Seasonal Meaning

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I love to place words in an order to make a story come alive and having a sweet-happy-ending gives the tale a happy-happy-joy-joy feeling to the reader. The best time to market my books is during the holiday season, but the days are filled with friends, work events and family. As a result forgiveness is the theme for my seasonal blog.

I forgive my friends and myself for not being a good friend to the people from my past life…distance does not make the heart grow fonder. How about you? Do you have friends you’ve lost contact with and this season want to reconnect? Facebook may make it seem quick and easy, but face-to-face is more important-right?

Work events are what they are-I like to dress in evening/formal garments and chat with strangers. I hope the new acquaintances forgive me for not listening to their blah blah blah while I create new characters by using their behaviors and sometimes-odd physical anomalies.

Family, whew this is a deep well and  I don’t want to expose all of my vulnerabilities. My father and I are close; he was my mentor, guardian, teacher, confidant, and stable platform that allowed me to grow as an individual. I recently learned my siblings  might not have had the same perception of our family as I do. I’m not sure how to describe the heartbreaking lack of familial connection over the years. I guess I’ll just say I forgive them.

Happy holidays to all and to all a forgiving new year!

 

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Venice: City of Romance or a Murky Mess?

My husband and I just finished our tour of Italy. The one place I wanted to spend quality time was Venice, a city that survives all odds. Built on a eries of low mud banks constantly beaten by the tidal waters of the Adriatic the brigthly colored facades still stand in their architectural glory.

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And I wanted to walk in the same footsteps of William Shakespeare centuries ago.

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After boarding a ferry we went from the train station across the Grand Canal to Piazza San Marco. The boatmen had a muscle building tasks of tying the old-school rope instead of nylon. The earthy scent and squeaking of the line as the man wrapped it around a dock post helped distract from the constant downpour of rain.

The croweded pathways didn’t detour me from appreciating the streets made of water, or the black gondolas as the black and white striped shirted gondolier manuevered visitors through the narrow watery alleys.

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Much to my disappointment many of the churches and museums didn’t allow photographs. The art work of Venice and architecutre of the buildings cannot be adequately described…you must see them in person.

Oddly enough my favorite store consisted of Murano glass products. The beauty of the clear and brillant glass made by Venetians since 1291 helped me to decide on gifts for many family members.

Our time in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region was too short. I wanted to spend more time exploring and maybe going over to the glass factory in the small cluster of islands, Murano.

 

all rights reserved jj Keller

 

 

 

Italy: An Experience

Ciao! My husband and I returned from our Italia vacation. The international travel was from his bucket list and although the country isn’t a fav of mine, I am a fan of distinct architecture and classic art work.

Our pilots, on air Italia, were exceptional…coming and going. We prepared for the extended flight, but jet lag zapped our energy straight away. After a sluggish first day, we walked and walked, climbed and slid on the wet stones…loved every minute. Our hotel, while the small room had a water spotted ceiling and no air conditioning, the location near the Trevi Fountain couldn’t have been better…and was guarded by the military,

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because of this building.

Trevi Fountain, just a few steps away, is the largest and most famous fountain since 1762. Central Figures are Neptune flanked by two Tritons-one trying to master an unruly seahorse, the other leading a quieter beast. Symbolizes the two contrasting moods of the sea.IMG_1471.JPG

The Pantheon is my favorite building in Rome (outside the museum). Roman temple of all the Gods designed by Emperor Hadman in AD 118. The temple is fronted by a massive portico, with a screening by a cylinder fused to a shallow dome. The oculus lets the only light inside. 7th Century Christians made the structure into a church and today is lined with tombs and monuments to Raphael. There is a strict dress code and they didn’t allow women with no shirt sleeves or dresses/skirts above the knee to enter. IMG_1455.JPGIMG_1453.JPGAmazing!

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we retired. Tomorrow we travel to the Amalfi Coast.

Christmas Carols by Daisy Banks

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Christmas Carols Blog Tour.

Thank you, jj, for your kind offer to help me celebrate the release of my new book Christmas Carols, published by Liquid Silver Books on the 10th of August.

I know readers might think it a little odd to be thinking about Christmas in August but in Victorian England, where my story is set, people were used to starting their Christmas preparations early. One of the things I love about this era is the ingenuity of so many of its entrepreneurs.

The Christmas Card is one of those things designed and produced in this era. First used by Sir Henry Cole and illustrated by John Callcott Horsley in London on the 1st of May 1843 this proved to be a money spinner for generations of illustrators, poets, designers and producers. Cole had introduced the Penny Post in the UK. With the Christmas card he gave people a reason to use it for more than letters.

Victorian Christmas cards are often sentimental and the best of them in my opinion are self-made. This is a tradition which is delightful to follow. You send your friend not a bought card with a print out of the family’s doings in the last eleven months but a personal greeting card. You can, of course buy templates for cards but the very best ones are those with original designs and messages. If you intend to send many cards and don’t want to have to buy them I would suggest you start early. I love the snowy street scene as a basis for a card because the possibilities of making it all your own are endless.

Being in mourning Alice Broadbrace, my heroine in Christmas Carols doesn’t send cards. It would be unseemly for a widow to celebrate anything. As can be seen from this excerpt, Victorian life as a widow often proved an obstacle course to avoid scandalizing the community.

Excerpt

“Mrs. Broadbrace!”

She turned and smiled at the vicar. “Good evening, Mr. Francis. Do you wish to speak with me?”

“Indeed. A splendid recital, don’t you agree?”

“Oh, yes. Thrilling.”

“I want to thank you, Mrs. Broadbrace, for your work with the floral displays. They have been superb.”

She smiled. “I’m glad you approve of them. You are quite happy with the accounting from the wholesaler?”

“I am. The committee agreed last night it is a modest sum to pay for such exquisite work. They have also charged me to inform you they wish to offer you a quarterly sum in recompense for your efforts.”

“Oh, that is gratifying, sir. I’d be most grateful.”

“Indeed, but we’ll keep the information to ourselves, we don’t want any tittle-tattle about it.”

She sighed. Every aspect of her life seemed tinged with the threat of gossip. “Of course.”

“Are you on your way to take tea?”

“No, sir. Not unaccompanied. I’m afraid it might raise eyebrows.”

“Then, Mrs. Broadbrace, join me as my guest for tea.”

“That is kind of you, but I think I’ll make my way home now. I’ll be back here tomorrow, sir, and leave you some of my suggestions for the seasonal floral displays.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Broadbrace. Good evening.”

“Good evening.” She made her way to the church door and out into the darkness. The streetlamps flicked and the November wind, brutal as any bully, shoved at her skirt and scoured her cheeks. All the way home, as she trod the low-lit street, she hummed snips of the music that had lifted her heart.

What a wonderful evening. Next week, she would attend again.

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Blurb

Stephen Grafton, the blind organist at Holy Trinity Church, is gaining a reputation for his fine playing and compositions. Alice Broadbrace’s initial venture back into society after years in deep mourning brings her to the notice of the talented organist, and he offers her the opportunity to sing a solo carol to his accompaniment. His courage convinces her to find her own, while her charm entices him into thoughts of romance. A difficult walk in a snow storm is only the beginning of Stephen and Alice’s journey to happiness. Enjoy this sweet Victorian tale of talent and love blossoming.

Thanks for reading

Daisy Banks

Find Daisy Banks here

Blog http://daisybanks.wordpress.com/

Website http://daisybanksnovels.yolasite.com/

Twitter @DaisyBanks16

Facebook http://on.fb.me/18iRC35

Pinterest http://bit.ly/16sF1XG

Tsu   http://www.tsu.co/DaisyBanks

Amazon http://amazon.com/author/daisybanks

Buy Links

Amazon

http://amazon.com/author/daisybanks

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1NWh8gi

itunes

http://apple.co/1IN2oP2

Kobo

http://bit.ly/1y85pJt

Daisy Banks is the author of

Soon to be available with Liquid Silver Books Serving the Serpent

Christmas Carols

Marked for Magic

To Eternity

A Perfect Match

Timeless

Valentine Wishes

A Gentleman’s Folly

Your Heart My Soul

Fiona’s Wish

A Matter of Some Scandal

Daisy’s books are available here

Amazon    http://amazon.com/author/daisybanks

Barnes and Noble   Kobo   iTunes

Daisy Banks writes a regular monthly story in the Sexy to Go compilations.

Attribution for Snowy Street scene

Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_almoond’>almoond / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

daisy banks is an awesome author…I recommend you purchase Christmas Carols. It is a joyful pleasure.

jj Keller