Tag Archives: ~Robert Browning

Love and Romance with Colleen Connally and Her New Release

How Do I Love Thee

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men might strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,–I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!–and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.”

~by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

love stamp on post card (1)My favorite love poem…ever. The perfect poem for Valentine’s Day. A love everyone strives for. Poetry moves one; makes one feel an emotion. I don’t think another period of time compares to the poetry that began with the Romantic Movement. The writings of Lord Byron, Edgar Allen Poe… As a writer, I don’t believe I could write a plot as intriguing or interesting as the life of these authors. Was it because of the life they lived that they could pour their emotions into their work? Elizabeth eloped with Robert Browning to Italy to find her semblance of happiness. Did you know that Edgar Allen Poe dedicated The Raven and Other Poems to Elizabeth ? Another interesting bit of information on Elizabeth . Elizabeth lived in constant pain due to ‘serious illness’ that was never fully diagnosed. But she took opiates for the pain which was the common medical practice at the time. Some have thought that this addiction may have been the reason for her vivid imagination. 
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
`’Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door –
Only this, and nothing more.’
…And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!
                                                       By Edgar Allen Poe
I love the Romantic Movement’s poetry and found the lives of these poets fascinating. I love history. I do feel Elizabeth ‘s emotions in her poetry for whatever the reasons. I myself have never tried to write poetry seriously. Poetry is like writing a song. I lack the rhythm needed to write poetry. But I so enjoy reading it.~
***Fascinating. I’m also a big fan of these poets.  I have many poetry books in my collection. And now, a bit about Colleen’s new historical romantic suspense novel,  Broken Legacy, Book Two of her Secret Lives Series, inspired by the power of Love.  Sounds really intriguing.
brokenlegacy (1)Lord Gerard Lenister needed the lady…after their meeting, he wanted her. 

For seventeen years Lady Eloise Granville lived in France thinking herself a bastard. Not until her life was threatened did her father cross the English Channel to reclaim her as his legitimate daughter. Now four years later a revolution roars its ugly head in France. Rumors abound of Lady Eloise’s life before her emergence in England …rumors that link her to the notorious leaders of the French Revolution.
Lord Gerard Lenister knows well the whispered connections Lady Eloise has across the Channel and the disdain that Society holds for the lady. It matters little to him. He could have cared less if she was the incarnation of a she-devil. He would marry Jezebel herself if she helped him on his mission. He is that desperate…but soon he discovers that Lady Eloise is not what she seems.
beautiful red rose on blackDespite her misgivings, Eloise enjoyed herself immensely. The opportunity didn’t present itself often for her to dance, nor would she likely admit she enjoyed the activity. As the music died, his hand lay on hers to escort her off the floor and the whole of her body tingled. To her dismay, she felt her face flush with a sudden warmth.

“Let us retire to the drawing room. I will attend to your refreshment if you promise not to disappear on me. I would hate to scourge the house such as this one for you.” He smiled. The shape of his mouth caught her attention. A slight smile formed on his lips, an arrogant smile much as if he realized the effect he had upon her. Then he added, “But I would.”
Once more, she felt herself at a distinct disadvantage. She eyed him cautiously and then dismissed her apprehension. It would matter little in the morning, she told herself. What harm could come from an innocent flirtation with a handsome man? In all likelihood, she would never see him again.
roses1She nodded politely and allowed him to lead her to a seat near the large vaulted window, which gave her a full view of the crowded room of unfamiliar faces. She gave little thought to the guests. Without question, Lord Lenister held her interest. She watched him walk out the door. She wondered for the moment why was he dispensing attention upon her. She quickly dismissed flattery…that his attraction to her lay with her appearance.
She had long ago comprehended her birth presented a large obstacle to overcome in the eyes of the ton, even with the title of Lady Eloise D’Arcy Granville, the daughter of the late His Grace, the fifth Duke of Rotheward. She glanced around the large room while she waited. Then suddenly a strange feeling surged through her as if someone were watching her.
She turned her head abruptly and met the avid eyes of a man standing in the far doorway. He was a short middle-aged man, dowdy, in fact, with red pudgy cheeks, but without question he eyed her intently. He had a familiar look. Then to her horror, his face brightened and gave her a weak smile.
red rosePanic welled within her with the comprehension of why he seemed familiar. Calm. Stay calm. Surely he would not acknowledge me. 
Eloise maintained her composure as she sat rigid without a hint of emotion, while desperately trying to assess the situation. Her gaze held firm upon the man. Then he made a step forward toward her, halting only when Lord Lenister entered back into the room.
The stranger nodded to the earl. Eloise straightaway recognized a look between acquaintances. Although for the life of her she didn’t understand the stranger’s presence, she understood the need to withdraw…and quickly.
She rose and gathered up her skirt. With great effort, she exited in a dignified manner out the open side door to the veranda. The warm night gave pause to more than a few guests cluttering the terrace. Ignoring the beauty of the decorative scene, she scurried down the steps into the garden. She escaped only to the far entrance where she collapsed upon a bench.
red rose“Why are you running?”
Her head lowered. She chose not to answer. What good would an explanation do when the words would go unheeded? And what did she owe this man…this stranger?
Lord Lenister stalked up to her and pulled her to her feet. “I asked you a question, Lady Eloise.”
“I needed fresh air, my lord. Nothing more. Pray, release me. You are hurting my arm. I wish nothing more than to retire.”
“And run again? There is to be no more running. I suspected such before my appearance here tonight. Confirmed by vicomte’s identification. Did you not think that you might be recognized eventually, my dear?”
“I have only a few months more to contend with these functions and then…”
red rose with dew drops“Then what? What exactly do you have in mind?” Both his hands gripped tightly her shoulders. She had no choice but to look him straight in his eyes.
“Why is it a concern of yours, Monsieur? Why do my actions concern you?”
Frazzled, she broke into her native French.
He answered her back the same. “Because I need your help, Mademoiselle. I need your help.”~
***Broken Legacy, Book Two of Secret Lives Series, is out at Amazon.

By Jove It’s My Birthday–Beth Trissel

And I love a good quote, so here are a few suitable selections for my special day. Feel free to add some I may have missed.

“When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it happened or not.” – Mark Twain

“We turn not older with years, but newer every day.” Emily Dickinson

We are always the same age inside.
Gertrude Stein

It takes a long time to become young.
Pablo Picasso

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.
Robert Browning

“Inside every older person is a younger person – wondering what the hell happened.” – Cora Harvey Armstrong

The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down.
T.S. Eliot

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
~ Oprah Winfrey

“A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age.” ~Robert Frost

“To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eye’d,
Such seems your beauty still.”
~ William Shakespeare

“Just when you think no one has taken any notice of your birthday, here come two friends with an empty honey pot and a broken balloon.”~Eeyore’s Gloomy Little Instruction Book

“After all, what are birthdays? Here today and gone tomorrow.”

Eeyore from The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne

“Eeyore,” said Owl, “Christopher Robin is giving a party.””Very interesting,” said Eeyore. “I suppose they will be sending me down the odd bits which got trodden on. Kind and Thoughtful. Not at all, don’t mention it.”

April On Our Farm in the Shenandoah Valley

So far this spring is filled with remodeling our old farm-house, and gardening, when it’s not raining,  and all the small people in my life, though not as much writing as I would like.  The remodeling is at an end, for now–there’s always more to be done in future projects.

Weather wise, we’ve gone from a gradually diminishing drought to flood watches out today.  April 2011 is turning into quite a wet month.  I’m not sure what ‘normal’ is in the Shenandoah Valley, but I’d prefer less extremes.   Still, I seek for the beauty amid the imperfection and this spring is sublime.  Thought I’d share a few pics of our farm along with some favorite quotes.

“April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.”  ~Christopher Morley,  John Mistletoe

“Hoe while it is spring, and enjoy the best anticipations.  It is not much matter if things do not turn out well.”  ~Charles Dudley Warner

“The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven –
All’s right with the world!”
~Robert Browning

“April is a promise that May is bound to keep.”  ~Hal Borland

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”  ~Iris MurdochA Fairly Honourable Defeat

“To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat. ” ~Beverly Nichols

“Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out values all the utilities of the world.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Flowers really do intoxicate me.”  ~Vita Sackville-West

“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.”  ~Gertrude S. Wister

“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words.  They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.”  ~Lydia M. Child

“Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

“Cares melt when you kneel in your garden.”

“A garden is a friend you can visit any time.”

“Kiss of the sun for pardon. Song of the birds for mirth. You’re closer to God’s heart in a garden than any place else on earth.” — Dorothy Frances Gurney

“But each spring…a gardening instinct, sure as the sap rising in the trees, stirs within us. We look about and decide to tame another little bit of ground.” ~Lewis Gantt

“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” — Henry David Thoreau

“It is a greater act of faith to plant a bulb than to plant a tree.”~Clare Leighton

“To dig one’s own spade into one’s own earth! Has life anything better to offer than this?”~Beverley Nichols

Love and Romance

“Other men said they have seen angels, But I have seen thee And thou art enough.” ~  G. Moore

“I love you – those three words have my life in them.” ~ Alexandra to Nicholas III

“I’d like to run away
From you,
But if you didn’t come
And find me …
I would die. ”
~ Shirley Bassey

“When you love someone, all your saved-up wishes start coming out. ”
~ by Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973)

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is to love and be loved in return. ”
~ From “Unforgettable with Love” ~ by Natalie Cole

“Soul meets soul on lover’s lips. ”
~ Percy Bysshe Shelly

“Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Love is the whole and more than all.” ~ E. E. Cummings

“Til I loved I never lived.” ~ Emily Dickinson

“What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen each other in all labour, to minister to each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in all gladness, to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories?” ~ George Eliot

“What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The only true gift is a portion of yourself.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Thou art to me a delicious torment.” ~  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Where love is concerned, too much is not even enough.” ~ P.A.C. de Beaumarchais

“Love is the desire to be irresistibly desired.” ~ Robert Frost

“Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly.” ~ Rose Franken

“Where there is great love,
there are always miracles.” ~ Willa Cather

“To love and to be loved is the greatest joy on earth.”

“When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew.”

“Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.” The Princess Bride

“My night has become a sunny dawn because of you.”
–Ibn Abbad

“Each moment of a happy lover’s hour is worth an age of dull and common life.”
–Aphra Behn

“What I do and what I dream include thee, as the wine must taste of its own grapes…”
–Elizabeth Barret Browning
“I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach…”
–Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Take away love, and our earth is a tomb.”
–Robert Browning

“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.”~ Emma

I’m a Jane Austen Junkie and love most all of the various productions of Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility…and the soundtracks, dancing, costumes, settings…are fabulous.   With rare exceptions, no one does period films quite as well as the British.  My one main exception is Hollywood’s 1992 production of The Last of the Mohicans, a wonderful, mostly accurate, action adventure historical romance.  For a gentler pace, here’s a lovely clip from the latest Emma.  Superbly done.

Spring Is Bursting Out All Over

Not long ago at all we were adrift in seemingly endless snow.  Only last week evidence of the white stuff still hung on in shaded places.   And then, as if by magic, spring is here.  I realize there are still chilly days yet to come and we could have some late season snow, but new life is all around us.   I heard a meadowlark trill today, my favorite song bird, and that makes it official.

Even the wooded hills above the meadow are flushed with the barest hint of rose as tender leaves bud out.   In my yard and garden the early bulbs are in bloom and tulips, daffodils, hyacinths…are up and growing so fast each day makes a difference, almost like time lapse photography.  I’m always a little wary of too much growth too soon for fear a heavy frost will zap those plants lured out before their time.   Despite that inner caution, on days like this, I can only rejoice in the glorious warmth and wonder that is spring in the lovely Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Eons ago, another life time really, when my oldest daughter, now a young mother herself, was quite small, she chose snowdrops as her thing to plant.  Only a dozen bulbs or so came in that order from the bulb company, but we set them out faithfully and wow, how they’ve spread over the years and what delight they bring in the late winter.  Snowdrops and snow crocus are the absolute earliest bulbs to bloom for us and so reliable.   Yes, even in the snow.  But that’s not a requirement.  They will bloom without it.  The dwarf purple iris that we’ve also had forever are hard on their heels.  And if there’s any flower more cheery than violas, I can’t imagine what it is.  I love the little pansies best of all.  ‘Heartease’ they used to be called and I can see why.  They gladden the heart, and they were used in love potions.

“Every spring is the only spring – a perpetual astonishment.”  ~Ellis Peters

“The seasons are what a symphony ought to be:  four perfect movements in harmony with each other.”  ~Arthur Rubenstein

“It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ” ~Mark Twain

“Awake, thou wintry earth –
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!”
~Thomas Blackburn, An Easter Hymn

“The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven –
All’s right with the world!”
~Robert Browning

“Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.”  ~Virgil A. Kraft

“And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”

“The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun’s kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.”
~Julian Grenfell

“I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring.  Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth?”  ~Edward Giobbi

“Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.”  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

“If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.”  ~Terri Guillemets

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.”  ~Bern Williams

“Yesterday the twig was brown and bare; To-day the glint of green is there; Tomorrow will be leaflets spare;
I know no thing so wondrous fair, No miracle so strangely rare. I wonder what will next be there!”
~L.H. Bailey

“First a howling blizzard woke us,
Then the rain came down to soak us,
And now before the eye can focus –
~Lilja Rogers

In springtime, love is carried on the breeze.  Watch out for flying passion or kisses whizzing by your head.  ~Terri Guillemets

*Pics taken in my yard today, except for the daffodils which is one of last years.