A National Trust Christmas

Originally posted on Bricks + Mortar:

sutton house

” A typical Christmas scene at a National Trust property with a tree, presents, log fire and a table laden with fruit, nuts, Christmas pudding, wine glasses and decanter” ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The National Trust works to preserve and protect the coastline, countryside and buildings of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Incorporated in 1894, The National Trust is one of the largest landowners in the United Kingdom. It owns and operates heritage properties, including historic houses and gardens, industrial monuments and social history sites, most of which are open to the public free of charge.

Cotehele

” The Christmas garland in the Hall at Cotehele. The hall is decorated in December for events held in the Hall. Created with dried flowers. ©National Trust Images/Mark Bolton

During the holiday season, the Trust opens many of its most important homes and landscapes for special events including visits from Santa, decorating…

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Black & Blue Snippet, or: Bhar’s in Trouble Again

Just dropping in with a brief post, mostly to assure you I’m still alive during this most wonderful time of the year. Here’s a little taste of what Bhar’s going through in Black & Blue (Lord & Lady Hetheridge #4):

Surging into the crime scene, Sharada made for Hetheridge, which amounted to throwing herself at Botwright’s corpse. With a groan of frustration, a uniformed PC shot after her. The man surely intended only to preserve the peace, not to mention the evidence, but when he caught her by the shoulders, Sharada shrieked. The cry, high-pitched and loud as a little girl’s, practically shook the chandeliers. And that summoned her son, Kate and Hetheridge’s colleague, who darted in, laid hands on the PC, spun him around and bellowed, “Don’t you ever touch my mum!”

Stop.” Hetheridge’s tone was so commanding, everyone froze. Detective Sergeant Deepal “Paul” Bhar ceased in mid-grapple. Releasing Sharada, the PC stood rooted to the spot as if afraid to breathe. Sharada looked wounded to her very core. She was dressed in her usual manner: long skirt, knit sweater, a gold ring on every finger. Behind her overlarge spectacles, equally overlarge eyes looked as hurt and pleading as a greeting card puppy’s. Bhar had warned Kate that his mum could appear heartrendingly helpless when the moment suited her. He claimed it was an evolutionary adaptation that tricked competing organisms into fatally underestimating her.

As for Bhar himself, he was still in his office attire—charcoal Prada suit, Gucci shoes, pink Ferragamo tie and enough Acqui di Parma to announce his coming around corners. He cut a dashing figure these days, or would, except for his tendency to charge headfirst into regrettable situations. At present, Bhar’s comically arrested look of horror suggested he’d leapt to his mum’s defense so instinctively, he’d had no idea his guv was on the premises, much less bearing witness to it all.

“Release that man.” Hetheridge’s tone was so cool, Kate ached for Bhar.

“Yes. Yes, of course. Sorry, mate,” Bhar babbled. He took his hands off the poor PC. Then, ludicrously, he began patting the officer’s shoulders as if attempting to manually restore his personal space, making the PC flinch all over again. “I didn’t  mean to—”

“Get out.”

“Guv.” Bhar stopped patting. Now he looked almost as stricken as Sharada. “I know I’m completely out of bounds, But this is madness. They’ve arrested Buck. You know—Mum’s friend. Er, boyfriend. He rang her and she rang me and I—”

“Detective Sergeant. Forgive me for not being clear a moment ago.” Hetheridge stepped as close to Bhar as the dead man between them allowed. “Speak not another word. Touch not another object. Get out, now. And be in front of my desk at oh-eight-hundred hours tomorrow morning.”

© Emma Jameson, Lyonnesse Books 2014

 

 

Bring on the #KindleDailyDeal on #Amazon! #Romance #Paranormal #UrbanFantasy #Books

emmajamesonbooks:

For those who enjoy paranormal romance and vampire slayers: my dear friend Shea MacLeod’s Morgan Bailey books are featured as Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deal.

Originally posted on Shéa MacLeod, Author - More Than Magic:

Kissed by Darkness_400x600

SALE!!!

Woohoo! Today the first three Sunwalker Saga novels are just $1.99 on the Kindle Daily Deal! Get them HERE and spread the word.

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Oh, The Places I’ll Go, or: London Sights

So, I’m taking a break from working on Black & Blue (Hetheridge #4) to post a few pictures and facts. My London trip isn’t till March 2015, but hey, it’s never too early to start obsessing.

Golden Hinde Galleon

Golden Hinde Galleon

I look forward to seeing the Golden Hinde, a full-size replica of the ship Sir Francis Drake used to circumnavigate the globe in the sixteenth century. I’ve been on such tours before (the USS Constitution, or “Old Ironsides,” and a replica of the Santa Maria) and never fail to enjoy it. Maybe I have a seafarer’s soul.

© Tonybaggett | Dreamstime.com - Madame Tussauds Photo

© Tonybaggett | Dreamstime.com – Madame Tussauds Photo

Madame Tussaud’s doesn’t look like much from the exterior, and it’s supposed to be expensive and touristy, but I still think I’ll go. Below are a couple of the people I’ll see:

ID 33935398 © Warczakoski | Dreamstime.com

ID 33935398 © Warczakoski | Dreamstime.com

© Cugianza84 | Dreamstime.com - Patrick Stewart At Madame Tussauds Photo

© Cugianza84 | Dreamstime.com – Patrick Stewart At Madame Tussauds Photo

© Arim44 | Dreamstime.com - Winston Churchill\'s Britain At War Museum Photo

© Arim44 | Dreamstime.com – Winston Churchill\’s Britain At War Museum Photo

I was disappointed to learn (today!) that I can’t visit the Winston Churchill Britain at War Museum. It closed last year. But the collection has been sent elsewhere and I may be able to view most of it at other venues. The Imperial War Museum will be open, of course, and the underground “war rooms.”

With Gratitude

I say this every year, and it never gets old. If there are better words to express my gratitude, I haven’t found them yet.To each and every person who’s read, loaned, recommended, or reviewed one of my books:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

And for those who celebrate, happy Thanksgiving.

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Two Lancasters In Flight Together Once More

Originally posted on Defence of the Realm:

2 lancs 2

Two Avro Lancasters have flown in formation together for the first time in over 50 years. This amazing sight took place today (August 14th 2014) at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire after the arrival of the Canadian aircraft (known affectionately as ‘Vera’) in the UK to join the Battle of Britian Memorial Flight’s ‘Thumper’. Over the forthcoming air show season the two aircraft are expected to make around 60 air show appearances in what will probably be the very last time more than one Lancaster will fly together.

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British Posters From the Second World War

I think everyone is familiar with that the iconic KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON poster, now everywhere and repurposed to sell, lampoon, or support virtually everything (I will probably have a KEEP CALM AND TRUST HETHERIDGE version for Black & Blue, since things will get rocky for our heroes in that book). What you may not know is, the original was designed in the event of invasion by German forces, so mercifully, it was never actually put in circulation until long after the war. But here are some other posters, all now in the public domain, that the Ministry of Information put out between 1939-1945.

By mid-war, unmarried females were expected to do their bit by joining a home front service. The Women's Royal Navy Service was meant to free up men for combat by placing women in shore-based duties.

By mid-war, unmarried females were expected to do their bit by joining a home front service. The Women’s Royal Navy Service was meant to free up men for combat by placing women in shore-based duties.

.Air_Raid_Wardens_Wanted_Art.IWMPST13850

When the Local Defence Volunteers (soon renamed the Home Guard) were formed in mid 1940, ARP volunteers shifted duties in large numbers, anxious to fight for their country after Dunkirk.

Caring for Evacuees

The first efforts at evacuating children, pregnant women, and the elderly went poorly, since the expected German air raids didn’t happen right away, and naturally families resisted being split up. Once the Blitz started, the need to help bombed out families became very real.
Keep_Death_off_the_Road_Art.IWMPST4662

The blackout officially started on September 1, 1939, though many areas (including my imaginary village of Birdswing) were compliant earlier. According to WARTIME BRITAIN 1939-1945 (Gardiner, 2004): “In the first four months of the war a total of 4,133 people were killed on Britain’s roads, and 2,657 were pedestrians.” The poster above is a grim reminder.

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