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Why is it we are so interested in where we came from? Is it just curiosity, or is it a driving need to see if there are skeletons in our closet?

I must admit I was interested. I even sent away for my genealogy results. I don’t know why, as there were no surprises at all…Both my mother and father’s family’s came to NZ from Great Britain

British & Irish 76.1%

French & German 7.8%

Scandinavian 0.5%

Broadly Northwestern European 13.7%

Southern European 2.7% (with <0.1% Japanese)

What I’d be more interested in, is why my ancestors left England all those years ago, and how my family ended up in New Zealand. Why pick NZ? 

On my father’s side, I’m about sixth generation New Zealander. My father’s family came from Wales in the mid 1800’s one of the first settlers. What must their lives have been like to make them risk a dangerous and arduous trip on a ship to a country they knew nothing about? Mid 1800’s they were still carving out farms from the bush and the Maori wars were still ongoing.

My mother’s side is much newer to NZ. Both of her parents arrived in NZ as 5 year-olds around 1910. Their parents probably had a much better idea of what was awaiting them here in NZ. My grandfather was from England and my grandmother was from Scotland. 

I wish I knew the history of why they immigrated. But finding that information has not been easy. My sister, Lisa, is tracing the family tree. From seeing what was going on in their lives around the time they left the United Kingdom we might be able to surmise why. I guess I’ll just have to be patient.

I envy this generation. We will be able to keep online records, including photo’s, video etc of our lives for future generations to view.  

If you were making a video for the future, what messages would you give and what would you want to show about today’s world?

My sister collects shoes, she has so many pairs and as she’s half a shoe size smaller than me it’s annoying that I can’t borrow them!

Me, I’m a handbag girl. I have so many and what’s more I barely use them all. I have a couple of favourites and usually stick to them. 

In the Regency era, the women were not much different when it came to handbags or reticules or ridicules as they were sometimes called. In fact, accessories were an essential part of any woman’s wardrobe. Gloves, hats, fans, and bags.

Women sometimes decorated the bags themselves. They were usually draw-string opening and would come in all shapes and sizes.

As women’s dresses usually had no pockets, her reticule was the place she could carry money or her handkerchief or smelling salts for when they swooned (usually from too tight a corset).

I have so much rubbish in my handbag. Sunglasses, glasses, makeup bag, wallet, brush, pens etc. I don’t know what I would have done in the Regency era. I suspect my reticule would have been huge!

 I love my Longchamp back pack that I bought in New York in 2015 when I was RWA conference. I usually use backpack handbags so my hands are free when shopping, but also it’s better for my back and neck.

Do you have a favourite handbag? 



It’s release month for A LOVE TO REMEMBERbook #7 in my Disgraced Lords series. I had the most fun writing this book, because both the hero and heroine had an aversion to marriage—each for good reason.

But as in any good romance something had to change, and as usual it took my heroine, Rose Deverill, the Duchess of Roxborough to shake things up.

Philip Flagstaff, Earl of Cumberland and Rose have been lovers for two years but neither one is willing to be brave and have faith in their love. How was I going to make these two face their fears and reach their happy ever after?

That’s when I went to Rose and said, “Come on, marriage is nothing to be afraid of. Let me ask you these 5 questions to see if you’re ready for marriage.”

I’d already got her best friends, Marisa (A Whisper of Desire book #4) and Portia (A Touch of Passion book #3) to review the questions and they both said they were perfect. They would make Rose take stock of her life and situation.

 5 Readiness Questions

  1. Have you resolved your major relationship dilemmas from the past?

Rose: “I think so. I mean, I was married off by my father to a much older man and I found nothing I wanted in a marriage—certainly not love. However, I was gifted with a son, Drake, whom I love dearly. Being Philip’s lover for past two years I now understand that when love is involved marriage might not be as hard and unyielding as I once thought, and it might even be wonderful, plus I want more children.

  1. Are you ready to give up the freedom of continuing to experience other relationships?

Rose: I became a widow five years ago at one and twenty, and I decided to ensure no man ever wanted to marry me again. I wanted freedom, my freedom. So I took lovers, and was not very discrete about it in order to build a terrible reputation. However, as soon as I started my affair with Philip I was ready to give up my wicked ways.  I’ve been, if not in love, at least infatuated with Philip since I was a young girl of sixteen but he’d never noticed me before. I’m worried that my reputation is what drew him to me and he does not see me as a viable marriage option.

  1. Are you able to accept your own limitations and share them openly?

Rose: I believe so. I realise that having had a taste of freedom I can be a bit outspoken and independent, but Philip and I think alike and I don’t think he is wary of my opinions.

  1. Do you think you can stay the course even if there are unexpected challenges?

Rose: Oh, I’m sure there will be challenges, I have a six-year-old son! Luckily Drake loves Philip and I’m sure Philip feels the same way. He spoils Drake, taking him to the museum and to the park etc. The challenge for me is to ensure Philip loves me, really loves me. Our families are friends. Portia, Philip’s sister is my best friend. I don’t want him to marry me put of a sense of duty or because he loves Drake. One loveless marriage was enough. No. I want all or nothing…what frightens me is that Philip may say no, and I’ll have nothing.

  1. Do you understand that love and commitment need constant reinvestment of time, energy, and love?

Rose: Of course. That’s why I’m willing to fight for what I want, for what I deserve. Love is a prize to cherish and nothing so perfect comes without work. I just hope Philip understands how I feel.

I hope you’ll read A Love To Remember and cheer for a happy ending to Rose and Philip’s journey.

QUESTION:  Leave a comment and you could win an eBook copy of LOVE ME, book #1 in the Coopers Creek series  – What is the name of Rose’s son?

Open internationally. Closes 16th September 2017.