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Dear me, I am utterly rubbish at maintaining blogs. My apologies.

I do have an excuse as I have been having difficulties with my glasses, but I am nearly sorted with them now. But it does make you think about how difficult my life would now be if I were back in Regency times. I now have pretty complex glasses, not only am I short sighted, but I also have a strong astigmatism (so the glass lenses need to change an object so a circle comes out as a specific shape of ellipse) and now have a pretty strong prism that needs to be ground in to my lens while keeping that astigmatism and short sighted correction. That can’t be easy. Without them, well I can see a blurry double of the world.

And my modern glasses also have lots of lovely other benefits than comparing to the ones above. Mine have nice squashy nose pieces for a start, flexi hinges at the sides so they don’t loose their shape and mine even change colour with light so I have nice sun glasses for outside. Smart.

Yup. I think I’m pretty happy I was born when I was. 🙂

Here’s a snippet from Lord Carrington for all those Edward fans. 🙂 and you can purchase a copy here.

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The lovely lovely hood.

I’m thinking of making myself a new coat at the minute, spurred on by the coats I’ve been making for my children, and I’ve been searching patterns for a smart coat with a hood. And I’m coming up empty. There are plenty of parka style coats with hoods or lots of smart coats without but it seems you aren’t supposed to keep your head warm if you want to look neat.

Nonsense I say. Just look at the carriage coat pictured above. You don’t get much smarter. Beautiful edging, quilted satin lining to keep it snuggly and make a nice drop back for the lucky wearer’s face. I even like the colour. Don’t suppose it is available though.


Here’s a snippet for anyone wanting a Betty fix… or you can download the first three chapters here. 🙂

bonnet snippet 5


Oh Mr Darcy…

Regency breeches. Oh I say.

I can’t help thinking these look a bit drafty, but for ease of access I’m going to give them a big thumbs up. lol.

I love how imperfect clothes used to be. These look like an expensive pair of breeches based on the material colour (that’s not a colour to hide dirt!), wealth of details, pockets and buttons but just look at the placement of the fly buttons, far from straight. And I rather like that. Today we demand perfection for clothes that cost virtually nothing in comparison. We want straight seams, stripes matches, buttons perfectly placed and ideally it will wash and iron itself. This pair of trousers doesn’t care about any of that. I hope it had an equally carefree owner!

For those of you anxious for a Betty and Edward fix, I aim to oblige. Remember you can download the first three chapters for FREE at Amazon so off you trot. 🙂

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Drool worthy Spencers.

So I’ve been trying to decide where I want to see this blog going, and I don’t want it to be one of those writers blogs who only talk about writing, or have their blogs peppered with a billion interviews. That’s just not my thing.

I’d love to pick a topic and discuss it in amazing detail and research the nuts off it. But let’s face it. I have 4 children under 6 with only four years between them. Nothing gets the nuts researched off it in this house. Ask my husband. <dirty snigger>

So I’m going to go back down the road of sharing a lovely picture I’ve found, generally vintage clothes related and let you all drool. Oh and I’m put a snippet of writing up, just in case you are interested. Please feel free to ignore it….

So here we have a lovely Spencer Jacket, 1820s era. Go ahead, it’s ok to drool. Look at that double sleeve. Imagine how annoying it must have been to have been a dressmaker in this era, no sewing machine, probably pretty rubbish lighting most of the time, and not only have you go to set one sleeve in by hand, you’ve got to get a big gathered one in there as well! Sheesh. But oh doesn’t it look nice. It gives you all that lovely height and puffiness, but the slimmer sleeve underneath just shows that you do have a lovely shape beneath as well. Then we have a gorgeous little scalloped collar (which I tried doing last year on a collar for my little boy and it isn’t as easy as it looks and I have a machine to do it!) I also love the placing of the sleeve… it is so low, a good inch or two past the actual shoulder. I’m not quite sure why they are placed so low. I probably should do some researching, but all I can think is that it would make it quite difficult to lift your arms as the actual armhole looks pretty tight. Perhaps that is the point. Ladies wearing these jackets are so rich they don’t NEED to be able to move their arms. They have someone to do that kind of thing for them. 🙂

Right, milk and nappies call so better go. I’ll leave you with a little snippet from Lady Betty. Here’s the link to buy the book if the urge takes you.


bonnet snippet 1

New beginnings

Today I’m over at the Romanchics talking about my eldest daughter starting school. Ellie at school. Mental.

Squeezing in a bit of Romance

Today I’m over at the Romanchics trying to squeeze in a bit of romance…

Sorry for being quiet…

Despite the radio silence I am still here and still pregnant. 8 months now. Not bad going with twins. I’ve not been posting as I’ve been in and out of hospital with preterm labour issues etc and to be honest I just haven’t had the puff. Literally. One baby has had his not so little bum tucked up in the depths of my ribcage for longer than I like to remember.
As a consequence my daily word count has trickled down to well… zilch. zero. nothing. Any way I spell it, I’ve just not been writing. I’m hoping it isn’t a permanent measure. I don’t think it will be. The other ladies of the dashing 100 will kick my butt otherwise….

The Romanchics and the ladies of the dashing 100

For a while now I’ve been writing with a lovely group of ladies and we’ve formed a super supportive little group, the Dashing 100.

We are all busy ladies and we all write romance but there the similarities end. We all write different styles.

pots of paint

Incy writes romantic thrillers that keep you on the seat of your pants, with super hot heroes that make you warm all over.

Joanne writes the kind of close-to-your-heart stories that you make you feel like you’ve just snuggled under a cosy blanket.

Meg writes a range of genres, all with a beautiful meter and elegant turn of phrase that makes you just want to drink up all the yummy details.

Aimee writes sexy contemporary romances for the modern, independent girl with sassy heroines and alpha males to die for.

And me, well I enjoy writing regency romps.

So you wouldn’t think a writing group between us all would work. But it does. Every thursday we aim to share 100 words of our current work and the email banter begins. I think sometimes it works better because we all have such different styles.

It’s a lot easier to read something very different from your own work with non judgemental eyes, you just read to enjoy and you don’t wonder how you would have done the same paragraph. And because 100 words (give or take a bit!) is all we share, you get this intriguing peek into another’s work each week. Not enough to really know what’s happening in the story but enough to get well and truly caught up in the characters.

I get a lot of support from this group, and sometimes when life gets too busy, thursday morning will still see me trying to knock up 100 words just so I have something to share. And you can’t knock anything that keeps you actually gets words down on paper.

The ladies of the dashing 100 have just launched their own blog, the Romanchics.
romanchics blog button.

So pop on over and get to know these super ladies and their stories. You won’t regret it.

New Year Resolutions

2013 is going to be a busy year for me, I might as well accept that now. I don’t suppose anyone gets to add new born twins into an already busy household and expect to get a lot of other things done. So I’m not going to set myself pie-in-the-sky ambitions.

So what do I want to get done?

1) Deliver two happy healthy babies so my happy family of four becomes an even happier family of six. Preferably I’d like to do this without tearing my hair out or going prematurely grey, without actually turning into a whale, and with my sanity intact.

2) Get Braving Madness out there in the big wide world. I’ve already started on this fretful journey and sent the second draft winging its way to Meg McNulty, (, the world’s best critique partner.

3) Crack on with Held in the Balance. I’d love to say get a first draft done, but realistically that means writing 80,000+ words in a year where sleep will be a luxury. So a total word count doesn’t matter, I just want to keep on writing, just a little bit, every day, and not get completely bogged down with moaning about little people kicking my internal organs to pieces or being buried under the mounds of dirty nappies that are bound to be generated over the year.

Doesn’t sound too ambitious list does it? Probably. Oh well. Happy New Year to you all, and all the best fo 2013.

Still plodding forwards

I seem to be on a bit of a reading binge at the moment. I go through phases with reading, you know you find a new author and love the book and then go rushing back to the front cover to see how many books they’ve written. And recently all my new authors had written lots of books. Bliss. I am now waiting for Janet Evanovich’s 19th Stephanie Plum book to be released.

On the downside you do risk getting caught up in another world for a while, so much so, when you come to the end of the series it feels a bit of a shock to have to go back to real life.

Not so disimilar to finishing writing a novel I guess. After a year and a half I’m back at the first stage of writing those initial chapters and creating characters I’m going to have to live with for maybe a year or so (or more the way my life is heading at the moment.)

So far though I’m enjoying it.

I have Lord Simon Curzon, the antagonist from the last story. A man of few words with a core of steel. Miss Lydia Taunton, against from the last story, and is a drama queen of the first order, out for fun and mayhem, and looking to break off her engagement with Lord-dull-grey-Curzon. Miss Harriet Baird, cursed with ginger hair and freckles, she’s Lydia’s unfortunate side-kick. Lord Goodall, a dark character full of hidden agendas. And finally, Samuel Stibbons, a shaggy, bleached blond haired charmer set to provide Lydia with the ideal opportunity for a bit of scandal.

Can you tell I’m having fun?

Here’s a snippet about Samuel Stibbons, written in Lydia’s POV.

Rather than sitting further away, Stibbons opted for the footstool. Stuffed to almost bursting point and covered in the softest velvet, the footstool reigned supreme amongst footstools, her father wouldn’t have put up with anything less, but having to sit with his knees about his ears shouldn’t have done a thing for Stibbons’ manliness. No-one seemed to have told him that though and he sat with his big frame hunched over and the memory of the months of summer still showing on his skin. Maybe the girls flocking around him were acting on baser instincts than securing marriage offers.