Saturday, 20 September 2014

A House Divided by Pearl Buck

A couple of days ago, I finished reading the novel,  A House Divided by Pearl Buck, which was first published in 1935.

I found this literary novel, in which Pearl Buck tells the fictional story of Wang Yuan, son of Tiger,   a Chinese war lord. difficult to read due to its style.

In childhood, Yuan feared his father whose sword was never far from his hand. At the age of nineteen Yuan joined the revolutionists, 'who were the enemies of all lords of war such as the Tiger was.'  He returns home wearing his uniform.  His father is about to kill him " But for the first time in his life the Tiger's son showed the anger he had in him, but which he had never dared to show before his father."

A House Divided reveals the era prior to the Chinese Revolution, as well as Wang Yuan's uncertainties, selective memory and narrow-mindedness.

Although Yuan is arrested for being a revolutionary, he escapes execution after his family bribe the authorities. He is sent to America where he studies agriculture with the hope of one day improving ordinary Chinese people's lives.  Seven years later, he returns home.

Pearl Buck tells the reader how Yuan reacts to America and Americans as well as his reactions when he returns to China, where poverty- stricken people's situation, and the upper class's attitude towards them has not changed. Daughter of missionaries Pearl Buck's descriptions of beggars and naked children obviously came from her heart.

A House Divided is not only about the effects of change on Yuan and his family but also about Yuan's divided, uncertain heart.

All in all, I am glad I persevered and read the entire novel because I learned so much about past times. 

Friday, 19 September 2014

Vegetable Pie

As soon as I arrived at my son and daughter-in-law's house to stay for a week while she is in Cyprus, my granddaughter asked me to make a vegetable pie, and her brother asked me to make a curd cheese and spinach curry - the recipe for which is at the end of my novel, Tangled Love.

I spread a little butter on a large plate and then sifedt some flour onto it to stop the pie sticking to the plate. Next I spread a little  cornflour overt the pastry-  to stop the filling seeping through - and then spread sliced cheese over it.

The filling is a finely sliced leek sauted in a little oil or butter until it is soft and finely chopped or cut vegetables in a white sauce flavoured with salt, black pepper and parsley. I pile the mixture onto the pastry and top it with sliced cheese. I dampen the edge of the pastry and then cover it with another circle of pastry and press around the perimeter with my finger to make sure the two layers are sealed and the filling won't escape. After brushing to top with milk I bake it in a pre-heated over gas mark six and cook it until the crust is golden-brown. About 35 -40 minutes.

Today vegetables are a mixture of  French beans, cut into quarter inch lengths,quarter inch cubes of carrots cut,small pieces of broccoli and some sweet corn kernels.

The pie tastes good hot or cold and can be served with cooked potatoes or potato salad and peas or green salad.

This vegetable pie freezes well and is good picnic fare.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Walk in the Woods

My daughter-in-law has gone to Cyprus for a week so I'm staying with my son and his three children to give a helping hand. Having fun playing board games, hearing the younger ones read and helping with homework.
This evening, before dinner I plan to take them for a walk in the woods behind their house and pick blackberries, or elder berries  or rowan berries. The path skirts the woods and leads to paddocks where the children like leaning over the fence to look at the horses.
During the day my times my own and I've been writing and sorting out the scribbled addresses etc., in my notebooks.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Special Offer, Tangled Love: Historical Novel, Special Offer


 


Tangled Love by Rosemary Morris


Prologue


England -1693

 

Nine year-old Richelda Shaw sat on the floor in her nursery. She pulled a quilt over her head to block out the thunder pealing outside the ancient manor house while an even fiercer storm raged deep within. Eyes closed, she remained as motionless as a marble statue.

Elsie, her mother’s personal maid, yanked the quilt from her head. ‘Stand up child, there’s nothing to be frightened of. Come, your father’s waiting for you.’

Richelda trembled. Until now Father’s short visits from France meant gifts and laughter. This one made Mother cry while servants spoke in hushed tones.

Followed by Elsie, Richelda hurried down broad oak stairs. For a moment, she paused to admire lilies of the valley in a Delft bowl.  Only yesterday, she picked the flowers to welcome Father home before arranging them with tender care. Now, the bowl stood on a chest, beneath a pair of crossed broadswords hanging on the wall.

Elsie opened the great massive door of the great hall where Father stood to one side of an enormous hearth. Richelda hesitated. Her eyes searched for her mother before she walked across the floor, spread her skirts wide and knelt before him.

Father placed his right hand on her bent head. ‘Bless you, daughter, may God keep you safe.’ He smiled. ‘Stand up, child. Upon my word, sweetheart, your hair reminds me of a golden rose. How glad I am to see roses bloom in these troubled times.’

Richelda stood but dared not speak for she did not know him well.

Putting an arm round her waist, he drew her to him. ‘Come, do not be nervous of your father. Tell me if you know King James II holds court in France while his daughter, Mary, and William, his son-in-law, rule after seizing his throne?’

‘Yes, Mother told me we are well rid of King James and his Papist wife,’ she piped up, proud of her knowledge.

With a sigh, Father lifted her onto his knee. ‘Richelda, I must follow His Majesty for I swore an oath of allegiance to him. Tell me, child, while King James lives how can I with honour swear allegiance to his disloyal daughter and her husband?’

Unable to think of a reply, she lowered her head breathing in his spicy perfume.

Father held her closer. ‘Your mother pleads with me to declare myself for William and Mary. She begs me not to return to France, but I am obliged to serve King James. Do you understand?’

As she nodded her cheek brushed against his velvet coat. ‘Yes, I understand, my tutor explained why many gentlemen will not serve the new king and queen.’

‘If you remain in England, you will be safe. Bellemont is part of your mother’s dowry so I doubt it will be confiscated.’

If she remained in England! Startled, she stared at him.

Smiling, he popped her onto her feet. ‘We shall ride. I have something to show you.’

*****

Before long, they drew rein on the brow of a hill. Father pointed at a manor house in the valley.  ‘Look at our ancestral home, Field House. The Roundheads confiscated it soon after the first King Charles’ execution.  Richelda, I promised my father to do all in my power to regain the property.’ Grey-faced, he pressed his hand to his chest.  ‘Alas, I have failed to keep my oath,’ he wheezed.

Richelda not only yearned to help him keep his promise to her grandfather, she also yearned to find the gold and jewels legend said her buccaneer ancestor, Sir Nicholas, hid.

She waited for her father to breathe easy before she spoke. ‘If we found the treasure trove you could buy Field House.’

 ‘Ah, you believe Sir Nicholas did not give all his plunder to Good Queen Bess,’ he teased.

 ‘Elsie told me legend says he hid some of his booty in Field House,’ she said excited by the thought of a treasure trove. ‘In his old age, when Sir Nicholas retired from seafaring, is it true that he put his ship’s figurehead, Lady Luck, in the great hall?’ she asked by now less shy of him.

‘Yes, for all I know she is still above a mighty fireplace carved with pomegranates, our family’s device.’

‘I would like to see it.’

 ‘One day, perhaps you will. Now, tell me if you know our family motto.’

‘Fortune favours the brave.’

‘Are you brave, my little lady? Will you swear on the Bible to do all in your power to regain Field House?’

To please him, she nodded.

 

* * * *

 

Tangled Love, is on special offer for £1.84 OR $3.05.

 

Available from:-

https://museituppublishing.com/bookshopwww.amazon.com.www.amazon.co.uk kobo, nook, barnes and noble and elsewhere.

 

View the book trailer and read the first three chapers at:


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Help Please re:nasty review.


Vicious Attack.

 

I am not the only novelist to have received a distressing, vicious review of one or more novel.

Another novelist suggested we should take action by replyitng and readers cab support us by replying No to amazon’s query “was this review helpful to you?”

Unfortunately, in spite of other 5***** reviews, two people replied Yes to the question re:my novel Tangled Love which currently on special offer.

If it is not against your conscience, I would be grateful if you would visit www.amazon.co.uk search the kindle store for Tangled Love by Rosemary Morris, visit the reviews, find the only 1* review and reply: No this review was not helpful.

Amongst other things the reviewer commented on clichés in Tangled Love. As I explained yesterday, my contents and line editors would dispute their use and I would agree not to use them, unless I used a cliché very occasionally in conversation.

I would be pleased to do this for another novelist who receives an unjustified attack on a novel.

Personally, if I can’t give a book a 4**** or 5**** review, I don’t post one – in other words if I don’t have anything nice to write, I don’t post anything.
 
All the best,
Rosemary Morris
Historical Novelist
 
Visit my website to read the first three chapters and view the book trailer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Nasty Review of Tangled Love. 18thC Novel, Special Offer

Someone posted a vicious review of Tangled Love. Amongst other things she stated that it is full of clichés. This makes me ask myself if she actually read the novel as my contents editor and line editor wouldn't allow me to use them unless it is very occasionally in dialogue. I'm glad to say all the other reviews are 5*****

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Tangled Love.18th Century Novel. Review + Special Offer




 

 
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly enjoyable read!, May 13, 2012

By 


This review is from: Tangled Love (Kindle Edition)

In 1693, loyal to his oath of allegiance to James II, ten year old Richelda's father follows James to France. Before her father leaves he gives her a ruby ring and makes her swear an oath to try and regain their ancestral home, Field House.

The story begins when Richelda at 18 is orphaned, and lives in run-down Belmont House with her mother's old nurse and her dog, Puck. Richelda can only dream of living the life she was meant for and hopes her childhood friend, Dudley, will honor his promise to marry her.

When Richelda's wealthy aunt, who had been disinterested in her welfare up to now, takes her to London and arranges her marriage to Viscount Chesney, the new owner of Field House. Richelda is both delighted and dismayed. She cannot trust the handsome Chesney, even though she is desperate to honor her oath to regain Field House

I enjoyed this historical romance very much, it's well written and Morris knows her history and understands the society of the period well. The heroine and hero are both attractive and likeable. I wanted to see them get together in the end. What stood out for me in this romance is the shrewd knowledge of human nature, Morris displays. Her character's rash actions, mistakes and foibles are always understandable, and never detract from the good characters of both.

 Tangled Love, is on special offer for £1.84 OR $3.05.

Available from:-
https://museituppublishing.com/bookshopwww.amazon.com.www.amazon.co.uk and elsewhere.