Rose de Guzman

History ~ Books ~ Tea ~ Figure Skating

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Month: February 2017 (page 2 of 2)

Weekly Wednesday: Episode 1


Reading: The Girl in Between by Laekan Zea Kemp.  The story of a young girl with Sleeping Beauty Syndrome who goes to a place in her mind where a mysterious boy waits during her sleeping episodes.  It is a very creative take on a disorder that isn’t well known, and I’m really enjoying how the story is shaping up — or, should I say, stories, since there are things going on in the real world and in Bryn’s mind…and I can’t decide which one is more interesting!

Watching: The Curse of Oak Island on The History Channel.  Yes, we get played every week, when the revelations are anything but the treasure we all want to see — but those cliffhangers keep me coming back for more.  Tuesday will be the season finale — maybe this time, we’ll get what we’ve all been waiting for over the course of four seasons.  I have a little more confidence this time around, especially after they dated some of the wood they dug up to 17th or 18th century.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Oak Island mystery, the Wikipedia page provides a good summary of the history of the case.  Warning: once you go down the rabbit hole, you will be obsessed!

Doing: Spring cleaning, a little early.  Now that my beta readers have On Thin Ice, and I am in book limbo, I’m catching up on some cleaning and organizing.  Time to tackle the dreaded master bedroom closet.

Planning: A short story for an anthology submission.  More soon.  😉  Also planning out the graphics and photos that will be decorating this website shortly.

Writing: I’m using this lull in the revision process of On Thin Ice to write some blog posts and doing some research for The Lion and the Eagle. While I’m not “in the thick of it” with any of my writing projects right now, I am gearing up to do a big rewrite of my alternate history.  It’s nice to take a partial break and do a bunch of history reading.

Obsessing Over: The tiny little black swan necklace from Swarovski that my husband got me for Valentine’s Day.  It’s adorable!

Tea Tuesday: St. Valentine


20170214_162409We had lots of tea this Tea Tuesday!

My husband and I enjoyed some boba drinks together (Thai tea for him and strawberry/rose for me) at Boba and Water in Rancho Cucamonga.  They are known for using only purified water.  The ice in my husband’s tea was perfectly pure and clear, and this really brings out the flavor, since you aren’t tasting all of the impurities in the water.  They also have a very large variety of flavors that you can add to the drinks.


My husband wanted to use his new mug that I gave him for Valentine’s Day. I have some flavored black tea that is actually called St. Valentine’s tea, so what better way to try out the new mug?  It is from the Tsar Nicholas II tea company, which makes Russian teas and can be found in Russian markets and gift shops.

The mug is a lot of fun — it is based on the old 8 bit video games where the player’s life is represented by hearts that empty.  The mug is heat activated and the heart turns red when the tea is poured in (see video below).

He was very happy with his gift, and we had a lot of fun with it.  I figured it was the most manly thing ever to sport a heart motif.

Monarchy Monday: Long Live the Queen

Last week, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II marked 65 years on the throne, the first British monarch to do so.  In 2015, she became the UK’s longest reigning monarch, and now she is the only one to have celebrated a Sapphire Jubilee.  While the celebrations weren’t as dramatic as her Golden Jubilee (2002) or her Diamond Jubilee (2012), there was a 41-gun salute and well wishes from around the world.

Her accession in 1952 at the age of 25 upon the death of her father was shown recently on the Netflix drama The Crown.  Because this anniversary is also that of her beloved father’s death, Her Majesty spent the day in private on her Sandringham estate, as she does each year.

If Her Majesty lives as long as her late mother, she could celebrate a Platinum Jubilee in 2022.


CNN: Queen Elizabeth II marks 65 years on British throne with Sapphire Jubilee

Today: Queen Elizabeth makes history with 65 years on the throne

New Website, New Blog, New Beginnings

Well, this is exciting.

Because I have been doing a lot of work toward preparing On Thin Ice for submission (as well as writing a novel in the alternate history genre, which I will be revising soon), I figure this would be a good time to redo the website and start a new blog.

When I tried blogging before, I wasn’t sure what my niche would be. After all, I haven’t had a novel published yet, so I feel a little hesitant to give writing and publication advice.  Because my blog never found its groove, I abandoned it when my husband and I adopted two children.  I took a break from writing, editing and self-promotion to focus on my kids.  But now it is time for a fresh start, both for my writing and my blog.

With that in mind, I feel that some structure is in order — though of course I reserve the right to post additional things whenever I want.  A weekly structure should help me organize my blog and keep it on track, as well as give readers an idea of what to expect from me as a writer.  It will also keep things separate — after all, my alternate history novel for adults is very different from my YA romance, and the research that goes into both of these stories is, obviously, very different.

So, without delay, here is the weekly schedule for

Monarchy Monday 
(weekly feature)

  • The research that inspires my alternate history novel, The Lion and The Eagle.
  • Mainly focusing on the royal families of Russia and the United Kingdom, but anything goes.
  • Also showcasing cultural and historical tidbits from Imperial Russia — the ballet, Faberge eggs, anything and everything.

Tea Tuesday 
(occasional feature)

  • I love tea.  And, occasionally, I will blog about new teas or “tea culture” from around the world.

Weekly Wednesday 
(weekly feature)

  • A quick weekly update post, where I share what I am doing, reading, thinking, and working on.

Figure Skating Friday 
(weekly feature)

  • For fans of my YA romance, On Thin Ice.
  • Figure skating news, highlights, history, etc.
  • Expect extra skating posts around major competitions (Worlds, the Olympics).

Silly Saturday 
(occasional feature)

  • A place for silly fun things that don’t belong anywhere else, but that might find their way to the blog on occasion.