Posts in the Historical Fiction genre

Guest Post

Writing From the Heart by Harmony Williams

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One of the first pieces of advice that you ever get as a writer is to write the book of your heart. Forget about trends; forget about what has or hasn’t been done. Write the book you want to read.

In November, 2009, after reading regency romances by the dozen for years, I did just that. I poured my heart onto the page in a fun book that swept me away so much that I completed the first draft in only one week. After many revisions, that book eventually became How to Ruin Your Reputation in 10 Days, but it didn’t come easily.

Back in 2009, at age 19, I poised on the cusp of launching my publishing career. I followed every plot bunny to its conclusion and drowned in the number of manuscripts I finished as I learned through writing (not editing) how to become better at my craft. I wrote young adult novels, fantasy books, romance novellas. Short stories, books that were way too long, I did it all. And then, as I slowly got around to editing these projects, I slowly put them on submission.

I tried publishing in young adult, as I was still on the far end of that age bracket. At that time I didn’t know how to market, let alone how to reach my audience. The book flopped. I signed another YA with a publishing company that turned out to be a scam. I made a lot of rookie mistakes, I learned from them, and I tried again.

I published in erotic romance with a lot more success. Not enough to quit my day job, but enough to encourage me. But life has its ups and downs, and during one of the lows I got too discouraged. It was compounded by a person whose opinion I trusted telling me over and over again that I didn’t have it in me to succeed in publishing. That I couldn’t even handle the stress of writing. Over and over again, until eventually, I believed it. And I quit.

I couldn’t quit writing—that I did in secret—but I quit publishing. I compiled all of my works in progress into a zipped folder titled Burn, Baby, Burn. After I emailed that file to myself because I am obsessive about backing up my projects, I deleted it from my hard drive. I wrote by hand, if at all. For over a year, I didn’t finish a project. I sank into a deep depression.

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Essential Beginnings Kennedy Layne
Guest Post

Welcome to Two-Time Texas, Y’all

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Welcome to Two-Time, Texas…

You might wonder how the town in A Match Made in Texas got its name.  Prior to 1883, there was no standard time.  A person traveling from the East Coast to the West might have passed through more than a hundred time zones.  This wasn’t a problem when traveling in a slow-moving covered wagon, but was a real pain when speeding along in a train.

The town jeweler usually determined the time. However, Two-Time had two jewelers and they both insisted they alone had the right time. This was the basis of a feud that practically tore the town apart.  (You’ll have to read the first book in the series, Left at the Altar, to find out how the feud was resolved.)  

The number of doctors and lawyers say a lot about a town’s reputation, and Two-Time has plenty of both. No fewer than four attorneys occupy offices on Jackleg Row (a derogatory named given to the street housing the town’s lawyers).  However, a disturbing number of clashes are still battled out at twenty paces, keeping all three doctors in fine Kentucky whiskey and Cuban cigars.

A railroad runs the length of the town, along with a string of saloons. A dirt street separates the rows of adobe and brick buildings, each with false wooden fronts. Two-Time has a general store, bakery, gun shop, butcher, post office and barber. It also has the Lockwood Watch and Clockworks shop, which belongs to the heroine’s father.

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Guest Post

Ally Broadfield’s Top Five Most Meddlesome Parents

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The heroine’s father in How to Bewilder a Lord is very determined to keep her from marrying the hero, by fair means or foul, and it got me thinking about other famously meddlesome parents. Here are my Top 5:

  1. Mrs. Bennett from Pride and Prejudice – Though her fondest wish is to see all five of her daughters secure an advantageous match, her meddling has the opposite effect and she ends up scaring off their most promising suitors. 
  2. Titanic – When the movie starts, Rose’s mother has forced her to accept an offer from Cal, a rich but rather unpleasant man who is paying for their voyage on the Titanic. Rose is so distraught she climbs onto the outside of a railing and contemplates suicide, but luckily Jack rescues her. I think we all know how this story ends, but just think. If her mother hadn’t forced her to marry Cal, they never would’ve been on the ship in the first place, and I choose to believe that since she was meant to be with Jack, she would have met him somewhere else. Due to her mother’s meddling, they never had that chance.
  3. Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare – As the story begins, all Charlotte wants to do is avoid a scandal since her mother’s matchmaking schemes have already given her a reputation as a fortune hunter, but when someone has a tryst at a ball and rumor has it she was the one, she must clear her name or be forced to marry the emotionless Lord Granville. Luckily for her, he turns to out to be very different than she first thought, and since this is a romance, we know everything will work out in the end despite her mother’s interference. 
  4. Jane Foster and Thor – I’m basing this off of the Marvel movies, in which Odin does not seem overly fond of Jane. Perhaps it’s just his dislike of mortals, but in any case, he wanted her out of Asgard as quickly as possible in the second movie, and supposedly she won’t be in the next one. This actually works for me because I love me some Thor and the less competition I have, the better my chances are. 
  5. Romeo and Juliet – Though one could argue that Romeo and Juliet brought disaster upon themselves, and they were certainly in touch with their inner drama queens, you have to admit that their parents were also at fault. Everybody knows if you forbid a teenager to do something, they’re going to work even harder to make it happen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Ally Broadfield started reading historical romance at the age of twelve and has never looked back. Her four dogs and two cats keep her company while she writes, and in her free time, she shuttles kids around and binge watches Outlander, This is Us, and Younger. You can find her on her website, Facebook, and Twitter, though she makes no claims of using any of them properly.

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Sisters in Love Melissa Foster
Guest Post

Eloping with the Princess by Robyn DeHart | First Five Chapter Snippets

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Thanks so much for having me today. Today, I’ve borrowed an idea from one of my writer friends, Shana Galen. So without further ado I give you the first five, the first paragraph from the first five chapters. I hope these little tastes whet your appetite for Eloping With the Princess.

 

Chapter One:

Isabel Crisp had always considered herself the most ordinary of women. Of unknown or undetermined parentage, she relied on the generosity of her uncle, Lord Thornton, to fund her rather mediocre education at St. Bartholomew’s School for Girls. At nineteen, she had long ago made peace with her lack of prospects. After all, if her uncle had intended to withdraw her from school and launch her into society, it would’ve happened long ago.

 

Chapter Two:

Jason ran outside his London townhome and peered in both directions, but the lady was nowhere to be seen. He swiped blood out of his right eye, then followed the hoof tracks to and from his house, noting a rock indenture in one hoofprint that crossed from well before his address to well after. In one direction, though, the tracks were slightly deeper, indicating a change in the weight of the rider.

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Exclusive Excerpt

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Scandal of the Season by Liana LeFey

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When temptation wars with honor, a scandal is sure to follow…

Lord Wincanton fled England’s shores to avoid heartbreak in the form of Lady Eleanor Cramley, but upon his return from fighting Bonaparte he finds the impetuous young miss he escorted through her first Season has grown into a stunning woman who still fires his blood. But as long as she sees him as a beloved older brother figure, he won’t risk their friendship by exposing his true feelings.

Eleanor was devastated when Sorin left after scolding her for her wild ways. During his long absence, she’s striven to mold herself into the proper lady he urged her to become. Now that he’s back, however, the gentleman who once served as her chaperone makes Ellie long to toss all propriety to the wind. Without losing his good opinion, she must make her dearest friend see her as worthy of his heart and desire before this Season’s end—or face an unacceptable bridegroom.

Passions run deep beneath the surface in this ‘best friends to lovers’ romance, and friendship will be tested to the limits by hidden desires and machinations gone amiss.

Read an exclusive excerpt of Scandal of the Season below!


Sorin’s stomach roiled as though he’d just swallowed a large mouthful of something particularly vile. She was playing matchmaker. For him. That it was exactly what he’d asked her to do mattered not at all. She was staring, waiting. He needed to say something. Something other than the flood of invective currently held back only by his tightly clenched teeth. “I…confess I did not expect you to find suitable candidates so quickly.”

“I was fortunate enough to meet both ladies on the day of the picnic,” she explained. “They are acquaintances of Lady Blithesby, a friend of Rowena’s. Her ladyship had only the highest words of praise for them both.”

“I see.” He took a breath to steady himself. “Well then, I suppose I ought to meet these paragons.” His heart sank as a proud smile lifted the corners of her mouth.

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Exclusive Excerpt

The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen by Victoria Alexandra 

Really, it’s too much to expect any normal man to behave like a staid accountant in order to inherit the fortune he deserves to support the lifestyle of an earl. So when Derek Saunders’s favorite elderly aunt and her ill-conceived—and possibly fraudulent—Lady Travelers Society loses one of their members, what’s a man to do but step up to the challenge? Now he’s escorting the world’s most maddening woman to the world’s most romantic city to find her missing relative.

While India Prendergast only suspects his organization defrauds gullible travelers, she’s certain a man with as scandalous a reputation as Derek Saunders cannot be trusted any farther than the distance around his very broad shoulders. As she struggles not to be distracted by his wicked smile and the allure of Paris, instead of finding a lost lady traveler, India just may lose her head, her luggage and her heart.

Check out our exclusive excerpt from The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen!


“How delightful.” The blonde beamed. India’s distrust wavered slightly in the wake of the woman’s genuine smile, which did seem the best part of her. Oh, she was not unattractive, but neither was she especially pretty. Not a woman one would notice on the street one way or another. In that she and India were similar, and the tiniest pang of regret stabbed India at her deception. Still, it couldn’t be helped. India returned her smile. The woman appeared close in age to India, as well, something else they had in common. At not quite thirty it was clear they were the youngest in the room. “Do you plan to travel then?”

India hesitated. “My plans are uncertain at the moment.”

“Oh.” The blonde drew her brows together. “Most of our members join precisely because they wish to plan their future travel.”

“I do wish to plan my future travel,” India lied. “I’m simply not sure exactly when the future might arrive.”

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Exclusive Excerpt

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: When a Lady Dares by Tara Kingston

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Do you enjoy historical romance with a touch of mystery, a hero who’s as clever as he is dashing, and a heroine who doesn’t wait around to be rescued? I’m delighted to be here today to celebrate the release of When A Lady Dares, the second book in the Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service series. Here’s a little about the story:

Drawn into a sinister plot, a beautiful secret agent and a rakish archaeologist heat up Victorian London. Passion awakens their hardened hearts, but love could be their biggest downfall.

Sophie Atherton knows a liar when she sees one. Perhaps because she’s so skilled at deception herself. Searching for clues to a string of mysterious deaths, the secret operative for the Crown has connived her way into a phony medium’s confidence. When a dashing archaeologist seeks out the charlatan’s services, Sophie suspects he’s after more than a long-lost heirloom. Their electric attraction storms her defenses, but loving the rakish scholar would threaten her investigation and the life she’s crafted.

Gavin Stanwyck is a man on a mission. Masquerading as a treasure hunter to trap the spiritualist, he’s drawn to the medium’s enigmatic assistant. As treacherous forces close in, passion awakens his hardened heart—he’ll protect Sophie at all costs, but he cannot give her his love. Uniting to survive a sinister plot, they must tear down their defenses and learn to trust their hearts.

Check out this exclusive excerpt from When A Lady Dares:

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Guest Post

Tamara Gill’s Top 5 Fictional Couples

 

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    Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler.
    I’ve loved this movie since I was a child and no matter how the book ends, I always think they would’ve got back together in the end. Margret Mitchell just never got around to the sequel.
  1. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. Pride and Prejudice, a trait both of these characters suffer with. Of course they’re a match made in heaven.
  1. Jane and Mr. Rochester. Jane Eyre. Oh, how I love Mr. Rochester. He falls so hard for this woman and we fall hard for him. Maybe I should’ve made this number one.
  1. Sarah and William Whitfield. The Duke and Duchess of Whitfield from Danielle Steel’s Jewels. If anyone has seen the this movie, the love these two have for each other is all consuming. The Duke saves Sarah after her first atrocious marriage and makes her whole again. Such a beautiful love story. One for the books.
  1. Anne Elliot and Captain WentworthPersuasion. Who can’t feel for Anne for making the mistake of listening to people she thought had her best interests at heart? And Captain Wentworth, brooding and unforgiving isn’t able to keep his distance forever. And nor should he, he loves her after all.

OnlyAViscountWillDo_500Tamara Gill is an Australian author who grew up in an old mining town in country South Australia, where her love of history was founded. So much so, she made her darling husband travel to the UK for their honeymoon, where she dragged him from one historical monument and castle to another. A mother of three, her two little gentleman’s in the making, a future Lady (she hopes) and a part-time job keep her busy in the real world, but whenever she gets a moment’s peace she loves to write romance novels in an array of genres, including regency, medieval and paranormal. Tamara loves hearing from readers and writers alike. You can contact her through her website, and sign up to follow her blog or newsletter.

Visit Tamara online!

Guest Post

Thoughts on Naughtiness in Regency Romances by Elizabeth Keysian

Occasionally a reader will tell me, “A Regency young lady would never have behaved like that.” In answer, I say, “Ah, but can you prove that she wouldn’t?

Miss Cassandra Blythe, heroine of my latest book, Unmasking the Earl, does break the rules, I admit. In order to win the man she wants, she comes up with, “A plan so bold, so wicked, she could hardly believe her own mind had conjured it up.”

Let’s face it, Cassie’s story could end up rather dull if she only did the right thing all the time…

There were plenty of contemporary manuals written about how women should conduct themselves, but just because these existed, doesn’t mean everyone followed them. If they had, Georgian and Regency Britain would have been deadly dull—there would have been no gossip for the rumor mill, and nothing to talk of but the high price of corn, infant mortality, war and the latest fashions from France. Ugh, spare me.

If you want to find naughty women in Regency Society, it’s not difficult. In fact, I challenge you to find much mention of well-behaved ones, because then, as now, these paragons of virtue tended to escape the public notice.

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Guest Post

My Top 5 Highlanders by Michelle McLean

Being immersed in all things Scottish while writing How to Lose a Highlander was definitely one of the perks of my job. I’ve always been a fan, of course, but it was certainly no hardship to check out a few more while researching this book! Here are my top 5:

1. Jamie Fraser – both the book version and the incredibly well-casted real life version, Sam Heughan. Loyal, strong, passionate, and heartbreakingly handsome. He’s just got it all!
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