Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Moving House 2

We are moving to a new apartment after Easter and, as you can imagine everything is chaotic at the moment. Luckily, most of my books are contained on my Kindle, but my husband has a HUGE number of Railway and World War II  related books, all of which need to be packed. Then, there is my son’s VAST collection of DVD box sets which appears to cover every TV series ever produced from the original Hawaii 5-O to Mr Selfridge. Therefore, over the next few weeks, until we are settled into our new apartment, blog posts will be few and far between and I hope you will bear with me in the meantime.

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R&R - Up and running again

I’m pleased to say that Rakes and Rascals is up and running again.

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Having been selected for Jury Service with effect from Monday 19th February, I  won’t be available to run the blog. The Jury Service is expected to last two weeks but could be longer, and I will let you know when Rakes and Rascals is back to normal again.

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I’d like to wish everyone…


I will be spending time with my family over the holiday period and won’t be around  until 2nd January 2018, when the blog will be up and running again. I’d like to thank all my readers for their continued support of Rakes and Rascals.  


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I’m over on Meghan Holloway’s Blog today chatting about Rakes and Rascals, reviewing and lots more. You will find the link below, so do stop by.


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Blog Post - Tag I'm It

Fellow blogger Melanie Friedman from  Bookworm2Bookworm has challenged me to this Book Tag post


You must be honest.
You must answer all the questions.
You must tag at least 4 people.

Here goes!

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

I’ve discovered that there are two, Not Quite a Lady and Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase, that have been on my Goodreads “To-Read” shelf since 31 July 2010. As Loretta Chase is one of my top favourite authors and I have read all the other books in the Carsington Brothers series, I’m not sure why they are still languishing there!

Not Quite a LadyMiss Wonderful 2

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Happily Bedded Bliss by Tracy Anne Warren.

The Bedding Proposal by Tracy Anne Warren, the first book in her Rakes of Cavendish Square series. I loved this and started reading the second book in the series straight after.

Next: Her Enemy at the Altar by Virginia Heath.

Happily Bedded BlissThe Bedding ProposalHer Enemy at the Altar

3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?

I can’t recall any book that I’ve truly hated but Lisa Kleypas’ Crystal Cove, the last book in her contemporary Friday Harbor series, was a real disappointment.

Crystal Cove

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

I downloaded Outlander by Diana Gebaldon but I’m sure I’ll never read it.

5. What book are you saving for retirement?

No need to save any books because I’m already retired!

6. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?

I always wait until the end because I want to savour the hero and heroine’s journey to their Happy Ever After.

7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

I am rather biased because I have been the recipient of such an Acknowledgement from an author.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Aline Marsden in Lisa Kleypas’ Again the Magic because I want to hear John McKenna say:

I want morning and noon and nightfall with you. I want your tears, your smiles, your kisses…. the smell of your hair, the taste of your skin, the touch of your breath on my face. I want to see you in the final hour of my life….to lie in your arms as I take my last breath.”

Again the Magic


9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)

I still have a copy of Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught because this was the book that introduced me to the wonderful world of historical romance.

Whitney, My Love

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

I can’t recall one.

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

Not really, but I do donate books to the local Marie Curie Hospice for sale in their local charity shop. The hospice is dedicated to ensuring that people living with a terminal illness and their families get the best support and care.

12. Which book has been with you most places?

No special book but now, with the Kindle app. on my iPhone, I can carry lots of books.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

There was only one book I really hated which was Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope. Unfortunately, I still hate it today!

14. Used or brand new?

I’ve bought both used and new books.

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

No, I have never read any of his books.

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

I can’t really think of one.

17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

Oh, yes. In Lisa Kleypas’ Dream Lake, the heroine, Zoë, is a wonderful cook and the culinary delights are so vividly described that I could positively smell the aromas wafting past my nose and taste all the mouth-watering delicacies.

18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

My dear friend, Wendy Loveridge.

19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

I remember reading The Lady’s Tutor, an erotic novel by Robin Schone. Erotica was a genre that never really appealed to me but I loved this book. It wasn’t just an excuse for a series of explicit sex scenes with the flimsiest of plots, it had an intriguing storyline and a darkly, sensual romance.

The Lady's Tutor


Now I’m tagging:

Frankie – Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Dot Salvagin – ladeetdareads

Jaci Tobin – The Reading Wench

Rose – Roses Are Blue

l look forward to reading your answers, ladies.

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I am taking a longer break from blogging this year as I am spending the next few days with my lovely friend, Wendy Loveridge, and the Christmas Holidays with my husband and son.

The blog will be up and running again on 2nd January 2017.

I’d like to thank everyone for their continued support of Rakes and Rascals and I hope you all enjoy the festivities and I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

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It has taken a while for broadband to reach Regency England. Yet, with a fair wind, full sail and a just a little bit of steam, Mr George Wickham finally finds himself in possession of the means with which to make the acquaintance of the good folk of the 21st century!

It is my pleasure to meet the readers of the good Mistress Cork’s almanac of literature.

I understand that, somehow, this unremarkable old soldier has enjoyed some level of infamy over the decades but it is not for me to delve into such matters. Instead, in keeping with the salon hosted by the estimable Mistress Cork, I should like to take you on a literary journey.

Novels, it has been said, are the root of much evil, of fanciful women and dissolute men, of youngsters lost to bacon-brained wanderings that squander their education on the witterings of authors who have known little of the world. I, however, do not subscribe to such thoughts.

Now, I know better than anyone that there’s many an untruth told in novels, but let us not dwell on such matters. In recent weeks, I was asked by a most charming lady what my favourite book was in boyhood. Did I, she wondered, prefer the outdoor life to the printed page? Was I ever one to pick up a tome, or might I be more likely found dipping for tadpoles or galloping through the grounds of Pemberley on the finest steed in the stables?

She was surprised to read that I was a keen reader.

Nay, voracious.

What then, did I read?


Bring me myths, and I was happy; tell me of Hercules, of Zeus, of Jason, and let me roam the land and tell my own tales. With my friend and brother, the erstwhile Darcy, the paddocks became Olympia, the rose garden transformed into Hesperides and The kitchens, full of heat and steam and racket, were our Tartarus. The hallways of Pemberley became the labyrinth and through it we would stalk after whichever poor domestic we had selected to be our minotaur, two carefree boys lost in our own world of make-believe.

And what of Mount Olympus?

What of that place where the gods might sit, might know all that there was to know?

My good friend Darcy never scaled Mount Olympus, but I did regularly. It was better known as the older Mr Darcy’s study, where one might happen upon the finest brandy a lad could hope to find. Indeed, after a nip of that, any boy might believe himself a god.

Now, to enter the Temple of Aphrodite, one had a good few years more to wait. Indeed, I had left boyhood far behind by that halcyon day. It is not a memory for a page such as this, however, one dedicated to the pleasures of boyhood, so I will draw a tactful, gossamer veil over that day. After all, Aphrodite is only my dearest Lydia now, there is no other goddess tempting me into her temple.

And so, dear reader, I bid you adieu. Perhaps you might take a moment to dip back into the myths yourself, and recall those tales of wonder and magic. Never forget, however, that the brandy tastes better atop Olympus.



George Wickham’s papers are transcribed at Austen Variations   by Catherine Curzon, a royal historian who writes on all matters 18th century at www.madamegilflurt.com. Her work has been featured on HistoryExtra.com, the official website of BBC History Magazine  and in publications such as Explore History, All About History, History of Royals and Jane Austens Regency World. She has provided additional research for An Evening with Jane Austen at the V&A and spoken at venues including the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, Lichfield Guildhall and Dr Johnson’s House.

Catherine holds a Master’s degree in Film and when not dodging the furies of the guillotine, writes fiction set deep in the underbelly of Georgian London.

Her books, Life in the Georgian Court, and The Crown Spire, are available now.

She lives in Yorkshire atop a ludicrously steep hill.

A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life: www.madamegilflurt.com

Mr Wickham’s Memoirs: http://austenvariations.com/author/catherine-curzon/



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On Saturday 24th, nothing was arranged until 1:00pm and so Wendy and I took a short walk to look around the River Park Square Shopping Mall. After coffee at Nordstroms, we walked back to our hotel.


We made our way to the Grand Pennington Ballroom where the Book Fair and Signing was being held. With so many of my favourite authors there, it’s no surprise that I came away with more books than I intended!  

Among the authors were Mary Balogh, Lorraine Heath, Anna Campbell, Elizabeth Hoyt, Delilah Marvelle, Renee Bernard, Laura Lee Guhrke and Cecilia Grant.




Afterwards we had a delicious meal in the Palm Court Grill and then got so engrossed chatting with Mary Balogh that we completely lost track of the time. We had about 20 minutes to get back to our room, change and freshen up our makeup. We arrived at The Grand Ball looking somewhat flustered!

The ball was the highlight of the weekend and so many ladies were wearing the most beautiful gowns with a few brave husbands in attendance too. Refreshments of hor d’oeuvres and desserts were served during the evening. It was so magical and it felt as if you had been transported back in time. The evening finished on a lovely note when Lorraine Heath invited Wendy and I to have a drink with her.

Lorraine Heath, Wendy Loveridge, Me and Mary Balogh

Victoria Vane, Julie Johnstone Alanna Lucas and Meara Platt (Victoria made all the dresses)

Delilah Marvelle

Collette Cameron

Julie Johnstone and Katherine Bone

There was a farewell party on Sunday morning but we didn’t leave until the following day and so we headed for the mall to buy some presents for our families. After packing in the afternoon, we had dinner with a lovely group of ladies including Anna Campbell, Mary Balogh and fellow bloggers Jacquie Tobin and Dorothy Salvagin.

On Monday 26th, after an invitation to breakfast with Delilah Marvelle, Victoria Vane and her lovely husband kindly gave us a lift to Spokane Airport for our flight to Salt Lake City and then onto London Heathrow.

Victoria Vane and her husband John

If you are interested in attending the Historical Romance Retreat in 2017, here is the link to the website where you will find details:


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Friday 23rd started with breakfast. Wendy ordered 2 rounds of toast while I opted for the buttermilk pancakes served with maple syrup. Of course, I forgot that pancakes in the US are much larger and thicker than the ones in the UK.  Despite my best efforts, I only managed to eat two and a half of the plate sized pancakes!

After a lazy morning, the afternoon featured a number of author chats. We decided to go to the Porter Room where Valerie Bowman, Tessa Dare, Rose Lerner, Darcy Burke , Jenn LeBlanc, Wendy LaCapra, Julia London, Karen Hawkins and Katherine Bone were chatting and answering questions.

From left to right, Wendy LaCapra, Tessa Dare, Valerie Bowman,
Darcy Burke and Jenn Le Blanc


The highlight of the afternoon was the High Tea held in the Marie Antoinette Ballroom. As you can see from the pictures below the tables were beautifully laid out. As the hotel could only supply modern style cups and saucers, Delilah Marvelle acquired all the china cups and saucers!



The small green gift box, which everyone received, contained a lovely cameo brooch from Delilah. This is mine.


There was some free time until the Gaming Night at 8 pm. Unfortunately, Wendy wasn’t feeling very well and I went alone.  I sat at a table with Dot and discovered that we were playing a game called Bone-off.  We played with real old pennies (I remember using them before decimalisation in the UK in 1971) and I managed to win a few raffle prize entries but wasn’t lucky enough to win any of the prizes.

Looking as if I understand the rules

The evening concluded with the Absinthe and Abigail Party where we sampled various historically authentic drinks, including Absinthe which didn’t taste anything like I imagined. In fact, it was quite pleasant.


When I got back to the hotel room, I was relieved to find that Wendy was feeling much better.



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