Thursday, 19 March 2020

Talking with Arabella Sheen on her Chit-Chat Blog

Arabella Sheen invited me for a fun chat with her about Regency times and stories




Research for my novels includes trips to all kinds of interesting places...

The Pavilion of the Mirrored Poplars, on the north bank of the Golden Horn in Istanbul. It was used for diplomatic ceremonies in the 1800s, and so was my hero's official home in Scandalous Lady.





The Royal Pavilion, Brighton, is more exotic than the royal Istanbul pavilion [above]. In The Rake's Challenge, Anna is so excited to attend a concert in the Pavilion, and listen to the Prince Regent himself playing in the orchestra.



Hartwell House, where King Louis XVIII of France lived in exile from 1809 - 1814



The prehistoric caverns at Niaux in the French Pyrenees



I transferred my fear of being a full kilometre inside these caves to my heroine, Louise, in The Rake and his Honour. Then she was terrified and I felt better.



Tuesday, 10 March 2020

New name and website for my Publisher - LUME BOOKS


    

                 

https://www.lumebooks.co


My Regency Tales titles with LUME BOOKS

       

                                        


                               



Beth Elliott's Regency Tales are "witty, engaging and totally entertaining"

Nicola Cornick, USA Bestselling Author







Saturday, 15 February 2020

Confiding in a friend [as you do]




                 ".... I do love him with all my heart..."


   
             Promenade time along The Steyne, BRIGHTON. The Prince Regent is on 
      Horseback, close to Donaldsons shop and tearoom.   Photo from  Sussex PhotoHistory Index


                                                                                    Parkland House,              
                                                                                Marine Parade,
                                                                                Brighton,       31st August 1814



Dearest Emily,

Today I shall not be present at Donaldson’s for the teatime meeting. It is a great pity when the weather is so mild and the sea is calm. However, Lady Fording is fatigued and so we must remain quietly at home. She won quite a large sum at cards last night, and continued playing longer than usual, encouraged by her success. I do love her for being such a sprightly old lady. And she is very kind to me, but even so, I cannot tell her anything about the Events of last night, even though it is thanks to her that I had the means to escape a Horrid Fate.

Emily, you swore to me you would keep anything I told you a Secret and so I will set down what happened. Let me begin from the moment when that odious Mrs Chetwynd interrupted our little gathering at the Castle Tavern last night. By the by, did you see how low cut her gown was? If she had so much as sneezed...! She took me into the other salon, into an alcove and [I shudder as I write his name] that horrible roué, Sir Bilton Kelly, was there, with his dissipated face and oily manner. They insisted I must go with them to the Prince Regent’s private party.

My dear Lord Longwood had warned me repeatedly against accepting any such invitation, and indeed, I was very Angry, but could not push my way out of that narrow alcove with Mrs Chetwynd blocking the way. It was most humiliating to see that many people in the room were watching, some more discreetly than others. And, oh, thankfully, at the far end of the room was Lord Longwood. He noted the general silence and turned in my direction. Lady Fording has been instructing me in the language of the fan, and so, even though my hands were shaking [with anger, not fright, you understand], I hastily took mine in my hand, waved it, then snapped it shut, laying a finger on the top of the sticks. That signals ‘I wish to speak with you’, and Lord Longwood understood.

At once, he made his way over towards me. Mrs Chetwynd was angry but he ignored her. When Sir Bilton Kelly blustered, he stared at him through his eyeglass in a truly Terrifying manner. Then he offered me his arm and so I made my escape. Once we reached the hallway, my knees began to shake. You know how Lord Longwood’s face goes dark when he scowls, and his black hair falls over his forehead. He assured me he was not angry with me and suggested we should take a turn along the path up towards the Pavilion and back, so I might compose myself.

In his company I soon felt calmer. But then he announced that he would be leaving Brighton today to return to London. That made my heart sink into my boots, for he is always so kind and helpful towards me and, as you have suspected, I do love him with all my heart. On an impulse I begged him to kiss me goodbye. But I asked for a proper kiss. He was shocked and then, his face changed, those wonderful green eyes glowed and he did, indeed kiss me. 

In those moments, I went to heaven. But now I am Wretched, for I want more of those sensations. Oh, Emily, I depend on you to support me through the next days as I struggle to appear calm.

Truly, Emily, I cannot decide if being in love is a blessing or a curse.

Your friend,                                                   


Anna









The Rake's Challenge  

The story of a summer holiday which nearly went disastrously wrong.


                        







Saturday, 4 January 2020

'I knew it was a bad idea.'

When you want an excuse to see the girl you can't stop thinking about, you agree to carry out the craziest plan her brother asks of you.

That's why Selim organises a trip into the famous underground Basilica Cistern in Constantinople. Built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I [AD527-565], it provided water [and fish] for the inhabitants of the city down the centuries.

Olivia's brother, Richard, is a keen Antiquarian and thrilled to see this unusual place. However, the trip ends in disaster.
The Byzantine Basilica Cistern in Constantinople,
painted by Thomas Allom in 1840

" The tunnel opened into a much vaster space and an underground lake shone as far as they could see in the reflected light of the torches. There were many rows of columns rising from the water to an unseen roof.
            'This is the place shown in my picture,' exclaimed Richard, his voice shaking with excitement.
            'Yes,' agreed Selim, thankful they had nearly reached the end of the expedition without mishap, 'The great cistern built by the Byzantine emperors.'
            'Magnificent,' Richard was saying in a tone of awe, when Lord Craybrook uttered an oath. 'This water is damned cold,' he said, 'and there are fish - large ones, and many of them.'
            'That's good for the poor people of this neighbourhood,' said Selim. ‘It's free food for them.’
            'Which way now?' asked Richard. 'Must we return the way we came or can we get out another way?'
            After a short discussion with their guide, Selim said, 'There are a couple of pillars worthy of your attention. Follow Timur.' The thickset man with his torch gestured them to come towards another part of the pool. They waded along from one pillar to the next.
            'I'm getting very wet,' muttered Lord Craybrook.
            'Surely you do not regard that.' Richard said scornfully. 'Not when you're walking where the Byzantine engineers and maybe even their emperors once trod.'
            In spite of his gloom, Selim grinned at this. It amazed him that Richard could be so excited by these old stones. Now, for himself, he would become enthusiastic about a beautiful landscape, like the view he had shown Olivia. At the thought of her, he could not help smiling, recalling her shining eyes and eager expression the other evening. And yet, initially she had been a little hesitant towards him. Selim turned a considering look on Lord Craybrook. No! Olivia would never accept the man who had tried to compromise her by tricks, even if he was as handsome as a Greek god. Angry with himself for doubting her, he resolved to call on her the following morning.
            He was impatient to get out of this water and feel the sun on his face. But Timur was still showing Richard the curious base to one of the pillars. It was a carved head, set sideways at the bottom of the column.
            'Oh, by Jupiter,' exclaimed Richard. 'How I wish we had brought Olivia, so she could draw this for me. See,' he traced the carving with his fingers, peering closely at it, 'it's a Medusa. How strange to find it here…and turned on its side, like this.'
            One of the torches flickered and went out. The guide hastily lit another one from Huseyin's torch, which was also burning low.
            'That is our last torch,' Selim told them, 'we have just enough time to find the way out.'
            Very reluctantly, Richard left the pillar and waded along at the back of the little group. Just ahead of him, Huseyin's torch flickered, faded and died. They all moved slowly, stumbling occasionally over unseen stones in the dark water. They were cold and tired now, wading after the flame of Timur's torch, which showed the way but did not provide much light. At length, they came to some steps and climbed out of the water, into a rough tunnel. Here a gleam of daylight showed the end of the passage.
            Selim gave silent thanks at having completed the expedition with no problems. He turned and watched as they all filed out. They made a sorry looking group, smeared with dust and cobwebs and dripping wet from the waist down. Selim frowned. Why was Richard lingering inside the tunnel? He went back in, taking the flickering torch with him. 'Hurry up, Richard,' he called, 'everyone is anxious to go home and change their clothes. Richard…?'
            But there was only the echo of his own voice. "
                                                                               (C)BethElliott
 

 Scandalous Lady                                 Scandalous Lady


Monday, 23 December 2019

Christmas Greetings with a Welsh flavour


    Wishing everyone peace, goodwill and happiness at Christmas.

Image result for snowdon

Mount Snowdon [Eryri], [photo by Celtic Trails]



  Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

- Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Click on this link to hear the greeting
                                                   Happy Christmas in Welsh


        




Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Seduced by stones


            I admit to a fascination with sparkling gems.

French Crown Jewels in The Louvre. Photo by owensdt1
The Côte-de-Bretagne red spinel with the set of Queen Marie Amélie to the left, the bracelets and diadem of the Duchess of Angoulême in the centre and upper right and, between them, the set of Empress Josephine. [Wikipedia]


In museums a display of jewels holds me entranced, lost to time as the gems wink and shine. I'm as hypnotised as the old Councillor in Lorna Doone was by Lorna's diamond necklace.

The magnificent Spoonmaker's Diamond is an 86-carat pear-shaped stone, surrounded by a double-row of 49 Old Mine cut diamonds. It hangs in a glass case on the wall of one of the rooms of the Treasury in TopKapi Palace in Istanbul.  [1]


    Small wonder that jewels often feature in my Regency Tales. Whether it is Louise, the Huguenot goldsmith with a talent for resetting the gems from oldfashioned parures into lighter, more modern styles (The Rake and his Honour), or Nell and Sophie receiving a surprise legacy of jewellery (The Outcasts), or even a deeply-in-love hero offering a fabulous ruby ring to the object of his affections, I do enjoy adding a dash of bling.
Otantik Osmanlı Model Kırmızı Zirkon Tek Taşlı 925 Ayar Gümüş Bayan Yüzük
Ottoman ring by Gittigidiyor, Istanbul


https://tinyurl.com/rxpouyb
[ ondagordum.com ]


[1] For dazzling diamonds to enjoy,  see 




Monday, 21 October 2019

The Rake, his honour and his mission




           A Heavenly Horse, Huguenots, smallpox and silversmithing 
          all feature in the second Montailhac Family tale, 

                                                    The Rake and His Honour

         the story of a breathless pursuit across England and France 
during the Napoleonic Wars.