How the smugglers helped shape the English language…

For most of us, our knowledge of smugglers in the 18th and 19th centuries comes from the stereotype we have seen on films and television. We picture the salty, pirate- looking smugglers sneaking into moonlit coves, muskets in their hands and ready to do battle with anybody who gets in their way. Of course, in some cases this was the case, however my research has led me to understand that, in the main, it really was not as covert or as threatening as all of that. Smuggling at this time is also responsible for many of the phrases that we all blithely use everyday without understanding the significance of the words or their original meanings. In order to raise money for numerous wars, against t

I guess I'm an author now...

Since I was lucky enough to receive The Call from Harlequin Mills and Boon a few weeks ago, I have gone from an amateur writer to a professional one. The only difference between the two states, as far as I can tell, is that now I will get paid for what I do and I can change my occupation on my passport. However, since my good fortune has been splashed over Twitter I have had a few people contact me directly wanting to know how to go about getting published in the first place. I never really know what to say to them and usually end up giving them pointless platitudes like stick with it because you can never really write anything more than that in 140 characters of less. But the truth is you h

21st Century Technology & the Crispy Prawn...

I really do try not to be useless. I am great believer in the old adage that change is good and that being able to adapt to change is a character trait that I am certain that I possess. However, sometimes I yearn for the good old days when all aspects of my life did not require a master’s degree in computing. Don’t get me wrong, I love my computer. And my iPhone. I would be completely lost without either. It’s just that as a woman hurtling towards her first half century, I cannot help thinking that I have not been adequately prepared by society for the digital world that I now live in. Certain aspects of technology are, frankly, baffling. Let me give you an example. I have been incredibly la

What ifs, Procrastination & the Obligatory Crisis of Confidence...

Being a writer is a strange thing. You live the majority of your day inside your own head, talking to yourself. Any person, not a writer, who behaves in such a bizarre way would be sent for clinical evaluation and provided with therapy immediately. Such things are not healthy- unless you are a writer, in which case, they are perfectly normal. Necessary in fact. I say this not because I want anyone’s sympathy, or because I feel that I am misunderstood, but because I never quite know how to respond to people when they ask the sort of sociable questions that we ask each other on a daily basis. What have you been up to? How was your day? What are you doing tomorrow? My answer is always the same.

Regency Reformers, Radicals & Revolutionaries

As a lover and writer of Regency romances, it is easy to get swept away with Jane Austen’s view of that world, where ladies and gentlemen lived in grand houses, attended balls and the most challenging thing that they encountered in their day to day lives was how to behave politely to one another. Unfortunately, for the majority of British people in the early 19th century, daily life was a constant struggle and they were becoming increasingly upset about their lot in life. Governing these people became extremely difficult, which meant that successive British governments genuinely did fear revolution. And they were right to. The beginnings of the Radical movement happened at the end of the 18t

Send them to the Tower! Please...

I am lucky enough to live just 30 minutes from the city of London by train and the station I go into is Tower Hill. To all non-Londoners that probably means very little but to those in the know, that is the best London station that there is because once you climb up those steps out of the ground the first thing that you see is the Tower of London. And the Tower of London just so happens to be my absolute favourite building in the whole world. Period. I have lost count of how many times I have been there, both with my family and on school trips (yes- I used to be a history teacher before I wrote for Harlequin Mills and Boon) and every single time I visit I learn something new about the place.

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Virginia Heath

© 2020 by VIRGINIA HEATH

Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.