Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine's Day in the Regency Era

Welcome to the Cotillion Authors Blog Tour & Scavenger Hunt!
February 14-17, 2014
Janice Bennett • Kate Dolan • Susana Ellis • Saralee Etter • A.S. Fenichel • Aileen Fish • Barbara Miller • Hetty St. James • Elaine Violette

Cotillion is the traditional Regency imprint of the Blush line from Ellora’s Cave. The books' settings range from London ballrooms to country estates, and the heroines may be wealthy or impoverished. Heroes may be titled or untitled, but even if they are rakes, no one goes beyond kissing in these books.

The theme for this tour is Love in the Regency Era. Hop around, comment on the posts, look for answers to the authors’ scavenger hunt questions. There will be 10 lucky prize winners (see contest details below)…although you’re already a winner if you find a new story or author you're going to love. And now...

Book One of the Wishing for Love series
           Chocolate. Lots and lots of dark, rich chocolate. Oh, wait. We aren’t talking about what I want for Valentine’s Day. We’re talking about what it might have been like in the Regency era. Sorry about that.
Do you suppose Valentine’s Day was as tricky then as it is today? The guys having to get it just right or risk disappointing or even angering their loved one? Or the young ladies having to pretend the execrable missive received from their ardent swain was the epitome of wondrous verse? Sound familiar?
Yes, they did send Valentines in those days. Not cards, of course, but letters and poems and occasionally little gifts. And just like today, woe betide the gentleman whose missive failed to live up to his lady’s expectations. Composing the perfect verse or sentiment is never easy. It’s no wonder booklets were published back then, containing ready-written selections for the literarily challenged.
February 14 would have been very early in the London Season, while many of the haut ton still remained in the country. Sending Valentine’s Day notes could have provided an excellent excuse for a gentleman to renew his pursuit of a lady whose family had removed to the country and was thus temporarily beyond his reach. The mail, it is said, was very, very busy for this occasion.
I wonder how these young gentlemen felt when posting their offering to their beloved. Did the terrors of possible ridicule or rejection hang over their heads? Did they fear the young ladies would giggle over these missives with their friends, possibly quote them back in tones of contempt? 
True love quite often needs a little help.In my Wishing for Love series, a mischievous fairy godmother and her feline assistant dabble in matchmaking—with unpredictable results.
My scavenger hunt question:  How would most Valentine's Day missives have been delivered? 
Click on the Cotillion Authors Blog Tour & Scavenger Hunt page and type in the answer next to my name. Don't forget to fill in your own name and email address. Then you can come back here and read about my own contest or click on another author's name to go on to the next blog on the tour.  When you're finished, check to make sure the spaces for your name and email address are filled in correctly, and submit your answer sheet to the tour coordinator . If you submit an incomplete answer sheet, you may come back later and make another submission with the remaining answers when you have more time.  Any questions about the scavenger hunt should be directed to the tour coordinator .

  The Grand Prize for the Scavenger Hunt will be awarded to the participant with the most correct answers to the authors’ scavenger hunt questions. In case of a tie, the winner will be chosen randomly. The name of the Grand Prize winner will be posted on the Cotillion Authors Blog Tour & Scavenger Hunt page the following week.

And now for the question for own contest: What do you think a Regency romance needs to be a really great read?
To enter, send your answer to . You can keep it short or make it as long as you want. All entries must be received by midnight, PST, of February 17. On the 18th, I'll hold a drawing from all entries, aided, I'm sure, by my cats who love to attack anything I'm stirring up in a container. The prize for my winner will  be a digital copy of any one of the three books in the Wishing for Love series--Candlelight Wish (Book One), Starlight Wish (Book Two) or Moonlight Wish (Book Three). I'll post the name of the winner both on my blog and on my website:

To read blurbs on the Wishing for Love series books, please go to my website.

Friday, February 7, 2014

My Olympic Dream

Hmm. Watch the 2014 Winter Olympic Games or work? The games...or work? Tough decision. I love the Olympics, but I have deadlines, those nasty things that creep up and pounce on me when I'm not looking. So, do I indulge myself or behave? I keep catching my hand reaching, as of its own volition, for the remote control. Bad hand. Bad. No chocolate for you. Now there's an idea. I can either watch the games and chew on veggies and hummus or get back to work and eat chocolate chips. Also tough. I actually like veggies and hummus. But chocolate... Nothing compares with chocolate. So, with apologies to the athletes, I'll get back to the current book. When the next commercial starts. Besides, as Douglas Adams once said, “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

As a writer and editor I have lots of deadlines--and lots of chances to hear those lovely whooshing sounds. But the Olympics only come once every two years. And since we only have broadcast TV--no cable or satellite--there is far too little coverage, and most of it at times I can't watch. Usually I only get to see broadcasters talking for the intros and wrap-ups. And awards ceremonies. I've seen lots of those. For a change, I’d love to see the events that led up to them.

So I guess that's my Olympic dream. To actually get to see the athletes doing what they've trained so hard to do. 

And speaking of training so hard to do something (how's that for a clumsy segue? And I didn't even try to tie in the Olympic flame with my Haunting Flame. Do I get points for restraint?), don't you need something to read when the games aren't on?
Haunting Flame, e-book or paperback

When Captain Anthony, Lord Lambeth, returns from the Peninsular War, he is crippled in both body and spirit. He has just inherited an estate in desperate need of repairs and no money to make them. He can’t stomach making the marriage of convenience his family urges on him, avoiding it by vowing to fulfill a promise to his dying friend to look after his impoverished little sister—by marrying her.
The lively Calpurnia Rycroft has worshipped Tony since they were children, and is appalled by his depression. She agrees to an engagement to give him time to recover—though it will break her heart when he eventually marries someone more suitable. 

The ring he gives her turns icy on her hand and a ghostly flame emerges from it. Callie realizes the ghost wants something from her, but is it revenge or help? The search is on to find the answers, but as Tony's spirits improve, Callie sees her chance of love slipping away.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Link to buy

Have you ever wanted to step through the pages of a historical novel to see what that time and place was really like? I love the idea of time traveling. I’ve been a passionate fan of Doctor Who since the days of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, and I’ve always wanted my own tardis—you know, bigger on the inside than on the outside and it takes you anywhere and anywhen you want to go? But since one isn’t likely to be invented in my life time, I’ve turned to reading—and writing—about it.

There are so many intriguing possibilities. Fascinating periods in history where a single alteration of events has the potential to drastically change the present as we know it. A young woman, competent in her own time and place, suddenly struggling to make sense—and not make mistakes—in a world that is alien to her. Talk about conflict!

And romance. A modern woman, a rugged, brave man who is dealing with a personal (and incidentally historically important) crisis. A love so strong it unites two people across the ages. And the romantic conflict is built right in. No silly misunderstandings keep two people apart when they belong in different eras. Culturally, socially, and even in their priorities, they are literally worlds apart. And, even though their love for one another is passionate and all-encompassing, how long can they remain together when at any moment they might be torn from one another’s arms when the time traveler is dragged, by whatever cosmic forces, back to her own time?    

Those are just some of the reasons I love time travels. What are yours? Is it discovering another place and era through the eyes of a modern woman with whom you can identify? Is it pure escapism? Is it all those tantalizing “what ifs”? Please, leave a comment and let me know.

Catherine’s Star
Janice Bennett

When American tourist Andrea Wells eagerly searches the streets of London to find every place ever mentioned in the Regency novels she loves, she sees more than she bargained for. The intriguing gentleman in historic costume who keeps mysteriously appearing and vanishing must be conjured by her secret longings. But then she sees the portrait of Richard Westmont, first and only Viscount Grantham, in a scandal rag, accompanied by the story of his death and a cursed Russian icon known as Catherine’s Star.   

Obsessed with learning more about him and why he haunts her, Andrea visits his home, Greythorne Court. There she is confronted by a miniature portrait of herself—painted in 1810. The current occupant, a descendent of Grantham’s sister, is convinced Andrea can travel back through time and find the missing Catherine’s Star, which is needed to save the estate. When the impossible becomes possible, Andrea finds herself in the midst of her Regency dream—except she didn’t count on murderous spies or falling in love with a man whose death is tied up with the fate of the priceless icon.