Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog.
Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

When The Muse is Fickle--Or I Am

Confession time. I hear it's good for the soul. OK, so I've been in a bit of a writing funk for the past several months, ever since I finished the third book in my Ladies in Time Series. I submitted that hard-fought story to my Wild Rose Press editor--more on Secret Lady later-- and the writer's funk/block, ensued. Deep down, I don't want to let the story go. But I have to move on. I can't hang out in the Civil War indefinitely, nor do I want to, though it's got a hold on me...

(Beth at the old family homeplace in the Shenandoah Valley, circa 1819--the  house, not me.)

Unlike those authors I envy who wrap themselves in an era and never depart  from it, I wander through time like a restless spirit. My ADD (attention deficit) may feature in this. The only parameters for my Ladies in Time Series is that the titles feature a strong young woman, just out of high school or college age, who travels back in time, so far in Virginia. I'm expanding this to allow her to travel forward or meet the hero who goes backward. Romance, mystery, history, adventure, and the paranormal are key elements. There may or may not be a connection character wise with previous titles, and I can send her--or him--wherever I like. Choosing is a challenge. 

To justify my delay in writing, I insist I'm doing research, and I am. Heaps. You have to, if you're gonna bounce around in time like I do. First, I decided to set my next story in the eighteen nineties and immersed myself in that era, finding it necessary to watch a lot of documentaries. My reading included half a dozen journals penned by country doctors who practiced in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century, because I want to feature a country doctor, of course. I picked up some interesting medical info in the process. Shocking what they used back then to treat people. Amazing anyone survived the cures. But I didn't stop there. Heck no. 

I've also read up on Victorian ghosts. Just because. Also, one of the medical journals had a fascinating paranormal account. It inspired me, and I can always use more of that. Then I decided to set the story farther into the twentieth century. That way, my doctor can access electricity for the time machine he's building. I hadn't anticipated that, and this endeavor doesn't leave him many free hours for practicing medicine, but, oh well. I concluded he needs a power source, and am contemplating how to construct such a machine. Tough to do. Apparently, they're not real, though I came across a scientist hard at work on one. He maintains his invention can only go forward in time--theoretically. Who wants to go there, dude? Us history folk are fascinated with the past. Stay with the program.

After exhaustive research--did you know the concept of time travel was unknown until H. G. Wells wrote The Time Machine, published in 1895?--I asked my Facebook crowd how they might build a time machine. Most wouldn't. I got reactions like, "Oh, we don't like machines. Use a locket or something cool like that for a portal." But I've written many approaches to time travel and want a machine this go.

Consequently, I've agonized over my creation but am making progress. It would be a lot easier to travel via a locket. My latest inclination is to focus on the nineteen fifties as my landing site, not because of Back to the Future. Seriously. I'm really nostalgic about the fifties. I was born then. But who knows? The Victorian era still beckons to me. It's quite possible I'm struggling to construct two different stories in two vastly dissimilar eras. I need to pick one and start writing again. I miss it. Writing is a big part of who I am.

Meanwhile, I spend hours in the garden. Soon, it will be too hot to linger outdoors. Then, I tell myself, I will get stuck in, as the Brits say, on whichever of these tales I choose. Unless I wander elsewhere. 

Book 1 in my Ladies in Time Series, Somewhere My Lady, is nearing its one year book birthday. This story was a joy to write and came to me like a gift. Rare indeed.

I'm drawn to including ghosts in my stories, and can't stay away from the paranormal. As I wrote Somewhere My Lady, ghostly figures appeared in the front hall for a dance. Yes, Somewhere My Lady is a ghostly time travel romance with a surprising mystery. The history is well researched. I enjoy blending fantasy and history in my time travels. 

Story Blurb:

Is he real or is he a ghost?
Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn't expect to receive a note and a kiss from a handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.

Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna - and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart's life before the Midsummer Ball.

"Somewhere My Lady would be a great novel to take on a vacation where you could read while relaxing on the beach or at the pool. Top it off with a tropical cocktail, and you have the makings of a beautiful day. I found the writing and the storytelling to be superb." ~

Somewhere My Lady is available in kindle and print at Amazon and soon to be out in Audio.

For more on me, visit my Amazon Author Page:


  1. Oh, it's hard when you can't get going again, isn't it? When it happens to me, I read. Good luck!

    1. Thanks Jennifer. Onward ho and hoping to find my spot.

  2. I belong to a group consisting of writers of all genres. It's amazing how talking about vampires, historical events, wineries, poetry, etc, gets my imagination going again on my own suspense/mysteries. My brain gets reset somehow. Congrats on the upcoming one-year birthday on your book!

  3. Your character, while taking a break from his work, comes upon, deep in the woods, an old rundown cabin. What he discovers in the cabin changes his life. A machine, too far advanced for his time period. Directions and a note left by the creator are found. He discovers that this is a time machine! Something he has been trying to create, without success. The creator is from the future, who came back in time and met the love of his life and chose to stay in this time period. Amazing possibilities pop into his head as to what he can do with this machine. Or something like that.Looking forward to your next book. ❤❤

    1. Wow, LeeAnn! you should write this one up. Great imagination. And thanks.

  4. Beth I’m amazed at all you do already. The next idea is just under the surface in your subconscious...

  5. I'm always interested in your stories and your blogs, Beth. You are an amazing person.

  6. Sounds like fascinating research, Beth. You'll get back at writing soon. It'll drive you crazy until you do. Trust me on this!

  7. I'm the opposite, in that I tend to start writing BEFORE I do my research. But I understand the "research rabbithole". Hope you can climb out and start writing soon.

  8. As a writer of time-travel stories, I can relate, Beth. After I wrap up a story, my spirit is divided: one in the present and the other continuing to drift in the past. I usually take a week or two to let everything settle before returning to my writer's cave. Perhaps there's another unfinished story lingering in the century you left after writing Somewhere My Lady? I'm confident you'll return to the research and penning another fabulous story. All the best!


Thank you for commenting on Smart Girls Read Romance. We love readers and love their comments. We apologize that due to a few unethical spammers we've had to institute comment moderation. Please be patient with us... we DO want your genuine comments!