Tag Archive | historical romance

Blockheads & Petticoat Holds – A Look at Regency Slang with Ally Broadfield

I’m pleased to welcome historical romance author Ally Broadfield today. Welcome, Ally!

Just A Kiss CoverTara, thank you for having me as a guest on your blog today!

Regency readers are very smart and savvy, and they notice when an author uses a word that wasn’t in use in during the period. I utilize both The Online Etymology Dictionary (etymonline.com) and The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary to look up words to try to ensure I’m not using a word that didn’t exist at the time. One of my favorite words is “suss.” It’s quintessentially British to me, and I was sad to discover that it’s a modern word and was not around during the Regency. It came into use during the 20th century as a shortened form of “suspect.” I wish I could use it in one of my books, but I’m glad I looked it up so I didn’t make that mistake.

There were some really fun slang words and phrases that I’m hoping to work into a future book, like “Dub the jigger.” It sounds inappropriate, doesn’t it? It means “open the door.” Or “Petticoat Hold,” which refers to a man who has an estate during his wife’s life.

There is a scene in Just a Kiss where several people were unhappy with one of the characters, and I had a wonderful time researching words they could use to show their displeasure. Though I wasn’t able to use all of them, these are some of the words I considered:

Clodpoll=blockhead

Numbscull=a stupid fellow

Blockhead=stupid person

Nick Ninny= a simpleton

Mutton-Headed=stupid

I’m sure you can see a pattern here. I’m afraid you’ll have to read Just a Kiss to find out which words I used.

Just a Kiss

Blurb: Charlotte Lightwood has one season to find a husband or she’ll be forced to marry her guardian’s loathsome cousin. With no title or dowry, she doesn’t have much hope of making a good match. Sebastian Wilkinson, the Earl of Marley, has been the most eligible bachelor on the marriage mart for more years than he cares to count and is very aware of his duty to marry a woman who will add to the wealth and stature of his title. Sebastian makes Charlotte an offer she can’t refuse: he will pretend to court her to help her attract more suitors in exchange for her advice about which ladies he should pursue. As they work together, their mutual attraction grows. When they realize they just might be perfect for one another, they must decide whether to bow to the dictates of society or follow their hearts.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Just-Kiss-Novella-Entangled-Edge-ebook/dp/B00JI0RS1M?tag=entangpublis-20&link_code=ur2&creative=9325&camp=211189

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-a-kiss-ally-broadfield/1119127247

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/just-kiss-its-in-his-kiss/id856964058?ign-mpt=uo%3D8

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/just-a-kiss-an-it-s-in-his-kiss-novella

 

Bio: Ally lives in Texas and is convinced her house is shrinking, possibly because she shares it with three kids, five dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and several reptiles. Oh, and her husband.  She likes to curse in Russian and spends most of her time letting dogs in and out of the house and shuttling kids around. She writes historical romance set in Regency England and Imperial Russia.

Links:

Website: http://allybroadfield.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/allybroadfield

Twitter: http://twitter.com/abroadfield

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/AllyBroadfield

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZZ98KE4QU__pnI5mkiWAeg/videos

 

 

Welcome Author Katherine Bone

Duke By Day CoverI’m excited to welcome Katherine Bone to the blog today. She’s here to tell us about her new story and reveal her gorgeous new cover. She’s also generously offered a $10 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky commenter. We’ll announce the winner on Monday, February 3.

Welcome, Katherine! Please tell us a little about your story.

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today, Tara! It’s a pleasure to share this wonderful helm view.

Duke by Day, Rogue by Night is the first book in my Nelson’s Tea Series.

CONSTANCE DANBURY is desperate to escape a forced marriage to a man nearly twice her age. Her only hope is to board a merchantman bound for Spain and enlist her aunt’s help. Nothing prepares her for being captured by pirates.

Nobleman PERCIVAL AVERY is a member of Nelson’s Tea, an elite group assigned to protect England’s shores at any cost. Undercover, and determined to avenge his sister’s death, Percy disguises himself as a pirate to infiltrate the gang of cutthroats responsible. But when his vessel attacks a merchantman, Percy is forced to choose between vengeance and saving the life of his commander’s niece, Constance Danbury. His only choice is to mutiny, but mutiny obliterates his well-laid plans.

Fascinating! I love a good pirate story. And when that pirate is really a handsome noble…so much the better!

Tell us about your future releases? What are you most excited about?

Hand flail! I’m especially excited to announce that the first book in my Nelson’s Tea Series, Duke by Day, Rogue by Night is relaunching with EsKape EPress Publishing, ETA — February. Duke by Day has a brand new look — the romance cover of my dreams! I’m hoping readers will enjoy the adventurous appeal of the book, as much as I do, as well as the new compass heading — I mean editing.

Soon to follow, My Lord Rogue, the prequel novella for my Nelson’s Tea Series, which chronicles how Nelson’s Tea was organized, particularly Viscount Bourne, Lord Simon Danbury’s mission to form the clandestine group of first sons from every tier of life willing to serve Nelson and the crown.

Katherine, who would you cast to play your hero and heroine in an adaptation of your story?

Tara, this is a great question because I see all my books as movies. Prior to writing, I do casting calls. I’ve got characters in my head, but as a visual writer, I need inspiration to make them three-dimensional in my mind’s eye. Pinterest is a great way to harvest inspiration for all kinds of things. As a result, I’ve got boards for all of my books. Love. Love. Love Pinterest!

“And rum!” Jack supplies.

That too!

You’ll find that in My Lord Rogue, Simon Danbury was inspired by Toby Stephens and Baroness Chauncey by Abby Cornish. In Duke by Day, Rogue by Night, Percival Avery was inspired by Jared Padalecki and Constance Danbury by Hayden Panettiere. In The Rogue’s Prize, Henry Guffald was inspired by Simon Baker and Adele Seaton by Amanda Righetti. And in the final installment, The Rogue’s Surrender, Garrick Seaton is inspired by Tom Mison of Sleepy Hollow fame and Adelaide Kane from Reign as Mercedes Vasquez de la Claremont.

Ouch!

Jack knocks on my head. “Speaking of hollow. Are you sure there’s enough room in your head for all those people?”

Katherine BoneAnd now, a little about you…What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?

You mean other than Jack? 😉

“That’s Captain Jack Sparrow, luv.”

Indeed it is.

Well, my favorite guilty pleasure is to sit on the beach, toes in the sand, tropical breezes ruffling my hair, a good romance novel in hand, surf teasing the shore, and ships passing on the horizon. Of course, a constant flow of strawberry daiquiris wouldn’t hurt.

Rolls eyes… “You mean rum. Rum. Say it. RRRRRum. Rum. Rummy. Rummy.”

Rum comes in many forms, especially Strawberry Daiquiris. (Wink!)

What’s one thing about you that would surprise readers?

I think people are always surprised to find out I’m a Mimi (channeling la François). I’ve got four grown children and three grandsons. And my heart does a flip flop anytime someone I meet swears I don’t look old enough. I assure you I am. LOL!!!

Jack points his finger my way. “It’s the rum, luv. Preservative, as it were.”

Which would you rather possess: flying monkeys or Toto?

Flying monkeys? Shiver me timbers!

“They wouldn’t happen to be undead, would they?” Jack asks, cringing.

If you could wake up stranded on a desert island with one celebrity hunk, who would it be?

Oh, Tara! You made this one too easy. Buahahaha!!! Of course, there’s no question I’d be stranded with Captain Jack Sparrow. He’d have a gun with one shot, which isn’t meant for me, not to mention his effects.

“Which effects, dearie?” Flash of golden tooth. A devilish wink. Jack postures himself.

Why a compass and — well you already know, Jack. We’d have a rum stash hidden and left behind by rum runners. Free of the cares of the day, we’d spend our days sunning, bathing along the coast, and our nights imbibing while dancing by campfire light. We might even scare up some sea beasties for dinner too.

Jack crinkles his nose. “Sea beasties?”

Oh, Tara! What can I say? It’s a pirate’s life for me!

“And me! I’ve got a jar of dirt!”

 It’s been a pleasure sailing with you today, Tara! Wishing you calm seas & tons of bootay!

Before I sail off into that distant horizon, I’m ponderin’ more celebrity hunks. Which one would you like to be marooned with? I’ve got a $10 Amazon Gift Card for one lucky commenter. Woot!!!

Want to learn more about Katherine, including her very inspirational Pinterest boards? 

Dear Reader…What’s Your Hero “Type”?

Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little LIes

I’m planning the next book in my Secrets & Spies series and I’m curious…readers, what type of hero would you like to read about next? Of course, he’s got to be gorgeous and studly and definitely swoon-worthy. That goes without saying. Are we in the mood for a brawny Scotsman? A reformed outlaw? A lawman straddling the line? A man who looks like a bookworm but really knows his way around a gun…and the ladies? A cowboy…or two? I’d love to know your thoughts.

Share your thoughts for a chance to win a Kindle copy of the latest installment in my Secrets & Spies series, Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies. I’ll announce the winner on Sunday, January 19, just in time to get a hot spy story to warm a cold January weekend and heat the rest of your week.

Drumroll Please: Cover Reveal – Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies

The second book in the Secrets & Spies series will be making its debut next week…I’m impatient, so I couldn’t wait that long to share the gorgeous cover. I just love it! Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little LIes

So beautiful! Share your thoughts about the cover, and you might win the first book in the Secrets & Spies series, Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies. One lucky commenter will win a Kindle copy of the book. Already have Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies? No problem – if your name is chosen, you’ll be one of the very first to receive a digital copy of Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies when it takes its bow in the very near future.

Here’s a little about Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies:

Sometimes, even a spy needs a hero.

Like any good secret agent, Amanda Emerson knows how to get what she wants—in this case, a man with guts and a gun—a man heroic enough to break a notorious double agent out of a Confederate prison. But first, she’ll have to save her hero’s own neck.

Caught with Rebel plans and set for a hanging, Union spy Steve Dunham’s luck has run out—until a cunning beauty shows up at the jail and engineers his escape. Of course, she’s there for a reason besides preventing him from dangling at the end of a noose—he’s the key to her daring scheme.

Steve may be trading one execution for another, but the tempting—and off limits—operative draws him into the perilous mission. Falling for Amanda is a complication he can’t afford, but Steve’s never been one to play it safe. The spoils of victory will be Amanda’s surrender. And the terms of surrender promise to be sultry and sweet.

Pistols, Parasols & Passionate Little Lies will be available soon! Look for details later this week.

Welcome Author Averil Reisman

To Cuba With LoveIt’s my great pleasure today to welcome author Averil Reisman. Averil writes American-set historical romance with an adventurous edge, set in the Gilded Age years of the 1890s. Averil’s new release, To Cuba With Love, is a thrilling tale of danger and passion set during the years before the Spanish American War. Averil’s here today to tell us about her inspiration for To Cuba With Love.

Welcome, Averil!

Tara, have you ever asked the question, “what if . . . ?” What if this had happened, what if that had happened? The idea for To Cuba With Love came from one of those “what if” questions.

While I was researching another storyline at the Amelia Island Historical Museum in Fernandina, Florida, I came across a newspaper article stating that Fernandina’s natural deep water port had been the capital of gunrunning ventures to Cuba during that country’s long fight for independence from Spain. I thought there had to be a romance story in there somewhere.

Shifting gears, I started researching the topic, and found a white paper titled, The Fernandina Filibuster Fiasco in a museum folder of the island’s history during the 1890s.

The document told of the failure of a gunrunning venture to Cuba financed by Cuban immigrants living in the United States. Three ships had been illegally chartered to send men and war material to Cuba in opposition to the U.S. Neutrality Act of 1794. The venture was discovered and the cargo confiscated before the ships left American waters.

Bingo! This was it. What if . . . the cargo had been divided into quarters instead of thirds, and the fourth portion hidden for another stab at delivery? To Cuba With Love grew from that germ of an idea.

Bold, dramatic, and dangerous, my illegal mission required the strength of character and the courage of a hero and heroine who were up to the task. So . . . I created Sean Nolan, an honorable, very wealthy, alpha male sea captain facing sure financial ruin, and Samantha Ethridge, a brazen, quick-thinking society news reporter, stymied by the role of women in her time—the Gilded Age.

Drawn together at first by their passion, they learn to work together, to understand each other’s personal priorities, and to let go of the lies they’ve told themselves about what they really want out of life.

Check it out at http://www.amazon.com/db/b00fpvcf2k

Thanks, Averil, for that historical nugget that inspired your story. Having read the book, I can tell you the research is meticulous. You certainly know your history! 

Welcome Author Lane McFarland

Cameron coverIt’s my pleasure to welcome my friend, author Lane McFarland. Lane’s steamy Scottish historical romances debuted earlier this month on Amazon…readers are gobbling up these touching and passionate stories. Lane’s here with a character interview of the heroines of her romances, Cameron and Heather. Welcome, Lane. Please tell us a little about your stories.

Thank you for having me, Tara. I’m excited to tell you about the first two books of my series, The Daughters of Alastair MacDougall. Before I published Cameron and Heather’s stories, I took one last opportunity to interview the sisters. I’d like to share my visit to MacDougall Castle in Kilmarnock, Scotland.

It was late at night when I arrived. Large torches blazed bright into the darkening sky. Solid battlements, secured behind grey stone, ran across the outer gates surrounding the fortress. Guards patrolled the ramparts, ready to drop the portcullis and defend the castle at a moment’s notice.

The carriage rattled across the wooden bridge, through a large worn gate and past guardhouses on either side. We pulled to a stop in the bailey before the stone steps leading to the keep. I tugged my wrap around my shoulders, climbed the steep stairs and knocked on the heavy oak door.

A gust of brisk air swirled in the front hall as Fergus greeted me. “Welcome to MacDougall Castle, Mistress McFarland.”Heather cover

“Thank you, Fergus. It’s nice to be back.”

“Please come in, and I’ll show ye to the solar.”

I stepped into the dimly-lit hall. He lifted the cloak from my back and escorted me down the corridor. More torches secured in brackets lined the damp passage, their flames flickering in a cold draft.

He opened the solar’s worn door and swept his arm in the direction of the chairs positioned before the hearth. “Make yerself comfortable by the fire. I’ll let Mistresses Cameron and Heather know ye’ve arrived.”

I scooted into one of the massive wooden chairs, holding my hands out to the warmth radiating from the golden flames. Nerves strung tight, I couldn’t help but wonder what the MacDougall women thought of the stories I had just written about them. While rummaging through my briefcase for my notebook, the sound of footsteps and feminine laughter drifted from down the hall.

“Mistress McFarland,” Cameron said as she slipped into the room with Heather close behind. “What a pleasure to see ye again.”

I stood and smoothed shaking fingers down my skirt as Cameron extended her hand in greeting. Once again, I was struck by the women’s beauty. Cameron’s long dark hair and green eyes were in stark contrast to her sister’s blonde tresses and deep blue eyes. Friendly smiles lit their faces.

“Please call me Lane. I thank you for seeing me on short notice and at such a late hour.”

“Gracious, ye’re always welcome,” Heather said, grasping my hand. “Please have a seat.”

Rena, the cook, entered carrying a tray of warm spiced cider and her sweet cakes. She smiled and handed me a mug.

“Thank you.”

The woman nodded and shuffled from the room.

“What can we do for ye?” Cameron asked, sipping the drink.

“I hope you’ve had a chance to review the books I wrote about you and your families.”

Heather leaned back in her chair. “Aye, we appreciated yer just account.”

Relief poured over me and I relaxed. “May I ask a few follow up questions? I want to ensure I have correctly depicted your stories.”

“Certainly. Heather and I will try to answer whatever questions ye have.”

I flipped open my notebook and addressed Cameron. “When I first visited, you were experiencing difficulties. Would you describe that hard time in your life once more?”

She stiffened slightly.

Heather reached over and squeezed her sister’s forearm.

Cameron smiled sadly. “It was indeed a difficult time. Mum had been so ill. I couldn’t find a cure for her wasting sickness. When she passed, I felt like a failure.” She shook her head. “It took a long time before I wanted to continue learning the healing arts.”

“But you did,” I added.

Her eyes gazed at me, the light from the flames in the hearth flickering in the green depths. “Aye, I could not stop my passion to heal the sick and injured.”

“What of the feud with the Grahams? Did it play a role in your decision to continue?”

She scoffed. “There was always some kind of skirmish or prank they played on each other. Inevitably, someone was injured. Poor Fergus still has limited use of his arm.”

“That was about the time Laird Graham kidnapped you, wasn’t it?”

“The very time. As a matter of fact, I was collecting medicinal herbs for Fergus when Robert snatched me. He was bent on revenge. Ye see, he found his younger brother and his elderly captain with my da’s arrows jutting from their backs.” She exhaled through her nose. “Who could blame him for his actions? He had just sealed a truce with my da and was hurting over the brutal attack and outright betrayal.”

“You struggled with escaping or staying with the Grahams. Did you make the right decision?”

The corners of her mouth tugged up. “I did.”

“What, if anything, would you like to change about your life?”

“If there was anything I’d like to change, it would be the continued conflict with the English. We’re on constant alert, forever fearful of attack. I pray someday we will live in peace.”

“Thank you, Cameron.” She smiled, and I turned to Heather. “I would ask the same of you. When I first met you, you were in a bit of a dilemma.”

“Aye, before Mum passed, I promised her I would help Da run the castle and protect the clan. It was a time of unrest. I couldn’t trust our neighboring Scots. Too many scoundrels lurked, waiting to pounce on us at the slightest opportunity. I had to keep them at bay.”

“Ye led your father’s warriors into battle.”

Her blue eyes narrowed. “I had no choice. I had to keep the clan intact while holding off those who plotted to overtake our land.”

“What about Alec—I mean Laird Campbell? Could you not trust him?

She sat straighter, her shoulders squared. “I no longer knew him. It had been many years since we last met. I couldn’t take the chance he would betray Da’s confidence.”

“What do you mean?”

“Da suffers an affliction of the mind. If other clans got word of it, they would storm in and overtake our clan. I had to protect his secret.”

“Alec had secrets of his own, didn’t he?”

Heather’s fingers fidgeted in her lap. “There were rumors he had failed his aging father and clan.”

“But you were attracted to him. That must have been difficult for you.”

Her eyes blinked and her gaze dropped to the floor. “It was indeed a hard time. My heart screamed to turn to him. It would have been so easy.” She smiled. “He was handsome and strong, leading his men into battle and caring for his people.”

“How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?”

“I echo my sister’s sentiments on the rebellion, and understand all too well what it entails to protect the castle and the clan. We will forever be on constant alert.”

A log rolled in the fireplace and red sparks flitted up the chimney. “I wish things were different for you. That is a difficult way to live.”

Cameron nodded. “Aye, but we make do.”

I hated to leave, but the hour grew late. “I thank you for your time tonight. I won’t keep you any longer.”

After shutting my notebook and tucking it away in my satchel, I stood. Cameron and Heather escorted me down the corridor to the great hall.

Fergus ambled toward us. “Ye are leaving already, Mistress McFarland?”

“Aye, it’s time for me to be on my way. I have two books to publish.”

After our visit, I released the first two books about Alastair MacDougall’s daughters, Cameron and Heather. They are available on Amazon in eBook, with printed format offered soon. I plan to publish Lindsey’s story late spring 2014, with Elsbeth’s book to soon follow.

Author Bio:

Lane McFarland is a southern girl living on top of a mountain in North Georgia, and is most happy when surrounded by family and friends. When not writing, you can find her hiking with her husband, or fiddling around in her flower and vegetable gardens, feeding the birds and watching black bears and deer. Lane is blessed to have a wonderful son—her pride and joy, her buddy who, along with her husband, have made her life complete.

Lane’s debut novels, CAMERON and HEATHER, are the first in The Daughters of Alastair MacDougall books. Set in late thirteenth century Scotland, this series tells the stories of Laird Alastair MacDougall’s four independent and oftentimes, headstrong daughters coming of age in a country fraught with war and feuds amongst rival clans. Follow his daughters as their lives become intertwined with four fierce, rebel highland warriors bent on eradicating the English soldiers from their homeland.

Cameron is available at Amazon, Smashwords, Bookstorewithoutborders

Heather is available at Amazon, Smashwords, Bookstorewithoutborders

My November “Book Baby”

I’m a November baby, so it seems only fitting that my historical romance, Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies has a November book birthday as well. Here’s a little about the story:

Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little LiesSecrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies

A heart’s destiny cannot be denied when a daring Union spy abducts a beautiful runaway bride he suspects of being a traitor.

Emma Davenport was a model senator’s daughter: prim, proper, but hell-bent on escaping the dreaded fate of spinsterhood that awaited her under wartime Washington’s all-too watchful eye. She was going to be a bride, and no one was going to stop her. Not even the daring renegade who steals her from a train transporting her to a forbidden marriage. Her heart tells her this mysterious captor is a dangerous man, but the undeniable attraction he wields is a more potent threat than any weapon.

Major Cole Travis is a highly trained secret agent, as skilled with deception as he is with a gun. Keeping a beautiful traitor from her rendezvous with a treacherous scoundrel shouldn’t be a challenge for the battle-seasoned spy—but he’s not the only one after his tempting prisoner. Emma Davenport must be kept out of enemy hands at all costs. Drawn to this woman whose innocent allure may be just another weapon in her arsenal, Cole risks his neck to shield her. Soon, however, protecting her from his own heart’s desire becomes another story entirely.

You can find Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies on Kindle. Prefer a paperback? The story will be out in paperback soon.