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Monthly Archives: November 2008

I blame it all on Azteclady who made the suggestion in the discussion following Pam Rosenthal’s recent appearance here. She suggested LOLRegencies, after we talked about the implied silliness of the Elgin picture at right, a marvelous mixed bag of a portrait that begged for a caption. Or several.

So I indulged in a little time-wasting.

And here’s my idea. Send me your LOLRegency (as a low-res jpg) and I’ll post them for Thanksgiving Day. I have a couple of copies of the English edition (pink!) of The Rules of Gentility to give away to my favorites. Please let me know what form of your name to put with your artwork. Also, don’t make your art too big or too small–that said, I’d suggest you make them about the same size as the ones here, whatever that may be.

The email address is Put LOLRegencies in the subject line, and send your efforts to me before midnight (EST) on Wednesday, November 26.

Update following Diane’s questions: if you don’t have photoshop, or some such (I used Appleworks), send me the pic and the caption(s). And I’m hoping to assemble these early on Thanksgiving morning, hence the deadline of late Wednesday, because I know so many of us will be dealing with a rock-hard frozen turkey and a hairdryer late at night…

Here’s a LOLRegencies insight into Jane Austen’s creative process:

and an insight into mine:

Looking forward to seeing much silliness and creativity….

Tomorrow Linda Fildew (my lovely editor) and her Harlequin Historical team will be blogging with us. so be thinking of what you want to ask them.

I thought I would just do a little blog today about visiting the Richmond offices. The Mills & Boon offices are in Richmond, about ten miles from the center of London.

I visited the offices twice, once in 2003 when I’d just sold to them and everything was new to me. Amanda and my friend Julie went with me to the Richmond offices. The
second time was in 2005 right after The Wagering Widow had come out in the UK. Julie was with me that time, too.

We rode the underground to the Richmond station and walked the short distance to the offices. The town of Richmond is picturesque in itself, but, of course, I was too excited both times to take any photos.

The Mills and Boon editors treat visiting authors like valued guests, which to a brand new author was very gratifying in itself. I was given a tour of the offices and have to say I was struck by how neat and tidy everything was. One had the impression that this was a very efficient office. I also sensed a pleasant atmosphere, a happy place to work.

After my visit, the editors took us out to lunch. The first time was to a restaurant back on the main street in Richmond. The second was a restaurant on the Thames where we sat outside overlooking the river with the bridge in view. We had two bottles of wine and lovely conversation. Both lunches are treasured memories.

On that first visit, Amanda, Julie and I walked to the park nearby the Richmond offices and savored our view of the river. Here’s Amanda in the park and the monument that was there, as well.

My last photo was taken on the second trip. Julie and I were on underground on our way back to London when I took this photo of a non-paying passenger.When you aspiring writers sell to Harlequin Historical, make the trip to Richmond. You’ll love it!

Remember that the UK is 6 hours ahead of us here on the east coast, so try to visit us early tomorrow. Or leave your questions here. I’ll make certain the editors see them.

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Warning! Rambling and semi-incoherent post ahead. I still have Thanksgiving Carb Brain…

(* I recently read Sarah Vowell’s new book The Wordy Shipmates. While not quite as hilarious as Take the Cannoli and Assassination Vacation, probably because I don’t share her obsession with 17th century New England Puritans, it was still very funny and entertaining. And she did remind me of something. Many years ago there was a wacky TV sitcom about 17th century Pilgrims. Yes, you read that right–sitcom about Pilgrims. On network TV. It was called Thanks, and even featured standard-issue schluby, befuddled sitcom dad and rebellious, sullen sitcom teenaged daughter. It only lasted about 3 episodes, and I have no idea how it was greenlighted in the first place, but it was terrifically weird. With the seeming demise of Pushing Daisies, there is a sad dearth of whimsy on TV now. I wish someone would do a Regency-set sitcom…)

Anyway, I hope you all had a great holiday with your families! I ate too much on Thursday (hence the dreaded Carb Brain–and while trying to finish a book, too!). Friday was “movie day” (Australia–gorgeous scenery, epic romance, Grand Gestures, Hugh Jackman. What more does a movie need? Tonight I am going to see Rachel Getting Married, which is probably about as different a film as there can be from Australia, but it sounds great!). Today is “get out the Christmas decorations” day, if I can get off the couch. Despite the fact that decorating involves 2 of my least favorite things, dusting and vacuming, I like it. My grandmother was a Christmas junkie, and I inherited a lot of her beautiful decorations, so I love remembering childhood holidays at her house.

There’s a lot to be thankful for this year, despite all the bad news. I’m thankful for books to read and books to write (am planning on buying almost all books for Christmas gifts this year! Buy A Book, Save An Author, LOL). I’m thankful for our new President-Elect, for Hello Kitty bric-a-brac, pretty party dresses, the Eiffel Tower (and the chance to see it sparkle at night–most beautiful thing ever), jars of Nutella, how cute my dogs look in their Christmas sweaters. And especially for Risky Regencies, and all of you! I’ve so much loved being a part of this community. I love visiting here every day.

And don’t forget to join us Monday, when Linda Fildew and the Harlequin Historicals editorial team will be here at RR! They will talk about upcoming books, what they look for in submissions, and a lot more, plus taking your questions. Diane and I will each give away a signed copy of our books (Diane will give one of the winner’s choice from her wonderful backlist, and I will give a hot-off-the-press copy of my January release, High Seas Stowaway!)

Every single magazine or bit on a morning show will encourage us all to ‘take some time for ourselves’ during the holidays.


But I think it’s an important task to keep in mind, especially at this time of year, when women try to do everything for everybody else and wear themselves out and down.

(And yes, I do think women have this tendency more than men. Not a judgment on either gender, just a tendency).

This year, therefore, I resolve to give thanks to myself in a couple of different ways:

1. Take frequent baths. Bubbles optional.

2. Read whatever I want. Take that, television!
3. Sneak a book for me into whatever Amazon order I make.
4. Drink hot cider.
5. Find time to write, just so my head doesn’t leave the story too much.
6. Find time to exercise, so my natural holiday indulgence doesn’t make me sob too much in January.
7. Nap when needed.
8. Email random, often goofy, things to friends, although I will never–NEVER–forward jokes to a mass group of people. You are welcome.
9. Request movies from Netflix that would otherwise embarrass me to admit I watched (and probably liked). Do not admit I watched or liked them, and return quickly (The work of Jason Statham? Dragonwyck starring Vincent Price and Gene Tierney? Yet another version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover? No. None of those, of course not!)
10. Grab my son and hug him whenever I want. He’ll be refusing hugs soon enough (he’s nine now).

Do you do anything special FOR YOURSELF this time of year? What stresses you out the most? What is your favorite holiday thing to do?


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First, a happy Thanksgiving to all US readers, and the rest of you, remember it’s Friday tomorrow. (I think this is a duck. It doesn’t look very turkey-like, but I couldn’t resist sharing the joy.)

So, our winners. It was tough. Maggie, bless her heart, wasted a lot of time and so the numbers were on her side (you’ll see more of her contributions below), but this one clearly spoke to me as a winning entry. That look on his face… all is made clear:

and our other winner is Gemma, who adds this helpful explanation for her entry: In case you’re wondering what she’s wearing…. ladies presented at court had a dress code to follow which included the (then outdated) panniers/hoops of the Georgian era. Instead of wearing a Georgian-style dress, however, they just combined it with the high Regency waist, resulting in maximum wtf-age.

Maggie and Gemma, send your snailmail addresses to jmullany AT (you can decipher that, right?) and I’ll send out your prizes!

And the rest–oh, I had fun with these. Keira, who already owns a copy of the Rules (thanks, Keira!) declined to be considered for a prize, but offered these two little beauties:

On the left: Edward V and Richard Duke of York Entering the Tower of London.

On the right: The Burning of the Savoy Palace: Eleanor Countess of March Confronts the Mob.

Little did the engraver suspect what our Keira would do to his work.

The lovely and talented Ms. Gaston, who claimed ignorance of LOL anything, showed a remarkable facility for the genre (obviously she was supposed to be writing):
Elena came through with this mind boggler of a piece of serious (?) art, hilariously representing Prinny’s uh, relationship with Brighton (I think). That poor artist… well, if His Highness represents the classical ideal of physical beauty no one will know who it is… A bit more tummy perhaps… a bit more …oops. And the expression of pained, exhausted indifference on the nymph’s face. Note he’s wearing his Order of the Garter too. (Don’t leave home without it.) Priceless.

Next, Anke (left) shows us a gentleman admiring a lady’s huge tracts o’ land, and Michelle sent the one on the right, with an apology for it maybe being too risque. Ha. She was blissfully unaware that Maggie was on the job.

For instance…

Maggie clearly had time on her hands and a wandering imagination. I was very tempted by all of these, particularly her poignant yet sensitive comment on the inadequacy of Napoleonic birth control, but ultimately it was the tiara one that made me snort tea out of my nose.

Congrats all, and thanks for playing!

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