From Grammar Revolution to Writer’s Evolution

From Grammar Revolution to Writer’s Evolution

I’m thinking, I’m thinking

Now that my book is finally settled with KDP and Draft2Digital, and it’s up for PreOrder on all the retailers, Amazon, B&N, Apple, Kobo, everywhere, even Toliino, I’m seeking grammar lessons to begin writing book 2 in the Gilded Age Heiresses about Mia and the forensic sad face doctor, Robert MacDougall.

I never understood grammar in the third grade and I’m finally annoyed enough that I’m embarking on a new learning adventure, with Elizabeth O’Brien, an ambitious English teacher that has taken my email by storm (pardon the cliche). Elizabeth is present almost daily. I haven’t tossed her out the window, like Allie my heroine, who tossed out her billiard balls, and well, that’s because I really would like to finally understand how words work.

Editing, editing, editing

How can anyone be a writer if all they know is what a noun and a verb is, oops, are? I mean, I didn’t know the difference between an adverb and adjective when I began this journey, and if it’s not visual, forget it, I’m an artist after all. So, how have I written Indigo Sky in 2015 and now in 2019, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin, The Gilded Age Heiresses? Here’s the scoop for the UMB story.

After the book was done, it was fine-toothed combed by the talented developmental editor, Sue Grimshaw, then copy edited and proofed by the brilliant Carmen Erickson of Book Editing Magic. I sent Carmen a question about one of her corrections and asked why that was important. Here’s the correspondence: “I accepted the change, but I wish I understood the difference between  Peter smirked and held up his hand, directing it toward Drumple. OR what I had: Peter smirked and held his hand up, directing . . .” Here’s Carmen’s answer:

I don’t think what you had is wrong, per se, but “up” is considered an adverb here and is best placed after the verb “held” to modify it. The rest of the clause that follows also then modifies” hand,” so now it directly follows the noun it modifies. It’s just a cleaner application. However, if you left it as it was, no one would probably notice.

Now get this, I thought all adverbs modify a noun, huh? Then what’s an adjective? It’s so confusing. That why I ordered Elizabeth O’Brien’s book this morning with the hopes that grammar will become my friend and serve as a great mapping system when I write . . . anything. Uh, oh, there’s those elusive ellipsis. Hmm, maybe I should have used an em dash? Sigh . . .

And don’t holler at me that I forgot a comma somewhere, Grammarly didn’t help me with this post, and that probably the reason.

Enough–I’ll keep you posted.

Please remember to pre-order The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin now, so you can have it sent right to your iPad (epub) or Kindle (mobi) on Tuesday, September 10 when it goes live. Also please remember to write a review, like everything else, folks only buy  after they’ve read the reviews. Reviews are easy, they only need one or two lines, a title and of course you probably know that 5-star is the best. Click here to pre-order.





CASD023A surprise awaits you at the end of the blog.

Square dancing . . . do you know how to square dance? The name comes from what my son says is four couples arranged in a square.

I learned how to do this kind of dancing when in high school. It has become familiar to me again because my son, CPA, public accountant, Paul Ingis, for his beloved hobby, is a square dance caller. His son Stephen, now twenty-one, began with his father when he was only eleven, and now



Stephen is a caller, much in demand. He has earned a tidy sum for college. Stephen and I discussed all this recently. I got curious as to the origin of square dancing and to ballroom dancing as we know it today where partners hold each other in dance. What’s the history? Here’s what I discovered . . .



The waltz, with its modern hold, began in England circa 1812. The dance was met with opposition because . . . you guessed it . . . the impropriety associated with the closed hold. But guess what, all dancing has a closed hold of some sorts. Even in square dancing, when partners swing each other. The swing is a traditional square dance move (call).

Now, wait a minute, while reviewing the history of dance, I realized that I cannot stretch this into ballroom dancing history. It would take a couple of blogs. So, I will stick to square dancing and maybe follow up with the ballroom dance another time.

Square dance group

Square dance group

Paul said that the square dancing that he knows is modern or western square dancing. It began in New England with the first settlers, who brought their own folk dancing with them from their homeland. The variety led to men interested in boiling down the steps, who would develop dances and routines of their own, including dances for groups, specifically for four couples. So there we have it, square dancing and its director (or caller) developed.

This type of new dancing served as recreation and social contact with neighbors. The only requirements were a wooden floor, music and a caller, and anyone who could make the calls to keep it organized. It could take place in a barn, somebody’s living room, the town hall, and later, the grange hall. There was always someone on hand who could play the guitar, fiddle or an accordion.

4154551However, as the population became more urban it also became more cosmopolitan. Booming trade brought to our shores new fashions, new music, and new dances from other continents. The new dances became fashionable, and square dancing was displaced in our mushrooming cities. It survived only in isolated areas in the individual style peculiar to that region. In time, differences among these regional dances became so pronounced that a square dancer from one area often would not be able to dance in another. Square dancing seemed slated for oblivion.

But—it was revived by Henry Ford in the early 1930s as part of his early New England Restoration project. Others got interested and modernized it with more modern music, rather than the hillbilly band with its whiny fiddle. As square dancing moved into urban centers, articulate and professional callers were the norm. Nametags, worn by all dancers, put everyone on a first-name basis creating instant informality and fellowship. Square dancing had regained its old appeal in a modern setting and it spread over the nation. Today, this wholesome recreation is enjoyed by millions of Americans and others around the world. Wherever Americans have gone, England, Germany, Australia, Japan, etc., they have introduced square dancing with enthusiastic participation and applause.

modern-square-danceModern western-style square dancing is vibrant and growing. New ideas and dynamic choreography are introduced each year, insuring that square dancing will continue to be exciting. The music is fabulous. Always upbeat, new, tap your foot music. It’s for everyone, all ages, even the handicapped. Imagine? It’s fun to learn and move on to advanced groups. In the beginning, you learn a number of basic moves (calls) in various combinations. Knowledge and practice of the basic movements are learned in a series of weekly sessions. There are ‘barn dances’ for the newbies, mainstream and higher levels when you are ready. The challenges are creative and fulfilling when it all goes smooth.

Paul and family attend square dances all over the country whenever possible. They enjoy people, dancing, and camaraderie. He keeps up with the square dance community, to stay in tune. Paul uses his own music when he teaches and calls. He uses a wide variety of music beyond the expected country style, including rock and roll, show tunes, easy listening, jazz, and even classical, and his dancers love it!

The average dancer remains in the “Mainstream” and “Plus” levels of square dancing for four to five years. In order to extend this period of activity, “Advanced” and “Challenge” levels of square dancing have been developed. These additional levels of square dancing have maintained the interest of many dancers and have extended their dancing years.


HappySDSwing002-620x345Information from and the archives of the Mid-Atlantic Challenge Association (MACA).

Remember that my latest book, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin is up for preorder on Amazon and other retailers. 

Here’s Pre-Order link:


He returned the timepiece to the vest pocket of his tailored, gray-striped day coat and fiddled with the knot of his ascot making sure it was straight. The driver pulled the carriage up to the Sentinel building, the horses stomping on the stones and whinnying their arrival.

Miss Baldwin waved to him from the top of the stairs, tossing her red locks over her shoulder. Her lips lifted at the corners, his breath caught. The air around her seemed to glow.

Peter opened the carriage door and stepped down, “Good morning, Miss Baldwin,” he said climbing the stairs. His gaze traveled from the hem of her skirt to the short-buttoned jacket accentuating her tiny waist, her hat’s green feather and back to the diamond dog brooch on her lapel. She had a morning paper in hand and a smile on her face.

“What’s this, Miss Baldwin?”

“Latest news, my article made the early edition.”

The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin: The Gilded Age Heiresses

Good book reads . . .

Good book reads . . .

My New Book: The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin – Allie Baldwin lives with her family across the street from New York’s Central Park. She is a suffragette!
16th May 1911: British suffragette Charlotte Despard (1844 – 1939) (wearing a white waistcoat) heads a march of the National Federation of Women Workers through Bermondsey in South London. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

It’s hard to think that your summer days are coming to a close. Don’t put away those bathing suits, sandals and shorts yet. I’m not talking about heatwaves. But have you noticed that school supplies are on the shelves in the stores? Yet still to come are those sweltering temperatures threatening to melt the hardiest, and let’s not forget Indian Summer in October. But before the rush of real-life overshadows those fun lazy days there’s still time to read a good book. Contemporary author Kristan Higgins new book, Life and Other Inconveniences, has just hit the shelves. It’s a must-read, in fact, any of Higgins’ books are must-reads.

My new book, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin, will be on the shelves after Labor Day when your children are busy back in school and life becomes ordered with thoughts of upcoming holidays. But there still is time in-between to sit back and enjoy a good book brimming with ideas for a brighter future. My young suffragette fights for the vote putting herself in harm’s way until a handsome detective is hired as her guard in this historical romance.

You can pre-order, “The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin,” now using the links below and begin reading on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, and then please post a review on Amazon.

After the links provided here for your convenience, there’s an excerpt for you to get a flavor of my brave suffragette and her dreamy detective.

For your convenience. Pre-Order on Amazon:  (USA) (UK) (CANADA) (AUSTRALIA) (GERMANY) (NETHERLANDS)

In this excerpt, Allie Baldwin, writer, keeps her appointment to interview Detective Peter Harrison . . .

The mud-spattered conveyance rose and fell in rhythm with the horse’s hooves clip-clopping over the cobblestones. The jostling never bothered Peter. Today, he was eager to pick up Miss Baldwin for their upcoming meeting and to grab a morning paper. After a rainy night, the sun squeezed through the gray clouds. Long shadows blanketed the Fifth Avenue mansions, the places, and palaces of the people he had dined with and protected. Peter flicked open his pocket watch. It was ten minutes before eight, his thumb smoothed over the familiar engraving, Acta Non-Verba. It was a gift from father to son five years ago to celebrate him becoming the president of Harrison Detective Agency.

Passing the torch from father to son was the transition that signified his father’s shift. He became a better husband to his second wife and a better father to Peter’s younger half-sisters.

He returned the timepiece to the vest pocket of his tailored, gray-striped day coat and fiddled with the knot of his ascot making sure it was straight. The driver pulled the carriage up to the Sentinel building, the horses stomping on the stones and whinnying their arrival.

Miss Baldwin waved to him from the top of the stairs, tossing her red locks over her shoulder. Her lips lifted at the corners, his breath caught. The air around her seemed to glow.

Peter opened the carriage door and stepped down, “Good morning, Miss Baldwin,” he said climbing the stairs. His gaze traveled from the hem of her skirt to the short-buttoned jacket accentuating her tiny waist, her hat’s green feather and back to the diamond dog brooch on her lapel. She had a morning paper in hand and a smile on her face.
“What’s this, Miss Baldwin?”
“Latest news, my article made the early edition.”
“Did it now? Congratulations! Mind if I have a look when we get into the carriage?”
“Mind? Not at all, it’s earmarked for you,” Allie said.
“When I stepped out of the coach, I couldn’t help noticing the unusual dog brooch on your lapel.”
“Thank you. It belonged to my grandmother,” she said as she looped her arm into his and they descended.
His face heated at her touch.
“It was made in Russia. There’s an inscription on the back.”
“What does it say?” He couldn’t help but smile at Allie’s mischievous gleam in her eyes.
“You won’t believe me.”
“Try me.”
Translated it says, “Act & Say Naught.”
He chuckled, “You’re right. I don’t believe you.”
“It’s a funny coincidence, isn’t it? In the old days’ folks all thought alike,” she giggled.
“Wait a minute. My father’s still young,” Peter said.
They grinned at each other like they had just played a piano duet and the listeners gave them a standing ovation.
“The story goes, my grandmother was courted by a young prince before she was married. The brooch was a gift from the prince.”

“What happened to the prince?”

“His parents forbid him to marry my grandmother because she was a commoner. I completely disagree with that as my grandmother is a most uncommon woman.”
“Uncommonness runs in the family,” Peter said.
She blushed as he handed her into the carriage.
To be continued . . .

A review can be posted on Amazon on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, and afterward going forward. Pre-Order now for your convenience.

And remember, for every pre-order purchased an educational donation will be made to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk, Connecticut, a historic National Landmark built just after the Civil war and several years before Allie Baldwin and Peter Harrison were born. You can help to preserve history!  (USA)

For more links, please scroll up . . . 

Good book reads . . .

Pre-Order “The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin: the Gilded Age Heiresses”

Educational donation to Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum for each book pre-ordered. Pre-Order the book on

Book Cover


What’s that mean? Per-order dessert, that what I like to do, eat dessert first. Raise your hand if you agree. Then you won’t eat as much. I’m not really talking about dessert here, I’m talking about my latest book, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin: the Gilded Age Heiresses.

If you pre-order the book, I will make an education donation to Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk, CT. The donation will help to support the wonderful winning educational and cultural programs that the museum offers. The programs are for everyone. This mansion was the first of its kind in the country, twenty years before the cottages of Newport, RI. Visitors come from all over the world. The Titanic exhibitions attracted folks from England, France and other countries. At the moment, we are celebrating the Nineteenth Amendment, for the woman’s vote. Did you know that women had been fighting for the right to vote from 1840, maybe even longer?

Allie at the window

Imagine having tea on a Sunday with lady friends, all wearing their fascinators and day-dresses. The museum replicates a day in the life of the society ladies. And then everyone gets to dress in their finest and have a tour of this gorgeous sixty-two-room mansion built in 1863.

Fascinator hat

The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin shouts about woman suffrage and slavery of women. Yes, all those years ago women were enslaved in marriage, raising children, and wifely duties. Any wealth that she brought to the marriage belonged to her husband. If she wanted a divorce, she was forced to make an announcement in the newspapers. Not the man, only the woman. Imagine?


~ NEW EXHIBIT ~“From Corsets to Suffrage: Victorian Women Trailblazers”

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution with the exhibition, “From Corsets to Suffrage: Victorian Women Trailblazers”, May 16-Nov. 3, 2019, 12-4 p.m. Opening Reception on May 16, 5:30-7:30 p.m., $5 for members; $10 for non-members.

A National Registered Historic Landmark in Norwalk CT
A National Historic Landmark since 1971, the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is regarded as one of the earliest and most significant Second Empire Style country houses in the United States.






About The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin

Opposites attract in this historical romance when a young suffragette foregoes the obedience of marriage until a handsome detective is hired to protect her from harm.

It’s not that she doesn’t want to marry…

Allie Baldwin is a gilded age heiress—also a journalist at The New York Sentinel. She’s tired of writing about the latest fashions for the society column and wants to write something more meaningful. Attending a rally at City Hall, planning to interview some of the speakers at the event, a situation ensues with Allie barely escaping. Enough is enough — to protect Allie from making poor decisions while fighting for freedom, her parents force a security agent upon her. Not just any agent, but a dangerous and delectable man…one that taunts her decision never to marry.

He’s not ready for marriage…

The dashing debonair Peter Harrison runs Harrison’s Detective Agency, handed down to him by his father. Much to his chagrin, he finds himself following in his father’s footsteps confirming why he’ll never marry until he’s older — because he’ll never do to his family what his father did to him. But when a gorgeous red-haired vixen runs right into him at an event his agency is working, he can’t help but enjoy the possibilities until she runs away leaving him without a trace. When the publisher of the city’s top newspaper hires him to protect his daughters on a short trip, he never imagined one of the ladies would be just who he was looking for.

But as luck would have it, his job is to keep order–she wants the right to vote… but maybe they can meet halfway—without losing their hearts.

“Educational donation to Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum for each book pre-ordered.”

Pre-Order the book on Amazon

Book Cover

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