Jo Beverley here.
I'm currently in that early part of a book that requires regular spot research on this and that. Traveling times, Portugal in the Seven Years War, less well known mercantile activity for some minor characters... And from there, plus a visit to the delightful Whitby Museum, alum mining. Of course the result is writing time that disappears into books and internet, but that's part of the joys of the work, especially when one stumbles over something.
When looking into places for some middle class people to frolic in London, I found Cuper's Pleasure Gardens. Unfortunately, they'd shut before the time period of my Malloren books, which opened in 1763, so it perhaps wasn't surprising that I'd missed them, but it's a reminder that there's always a lot more to London life than the familiar territory.
They were made by a man called Cuper and many called them Cupid's Gardens, which was doubtless good for business! As were the winding paths allowing flirtation, and perhaps more. You can follow the above link to read about them on the excellent
Story of London site.
It's a shame that some people see the medieval period as bleak and dingy, because it could be anything but. Just look at that gorgeous illuminated B I'm delighted to have a medieval novella in the collection A Chalice of Roses, in which all the stories weave around the mythology of the Holy Grail. It is available in the UK from The Book Depository.
You can read an excerpt here.
In February, The Stanforth Secrets will be reissued, also available from the Book Depository. This is one of my early classic regencies, and set in my home area of Morecambe Bay. It was a finalist for the RITA award.
And next month will see my second UK publication, Tempting Fortune, which follows on from Lady Notorious, the RITA winning first book of the Malloren series.
My web site.