A Book-Lined Room of One’s Own

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.
–Virginia Woolf.

I have always loved images of rooms with book-stuffed shelves.  They appeal to the reader and the writer in me.  For a great many years–decades, in fact–I dreamed about working in an office that was lined with bookshelves. 

As messy as a room like this looks, it still makes my heart stir as I imagine exploring all the books on the shelves to find new and new-to-me authors and stories. 

My office, I wanted to look something like this:

The only thing is, I don’t buy print books anymore, and the ones I did have are either falling apart, or I’ve replaced them with ebooks.  Or both.

So the dream of a bookshelf-lined office has faded a bit.  These days, I’m leaning toward something like this:

There’s far fewer physical books, but lots of my “stuff” on display. 

This is not my actual office, by the way.  But Mark and I are heading into a couple of years of renovations, and my office is on the list, so who knows what I’ll end up with?

We’ll see.

Years and years ago, before we all smartened up and learned about copyright for images, everyone used to take whatever image they wanted from the Internet, wherever they found it.  One of the images I stole was of a public library that, even now, snatches my breath away whenever I see it:

All those books!

All that history!

I featured this image and others of the same library on my blog for years, but stopped using it once I learned about copyright for images.

Fast forward to early in 2021, when I was plotting out the story for The Unaccompanied Widow.  I was working out how to introduce a new character into the story, a man with strong political opinions.  I tested out several occupations for such a man, to see how that would shape him.  One of those occupations was university professor, so I did a bit of quick research into Dublin University and Trinity College, as the story is set in Ireland.

And learned that the library I’ve drooled over for years is right there in Trinity College!

Done.  My new character absolutely had to be a professor at the college, and I absolutely had to set a scene in the library itself.

Oh, I had fun with that scene!


The Unaccompanied Widow was released early this morning!

Lady Adelaide is on her own…

In Edwardian Britain, Lady Adelaide Azalea Margaret de Morville, Mrs. Hugh Becket, continues her work for William Melville, spymaster. Adele accompanies King Edward and Queen Alexandra to Dublin where the King will attend the Irish International Exhibition. Events go awry even before they depart England, for the Irish Crown Jewels are stolen and King Edward takes the theft as a personal insult to the Crown.

Then the renowned Irish MP, Eilish Slane, who is a personal friend of the King’s, is found murdered in a Dublin hotel. Adel attempts to investigate while navigating the shoals of the King’s temper, the actions of Irish Nationalists, the provocations of the British and Irish press, and the prejudices of men everywhere.  And she must work alone, for Melville and his cohorts remain in England…

This novelette is the third in the Adelaide Becket Edwardian espionage series.
1: The Requisite Courage
2: The Rosewater Debutante
3: The Unaccompanied Widow
…and more to come.

A historical suspense espionage novelette.


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