Posts Tagged ‘Caroline Warfield’

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Caroline Warfield who shares her thoughts on writing plus an excerpt from her new book.

Sometimes you need a change of pace. Returning from a conference two years ago, I recognized an itch to do something different. I had been writing a series of books involving Victorian heroes working in and returning home from the far reaches of the British empire with a heavy dose of history. It was a familiar world with interrelated families and characters that wandered in and out of one another’s books, but it was wearying. They took time to write. Each required research—sometimes a lot. It was time for a change. I don’t know how other writers build new worlds, but this is what happened to me.

As the airplane sped cross country, I realized I wanted to write a Regency series, but what? Nothing about the marriage mart or London society rose to the surface. What did come into focus was a coaching inn, one of those warm, welcoming places. I let that image develop in my mind and eventually a village appeared around it, a river, a bridge, and a road leading uphill toward a manor, the seat of the local aristocratic family. I had begun world building.

Structures and roads, however do not make a world. It needed to populate it with interconnected families. I began to imagine the innkeeper’s sons. The aristocrat on the hill became an earl. Were they friends? Were they rivals? What if one of the innkeeper’s sons was in actuality the natural son of the earl? By the time the plane landed, I had the basics for the Ashmead world.

That’s where my muse left off and craft began. Step one is always character building. I use detailed character questionnaires to develop well rounded character sketches. I need to know their wounds and scars, their goals and talents, their appearance, their obsessions and event their favorite swear words. In this case I also needed to know what they thought of one another and how they related.

Setting comes next. I find contemporary county directories useful for identifying no end of detail: types of businesses, prices, surnames, assembly rooms, and so on. Books on travel from first decades of the 19th century were a rich source as well, especially for inns, and contemporary maps also helped me envision my village and the land around it. Soon I had created a general map of Ashmead on Afon, and a growing list of local folk: the vicar, grocer, physician, beekeeper, tenant farmers, and so on.

After dragging my previous heroes from Canton to Ottawa to Calcutta and back to London, it was a relief to give the new series a cozy home base. Once I know who my people were, and what their village was like, I could begin to think about plot and the conflicts and complexities that would give their stories life.

I’ve created a Facebook Group that provides a guide to the Ashmead people and places for my readers. While this is a work in progress, you can find it under Caroline Warfield’s Fellow Travelers .

About the Series, The Ashmead Heirs
When the Earl of Clarion leaves a will with bequests for all his children, legitimate and not, listing each of his bastards and their mothers by name, he complicates the lives of many in the village of Ashmead.

One sleepy village

One scandalous will

Four beleaguered heirs

About Book One, The Wayward Son
Sir Robert Benson’s life is in London. He fled Ashmead the day he discovered the man he thought was his father had lied to him, and the girl he loved was beyond his reach. Only a nameless plea from his sister—his half-sister—brings him back to discover he’s been left an estate with a choice piece of land. He will not allow a ludicrous bequest from the earl who sired him turn him into a mockery of landed gentry. When a feisty little termagant with flashing eyes—and a musket—tries to turn Rob off the land—his land—he’s too amused and intrigued to turn away. But the longer he stays, the tighter the bonds that tie him to Ashmead become, strengthened by the powerful draw of the woman rooted on land he’s determined to sell.

Lucy Whitaker’s life is Willowbrook, its land, its tenants, its prosperity, but she always knew it wasn’t hers, knew the missing heir would come eventually. When a powerful man with military bearing rides up looking as if he wants to come in and count the silver, she turns him away, but her heart sinks. She can’t deny Rob Benson his property; she can only try to make him love the place as she does, for her peoples’ sake. A traitorous corner of her heart wishes Rob would love it for her sake.

His life is London and diplomatic intrigue; hers is Ashmead and the land. How can they forge something lasting when they are torn in two directions?

Available on Kindle Unlimited or for purchase on Amazon.

October 2021: The Defiant Daughter
January 2022: The Forgotten Daughter
May 2022: The Upright Son

About the Author

Award winning author Caroline Warfield has been many things: traveler, librarian, poet, raiser of children, bird watcher, Internet and Web services manager, conference speaker, indexer, tech writer, genealogist—even a nun. She reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.

You can find Caroline here:





Book Bub


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Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Gardens she loves and her new book


Caroline Warfield

If you check out my official biography, you will note I am a lover of gardens—but not necessarily the act of gardening. For that reason, I’m particularly fond of large public gardens, ones that don’t ask me to do anything other than admire and enjoy.

I have had the good fortune to visit many around the world, having wandered through the Tuileries Garden and the gardens at Versailles and Hampton Court. I enjoyed Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, and toured both Auckland’s Hamilton Gardens and the Christchurch Botanical Gardens in New Zealand. I found delightful pocket gardens tucked into walled enclaves in Venice, and was awed on a private tour of the Vatican Gardens with friends. The National Orchid Garden of Singapore is a stunner.

I was reminded lately that we have treasures here in the urban wilds of eastern Pennsylvania as well. The University of Pennsylvania’s Morris Arboretum is a tree lover’s paradise. This week, however, I took a friend to Longwood Gardens, Pierre DuPont’s gem in Kennett Square. DuPont reportedly bought the land to preserve the rare and interesting trees collected by a previous generation in 1906, and immediately began laying out flower walks. Later came the spectacular Conservatory, opened to the public in 1921.

DuPont endowed a foundation to maintain and improve the place in 1937 and for many years it was free to the public. That is, alas, no longer true; it is a pricey ticket. However, once inside, I never doubt it is money well spent. At 1007 acres a visit takes all day and features numerous flower walks and secluded formal gardens, rose arbors and topiary, tree houses (yes, plural), meadow walk and lake, water features of every sort imaginable including the newest—absolutely spectacular—main fountains that draw hundreds to the place.

The conservatory has been well cared for, and its collections (orchid room, children’s garden, rotating seasonal displays, organ and music room, bonsai, central Mediterranean garden, orangerie, and much more) are worth a visit all by themselves. Its Green Wall, covered with plants, which is the entrance way for a series of bathrooms, was once voted America’s Best Restroom.

My personal favorite? The water lily ponds, with the dozens of varieties including giant lily pads.
I’ve not included many gardens in my novels, but in The Price of Glory , I needed to. When the heroine arrives in Khartoum, a provincial outpost more military base than city, in 1839, she would have found a newly built governor’s palace which would have assuredly had a garden—wouldn’t it? I had no idea, so I invented one.

To their right the governor’s palace rose along the river, an oasis of green surrounding it. The garden’s size, a pittance compared to the courtyards of the khedive in Cairo, relieved the heavy gloom of the surrounding walls. An artificial stream wound among Nile grass, dracaena and monk orchids, cooling the air.

About the Book: The Price of Glory

Richard Mallet comes to Egypt with dreams of academic glory. He will be the one to unravel the secrets of the ancient Kushite language.

Analiese Cloutier seeks no glory—only the eradication of disease among the Egyptian women and children of Khartoum.

Neither expects to face intrigue, unrest, and insurrection, to be forced to marry to escape death—or to succumb to amorous enchantment under a desert moon.

About the Author

Award winning author Caroline Warfield has been many things: traveler, librarian, poet, raiser of children, bird watcher, Internet and Web services manager, conference speaker, indexer, tech writer, genealogist—even a nun. She reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.

Find Caroline at:

Amazon Author Page

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

The adventuress Caroline Warfield who brings us her latest captivating story plus a recipe that fills.

Eight All-new Stories, One Catastrophic Storm
When a storm blows off the North Sea and slams into the village of Fenwick on Sea, the villagers prepare for the inevitable: shipwreck, flood, land slips, and stranded travelers. The Queen’s Barque Inn quickly fills with the injured, the devious, and the lonely—lords, ladies, and simple folk; spies, pirates, and smugglers all trapped together. Intrigue crackles through the village, and passion lights up the hotel. Grace Burrowes and Mary Lancaster lead a team of eight authors for Storm & Shelter. Caroline Warfield enthusiastically joins in.20210331 ahmdw-stsk2

A recipe as might be found at the Queen’s Barque on a busy night~

An inn kitchen makes me think of pub food—or comfort food. Shepherd’s pie is my favorite, though I confess, our family has no recipe. Still, such a dish might have come from the kitchen at the Queen’s Barque. It is compiled from ingredients at hand, but it goes more or less as follows:
A pound of ground beef, or beef and pork, or beef and a bit of ground chicken
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced.
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup of beef broth
¼ cup of red wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Herbs if you like them. Thyme is good
Corn starch—a tablespoon or two
1 ½ cup vegetables—peas, corn, diced carrots or cut green beans in a pinch, frozen and defrosted or cooked fresh
2 cups mashed potatoes—I use roughly two pounds of potatoes, a stick of butter and a half cup of heated whole milk, and a teaspoon of salt. Mash it with a hand masher until smooth. More milk as needed.
1. Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cook the onions and garlic in oil until the onions are transparent.
3. Add the meat and brown until cooked, stirring and persuading it into small pieces, mixing with the onions as you brown.
4. Drain fat
5. Stir in corn starch, coating the meat.
6. Add broth, wine, Worcestershire sauce and any herbs. Stir and simmer until it thickens.
7. Stir in vegetables and remove from heat.
8. Use a spatula to turn the meat mixture into casserole dish that will allow it to spread to no more than 3 inches deep.
9. Cover with mashed potatoes. Dot the potatoes with butter to aid in browning if you like.
10. Bake until the top browns and the filling bubbles up along the side, about 30-45 minutes.

While you wait for your pie to cool how about a book to read.

“The Tender Flood,” is Caroline Warfield’s contribution to Storm & Shelter.
Among the refugees who seek refuge at the Queen’s Barque are Patience Abney who offers to work for the innkeeper, cleaning rooms, to pay for herself and the six little boys she brought with her. Zachary Newell, a coachman sleeps above the stables and eats in tap room. I wonder if they enjoyed shepherd’s pie?
The story

Neither battle nor loss of his leg destroyed Zachery Newell. Working as a coachman, he tries to build a life in spite of his injuries while he plans for the sort of life he knew in childhood, happy and content above his father’s print shop, but when a woman races out of the storm and into the stable yard of The Queen’s Barque with a wagon full of small boys, puppies, and a bag of books, he is enchanted.

Dismissed by a charity school, Patience Abney struggles on her own to create The Academy for the Formation of Young Gentlemen to give every boy a happy and productive life. Now the roof has caved in. Though she managed to get her boys to the safety of an inn, she has no idea how she will rebuild.

Zach knows Patience, the granddaughter of an earl, is far above the touch of shopkeeper’s son. He tries to keep his distance, but when the two of them make their way across the flooded marsh to her damaged school in search of a missing boy, attraction grows into passion, complicating everything.

An excerpt:

Two things struck him as the wagon lurched to a halt in the shelter of the barn. The wagon’s cargo stirred and shifted under an old patchwork quilt, and the driver, who scrambled down and swept off the ugly hat, was no boy. No lad had eyes so warm and brown, lashes so long, or so glorious a fall of hair; she held him transfixed.

“I need to talk to Mr. Brewster!” The tiny bit of a woman cast wide, frightened eyes up at him as if he could produce the innkeeper. “The road collapsed above town; it gave way and slid down just as we passed.”

“If we were two minutes later, we’d’ve all been tossed into the sea!” The boy who sat with her jumped down beside her. This one, definitely a lad, looked to be fourteen or so.

Mallet set a hand on Zach’s shoulder. “I’ll alert the innkeeper while Jamie tries to wake a groom. You do what you can for the lady and her, er, cargo.”

Zach nodded without looking at his departing passengers, his attention still transfixed on the woman: rum, exhaustion, and a pair of deep brown eyes making it hard to think. One word finally wormed its way into his consciousness. “All?”

He followed her gaze to where the boy pulled back the wet blanket over the bed of the wagon. Five pairs of eyes stared back at Zach, five boys soaked to the skin, and shaken with terror.

“Are we safe now, Miss Patience?” one asked, his voice quivering.

“We are indeed safe, Walter, as I promised we would be,” the woman said with confidence. Only Zach heard her add “Thank God,” under her breath.

You can buy it at Amazon
Find more vendors and information about all eight stories here

About Caroline Warfield

Carol Roddy - Author

Traveler, adventurer, writer of historical romance. Enamored of owls, books, history, and beautiful gardens (but not the actual act of gardening). You can find her novels set, mostly, but not entirely, in the Regency or Victorian eras here or just follow her Newsletter or on BookBub

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.



The Heart of a Writer

By Caroline Warfield

After two weeks of driving and visiting, I’m back at my desk today. A highlight was lunch with old friends from Central Ohio Fiction Writers. It was a joy to catch up on everyone’s work, and share with people who love the craft! One topic of particular interest—approaches to starting a new book. Every writer is different.

I’ve learned over the years that my process is iterative. I begin with the characters, a main one or two but usually an ensemble of people, almost always family members. i consider the main characters . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Caroline Warfield’s blog

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.



The Artist Who Dressed As She Pleased

By Caroline Warfield

Rosa Bonheur dressed in trousers when women were still trussed in corsets. She required permission from the prefect of police to do so, but she was unapologetic about her choices. She lived her life as she pleased. She said, “The epithets of imbeciles have never bothered me.” Among the great Victorian examples of eccentricity Bonheur stands out as someone whose personal life and work intertwined in ways that benefited both.

Best know as a painter and sculptor of animals, she grew up in a household notable for its affiliation with Saint-Simonianism, a . . .

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History Imagined blog

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Highlighting Petie McCarty’s research into Regency medicine and the use of (shudder) leeches.

Coming from a scientific background and career, I’m no stranger to research so I eagerly dove into research for weeks for each of my novels before the first draft ever started, checking everything from habitat and indigenous species to climatic conditions of the location chosen for the story. The level of research doubled with Duke du Jour as I immersed myself in the whole Regency era. What shocked the stuffing out of me was the background work I did for the humorous scene where my hero suffers a leech application after he faints upon. . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Caroline Warfield’s blog

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.



Christmas in the Regency

By Jude Knight

Jude Knight Highlights Christmas romance and reminds us how it was celebrated in the Regency

With Christmas just around the corner, I’ve been wrapping presents, decorating the house, and making lists of ingredients for Christmas baking. I’ve been writing and reading Christmas stories set in the Regency, and thinking about the differences between then and now. And I’m publishing my own box set of novellas and novelettes set at Christmas.

Party on, dude

Many of the Christmas practices we think of as traditional began in. . .

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Caroline Warfield’s blog

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.



The Anti-Opium Crusader

By Caroline Warfield

Not all the interesting and colorful characters from the 1830s were British. Lin Zexu, also known as Lin Tse-hsu, a Chinese scholar and government official, rubbed against the British mercantile ambitions of that era with dogged determination and incorruptible integrity. Unfortunately, the First Opium War broke out as one unintended consequence of his efforts. The humiliating defeat and resulting unequal treaty caused in Lin’s downfall. He became a scapegoat and spent much of his remaining years banished to the mountainous central-Asian Xinjiang frontier province of Xinjiang. Today he is widely regarded as a hero in China.

Born August 30, 1785, in in Fujian province in relative poverty, his father, a teacher, made sure he received a classical Confucian education. His brilliance. . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

History Imagined blog

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Friday Features


Caroline Warfield

An Introduction

When the Bluestocking Belles let their readers select story elements for their next anthology, I was given a trope (a compromising situation that isn’t what it seems) and three other things (a Bible, an heroine in her thirties with hazel eyes, and a wise old man) that I had to include in my story. The setting that popped into my mind almost immediately was France in 1916. You may guess that unleashed the need for research. The result of it all was my story “Roses in Picardy” in the anthology Never Too Late, which goes live November 4. TOMORROW!


Food in the Trenches 1916

First of all, keep in mind that no one starved. The aphorism that an army runs on its stomach was as true then as ever. The armies made every effort to feed their men, even while civilian populations actually were starving. That doesn’t mean they ate well.

Field kitchens existed. When troops rotated out of the trenches they might have the hot coffee, porridge and stews such places provided. Getting to supplies to the kitchens was difficult, however, so they made due with basic rations, and what could be scavenged, including weeds and nettles. Getting food from the kitchens to the trenches was even more difficult. When it arrived it was usually cold and unappetizing. Gas attacks ruined stews and soups.

In the trenches men were given field rations. For British and colonial troops this consisted mainly of tinned meet (usually corned beef or “Bully Beef”), hard biscuits, tea, and bits of salt and sugar. They might also get beef stock powder. Sometimes they got jam or, on rare occasion, a sweet. An alternative to the beef was a horrid concoction of tinned stew called Maconochie Stew, said to be barely edible warm and impossible to eat cold. American troops fared little better although their tinned ration might include salmon or other fish.

A Recipe

Heating food in the trench presented another obstacle. If they could heat it at all, they usually did it over a candle. Camp stoves were rare. The very height of fine dining was probably trench stew. Cookit.com has a recipe for trench stew with these ingredients:

½ can tinned beef

whatever root vegetables you can find (they suggest a turnip and a carrot)

a pint of water

one or two hard biscuits

Stock cube or powder

You can find their recipe here, although you can probably figure out how to make it on your own. If you would like to try it, you might want to purchase reproduction rations. You can find them here: http://17thdivision.tripod.com/rationsoftheageofempire/id7.html


About Roses in Picardy

After two years at the mercy of the Canadian Expeditionary force and the German war machine, Harry is out of metaphors for death, synonyms for brown, and images of darkness. When he encounters color among the floating islands of Amiens and life in the form a widow and her little son, hope ensnares him.





Rosemarie Legrand’s husband left her a tiny son, no money, and a savaged reputation when he died. She struggles to simply feed the boy and has little to offer a lonely soldier.





Are men in Hell happier for a glimpse of Heaven?”

The piercing eyes gentled. “Perhaps not,” the old man said, “but a store of memories might be medicinal in coming months. Will you come back?”

Will I? He turned around to face forward, and the priest poled the boat out of the shallows, seemingly content to allow him his silence.

“How did you arrange my leave?” Harry asked at last, giving voice to a sudden insight.

“Prayer,” the priest said. Several moments later he, added, “And Col. Sutherland in the logistics office has become a friend. I suggested he had a pressing need for someone who could translate requests from villagers.”

“Don’t meddle, old man. Even if they use me, I’ll end up back in the trenches. Visits to Rosemarie Legrand would be futile in any case. The war is no closer to an end than it was two years ago.”

“Despair can be deadly in a soldier, corporal. You must hold on to hope. We all need hope, but to you, it can be life or death,” the priest said.

Life or death. He thought of the feel of the toddler on his shoulder and the colors of les hortillonnages. Life indeed.

The sound of the pole propelling them forward filled several minutes.

“So will you come back?” the old man asked softly. He didn’t appear discomforted by the long silence that followed.

“If I have a chance to come, I won’t be able to stay away,” Harry murmured, keeping his back to the priest.

“Then I will pray you have a chance,” the old man said softly.


About Never Too Late

Eight authors and eight different takes on four dramatic elements selected by our readers—an older heroine, a wise man, a Bible, and a compromising situation that isn’t. Set in a variety of locations around the world over eight centuries, welcome to the romance of the Bluestocking Belles’ 2017 Holiday and More Anthology.

It’s Never Too Late to find love!


The Piper’s Lady by Sherry Ewing

True love binds them. Deceit divides them. Will they choose love?



Her Wounded Heart by Nicole Zoltack

A solitary widow, a landless knight, and a crumbling castle.



A Year Without Christmas by Jessica Cale

An earl and his housekeeper face their feelings for one another in the midst of the English Civil War.



The Night of the Feast by Elizabeth Ellen Carter

One night to risk it all in the midst of the French Revolution.



The Umbrella Chronicles: George & Dorothea’s Story by Amy Quinton

The Umbrella Strikes Again: St. Vincent’s downfall (aka betrothal) is assured.



A Malicious Rumor by Susana Ellis

A harmonious duo is better than two lonely solos for a violinist and a lady gardener.



Forged in Fire by Jude Knight

Forged in volcanic fire, their love will create them anew.



Roses in Picardy by Caroline Warfield

In the darkness of war, hope flickers. In the gardens of Picardy, love catches fire.


You can buy it from various retailers. The links are here. 25% of proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.


Caroline Warfield

Caroline Warfield has been many things. Now retired to the urban wilds of Eastern Pennsylvania, she divides her time between writing and seeking adventures with her grandbuddy and the prince among men she married. Her new series sends the children of the heroes of her earlier books to seek their own happiness in the far-flung corners of the British Empire.


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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.



The Surveyor in Snowshoes

By Caroline Warfield

Wandering around the great medieval cathedral of St. Magnus in Kirkwall, Scotland I came upon an unusual monument among the 14th century stones and 18th century funerary inscriptions. The life-sized statue depicted a man at rest on the ground, with his hands behind his head, his feet encased in moccasins, with both a book and a weapon at his side. The inscription celebrated John Rae M.D. A doctor? On the ground? Additional honorifics after his name identified him as a Fellow of the Royal Society and Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. I had never heard of the man; I had stumbled upon another one of my colorful Victorians.

It should be no surprise I hadn’t heard of him. While his contemporary and fellow Scotsman, David Livingstone, garnered much greater fame and a memorial in Westminster Abbey, Rae’s contemporaries overlooked his accomplishments. His respect for native peoples earned him little but scorn. Though he died in London, his grave is a quiet corner of the churchyard in Kirkwall.

The statue, as it turned out, made a fitting memorial for a man who lived much of his life out of doors, and whose greatest accomplishments were in. . .

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History Imagined blog

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