Hetty Avebury’s Eight Essential Travel Tips (whilst sailing on a man-of-war)

I  have a very special visitor today to kick start the blog. hetty blog july

Hetty Avebury, Regency heroine from Only a Hero Will Do has just arrived.

Welcome Hetty , perhaps you could  tell the guests something about yourself  whist I go and see to the tea.

Of course, Susan. Off you go, I will look after the visitors. Oh! Where are my guests precisely?

Trust me, they are out there listening, just talk  – you’re good at that. But don’t give away too much of the plot before I come back. 

Good! She has gone. I really do fear for my author.  I think she has become quite addled brained. Blog !  She told me I would have an audience.  Ah, well, I hope she at least brings back some scones, as I have a weakness for scones. In fact I have a few weaknesses. Gambling is one – luckily I am very good at it. My scheming family do not realize that I am able to gain funds this way. Therefore you might say it is also a strength.

Another weakness is books. I do love books! I can never get enough of the exciting informative kind (if you understand my meaning). The attendant at the library back home always examined my choices, so they were limited to the mundane. However, whilst I was at sea, Dr Withington lent me some books which were very informative.

But I must return our attentions to this umm… blog, where I will share some useful tips about sea travel. I gained this knowledge after I inadvertently found myself sailing from Portsmouth to Gibraltar on board a Man of War.

So here we go .

1. Make sure you know which is the leeward side (the sheltered side) of the ship. It is important to know which way the wind is blowing when you are prone to seasickness. It was a shame about Doctor Withington’s coat-but luckily it was only his second best.

2. Do not stray from the quarterdeck. The stern end is the civilized end of the ship. Although it is a lot more colourful down the pointed end.

3. Prepare for your sleep to be interrupted. The ringing of the ship’s bell and the beating of drums occur at regular and unsociable times.

4. Do not complain of boredom, believe me that is a good sign. If you see a French ship approaching things will get very unpleasant, and you will soon wish to be bored again.

5. If you have a chance to pack for the journey (which I did not) include warm clothing. Also a supply of lemon juice is useful to bathe freckles,which multiply like a plague of insects across your skin once exposed to the sea air.

6. Prepare to be stoic. You will witness the misery and sacrifice of war. Even If you are lucky enough to avoid battle, deaths on board from injury and disease occur frequently.

7 Do remember to knock the weevils from the ships biscuits, and do not try to cut biscuits into delicate pieces; they resist all attempts.

8. If there is a tall, dark, sombre physician around, whose job it is to keep you out of trouble, and looks at you with eyes … Oh, no – Susan is coming back with the tea.

There is much more to tell dear guests, and if you feel like indulging in a romantic adventure and discovering what happened during and after my unscheduled voyage, please take a look at Only a Hero Will Do. ( I haven’t even begun to tell you about Doctor Withington and you need to know about him.)

Here is a little taster.

Hetty Avebury’s desperate gamble to avoid an odious match lands her all at sea. Can a stuffy ship’s physician really be the hero she needs to escape her treacherous family?.

Marriage to a cruel dandy, is not how Hetty Avebury envisons spending the rest of her life. Determined to avoid the match she raises funds the only way she knows how – gambling .Her plans go astray and she finds herself on board a man-of-war under the care of its high handed physician. But Hetty soon realizes that Doctor Withington is not quite the stuffed shirt she had first imagined.

If it wasn’t bad enough declaring one of the pressed men as a woman, Robert has been tasked with the tiresome job of returning her safely back to her dysfunctional family. It was ten years ago when his father gambled away his inheritance, home, and any chance of marrying the woman he loved. So when Robert discovers Hetty gambling he takes drastic action to cure her of the habit.

Now available at 99p/99c   for limited time.   Amazon UK   Amazon. com   Kobo  Nook  and Smashwords

Or visit susanlodge.com

What it’s Like to Write a Real Person’s Story ?

 Swapping fact for fiction is the theme today. My very welcome guest, author Carol Browne, explains how she took on the challenge. 

What it’s Like to Write a Real Person’s Story – by Carol Browne

When I volunteered to write the life story of local woman, Krystyna Porsz, I was a very reluctant biographer. I did it because no-one else could be found to do it, so I thought, “If I don’t do it, no-one will.” It seemed far too big a responsibility to me but I told Krystyna’s son I’d give it a go, even though I was convinced I wasn’t up to the job. I write fiction. I make stuff up. I assumed non-fiction would be completely different.  But it turned out not to be so different after all. Although I had the facts of Krystyna’s life, they amounted to a few sheets of A4 paper, hardly enough material for a book. So I had to build a structure to hang those facts on, very much like creating a plot for a work of fiction. My friend Agnieszka had visited Krystyna on two occasions and I used her as a narrative device, so we see the story unfold through her eyes. This gave me much more opportunity to pad out the text while still being true to the available facts.

Writers of fiction know that characters are apt to take on a life of their own. They seem real to their creators and as authors we want to portray them in their best light. When you are writing a real person’s story, this becomes vitally important. The sense of responsibility the author feels is magnified. For me, writing about Krystyna, it was off the scale; here was a very old lady whose ability to communicate was seriously hampered by dementia. There wouldn’t be any chance of being able to discuss the book with her. There wouldn’t be any feedback. While I was writing the book, I kept thinking, “If this were my life story, would I be happy with how it’s being handled?” That was my benchmark all the time and I’m confident I kept to it.

Writing a real person’s story seems to provide you with a ready-made plot but you can’t simply make the book a record of the events in someone’s life. That would be dull. You still have a responsibility towards the reader to make it as compelling as possible so they want to keep reading, but you mustn’t sensationalise the facts to do that; this is someone’s life you are dealing with and you have to keep that in mind.
Third-party involvement can cause problems too, and in this case it held up the book for several months. This just doesn’t happen with make-believe characters and so I wasn’t expecting it and it was very frustrating. However, it hasn’t deterred me from tackling anything similar in the future because I now know I must address issues such as these before I commit myself.

Writing a real person’s story is a challenge. It’s hard work. But I recommend it, especially if that person’s life is drastically different from your own. It’s an enlightening experience. It will broaden your mind and test your ability as a writer. It will give you the opportunity to write something that really deserves to be written. I only met Krystyna once but I made a point of  shaking her hand before I left. I needed to physically touch someone who had survived the Holocaust, who had lived a history I had only read about or seen on black and white newsreels. Krystyna Porsz is a truly brave person. A survivor. I’m grateful not only to have met her, but to have had the honour of telling her story.
cover_processed

Being Krystyna will be published by  Dillie  books  on 11th November

Now available for  pre-order  at  Amazon UK  /Amazon.com

In 2012 when young Polish immigrant Agnieszka visits fellow countrywoman Krystyna in a Peterborough care home for the first time, she thinks it a simple act of kindness. However, the meeting proves to be the beginning of a life-changing experience.

Krystyna’s stories about the past are not memories of the good old days but recollections of war-ravaged Europe: The Warsaw Ghetto, Pawiak Prison, Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, and a death march to freedom.

The losses and ordeals Krystyna suffered and what she had to do to survive are horrors Agnieszka must confront when she volunteers to be Krystyna’s biographer.

Will Agnieszka be able to keep her promise to tell the story, and, in this harrowing memoir of survival, what is the message for us today?

 Carol Browne regards Crewe, Cheshire, as her home town and graduated from Nottingham University in 1976 with an honors degree in English Language and Literature. Carol writes speculative fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is also a ghost blog writer, proofreader, copy editor, and copywriter. Along with a passion for gardening, Carol is an avid animal lover.

Carol lives in the Cambridgeshire countryside with her dog, Harry, and cockatiel, Sparky.Pagan and vegan, Carol believes it is time for a paradigm shift in our attitude to Mother Nature and hopes the days of speciesism are numbered.

Stay connected with Carol on her website and blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

——————————————————————.

 

 

Halloween – The perfect time for Kindred Spirits.

Absolutely delighted to celebrate Halloween season with best selling author Jennifer C Wilson, who makes us think twice about the notorious Richard III. 

Over to you Jennifer.

Hi Susan, and thanks for hosting me today, as part of Kindred Spirits: Tower of London’s first birthday weekend. It’s amazing, and slightly mad, to think it’s been a whole year since it was released, but to celebrate, it’s currently just 99p/c in e-book form, until the end of Halloween.KS-ToL-kindered spirits blog

The fact that for that whole year (and, of course, some time before the release!) my leading man has been Richard III, makes it even more special. It’s funny to think that ten years ago, I didn’t know a thing about him, and was only vaguely aware of Shakespeare’s version of events. I remember the moment of realisation when it dawned on me that the Princes in the Tower (who I had just about heard of) were Henry VIII’s uncles, as I read one of Philippa Gregory’s books. Having finished most of her Tudor series, I began to go ‘back over’, reading a range of biographies and non-fiction books, finding out more of what went on before the monster took the throne. I wasn’t that interested in his father, Henry VII, but Richard III… Well, what girl can resist a misunderstood bad boy??
Don’t get me wrong, he was no saint, and I’d never try to paint him as such, but several people have pointed out that quite a few famous nephews have disappeared throughout history, whose uncles just ‘happen’ to have taken their place as next in line to power. The delightful King John’s path to the throne was helpfully cleared by Arthur of Brittany ‘vanishing’, and once again, his body was never found. At least Richard III proved to be a decent king, even with only two years to rule; a fact quite often overlooked, with most people looking at the events which book-ended his time in power – the Princes vanishing, and the Battle of Bosworth.
But he did a lot of good for the country, including establishing the Court of Requests, where the poor could seek justice, he banned restrictions on the sale and printing of books, and (in a move close to my heart) cut down on fraudulently selling short measures of alcohol.
You can see why there are definitely two ‘camps’ when it comes to Richard III. Yes, he did some terrible things (the execution of a formerly-close friend William Hastings was particularly deplorable), but to be fair, which medieval monarch can claim they didn’t? The dynasty which took his place after Bosworth was surely even more bloodthirsty, wiping out rivals or enemies without a second thought. Now, with his body having been found, he’s back in the public mind, and it’s nice to see him getting a slightly fairer treatment.
I shall now get down off my soap-box, but hopefully, if you’re willing to give his ghost a chance to tell his side of the story, you’ll enjoy listening to what I would like to imagine he and the others who occupy the Tower of London get up to when we’re not watching (and sometimes, when we are). I know I enjoyed writing it! Happy birthday, Kindred Spirits: Tower of London.
Kindred Spirits: Tower of London
A King, three Queens, a handful of nobles and a host of former courtiers…
In the Tower of London, the dead outnumber the living, with the likes of Tudor Queens Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard rubbing shoulders with one man who has made his way back from his place of death at Bosworth Field to discover the truth about the disappearance of his famous nephews.
Amidst the chaos of daily life, with political and personal tensions running high, Richard III takes control, as each ghostly resident looks for their own peace in the former palace – where privacy was always a limited luxury.
With so many characters haunting the Tower of London, will they all find the calm they crave?

About Jennifer

Jjcw-in-leicester-cathedral3024858ennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating.
Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her debut novel Kindred Spirits: Tower of London was published by Crooked Cat Publishing in October 2015.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifercwilsonwriter/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/inkjunkie1984
Blog: https://jennifercwilsonwriter.wordpress.com/
Kindred Spirits: Tower of London, Amazon link: http://authl.it/B016TRKU2A

The Alternative CV – Quick fire questions for authors.

My talented guest on the Alternative CV today is UK author Kathy Sharp.

Hello, Susan, and many thanks for the opportunity to appear on the Alternative CV.

Great to see you  Kathy. Now, make yourself comfortable, help yourself to a chocolate digestive and tell me….12695509_774244632679352_851141837_o

 One quality you have which other people who know you might question.
I’m incurably lazy. Other people admire my industry in completing three novels, but I still think I’m bone idle.

 A fictional character you fantasise over/ fell in love with. (One of your own preferably.)
I can’t honestly say I fantasise over any fictional character, including any of my own. But I do have a soft spot for Captain Jack Sparrow. 

 One item you would consign to Room 101.
Garlic. Can’t bear the smell of the stuff.

One line that sums up your WIP this week.                                                         Coming along nicely, now that I know how it ends!
One sentence that sums up your thoughts about social media.
Not necessarily evil, but still a necessary evil. 

   Kindle, tablet or paperback. Which one do you go to bed with and why?
Sometimes Kindle, sometimes paperback. I have been known to dozily tap the paperback  to make the page turn. It doesn’t work, you know.

 One thing lurking on your writing desk that shouldn’t be there?
A copy of the Royal Horticultural Society Plant Finder. It means I’m enjoying myself  sorting out my plant photos when I ought to be writing.
  Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years’ time.                                         I would love to think I’ll have another four or five books published by then. Each one  teaches me so much, and I still have plenty more stories to tell.

 I can’t agree with you on the garlic Kathy, but delighted to hear there will be more of your stories on the way.  Now give us a  taste of your latest books.

  The Larus Trilogy is published by Crooked Cat Publishing.12714073_774244446012704_1236337396_n

Isle of Larus is an adventure tale in a fantastical setting, featuring a fleet of impossible ships, strange prophecies and a pub landlady with an alarming secret. Warm, humorous and unforgettable, the Isle of Larus and its people will steal your heart. One of the most original books you’ll ever read. Available in paperback and e-book formats http://tinyurl.com/olfyskv

 

 

There are further adventures and frights for the people of Larus in the second book in the 12674378_774244496012699_1767352556_nseries, Sea of Clouds. A singer of odd ballads, unusually polite pirates, a message in a bottle and a bald parrot all feature. And can you solve the riddle of the knotted cord? Bet you can’t! Available in e-book formats http://amzn.to/1wYCPH0

The third book in the trilogy, All the Wild Weather, will be published by Crooked Cat later this year.

Kathy Sharp lives in Weymouth, Dorset, and takes her writing inspiration from the beautiful Jurassic Coast. She publishes a new story every Monday morning on her blog https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2728164.Kathy_Sharp/blog

The Alternative CV – Quick fire questions for authors

This week I am delighted to welcome UK author Angela Wren to  The Alternative CV.

 Great to meet you Angela and thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions for us.

Let’s start with –

AEWBlackWhite Angela Wren

One quality you have which other people who know you might question.

To a lot of people I appear very well organised and focussed with everything in its place and a place for everything. Those people may be surprised to learn that my desk in my ‘Writing Shed’ is a disaster. I know exactly what is on there, of course, it’s just that I can’t be bothered to file it or bin it. Well, you never know when that bit of paper with that random scrap of a note on it might be useful. Oh and the post-it notes. The pad on my desk is covered in post-it notes for exactly the same reason.

A fictional character you fantasise over/ fell in love with. (One of your own preferably.)

I’m far too much of a realist to do any fantasising, so I don’t have anyone who fits the bill at all. However, I am writing the follow up to Messandrierre at the moment and my hero, Jacques Forêt, is currently my constant imaginary companion. And he’s quite a guy too, tall, dark-haired, French, honest, steely and determined, kind and generous. He’s also been described by one reviewer as ‘quietly sexy’. Actually, I think I’ve just found my first fantasy! Would be good if it were that simple to create such gorgeous guys for real!

One item you would consign to Room 101.

Spiders – all sizes, shapes, designs and colours. I don’t care what they do or if they’re pretty or not – mostly not, in my view – I absolutely cannot stand them and I blame my brothers for this irrationality.

One line that sums up your WIP this week.

One line? Can do that in one word. RATS! (Random Adjectives Temporarily Suspended)

One sentence that sums up your thoughts about social media.

Ditto, but scratch the bit in brackets!

Kindle, tablet or paperback. Which one do you go to bed with and why?

None of those. I do own a tablet and I do have a Kindle app on there but reading for pleasure from a screen really isn’t something I want to do by choice. It just spells business change and project management work to me. Paperbacks – yes I can handle those and frequently do, but I consider them to be frivolous and temporary reading companions. It’s First Editions that I really get excited about. A beautifully bound book with dust jacket and some amazingly good words inside. Add to that the thrill of the chase to find said book, the DJHangoverSq Angela Wrenrealisation upon discovery and viewing from afar that the book really is the one of your dreams. Then the frisson of anticipation as you espy the spine of your sort after book   across a crowded bookshop. You rush across to introduce yourself and then feel the nervousness as you worry about whether the content will engage your mind and whether the dust jacket is a little too worn or the pages a little too foxed. Then the heart-melting realisation that the book really is for you and you make the purchase. Next, it’s the final journey home and a resting place on the bookshelf, where said tome will live in perfect harmony with you and provide everlasting entertainment. It’s a marriage made in heaven as far as I’m concerned. A book of such calibre is welcome on my bedside table any night of the week!

One thing lurking on your writing desk that shouldn’t be there?

Apart from the post-it notes you mean? The Wolseley car decal from the 1920’s. I’ve been researching my family history and one of my ancestors was a Chauffeur Mechanic and he drove a Wolseley A4. I tried to trace the car but couldn’t find it. So my brother bought me the decal from some car boot sale and gave it to me as a consolation prize.

Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years’ time?
Hopefully with the whole series of my Jacques Forêt novels on the shelves in bookshops. My anthology of alternative Fairy Tales selling well with probably a follow up in the pipeline. Maybe working on my series of romantic crime novellas featuring Nicolas Cheverny. Negotiating the film rights for Messandrierre? Proud owner of a red Morgan V8 maybe? Who knows!

Tell us a little more about yourself  Angela.

Having followed a career in Project and Business Change Management, I now work as an Actor and Director at a local theatre. I’ve been writing, in a serious way, for about 5 years. My work in project management has always involved drafting, so writing, in its various forms, has been a significant feature throughout my adult life.

I particularly enjoy the challenge of plotting and planning different genres of work. My short stories vary between contemporary romance, memoir, mystery and historical. I also write comic flash-fiction and have drafted two one-act plays that have been recorded for local radio. The majority of my stories are set in France where I like to spend as much time as possible each year.

And finally give us a taster of   Messandrierre  which, I notice, has received  great reviews. 

CoverArt A Wren

Sacrificing his job in investigation following an incident in Paris, Jacques Forêt has only a matter of weeks to solve a series of mysterious disappearances as a Gendarme in the rural French village of Messandrierre.

But, as the number of missing persons rises, his difficult and hectoring boss puts obstacles in his way. Steely and determined, Jacques won’t give up and, when a new Investigating Magistrate is appointed, he becomes the go-to local policeman for all the work on the case.

Will he find the perpetrators before his lover, Beth, becomes a victim?

Messandrierre – the first in a new crime series featuring investigator, Jacques Forêt.

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Smashwords
Website : http://www.angelawren.co.uk
Blog : http://www.jamesetmoi.blogspot.com
Facebook : Angela Wren
Goodreads : Angela Wren

 

 

 

Ringing out the naval day. Some thoughts behind the writing of ‘Rebellious Cargo’

I started  my writing career penning short stories for magazines, mostly contemporary romance, but when it came to novels I knew exactly where I wanted to base my first historical romance.

Having worked in BristoIMG00094-20120427-1221l, Bath, Portsmouth and London I have always been lucky enough to have a wealth of  Georgian architecture and naval history close by. Nelson’s flag ship, Buckler’s Hard, the Bath Assembly Rooms, Greenwich  and Jane Austen’s house at Chawton have all been past haunts to gather the flavour of the period. So it’s not surprising that  Rebellious Cargo  is set in the early nineteenth century  aboard a sailing ship.

But once I had chosen my vessel I needed to research the ship’s routine, the decks the rigging, the hierarchy,  the whistles and  the significance of the ship’s bell.

‘Jane put her fingers in her mouth and let out a loud, high-pitched whistle, which caused the whole watch to instantly turn in her direction. A babble of loud, confused voices swept through the lower deck. They responded to bells and hails, but none were too sure what this particular whistle indicated.’  Extract from – Rebellious Cargo. .

The whistles and bells  heard on board  were understood by all hands and everyone knew where they should be. And God help them if they weren’t at their posts at the prescribed time. The ring of the ship’s bell was an incessant sound that punctuated the day along with the turning of the glass – a sand filled instrument that measured the half hour intervals.  A bit like an egg  timer. Ah…remember egg timers, such simplicity and yet the egg always  turned out perfect.glaa

The sailor’s  day  was split into  5 x 4 hour watches and 2 x 2 hour watches (the dog-watches). Each watch was punctuated every half hour by  the ringing of the bell and turning of the glass. Half an hour into a watch  there would be one ring of the bell, one  hour into the watch two rings of the bell and so on until eight bells signalled  the end of a 4 hour watch.  The bell ringing  made everyone aboard aware of how much longer they had to work  before they could finish their watch.

The watches consisted of : first watch – 20:00hrs to midnight, middle watch – midnight to 04:00hrs, morning watch – 0400 to 08:oohrs, forenoon watch  08:00hrs to noon, afternoon watch -noon to 16:00hrs, First dog-watch – 16:00hrs to 18:00hrs  and the second dog-watch – 18:00hrs to 20:00hrs.

The two shorter watches  made  the total shifts an odd number, therefore facilitating  the shift rotation, so  the same crew were not always on  duty  at the same times of the day.  It also ensured that everyone could eat the evening meal at a reasonable time.

11846566_946751408701989_4918351381284821063_n rebellious cargo

I learnt quite a lot about  life  at sea whist writing   Rebellious Cargo. And the great thing of having your hero and heroine on board ship is that they can’t run far from each other.

Here is a taster Jane Charlesworth, daughter of England’s foremost code breaker, is the only person thought capable of deciphering a vital government document. But when a naval frigate is sent to enlist her services and transport her to Malta, Jane is horrified. Haunted with terrible memories of an earlier voyage, she has no intention of putting herself under the protection of the Admiralty ever again.

Anxious to be at the forefront of the action as the peace with France crumbles, Adam Marston is livid when his ship is diverted to collect a reluctant blue-stocking whose accusing eyes and insolent manner hold nothing but contempt for him and his orders. Sparks fly when captain and code breaker find they have different ideas on how to handle a French attack, a malicious chaplain, and boisterous midshipmen.

Duty and desire collide as they approach Malta, but Jane is determined that her judgment will not be clouded by Adam who, once he has despatched his Rebellious Cargo, will sail out of her life again. But, as the ship docks, Jane’s life becomes a nightmare and she is forced to gamble that Adam is the only person she can trust.

As passion battles with duty, will future orders throw them together or tear them apart?

To read a longer extract please visit my website susanlodge.com 

REBELLIOUS CARGO  availzble at – Amazon   Smashwords  Nook   Kobo   itunes    

Continue reading

Sunday Sojourn – with Susan Lodge

Jennifer C. Wilson

Today, I’m delighted to be joined by Susan Lodge, to talk about her historical fiction novels.

DSCN0601 Susan Lodge

So, Susan, what first attracted you to the era(s) you’ve written about?

I have worked in Bristol, Bath, Portsmouth and London so have always been lucky enough to have a wealth of Regency architecture and naval history close by. Inspiration for my stories has been gained by wandering around such places as Nelson’s flag ship, Buckler’s Hard, the Bath Assembly Rooms and Jane Austen’s house at Chawton. So it’s not surprising that both my historical romance novels, Rebellious Cargo and Only a Hero Will Do, are set in the early nineteenth century and include some time aboard ship.

11846566_946751408701989_4918351381284821063_n rebellious cargo Cover artwork for Rebellious Cargo

What sparked your first foray into historical fiction?

I started to read some Georgian/Regency fiction and got hooked. As well as enjoying the wit and authenticity of Austen…

View original post 1,149 more words

Black Friday Sale at Crooked Cat Publishing

12246871_10153708078805761_5933708375744583850_nCome and bag yourself a great bargain read. 

 Crooked Cat Publishing are having a bonanza sale  on all their e books 27.Nov.
They have some great books  Take a look 

11846566_946751408701989_4918351381284821063_n rebellious cargoIf you like some romance and adventure. why not take advantage of the Black Friday offer and take  a look at Rebellious Cargo.

Spring 1803. Jane Charlesworth, daughter of England’s foremost code breaker, is the only person thought capable of deciphering a vital government document. But when a naval frigate is sent to enlist her services and transport her to Malta, Jane is horrified. Haunted with terrible memories of an earlier voyage, she has no intention of putting herself under the protection of the Admiralty ever again….. read more   or buy at Amazon

Coming soon… December 18th  –  Only a Hero Will Do  

Hetty Avebury’s desperate gamble to avoid an odious match lands her all at sea. Can a stuffy ship’s physician really be the hero she needs to escape her treacherous family?

12227741_10153702509170761_4115764816644318940_n

See  excerpts from  all my books  by visiting my website or  find me on facebook.

Italian Food Feast – Delizioso

Award winning romance author, Sloane Taylor, has kindly come to share  some of her international cuisine.

Over to you Sloane…

This scrumptious meal fills your home with a beautiful aroma that teases your taste buds. Sorry, no photos. My family polishes off this dish before I can snap the camera!

Chicken Italiano
Pasta
Spaghetti Gravy, your favorite brand
Parmesan cheese
Fresh Italian Bread
Dry red wine – Chianti Bella Sera makes a terrific affordable one

Marinade

2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 ½ cup white wine
Rosemary – 5 springs fresh or 2 tsp. dried
Oregano – 5 springs fresh or 2 tsp. dried

Combine wine and herbs in a plastic bag or glass bowl. Add chicken. Gently mix to coat chicken well. Marinade for a minimum of 2 hours, but no more than 10 hours, in a cool location.

Chicken
¼ – ½ cup olive oil
2 tbsp. minced onion
2 large cloves garlic, pressed
A few green pepper strips
1 ½ cups chicken broth
Your favorite spaghetti sauce

Heat the olive oil in a 10-12 inche skillet until a light haze forms, sauté onions, then add breasts and brown well.

Add pressed garlic, green pepper and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. About every 10 minutes baste chicken with pan juices.

If breasts are thick it will take about 25 minutes. If they’re thin, plan about 20 minutes. Insert tip of sharp knife in breast center to check for doneness. Juices must run clear.

When almost done add a few spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce for color.

Pasta
Fill a large pot with water and follow the package directions to cook, but be sure no more than al dente. If the is done before the chicken, drain them in a colander and set the pot or lid on the top keep them it warm.

REMEMBER: all noodles/pasta can easily be re-warmed by running hot water over them before serving.

Spaghetti Gravy
Pour your favorite sauce into a small pan, then heat on low while you prepare the meal.

To Serve
Arrange cooked pasta in a ring on individual plates. Center breasts, and then ladle a large spoonful of simmering liquid onto breast. Ladle spaghetti sauce onto pasta only. Sprinkle all with Parmesan cheese.

This recipe serves 2

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog http://sloanetaylor.blogspot.com every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor currently has five explicit romance books released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Excerpts from her books can be found on her website http://www.sloanetaylor.com, blog http://sloanetaylor.blogspot.com/, and all popular vendors.

Subscribe to Sloane’s newsletter. Connect with Taylor on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Letters from Elsewhere: Jane Charlesworth

Excited at being featured on Miriam Drori’s great blog Letters from Elsewhere.

An' de walls came tumblin' down

Letters from Elsewhere

My visitor today is Jane Charlesworth, who has come from the pages of Rebellious Cargo by Susan Lodge to share three days from her journal, written whilst aboard the naval frigate HMS Serena.

The Aegean Sea.  Thursday 19th May 1803.

I felt like one of the cheese barrels when I was taken aboard the naval frigate today. Except that I have the feeling the cheese is viewed by the ship’s captain as a more welcome commodity. 

Captain Marston has shown little respect for my profession, my gender or my predicament and has made it clear I am a tiresome interruption to his schedule. His irritation I suspect is partly because my ship had managed to outmanoeuvre his attempts to track me down for the past week. The possibility that I would know these waters better than he is an impossible concept for him to swallow.

The stench and sounds of…

View original post 1,044 more words