Tuesday, 22 May 2018

A new, fresh website

It took a while to make myself a new website. Goodbye to my olde booke format, which served me well, but had done its time.

Over to 

for a fresh new look at my writing life, from Books to Byron to Brighton and Bath;
from Lady Hester Stanhope to Lisbon or London and more, in an exploration of life [as my characters live it] in the wider Regency world.


Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Delicious gossip. Read it in The Teatime Tattler

"My virtue was saved by the language of the fan"

                      Such is the latest whisper to reach the ears of our Reporter !

The Bluestocking Belles' own scandal sheet, The Teatime Tattler, allows us to glimpse some of the more scandalous events of society life during the Regency period. Is it even necessary to say that the Prince Regent is often involved....?

  [ digital image of Castle Tavern owned by the Society of Brighton Print Collectors.]                                                           


Parkland House,    

Marine Parade,


                                                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. It will unburden my mind to share it with you. 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. Between the pair of them, they thought they had me trapped, so that I would submit to being taken 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 toward me. Mrs Chetwynd was angry and tried to distract him, 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. At least, until we can meet for a conversation, I have my copy of Lord Byron’s Corsair, to divert my mind from its sorrows. Truly, Emily, I cannot decide if being in love is a blessing or a curse.
                                         Yr friend,  Anna 

Sunday, 25 March 2018

With thanks to Jessie Cahalin and her wonderful Books in my Handbag Blog


Fancy a trip to the Ottoman Empire? Take a peek at this . Beth has packed a guide book to accompany you on the journey through her novel.


Very proud to be featured in the Handbag Gallery this weekend.

Readers and writers will find lots of treats at  http://jessiecahalin.com/

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Delicious yogurt

Turkey is the land of yogurt in all its glory and variety. It can be made from cow, sheep or goat milk. The enormous variety of yogurt in this supermarket section shows what an important item it is in the Turkish diet.

The meal could start with a bowl of yogurt soup, [called yayla corba = mountain soup], perhaps with a dash of fiery red pepper and dried mint to garnish it;

Related image

Iskender Kebab is a dish of spit-roasted lamb, served on a bed of pide, with tomatoes, long green peppers and a buttery spicy pepper sauce, together with a generous dollop of thick, creamy yogurt.

 Yogurt is served as a salad with chopped cucumber in it or mixed with aubergine and garlic as a mezze. It may be cooked with rice and spinach. There is also a mouthwatering salad of grated, cooked carrots tossed hot in yogurt. In addition, many cakes and desserts have yogurt as an ingredient. Laz Borek is one, made from simple ingredients but pretty to look at and a delight to taste.

And then there is ayran, a drink made of yogurt mixed with water and a tiny pinch of salt. This is the most refreshing drink in the scorching heat of summer. The yogurt can be made from cow, sheep or goat milk. 

The photo shows the size of pots and pails of yogurt which would last a Turkish family two or three days. I put a four-pack of western style yoghurts [with the pink tops] next to one pot to compare....

Kaymak is the cream skimed from the top of freshly made yogurt. It is ften served instead of butter at breakfast, or perhaps with some fruit or honey as a dessert.

Kaymak in Turkey.jpg

Sütas, Icim, Pinar, Yorsan,.... They are all good brands of Turkish yogurt.

Milk from the water buffalo is mainly used to make the heavenly tasting Marash icecream, much more consistent than normal ices.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Summer in Brighton, 1814

The Rake's Challenge is set mainly in Brighton in summer 1814, after the grand Peace Celebrations in London, to mark the defeat of Napoleon and the restoration of the Bourbon king, Louis XVIII to the French throne.
In Brighton, the mood is relaxed - the long years of war are over and people want entertainment. There were visits to the races, to the theatre, sea bathing, promenades along the Steyne, card parties, and for the lucky ones, [or not always so lucky] an invitation to an evening at the Prince Regent's Pavilion.

 Below are some of the places visited by Anna during her seaside holiday.

The Beach at Brighton by Henry Edridge

[ Photo © Tate   http://www.tate.org.uk ]

The Steine in 1805

Image result for Brighton in 1814

Photo:Brighton Race Course, 1805: Painting showing the race course on the Steine with the original Royal Pavilion in the background. Featured in the picture are important local people of the time, including George, Prince of Wales, on horse back.

The Castle Tavern

               [ digital image owned by the Society of Brighton Print Collectors.]

As it appeared 1814-19

Image result for Brighton in 1814

[ http://www.mayhum.net/hcobb_theatre.htm ]

Anna does try sea bathing but she ends up in hot water with Giles.

and in one of her dashing new gowns

1814 - Ackermann's Repository Series1 Vol 11 - June Issue
[from Ackermann's Repository series 1]

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Off on a new adventure


The year is 1818. In Paris the French king, Louis XVIII, is doing his best to establish a peaceful regime. The Duke of Wellington, along with the other members of the Alliance, wants to withdraw the Army of Occupation and allow France to be independent. 

At the other end of France at the Chateau de Fontanes in the Pyrenees, Joachim de Montailhac, the youngest of the three brothers, has the job of caring for the family estate. He deals with replanting and maintaining the woods, organising the work of the tenants, villagers and farmers, supervising the family stables and other livestock.

Into his busy life come some unexpected problems, in the form of two sisters. He senses from the outset that they are going to be trouble. And at the same time the unrest that has simmered in the southern French towns spreads into the local area. It is clear the rebels are targeting his family.

Helen [Nell] and Sophie Hartford are cousins of Joachim's sister-in-law, Olivia [see Scandalous Lady]. In the Spring of 1818 they find themselves outcasts from their father's home and are forced to accept Olivia's assurance that the Marquise de Fontanes and her family will make them welcome. Two unhappy girls struggle to fit into the very different lifestyle of the large and slightly exotic Montailhac family. 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

The Rake's Challenge - on Free Offer this week - 20th December 2017

The Rake's Challenge by [Elliott, Beth]

                               click here :    The Rake's Challenge


5.0 out of 5 starsAh, a life of adventures
on 19 December 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
4.0 out of 5 starsDelightful
on 18 December 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
5.0 out of 5 starsLovely
on 18 December 2017 Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase

"Rake reformed by love. Young lady finds a very different adventure than the one she had planned.

I truly enjoyed this sweet Regency romance."