Sorry, but my guest author was not able to come. However, I’m all over the place today. Please join me at www.thedashingduchesses.com where I’m talking about marriage, divorce and annulments during the Regency, and at http://rueallyn.com/2012/11/30/please-welcome-ella-quinn-to-friendship-friday/ where I’m talking about myself. Not as interesting, I know, but I’d appreciate it if you’d drop by and say hello.
Archive for November, 2012
This is another wonderful post.
by Susan Spann
The business plan section on Marketing Strategies has three sub-sections: pre-release, release phase, and post-release. Creating a specific plan for each phase helps keep the author – and the marketing efforts – on target and on track.
Pre-release Marketingfocuses on platform building and making connections. Advertising the book plays a role, but so does managing social media, writing, and connecting with readers, authors, and industry professionals.
Remember: the connections need to be real. You can’t just shout your name and book title into the Internet and expect a horde of readers to appear. (And if they do, they’re…
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Please help me welcoming award-winning, multi-published author, Barbara Monajem. (applause)
Ella: Barbara, thanks so much for being here today. As you know, I am such a fan of your Regencies. Tell us a bit about yourself and what made you decide to start writing?
Barbara: I’m an escapist from way back. I found that the best way to stop fretting about what I couldn’t control was to focus on something else. Reading worked for many years, but I realized that making up stories is an even better distraction from real life. Of course, now that I’m published, making up stories is real life, so I’m learning to accept that in the end there is no escaping. Fortunately, making up stories is still a lot of fun.
Actually, I started writing when I was about eight years old, so I guess it was a love of stories that really started me—the escaping bit came later. From reading stories to writing them was a natural, inevitable step for me.
Ella: What drew you to the Regency era?
Barbara: Georgette Heyer. I have read most of her books over and over. Although I wrote in other genres first—children’s fantasy and paranormal mystery/ romance—I had always imagined writing in a Regency voice but didn’t quite have the nerve to try. Then, when Harlequin put out a call for short historical novellas for the Undone line, I couldn’t resist.
Ella: I love Georgette Heyer. Your latest book, A Lady’s Lesson in Seduction, was recently published. It’s your first Christmas novella. Why did you decide to take the plunge?
Barbara: My editor pushed me in. Okay, to tell the truth, she asked politely, but she must have known I would agree. I have been fascinated by old-fashioned Christmas customs ever since reading a delightful children’s story called Hobberdy Dick by Katharine Briggs. Only a small part of that book is about Christmas, but it was my inspiration for A Lady’s Lesson in Seduction. I loved the little hobgoblin in Hobberdy Dick so much that I couldn’t resist having a similar sort of fellow lurking in the background in my novella.
Ella: What’s next for you?
Writing my Christmas story reminded me of how much I enjoy folk magic, so my next two Regency novellas are based upon a rather racy custom to do with finding one’s true love on May Day morning. History and magic—what a fun combination (and an excellent escape)! I hope I get the chance to write more of the same.
Ella: That sounds like so much fun! On to the blurb.
A Lady’s Lesson in Seduction:
Once a notorious rake, Camden Folk, Marquis of Warbury, is now consumed by desire for only one woman: beautiful young widow Frances Burdett. The Yuletide festivities at his country estate present the perfect opportunity for seduction…
After her brief, unsatisfying marriage, Frances swore never to become tied to another man. Then a passionate kiss under the mistletoe reawakens longings she thought buried forever. Can she give in to the pleasures of the body with a rogue like Cam—without losing her heart?
Frances should never have agreed to go to the orchard with the Marquis of Warbury—to gather mistletoe, of all things. She sent him a fierce, furious glare. “If you must have it, I don’t enjoy kissing.”
He eyed her from behind the apple tree. “Not at all?”
“No.” She pressed her lips together.
“Come now,” he teased. “Surely you’re exaggerating.”
Her voice was low, suffused with passion. “You can’t possibly judge how that—that invasion made me feel.”
“That bad, was it?” The marquis reached up and snipped with his shears. “You’re right, I can’t judge, but the general popularity of kissing tells me you were merely unlucky.” He came around the tree, a sprig of mistletoe in his hand.
What a fool she was; in spite of bitter experience, she wanted to kiss him, wanted kissing to be wonderful. How stupid! She was much better off—much safer—as she was.
He kissed the fingertips of his gloves and blew. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”
He picked a berry from the mistletoe and dropped it. “We’ll make it a very light kiss,” he said, coming closer. “Short and sweet.”
She didn’t trust him; she wanted yet didn’t want—
A flurry of snow tumbled from the branches above, distracting her. He swooped in, dropped a swift, cold kiss on her lips, and drew away—but not far. “Was that too unbearable?” Another mistletoe berry fell to the snow.
“No, of course not,” she said, “but—”
“Well, then.” He took her hand and pulled her behind the tree. “If you don’t want me to invade you—accidentally, needless to say—you’ll have to keep your mouth shut.”
“You mustn’t do this—”
“Of course I must. No talking.”
She gave up, shutting both her mouth and her eyes. It was her own fault for coming to the orchard this morning, but she’d enjoyed their time together in the middle of the night so very much. It was only a kiss.
Nothing happened. She opened her eyes again. He was contemplating her mouth from under his lashes. “You have lovely lips.”
Through her teeth, she said, “Get it over with.”
“I’ve never kissed a martyr before.” His lips curled in a lazy smile, and then he pressed his mouth coolly to hers and withdrew again. “It requires a more careful approach than we disgustingly hasty men are used to.” He flicked another berry off the sprig.
She couldn’t help but watch his mouth. What was he going to do, and when?
“Close your eyes, and whatever happens, keep your lips together.”
This time his mouth lingered on hers a few seconds, then pressed light kisses from one corner of her lips to the other. Kiss. “One.” Kiss. “Two.” Kiss. “Three.”
I don’t usually reblog on Saturdays, but I can’t resist. Great post by Travels and travails.
Syllabub (or sillabub, and other variants) had been known in England since the sixteenth century, but by the eighteenth century this alcoholic dessert had become particularly popular, especially in its whipped variety.
Mrs Raikes’ ‘Everlasting sylabubs’ is a typical recipe:
a pint & ½ a Gill of cream a Gill of Rhenish ½ a Gill of Sack 2 Lemons half a pd of loaf sugar; sift the sugar, put it to the cream, put in the rinds of the Lemons grated, squeeze the juice into the wine, and put that to the cream. Whip it with a whisk just half an hour. (British Library, Add MS 69409)
Notice that deceptive ‘just half an hour’; another recipe suggests ‘beat it with a spoone an houer’ (Wellcome Collection, MS 8002), which must have been an arm-aching task.
And here is a recipe for ‘whipt syllabubes’, which makes it clear that it was…
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Another wonderful post.
getting receiving tons of love at Writers In The Storm this week. As part of our “thank you,” we’re bumping this amazing post of hers up by several days. ~ Jenny
by Sharla Rae
The idea for this blog was generated at one our recent critique meetings. We were critiquing a first draft and whoa! I heard an echo of one particular word all over two pages.
As it happens, way back in June of 2010, I wrote a blog called Echoes – Repeat Offenders and explained that they are words and phrases writers over use. Sometimes echoes are caused by a writer’s own speech pattern, that is, words we use a lot when we talk. But sometimes they pop up because we used weak or lame verbiage. And sometimes the lame verb “is” itself an echo.
Ladies and Gents – I give you GET!
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I shouldn’t say I almost forgot to post today, but I did. Between Nanowrimo and company in for the holiday, I’ve been in a fog. Additionally, my muse has taken this story in directions I didn’t expect. So today, you have a choice, you can post an excerpt from your WIP, preferably one you are working on for Nano that surprised you, or any holiday excerpt from your work or another that you like.
Here is mine from the tentatively titled Lord Merton’s Suitable Bride. Lord Merton (Dominic) has a reputation as being a prig. Against his better judgment he took in a child thief his betrothed, Miss Dorothea Stern rescued. They know the child’s mother is dead, but Dorothea finally got him to tell her who he is. This excerpt is a rough first draft.
Dom raised his eyes from the documents he’d been reviewing when Thea entered his study followed by his mother. He rose until they’d taken their seats on two chairs facing his desk. He was glad to see the two of them getting along so well.
He smiled, then noticed neither of them seemed particularly happy. Could it be the house, or God forbid, Mrs. Sorley. “Is anything wrong?”
Thea slid a small piece of paper across the desk. “Tom finally told me who he is. I’d planned to go directly his family’s rooms on St. George Street, but your mother convinced me to discuss it with you first.” Her voice hitched in anger. “I shall confront Mrs. White.”
Dom put down his pen. “The landlady?”
Thea’s lips formed a thin line. “The very one. I surmise she sold Tom to the blackguards who were teaching him to steal.”
Leaning back in the tufted leather chair, Dom tried to catch up with her. Whatever the boy had said obviously overwrought Thea’s sensibilities. “Start from the beginning and tell me what you know.”
It’s all on the paper. Mrs. Sorley was correct, he is gently bred.”
“If that is the case, we need to find his family.”
Thea rubbed her temples and shook her head. “What I do not understand is why the stupid woman didn’t contact the Earl of Stratton.”
Glancing back and forth between his mother and Thea, Dom interpolated, “Stratton?”
As if he hadn’t spoken, she continued, “Surely he would have paid her more than those blackguards.”
“I’m not sure, my dear,” Mama responded, “the earl a hard man. What if his son had married a woman of which he did not approve?”
“But to take it out on a child?” Thea clenched her small hands into fists. “That is criminal!”
Dom ran a hand over his face. What the devil were they talking about? “Would one of you please tell me what the Earl of Stratton has to do with Tom?”
Thea glanced at him with wide eyes as if Dom should know. “He is Tom’s grandfather, of course.”
“Dominic! You will not use that language in front of either me or Dorothea.”
He growled and grabbed the slip of paper from his desk. “Yes, Ma’am.”
James Cavanaugh and Sophia Cummings. He shook his head. Tom’s father was likely several years older than Dom and the only person he could think of to ask about it was Worthington. Damn.
“We could approach the earl first,” Thea said.
“I don’t know, my dear,” his mother responded. “Better to discover if there is any bad blood between them first. Oh, why have I spent so much time immured in the country and at Bath?” She stood. “Let us see this Mrs. White, though I’ll own myself surprised if that is her real name.”
Thea rose as well. What did they think they were doing? Hadn’t they come to him for advice?
“Dominic, I shall take Dorothea home after we visit St. George Street.”
Apparently not. Had all the women in his life gone mad? Well, he probably should have known Thea would go and confront the woman, but Mama?
His mother smiled as she was doing nothing more than paying a social call. Oh, hell. He’d sort them out later.
“Wait a minute. I’m going with you.” He jerked on the bell pull and a footman’s head popped in. “Get the town coach, immediately.”