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Well, it’s Sam’s day in the wonderful “Diamond Tales” extravaganza.  As I explained a while ago, the “Discovering Diamonds” blog – which devotes itself to publicising and promoting self- and indie-published historical fiction – is marking the festive season by featuring an excerpt from a different novel each day in the run-up to Christmas, and each has to have something to do with diamonds.  Those of you who have read “Portraits of Pretence” may remember that 1827 marked Sam and Martha’s diamond wedding anniversary, and he decided to buy her something special, in that particularly blundering Sam fashion…  And this is the passage I have chosen for today.

I have so enjoyed reading the other diamonds this month – what a perfect introduction to all sorts of writers who are new to me.  It’s such a treat, having a short story in my inbox every day, written in all sorts of different styles and set in every possible historical era.  And yes, I have been tempted to order one or two – OK, four – books on the back of it.  But, as always when I am in the throes of writing, I have observed my diktat that I will not read anything “within a century of Sam” – because I am easily confused if details get too close to the 1820s.  (And for those of you who track these things, my area of research this week has been printing presses – apparently they were often manned by deaf people, who were the only ones who could stand the constant noise.)