Tag Archive | Bess McBride

Leigh Michaels: Magical Weddings

“Taking the Waters” in Regency England

by Leigh Michaels

When I turned my novella, Her Wedding Wager, over to the beta readers, one of them commented, “I don’t understand this sentence: ‘My uncle was taking the waters in Tunbridge Wells last summer.’

Taking the waters meant drinking or bathing in the water from a natural mineral spring, which was thought to cure pretty much everything from heart disease to infertility.

Leigh MichaelsMost readers of historical romances are familiar with Bath, where many an aristocratic family visited the natural hot springs and where Romans had established the famous baths during their occupation of England. But among the other spa towns and mineral springs prominent in England was Tunbridge Wells, located southeast of London, with relatively easy access during the Regency era via a turnpike road. Not as famous as Bath, Tunbridge Wells first gained notoriety in the 17th century when the springs were discovered.

Ailing individuals who drank the water found that it smelled foul and tasted vile. “Treatments” often included drinking several glasses throughout each day.

I’m tempted to wonder if people actually felt better after their course of treatment, or if they only talked themselves into feeling better so they could stop!

What odd treatments used in the past have you heard or read about?

Leigh will gift an ebook —Gentlemen in Waiting—to one commenter.

About Her Wedding Wager

Celia’s best hope of finding a husband – and avoiding the marriage her uncle has in mind for her – is Lady Stone’s high-society wedding party. With two earls, a viscount, and a baron to choose from, Celia should be content. So why is she paying more attention to her distant cousin Simon Montrose? He’s not only the man her Uncle Rupert thinks she should marry, but Simon’s the one who bet her she can’t capture a titled gentleman before the party’s over.

WeddingWager-cover web copy

Excerpt

Noting the way her mother’s lower lip trembled at the reminder, Celia changed the subject. “As I was about to say, Uncle Rupert, if a London Season is out of the question, then Lady Stone’s house party is by far your best opportunity to get me off your hands and married. You keep telling me that the young men I meet at the assemblies here are far beneath my touch.”

“And so they are. Haven’t seen any yet with ambition or good sense. And not a one with so much as a pair of coppers to rub together, either, which is why they cast their gaze toward my fortune. But the only man you need is right here.” Rupert waved his fork toward Simon.

Her cousin? Of course he wasn’t serious, to imply that she and Simon…

Celia couldn’t help it. She giggled.

About Magical Weddings

box set cover small copy

Her Wedding Wager is the lead-off title in the boxed set, Magical Weddings. Leigh Michaels is the award-winning author of more than 100 books, including historical romance, contemporary romance, and non-fiction. More than 35 million copies of her books are in print in 25 languages and 120 countries. She is the author of On Writing Romance and teaches romance writing online at Gotham Writers Workshop.

Website Facebook TwitterBlog

Whether real or only in the hearts of the bride and groom, the magic of weddings is undeniable. And irresistible! As these 15 enchanting happily-ever-afters by bestselling and award-winning authors prove.

From sweet to spicy, the romances bundled into this set cross time and unite hearts, cast spells of laughter, battle wedding jitters and fight back tears, while weaving love’s hopeful magic throughout 1400 pages.

The boxed set includes a variety of sub-genres, lengths, and heat levels – something for everyone.

Her Wedding Wager by Leigh Michaels, National bestselling and Award-winning author. Celia’s doomed to an arranged marriage–unless she can win the most important bet of her life!

The Last Wedding at Drayhome (Breens Mist Witches) by Aileen Harkwood. Never underestimate the power of a witch and warlock in love who have nothing left to lose.

The Dress by Eve Devon. Two couples, 400 years apart. From a masquerade ball in Venice 1615 to a wedding in England 2015, can a dress laced with magic weave its spell through the fabric of time?

Second Chance Bride by Raine English, USA Today bestselling and Award-winning author. She thinks she’s marrying the man of her dreams, until a telepathic rescue dog leads her to someone else… Will this bride-to-be say “I do” to the wrong man?

Two Hearts Surrendered by Tamara Ferguson, Bestselling and Award-winning author. Will two warring hearts be strong enough to survive the ultimate battle?

Something Borrowed, Something Blue by Lynda Haviland. She has a wedding to crash–until love gets in the way!

Heart of the Secret (Witches of Lane County) by Jody A. Kessler, Bestselling and Award-winning author. A 500 year-old curse, a witch who will do anything to marry her one true love, and the heart of a secret that will either divide them or bring them together…forever.

The Jealous Love of a Scoundrel by Jane Lark, National bestselling author. How do you fight a calling that comes from your soul?

A Wedding Across the Winds of Time by Bess McBride, National bestselling author. Darius and Molly found each other Across the Winds of Time. Now, it’s time for their wedding!

Kiss This by L.L. Muir, National bestselling and Award-winning author. You never expect the florist to catch the bouquet…

Caution is a Virtue by Jennifer Gilby Roberts. How much is too much to risk for love?

Loving Lindy by Jan Romes. In order to become the bank’s new Vice President, Gunther Justin has to be “settled.” With Lindy McPherson posing as his fiancé everything is set to go off without a hitch–until real feelings get in the way.

With this Kiss by Heather Thurmeier. Does a simple kiss have enough magic to reunite lovers?

Real Magic by Elsa Winckler. She’s the bridesmaid, he’s a best man. Will the magical evening stay just that or will it turn out to be real after all?

The Wedding Guests (A Tassamara Short Story) by Sarah Wynde. When unexpected guests attend Akira and Zane’s wedding, lives will change forever. But for better or for worse?

Amazon.comAmazon.ukAmazon.ca

Barnes & NobleKobo iBooksGooglePlay

Bath: a guide for readers of The Third MacPherson Sister

BTP_BathCityCentreMap_V2

Bath Abbey

Five things to know about Bath Abbey*

  • Three different churches have occupied the site of today’s Abbey since 757 AD. First, an Anglo-Saxon monastery which was pulled down by the Norman conquerors of England; then a massive Norman cathedral which was begun about 1090 but lay in ruins by late 15th century; and finally, the present Abbey Church as we now know it.
  • The first King of all England, King Edgar was crowned on this site in 973 (as shown above). The service set the precedent for the coronation of all future Kings and Queens of England including Elizabeth II.
  • The first sight most visitors have of Bath Abbey is the West front, with its unique ladders of Angels. The story behind this is that the Bishop of Bath, Oliver King, is said to have had a dream of angels ascending and descending into heaven which inspired the design and which also inspired him to build a new Abbey church – the last great medieval cathedral to have been built in England.
  • After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 by order of King Henry VIII, the Abbey lay in ruins for more than 70 years. It wasn’t until 1616, that much of the building we see today was repaired and in use as a parish church and over two hundred years later, in the 1830s, that local architect George Manners added new pinnacles and flying buttresses to the exterior and inside, built a new organ on a screen over the crossing, more galleries over the choir and installed extra seating.
  • The Abbey as we know it is the work of Sir George Gilbert Scott, who from 1864 to 1874, completely transformed the inside of the Abbey to conform with his vision of Victorian Gothic architecture. His most significant contribution must surely be the replacement of the ancient wooden ceiling over the nave with the spectacular stone fan vaulting we see today.

*http://www.bathabbey.org/history

Photo by Barbara S. Andrews

Photo by Barbara S. Andrews

The Pump Room

Situated next to main street entrance to the Roman Baths, visitors can sample the waters from the warm spring which fills the Roman Baths. The building also houses a restaurant, where it is popular to sample the afternoon tea.

pumproomsign

Photo by Barbara S. Andrews

The Roman Baths

The house is a well-preserved Roman site for public bathing. The Roman Baths themselves are below the modern street level. There are four main features: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and the Museum holding finds from Roman Bath. The buildings above street level date from the 19th century.

Photo by Barbara S. Andrews

Photo by Barbara S. Andrews

The Pulteney Bridge

The bridge features two ranges of shops designed in the Palladian style c. 1770, between them forming a narrow street over the bridge. The street and buildings sit above three segmental arches of equal span.

The shops on the north side have cantilevered rear extensions. Consequently the northern external façade of the bridge is asymmetrical, much altered and of no architectural merit, whereas the southern external side clearly shows the hand of Robert Adam.

Shops on the Pulteney Bridge  By Erebus555 at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Shops on the Pulteney Bridge
By Erebus555 at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Sydney Gardens (formerly Bath Vauxhall Gardens)

The Sydney Gardens are the only remaining 18th century pleasure gardens in England.

The gardens were constructed in the 1790s opening in 1795 as a commercial pleasure grounds, following the development of Bathwick by Sir William Pulteney, 5th Baronet across the River Avon from the city centre. The original plans were by Thomas Baldwin and completed by Charles Harcourt Masters who included a maze or labyrinth, grotto, sham castle and an artificial rural scene with moving figures powered by a clockwork mechanism. The gardens were illuminated by over 15,000 “variegated lamps”. Around 1810 the Kennet and Avon Canal was built through the gardens.

Sydney Gardens  By Plumbum64 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sydney Gardens
By Plumbum64 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

The Sydney Hotel

The Sydney Hotel was built within the gardens. The original design for the hotel, prepared by Thomas Baldwin in 1794, was a two-storey building which would serve the pleasure gardens. After Baldwin was bankrupted his design for the hotel was not implemented. Instead a three-storey building was designed by Charles Harcourt Masters. The foundation stone was laid in 1796 and the building was ready by 1799. Visitors entered the gardens through the Hotel. Projecting from the rear of the building at first floor level was a conservatory and a semi-circular Orchestra with a wide covered loggia below. Two semi-circular rows of supper boxes projected from the sides of the building. The gardens were used daily for promenades and public breakfasts which were attended by Jane Austen among others. At public breakfasts tea, coffee, rolls and Sally Lunn buns were served at about midday, followed by dancing. There were generally three evening galas each summer, usually on the birthdays of George III and the Prince of Wales, and in July to coincide with the Bath races. During these galas the gardens were lit with thousands of lamps and the guests took supper accompanied by music and fireworks. Breakfasts, coffee-drinking, newspaper-reading and card-playing took place in the ground floor of the Hotel and dancing in a ballroom on the first floor. All the rooms could be hired for private parties and meetings.

The Assembly Rooms

The Assembly Rooms formed the hub of fashionable Georgian society in the city, the venue being described as “the most noble and elegant of any in the kingdom” They were originally known as the Upper Rooms as there was also a lower assembly room in the city, which closed soon after the Upper Rooms opened. They served the newly built fashionable area which included The Circus, Queen Square and the Royal Crescent.

People would gather in the rooms in the evening for balls and other public functions, or simply to play cards. Mothers and chaperones bringing their daughters to Bath for the social season, hoping to marry them off to a suitable husband, would take their charge to such events where, very quickly, one might meet all the eligible men currently in the City.

Photo by Barbara S. Andrews

Photo by Barbara S. Andrews

The Theatre Royal

The present main entrance to the Theatre Royal, in Sawclose, was built in 1720 by Thomas Greenway, and was Beau Nash’s first house. The exterior of the building, with arches, pilasters, garlands and ornaments, which is visible from Beauford Square, was designed by George Dance the Younger and erected by John Palmer.

The theatre itself was erected in 1805, replacing the Old Orchard Street Theatre which was also called the Theatre Royal, which is now a Freemason’s Hall.

The theatre is said to be haunted by The Grey Lady, who was an actress centuries ago. She has been seen watching productions in the Grey Lady Box, and she leaves the distinctive scent of Jasmine. She has been seen and scented in recent years.

Theatre Royal, Bath   By MichaelMaggs (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Theatre Royal, Bath
By MichaelMaggs (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Text from Wikipedia.

About The Third MacPherson Sister (part of the Sweet Summer Kisses anthology)

TheThirdMacPhersonSister2inchAfter a disastrous fourth Season in London, Rebecca and her mother take refuge in Bath to determine their next course of action. Rebecca has always known she’ll never be able to measure up to her older sisters, the “Golden Twins,” who were the reigning queens of the ton in their day, but surely there is a gentleman somewhere capable of appreciating her finer qualities.

Miles Framingham, Duke of Aylesbury, finds himself in need a wife… although he doesn’t really want one. Burdened with the responsibilities of a dukedom from a young age, what he really yearns for is freedom. Marriage to the right woman, though, might not be such an onerous task.

When the hapless Rebecca finds herself pushed into the lap of this eminently eligible duke in the nave of Bath Abbey, a match between them seems ordained by the heavens… except for the little matter of his past history with her sisters.

SweetSummerKisses2med

Bluestockings and wallflowers seek happily-ever-afters. Only handsome, respectable and deeply romantic persons need apply. Dukes and marquesses will be given special consideration. Apply within.  

This anthology contains nine fun, heart-tugging, and wholesomely romantic Regency novellas that are as sigh-worthy as they are sweet, brought to you by USA Today and national bestselling, award-winning authors.

AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboiBooks • Google