Tag Archives: The Lily Brand

Fall Back in Time

Fall Back in Time selfieAre you ready to fall back in time?

Today the Historical Romance Network celebrates historical romance with a big social media party, where authors and readers and, I hope, you, too post selfies with their favorite historical romances, using the hashtag #FallBackInTime. Check out the event page here. I myself will be posting selfies on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ throughout the day because I simply couldn’t decide on just one historical romance.

And you can also win things! Oodles of authors are giving away e-books or signed paperbacks to randomly selected people taking part in the big party. I will be giving away a signed paperback copy of the old Dorchester edition of THE LILY BRAND.

Fall back in time giveaway

Writer’s Desk, 25 October

Writer's Desk: preparations for the re-release of The Lily Brand
I’m still working on The Lily Brand: I’m now proofreading the final file, cleaning up typos and grammatical errors as I go along. It has made me strangely happy to realize that the rhythm of my prose hasn’t much changed in the course of the past ten, eleven years: I can easily pick up where my original text was changed and edited. These are just small things, mind you: a word that was cut, a sentence that was slightly expanded, but in many cases I’m still changing them back to my original text.

My ability to just do so pleases me to no end. πŸ™‚

Writer’s Desk, 22 October

20141022_180050
On Sunday, there will be a post by yours truly on the Queer Romance Month blog, where I will briefly talk about my motivation for including a gay couple in The Lily Brand. Writing the post served as the proverbial kick to the butt, for it finally made me knuckle down and start making The Lily Brand ready for re-release. It should be back up by Sunday, at the latest.

I hope.

*fingers crossed*

Anyway, I spent last Sunday fiddling around with the cover design, and this is the result. I hope you like it as much as I do. πŸ™‚

the new cover for The Lily Brand

On Fake Ruins and Pineapples: Garden Follies

As a lover of all things weird and wondrous, I’m a big fan of garden follies, and I try to put as many as I possibly can into my novels.

Follies were, and still are, an important element in the landscape gardens that became so popular in the early 1700s. These gardens were fashioned to imitate nature, and follies were used as vocal points: they were supposed to steer the gaze of the people ambling about the gardens and to present the finishing touch to a pretty vista. They could serve more practical purposes, too, and, indeed, many of them were used as tea houses or bathing houses.

Many follies were built in the neo-classical style, with clean, symmetrical lines (as far as follies go, they are of the plain variety). But if you were rich (well, let’s face it, if you could afford a landscape garden with a few follies thrown in, you inevitably were rich) and had eccentric tastes, you would want some more … uhm … colourful stuff in your garden.

Crazy about Egypt? Put a mini pyramid in your garden.

Love all things China? A Chinese pagoda is the way to go.

Do you like nothing more than pineapples? Well then, there’s no need to just grow them in your hothouse. Put stone pineapples onto your garden follies!

Are you fascinated by the Middle Ages and chivalry and tales about King Arthur and the Tableround? In that case, I would suggest a gothic temple (or two) and some fake ruins. You can never go wrong with fake ruins!

The sketch at the top of this post shows the fake ruins in the park of Rousham House (sorry for the crappy quality of the picture; for some reason, Blogger doesn’t want to upload a cleaner version – duh). I love those ruins; they are one of my favourite follies. So of course, I just had to use them in The Lily Brand, given that it was my first published novel and all that. (If you’d like to find out more about fake ruins and the appeal of the gothic, come over to Bookish, where I’ll be doing a guest post next week as part of their SPOOK-tastic Bookish Halloween.)

There are no garden follies in Castle of the Wolf, alas. But hey, they live in a halfway ruined castle on top of a hill – where would I have put a garden folly in that scenario??? Bewitched, however, more than makes up for the lack of follies in Castle: the hero’s family has this lovely big country estate, whose park simply begged to be filled with exotic architecture. A small pavilion in the garden of VeitshΓΆchheim in Bavaria provided the inspiration for the following:

Fox drew her along the path. “Come on, there must be a bench somewhere around here.”

Still laughing, Amy complied. “If you think I’ll let you talk me into shedding my boot and stocking, you belong in Bedlam!”

“Hush. This is serious. Oh, look here! There’s the small pavilion. Even better than a mere bench.”

“There are pineapples on top of it.”

“Stone pineapples.” He urged her to sit down onto one of the benches in the pavilion.

“Why are there pineapples on top of it?” It struck her as absurd.

He shrugged. “Because grandfather liked pineapples?” he suggested. “I really don’t know. Now show me your foot.”

She laughed. “You’re mad.”

He went down on one knee in front of her, which brought their faces nearly on one level. With an impatient gesture, he whipped his hat off his head and put it on the other bench. A few strands of coppery hair tumbled into his face.

Oh my, she thought. He looks delicious. Her stomach lurched. This time, her laugh sounded more like a squeak.  “You are mad.”

Putting his hands on the bench on each side of her, he leaned forward until they were nearly nose to nose. “Mad with love,” he whispered.

This time, her stomach didn’t lurch, it somersaulted. Oh my. Ohmyohmyohmy.

By the way, did you know that Bewitched is available for only $ 0.99 right now? Grab your copy here. (For some strange reason, the German price is much higher. So far I haven’t been able to figure out why; I might need to contact the KDP support team about that.)

New covers!

Would you like to have a look at the new covers for my old novels? I hope you’ll like them just as much as I do!

For Castle of the Wolf, I’ve decided to go with another grumpy-looking (but scrumptious!) man in blue.

And for The Lily Brand, we need some chesticles, of course!

People are saying nice things about my books

I like it when people are saying nice things about my books. Especially when I find these nice things while proofreading a horrible chapter from the dratted diss in which the dragonz bite me in the butt. (Bad dragonz!)

Posted on the amazon boards in the thread “Big, strong, powerful and protective heroes“:

Sandra Schwab’s book THE LILY BRAND is A MUST! I believe you’ll enjoy it, and it doesn’t push the envelope too hard. It’s very, very touching at the end. If you buy one thing off this list, let it be this book. Seriously. I think everyone should read it, and it makes a great surprise gift because few have. I gifted it to my snooty-goth neice and even SHE loved it, lol.

πŸ™‚

Revisiting Old Friends

I hope you’ve all had lovely holidays and have recovered from those plentiful holiday dinners by now. *g*

I’ve just posted the first part of a belated Christmas present for you on my website: a holiday epilogue to THE LILY BRAND. Of all my characters, Troy and Lillian deserve a little bit of holiday cheer the most, don’t they? And now, in “Christmas at Bair Hall,” they get it. πŸ™‚ I hope you’ll enjoy reading the epilogue just as much as I enjoyed writing it! I’ll post the other parts in the course of the next few days.
Happy reading!

Speaking of Books

Ana, a reader from Portugal, reviewed THE LILY BRAND on her blog and gave it a B+. Yay! *Sandy blows a kiss down south to Portugal*

Speaking of books, among the novels I read in the past few weeks was Teresa Medeiros’s latest release, SOME LIKE IT WICKED. Teresa is an author whose books are like warm, cuddly blankets, with which you want to snuggle up on your couch on a cold winter’s day: to escape an unwanted wedding, Catriona Kincaid marches into Newgate Prison and strikes a bargain with a disgraced nobleman, Simon Westcott, the enfant terrible of London society. Together they travel to the Highlands in order to save Catriona’s clan and find her brother — but a villain is already hot on their heels. And in the end, what they find in the Highlands is not quite what Catriona has expected. This was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
A friend of mine (yes, I’m looking at you, Esther) got me hooked on Patricia Briggs’s Mercedes Thompson series. I’ve read the first book, MOON CALLED — it’s fast and furious and great fun to read. And the hero(es)! Oh, the hero(es)!!! Scrumptious, super-sexy werewolves. Hmm. πŸ™‚

I also tried Deanna Raybourn’s SILENT IN THE GRAVE, but for some reason the book and I didn’t really fit. I guess my former folklore professor is to blame: I know too much about death in the Victorian Age… πŸ™‚