Category Archives: BlahBlahBlah

In Which I Have Been Remiss, A Liebster Award

Liebster AwardDear Lady Fury, I’m sorry I took so long to respond to your lovely Liebster Award…since you were kind enough to steal acquire it from Shehanne for me.

When I received it I was delighted at the though of a Lobster Award also, but we’ll come back to that one.

Now there’s all sorts of rules involved – so I have to link back to the person that awarded it (check), then answer 10 questions set from that blog (to follow) and then set my own questions and nominate bloggers to answer them.  Hmm, well we’ll see about that one as the awards fairy has been kind lately.

So questions first:

1. Which fictional character would you most fancy having a fling with and why?

Um, there’s probably quite a few actually…Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter books, Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice (of course) though maybe he wouldn’t do flings, and let’s face it I wouldn’t pick Flint – I don’t steal from my friends m’dear!

2. You’ve been shipwrecked on a desert island, what man ..sorry book can’t you be without?

Much as I love so, so many books – the one I reach for when I need cheering up is almost always Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer.  I wouldn’t want THAT man though, he’s far too much trouble.

3. What inspires you? Places or people?

Both!  As well as objects, rooms etc…

4. What little tome are you working on right now?

I have two WIPs, same as usual in the last few questions I’ve done on the blog lately!

5. Who would you like to see in the movie version?

David Gandy for the hero if he can act  ;-) not sure on the heroine yet.

6. In your own books do you have a favourite character and why?

The hero I was just referring too.  I find him so compelling he’s off and doing the talking (and what ever else he’s up to) without any help from me.

7. What do you think is the best book movie?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

8. Roughly how long does it take you to write a book?

I haven’t finished one yet, so really how long is a piece of string?

9. Favorite food?

I love to try food from different countries/cultures – but when it’s all going wrong chocolate never disappoints.

10. Any bits in your book you are embarrassed to show your family?

Ha, now that would be telling…

Now as a result of this I have not one but two Jolly Lobster Awards from Lady F and the lovely Incy Black.  Answers to these to follow after some book reviews.  Thanks ladies!

I’ll see about questions/nominations later on.

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My Fictional World

My Fictional World


Having been invited to look at Jocelyn’s post at The Reading Residence, I thought it would be fun to add my own answers to what is my fictional world.  So here they are.

What were your favourite reads from your childhood?

Mostly anything by Enid Blyton especially her Mallory Towers, St. Claire’s and Famous Five series and I was also encouraged to read Tolkein’s The Hobbit by my brother when I was eight.

There are always those books that defined your teen reads and stay with you – what were yours?

Actually, I wouldn’t say so.  I graduated to reading adult level books when I was about eleven, so I don’t define my reading that way particularly.  I do remember reading the Sweet Valley High books and enjoying those but then I discovered more meaty sagas like Catherine Cookson!  At the same time my Aunt had also introduced me to the books of Georgette Heyer.

Who are your favourite authors currently?

Oh that’s a tough one as they constantly change and grow.  I love the work of Nora Roberts, Abby Green, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Marguerite Kaye, Louise Allen and many, many more.  It depends on what genre I’m reading currently too.

Which 3 genres do you gravitate towards most often?

Historical, Romance and Thrillers.

Can you choose your top titles from each of those genres?

Historical: The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Penman, Romance: Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer and Thriller: The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver.  Again, I could name so many books and so many genres.

And your least favourite genres?

I don’t really have any I actively dislike, but on balance I probably read less Fantasy novels.

Of the many, many fictional and fantastical worlds, where would you most like to visit?

Pemberly from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  Come on, who wouldn’t?!

Everyone loves a villain, right?! Who would make your favourites list?

The Marquis of Vidal for a fun and thrilling villain!  See Devil’s Cub…

Share the books that have had you sobbing?

Only one – ever – An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer.  The Battle of Waterloo, ’nuff said.

And let’s end on a high! Which books leave a smile on your face, and maybe elicit a few laughs?!

Not a series I read much, but recommended by a friend I distinctly remember snorting with laughter reading one of the Argeneau Vampires series by Lynsay Sands, Single White Vampire – and the cod piece incident!  Go and read it for yourself, lol!


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Awesome Blog Content Award

Awesome Blog Award

A big belated thank you to the lovely Lindsay J. Pryor for nominating me for an Awesome Blog Content Award.  I have been very remiss  not posting about this, sorry!

The rules: post the logo, link back to he/she who nominated, provide an A-Z guide to your soul and then nominate forward.

- You know I don’t nominate forward right?  Ok then…

I’m not sure this is entirely soul-like, but I’ll have a go.


A is for me actually!  Handy since we’re talking about me…

B is for books.  Any of them – they are the stuff of life for me.

C is for chocolate, necessary at times downright sinful at others – oh well.

D is for devilment.  I do have a rather wicked sense of humour.

E is for Essex, the home of my ancestors – the history of which is also dear to me.

F is for finery.  I love costume, jewellery and accessories of many eras.  Part of my art I suppose.

G is for genealogist – another of my many beloved roles.

H is for History of Art and History, my twin passions which tie into many parts of my life.

I is for irritating.  I can have a short fuse, and dislike people who hurt others for no reason.

J is for junket.  Anywhere fun you care to say – charging through fields looking for ruins, up and down stairs at castles, films at the cinema etc.  Things I wish I had more time to do.

K is for kismet – what you do to others will come back to you.

L is for Leopard and my first article!  Watch this space…

M is for music, something that I’ve always had a gift for and constantly listen to.

N is for no.  I never used to use it enough, now I’ve learned to and to tune others out when needed.

O is for original.  Yes sirree, that’s me and proud!

P is for my pets.  I’ve always had lots of them – cats, dogs, rats and guinea pigs are a few current ones.

Q is for quiet.  I like my space and am often accused of being too quiet.

R is for rock concerts – my favourite kinds – see also M.

S is for study.  As a student as well as holding a job and attempting to write it can be hard, but is so important to me.

T is for travel, part of my soul belongs to other countries and special places in the world.

U is for uncomfortable.  Don’t put me on the spot please.

V is for vilify.  I try, but don’t always succeed to see the best in everything.

W is for writer, aspiring one mind you.

Y is for yellow and orange the colour of the sun.  I wish I saw it more.

Z is for zillions.  I don’t wish I had them but sometimes they’re useful – I do appreciate ambition and dreams and the ability to grab hold of them and achieve them!  I certainly have zillions of dreams!


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Dressing Chessington, Or Decorating for Shehanne Moore!

The lovely Shehanne had me creating the scene of the homecoming of Lord Devorlane Hawley for her latest book Loving Lady Lazuli.  (Go and buy it!)

You can find her post about it here: Welcome to Chessington and my original pinboard ideas here.


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Merry Christmas 2013

We’re not really up for the seriously festive at the homestead, but I have been enjoying some historic/traditional music which I thought I’d also share here.

Music is good for the soul right?  This is from Of Kings and Angels.

Merry Christmas and a Happy and healthy 2014 to you all.  I hope there are still some of you readers out there anyway!

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Another Year at the Castle Goes By

It’s that time of year again when the Castle is now sleeping for the Winter.  I didn’t even get to see it for the Christmas events this year, which has made it seem like a strange end to my season.

For me, I found it a relatively quiet year this year – some new people starting, a few leaving – but the year falling into a regular pattern very quickly.  This year has certainly flown by.

Personally, it’s been good for me to do some different tours this year for visitors, mainly my new art tours.

I hope everyone found the information useful on the events for this year.  I’m not sure if I’ll continue posting those in 2014 with no feedback.

What will happen next year?  Well we’ll see.

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The Flint-Fury Wedding

I’ve been helping Lady F. and Captain Flint with their wedding.

Pop over to the blog to see how!

Furious Unravelings

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Tasty Summer Reads Blog Hop

Thanks so much to the lovely Lindsay J. Pryor who nominated me to take part in this blog hop.  Apparently each author invites others to answer 5 particular questions, talk about their latest release or WIP and a provide a tasty recipe that ties into it.

I’m not sure how safe it is to ask me for a recipe, but here goes with the questions!

I don’t have a current release (yet!)…but my current WIP is:

…currently nicknamed Courting Scandal, a short Regency set novella which I’m hoping will wing its way to the publisher by the end of August for approval or not!  It’s set in 1810 and involves art and a huge gamble – and that’s all I’m saying.

1. When writing are you a snacker?  If so, sweet or salty?

Yes!  Sweet!  When writing I will clear the house of anything involving chocolate.  Not only does it keep my strength up, the sugar is obviously good for my writing brain.  Obviously…

2. Are you an outliner or someone who flies by the seat of their pants? Are they real pants or jammies??

Generally I would say I’m an outliner, but it doesn’t always follow that I outline all my stories.  Some of them just jump out of nowhere, and I fly by the seat of my pants until it’s done!  And that would be telling.

3. When cooking or baking, do you follow the recipe exactly or wing it??

As the gene required to be able to cook well – and not only that want to cook at all – obviously passed me by, when I do cook it’s normally by following the recipe.  It’s the Mum who wings it.

4. What is next for you after this book?

For this particular heroine I’m already plotting and have written the first chapter for the sequel involving her sister.  This will be a full length novel, tentative finish date around the end of the year.  I also have lots of ideas in development, mostly historical but now also an idea for a Spanish-set modern.

5. Last Question…on a level of one being slightly naughty to ten being whoo whoo steamy, where does your book land???

Hmm, my own personal opinion – but I would say at the moment it more than slightly naughty!  The hero would probably prefer whoo whoo steamy, but that’s why I’m in the driving seat, honey.

Summer Recipe

Yikes, this is the scary part – I really do not do cooking, ever.  Frankly neither would my heroine – she has servants.  Am I allowed food suggestions to read along to in good time when I hope you guys will have this book in your hot little hands?

Think of the hero and the heroine sharing an ice at Gunther’s in London.

If he was to be a flavour it would be dark chocolate, caramel and a hint of walunt.  The heroine on the other hand would be a light and fresh flavour, like a lemon sorbet – as she has an almighty kick too!

Now if any of you are clever enough to make ice-cream you have some flavours to try!  ;-)

As I’ve just done a mammoth tag, I’m not sure who to pass this onto – so if I can identify any victims writers in the meantime, I’ll add them on.

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A Summer Sun Award, Or Two

Summer Sun Award

I must thank both the lovely (and terrible) Lady Fury and Incy for giving me this award.  Apparently you have to have brightened the day of others in some way as a blogger in order to receive it.  So thank you ladies!

Apparently I must now answer the following sunny questions:

Favourite song with summer in the title or the lyrics (give the line): ‘Summertime and the living is easy.’  Yes I know that’s a slight cheat and I don’t care, it’s an awesome song – go and listen to it in full.  Immediately.

Favourite book about summer: I never have favourite books, you may as well ask me if I have favourite children.  However, this Summer I have been reading an anthology called Summer With Love by Sarah Morgan, which is the fab reissue of the stories of triplets Katy, Libby and Alex – plus I am part way through reading Sinfully Summer by Aimee Duffy, which I have been a fan of since I read part of the first draft several years ago.

Favourite hot summer film: Um, I can’t actually think of a ‘hot summer film.’  Does this make me a bad person?  I loved the whole summer blockbuster thing as a child though.  I remember seeing at the cinema and loving Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  I believe that came out in the summer right?

Favourite summer memory: Probably too many to mention, but I loved being at my Grandfather’s house and charging around the gardens all day and finding tadpoles in the river.  Often I’d be found charging around my parents’ garden too – or in the fort my Mum invariably had to make for me involving old furniture and the washing line.

Favourite summer holiday destination: Austria, but as an adult it’s fast becoming Italy.  I’m a European kinda girl.

What books will be in your suitcase this summer? Well I was good this year and took my Kindle, so I had rather endless possibilities.  Do books I bought on holiday and brought back count?  Anyhow, there’s many more I’m going to be buying yet.

What’s your likely destination this summer?  Italy, I’ve already been to Tuscany!

What hottie would you most like to be sharing the hot days and long nights with his summer?  Now that would be telling.  Na na na na na!


1.  Display Summer Sun Award logo and link back to the blog of the person who nominated you.
2. Answer the questions as listed above.
3. Nominate a further lucky eight recipients – one for each sun-ray on the picture.

Here are my eight lucky recipients:

  1. Michelle Smart
  2. Aimee Duffy
  3. Lindsay J. Pryor
  4. Tracey Rogers
  5. Rae Rivers
  6. Jane Hunt
  7. Fiona Chapman
  8. 8. …and I’m re-awarding it to Incy Black and Shehanne Moore (Lady Fury) because I wanted to! xx


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A Study Update! Honours Ahoy

I can’t believe another study year has gone by already.  Well, it felt very long at the time but still…

As many of you will know I’ve been studying for my degree for several years now part time.  The good news is, I’ve now passed all my exams and got the requisite grades to study honours next year!

I’m really excited about getting the next level of History of Art, even if it still means several more years ahead.

Progress is good.

Thanks to those of you that have been cheering me on for your support so far.  Here’s to the academic year 2013/2014.


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