Carlo Gatti’s ice wells at the London Canal Museum near King’s Cross led to my exploring just how ice-cream was made before the advent of modern refrigeration and the early development of refrigerated ships. So was born ROSE GLACE, CONFECTIONER TO A DUKE, about an orphaned young girl who makes a new life for herself as an ice-cream maker, and encounters a self-make businessman who runs a shipping line and is looking to inherit a dukedom. (a finalist for historical romance in the EPIC awards 2016)
Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire was my model for the cotton-spinning mill that features in A MASTER OF INDUSTRY, except my version isn’t run quite as well and provides the opening scene of the story when the heroine (a feisty governess) confronts the earl on whose land the mill operates about some pretty telling health and safety issues!
The Gladstone Pottery Museum, Stoke-on-Trent put on a special exhibition of the history of the toilet and inspired IN FOR A PENNY, in which the heroine is the daughter of a sanitary engineer. Then there’s the ne’er-do-well younger son of a duke who needs reforming, a philandering viscount after a new mistress, and a good dollop of society scandal. Quite a raunchy tale.