Blog Post · Lady Grace · World War I

Men in Uniform (WWI)

I really wanted to put a man in uniform on the cover of Lady Grace.  Days – I spent days hunting pictures on stock photo websites.  Only a few decent ones came up after searching World War One soldiers, most of which could not be used because they were editorial. (In case you don’t know what that means, they cannot be used for commercial purposes like book covers because there is no model release. For example, taking photos of men in uniform during a public re-enactment exercise.)  However, I did find one I really wanted but they wanted $300 for usage rights. (Gasp for a tiny image in the background behind Grace.)  CLICK HERE TO SEE IT

After giving up there, I went to the public domain and did find a few that I downloaded. In fact, I had been ready to put the face of one particular gent on the cover and a horrible pang of guilt sliced through my heart. I had no idea who the man was or whether he survived the Great War. After going through a guilt trip of using another person’s image, who had no say in the matter because he was long dead, I came to the conclusion – NO PHOTOS OF SOLDIERS ON THE COVERS.

That doesn’t mean, however, that I cannot share them in this blog post of dashing British officers that served in the war.  A few of these soldiers are breathtakingly handsome. Since Grace is married to a man in his forties, I thought the man in the center with the mustache and his hands behind his back would be a perfect representation of the middle-aged gent she wed.  However, like I stated, no pictures on the cover.

Here they are – most with mustaches but a couple of clean-shaven British males – the men in uniform to make your heart swoon.

No Known Copyright

Officers of the 39th Garhwalis [Estaires La Bassée Road, France]. Photographer: H. D. Girdwood.  Reference: Photo 24/(241)  From the Girdwood Collection held by the British Library. This image is part of the Europeana Collections 1914-1918

No Known Copyright

Group of officers 2/3rd Gurkhas at their headquarters in a French farmhouse [Le Sart]. Photographer: H. D. Girdwood.  Reference: Photo 24/(90)  From the Girdwood Collection held by the British Library. This image is part of the Europeana Collections 1914-1918

In closing, if you are looking for public domain photography or illustrations, visit Flickr. The British Library has posted over 1,000,000 items that are free for use.  All you need to do is give the credit as I have done above.  Here is the HOME PAGE.



Blog Post · Research Lady Grace · World War I

The Great War

I purchased one of the ceramic poppies placed at the Tower of London in 2014 to remember the fallen in the First World War memorial.

Researching this story timeline is an interesting and somewhat sobering journey.

I am aware of some things during that time period because my ancestors lived in the Manchester area during the war years of 1914-1918. I have a few reference books with newspaper articles that give insight into the times and struggles at home while the men were away fighting.

My ancestors lost sons and husbands to the war, which are my second cousins two times removed on the generational chart. (This means we share the same third great-grandfather. Their fathers were my second great uncles, Robert Holland and Henry Holland.) Since I’m an avid ancestry nut, I have been able to trace military records and references to their losses.  Below is a sampling of the information I have discovered.

The story of Lady Grace will include two men in the military – Grace’s husband Benedict and Arabella, her friend, whose husband Thomas has left for war. What happens to them while they are away, of course, you’ll find out when you read the story. However, the main focus will be the women left behind during turbulent times.

In honor of my relatives who lost their lives during World War I, which I hope you don’t mind me sharing with you, are noted below. When I think about them, it saddens me that they perished at so young an age never able to live out their days. May we never forget the sacrifice of the millions who died during this world conflict and others. You will note that their bodies never returned home and are buried where they died in France, Belgium, Turkey, and India.

In Memory

Name: Thomas Douglas Holland
Death Date: June 5, 1915
Death Place: Gallipoli

Buried: Helles Memorial Cemetery in Gallipoli, Canakkale, Turkey
Rank Private – Regiment Manchester Regiment – Battalion 1st 6th Battalion
Type of Casualty Killed in Action – Theatre of War Balkan Theatre

The National Roll of the Great War (Entry)

“Holland, T. D. Pte. 6th Manchester Regiment. He volunteered in August 1914, and sailed for Egypt in the same month. From Egypt he proceeded to Gallipoli in April 1915, and took part in the famous landing at Cape Helles, ever memorable for the magnificent bravery displayed. In the second Krithia Battle in June 1915, he fell fighting gallantly and was entitled to the 1914-15 Star, and the General Service and Victory medals. “Great deeds cannot die.”

Frederick John Holland
Died May 8, 1918
Killed in Action France
Place of Burial: Perth Cemetery (China Wall), Leper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Regimental Number: New Zealand Expeditionary Force, 2nd, Service #57847, New Zealand Entrenching Battalion, 2nd


Major George Henry Holland
Died May 15, 1918
Killed in Action France
Buried Euston Road Cemetary, Colincamps, Departement de la Somme, Picardie, France
New Zealand Army


Corporal John Holland Sapsford
Died November 4, 1918
Killed just one week before the end of WW1 in India.
Buried C W G cemetery in Rawalpindi (now in Pakistan).
Royal Field Artillery
Name noted on St. James War Memorial along with Thomas Holland, both grandsons of Robert Holland.

Private Harry Walton
Died February 6, 1917
Killed in Action France
Lancashire Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion

Private Gilbert Hough
Died October 9, 1917
Killed in Action Belgium
Lancashire Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion
Buried Tyne Cot Memorial – Zonnebeke, Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium

1930's · Release Information

Lady Isabella – Release

Lady Isabella is finished and in the process of release.  Here are the schedules:

  • It’s up on Amazon for pre-ordering release Kindle version 2-1-17
  • It’s distributed to Draft 2 Digital and will be released on iTunes, Nook, and Kobo sometime next week
  • The print version is pending.  It’s been uploaded and is in a publishing review process.  Proof and release pending.
  • Audio auditions pending

Here is a synopsis of the story:

Seduced at the tender age of sixteen, Isabella Stuart did not understand what one poor decision could do to a person’s life. The consequences of her flirtation with the stable boy infuriate her parents, who make arrangements to hide her scandalous behavior. As a result, they send her into hiding to give birth and insist she give up her child for adoption. Upon her return to England, she discovers that her freedom remains severely hindered as her parents insist on orchestrating her marriage. Isabella, however, has fallen in love with another man, who unbeknown to her possesses far more than her heart.

Blog Post · Lady Grace · World War I

Lady Grace

 Lady Isabella is out for editing, and it should be ready for release February 1 in eBook and print.

After mulling over a few story lines and time eras, I felt compelled to backtrack to the time period of World War 1 for my next story entitled Lady Grace.  I had thought about choosing other names for the title, but the name Grace stuck with me because of the personality of the young woman that I will be writing about.

In 1914, Grace has given birth to her first child and her husband, Benedict Russell, has left for the front. Of course, anytime that I decide to write about somethi

Already, I have chosen a cover for this new work and hope that you find the picture of Grace dressed in red, standing among a field of poppies, a poignant reminder of the times. Gazing at the cover helps me develop the character as I write the story. I can’t tell you how many times I will pause in a portion of a book,glance over at the face of my heroine or hero, and wait for the inspiration to know what they would say or do next. It’s a way of looking into their faces and becoming who they are so I can bring them to life on the page. Hopefully, each of these fallen ladies in this series of books will have vastly different personalities.

In the meantime, stay tuned for Isabella! For her story, too, set in 1930 will hopefully be an entertaining one.  I will let you know when it’s release. Those on my mailing list will get an email, too.  If you haven’t subscribed to my newsletter for release notices, you can do so by following this LINK.

All my best,