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Apr 22

English Country Mansions by Maggi Andersen

Please welcome Maggi Andersen to my blog.AuthorPic

Thanks for inviting me, Anna.

I love delving into history. My research takes me into many diverse areas. I studied fine arts at university, and I have a special interest in the art, architecture, and interior design of the Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras. I also love to learn about the running of those huge English mansions, the fashions and food, the customs and morals of each period. The first two books in my current series, The Baxendale Sisters is set in two country houses where the families spent their time when not in London for the Season.

Country mansion

Toward the end of the 18th Century, when people began to feel that the main rooms of a house should be in touch with the outside world, houses were designed with low-silled windows or actual French windows opening into the garden. Correspondingly, they brought the garden indoors in the form of vases and pots of flowers, which sometimes occupied an entire room in the form of a conservatory attached to the house.

conservatory

LADY HONOR’S DEBT book #1 The Baxendale Sisters, brings two large families together, the Baxendales and The Brandreths, whose lands run together in Royal Tunbridge Wells. This book required delving into London gaming hells and the card games they played, such as Faro, back-gammon, whist, vingt-un.

 

LadyHonor'sDebt_Nook (2)

Freedom. That’s all Lady Honor Baxendale wants—for her sisters and for herself. Honor has a bold plan to become financially independent, using a skill she learned at her father’s knee. She seeks the help of a solicitor and is pleased with her choice…as long as she can resist the solicitor himself.

Lord Edward Winborne has been happy to come to the aid of his four sisters in the past. But when a neighbor’s daughter, Lady Honor Baxendale, requests his help for a dangerous scheme she has in mind, he feels it his duty to dissuade her. When that fails, he wants to protect her, and then somehow finds he wants to do more. Much more.

Excerpt: 1822

Edward was keen to leave, but manners forbade it. He followed Lady Baxendale into the pleasantly furnished room, where the sun streamed through French windows.

“Faith, your father is very angry with you. Before he left home, he gave instructions for you to wait his return in your bedchamber,” her mother said.

Faith’s mouth turned down at the corners in a mulish manner, but she exited the room without a murmur.

“Please sit, my lord. May I offer you tea?” Lady Baxendale hurried from the room before he answered. But for the two grey cats slumbering in the sun on the carpet, Edward found himself alone. The room had an untidy but appealing lived-in look, something he wasn’t used to. Bluebells in matching vases decorated the mantel, a book on art rested on a table, along with a sewing basket, and sheet music lay open on the pianoforte, with other sheets scattered over the top, as if the pianist had been interrupted. While contemplating his return to his rooms in London on the morrow, and the work that awaited him, he studied the bright oil paintings hanging on the walls, one of lilacs in the wood and another of the river. They were similar in style; the same hand had painted them—perhaps a young person, for they had a certain naiveté and lively rawness. He was examining a painting of pink roses when a tall, slim young woman came through the door. Edward knew who it was immediately by her spectacles. She crossed the flowery carpet and curtseyed gracefully.

“Lady Honor, my lord. Mother asked me to entertain you in her absence.” She gestured to a damask chair. “Please sit down. I have ordered tea.”

“How do you do,” he said politely, wondering when he might take his leave. Lady Honor sat on the blue sofa opposite him, ankles crossed. She wore her hair pulled back from her brow with no curls to soften the arrangement. Her gown was of some heavy cloth in a shade of brown Edward didn’t care for. It was evident in every line of her body that she’d rather not have to entertain him. A very nice body it was, too, that the ugly gown failed to disguise.

“You found Faith on Brandreth Park land?”

“Ah, yes, I’m afraid that in her distress she had lost her way.” “She was distressed?” Her mouth settled into a firm line. Dash it. He had been indiscreet. He didn’t wish to give Faith away to her serious sister. “I’m sure she can explain the reason for her emotional upset better than I.” He shrugged and smiled. “We men don’t always understand these things.”

Her fine, straight dark brows drew together. He realized he’d just made things worse and braced himself for disapproval. “You believe women to be more emotional than men?” she asked in a flat tone of voice. “Yes, and better for it,” he said quickly.

#Author pic

Bestselling, multi-published author, Maggi Andersen, fell in love with the Georgian and Regency worlds after reading the books of Georgette Heyer. Victoria Holt’s Gothic Victorian novels were also great favorites. She has raised three children and gained a BA and an MA in Creative Writing. After husband David retired from the law, they moved to the beautiful Southern Highlands of Australia.

P.L. Travers lived in the house next door to Maggi almost 100 years ago. Travers later wrote Mary Poppins and there’s a statue in her honor in the park.

Maggi’s free time is spent enjoying her garden and the local wildlife, walking, reading, and movies. She keeps fit swimming and visiting the gym.

Maggi’s mystery, THE FOLLY AT FALCONBRIDGE HALL was nominated for the Rone Award. She writes contemporary romantic suspense, mysteries and young adult novels as well as her Georgian, Regency and Victorian romances. Maggi supports the RSPCA, IFAW and Youth Off the Streets.

Maggi’s Website: http://www.maggiandersenauthor.com

Facebook: Maggi Andersen Author

Twitter: @maggiandersen

 

5 comments

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  1. Maggi Andersen

    Thanks for inviting me to your great blog, Anna.

  2. Vicki Batman

    I love visiting big old houses. The cover for your book is quite beautiful. Congratulations!

  3. Jo-Ann

    Maggi
    That has to be one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen. WoW!
    Jo-Ann
    Smart, sexy suspense

  4. Rose Gorham

    Enjoyed the excerpt, Maggi. It is a beautiful cover. Added your story to my TRL.

  5. Sylvie Grayson

    Hi Maggie,
    The photos of the house are beautiful. I love those old places and like to imagine myself living in something like that. Great book cover, and I loved the excerpt.
    Sylvie

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