing. As the daughter of a former viceroy of India, Alethia has made a splash in her first season by wearing Indian finery. But she’s also apparently made enemies, because she’s shot three times leaving her meeting with Mr. A of the Imposters. What have she and her former ayah, Samira, stumbled into?

And an old friend…

Lady Lavinia Hemming

Lavinia is still reeling from the family secrets that nearly undid them all in A Beautiful Disguise, and she’s still regaining her strength from the bout of Scarlet Fever that weakened her heart and nearly killed her. She doesn’t knew who in the world she can trust when her own family would betray her–but when she discovers her dearest friends are the Imposters, she’s relieved to find that their secrets are noble…and she promptly recruits herself, so that she can help them find Lavinia’s friend.


as clues lead them deeper into the darkest of society’s secrets…

Alethia, Yates, and Lavinia soon learn anew that the gentry isn’t always noble…and truth isn’t always honorable. Amidst burgeoning love and old betrayal, scandalous secrets will test the bounds of redemption in this exhilarating series finale.

Ready? Here it is!
The cover of An Honorable Deception!

Isn’t it beautiful??

I love the autumn colors and how they work so well with the beautiful rose of the dress.

Now…you may be wondering which of the ladies this is. Alethia? Lavinia? From the character images I shared above, you may even notice that they bear a passing resemblance to each other.

That’s no accident, friends!

So to discover which one is the “heroine”…which one steals Yates’s heart…you’re just going to have to wait and read the book! 😉

Lucky for you, you can:


What about that second cover??

Well, you can come back next week and see it here on the blog or in the newsletter, no problem. There will be a post much like this one, with some character images and a bit about my Nutcracker-inspired story.

But if you want to be the FIRST to get a peek, you can do so by ORDERING either of these two books! Pre-order from my shop, and you’ll get an email within minutes with the second cover!

(Of course, you’ll still want to come back next week for the full info! LOL)

Word of the Week – Silly

Word of the Week – Silly

If you look up silly in the dictionary today, you come across a couple definitions.

1 a: exhibiting or indicative of a lack of common sense or sound judgment
   b: weak in intellect
   c: playfully lighthearted and amusing
   d: trifling, frivolous
2: being stunned or dazed

Those all match the uses I know I’ve seen for the word, right? And it’s a word I’ve used a lot when my kids were younger for when they were acting goofy. Silly is a word we often said with laughter, with joy. It’s a fun word.

And I had no idea that it began life meaning something rather different.

In Middle English, the word was spelled seely, and it was taken from the Old English equivalent that meant “happy, fortuitous, prosperous.” The Old English came in turn from the Old German selig, which means “blessed, happy, blissful.”

The fact that the pronunciation, and hence the spelling, changed is no great surprise–that long double E was shortened and changed to an I in either speech or spelling or both in all sorts of words. But the progression of the meaning is fascinating.

The journey went something like this. From “happy” it moved into “blessed.” But “blessed” was used primarily of religious giftings, so silly began to mean “pious” or “innocent” around 1200. As with many other words that had something to do with “innocent,” by the end of the century, it could mean “harmless”…and from there, it shifted to “pitiable” and “weak.” Throughout the 1400s and 1500s, it evolved into “feeble in mind, foolish, lacking reason.”

Of course, we know that innocence does not mean foolish…but all too often, we equate the two.

By the mid-to-late 1800s, the idea of being knocked silly, as in “dazed or stunned by a blow” entered the picture. But just a bit before that, in 1858, we also a see that connection to childhood things that I associate the word with–“a silly person” was one who wrote for or entertained children (how fun is that?).

Word Nerds Unite!

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