Alliance of Independent Authors badge

Alliance of Independent Authors badge

Friday, 26 February 2016

Even biggerer news!

My best-loved Wattpad book is currently testing the water in the SonOfAPitch competition. Only a few hours left to convince the publishing world that this book deserves more readers! If you follow the link you can leave comments and/or constructive criticism. I promise not to cry!
DEFENDING THE PEN: Handsome Is As Handsome Does

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Even Bigger News!

My second Wattpad work, "Handsome is as Handsome Does" got to #1 in Historical Fiction and spent quite a lot of time popping in and out of the top 10. So that's gratifying. It is now afloat in the wider world and being considered by a publisher, so can I just say...eek! Thank you so much to my Wattpad fans for encouraging me and sorting me out.
https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/50504138-handsome-is-as-handsome-does-historical-romance

Monday, 15 February 2016

Another throw of the dice...

It's time for the #SonOfAPitch contest- making Writing more Exciting!

Good luck to everyone else who's entering.

Title: Handsome is as Handsome Does

Age and Genre: Adult Historical Romance

Word Count: 75,000

Query: 

This Happy Ever After story is set in Bath and Gloucester in 1817, a time when England was crippled by war and poor harvests. Loose behaviour is not uncommon, but just how far will the love-struck heroine go to win her man, and has she chosen the right one?

"Handsome is as Handsome Does" follows the adventures (and misadventures) of young governess Emma d'Ibert, who is keen to restore the fortunes of her once-noble family.
To do this she must work hard, keep her identity secret and try and avoid the pitfalls of living under the same roof as beguiling rogue, Charles Keane. But she has inadvertently made an enemy of Keane's friend, Viscount Tidworth, who has the power to expose her and bring her new life crashing down around her ears.
Tidworth's marriage plans are crushed when a delay on the road, for which he blames Emma, allows another gentleman to step in and claim his sweetheart. He is furious when Emma, as part of one of Charles' schemes, attends his charity ball pretending to be a wealthy countess. Should he unmask her, or save her from disgrace at the hands of the amorous Charles?


Excerpt


Emma struggled to understand what had just happened.
The cart she was travelling in had been lumbering towards the crossroads when suddenly Carrier Marshman hauled on the reins, slewing the vehicle sideways and almost toppling her from her seat. The panicked neigh of a horse followed by an ominous thump  made everything clear. Alarmed at the sight of a hefty cart bearing down on the crossroads through the obscuring rain, a thoroughbred had shied and thrown its rider, then bolted off towards Bath.
Horrified, Emma scrambled down, hampered by her rain-sodden skirts. As Marshman jumped to the ground to calm his edgy team, she squelched towards the fallen horseman.
He lay supine, staring up into the leaden sky with a glazed expression, his beautifully cut riding coat spattered with mud, arms flung out on either side of him as if welcoming the rain into his embrace. He emitted the occasional groan, but seemed unable to elevate himself from his unfortunate position.
"Oh sir, are you alright? Let me help you up."
Blue-grey eyes flickered towards her face but failed to focus.
"I doubt you have the strength, Madam."
His cut-glass accent informed her that the fellow was a member of the Quality, to which she had belonged until the "Year without a Summer" had ruined her family. She answered stoutly, "I am stronger than I look and I know a little of anatomy and physick; my brother is in medical training."
 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

No news is good news? And the power of love.

A delightful snippet from Bell's Weekly Messenger for 1814 reads-
"Yesterday produced no arrival from foreign parts. Rumours are current as usual, but without any circumstance of fact, or probability, to render them worthy of notice."

"Dearest, dearest of earthly beings...object of my devoutest devotions- the English language is too weak to express my love for you- sleeping or waking you alone engross my thoughts. I have been in love before- at least I fancied so; but I never felt the all conquering power till now."
From Sir Harry Mildmay's letters to Lady Roseberry, Bell's Weekly Messenger 1814

Oh to be the recipient of so romantic a declaration!


Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Perfect Regency Woman

"One of the chief beauties in a female character, is that modest reserve, that retiring delicacy, which avoids the public eye, and is disconcerted even at the gaze of admiration.
When a girl ceases to blush she has lost the most powerful charm of beauty. That extreme sensibility which it indicates may be considered as a weakness and incumbrance to the other sex, but in females is peculiarly engaging. Pedants, who think themselves philosophers, ask why a woman should blush when she is conscious of no crime? It is a sufficient answer, that nature has made them to blush when they are guilty of no fault, and has forced men to love them because they do so."

Self-help books are nothing new. They abounded in the early Nineteenth Century, all eagerly aimed at improving minds, both male and female. One such was "The Female Instructor", an extremely useful book of the early Regency with subtitles occupying the entire front page as follows:-
or,
Young Woman's Companion:
BEING
A GUIDE TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS WHICH ADORN THE FEMALE CHARACTER
EITHER AS
A USEFUL MEMBER OF SOCIETY-A PLEASING AND INSTRUCTIVE COMPANION,
OR, A
RESPECTABLE MOTHER OF A FAMILY.
WITH MANY
Pleasing examples of illustrious females,
TO WHICH ARE ADDED,
USEFUL MEDICINAL RECEIPTS,
AND A CONCISE
SYSTEM OF COOKERY
WITH OTHER VALUABLE INFORMATION IN THE DIFFERENT
BRANCHES OF DOMESTIC ECONOMY

I plan to share more of this wisdom in future.