The Enigma of a Widow Blog Tour

The Enigma of a Widow
The Widows of Aristocracy Book 2
by Linda Rae Sande
Genre: Historical Regency Romance
 
Having lost her husband in the Battle of Ligny, Lady Lydia Barrymore is
determined to resume her work for the Foreign Office when her
mourning period is over. She’s spent a year solving puzzles and
assembling dissected maps to maintain her skills. Her first
assignment has her perplexed, though – do what she must to help a
fellow operative recover his sanity. Although she finds the man
rather beautiful, Sir Donald has also proved most annoying.
Newly knighted Adonis Truscott returned from the Continent with a tendency
to get lost in his thoughts. His frequent episodes of staring into
space have his sister claiming he’s a candidate for Bedlam – and he’s
not about to argue. He doesn’t always remember where or when he was
when he recovers, but he remembers he made a promise, and he’s
determined to keep it. A promise to provide protection for Lydia,
whether she wants it or not.
When a puzzle’s directions require Lydia to solve it with the help of
Adonis, she discovers the man harbors secrets that may be impossible
to reveal. With her own sanity in jeopardy – a year-long mystery
involving her late husband may be more annoying and dangerous than an
errant knight – Lydia will have to piece together a solution that
suits them both in The Enigma of a Widow.
 
 
 
 
A self-described nerd and lover of science, Linda Rae spent many years
as a published technical writer specializing in 3D graphics
workstations, software and 3D animation (her movie credits include
SHREK and SHREK 2). An interest in genealogy led to years of research
on the Regency era and a desire to write fiction based in that time.
A fan of action-adventure movies, she can frequently be found at the
local cinema. Although she no longer has any fish, she follows the
San Jose Sharks. She makes her home in Cody, Wyoming. See her
upcoming books on her website:
www.lindaraesande.com.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!
 
 
 

 

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A Visit to the Royal Ontario Museum

Every year since high school, our girlfriends choose a city somewhere in North America and we invade it. We’re usually only there for four or five days—our work and family schedules usually don’t allow for longer stays—and this year was no different as we all flew into Toronto for the annual reunion. Armed with a CityPass and tickets for the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, we spent our four days at several attractions and did a day trip to Niagara Falls and the surrounding area. We visited the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, Casa Loma, Bata Shoe Museum, Niagara College Canada (for the wine tasting), St. Lawrence Market, distilleries, and Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant. We took a harbor cruise of the islands and later participated in Nuit Blanche. But the most impressive attraction was the Royal Ontario Museum.

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Our five-hour visit allowed me to spend most of it admiring the Regency-era displays and the ancient artifacts, including a huge collection of Minoan vases and Greek statuary.

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The glassware displays were amazing in that the pieces were all intact—and check out that rummer!

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Entire rooms from the Georgian era had been reassembled with their furnishings and artwork.

The most impressive displays in the ROM (and certainly the ones that take up the most amount of space) were probably those of the dinosaurs, and yet the prettiest display in the building? The seashells.

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Ta-ta for now!

A Visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum

One of the best benefits of visiting museums like the British Museum or the Victoria and Albert Museum is that they don’t charge admission. That means you can simply pop in for a quick look around or spend an entire day lost in the collections. We wish we’d had more time for this one, and that our battery hadn’t died on the good phone (the one we used for all the photos we took on tour—we even used up our portable battery power).

Victoria and Albert Museum

We had just over an hour in the V&A, as some call it. This massive set of interconnected buildings houses a vast array of art, sculptures, silver, gold, stained glass, ceramics, fashions—the list goes on. We were there for the sculptures, for the V&A has not just one large gallery, but two (one of which is made up of the court casts—copies of the originals). There are also smaller sculptures up on the third floor.

 

 

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Since we had some time, we checked out the gallery featuring silver and gold, and came across some snuff boxes from the 1700s.

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The mosaic and inlay furniture was on our way to the silver, so we stopped to admire the craftmanship.

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We were rather impressed by the largest silver wine cooler we’ve ever seen! It’s hard to tell from the photo, but this is over three feet wide.

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We’ve promised ourselves we’ll return to this venue and give it the time it deserves. At closing, we made our way back to the hotel. Tomorrow will be a travel day, as our stay in England comes to an end. <sniffle> Thanks for following us on this journey. Ta-ta for now.

This entry was posted on May 17, 2017. 2 Comments

A Tour of Georgian and Regency-era Neighborhoods in London

Besides touring Regents Park with a Blue Badge Guide earlier this morning (a real treat set up by our tour operator, Across the Pond Vacations), we were taken on a tour of some neighborhoods made up of homes built during the Georgian and Regency eras. We were also provided with a history of London and why it is there are “rings” of neighborhoods surrounding the original city colliding with what used to be royal properties far outside of the city. It seems urban sprawl met itself in the middle when it came to London.

During the Regency era, the toniest address in London was Park Lane. Nowadays, Cumberland Place holds that honor. Situated adjacent to Regents Park, it’s a collection of buildings that house embassies as well as offices of royalty. And some people even live there!

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George architecture is fairly easy to spot. The buildings are usually red brick or covered in “London stucco”, that cream color so prevalent in the buildings in the posh areas. Trimmed in white, they look especially smart. Some look almost Italianate, since it’s hard to tell whether or not their roofs are flat (they’re not).  Most feature columns with either Doric or Corinthian tops, and sometimes the columns are merely suggested in the reliefs found on the fronts.

Notice how the windows tend to get smaller the higher they are on the building. From the street level, it makes the building appear taller than it really is—and the taller the townhouse, the better back in the day. In addition, the servants quarters were on those top floors, so it was thought those windows didn’t need to be that large.

London professionals tend to occupy the Georgians found on Cowley and Barton Streets and Queen Anne  Place.

And of course, there are Victorians, although these aren’t the “painted ladies” you find in the United States.

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Now check out these doors and their surrounding decor. Traditionally, all that carving would be painted white. But what about the double-wide door? It started out as a single-door but was modified to a double-door to accommodate a sedan chair.

As you walk the tiny streets that make up these neighborhoods, you’ll occasionally notice round blue signs mounted on them. They indicate that someone of note, dead for at least twenty years, lived in that house. Below are examples, including Sir Winston Churchill, Sir John Gielgud, TE Lawrence, and Charles Townley (antiquary and collector, best known for the Townley Collection at the British Museum).

And finally, when you happen upon the black posts in front of some pubs or other buildings, take a closer look. Chances are they used to be canons.

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We said our “good-byes” to our guide and took the Underground back to a stop near our hotel. Given it was our last full day in London, we still had one more stop to make before calling it a day. Ta-ta for now!

 

A Visit to Regents Park

 

On our last full day in London, we had a Blue Badge Guide give us a half-day tour of the city with the Georgian and Regency eras in mind. Besides the many streets filled with Georgian homes and Regency townhouses, we paid a visit to Regents Park. Surrounded by the “outer circle”, the park includes an “inner circle” in which we spent most of our visit.

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Commissioned by the Prince Regent as a means to generate some income to pay his massive debts, Regent Street and its green space, Regents Park, weren’t finished until well after he became King George IV. This gem in the middle of London offers a large grass area for sports and includes the London Zoo and Queen Mary’s Gardens, as well as a secret garden.

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To get a sense of just how long this park is, check out the view of the walkway from about one-third into the park.

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The gardens include roses of every color and a colorful assortment of flowers we’ve seen in other gardens around England.

The real surprise in this park is a little-known “secret garden”. Just pass under the arbors and you’ll emerge into a spectacular example of what used to be a mansion’s backyard garden.

Even when you emerge from this garden, ther are more surprises around the corner.

And more roses!

Although we could have spent all day in this park, we had places to be and other things to see, so we were off. Ta-ta for now!

An Afternoon Walk in Hyde Park

After a four-and-a-half-hour train ride (during which we managed over 2000 words on our next novel) and an hour in a taxi, a long walk in Hyde Park was a great way to stretch the legs and see some sites. We started at the Palace Gate and worked our way north to Kensington Palace.

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In the Regency era, this palace was known for its gardens, so we wondered at how few florals we saw in front. Once we took the serpentine path through some tall hedgerows we found the White Garden. Wow! Because it’s completely surrounded by plants and hedges and trees, this is a secluded treasure.

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Next, we headed through the Princess Diana Memorial Playground, where there is plenty of equipment for children and even an “elfin oak tree”. We were just interested in the flowers and unusual plants.

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Then it was off to the Italian Gardens. Located at one end of the Serpentine, it’s a perfectly placed respite for those looking to get off the busy Bayswater Road.

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In the Serpentine, what should we find but a swan with her goslings? When another bird attempted to get too close, mom went into fierce mother mode. If looks could kill…

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We headed south and found the “Physical Energy” statue.

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The Prince Albert Memorial is so large, we could see it from the middle of the park. The statues at the outside four corners represent Asia, Europe, America and Africa. The inner four statues are for commerce, agriculture, manufacture, and engineering. The memorial faces the Royal Albert Hall, which has been undergoing some renovation. Progress has certainly been made since our April 26th tour of London!

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Since we’ll be taking a “Regency” walking tour with a Blue Badge guide in the morning, we resisted the urge to explore the area further. For now, we’re going to enjoy the first Long Island Iced Tea we’ve had since arriving in England (none of the bars or pubs we’ve been to have Sweet and Sour) and continue working on our next novel. Ta-ta for now!

A Céilidh and Edinburgh’s Old Town

From the time we stepped off the train at Ediburgh Waverly, we knew we were in for a treat. Edinburgh is a vibrant city, full of happy people, helpful taxi drivers, and lively entertainment. Our hotel, the Radisson Blu, is conveniently in the middle of it all, along the Royal Mile and a quick walk to anywhere, including the Scottish parliament buildings, St. Giles Church and several monuments. That’s Devil’s Advocate peeking through the close in one of the photos below.

Besides visiting the castle, we attended a traditional Scottish song and dance and dinner show. The Stables at Prestonfield have been putting on “The Taste of Scotland” for 44 years, so they’ve got this down to an art. With several choices for starters and main dishes, diners enjoy an excellent meal (including haggis and wine) along with the entertainment. That dancer in the middle? We’re pretty sure he would make an excellent book cover model.

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We’re back on a Virgin train, this time heading to London. The Scottish countryside is beautiful, and we’re thinking the Yorkshire countryside will be, too. Ta-ta for now!