Grammatically Challenged Me

I first wrote this blog for A.S Fenichel on the release of my second medieval novel, Sweet Bea.

A.S and I share an editor over at Kensington (Lyrical), the incredible Penny-Jo Barber. So, along with the release of Sweet Bea, this blog also marks my official graduation from Penny Boot Camp.

I did not see those boys in Penny Boot Camp. Penny and Andrea have, clearly, been holding out on me.

I’ll be back in basic training soon enough as Penny takes me in hand once more with the next in the Sir Arthur’s Legacy series, following on from Sweet Bea, called My Lady Faye. (there's more on both of these under the MY BOOKS tab)


Speaking of Penny, one of her thankless tasks when editing me is the sad truth that I am a grammar cretin. I have no idea what I was doing when they taught grammar at school (actually I have a fairly good idea, but that is a blog for another day), but I was not paying attention.

So here’s a little grammar exercise.

1.    I know its/it’s ridiculous to be a writer and suck at grammar.

2.    The weather/whether outside today is beautiful, but I am sitting at my desk.

3.    Okay, you can say you hate medieval romance but I will descent/dissent.

4.    I will disagree with you in principal/principle.

5.    Your/you’re doing well and your score is rising/raising to its highest point. (See what I did there, tricky me. Two questions in one sentence)

6.    When you have finished this test, I’ll tell you if you have passed/past.

7.    At that point I will have to accept/except that everyone beats me at grammar.

8.    This little test comprises/composes nine questions and you are almost done.

9.    I will try and top all your scores in vain/vein/vane.


Share your answers in the comment section if you like and I will pop past and let you know how you did. Or, perhaps, I should get Penny or A.S. to do that???? And don’t be shy, remember me – the grammar cretin.

God's Underwear, I need to swear!

One of the challenges  of writing medieval romance is the difficulty I encounter in finding a good cuss word or two that have some meaning to a modern reader. 

Folks of that period were pretty earthy and anything related to bodily functions was pretty much standard conversation. You wouldn't rebuke a child for telling you he needed to take a piss (you get the idea, here). The F-Bomb wasn’t around yet. The dreaded C-Word was around, but was more anatomically descriptive than a cuss word. Even bastard (which I have to confess I resorted to once or twice) was a description of someone’s birth and bitch described a female dog.

So, how does a writer get the point across to a modern reader that this person is really upset or is calling someone else a bad name?

A modern audience is pretty much desensitized at this stage and calling someone a Misbegotten Cur kind of lacks the punch I was looking for.

The answer? Anything with religious connotations was way, way, way shocking and completely off. Put God into it and you had a ready made swear word. God’s Wounds, was a good one.

So, here’s a little game I invented to create your own medieval swear words. Just take words from each column and combine them. Give it a go, I’m always open to cracker of a suggestion. Who knows? You may even find it in my next release.



What’s ‘Great’ About Britain – Author Carrie Elks

I was born in Britain, raised in South Africa (as my bio says) and I now live in Draper, Utah. It's a particular pleasure to welcome Carrie Elks, a fellow Brit, to my blog today.

Hi! Thanks to Sarah for letting me take over her page today, I hope we’re going to have a bit of fun together, talking about all things British.

I’ve lived in the UK (just outside London), for the majority of my *cough* forty years on this earth, though I’ve also managed a few years in Geneva, Switzerland and Washington D.C. as well. So when Sarah suggested I blog about something British, it took me a while to think of what’s so great about living here.

History? I live opposite the ruins of a castle that is named in the Domesday Book. We take it for granted, I’m ashamed to say, just as we ignore our medieval church and fully-functional windmill. I walk past them every day and barely spare them a glance.

I walk past this windmill every day. It’s right next to the castle I also ignore.

I walk past this windmill every day. It’s right next to the castle I also ignore.

Arts? Yeah, we’ve spawned a few good rock groups, writers and film makers, but there’s been some embarrassing ones, too. For every Kardashian the US has, we have our own, slightly embarrassing, reality TV stars. Hopefully you haven’t heard of them, and we’d like it to stay that way.

The weather? Let’s not go there. I’m British, I could talk about it all day. I do, most of the time.

How about the boys, I hear you ask. Well, as I’m married to a British boy, I guess I’m probably biased, but I have to admit we do turn out some rather good looking men. Cary Grant was born in Bristol (just like me!), and was one in a long line of British actors who invaded Hollywood, right up to the Robert Pattinsons and Theo James of the current day. 

So yeah, Brit boys are pretty cute. And if you want to know my tips for the next wave of Brit boys, go and see a small art-house film called ‘Riot Club’, which stars Max Irons (who was also in The White Queen – an amazing historical series), Douglas Booth and Sam Claflin. All three of them are talented, great looking and are going places. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the picture below!

So, I guess living in Britain isn’t so bad, in spite of the weather. That’s one of the reasons why my latest book is set firmly in London, a city I love and spend a lot of time in. Anybody who has been to London knows the place has a character of its own. Slightly less frenetic than New York, but with history and nightlife oozing out of every pore, London sucks you in and makes you never want to leave. Of course, you have to—who can afford to stay there for more than a few days?

Coming Down, my new release, tells the story of Beth Lawrence, a woman in her late twenties who works in a Drug Rehabilitation clinic, helping the children of addicts. Married to a wealthy, older man, her life is calm, respectable…and stifling. Then an old flame walks back into her life, making her question everything she thought she knew.

Beth finds her marriage falling apart, and has to lean on her old friend when nobody else can help. And the two find themselves rekindling a passion they both thought had burned out years before.

If this sounds like your thing, you can find the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iStore.

So that’s where I have to leave it. Thanks again to Sarah for hosting me, and to you for reading. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I have!

Carrie x


About Carrie Elks


Carrie Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of emotion. At the age of twenty-one she left college with a political science degree, a healthy overdraft and a soon-to-be husband. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK. An avid social networker, she tries to limit her Facebook and Twitter time to stolen moments between writing chapters. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two.

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