|Available from Amazon|
First, a huge thank you to all who have already bought my book – and I know many of you have, as it stormed into the top 100 bestseller list on Amazon UK yesterday in Romance, and Historical Romance! Thanks to lovely Janice for letting me know. It doesn’t last as it changes so frequently, but it was a great boost on one day.
Now grab a glass of chilled
from the bottle above on the right and have some fun. Here’s to writing and friendship! Champagne
There are quizzes to take and questions to answer below as well as the trailer and an excerpt of the novel. Leave as many comments as you like throughout the day – I’ll be in and out all the time and can chat to anyone who can hang around for a while. I’ve decided to choose two random names from the comments to receive an Amazon voucher for either £10 or $15 (roughly equivalent) depending on where the winners live. The names of all those commenting will be put in a hat and husband will pick out the winners – so the more you comment, the more chance to win! I’ll post the winners names tomorrow to give my transatlantic guests time to enter.
So here we go – dip in and out of everything below. Read and participate as much as you like!
Try the Jane Austen Quiz and let me know who you are, then we can see how many there are for each character. I’ve done it a few times and keep coming out as Elinor Dashwood – not Elizabeth Bennet or Anne Elliot as I thought I might be! Apologies to any men, but you could try it for fun.
|Take the quiz|
Here’s a little background history to my novel’s setting in 1813.
So what was the Regency period? When poor King George III had his bout of ‘madness’ his son, the Prince Regent, took control until he became King in his own right. Hence the years between 1811 and 1820 were known as the Regency. It still has the power to fascinate as it was quite different in some ways from the Georgian period before, and the Victorian era afterwards, not least in the fashion of empire line gowns. Prinny himself liked a good time and always had an entourage of the haute ton in his trail. Beau Brummell was a particular favourite, even referring to the Prince as someone's “fat friend”, until he fell out of favour and reached a less savoury end to his life.
The Napoleonic Wars were raging between
Britain and France, until Waterloo ended in victory for and the allies in 1815. Spies were abroad on both sides, and many young men were in the Regiment, causing female hearts to flutter whenever they were invited to the many balls. Young ladies were expected to be models of decorum, with skills such as painting, singing and playing the harpsichord or pianoforte and, of course, above all else they usually had to make a good marriage. As always, men had a far freer time of it, often indulging in hunting, gambling and profligate behaviour. The Rake is often a figure of the Regency, and beside their clubs such as White's, there was the famous Hellfire Club from the early 1700s. Britain
Jane Austen’s novels and letters to her sister Cassandra spanned the late Georgian period through the Regency until her death in 1817. She tended to write about provincial life and was known for her keen wit and sharp observations. One of her most popular novels, Pride & Prejudice, was published in 1813 to excellent reviews. By the time Emma was published in 1815, Jane Austen was such a favourite of the Prince Regent that he invited her to Carlton House. Not that she was overjoyed to accept as she disapproved of his way of living.
The other great writer about the Regency period was Georgette Heyer, who kept many readers enthralled by her novels from the 1920s to the 1970s. Heyer was the mistress of witty and energetic stories that took the reader on a whirlwind adventure through the lives and loves of the upper classes in Georgian and Regency times. She is still read widely today and her novels were recently reissued. Many writers have continued to write popular Regencies ever since. And, of course, I too felt drawn to the period for my first novel!
This is the trailer I made as a teaser for Dangerous Deceit – if you’ve already seen it, you can ignore it!
And now another little teaser - an extract from Dangerous Deceit, from Chapter 3. This is for the romantics, like me.
“I believe you have lost something, Miss Hetherington.”
bush where she’d hidden. She couldn’t think what to say for a moment until she saw the challenge in his stare.
“I fear you must be following me, my lord. I was unaware that the ribbon had come loose as I took a turn around the garden. I wonder that you should know to whom it belongs.” She held out her hand. “Thank you for returning it.”
She saw his shoulders stiffen and was sure he knew perfectly well that she’d seen him with the Frenchman.
saw the speculation in his grey eyes replaced by amusement as he walked towards her. “Allow me, Miss Hetherington.” Lydia
Before she guessed what he intended, his hands were on her upper arms and for a moment he was looking into her eyes. Then he gently turned her away from him. Next minute, he was expertly threading the ribbon
through her hair.
She tried to persuade herself that it was only because of her near discovery at eavesdropping. But she was far too aware of the nearness of his tall frame and the intimacy of the moment, and most especially the effect it was having on her.
Then he was turning her around once more to face him. He stepped back at once and bowed. “I trust you will be more careful where you walk in future, Miss Hetherington.”
Hoping she appeared more composed than she felt,
replied as firmly as possible. “Thank you, my lord. It is my good fortune that you are so comfortable with a lady’s hair style and so solicitous of my well being.” Lydia
Now it’s your turn to play. What is your favourite type of hero? Or who is your favourite hero from a book or film? Men can give me their favourite heroine (if you want).
Leave your answer in the comments box and I’ll see if there’s an overall favourite and he can be our pin-up!
Pause for a glass of Ratafia, a sweet cordial which usually contained some kind of fruit and brandy, or punch, or ale, some warm chocolate, or even a cup of tea, and maybe a piece of caraway seed cake.
Punch – favourite late 18th century drink (from ‘A Taste of History’, British Museum Press, 1993)
2 pints claret
½ pint brandy
Grated nutmeg, sugar and lemon juice to taste
Toast to serve
Mix the ingredients and serve in a punch bowl with toasted bread floating on the top. A variation of this was milk punch, with milk instead of wine.
Think I’d prefer it without the bread!
Recipe for Rich Seed Cake (from ‘A Taste of History’)
8oz plain flour 1tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon 1oz caraway seeds
8oz unsalted butter, softened
8oz caster sugar
4 eggs, separated, tepid
Line and grease an 8in by 3in deep cake tin.
Sift flour and spices into a large, slightly warm bowl and add caraway seeds.
Cream butter and sugar thoroughly.
In a warm jug, beat the tepid yolks well then add to the creamed mixture gradually, beating well after each addition.
Beat the egg whites stiff but not dry.
Using a metal spoon, fold the beaten whites and flour into the creamed mixture, about a fifth at a time.
Stop as soon as mixture is amalgamated.
Empty gently into the prepared tin and fork roughly level.
Bake in middle of oven at Gas mark 3, 325F, 170C for 1 ½ hours.
Cool in tin 10 minutes and turn on to a wire rack and remove papers.
(Elizabeth Raffald: The experienced English housewife)
If anyone tries it, please let me know what it’s like!