La Belle Assemblée, March 1807
In my experience, the first and second days sort of meld together. Those lost six hours from Chicago to London make you feel out of whack for awhile, no matter whether you travel economy or first class. I’ve never done first class, but if I can accumulate enough miles on my British Airways card to go business class, it’s definitely preferable to being squashed together like sardines in economy. In business class you can stretch out your legs (if you’re 5’6″ or under) and enjoy a bit of privacy in your own little cubicle. I don’t really sleep much, though. The arm rest gets in the way, especially if you try to sleep on your side. I end up tossing and turning and hoping I’m not disturbing the passenger on the other side of the divider. STILL beats coach travel out of the water, though. Even better, you get out sooner than everyone else and you fast-track through security and immigration. THAT little perk is worth its weight in platinum—I’ve spent two hours waiting to get through immigration when everyone is tired and cranky, hoping my taxi driver will still be there waiting for me when I get through.
I want to say a few words extolling the Airbus a380. This amazing plane has two boarding levels, which cuts boarding time in half. Those of us on the top level filed in through the top door; the bottom level had its own door. The lavatories are significantly larger than the tiny cubicles on most planes, and even have a little padded bench for changing baby diapers. I wonder how mothers managed to do it before now. Must have been pretty miserable.
Another perk of traveling business class is the airline lounge. You can go there and enjoy snacks, drinks, and a meal while you wait for your flight. Also television and wifi out of the madding crowds of the massive airport. And they’ll announce when your flight is boarding so you don’t risk missing it.
So, getting through immigration was a whiz, and eventually my driver found me. (How it took him so long I’ll never understand. He was supposed to look for the lady with the pink and white hair. I was the ONLY one!) Turned out he’s the same Sri Lankan driver I had last year. Still wants to match me up with a Sri Lankan. He doesn’t quite “get” that some women prefer being single. But I enjoy listening to people’s opinions, and he certainly has a lot of them.
Once I got into my flat on Crawford Street (near Baker Street in Marylebone), I fell into bed for a couple of hours. Turned on the TV and caught Prince Harry and Meghan showing off their sweet baby. Cutie pie! But I was hungry and there was no food in the flat. Also, I needed to replace the SIM card in my UK phone so I’d have a phone to use when necessary. Walked down to Oxford Street to Selfridge’s, but the Carphone Warehouse is no longer there, so I had to walk a few more blocks to find a place who could do it. While I was waiting, some customers walked off with some merchandise from the store. Something small. But it reminded me that there are pickpockets everywhere on Oxford Street. It pays to be aware of what’s going on around you.
The Bond Street Tube Station was nearby, so I took the Tube to Baker Street—after a frappuccino from Starbuck’s. I was feeling weak from hunger, and that really helped. Interestingly enough, after I got onto a train, a young man sitting in a priority seat got up and let me have his seat. Wasn’t that sweet? He said he was getting off at the next stop, but so was I. It reminded me that wherever there are thieves and villains, there are also very nice people who will give you the shirt of their back (or at least their seat on the subway).
Upon leaving Baker Street Station, I crossed the street and had some cannelloni at the Pizza Express, one of my regular places. Then I purchased some food at the Tesco Express and returned to my flat. Where the construction crew was still pounding and sawing outside my window and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Oh well. It’s not the first time I’ve had to deal with that at this flat. Do you believe this is the SIXTH time I’ve stayed here in six years?
At one point during the day I got soaked from rain, a few other times was sprinkled on, but most of the time it was pretty decent. A bit windy and chilly, but hey, it RAINS in England! No big deal.
Turning in early tonight. Sorry I won’t make it today’s tea party. Next week for sure!
Divided sweethearts seek love and forgiveness in this collection of seasonal novellas.
Forged for lovers, the Viking star ring is said to bring lovers together, no matter how far, no matter how hard.
In eight stories covering more than a thousand years, our heroes and heroines put this legend to the test. Watch the star work its magic as prodigals return home in the season of goodwill, uncertain of their welcome.
The Bluestocking Belles are proud to present eight never before published novellas in their latest Holiday collection. 25% of the royalties will be donated to the Malala Fund.
Eight original stories, more than 600 pages of diverse characters, complex relationships, and happily ever afters.
Retail price: $3.99.
A Yule Love Story, by Nicole Zoltack
When Sonja stumbles upon fallen bodies littering her beach, she heals the lone survivor. After all, her late mother had been a healer.
Unbeknownst to Sonja, that survivor is none other than Anoundus. At one time, he ruled alongside his brother as co-kings of Sweden, but no longer. He has been banished.
What kind of life will he face here? What role will Sonja play? Can the two dare to find love this Yuletide?
Paradise Regained, by Jude Knight
James Winderfield yearns to end a long journey in the arms of his loving family. But his father’s agents offer the exiled prodigal forgiveness and a place in Society — if he abandons his foreign-born wife and children to return to England.
With her husband away, Mahzad faces revolt, invasion and betrayal in the mountain kingdom they built together. A queen without her king, she will not allow their dream and their family to be destroyed.
But the greatest threats to their marriage and their lives together is the widening distance between them. To win Paradise, they must face the truths in their hearts.
Somewhere Like Home, by Lizzi Tremayne
Things are heating up in the Scottish Highlands. When Robert refuses to become clan tacksman after his father, he is disowned and heads for the city to build a new life for himself and his beloved Sofia.
Sofia’s waiting turns to despair when her mother buys safety for herself and the remainder of the family during the clearance of their village—and leaves Sofia to the lusts of the laird’s degenerate son.
Rob emerges from the hell of Waterloo wanting only to see Sofia again…and his father.
But Sofia is dead, or isshe?
A Wish for All Seasons, by Rue Allyn
The last thing Caibre MacFearann wants is to return to Scotland let alone be forced to stay there. But the chance to rekindle the lost love of his youth is too tempting to resist.
Losing Caibre MacFearann’s love once hurt so much that Aisla MacKai wants nothing to do with him when a blizzard brings the man to her doorstep. Kindness and human charity require that she give him shelter, no matter that her poor heart had never mended.
From the Umbrella Chronicles: James and Annie’s Story, by Amy Quinton
His Grace, James Quill, will not be a bachelor-in-poor-standing for very much longer. For I, Lady Harriett Ross of the Infamous Umbrella, have avowed to orchestrate his betrothal to his former best friend, Miss Annie Merryweather, whether either of them wishes it.
Surprisingly, His Grace has agreed to my proposed 10-step plan.
Not-so-surprisingly, Her Soon-to-be-Grace is determined to resist the notorious prodigal son.
Will they find love and forgiveness this holiday season?
Time will tell.
Lady Harriett Ross,
Self-proclaimed Motley Meddler * Mistress of Destiny * Wielder of the Infamous Umbrella
I’m just an old woman with opinions. On everything.
The Last Post, by Caroline Warfield
Love for Rosemarie Legrand gave Harry the will to go on during the horror of trench warfare. Now, army orders trap him in a camp awaiting repatriation. A bout of the Spanish flu lays him even lower, but he is determined not to leave without her. He’ll desert if he has to.
Rosemarie waits for word on her cousin’s farm where she took refuge when war reached the outskirts of Amiens. She wrote to tell him. Has he forgotten her? When the slimmest of information arrives, she sets out to find him.
Can these two lovers reunite before it is too late?
A Fine Chance, by Elizabeth Ellen Carter
Helen Watson arranged a job for an out-of-work former soldier at her workplace, unaware that she’s the miracle Robert Fairmont needed.
Robert has returned from the Great War a new man with a new name. A job in his father’s factory is the first step toward reconciliation.
Can Helen forgive him for hiding his true or will Robert end up losing his father and his one true love?
All he needs is a fine chance.
One Last Kiss: The Knights of Berwyck, A Quest Through Timenovella, by Sherry Ewing
Banished from his homeland, Thomas of Clan Kincaid lives among distant relatives, reluctantly accepting he may never return home… Until an encounter with the castle’s healer tells him of a woman travelling across time—for him.
Dare he believe the impossible?
Jade Calloway is used to being alone, and as Christmas approaches, she’s skeptical when told she’ll embark on an extraordinary journey. How could a trip to San Francisco be anything but ordinary? But when a ring magically appears, and she sees a ghostly man in her dreams…
Dare she believe in the possible?
Thrust back in time, Jade encounters Thomas—her fantasy ghost. Talk about extraordinary. But as time works against them, they must learn to trust in miracles.
Can they accept impossible love before time interferes?
This post is part of the Authors in Bloom Ten-Day Blog Tour. Each stop on the tour will offer a prize, and a Grand Prize of an eReader and a $25 Gift Card will be awarded to two participants who comment on each and every one of the participating blogs.
My prize is a print copy of my time travel romance, A Home for Helena, about a young woman who discovers she was kidnapped from Regency England as a child. This prize is International and will be awarded to a random commenter on this blog post.
Note: Be sure to leave your contact email in your comment so that you can be contacted if necessary.
What is technically called a made-dish, presupposes either a more elaborate mode of cookery than plain frying, boiling, or roasting or else some combination of those elementary processes,—as, for example, half-roasting and finishing in the stew-pan, which is a very common way of dressing a ragout. All dishes commonly called French dishes are of this class, such as fricassees and ragouts, meat braised, larded, &c. and so are hashes, curries, and generally all viands that are re-dressed.
Made-dishes are valued by the gourmand for their seasonings and piquancy, but they are equally esteemed by the economist from the circumstance of a much less quantity of material than would suffice for a boil or roast, making a handsome and highly-flavoured dish; while, by the various modes of re-dressing, every thing cold is, in a new made-dish turned to good account. The most common fault of made dishes is, that they are overdone.
The very name made-dish, with us implies something savoury and highly relishing, and though over seasoning is to be avoided, it is proper that made-dishes should rather be piquant than insipid.
Few persons come to the years of eating-discretion like cold meat, and though the days are quite gone when the hospitality of the landlord was measured by the size of the joint, it still happens that where a table affords any variety of dishes, much meat will be left cold. The invention of the culinary artist is thus put on the rack for new forms and modes of dress, and new names for various dishes which are intrinsically one. The most common and the best methods of dressing cold beef are broiling, heating in the Dutch oven, or hashing.
Mrs. Leah Barlow, mother of five lovely daughters herself, has graciously condescended to provide Susana’s Parlour with some of her tasteful advisements on housewifely matters, such as meal planning and the rearing of children, in hopes that our readers will find them informative. Having recently set up a Twitter account where she will be sharing her most treasured household tips, she hopes many of you will follow her: https://twitter.com/lucybarlowsmom
Much of her advice comes from this manual, which she insists should be in every housewife’s possession:
The Cook and Housewife’s Manual, Containing the Most approved Modern Receipts for Making Soups, Gravies, Sauces, Regouts, and All Made-dishes; and for Pies, Puddings, Pickles, and Preserves; Also, for Baking Brewing, Making Home-made Wines, Cordials, &c.
Mrs. Margaret Dods (Christian Isobel Johnstone), Edinburgh, 1826
Without dowries or the opportunity to meet eligible gentlemen, the five Barlow sisters stand little chance of making advantageous marriages. When Lucy, the eldest, attracts the attention of a wealthy viscount, she knows she should encourage his attentions, since marriage to a peer will be advantageous to all. The man of her dreams was Andrew Livingston, her best friend’s brother. But he’s always treated her like a child, and now he’s betrothed to another. Perhaps the time has come to accept reality… and Lord Bexley.
Andrew returned from the Peninsular War with a lame arm and emotional scars. Surprisingly, it’s his sister’s friend, “little Lucy”—now a strikingly lovely young woman—who shows him the way out of his melancholy. But with an eligible viscount courting her, Andrew will need a little Christmas magic to win her for himself.