Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Have a Wonderful Holiday and I will be back in the New Year

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Don't forget to enter the Harlequin Holiday Give Away. Go to my website to find all the authors participating and all the wonderful Prizes.

Perhaps one of the most beautiful houses I have visited, though each has its own charm, is Longleat. Now I have to say, I did not visit the zoo or the safari or any of that stuff. As always my interest is the house and the grounds and any interesting tidbits of family history.

It was quite misty as we drove in and I loved this view of the house from high on the hill. I could almost imagine myself in a coach and four to attend a house party given by the second Marquess of Bath. More likely I'd been lighting the fires, but ah well, it is fun to dream.

It is not possible to take pictures inside the house, since it is still the property of the Marquess of Bath, unlike so many other of the great homes which their noble owners could no long afford to keep. I for one am glad that some have managed to find ways to retain their ancestral homes.

Longleat has seven libraries with over 40,000 books some of which go back five centuries to when the family first built the house. I can pretty well guarantee that they don't own one of my books. No hard feelings though.

The wall covering in the dining room was particularly interesting, because it was so unusual, tooled Spanish leather made in Cordoba around 1620. Furniture and paintings fill magnificent rooms and it was a pleasure to walk through them.

This is a picture of the wisteria which climbs the orangery wall and the next view is of the orrangery itself.  We have seen several of these in various blogs, but this is a very large and beautiful one at the back of a formal garden.

It was the second Marquess of Bath who spanned the Regency era and into the Victorian age, he brought much of the house up to date at that time and of course it has been renovated since. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Book Out

A Rake for Christmas    

It is always special when a book comes out.  This one is a short story, my very first Christmas themed book. I got the idea for the setting when I visited Keates's house on Hampstead Heath one summer.  Not that my rakish hero is a poet. Far from. He's a very bad boy.

But like Keates he does share his house with a very lovely lady. The house is divided into two apartments, not up and down, but side by side.  He has been watching her chase her cat in the garden, and calls her the cat lady, and she has been listening to his shenanigans through the walls of her house.
Their meeting is explosive, to say the least:

One more try and then she’d go home. She knocked harder and longer.
    The door flew open as if blown back by the wind. “I knew you’d be back,” a deep mocking voice said.
    He stepped into the lamplight.
    Mouth open she stared at the most beautiful man she’d ever seen. A blond blue-eyed archangel. Elegant of stature, he looked thoroughly masculine in his shirtsleeves and open collar. Perfection in a state of disreputable undress. Not the raddled rouĂ© she’d expected, but a Greek god and a dangerous pirate all rolled into one.
    A gust of wind drove snow in through his door and flakes clung to his long golden lashes. So pretty. So enticing. Heat rushed through her body. Like a bolt of hot lightning, longing trembled in her bones.   
    Yearning for something she could not have.
    “Only one of you?” Summer-sky eyes tracked down her length from head to toe.
    Oh how she wished she’d worn something less shabby than her old cat-catching shawl. “I—”
    A smile of appreciation curved his sensual mouth. “Well, since Heaven sent you, I’m sure you’ll make up for the lack. Come on in before you freeze.” He grabbed her by the hand and pulled her over the threshold and closed the door.
    Astonished she gazed up at him. Before she could utter a protest, his hands went to her waist and he brushed his warm dry lips across her mouth. A sigh of appreciation forced its way up her throat. She barely managed to contain it.
    Instinctively, she placed her free hand on his shoulder, intending to push him away, parting her lips to to tell him to stand back. She was sure that was what she meant to do, but when his tongue swept her mouth, warm and silky and tasting of brandy, the spicy scent of his cologne filling her nostrils, instead of pushing, her fingers curled into the soft cambric of his shirt and pulled him closer. Memories of the pleasure of kisses and caresses melting any thought of resistance.
    Slowly, lingeringly, he kissed her, exploring her mouth with the leisurely strokes of a master seducer. Finally he broke the kiss and she stood breathless, dizzy, held up only by the strong hands in the indentation beneath her ribs. It was all she could do to keep her feet, to not collapse from the delicious assault on her senses.
    His kiss had set free all the pent up desires of the past few weeks. Her insides ached and fluttered.
    He looked down at her, a lock of unruly tawny hair falling over his brow, a wicked smile curving his sensually carved mouth. “I just had to see if you tasted as good as you looked.” His smile broadened. “You do. Lucky me.”

Not that the path to true love is ever that smooth as he is about to find out.

Well that's all from me, until next time happy rambles.