Jeeze. Where has this month gone? I’m hoping to complete a lot of things today. I have to. My old puppy has to go back to the vet tomorrow so my Friday is spoken for. I can tell she’s achy today. I’m achy today. If that alone wasn’t an indicator of a change in the weather, first thing this morning I was met with a frosty ring around the moon. Then I was entertained by a vermillion sunrise. Uh oh. We’re expecting rain today.
Most everyone is familiar with the two weather adages the sailors of yesteryear swore by: Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. Ring around the moon, rain before noon. How does that work? Well, the red sky is seen because the sunlight is encountering dust particles churned into the air from a storm system that just passed from the west, and indicates a storm system moving to the east. Typically, if the morning sky is a deep fiery red, it means a high water content in the atmosphere. So… rain on the way. Ring around the moon? High cirrus clouds full of ice crystals form those rings. Halos mean rain too.
Ugh..so many files. I had forgotten about this other Nicolas Halstead character interview. It was created for Romance Lives Forever. Kayelle Allen asked very good questions. She also owns the Marketing for Romance Writers group, blog, and Facebook page etc. I highly recommend MFRW as a terrific resource. Here’s a portion of that post:
Rose Anderson, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We’re excited to interview your character, Nicolas Halstead from the book, Loving Leonardo – The Quest
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Nicolas Halstead 11th Earl of Halstead: 31 years old. House of Lords, Art Historian for the famed Ashmolean Museum. He acquires and manages her Majesty’s art collections.
Elenora Schwaab Halstead: 24 years old. The new Lady Halstead. Student of philosophy, Suffragette, and American Progressive. Daughter of the American Consul to her Majesty Queen Victoria.
Luca Franco: 32 years old. The new Professor of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum. Son of a Venetian merchant. Head of the Franco family. He acquires items of history to add to the vast museum collections.
Interview with Nicolas Halstead
Tell us about yourself.
Nicolas seated himself and crossed his legs comfortably before him. “Well, let me see…My name is Nicolas Halstead, 11th Earl of Halstead. I’ve assumed my deceased father’s seat in House of Lords. Though my travels puts me hardly ever there. As a young man I was educated at Eaton, and then finished my art history education at Oxford. From there I did my internship at the Ashmolean, where I recently became a fellow. It falls to me to add to her Majesty’s collections of state, and to do so, I acquire artworks from private holdings and collections.
I’m an exceedingly private person. To maintain that desired privacy, I live in London, away from the family estate. Mrs. Fletcher, my housekeeper, looks after me and has since the accident that killed my parents. My grandmother, Lady Augusta Halstead did me an immeasurable kindness when she gave me over to her trusted servant’s care all those years ago. She has no idea of the bond between Mrs. Fletcher and me, or what we truly share. You see, my Grandmother comes from a time of little deviation from the path society placed before you. The old dear would come undone in knowing the truth of me.”
Nicolas’ lips twitch. “Until recently, I lived a quiet, somewhat content, life.”
Tell us about Ellie and Luca.
The twitch transformed into a wide smile. “I’ll assume by the question, you are aware of my nature. Therefore, to phrase it simply, we three are lovers and I love them. It’s trite to say, but we complete one another in ways we hardly realized were incomplete. Through them, I’ve discovered and accepted myself.
Were I to describe my new wife, I’d say she’s unlike anyone, male or female, of my acquaintance. Bold as brass in speaking plainly…in attitude and affections as well. She’s a suffragette, a progressive in the truest sense. If any woman deserved the vote it would be she. Her mind is extraordinary, her heart fiercely loving and protective. She’s American, you know. In general, Americans reminded me of impressionist artists. The Impressionists violated the rules of academic painting, and Americans violate the rules of conventionality. As a student of nuance, I very much like her. That on top of the love I feel. I consider Ellie to be a true partner in life and love.
Luca? He and I are cut from the same cloth in our interests and we share compatible views. I see Luca as one of the world’s purest souls. He’s kind and sensitive, loving and thoughtful. And I’ll add to that — he’s compassionate and self-sacrificing to a fault. Luca is also bold and brave, far braver than I. He’s been through a lot in the last ten years. Were I able, I’d take the heartache onto myself to free him of it. I know he would do the same for me. He’s a man anyone would be proud to know, let alone love.”
What do you think is your strongest point?
“Modesty?” He laughed. “How does one consider their strongest attributes without sounding conceited? Let me see…I’m a loyal friend and devoted to those I love. I have empathy. Consequently, the unfortunate and hungry souls in Rome laid me quite low when we were there. It still weighs upon my mind. Admitting to that, I’d have to add that I’m more than soft-hearted, I’m painfully aware. I suppose that is my strongest and weakest attribute — my attention to detail. I simply do not possess a blind eye. Given my training and interest in the artworks of the ages, I readily grasp nuance. I see the subtle shading of life in those small details often missed by others. It allows me to read situations quickly. Not a bad skill for a man with a deviate’s proclivity in an intolerant world!”
As a child, who was your best friend? Tell us about him/her.
“When I was a lad of twelve or so, Mrs. Fletcher’s orphaned nephew Thomas came to Halstead. He was a few years older than I. Possessing a ready talent with horses, he took a position working in the stables. I got to spend time with him when my Grandmother was out and about. I found him witty and fun and although our stations in life divided us, we enjoyed one another’s company. I went away to school and we stayed in touch through letters. When I returned home, I went to the stable to find my friend, and instead found him with his lover, the farrier’s son. Thom and I became lovers shortly after. Our relationship changed. And so had I.”
What do you wish was different about your life?
“I was born to a world divided by class structure and limitations. My mind sees the outward trappings of this divide daily, especially at Halstead. But my relationships with Mrs. Fletcher and her nephew Thomas transcend such boundaries. They mean the world to me, and my heart rebels at the very idea that I must keep my love for them a secret. I love Luca as well. It wasn’t all that long ago, loving him would cost us our lives. There’s no longer a death penalty for homosexual Englishmen, but we still are not free to love. In summary, I long to openly show my affections.”
If you were given your fondest wish, what would it be?
“I’d wish to turn back the clock to see my dear Thom living a full and happy life. We’d been together nearly thirteen years before I married Ellie. It was he who ended our relationship out of respect for her. I miss him.”
What do you wish I had asked you? Please ask and answer it now.
“I would have asked, Will we ever live in a tolerant world? My answer would be, yes. It’s 1887. Look how far we’ve come. Women will be voting side by side with men shortly, and are soon to be equal in every way. Especially if my wife has her say! With such social progress broadening our understanding of ourselves, I can’t imagine it taking long for prejudice, bigotry, and hatred to fall by the wayside. Love and kindness, tolerance and charity – these are precepts of faith around the world. But we don’t need our faith to tell us this is best. Like water, mankind eventually follows the path of least resistance. I have every confidence that before long, we’ll do what makes sense.”
Love Waits in Unexpected Places – Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories
Sample books 1&2 of Loving Leonardo adventure & the rest for free!
If you’re here for the first time, my husband and I are building a vintage holiday postcard scrapbook one card at a time. I’ve been posting one or two post cards each day and plan to keep it up from now until January.
Here’s another fun recipe from the mountain of files. I make these all the time.
Crunchy Spicy Chickpeas
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly spray a large baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Drain soaked or canned chickpeas and pat dry with a paper towel. Spread evenly over the pan, toss with the olive oil, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt. Bake until golden brown approximately 40 minutes. Taste test one from time to time to be sure you’re not over-baking them. They do harden slightly and crisp up as they cool.
Using the same basic instructions, you can do these flavors:
3 T sun dried tomatoes in oil, pureed
2 – 4 T olive oil
2 T dried minced onion, garlic powder
1 tsp of each: dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, sea salt
1/4 t pepper or to taste
3 T grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp chat masala, paprika salt to taste 1/4 tsp each garlic powder, pepper 1 T olive oil
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp each cumin, chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne to taste. Sea salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil 1 1/2 teaspoons Brown Sugar 1/4 tsp each salt, cinnamon
Author Molly Daniels/Kenzie Michaels’ blog day.
RB4U is participating in author Nikki Barrett’s READER APPRECIATION GIVEAWAY — Lots of prizes. Enter today!
Our December contest has approximately 30 prizes for one winner, including a $75 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. I’m adding a free book from my backlist to the loot. Read the pages and find the dancing Santas.
Today is The Genesis of the Story ~ Author J.D. Faver is sharing the creative spark behind A Sandcastle Christmas.
Several promotional opportunities for romance authors can be found on my Exquisite Quills group blog.
First Kiss Wednesday ~ share your best 300 word kiss.
Set the Scene in Six ~ share your backdrop or lead-up on Sundays.
The Genesis of the Story ~ share the spark that ignited your novel
Author Interviews ~ We’re booking 2014 now.
Coming January 2014
A place for your old stars to shine
* FREE * FREE * FREE * FREE * FREE * FREE * FREE *
Exquisite Quills presents A Holiday Anthology Vol. 1
Many holiday short stories in several styles written
by more than a dozen authors. And it’s FREE!
Hi, Rose! I always wondered about the red sky thingy and now I know. And I love the covers. And I collect some postcards too. Happy holidays!
Thanks for stopping by today Vicki. It’s funny how so many of those old wives’ tales just have observation behind them.
Happy holidays to you and yours as well! 🙂
I’m a weather empath too these days and it can be a real pain! My body announces rain at least a day before it arrives. Hope you have fine weather for your solstice drumming event!
Thanks Gemma. A weather empath. I like that! Yes, these old joints know exactly what the barometer will say.
As for drumming, as long as the roads are good, my drummers will be here. We’re a determined lot. lol
I had heard of the red sky but not the halo rings. They can tell so much without science! I’m going to trust the weather skies more than the weatherman!
The old wives’ tales are pretty remarkable when you think about the tens of thousands of years of weather observation behind them. Knowing what was brewing could save your life.
Hi Rose, loved your photo of the ring around the moon. I’ve never heard that adage, or ever seen it. Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome. 🙂
I made a video of moon pictures set to music for my husband (one of my more creative gifts), and I discovered many weird weather/moon images. Do you know there’s such a thing as a “moonbow”? It’s like a rainbow at night.
That moon was a beautiful sight! The weather has been not the greatest so far this season with a very cold November and already a bit of sub-zero in December. Today it’s raining, but by Monday night all this rain sitting on frozen ground is going to be a dangerous skating rink when we go back to below zero again! Normally I’m OK with having 4 seasons, but I am not exactly thrilled about sub-zero temps. And neither is my old boiler which needs to last a bit longer 😉