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Tag Archives: Beau Monde

I’m home but already missing my friends from RWA.
This was such a special conference, because for the first time EVER all the Riskies were in one place at the same time AND so many of our Risky friends were also there.

On Tuesday of last week Keira and I spent the day walking around San Francisco and, yes, we did walk up and down hills. Our last stop was at Pier 22 (or something) and here is the proof.

Wednesday was the Beau Monde HHRW Conference and Amanda and Megan and Risky friend Andrea Pickens held a workshop on how to make your historical time period come alive. Amanda brought along Shakespeare and Jane Austen.

Then there was the Soiree, where Louisa aka doglady aka Pam won her category in the Royal Ascot.
Here is lovely and elegant Risky pal janegeorge and our Risky friend, the equally elegant Julia Justiss

Here is Julia again, Louisa, AMANDA, and the beautiful Indian princess, Keira

O Doggie One (Louisa) and me

I pretty much stopped taking photos from there. Here, though is a photo of Amanda, Deb Marlowe and Me at the Harlequin Party.

And, finally, all the Riskies. From Left to right: Elena, Cara, Diane, Amanda, Janet and Megan.

What would you like to know about RWA? We’d be glad to share.

Come visit Diane at her website and read the newly posted excerpt of Scandalizing the Ton and enter her new contest!

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What am I doing now that I turned in my book? Yes. In case you missed it, my work is no longer in progress but is DONE! I emailed it off to Mills & Boon on Thursday. Whoo hoo!

The good news is, I liked the final result. When I read through one last time, the book held together pretty well. It even has some surprises. Of course, my editor and her readers at M&B may see things differently, but it is out of my hands until revision time.

I’ve had a lot of other stuff that I’d put off to deal with, like getting my webmistress (the incomparable Emily Cotler and her team at Waxcreative Design) new material, including my new bookcover! Take a peek! There were a couple of other promotional things to take care of. Including one I almost forgot! On July 21 I’m going to be a guest at Rosa is for Romance, a blog for Italian and English-speaking readers who love romance.

I also loaded more CDs onto my ITunes, including my favorite CD of Strauss. The Blue Danube always makes me smile. I imagine my hero and heroine gazing at each other lovingly and then starting to dance with joy. Of course, The Blue Danube was written in 1867, but I imagine it anyway.

I also created a new bookmark. Back in June my husband bought me a new laptop (for our anniversary. It was easier than getting me flowers) and now I can use software to design my own bookmarks! I love my new computer. It’s pink.

And I had the great pleasure of realizing my clothes are too big. Most of my pants and jeans are TOO BIG!! I have been dieting but I haven’t lost that last 10 lbs I wanted to lose before RWA. Still, I went down a dress size! So I went into a flurry of trying on my clothes to see what fit and what didn’t and I ran out to Macys to buy some more things, including a pair of black pants with a light pinstripe marked down to $20 from $109! I also stopped in the lingerie dept and bought new…lingerie, including some Flexees so I can look 10 lbs thinner even if I’m not.

I think I am ready for RWA. I might be able to fit into this dress for the Beau Monde Soiree (Left)

But maybe not this one. (Right)

Hmmmm. Maybe I’ll run upstairs and try that light blue one on again…….

I can’t wait to see all of our Risky friends at RWA. Only a couple weeks to go!!

There is still time to enter my contest on my website. But if you want to read the Sneak Peek of Scandalizing the Ton you’d better hurry. It is going to disappear soon.

All this month the Wet Noodle Posse are giving RWA tips. So come visit. My topic posted today is Don’t Be Shy: RWA Survival Skills for the Very Very Bashful

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Diane Report:
Still Working on it!

In my rush to get this manuscript done, I’ve had to dip into some quick research and, as happens in every book, The Beau Monde comes to the rescue.

Usually I have some obscure question to which I can’t find the answer and I email the Beau Monde loop. Boom! the answer comes back within a day. Sometimes my question even spurs a discussion and all kinds of interesting information comes my way.

In The Vanishing Viscountess, I needed to know about coaching routes from Liverpool to Ediburgh and, voila! Delle Jacobs came to the rescue. Anke Fontaine gave me information about how they should care for the horses. Nancy Mayer and Alyssa Fontaine answered all my legal questions, for The Vanishing Viscountess as well as my October release, Scandalizing the Ton. Even Jo Beverley and Gaelen Foley helped!

With this Work-In-Progress I haven’t had questions of the Beau Monde loop, but this week I needed quick answers to some fashion questions. I rediscovered the links compiled by Beau Monde Members (and spearheaded, I believe, by our Risky Friend, Kalen Hughes). This is a gold mine.

I wanted to see a pelisse, because I get pelisses and spencers mixed up and I didn’t want to be wrong. I also had questions about corsets. Beau Monde pointed me to Kalen’s website and her article, How to Undress Your Heroine.

Looking at the category “Clothing,” the Beau Monde site had this Regency Fashion link. I especially liked it because it included the descriptions of the fashions from the period fashion magazines, including a description of a pelisse.

There is so much at the site; it is worth joining the Beau Monde just for that. Beau Monde also offers the Regency Realm, a “continuing compendium of references on Regency England.”

This is annotated bibliography is another treasure. Need to know about the Napoleonic War? There’s a list of dozens of books and other sources, each commented upon by Beau Monde members. My only regret is that even I do not own all these books!

You know another wonderful thing about The Regency Realm? It is compiled by our own Risky Elena Greene!

There’s MORE. The Beau Monde gives a wonderful day-long conference the Weds before RWA each summer, with workshops to die for (e.g. Candice Hern showing her collections ), plus a Tea, a silent auction, and A Regency Soiree after the Literacy Signing. This year the conference is a joint venture with Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and it has a great schedule.

How about it? Are you ready to join yet? Or are you already a member?

If you are a member of Beau Monde, what do you like about it?

(Come visit my website for a Sneak Peek of my October release, Scandalizing the Ton, and enter my new contest.)

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Brace yourselves–I have an actual topic today!

As we might have mentioned, Amanda and I are presenting a workshop at this summer’s Beau Monde Conference entitled, Keeping It Real: Making Your Historical Characters Come Alive. Here’s the brief description:

Just because you’re writing in a distant time period doesn’t mean your characters should be distant to your readers. Join award-winning historical authors Amanda McCabe and Megan Frampton as they discuss how to make your characters come alive through dialogue, attitudes, description and actions, while still remaining true to the period.

Amanda and I will be working on the outline/presentation in upcoming months, and when I saw this article, I realized there were some aspects of ‘keeping it real’ I hadn’t thought of:

Hollywood’s Changing Face of Beauty
From Greta Garbo to Kate Hudson, How Beauty Has Changed in America

The article says that while classic beauties were popular before, quirkier, more “accessible” beauty is what Americans find attractive.

Which, of course, led me to consider what readers find attractive in heroines. If you’re Of A Certain Reading Age, you likely read a lot of those ’80s romances where the heroine was beyond gorgeous: Perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect teeth (!–we are reading about English people, remember). The thing that usually wasn’t perfect about them was how they didn’t know they were perfect. Or something lame and punting like that.

Now our heroines have flaws, flaws that make them more real: Their hair is too curly, their hips are too big, their mouths are too wide, their eyes are just plain brown, they are too short or too tall, or whatever. We, as readers, want to read about women who are like us, not perfect goddesses on pedestals.

What do you think our changing attitudes about beauty reveal about us? Do you find Angelina, the Jessicas, Jennifer, Megan F(ox)–not me!, Halle, et al stunning? What do you like about those old romances in terms of their heroines’ descriptions? What do you like about current heroines’ looks?

Thanks for your comments!


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As promised, here are my treasures from the Beau Monde Silent Auction.

On the Wednesday before the RWA conference, the Beau Monde held its wonderful all day conference with great workshops by the likes of Kalen Hughes and our own Janet Mullany. Kalen put the program together this year and did a fantastic job.

After the workshops there is a Regency Tea and silent auction. Beau Monde members donate items for the auction and we bid on them by writing down our bid. Then we watch to see if anyone tries to outbid us. Some of the items went through hot and heavy bidding, including my donations: An Illustrated Guide to London, 1800 by Mary Irene Cathcart Borer and Historical Maps of the Napoleonic Wars by Simon Forty. Now before you sigh and think how good it was of me to donate these books consider that I’d purchased them twice. Forgot I had them. My donations are always books I bought twice.

At the end of the auction I was standing by my items with pen at the ready in case anyone tried to outbid me. Obviously it was not a discerning crowd because only one person tried to wrest an item from my possession.

This fellow here, a lovely soldier figurine about six inches tall.

The dastardly person who tried to outbid me was KEIRA.
But she was really sweet, because she told me she planned to give the figurine to me as a surprise. Instead, I paid more money for it!

Anyway, he is a perfect suitor for my Veneta, the only Regency Royal Doulton figurine I’ve ever seen.

Some other treasures no one else recognized as Great Finds were the Wellington biography and the Wellington print. You can’t see it here but the print is in a lovely wooden frame.

Amanda can tell you that I’ve been a Wellington groupie since 2003 when we visited his country house, Stratfield Saye.

My favorite treasure of all, though, was the 1837 Architectural Print of London buildings. The name of the print is hidden by the mat, but a name on one of the buildings is Boston Insurance Office.
Even though this is later than the Regency I love these prints. I have several of them, including one of Apsley House (that Wellington groupie thing again) that I purchased from a print shop in London when we had about 5 minutes to shop.

Here is another treasure that arrived the day after I returned home. My very own Leonidas (aka Gerard Butler) talking action figure, complete with two heads and a blood spattered body. I pre-ordered it ages ago! He is sooooo lovely. And I didn’t even have to bid on him.

What treasures are lurking in your house?
What is that one Regency Item you would LOVE to own?

Pay me a morning call at my brand new website! See my news. Browse through my pages. Enter my contest to win two copies of The Mysterious Miss M, one for you and one for a friend.

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