Category Archives: Thesaurus Thursday


It’s Thursday still, right? Lordy. There is a reason I try to get these written while on my lunch – especially on Thursdays, when it can be after 9 pm that I get home. And it was. Again. See, I pick up Mr. Laura, I mean BoyWonder, on Thursday nights – he sells beer at the local Farmer’s Market and that’s over at 7, then we haul the kegs back to his place of employment, then its dinner…then home. Ugh.

But I promised, so here I am. YAY.

So, #ThesaurusThursday rolls around, once again. The words this week were ensure and fractious. Pretty easy, are they not? Well, this is off the cuff – completely spur of the moment, so let’s see what we can come up with…

“The Agency, you say? Not a name that instills much confidence, is it?” Sarah looked Westerfell straight in the eye as she said this. Her hands were bound with rough oakum, a spell ensuring she could not wriggle her way loose.

Those cold, grey eyes pierced her once more. “I assure you, Miss – ?”

“Patterson,” she supplied, spine stiffening almost imperceptibly. The flash of recognition in his eyes was quickly replaced with the cold facade, but she noticed it. “My name is Sarah Grace Patterson, your grace.”

If he was shocked that she knew his name, he allowed no sign to show. “Yes, well, Miss Patterson,” his gaze swept over her dismissively. “I assure you that we remain unencumbered with concern regarding the affect the name of our… agency has on the general public. We provide a service that cannot be found elsewhere.”

“I believe you remain unencumbered by anything as burdensome as concern regarding anything, Westerfell.” She blinked, cursing the tears that threatened. After ten years, it should have been easier. “But most especially for something as human as emotions. Even when orphans are involved. Why surely, the mighty Duke of Westerfell is an automaton, so lacking in regard is he.”

Satisfaction surged through her as he sucked in a breath, the air whistling quietly between his teeth. “You, Miss Patterson, are a fractious individual, and someone needs to bring you to heel.”

“Perhaps,” she conceded, “but it shall not be you.”

YAY! That was fun. And I might even keep it. Because Sarah, bless her soulless little self, decided she was having none of this romance stuff, none of this Regency stuff. So, she is now writing herself a rather fun Victorian era steampunk/gaslamp/something.

I have lost all control, frankly. And I rather like it.

By the way – Today I learned that “huh” has been around since the 1600’s as a ‘representation of a grunting exclamation’. No, really. Etymology Online. Check that stuff out. I dare you.

Disappointment Abounds

So, my iPhone 5s broke today. Well, yesterday but I gave up hope in the early hours of the morning. It’s awesome, let me tell you. I sat my ass at work all day – no music, no Facebook or Twitter on my break. Worse, no texting with my beloved. Husband, that is.

It did not leave me feeling very warm and fuzzy, as you might imagine. But still, I persevered.

Over in my dark little corner of the writing world, the word chosen for Thesaurus Thursday was “zen”. Yes. really.

As in “Laura is decidedly not in a state of zen after not speaking to her husband all day.” The situation, however, will be ameliorated by the fact that it is a warranty issue, so I am not out the $100 deductible for an insurance claim.

That aside, I’ve always been rather lazy with writing $$ signs. I remember there being two vertical lines when I was a kid. How did I miss that even our keyboards only have one? Odd.

So, I started some research today. Not for the current project, but for one of the novels that will appear within this same series. About the scientific inventions of the early 19th century, clearly. I found a few sites that will provide some good starting points.

One of them states:

This is a list of inventors and discoverers (not necessarily Christians) who worked fundamentally from a biblical worldview
. . . with virtually no one who subscribed to an eastern, pantheist or animist worldview (to my knowledge).

Can this list be construed to imply that Europeans and Americans are more intelligent than other peoples on earth?
…Not at all! —That would be a ridiculous and repugnant notion.
—But it is the worldview (along with a measure of intellectual freedom) which makes all the difference.

A portion of the discoverers in the list subscribed to the Naturalist worldview, however, their view of nature by itself largely agrees with the biblical worldview.

Perhaps I am being simple here, but what this screams to me is not that the only notable discoveries were by Europeans and Americans, but rather that the writer of this article felt like only researching the Western world. That shows our own prejudices toward other cultures.

I’m not going to copy/paste here but just read this article on the history of science and technology in China.

Anyway, I stayed up way too late last night attempting to fix my phone. Y’all have a good night.

Overuse of Words

This is a subject that recently came up on Twitter. It was a fun discussion because it forces you to stop and actually be conscious of the words you use. ‘Tis a valuable lesson. One I missed in my personal life, it seems. Hopefully it is one I can still make up for.

Personal problems aside, at the time of the conversation my personal favorite seemed to be a phrase rather than individual word. Olivia, the heroine in my Cinderella revisioning, was always “doing as bade”. It’s 10,000 words, and I bet I use that phrase at least three times.

And it isn’t the bane of just the amateur, which is me. Stephanie Laurens, an author I absolutely adore, loves to use the word “bar” in her Cynster novels. Which was always funny to me, since the first six novels are about the group collectively known as the Bar Cynster…

Anyway. My current words seem to be “lest” and the phrase “well _____ know(s) it” – also seen as knew. Ugh. What starts these habits? Is it a limited vocabulary? I honestly thought I had a better vocabulary than evidenced by the frequency with which I use these words. Um. Is that grammatically correct? It’s late. I’m tired. I don’t know. Ugh.

Anyway. It’s Thesaurus Thursday. The words today were elapse and uproarious. Do enjoy!

Uproarious laughter echoed through the silence left by the musician’s break. Heads turned, everyone craning to see who would dare laugh so freely. Tucked into a dim alcove, Lady Patience sat frightfully close to a man. A devilishly handsome man with a wicked gleam in his eye, no doubt.

She and Patience being friends, and the latter the only daughter of Lady Hendrickson, Sarah knew she would bear the blame for this, too. Surely Lady Patience would never breach the strict rules set out for Proper Young Ladies. Not without the influence of a coarse orphan.

Several minutes, full of awkward silence then stilted conversation, elapsed. Whispers flew from mouth to ear as the scandalized Ton did what they do best: ruin an innocent girl.

Sarah put one foot in front of the other. She was so close to the dais, to Lady Jersey. It was time for her to take matters into her own hands.

She had a wager to lose, after all.

Like Pulling Teeth

Or, perhaps a better comparison is pulling away bits of my soul. This newest book is taking its toll on me. I have a very vague idea of what happens at the beginning, and (because I write romance) I know there is a Happy Ever After (HEA). I do not, unfortunately, know the in-betweens. Or frankly, beyond the prologue. It’s killing me because I know this is an idea that works. I know there is a story, a happy ending for Sarah and Stratford.

I love the Regency period, and all that it entails. That is the only era in which this story can take place. They tell me that. And for once, it isn’t even the period giving me problems. I don’t know what’s going on with this.

One thing I do know is that I have shied away from mentions of the Napoleonic Wars that were such a big part of this era. Well, not this time. I have a hero who lost sight in one eye during battle. He injured his foot in another.

I am absolutely still in the discovery stage, but I think I’m getting there. Bits and pieces are revealing themselves as I write. YAY!

Anyway, whine session over. Tis Thursday over here in Nopelandia (yes, still a thing). That means Thesaurus Thursday. Today’s choices were lobotomy and ebullient. Since the former was not coined until the 1930s, I naturally went with ebullient.

Ignoring the ebullient laughter drifting from the dance floor, Sarah contemplated the bubbles of champagne as they tickled her throat.

It might even stay in the writing, lol. Short but sweet today, folks. Have a good night!

You guys! You guys!

Oi! Good news, guys.

The narrator. She revealed herself. I was, quite frankly, shocked. And I’m being completely serious here – I had no idea who the narrator was.

But see, it’s #ThesaurusThursday over in Writer Grouplandia. And, as usual, I was trying to force the words into my daily writing – into the story itself. And frankly, it just doesn’t work like that. So I stopped, gathered my thoughts and BAM, I had it.

Here you go:

From the sepulchral prison of my room, two levels below the basement kitchens, I had watched this one child grow from babe to woman. Could this be the invitation she desperately needed? Jubilation coursed hot through my veins. Of course it was the invitation – what else could it be?

All too soon, my Olivia would find herself a part of the glittering court, a favorite of the Blood Queen, that damnable usurper to my throne. With time, the Queen will realize what I have known all along – only Olivia is worthy of my throne.

And on the day she ascends that throne, surely I will know true joy.

Poor Victoria. She recognizes that elusive something in Olivia, though she knows not what it is. She uses her incredible magicks not to free herself but to unleash retribution. In her mind, Olivia will prevail because Olivia has to prevail. She never stops to think how Adaline will react to the threat of Olivia.

Or, perhaps she does know and no longer cares. Perhaps the Queen has gone mad after all.

Want Some Bad Advice?

No, I don’t really either.

First, my apologies for standing you up yesterday. Just wasn’t feelin’ it.

Second, my submission for Thesaurus Thursday:

Helena’s fingernails dug into the palms of her hands. The incident with the prince in Tuscany had been quickly hushed up. Everyone involved agreed to never speak of it again. Not meeting his eye, Helena fretted at the edge of her silk shawl.

Finally, here’s a bit of advice from my new book. First Draft in 30 Days by Karen S Wiesner:

If you’re writing a paranormal or horror novel, there’s less of a need to include personality traits or background information in your character sketch for the villain (who might be a vampire, demon, or some other creature that’s not human). Readers don’t have to understand a paranormal villain, because it’s often simply the embodiment of evil. Therefore the reader is rightfully expected to feel nothing for the villain except fear, revulsion, and possibly helpless intrigue.

I call bullshit. I don’t care if your villain is evil incarnate. If he or she is not fully developed, I won’t be interested. Especially if you’re writing vampire fiction. You know, those formerly human undead? Yeah. All those personality traits didn’t just disappear along with their pulse. Villains are not just some walking stereotype.

Want good advice on writing villains? Get it here. Or, here. Both are by the same Author, K.M. Weiland, but one is a guest post on another blog. My good friend really likes her writing advice, and frankly – I find myself turning to it more and more.

What do you think?

Not Safe For Work…

Today is Thesaurus Thursday. The word originally chosen is delve. When I whined and cried about there only being one, I was assigned the additional words of obsequious and apathy. I had already hand-written the scene I wanted to create, so working those last two in was a bit of a challenge. Or so I thought. When I started actually typing the notes up on my Chromebook, they actually seemed to just POP. I mean, I snuck them in almost immediately whereas I had thought to fight to place them within the text.

Helena took over the scene today, 100%. And certainly not in a polite way. She begged a favor of Duncan, and in return he demanded a kiss. Well, instead of objecting as I had envisioned, she took that kiss and ran with it.

Which leaves me with a conundrum: how much of my work do I share tonight? I’ve never written a scene like this – I was fully intending on writing a “sweet romance” which leaves out all the details. Helena clearly is not on board with this.

My boss wants to read this blog sometime. For that reason – and, I’m not sure how good the dirty bits are – I’m going to keep this PC. Here are the Thesaurus bits….

Before she could say no – before she could find the sense to even think no – she felt the heat of Duncan’s mouth upon hers.

With that one touch, all recriminations were forgotten. Her skin tingled in response to the caress of his long fingers, trailing softly down her neck. She leaned obsequiously into his muscular frame. Control of the situation was his, and she would follow where he led.

Her lips parted in response to the pressure of his tongue. For the second time, her knees weakened under her. One strong arm circled her back, steadying her before she could fall. Helena traced her fingers through Duncan’s inky locks. Warmth flooded her senses, settling into her stomach.

Hesitant to break the connection, Helena fought to control her racing heart. She knew she should be fighting him, denying the pleasure, adopting an apathetic demeanor. This was definitely not the done thing. Had she not read something about not permitting liberties in one of those etiquette books her father had sent the year before.

But what could a girl do when the liberties were so pleasant?

Now, that’s the beginning, where I wormed in obsequious and apathy. Here is the later bit where I used delve…

(HAHAHAHAHAHA, I totally just couldn’t find this passage. I was freaking out! I know I used delve,where the fornication did it go??”

Here it is!

Pleasure so intense it was almost painful swept through her. Grabbing Duncan’s hair, she pulled him down to her. His mouth covered hers, as if he would delve into her soul. Her cries of ecstasy were swallowed by his kisses.

Challenge Accepted…

Perhaps I’m channeling Barney. I did, after all, name a character after him. Maybe it’s nostalgia (Although, who else feels ripped off by that ending??)

Anyway, it’s Thesaurus Thursday, as you know. Well, the lovely folks over in my favorite Facebook group set an excellent challenge. This week, the word is HINGE, but two others were thrown out as well. IRKSOME and LUCUBRATION. I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but I did. YAY!

So, without further ado, I give you…

“What a terrible crush mama. I thought you said only a few people would be here.” Eloise splayed her ivory fan in front of her face, whispering behind it to ensure no one could overhear them.

“Hush child. My friends are merely here to support us.” Lady Pourchart glanced around, assessing the crowd, and how well they would suit her purposes. “Blame that stupid niece of mine if you must. Were she not at home in bed, you would need only her word to back you up.”

“Why so many, mama? I thought the plan hinged on only a select few hearing the news.” Jerking her head about, Eloise surveyed the crowded Bridgemere music room, her mouth suddenly dry.

Too many people were present – she would end up a laughingstock if the plan did not come to fruition. No, that certainly would not do, and she would do anything to ensure it never happened.

Moments later, Lord McGillicuddy walked into the music room. His spinster sister clung to his arm, gripping the dark blue superfine of his waistcoat. Ignoring the whispers her attendance caused, Patience McGillicuddy’s eyes darted around the room until she located Eloise. Smiling brightly, she tugged Lord McGillicuddy in their direction.

Settling into the seat next to Eloise, Patience sighed heavily. “Thank you for the kind invitation, Lady Pourchot.” With a wink in Eloise’s direction, she said, “Poor Augustus is just sick over this whole ordeal, as you can imagine.”

Feigning innocence, Eloise turned a sympathetic eye to the large man next to Patience. “Ordeal? Oh, you poor man. Do tell us everything.”

“Come, let us walk about the room before the entertainment starts. Join us, Eloise?” McGillicuddy stood. When they were away from the seating area, but closer to the other guests, he said “It’s that, um, that is – my -”

“It’s that dreadful fiance of his, Eloise.” Patience broke in, speaking when her brother could not.

“Fiance? Well, that is good news. My felicitations, Lord McGillicuddy. Who is the lucky girl?” Eloise ended with a squeal, hoping it sounded sincere.

“Why that’s her, right there – the Harley girl.” Patience spoke loudly, causing all eyes to turn in the direction she indicated.

Lady Helena walked in, Duncan and his mother accompanying her. Helena wore a daring gown in beige and olive, causing Eloise to rethink the bright pink dress her mother had chosen.

“The Harley girl? But she’s – she and um… Oh, no.” Eloise said, twisting the sleeve of her new dress. She was determined to make this plan work, to rid London of that irksome girl, once and for all.

“Yes, and that is exactly what has my poor brother in such a state,” provided Patience, following Eloise’s gaze to the party across the room.

Eloise faltered – the marquis would be an intimidating enemy, one she did not necessarily desire. Staring at the girl, Eloise caught a flash of silver about Helena’s neck. Red clouded her vision. The path was set.

“Were I you, Lord McGillicuddy, I would put an end to the entire affair. I have it on good authority the girl is carrying on with Lord Blacke.”

Lord McGillicuddy paused for a moment, quickly swallowing the glass of watered-down punch being given to guests. “Yes. I hardly slept last night. Rather, I spent the night in intense lucubrations, but still – I am not sure what to do. I gave my word as a gentleman.”

At the front of the room, the four Bridgemore girls walked into the room, each carrying an instrument. The guests around them quickly made their way to sit down.


As I said, Thursdays are now Thesaurus Thursday. The word we were given is egotistical. I chose to incorporate it into my current work-in-progress, although only for the blog and group – egotistical seems to have popped up somewhere between 1855 to 1860, while my story occurs in 1816.

I do hope you enjoy. I chose not to write a scene about someone being egotistical. Rather, the word is used to describe the actions of someone. I believe it fits.

Leaning against the terrace wall, Helena massaged her temples. A bed of night gladiolus erupted behind her, the spicy fragrance driving away the lingering stench of unwashed bodies and too strong perfume. One stalk crept up the side of the stone wall, the buds open to the bright light of the full moon, tempting her. Leaning over the terrace wall, Helena reached out to pluck one lonely bud.

“Have you taken to stealing flowers now, princess? Not satisfied with hearts?” Duncan’s deep voice slid over her, quickening her pulse.

She tried to turn, but got caught in the heavy skirts of her costume. Pitching forward, she flailed wildly, attempting to avoid tumbling over the edge.

A tingle crept up her spine as Duncan grabbed the gold braided belt about her waist, hauling her back onto her feet. “Careful princess, else you’ll be face down in the flowers.”

“I’m surprised you didn’t leave me to fall over, Lord Blacke. You seem to have a knack for leaving me in the middle of rather salacious gossip.” Helena could not believe the man had followed her out here.

“Tsk. You cut deep, Helena. I had no idea gossip was being spread.” Duncan dusted off the top of the wall, motioning for her to sit.

“You’d no idea? How is that possible? I hadn’t gone more than ten yards before the gossip hit. And you ju – just disappeared into the horizon.” Helena hitched in a breath, her words coming out in a whimper.

Duncan reached for her, but she held up a hand to ward him off. “I trusted you, Duncan. How could you let this happen?”

Duncan pulled her close, sending a jolt of electricity down Helena’s spine. “I promise you, it wasn’t me. I’ve been looking for the source of the – “

The window next to them was shoved open, a thin light trailing through.

“What – “ Helena was cut off as Duncan put a finger to her lips, cutting her off. “Shh. Someone is in there,” he whispered.

Voices drifted out to them very quickly.

“Do – do you love Lord Blacke? Even a little?” Someone asked.

“Love? Don’t be absurd, Lissy. I can barely tolerate the man.” The response came quickly, the tone condescending.

“Then why trap him into marriage? Will it not just lead to disaster?”

The other female snorted before saying, “Don’t be daft, Lissandra. I will not be pawned off on some lesser son.”

“What about love?” The question was high-pitched, almost feverish. Duncan looked at Helena. He only knew one Lissandra – the orphaned niece of Jefferson Pourchart.

“For the peasants. The poor can marry for love. I will marry for title, or nothing.” The speaker became derisive, dismissive. “Now go. Lord Blacke will be here shortly. Join mama. She will ensure he is caught with his hands upon my bosom.”

Duncan quietly pulled Helena away from the window, moving her down the terrace steps to the manicured lawn.

“Do you know who that was, Lord Blacke?” Helena asked, trailing her hand across the profusion of moon flowers, the petals unfurling before her.

“I do. I suppose this explains the note I received earlier,” Duncan said. Removing the note from his pocket, he read it one more time.

“What’s going on, Lord Blacke? Who is this girl?” Helena asked.

“My business manager’s spoiled, willful daughter,” Duncan replied, moving to stand in front of Helena, wrapping his hands around hers.

“Have you given her any cause to expect a proposal from you, my lord?” The question cut deep. What would she do if he said yes?

“You wound me, Helena. I will never marry. Not anyone, not for any reason.”

Helena’s knees went weak. Not for any reason? “I – I see. Does this girl not know this?

“She does. Everyone knows, yet this girl thinks she can manipulate me to get what she wants. Of all the egotistical, selfish… Damn it, the girl will be lucky if her father keeps his job,” Duncan said.

“Should you not tell him what his daughter has been up to? Or do you suppose it was his idea?”

“I doubt he would risk his career, his reputation. Come Helena, I believe I am owed some answers.” Duncan walked back into the ballroom, Helena trailing quietly behind him.