Author Archives: aureliaosborne

Their first Noel

This short vignette follows the characters of The Admirer, and picks up about four months after the end of the novel.


James Grey wished for little more than the happiness of his wife. The courtship had been short and carried under tumultuous circumstances. Some of the memories made during that period would likely be the worst of their lives. He could hardly imagine an occasion for them to create worse memories. Nevertheless, he was determined to use every opportunity to create better memories, the best memories, for them both. He had applied himself to that effort since their wedding, a little over a month ago. But this, their first Christmas together, should be nothing less than magical.

The usual touches had been applied, of course. A tree was decorated, their new cook was preparing special treats, they would attend a great dinner at his father’s house. Yet James had something ever greater planned, and the most important touch would be delivered any minute. To preserve the surprise, he needed to get Rose out of the house very soon.

“The viscountess will be expecting us, my dear.” The viscountess Latimer, a longtime friend of the Grey family who had offered Rose her patronage for the season earlier that year, was having a little gathering of friends that afternoon. Taking her in on the secret had been risky, but she loved little better than a great romantic gesture, and James was certain that this was one secret she could be trusted to keep.

“Yes, I am ready.” Rose quickly walked to the entrance, leaving the book she had been reading on the console. As their coats were being fetched, James took the opportunity to see what had so engrossed his wife. “A Christmas Carol,” he read aloud with a smile. “I have always loved this story. My brother and I would gather friends and act out the tale.”


“Of course! A ghost story, what could be more appealing to a group of young boys? We did not have the talent of Mr Dickens – have you ever seen him read; he is as gifted an orator as an author – but we enjoyed ourselves. My brother especially enjoyed playing Scrooge and being horrified by the apparition of his dead partner Jacob Marley, or at the sight of his own grave.”

“I suppose.” There was something in her expression, something she would not say. Rose had been schooled to keep her thoughts to herself on almost every subject. He wanted her to know that she could tell him what she thought and felt, that he hoped she would, and so coaxed her when she retreated into herself.

“What is it?”

“Well… I was thinking about that moment, when Scrooge sees his own grave. It felt like it should have been more frightening than it was. The… atmosphere, I believe, was suitably horrible. The silent Spirit, shrouded in black, guiding Mr. Scrooge through the graveyard. And yet… why would that moment be such a shock to him? Did he never expect to die?”

“Perhaps not. Or perhaps it was the impact that his life and death had on the world. Or should I say the lack thereof. The London businessman made jokes about the funeral, servants took everything they could get their hands on and sold it for pennies, his own nephew was only just a little down. Can you imagine anyone with such a fate? Not even mourned by their nearest relations?”

“I can,” she answered softly. James could have slapped himself. Of course she could. The events of the summer had lead to exactly that fate for her uncle. The man had been a dangerous criminal and utterly deserved to go unmourned, but nonetheless it did no good to bring the subject to his wife’s mind. “Will your family be with the viscountess this afternoon?” The butler had settled Rose’s coat on her shoulders, and turned to hand James into his.

“Absolutely,” answered James, eagerly changing the subject. “Prepare yourself, my brother will likely make you sing yourself hoarse.”

“Oh, I don’t mind. I love playing and signing. I wish…” She looked stricken. “I’m sorry. I know we have no room for a piano. I didn’t mean to criticize, I swear. I love our house.”

“I know. And perhaps, someday, we may have a house with a music room for you.” Someday being that very day, when the piano he had bought was delivered and placed in the small sitting room that had been secretly renovated. Though she would only learn of it on Christmas morning.

“It doesn’t matter, really.” She grabbed his hands and smiled at him. “Being your wife, having you in my life, makes me the happiest woman alive.”

He smiled in return. “I intend to do everything in my power to always keep you this happy.” He kissed her fingers before handing her into the carriage.


This post is part of the Renaissance holiday blog roll! Find out what it’s all about here!


Posted by on December 11, 2017 in Uncategorized


Video post starring Rosie

You know how I said, back in April, that I was taking Rosie for walks on a harness and leash? That she was mostly sticking to the backyard? Well, 10 weeks of almost daily walks later, I have something to show you.

That’s her, on the sidewalks in front of a neighbor who lives two doors down. Can you believe it? She just started going to the front lawn last week, and now she’s already down the street! I’m so proud of her. The only thing she fears are cars, which is, you know, both fair and wise of her.

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Posted by on July 2, 2017 in Uncategorized



The first day of summer was this week (or earlier last week, to be precise). It’s weird how little that means when you’re no longer a student, and/or you don’t have children of school age. It’s not months and months of free time anymore. I still have to go to work every Monday through Friday, except for pre-determined holidays and two weeks of vacation time I asked for in August.

There are some noticeable differences. The days that have been growing steadily longer have already started to grown steadily shorter. The weather is getting warmer, occasionally leading to thunderstorms like the one we had last night, which was pretty cool. (I am once again grateful I live in a house with air conditioning because the heat leading up to said thunderstorms can be brutal.) The neighborhood is a lot quieter in the afternoons, when the children would normally be walking home from school.

So, yeah. Summer. Let’s see how this one turns out.

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Posted by on June 26, 2017 in Uncategorized


Goodbye Tit’fille

So, Tit’fille is gone. Not “dead” gone; “this isn’t her forever home after all” gone. Turns out that I’m not quite ready for a second cat.

The difference in eating patterns between her and Rosie was too much for my nerves. Rosie is on portion control, and she tends to nibble, then leave and come back later. Tit’fille gobbles everything down then goes looking for more. Keeping them separated, keeping Rosie’s food out of reach, then panicking because she hardly ate any of it when I managed to keep Tit’fille away: it was draining.

So, Cat Expert Sib took her back to the shelter. I hope she finds her forever home soon. Meanwhile, I learned something about myself; I can take in fosters for a few weeks and then let them go. If I did it once, I can do it again. 

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Posted by on June 16, 2017 in Uncategorized



I am so grateful for the modern invention of climate control. We’re having something of a heatwave in my hometown, that’s been lasting for a couple of days. A year ago, that kind of weather would have left me tired and cranky, doing what little I could to keep cool in my 3rd-floor no AC apartment. This year, I own a house, with central AC, and a basement should it really get that bad. I’ve got decades of mortgage to look forward to, but it’s totally worth it.

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Posted by on June 12, 2017 in Uncategorized


Back home

I spent the week-end in Kingston, at the Limestone Genre Expo. Almost every Renaissance author was able to make it, so it was basically a lot of hanging out with a group of friends. In fact, everyone I met was A++ people.

I spent most of my time at the vending table, though I was “volunteered” for a panel without warning. I didn’t humiliate myself, so I’m willing to forgive the person who did the volunteering.

So, yeah. I had a good time. That being said, the best part of leaving is coming home.

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Posted by on June 4, 2017 in Uncategorized


Limestone genre expo

Extra post to inform the world that next weekend, I will attend Limestone Genre Expo in Kingston with my publishers, Renaissance Press. I won’t be in any of the panels, but I may attend a few, and I will definitely spend some time manning the sales table. I went last year, and really enjoyed myself. I look forward to fun times with fun people.

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Posted by on May 28, 2017 in Uncategorized


House guest

The Montreal sibling (I’m gonna have to find them a new name soon: they are only part-time Montreal resident now, and seem to be moving back in the region for good, but anyway) asked me to take that little lady for a while. She lives in the refuge where the sib volunteers, and isn’t doing too well. I took her in for a more quiet place in case it was a stress thing. Doesn’t look like it is, though. Poor baby. She’s on an antibiotic course which should clear everything up, thank goodness.

​Her name is Tit’fille (Lil’girl). She is really small and very sweet. I’d like to keep her for my own (also to rename her) but that will depend on Rosie. They have to at least be able to live together, even better if they get along. Since we can’t introduce them until the lil’one gets better, it’s a waiting game.

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Posted by on May 21, 2017 in Uncategorized



I haven’t posted anything last week, because I wasn’t quite sure what to write. It’s been a weird couple of weeks. A fortnight of strong contrasts between myself and the vast majority of people around me. For myself, I had an unexpected influx of money at the beginning of the month. Not quitting-my-job money, not even paying-my-house money, but the kind to put a smile on my face. And while that was happening, the worst flood we’ve seen in 40 years hit my hometown. It’s also really bad elsewhere in the province, but I don’t know about what records may or may not have been broken there.

I don’t know how I feel about this. On the one hand, it would be disingenuous to say that the first two weeks of May haven’t been good weeks for me, on the other hand, looking at pictures and videos and listening to people’s stories makes it impossible to call those two weeks anything but bad. It feels so much worse because I know very well how safe I am. It would take an apocalyptic event to bring any flood to my house, and we’re not quite there yet.

The best thing I could think to do was donate some of my unexpected gains to the Canadian Red Cross. It feels like a grain of sand in the desert (the ‘drop in the ocean’ analogy would be poor taste here) but also like the best thing to do. The Red Cross has experience, knowledge and resources; they know what to do, and if I can help them a little, it’s better than nothing.

Should anybody else want to make a donation, for the Quebec relief or for one of the other Canadian Red Cross funds, here is a link to do it.

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Posted by on May 14, 2017 in Uncategorized


April book haul

It just so happens that I bought a lot of books this month, most of them at second-hand places, like the thrift store or the used bookstore. So I thought it might be fun to do a thing I often see done, and show off my haul of the month.

First, early in the month I went to a thrift store near my house for unrelated purchases. They have a few shelves of books, and as I couldn’t resist browsing, I ended up with these two books.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I took advantage of a trip downtown to treat myself to a big chain bookstore visit, as I really wanted those specific books.



On Friday, as the weather was so nice, I took a chance to stop a the thrift store on my way home from work. I mostly wanted to see how practical of a walk it was, and figured I might grab a book or two if any caught my eye. 20 minutes later, I was in line at the cashier with my arms full.

Finally, I remembered a used bookstore that used to be near my parent’s house. Yesterday I decided to check if it was a) still open, and b) worth the detour. The answers are yes, and sure, if I’m visiting my parents.

Total haul: 19 books.

I wasn’t keen on the idea of second-hand books, for ages. I think part of it was that for a really long time, most of my books were second-hand; first from my parent’s collection, and then from scouring garage sales. I’ve changed my mind. I do like the experience of going to the bookstore and getting brand new books, but I am currently in the process of re-building my book collection, and brand-new books can be really expensive. Comparing the thrift store to the big chain store: I got 2.5 times the amount of books for approximately the same price. Part of the secret is to go with an open mind, because the one specific thing you want may very well not be there.

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Posted by on April 30, 2017 in Uncategorized