Friday, May 20, 2016

Books, Chocolate and Wine with Meredith Bond

Regency romance and magic. These are my kind of stories. Oh, I still love medieval knights and I'm learning to appreciate the contemporary hero. Maybe it's the magic that speaks to me. But to me words are the real magic. Please give a warm Books, Chocolate, and Wine welcome to Meredith Bond. For her it's all about words.

For Joy of the Written Word

I love books. I always have. They’ve entertained me since I was a baby, given me solace when I was down, brought me happiness throughout my life, and taught me everything I’ve ever wanted to know (and more). I can’t imagine a world—or my life—without them.
I love looking at books nearly as much as I like reading them too—and I don’t just mean picture or coffee table books. I mean ordinary novels and non-fiction too. From the title page through to the biography at the end; everything from the way they’re laid out to the fonts to the chapter titles and drop caps. I think they’re fascinating.
So what does one do with such a passion? Why, become a writer and formatter, of course!
I write what I have always loved reading, romance. From the day my mother handed me my first Georgette Heyer Regency romance, I’ve been reading and loving the genre. When I found myself without a job and with nothing to do in rural Massachusetts (having moved there as a new bride to be with my husband), I did the only thing I could think of—I started writing the books I loved reading. Now, oh-so-many years later, I’ve published four books with Kensington Publishers, and fourteen on my own as a self-published author (four of them are republications of the first four, edited and changed a bit, two are short stories in anthologies).
I haven’t always stuck to my beloved traditional Regencies, but have branched out into adding a paranormal element (magic) to my Regencies and then into different time periods in history, including a series of post-Arthurian stories and right now I’m writing a contemporary (with previous life flashbacks to medieval times because I can’t just write contemporary without some history thrown in).
And with my passion for exploring how books look and the rise in self-publishing, I’ve become a formatter of books for indie-authors.
I’ve never been an artist, but I explore my artistic side with my formatting. Laying out a book so that it’s easy to read and pleasing to the eye is my goal. A well formatted book is one where you might notice a few touches here and there—a drop cap (that large first letter at the beginning of a chapter), a picture at the section breaks (I always try to pull an element from the front cover of the book for these)—but for the most part good formatting fades into the background unnoticed and just makes the book easier to read and a more pleasant reading experience.
Ebooks don’t allow for too much fooling around with the formatting because the whole point of an ebook is to allow the reader to decide what font they want to read in and how large the letters should be. But when I format for CreateSpace (print-on-demand), if the client-author allows me, I’ll go all out and fooling with fonts (again, pulling what was used on the front cover), picture separators, drop caps, and add in other fun little touches. I’ll do all that I can to make the book pretty and fun to read.
Books are so much fun. They’re a lifeline for some, and a passion for so many. And now, with e-readers and books being priced as low as 99 cents, it’s so easy to pick one up at your favorite e-retailer and delve right in!
So, the next time you’re enjoying a good read, stop and notice how it looks. If it’s nice, you can probably thank a formatter for that. If not… well, then, perhaps the author or publisher didn’t take the time to make sure that it did. It doesn’t take a great deal of effort to make a book look good, but it can enhance the whole reading experience.
I hope all of your reading experiences are pleasant ones!

Bridging the Storm 
Can a twenty year-old woman make life worth living for a thousand year old man?

An immortal knight…

On the night of the winter solstice, Sir Arthur Dagonet once again sips Merlin’s potion and transforms from an elderly man to a young one. Once his metamorphosis was a gift. Now it’s a curse. He’s had centuries of adventure, but lost all he has loved when he could not die. Until the High Priestess of the magical Vallen provides a possible escape from the endless cycle.
A life without life…
Kate Cherington cobbled together a life by making herself a necessary part of her aunt’s household, teaching her cousins how to use their magic. But her life is a trap. Her aunt, the High Priestess of the Vallen, will not present her to Regency London society. Her only escape is within the travel books she devours. Until she meets a man who’s living the life she longs for.
A timeless force…
Can a twenty year-old woman make life worth living for a thousand year old man? Though eager to rid himself of his immortality, brave, beautiful Kate sparks memories of Sir Arthur’s happy exploits with the Children of Avalon, the first of the magical Vallen. But bound by promises to the priestess, Kate and Sir Arthur find themselves facing a force more powerful than either anticipated, a force stronger than any desire for life or death: the magic of love.
“Wow, this book is so well written. I like the way Meredith writes and the stories she comes up with are absolutely incredible and unique. I must admit that I haven't read any of the other books in the series but I didn't feel that I needed to. Magic, curses, and fantasy come alive in this story. It is a definite must read! I don't want to give anything away in the story so take my word for it and pick up your copy as soon as it's available!” –Amazon Reviewer, “Toomuch87
An intriguing read that combines romance and magic in equal measure. I enjoyed Magic in the Storm by the same author, and this is sort of a prequel to that book, even though it was written later. The romance was sweet and the character development (especially into those characters who repeat in Magic in the Storm) was well done. A nice, sweet read. – Amazon Reviewer, Mae Clair
Buy Links: Amazon, B&N, KOBO, iBooks, Smashwords, Google Play
Except from Bridging the Storm
“I’m sorry. I don’t believe we’ve been introduced,” she said, her cheeks flushing an even deeper shade of pink.
“Er, uh, no! No,” he chuckled. “I beg your pardon.” He executed a grand leg for her. “Sir Arthur Dagonet, at your service.”
She curtsied in response. “Miss Kate Cherington. I’m Lord Vallentyn’s niece.”
“Ah! Had the pleasure of his company at breakfast,” Dagonet said, smiling. “Shame about the children.”
“So you are the man Aunt Vallentyn invited here to cure them.”
He opened his mouth to say something, debated whether he should make a joke, or just affirm she was correct. He decided to play it safe. “Yes.”
“Will you?” Her beautiful eyes, so expressive, seemed to get paler in the sunlight. Was that possible?
“Will I what?” he asked, his mind befuddled by her beauty.
“Be able to cure them?” she asked.
He almost asked who she referred to but quickly pulled his mind back to the situation at hand—and not a moment too soon. He’d almost made himself look like an idiot. Why did he always make a fool of himself in front of women he was attracted to? He was determined not to do the same with Miss Cherington. He was too old to fall into such silliness. Lowering his eyes to the ground, he placed an appropriately somber expression on his face. “No, I’m afraid I don’t have that ability.”
“But Aunt Vallentyn said you had knowledge that she might use…”
“Oh, yes! Plenty of knowledge. Just not the, er…” he paused for a moment. She was Vallen, right? Yes. She’d used magic to stop her book from falling into the river. “I’m not associated with Fire. Can’t actually heal anyone, don’t you know?”
“No. I didn’t know,” she said, her head tilted slightly, as if trying to figure him out.
This time he couldn’t help but laugh. “Lady Vallentyn…” She’d called her ‘aunt’ hadn’t she? “Your aunt?” At her nod, he continued. “Yes, well, she thinks that I may know of some magic that she could use to cure the children. Don’t know that I do, but I'm more than willing to explore the possibility with her.”
Miss Cherington looked confused. “You don’t know if you know how to cure the children?”
“No. Lady Vallentyn’s going to, or, well, she’s begun to explore my memories, don’t you know?”
“Explore your memories? And what does she think she’ll find there that you don’t know about?”
Dagonet burst out laughing. Luckily, even Miss Cherington saw how ridiculous the question, in fact, the whole situation, was.
“You’re a very funny man, Sir Arthur,” she said laughing. “I only hope my aunt finds whatever it is she thinks you have in your memories, and that…”
“I’m not aware of?” he chuckled.
She laughed. “Yes.”
“Yes, well. I hope so as well.”
 Meredith Bond's books straddle that beautiful line between historical romance and fantasy. An award-winning author, she writes fun traditional Regency romances, medieval Arthurian romances, and Regency romances with a touch of magic. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart,” Meredith loves to take her readers on a journey they won't soon forget. 
Merry has two independent children and a loving, supportive husband. She resides in Washington, DC enjoying the freedoms of having an empty nest. 

Merry loves connecting with readers. Be sure to find her:


  1. Thank you so much for having, Ruth! I have to say, I've loved reading your books as well. :-)

    1. Thanks, Merry. It's a pleasure having you on my blog.

  2. The excerpt is delightful, but I was already set to love her words from what she has to say about them. I love words, too, and the way they look on the page (my biggest gripe about ebooks, which tell the story, period). Amy Atwell has done a workmanlike job of making my print books look the way I'd like them--not perhaps as elegant as Meredith's, and now I'll have to buy some of Meredith's too!

    1. Thanks so much, Beppie! Amy is a great formatter. I don't know if she has as much fun with formatting as I do, though. :-) I really like to play with it and make it interesting enough so that a book more more pleasant to read. I do have to agree with you, though, ebooks really don't allow for a lot of fun, but I do my best putting in nice scene separators and drop caps when an author lets me.
      Thanks for stopping by!