Archive for February, 2009

1949 fashion sketches for Awakening Love

February 24, 2009
June goes dancing

June goes dancing

I made this dress in 1949 for the Nottingham Arts Ball. The year before I had to borrow a dress — a horrid green bridesmaid dress. My red sandals were painted red by my dad — a tack was sticking out and laddered my stockings! No one asked me to dance and I had a lousy time! But the year after when I wore this pink dress (I had just enough money to buy some material by then) I had a great evening. I had a partner for every dance and one of them became my boyfriend for about six months. he was in  the air force and his home was in Glasgow. He was a heavy drinker and only wanted one thing (which he didn’t get!) so I was not unhappy to end the relationship

Young June in her home-made ballet dress

Young June in her home-made ballet dress

Evening-dress 1949 June Armstrong design!

Evening-dress 1949 June Armstrong design!

1949 Outfit by June Armstrong — Awakening Love

1949 Outfit by June Armstrong — Awakening Love

Awakening Love -  June Armstrong design 1949

Awakening Love – June Armstrong nightdress design 1949

Thinking of getting a trailer video for Awakening Love. I found some designs I did in 1949 — exactly right (to the year) for my book. I found an old photo about right for June (lead character) and tried my hand at sketching June in her home-made ballet dress (witnessing her trying it on sparks off Arthur’s desire for her).

These designs were done on black paper with a fine brush and paint. In those days it was the fashion to have a nippy waist (my waist refused to be nippy!) This dress is the one I made for myself.

TopTen2008d
SDC11406

SDC10927

Dressing gown

Dressing gown

Slip

Slip

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The whole trilogy — Awakening Love,

Seduction, and Checkmate —

now to be published by Turquoise Morning Press

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What a Difference Promotion Can Make!

February 20, 2009

Today I had my book Awakening Love (Stonehedge Publishing Ebook version) showcased at http://authorsandtheirbooks.blogspot.com by author Ernie Johnson.
There is a picture of the book cover and another of the author, plus a good snappy synopsis and one of the places to buy. 
The synopsis reveals why the locket on the cover picture is highly relevant. 
Visit http://www.ernierjohnson.net to find out more about this remarkable Ernie Johnson with his vast range of activities.

Not only that, but When Angels Lie (AG Press) is featured on http://bookeventcenter.ning.com. Carol, Author 101, is another remarkable author. She has showcased a great assortment of books by lesser known authors which are available on Amazon. It is worth taking a look. if you are an author in need of a good bit of publicity how about joining us?

Here is the synopsis for Awakening Love:
A tale of love, lust and passionate desire, authentically set in late 1940’s class-conscious Britain. Innocent, naive teenager, June Armstrong is determined to rise above her working class roots and succeed as a top dress designer. Her sexuality is dramatically awakened by war hero, and socially advantaged, Major Arthur Rogers (retired), twenty years her senior. The relationship, sealed by a gift of a locket containing a diamond for an engagement ring, is to be kept secret until June is eighteen. Various events, involving his family, job prospects and unforeseen factors to do with affairs of the heart, prove to be a challenge to their relationship.
Arthur’s ‘ladies man’ brother, Charles, is also in love with June but ruins his chances when he sexually assaults her. June becomes the catalyst for his remarkable redemption. She finds herself falling in love with the “new Charlie” when Arthur is abroad on business. Out of love for his brother and June, Charles withdraws from the blossoming relationship and returns to the Royal Navy.
But first Charles helps June gain employment as a trainee designer. Her boss and mentor — dynamic, sexy entrepreneur, Robert Watson — realises June’s potential and sweeps her along on a tidal wave of ambition. He has plans for a totally new business and she is to be his lynch pin. June is mesmerised by both Watson’s charisma and his renowned erotic sexuality (which she inadvertently witnesses in the stock room). 
Robert Watson’s ability to draw out June’s creative genius eventually creates a bond, dangerous but thrilling, which he ruthlessly exploits — to the full!

Awakening Love is twice award winner!

Ruth Rendall’s Adam and Eve and Pinch Me

February 19, 2009

Ruth Rendall’s Adam and Eve and Pinch Me

A large cast of strong characters, each portrayed in Technicolor brilliance, and a story line that twists and turns in its build-up to the murder.

We know who did it but the deranged person is never suspected. So the stories within the main story have a life of their own which all draw in nicely at the denouement.

The central male character is plausible — a handsome, if tardy, seducer of women in order to live off their money. Moving on as his mood takes him, he leaves behind lovers who have no regrets — save one. His death by stabbing is mysterious as suspects are gradually eliminated. A number of characters find a new life in spite of trauma suffered. It just goes to prove that every cloud has the possibility of a silver lining.

I found the number of characters confusing at first. My husband thought the novel long-winded in places. But I enjoyed the working out of the individual stories within the story. What might well have been disasters turned out to be blessings in disguise for some — not that being a murder suspect is a necessary element in solving one’s problems. But in this case, the foul deed becomes the catalyst for new beginnings.

English Lake District, home of artists and writers

February 14, 2009

 

Coniston in winter

Coniston in winter

The English Lake District has long been known for its writers and artists, including Wordsworth and Ruskin. Visitors come from all around the world to visit the houses where they lived, wrote or painted. The tradition goes on and many writers live and work in this area of outstanding Beauty.

Coniston Water in February - after the snow.

Coniston Water in February - after the snow.

 

 

This is the area close to where I live and work. The beauty of where I live is a constant inspiration to my writing. Likewise the area where I lived as a child and a young married woman. For that was an area of clothing manufacture and, for me,  the trials and tribulations of factory work and struggling to be an established designer. Later on a teacher. That area was the Midlands, where I once dreamed of visiting the Lake District for a holiday. That is, if ever I had the money. Now I live here and think myself ‘rich’ indeed — for beauty of landscape is worth more than gold. Peace and tranquility worth more than the burden of wealth. This is my home, or at least close to where I live. From our market town of Ulverston we can see for many miles — out to sea across the bay, as well over to the Pennines and the far reaches of Cumbria.

Visit AG Press for details of the USA editions of When Angels Lie, Blazing Embers, and (shortly), Desire (all by Gladys Hobson) Magpies Nest Publishing for Gladys Hobson books published in Cumbria (the ‘home’ of the Lake District National Park) . My E-book, Awakening Love, (Stonehedge Publishing) can be found at Powell’s books and all major E-book sellers. Mythica Publishing (up in Bonnie Scotland) will shortly be publishing my books too.

Doom and Gloom? Look for the rainbow!

February 4, 2009

 

Promise of light in the darkness

Promise of light in the darkness

When skies are dark with rain clouds, I look for rainbows.

 

 

Dark sky, bright rainbow

Dark sky, bright rainbow

Like many people of our generation who were taught to live within their means, we have never overreached ourselves when buying anything.. In our day, not for nothing did Building Societies only loan what a single person could afford to pay back. The rapid rise in house prices followed by repossessions has been the ultimate price of careless lending.

 

The present situation was bound to happen. It is sad for those who will lose their jobs and homes, and how infuriating that the bankers and financiers who brought the situation about get even more millions in unearned bonuses. Would we pay a bonus to a shoddy builder if a new roof fell in?

And yet, all is NOT doom and gloom unless WE allow it to be so. It is our own attitude to present circumstances that determine whether we look for, and grasp, unforeseen opportunities to work things out for the better. This we owe to ourselves and to all who will have to pay for the country’s growing debt.

It was redundancy years ago that brought us to our present location. Very many job applications all over the country came to nought until one was offered in what most people seemed to think was beyond civilisation! (But to me, a paradise!) Things were tough for various reasons I will not go into, But, we all thrived and the family did far better than we could possibly have envisaged. Yes, money was in short supply but not for the first time. I knew how to create tasty dishes on a low budget and I could sew. We never did go in for foreign holidays so nothing missing there.  We were blessed with a utility type caravan and that ensured us reaching beautiful places in Scotland each year with visits to Wales and the West Country occasionally. When things improved, we continued to live within our means — only too aware that times could not always be financially good. The country has had several lean times since then but people never seem to learn — buy now, pay later with interest!

The piper always has to be paid.

http://www.magpiesnestpublishing.co.uk

http://writingforjoy.blogspot.com

SEX? Had Enough Of It?

February 2, 2009

SEX Had enough of it? Let’s face it, the TV screen is seldom lacking in scenes or language with sexual connotations.

Of course, when I was young there were no television screens to inform us about such matters or to stir our imaginations (or hormones when we approached puberty). Radio did not broadcast such things either. But we had the silver screen to teaching us romantic notions, if little else. Oh the queues outside the cinema when the Outlaw was released! Buxom Jane Russell in a low cut blouse, and with a sultry look to go with it. Evidently her being tied up is now considered as a bondage scene. We had never heard of such things as bondage in relation to sex. In fact we had heard and seen hardly anything in relation to sex other than simple kissing and lusty looks.

When I heard Alfred Hitchcock talking, a few years ago, of his scenes that were symbolic of the sex act, I have to admit it never occurred to us (me anyway) that the end scene with a train entering a tunnel, or a sudden burst of fireworks, could be anything other than what they appeared to be. Only education or experience would have given us a hint and we (that is my friend and I) had neither.

No education? Well, some. We did learn about single celled animal life that reproduced by division.

But surely graffiti on toilet walls told us SOMETHING? No. I don’t even recall graffiti until I was much older.

What about the F word? No, I had not heard of it (that I recall) but I would not have known what it meant until “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” became a court case and then was released for general reading.

We were naïve and ignorant (as mentioned in my When Phones Were Immobile and Lived in Red Boxes

Funny thing about words. How do some words become used for swearing? That is, in the first place?

When I was teaching one morning a pupil suddenly ruined the picture he was painting. He yelled the F word. (Such swearing unheard of in my classes – I only heard swearing in the staff room!))

I could see he was shocked by his own sudden outburst so I decided not to make an issue out of it. But the class had stopped work and each pupil was looking at me. “Keith swore, Miss. He said the F word.”

So I looked at Keith and asked him if he would explain to me what the F word meant. “It is not in my vocabulary,” I said.

The class giggled. “Oh Miss, it is a rude word.”

 “Ah, so you know, You explain then.”

The class went silent.

“Don’t say words that you are ashamed to explain,” I told them all, and they got on with their work.

Why this little story? Because I believe you can write romantic, yes, and erotic, stories in language that expresses feelings and sensations that are in harmony with the soul and with nature, without the need for coarseness. Those looking for kitchen sink drama with nothing but swearing must look elsewhere. Personally, I hear enough of it on the TV!