Friday, October 30, 2015

Fall Back In Time

In addition to turning back the clocks, November 1 is also the day when aficionados of Historicalromance novels celebrate #fallbackintime with a picture - it can be you or your cat or your friend -- with a favourite historical romance novel.

 Post it on twitter or Facebook or wherever you hang out with the hashtag #fallbackintime then sit back RT and or share all the posts you see and watch it trend across the internet

Here is my pic from last year to give you the idea. In addition to the hashtag, if you are into social media, you can tag the historical romance networks too:

FB: (@HistoricalRomanceNetwork)  (@histromnet)

While Europe have already done their clocks, that is no reason not to join in if you love historicals. The more the merrier for this celebration.

Above is the one I did last year so you can see what I mean (I'll be doing a new one for this year). You don't need to add text to the photo, but you do need to put the hashtag in the post to have it show up on Social Media and see it shared around the world.

Join in by retweeting and sharing etc. if you don't want to do a picture of your own.  See you on Sunday.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Farningham Village, Kent

For such a small place, Farningham has a great many lovely old buildings some of which I thought you might like to take a look at.

This cottage was once two cottages and they date from the sixteenth century. The one in in the forefront of the picture faces onto the River Darent, actually right on the bank, and if you look closely you can see its ground floor is well below the level of the road. Flooding has been a problem according to recent owners. The basement is no longer in use!  These cottages stands at the edge of the bridge over the river from which I took that earlier picture of the cattle screen.

 Here is a view from the other side.

Here is a view of the ancient Farningham Mill. It is about to become apartments and homes so will not look like this for much longer.

There has been an inn at this point where the road crosses the River Darent for centuries. While it is now called Lion Hotel in our period it was the Black Lion.  It was used as both a watering hole for horses and people as well as a meeting place for the village.

Who can resist such an interesting name for a street. And the reason behind it.  It was the lane people used to avoid the toll road and thus - spare (or save) a penny. Now shortcuts are always good places for heroes and heroines to come a cropper.  Oh, and this is not the only so named lane, there is one in Eynesford too.

Finally a home labelled on the gate as The White House and indicated as being built in 1743.  A local history notes it as being built for a surgeon. He must have been doing very well indeed.

Until next time..................

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ancient Structure, Farningham in Kent

Today we stop in the ancient village of Farningham in Kent.

Because the village is near where I grew up, I was surprised I hadn't noticed this particular structure crossing the River Darenth before.

What is it?

Did you guess a bridge? No. I took the picture from the bridge.

Guess again.

Yes this is indeed taken from the other side. As you can clearly see from this angle there is no place to cross. Could it be one remaining wall of a medieval bridge?

There is nothing to suggest it once tied in to another structure at all. It puzzled the experts for years.

Do you give up?

All right, humor me, it's Thursday and my edits are just about done.

 What if I said it has something to do with cows?

I expect you have either googled it, or figured it out by now.

The function of this structure is to serve as a cattle screen. That is to stop cows from the adjoining field who use the river to drink or who crossed at the ford here, from wandering downstream and ending up where they were not supposed to be when the climbed out again. They might have ended up wandering around Farningham village, or wandering along the road where the traffic would have been busy.

This extraordinarily ornate structure for such a mundane purpose was built between 1740 and 1770 when the Hanger family owned Farningham Manor. It was a testament to the wealth of the family at this time.

In the 1800's the Darent River was known as one of the finest trout streams in England and Charles Dicken's is known to have fished it. It is very shallow at this point, and likely because it could be forded here, it was the reason for the village being established at this point. The water is also lovely and clear and fishing does not seem at all out of the realm of possibility. A lovely location for setting a scene in a story.

Until next time................

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

It Happened One Christmas

It is always exciting when a new book comes out. This one~~ three heartwarming series of Regency Christmas novellas from three Harlequin Historical authors~~ is out in print now.
E-books are available for preorder and will be available November 1st. If you didn't check it out already, visit my facebook page for details of the preorder contest.

Four Stars ~ Romantic Times "these three wonderful Regency authors showcase the joy of yuletide that shine with the magic of the season."


Christmas gets more interesting when sailing master Ben Muir takes lodgings with Mandy Mathison! Because when her scandalous past is revealed, only he can save her future… 


Lily Rutherford is shocked to learn the man who snubbed her years before will be staying for Christmas. Can she forgive the viscount in time for a stolen kiss under the mistletoe? 

WALLFLOWER, WIDOW…WIFE! by Ann Lethbridge 

Penniless widow Cassandra Norton faces Christmas on the run with her two stepdaughters, until Adam Royston sweeps her off her feet and into his country estate!

Find it at Barnes and Noble
Pick it up at
Or go to your favorite bookstore
For preorders of the ebook, also visit
Harlequin - where you can sign up for points towards other purchases.

Or, for more purchase links, go to my website

Until next time, when we will be taking another peek at Hever Castle.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Regency Fashion October 1815

A Walking Dress for Autumn

This charming outfit appeared in Ackermann's Repository.
I love the way she is looking over her shoulder at us and the romantic rocky setting. Interestingly, it reminds me of the grotto at Stourhead, a place I visited in 2010. And here she is, caught in the middle of reading a romance perhaps.

This is definitely a scene I need to write one of these days! 

Here is the description provided by our favourite magazine.

A round robe of fine cambric or jaconot muslin, ornamented with a double flounce of French needle-work at the feet, under an open pelisse, composed of French grey sarsnet, lined with the salmon colour; the upper part of the sleeve lashed with satin of corresponding colour, fulled and let in. 

A full ruff of needle-work and a small French handkerchief round the neck. 

French hat of the satin straw, with a quilling of net round the rim; three rows of grey satin ribbon, plain or quilled, round the crown; and a full plume of white feathers, edged to correspond. 

Slippers, blue or red morocco. Gloves, York tan.

Coming soon-

It happened one Christmas. If you have missed the preorder contest which ends soon, check out my Facebook page or go to my website for details.

Until next time……...

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Regency Fashion ~ October 1815

Morning Dress October 1815
From Ackermann's Repository

1815 seems to be the year of the ruffle, as I look back over several of this year's fashion blogs.

This one looks more like a nightgown to me and the use of the word negligee in the description makes me realize why. Of course morning dresses were designed for wearing around the house while looking pretty. I always love it when they add furniture to the picture.

Here is the official description

A CAMBRIC muslin petticoat, ornamented at the feet with a double flounce of French work, appliqued with a narrow heading of the same; 

the body, from the shoulder to the neck, gathered full into narrow trimming, corresponding with the heading of the flounce; a military collar, frilled with the French work; 

short French negligĂ©e, open in the front, and trimmed entirely round to correspond; long loose sleeve, gathered into a narrow trimming at the wrist, with a ruffle of the same French work. A round cap, composed of white satin and quilled lace; a white satin rose in the front. 

Stockings, ribbed silk. 

Slippers, red morocco or black kid.

Until next time………..