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Archive for February 22nd, 2013

High-Risk-e1350692692101

aquariandancer

wins an ARC of HIGH RISK by Vivian Arend

Congrats! To claim your prize, please email mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces). You have 48 hours to email before a new name is chosen.

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Bellings1800x2700Francesca Belling is torn between two worlds—her past infatuation with her brother’s best friend and her future obligations. She never intended to end up in the bed of her longtime crush, Thomas Wallingham but that’s exactly where she finds herself.

Unfortunately, mail is slow during a war. She thought he knew everything. He had never suspected.

Thomas has always wanted to be a part of the Belling’s family but he was too foolish to grab the chance when she threw herself at him before. Instead, he ran off to war.  Emboldened by his new-found appreciation for a grown-up Francesca, he finds that dream is within his reach.

If she thinks he’s running away this time, she has no idea what she’s in for.

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So – I write historical Romance, specifically Regency. I’d love to tell you exactly when that time period was but it’s the cause of some argument. If you want to get really technical, it’s the time from 1811 to 1820 when the Prince Regent ruled England. Some will argue that it’s any time between 1795 and 1837. But, really, won’t people argue about anything?

I write historical romance because I’m lazy.

“Huh?” you ask. When I started reading romance, my first was a Regency. Julia Quinn, actually – I came to romance late, but that confession is for another blog. It seems a bit cliché to say I fell in love with Romance but there is no other explanation. After that, I read A LOT of romance – contemporary, paranormal, you name it. Still, I kept coming back to historicals. I devoured them from all time periods, but Regencies were my favorite. There’s something about the manners of the time and the subsequent exploitation of those manners that occurs in a juicy story. Think of reading Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility or every lyrical version of Jane Austen you’ve ever seen produced.

That is Regency.

Lush. Gorgeous. Complicated.

When I poised my fingers over the keyboard to begin my very own romance, of course it was a Regency. That’s where the lazy part comes in. As a voracious reader, I knew the rules of Regency. I liked the idea of writing about a world not so very different from our own and the idea of building my own world for a paranormal was just too daunting. So I started writing about a Marquess and a Lady.

Boy, was I naïve.

I quickly discovered there are all kinds of troubles with a historical. The heroine goes to a bank. Does she go through a revolving door? No, she does not. The invention of revolving doors was patented in December 1881.

If she and the Marquess are riding through a field, does she encounter barbed wire? Nope. Barbed wire was an American thing from the time of Lincoln in 1867.

This is taking forever. All this research…

Alright, forget the barbed wire and the stupid door. Would the footman have brought muffins to her in the morning room while she was writing her letters? Probably not. The things we call muffins would have been referred to as “American Muffins” and didn’t really come to England until the late 1800’s.

Forget eating. How does she mail these letters anyway? What the hell is the deal with franking? When did stamps come around? And . . . I’m back on the internet. The first stamp was issued in Great Britain in 1840 and cost a penny.

I haven’t managed to write a single cohesive paragraph without getting lost on the internet for twenty minutes at a hop. Next it was spices, the amount of time it would take to sail from London to Boston, and the cost of letting a room in a less than fashionable district.

Then bad things started to happen. The internet wasn’t enough anymore. Pretty quickly I was cruising Amazon for research books like it was crack. I bought several about English gardens, the inner workings of the manner house, and a multitude on Regency fashions. You simply have no idea how much you don’t know about underwear until you delve into the small clothes situation these people dealt with.

I knew it had gone too far when I finally acquired a map of London drawn up in 1919 so that I could use the correct names of the streets, parks and neighborhoods.

So much for going the lazy route.

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Bio:

Amylynn read her first romance novel in 2008 after being a lifelong literary snob.  By the time she was done, she was hooked. Inspired, she challenged herself to write an entire manuscript from start to finish.  Lady Belling’s Secret became the first in a three series set.

She is an Arizona native and lives in the same house her husband owned before they were married.  Amylynn fears she will never call another state home unless someone tells her husband there are forty nine others to choose from.  In reality, she’d settle for a walk-in closet.

Her family consists of the aforementioned husband, two beautiful children, two dogs, two cats, some fish, and a hankering for a panda. She’d like it mentioned she’s never been in prison but we’ll see how that panda thing works out.

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For a chance to win a print copy of LADY BELLING’S SECRET, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

 

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