The random—and not so random—musings of a quirky Regency romance writer.
No one with that many people in her head can possibly be normal...

Saturday, May 31, 2014

~Snippet Saturday~ Redemption

I almost forgot about today’s post. I woke up with a smile on my face and a song in my head (see below), and it hit me just as I opened my eyes: “Oh crap. It’s Saturday. I have a full day planned and I totally forgot to schedule a snippet.” So here I am and I’ve chosen a snippet from one of my older books. Enjoy!  

(Redemption, from chapter six...)

Jenny wished she possessed a tiny bit of her mother’s poise. She had always loved her mother and wanted to be her when she grew up. Now, seeing the disappointment slowly unfurl in her parent’s beautiful blue eyes, she wished she were anywhere but there.

She cast her eyes to her twin, questioning her. Gwen’s smile was strained and after a moment, faded completely.

“We are concerned for you, my love,” the duchess said softly. She took her daughter’s hands in a comforting clasp, squeezing gently. “You have been spending much time at the Prestwich’s residence.”

“Gwen has visited too,” Jenny offered, confused.

Her grace nodded. “Yes, dear, I know. What concerns me is your association with Mr. Darius Prestwich.”

Jenny didn’t say a word. She just looked at her mother, waiting.

Lady Denbigh sighed. With a little tug, she pulled her child over to the bed and sat down. Gwen joined them.

“If I ask you about your feelings for Mr. Prestwich, will you be honest, I wonder?”

Since it appeared to be a rhetorical question, Jenny said nothing.

“I am your mother, Genevieve, and I love you. I know you have very strong feelings for this young man and I’m not sure you understand exactly what it is about him that worries your brother.”

“Con spends too much time with his nose in other people’s affairs,” Jenny retorted bitterly.

“Perhaps,” her mother allowed magnanimously. “But I think he has reason to be concerned, Jenny.”

Jenny realized her mother would not leave it be until she’d revealed the cause of all the worry. So, with a heartfelt, bone-weary sigh, she invited, “Tell me what he’s done, Mama.”

Thank you for stopping by. If you liked what you read, you can read another excerpt on my site HERE, or get the e-book from Amazon (US or UK), B&N, Apple, Smashwords, or Kobo. Have a lovely day! 

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There’s a jukebox in my head. It’s currently playing
♫♪ Five Finger Death Punch ~ Far From Home

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

~Regency Wednesday~ Opera Dress for February 1823

A little late but that’s better than never, right?

I recently saw an article* about a woman who hand-stitched a Regency ball dress for a ball she was planning to attend in Bath. Her gown is exquisite and took her a mere EIGHT MONTHS to complete. There’s so much to admire in that. ♥  

Naturally, that led me to the fashion magazines for today’s post. This opera dress is clipped from La Belle Assemblée, February 1823. I’m so in love with this dress that if I chose to replicate one, it would be THIS GOWN. ♥ 

  This elegant dress is formed of Cerulean blue satin, or gros de Naples, with a rich border, composed of satin puffs folded in bias, beautifully finished by broad satin rouleaux, The body is made low, but chastely correct, affording only a partial display of the bust, while the shoulders are covered; a tucker of the very finest specimen of URLING’S PATENT LACE, serves also as a modest shield, and the short sleeves are trimmed next to the elbow, with the same material; these sleeves are formed of bias-folded puffings, to answer the trimming at the border of the dress. The hair is arranged in a peculiar, but very beautiful and becoming manner; it is partly à la madonna, but finishes from the temples in the Sevigné style, and is crowned with an Inca diadem comb of fine pearls, placed in the Peruvian style, very backward. The other jewellery ornaments consist of a double gold chain, with opera class depending, set round with pearls, and pearl ear-rings. The figure represents a lady seated on a Persian lounge, in the opera tea-room, where every part of the dress is displayed to advantage; the shoes are of white satin, and the dress is made rather full, and of a moderate length.**

*Read the article on hand-sewing a Regency gown HERE
**Clipped from La Belle Assemblée, February 1823, p. 81. Get the Google e-book HERE

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There’s a jukebox in my head. It’s currently playing
♫♪ Staind ~ Home 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

~Snippet Saturday~ Honor

You may have noticed I changed the meme title just a bit. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it before, considering Regency Wednesday has the day second. So Saturday Snippets has become Snippet Saturday. Hope that’s not too disappointing for anyone.  

Now that that’s out of the way, on to today’s snippet!  

I’ve chosen one of my favorite works this time. This one is my baby, the one and only book I had to write. This one wouldn’t leave me alone, wouldn’t let me rest. The first draft was completed from beginning to end within two months. Readying it for reader consumption took years. 

Without further ado, a snippet from Honor. Enjoy!

(Taken from chapter three...)

Tears gathered in her eyes. Her father would beat her for her defiance. Sniffling, she accepted the handkerchief held out to her and spoke, the words tumbling out in a rush of suppressed panic. “A few months ago, my father informed me that he arranged a m-marriage for me. That is why I ran away. I just can’t do it!” The dam ruptured and she burst into tears.

Connor put his arms around her and held her against him. She stiffened at first but her muscles slowly eased and she buried her face in his chest. Sobs wracked her small frame and tears soaked his gold waistcoat. He removed her mobcap and released the severe knot of hair at her nape. He smoothed his hand over the shining tresses in a soothing manner until she quieted, her heartbreaking sobs becoming mere whimpers.

“Are you sure you can’t marry your father’s choice?”

Verena stiffened and drew away from him, disappointed that he would even suggest such a thing.

“Do you happen to know my father, my lord? Any man who enjoys my father’s good opinion is already beyond redemption.”

“Surely he can’t be that bad,” Connor insisted.

“There is none worse than Mr. Winters, I assure you,” she said in a frightened little voice that trembled slightly.

“Percival Winters?”

Verena bobbed her head in acknowledgment.

Lord Connor’s face and tone contained all the horror Verena could have wished, but she could take little comfort in that fact. Percival Winters may have enjoyed the title of gentleman in Society but nothing could be further from the truth. He was a cad, a cheat, and a scoundrel. His money was all that kept him accepted throughout the ton.

“Marry me instead.”

I hope you enjoyed that little taste of Honor. For more info on the book (as well as another excerpt) you can visit my site HERE. If this is enough for you, you can grab an e-copy of this book from Amazon (US or UK), B&N, Apple, Smashwords, or Kobo.

Thank you for stopping by!

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There’s a jukebox in my head. It’s currently playing
♫♪ PTX ~ Show You How To Love  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

~Regency Wednesday~ Elbow Grease

Hello, my lovelies!! I'm here today with another slang definition from my trusty 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. Enjoy! 

Labour. Elbow grease will make an oak table shine.

Sufficient space to act in. Out at elbows; said of an estate that is mortgaged.

*Taken verbatim from the Kindle edition of the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. Get your free copy HERE.

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ FFXIII-2 ~ Noel's Theme - Final Journey - 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

~Saturday Snippets~ Intrigue

I completely FORGOT to post a new Saturday Snippet yesterday! :o (In my defense, I wasn’t home Friday or Saturday.) I’ll post it now, and make sure I have next week’s scheduled ahead of time. 

That brings me to which snippet to share. That’s often a hard decision for me. That said, I’ll select a random portion of...Intrigue. This portion is taken from the middle of chapter seven. Enjoy!

A trim little figure of equestrienne superiority erupted into the house. She twirled her shako hat on one finger, her smile of utter delight encompassing all those assembled in the great entry hall.

This was Gideon’s sister, Malvina realized. The way she carried herself would have been indication enough but the rippling scars covering the young lady’s cheek confirmed her identity.

Malvina was intrigued to note the disappearance of the charming smile as the young lady’s eyes lit upon the earl. Indeed, it was as though the light in her had been extinguished. They were suddenly faced with the epitome of a well-bred English lady.

“Hello, Holt. I hope your journey was without mishap?”

Her voice carried a distant note that was not lost upon Malvina and her son. Lady Brackney gave the earl a questioning look that he ignored and she had to pinch Wolf before he said something embarrassing, like mentioning the young girl’s scars.

“Our journey was uneventful, was it not, my dear?” he said in reply to his sister’s question. His brown eyes settled on Malvina, awaiting her agreement.

“Very pleasant,” she murmured.

“Sammy, love, this is my betrothed, Lady Malvina Brackney, and this is her son, Sir Beowulf. My sister, Lady Samantha de Witt.”

Samantha curtsied politely, smiling at his companions in an unselfconscious way that Malvina found curious.

“Where is Mother?” Gideon asked.

Samantha looked up at him. “She has sequestered herself in her apartments, Giddy.”

Malvina’s lips quirked. What an oddly disarming pet name, she thought. It didn’t suit the earl in the least.

Read InD’tale Magazine’s 4½-star review of this RONÉ Award Finalist. The e-book is available at Amazon (US & UK), B&N, Apple, Smashwords, and Kobo.

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Sarah McLachlan ~ The Path of Thorns  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

~Regency Wednesday~ English Ball Dress, 1829

I bought rollerskates recently. They're black with black and pink wheels and pink laces. Yeah...I've had black and pink on the brain lately. Needless to say, I went a little nuts when I saw this frilly little number in the 1829 edition of Ackermann's Repository of Fashion. Perhaps a bit too frilly for my personal tastes, but still very pretty.  


  Rose colour Parisian gauze dress over a slip of the same colour; the body is longitudinally full at the upper part and plain beneath; it is very low on the shoulders and straight across the bust, a perpendicular rose colour satin rouleau, entwined with narrow black velvet, ornaments the front, and a similar cordon rises from the centre of the waist, and spreads over the shoulders at the edge of a beautiful trimming of plumes de paon, formed of feathers and spiral gauze riband. The sleeves are short and full and finished with a satin rouleau, entwined with black velvet and a triple bow of black and rose colour gauze riband. The skirt is set on full, and has two flounces of the same light material as the dress, nearly a quarter of a yard in depth, ornamented en plumes de paon, headed by a double rose colour satin rouleau, entwined by narrow black velvet. The flounces commence about half way up the skirt and nearly in front with a rosette bow of black and rose colour gauze riband, and strings of the same attach it to the ceinture; the flounces have a very graceful effect as they turn off circularly to the left side of the dress; satin rouleau at the termination of the skirt. 
  Hair dressed in ringlets in front, and drawn up behind to the top of the head, where it is arranged in large bows, and interspersed with bows of silvered rose colour riband.
  Pearl ear-rings and necklace, with a diamond clasp in front; bracelets en suite, and small gold ones beneath, both worn outside the gloves, which are of white kid. 
  Rose colour satin shoes and sandals. 

*Clipped from Ackermann's Repository of Fashion, April 1829. Get the e-book HERE.

Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Staind ~ The Corner

Saturday, May 10, 2014

~Saturday Snippets~ Introducing Saturday Snippets: The 11th Commandment

The last two Fridays I've posted excerpts from my newest release, Forgotten, and other Heartless tales. That got me thinking. I'm a huge fan of alliteration. Not sure why, I just am. (Yes, I know, Regency Wednesday doesn't qualify, but that choice was due to Almack's Assemblies being held on Wednesday nights. Kind of a huge Regency thing, you know?) 

I digress. 

This thought in mind, and remembering that I'd once participated in Sweet Saturday Samples, I wanted to go back to sharing snippets of my writing, past and present. Thus, Saturday Snippets. I will start today with a shorter snippet of one of my available works. Next week...well, we'll see what I come up with then.

Without further ado, here is a portion of The 11th Commandment, the serial Regency romance I wrote for InD'tale Magazine. Enjoy! 

Part II
The Will


Simon Delacourt's heart leapt into his throat. Lady Katherine, Duchess of Jarvis, wife of the late Duke of Jarvis, once again stood in the same room with him, only a few paces away. Her ebony hair gleamed, caught up at her nape in a ruthless knot. The sight conjured the memory of all those silken strands loosened from their confinement, sliding over his hands and falling over their naked flesh.

The bittersweet recollection sent a thrill coursing his spine even as shame pooled in his middle. Jarvis had been his friend, confidante, closest companion for many years. But while Jarvis was his friend, Katherine was his curse, the devil's own daughter sent to tempt him. He'd wanted her forever with a desire that made all other women—whores and ladies alike—pale in comparison. It was no wonder he'd stumbled so weakly into her arms at the mere crook of a finger.

That shame leapt quickly into anger, anger at her, anger at himself, and anger at Jarvis. They were all to blame, he knew it and Jarvis knew it. He was pretty sure Katherine, with her wide astonished eyes, had no idea just how much Jarvis was to blame.

Her astonishment at Simon's presence at the reading of her husband's will, however, was out of proportion to the situation. It was apparent she'd forgotten his relationship to the late duke, forgotten they were cousins.

He would have said something wholly inappropriate, anger overcoming sense, but a snicker beside him—courtesy of the new Duke of Jarvis—brought him back to the present. Offering the slightest of bows, he murmured, “Lady Jarvis,” and jabbed an elbow into the new duke's ribs. That young man's gasp returned sense to the room.

I hope you enjoyed this snippet. If you'd like to read the rest of the story, you can subscribe to InD'tale Magazine (it's free) and go back through the magazine archive starting with the July/August 2012 issue, or you can get the compiled edition from Amazon (US & UK), B&N, Apple, Smashwords, or Kobo for only 99¢. Thank you for stopping by!

Watch for another snippet next Saturday.

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Escala ~ Requiem for a Tower 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

~Regency Wednesday~ Promenade Costume, Oct 1812

On this chilly, overcast Michigan morning, I felt this bright ensemble would lend a bit of cheer. ♥

  A PLAIN muslin robe, finished at the bottom with a border of needlework, long full sleeves, and formed high in the neck, with simple collar, confined in the center of the throat with a topaz broach, and buttoned down the bosom; an amber-coloured sash, tied in irregular bows and ends in front of the figure. A rosary and cross of the coquilla nut. A lappelled cloak, of bright amber or yellow crape, faced with satin, and edged with fluted ribband of the same colour. A Wellington hat of straw, trimmed with white ribband. Gloves and shoes of yellow kid.* 

*Clipped from Ackermann's Repository, October 1812. Get the Google e-book HERE.

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ FFXIII-2 ~ Endless Paradox

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Review Copies

If you like "clean" (no graphic sex) Regency romance and are willing to post a review, I'd love to send you a copy of Intrigue, Forgotten, and/or The 11th Commandment, which are all in need of some review love on Amazon, B&N, Apple, Smashwords, and/or Goodreads. This doesn't mean the review must be positive, only honest. 

If you are interested in reviewing one or more of the three I just mentioned and you are able to download books from Smashwords, please comment here with your email address or email me at jaimeygrant [at] yahoo {dot} com with your request. I'm looking for a reasonable turnaround, but I also understand the demands of life. Your review must contain the fact that you received the book as a gift. This appeases the FTC. (I have heard that if you indicate it's a gift specifically from the author, Amazon will delete your review. Not sure what the deal with that is...)

I'll accept review copy requests through May 31. Thank you!  

Oh, and if you've already read one or more of these, would you consider posting a review? I'd be ever so grateful.  

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ Linkin Park ~ The Messenger 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Another Forgotten Excerpt

I promised another excerpt, this time from Introductions, the final story in my Heartless Regency trilogy, Forgotten, and other Heartless tales. I’ve snipped a portion for your reading pleasure. Enjoy! ♥

A Heartless Conclusion

England 1824

“Lord and Lady Gabriel St. Clair!”

Michaella’s head whipped up at the majordomo’s stentorian announcement. “Gabe?” slipped from her lips just before those very lips were ruthlessly pressed against another pair of lips.

“My love,” Rhys mused between kisses to her neck and face, “calling out...another man’s name...whilst making love to...your very bad form.” He renewed his assault on her lips, giving her no opportunity to respond, if a coherent response was something she could even manage at the moment. His hands pulled her close, fingers splayed across her back. “Very...bad...form.”

Summoning an inhuman amount of control, Michaella pulled away, far enough to regard her husband’s smiling countenance. “Seducing one’s wife”—she placed a hand over his mouth as he leaned in to continue said seduction—“in an the middle of the day...across from the drawing most improper.”

“Your speech would have been far more effective had you kissed me with each pause, my love,” Rhys mused, allowing her just a touch more distance, though he didn’t actually release her.

She smiled. “Perhaps, but how much of it would you have remembered after?”

He twined his fingers with hers, staring down at the linked appendages. “This is the first moment I’ve had alone with you in days.” He bestowed his most earnest expression on her, adding just a touch of pathetic entreaty.

She scowled at his emotional appeal, or tried to. “Stealing into an alcove is your way to remedy that?” She wanted to ask him why he didn’t simply enter her bedchamber on any of the past few nights. She wanted to ask him why he chose to sleep in his own chamber, for that matter. But good breeding would not allow her to ask such an indelicate question.

Instead, she allowed him to seduce her in a most inappropriate place, where any one of their guests might happen upon them, causing quite the countryside scandal. And as she pondered the possible ramifications, his hand slid down her shoulder, passing ever so lightly over her breast and on down to curl around her corseted ribs. Her breath caught as she vividly remembered the feel of his hands on her skin instead of hampered by several layers of sensible silk and whalebone.

And no guests constantly underfoot.

“Darling, your every waking moment since we left London has been filled with planning and family and servants,” Rhys patiently explained, trailing kisses over her cheeks and neck. Michaella’s heart kicked up a beat, her fingers clenching in the rough cloth of Rhys’ jacket. “I saw a moment and took advantage.”

And what he meant by that was he saw her in the foyer, greeting a newly arrived guest, and spirited her into the curtained alcove. Concerned that something had gone horribly wrong with one of the male guests at this, her very first house party, she’d followed with nothing more than a truncated “Please excuse—” directed at the new arrivals.

She could barely contain her shock when, instead of speaking, her very proper and gentlemanly husband pulled her into his arms and kissed her like a starving man. Too shocked to protest and—admittedly—pleasantly surprised, he’d managed to distract her quite well for several minutes.

Until Huxley’s voice broke through the sensual haze, intoning a name she’d not heard in months, the name of a man she’d not seen in years. How was it possible that he chose to attend her house party?

If you missed last week’s excerpt of Forgotten, you can find it HERE. An excerpt from Loyalty can be found on my website HERE.

Like what you read? Grab the full book from Amazon (US & UK), B&N, Apple, or Smashwords.

♥Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!♥

There's a jukebox in my head. It's currently playing
♫♪ P!NK ~ There You Go 


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