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.

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SOCKS, SANDALS AND BLUE FLOWERED SHORTS

How do you decide the title of your book?    GetAttachment

Does it involve a lot of head scratching, pen chewing, and staring out of the window, waiting for a lightning bolt of inspiration? Or a laborious search for a snappy phrase that will encompass the spirit of the story and grab the attention of the e- book browsers?

That is how it was choosing the title for my first publication—but with the second it was easy. The Man in the Blue Flowered Shorts walked past me one day and wham! There was my book title and the seeds of a story all gained from a few moments of idle observation. I live on the coast and am quite used to holidaymakers ambling about in strange summery outfits, but this man cranked my literary detective into action. Who was this person who looked so on edge in his holiday clothes?

I never knew the real answer, as I only saw him once, but he had sparked my imagination with all sorts of questions.

Was he the victim of some malicious dress advice?

Why was he on holiday when he clearly didn’t want to be?

Why was he wearing socks with those sandals?

I would like to point out that I have nothing against men in sandals or shorts, especially of the blue flowered variety. But it’s that accessory thing. Shorts and sandals are fine—but worn with socks! The combination should be outlawed.

I know, especially here in the UK, the sandal wearing season is quite brief,  and that relinquishing the socks can result in strap chaffing to soft white toes and heels which have been cocooned for most of the year. But that is no excuse for socks with sandals, is it? After all, you can purchase those nice discreet clear plasters to protect those vulnerable parts of your feet.

I now feel this blog is getting a little shallow because we all know that clothes shouldn’t really matter and it’s the person inside that counts. And, to be honest, on some cold  summer days, I am tempted to search out  the thigh high woollen socks I got for Christmas. Although I wouldn’t wear them with sandals—but then, I am not a man!

But however he was dressed, I will always be grateful to the intriguing man in the blue flowered shorts. He provided me with, not only a title to my latest romance, but the trigger for a sequel, The Man in the Buff Breeches. Then I might follow it with The Man in the …well, I’m looking around right now for an inspiration!

 Who is   The Man in The Blue Flowered Shorts ? 

   Click here to  read an excerpt or download a sample on Amazon. Or visit wwwsusanlodge.com