Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Ladies' Drawers, Snuff Boxes, Regency Wedding Dresses

Great fun researching my novel Monday's Child set in the Regency era. This morning I sat in bed with a pile of research books beside me working on my laptop.

Drawers were ankle length made in various materials and colours without a gusset, pin tucked and edged with lace at the hem. At first drawers were considered indecent. However, Princess Charlotte wore them and did not care if anyone glimpsed them.

Snuff boxes were made in gold, silver and other metals, tortoiseshell, semi-precious stones and various materials.. Some were engraved, others set with precious stones and, for example, mother of pearl. Those in the shape of naked ladies were popular with gentlemen.  These small snuff boxes sometimes had a tiny drawer in which a note or memento could be concealed. Others were miniature music boxes. The Prince Regent and many noblemen collected snuff boxes and displayed them in glass cabinets.

Finally, I chose the design for my heroine's wedding dress - more fun.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Recipe: Quick Sauce:pasta, couscous, soup, stew

My tomato plants have produced abundantly this year so, this morning, I made huge pot of sauce to freeze for various uses.

The sauce is delicious on pasta and sprinkled with grated cheese. Sometimes I add slivered almonds and a few raisins to the sauce and serve it on couscous. And, the sauce makes a base for soup or stews.

Thick slices of the following vegetables.
1 medium leek.
4 medium carrots.
1 large red pepper.
A dozen mushrooms.
and 1 pound tomatoes.

I added a handful of basil leaves, half a handful of marjoram leaves, two tablespoons of tomato puree, a desert spoon of sugar, a teaspoon of salt and pepper and 1 pint of water.

I cooked it in the pressure cooker (but it can be simmered in a saucepan with a tight lid) and when all the vegetables were well cooked I put them in the liquidiser with the liquid.
After tasting it I added a little more salt.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Writing and Gardening.

A friend wrote in her newsletter that Stephen King said novelists should finish a new book in 3 months. Ouch, it's taken me much longer to write each of mine. Anyway, this morning I wrote Chapter 27 of my new novel, Monday's Child (the sequel to Sunday's Child) set in the Regency era, and began the next chapter. Approximately 7,000 words to write before I finish the book, revise and edit it before I submit it. Phew!

I spent the rest of the morning working in the greenhouse and the garden. I picked tomatoes, cucumbers, runner beans and radishes, planted out lettuces weeded and tidied up. It's a sunny day, the sky is blue and the bees were busy collecting nectar from the lavender and other flowers.

Now I'm tapping away on the laptop with my feet up. Later on I'll probably pop out in the garden to do a bit more.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Special Offer:Tangled Love:Set in 18th C England

Tangled Love was shortlisted at the Festival of Romance for the best Historical e-book in 2012.

Extract from a 5* Amazon review. "Set during a time of religious turmoil in England, 'Tangled Love' is a worthy historical novel as well as a fast-paced romance. Through its pages the reader learns of the social and divisions of faith during the time of Queen Anne and is shown the very limited destinies available to women at the time. There is also a mystery here concerning possible secret, hidden treasure and a lively sub-plot involving a second romance between two of the subsidiary characters."

Tangled Love is on special offer for £.84 and $2.84 from:


Friday, 26 September 2014

Can't Take It

4 and 3/4 year old granddaughter cane out of her reception class at primary school, looked at her mother, pressed her hand to the side of her forehead and said: "I can't take this any more."

Daughter thought. Sorry kid you've got ten more years to go.

Mind you granddaughter's excellent teacher said she has settled in very well and made several friends.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Change in the Weather

The weather is very mild for this time of the year but after a few chilly nights all the scarlet flowers fell off my runner beans. It's almost October and the weather's will become colder. Hopefully, I'll be able to re-pot my blueberries and prepare for winter.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Scribbled Notes

Apart from my shorthand notepad full of scribbled notes, which I have dealt with, I also have a notebook with scribbled details of websites, reviewers, blog spots, e-mail addresses etc., etc.  I am now working through it methodically. Visiting on-line sites, contacting people etc., .
I always enjoy the after effects of tidying up my office aka the spare bedroom, and shredding all the junk mail etc., which I add to the compost heap. I’ve also enjoyed filling a new notebook with neat entries which I can find without squinting at any scribbles or having panic attacks because I can’t find something important. 


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


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


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.




Saturday, 13 September 2014

Tangled Love. Historical Novel. Special Offer.

 Just to let you know that my historical novel, Tangled Love, is on special offer for £1.84 OR $3.05.

 Tangled Love set in England in 1706 during Queen Anne Stuart’s reign is a story of two great estates, duty, honour, betrayal and passionate love.

 Available from:

and elsewhere.

 Read the first three chapters and view the book trailer for free on Rosemary Morris’s website. www.rosemarymorris.co.uk


Friday, 12 September 2014

My Friend the Robin

Every time I go out into my organic garden a little robin appears. He has become so friendly that he perches only two feet away from me and watches every move I make. If I leave a watering can, the garden frame on which I kneel or even an pile of earth, when I return he is perched on one of them.

This morning, I left the greenhouse door open while I had a cup of rooibos tea. When I returned he was in the greenhouse. However, when he saw me coming in he panicked and stayed in mid air fluttering his wings to maintain his position.

I stepped out. He flew away but returned a few minutes later to see what I was doing.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice

No matter how well-stocked my kitchen is I never seem to have enough spices. Today, I was very pleased when I popped into a large shop, which mostly sells items for an Indian cuisine, and found a small jar of mace which I had not been able to find elsewhere. Although I was short of time the sight of exotic fruit and vegetables, a large variety of spices and sweetmeats as well as chutneys and pickles made my mouth water. I shall shop there again at leisure.

As a vegetarian I cook dishes that originate in many parts of the world and often made Indian curries, soups and much more. I even included a recipe for a favourite curry at the end of my novel Far Beyond Rubies, in which the delightful hero had served in India with the East India Company and earned the nickname Beau Hindu

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Fortune Hunter

Since childhood I have enjoyed reading. All too often a novel that seems promising disappoints me. That is not true of The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin. Based on historical fact it is the tale of a love triangle. The three people involved are Elizabeth, (Sisi) Empress of Austria - the Princess Diana of her time - Charlotte Baird, the Lennox heiress and Bay Middleton, a distant ancestor of Prince William's wife, the Duchess of Cambridge. The Fortune Hunter begins in July 1875 when Bay Middleton, the best equestrian in the united kingdom,  is chosen to pilot the empress on the hunting field. Daisy Goodwin has used fact and her imagination to create a fascinating read that kept me awake until I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.

Monday, 8 September 2014

First Day at School

Today was my youngest granddaughter's first day at primary school. The four year-old  had been insisting she would only go if the uniform was pink. Yesterday evening while I put her to bed she said she knew she would be sad at school. Her oldest brother was going on a school trip to Wales and had to be at school at 7 30 a.m. so I stayed at my daughter's house overnight. My daughter dressed her in her uniform in the morning and handed over her red book bag and red sports bag. When she came downstairs my granddaughter was bubbling over with smiles and enthusiasm.

She knew her class teacher, who had taught her older brother. The teacher asked them to go into the classroom and sit down in a circle. My little 'princess' was first through the door and first to sit down. When my daughter collected her she was very happy. Phew!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Apple Cider Vinegar

If you have painful joints and/or muscles apple cider vinegar can help. I drink two teaspoons of Bragg Organic Raw unfiltered, unpasteurised apple vinegar in a glass of water twice a day. Besides helping with aches and pains a c v has too many benefits for me to list. I suggest you google it to find out more. To use a cliché, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and I know I have benefitted from dosing myself with a c v.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Busy Morning, Writing, Gardening & Cooking

I enjoyed myself this morning working on 'writerly matters', mostly applying scribbled notes in my shorthand notepad, looking for places to let people know about my historical novels.

At ten o'clock I went into the garden where I planted out purple sprouting broccoli, which I shall enjoy next year. I did some weeding, picked runner beans to prepare for the freezer, apples, pears and tomatoes.

Next I pulled up the last of the white radishes, aka mooli aka daikon. I made spiced mung with thinly sliced mooli in it and ate it with brown rice at lunch time.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Peaches for Monsieur le Cure

Yesterday evening, I was enthralled by Peaches for Monsieur le Cure, turned the pages and read until I finished the novel at midnight. At one point while reading descriptions of the chocolate truffles, Vivanne, the heroine, makes my mouth watered. I went downstairs to the kitchen to see if I could satisfy my sweet tooth, but as I'm dieting had to settle for a peach. I'm sure it was as succulent as the one Vivanne gave to Monsieur le Cure.

Thursday, 4 September 2014


Let’s face it, many of us work for hours on computers, which can lead to back problems and aches and pains. I am no exception so I had another deep tissue massage by a lady with excellent qualifications. She also recommends drinking a dessert spoonful of organic apple cider in a glass of water three times a day in order to dissolve the salts that build up in the spine and joints. Another one of her recommendations is to take two flaxseed tablets twice a day. Also a medicinal tea made with grated ginger and turmeric root relieves pain. I sweeten mine with organic honey.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Organic Gardening in Early Autumn

September 3rd, autumn is here in S. East England although the weather is mild the leaves are beginning to change colour.

As a vegetarian (I don't eat meat, fish or eggs) my ambition is to be as self-sufficient as possible throughout the year. At the moment, my curly kale and black kale, cabbages, chard, New Zealand spinach and lots of herbs are flourishing in my organic garden and will last until spring. Under cover there are cherry tomatoes and three other varieties ripening including a delicious grafted one called Indigo Rose, as well as cucumbers. And there are other vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, white radish aka mooli aka daikon, small radishes and much more.

This morning I planted out spring greens, aka collards, and covered them with netting to keep off the pigeons, which would strip the leaves bare. I will also plant out purple sprouting broccoli to enjoy in the spring. In the meantime I shall grow winter salads in the greenhouse and move the tender herbs into it.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

False Pretences, Regency Mystery and Romance

Perhaps you would like to view the book-trailer for False Pretence (a traditional Regency novel: Mystery and Romance) at: www.rosemarymorris.co.uk.

False Pretences.amazon.com/dp/B009YK1MFO

If you watch it, please leave a comment to let me if you like it.