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I’m sure you all recall my brilliant post from this past Wednesday in which I wrote the definitive guide to Regency cant, set down a method for desktop cold fusion (all you need is a rubberband, a paperclip, three pennies and Strontium 32), and cured the common cold.

You’re very, very welcome. It’s just something I do in my spare time.

Read Along

For the Risky Read Along, the choice is To Wed A Stranger by Edith Layton. So, go get your hands on this book, paper, borrow, or eBook and we’ll start a read along Wednesday July 20th.


I think the only Risky I saw was Megan and mostly I was checking out her shoes which she swore were comfortable. They were definitely cute. I had lunch with Jo Bourne, drinks with Grace Burrows, breakfast (I had coffee) with NYT Bestselling author Courtney Milan, and Post-RITA drinks with RITA winner Sherry Thomas. I’m hoping none of the glow wears off. Historical Romance authors are awesome.

Did you go to RWA? What’s your fav story?

If you didn’t go, what’s your best made-up story?

Hello all! I’m sorry that I haven’t been around much of this year. Life has been more than ordinarily challenging–maybe I’ll share some of the story someday.

What I can tell right now is that once again I’m working on a comeback. I’ve some experience at this already, having made two creative recoveries in the past, and this time I am more strongly motivated than ever. Perhaps over the next few years, I’ll even surprise myself. I hope so!

One of the first steps I’ve taken was heading out to this year’s RWA conference in San Diego. I know about a month has passed, but you may still enjoy some pics from the Beau Monde (Regency special interest chapter) soiree. Here are some of the members, including me, posing in our Regency garb.

And here I am with Cara King, author of My Lady Gamester and past Risky, along with Sir Reginald Scott, the rakish cousin of author Regina Scott.

Some of us helped out with a video used as part of the RITA and Golden Heart ceremony. Here’s the video from Youtube. Check us out at about 15:15.

Since RWA, I have been starting work on several projects. More on that soon! And it’s nice to be back. 🙂

I’ve been too busy to write or even come up with a proper post on matters Regency, but I do have some news–not all writing-related, not as exciting as Carolyn’s, but I’m still happy about it.

I’ve taken a part time position as temporary, part time religious education coordinator at my UU Church, filling in while the search continues for a permanent director. It’s a great position for me right now–I’m dealing with great coworkers, a caring community of families and teachers, and amazing kids from nursery age to youth group. I had to come up to speed quickly, so the past few weeks I worked nearly full time, but it’s been a blast. On the less-than-fun side, I’ve also dealt with an upper respiratory something-or-over and some drama from my teenage daughters, but things are settling.

Riskies 2008 EditedI’m looking forward to getting back to writing again next week. I also recently registered to go to the Romance Writers of America National Conference in San Diego! I’ve been able to catch up with some of my writer friends at the New Jersey conference, but this will be a chance to renew friendships with friends who don’t make it out to the East Coast, as well as to refresh my knowledge of the craft and business.

Here’s a picture of the Riskies in 2008, which is that last time I attended. It’s been far too long!

What special plans do you have for this year?


Like other Riskies, I’m recently returned from the RWA conference. I stayed a few days extra for a family reunion, so I haven’t had much time yet to digest what I learned. The second leg of the trip turned unexpectedly adventurous, too–on Sunday while on the way to the Six Flags amusement park with some of the family, including my 9-year-old daughter and 10-year-old grand-niece, we had an abrupt flat tire in our rental car. While on I-20. Fortunately we were able to make it over to the shoulder safely, and we had enough fuel in the car to keep the AC running while we waited for AAA to come to the rescue. And that rescue was worth every penny of AAA membership fees we’ve paid for the last DECADE, as far as I’m concerned.

Once we finally got to Six Flags, we only had two hours or so to enjoy the rides before this happened:


We knew it was going to storm, just not quite so…vehemently. That trash can with what looks like waves breaking against it had already drifted five or six feet from its original spot, and within a minute floated out of sight entirely. Once the rain let up even a tiny bit, we sloshed back to our car and drove to my nephew’s house through an hour of rain that alternated between driving and merely heavy. Not the best amusement park excursion ever, but at least the barbecue we stopped for during a heavy rain phase was delicious.

Then when we finally got back to Seattle on Tuesday and started up my car, which we’d left parked at the airport, to our dismay its low tire pressure indicator came on! Since we could see one of the front tires was visibly flatter than its mate, rather than risk a repeat of Sunday’s experience, only on I-5 during rush hour, we located the nearest tire center, five minutes’ drive from the airport, and went straight there. Which was smart, as it turned out. There was a tack in the tire, and a good chance it would’ve gone entirely flat before we could’ve made it home and taken it to the dealership for a check the next day. So, props to Les Schwab Tire Center for patching the tire for free and to Google Maps for finding the closest one. I love my 21st century technology!

A Dream Defiant

But I also love writing about the lower-tech world of 200 years ago. My latest release, A Dream Defiant, hits virtual shelves this coming Monday.

It’s a risky book on several levels. It’s my first-ever novella, so the shorter length was a learning curve for me–less than 30,000 words while my previous books have averaged around 90,000. So I had to ruthlessly cut the plot down to cover a shorter time range and resist the urge to go haring off chasing subplots or elaborating upon backstory. And I ended up enjoying it. While I don’t plan to give up full-length novels by any means, I have at least one more novella in the pipeline, a holiday romance whose title and release date remain TBD, but will be coming from Carina in late 2014.

But the biggest risk I took was writing a black hero. I was inspired by everything from a brief reference to Sudanese soldiers in Napoleon’s army in John Elting’s encyclopedic history Swords Around a Throne to the black soldier visible in the 1822 painting Chelsea Pensioners Reading the Waterloo Dispatch to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ blog posts about black soldiers in the Civil War.

Still, I hesitated for a long time before starting this story. Who did I think I was to create such a hero, when I’m not just a white woman but one with Southern roots and a Confederate soldier for a great-great-grandfather? And maybe I took too great a risk–though now it’s in the hands of you, the readers, to judge. But I ended up deciding it was an important, little-known aspect of history that was well worth exploring–and also that who my great-great-grandfather was shouldn’t determine what I can and can’t write about 150 years later.

I’m giving away a copy of A Dream Defiant in the electronic format of your choice to one randomly selected commenter between now and Sunday at 9 PM Pacific Time. So tell me about your own travel adventures, wonderful or otherwise, or let me know what risks you think Regency authors should and shouldn’t take.

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

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