Author Archives

Eliza Redgold

Vintage Values ~ A Gift of Strength


Values come from the word
valere, to be strong. These Vintage Values have been tested through time. They will give you inner strength …

This A – Z of Vintage Values comes from the past to inspire us in the present. During 2016, I posted each letter of this A – Z  as Monday Motivation on my Facebook author page. Readers were kind enough to let me know how much they appreciated them. I’ve now put the full A – Z together here for your enjoyment. Click on the link below for your free copy. Writing these values got me through a challenging time – I hope they will give you strength if you need it too.

Illuminated letters would once have been richly colored and gilded.  You can save this booklet, or print it out and color it in for further illumination.

VINTAGE VALUES Eliza Redgold – Elizabeth Reid Boyd

Best wishes, Eliza/Elizabeth

 

 

 

The Secrets of Mindful Beauty

THE SECRETS OF MINDFUL BEAUTY is OUT NOW in March 2017!

Many beauty products offer us hope inside a jar. The Secrets of Mindful Beauty offers you more than hope. It offers the power that is inside you.

We’ve been researching this for many years now, and I’m thrilled to share it at last.

Published by Skyhorse, New York, The Secrets of Mindful Beauty shows women of all ages struggling with beauty esteem, lack of self-care and confidence, cosmetic challenges and changes to skin, hair and nails that are made worse by stress, anxiety or ageing how to:

  • Boost your beauty esteem and positive self-regard with simple, mind-body treatments to make you look and feel more calm and confident;
  • Use an inside-out stress reduction method that gives you a new, powerful, proven self-care tool;
  • Practice an invigorating, positive-ageing technique that will change the way you see yourself today and in the years to come.

If that sounds like you (because it sure sounded like me) then I hope you love reading this book as much as we loved writing it.  Its promise is simple: to change your beauty routine to one that truly makes you look and feel more beautiful.

Visit Skyhorse Publishing – available at all good bookstores online and in store

Read a sample at Overdrive

Or come and visit us at www.mindfulbeauty.net

Wishing you many beautiful moments – here is one of our unique Quick Lifts to get you started!

 

Redgold Creativity

Welcome to Redgold Creativity! On this page you’ll find life coaching practices for creative women: mixing magic with mindfulness. These fun, free exercises based on women’s wisdom from the past will enhance your creativity.

About Me: My natural pen name Eliza Redgold is based upon the Gaelic meaning of my full name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd. I’m an author and academic. I write fiction (as Eliza Redgold) and non-fiction (as Elizabeth Reid Boyd). These are tips I’ve picked up along the way that I’m delighted to share with you.

About Red Gold: The redgold rose is a floribunda (meaning many-flowering).  Another name for red gold is rose gold – gold mixed with copper that comes out a beautiful rosy colour. For some images, check out my gorgeous rosy red gold Pinterest page.

English folklore has it that if you help a fairy, you will be rewarded with red gold. Known as ‘rubedo’ it’s a transformative stage in magical alchemy and the search for the philosopher’s stone. Poets have also used red gold as a metaphor for creativity.  It’s amazing to me that recent ‘portraits of the mind’ capturing the creative brain are coloured red gold. We’ve possessed the philospher’s stone all along!

I practice mindfulness and meditation, and teach these practices to my university students. In March 2017, The Secrets of Mindful Beauty is due out with Skyhorse Publishing, New York. I’m fascinated by how much more creative we are when we slow down and let ideas grow. Our minds are truly magical.

About Redgold Creativity: In 2017, I’ll be updating this post each month with a new, free Redgold Creativity exercise. You can download them here:

JANUARY :        REDGOLD CREATIVITY Sweep in the New

FEBRUARY:     REDGOLD CREATIVITY Candlemas for Creative Women

MARCH:           REDGOLD CREATIVITY Call on the Muses

APRIL:              REDGOLD CREATIVITY Grace for Books

MAY:  REDGOLD CREATIVITY Ride the Merry-Go-Round

JUNE:  REDGOLD CREATIVITY Get Humming

JULY:  REDGOLD CREATIVITY Play Games

AUGUST:  REDGOLD CREATIVITY Romance your Seven Senses

SEPTEMBER:  REDGOLD CREATIVITY Amend It

Wishing you a floribunda of creative red gold rewards!

Tinsel Therapy

tinsel-therapy-300dpi-3125x4167-v2Charlotte Blair is terrified of tinsel – thanks to her old childhood playmate Rupert Brigham. He’s back in London and offering his help to help her overcome her fears – which she soon realizes are more about life and love than festive decorations. Can Charlotte face what scares her and let tinsel bind them together in time for Christmas?

FREE TO MY WEBSITE VISITORS DURING THE FESTIVE SEASON!

Download here:

tinsel-therapy-by-eliza-redgold

I do hope you enjoy this fun and heart-warming Christmas short story set in the fairy-lit streets of central London.

Redgold heart

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Harlequinade: Shall we dance?

harlequinOnce upon a time … Did you know the ‘harlequinade’ was originally a story-telling dance? Its performance in a play included traditional steps and some novelty, taking place between the telling of a fairy tale and a happy ending.

The harlequinade was also an important element in the development of English pantomime. It originally consisted of story-telling dances in which Harlequin, a magical character, played the leading role. In the 19th century, to ease the burden on the dancers, the harlequinade was preceded by a fairy tale. As Harlequin’s importance lessened and the fairy tales became longer and more popular, the harlequinade dwindled into a short epilogue to what became today’s pantomime.

Harlequin’s dance was designed to impress Columbine, his mistress. I loved this idea so much I named one of the characters Columbine in my Victorian romance ‘Playing the Duke’s Mistress‘ (published by Harlequin Mills and Boon). It’s all about actresses, Dukes, intrigues and of course, romance.

Writing romances for Harlequin reminds me of dancing. There are not only precise steps to follow, but also room for improvisation and variation. It has all the familiarity of a fairy-tale (stories told and re-told by women for centuries) and a happy ending makes it complete.

As an academic as well as author, I’m delighted to see this woman-centred genre getting some scholarly attention that explores its pleasures and tensions. If you’re interested in this debate, check out my recent article in The Guardian (it first appeared in The Conversation) – it got an amazing response. There’s also discussion in The Sydney Morning Herald. You can also read my academic journal article Romancing Feminism (written as Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd) about writing in the genre.  Or visit my Harlequinade Pinterest page.

Who can resist a light-hearted Harlequin romance? Enjoy the dance!

Enticing Benedict Cole cover

Mistress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit Eliza Redgold at Harlequin Mills and Boon

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Harlequin ladybird

Harlequin Ladybird

Pretty Witty Nell: Our Lady of Laughter

Nell by Lauren Wilhelm

 

Of a great heroine I mean to tell,

And by what just degrees her titles swell,

To Mrs Nelly grown, from cinder Nell.

~ Anonymous: A Panegyric on Mrs Nelly (17th century)

There’s something about Nelly …. For centuries, Nell Gwynne has captured hearts and minds. What was Nell Gwynne’s secret? She was a woman who knew how to laugh. How to live. How to love. As an historical fiction/romance fan, I’ve always adored her. When I decided to take up my own quill and start writing fiction, I planned to write a version of her secret diary. For a couple of years I had a wonderful time playing with Nell, collected and read many books, and tracked down obscure historical sources. I then discovered there has been a Nell Gwynne boom – and a raft of novels had been written in celebrating her.  Instead of adding my own version, I moved on to writing other books. Little did I know that my husband was about to surprise me with a birthday gift of a specially commissioned portrait of Nell, painted by artist Lauren Wilhelm (photograph above). Now Nell lights up the stairwell in our home, and guides me upstairs to write.

If you don’t know her name, Nell’s is a real life Cinderella tale of 17th century England, of a low born ‘orange girl’ who became a famous actress and mistress to King Charles II.  We don’t know much about her; mainly that she captivated the King and theatre audiences with her wit. “What history and tradition tell us of Nell Gwyn has been told as a decorative romance, where no liberty has been taken with what we know or believe to be the truth,” wrote Marjorie Bowen in 1925.  “Fancy has been allowed to enlarge upon it … None of the details, however, outrage history or defy probability…” Even in the prim and proper 19th century, in the Victorian era, Nell remained beloved. A 1901 biography dubbed her ‘Our Lady of Laughter.’

MistressMy historical romance PLAYING THE DUKE’S MISTRESS (published by Harlequin, May 2016) is dedicated to Nell Gwynne. It is set in mid-Victorian London, when many actresses had to contend with being seen as title-hunters and gold-diggers – as Darius Carlyle, the Duke of Albury initially suspects actress Calista Fairmont to be. Yet not every actress wants a coronet …I do hope Nell approves!

 

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Meet Nell and some other authors who love her on my Pretty Witty Nell Pinterest Page. nell books

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fairy Tale Beginnings ~ Your Free Gift

Henry_Meynell_Rheam_-_Once_Upon_A_Time_1908We all know how fairy tales end, but do you know the beginning?

In 2015, I held weekly ‘Fairy Tale Fridays’ on my author Facebook page.   I brought magic into my life by posting the first line or two of a favourite fairy tale onto my page. Readers young and old were invited to guess the story. The next Friday, I revealed the identity of the fairy tale, along with a beautiful old illustration.

So many people found this a magical experience too. It was such fun to share that I decided to put some of them together in this collection.Some of the fairy tales are simple to guess, some are more difficult. Click on the link below for your free copy. I do hope you enjoy it!

May life bring you many happy endings – and even more fairy tale beginnings.

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Fairy Tale BeginningsElizaRedgold

Imagine Horses

 

On Cornish cliffsThink when we talk of horses, that you see them

Printing their proud hoofs i’ the receiving earth

For ‘tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings.

~ William Shakespeare: Henry V

Once upon a time, I visited Tintagel in Cornwall with my small daughter. Full of history and mystery, the cliff side town is steeped in Arthurian legend. As we made our way along the path towards the cliffs and the ancient site of Arthur’s castle, her hand in mine, I heard the sound of galloping hooves behind us. “Look, horses!” I swung her around to see them.

The path behind us was empty. There were no horses. Nothing was there.

Or perhaps not …

In Shakespeare’s Henry V the famous prologue that begins “O for a Muse of fire” encourages the audience to use their imaginations. To see Kings and Queens, instead of actors, to imagine battlefields instead of a wooden stage. In this collection of 1066 stories, readers are encouraged to go further – to imagine not only histories and fictions, but also alternate pasts.

I was so excited to be asked to contribute my story ‘The Needle Can Mend’ to 1066 Turned Upside Down. My connection to the historical period is through Lady Godiva – she of the famous horse ride. In 2015, my historical women’s fiction Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva was published by St Martin’s Press in New York. So the legend goes, Godiva of Coventry begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. He demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town.  Lady Godiva (or Countess Godgyfu, in the Anglo-Saxon version of her name) was a real person who lived in 11th century Anglo-Saxon England. Yet her myth goes even further back.  Her legend has been be transformed again and again, come down to us through the ages in a mix of fact and folk-lore.

In Naked, I told Godiva’s tale as ‘herstory’ – from the heroine’s perspective. The historical Godiva would have been alive in 1066, so of course I wanted to include her in my story for this collection.  Godiva was the grandmother (or step-grandmother) to Queen Edith, the second wife of King Harold, and may well have figured in 1066 and its political aftermath, or so I imagined.   In ‘The Needle can Mend’ I wanted to capture the strength and power of women and the tales they weave. No more is this revealed than in the mysterious fabric of the Bayeaux Tapestry, which depicts the 1066 Battle of Hastings, and stitches together my tale.  It is a woman-made work of political art, secret and imagination that has stood the test of time.

To imagine is to form a mental image, to think, to believe, to dream, to picture. It is both idea and ideal. Our dreams can take us from small acts of empathy to noble visions of equality and justice. Imagination charges the flame: it puts us in touch with our creativity, our life force. In a world of increasing global conflict, perhaps imagination has never been more important – just like it might have been in 1066.

Alternate histories. Alternate realities. Alternate futures.

Imagine.

bayeux This post appears on the 1066 Turned Upside Down blog.  Visit to find out more about the stories and authors! #1066UpsideDown

 

 

 

 

1066 image

1066 on Amazon naked

NAKED on Amazon

 

Billiards, Ladies?

The Game of Billiards by BoutibonneYou said you were familiar with the game,” The Duke said to Calista, as with a slight bow he allowed her to pass before him.

“I’ve grasped the rules,” she said.

He took a billiards cue from a rack by the door. His fingers brushed against hers as he gave it to her.

She forced herself not to jump. Instead, she let her own fingers slide over the tips of his long fingers in reply.

He frowned as he took his hand away.  “Have you played often?”

“Not as often as you, I believe.”

 “Shall we form teams?” Darius asked brusquely.

“The gentlemen against the ladies?” Herbert suggested.

“Surely it’s the aristocrats against the actresses,” Calista put in.

She felt rather than saw Darius’s sharp glance at her.

 “Would that suit you, Calista?” he asked.

With a coquettish shrug she peeped at him over her shoulder.  The coquette wasn’t a role she played on stage but she’d observed it often enough to know how to perform it. It always seemed a betrayal, a sham of real love. “I’m sure we’ll play admirably together.”

Darius ran his hand through his hair. “Let’s get started.”

Excerpt from ‘Playing the Duke’s Mistress by Eliza Redgold

It was a surprise to me (and maybe to you too) that women played billiards in Victorian times. There was a great deal of female popularity for the sport, as both participants and spectators, as these wonderful old paintings reveal. I’ve been collecting them on Pinterest. Take a look: Billiards, Ladies?

Playing the Duke’s Mistress released in May 2016 – I do hope you enjoy playing with Calista and the Duke! Now available on Amazon.

best wishes,

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Mistress

Lady Day

340px-Dante_Gabriel_Rossetti_-_Ecce_Ancilla_Domini!_-_Google_Art_Project

The Annunciation Dante_Gabriel_Rossetti

Lady Day is March 25th. From 1155 to 1752, Lady Day, not January 1, was the start of the year. In England today the tax year still runs according to this old timetable. So if your January New Year’s Resolutions have gone awry, it’s a great time to make some more!

This ancient festival celebrates the feast of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel announced the forthcoming birth of Jesus to Mary, known in the Catholic faith as ‘Our Lady’.  Lady Day is also a quarter day in the wheel of the year. It falls near the Spring Equinox and is connected to pagan celebrations of the earth’s rebirth. The ancient Celts honoured Eostre, the Goddess of spring around this time. She was traditionally accompanied by a hare. We still know her name in the feast name ‘Easter’ – while the hare has become the Easter bunny.

The word ‘lady’ itself is rich in heritage. In an academic paper I wrote for Women and Language journal I analysed its history and meaning. The word lady invokes the imagination.  While woman captures our biology, our physicality, or femaleness, lady evokes the more elusive quality – muse, magic, spirit – of the feminine. I wrote it a few years ago, but I still get contacted about it – by chance (in 2017) I did this morning!

nakedA famous Lady of Legend, Godiva, has long intrigued me and my version of her tale, with a twist, can be found in NAKED: A Novel of Lady Godiva (St Martin’s Press). In some ancient stories Godiva is accompanied by a hare – connecting her to the Celtic goddess of spring, Eostre. You can find the book on Amazon. There are more Ladies of Legend in store, so stay tuned.

This year, 2016, Lady Day falls on Good Friday. I don’t know how often that happens, but it must be rare. Perhaps the feminine and the masculine are entering a new phase of balance. In that spirit, the image I’ve used here of The Annunciation is by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1849) and the model is his sister, the poet Christina Rossetti.

(Now in 2017 it is interesting to reflect on the shifts that have taken place, isn’t it?)

Best wishes for the year,

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Lady pic This photo was taken a while back when I was researching the word lady and felt rather determined about it.

 

 

 

 

Out in MARCH 2017

Published by Skyhorse Press, New York. Available at Amazon and all good book stores.