Book deals and mid-January

Do you find mid-January kind of bleak? The holidays are over, and I always feel a bit of a let-down. Putting away the decorations and what-have-you isn’t as fun as getting them out. Even the leftovers are usually all eaten up by now. (This year ours aren’t, yet, but that’s a different story.) As Charlie Brown might say, “Bleh.” But there are some good book deals out there this month, plus we’re not far from February now, the biggest month of the year for romance!

If you are looking for something new to read and you don’t mind reading “sweet” historicals, then check out this group of romances on special offer until January 20. You can find them here.

I think many of us here at the Riskies are on deadlines or involved in major projects presently. We are also, as we have been for the past year, pondering the future of this blog. Readership has definitely fallen off, but several of the regular Riskies have not been able to post this year and the rest of us haven’t been able to fill in with extra posts, for the most part. So there have been fewer posts to offer. Is that the reason for the fall-off, or is it just that blogs are less popular now than they used to be, before Twitter, Instagram, and so much else came along? I would guess it’s both….

At any rate, we are still here for now, and even if we decide to discontinue the blog at some point later this year, we don’t want the fabulous archive of all the past posts to disappear. We will certainly keep you posted if we decide to make changes.

In the meantime, happy mid-January, and happy reading! This is the very BEST time of year to curl up with a good story, the best antidote to the blah’s that I know of. What’s your favorite way to deal with mid-winter? Are you still here reading the blog?

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Looking for Luck in the New Year?

New Year’s Eve has come and gone, and here we are, already three days into the new year. If you were hoping to increase your chances for a lucky year, it’s too late now for most of the folk lore and practices you might have tried!

The Risky Regencies blog has been around since 2005, so we have covered a lot of January beginnings by now. If you’re in the mood, scroll down through our archives list and pick some early January posts at random. Some themes are recurring –for instance, making resolutions for the new year, which Regency people seem to have done just as we do today. But some of the other old customs seem to have fallen by the wayside. In January of 2016 my post included quite a few gathered from a variety of cultures.

Just for fun, below is an excerpt from my 2018 December release, Lord of Misrule. The main characters are traveling on New Year’s Eve and must spend the night at an inn. Nevertheless, they make an attempt to honor a few old customs. How did you spend your New Year’s Eve? Did you try to follow any old practices to influence your year ahead?

“Tell me, what would you all have been doing to celebrate the new year in Little Macclow if I had not spirited you away?” Lord Forthhurst said, introducing a new line of conversation.

“Oh, playing cards or charades, roasting chestnuts, singing or dancing, teasing each other with puzzles and riddles to try our brains,” said Lady Anne.

“Dining on plum puddings and mince pies. Listening for the peal of the bells to tell us the new year has begun,” the Squire added.

“We might have been entertaining any visitors in a similar manner,” Miss Tamworth said. She had resumed her seat and turned her unfathomable blue eyes on him. “I had considered asking you to be our midnight caller.”

“The old first-footer custom?” He knew no one who followed it. Mostly it was practiced up in the northern counties and Scotland. Still, he was flattered. The first person to step into a house after the stroke of midnight was supposed to bring luck and set the tone for a good and prosperous year. He doubted he was a likely candidate for any such thing. “I am honored, but why in heaven’s name would you ask me?”

“Oh, just because it is considered much luckier if the visitor is a handsome man.” She shrugged, her tone utterly off-handed.

He looked for any sign that she was flirting. Catching her eye, he tested her with a devilish grin. “Ah, so you admit that you find me handsome?”

Her frank, clear gaze seemed perfectly in earnest. “I needn’t admit it–I say so quite freely, Lord Forthhurst. It is simply a fact about you, one that must be obvious to anyone with eyes. …”

…“’Tis a shame you’ll not have the opportunity to be first-footer at the vicarage, Lord Forthhurst,” Squire said, rescuing him from having to respond. “The vicar serves a very tasty punch on New Year’s Eve that I suspect you would like. It has rendered many a visitor barely able to make his way home again after indulging.”

“That sounds quite wicked for a vicar. Indeed, I am sorry to forego both the honor and the pleasure.”

A short while later, they decide to leave their private parlor to join in the revelry downstairs in the public room.

“I think we should all go down and celebrate the new year’s arrival with everyone else.” She looked pointedly at Cassie and the viscount. “Did you bring new clothes to wear?”

“New clothes?” Lord Forthhurst tilted his head, looking bewildered. He clearly did not know much about country customs.

“Yes, to bring luck and prosperity in the new year.”

“I see. I’m afraid I did not bring any.” He sounded unconvinced.

“I did not have any to bring,” Cassie admitted.

“Well, I have a splendid idea how to fix that,” Lady Anne declared, her hands sweeping up into the air. “I shall loan Cassie one of my shawls, and Squire can loan Lord Forthhurst one of his cravats. The items will be new–to you, at least. I feel certain that will serve. Oh, do let us get ready, and then go down.”

Belated or not, I and my sister Riskies all wish you the very best in 2020. That includes lots of happy reading!

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Christmas wishes and a special offer

Do you like Christmas stories? Just wanted to alert everyone to this special promotion! If you love Christmas stories and read them even after the holiday is over (as I do!!), take a look at this group (yes, you’ll see Lord of Misrule is in there –look at me, I finally did some marketing!! LOL). They’re not all Regencies, but some are offering special prices. It runs through Dec 28. https://books.bookfunnel.com/christmas_stories/113qaxih2r

In addition, of course, I wanted to send everyone my best wishes for the holidays. I hope your days are filled with love and hope, the true gifts of the season and what Christmas is all about. Plus a new year filled with all the things that bring you joy!

Merry Christmas (to all who celebrate it) and happy holidays for whatever else you may be celebrating. Happy New Year to everyone from all of us here at the Risky Regencies blog!

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Preparing for Christmas…Again

I am the lady of this house, not an exalted country house, but a respectable one and I must not dally any further. I must prepare for Christmas, once again. It is a daunting task in this modern age – 1820. There is so much to do.

Once before I wrote about preparing for Christmas (see blog of 12/3/12). Alas, this year is no different…well, maybe slightly altered.

First I must check to see if Cook has prepared the Christmas pudding. She should have done so five days ago on Stir Up Sunday. I must discuss with her all the food we shall need for the holidays, because the rest of the family and some friends will gather here and they will stay through Twelfth Night.

I should send invitations to the families near here to come for a Christmas meal. I believe I shall have my daughter write them. She has a better hand than I. Soon it will be time to send the footmen out to gather greenery and we must hang a ball of mistletoe to generate some excitement during the party.

Then there are gifts to purchase. I shall make a list and have my husband’s people purchase them in London and send them to me here. Amazon, the butler in our London town house will see to it. And I must exert myself to embroider some handkerchiefs for everyone, because that is the sort of generous person I am.

Speaking of generous, we will also make up baskets of food for those less fortunate than we. I am certain the kitchen staff and maids might take an afternoon away from their duties to assist in filling the baskets. My dh, Lord P–, and I will, of course deliver them to the families. It will take the better part of the day.

It is such a busy time!
What are you doing to prepare for the holidays??

I know one thing you can do. You can purchase my scribbling friend Darlene Gardner’s latest Christmas Romance, The Christmas Cupid. It is set 200 years in the future (2019), but I am certain you will love it.

Now I shall lie down for a bit. All this planning has quite exhausted me.

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Remembrance Day, Remembered

I originally posted this on November 10, 1914. I’m adapting it today, because….We need to remember!

Today is November 11, Veteran’s Day, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, and the 101th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. In the UK and the Commonwealth, November 11 is known as Remembrance Day.

888,246 Commonwealth lives were lost in World War I. 888,246. that’s a staggering number. Can you imagine? Everyone in the UK must have been personally affected by that war.

In 2014, the UK marked Remembrance Day in a truly remarkable way. At the Tower of London 888,246 ceramic poppies were planted, one for each life lost. The poppies could be purchased for 25 pounds each and will be sent to the donors in January.

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I visited the Tower of London in September 2014 and saw the poppies that had been planted in the moat so far.
You can see the individual poppies in this photo.

By November 11 the whole moat was filled. The poppies bled from a bastion window, arced above the Tower’s medieval causeway, flowed over the top of the walls and fill the moat with a sea of crimson.

The idea for this art project came from this poem:

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

The blood swept lands and seas of red,
Where angels dare to tread.
As God cried a tear of pain as the angels fell,
Again and again.
As the tears of mine fell to the ground
To sleep with the flowers of red
As any be dead
My children see and work through fields of my
Own with corn and wheat,
Blessed by love so far from pain of my resting
Fields so far from my love.
It be time to put my hand up and end this pain
Of living hell. to see the people around me
Fall someone angel as the mist falls around
And the rain so thick with black thunder I hear
Over the clouds, to sleep forever and kiss
The flower of my people gone before time
To sleep and cry no more
I put my hand up and see the land of red,
This is my time to go over,
I may not come back
So sleep, kiss the boys for me

Today in the UK, think of the 888,246 lives represented in the Tower’s moat in 2014. Think, as well, of the 116,516 American dead in WWI. Or the one and a half million American lives lost in war beginning with our Civil War. Think of all the soldiers who have died in wars.

And honor them.

Do you have a particular person to remember on Veteran’s Day? Mine is my father, Col. Daniel J. Gaston, who spent a whole career in the army.

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Fox Hunting in Regency England

“One knows so well the popular idea of health. The English country gentleman galloping after a fox — the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.”
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), A Woman of No Importance, act 1.

Fox_Hunting_-_Henry_Alken

I first wrote about fox hunting in 2014, but the air has finally turned brisk here in Virginia and autumn leaves are finally turning. November would have been the start of the fox hunting season in Regency England. Pursuing the “uneatable” was a popular sport among Regency gentlemen and the fox hunting season would have lasted until right before spring planting. Fox hunting has a long history in Britain, dating back to the 16th century. It became especially popular after the decrease in the deer population made hunting deer more difficult.

Hunting foxes was once considered a form of vermin control. Foxes were notorious for attacking small livestock, but by Regency times, the main purpose of the hunt was the sheer sport of it. Hounds were bred specifically for fox hunting. Gentlemen kept up to 12 hunters, horses bred for the hunt, so they could hunt six days in a row, using two horses per hunt. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Duke of Wellington kept eight horses and hunted frequently while on the Peninsula.

220px-Daniel_Gardner_Sir_William

Hunting was the sport of wealthy gentlemen partly because those gentlemen had the wide expanse of land that the hunting required. Others could only hope to be invited to the hunt. Unauthorized hunting anywhere was considered poaching and could incur severe penalties.

Regency times were times of house parties during which gentlemen rode to the hounds and only a very few ladies did. Ladies were encouraged to ride out with the hunters or to watch the hunt from carriages.

Fox hunting was outlawed in Great Britain in 2005 but still exists in other countries including Australia and the USA.

I love the idea of galloping over the countryside on horseback, but to chase a fox and have it torn to bits, not at all. We have a fox that lives in the woods behind us of whom I am rather fond. I understand the appeal hunting game animals, although I couldn’t do it. Could you? Do you hunt? Have you ever been fox hunting?

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Haunted London

If you do a Google search on “ghost sites london”, guess how many hits you can get? About 31.4 MILLION!! Needless to say, I am not going to claim that I went through all of those in putting together this post.  But I am aware that London is considered one of the most haunted places on the planet, and as it is such a central location in our Regency world, I thought a quick visit on the blog might be appropriate for the day after Halloween in the U.S., or “All Saints” in the Christian Church.

The Spaniards Inn, with the old turnpike toll house across the road from it

PUBS: Old pubs are everywhere in the British Isles, but not all are haunted. Probably the best-known London-area “haunted pub” that pre-dates the Regency is Hampstead’s The Spaniards Inn (built c. 1585), where highwayman Dick Turpin (1705-1739) is said to hang out –pun intended –(and his horse, too). His father at one time owned it, and Dick may have been born there. One of the area’s oldest pubs, the place is so iconic it was immortalized in literature by Dickens and in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Two other ghosts are said to haunt here, one a former landlord murdered by his brother, and the other one of those seemingly ubiquitous “Ladies in White.” But I have a question: Dick Turpin is also supposed to haunt Loughton Camp in Epping Forest. Can a ghost be two places at once?

The Grenadier, Belgravia

The “soldier ghost” and the story of The Grenadier Pub, tucked away down a mews in Belgravia/Knightsbridge supposedly date from Regency times. In 1720 the place was an officers’ mess for the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards in the courtyard of their barracks, but it opened as a pub named The Guardsman in 1818. Later it was renamed more specifically to honor the Grenadier Guards’ actions in the Battle of Waterloo. The ghost is assumed to be “Cedric,” a young subaltern caught cheating at cards and beaten to death for it. Modern visitors to the pub put currency on the ceiling to help pay off his debt.

Highgate’s haunted pub, The Flask, claims to have two ghosts, one a Spanish barmaid who hung herself in the cellar when the publican broke her heart, and the other an unidentified Cavalier who apparently won’t give up hanging out at the bar. But this pub is also supposed to be the site of one of the first-ever autopsies, performed illegally in the back room on a body stolen from the nearby cemetery.

The Ten Bells Pub

The Ten Bells Pub in Spitalfields is said to be haunted, either by two victims of Jack the Ripper who were last seen there before they were killed in 1888, or perhaps also by the Ripper himself who may have imbibed there while scouting for victims. Since his identity to this day is still unconfirmed, who can say? But the pub dates to at least 1755, when it was known as the “Eight Bells” –named for the peal of Christ Church which was next door. The name was changed between 1788-1794 when the church got a new set with –you guessed it –ten bells. The pub relocated in 1851 to its present nearby location due to the construction of Commercial Street and is still noted for its Victorian flair.

The Old Queen’s Head in Islington is yet another haunted pub, one Time Out: London calls “flamboyantly historical”. This one claims an unidentified woman ghost and also a very active little girl ghost who weeps, runs around in the pub and on the stairs, and slams doors. Sounds very naughty to me! But no one seems to know who they are or why they would be haunting the pub. Too crowded at the other haunted pubs?

THEATRE ROYAL DRURY LANE. Now here’s a bright spot that harks back to Regency days –well, actually, much farther back, to 1663 when the first theatre was built here. There are supposed to be several ghosts, and seeing one is supposed to be good luck for actors working here. The most famous is “The Man in Grey”, supposed to be an “18th century murder victim” by his distinctly Georgian clothing, including powdered wig, tricorn hat, cape and sword. Is he the victim whose skeleton was found inside a bricked-up passage in 1848? I do wonder how he could be when the theater was demolished in 1791, rebuilt in 1794, burned down in 1809 and rebuilt again to open in 1812. Numerous refurbishings followed. Maybe the 1848 discovery was someone else –a Regency victim? If so I’d say he had reason to haunt the place.

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, reopened in 1812

Joseph Grimaldi, the so-called King of Clowns (1778-1837), is said to haunt here, although why he should I’ve only a slight idea. Much of his long career was spent at Sadler Wells and other Regency theaters. He had struggles & tragedies in his life, including the suicide of his son J.S. Grimaldi, also an actor during the Regency. But some say ghosts haunt places of either greatest happiness or sorrow. Grimaldi’s star-power was burning brightly when he performed here. Another ghost some sources mention is actor Charles Maklin, who killed a fellow actor here in an argument over a wig in 1735. Talk about artistic temperament! But wouldn’t you think the man he killed there (Thomas Hallam) would be more likely to haunt the place? I wonder if he could be the Man in Grey!!

HAUNTED HOMES: Sutton House & Breaker’s Yard. This Tudor brick house (1535) belonging to the National Trust (in Hackney, far enough east of the city to have survived), is said to be haunted by “The White Lady” (how many of those there are!!) –a woman who died there in 1574 giving birth to twins. But this site has been called “the most haunted in London” (maybe because it’s so old?) and howling hounds and another woman dressed in blue are also said to have made themselves known here.

Catherine Howard

Hampton Court Palace boasts a “haunted gallery” where Catherine Howard (beheaded by Henry VIII) is reputed to reenact her departure, screaming, but since she died at the Tower of London…do you think she just got tired of being where so many other ghosts were crowding in? One story says Catherine was dragged from that gallery to go to her death at the prison. Maybe she opted for the Palace rather than share space with Anne Boleyn, another of Henry’s ex-wives reputed to be a Tower ghost. However, another of Henry’s ill-fated wives is also a ghost at Hampton Court: Jane Seymour, who is said to haunt the Clock Court and the stairs to the Silver Stick Gallery. There’s also a “Lady in Grey” who has worked her spinning wheel in one of the upper palace rooms ever since the palace church was torn down.

THE TOWER OF LONDON. With six centuries of tragic and deadly history behind it, little wonder that the Tower is reputed to have numerous ghosts. Among the long list are: Anne Boleyn (as mentioned), and also Guy Fawkes, Lady Jane Grey, the two little princes, and Henry VI. The Tower has its own “Lady in White.” Another ghost is said to be Thomas à Becket, but really, I’m pretty sure there are too many possible candidates here to count.

CEMETERIES: Ghosts might be expected in a cemetery anyway, but Highgate is a huge cemetery in north London, constructed at the beginning of the Victorian era and highly fashionable in its time. The vast expense of upkeep on such a large tract led to it being abandoned in the 1960’s and then of course it became creepily overgrown and in disrepair, used for movie settings and known for hauntings. Were angry ghosts protesting? And who invited the rumored vampires? Among the notables interred here are Karl Marx and George Eliot. Since 1981 a Friends Trust has taken on the responsibility for the upkeep, and some burials still take place here. Pop musician George Michael and author Douglas Adams are buried here, for instance, but apparently aren’t haunting the place.

Brompton Cemetery and Kensal Green are other Victorian-era London cemeteries where haunts are supposed to occur. Also creepy is the West Norwood Catacombs, a Victorian underground repository full of the shelved coffins of people who did not want to be interred in swampy cemeteries with victims of the cholera epidemic. No specific reports of ghosts there, though, so apparently they were satisfied with their final resting place!

Do you believe in ghosts? Ever had a spooky experience, in London or anywhere else? London has innumerable “ghost tours” that I’m sure take in far more sites than the handful I’ve touched upon in this post. Would you go on one of those? Happy Halloween (slightly belated)!

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Regency Weddings, The Next Generation

October will be a busy month for me and my family. My daughter is getting married! So naturally, all I’ve been thinking about lately are weddings. You might think I would convince my daughter to have a Regency wedding, but – alas! – she’s always had a mind of her own. It’s too bad. A Regency wedding would have been lovely!

The Regency was a time of great drama and beauty, a time when lords and ladies were expected to marry well, but also a time when the concept of marrying for love had taken hold. From Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer to today’s Regency Romance authors, that concept of marriage for love is what we celebrate. At least my daughter’s wedding will be all about celebrating love!

Now, I was married a brazillion years ago, long before I started writing or reading Regency Romance, but after I started writing Regencies I realized I had actually had a Regency Wedding!

Here I am with my bridesmaids. Notice that our dresses are all empire-waisted. Notice the leg-o-mutton sleeves on my dress and the puffed sleeves on the bridesmaids dresses.

Now compare these dresses to two Regency Fashion Prints from the fashion magazines of 1815.

See the similarities?

I had a Regency Wedding!

Many Regency lords and ladies married in St. George’s, the church on Hanover Square in Mayfair, London.

My daughter didn’t want a church wedding, though. She wanted to be married outside in a garden. Too bad, because she might have been able to be married at the Prince Regent’s summer home, the Brighton Pavilion in Brighton Hove.

In a room like this:

Much too fussy for her, though.

But she did want a bit more fuss than those Regency couples who married in a hurry, eloping to Gretna Green, just over the border in Scotland. Here I am standing at the historic anvil. Regency couples were married “over the anvil” in Gretna Green.
No, this isn’t another wedding photo. It is me with the tour guide at Gretna Green when I visited in 2005. I’m holding a copy of The Wagering Widow which began with a Gretna Green wedding.

Here are some quick facts about Regency Weddings:

  1. Regency brides did wear white, but they didn’t have to. In the Regency, white gowns were popular for many occasions. Other colors like pale pink and blue were also worn at weddings. The older the bride, the darker the color. Wedding dresses were worn after the wedding, too. By the time Queen Victoria became a bride and wore white, the white wedding dress was well on its way to becoming a tradition.
  2. Weddings could take place after reading of the Banns, a license, or a special license. Banns must be read for three consecutive Sundays in the parishes of both the prospective bride and groom. A license, purchased from the bishop of the diocese, did away with the banns but the couple still had to be married in the parish church. A special license, purchased from the Archbishop of Canterbury, allowed the couple to be married in a location other than a church and without banns. Licenses were never blank; different names could not be substituted.
  3. Scottish weddings went by different rules. In Scotland couples could be married by declaring themselves married in front of witnesses, by making a promise to marry followed by intercourse, or by living together and calling themselves married.
  4. Weddings could not be performed by proxy. Both the bride and groom had to be present.
  5. Ship captains could not perform marriages. Couples could be married aboard ship, but only by clergy. (How many times have you read that plot?)
  6. Brides had wedding rings; grooms did not. The bride could give the groom a ring as a wedding gift, but it was not part of the ceremony and didn’t symbolize he was married.

Lastly, here is a photo of my husband and me on our wedding day. Aren’t we cute?

I actually am very pleased at the choices my daughter has made and I cannot wait to share the happy day with her!

Has anyone attended a Regency-themed wedding? What was the last wedding you attended like?

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Ruminations and an award

I hope you’ll cross your fingers for me if you read this post by Saturday evening. My exciting news is that LORD OF MISRULE, my new release from last December, is a finalist for a prestigious 2019 Maggie Award as Best Historical Romance! And Saturday night is when the winners are going to be announced.

I was flabbergasted when I made the finals, but it is so thrilling that my first new book after a 16-year pause in my career has been so well-received. The other thing that makes this honor especially exciting to me is that I write “sweet”, and not only was this book competing with Historical Romances of all sorts of time periods, but it was also up against much hotter reads, which tend to be more popular.

I had the fun exercise of drafting what I’m calling my “fantasy thank you speech” which a friend at the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference in Georgia this weekend will deliver for me in the (rather unlikely) event that my book wins. But in that speech I mentioned that, ” Even though we are all writing about the emotional journeys our characters must take to arrive at deep and lasting love, omitting the explicit sex can make it harder to show the dance of attraction and doubt they go through.”

Thinking about “sweet” versus “hot” has made me think about all the kinds of risks we authors take as we try to do service to our characters’ stories. I tend to write unusual plots, and try to bring something fresh and different to each Regency story I write. Not all readers want that, of course! So it’s often a risk –and that tendency may be how I ended up here in the Risky Regencies sisterhood. Maybe over the coming months, each of us blogging here can talk about what she thinks is “risky” about the writing she does. I admit that I’ve been in a very “ruminative” mood lately, taking stock of where I am and where I’m going now that I am writing again.

What am I working on? Readers wanted more stories from Little Macclow, the Derbyshire village setting of LOM. I hadn’t planned on a series, but it turns out there is enough material there to mine. My current work-in-progress is a prequel to LOM, which I hope to release before or at least by December! It’s the story of Tom & Sally Hepston, who are already married when you meet them in LOM. Is it risky to write a series that wasn’t planned in advance? I guess we’ll find out!!

Do you read both sweet and hot romances? Do you like offbeat stories? What kind of risks do you see authors take, and which ones do you enjoy, or not enjoy?


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New Book! The Lord’s Highland Temptation

I have a new book!

The Lord’s Highland Temptation is available now as an ebook and mass market paperback.

Last year around this time I was in Scotland on Number One London Tour’s Scottish Writers Retreat. What a lovely experience! I simply had to put what I saw and experienced in a book. The Lord’s Highland Temptation is that book.

This book was also inspired by an idea I’d held onto for a while. Did you ever see the old movie My Man Godfrey? The original 1936 version starred William Powell and Carole Lombard. It was remade in 1957 with David Niven and June Allyson. A socialite passes off a vagrant as a gentleman and he becomes the family butler, with everyone in the family singing his praises–except the oldest daughter, who did not trust the man at all. In the end it is discovered the butler is a wealthy man and he and the younger daughter, who has idolized him the whole time, fall in love.

The movie bugs me every time I’ve watched it, because the screenwriters picked the wrong heroine! The tension was between the older sister and the butler. She was the one who should have wound up with him!

So I decided to rewrite that story and set it in Scotland in 1816. My Man Godfrey is a screwball comedy and my book is the sort of emotional story I always write, but I fixed that heroine problem!

This book has been getting some very nice reviews. It even received a starred review from John Charles in Booklist: “RITA Award-winning Gaston gracefully tips her literary cap to the classic film My Man Godfrey in her latest thoughtfully nuanced, sweetly romantic Regency historical. While she deftly explores such serious themes as family duty and survivor guilt, Gaston also celebrates the importance of kindness and compassion in our lives.”

Thank you, John Charles!

See more at my website.

Have you ever thought a movie or TV show picked the wrong hero or heroine?

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