Thursday, 31 October 2013

Extract from Far Beyond Rubies

"Gervaise drew closer to the pavilion with the intention of announcing his presence.

Feet pattered within. A young woman peered through an open window. Her pale oval face looked troubled, and her coal black hair was slightly disordered.

For a moment Gervaise could not speak. The sight of her drew him back to India. Her form changed to one he knew intimately – yet not in this lifetime. He recognised the mark of a crescent moon on her right cheekbone, and sensed the love they once shared. A tremor ran through him. Never before had he thought the Hindu belief in reincarnation was worthy of serious consideration. Yet, in spite of the teachings of the Anglican church, what if -"

Far Beyond Rubies

Far Beyond Rubies
Chapter One


 “Bastards, Juliana! You and your sister are bastards.”

Aghast, Juliana stared at William, her older half-brother, although, not for a moment did she believe his shocking allegation. 

It hurt her to confront William without their father at her side. At the beginning of April, she and Father were as comfortable as ever in his London house. Now, a month later, upon her return to her childhood home, Riverside House, set amongst the rolling landscape of Hertfordshire, his body already lay entombed in the family crypt next to her mother’s remains. Would there ever be a day when she did not mourn him? A day when she did not weep over his loss?
Far Beyond Rubies is available as a paper back and an e-book from:
And elsewhere

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Competition. Win a paperback copy of Far Beyond Rubies.

Today to celebrate the publication of the paperback of Far Beyond Rubies I am offering the first and last entrants a copy of the novel.

To enter answer the following questions, the answers to which are at or

Q. In which year is Far Beyond Rubies set?

Q. To which country is Gervaise drawn when he first sees Juliana?

Q. What do Gervaise and Juliana want to prove?

Q. What are the titles of Rosemary Morris's other published novels?

Send the answers to:  and include your name. Subject. Competition. Far Beyond Rubies

Competition ends on Saturday, 2nd November.

Prize Winners announced on Sunday, 3rd November

The prize winners will be notified by e-mail

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Digital Camera

A novelist's life is always busy and never dull. There's never time to do everything. I would like to lock myself away in an attic, press a magic button to have food and drink supplied, and write all the hours of the day and most of the night. Ahem. Back to reality. I've decided that I really must learn how to use a digital camera and upload photos. It can't be that hard. So I went to town today and bought a digital camera. (I also treated myself to a pair of very pretty amber earrings.)

Monday, 28 October 2013

Under the Weather

I woke in agony on Saturday night and thought I was having a heart attack, but realised the pain was too low down. I spent a very uncomfortable weekend on a liquid diet including yoghurt drinks - yoghurt's so good for the stomach - and am still too wobbly to do much although I am sticking to a light diet. Oh well, tomorrow is another day and, hopefully, I can catch up and do all the things I should have done over the weekend. Illness is such a waste of time!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Poetry and School

Proud grandmother today. It was the parents teachers meeting at my grandson's school. He had been asked to read one of his poems to the entire school at assembly. One of the lines read: The lead in a child's pencil is the road to imagination. He is doing really well in all subjects but he received the award for being the best reader and speller in Year Four.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Indian Costume Jewellery

I bought a beautiful matching set comprising a necklace, earrings and a ring as well as eight bangles to wear at a special event at the Festival of Romance, where I shall wear a sari. The fancy dress is appropriate for the theme of my novel Far Beyond Rubies.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Fancy Dress for Festival of Romance

The hero of my novel, Far Beyond Rubies, set in England in 1706, has strong links with India, so I shall wear a sari for a special event at the Festival of Romance.

Today, my daughter and I are off to Southall to buy some appropriate artificial jewellery to wear with it - great fun!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Flash Fiction

Yesterday evening Watford Writers, the writers group which I have joined, invited members to write a 250-300 word flash fiction on the subject of Dreams. Although I did not have time to enter, the variety of interpretations of the subject was interesting. A new writer, who has enrolled on a writing course won. My favourite was about a little boy with high hopes of finding treasure with his metal detector.

Weather and Writing Fiction

Yesterday a flash of lightning visible through the venetian blinds in my bedroom woke me. A clap of thunder sounded. It was so loud that it frightened my 12 year old grandson so much that he fell out of bed. It also startled me. Torrential rain followed the thunderstorm. Later the sun shone. I thought my newly planted winter cabbages and purple sprouting broccoli would have been flattened, but no, amazingly they were still upright. By then the day was mild so I worked in the front garden. Later, the sky darkened and more torrential rain fell.

The contrasts in the weather throughout the day would make an excellent backdrop for a day in a novel but not in the clichéd style of: "It was a dark and windy night..."

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Far Beyond Rubies

Far Beyond Rubies by Rosemary Morris
Set in 1706 in England during Queen Anne Stuart’s reign, Far Beyond Rubies begins when William, Baron Kemp, Juliana’s half-brother, claims she and her young sister, Henrietta, are bastards. Spirited Juliana is determined to prove the allegation is false, and that she is the rightful heiress to Riverside, a great estate.

On his way to deliver a letter to William, Gervaise Seymour sees Juliana for the first time in the grounds of her family home. The sight of her draws him back to India. When “her form changed to one he knew intimately—but not in this lifetime,” Gervaise knows he would do everything in his power to protect her.

 Although Juliana and Gervaise are attracted to each other, they have not been formally introduced and assume they will never meet again. However, when Juliana flees from home, and is on her way to London, she encounters quixotic Gervaise at an inn. Circumstances force Juliana to accept his kind help. After Juliana’s life becomes irrevocably tangled with his, she discovers all is not as it seems. Yet, she cannot believe ill of him for, despite his exotic background, he behaves with scrupulous propriety, while trying to help her find evidence to prove she and her sister are legitimate
Available now as an e-book from,, and elsewhere.
Available as a paperback on 30th October, 2013  from MuseItUp publishing.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Writing and Gardening

After I blogged and checked my e-mails yesterday, I completed my goal, which was to write 2,000 words of my new novel, Monday's Child. (The heroine is the younger sister of the main character in Sunday's Child published  by MuseItUp Publishing.) I had finished Chapter Nine so I e-mailed it to a friend, another historical novelist, for her opinion.

I could sit happily at the laptop or computer writing all day, but that would result in all sorts of aches and pains. So, on most days I work for four hours in the morning and four hours in the late afternoon or early evening. The time is flexible, but I try to write and deal with writerly matters for two four hour sessions every day.

Yesterday was a mellow autumn day, so I worked in the garden. I tidied up the narrow flower bed on the right of the path leading to the front door and planted frilly rose-pink and peach coloured tulip bulbs in bare patches. I did some more weeding, replanted some broad bean seeds which recent rain had brought to the surface, and then planted out some purple sprouting broccoli. It's late in the year to plant it, but I bought a tray of plug plants in a sale at a garden centre for a pound. If they don't thrive I won't have lost much.

All in all an enjoyable morning.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Far Beyond Rubies

Four of my novels are available as online publications (e-books) but I am now pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of my novel Far Beyond Rubies as a paperback.

It can be pre-ordered through the following link.

School Assembly & New Novel

This morning I attended assembly at my 9 year-old grandson's school to watch his class perform a play about Moses. Every child had a line or more to say, and they obviously enjoyed the production. Afterwards I returned home and caught up with the housework and laundry. First thing tomorrow morning I hope to write another 2,000 words of my new Regency Novel, the sequel to Sunday's Child.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

' Zoe & The Ancient Egyptians ' 16/10/2013 18:00:38

My 8 year-old granddaughter, Zoe, is studying the ancient Egyptians at school. When her parents went with her eldest brother to watch her younger brother perform in Macbeth at Watersmeet Theatre in Rickmansworth, I looked after her.

She had taken books from the library, copied pictures onto the computer and added several pages of text.

"Would I like to see her project?" she asked, and smiled enchantingly.

My dainty, curly haired granddaughter then spared me no details of mummification. I have and extremely weak stomach. At the end of her gruesome presentation with extra verbal comments she said: "I'm hungry, grandma, time to have dinner."

Dinner! My stomach heaved. Food! Would I ever be able to eat again.

I deserve a medal for grandmotherly love.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013


Unlike Elspeth Huxley, whose book Flame Trees of Thika I posted about yesterday, while I lived in Kenya from 1962 to 1982 I never felt entirely at ease. However, I do have some outstanding memories.

On a visit to the Nairobi National Park in 1968, a lion,  ahead of our car, plodded along the red dirt track. On either side stretched grassland interspersed with thorn trees, weird sculptures beneath a jacaranda-blue sky from which blazed a brazen sun. Not once did the king of beasts look back at our car. Totally at ease he ignored the herds of deer, wildebeest zebras and deer, and the giraffes and ostriches took no notice of him. At a leisurely pace he reached his destination, a flat-topped rock overlooking the grassland on which his  harem and his cubs had settled.

As my husband drove away I hoped the lions would enjoy long lives protected from hunters.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Memory of Kenya

Unlike Elspeth Huxley, whose book The Flame Trees of Thika, which I wrote about yesterday, I do not return to Kenya frequently. I was never entirely at ease during the 22 years I lived there and prefer living in England.  However I do have some wonderful memories.

On one occasion, when we visited the Nairobi National Park a lion sauntered in front of our car along the narrow, road which was not tarmacked. On either side of the road, the rich red of African soil, was scrubland interspersed here and there with thorn trees like weird sculptures.

Not once did the lion look back, not a breeze ruffled his splendid mane and the sun beating down from a Madonna-blue sky disturbed us but not the king of all he surveyed. Belly full, he ignored the giraffes, z

Flame Trees of Thika

I lived in Kenya from 1961 to 1982. During my years there I visited Thika. When I first went to Kenya I had not heard of Elspeth Huxley's non-fiction book, The Flame Trees of Thika, Memories of an African Childhood, first published in 1959.

I can't remember when I first read the autobiography, but I do recall finding it very interesting, although Elspeth Huxley's experiences in Kenya were so far removed from mine.

The other day, after I met my friend at The Coach and Horses in Rickmansworth I was delighted to find a secondhand copy of the book in a charity shop.

I've finished reading it with a sense of nostalgia for the beauty of the country.
The Flame Trees of Thika is a fascinating account of Elspeth Huxley's life and that of the first settlers in and around Thika, amongst whom were her parents, Robin and Tilly.

The author breathes life into her descriptions of the African tribesmen and women, their way of life, their beliefs and their attitudes.

I shall search for two of her other books, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, !"A Journey through East Africa",and White Man's Country, "Lord Delamere and the making of Kenya," as well as her novel, Red Strangers, a story of Kenya. 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Rosehipa Jelly

Wet and windy today, so I put the rosehips collected earlier in the year to good use. I boiled 1 kilo of organic rosehips in 1pint of water  and 2 kilos of organic Bramley cooking apples from my garden in the same amount of water. The rosehips and the applies are now in separate jelly bags, to drain the juice from the pulp. Tomorrow, I shall add the finished jelly to my store cupboard.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Historical Pub

Yesterday, a friend and I met at one of The Coach and Horses, one of Hertfordshire's most historical pubs, in Rickmansworth.

I liked the ambience of the original tap room. Low, beamed ceilings, and flames leaping in the old fireplace warming the flag-stoned room. My imagination had not difficulty occupying it with people from times past.

According to the brochure: "To discover the history of the Coach and Horses, we must trace our steps back in time to the late 1600's and the Salter family of Rickmansworth.

"At around 1720, a Samuel Salter arrived in Rickmansworth. Born in 1695, this young man married Elizabeth Robinson in 1724 and settled in the town. ...

The Coach and Horses itself dates back to at least 1722, with the foundations of the building dating as far back as the end of the 16th century. Salter's brewery emerged at a later date beside the pub."
To discover more visit: www.thecoachand

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Beetroot Soup and Plum Pie

I have lots of beetroot from my organic garden. Yesterday, I made a big pot of soup to be served with sour cream and fresh dill from my garden.

From lunchtime onward members of my family popped in and had one or two bowlfuls of soup. So much for freezing some, but I don't mind. Even more than cooking, I like watching other people enjoying one of my homemade meals.

I also picked plums from the garden and made a plum pie, which members of the family ate with gusto.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Review of Far Beyond Rubies

Romance Historical Lovers Classifications:
Time and Setting: England 1706

Genre: Historical Romance Heat Level:1
Amazon. Reviewer Rating: 5 stars4
Review by Maggi

There’s a wealth of historical detail in this charming and well-written novel by Rosemary Morris. The plot is woven with some skill into the history of Queen Anne’s rein. The heroine, Juliana, is at the mercy of her scurrilous stepbrother, William, the seventh Baron Kemp. He plans to claim her inheritance, Riverside House, and rid himself of her and her sister, Henrietta, claiming them to be illegitimate. He has plans to marry Juliana off to a libertine. With her father dead, Juliana is at his mercy.

The handsome hero, Gervaise Seymour, is one of the most interesting heroes I’ve read in a while. He comes from a broken family, and has personal issues he must resolve. He is returning from India, where he gained a fortune and married an Indian woman. Now a widower, he mourns his lost love. But having come across Juliana who is in need of help, how can he turn his back on her? It is Juliana’s voice, which first attracts him: a melodious voice offering comfort. And despite Gervaise’s intentions, he is soon captured by her looks. But he is ever the gentleman.

Gervaise put a hand on each side of her tiny waist, controlling his fervent desire to hold her close.
He avoided looking into her eyes for fear she might read the lusty thoughts in them.
Determined to honor his dead wife, he fights his feelings during their shared adventure, quite convinced he will never marry again. But there’s a hint here, of something mystical between them.

Morris’ knowledge of India enriches this novel, adding spice, while never loading us with unwanted detail. It’s a novel, fresh story, which sets it apart from the more conventional historical romances.

Gervaise, a decent and attractive man, has brought Indian customs and food with him to England. His home is decorated in the rich colors of the East and delicious cuisine graces his table. This makes for a fascinating hero and serves to cause a degree of conflict between him and Juliana, who is a strong heroine. She is protective of her younger sister, and while extremely attracted to Gervaise she is reluctant to trust him or indeed any man.

I’m a fan of Rosemary Morris. Her characters always make perfect sense, and again the resolution of this story is quite believable. There are some great secondary characters too, like Monsieur Lorraine, an ‘air merchant

* * * *

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

My organic garden plus a reciepe

Yesterday, I gathered my marrows and summer squash, cleared the  veggie patch where they grew, and then spread lime over it. Recently I bought a tray of winter cabbage and another of purple sprouting broccoli for next to nothing in a sale at a garden centre. It's a little late to plant them in the garden, but I've limed their patch and if I cover them with fleece to protect them from the worst of the weather I hope they will thrive.

The broad beans I planted two weeks ago after enriching the plot with manure are coming up. They are hardy and will survive even the worst winters. The plants toughen up so much that few blackfly attack them. Early next year, after sufficient pods develop, I shall pick the topmost leaves and cook them like spinach.

At the moment I'm enjoying apples, pears and plums from the garden. Today, I plan to make a plum pie, yesterday, I made vegetable marrow soup.

To serve four.

2 lbs of peeled, cubed marrow, seeds and pith removed.
2 ozs butter.
1 & a 1/2 pints vegetable soup stock.
1/2 pint milk.
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp pepper or more to taste
(I added a tbs of hyssop leaves from the garden but it's not essential.)

Watford Writers

Yesterday I attended Watford Writers at Café Cha Cha in Cassiobury Park.

On manuscript evenings members bring something to read and afterwards receive constructive comments from the group.

Yesterday, was a little different. There was a quiz about t.v. films and books. I did not do well but I'm not going to confess how  badly I did. We then played consequences. I chose Charles II for my character. I wrote a bit about him, and then folded the paper down, passed it on and answered the other questions on other papers. At the end the results were read out.

A number of men chose to be David Beckham. I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Locked Out

After spending an enjoyable Sunday with some of my friends I returned home, went upstairs and could not open my bedroom door. Guess what! My address book, diary and mobile were in the bedroom. I used my landline to phone people whose numbers I remembered. Everyone was out.
Eventually I contacted a workman who came within the hour. He managed to open the door but the paintwork has been damaged. Anyway, in spite of that, I'm grateful to him.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Tag for The Captain and The Countess

Last night I woke at 2.a.m and fretted about all the things I must do and those I want to do. While trying to go back to sleep I composed a 21 word description of my new novel The Captain and The Countess for my publisher. Afraid I would forget it, I turned on the bedside lamp and jotted it down on a notepad I keep beside my bed. I've sent it to my copy editor and hope she approves of it.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Garden Centres and Stephen

Yesterday, my 11 year-old grandson had a day off school. He spent the morning with me, and asked to visit a garden centre. Off we went. I bought some tulip bulbs - a different variety to the ones already in the garden. The pink and peach coloured flowers will be frilly. I also bought a tray of winter cabbage.

Grandson did not find anything he wanted so we went to Homebase. He chose a cactus in a blue pot with orange Mexican inspired designs and promptly named it Stephen. The cactus is tiny but it has vicious thorns.

I bought a tray of purple sprouting broccoli and some rock roses reduced to 20p a pot. I'll nurture them in the greenhouse until next year.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Who are you?

Yesterday, while I made green tomato chutney and considered my store of homemade jam, jelly, chutney and pickles with satisfaction, a fair-haired slip of a girl came to mind. She was making a conserve (of what?)when a servant rushed into the still room saying: "the soldiers are coming." At that point I sensed the anxiety of the girl, who loved her home, her garden, her still room and other country pursuits. Who is she? What is her name? Was she real or is she a figment of my imagination?
For a long time I have been considering writing a novel centred around a garden, perhaps my mystery girl will feature in it. At the moment, I want to get to know her.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Festival of Romance

I'm really looking forward to attending the Festival of Romance. I'm looking forward to meeting friends and making new ones as well as to the events. At the moment, I'm thinking about what to wear. A sari for a special event, a smart outfit to wear when I read an extract from Far Beyond Rubies, something appropriate for the awards etc.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Fewtival of Romance 2013

Yesterday, I booked accommodation at the Park Inn in Bedford for the 2013 Festival of Romance at which I shall be a participating author.

By the way, you could win a weekend away at the Festival of Romance and meet your favourite romance authors, thanks to the Romantic Novelists' Association

Details are at:

Harvest from my Organic Garden

Since I went on holiday to Woolacombe Bay in Devonshire my routine has been interrupted, but, to use a cliché, I'm back on track.

There's a bumper crop of fruit and vegetables this year. The apples, pears and plums are more delicious than any bought from the shops.

I've made chutney, jam and pickles and am about to make rhubarb pickle. I've also stewed plums and put them in containers in the freezer - I'll enjoy them in the winter months. I've also hoarded rhubarb, apple and apple and blackberry pies in the freezer.

So, I'm wishing myself bon apetit. Cheers everyone.