Tea for Two Tidbits

Five different types of tea would have been available to Regency England: white, yellow, green, oolong, and black.

The most common and popular teas were green and black, much as these two types of tea are the most popular today. In the Regency era, tea was served hot, with sugar and milk.

In my Regency Inspirational romance, Seeking Patience, Lady Patience Blakwell would have enjoyed tea during the day and evening.

tea-party-1138912_1280Tea was considered a safe drink in that era because it was boiled first because much of the drinking water in that period was contaminated.

Thomas Twining changed his coffee house into a tea shop in 1717. Then, Richard Twining, who was chairman of the tea dealers’ guild in 1784, persuaded the government to reduce the tea import tax. Once tea was more affordable, the middle classes were able to enjoy this cheap beverage.

Did you know? Tipping began as a response to ensuring proper service in the Tea Gardens of England. Small, locked wooden boxes were place throughout the Garden on tables. On each box was inscribed T.I.P.S., which meant “To Insure Prompt Service.” If a guest wanted to be certain that his tea arrived hot, he placed a coin into the box for the waiter. And thus, the custom of tipping servers was born.

Did you know? “Drinking tea” is a proper phrase. “Taking tea” is vulgar.

I love hot, green tea with no sugar and cream, just black, thank you.

How do you drink your tea?

Please leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Seeking Patience, my Regency Inspirational Romance novel.


Author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational, and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband of 40 years. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations.

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and receive a free ebook, Seeking Catherine.

“Bargained away to a brothel, she is beyond hope, beyond rescue…but not beyond the reach of the one man who can save her.”



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New Book Video for Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody

Linda Nightingale...Wordsmith

See it here first!  Created by Toni V. Sweeney, this book video captures the spirit of this collection of novellas!  Available 9/9/16 from The Wild Rose Press.

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It’s National Poet’s Day!

Today is National Poet’s Day! I’m a writer, and appreciate poetry, although I don’t write poetry. Do you have a favorite poem? antique-629862_1280

Please share in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of my Inspirational Historical romance novel, Seeking Patience!


I’ll begin: “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue…”


Author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational, and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations.
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Honey Cake Recipe

Last week, I shared a Romany (Gypsy) recipe that my hero, Luca, may have enjoyed in Regency England, a roasted hedgehog.

Today I’m sharing a Honey Cake Recipe. In my Regency Historical Romance, Seeking Patience, Lady Patience Blakwell, the heroine, serves “honey cakes and tea for a light midday meal.”


This is a simple recipe, and most ingredients you may already have on hand:

• 1 cup white sugar
• 1 cup honey
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 4 eggs
• 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
• 1 cup orange juice
• 2 1/2 cups flour
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• pinch of salt
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. Mix sugar, honey, oil, eggs and orange zest. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the orange juice. Pour batter into prepared pan.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes. Cool and serve.

Enjoy and serve with a cuppa hot tea!

Author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational, and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband of 40 years. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations.

Sign up for her newsletter  at josieriviera.com for a free ebook!

And don’t forget! Seeking Patience is available at all retailers!




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Going Home

I now live on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, but each year I go home to Michigan to visit family. My uncle has a wonderful old house on Sand Lake in the Irish Hills. The house seems to welcome you with open arms.

It’s full of childhood memories, laughter, and lots of loving family. The house creaks, groans and has inexplicable bumps and bangs. It’s a place I can’t wait to get back to and hate to leave.

During the later part of the nineteenth century, on the east shore of the lake, a hotel stood. It was so popular that trains used to bring people from Ann Arbor to stay and to enjoy the dance hall.

I’m working on a time travel book titled South Shore that takes place on the lake. I plan on including actual people from both centuries.

I hope everyone of you  has a great summer full of family and friends.

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Did Your Family Read the Sunday Funny Papers?

One of my favorite memories is of my family reading the funny papers on Sunday mornings or afternoons, if we went to church. I’m sure mama and daddy read the funnies in the daily paper, but they were in black and white. Though I was a compulsive reader, I wasn’t much into reading the paper or black and white funnies. Besides, I read books of my choice during the week. 

The fun of arguing over the large pages made us laugh. My short arms made me awkward with the huge papers, but I was the big sister. My parents usually got first choices.  They weren’t happy if we grabbed the funnies section first and left it messy. That meant I had to read “Mark Trails”, “Phantom” , & “Dick Tracy” first while I waited for the good pages. “Dick Tracy” seemed so impossible. Funny thing, since today people watch television and take photos with their cell  phones and even wear those cell phones on their wrists. Daddy loved “Snuffy Smith”.I can still see Daddy laughing so had he shook. I didn’t always get it, but Daddy said Snuffy reminded him of people he knew. 

After a while I became one of the women the phantom loved, so I liked it better. I stared at the kisses, imagining being the woman! I reread the comics with kisses! Mark was boring. I could imagine NO romance for him. Mama and daddy sat on the couch or in rocking chairs, but I sprawled on the floor with my younger brother and sister beside me. I’d list more comics, but I suspect some of you have favorites you can mention. 

Comment and I will send you a free PDF of a short story from one of my anthologies. 

If you like to sample more than a few pages of books before you buy them, grab one or more of these books and read 2 or more chapters. THEY SHOULD BE FREE!

Sampler covers 7

Romantic Suspense:  There are chapters of Protective Instincts in this one.                  Amazon https://amzn.com/B01IZ43LSU 

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D2D Universal Links   books2read.com/u/bp6Rqm

Sweet:  There are chapters of Cheerleader Dad in this one!

Amazon  https://amzn.com/B01J052WZG

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Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1124182780?ean=2940153370262

D2D Universal Links books2read.com/u/mlK5YW

Mary’s personal links

https://goodreads.com/author/show/4909455.Mary_Marvella              http://www.MaryMarvella.com                                                                             https://www.facebook.com/mmbarfield                                                 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Marvella-Author/121044561311561 https://pinkfuzzyslippersauthors.wordpress.com                                                                        Follow Mary Marvella on Twitter @mmarvellab                                          https://www.facebook.com/ARomanceCaper                                                             amzn.to/28IZMIa                                                                                                                     http://amzn.to/1ZX8d5y

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Recipe for Roasted Hedgehog

Today I’m sharing a recipe for roasted hedgehog, which was a favorite Romany (Gypsy) dish.


In my Regency Inspirational novel, Seeking Patience, the Rom would have dredged the hedgehog in black pepper after cooking.

Although I can’t personally verify the results, here’s the recipe, modified from Medieval Cookery:

Roasted Hedgehog:

According to medieval experts: “Hedgehog should have its throat cut, be singed and gutted, then trussed like a pullet, then pressed in a towel until very dry; and then roast it and eat with cameline sauce, or in pastry with wild duck sauce. Note that if the hedgehog refuses to unroll, put it in hot water. This dish is based on traditional methods of cooking meat dating back to prehistoric times.

2–2.5kg joint of meat (or leg of lamb)
Sufficient long grass to cover the meat

Season the meat. Wrap it in long grass, first lengthways and then tying more grass crossways to secure the green wrapping in place. Prepare your barbecue and place a large pot filled with water on it. Cook the meat for two hours. Once the meat has cooked, remove the grass then place the meat back in the barbecue to sear.

Carve and serve. Nettle pudding can be boiled in the same pot and served as an accompaniment.

(Sorry–I don’t have a recipe for Nettle pudding.)



Several references to Romany (Gypsy) dishes are featured in my newest Regency Inspirational novel, Seeking Patience. This novel is available now at all retailers as an ebook or print.


Author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational, and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations.
Check out her website and subscribe to her newsletter for a free ebook delivered right to your inbox!










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Without the Piano – the World would BƄ

I love the piano, and so does Morgan, my hero in my new release.  He’s a classical pianist,

Portrait of woman with grand pianoI love the piano, and so does Morgan, my hero in my new release.  He’s a classical pianist, but has been known to play Mr. Piano Man, in a low-rent piano bar in Charleston, SC while customers too drunk  or too sad to listen stuffed money into a fish bowl.

Now, we all know what the piano is, but I thought I’d collect a few facts about the struck string instrument.  The exact time the piano was invented is uncertain, but its birth dates to the 1700s, in Italy.  The term piano is a shortened form of pianoforte, Italian for the instrument, which in turn derives from gravicembalo col piano e forte and fortepiano.

An acoustic piano usually has a protective wooden case surrounding the soundboard and metal strings, and 88 black and white keys The strings are sounded when the keys are pressed or struck, and silenced by a damper when the keys are released.

Three notable brands are Steinway, Bosendorfer (both German-made), and Mason & Hamlin, an American-produced instrument and my personal favorite.  The Mason & Hamlin features a tension bar to stabilize and give longer life to the soundboard.

A couple of companies make electronic reproducing systems for the piano, including PianoDisc and Pianomation by QRS Music.  The keys move as if a ghost were playing.  They are really sweet and very good inspiration.

MorganDArcyAVampyreRhapsody_w10500_medIn Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody (release date 9/9/preorder available) the piano features strongly.  Some type of the instrument is mentioned or waiting in the wings as the story unfolds.  Rhapsody is a collection of Morgan stories from The Wild Rose Press, Black Rose line.  I am tickled to see these portraits of Morgan in print!  I’ve brought a short excerpt:

Snow built castles on the windowsills.  Wispy flakes swirled in the night air.  I stood at the mullioned window with my back to the Chief Councilor of the ruling body of the Vampyre.  The pure white silence of a snowy night echoed in the room.  A fire crackled in the fireplace, but cold seeped through the stone walls.

At midnight, Lucien St. Albans had arrived with shocking news.

Royal Oak wasn’t on the beaten path.  The castle perched on a hill above a small village on the Devon coast.  From my bedroom window, I could see the ocean.  Lucien had driven his new motorcar hard to tell me that there was no such thing as forever.  He was pale and drawn, worried.  I’d never seen the Chief Councilor rattled.  Lucien St. Alban’s self control was legendary.  The emotion in his black eyes was fear, and a shudder chased over me.

“I drove straight from an emergency meeting of Les Elus,” he announced without preamble.  “We are all in jeopardy.”

In a small principality between France and Spain, an epidemic of anthrax ravaged the countryside.  Not only human villagers died in Andorra.  Two vampires had perished.

Grief for Daphne and guilt for her suicide had wearied my spirit.  “Why send me?  I’m not a scientist.”

“Dear God, Morgan, I wouldn’t send you into danger.”  Behind me, Lucien’s reflection appeared in the window.  He rested his hands on my shoulders.  “One of our scientists plans to travel to Andorra immediately and investigate.   He believes the bacteria secretes an endotoxin that is a reverse mutagen.  When infected, the disease progresses at a phenomenal rate.  The victim reverts to mortal, and the body disintegrates to ash.”

A thrill pierced my lethargy.  Dead vampires presented an intriguing mystery.  Members of our select society should not perish to a disease fatal to humans, or very few others of the Grim Reaper’s tricks.  It was time for me to stop lurking in Death’s shadow.  My grief for Daphne was useless to her corpse.  She was quite simply and forever gone.  Reverse mutagen.  The mere idea sent a shiver of excitement over me.  If the Vampyre Effect could be undone, then the possibility of returning to human existed.


IMG_0188[1]I have a dark blue  t-shirt with the saying I’ve used as a headline.  I think it will become, along with lounge pants, pajamas for the Dallas Readers & ‘ritas convention in November.  Oh yes, it does have long sleeves.

Happy Friday!!  Linda

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The fascinating culture of the Romany (Gypsies) Part Two

Today I’m continuing to share the fascinating culture of the Romany (Gypsies). If you missed Part One, check out last week’s post on July 24th.


It is no secret that the Rom have suffered persecution, prejudice, exclusion, and discrimination for centuries. The “Gypsy” stereotype includes a criminal, fortune-teller, blacksmith, thief, and musician, a dark-complexioned, shadowy figure. But why do so many of us harbor this unfair prejudice? Perhaps because of the Rom’s nomadic existence, lack of a solid religious belief, and exotic clothes and lifestyle. Their dialect is distinct and related to Sanskrit. Their tradition is oral, for they didn’t have the luxury of building libraries.

I explore many of their beliefs in my novels, including Seeking Patience.

One belief shared by all Rom is cleanliness. Mahrime means unclean or polluted. To avoid mahrime, clothes covering the top half of their body are washed separately from clothes on the bottom. Certain parts of the female body are considered unclean, and doctors are sometimes avoided because they deal with illness. And, a Rom can become polluted by being too close to a gadje. A gadje is considered a stranger to a Rom, “not one of us.”


Hope you enjoyed this two-part blog and the fascinating culture of the Romany. (Gypsies)

Do you have a favorite story about meeting a Romany (Gypsy), or are you familiar with any of the Rom terms I’ve shared the past couple of weeks?

Please share your comments below, along with your email address, and one lucky winner will receive a free ebook copy of one of my sweet romance novellas. The winner can select their choice of either I Love You More,  or A Snowy White Christmas Winner will be announced the week of August 1st.

And remember it’s the last day for the  Christmas in July giveaway! Enter to win a copy of my sweet novella, A Snowy White Christmas during the Amazon Giveaway. No purchase necessary!

And, pre-orders are still available. Snag the $2.99 offer before price goes up August 9th!

Seeking Patience, second edition, a Regency, Sweet, Inspirational full-length novel featuring a Romany (Gypsy) hero and a widowed countess.


Author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational, and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband of 40 years. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations.

“Like” her Author Facebook Page:

Connect with her on Facebook:

Sign up for her blog and subscribe to her newsletter on her website: josieriviera.wordpress.com

Follow her on twitter: @josieriviera

Instagram: josie_riviera



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Travels Through Historical Fiction: The White Lady

I have a guest Linda Pennell with a fascinating post.  Enjoy!

History Imagined

english pat movieIf readers saw the film version of The English Patient, they may remember that the opening scene showed the main characters in a desert cave marveling at drawings depicting humans and animals painted on the walls. While those cave paintings were in northern Africa, there are cave paintings in southwestern Africa that are just as dramatic and interesting. One in particular is a major tourist attraction and well worth the trek through mountainous desert terrain to see it.

reinhard maack Reinhard Maack

On a January evening in 1917, a topographer and a cartographer took shelter for the night under a rocky overhang on Brandberg Mountain, the highest point in German West Africa (now Namibia). When they awoke the next morning, they discovered they had slept under a wall covered in beautifully rendered Bushman drawings, of which one figure stood out from the rest. It was a human figure whose lower body and…

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