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Rachel Brimble: Introducing Victoria & Violet…
Monday, November 28th, 2022

My latest book, Victoria & Violet, is the first novel in my brand-new Royal Maids series and I am super proud of it! Why? Because it is the first book in which I have included real people and real events alongside the fictional. To do this has been an ambition of mine ever since my first book was published in 2007 so having achieved it feels like a very big deal.

Best of all, readers and reviewers seem to be loving it, too!

Although Queen Victoria, Lord Melbourne, the Duchess of Kent, Lehzen and others feature in the book, the story really revolves around the lives and burgeoning romance of fictional housemaid Violet Parker and fictional assistant to Lord Melbourne, James Greene. These two characters were a joy to create, and their electricity was immediate which made a usually hard job all the easier!

Their paths have crossed a few times before the book opens, but the interest is firmly in James’s court (so to speak!), rather than Violet’s who has far more important and life-changing things on her mind than romance, such as escaping the clutches of her overbearing mother and forging a life of her own. Of course, it is not as though Violet would ever consider James a possible suitor considering his superior status…yet he really is most persistent!

All too soon, James and Violet are thrown together over and over again as their roles become ever more important to Victoria and Lord Melbourne. Amid a court that travels from the gardens of Windsor Castle to the corridors of Buckingham Palace to the wedding of the Queen herself, Victoria & Violet takes you on an adventure of drama, intrigue and romance that I hope has you quickly turning the pages!

Why not give it a try?

Happy reading,
Rachel x

Victoria & Violet

It should be a dream come true to serve the Queen of England…

When Violet Parker is told she will be Queen Victoria’s personal housemaid, she cannot believe her good fortune. She finally has the chance to escape her overbearing mother, a servant to the Duchess of Kent.

Violet hopes to explore who she is and what the world has to offer without her mother’s schemes overshadowing her every thought and action.

Then she meets James Greene, assistant to the queen’s chief political adviser, Lord Melbourne. From entirely different backgrounds and social class, Violet and James should have neither need nor desire to speak to one another, yet through their service, their paths cross and their lives merge—as do their feelings.

Only Victoria’s court is not always the place for romance, but rather secrets, scandals, and conspiracies…


About Rachel Brimble

Rachel lives in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of 29 novels including the Ladies of Carson Street trilogy, the Shop Girl series (Aria Fiction) and the Templeton Cove Stories (Harlequin). Her latest novel, Victoria & Violet is the first book in her new Royal Maids series with the Wild Rose Press and releases 17th October 2022.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association as well as the Historical Novel Society and has thousands of social media followers all over the world.

To sign up for her newsletter (a guaranteed giveaway every month!), click here:


Today’s Tarot + Open Contests Ending Soon!
Sunday, November 27th, 2022

I’ve been pulling cards on Sundays to try to make it part of my planning process. Every Sunday, I update my work and personal plans to ensure I record what I accomplished and didn’t, then I turn my sights on the coming week. It’s not that I “believe” in the tarot, but because it centers me and reminds me of aspects of my life I wouldn’t otherwise consider when I set my plans. So, onto this week’s card…

Pentacles again. Hmmm. Well, first, I’ll study the art on the card. We have Daedalus, again, holding the pentacles close to his chest, like he won’t share them. Remember, he’s the father of Icarus. He’s also a skilled craftsman. Here, he’s observing his nephew Thalos as young Thalos crafts a gold bracelet. See that side-eye he’s giving the kid? He’s jealous of his skill and worried that he’ll surpass him. The child is engrossed in what he’s doing, unaware of Daedalus’s concern.

What does that mean for me? I’m not sure. I’m not here worried about another person surpassing me in skill. I write and I edit for other authors. I wish everyone well.  Truly. I don’t obsess over stats or even check mine often. A sin, I know, when writing is my business. I’m okay letting go of the worry of whether or not I write a bestseller. So, what else could this mean for me? I turn to the book…

It says that the card represents my holding too tightly to my possessions or things that represent my personal value. What could that be? Yes, I’m acquisitive, meaning I collect things. They’re things that bring me pleasure whether they hold value or not. Am I getting a little overwhelmed by my things? Yes. Simply put, I need to figure out what I want to keep and what I should let go of. In the near term, could this mean that I need to price my items for the coming sale so low that I can offload my inventory? Hmmm. Or does it mean I need to do some future planning for a huge clearing out of my spaces? Selling, tossing, giving away things? I’ll keep that in mind. I can’t do much about it until after next Saturday because I’m too busy trying to create inventory for the sale. I’ll put “weaning the horde” on my December To Do list.

In the meantime, I’m creating “stuff.” Here’s another Christmas card I painted…

Can you think of things I should offer to readers here in the future to help myself empty my bins and shelves?

Open Contests

  1. My New Favorite Thing… (Contest)This one ends soon! Win an Amazon gift card!
  2. Tell me a story… (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  3. Tell me a story… (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
Saturday Puzzle-Contest!
Saturday, November 26th, 2022

Here’s another puzzle-contest for you! Our fridge is still stuffed with leftovers, but today, we start weeding/tossing what hasn’t been eaten and what is surely past its expiration. The puzzle shows you what you might do with some of those leftovers! Looks yummy!

So, solve the puzzle then tell me your favorite way to use up those leftovers for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

Tell me a story… (Contest)
Friday, November 25th, 2022

I ran across this photo and thought…there’s a story! Bet you can figure out one to tell, too! So, for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, study the photo then tell me a story! It doesn’t have to be long or even any good. Just have fun!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Thursday, November 24th, 2022

I set my alarm for 5 AM. My daughter is rising that early to start the turkey, but she needs me for one vital task, and one only. She needs me to reach inside the turkey to pull out the “stuff” inside it because she’s too squeamish and doesn’t want to start her day gagging. So, yeah. Hero Mom to the rescue. After that I might or might not go back to bed. It’s 3:30 AM presently, and I thought since I’m already up with a lovely bit of insomnia, I’d go ahead and post today’s blog.

So, from my family to yours, I wish EVERYONE a happy, wonderful day, and for those celebrating Thanksgiving, hold your friends and family close, eat too much, nap through your turkey comas, then get up to eat those leftovers again. Yes, in our house, it’s all about family and feasting—and PIE.

Cynthia Sax: Grin and Bare Him and Unlikely Heroes
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

Grin, the hero of my most recent cyborg romance release, is an architect. He designs buildings and oversees their construction. His skills are very much in demand. He enjoys his role tremendously.

His newfound heroine, Mohini, is planning an extremely dangerous mission. The participants won’t likely survive it. They will be venturing deep into enemy territory, possibly facing battle robots and armies of undead warriors. There will be explosions and shootouts and firefights in deep space.

An architect is likely not the first hero anyone would consider for such a daring assignment. (grins)

Grin isn’t a normal architect, however. He’s a cyborg and all cyborgs were trained for battle. Many of Grin’s brethren LOVE fighting. It pleases their design.

Grin doesn’t enjoy fighting. At all. His programming is different. Killing or harming beings gives him no joy.

He will fight, however, to protect the beings he cares for. Grin will do anything to keep his daring female safe, even risk capture by a past enemy and/or death.

That, I believe, makes him even MORE heroic. He is stepping forward when needed, knowing full well he isn’t the perfect candidate for the tasks he’s volunteering to complete.

I suspect you’re the same way. You’ve tackled tasks you had no experience or interest in completing because those tasks had to be done.

Maybe you took care of a child while their parents were ill, rearranging your already busy days to ensure they were tended to and happy.

Or you helped a newcomer to your town find the post office. (That is an extremely stressful task for a direction-challenged person such as myself.)

Or you loaned a much-cherished reference book to a writer, knowing the book might be damaged or you might not get it back.

Or you asked a hard question of a leader, knowing it had to be asked but the leader wouldn’t welcome it.

These are hero moves. You might not be saving the entire world but you ARE saving someone’s world. You’re making a difference in lives and in the universe.

Tell me about your moments of heroism. I want to hear how you’ve stepped forward in the past and helped when it would have been much easier for yourself not to volunteer.

Grin And Bare Him

This cyborg will be the warrior his female requires.

Cyborgs are designed to fight. That is their primary purpose and 98.2356 percent of the manufactured warriors enjoy battle. Tremendously.

Grin, a K model, is one of the rare exceptions. When he escaped his cruel creators, he set down his sword and allocated his processors to less violent pursuits. He projects he’s left his war-waging planet rotations behind him forever.

Then he meets his beautiful, beguiling female, the one being he’s destined to protect, to claim, to love for all eternity, and his plans for peace are completely decimated.

Mohini needs a ship.

She has a dangerous mission to complete and the first step in that assignment is arranging transport to an enemy-controlled planet. The vessel she has set her sights on is guarded by the sexiest cyborg she’s ever seen.

To gain access to his ship, Mohini is prepared to kiss, caress, seduce the muscular male. The mission is her focus. The pleasure she experiences will merely be a bonus.

A female has to do what a female has to do to save the universe.

Grin And Bare Him is a Cyborg SciFi Romance set in a dark, gritty, sometimes-violent universe.

It features a humanoid female undertaking a dangerous mission, a cyborg intent on keeping her alive, and an enemy with enough firepower to blow up an entire sector.

Buy Now:
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Amazon AUS:
Apple Books:

About Cynthia Sax

USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes steamy Cyborg, Alien and Contemporary Romances. Her stories have been featured on TV, in Star Magazine, and numerous top ten lists.

Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled monthly newsletter and visit her on the web at
Twitter: @CynthiaSax

My New Favorite Thing… (Contest)
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

My art room (I’m not yet ready to call it a studio, because artists have studios, and I don’t feel like one quite yet!) is a work in progress. It’s very utilitarian—industrial tile on the floor, tables and work benches on each wall, a large table in the center, which is my workspace. When my mother, who was a true artist, passed, I inherited her multitudinous art supplies. When I tried to cram them into my room with everything I’d already accumulated, I couldn’t walk around the tables without standing sideways because there was so much “stuff.” It took a super-human effort, and the help of my daughter, to get it pared down so I had floor space. I’m not kidding. I could’ve been on the hoarders TV show. Over the nearly two years since then, I’ve donated and tossed items. I’ve also looked for good storage solutions. I’m making great progress, but until recently, working on my central art table was hard because even though it’s a banquet-sized table, it was covered with the art supplies I use most. I needed a solution so I could clear the table before considering working on larger pieces.

After scouring Pinterest and other artist’s organizational tips, I found this:

It’s an IKEA Raskog rolling cart. If you go onto Amazon they’re around $100. When I went straight to the IKEA site, I found it for just $35 plus $10 for shipping. And luckily, it is one of the items they do ship! When it arrived, my SIL assembled it—it’s super easy to assemble by the way—and I began to offload my many cups and bowls of supplies onto the cart. I’m giddy over how much space I have (I’m still clearing the table, so I’ll take a picture of the finished table another day.

If you’re wondering about what that pile of stuff to the upper right of the photo is, it’s tea bags I’m drying that I’ll cut open and empty, and then paint on. I know. My daughter thinks it’s super weird, but tea bag art is awesome for collaging. That wire thing tucked in the near corner of the top rack is a large, vintage flower “frog”—an Ebay find I thought would be perfect to gather all the scissors into one place. I need more scissors!

But look at this! Here are views of the second rack:

See that wooden compartmented box? It’s a $8 flea market find and fits perfectly! I know, me and my flea marketing… And there’s a little bit of space left to fill. 🙂

Here’s the bottom shelf:

Yes, I should find some containers that take up a bit less space to maximize what space I have in the cart, but all that crap was on top of my table, and now it’s not. I can roll that sucker next to my chair when I’m working and have everything I use the most right there.

I’m beyond thrilled.

My daughter loves the cart, too. She wants one for her bathroom to hold her multitudinous beauty supplies. I bought her a white one, and it’s coming on Wednesday.

So, I shared. Now, I’d love to hear about any organizational items you use or want, or tips for how to organize smarter. Include links if you can. One commenter will receive a $5 Amazon gift card!