Emma Lane hands out the bouquets

I welcome to the blog today talented US author Emma Lane. As well as turning out great stories she is also an expert on gardening matters.  So if you want a great display of blooms read on … over to you Emma.

By Emma Lane

Bring the outside in with a Fall bouquet. Not sure how, then let me help you. Here are a few tips to help make it easier.

Native and ornamental grasses: What fun to gather them on one of those perfect Fall days when the skies are vivid blue, a soft breeze tumbles your hair, and tick seed clings to your jeans. Best to do your hunt and gathering just before the leaves are all off the trees. Anything interesting is fair game, but do learn to identify dried ragweed and seeds. Not one to bring into the house; it will still make you sneeze. I’ve used the seed tassels of ornamental grasses and a wild reed which is listed as a nuisance plant. It overtakes our native cattails apparently. Even so I love the tassels which are free for the taking. Spot a batch where your sneakers will stay dry.

Love cattails? Pick when they turn brown, most likely mid to late summer. If you bring a ripe cattail inside to the warmth, it will explode with a predictable mess. Trust me; I’ve had the experience. Grab a handful in summer and dry them in a dark, dry place. Pull them out in the fall for a perfect addition to the dry bouquets.

Chinese lanterns (physalis) are perfect for Fall. They’ll last and last, but eventually lose their color. I’ve been known to spray them lightly with red paint, but the odor of fresh paint is not pleasant. Tend well ahead of time and let dry in the garage.

The purple flowers are grown under a hoop house which protects from the early frosts. They won’t stand up to a real freeze, but are perfect for Fall bouquets. Lisianthus is a favorite of florists because they last so long in the vase. Any late bloom will perk up a Fall bouquet. I’ve used long stems of mums, stray daisies, and geranium. Use your imagination and have fun with Fall bouquets. They’ll keep you cheerful until it’s time to decorate for Christmas.

Don’t worry about which flowers to use. Anything and everything will be perfect because you chose it. The important ingredient in creating your bouquet is to have fun.

Now here’s a little from my latest Regency Romance to enjoy along with your lovely bouquet.

Elisabeth is a lively young lady ripe for adventure. She’s lived the sheltered life of the privileged during the Regency era of the 1800’s and is on the cusp of entering society when she joins her older sister at a house party. On the enormous estate in the spreading mansion of a duke, she mistakes her host for the fat squire down the road. Thus begins an adventure which is against all her training. She knows her mother would not approve. Was that half the intrigue of meeting a stranger in private?

The handsome but incognito Richard Hawlester, Duke of Roderick, weary of toad-eating house guests, engages in a serious flirtation with young Elisabeth Barrows, who is primed for an exciting adventure. Mistaking the fat squire for the duke, she holds her secret relationship with a man known only as Richard, Nobel Rescuer, close to a tender heart while discovering love for the first time.

Elisabeth’s trust seems irrevocably lost when the duke’s actual identity is revealed. Realizing his mistake, Roderick begins an earnest, dangerous, and often hilarious campaign to convince her of his love. Elisabeth ponders whether true love can overcome the loss of trust between two people, even as danger presents in the guise of a vile, undesirable suitor, while a wicked assassin makes an attempt on the life of the duke. Trust broken can never be regained, or can it?

AmazonWild Rose Publishing

Emma Lane is a gifted author who writes under several pen-names. She lives with her patient husband on several acres outside a typical American village in Western New York. Her day job is working with flowers at her son’s plant nursery. Look for information about writing and plants on her new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma’s face.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter.



8 things a lady needs to know about travelling (uninvited) on a naval ship in hostile waters.

May Ship for Only a Hero

Today I have brought along Hetty Avebury who is the heroine of  ‘Only a Hero Will Do’.  She wishes  to share some advice  about travelling at sea in the nineteenth century.   Hetty unfortunately found herself  sailing  on a naval frigate,  uninvited and-

Excuse me, Susan. If I am not mistaken, you did say I could  do this blog – after all I am the person who experienced the stressful but educational elements of  the  voyage , and  I don’t want you to say anything indelicate. Perhaps you  can go and arrange for tea and cake. I will look after the visitors. Oh! Where are my guests precisely?

Okay, Hetty, you carry on. Trust me, they are out there listening, just talk – you’re good at that. But don’t give away too much of the plot before I come back.

Good! She has gone.  Good day. Are you there ?  Well I shall  assume you are even though I fear my author has become quite addled brained. I hope she brings back some scones as I have a weakness for scones. In fact I have a few weaknesses.  Gambling is one – luckily I am very good at it. My scheming family do not realise that I am able to gain funds this way. Therefore you might say it is also a strength.
Another weakness is books. I do love books! I can never get enough of the exciting informative kind (if you understand my meaning). The attendant at the library back home always examined my choices, so they were limited to the mundane. However, whilst I was at sea, Dr Withington lent me some books which were very informative.
But I must return our attentions to the purpose of this  blog, where I will share some useful tips about sea travel.

So  here are  eight things a Regency lady needs to know about travelling (uninvited) on a naval ship in hostile waters.

1.  Make sure you know which is the leeward side (the sheltered side) of the ship. It is important to know which way the wind is blowing when you are prone to seasickness. It was a shame about Doctor Withington’s coat-but luckily it was only his second best.

2.  Do not stray from the quarterdeck. The stern end is the civilised end of the ship. Although it is a lot more colourful down the pointed end.

3.  Prepare for your sleep to be interrupted. The ringing of the ship’s bell and the beating of drums occur at regular and unsociable times.

4.  Do not complain of boredom, believe me that is a good sign. If you see a French ship approaching things will get very unpleasant, and you will soon wish to be bored again.

5.  If you have a chance to pack for the journey (which I did not) include warm clothing. Also a supply of lemon juice is useful to bathe freckles, which multiply like a plague of insects across your skin once exposed to the sea air.

6.  Prepare to be stoic. You will witness the misery and sacrifice of war. Even If you are lucky enough to avoid battle, deaths on board from injury and disease occur frequently.

7.  Do remember to knock the weevils from the ships biscuits, and do not try to cut biscuits into delicate pieces; they resist all attempts.

8. If there is a tall, sombre physician around, whose job it is to keep you out of trouble, and looks at you with eyes … Oh, no –  she is coming back with the tea – but alas no scones .

There is much more to tell dear readers, and if you feel like indulging in a romantic adventure and discovering what happened during and after my unscheduled voyage, please take a look at Only a Hero Will Do. (I haven’t even begun to tell you about Doctor Withington and you need to know about him.)

Spring 1810 – Hampshire England.    

Marriage to a cruel dandy is not how Hetty Avebury envisions spending the rest of her life. Determined to avoid the match, she raises funds the only way she knows how – by gambling. When her plans go astray, she finds herself on board a man-of-war under the care of its high handed physician. But Hetty soon realizes that Doctor Withington is not quite the stuffed shirt she had first imagined. 

If it wasn’t bad enough declaring one of the pressed men as a woman, Robert Whitington has been tasked with the tiresome job of returning Miss Hetty Avebury safely back to her dysfunctional family. Ten years earlier, his father had gambled away Robert’s inheritance, home, and any chance of marrying the woman he loved.  So when Robert discovers Hetty gambling, he takes drastic action to cure her of the habit.

Yet with her self-proclaimed betrothed hot on her heels,can Hetty really trust the doctor?

t  Amazon UK   Amazon US

 Learn more about  my books at susanlodge.com

Win a paperback copy of Rebellious Cargo.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The frigate was his life. It was her nightmare.

Rebellious Cargo by Susan Lodge

Rebellious Cargo

by Susan Lodge

Giveaway ends April 30, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


Thank you for visiting my blog and  I hope you will take part in the Goodreads Book Giveaway, to win a signed copy of Rebellious Cargo.

Jane Charlesworth has no intention of trusting the Admiralty ever again. Not after the last time.

Sparks fly on the quarter deck as Captain and code-breaker embark on a dangerous voyage.

Please click here if you would like to read a review, or the first pages of Rebellious Cargo.  

Click here  if you would like to read about Jane’s first three days on Captain Marston’s ship, from her  Behind the scenes diary.

And finally, I would be delighted  if you visited my website  susanlodge.com   or my facebook page.








Black Friday Sale at Crooked Cat Publishing

12246871_10153708078805761_5933708375744583850_nCome and bag yourself a great bargain read. 

 Crooked Cat Publishing are having a bonanza sale  on all their e books 27.Nov.
They have some great books  Take a look 

11846566_946751408701989_4918351381284821063_n rebellious cargoIf you like some romance and adventure. why not take advantage of the Black Friday offer and take  a look at Rebellious Cargo.

Spring 1803. Jane Charlesworth, daughter of England’s foremost code breaker, is the only person thought capable of deciphering a vital government document. But when a naval frigate is sent to enlist her services and transport her to Malta, Jane is horrified. Haunted with terrible memories of an earlier voyage, she has no intention of putting herself under the protection of the Admiralty ever again….. read more   or buy at Amazon

Coming soon… December 18th  –  Only a Hero Will Do  

Hetty Avebury’s desperate gamble to avoid an odious match lands her all at sea. Can a stuffy ship’s physician really be the hero she needs to escape her treacherous family?


See  excerpts from  all my books  by visiting my website or  find me on facebook.

Dishing up some romance – 60% off Tasty Regency and Contemporary Cocktail.

Picture2 Welcome !   Only a Hero Will Do and The Man in The Buff Breeches are celebrating summer with a  price reduction of 60%   

Recipie for  Only a Hero Will Do

1. Take one, firm ship’s Physician (not over ripe)  and one impulsive female gambler and toss them together in a  large wooden naval ship.

2. Pour into the middle of an enemy sea and leave  to simmer.

3. Season with  a pinch of sea salt and  a good shake of humour.

4.  Beat in a  battle and then carefully fold in  a cup full of heroic deeds and a heap of family betrayal. Moisten with a few tears.

5. Heat gently until it  smoulders. Make sure all  ingredients are combined well.

6. Enjoy whilst lounging in a comfortable chair.

Here is a taster.        

      Marriage to a cruel dandy, is not how Hetty Avebury envisions spending the rest of her life.  Determined to avoid the match she raises funds the only way she knows how – gambling .Her plans go astray and she finds herself on board a man-of-war under the care of its high handed physician. But Hetty soon realizes that Doctor Withington is not quite the stuffed shirt she had first imagined.

If it wasn’t bad enough declaring one of the pressed men as a woman, Robert has been tasked with the tiresome job of returning her safely back to her dysfunctional family. It was ten years ago when his father gambled away his inheritance, home, and any chance of marrying the woman he loved. So when Robert discovers Hetty gambling he takes drastic action to cure her of the habit.

Available for downoad at  Musa Publishing     Amazon.com     Amazon UK   Barnes and Noble   Smashwords . Or read more at susanlodge.com

And if that’s not to your taste and you prefer a romance set in the twenty first century then maybe you would like to consider.  The Man in the Buff Breeches  – now on sale at  99c (60% off until 20 August.)

Recipe for The Man in the Buff Breeches

1.Take a thirty something career girl and  mix with an  invitation to a Regency themed ball.  This will take some effort as they do not combine easily.

2. Pour in to a  long glass with an assortment of men dressed up in breeches.

3. To prevent the mixture overheating add some ice cold cubes of terror and  stir with a Regency fan.

4. Relax in your bunny slippers and enjoy.

Here is a taster

themaninthebuffbreeches-500       When a man in tight buff breeches examines her with his quizzing glass and calls her Miss Bennet, Shona fears the Regency themed ball is going to be as awful as she predicted. But then she is introduced to the gorgeous Nick who ticks every box for her perfect man.

As Shona looks forward to her first date with Nick, her happiness is marred by some disturbing observations around her flat. She doesn’t usually leave her blind rolled down that far, and she never keeps her bunny slippers tidily by the bed. And what is the man in the buff breeches doing lurking on the street outside?

As both men pursue her Shona finds one makes her body quiver with desire, the other itch with annoyance. Then the men finally confront each other, and her life turns into a nightmare. Can her judgment regarding the male species really be so seriously flawed?

Available for downoad at  Musa Publishing     Amazon.com     Amazon UK   Barnes and Noble   Smashwords . Or read more at susanlodge.com





Party at The Romance Reviews – Come and join the fun !

Picture heart

All through March  there is a non stop party  over at The Romance Reviews

They  have   more than 450 prizes up for grabs during the whole month of March.

Grand prize is a $100 Gift Certificate!

  Just click on the logo belows  ( Don’t forget to log in to take part)


Click on the box to log in and join the party . .

 P. S.    There is a chance to win a free ebook of  my Regency  romance, Only a Hero Will DO  on the 20th March. You can read the opening chapters at Amazon   or  check out  an excerpt on my web site. 

If you like contemporary romance , where the Regency era can’t quite keep its nose out, then  you  might like to check out   The Man in the Buff Breeches   or    The Man in The Blue Flowered Shorts.

Only a Hero Will Do – Check out the latest historical romance in the Goodreads giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Only a Hero Will Do by Susan Lodge

Only a Hero Will Do

by Susan Lodge

Giveaway ends April 10, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Look inside and read the first chapters at  –  Amazon

Other  available outlets    Barnes And Noble     Musa Publishing

“All in all, a joy to read.  I loved the fast pace from start to  finish, the funny moments, and the interesting locations ….. Click here to  read  full review from Regency Reader

Look inside and read  the first chapters at  – Amazon      Other  available outlets    Barnes and Noble     and    Musa Publishing

Read  more about   Only a Hero Will Do  at  susanlodge.com including an interview with Hetty Avebury .  She would love to talk to you !

Persistence, Polishing and Publication

I write the final lines of Only a Hero Will Do, gulp back the emotion, and a glass of chardonnay, to celebrate this poignant moment.

My contentment is to last only a week as I grapple with the dreaded synopsis. I refer to the submission requirements of the publishers and agents which I have decided to target and my heart sinks.  It is not one synopsis that is needed but several of the wretched things – ranging in length from a couple of paragraphs to five pages.  I write three versions, read them through, and hate them all. Arrgh! How do I convey the essence of my book in a few sentences – impossible!  Lots of head scratching and prevaricating ensues.

Two months pass by and my progress with my second book is about fifty words. My imagination has gone into hibernation bogged down with synopsis and letters and yes —rejection. Why does no one want my novel?   In fact, why does no one want to read it to decide they don’t want it?

Am I disheartened? –You bet.  Do I give up? – No.  I distinctly remember someone in the literary field telling me, ‘The difference between a published and unpublished writer is the fact the published writer didn’t give up.’

I grit my teeth and try harder.

I spend a pleasant day at Winchester Writers’ Conference and confront a couple of agents face to face. They are quite nice, so I take back some of my blackest thoughts on the species, and bask in their advice and encouragement. They like the book and suggest a little polish and perseverance is needed. So I go back home and do just that before sending out a new batch of submissions.

Then a breakthrough! A request to see the whole manuscript.  My pulse quickens and smile broadens, but I must  not allow myself to get too excited …until  Musa Publishing send me an email which makes my day – No! makes my  last two years  actually. They offer me a contract.

Warm smug feeling pushes me into full throttle and I progress with second book whilst waiting to be contacted by my editor. My confidence is overflowing and my fingertips sweep over the keyboard in a tide of creativity and excitement.

Warm smug feeling disappears as my editor sends first edits back. The changes required make my manuscript look like a map of the underground. Grinding teeth and muttering filthy words I prepare for an unexpected period of intense rewriting.

Anyway,  as I slog away  rewriting and rephrasing  my  discontent blossoms into  appreciation  as my book is moulded into a professional and much more polished format. My editor is clearly very smart and extremely rigorous.

Then in January a cruel and dastardly event occurs. I will give you a clue – it is spookily Friday the 13th.

Completely unscripted I manage to fall down the stairs and break my arm. I am now wracked with pain – physically and mentally as my precious release date floats past and the book is put on hold.

But as I am a romantic author there  has to be a happy ending,  so Fast Forward to May, and  Musa, being very understanding and extremely efficient,  set  a new release date. I have a new and equally ruthless editor who expertly steers me through second edits and on to publication.

So here it is finally, resting on the virtual bookshelves at;


Barnes And Noble

Musa Publishing 

Hetty’s desperate gamble to avoid an odious match lands her all at sea. Can an overbearing  ship’s physician really be the hero she needs to escape her treacherous family …

Read more about  Only a Hero Will Do  at  www.susanlodge.com