B Snow has very kindly agreed to give away a copy of her novella, A Cunning Plan. Read the post to get the details and leave a comment telling us your favourite historical gentleman.
Cheers to UK Gay Romance for letting me guest blog! I’m chuffed to have the opportunity, gobsmacked that my book got published, and I hope the snogging in the story knocks your trainers off.
Okay, that was exhausting. I don’t know how you Brits do it. 😉
My first novella, A Cunning Plan, was released on November 29!!! (Sorry, I’m excited. This is my first non-anthology work to get published. :D)
The story is a Regency romance, with a touch of paranormal. I love Regencies; Ravished by Amanda Quick is what got me into reading romance again, after some terrible experiences with the genre back when I was in high school (approximately the Mesozoic era).
These days, I don’t read nearly as much as I should, and I’m not sure I’ve ever read a Regency by a British author. (I’m not including Jane Austen here, because for her, they were Contemporary romances. J) Is it weird for UK readers to read Regencies written by non-British authors?
I didn’t set out to write a Regency when this novella started to gel in my head, but I hoped to write one someday. I love “marriage of convenience” plots, and the Regency era is a perfect time for such a storyline. Plus, Regencies get you evening wear like this:
and hair like this:
And trousers like this:
Anyway, back to the blog post….
This may sound kind of weird, but I picked the setting for the story based on my entry in the “Carry The Torch” [http://wecarrythetorch.wordpress.com/] blog last year. The idea was to “follow” the Olympic torch through the UK and put up a blog post for each city/town, if an author was from that location, or if an author had a LGBT story set in that location. By the time I signed up to do it, only a few dates/locations were left. I poked around googlemaps until I found a place that would work for my story and I set it there. (If you’re curious, you can see my blog post here [http://wecarrythetorch.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/day-46-leicester-to-peterborough/]. I cut most of that excerpt from the finished book, so maybe it could be considered a Deleted Scene. J
During my googlemaps searches, I found one really interesting thing that made me determined to set the story in that location:
That circular thing is a moat, right? There must have been some kind of structure on that plot of land, so I decided that’s where Alec’s family’s house once stood. It’s the only wooded property in the area, the rest looks like farmland. Not so hard to imagine that the property used to be much bigger, with woods all the way up to and surrounding a lake that is no longer there, either.
Here’s an excerpt from A Cunning Plan that is probably the Regency-est part of the story. Morgan Villenie is the one who concocts the Plan: a marriage of convenience between his sister and Alec, Earl of Whittlesey. The Villenies were to attend a party as Alec’s guests, but at the last minute, Morgan is called away on business, leaving Alec to escort Miss Villenie. (Of course, he can’t ride in the coach with her, but he does manage to get them both to the party somehow.)
They had been at the party for half an hour, and in truth, Alec was surprised to discover that Miss Villenie would do quite well as a countess, as far as he could tell from this first meeting. Her rosy cheeks indicated a healthy constitution without overwhelming her complexion, and she wasn’t too thin. Her gown was modest in cut and material, and she treated the servants well. All in all, she seemed as intelligent as her brother but less sly, much calmer, and really quite sensible, which made Alec wonder why she would agree to go along with Villenie’s plan.
As if she’d read his mind, she asked, “I wish you would explain to me why you don’t wish to wed.” She took a sip of her lemonade. “Perhaps you suffered a broken heart and swore never to love again?”
Alec swallowed his mouthful of champagne with difficulty. “You have a vivid imagination. Or perhaps you are a devotee of romantic novels. Do you enjoy reading, Miss Villenie?”
“I wouldn’t have to put my imagination to use, my lord, if you would simply tell me the truth rather than changing the subject.” She fixed him with a look, but Alec would not be intimidated.
“I see that stubbornness runs in the family.”
“And you still have not answered my question.”
“Nor do I intend to. It’s not a tale fit for a lady’s ears.”
“Then I’m all the more determined to hear it.”
Alec fought back a smile. “Your brother didn’t tell me that you were a hoyden.”
She laughed at that. “Speaking of my brother, he should have joined us by now.” She glanced around the ballroom. “Terribly rude of him to let his meeting run so long.”
Alec looked out over the crowd as well, but he did not see anything as bright as Villenie’s hair. “A man must attend to his affairs.”
“Speaking of affairs,” she interjected, turning to face Alec again, “will you be taking a mistress once we are married? Or do you have a current paramour whom you’ll continue to visit?”
Alec nearly spit out the sip of champagne he had just taken. “This topic is entirely unsuitable—”
“—for a lady’s ears, yes, I know. But I’d like to know what sort of gossip people will be spreading about us.”
“I promise you I will not take a mistress, nor do I have one now.”
Miss Villenie smiled. “I wouldn’t mind, honestly.”
Alec took another sip of champagne, wishing heartily for something stronger.
You can read the blurb at the link.
To thank the readers of this blog, I’m also doing a giveaway! Please comment until 11:59 PM GMT (6:59 PM EST in the United States) on December 10 for a chance to win an e-copy of “A Cunning Plan” or “Cross Bones”, Dreamspinner’s pirate anthology that includes my story “From A Simmer To A Burn.” I’ll draw one name from the commenters, so please be sure to include your email address so I’ll know where to send it.
And one more picture, just to leave everyone with a happy feeling. This painting is from 1819, slightly later than when “A Cunning Plan” is set, but the exact year “Simmer” is set. So I’ll allow it. J