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Tag Archives: Beau Monde soiree

I’ve been loving this thread about places, and definitely want to return to it! But since I just got done sorting through my summer photos, I thought I’d share this one of some of us during the Beau Monde conference in Reno.

I’m the one in the middle. That’s Cara to my left, looking very cute. (Sorry Cara, you are cute! And I envy your skill at Regency dances. And your left foot, a left foot that actually knows it’s your left foot and not your right…) To the right is our good friend Regina Scott aka Regan Allen ( I miss that rakish dandy Sir Reginald Scott, who has made appearances at previous soirees, but I have to say Lady Regina is most elegant! As for me, although the high-waisted Regency style doesn’t highlight the real waist that I do have (honest, it’s under there somewhere) and anyone who knows me can tell I’d had a few glasses of merlot by that point, I don’t care!

It was fun, though looking at the pictures from the soiree did make me think about why we like to dress up in period costume.

It isn’t as if anyone is actually going to mistake me for Elizabeth Bennett on the dance floor. Maybe more like Mr. Collins, occasionally coming close to bumping into the other dancers and messing up the entire figure. Though of course real Regency folk would have many more opportunities to practice, it’s not as easy as they make it look in the movies!

It is actually a good learning experience to don somewhat-accurate period clothing and try to recreate period activities (though I hasten to say I am not a purist and did not have my costume hand-sewn, as I’ve heard some Civil War reenactors do).

But I think the bottom line is some of us never really outgrow the urge to dress up. I figure inside me there’s still a five-year-old who clumps around in her mother’s pumps, a necklace swinging way past her belly-button.

It’s just fun.

LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE – an RT Top Pick – available now

A part of me wishes I were still in NYC. I heard the Fourth of July fireworks there are going to be the best ever! But I was really tired after a week of RWA, where I had the very best time.

I hope you are all finding some fun place to celebrate our Nation’s birthday. It seems a little odd that I’m going to be spending my blog today talking about the Regency world instead of our founding fathers who declared Independence from the country in which all my books are set.
On Tuesday last week, I attended the Beau Monde Conference, a one-day event that took place before the actual Romance Writers conference. Mary Jo Putney opened the conference with a talk about her Regency writing career and her fondness for the time period.
Risky Janet gave a fascinating workshop on the Abolitionist movement in England.

And my friend Victoria Hinshaw discussed the Battle of Waterloo through the reenactment she attended last year on the battle’s anniversary.

I had to miss the afternoon sessions, but I didn’t miss the Soiree

The Mills and Boon editors, Linda Fildew and Joanne Grant stopped in at the Soiree. From L to R, Julia Justiss, Linda Fildew, me, Joanne Grant.

There were so many wonderful Regency costumes. I told everyone that I was dressed “Regencyesque.” My dress was long, but not exactly Regency.

I ran into Janet here and there during the conference, and I saw Megan enough to say hi to, but I only glimpsed Carolyn. She did look lovely presenting a RITA, though. I missed Amanda and thought of her often. We sent a photo of me and Andrea/Cara Elliot, I think. Things about the conference are already trying to blur.

Thursday at Diane’s Blog I‘ll talk about the rest of the conference and show some more photos. I have a new excerpt of Valiant Soldier, Beautiful Enemy at my website and some exciting new news and a new contest.

Tell us what you are doing this Fourth of July!!!
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Today I’m on my way to the Romance Writers of America conference in New York City. As if that were not exciting enough, I’m getting there by car!

Lest you think a road trip from Virginia to NYC via the New Jersey Turnpike is nothing to get excited about, I’m riding with Lavinia Kent, and Julie Halperson, my long-time writing friend. Julie and I hardly ever get to see Lavinia so 4 or more hours to talk will be a super treat.

I’ve spoken to Amanda, who is rapidly recuperating, but must miss the conference, a real bummer, because this year, as Laurel McKee, she is a RITA finalist, for Countess of Scandal. I’m betting you’ll hear from her in her normal Risky time tomorrow.
Because Amanda will have to miss RWA, I thought I’d celebrate several years of us attending the conference, at least the Regency part. The Regency writers chapter of RWA, The Beau Monde, tacks on its own festivities the day before the conference. Each year the Beau Monde holds a Soiree, where many of us dress up in Regency garb. Amanda has stretched this a bit to include other eras, but she is always the best dressed.
Here’s a pic from 2002. Amanda’s dress is inspired by Kate Winslet’s in Titanic
My dress was made by my “modiste” and friend, Helen. It is from an authentic period pattern
Here we are again in 2003. Amanda is dressed as a milk maid, a la Marie Antoinette.

My modiste Helen made this dress for me, too.

This costume of Amanda’s was her best ever! This is the 2008 Beau Monde Soiree.

I didn’t even recognize Amanda at first in this costume. And I was with her when she purchased the hat in Williamsburg.

This is also the only photo I have of all the Riskies (at the time). From L to R, Elena, Cara (who bowed out of the Riskies and Carolyn took her place), me, Amanda, Janet, and Megan.
Someday we must get our current Riskies all in one place for a new photo. Unfortunately, both Elena and Amanda will not be at the conference this year.
And here is Amanda’s dress from last year. It is also the dress on the cover of her RITA finalist, Countess of Scandal.
(L to R in photo: Louisa Cornell, Amanda, Megan, Keira Soleore, Cara Elliott, also a RITA finalist)
I’ll try to get photos from this year’s Soiree, but it won’t be the same. I suspect we’ll have to wait a whole year to see what wonderful confection Amanda has for us next.
On Friday night, between 8 and 10, be thinking about Amanda/Laurel and sending good wishes. That’s the time of the RITA and Golden Heart Awards ceremony. Maybe our good wishes can make Countess of Scandal a winner!
And while you are sending good wishes, consider participating in the auction for LA Banks. Her friends in the Romance community are raising money to help with her medical expenses.
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I’m on my way home from RWA Orlando, still on the road with my friend Julie. The conference was a delight, even if I never had even a peek of Disney World! Of course, we was robbed in the RITAs. Amanda and Carolyn did not win this time. They will be finalists again, though, mark my words.

Wednesday night’s Literacy Booksigning and the Soiree, the Beau Monde (Regency) Chapter party, seem a long time ago, but I did promise some photos.

This is Aztec Lady! I was so happy to see azteclady in person at the booksigning to thank her for commenting on Risky Regencies. You frequent commenters are like family!

At the Soiree, from left to right: Louisa Cornell (frequent commenter), Amanda, Megan, Keira (frequent commenter) and welcome guest author, Cara Elliot

Me (Diane) and Louisa

Regency dancing. They were just getting started. Janet dragged me onto the dance floor where I made an absolute cake of myself.

Janet and Amanda striking a pose.

Keira and Kris Alice Hohls, the editor of the German Romance magazine, Love Letters. Doesn’t Keira look lovely in her Regency dress and bonnet?

The Mills and Boon (UK branch of Harlquin Enterprises) editors attended the Soiree. From left to right, Amanda, Linda Fildew (senior editor of Harlequin Historicals and Mills and Boon Historicals), Kim Young (editorial manager for M&B series and Mira), and Jenny Hutton (editor for Modern Romance)

Here it is Saturday night right before the Awards Ceremony.
Amanda with the cutest dress ever, frequest guest author Michelle Willingham, and Mills and Boon editor Joanne Grant.

As I was searching my photos for this blog, I realized I do not have even one photo of Carolyn! I have no idea why, except perhaps she really is a vampire like Janet said!

I won’t be commenting much today, because I’ll be on the road or exhausted when I get home, but I’ll be more with it next week. Til then, tell us your favorite part of the RWA conference if you attended, or tell us about your favorite Disney heroine, because I think Amanda looked as if she stepped out of a Disney animation at the Awards ceremony.

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Greetings from the nation’s capital (except I’m almost always here), and here’s what we’ve been up to.

Yesterday, a group from the Beau Monde (RWA’s Regency special interest chapter) visited Tudor Place and Riversdale House Museum, and as official photographer naturally I didn’t check the battery on the camera before we left. Here’s a pic of Tudor House from an earlier visit.

In the evening, live dancing, live music, a new battery for the camera and an open bar at the Beau Monde soiree–what could be better?

Once again we demonstrated our complete incompetence on the dance floor, although by the end of the evening we were improving noticeably. Diane’s here next to one of the very glamorous M&B editors in her killer heels.

Here’s our very own Amanda in her Marie Antoinette outfit.

What are you up to?

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