I’ll tell you about the contests at the end of this post, so keep reading.

I’ve decided to rewrite something that was set vaguely in the late 18th century (a period I find much more interesting than the Regency proper with all it froufy dresses. Is froufy a word? I guess it is now) and set it in an imaginary world. I want to keep some of the elements of the imaginary world we have already created in the Regency, so here is my Top Ten Recyclables of History:

1. Non froufy dresses. Pretty dresses, yes. Here’s one at left. It’s slightly froufy but not overly so.

2. Battling superpowers because this makes for good conflict if Country A is about to declare war on Country B at any moment for the flimsiest of reasons.

3. Men have the power but women get the last laugh.

4. Great cities with universities and cathedrals.

5. A huge emphasis on manners and propriety beneath which buzzes wild passions and politics.

6. A changing social order where you can slip and slide from wealth to poverty and back again.

7. The beginnings of change with the use of steam and scientific enquiry.

9. Servants, because I’m interested in them.

10. Tight pants for guys. I’m sure this is something you don’t need a pic for because it’s already imprinted on your brain but I’m giving you one anyway. This is Napoleon, looking less short and fat than usual, and heavens, could that boy fill out a pair of pants, in the artist’s imagination at least. Maybe he was keeping a spare handkerchief, or battalion, or something there. (This is what happens when you do a search on google images for regency tight pants. Go on. Try it.)

So now it seems the question is what else do I need to make this a convincing world that is like Europe and the Near East in the late eighteenth century but different? Nope, no dragons or other paranormal elements. What would convince you? Or what have I missed out that you’d like to see?

And now, trumpet fanfares, CONTESTS!

I’m thrilled to offer an eARC of Julie Anne Long‘s next release A NOTORIOUS COUNTESS CONFESSES which comes out at the end of October. It sounds fabulous. So help me build my imaginary neo-Georgian world, or just stop by and say hello or whatever,  and your comment or question will enter you into a drawing. The usual restrictions apply. Contest ends tonight at midnight, EST.

And you can also hop on over to Goodreads to enter to win a signed copy (recycled tree product) of HIDDEN PARADISE which is being released in about a month’s time.