Portraits of Our Mothers

mother

The Washington Post headline read: “Survey: Half of women say they don’t have enough free time”. I confess that I laughed when I saw it on my Smartphone screen. No kidding? Half of us have enough hours in the day while the other half of us are just trying to make it through with our sanity intact? Whether it be for maintaining a household, rearing children (aka making sure they don’t destroy the house most days), focusing on a career or investing in the relationships in our lives, do women really have much “time to ourselves” to speak of? I wasn’t sure, especially since I was doing some quick reading during the halftime of my son’s soccer game.

Author Mom
Portrait of Madame Emilie Seriziat and son (Jacques-Louis David, 1795. Oil on canvas) Photo: Wikimedia Commons

When thinking about our topic of alfresco activities in the month of May, I just couldn’t let go of this concept of time. What would we do with scads of it to spend as we choose? Did I really have to sneak in a little research time in-between quarters for the soccer game? As Mother’s Day approaches, I had to wonder if time is an activity in and of itself  – and not just for women in the year 2013. We modern woman have entered the workforce with a vengeance, going from working an average 8 hours per week (at a paying job) in 1965 to working an average 21 hours a week in 2011. A whopping 56% of employed mothers with children under eighteen say it is very or somewhat difficult to maintain a balance between work and their home life (USA Today). And in 2011, women reported spending an average of 13.5 hours per week with their children.

With those stats, why wouldn’t we think that maintaining careers, taxiing kids to soccer fields and dance class, popping dinner in the microwave and rushing through the occasional load of laundry makes us busier than mothers in the Regency Era? After all, Jane quoted that a mother would have always been present. That must mean a mother had little by way of responsibilities in 1812, right? Wrong. She had more to do than choose fabric for her next ball gown, that’s for sure.

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The Good Mother (Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 18th century. Oil on canvas.) Photo: Wikimedia Commons

One of the most interesting books I read in college was A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785 – 1812 (by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich). Martha Ballard was a Regency Era woman, mother, and midwife living in eighteenth-century Maine. (If you want a picture of the hard-working Regency Super-Mom, this lady was it.) She ventured out on ice-covered lakes to deliver babies in the middle of winter. She managed to have nine children of her own while performing duties akin to that of a physician on a somewhat regular basis. She maintained her frontier home in rugged New England and fashioned a domestic economy as an herbalist and healer. (Career. Kids. Balancing work and home. Sound familiar?) I recommend this book for a candid look at the Regency from a fresh angle – maybe to see a connection between those mothers of 200 years ago and the portrait of a special mother in our lives today?

When I think about the portrait that my sons have of me as their mother, I’d hope they could say what Jane Austen did in her quote; I was always present. Maybe I was stretched a little and couldn’t give every moment, but I would hope I was always present in the moments I could give. That I was indeed a constant friend and cheerleader. That the influence I had brought them up to fear the Lord, to grow in righteousness, and to always treat gently the women God has gifted into their lives. I would hope that they remembered the time – the honest-to-goodness quality time – their mother spent with them in their youth… That I put the phone away on the soccer field and stayed present in the moment at my son’s game.

I pray the portraits we women paint as mothers in this life (whether in the Regency or in today’s world) showcase an abundance of grace and beauty. I pray that they’re portraits of our mothers, just as they will be of us some day.

Portraits of our mothers on Regency Reflections…

Author Kristi Hunter
Author Kristi Ann Hunter, her mother, and eldest daughter
Author Susan Karsten
Author Susan Karsten (far right), her mother, and youngest daughter
Author Vanessa Riley
Author Vanessa Riley and her mother (left); Author Vanessa Riley and daughter Ellen on Stone Mountain (right)
Author Kristy Cambron
Author Kristy Cambron and her mother

Who is a special mother in your life? How has she invested the gift of time in your life?

 Have a blessed Mother’s Day!

In His Love,

Kristy

 

When Did You Fall In Love With Reading?

Most authors have a love affair with reading. The written word, compelling story, and fictional characters are the constant companions that light the fire to create our own stories and characters on paper.

So this month we asked our authors when they knew they loved reading. Was it a particular book? A series? A person?

BookStack

Susan Karsten

I have loved reading since early childhood. One of the strengths of my family of origin was reading. So I was blessed in that way. One of main family activities was trips to the library where we’d all go our separate way. The James J. Hill Library in St. Paul, MN has a splendid children’s room – lots of marble, built-in puppet theatre. Visit it if you’re ever in that city. I can picture myself in one corner with small Beatrix Potter books at age 6 or so.

Naomi Rawlings

I’ve loved reading since I was a kid, but I did go through a spell when I stopped reading for fun. I was an English Education major in college, which gave me a lot of literary fiction to read and didn’t leave time for any fun reading. After college, I never really picked the reading habit from my younger years back up until I visited my grandma one summer. She had a Lori Wick novel sitting on her table. I picked it up, started reading, and was immediately sucked in. It was a giant Aha! moment for me. I suddenly remember how much I loved reading romance novels and other fun books. And I’ve been thoroughly addicted to romance novels ever since!

BookCornersLaurie Alice Eakes

I knew I loved reading as soon as I realized that those stories I  loved was the act of reading.

Kristy Cambron

Classic literature is a funny thing. I find that either you love it, or it’s an assigned chore in high school. And unfortunately, I’d always viewed it as the latter. But something clicked when I entered college and began doing research for Art History. I remember sitting on the edge of my armchair at home, trying to fit in any extra moments in the day to read just one more line of ‘Jane Eyre’. An as they say, I was gone… hook, line, and sinker. It’s not just the classics now – I always have a book in my hands. (Right now I am reading ‘The Heiress of Winterwood’, by Sarah E. Ladd.)

Kristi Ann Hunter

I don’t remember the name of the book but I remember that it was about a Native American boy and the cover was blue with a picture of the boy riding a galloping horse with a spear in his hand. What I remember about this book is that it was the first “real” book I checked out from my elementary school library. It had chapters and no pictures in it. When I finished it in less than a week and took it back, I realized I loved reading. From there I remember moving to the Boxcar Children series and the rest, as they say, is history.

What about you?

Are you a reader? When did you realize that you loved books?

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Catching up with Regency Reflections Authors

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been sharing our inspirational Regency world with you for an entire year now. And what a year it’s been! We’ve seen so many wonderful books published, several of our blog authors have been preparing their debut novels for release, and many tidbits of history have been uncovered.

We’ve got some great fun starting next week for our one-year anniversary, but today we wanted to let you know what’s going on in the lives of some of your favorite Regency Reflections authors.

Laurie Alice Eakes

laurie and nick and water
Laurie Alice and her dog, Nick, at the beach.

Laurie Alice has been a very busy woman! She recently celebrated the release of her twelfth full length novel called Choices of the Heart. It is set in Appalachia in 1842, but still has a Regency connection. The heroine’s father, who was an English nobleman’s son, came to America in 1809, fell in love, and stayed.

Other things that have happened for Laurie Alice this year include the release of her third Regency, A Flight of Fancy, which won the Clash of the Titles contest. She also celebrated the re-release of Family Guardian, her first Regency, in paperback and Kindle versions. Family Guardian won the National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007.

And she’s not stopping any time soon! The third book in The Daughters of Bainbridge House series will release later this year. She also sold three more Regencies to Zondervan. The first one will release in 2014.

You can also find Laurie Alice at her personal webpage (www.LaurieAliceEakes.com) and on twitter (@LaurieAEakes).

Susan Karsten

SusanAndSister
Susan (in red sweater) with her sister-in-law on New Year’s Eve.

Susan has been busy getting her personal blog up and running. At graciouswoman.wordpress.com you’ll find a range of topics having to do with Susan’s interests. Lately, she’s been working on an estate sale (a side business she has). If that pique’s your interest, she’d blogged about it. 😉 Not yet published, she continues to improve her writing, getting an excellent average score for her latest work-in-progress, A Refuge for Rosanna, in the ACFW First Impressions contest.

Vanessa Riley

MadelineProtectPreparations for Vanessa’s debut release have kept her busy this year. In addition to posting on Regency Reflections, Vanessa keeps up the website ChristianRegency.com – a great source for Inspirational Regency books and history.

Her debut book, Madeline’s Protector, is just around the corner. Keep reading Regency Reflections after the anniversary party so you don’t miss her big launch party and give-a-way in April.

 

Kristi Ann Hunter

Kristi and her husband at the M&M conference for the Maggies announcements.
Kristi and her husband at the M&M conference for the Maggies announcements.

This past year has been amazing for Kristi. Currently unpublished, Kristi has spent the year learning from her fabulous writer friends – including the lovely ladies of Regency Reflections – and improving her craft. She semi-finaled in ACFW’s Genesis competition for unpublished authors and came in third in the Georgia Romance Writers Maggies competition in the Inspirational romance category.

Recently, she’s been working on revamping her website and blog. Currently the blog is at AmeliasDrawingRoom.blogspot.com. Within the next couple of weeks it will be moving to the brand new www.KristiAnnHunter.com. Technical issues kept the site from being up and running at the time of this post. You can also find Kristi on Facebook.

Ruth Axtell

mmcomingsoonIf you love reading Ruth Axtell books (who doesn’t?) get excited. Ruth’s been busy preparing for her newest release which will be launching right here at Regency Reflections in March.

Ruth writes historicals outside of the Regency period as well. Her historical romance set in Maine, Her Good Name, released last year.

You can find out more about Ruth by visiting her webpage, RuthAxtell.com, or her blog.

 

Kristy L. Cambron

Cambron Pics 210As if having a third child weren’t enough to keep a woman busy, Kristy has been pushing on with her writing and blogging career. Though currently unpublished, she and her agent, Joyce Hart, are working hard to change that. Winning the FCRW Beacon award in the Inspirational category last year and expanding her writing into other areas of history are just part of her efforts.

She’s also moved into a new position as a Learning Consultant for a Fortune 100 Company. Working with emergent leaders has brought her the privilege of being invited back as a three-time Participant Leader Guide at the Disney Leadership Institute, Perfect Service Experience program at Walt Disney World, Orlando.

Want to read more from Kristy right now? Check out her blog, Paris-Mom.blogspot.com.

 

Naomi Rawlings

Naomi is excited to have contracted for two sequels to Sanctuary for a Lady. The first novel is set during the French Revolution and the second during the Napoleonic Wars.  You can check out more of what Naomi has going on by visiting her website, NaomiRawlings.com or her blog, MakingHomeWorkBlog.blogspot.com.

Coming in 2013 to Regency Reflections

Now that you’ve caught up with your favorite bloggers, here’s a look at what’s ahead this year right here at Regency Reflections.

MatchCover

Starting Monday, February 4

Our one-year anniversary party! You will not want to miss the fun. We’ve put together a serial story, but you will get to choose the end! We’ll have a scavenger hunt to keep you intrigued as you read with a wonderful prize pack to give away to one lucky reader.

Book releases galore

If you love Inspirational Regencies, clear your bookshelf because this year we have a lot of amazing new releases to feature on the blog. Look for releases from Ruth Axtell in March, Sarah Ladd and Vanessa Riley with their debut releases in April, and Laurie Alice in October. And those are just a few of the books from our own authors! Look for special guests and give-a-ways throughout the year.

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice Celebration

Pride and Prejudice turned 200 years old this year. We couldn’t possibly ignore that! Be sure to stick around the blog, because we’ll be celebrating this much loved story in August. We’ll look at the movies, the book itself, and the impact Jane Austen and her story have on life today. You won’t want to miss it.

Whew! It’s hard to believe all of that has happened in the past year. We have loved building this blog and bringing it to life while getting to know some of you through comments and discussions. This blog would be nothing without our fabulous readers.

So you tell us… what would you like to see on Regency Reflections this year?

 

My Year with Miss Austen

The winter months can be rough. According to a New York Times article from a few years back, it is likely that four out of five of us won’t keep our New Year’s Resolutions through January. Forbes.com states that nine out of ten of us go about making a resolution in the wrong way, thus spelling trouble for achieving our goals in the new year. And alas, Health.com tells us that less than half of us (a mere 46%) will still be on target with our New Year’s Resolutions after the six month mark has passed.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to read a Regency Era novel each month in 2013. (Think “Kristy’s Regency Book Club” for one.) So with all of this gloom and doom predicted around resolutions in the first month of the year, what’s a gal to do? I’m following the advice from Forbes.com and will be looking for small lifestyle changes to add a little Regency into each day. Care to join?

Here’s how I plan to enjoy the Regency in 2013, one month at a time:

Austenland 2
Keri Russel (Jane Hayes) and JJ Field (Mr. Henry Nobley), in Austenland (2013)

JANUARY: Austenland

Based on the book of the same title by author Shannon Hale, Austenland has been generating a lot of buzz this month at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. While Sony Pictures Worldwide has yet to issue an official release date, publicity for the film has increased in the first month of the year. In fact, Sundance screenings of the film have completely sold out – indicating that Jane’s appeal is just as real today as it was when Pride and Prejudice was first published 200 years ago. [Austenland – Desertnews.com LINK]

FEBRUARY: The Other Kind of Romanticism

February, Valentine’s Day, and romance… they tend to all go together, right? But the romance we associate with this month isn’t the same Romanticism. The Regency Era fell in the middle of the Romanticism movement, which saw its high point from the end of the 18th century to the first part of the 19th century. The movement ushered in a renewed focus on the arts and sciences, particularly those of the natural world, and a moving away of classical (Greco-Roman) themes in art and literature. [Romanticism LINK]

MARCH:  What to Read… That is the Question.

If that’s the question, then we aim to answer it here at Regency Reflections.  We’ve compiled a list of current books available from our authors. And if you come back soon, we’ll have updates on upcoming releases posted throughout the year.  (You’re most welcome!) Ruth Axtell    Linore Rose Burkard    Laurie Alice Eakes   Sarah Ladd    Mary Moore    Naomi Rawlings

APRIL:  What Did She Just Say?

So you don’t know a ha’penny from a farthing? Is a livery a stable or a piece of clothing? And just where is Grosvenor Square? Never fear. We’re here to help. Particularly if you’re new to Regency Era fiction, you might find that some assistance with the language is in order. We cordially invite you to partake of the information in the links below, so that you might brush up on your skills with the language. (After all, who wants to be accused of being a ninny or a fop when it comes to Regency terminology? [Regency Glossary, JaneAusten.org  Glossary]

Regency dress
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

MAY: I’ll Take Season Etiquette for 100

It may sound a bit like Jeopardy, but there’s a lot to know about the Regency social season. From the ball to the proper time to call, one could certainly make a social faux pas if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s essential to know your stuff. The London Season coincided with what? Which month signaled the official start of the “season”? And low neck dresses and short sleeves were reserved for what time of day? If you want to make sure you fare well on the Marriage Mart then do your research, ladies! [The London Season – LINK, Jane Austen Centre – Regency Fashion LINK]

 

JUNE:  Inspiration, Please

Here at Regency Reflections, we live and breathe writing good stories that our readers will love. While similar to fiction you’ve probably read before, there’s one additional component woven into an inspirational book – a story steeped in a journey with Christ. When you’re looking for a good Regency story to read by a roaring fire, we hope you find comfort in knowing that your story will be encouraging to your Christian walk as well as entertaining to your heart. [For your reading pleasure: Amazon – LINK, Barnes and Noble – LINK]

JULY: The Jane Austen Festival, Your Hometown, USA

The Jane Austen Centre at Bath is set to celebrate their annual festival in honor of the authoress this April (and in which they’ll celebrate the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice). But if you don’t think you’ll make it to the UK this year, then The Jane Austen Society of North America may have a celebration you could attend a little closer to home. With over 70 regional groups across the continental US and Canada, chances are there is a chapter a stone’s throw from your back yard. [Find your local chapter here – LINK]

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The Jane Austen Centre, Bath (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

AUGUST: Happy Birthday, Georgette!

Born in this month in 1902 (d. 1974), British author Georgette Heyer is beloved by historical romance readers both for her charming characters and rich settings that are reminiscent of Miss Austen’s Regency world. But Georgette is not alone in her book writing genius! Other beloved authors of the genre: Marion Chesney (M.C. Beaton), Julia Quinn, Patricia Veryan, Dawn Lindsay and Debra Raleigh. So if you’ve not ventured far beyond Jane’s novels but you’re drawn to the genre, you might pick up a Regency romance written by one of these authors. [Georgette’s books – LINK]

SEPTEMBER:  Celebrate the Empire Waist!

Now that I know what to read, how to speak, and where to go to celebrate the Regency, this gal needs a dress! There are lots of resources out there to find the right period dress – whether you’re looking to buy or to make your own. A couple of sites that celebrate Regency fashion are listed below. [Elegance of Fashion blog – LINK; Sense and Sensibility PatternsLINK]

OCTOBER:  Write It Down

Whether you are an avid reader or a would-be author, journaling is a classic way to learn more about yourself (or in this case, the Regency). Find out what other writers have essayed on the subject in the annual Jane Austen Journal. [The Jane Austen JournalLINK]

NOVEMBER: It’s Cold. I Want a Warm Fire and a Good Movie.

Enough said, right? Here’s a list of must-see films. (Caution: This list may cause one to spend insane amounts of money on Regency entertainment. We are not responsible if your spouse questions your spending habits!) [Your fabulous link to classic romance: LINK ]

DECEMBER:  I’d Like to Thank the Academy…

For those of you that are fond of entertainment news, you’ll know that the start of a new year sparks excitement for the Hollywood awards season. But for writers, the new year ushers in a season of another kind, and that’s contest season. December is the perfect time to begin thinking about polishing that new manuscript, or even writing something new and submitting it for a contest. So put on your dinner dress or cravat, walk on stage and prepare to accept your award! [JASNA 2013 Essay Contest, Romance Writers of America (RWA) Contests, American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Contests]

And there you have it – a full year of super-simple (but  delightfully amiable) tips to incorporate your love of the Christian Regency into your daily routine. Because as we know, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that if you make New Year’s Resolutions next year, you’ll have a whole new outlook if you were able to conquer them the year before.

In His Love,

Kristy

 

The Mysterious Ms. Darcy

My first Regency was Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer and got me interested in the Regency time period. The book that really hooked me on the Regency romance, however, was Georgina by Clare Darcy.

Georgina has all the wonderful elements of a romance that absolutely delight me—delight me to the point that I think I have followed a little in her footsteps in my own romances—books that is, not life—a heroine being courted by just the right sort of gentleman when her heart demands she go after the exactly wrong gentleman. Ah, be still my beating heart for Shannon, a disreputable landowner with mystery and rumors swirling around him. Though I knew I would regret doing so in the morning, I stayed up late to finish this story and was delighted and saddened at the end—delighted with the outcome and saddened that the book was over.

Over the next several years, I read every Clare Darcy book I could find. These were what we now call traditional Regencies. Traditional Regencies are those in the true spirit of Georgette Heyer—comedies of manners with no sensuality other than a few subtle comments and maybe a kiss or two, no foul language, and generally appropriate for young women all the way up to old ladies.

All of Ms. Darcy’s books were named for the heroine, except for one named for two females, one I just learned of today, as I did some research on this post. They ranged from countryside frolics, to country house romps, to balls and adventures. The heroines usually had minds of their own without being anachronistic or too much alike, as far as I remember, and the heroes varied in temperament and social position, though all were at least gentry class.

When I started looking at writing Regencies myself, I asked a few people about Ms. Darcy. Who, exactly, was she and why didn’t she gain more acclaim in the genre? I discovered that Ms. Darcy was highly respected amongst true Regency devotees, but her person was  pretty much unknown. Some even hinted she might be a he.

According to Wikipedia now, ten years later, Ms. Darcy was an author from Ohio named Mary Deasy (1914-1978). Her papers are in the Boston University research library. This is the most information I’ve been able to find out about this author who, like Ms. Heyer, died before ever I read one of her books. Also like Ms. Heyer, Ms. Darcy was a powerful influence on me becoming a Regency writer.

If you haven’t yet picked up Georgina, Eugenia, Lydia, Cressida, Lady Pamela, or any of the other delightful books by Ms. Darcy, you are in for a treat when you do.

Interview with Author Mary Moore Interview — Part 2

Mary Moore, Regency Reflections contributor and author of Beauty in Disguise is with us Author Mary Mooreagain today, and just like yesterday, she’s offering to give away two copies of her latest Regency novel to two lucky blog visitors. Be sure to leave a comment at the end of the post to be entered in the giveaway. The giveaway will end Wednesday, January 16, at midnight.

1. Hi Mary, and thanks for being with us two days in a row. Today I’d like to ask you a few questions about writing Regencies and making your stories stand out. With the Regency Era being such a relatively short time in number of years; is it hard to create new storylines and fresh ideas?  

Normally, I would give you a pretty definitive no. There are a number of different voices and creative writers out there, who all have different perspectives and specific areas of interest on the period, and this results in some wonderful new stories every month. The growth in the research process and areas of expertise also adds a wonderful level of creativeness.

You will notice, however, that I started my answer with “normally!” After I signed the contract for Beauty in Disguise and scheduled it for release, my editor contacted my agent to tell us that there was another LIH already further along in the process with a similar premise to mine. As a relatively new author, I had no idea whether my editor would want to move back the date of release or ask me to propose a whole new story. But she thought the story would work out fine if I would just be willing to “tweak” it. I said yes, but little did I realize what “tweaking” it would mean!

2. How did they want you to change it, and how hard was that for you?

In our initial brainstorming session most of the changes seemed pretty much cosmetic. They really did like the premise and wanted to keep it if we could. So, we changed where the story was staged, the heroine’s dynamic with some of the other characters and some details about her past. But as I began the rewrite I realized that some of those changes affected the story much more than any of us anticipated.

3.Gulp. I was in a similar situation with a story once. I thought I was agreeing to some surface changes that got way deeper than I anticipated. Not fun! How did the changes for Beauty in Disguise differ from what you expected?

Originally, the build up to the “reveal” was pivotal to my story. But with some of the changes I made, my editor thought it watered down some of the conflict and, thereby, the impact too much. To increase that problem, they wanted the hero and heroine to meet earlier. So one by one, changes that started out as cosmetic ended up changing the storyline pretty drastically. There were quite a few more rewrites than my editor and I expected or wanted!

4.  How do you think these changes have helped to make your book stronger?

I usually have an inspirational message (and the verses of Scripture that go with it) in my mind ahead of time, and I write the story around it. In the rewrites of Beauty in Disguise, I began to get frustrated because either the message wouldn’t fit with the changes or the changes wouldn’t go with the message. I finally got to the point where I just gave the story to God. I asked Him to make sure it was His message that went out there instead of mine. Duh, right? So, in the end, having the story revolve around what He wants to say made the book exactly what it is supposed to be.

The postscript to the story is that one day I was in a hospital waiting room and I pulled out my Kindle to kill the time. I pulled up the first Regency I came to and I knew, on that very first page, that it was the other story…the one that came out before mine and sent me on this writing journey. I wanted to find someone, anyone, to say, “This is it, this is it,” until I realized how crazy I would have sounded. It was by an author I “knew” pretty well online. She and I have had a good laugh over it and I pray that God will be able to use both our stories to His glory!

5. Well, I’m glad everything worked out well between you and the other author. Are you excited to finally see the release of Beauty in Disguise?

That would be a giant understatement! It was by far tougher to write than my first one was, but it has also been a little over a year since my first one came out. I was ready to be out among readers again, and now I can move on to my next project. I am very blessed!

Thanks, Naomi, for your time and the interview. I am so happy to be associated with this site and all of the work everyone does here to support and spread the news about inspirational Regencies.

Here’s a little more about Beauty in Disguise. If you want to enter our giveaway, leave a comment below, and be sure to visit yesterday’s blog post for another chance to win Beauty in Disguise.

Hidden in plain sight.

After her scanBeauty Cover Fulldalous first Season, Lady Kathryn needs a new beginning. Concealing her stunning hair and sapphire eyes beneath a dowdy facade, she’s grateful to earn her keep as companion Kate Montgomery. Until she comes face-to-face with her past in Lord Dalton, the only man she has ever loved.

The debutante Dalton fell in love with years ago was beautiful beyond compare. The gentle, mysterious young woman he encounters at a country house has qualities he now values more highly—until he learns of her deception. Kate has broken his heart not once, but twice. Can faith help him see that love, like true beauty, always comes to light?

Interview and Give-A-Way ~ Regina Scott

Interview with Regency author Regina Scott.

 

Veteran Regency writer Regency Regina Scott stopped by to tell us a little about her writing journey, as well as her love for regencies.

Regina’s first published book was The Unflappable Miss Fairchild in 1998, a regency with Zebra Regency Romance. Since then she has published continuously with 18 novels to her credit and four novellas.

In the last couple of years, she has turned to writing regencies with a Christian tone. These have found a home with Love Inspired Historicals. She has four LIH regencies to date. Her latest, The Captain’s Courtship, is out this month. Regina has graciously donated a copy for a lucky reader. For a chance to win it, please leave a comment today.

 

What drew you to write during the Regency Time Period?

I loved to read growing up, but by the time I reached college, it had been awhile since I’d found a book to truly engage me.  Then I stumbled upon Elizabeth Mansfield’s The Phantom Lover at my library.  I couldn’t put it down!  I’d always wanted to be a writer, but I knew then I wanted to write a book in this wonderful time period called the Regency.  I loved that the era had its own language, with an interplay between men and women that was so elegant and witty!  Twenty-two stories later, and I still love that period!
 

2.      Tell us what year your book is set in and why you chose that particular time.

The Captain’s Courtship is actually set before the strict definition of the Regency, in 1805.  But that time definitely has the same flavor, whether in clothes or social sensibilities.  I chose the year for the Everard Legacy series, of which this is the second book, because the series needed a time that would give rise to a true villain, someone who threatened my characters’ happiness, their faith, and their freedom.  Who better than Napoleon and his henchmen?  In 1805, England was certain “the Corsican Monster” meant to invade at any moment, and he was certainly trying to comply!
 

3.      Who is your favorite Regency Author?

I couldn’t possibly list just one!  Elizabeth Mansfield is probably my all-time favorite, as I mentioned.  Love Inspired is publishing a number of wonderful authors such as Louise M. Gouge (whom I see you had on recently!), Deborah Hale, Mary Moore, and Abby Gaines.  I’m really excited that Cheryl Bolen will have a new book out in October.  And this blog is blessed with so many talented authors!  Those of us who love Regency romances have a lot to look forward to!

 

4. What is your favorite Regency expression?

I have several:  having a nice coze for sitting down and chatting with a good friend, piffle as a sign of disappointment, and here-and-therian, a fellow who won’t commit to anything, who traveled about with no set home or preferred to chase women rather than catch them.  See what I mean about a language all its own?

 

5. What is your favorite Regency setting; e.g., London, country house, small village?

Definitely a small village.  I love developing the various characters and the relationships among them.  So far, my more recent stories keep getting set in the wildness, though—places like the Lake District and the Peak District.  I think perhaps the isolation of a single manor, far from others, allows me to focus on the hero and heroine and how they come to find love.  That was certainly the case with The Captain’s Courtship.  Though it starts and ends in London, most of the action takes place in the Lake District, when my hero Captain Richard Everard brings the heroine to meet his cousin, who she’s agreed to sponsor for a Season.

Tell us about your book.

The dashing Captain Richard Everard has faced untold dangers at sea. Steering his young cousin through a London season, however, is a truly formidable prospect. The girl needs a sponsor, like lovely widow Lady Claire Winthrop-the woman who jilted Richard years ago. Claire believed herself sensible in marrying a well-to-do viscount rather than a penniless second son. How deeply she regretted it! Now their fortunes are reversed, and Richard’s plan will help settle her debts and secure his inheritance. Yet it may yield something even more precious: a chance to be courted by the captain once more.

When did your novel release and with what publisher?

The Captain’s Courtship will be out in July from Love Inspired Historical.

Tell us about yourself:

 I always wanted to be a writer, but it took a while to convince myself that that was what I was meant to do.  I tried being a day care provider, a nanny, a technical writer, and a risk communication consultant before I heeded God’s call on my life.  Now, I feel so blessed to sit down at my computer and write!  The Captain’s Courtship marks my 22nd published story (18 novels and 4 novellas), all set in the Regency period.  The Rake’s Redemption, the next book in the Everard Legacy series, will be out in November.  You can learn more at my website at www.reginascott.com, where I also have articles about the Regency period.  You can also find me online at Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/reginascott), and the blog I share with author Marissa Doyle at www.nineteenteen.blogspot.com.   

For a chance to win A Captain’s Courtship by Regina Scott, leave a comment. We will draw a winner on July 31, 2012. Be sure to check back on this comment thread on that date to find out who won.

On Courtship

Authoress Amelia Opie

Whoever thinks romance and love matches didn’t exist before the 20th century ignores a lot of evidence to the contrary. If women of all strata of society from seamstresses to young ladies of the ton read novels which featured heroines pitted against alluring yet somewhat menacing men, where virtue and love triumphed in the end, this means they must have had a desire for romance. They not only took to reading but to writing novels themselves. Selina Davenport’s 1824 novel Preference, is a typical romance with a properly happy ending. She wrote 11 novels between 1814-1832. Other female authors of the period besides Jane Austen who wrote about love triumphing were Amelia Opie, Maria Edgeworth, and sisters Anna Maria and Jane Porter.

The evangelical writer Hannah More wrote, “Is a woman in low spirits? Let her console herself by writing a novel. Is she ill? Bored? Unhappily situated? Let her pour it all out into a novel.”* Do I detect a little sarcasm?

 

Almack's

Despite a young woman’s yearnings for love and romance, the regency period was governed by rules of etiquette. Numerous books were written to young men and women on the subject of how to behave in public—especially with the opposite sex. After the licentiousness of the Georgian era, the Regency period saw a rise of Evangelicalism, which stressed that women were the arbiters of morality, and it was part of their duty to make sure they didn’t tempt men, or fall victims to men’s baser instincts. Whereas in high society it was common for a man to have a mistress, an unmarried young lady must keep herself chaste and above any appearance of misbehavior. On the Marriage Mart, a woman’s purity was her highest asset.

For this reason courtship for a young lady meant being chaperoned whenever she went out (and, of course, never receiving a gentleman caller on her own). A gentleman had to ask for an introduction to meet a young lady he was interested in. After her official coming out into society, a young lady enjoyed the grown-up entertainments of balls, assemblies, concerts and other musical events, all to see and be seen. But everything was done in public. A young lady could never be alone with a young man who was not a family member or otherwise closely associated with the family.

Although parents desired a “suitable match” for their children, this did not mean strictly arranged marriages—for the most part. There is ample evidence in novels and correspondence of marriages based on love and mutual respect.

Princess and Prince at the opera National Portrait Gallery London

The most important love match of the era was that of the Prince Regent’s daughter Charlotte to a minor German prince, Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Even though her father and the British government had been negotiating her marriage to Prince William of Orange (the future king of the Netherlands), Princess Charlotte met young Leopold in the Czar’s entourage when the czar and his sister came to London during the summer of 1814. Eventually, the princess broke off her official engagement to the Dutch royal prince, causing all kinds of diplomatic furor and married her German prince on May 2, 1816, to the enthusiasm of the British people. They understood a love match. From all accounts it was a happy—though brief—marriage, since she died shortly after giving birth to their first child after only a year of marital bliss.

Matchmaking as shown in Emma also shows that romance was alive and well in the regency era. Jane Austen wrote, “Anything is to be preferred or endured, rather than marrying without Affection.”

Vauxhall Gardens

 

 

* Our Tempestuous Day by Carolly Erickson, William Morrow and Co., 1986, New York

Angst: Confessions of a Regency Writer

Regency writers and readers are some of the most persnickety lovers of any genre. On fan lists, I have seen people complain about a book for everything from the hero wearing trousers in 1800, to a boxing match that took place six months after the book’s setting. It’s enough to give writers in the genre heart palpitations.

I think about this as I await the final page proofs on A Flight of Fancy, my next Regency.

What errors did I make and who will find them and what will they say to me or others? Will it stop them from enjoying the book so much they’ll say bad things about it? Angst. Angst. Angst.

The problem is that the Regency is such a specific genre. The time period is brief, even when we stretch it from the true nine-year period, to the thirty year time publishing allows in many cases.

British Union Jack

The Regency is location specific. Having a Regency take place outside of the British Isles isn’t impossible if one has mainly British characters (which can include Scottish, Welsh, and Irish), and those characters must act, speak, and think like a Regency era person. In other words, the priorities in life are: Family, Country, God. Hmm. More problems when adding the inspirational element to the genre.

In short, the Regency novel must sound, smell, taste, look, and, above all, feel like early nineteenth century Britain. If you could change titles to mister and missus, or exchange a location in England for one in America, the novel might not be true Regency novel.

Or is it? Do readers really know that much or care?

Yes, writing a Regency novel does not require a great deal of knowledge of the time and place; it requires the ability to withstand the angst of knowing one made some flaw and whether or not it will it be fatal.

Laurie Alice Eakes

A Dream Is Born

Once upon a time, I was about fourteen and had decided that I liked reading romances, historical ones in particular. Looking back, I can see the school librarian going back to her office and tearing out her hair trying to figure out what to give me to read next since I read about two books a week. The library was a nice one, but not overflowing with novels appropriate for an innocent early teen.

But one day inspiration must have struck her and she handed me a copy of Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer. Glory, glory halleluiah! I had found my niche.


Lords and ladies, a breakneck mission through the English countryside, a maiden in distress, and, best of all, romance between the dashing hero and what was
previously his best female friend whom he suddenly decided he loved. Nothing better.Except I did find better. Georgina by Clare Darcy, then Frederica by Heyer, more Darcys, more Heyers, more authors writing in this fascinating time period until I was dreaming of writing my own beleaguered lady in need of a hero.I started reading nonfiction books about the Regency era. I even plowed my way through the Jane Austen library. I absorbed language and costume and the politics of the day like a velvet pelisse soaking up water from the rain while the wearer walks in Hyde Park.

What draws me to this time? I was asked in a recent radio interview. All of the above. The Regency was a time of amazing transition in the world from the excesses of the Georgian era aristocracy, to the rise of the middle class due to industrialization. The lines between classes, though still sharply defined, are beginning to blur around the edges. Social reforms are being at least talked about and steps taken to implement them. And the war with France and then a second war with America are always fodder for a fun read. Never a dull moment in the Regency.

After college, grad school, and a couple of jobs, I started to write my own Regency romance. Those first novels I completed are from my BC days, and I’m mortified that copies of them may be floating around the Internet. 

What is more important to me is the birth of my first two published Regencies and others coming out in the future. My first published novel Family Guardian is a Regency and won the National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency. A Necessary Deception is my first Regency for the Christian market out October of 2011. These books symbolize dreams born in the heart of a fourteen-year-old girl coming true.