Argh Author: Justine Covington’s His Lady to Protect

Justine Covington’s His Lady to Protect is now available to purchase. It’s Book 1 in Justine’s The Beggars Club (Regency romance) series:

The cost of his redemption is trust. Her trust…

When Nate promises to protect his best friend’s little sister from her traitorous uncle, he knows it’s the least he can do to atone for his past sins. And if a marriage of convenience is the most efficient way to guarantee her safety? So be it. He’s ready for anything…except how quickly his lovely new bride would steal his heart…

Susannah never intended to marry the man who led her brother to his death. The fact that she once loved him? Irrelevant. She just can’t allow herself to trust him again. But it’s not long before she starts to wonder if there’s more to Nate than meets the eye. What if he’s not the villain she assumed he was? And if that’s the case…can her poor, beleaguered heart survive another inevitable fall?

Nate and Susannah have much to overcome if they have any hope of finding their way to happily ever after. But what if trust is simply a luxury neither can afford?

Buy His Lady to Protect to read the first in an exciting new series centered around six friends from Eton and set in the infamous Regency period.

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Questionable: How do you decide what your main plot is and who your antagonist is?

AG wrote:
So when is the decision to beef up your villain into the antagonist, and when is the decision to shrink the villain so that the focus is on the primary relationships? I remember that a common complaint has been that Marvel villains are weak, but for several of those films, that worked, since they didn’t get in the way of the primary relationships. But when does the complaint that the villain is weak become an actual issue?

There’s a lot to unpack there. I’ll tackle the first question at length and then hit the second on the way out.

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So Here’s What I Would Have Done: Venom

The last time I looked at a piece of pop culture storytelling and said, “You know, I’d have done it THIS way,” I ended up spending four years writing Nita Dodd. So I’m a little leery of going there again, except that the film Venom is such an interestingly flawed story. Generally monsters, even super monsters, aren’t my thing which is why it took me so long to get around to this one. Also, I’m kind of Marvel-ed out. And yet, this is one of those movies where the good parts are really good, and the bad parts are just blah (as opposed to those movies where the good parts are really good and the bad parts are horrible–see January Man).

This kind of story always fascinates me. If they could get the good stuff right, why couldn’t they avoid the bad? Hypocrites R Us, of course, my books have the same problem. Still, I wanted to take Venom apart to see why Rotten Tomato critics gave it a 29% favorable rating and regular people put it at 80%. Here’s my take (spoilers all over the place below):In the end, I decided it came down to knowing what your story is really about and focusing on that, no matter what you’d planned before.


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Impatiently Happy

. So it turns out–research has shown–that too much patience makes you unhappy. Evidently a little is all right and possibly healthy, but if you carry that delayed gratification too far (beyond the 88th percentile, whatever that means), it makes you miserable. The takeaway: Delayed gratification takes too long; joy is in going for it. (That’s my takeaway, your mileage may vary.)

How did you lunge for happiness this week?


Cherry Saturday, February 8, 2020

It’s Laugh and Get Rich Day. I’m not sure about the rich part, but I’ll sign on to anything that makes me laugh. Calvin and Hobbes. Airplane. Monty Python and the non-flying parrot. Pratchett’s Discworld. Hot Fuzz.. P. G. Wodehouse. Bloom County.

Your turn. Give me your favorite all-time funnies, please.


Working Wednesday, February 5, 2020

So on the 3rd I realized I’d boggled Lee’s DailyFebruary2020 by not drawing a damn thing. I had, however crocheted every day because that’s what keeps my fingernails out of the ceiling. So harking to her low-bar-benefits-everybody approach, I’m counting my crochet. It includes the hearts I made as a start for my temperature blanket and a scarf I started because this stray ball of yarn I had was annoying me (I’m on Day Two of that one). Anyway I crochet every day anyway, so I’m not sure that should count. I feel like I should be blazing new trails for Lee’s February. OTOH, low bar and a lot of horrible things–taxes, business–that I have to do, so crochet may be my only hope.

So what did you all make this week?


Happiness is Socks

Okay, socks are ONE kind of happiness, but making them is something new I’m learning and I’m finding it enormously satisfying even though I have more socks than any one woman needs. Maybe it’s “Happiness is Learning a New Skill,” although I also get tremendous happiness from the weird socks I’ve bought, like Nita’s the Loch-Ness-Monster-Pretending-To-Be-Cthulhu knee socks. The weird thing is, those socks have disappeared from the internet, much like the Loch Ness monster. I cannot find them anywhere no matter how hard I google. I’d think I’d made them up, except I own them. I can see them. I HAVE them, therefore they exist.

Where was I?

Of course, making vertically striped socks does have the added pleasure of choosing yarn and feeling like a pioneer woman. Assuming pioneer women made socks. Which they must have because where else would they get them? Which leads to the question, where did they get the yarn?

This week I’m having focus problems, but that makes me happy, too. If I start to actually focus on my problems, I’m less happy.

Enough about me. What made you happy this week?