Archive for July, 2015

Please welcome historical author Jacki Delecki back to the blog!! Jackie is here today to tell us about her latest release,      , and she’s giving away a copy to one of you who tells her you want the book!!

We start with the cover.


Then the blurb.

Miss Amelia Bonnington has been in love with her childhood hero since she was eleven years old… or so she thought until a not-so proper impassioned and unyielding kiss from the not-so honorable and equally disreputable Lord Derrick Brinsley, gave her reason to question the feelings of the heart.

Lord Brinsley, shunned from society for running off with his brother’s fiancée, hasn’t cared about or questioned his lack of acceptance until meeting the beguiling Amelia Bonnington. One passionate moment with the fiery Miss Bonnington has him more than willing to play by society’s rules to possess the breathtaking, red-haired woman.

Amelia unwittingly becomes embroiled in espionage when she stumbles upon a smuggling ring in the modiste shop of her good friend. To prove her French friend’s innocence, she dangerously jumps into the fray, jeopardizing more than her life.

On undercover assignment to prevent the French from stealing the Royal Navy’s deadly weapon, Derrick must fight to protect British secrets from falling into the hands of foreign agents, and the chance at love with the only woman capable of redeeming him.

Since Jacki’s book is out in audio, we’re giving you an audio excerpt today. Click here.

Buy Links: Audible ~ Amazon ~ iTunes


About Jacki:

HeadShot_SmallJacki Delecki is a bestselling romantic suspense writer. Delecki’s Grayce Walters Series, which chronicles the adventures of a Seattle animal acupuncturist, was an editor’s selection by USA Today. Delecki’s Romantic Regency The Code Breaker Series hit number one on Amazon. Both acclaimed series are available for purchase at http://www.JackiDelecki.com. To learn more about Jacki and her books and to be the first to hear about giveaways join her newsletter found on her website. Follow her on FB—Jacki Delecki; Twitter @jackidelecki.

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I’m sorry, but there will be no Sunday News today. I do hope you’ll enjoy these delightful colored pictures!

The Library Time Machine

Hugh Thomson, whose illustrations to the 1903 edition of Frances Burney’s Evelina formed the basis of a recent post, was a prolific and popular illustrator. He produced drawings for some editions of Shakespeare, did illustrations for all of Jane Austen’s novels and also drew pictures to accompany editions of poetry and plays.

I was at pains last time to demonstrate Burney’s local connection in order to justify a post about Thomson’s work. So again I have to point out the local connection of his collaborator, Kensington resident J M Barrie, who had a couple of addresses in Kensington including 133 Gloucester Road, a house I walk past every day, up till now not realising who had lived there.

Before the success of Barrie’s Peter Pan play he enjoyed another stage sensation in London and New York with a play called Quality Street. And yes, they did name the famous tins of chocolates…

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lady beresford's lover_ebook

Lady Beresford’s Lover is finally here!!

Buy Links:  KensingtonAmazon ~ B&N ~ Kobo



Book Tour Schedule:

7/20/15 Romance at Random

7/21/15 USA Today HEA 

7/21/15 Miss Ivy’s Book Nook 

7/21/15 Karen’s Killer Book Bench

7/22/15 Readers Entertainment

7/22/15 Fresh Fiction

7/22/15 Manic Readers

7/23/15 Romance Divas

7/23/15 Shelley K Wall


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Most of us authors are making our way to New York City for the Romance Writers of America conference. But I thought I’d see who is around, and I have a release tomorrow. So here goes! Please post your blurbs and buy links.

Lady Beresford’s Lover, book #7 in The Marriage Game.

Ella Quinn’s bachelors are quite sure of what they want in life—and love—until the right woman opens their eyes…

After a painful heartbreak, Rupert, the handsome young Earl of Stanstead, has decided that when it comes to love, avoidance is best. Until he meets a woman who makes him forget his plan—and remember his longing for a wife and family. Yet he senses that she too has been hurt, though she attempts to hide her feelings—and more—in the most baffling and alluring way. Intrigued, Rupert is willing to play along, if winning her is the prize…

Crushed by her late husband’s scorn, Vivian, Countess of Beresford, believes she is monstrously undesirable. Sadly childless, she has moved to London resigned to a solitary life. Still, when she encounters Rupert at a masquerade ball, her disguise as Cleopatra emboldens her. Convinced he doesn’t recognize her, she begins an after-hours affair with him, always in costume—while allowing him to innocently court the real her by day. But when Rupert makes a shocking choice, will Vivian be able to handle the truth?…

Ella Quinn’s bachelors are quite sure of what they want in life—and love—until the right woman opens their eyes…

After a painful heartbreak, Rupert, the handsome young Earl of Stanstead, has decided that when it comes to love, avoidance is best. Until he meets a woman who makes him forget his plan—and remember his longing for a wife and family. Yet he senses that she too has been hurt, though she attempts to hide her feelings—and more—in the most baffling and alluring way. Intrigued, Rupert is willing to play along, if winning her is the prize…

Crushed by her late husband’s scorn, Vivian, Countess of Beresford, believes she is monstrously undesirable. Sadly childless, she has moved to London resigned to a solitary life. Still, when she encounters Rupert at a masquerade ball, her disguise as Cleopatra emboldens her. Convinced he doesn’t recognize her, she begins an after-hours affair with him, always in costume—while allowing him to innocently court the real her by day. But when Rupert makes a shocking choice, will Vivian be able to handle the truth?…

lady beresford's lover_ebook

Buy Links:

Kensington http://bit.ly/1Ea6UJU

Amazon http://amzn.to/1HcQ1NV

B&N http://bit.ly/1aRNi0f

Kobo http://bit.ly/1BT2OFE

Now it’s your turn!!




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This has been a busy week, and it’s about to get busier!! But first, let’s start with the winner of one of Miranda Neville’s books. Congratulations to Glenda!

Lady Beresford’s Lover, book #7 in The Marriage Game, releases on Tuesday!! Needless to say, I am very excited!!! The early reviews have been fabulous! Here are some examples.

lady beresford's lover_ebook

Bodice Rippers:  “What Ms Quinn does so very well is tangle the knots. Taking a simple, direct situation and turning it Gordian. What a gift! Her books stay with a reader and every time I pick up a new one I fall in love all over again. Lady Beresford’s Lover is a perfect example.”

Book Talk with Eileen: I mentioned this was a multi-layered story which makes me feel I’m watching different rings at a circus.  It is really a hilarious, whirlwind read.  Somehow all the threads of the story are all tied up in a most satisfactory end.  There were quite a few happy ever afters in this one.

The Reading Wench: Ella Quinn knows how to write a story that will keep you reading long into the night.  Her characters are fascinating, funny, sweet and the love story is beautifully written with sensual scenes that are riveting.  I loved this book and enjoy Ella’s writing very much.

Right now, Amazon has Lady Beresford’s Lover on a preorder sale! Amazon

Other buy links: KensingtonB&N ~ Kobo

I’m in NYC for the Romance Writers of America conference. If you’re in the area, please come to the literacy signing at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. If you stop by my website tomorrow, my book tour will be posted.

On to boat news. As you have probably figured out, we’ve been sailing a lot over the past week. Last Monday we did a short walking tour of  Havre de Grace, MD. It’s a cute little town with a mixture of Victorian and Federalist houses. There is also a statute of the Marquis de Lafayette.

HDG Victorian row house HDG 1801 house HDG Victorian row house 2 Ferry sign

On Tuesday we departed Havre de Grace and sailed across the Chesapeake, anchoring not far from the C&D Canal so we could catch the tide the next morning. There are a lot of bald eagles in the area. Unfortunately, they seem to be camera shy.

Bohemia AnchorageBohemia River Anchorage.


After that we sailed down the Delaware River and anchored at Cape May for a few days waiting for a weather window. Hubby and I took a dingy tour of one of the canals.

IMG_0784 Lobster Houes IMG_0783 IMG_0784

We are now in Brooklyn, anchored not farm from Ft. Hamilton.

Brooklyn 2Brooklyn 1

Tomorrow we go into our slip at the 79st Boat Basin Marina. If you’re around, stop by and say hello!

Next Sunday, I’ll be at the Book Obsessed Chicks’ BBQ at Lido Beach!

Where have you been doing, and where are you?

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I will be under way from Cape May to NYC today, so moderation may be slow, but the wonderful Miranda Neville is here to keep you company. She’s talking to you about her book in the fabulous anthology, Dancing in the Duke’s Arms, that she along with several other my favorite authors have just released. I read it right away, and it is a must read!! She is also giving away one copy of any of her other books to one of you who leaves a comment saying you want it!!

First the cover!!


Why Do Dukes Fall in Love?

Every summer the cream of society gathers at the Dukeries, named for the ducal estates concentrated in one small corner of Nottinghamshire. While the entertainments include parties, balls, and a famous boat race, the ducal hosts and their guests find adventure, passion, and happy ever afters.

Four heartwarming stories from four bestselling authors of historical romance, Graces Burrowes, Carolyn Jewel, Shana Galen, and Miranda Neville

Miranda’s story is DUCHESS OF SCANDAL

She was too wild, he was too proud… When the Duke and Duchess of Linton meet after years of estrangement, they may discover they were made for each other after all.

After months of marriage, the Duke of Linton agreed to live apart from his wife. Thrown together due to a scheduling error, Linton finds Althea still has the power to make his heart race. Linton seems different from the critical, indifferent man Althea married. But though she burns for him as a lover, can she trust him to be the husband she needs?

Buy links: Kindle ~ Nook ~ iBooks ~ KoboGoogle Play

About Miranda:

Neville2Miranda Neville grew up in England, loving the books of Georgette Heyer and other Regency romances. Her historical romances include the Burgundy Club series, about Regency book collectors, and The Wild Quartet. She lives in Vermont with her daughter, her cat, and a garden full of weeds.

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Honestly, if it wasn’t for my blog posts, I wouldn’t know what day of the week it was at times. There has been a lot of discussion about secondary characters lately, so let’s have some excerpts involving them. Don’t forget your buy links!

Here is mine from Lady Beresford’s Lover, which releases in 9 days!!

lady beresford's lover_ebookNick started to trail her at a reasonable distance when a gloved hand, adorned with rings, stopped him. “I don’t believe I’ve made your acquaintance, sir.” An older woman with a purple turban complete with large floppy feathers addressed Hawksworth. “Hawksworth, make the introductions, if you would.”

Nick wanted to bark a laugh as his friend paled.

Hawksworth bowed. “My lady, allow me to introduce the Earl of Beresford. My lord, Lady Bellamny, my godmother.”

Ah, the dragon of the ton. Only Almack’s patroness had as much influence. “My lady, a pleasure to meet you.”

“Well, you’re one of the few young men who think so.”

He choked, quickly turning it into a cough.

“I’ll leave you now before you have apoplexy.” She patted his arm. “Miss Corbet is safely back with Lady Telford. If you wish to court her, here is your chance.”

It was apparently Hawksworth’s turn to change a laugh into a cough.

“You misunderstand,” Nick said firmly. “I have no interest in the lady, nor does she have any in me.”

“Indeed.” Lady Bellamny leaned toward him a bit. “In that case, the two of you should not spend so much time watching one another.”

Before Nick could think of a reply, she left to accost another innocent guest.

“Better you than me,” his friend muttered. “Thank you for absolutely nothing.”

Hawksworth shrugged. “When it comes to Lady Bellamny, it’s each man for himself. The woman scares me to death when she’s in Town, and I have known her all my life. However, if you wish to marry, she will do all she is able to assist you into the parson’s mouse-trap.”

Nick scanned the ballroom. Silvia was being led out to dance with a man of middling height who looked to be several years older than he. “Who is she with now?”

“Lady Bellamny?”

“No, Miss Corbet.”

Hawksworth fixed his quizzing glass on the dance floor. “Bumfield. He is a widower with several children. Perfectly harmless.” Nick must have done something, for the next thing out of his friend’s mouth was, “Why the devil don’t you just ask her to stand up with you?”

“She won’t do it,” he answered, hoping his tone wasn’t as petulant as he felt.

“Oh, I think she will. As long as there is a space left on her card. After all, if she turns you down, she can’t dance for the rest of the evening.”

Nick had forgotten that small nicety. She would probably annihilate him later, but it might be worth it. “Do you know Lady Telford?”

“Yes, why?”

“You’ll have to introduce me. I plan to do a bit of reconnaissance before springing the trap.”

Hawksworth shook his head. “You were in the army for far too long.”

“Be that as it may.” Nick grabbed his friend’s arm. “I need an introduction, and you will need to perform it. And I was in only a year longer than you.”

A few minutes later, Nick bowed and Hawksworth did his duty.

“It is a pleasure, my lord.” Lady Telford glanced from Hawksworth to Nick.

He cleared his throat. “I’d like to ask Miss Corbet to stand up with me.”

The older lady languidly waved her fan. “Then ask her.”

His cravat tightened. “I wanted to know if she had any sets left this evening. She is quite popular.”

Her ladyship’s lips curved in a catlike smile. “She is indeed, and your luck is not in this evening, my lord. However, I believe she still has a few dances open to-morrow for the Torrington ball.”

As luck would have it, he had accepted an invitation to the event. “Thank you.” He moved to the side a bit and watched Silvia gracefully perform her part of the cotillion. It might be a good idea to ask her with her ladyship close at hand.

He waited until Silvia’s partner returned her to Lady Telford, and bowed “Miss Corbet.”

Her fine dark brows drew together. “My lord?”

“I wish to ask you to dance with me at the Torrington ball.”

She opened her mouth and shut it again. “I—I don’t know what I have available. My dance card for that entertainment is at home.”

“Come, my dear.” Lady Telford seemed to purr. “I remember you had a country dance and the supper dance. Though I believe Lord Oliver intends to request the supper dance. It is a waltz.”

Lord Oliver be damned. “I’d like the supper dance.” Hawksworth poked Nick in his back. “If you would be so kind.”

Her ladyship nodded approvingly, while Silvia’s glare shot darts at him. But his friend was right. He had trapped her. She couldn’t do anything but accept.

With a smile he knew he’d pay for later, she responded, “Thank you, my lord. It would be my pleasure.”

At least she hadn’t gritted her teeth.

“I look forward to to-morrow.” He bowed to both the ladies before making his escape. If he remained too long, she was sure to think of a way out of standing up with him. “That didn’t go badly at all.”

“I hope she doesn’t carry knives,” Hawksworth remarked.

“No, not metal ones at any rate.” Though her tongue could flay the flesh off a man.

Buy Links: Kensington http://bit.ly/1Ea6UJU

Amazon http://amzn.to/1HcQ1NV

B&N http://bit.ly/1aRNi0f

Kobo http://bit.ly/1BT2OFE

Now it’s your turn!! Let’s see what you’ve got!


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Happy Sunday!!

To Kiss a Rake 600x900Let’s start with the winner of Barbara Monajem’s book, To Kiss a Rake!!! Congratulations to Amanda Gardner!!




I’ve been busy this week getting ready to my blog tour for Lady Beresford’s lover. lady beresford's lover_ebook


miss featherton's christmas prince_ebookI also received the galleys for Miss Featherton’s Christmas Prince which are due on the same day Lady B releases and RWA begins! I really need to talk to my publisher about scheduling.






Before then, I’d been making good progress on the third book in The Worthingtons, which might be titled Saving the Duke. Although, as you know, I’m running about 50’% on keeping my titles.

Here is an unedited snippet.

Sure he was alone, Gideon, Duke of Rothwell, thundered down the Park’s empty carriage lane. Suddenly, a dark bay burst out of the mist burst. Yet it was the massive dog, almost the size of a pony, keeping pace with the horse that he focused on.

What the devil? Faisu, his black Murgese stallion, pranced as Gideon brought him to a halt. “Easy, boy. We don’t need that beast tangling with you.

A moment later, a twist of long, dark hair pulled loose from under the rider’s hat, riveting his attention on the other rider. By the time she was even with him, he’d taken in the neat figure incased in a dark blue habit, and her excellent seat.

She glanced over, slowing her horse for a moment as she passed him. Her cheeks were pink and a smile graced her lush lips. Their gazes met and held. In that second, Gideon felt as if he would tumble into the vivid blue of the rider’s eyes.

A goddess.

On to boat news. We left Annapolis for Pasadena, Maryland on Thursday, after receiving a replacement charger for my tablet. Within a day, Hubby slammed the freezer door on it. Needless to say, it no longer works.

Pasadena was a lovely place to anchor. We have friends there, had a couple of sundowners, what the cruising world calls cocktail hour, and Hubby learned how to repair fiberglass.

Pasadena MD anchorage

We have to be in NYC in eight days, so we left Pasadena this morning for Havre de Grace, Maryland which is sort of enroute to the C&D canal. I had new charger sent there. By next Sunday, we should be anchored off Coney Island.

How have you all been? Are any of you in NYC or going?

Have a great week!




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Please welcome the wonderful Barbara Monajem back to the blog. Barbara is here to day to tell you about her latest book, To Kiss a Rake!! She will also give away one copy to one of you who tells her you want it!

As always, we’ll start with the cover!

To Kiss a Rake 600x900

Now the blurb.

A perfect lady with a secret.

A rake with a code of honor.

The scandal of the season…

And a very inconvenient marriage.


I’m beginning to think the Marriage of Convenience trope should be divided into two – the truly convenient marriages made for financial or social reasons, and the forced marriages, which usually come about through some mishap or other. The fun of this trope, either way, is that usually the couple are obliged to go through their courtship after they marry. They have no choice, and having no choice is often what is needed to make people change and grow.


Here’s the blurb of To Kiss a Rake, which is up for pre-order now and comes out July 29th.



Melinda Starling doesn’t let ladylike behavior get in the way of true love. She’s secretly helping with an elopement, when she’s tossed into the waiting coach and driven away by a notorious rake.


Miles Warren, Lord Garrison, comes from a family of libertines, and he’s the worst of them all—or so society believes. When Miles helps a friend to run away with an heiress, it’s an entertaining way to revenge himself on one of the gossips who slandered him.

Except that he drives off with the wrong woman…and as if that wasn’t scandalous enough, he can’t resist stealing a kiss.

And here’s an excerpt:

Setup: Melinda Starling was abducted by mistake and is now being returned home by her abductor. She falls asleep in the carriage.

Melinda dreamed she was safe in the arms of a truly wonderful man. He adored her with a passion that knew no bounds; she loved him with all her heart. The swaying of the coach pressed them together. She inhaled his warm, male scent and snuggled closer, savoring the way her breast rubbed against his arm. She ached for the pressure of his lips on hers, yearning, yearning… She always woke before her dream lover kissed her.

Not this time. His lips were warm and soft, his breath hot and laced with brandy. Her lips parted instinctively beneath his, and she heard herself give a little moan of pleasure. The tip of his tongue slipped between her lips and touched hers.

The coach came to a halt. Her eyes fluttered open as she woke. The obnoxious lord who’d sworn he wouldn’t touch her broke the kiss, still holding her in his arms. She shoved at him, but he held fast.

“How dare you?” she cried.

The interior of the coach was still cloaked in gloom, but dawn was well on the way. She caught a glimpse of amused eyes before he pulled the brim of his hat over his face. “You fell asleep and slid right into my arms,” he said, his calm voice feeding her rage. “I couldn’t resist.”

She wiped a hand across her mouth. “I was—I was—” She couldn’t get the words out. She’d been saving her first kiss for the man she would marry, and this dastardly person had stolen it.

Thank God she was home. She wrenched herself from his arms just as the groom opened the door. She tumbled out of the coach without waiting for the steps, gathered the skirts of her costume, and ran up the pavement to the house.

She lifted the knocker and rapped it hard against the door, and rapped it again. And waited, shivering in the chill dawn wind, her arms tight about herself. Hurry!

No one answered. The servants must be asleep, but surely Grandmama would have left someone on watch for her. She knocked once again. And waited.

Silence, but for the shuffling of the horses, the barking of a dog, and the rumble of a wagon in the next street. London was coming to life.

She turned, anxious now. Why did the coach still wait? “You needn’t stay any longer. Someone will wake up and let me in.”

“Someone should already be awake and waiting,” the man said irritably from within the coach. He didn’t give the order to leave.

Melinda rapped again. What was going on? She thought she heard a sound within the house, thought she heard a voice, and knocked once more… Nothing. This was ghastly. She had to get indoors before someone saw her.

“Miss Starling, are you sure this is the right house?” The man who’d kissed her was framed in the coach window, his hat low over his brow once again.

“Of course I’m sure. Why don’t they answer?”

“Try the area stairs,” he suggested softly.

She’d never gone in by the servants’ entrance, but it was a good idea, the sort she would usually think of herself, but she couldn’t get her mind to work properly. She lifted the latch and hurried down the steep, winding stairs, shivering now from anxiety as much as the chill dawn air. She banged hard on the door. It was close to the housekeeper’s room, so surely that kindly woman would hear.

From inside the house came a furious bellow. “No! Do not open that door.”

Melinda froze. That was Grandma’s voice. She was…ordering the housekeeper not to let Melinda inside.

Her shiver became a tremble. She stumbled up the steep, narrow stairs and through the gate. She gaped at the dark house, her home, its curtains drawn like the blank eyes of a statue, cold and forbidding and utterly silent again.

“Damn,” the man who had kissed her said. “What the devil is going on?”

The sky lightened, and it finally dawned on Melinda. Grandmama wasn’t going to let her in. She’d been turned away from her own home.

“Did I hear her say not to open the door to you?” the man asked in a low, disbelieving voice.

Melinda blinked back hot, horrified tears and faced him, away from the house and the grandmother who had always wanted to be rid of her. “She used to threaten to wash her hands of me,” she said. “And now she has done it.”

Buy links: AmazonAmazon UK  ~  Amazon Canada  ~  Amazon AU

About Barbara.

BarbaraMonajem300x400I grew up on the west coast of Canada among the mountains and cedar trees. I’m not much into putting down roots–I love moving around–but roots have minds of their own. Mine go deep into those mountains and are entwined with the cedars, and no matter where I live, there’s a part of me that always, always longs for home. It’s a magic place which never lets go, and that’s all there is to it. I’m pretty sure that magic is what started me writing paranormals, because I wrote my first at only eight years old.

I lived in Oxford, England for a year when I was twelve, and I have roots there, too, but they’re mostly cultural. My ancestors are English, with some Scots and Irish farther back. Oxford is heavy with the magic of centuries. I loved it there–everything from playing twosy-ball against the school wall, to helping out at an archaeological dig, to spending my pocket money in Blackwell’s bookshop. I think it’s that year in England, coupled with all the Brit lit I read as a child, that inspired me to write historicals.  My foray into teen melodrama, best forgotten, also sprang from that year in England.

I spent several years in Montreal, and now and then I miss the winters–they’re long, but nothing beats the cold, bright, silent magic of a winter’s night. And the French spoken all around me–I miss that, too. Sometime during the years in Quebec and on into the move to Georgia, I started writing paranormals again, in the form of fantasy for my kids. This resulted in my middle grade novel, The Secret of the Stolen Mandolin.

I live in Georgia and spend a lot of time in south Louisiana, so now I have roots in the southern U.S. as well. I love the dense, humid air (well, usually), the lightning bugs and kudzu (so spooky), the live oaks and resurrection fern. On my first trip to Louisiana, I succumbed to the magic of New Orleans. I love it all: Bourbon Street, beignets and the levee, the Mardi Gras parades, the spicy food and hot nights, the dark and lovely moods of the French Quarter, and the swamps to the north. New Orleans is my inspiration for the funky little town of Bayou Gavotte, with its fetish clubs… and vampires… and who knows what else.







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Great post on sugar lumps!!

Susana's Parlour

sugar loaf moulds copy

One Lump or Two?

by Collette Cameron

Often, when reading historicals (Over four decades now! Gads!) I’ll read something and not think twice about it.

In this instance, I’m talking about lumps of sugar, you know, as in, Do you want one lump or two in your tea?

For years, I mistakenly assumed it was the British way of referring to sugar cubes, which weren’t patented until 1843 by Jakub Krystof Rad who operated a sugar refinery. According to history, his wife sliced her finger cutting a lump of sugar and complained that sugar should come in a convenient size for a teacup. Being a dutiful husband, he created the nifty little units we take for granted today.

220px-Cukrová_homole_001 copyThe English, however, had to wait until 1875 for the luxury of sugar cubes on their tea trays.

Until the late nineteenth century, sugar was purchased in whitish cone-shaped loaves or…

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