Emma Lane hands out the bouquets

I welcome to the blog today talented US author Emma Lane. As well as turning out great stories she is also an expert on gardening matters.  So if you want a great display of blooms read on … over to you Emma.

By Emma Lane

Bring the outside in with a Fall bouquet. Not sure how, then let me help you. Here are a few tips to help make it easier.

Native and ornamental grasses: What fun to gather them on one of those perfect Fall days when the skies are vivid blue, a soft breeze tumbles your hair, and tick seed clings to your jeans. Best to do your hunt and gathering just before the leaves are all off the trees. Anything interesting is fair game, but do learn to identify dried ragweed and seeds. Not one to bring into the house; it will still make you sneeze. I’ve used the seed tassels of ornamental grasses and a wild reed which is listed as a nuisance plant. It overtakes our native cattails apparently. Even so I love the tassels which are free for the taking. Spot a batch where your sneakers will stay dry.

Love cattails? Pick when they turn brown, most likely mid to late summer. If you bring a ripe cattail inside to the warmth, it will explode with a predictable mess. Trust me; I’ve had the experience. Grab a handful in summer and dry them in a dark, dry place. Pull them out in the fall for a perfect addition to the dry bouquets.

Chinese lanterns (physalis) are perfect for Fall. They’ll last and last, but eventually lose their color. I’ve been known to spray them lightly with red paint, but the odor of fresh paint is not pleasant. Tend well ahead of time and let dry in the garage.

The purple flowers are grown under a hoop house which protects from the early frosts. They won’t stand up to a real freeze, but are perfect for Fall bouquets. Lisianthus is a favorite of florists because they last so long in the vase. Any late bloom will perk up a Fall bouquet. I’ve used long stems of mums, stray daisies, and geranium. Use your imagination and have fun with Fall bouquets. They’ll keep you cheerful until it’s time to decorate for Christmas.

Don’t worry about which flowers to use. Anything and everything will be perfect because you chose it. The important ingredient in creating your bouquet is to have fun.

Now here’s a little from my latest Regency Romance to enjoy along with your lovely bouquet.

Elisabeth is a lively young lady ripe for adventure. She’s lived the sheltered life of the privileged during the Regency era of the 1800’s and is on the cusp of entering society when she joins her older sister at a house party. On the enormous estate in the spreading mansion of a duke, she mistakes her host for the fat squire down the road. Thus begins an adventure which is against all her training. She knows her mother would not approve. Was that half the intrigue of meeting a stranger in private?

The handsome but incognito Richard Hawlester, Duke of Roderick, weary of toad-eating house guests, engages in a serious flirtation with young Elisabeth Barrows, who is primed for an exciting adventure. Mistaking the fat squire for the duke, she holds her secret relationship with a man known only as Richard, Nobel Rescuer, close to a tender heart while discovering love for the first time.

Elisabeth’s trust seems irrevocably lost when the duke’s actual identity is revealed. Realizing his mistake, Roderick begins an earnest, dangerous, and often hilarious campaign to convince her of his love. Elisabeth ponders whether true love can overcome the loss of trust between two people, even as danger presents in the guise of a vile, undesirable suitor, while a wicked assassin makes an attempt on the life of the duke. Trust broken can never be regained, or can it?

BUY LINKS
AmazonWild Rose Publishing

Emma Lane is a gifted author who writes under several pen-names. She lives with her patient husband on several acres outside a typical American village in Western New York. Her day job is working with flowers at her son’s plant nursery. Look for information about writing and plants on her new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma’s face.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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8 things a lady needs to know about travelling (uninvited) on a naval ship in hostile waters.


May Ship for Only a Hero

Today I have brought along Hetty Avebury who is the heroine of  ‘Only a Hero Will Do’.  She wishes  to share some advice  about travelling at sea in the nineteenth century.   Hetty unfortunately found herself  sailing  on a naval frigate,  uninvited and-

Excuse me, Susan. If I am not mistaken, you did say I could  do this blog – after all I am the person who experienced the stressful but educational elements of  the  voyage , and  I don’t want you to say anything indelicate. Perhaps you  can go and arrange for tea and cake. I will look after the visitors. Oh! Where are my guests precisely?

Okay, Hetty, you carry on. 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.  Good day. Are you there ?  Well I shall  assume you are even though I fear my author has become quite addled brained. I hope she 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 realise 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 the purpose of this  blog, where I will share some useful tips about sea travel.

So  here are  eight things a Regency lady needs to know about travelling (uninvited) on a naval ship in hostile waters.

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 civilised 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, sombre physician around, whose job it is to keep you out of trouble, and looks at you with eyes … Oh, no –  she is coming back with the tea – but alas no scones .

There is much more to tell dear readers, 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.)

Spring 1810 – Hampshire England.    

Marriage to a cruel dandy is not how Hetty Avebury envisions spending the rest of her life. Determined to avoid the match, she raises funds the only way she knows how – by gambling. When her plans go astray, 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 Whitington has been tasked with the tiresome job of returning Miss Hetty Avebury safely back to her dysfunctional family. Ten years earlier, his father had gambled away Robert’s 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.

Yet with her self-proclaimed betrothed hot on her heels,can Hetty really trust the doctor?

t  Amazon UK   Amazon US

 Learn more about  my books at susanlodge.com

Do authors manipulate readers? – Vonnie Hughes explains.

Today  I welcome  from down under Vonnie Hughes who is the author of some great Regency and contemporary novels.  She answers a very intriguing question.

Over to you Vonnie.

Do authors manipulate readers?

by Vonnie Hughes

You bet they do! Authors know what buttons to push.

By ‘what buttons to push’ I mean what buttons do authors use to manipulate (yep, being honest) their readers’ emotions, to get them on side with the characters in their books. For example, perhaps the author creates unlikeable, evil antagonists and emphasizes the sterling qualities of his protagonists.

The most obvious ploy is the ticking clock. It not only lends urgency but it yanks the reader along at a rush, keeping him intrigued.

Then there’s characterization. Of course in this dynamic world, what worked ten years ago may not have the same appeal in 2014. The innocent 1960s virgin, so prevalent in romances of that time, would drive a reader from 2014 to drink. We are much more cynical, well-informed and downright demanding than we were then. Historically though, some classics retain their appeal because they are much more than the sum of their characters’ emotions. To Kill A Mockingbird’s racial tensions are still not outmoded today, and that lazy description of the syrupy south’s inbred attitudes is not far from the truth in some out-of-the-way places. And that is why books like these are classics. They endure not just because of the characters in the books but because of the settings and historical attitudes. And Harper Lee manipulated the readers’ emotions. Think of the way she pushes Scout’s lack of desire to be a ‘lady’ so that the reader is on Scout’s side.

Perhaps today’s writers manipulate the readers in more subtle ways. What of Dick Francis’s heroes who are often of the working class up against a criminal upper class or just up against class bigotry where he is on the outside looking in? Dick Francis does that so well that even if the protagonist is not your usual Everyman, the reader is still very much on his side. That’s right. The modern protagonist need not be a perfect hero as he has been in novels and movies of the past. Some have patchy backgrounds and they’ve made mistakes.

There’s Lee Child’s Jack Reacher who thrums a string in every male heart. They all want to be Jack with his freedom and lack of possessions but with an innate sense of responsibility. And of course Jack has been in the military and knows how to handle himself in vicious situations. Every man’s dream. There are a lot of wannabe Jacks out there. And Lee knows how to manipulate those readers.

Tami Hoag’s heroines are believably imperfect. They make mistakes and have hang-ups that readers can empathise with and they frequently have to form alliances with people they don’t trust. There’s that little brush of reality that lends credence to the stories.

So…empathy and sympathy are the buttons. And the harder those buttons are pushed by authors and movie makers, the more a reader/viewer becomes invested in the characters. We need to see how the protagonists get themselves out of a bind, or if the evil antagonists get their come-uppance. And the best books of all are where you know darned well that the author is pushing your buttons, but you just don’t care. The book is so good!

~Vonnie

Vonnie Hughes is a multi-published author in both Regency books and contemporary suspense. She loves the intricacies of the social rules of the Regency period and the far-ranging consequences of the Napoleonic Code. And with suspense she has free rein to explore forensic matters and the strong convolutions of the human mind. Like many writers, some days she hates the whole process, but somehow she just cannot let it go.

Vonnie was born in New Zealand, but she and her husband now live happily in Australia. If you visit Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand be sure to stroll through the Japanese Garden. These is a bronze plaque engraved with a haiku describing the peacefulness of that environment. The poem was written by Vonnie.

All of Vonnie’s books are available on The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.

Learn more about Vonnie Hughes on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Goodreads.

Win a paperback copy of Rebellious Cargo.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The frigate was his life. It was her nightmare.

Rebellious Cargo by Susan Lodge

Rebellious Cargo

by Susan Lodge

Giveaway ends April 30, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Thank you for visiting my blog and  I hope you will take part in the Goodreads Book Giveaway, to win a signed copy of Rebellious Cargo.

Jane Charlesworth has no intention of trusting the Admiralty ever again. Not after the last time.

Sparks fly on the quarter deck as Captain and code-breaker embark on a dangerous voyage.

Please click here if you would like to read a review, or the first pages of Rebellious Cargo.  

Click here  if you would like to read about Jane’s first three days on Captain Marston’s ship, from her  Behind the scenes diary.

And finally, I would be delighted  if you visited my website  susanlodge.com   or my facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating the first anniversay of ‘The Man in the Buff Breeches’ with a 50% discount.

 TMBB-banner

nov promo  Man in The buff Breeches

How do men in breeches find their way into a contemporary romance?

I like to write contemporary as well as historical stories and  I find one genre keeps sneaking into the other – where it has no business – especially as there is no time travel involved.

I hadn’t immediately planned a sequel to my contemporary novella The Man in The Blue Flowered Shorts but Shona (best friend of Lyn the heroine) simply wouldn’t leave my head. She simply escaped from the pages and ran off on her own to appear in The Man in The Buff Breeches.
As a romance writer, once the happy ever after ending has been achieved, I prefer to leave my couple alone or possibly just make a cameo appearance. But friends and siblings of the central character are, in my opinion, great sequel material. Their characters are there already, alive inside your head, with a ready back story. A great start to plot out a worthy adventure for them.

In The Man with the Blue Flowered Shorts, we have Lyn, a thirty-ish career woman with a passion for reading Regency romance – and her best friend Shona who would gladly nominate the whole period to go into room 101. So as Lyn’s story ended, I found Shona needed a story of her own. And what better place to start then at a Regency themed ball in London.

Googling the subject I was surprised to discover these events are held frequently and worldwide. But do the book inspired heroes in breeches really look quite so sexy in modern day England? And why are these baggy seated, tight legged garments regarded with such romantic overtures?

I try to picture a man in Regency attire clambering out of a lake in 2014. Even if he looked like Darcy he’d still stink of pond weed (at the very best).  And instead of striding purposely out of the water and across the grass he would more likely be cowering with cramp and shivering in the English rain.
But who knows with fashion – the full Regency attire may be on the catwalk next year. Only I don’t know if it will look half as exciting made in machine washable synthetics.

themaninthebuffbreeches-500The Man in The Buff Breeches What is it about men in breeches? Shona finds out her dream man turns out to be not at all what she expected.

When a man in tight buff breeches examines her with his quizzing glass and calls her Miss Bennet, Shona fears the Regency themed ball is going to be as awful as she predicted. But then she is introduced to the gorgeous Nick who ticks every box for her perfect man.

As Shona looks forward to her first date with Nick, her happiness is marred by some disturbing observations around her flat. She doesn’t usually leave her blind rolled down that far, and she never keeps her bunny slippers tidily by the bed. And what is the man in the buff breeches doing lurking on the street outside?

As both men pursue her, Shona finds one makes her body quiver with desire, the other itch with annoyance. Then the men finally confront each other, and her life turns into a nightmare. Can her judgment regarding the male species really be so seriously flawed?

Click here for excerpt

“If you’re looking for a quick but delightful escape that’s a bit reminiscent of Bridget Jones’ Diary with a hint of Jane Austen’s wit and historical detail, you’ll be sure to enjoy THE MAN IN THE BUFF BREECHES……. ”  The Romance Review 

Available at  Amazon.com,  AmazonUK  Barnes & Noble   Musa Publishing  Please visit my website at  susanlodge.com for more  .

Dishing up some romance – 60% off Tasty Regency and Contemporary Cocktail.

Picture2 Welcome !   Only a Hero Will Do and The Man in The Buff Breeches are celebrating summer with a  price reduction of 60%   

Recipie for  Only a Hero Will Do

1. Take one, firm ship’s Physician (not over ripe)  and one impulsive female gambler and toss them together in a  large wooden naval ship.

2. Pour into the middle of an enemy sea and leave  to simmer.

3. Season with  a pinch of sea salt and  a good shake of humour.

4.  Beat in a  battle and then carefully fold in  a cup full of heroic deeds and a heap of family betrayal. Moisten with a few tears.

5. Heat gently until it  smoulders. Make sure all  ingredients are combined well.

6. Enjoy whilst lounging in a comfortable chair.

Here is a taster.        

      Marriage to a cruel dandy, is not how Hetty Avebury envisions 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.

Available for downoad at  Musa Publishing     Amazon.com     Amazon UK   Barnes and Noble   Smashwords . Or read more at susanlodge.com

And if that’s not to your taste and you prefer a romance set in the twenty first century then maybe you would like to consider.  The Man in the Buff Breeches  – now on sale at  99c (60% off until 20 August.)

Recipe for The Man in the Buff Breeches

1.Take a thirty something career girl and  mix with an  invitation to a Regency themed ball.  This will take some effort as they do not combine easily.

2. Pour in to a  long glass with an assortment of men dressed up in breeches.

3. To prevent the mixture overheating add some ice cold cubes of terror and  stir with a Regency fan.

4. Relax in your bunny slippers and enjoy.

Here is a taster

themaninthebuffbreeches-500       When a man in tight buff breeches examines her with his quizzing glass and calls her Miss Bennet, Shona fears the Regency themed ball is going to be as awful as she predicted. But then she is introduced to the gorgeous Nick who ticks every box for her perfect man.

As Shona looks forward to her first date with Nick, her happiness is marred by some disturbing observations around her flat. She doesn’t usually leave her blind rolled down that far, and she never keeps her bunny slippers tidily by the bed. And what is the man in the buff breeches doing lurking on the street outside?

As both men pursue her Shona finds one makes her body quiver with desire, the other itch with annoyance. Then the men finally confront each other, and her life turns into a nightmare. Can her judgment regarding the male species really be so seriously flawed?

Available for downoad at  Musa Publishing     Amazon.com     Amazon UK   Barnes and Noble   Smashwords . Or read more at susanlodge.com

 

 

 

 

SISTERS IN JEOPARDY.

Siblings make great series material! Vonnie Hughes, proves this with  her latest release, Sisters in Jeopardy. Relax, enjoy and discover these delicious stories based around the eventful pursuits of  two Regency sisters.

Sisters in Jeopardy, Book 3 of the Aurora Regency Sisters series by multi-published Vonnie Hughes is now available.

A kidnapper makes a grave mistake and faces a revenge he never expected.

Annis’s new husband investigates crimes, and Caroline’s new husband is a capable ex-Army officer. When their ladies are kidnapped in an effort to suppress the evidence of pilfering and murder, Giles and Fort fight their way through all the lies and subterfuge to not only rescue them, but also to avenge them.

EXCERPT:
Fort approached the person on the seat. “Mr. Young, we’ve been looking for you.”

If that was Mr. Young, why was he listing to one side like a ship at sea?

“Is he injured? Has John hurt him?” She hurried towards them.

“Stop!”

Fort’s peremptory order stopped her in her tracks. She watched as Fort examined Mr. Young’s head and neck. He lifted Mr. Young’s hand. It dropped laxly.

“He’s dead,” Fort said, turning towards Caroline. “Sweetheart, do you know your way out of the maze? I must stay here with the body. There’s been enough moving of evidence already.”

“How—?”

Fort gesticulated with a finger across his throat.

“Oh! I’ll fetch Giles. Sir William Harding will have to be notified too.” Caroline cast her husband an anxious look. “Please be careful, Giles, in case John comes back.”

“You be careful too, my love. Walk slowly and listen for footsteps on the other side of the hedge. And if you meet anyone—anyone at all, man or woman—scream. Scream loudly.”

Caroline nodded and plunged back along the gravel paths surrounded by greenery. To her great relief she met nobody, although she was so rattled by events that she took a wrong turning and had to retrace her steps. “Hurry,” she told herself. “Fort is alone there and John is on the loose.”

BUY LINK

All of Vonnie’s books are available on Musa Publishing and Amazon.

Vonnie Hughes is a multi-published author in both Regency books and contemporary suspense. She loves the intricacies of the social rules of the Regency period and the far-ranging consequences of the Napoleonic Code. And with suspense she has free rein to explore forensic matters and the strong convolutions of the human mind. Like many writers, some days she hates the whole process, but somehow she just cannot let it go.

Vonnie was born in New Zealand, but she and her husband now live happily in Australia. If you visit Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand be sure to stroll through the Japanese Garden. These is a bronze plaque engraved with a haiku describing the peacefulness of that environment. The poem was written by Vonnie.

Learn more about Vonnie Hughes on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Goodreads.

Party at The Romance Reviews – Come and join the fun !


Picture heart

All through March  there is a non stop party  over at The Romance Reviews

They  have   more than 450 prizes up for grabs during the whole month of March.

Grand prize is a $100 Gift Certificate!

  Just click on the logo belows  ( Don’t forget to log in to take part)

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Click on the box to log in and join the party . .

 P. S.    There is a chance to win a free ebook of  my Regency  romance, Only a Hero Will DO  on the 20th March. You can read the opening chapters at Amazon   or  check out  an excerpt on my web site. 

If you like contemporary romance , where the Regency era can’t quite keep its nose out, then  you  might like to check out   The Man in the Buff Breeches   or    The Man in The Blue Flowered Shorts.

Yo Ho HO …Cyber Monday 2nd December at Musa Publishing. Half price books – come and discover some great new authors

Cyber Monday Sale

Today it is half price heaven at my publishers Musapublishing.com

Whatever your taste you  are sure to find something that you can curl up with and enjoy.

And if your taste is for romance  maybe you would like to try one of my publications

Only_a_Hero_Will_Do-200 final art

Only a Hero Will Do  – A  Regency Romance novel with a good deal of humour and suspense.

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.

Click here to read  excerpt

The Man in the Buff Breeches and The Man in the Blue Flowered Shorts . Two linked contemporary romance novellas. 

themaninthebuffbreeches-200

What is it about men in breeches? Shona finds out her dream man turns out to be not at all what she expected.

When a man in tight buff breeches examines her with his quizzing glass and calls her Miss Bennet, Shona fears the Regency themed ball is going to be as awful as she predicted. But then she is introduced to the gorgeous Nick who ticks every box for her perfect man.

As Shona looks forward to her first date with Nick, her happiness is marred by some disturbing observations around her flat. She doesn’t usually leave her blind rolled down that far, and she never keeps her bunny slippers tidily by the bed. And what is the man in the buff breeches doing lurking on the street outside?

As both men pursue her, Shona finds one makes her body  quiver with desire, the other itch with annoyance. Then the men finally confront each other, and her life turns into           a nightmare. Can her judgement regarding the male species   really be so seriously flawed? Click here for excerpt

Lyn enjoys reading romance novels, especially when she can combine it with relaxing in the Caribbean sunshine. But when a mysterious stranger joins the cruise ship, fiction and fact become dangerously confused.

When Lyn Redford’s sandal hurtles across the deck of the cruise ship, it makes her first introduction to Henry Matasie rather hostile. It wasn’t just that the man was seriously grumpy; he was a walking wardrobe disaster. Do you really need to wear woollen socks with your shorts in the Caribbean heat?

Following an embarrassing encounter in the cocktail bar with Henry, Lyn and her travelling companion Shona try to find out the reason for his strange behaviour. Later, when Lyn accidentally reads his e-mail, she is convinced the man in the blue flowered shorts is deadly dangerous.

When Henry swaps his awful holiday clothes for a dress suit to attend the gala dinner the transformation sets Lyn’s pulse racing. But she is convinced he still hides a guilty secret and she is intent on discovering what it is

   Click here to  read an excerpt 

 See more at  Susan Lodge’s  Amazon page  or visit my website  susanlodge.com  or Musa Publishing   for full details of my books.

Aurora house Party Celebrations and Eight things a Regency Lady needs to know about traveling at sea.

ar logoWelcome to my blog where we are joining in the Aurora House Party  celebrations. As an Aurora author I am …Picture2

Excuse me, Susan.  If I am not mistaken, you did say I could take over your blog for the night – after all I  am the person who experienced the adventures and romance in Only a Hero Will Do.  Therefore I am more suited to entertain at this Regency house party than you are. Go away and arrange the cake; I will look after  the visitors. Oh! Where are my guests precisely?

Okay,  Hetty,  you carry on. 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. Did you know, dear guests, Susan’s ambition is to travel into space. Ha! What a strange thought. A coach that takes flight into the sky- without horses! I fear she has become quite addled brained.

I  hope she 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 the blog where I will share  some useful tips about sea travel. I gained this knowledge when I inadvertently found myself sailing from Portsmouth to Gibraltar on board a Man of War.

Eight things a Regency Lady  needs to know about travelling (uninvited) on a naval ship.

IMG00094-20120427-1221

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 colorful 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 cake.

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.)

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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.

Click here to read  excerpt

  See more at  Susan Lodge’s  Amazon page  or visit my website  susanlodge.com  or Musa Publishing   for full details of my books.

Also by Susan Lodge . The Man in the Buff Breeches (out 8th Nov 2013)  and The Man in the Blue Flowered shorts  (published July 2012) . Two contemporary  romantic novellas,  with characters who have a soft spot for the Regency period.

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