Bognor and other Regises: A potted history of Britain in 100 royal places by Caroline Taggart #bookextract


bognar and other regises

Bognor and other Regises: A potted history of Britain in 100 royal places written by Caroline Taggart, publisher AA Publishing is available NOW in hardcover format.

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Most of us are fascinated by royalty, past and present. Whether glamorous or sordid, merrie or morose, our monarchs and their families have led lives very different from ours – and all too often they’ve held the Fate of the Nation in the palms of their hands. They’ve married for diplomatic reasons and created diplomatic incidents when they divorced. They’ve refused to marry and endangered the succession; they’ve borne a dozen children and still left no one to succeed them. They’ve got themselves excommunicated and created their own religions. They’ve waged war against their neighbours and their cousins; built frivolous summer palaces and formidable fortresses (and imprisoned their cousins in them). In so doing, they’ve left their mark all over Great Britain, in castles and churches, on battle fields and stained- glass windows. Their stories are written all across our landscape, if we know where to look for them. In this amusing and fast-paced tour of Britain, Caroline Taggart is our guide to all the weird and wonderful places connected with royalty over the last 1,500 years.

About the Author

caroline taggartCaroline Taggart worked in publishing for 30 years before writing I Used to Know That, a Sunday Times best-seller. Caroline is also author of the bestselling Her Ladyship’s Guide to the Queen’s English and Around Britain by Cake for AA Publishing. She has appeared frequently on BBC Breakfast and on national and regional radio, talking about language, grammar and Pythagoras’s theorem. Her record is 16 radio interviews in one day on the subject of exclamation marks. She lives in London.




I am so pleased to be able to share with you all an extract from the book:

The House of Hanover 1714 – 1901
George IV – Brighton Pavilion

It’s been described as looking as if the Taj Mahal had produced a litter of puppies, and certainly the Royal Pavilion’s many decorated domes and minarets are a surprising sight in a seaside town. But they have a certain symmetry and elegance, as you’d expect from the work of John Nash. It’s once you get inside the Pavilion that Nash’s royal patron’s taste for ornamentation has been allowed free rein and can leave the visitor gasping.
The royal patron in question was the Prince Regent, later George IV (he came to the throne in 1820, but had been Regent because of the madness of his father, George III, since 1811).
It’s easy to be rude about George IV – very easy – but he was a dedicated patron of the arts and made many important acquisitions for the Royal Collection. We have him to thank for the fact that we (the nation) own works by Rubens, Rembrandt and van Dyck, as well as all the major artists, sculptors, furniture makers and jewellers of his day. But you always get the feeling that George’s generosity was more to do with a desire to impress others than with any real kindliness. He wanted everything to be luxurious, not just for the sake of its beauty but to show that he had exquisite taste and that he could afford it. Except that, as it happens, he couldn’t. It was all paid for by grants from Parliament – which means, in the end, by the likes of you and me.
The Prince’s extravagance – not to mention his scandalous private life – had started long before he became Regent. While he was still in his twenties, Parliament had granted him today’s equivalent of over £18 million to pay his debts. He also went through a ceremony of marriage without asking his father’s consent. This – let’s call it an oversight – automatically invalidated the marriage, although the rigidly respectable George III would never have condoned it if he’d been asked: the bride, Maria Fitzherbert, was not only a commoner six years older than the Prince, she was twice widowed and a Catholic, ticking almost every possible box in terms of unsuitability.
What the Prince actually felt for Mrs Fitzherbert remains unclear – he is alleged to have worn her ‘eye miniature’ (an uncharacteristically discreet love token, depicting only the loved one’s eye) hidden under his lapel; it was buried with him at his request. But he was forced to renounce her publicly in order to make a politically advantageous marriage. He had agreed to marry a cousin, Caroline of Brunswick, because it meant Parliament would increase his allowance, but he found her repugnant and the couple separated as soon as they had produced an heir. Both continued to create scandals wherever they went. Having been very handsome in his youth, the Prince became obese in middle age; this, his extravagance and his unpopular political views were a rich source of inspiration for the satirical cartoonists. To go back to the Pavilion, George had a passion for Oriental art: he made full use of hand-painted Chinese wallpapers, chandeliers in the shape of lotuses and carvings of flying dragons. All of these can be seen in the Music Room, where Rossini once performed. The Long Gallery is intended to resemble a bamboo grove, although the background colour of the walls is a more flamingo-like pink. But the pièce de résistance is the Banqueting Room, where the combined effect of a spectacular chandelier, paintings covering every available wall space, a huge array of silver gilt tableware and a vast table laid for a lavish meal frankly makes you want to burst out laughing.
Although it is less extravagantly decorated, the kitchen is a worthy support to this panoply of excess. Two long tables are covered with the preparations of a meal that includes numerous forms of game bird, including a swan. Chickens roast on spits in the enormous fireplace and shelf upon shelf is laden with shining copper pans and dishes. On display is the menu for a banquet held here under the auspices of George’s French chef, the great Marie-Antoine Carême; it begins with five different sorts of soup, presumably to stop the guests getting peckish waiting for the swan to be brought in.
Shakespeare wrote about gilding refined gold, painting the lily and adding another hue unto the rainbow being ‘wasteful and ridiculous excess’. Brighton Pavilion wasn’t built for 200 years after the Bard’s death, otherwise you’d have thought it was exactly what he had in mind.


The Makings of a Lady by Catherine Tinley blogblitz book review


the makings of a lady

The Makings of a Lady written by Catherine Tinley, publisher Mills & Boon Historical, is available to buy in ebook and paperback format from 4th October 2018.

The ebook is available to download for amazon kindle, kobo, iBooks and Google Play.  The paperback is available from all good book retailers including Waterstones, WHSmith, amazon and direct from Mills & Boon.

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Be calm, she thought.
Be gracious. Be twenty-two.
Lady Olivia Fanton is eager to prove she’s no longer a child. However, just as she thinks she’s found a suitable match in the suave Mr Manning, charismatic Captain Jem Ford walks back into her life, bringing with him all the embarrassment of her infatuation four years before! She’s determined to appear mature, distant, friendly. But does she dare hope he’ll notice her as the lady she’s become?

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I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Catherine Tinley’s latest Regency Romance; The Makings of a Lady.  The Makings of a Lady is book three in The Chadcombe Marriages series.  The books can be read as a standalone as you are introduced to a new member of the siblings living at Chadcombe House, however as a Regency Romance lover I’d fully recommend reading all the books in the series.  The books in the trilogy are:

  • Waltzing with the Earl
  • The Captain’s Disgraced Lady
  • The Makings of a Lady

Once again Catherine Tinley has taken me to a time and a place when romance was an art, it was a beautiful dance of etiquette of society.  I love this era it is so different from the life of today and historical romance gives you a glimpse to time gone by.

Lady Olivia Fanton was eighteen when she first met Jem Ford who had come to Chadcombe to recover from injuries in battle.  However, their friendship was short-lived when Jem returned back to duty.  It’s now four year’s on and Lady Olivia is no longer the young girl, she is now a beautiful young woman trying to find her place.  She feels like her family still treat her as the young girl from years ago and Olivia is trying to prove otherwise.  She has spent four years getting over the loss of her friendship with Jem Ford but when she hears of his return memories of her heartache return.  To add to her confused heart a new suitor, George Manning, with his rather charming, handsome features and smooth prose has come to her attention.  Olivia doesn’t know which way to let her heart sway; she has a history of friendship with Jem but will he remember her as the young girl that helped him and have forgotten all about her or does she let her heart seek another?

Olivia’s life is put in danger and the circumstances surrounding it are most unusual.  Jem sets out to unravel the mystery.

I loved this story by Catherine Tinley it had plenty of warmth, romance but it was also filled with drama, danger and mystery.  I was captivated by Olivia, Jem and her close circle of family and friends.  Courageous, dramatic and oh so very romantic.

About the Author

Tinley 6 dogCatherine Tinley writes heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now works in Sure Start. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, cat, and dog.




The author is running a giveaway to win a copy of the book, along with two other (surprise) romance novels by other writers.
2 x UK/Ireland Winners and 1 x International Winner.
For all the details look out for Catherine Tinley on Facebook and Twitter.


How We Remember by J. M. Monaco blogtour book review


how we remember cover

How We Remember written by J. M. Monaco, publisher RedDoor Publishing Ltd, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

The paperback is available to buy from all good book retailers including Waterstones, WHSmith and amazon.

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Family Secrets. Sibling Rivalries

The blood ties that have kept Jo and her brother Dave together are challenged when an unexpected inheritance fans the flames of underlying tensions. Upon discovering her mother’s diary, the details of their family’s troubled past are brought into sharp relief and painful memories are reawakened.

Narrated with moments of light and dark, J. M. Monaco weaves together past and present, creating a complex family portrait of pain and denial in this remarkable debut novel.

Perfect for fans of Anne Tyler and Sylvia Brownrigg, this is a novel that will stay with you long after you stop turning the pages.

how we remember blogtour poster

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting J. M. Monaco’s debut novel.

How We Remember is a remarkable debut novel by J. M. Monaco, it’s a compelling story full of raw, honest encounters that leave scars on the characters lives forever.  The author has created characters that get imprinted on your heart and their story will move you and you will be thinking of them often afterwards.  The author J. M. Monaco isn’t afraid to divulge to the reader life with all it’s beauty and all it’s darkest times.  As a reader you are following this journey with the characters and experience every bump along the journey of life with them.

Jo O’Brien has returned back home to the states following the death of her mother.  Whilst reminiscing during the clear out of her mother’s belongings memories and secrets from the past emerge in vivid dreams.  Memories that are quite dark at times leaving Jo very unsettled.  Jo’s childhood, with her older brother Dave, was a little dysfunctional and Jo would very often daydream about the typical American family, which was so far different to her own.

Shocks and surprises are learnt and whilst overcoming grief Jo has to learn to understand events from her past that have defined who she is now.

This story was very profound, I was drawn to Jo and I felt many emotional pulls whilst travelling through her journey of the past and present.

The ending was very bittersweet and once again my emotions got the better of me.

A story that was at times hard hitting but it’s a story of life and all that is thrown your way.  It’s a story about the complexities of people and of a family who stumble and fall many a time but continue to get up trying to close the door on the darkness.

About the Author

J.M. Monaco grew up in the northeast region of the USA where she studied English and Creative Writing at undergraduate level. She worked in a variety of areas before taking up postgraduate studies in England where she completed her PhD. She now lives in a buzzing city in the South West of England with her husband and children.

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