In my short seven years of writing fiction, I have written a variety of genres/settings: retellings, sequels, Regencies, paranormal, cozy mysteries, vagaries, contemporaries, and inspirational. Most of my 27 novels fall under the big “umbrella” of Regencies, and even the latest one is Georgian, but The Road to Understanding is set in the Georgian period on the American frontier after the Revolutionary War.
One of my favorite writing experiences was the development of my Realm series based around 7 covert operatives during the Napoleonic Wars. The Realm is an elite group of aristocrats that serve England upon the international front. They save a girl from a tribal warlord, who accuses them of stealing a fist-sized emerald and who sends his henchmen to retrieve to England to retrieve it. The conclusion of this series, A Touch of Emerald, is set in Kent and predominantly in the Chistlehurst Caves near Bromley. These caves are a well-developed tourist attraction for the area.
The name “caves” is a bit misleading. The caves are really man-made chalk and flint mines. They were first mentioned in literature circa 1250. They were last believed to have been worked in the 1830s. Three separate work areas encompass some 22 miles of passages.
The sections are called Saxons, Druids, and Romans based on when the workings were established. These different sections and the mileage proved an asset in setting my story within the caves.
Antiquarian, Dr William Nicholls, gave the caves their names in the Journal of the British Archaeological Association (1903). First opened to the public in the early years of the 1900s, the caves now host some 50,000 visitors each year. The chalk from the caves was used by the English to make plaster and water paint (whitewash). Flint may have been used to make tools. It is assumed many of the flintlock rifles used at the Battle of Waterloo used flints mined at Chislehurst.
The Druids section, likely dating between 5000-8000 years prior, is the oldest and most complicated system in the caves. The Druids section may have been used for human sacrifice, and there appears to be an altar with a piece cut out to receive the sacrifice’s blood. The chalk tunnels range between 40 feet and 95 feet below ground. The caves were used during both World Wars as an ammunition depot and for the protection of the populace as underground bunkers.
A Touch of Emerald: The Conclusion to the Realm Series
Four crazy Balochs. A Gypsy band. An Indian maiden. A cave with a maze of passages. A hero, not yet tested. And a missing emerald.
For nearly two decades, the Realm has thwarted the efforts of all Shahee Mire sent their way, but now the Baloch warlord is in England, and the tribal leader means to reclaim the fist-sized emerald he believes one of the Realm stole during their rescue of a girl upon whom Mir turned his men. Mir means to take his revenge on the Realm and the Indian girl’s child, Lady Sonalí Fowler.
Daniel Kerrington, Viscount Worthing, has loved Lady Sonalí since they were but children. Yet, when his father, the Earl of Linworth, objects to Sonalí’s bloodlines, Worthing thinks never to claim her. However, when danger arrives in the form of the Realm’s old enemy, Kerrington ignores all caution for the woman he loves.
“Mother’s Day Sale” Currently Going On! (Ends This Wednesday, May 11, 2016)
TWENTY-ONE titles from Regina Jeffers are on sale as eBooks, each $2.50 or less. Titles are available on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo formats. THE SALE RUNS FROM MAY 1 – MAY 11, 2016. The titles include:
Austen-Inspired: Darcy’s Passions, Honor and Hope, Captain Frederick Wentworth’s Persuasion, Elizabeth Bennet’s Deception, Elizabeth Bennet’s Excellent Adventure, The Pemberley Ball, The Road to Understanding, and Mr. Darcy’s Fault
The REALM Series: A Touch of Scandal, A Touch of Velvet, A Touch of Cashémere, A Touch of Grace, A Touch of Mercy, A Touch of Love, A Touch of Honor, and A Touch of Emerald
Regency: His American Heartsong (a companion to the Realm Series), His Irish Eve, The First Wives Club
Contemporary: Second Chances: The Courtship Wars; “One Minute Past Christmas”
Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep: Book 1 of The Twins Trilogy
The Earl Finds His Comfort: Book 2 of The Twins Trilogy
Mr. Darcy’s Bargain: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary