Monday, October 29, 2012

Buckland Abbey Part IV

I promised you something interesting from our Georgian Drawing Room last time.

This is a card table. Duh! But as you can see when not in use it folds up and the green baize is tucked away inside.

The game set out here is Pyramid Solitaire, which I thought was interesting, because I personally was not familiar with it and will no doubt stick it in a book at some point.

But naturally one needs to know the rules and here they are!

And that is all I have time for, since my internet is creeping along today and it is taking for ever.

Until next time, Happy Rambles.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I can see from my stats, that my readers are all about the fashion. Which is great! But there is so much other stuff that I find fascinating in the Regency. But I do promise you a fashion post soon, as I have a heroine to dress.

If you are a fan of Downton Abbey - as I am - I want to remind you that book four of the Castonbury Park series: Lady of Shame is in stores in print (and e-book) in the UK for November, and also available for preorder in North America as an ebook.  This is such a lovely series and the covers look outstanding all together on my bookshelf, don't you think?

If you are here in North America and prefer to read a print book, despair not!  The Castonbury Park Series will be coming to a store near you.

The first two books will be out in December under one cover, and the second Ladies of Disrepute, which includes my story, will be out in January.

And just to wet your appetite for the whole series:

Those covers are really amazing aren't they? And there is lots of upstairs downstairs scandal as well as an overarching mystery.

Here is a little bit about my story:

Lady Claire must put pride above prattle if she is to shake off the no-so-respectable reputation of her youth. Swapping rebellion for reserve, she returns to her imposing childhood home, Castonbury Park, seeking her family's help.  Penniless Claire needs a sensible husband...and fast.

But when the dark gaze of head chef Monsieur Andre catches her eyed, he's as deliciously tempting as the food he prepares.  Claire knows he is most unsuitable... even if the chemistry between them is magnetic.  Risking her reputation for Andre would be shameful - but losing him would be even worse.

Until next time, Happy Rambles

Monday, October 22, 2012

Buckland Abbey Part III

Last day we took a look at what has to be a beautiful staircase added in Georgian times.

 Here we have the dining room fitted out by Sir Francis Henry Drake, 5th Baronet, in the 1770's leaving only the Tudor Fireplace and a small reminder of the monastic church in the form of a carved corbel figure of the ox of St Luke.
The table is a six-leaf concertina dining table on eight gardrooned (convex curves in a series) legs also known as a naval table.  The chairs are also mahogany from the mid-18th century in the style of Thomas Chippendale

 And here are the sideboards.

The one on the left Sheraton style mahogany, the one on the right bow-fronted mahogany banded in kingwood with a pair of very fine knife boxes on top.

I have a couple more things to show you in the drawing room, but will save them for next time, because I found them so interesting.

Until next time, Happy Rambles.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Buckland Abbey Part II

Much of Buckland is devoted to the history of one of it most famous owner, Sir Francis Drake and quite a bit of that is of more recent provenance. 

However, what got me all hot under the collar was that some of the Georgian remodelling remains in tact.

This picture shows  the Georgian staircase installed around 1769. The view is taken down the centre of it and showing all four floors.  Not a bad bit of photography, though because one never uses a flash it is a little bit dark. So I have deliberately left it full size, so that you can have a better idea of it.

As you may be able to see, there are three turned balusters for each tread.  The very top landing led to the servants quarters.

 More improvements were made in 1794 by Francis Augustus, Lord Heathfield and many of the doors have hinges and door handles from this time.

Next time we will take a look at the Georgian Dining Room. Until then Happy Rambles

Monday, October 15, 2012


In case you are wondering where I was, I have been travelling again, so I can bring you more wonderful pictures of Britain.  I have also been writing up a storm. With a book due at the end of September, I found myself running a bit behind. But here we are, all caught up and ready to plunge back in.

First, I want to say that this summer proved to be one of those summers where outdoors was calling and I did not have the power to resist. Hence so little activity on the blog. Certainly most summers in the Toronto area are usually good, but this one was exceptional.

My needlework also suffered from lack of attention, so progress has slowed to a crawl, but I look forward to getting into it once the garden is put to bed. Pun intentional.

So on the writing side, Lady of Shame is due out next month. I hope you have been following along with the Castonbury Park series (think Downton Abbey) which started with the Wicked Lord Montague in August on Kindle in North America and in print in the UK. Each author brings something special to the series  and we are all very excited about it.  For those of you on my side of the pond who prefer their books in print, fear not. The first four are already slated for print, two per book and already available for preorder on line.

And if you enjoyed the Harlequin Authors' Round Robin earlier this summer, another one is slated for February. This one will be a readers choice of the final hero. So watch this space for more.

Next time we continue our visit to Buckland Abbey, so until then Happy Rambles.