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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? 

 

 

Someone asked me the other day what was the first romance book I ever read. That’s a tough question, I’m not sure my memory is that good.

What does surprise me though, is that I clearly remember reading CS Lewis, Enid Blyton, and Edward Stratemeyer as a young girl. Secret Seven, Famous Five, Narnia, and Nancy Drew….I loved stories that fired my imagination, and I was too little to ‘fall in love’. Perhaps that’s why I love mysteries or suspense in the romances I write.

As far as romance reading goes, I definitely remember reading many, many Mills and Boon books—I loved Penny Jordan. Then came my historical phase, Outlander and the Catherine Cookson stories where life was tough and unfair, and then of course I loved Georgette Heyer.

I got to meet Australian author Jennifer Kloester at the RWNZ conference this month. She gave me a signed copy of her biography of Georgette Heyer and I’m just starting to read about Georgette’s incredible life.

 

 

I love stepping into a real persons life and world. Biographies are some of my favourite reading.

Whose biography would you love to read? What book has stayed with you the most and why?