Who exactly is Jules Vanderzeit?

And what does he have to do with timeless romance?

Jules Vanderzeit is my magic man.

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My historical romance novels set in the gilded age of New York all have Jules Vanderzeit appearing, not as the hero or heroine, but as a sort of mysterious character who shows up to makes life difficult for my H & H, and then somehow, helps them find their own Happily Ever After. I’ve been asked if he’s a wizard, or an angel, or maybe fate, or something else. I’ll go with the ‘something else’ and all of the above . . . for now.

When I first met Jules in Until We Meet Again, the first of my gilded age romances, I fell in love with him right away. While he has a way of pushing people’s buttons, and making them wish they had never met him, he really has a heart of gold, sincerely good intentions, and a devilish sense of humor . . . once you get to know the guy. As the Maestro, he has the ability to send people flipping through time with the flick of his wrist, although usually he has them do something as simple as walk through a door, a door that leads from here to there. And while they often complain about his unexplainable tactics, they still find themselves compelled to take the path he offers.

After all, life is an adventure, let the experience begin.

As a bit of an introduction, for anyone who may not yet be familiar with him, here’s the opening scene from Until We Meet Again when the heroine, Victoria Winters, is forced to deal with this man of mystery.

She couldn’t be more than a few minutes late for their appointment, and yet the Maestro made a show of pulling out his pocket watch the moment Victoria Winters stepped into his office.  Time—and his precious collection of musical artifacts—were the only things Jules Vanderzeit cared about. People were only useful in their ability to function as couriers to retrieve the latest object of his obsession.

“How nice to see you again, Miss Winters. I was beginning to wonder if you would keep our appointment.” The Maestro quickly dispensed with any pretense of pleasant greetings and dove directly into chastising her.

Victoria rolled her eyes with a shake of her head. “Please, Jules, try not to exaggerate. I was only momentarily delayed. I was with my daughter.” She took a seat in one of the low, plush-leather chairs across from Jules, as he sat perched behind his oversized cherry wood desk. Regrettably, it created the perturbing effect that he was looking down on her.

“If you truly valued time, Miss Winters, you wouldn’t be so prone to wasting yours or mine. Someday you may find that a moment of time is all that separates you from that which you desire most.”

Big Six O

Today I hit the Big Six O, as in 60, as in half-a-century-plus-a-decade, as in 50 + 10. Regardless, it all adds up to lots of years. I suppose I shouldn’t reveal my age, but it’s kinda hard to pretend this Bday isn’t happening.

Not that I mind. I was born to be alive, and I’m still here, so I must be doing something right. Or maybe I’m just not done yet. I’m feeling pretty good about hitting this landmine, urr, I mean benchmark.

Hitting a new decade seems like a good time to look back and look forward. I looked back at the early days of this web site and noticed that for several months, I published new blog posts about twice a week. How ambitious of me. Eventually, that slowed to twice a month, and lately it’s been a bad case of whenever. I’m not thinking of doing the twice a week thing again, but maybe I can do twice a month.

Anyway, I have some big plans in the works that I’m looking forward to. There’s a New book to release, and a few older ones to Re-release since the original publisher, like so many other small indie-publishers, has gone out of business. I will keep you informed on this plans as they move forward.

For now, I just wanted to say, Hey, I’m still here, and feeling good. Life is good, and I am blessed.

Enjoy always, T

Thoughts on creativity. #amwriting

library-425730_1280 3I really enjoy being a writer.

It has been said that no one ever dies wishing they had spent more time at the office. That sounds true, but maybe it isn’t.

Maybe a person would regret not having more time to spend at their work if their life’s work was one of purpose, like tending to the sick and mending the hurts of others. Perhaps, if a person was an artist and created great works of art, on their deathbed they would feel there was so much more they wanted to accomplish.

I’ve always viewed creative endeavors as pure enjoyment, creating contentment at its fullness. Even if there are struggles and trials along the way, the net result is a joyful reward onto itself.

Enjoy always, T

Reading Regency Romance

gilded ballWhenever I read Regency romance novels, I tend to pretend they take place in a galaxy far, far away, or at least in a parallel universe, because as we all know, they certainly don’t take place in historical England.

With the impressive number of Regency and Victorian romance novels with lords and ladies available to be read (and more being added everyday), the British Isles would be overrun with so many royal aristocrats, there would be nary any room for the commoner to set up a little cottage and tend a farm.

What a blessing, thanks to Regency romance, that we have such a plethora of dukes, viscounts, earls, barons and a number of good knights who are all in need of a wife. Interestingly, all are able to secure the perfect love match for a happily ever after.

While I don’t write Regency romance, I find the cultural setting appealing, as do several thousand other readers. I’m sure it’s the culturally accepted restrictions on manners and etiquette, especially in the area of public displays of affection (which we take so much for granted these days) that make for such interesting obstacles toward those happy endings. While reading Regency romance, like most other romance, I think of it happening in a place far, far away, and in a way it does. It takes place in the imagination of the author, and because they have shared their story, it can also take place in mine.

Enjoy always, T

Looking back to where it all began.

Six years ago when I started writing, I was inspired to write the book I wanted to read. Something different that included the romance of time-travel and the metaphysical theme of reincarnation. So I sat down and wrote Return In Time. It was an appropriate title as I believe we all return in time through our various lifetimes on this earth. We’ve been here before and it only makes sense that we’ll be here again someday, in another life.

I left a big question unanswered in that first book: What happened to Rory after Teressa left and returned to her own time?  So I wrote a second book to answer that question and I gave Teressa’s brother, Daniel, a chance to make a choice and to experience his ability to shape his life. Daniel’s story is called Somewhere To Belong. That’s something we all want to have – a place to belong.

Then, because I like things to come in groups of three, I wrote Away Over Yonder. I wanted to bring the story full circle – back to the present with a strong focus on the need to forgive – really on the benefits of forgiveness. It’s about how we can carry our hurts from past lives with us into lives after lives, until we truly forgive.

I started out writing for myself and it became something I wanted to share with others. I wrote these stories because they called to me, they made sense to me and because I enjoyed them. I published them so others could also enjoy them. I don’t expect everyone to like my books, maybe only a few, but I support every writer who wants to tell their story. I think it’s in our nature to want to tell stories, and our desire to learn from the stories of others. Stories are the greatest learning device for how to live our life and better understand the world around us. From the emotions they provoke we learn to pick and choose what feels right for us and hopefully we learn how to better understand our fellow human beings. And through our stories, we expand our awareness of others and ourselves.

Through stories we can experience a world that is bigger than ourselves and truly, as they say, be carried away.

May you be carried away by a good story – – – and Enjoy Always. T