Friday, September 28, 2012

What is it with Regency? by Raven McAllan

I often wonder just what interests us about the Regency period in Great Britain. (Well, mainly England, I guess.)  I'm sure the clothes played a part. Dampened muslins, elaborate hair-styles, pretty reticules. Elegant Gentleman in coats so tight, that three valet's had to help him dress. Perfectly tied cravats. So different from all the phases today's fashion goes through. All these things happened, and make a great picture in my mind.
However, over and above all this though, for me, is the intrigue. The messages of the fan, so clever and so romantic. Added to the whispered about, but never spoken out loud, assignations and dalliances, flirtations and scandals, and it's almost like they all happened, soley to entertain us today.
When I decided to write my first Regency Novella, I wondered whether I could do the era justice. Who knows if I have? Some people will hopefully say yes, others no. It's all subjective. But oh, I had so much fun researching for it. the more I read, the more I realized just how inventive our ancestors were. From birth control (abstinence, coitus interruptus, lemon juice, sponges,) to dildo's (carved jade) and how to evade a chaperone (so many methods including adding a soporific to a drink), I giggled and groaned as I read. Even at a ball, there would be dancing the waltz, (as close as many woman got to a man) considered 'fast', and lots of nooks and crannies for a light (and not so light) flirtation.
It didn't take me long to realize I was hooked; I had to incorporate some of these ideas into a romance. I knew I wouldn't, couldn't write a conventional love story. True enough I didn't. Wallflowers Don't Wilt was about a F/F/M ménage.
Several books later, my next Regency, La Bella Isabella, released Friday 28th November by Breathless Press is I hope still that little bit different. This is the first book in my Ladies Of London series, and again it's not about a conventional young lady. None of them are. (Book 2 —The Best man's Bridesmaid, and 3—The Perfect Gift, are released in November and December respectively).
They follow Amanda, Caroline, and Judith as they are determined they will settle for nothing less than what they want.
Here's the blurb for Amanda's story, La Bella Isabella…

When your life is all arranged for you, there's only one thing to do—enjoy yourself while you can.
When Amanda finds out whom her parents have chosen for her to marry, it puts her into despair. The one man occupying her dreams is to be hers in name only. Determined to enjoy life before it's all too late, La Bella Isabella and Her Dancing Girls is formed.
The beautiful girl he keeps meeting by accident intrigues Harry. There is something familiar about her...he just cannot place.
A private performance by La Bella Isabella provides a little knowledge, but is a little knowledge a dangerous thing?

You'll need to read the book to find out.

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