Friday, 21 November 2014

Ride the TITLE WAVE into the 17th century



 

 


There’s a vast crowd of enthusiasts reading and discussing everything medieval and renaissance. But time didn’t stop with Elizabeth Tudor’s death in 1603. Are you looking for the rest of the story?
 
King James, his son King Charles I, and grandsons Charles II and James II kept the drama level high and dangerous in the seventeenth century. Their marriages and lovers, births and deaths, political intrigues, religious conflicts, witch hunts, and wars marked the beginning of our modern period. Their aristocrats and politicians, tradesmen, midwives, ministers, writers, musicians, scientists, and artists changed the world.  
 
Have you noticed that it’s the gift-giving season?  Why not knock out your whole gift list right now with these suggestions? Some people find it convenient to buy books for all their siblings, or as appreciation gifts for their children’s teachers. You might give paperback books to some in the family, or use the Kindle-gift option. Some books are stand-alone, some are part of a series.
 
This is a list of authors who have the 17th century covered, from Shakespeare and midwife forensic investigators to barber surgeons, Charles II’s mistresses, men and women who founded American democracy, servants and highway robbers, people who gave their lives for their principles or just because they were falsely accused as witches. In these books you’ll find sumptuous gowns and high society, educated women, poverty, prostitutes, and massacres, childbirth and plague, castles and manors, cathedrals and meetinghouses—even a vampire.
 
Our ninth or tenth great-grandparents knew these people—or were these people. (Well, probably not the vampire—but everyone else!) Discover what their lives were like, and how their lives formed who you are. Many of the book characters from the 17th century are based on facts, events, and real people. The authors, in addition to their literary skills, have spent months and years in research to get the 17th century world “just right,” so you’ll get your history veggies in a delicious brownie.
Ride the wave of the time-space continuum into the 17th century with these award-winning and highly-rated authors. The images you see are a small sample of what's available from this talented group! Click the highlighted author’s name to open a new tab.
 




Anna Belfrage Time-slip (then and now) love and war.
 
Jo Ann Butler — From England to New England: survival, love, and a dynasty
 
Susanna Calkins — Murder mysteries set in 1665 London.

 


 

Francine Howarth — ECW -  Restoration Heroines, swashbuckling romances
 



 
Juliet Haines Mofford — True crime of New England, pirates, Salem witch trials
 
 
 
Mary Novik — John Donne and daughter
 
 
Donald Michael Platt Spanish Inquisition cloak and dagger.
 
 
Katherine PymLondon in the 1660s.
 
 
 
Diane Rapaport — Colonial New England true crime.
 
 
 
Peni Jo Renner Salem witch trials.
 
 
Christy K Robinson — British founders of American democracy and rights.
 
 
Anita Seymour  Royalists and rebels in English Civil War
 
 
 
Mary Sharratt — Witches (healers) of Pendle Hill, 1612
 
 
 
Alison Stuart — Time-slip war romance, ghosts.
 
 
Deborah Swift — Servant girls running for lives, highwaywoman.
 
 
 
Ann Swinfen — Farmers fighting to keep land, chronicles of Portuguese physician.
 
 
Sam Thomas — Midwife solves murders in city of York
 
 
 
Suzy WittenSalem witch trials.
 
 
Andrea Zuvich — Vampire in Stuart reign, Duke of Monmouth and mistress.
 
 
 
 Elizabeth Kales French Huguenot survival of Inquisition
 
 


Judith James — Rakes and rogues of the Restoration.

 
 
 



 Marci Jefferson — Royal Stuarts in Restoration England.
 
 




Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Masqueraders Collaborative Project!




There is great interest for a Collaborative Project - namely promotion of authors and their list of books via an anthology.
 
Authors have already signed up!
 
The project is for authors of Georgian & Regency short stories, novellas and novels. The anthology will be compiled from short stories & novellas. 
 
UK & Commonwealth authors are particularly welcome, and we do at present have a US gentleman  in our midst!     
 
For more information email me.
 
 
 
 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Avoidance of plagiarism!


Avoidance of plagiarism - Literary snobbery aside - the conscious Vs the subconscious when penning historical novels.
 
I dare any author of historical novels to deny they have read books and historical accounts of their chosen period before they began painting pictures with words and thus conveying a story intended to delight readers. No matter what we read, whether it's a fiction novel, a biography or indeed historical records etc., we glean and thus we gain knowledge. As authors our imaginations can run rife and our subconscious will log details whilst the conscious mind is distracted by all manner of things.
 
 
However, when we finally settle to the task of writing our novel the "subconscious" jogs the "conscious" and then, as we consider the opening sequence, is it merely our imagination taking hold or is it a memory of something we read, some aspect having struck us as unusual, brilliant or beautiful?
 
Casting omnipotent godlike perspective aside, take Novels with simple dialogue as the opening to a book.
 
a) Sometimes the reader is most definitely eavesdropping (as though standing near) as characters reveal elements about themselves and their surroundings: the latter drip fed to the reader through the eyes of the characters, and the sequence is all action from start to finish.
 
b) Now consider the "narrative" approach to the same scene with the same dialogue whilst the author/narrator describes the surroundings, character features and dress, and the conversation is just that a conversation and every nuance of character action is fed from the narrator's viewpoint.
 
 
Who would you say tends toward the former (show) and who the latter (tell) of the great novelists who depict whatever era?

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Interview - David W. Wilkin.

Today I have the inimitable D. W. Wilkin, talking about his latest novel:
"Caution's Heir".
 


 

 
 
Award winning author, Mr. Wilkin is a graduate in history. He has been writing in various genres for thirty years. Extensive study of premodern civilizations, including years as a re-enactor of medieval, renaissance and regency times has given Mr. Wilkin an insight into such antiquated cultures.
 
Trained in fighting forms as well as his background in history lends his fantasy work to encompass mores beyond simple hero quests to add the depth of the world and political forms to his tales.
Throughout his involvement with various periods of long ago days, he has also learned the dances of those times. Not only becoming proficient at them but also teaching thousands how to do them as well.
 
Mr. Wilkin regularly posts about Regency history at his blog, and as a member of English Historical Fiction Authors. You can read that blog at English History Authors. His very first article was published while in college, and though that magazine is defunct, he still waits patiently for the few dollars the publisher owes him for the piece.
 
Mr. Wilkin is also the author of several regency romances, and including a sequel to the epic Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. His recent work, Beggars Can't Be Choosier has won the prestigious Outstanding Historical Romance award from Romance Reviews Magazine.
 
The Interview:

 
(1) What actually inspired the writing of your novel(s)?

 
 
I started the first draft over four years ago and I am now not sure how I came to this story. The character of Mrs Bottomworth was clear from the first moment. A guide for my heroine that was provocative and evocative. But the basic plot and story points are now lost to my memory. I believe I thought that Heyer might have used such a device and perhaps I thought that I could tell the same idea in my own style. A man wagers all and loses his home and all his belongings on the play of the cards. Including his daughter…

 
(2) Alpha or beta hero –profession/title/rank?– brief description!

 
 
I think of Lord Arthur, the Earl (courtesy) of Daventry, as an Alpha. The father of a friend who seeks a polishing influence has a discussion with Arthur, and we see that our hero is one who is a sober example of what one should be in the Ton. His father spent the family fortunes in his youth and so when Arhtur went off to school he had very little. He has used what skills he has with cards to add to his small allowance and with good investment and guardianship, he has done well.

 
(3) Can you describe your heroine’s personality- title/rank?– description!

 
 
Lady Louisa. For all but the last few months, she was the Honourable, for her grandfather and uncle were a Marquess. Then recently her father became the Marquess, and yet he is the worse one imagines with such a title. For he does rather quickly gamble away all his wealth, and then absconds for the new world. Leaving her behind and with nothing. She however had only the good traits she has learned form her other relations. The late Marquess, and that family which allowed her profligate father and she to live on the manor grounds.

 
(4) Are there secondary lead characters with important roles?

 
 
There are many secondary characters for Daventry leads a set. This includes a young man whose mama wants him married, and who needs some more maturity. Lady Louisa has a boon companion thrice her age in Mrs Bottomworth whom I am told is a favorite from amongst the first readers.

 
(5) Where is the novel (s) set? – time-frame – country etc.

 
 
It is Town and Country. Post war. Our heroes are only just thinking of what they need to accomplish in life and so have yet to take up any serious profession. Nor are they old enough to have served functionally in the war. Near the end of the reign of George and near the beginning of William, though nothing of worldly events intrudes on the tale.

 
(6) What is it about your chosen era/periods that you most enjoy?

 
 
This is my sixth regency (and I have a modern book with Jane Austen, so perhaps this is #7) and so I feel comfortable here. I have the tropes down, and I explore different themes. Two Peas, for instance covers a lot of ground of men just back from the war, and carrying the burdens of what they have seen, while the regular Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, regency motif plays along. I find the regency a place I can have fun as a writer, with he said/she said, misunderstanding, love.

 
(7) Which if any of your characters do you dislike, and why?

 
 
I don’t dislike any of my characters. Even the ones I have my heroes plant facers on! They serve a purpose and I use them for that. Some of my characters I really like, and there are some tales where I wish I could jump right in and live the life I have made for that character (In regency and fantasy though I need to create indoor plumbing to make me truly wish I could jump in, and a parrallel for Tums…) Sometime I do have pure evil, but usually those who we see as bad, live to their own code and see what they are doing for the expedient reasons that they need to. One countries bad seed, is another countries hero. (Or sometimes just plain crazy and in power.)

 
(8) Do you avoid sex scenes, gross violence or other in your works?

 
 
I do avoid most of that. My Regencies tend to end at the last page with the first kiss between our hero and heroine. In Beggar’s I had to have the couple be married so sex was off camera! There was one scene of nudity that was needed for the story line, but otherwise, (and our heroine there was married and had two children as the story progressed) there was the thoughts of what lovemaking had entailed, but not the action of it. In a few stories (I just finished a first draft in a fantasy) short quick euphemisms serve to take us in a sentence through the beginning, middle and end of foreplay, the act itself, climax and le-petit-mal. There are plenty of places I find that one can read that, and to me it detracts from the telling of a story.
 
 
Or let me put it this way, if I had my faithful fans sitting around a campfire wanting me to read my story to them, what could I read aloud and none of us be embarrassed.

 
(9) How would you rate your novel – historical fiction, romantic fiction, tear-jerker, emotional drama, swashbuckling adventure, or...?

 
 
I think Caution’s Heir is Romantic fiction. I do not take a great deal of time in putting in a time point in history in this particular tale. It happens in the later part of the regency, but we don’t see much of the world beyond what our characters encounter as they go through their lives.

 
 

 
 
 
Back cover blurb:
 
 
Teaching a boor a lesson is one thing.
Winning all that the man owns is more than Lord Arthur Herrington expects. Especially when he finds that his winnings include the boor’s daughter!
 
 
The Duke of Northampshire spent fortunes in his youth. The reality of which his son, Arthur the Earl of Daventry, learns all too well when sent off to school with nothing in his pocket. Learning to fill that pocket leads him on a road to frugality and his becoming a sober man of Town. A sober but very much respected member of the Ton.
 
 
Lady Louisa Booth did not have much hope for her father, known in the country for his profligate ways. Yet when the man inherited her gallant uncle’s title and wealth, she hoped he would reform. Alas, that was not to be the case.
 
 
When she learned everything was lost, including her beloved home, she made it her purpose to ensure that Lord Arthur was not indifferent to her plight. An unmarried young woman cast adrift in society without a protector. A role that Arthur never thought to be cast as. A role he had little idea if he could rise to such occasion. Yet would Louisa find Arthur to be that one true benefactor? Would Arthur make this obligation something more? Would a game of chance lead to love?


Author web site.


Blog.




Amazon

Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Interview - Anne Stenhouse.


Today I have the lovely Anne Stenhouse  talking about her novel:
 "Bella’s Betrothal".





Anne Stenhouse writes Regency era historical romance which is dialogue rich and humorous. She spent many years writing drama and loves to carry the skills learned from theatre work into her novels. Married to her own hero and dancing partner for over thirty years, Anne has acquired an interest in old buildings and opera. From the buildings, she crafted her hero, Charles Lindsay. He’s based on the gentlemen architects whose skills built Edinburgh’s New Town and many wonderful country houses still extant. From her own life-long interest in dance, she created young ladies like her heroine, Bella Wormsley. From the opera, she understands that no plot is ever too far-fetched.
 
Anne lives in Edinburgh but travels widely. Recent forays have included Vietnam and Cambodia where the architecture in both is jaw-droppingly fantastic.
 
 
Anne continues to live in Edinburgh and enjoys being able to walk out to the streets which her heroine would have trodden.
 
The Interview:
 
 
(1) What actually inspired the writing of your novel(s)?

 
Or who? I just loved historical romance as a teenager and read piles of it. I discovered Georgette Heyer as a young adult and dived in head-first. Wonderful stories full of glamour and sparkling wit which are as readable today as they ever were.
 
 
(2)Alpha or beta hero –profession/title/rank?– brief description!
 
 
Charles Lindsay is an architect, but also a Scottish laird. Not a person of the top ranks like the Royal dukes or even the aristocrats, but a person of family and clan responsibility. Does that make him beta? I thought he was pretty attractive: good looking, intelligent, touch of arrogance in need of taming…
 
 
(3) Can you describe your heroine’s personality- title/rank?– description!
 
 
Bella Wormsley, Lady Isabella, is the daughter of an earl and the granddaughter of a duke. She’s top drawer, but she’s half Scottish and so like Charles has a strong sense of the value of others. Her hair, beautifully realised by Charlie Volnek’s cover, is that mass of red corkscrew curls seen around in Scottish society. She’s a lady of huge energy, talented as an artist and headstrong. A clash is inevitable.
 
 
(4) Are there secondary lead characters with important roles?
 
 
Bella’s aunt and uncle, Hatty and Mack Menzies and her cousins form a colourful backdrop when they give Bella shelter from scandal. There is also a villain, Graham Direlton, whose ambition drives a lot of the plot.
 
 
(5) Where is the novel (s) set? – time-frame – country etc.
 
 
Bella’s Betrothal opens in an inn bedroom in Dalkeith and moves to Edinburgh, 1826.
 
 
(6) What is it about your chosen era/periods that you most enjoy?
 
 
I enjoy thinking myself back into the restrictions and social norms and niceties of that period. I try to use the differences to make a colourful canvas. Many of them are limiting, but many of them allow such interesting What ifs? I enjoy that moment in time where English, the language, was modernising. One gets to Jane Austen and thinks, “I understand this.” I am horrified by the social rules and use them to infuse reality as background. I think it’s really important to remind women in particular how recently we did not vote as of right, or own property, or go against the family wishes for fear of ending in Bedlam.
 
 
(7) Which if any of your characters do you dislike, and why?
 
 
I dislike my villains because I have crafted them from personality traits I dislike. I wouldn’t spend a lot of time with some of the lesser characters because they’re not the positive people in the leading roles.
 
 
(8) Do you avoid sex scenes, gross violence or other in your works?
 
 
I do avoid those things. The novels have a lot of sensuality, I hope, but I don’t go in for graphic description or extended bedroom romps. I like to write by the tenet that “the pictures are better on the radio”. I think readers are intelligent and enjoy the fantasies they can weave from the hints you drop in your words. I abhor violence. Of course there is violence around wherever people live together, but I don’t regard it as entertainment. So, murders may be committed, but the details are sparse. Any other fearties like me are quite safe with my prose, I think.
 
 
(9) How would you rate your novel – historical fiction, romantic fiction, tear-jerker, emotional drama, swashbuckling adventure, or...?
 
 
Bella’s Betrothal is Regency style Scottish historical romance with touches of intrigue and much laughter.
 
 

 
 
Back cover blurb:
 
 
BELLA’S BETROTHAL by Anne Stenhouse, published MuseItUp, Canada.
 
While she is travelling north to find sanctuary from the malicious gossip of the Ton, Lady Isabella Wormsley’s room in a Dalkeith inn is invaded by handsome Scottish Laird, Charles Lindsay. Charles has uncovered a plot to kidnap her, but Bella wonders if he isn’t a more dangerous threat, at least to her heart, than the villainous Graham Direlton he wrests her from.
 
 
Bella settles into the household of her Aunt HattyMenzies in Edinburgh’s nineteenth century George Square where Charles is a regular visitor. She has been exiled to the north by her unfeeling mama, but feels more betrayed by her papa to whom she has been close. Bella hopes the delivery of her young cousin’s baby will eventually demonstrate her own innocence in the scandal that drove her from home.
 
 
Bella’s presence disrupts the lives of everyone connected to her. Direlton makes another attempt to kidnap her and in rescuing her a second time, Charles is compromised. Only a betrothal will save his business and Bella’s reputation.
 
Mayhem, murder and long suppressed family secrets raise confusion and seemingly endless difficulties. Will the growing but unacknowledged love between Bella and her Scottish architect survive the evil Direlton engineers?

 

Anne blogs at Novels Now which is here: Anne
 
 
Bella’s Betrothal is available from many online vendors. Amazon UK and Amazon US

 
Thank you.