Round Robin Too Good to be True: Too Evil to Live

I’m not in fact participating in the Round Robin this month because I’m not able to reply to comments or visit the other blogs. However, villainy is a favourite subject for most writers and I’m no exception.

I wrote my 6th Year Studies long essay on the Anti-hero in fiction. Everyone from The Bothers Grimm up to James Bond. The girls love a bad boy – or do they?


The girls certainly like a touch of arrogance, a wild streak, maybe even a disregard for authority. What they don’t like is the bully. The weak man who uses his superior physical strength to intimidate his wife, family, employees, subjects and anyone else who can’t or won’t stand up to him. It’s what worries me more than a little about the current popularity of certain types of erotica.

I really think some men will believe that what they are reading of female fantasy is in fact female reality.

Bella’s Betrothal

And the female villain? All of the above only I write historical romance mainly from a female viewpoint and  so don’t dwell on the darker side. Bella’s Betrothalhaving said that has two dark souled female characters and a truly malevolent antagonist.


I should think living with a Saint is hard work and most of us would fall down on the job. I like my heroines flawed. I think the reader wants to travel a journey with them and watch them recognise their character flaws and grow through them. In Daisy’s Dilemma Daisy is young and suffers from the arrogance that goes with that territory, but she has a fall and it’s how she deals with the repercussions that made her story interesting.

Daisys Dilemmal 333x500

In my debut novel, Mariah’s Marriage, the heroine, Mariah Fox, has had a sheltered but educated upbringing. She encounters a really nasty villain in Sir Lucas Wellwood and nearly loses everything. There’s nothing pantomimic about my villains. I do base their flaws on recognisable psychological traits.

London Girl

London Girl

In the end, at present I am writing historical romance, so I’m not creating main characters who are too evil to be redeemable and I shy away from heroines who are too good to be true. i think there’s balance and I hope readers agree.

Although I’m not in the official group this month there is a list below of the participating blogs should you wish to read what others think of the topic. Anne

List of those participating:
Skye Taylor
Beverley Bateman
Judith Copek
Marci Baun
Connie Vines
Rachael Kosinski
Helena Fairfax
Fiona McGier
Rhobin Courtright



London Girl

London Girl

It’s been up for a couple of days and it’s just showing some rewarding results so I thought I’d share. Here’s amazon US this morning:

And amazon UK:

Hope you all enjoy and move on thereafter to follow up on Daisy’s story in

Daisy’s DilemmaBut if not, thanks for visiting.


Launch Day Round-Up

DAISY’S DILEMMA launched yesterday and what a great day I enjoyed chatting and joking with other readers and writers of romance.


Thank you all for visiting even for a short time.

Some Stats from Daisy’s Dilemma’s launch party.

Padraig, courtesy Gill Stewart, was the most popular picture in Daisy’s Dilemma’s launch. When I last looked he’d been visited 169 times. Maybe it’s my peerless prose, but I think there are animal lovers out there and that bad boy fringe holds a lot of mystery.

Women formed the only guests until very late in the day when some young male relatives came aboard. I think the one man signed up, jumped ship earlier.

Supply a photograph of your own daisies was the most popular competition, although quite a few of you knew about Hogarth and gin – should that be gin and Hogarth? I must thank author Helena Fairfax for coming up with the idea of daisy photos.

Being the most popular has made the judging, which as I explained yesterday is entirely subjective, more difficult. So, applying my subjectivity before the second cup of coffee of the day, I’ve decided to award the lovely daisy necklace to Lis Mein for her group of Yorkshire Daisies. Congratulations, Lis. By the way scrolling through just now, I discovered that the pictures enlarge if you click on them. The Event can be found by going into events and then selecting ‘past’ from a list on the left.

Next competition invited you to name a popular saying inspired by the picture of some coffee time napkins and some horned beasts in the field.

Winner is Anne Stormont for her witty answer and also for jumping in. It is, of course, horns of a dilemma. Congratulations, Anne.

Third competition of the day asked in what year the Foundling Hospital ceased to have children living in. According to their excellent brochure, which I purchased on my recent visit to the museum in London, it was 1953. Two people said 1948 with one adding ‘or 1949’. So both close but not quite right. I enjoyed Mary Baxter’s description of the emotion band music stirs in her and so award her the CD of the Foundling Boys Band. However, as Diana Michelle Tidlund was so close, I’m happy to offer her a copy of either Daisy’s Dilemma or Bella’s Betrothal.

Then Hogarth and his Mother’s Ruin which is Gin. Goodness how many of you knew that. So a complimentary copy of Daisy’s Dilemma goes winging out to Wilma Cupples for providing an interesting take on gin and mixers.

You’re all winners for being such lovely guests and here’s another glimpse of that big, bad male animal, Padraig.

Padraig relaxed on hill

Daisy’s Dilemma amazon UK – US – AU – CA

Kobo – Omnilit – MuseItUp


A Glass of something – ratafia – brandy – uisge beatha – champagne

The clock moves on and while we don’t need to light the candles until a little later in Scotland in June, it may be time to raise a wee glass of something to toast Lady Daisy and her adventures.

Hers 'n' His table of goodies

Hers ‘n’ His table of goodies

What the ladies drank varied according to their age and station in life. Nicely brought up girls would drink lemonade at dances and even today those of us who dance often prefer juice or water between sets to cool us down and re-hydrate, rather than something from the bar.

But if they did fancy a little naughtiness, then plenty was around. Ratafia, a fortified wine, might be almond flavoured and often served throughout the day with little biscuits.

Brandy was very popular among the gentlemen and the subject of lots of books with a seaside setting as it was widely smuggled throughout the Napoleonic wars.

Champagne, too, was drunk in quantities. I remember staying on the Isle of Harris and eating in Alison Johnson’s wonderful restaurant. The building had once been a Manse (minister’s house) and when the kitchen garden was dug out, it was found to be full of French champagne bottles of the early 20th century.

Where do you get your ideas?

Uisge beatha or Scottish whisky, malt or blended, might well have featured as the relatives from Edinburgh had arrived for Tobias’s marriage.


So, today’s final competition is for a free copy of Daisy’s Dilemma for your e-reader.

What drink was cited by the wonderful Hogarth as the ruin of women? As before, if there’s more than one correct answer either here or on the Facebook Site, I’ll choose.

Here’s to Lady Daisy. Cheers!

Great blog for all things Regency is here


DAISY’S DILEMMA and the earlier novels would not have been written without a lot of things coming together.

Or without the ongoing support of Tunnock’s Teacakes.

For some it’s the bottle. For others chocolate.

Some, I’ve heard rumours, just sit down at a keyboard and write. But I don’t give much credence…

My lovely family know of my weakness and I have a growing collection of artifacts. The most recent was a Christmas pressie from the DH.

China plate Teacake design

China plate Teacake design

Here it is – form an orderly queue, please. It can look like this:


Of course, some people deserve more teacakes than others. There’s my hugely talented cover artist, CK Volnek for one.

Also, I am indebted to my patient editor, JUDY ROTH without whom there would be dangling modifiers galore – oh, and many, many ‘thats’.

And finally, but not least, my publisher Lea Schizas. What a team!

Daisy’s Dilemma amazon UK – US – AU – CA

Kobo – Omnilit – MuseItUp


Another competition Foundling Hospital Music

Music CD

Music CD

The band and the organ in the chapel were very important parts of life in the Foundling Hospital. I bought this cd of music played by the Boys Band and it’s the prize for a little comp to ease us towards teatime.

Simply tell me in comments here or in the FB event what year the Foundling Hospital ceased to have children living in. It had already moved from the original site to Redhill and then a purpose built school at Berkhamsted.

If there’s more than one correct answer, I’ll draw a winner. If you’re guessing, then it’s surprisingly late.

Staying Charitable – Thomas Coram and the Foundling Hospital

Thomas Coram

Thomas Coram

The elegant gentleman above is Thomas Coram, eighteenth century sea-going philanthropist and one determined character.

Childless himself, Coram was nonetheless moved by the plight of vast numbers of abandoned babies when he returned from the Americas to London in the early part of the eighteenth century. He campaigned for 17 years – walking probably hundreds of miles around the capital’s streets – until he got what he wanted. That was a safe place where desperate mothers could leave their children. The charity in a different manifestation exists today and you can see its current name – Coram – in the background of the picture above.

This isn’t the place for a potted history of the Foundling Hospital, but I took my inspiration for Reuben from Handel and the many other musicians and artists who played concerts and painted pictures to raise money in support of the Hospital.


When I visited it again this May and took these few pictures, there was a concert in progress. Ever heard wheels of the bus etc played on a grand piano and a classical violin? The concert was of classical music, but it was to an audience of babies and toddlers with their escorts so the sing-along stuff at the end was very much appreciated.

In our own century, there have been anthologies of short stories published to raise money after natural disasters. As I said earlier, I was pleased to offer a little bit of help to the fund-raising effort at St John’s Church.

What charitable stuff have you offered? Anyone abseiled? Walked from Land’s End to John O’Groats? Eaten 100 Scotch pies in one sitting? (Just joking there. Please do not try that at home or anywhere…)

Towards Lunch – Things That Money Can’t Buy

Late last year, the redoubtable fundraiser, Charlotte Bray, approached me with a proposition. Would I consider offering character names in a new book in an auction of things money can’t buy?

Briefly wondering if she’d confused me with – well anyone really, Edinburgh is populated with many interesting and FAMOUS writers – I dithered. However, Charlotte is a pal so that was unlikely and once I’d recovered from the shock that she thought anyone would offer for such a prize, I approached the publishers, MuseItUp. They were tickled pink.

The offer went up and some behind the scenes stuff went on. I was of course travelling in outer Rajasthan without a decent pc when all this was going on, but some advertising was made.

The names were taken and their reserve price met.

So, says a young relative, what if these people are called something 21st century? Or are from a foreign country where their names are much loved, but actually unheard of in the UK – particularly in 1822? Yes, yes. I’m a writer. Even so the application of fabrication to such a problem was worrying.

No need. Two lovely names appeared in my inbox and those of you who go on to read Daisy’s Dilemma should look out for an Edinburgh neighbour and an Edinburgh coachman.

Have you ever faced such a dilemma? Have you ever thought that’s a good idea, I can do that and been on tenterhooks while things panned out?

Here’s a lovely lady with interesting head decorations. Photograph courtesy of Rachael Thomas, novelist and dairy farmer,


A Competition – coffee time

Daisy’s Dilemma is set in a time period when almonds featured a lot in the drinks and foods available. Soft Italian biscuits are one of my favourite nibbles. Perfect for eating, dunking, turning into a pudding…

I think it’s nice to have a napkin, particularly when dunking is involved, and I’ve bought these ones as a prize.

Paper Napkins - horns

Paper Napkins – horns

All you have to do is leave a comment here or on the FB event here telling me what well used saying the picture reminds you of. This picture might give you another clue. It’s supplied by the lovely romantic farmer, Gill Stewart

Padraig relaxed on hill

At the end of the day, or tomorrow, I’ll pop all the right answers into a wee draw and ask the winner for a postal address.

Daisy’s Dilemma amazon UK US