Monday, 31 August 2015

Apples and Plums

After torrential rain today I ventured out to pick ripe apples and plums from the trees in the garden. The fruit is delicious. The apples crisp and sweet, the plums sweet and juicy. And, for a change, this year there aren't many wasps buzzing around the plums.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

'Writerly' Activities and Family

Must confess I've neglected 'writerly' activities. It's still the school holidays so, on Friday, I had the pleasure of three of my grandchildren's company for the day. In the evening my daughter joined us at dinner. I served a vegetarian version of a Boston three bean bake with creamy mashed potatoes and a blackberry and apple pie with cream for dessert. Yesterday, guiltily aware that I had not met my writing target for the previous day I doubled up on the number of words that I usually write. I exceeded the target for Tuesday's Child, my new sweet romantic historical. I then indulged in reading for the rest of the day. Daughter's children are back at my house for the night. They are sleeping like angels. Today, we are going to lunch at our favourite vegetarian restaurant, Sakonis in Harrow.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Writing Target, Cooking, Cook in a Stately Home

This morning I met my writing target earlier than usual. After breakfast I nipped out to get some milk and take some money out of the bank.

After I came home I made 4lbs of redcurrant jelly. (I didn't have time to make it before I went on holiday at the end of July, so I boiled the redcurrants with the correct amount of water, strained it through muslin and put the liquid in the freezer.) Next I made a blackberry and apple pie, after which I made more mango ice-cream - the g...randchildren will really love me this year as its their favourite homemade ice cream. I then made my lunch, a vegetable pie, sweetcorn, potatoes, gravy and home grown runner beans. By the time the kitchen was clean and tidy I needed to put my feet up after I ate.

How did a cook in a stately home cope? Meals for the upper class and dinner parties etc., as well as meals for the servants. No electric gadgets such as food mixers and blenders, no fridges, freezers and dishwashers. Ranges fuelled by wood or coal etc. etc. How on earth did the cook keep going even if she had kitchen staff?

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Rainy Day

Yesterday, the weather didn't look too bad but the minute after I hung the washing on the line in the garden it started to rain. I left it on the line overnight. Today the rain poured as though a monsoon had arrived. The laundry's still outside. Unable to finish tidying up the front garden, I made more plum cordial and mango ice cream as well as starting to tidy my office aka the spare bedroom.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Which Is The Correct Category For My Novels

I write novels set in times past. I agonise over how to describe them. The hero and heroine are imaginary but they are not 21st century people dressed in costume. The novels  are romances enriched with historical facts and  social history. My hero and heroine's bedroom door is never wide open. So, how should I describe my books? Are the historical novels, historical romances or romantic historicals? And which term is the best to describe them - traditional, sweet or clean? I want to send a clear message to potential readers.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Writing Targets, Weather Forecast, Cooking, Plum Cordial and More

The weather forecast predicts rain so I shall cook after I finish this morning's writing targets. To start with I'm going to make plum cordial. I shall simmer the bullace, small wild plums with water until they are soft, then strain them through muslin overnight. Tomorrow, I shall bring the liquid to the boil add sugar, stir the cordial until the sugar has dissolved and then bottle it in sterilised bottles. I am also going to make several strawberry ice cream and at least two batches of mango ice cream which I shall freeze. (My ice cream maker is an excellent investment.) Finally I shall make a vegetarian large three bean bake with black eye-beans, cannelloni beans and freshly picked runner beans. I shall add deep fried cubes of paneer, an Indian cheese, which will soak up the flavours of the tomato and spices.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Novel Competitions

I entered a novel in two competitions and paid extra for the readers' comments. Well you know the saying you can please some of the people all of the time but not all of the people all of the time, it certainly applied to the comments. One reader praised my writing style but didn't like anything else about the novel. He or she couldn't identify with the main characters. Although I won neither competition the other reader really liked it. However, if I had depended on the first writer's opinion I might have given up on the novel.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Sunny Weather - Home Grown Vegetables

Today the weather in South East England is perfect - sunny with a pleasant breeze After writing for two and a half hours I ate breakfast in the garden. An hour later I picked pounds of runner beans, half of which I gave to a friend.

Before I went on holiday this year I transferred some of the six different varieties of tomatoes I grew from seed into pots. The rest I planted in a space in the front garden. The ones in pots haven't done very well. The outdoor ones have run wild without any care and attention. Today I began to prune them and discovered that the lower part of each plant is loaded with cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes, salad tomatoes and a new striped variety. They are looking good pruned and tied them to bamboo canes. I incerely hope they won't be attacked by tomato blight.

The rest of the vegetable patches and the fruit trees are very productive this year. I'm looking forward to delicious apples, pears and plums.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Finding Time for Historical Research

Finding time to research historical facts by reading non-fiction.

Last night my five year old granddaughter had a sleepover at my house. This morning, as a reward for her excellent behaviour for the last month I took her to Gambados, an indoor play area. We were there for two hours. In spite of the loud background music, parents talking and many children having a good time, I got on with my research.

I read and put post it notes with remarks on pages of particular interest. An added bonus were the ideas for the plot and descriptions in my new clean Regency novel, Tuesday's Child.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Very Unwelcome London Visitors

According to my research, in the past, bedbugs were far less prevalent in the country than in the towns.

At the Bell Savage Inn in London, in May, 1782, Parson Woodforde recorded that in 1782, when he stayed at the Bell Savage Inn in London,  "I was terribly bitten by the buggs last night, but did not wake me." In 1786 while staying at the place he wrote that buggs pestered him so much that he slept all night in a chair fully clad.

Moving onto a much later period my great-grandmother stood the legs of her beds in bowls of paraffin to prevent bedbugs getting into the beds, and she swept underneath the beds every day.

And people talk about the good old days.

Horror of horrors, I've heard that in modern times bedbugs brought into the country from overseas have infested some London hotels. The thought of staying in one literally makes my skin crawl.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Research - Regency - Water Closets - Coaches

Today, we take lavatories, toilets, loos - call them what you will - and public conveniences for granted, unless we are 'in the back of beyond'.

While reading A Visitor's Guild to:Jane Austen's England by Sue Wilkes, I made a note of the following. After all, one never knows what will come in useful when writing historical fiction.

"Many people love travelling despite the discomforts, but you'll have to endure some discomforts if travelling far off the beaten track. A writer in 'The Monthly Magazine' advised their readers to ask their coach builder to fit a substitute 'for a water closet' when having a new closed-carriage built. In remote places like the Scottish Highlands some of the smaller stages have no privy attached; even the inns in little towns often have no conveniences where you can relieve yourself, except 'a dirty exposed' place."



Monday, 17 August 2015

Writing Technique for my New Novel

Really pleased with myself. I've kept to my target of writing a minimum number of words every day and have written the first 10,000 words of Tuesday's Child. On good days I exceed my target. I'm writing faster than usual because I'm leaving blanks re:historical details that I need to research. I have a comprehensive library of non-fiction books about the Regency Era so I should be able to fill in most of the blanks without much difficulty.
Rosemary Morris
Historical Novelist
www.rosemarymorris.co.uk

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Bhagavadgita As It Is, Philosophy, Sentimentality, Fanaticism

At the moment I am re-reading The Bhagavadgita As It Is translated into English and with purports - by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The following made an impression on me: "Religion without philosophy is sentiment, or sometimes fanaticism." Chapter Three Text Three.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

The Regency Era and The Minuet

I enjoy historical research. Today I have been reading about dancing and music. In 1816 Thomas Wilson, a dance master, insisted the stately minuet should open a ball. In 1813 the Prince Regent held a ball that began and ended with a minuet. As far as I know, it was unusual to end a ball with one,
In towns such as Bath where there were many elderly people balls began with a minuet during the first quarter of the 19th century and, possibly, later.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Historical Research

It is all too easy to become careless about research when writing a novel whether it is contemporary or historical

I knew that young boys in the Regency wore dresses and ankle length drawers. However, I assumed they were breeched by the age of three.

The heroine in my new novel, Tuesday's Child, has a three and three quarter year-old son.

I researched children's clothes. Boys wore skeleton suits. The ankle length trousers fastened with buttons to a tight jacket that had a double row of buttons fastened down the front. Alternatively, the trousers were fastened to a shirt, so that the jacket could be left open to reveal frills down the front of a blouse, which had a wide collar edged with a frill.

I described young Arthur in his 'skeleton suit' and tried, unsuccessfully, to find out if the term was used in the Regency period.

After much more research I found out that boys were not breeched until they were about five years of age. Arthur now wears a  gown with a high waist and low neck, ankle length drawers, and white stockings. When he goes out he wears a top hat instead of a bonnet that girls wore.

I still need to research fabrics - materials, wool, cotton, silk, plain, sprigged, patterned or tartan.
As a historical novelist I try my hardest to be accurate. 

Rosemary Morris
http://rosemarymorris.blogspot.com

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Gardening, Rain, Mango Ice Cream, Recipe for Cous Cous, Delicious Lunch

By midday the rain poured down so I retreated indoors, having planted out lupins and sweet Williams I grew from seeds, which will flower next year. Unable to do any more gardening I made a batch of mango ice cream and put it in the freezer. After I emptied the dishwasher, cleaned and tidied the kitchen it was nearly time to have lunch. I had intended to make a salad but didn't brave the rain to forage in the garden. So I made cous cous. I put one third of a cup of cous cous in a saucepan and added one third of a cup plus a little extra of boiling water and a vegetarian stock cube. I stirred the mixture well. I then cut up the left over potato and runner beans from yesterday into small pieces and added two chopped, fresh apricots. After ten minutes I added this to the cous cous, heated it in the mircrowave and topped it with a generous helping of butter. For desert I couldn't resist some mango ice cream. As I say to small children. Yummy, yummy for the tummy.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

My Guest Interview at Love Romance Cafe


Whenever I am interviewed online, I look at the webpage and think: Is that really me.

 Today my latest interview with Love Romance CafĂ© is at:-


 Wow! My thanks to Ally and any of you who visit it.

 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Blood Test and Apricot Tree

Mixed day today. The worst thing was a blood test. My veins object to parting with blood so my doctor uses a butterfly needle which was invented for premature babies. Afterwards I had a decaffeinated latte with my daughter before going to Homebase. The local branch is closing down so everything is on sale. I treated myself to a self-fertile apricot tree which will take 2 years to fruit. Pleased with the bargain I lunched with friends, had a natter and then went to the library. I put my feet up in the afternoon and am now child minding my daughters' children. The youngest, my five year-old granddaughter is playing on the wee with a loud running commentary and her brothers are playing on the wi fi. Mind you, their mother limits the amount of time they may spend on these devices. On reflection not a bad day in spite of the dreaded blood test before which I wrote my self-imposed number of words.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Historical Novelist's Day

Today has started well. I woke at 6 a.m., and drank a glass of water, for which my kidneys will thank me, before going outside and turning on the sprinkler to water the fruit trees. I then put all my white clothes in the washing machine and turned it on. Next I wrote 600 words of Tuesday's Child my new traditional Regency Romance, by then the washing was ready to come out of the machine, so I took it out. I nipped out into the garden and moved the sprinkler so that my curly kale, black kale, chard, brussel sprouts, lettuce etc., would be get plenty of water. Back indoors put the coloureds in the washing machine and turned it on, gave my  kidneys a treat with another glass of water and then returned to my laptop.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the day. When I finish dealing with 'writerly' matters I shall work in the garden and make a salad with home grown ingredients, one of which will be Russian salad made with potato, carrot and French beans from the garden. In the afternoon I'll read and then write etc. 

This evening I will attend the writing group that I belong to.

I propose and hope God will not dispose of my plans.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Review of Tangled Love, early 18thc Historical Fiction


 

Tangled Love by Rosemary Morris was short listed for the best romantic e-book at The Festival of Romance, Bedford U.K

 

 

5* review of Rosemary Morris’s Tangled Love on Amazon by J. Pittam.

I very much enjoyed this new author. Tangled Love is set at the turn of the 18th century it follows the fortunes of Richelda, poverty-stricken daughter of a now-dead Jacobite. Richelda is haunted by the childhood oath she made at her father's instigation, to regain their ancestral home. She knows she has little chance of fulfilling that dream - until her wealthy aunt promises to make Richelda her heiress. But there is a condition; she must marry the man of her aunt's choosing- Viscount Lord Chesney. Richelda's feelings for Chesney are ambivalent and her heart already belongs to her penniless childhood companion, Dudley.

Love and betrayal, misplaced loyalties, even the promise of a treasure trove make this a charming story with a well-rounded, believable heroine and a delicious hero. Rosemary Morris's attention to historical detail brings period and place vividly to life. More please.

 

Tangled Love is available from: MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon Kindle, Nook, Omlit, Bookstrand Mainstream, Kobo and elsewhere.

 

To view the book trailer, read the first three chapters and reviews please visit. www.rosemarymorris.co.uk

 

 

 

Saturday, 8 August 2015

6th & Final Extract from Tangled Love, early 18th Historical Fiction


Tangled Love by Rosemary Morris was short listed for the best romantic e-book at The Festival of Romance, Bedford U.K in 2013

 

Richelda has gone from riches to rags after the death of her parents. She has inherited Bellemont House in which she lives alone with her mother’s childhood nurse. Her aunt suggested Viscount Chesney should marry him. He has come to meet her.

 


 


Extract from Chapter Three


 

Hertfordshire - England

 

 

‘Elsie,” Richelda said to her late mother’s childhood nurse,” I am tired of struggling. I shall sell the estate to Jack, except for a snug cottage and a few acres of land for my own use.’

 ‘Sell Bellemont to His Grace!’ Elsie twined her work-roughened fingers together. ‘Lord above, my wits have gone begging? I’ve forgotten to say a visitor awaits you.’

 Richelda wiped her face on her coarse apron. ‘Visitor?’ She forced herself to her feet.

‘Yes, a fine gentleman, Viscount Chesney by name, is waiting for you in the parlour.’

Heavens above, he must be the man whose identity she mistook earlier on for Lord Greaves.

A long male shadow fell across the dark oak floor before the parlour door closed. She caught her breath. Either Elsie left the door ajar by mistake or her uninvited guest had opened it and eavesdropped.

After washing and changing, Richelda went down the broad flight of oak stairs.  Looking at Elsie, she raised her eyebrows.

Elsie nodded her approval and pointed at the parlour door. ‘He’s still in there. I’ll fetch some elderflower wine.’

‘No, come with me -’ she began, but Elsie, with speed surprising in one of her size, bustled into a passage that led to the kitchen.

He will not recognize me, Richelda reassured herself.  She mimicked her late mother’s graceful walk, entered the room and coughed to attract attention.

Viscount Chesney turned away from the window. He gazed at her intently. ‘Lady Richelda?’

She curtsied wishing she also wore exquisitely cut black velvet and silk instead of a threadbare gown fashioned from one of her mother’s old ones. He bowed and extended a perfectly manicured hand.

Ashamed of her rough hands, she permitted him to draw her to her feet. ‘You have the advantage of knowing my name.’ She looked into grey eyes reminiscent of still water on an overcast day.

‘Lord Chesney at your service, my lady.’

‘I am honoured to make your acquaintance, my lord. Please take a seat.’

He laughed. ‘Lady Richelda, although I did not introduce myself to you earlier, I hoped you would say you are pleased to renew your acquaintance with me.’

She tilted her chin. ‘You mistake me for someone else.’

‘I do not. Your eyes and voice are unforgettable.’

‘What can you mean?’

‘Why are you pretending to misunderstand me,’ he drawled. ‘Shall we sit?  No, do not look at me so distrustfully. I did not seize the opportunity to manhandle you earlier today. Word of a gentleman there is no need to fear me either now or in future.’

Somewhat nervous in spite of his assurance, she sat opposite him. While she regained her composure, she put her feet side by side on a footstool.

‘If you confess, I will not tell your aunt.’

‘My aunt?’ 

‘Yes, she wishes me to make your acquaintance.’

Her mother’s family shunned her. They feared being tainted by her late father’s politics. The viscount must have referred to Father’s only close relative, his sister, Lady Ware. ‘Aunt Isobel?’ she queried, suspicious because she knew her mother, born into a family with puritanical inclinations, despised Aunt Isobel’s frivolity.

He nodded.

‘But my aunt -’

Burdened by a tray, Elsie entered the room. She put it down and served them with elderflower wine, before she withdrew.

Chesney eyed his glass of wine with obvious mistrust. ‘Why did you sigh, Lady Richelda?’

She refrained from explaining she longed to eat something other than her daily fare of boiled puddings, flavoured with herbs, mixed with vegetables and served with or without game birds or rabbits, which Elsie sometimes snared. 

Bowstring taut, Richelda drank some pale wine. She looked at the viscount, whose posture depicted a man at ease. ‘Please taste this wine, my lord, although you might not be accustomed to home brewed beverages, I think you will enjoy its taste.’

He sipped some. ‘An excellent tribute to Elsie’s skill. She made it did she not?’  She nodded before he spoke again. ‘Tell me, child, how long have you lived alone with Elsie?’

 ‘Since Mother died nearly a year ago.’ The pain of her mother’s death always made her mouth tremble when she spoke of her.

‘Why did you remain here?’ 

‘I hoped to improve my estate. Oh, I know everything has deteriorated, but if I could -’

He concluded her sentence. ‘Transport oak to the shipyards?’

She widened her eyes. ‘Thank you for your excellent advice, my lord, I daresay you noticed my valuable stands of oak when you approached Bellemont?’

Although he chuckled, his eyes remained serious. ‘Never forget I do not allow anyone to play me for a fool, not even a hoyden of an actress, worthy of note though you are.’

Outraged by being called a hoyden for the second time, that day she stood. ‘Please leave.’

Viscount Chesney rose to approach her. Muscles across the breadth of his shoulders rippled beneath his coat, a testament to his tailor’s skill. When he put a hand on either side of her waist, she trembled. His lordship was tall, taller than Dudley. Her head only reached his throat. When she looked up at Chesney his breath warmed her forehead. She trembled again.

 

Tangled Love is available from: MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon Kindle, Nook, Omlit, Bookstrand Mainstream, Kobo and elsewhere.

 

To view the book trailer, read the first three chapters and reviews please visit. www.rosemarymorris.co.uk

 

Friday, 7 August 2015

Tangled Love, Excerpt, Early 18thc, Historical Fiction


Tangled Love by Rosemary Morris was short listed for the best romantic e-book at The Festival of Romance, Bedford U.K in 2013

 


 


Chapter Two


London - 1702

 

Chesney stepped from Lady Ware’s spacious house into King Street, and walked towards Whitehall. Although the proposal to marry Lady Richelda took him by surprise, he gave further thought to accepting it. Yet he would not wait for Lady Richelda to come to town where she would doubtless parade in the latest fashions, powder and patch. Where did she live?  He searched his memory. Ah, now he remembered. She lived at Bellemont which Lady Ware had mentioned lay close by his newly purchased property. Why not hazard a journey there and cast an eye over both domains?

His stride quickened to keep pace with his racing mind. Was the young lady tall or short, plain or pretty, blonde or brunette, meek or shrewish, illiterate or well educated?

Cocksure, Chesney took her acceptance of his proposal for granted. After all, why should she refuse a well-educated, not ill favoured viscount?

He knew it was time to settle down and have a family.  If she proved suitable he would wed her. He would welcome her inheritance. For his part, he would try not to give her cause for complaint by ensuring she lacked naught. They would refurbish Field House, improve the estate and purchase a town house.

His inner voice nagged him. What of love?

For most people of his rank, sentiment had little to do with marriage. In fact, some said no lady concerned herself with the vulgarity of love or passion. A wife’s happiness and satisfaction should be derived through ensuring her husband’s comfort, good works, plying her needle and raising children.

He sighed. A man in his position must marry if only to father heirs.

 ‘Look an Adonis? Who is he?’ A high-pitched female voice interrupted his thoughts.

Chesney looked round at a powdered and patched lady with rouged cheeks who stared at him.

‘I don’t know, I think he’s a newcomer to town,’ her companion, a younger lady said in an equally strident tone.

Unaffected by their comments he laughed. Since his youth women commented on his height and his perfect proportions. He did not consider himself vain, but unlike some members of his gentlemen’s club, who took little exercise and overate, he fenced, hunted, rode and walked to keep his body fit.

The older lady inclined her head, the younger one winked before they went about their business.

Chesney whistled low. What would Lady Richelda think of him? He contemplated his future with pleasure. With a smile, he thought of London’s coffeehouses, theatres, parks, concerts and pleasure gardens. Lady Richelda’s inheritance, added to his more modest one, would ensure they could command the elegancies of life.

When he reached his lodgings, he summoned Roberts. ‘Pack, we leave for Field House tomorrow. Send a message to the stables. I require my coach at eight in the morning. Is there anything to eat?’

Roberts shook his head.

‘Order some mutton pies from the tavern. Do you want me to die of hunger?  Hurry, man, what do you tarry for?’  He clapped his hands, his mind racing with thoughts of the future.

Roberts bowed low. He straightened, regarding him with his face creased in familiar lines of despair.

 ‘What?’ Chesney sighed. Why did he always feel dishevelled in his manservant’s presence?  Roberts was only six years his senior but Chesney could not remember a day when the man did not wear an immaculate black cloth suit, a neat black waistcoat and unwrinkled stockings.

‘Firstly, my lord, the sooner you purchase a London House and employ a cook the better it will be. Secondly, with all due respect, my lord, your appearance grieves me.’

Chesney looked contritely at his black, buckled shoes and his white silk stockings splashed with muck from London’s filthy streets. He knew Roberts aspired to take the credit for him always being dressed to perfection.  ‘Do not despair, you shall have the pleasure of dressing me in fine clothes on my wedding day,’ he teased.

 

Tangled Love is available from: MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon Kindle, Nook, Omlit, Bookstrand Mainstream, Kobo and elsewhere.

 

To view the book trailer, read the first three chapters and reviews please visit. www.rosemarymorris.co.uk

 

 

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Tangled Love:Excerpt:Early 18thc Historical Fiction


Tangled Love by Rosemary Morris was short listed for the best romantic e-book at The Festival of Romance, Bedford U.K in 2013

Extract from Chapter One
London - 1702

Chesney rapped his cane on the front door of Lady Ware’s London mansion. Sister of his late father’s friend he did not know her well. He wondered why she had summoned him.
‘Lord Chesney?’ Bennet, Lady Ware’s middle-aged butler, queried his lined
face both respectful.
Chesney inclined his head.
‘This way, my lord. You are expected.’ Bennet led him up the stairs to a beautifully appointed parlour on the first floor where he announced him to Lady Ware.
Chesney raised his voice above the barks of six King Charles Cavalier spaniels. ‘Your servant, Lady Ware.’
Lady Ware waved a hand at her little dogs. ‘Be quiet.’ Her ladyship inclined her head to him. ‘My lord, I am pleased to see you?’
Full glass in his hand, Chesney sat.
‘My lord, I shall come straight to the point. I summoned you to propose your marriage to my niece, Richelda Shaw. In all honesty, I assure you it would be to your advantage.’
While she waited for his reply, the petite lady patted her silvery hair with one hand. With her other hand she fluttered her fan which she peeped over girlishly. 
‘You flatter me, Madam,’ he drawled.
Lady Ware’s dainty shrug released her cloying perfume of lavender mingled with roses and vanilla. She snapped her fan shut then tapped his arm with it. ‘You are mistaken. I do not flatter you. I offer you and my niece a solution. Your fathers followed King James to France. You are gossiped about.  People eye you as distrustfully as I think my niece will be eyed when I bring her to London.’
 ‘Are you not gossiped about, Lady Ware? After all, your late brother, the earl’s conversion to the Church of Rome must place you and your family under government scrutiny. For my part, I thank God my father remained true to The Anglican Church.’
Lady Ware shuddered. ‘Do not mention that matter to me, my lord. I vow I had no sympathy with my brother when he became a Papist. All I can do is thank God he was not tried as a traitor and his head is not displayed at the Tower of London.’
Chesney shifted his position, smothering a yawn behind his hand before he made a cautious reply. ‘I am neither a Jacobite nor a Papist.  I apologize for mentioning the matter of your brother’s conversion.’
‘Some more wine, Viscount?’ 
He shook his head, leaning back to deliberately present a picture of a man completely at his ease.
Lady Ware arched her eyebrows. She sipped her wine. ‘All London knows I am a wealthy woman.’ She blinked the sheen of tears from her eyes. ‘My lord, ’tis cruel not only to suffer widowhood thrice but to also lose my only child.’
Acknowledging her grief, he bowed his head. ‘My condolences, Madam.’
‘Thank you.’ She dabbed her eyes with a black handkerchief. ‘My poor daughter’s death is my niece’s gain. If Richelda is obedient, she will inherit all my property.’
Her ladyship rested her head against the back of her chair. She opened her fan and plied it restlessly while she scrutinized him.
‘What do you think of my proposal, my lord?’
Chesney sat straighter. She had not minced her words. He smiled with his usual forthrightness. ‘As yet I have neither put myself on the matrimonial market nor made my fortune and title available to any lady who wishes to marry me.’
‘I hear you purchased Field House.’ She tapped her fan on the arm of her chair.
‘Yes, I did,’ he replied in a neutral tone.
‘Well, sir, I shall speak bluntly. My niece’s lands are adjacent to yours.
Through marriage, you would double your estate by acquiring my niece’s mansion, Bellemont House and all the land around it. As for my niece, she would become mistress of Field House, my childhood home.
He inclined his head curious now as to what the old lady’s motive was. Ah, did she want him to marry her niece because she had a sentimental attachment to his estate?
Undeterred by his silence, Lady Ware continued. ‘I know your circumstances. Though you have no close relative, you are saddled with a clutch of distant relations who anticipate your help to advance in the world.’
Devil take it, she was correct. His family looked to him for patronage.  They expected him to marry well and produce an heir. Confound it, not one of them had regained their positions, lands or fortunes after the first King
Charles’s execution. Fortunately, his grandfather’s marriage to a French heiress saved he himself from poverty.
 
Her ladyship’s Roman nose twitched. Her thin lips curved in a predatory smile. ‘You will consider the match?’

Reluctant to say anything she might interpret as his agreement to marry Lady Richelda, he nodded. ‘I will do no more than consider it.’
‘Good, I shall not press you further.’ She hesitated with her fan mid-air, only to flutter it agitatedly. ‘I prefer you not to tell anyone my niece is my heiress. When she comes to town, I do not want a flock of fortune hunters to approach her.’
‘On my honour, I will not mention it to anyone. By the way, when will Lady Richelda arrive?’ 
‘This week.’
He stood. Each of the small dogs wagged their tails, stirred and yapped for attention round his ankles. Deep in thought he ignored them. Although no thought of imminent marriage had entered his head when he arrived, he might change his mind after meeting her ladyship’s niece. It was time he married and if she proved pleasant enough, maybe -.
Lady Ware clapped her hands. ‘My poppets like you and, believe me, my lord, they are good judges of character.’
Chesney restrained an incipient chuckle at his sudden notion of her ladyship’s dogs tricked out in wigs and gowns to judge him. ‘I am complimented by their approval, my lady.’ He bowed and kissed her bejewelled hand. ‘As for your niece, only providence knows if she and I are suited.’
With a rustle of silk mourning Lady Ware rose. ‘I believe you and Lady Richelda are well matched.’
Tangled Love is available from: MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon Kindle, Nook, Omlit, Bookstrand Mainstream, Kobo and elsewhere.
To view the book trailer, read the first three chapters and reviews please visit. www.rosemarymorris.co.uk





Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Tangled Love: Excerpt: Early 18thc Historical Fiction


Tangled Love, the story of two great estates, by Rosemary Morris was short listed for the best romantic e-book at The Festival of Romance, Bedford, U.K in 2013

 
Chapter One

 Fothering Place, London, England.


 1702


 

At ease in his lodgings, Alban, Viscount Chesney eyed his friend, Jack, Duke of Hertfordshire, whose tall frame was clad in extravagant silk and velvet. Gem set rings, illuminated by brilliant candlelight, adorned his long fingers.

Why did His Grace’s dark square face with its cleft chin look tense while he toyed with his blond periwig?

His dark amber eyes keen, Jack spoke. ‘My bailiff tells me you bought Field House.’

Chesney knew all about Jack’s insatiable hunger for land. In fact, Jack rarely missed a chance to add to his estates. ‘Yes, I did.’ He kept his tone smooth.

Jack swallowed the last of his port. ‘I would have bought it but for my fool of a bailiff who informed me too late of the sale.’

The viscount beckoned to Roberts, his servant. ‘More port for His Grace.’  He placed a hand over his own glass when Roberts moved toward him

Chesney glanced round his small but comfortable book-lined room. Although Jack was the most influential man and largest landowner in Hertfordshire it had naught to do with their friendship.

Jack stretched his legs out towards the fire. ‘Will you sell Field House to me?  After all both house and land have fallen fell into a sad state of neglect.’

‘No, I look forward to restoring my estate. Do not argue with me, my mind is made up.’

Jack’s cheeks reddened. ‘Very well, but now you are my neighbour, you must visit me whenever you wish.’ He yawned. ‘The hour grows late. I will take my leave of you.’

 Chesney stood. He bowed with mock formality. ‘I shall call on you with pleasure.’
 
                                                                                                                                      ..../continues

 Tangled Love is available from: MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon Kindle, Nook, Omlit, Bookstrand Mainstream, Kobo and elsewhere.

 To view the book trailer, read the first three chapters and reviews please visit. www.rosemarymorris.co.uk

 

 

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Tangled Love:early 18thc Historical Novel, Prologue.


Tangled Love by Rosemary Morris was short listed for the best romantic e-book at The Festival of Romance, Bedford, U.K in 2013

Tangled Love
Prologue- 1693

 Nine year-old Richelda Shaw sat on the floor in her nursery. She pulled a quilt pulled over her head to block out the thunder pealing outside the ancient manor house while an even fiercer storm raged deep within. Eyes closed, remained as motionless as a marble statue.

Elsie, her mother’s personal maid, pulled the quilt from her head. ‘Stand up child, there’s nothing to be frightened of. Come, your father’s waiting for you.’

Richelda trembled. Until now Father’s short visits from France meant gifts and laughter. This one made Mother cry while servants spoke in hushed tones.

Followed by Elsie, Richelda hurried down broad oak stairs. For a moment, she paused to admire lilies of the valley in a Delft bowl.  Only yesterday, she picked the flowers to welcome Father home then arranged them with tender care. Now, the bowl stood on a chest, which stood beneath a pair of crossed broadswords hanging on the wall.

Elsie opened the great massive door of the great hall where Father stood to one side of an enormous hearth. Richelda hesitated. Her eyes searched for her mother before she walked across the floor, spread her skirts wide and knelt before him.

Father placed his right hand on her bent head. ‘Bless you, daughter, may God keep you safe.’ He smiled. ‘Stand up, child. Upon my word, sweetheart, your hair reminds me of a golden rose. How glad I am to see roses bloom in these troubled times.’

Richelda stood but dared not speak for she did not know him well.

 Putting an arm round her waist, he drew her to him. ‘Come, do not be nervous of your father, child. Tell me if you know King James II holds court in France while his daughter, Mary, and William, his son-in-law, rule after seizing his throne?’

‘Yes, Mother told me we are well rid of King James and his Papist wife,’ she piped up, proud of her knowledge.

With a sigh, Father lifted her onto his knee. ‘Richelda, I must follow His Majesty for I swore an oath of allegiance to him. Tell me, child, while King James lives how can I with honour swear allegiance to his disloyal daughter and her husband?’

Unable to think of a reply, she lowered her head breathing in his spicy perfume.

Father held her closer. ‘Your mother pleads with me to declare myself for William and Mary. She begs me not to return to France, but I am obliged to serve King James. Do you understand?’

As she nodded her cheek brushed against his velvet coat. ‘Yes, I understand, my tutor explained why many gentlemen will not serve the new king and queen.’

‘If you remain in England, you will be safe. Bellemont is part of your mother’s dowry so I doubt it will be confiscated.’

If she remained in England! Startled, she stared at him.

Smiling, he popped her onto her feet. ‘We shall ride. I have something to show you.’

*****

Before long, hey drew rein on the brow of a hill. Father pointed at a manor house in the valley.  ‘Look at our ancestral home, Field House. The Roundheads confiscated it soon after the first King Charles’ execution.  Richelda, I promised my father to do all in my power to regain the property.’ Grey-faced, he pressed his hand to his chest. ‘Alas, I have failed to keep my oath,’ he wheezed.

Richelda not only yearned to help him keep his promise to her grandfather, she also yearned to find the gold and jewels legend said her buccaneer ancestor, Sir Nicholas, hid.

She waited for her father to breathe easy before she spoke. ‘If we found the treasure trove you could buy Field House.’

 ‘Ah, you believe Sir Nicholas did not give all his plunder to Good Queen Bess,’ he teased.

 ‘Elsie told me legend says he hid some of his booty in Field House,’ she said excited by the thought of a treasure trove. ‘In his old age, when Sir Nicholas retired from seafaring, is it true that he put his ship’s figurehead, Lady Luck, in the great hall?’ she asked by now less shy of him.

‘Yes, for all I know she is still above a mighty fireplace carved with pomegranates, our family’s device.’

‘I would like to see it.’

 ‘One day, perhaps you will. Now, tell me if you know our family motto.’

‘Fortune favours the brave.’

‘Are you brave, my little lady? Will you swear on the Bible to do all in your power to regain Field House?’

To please him, she nodded.

 

Tangled Love is available from: MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon Kindle, Nook, Omlit, Bookstrand Mainstream, Kobo and elsewhere.

 

To view the book trailer, read the first three chapters and reviews please visit. www.rosemarymorris.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, 3 August 2015

Tangled Love:early 18thc. Historical Fiction


Tangled Love by Rosemary Morris was short listed for the best romantic e-book at The Festival of Romance, Bedford, U.K in 2013

 

Tangled Love is the story of two great estates. The throne has been usurped by James II’s daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange. In 1693, loyal to his oath of allegiance, ten year old Richelda’s father must follow James to France.

 

Before her father leaves, he gives her a ruby ring she will treasure and wear on a chain round her neck. In return Richelda swears an oath to try to regain their ancestral home, Field House.

 

By the age of eighteen, Richelda’s beloved parents are dead. She believes her privileged life is over. At home in dilapidated Belmont House, her only companions are her mother’s old nurse and her devoted dog, puck. Clad in old clothes she dreams of elegant gowns and trusts her childhood friend, a poor parson’s son, who promised to marry her.

 

Richelda’s wealthy aunt takes her to London and arranges her marriage to Viscount Chesney, the new owner of Field House, where it is rumoured there is treasure. If she finds it Richelda hopes to ease their lives. However, while trying to find it her life is in danger.

 

Tangled Love is available from: MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon Kindle, Nook, Omlit, Bookstrand Mainstream, Kobo and elsewhere.

 

To view the book trailer, read the first three chapters and reviews please visit. www.rosemarymorris.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Knock at the Door

Yesterday, while I was critiquing a chapter for a member of the group I belong to someone banged on the front door. Irritated because I thought it might be yet another Jehovah's Witness or someone who had kicked a football from the park over my fence I answered the summons. There was my ten year old grandson,  holding a large bowl  filled with blackberries which he had picked. 'For you, to make a pie for us,' he said, and treated me to a gorgeous smile.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Tuesday's Child a Traditional Regency Romance, Back Story and Conflict

My new novel is Tuesday's Child, a traditional Regency Romance, by which I mean I don't open wide the hero and heroine's bedroom door.  It is a follow on novel from Sunday's Child and Monday's Child, which will be published in spring, 2016. It is a stand alone novel but because the heroine was a minor character who played an important part in Sunday's Child the back story is crucial. Back story is always tricky. I think I've solved the problem by the heroine observing a scene and reflecting on the effects of past events effects on her present and introducing conflict.