Archive for December, 2012

I’d like to thank all of you for supporting me this year. I’ve had a great time reading your excerpts and comments. For those of you who didn’t post, just knowing you came by made a difference. Personally and professionally, this has been an amazing year for me. I’ve met so many new friends and, as many of you know, my first three books will be published in the autumn. So, again, thank you so much for your support. I means the world to me.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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From Jane Austen’s World

Jane Austen's World

Inquiring readers: This is the first of many posts I’ll be writing about “Pride and Prejudice” in honor of that novel’s 200 year anniversary in 2013. Enjoy.

Some London streets seem determined never to distinguish themselves. No mediaeval scuffle has ever occurred in them; no celebrated church hoards its monuments; no City hall cherishes its relics there; no celebrated person has honoured it by birth or death. Gracechurch Street is one of these unambitious streets. It derived its name, says Stow, from the grass or herb market there kept in old time, and which gave its name to the parish church of St. Bennet. – British History Online,

It is a woeful fact that I most likely crossed Gracechurch Street on my first visit to London and never new it. We had just visited Tower Hill and were heading for St. Paul’s Cathedral on foot. My husband and I wandered…

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Dreiling_Vicky -002 5x7_smallPlease help me welcoming the lovely, award-winning, Regency author, Vicky Dreiling. Vicky is here to discuss her writing and giving away a copy of her award-winning book How to Marry a Duke. (applause)

Ella: Vicky, thanks so much for being here today. Tell us a bit about what made you decide to start writing and your writing journey?

Vicky: Thanks for inviting me to your blog! I started writing in diaries when I was only ten years old. I kept it up until I was twenty and had too much reading to do at university. Also, I’ve been a voracious reader since I was a child. My best friend & I used to read at the beach while our boyfriends were surfing.  I was late to romance books, however, and bought my first one by accident. My daughter Amber was with me while I was at the supermarket. I picked up a book with a pretty dress on the cover. My darling daughter took off running. I threw the book in the basket and forgot about it until I got home. I put Amber down for a nap and opened the book. Two hours later, my daughter woke up, and I was stunned that I hadn’t been able to put the book down. That book was Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught.

Anyway, I went crazy reading every historical romance I could find for several years. Then one day I realized I had nothing to read, and it was my day off from teaching aerobics (yes, one of my former professions – it was fun). For grins, I started writing a historical romance. Then a friend called. When I confessed my hobby, she told me something that still gives me chill bumps. She’d seen a notice for a class in how to write a romance at the suburban branch of the local university. I signed up for the class on a whim. That’s where I learned about RWA and a great deal about the craft of writing. My first teacher Patricia Kay was wonderful. I learned so much, and unbelievably, my first book made the finals in the Golden Heart contest. It was not the only “this must be fate” moment for me. I also met my agent by accident – twice. Here’s a link to that story: http://www.vickydreiling.com/blog/?p=42

I guess I was meant to be a writer.

Ella: What drew you to Regencies?

Vicky: Honestly, I was drawn to British set historical romances in the beginning. When I first started researching the Regency time period, I was fascinated. Despite years of researching the era, I still have to do a certain amount of research with almost every book. The research was fun when I took tours in London while on business trips. I toured Sir John Soane’s Museum (what a collection!), Apsley House, Windsor Castle, and the museums. I also did a walking tour of the West End and saw Beau Brummel’s town house. I got a lot of ideas for my books from those tours. There are photos on my website of some of the places where I traveled.

Ella: What are you working on now?
Vicky: The second book in my new series, The Sinful Scoundrels.

Coming May 2013What a Wicked Earl WantFINAL (1)
Andrew Carrington, Earl of Bellingham, believes in being a gentleman, whether it’s fishing a soggy stranger out of the Thames or assisting a fetching lady into his bed. If the stranger becomes a friend and the lady a mistress, all the better. He certainly welcomes the opportunity to help Laura Davenport, a dazzling young widow with a rebellious stepson. Her gratitude, he hopes, will take an amorous form. But from the moment he sets foot in her drawing room, he gets far more than he bargained for …
It was a moment of desperation. On the brink of losing her stepson, Laura turned to the notorious Lord Bellingham for help. Suddenly she, a vicar’s daughter, is in the precarious position of resisting his tantalizing advances. How Bell earned his wicked reputation is clear; the surprise is how much more there is to him than the gossip sheets could possibly reveal. Now every moment with this dangerously desirable man puts Laura’s good name at risk-and promises pleasure unlike any she has ever known …

Ella, here is a short excerpt from What a Wicked Earl Wants:

She gasped and stepped back. “My lord, I am a respectable widow.”
“You promised to do anything I asked.”
“I was desperate.”
Bellingham noticed her clenching and unclenching her skirts and sighed. He’d never coerced a woman before, and he wasn’t about to start now. He drew in breath to tell her that he’d only been teasing, but she spoke beforehand.
“I suppose I ought to honor my promise,” she said. “What do you want, my lord?”
He blinked. “What are you willing to give?”
She smoothed her skirts. “Since we are affianced, at least temporarily, and you’ve no need for money, I suppose I could grant you a…a kiss.”
He struggled to keep his amusement from showing. “I don’t want to take advantage of you.”
She wrinkled her little nose. “I am the one who took advantage, my lord. You were kind enough not to expose me, but if you do not wish to kiss me, I will understand.”
“Did you have something else in mind?” He could provide ample suggestions, none of which any respectable lady would agree to do.

A Season forSinFINAL (2)Shortened URL for A SEASON FOR SIN: http://tinyurl.com/bnlyzpw

Shortened URL for WHAT A WICKED EARL WANTS: http://tinyurl.com/dyeqhfd

Vicky Dreiling is a confirmed historical romance junkie and Anglophile. Frequent business trips to the UK allowed her to indulge her passion for all things Regency England. Bath, Stonehenge, and Spencer House are among her favorite places. She is, however, truly sorry for accidentally setting off a security alarm in Windsor Castle. That unfortunate incident led her British colleagues to nickname her “Trouble.” She entered the RWA RITA contest for the first time in 2012 because it seemed like a rite of passage. When the phone call came, she was astounded to learn she’d triple finaled.

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From Jane Austen’s World

Jane Austen's World

The week of Christmas and the new year has been traditionally a time for joy and celebration. In Jane Austen’s day, the decorations and celebrations weren’t quite so over-the-top commercial as they are today. Mistletoe, holly, and evergreen boughs decorated the halls, while roaring fires warmed hearth and home. Fine foods were prepared for friends and family at holiday gatherings, and gift giving was considered optional and not mandatory.

In her letters, Jane mentioned making wine. She was also  known to imbibe a glass or two, as did many Regency ladies. One can imagine that she heartily enjoyed a glass of homemade wine during long winter evenings. A Regency household in the country was akin to a cottage factory, processing freshly picked fruits and vegetables in summer and fall for consumption during the winter months.

Elderberry bushes, native to both Europe (Sambucus nigra)  and North America (Sambucus canadensis), ripened in August and…

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Christmas card
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
We’ll start the New Year with a bang on Friday, January 4th as the multi-talented, Regency author Vicky Dreiling joins me to discuss writing Regency and her latest release. I’ll resume posting excerpts on the 7th.
For those of you who are interested, my first three books, The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh and Lord Beaumont’s Bride will be published starting sometime in late summer or early autumn. Signup to receive my newsletter for all the updates.

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Another great post from WITS

Writers In The Storm Blog

By Sharla Rae

I’m fudging a bit and bringing back an updated craft blog that has been referred to several times at our critique meetings here at WITS. For our new readers and even for our long-time followers, I believe it bears repeating.

I preach Like With Like to my critique partners all the time and once in a while, they remind me to practice what I preach. So what do I mean by like with like? It’s not as easy to explain on paper as it is to point out the mistake in a WIP but here goes.

Like with like has to do with story flow.

I’m certain we’ve all read drafts and discovered that a certain tidbit of information was in the wrong place. It interrupts the flow of the scene and the action. Think of this interruption as a speed bump in the middle of…

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Isobel CarrPlease help me welcoming the wonderful Isobel Carr. Isobel, I’m so excited to have you here. I’ve read all your books and can’t wait for this one. Your historic detail is wonderful. (applause)
Isobel: Thanks for having me! And I’m so glad you appreciate the historical details. I’m a huge history buff and layering that stuff is part of the joy of writing historical novels.
Ella: You had an interesting upbringing. Tell us about it.
Isobel: I have wonderful, hippie parents who were involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) almost from the beginning (Dad started in 1972, mom about a year later after meeting him). So I grew up as a historical re-enactor. There were always history books laying around the house, historical topics under discussion, and historical clothing under construction. As the hobby grew and matured, so did I, and so did my love for history and my drive to study it and get things right.
I also participated in the original Renaissance Faire in Northern California for thirty plus years, spending my early years as an English peasant and then the last fifteen or so in the Guild of St. Michael, which portrays Queen Elizabeth’s Landsknecht (German) guard. They were the only military known to take their wives, daughters, and sisters with them one the march (and they have the best clothes, being immune from the sumptuary laws of the era by the decree of the Emperor Maximilian).
Add into this parents who had no problem with us bringing home a baby raccoon, spending too much money on art supplies, and who let me have a horse, and you a pretty ideal, if offbeat, childhood. I may not always have been able to find MY parents, but there was always a responsible adult around somewhere if I needed one.
Ella: What drew you to write historicals and the Georgian period in particular?
Isobel: The SCA was partially founded by a bunch of science fiction and fantasy authors, so I grew up around writers (my godmother is a novelist, as was her husband and her mother). There just didn’t seem to be anything strange about being a writer. It wasn’t a fantasy career in my world, it was a pretty normal one. I mostly read historical fiction and science fiction/fantasy growing up, and I’ve pretty much always been a writer. I wrote a lot of SFF stories growing up and then transitioned to poetry in high school and college (went on to get an MFA in poetry). But along the way my godmother–bless her–introduced me to Georgette Heyer. After grad school, I decided to try my hand at a novel, and the story that came out of me was essentially Heyer fan-fic, LOL! Once I’d begun reading what was being published though (Amanda Quick, Julia Quinn, Stephanie Laurens), it was obvious that what I was writing was not what the market was buying, so I tore it apart and transformed it into a modern-style romance.

Ella: I love the clothing in your books. Please tell us a little about it.
cranach meIsobel: The selection of my books’ setting was very deliberate. I’ve always loved the eighteenth century (the clothes, the hair, the history, the personalities), but I also knew I wanted to be in an era when younger men had mostly ceased wearing wigs and were more likely to be seen with just their own hair. That meant the END of the century. So 1780s it was! As a bonus, there are all kinds of amazing things happening historically, socially, scientifically. It’s an era of innovation and change.
Ella: You’re promoting you latest release Ripe For Seduction. How did you first get the idea for this book?
Isobel: In Ripe for Scandal, I do a very bad thing to one of the secondary characters. I knew if I didn’t go back and fix her life, readers would never forgive me. When I was mulling over just how to do that in the next book, it occurred to me that there were two things in my mental vault of ideas that dovetailed nicely with her story: The insane bet in the non-fiction book Round Ireland with a Fridge [the bet he makes drunk is for less than the cost of buying the mini-fridge he then has to hitchhike around Ireland with] and the story of a very indecent proposal made to a widow in the mid-eighteenth century and her wonderful method of extracting retribution [she used his letter to blackmail him into a false engagement and then tortured him until he’d groveled enough for her break it off]. It all just sort of clicked into place.
Ripe for SeductionWithout more to do, let’s get to Isobel’s newest book Ripe for Scandal.
Starred review from PW: “Carr is sure to balance her characters’ roguish antics with genuine heart, making the double love story a delightful and erotic page-turner.”
After the scandalous demise of her marriage, Lady Olivia Carlow knows the rakes of the ton will think her fair game. So when a letter arrives bearing an indecent offer from the incorrigible Roland Devere, she seizes the opportunity. Turning the tables on the notorious rogue, she blackmails him into playing her betrothed for the season. But no matter how broad his shoulders or chiseled his features, she will never fall prey to his suave charm.

When Roland boasted he’d be the first into Lady Olivia’s bed, he couldn’t have imagined that behind those brilliant blue eyes lurked a vixen with a scheme of her own. Still, Roland is not about to abandon his original wager. If anything, learning that the lovely Olivia is as bold as she is beautiful makes him more determined to seduce her into never saying “never” again.


Indie Book Seller

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Well here goes. Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book? Lord Merton’s Unsuitable Bride

Where did the idea come from for the book? This is the second in a series. Lord Merton was introduced in the first book as a minor character. He was such a prig, I almost didn’t do anything with him, but one of my CP’s disagreed. Then the idea of Miss Dorothea Stern came to me. She’s a squire’s daughter and very much of a forward thinking young lady. Exactly the right foil for Merton

What genre does your book fall under? Regency

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I’m so embarrassed to admit that I hardly ever watch movies. Maybe Judi Dench when she was 18 for Miss Stern and a much younger Roger Moore for Merton.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? The Marquis of Merton, the stuffiest young man in the ton, meets the only woman who can turn his world upside down.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I’m represented by an agency.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? About six weeks with major interruptions. I didn’t get any writing done for about two of those weeks, and I was finishing the edits for another book.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I’m thinking hard here, but I can’t think of one.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? My CP, the fabulous author, Lauren Smith

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? It’s very funny, and it has kids and animals.

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged. The lovely Kaitlyn Deann http://kaitlyndeann.wordpress.com tagged me.

I’m tagging:
Lauren Smith http:theleagueofrogues.blogspot.com/
Gina Danna http://ginadanna.com/blog/
Ashlyn Macnamara http://ashlynmacnamara.net
Katherine Bone http://www.katherinebone.com/
Jenna Jaxon http://jennajaxon.wordpress.com

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We’ve got a week before Christmas. For those of you who are published, come by and post your blurbs and buy links. For the rest of us, which includes me, post a blurb or a snippet of witty dialogue.
Here’s mind from my unedited WIP Lord Merton’s Unsuitable Bride. For which I do not yet have a blurb.

Dom stared at his cousin. He still needed to have some control over Thea. “What about her not obeying me.”
Worthington shrugged. “I can’t help you with that. She has a mind of her own, as does Grace I might add, and any other woman worth knowing.”
Dom frowned. “I’ll go talk with her.”
An evil smile appeared on Worthington’s face. “You want my advice? Grovel.”
“Grovel?” Why the hell was everyone tell him that. “Merton does not grovel.”
Matt stood, walked around his desk and stuck out his hand. “Good luck, you’ll need it.”
Good Lord, the man was serious. Oh, hell. “Where can I buy flowers?”

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