Oh my gosh. I’m laughing hysterically at this chart. That tells it all.  Great article!  Don’t miss out.  Worth the read for sure.

AJ Lancaster celebrates dukes, the new and improved Eloise, and the death of the Halfway Hymen.In real life my values (left wing, feminist) almost diametrically oppose everything dukes represent. In fiction, though? I love them – and I’m not alone.Regency romance is perennially one of the most popular subgenres.

Source: A romance writer on the Bridgerton books – and why the show is even better | The Spinoff

For those who may have been left brokenhearted after the end of the continuation of Jane Austen’s story, Sanditon, as done by ITV/Masterpiece, after much hell raised by the Sanditon Sisterhood on how the series ended, BritBox/PBS is continuing the series with two more seasons. Eventually, it will be in book form like season one. Stay tuned for 2022’s continuation.

The acclaimed seaside drama based starring Rose Williams as Charlotte will officially return to MASTERPIECE on PBS for two new seasons! #SanditonPBS

Source: Sanditon Renewed for Seasons 2 and 3 | Masterpiece | Official Site | PBS

Neverending Bridgerton news! If you haven’t heard the latest, reports are already on the Internet about Season 4. If you’ve missed the others, here’s the scoop on Seasons 2 and 3 as well.  They are currently filming Season 2, scheduled for release late this year on Netflix.  Follow the article to read more.

Season 2 will focus on Anthony, the eldest Bridgerton sibling, as he looks for a viscountess. Because this tracks with the trajectory of Julia Quinn’s novels, on which the show is based, we can safely guess that future seasons will each correspond to a different book. Season 3 will be Benedict’s story, and Season 4 will match up with Quinn’s Romancing Mister Bridgerton, which is all about Colin and Penelope.

Source: ‘Bridgerton’ Season 4: Plot, Cast & Everything To Know

The RITAs are no more. If you’re not familiar with the award it was formerly bestowed for excellence in published romance novels and novellas but was retired in 2020 after the Romance Writers of America meltdown. If you missed all the articles about the controversy at the RWA, you can search for prior posts. You can check out the past winners and hall of fame for those who won multiple RITAs at this LINK.

Now it’s the Vivian Award from the Romance Writers of America. “The Vivian recognizes excellence in romance writing and showcases author talent and creativity. We celebrate the power of the romance genre with its central message of hope–because happily ever afters are for everyone.” Vivian Stephens was the founder of Romance Writers of America.

Below are those books nominated for the historical romance category. Winners will be announced July 31, 2021.

Historical Romance – Long (80,000 Words or Longer)

The Clothier’s Daughter by Bronwyn Parry

His Secret Mistress by Cathy Maxwell

Once a Spy by Mary Jo Putney

Ten Things I Hate About the Duke by Loretta Chase

Historical Romance – Mid (50,000 to 80,000 Words)

For This Knight Only by Barbara Bettis

The Footman and I by Valerie Bowman

A Song of Secrets by Robyn Chalmers

A Study in Passion by Louisa Cornell

There is also a Historical Romance Short Category for books 20,000 to 50,000 in length, but there were no finalists.

Here are list of the 2021 Rules here FYI.

Beautiful dresses. Stately homes. Titled aristocrats. Wealthy yearly incomes. Those are usually the things that readers love to fantasize about when they read historical romance.

The best-selling books on the market are not about the miserable lives in the Regency or Victorian era. Readers would rather not think about the squalor 90% of the population in nineteenth-century England experienced. Nevertheless, the authors who lived in those eras – like Dickens and Gaskell – had no qualms about penning reality in their stories because they were important social issues.

Toil Under the Sun is a historical fiction book I wrote loosely based on my ancestors who were from Manchester. It’s somewhat Dickenish in a few chapters for which I make no apology. There are no beautiful dresses, stately homes, or wealthy characters. Instead of dukes in canopy beds, most people slept on hard, lumpy horse-hair mattresses set on a platform or the floor. Those with no home slumped over a rope in a doss house to get some shut-eye or paid a few shillings a night to share a wooden hay-filled box with a lice-ridden individual. 

There was no running water, so people bathed at washhouses if they could afford to pay the price. Public fountains were around town to fill up your buckets for water and carry them home but were a cesspool of germs. I’ll spare you the gory details about where and how people relieved themselves because you’ll die from the stench alone or some related disease. Some parts of Manchester were called hell on earth in those days. (Read More Here)  I was shocked to learn that my third great-grandfather, Henry Holland, lived two blocks away from the slum area in this article during 1851, and he was a journeyman bricklayer that could make a wage.  It broke my heart.

“The lowest, most filthy, most unhealthy and most wicked locality in Manchester is called, singularly enough, ‘Angel-meadow.’ It is full of cellars and inhabited by prostitutes, their bullies, thieves, cadgers, vagrants, tramps and, in the very worst sties of filth and darkness…” (Angus Reach, a London Journalist 1849)

When Elizabeth Gaskell wrote North & South, she lived in Manchester. (I’ve visited her home and you can read about here on my author blog.) Even though she chose Milton as the make-believe town where Mr. Thornton had his cotton mill, the hell as penned by Margaret to her friend was described as, “I’ve seen hell and it’s white.” Perhaps that was true inside, but outside the air filled with smoke from the chimneys of factories, and the brick buildings were blackened with soot.

The idea of children being cared for by nannies and brought up by governesses is a far cry from the reality of young children who worked in factories to help with family finances. Rarely, did a child have the opportunity to learn to read or write. The boys were taught more often than the girls even in the middle class. Quite a few of my ancestors, including my second great-grandfather, merely put an “X” on the marriage bann because he couldn’t scribble his own name.

Nevertheless, out of poverty, one person can rise above and build an empire of wealth for his family and descendants. My second great uncle, Robert Holland, in Manchester came home to find his mother had hung herself using a nail in the wall. In 1862, the newspapers reported the incident. “Suicide of a Female. On Thursday morning, a woman resident in Bamber Street, named Phoebe Holland, was found dead, hanging from a nail in the wall of the house. An inquest was held on the body the same day before J. Taylor, Esq., and a verdict of Self-hanging, whilst in a state of unsound mind, was returned.” Phoebe is my third great-grandmother, and mother to Robert Holland. At the time of her death, she lived with Robert in his household.

A few years later Robert married and somehow managed to drag himself from the slums of Manchester to become a wealthy brickmaking and construction company by 1920. He was also a political success, having run and won, serving many terms as Alderman for the City of Salford (just outside of Manchester). He died a rich man, but his sons squandered their inheritance. (Certainly a story to be told there).

How my second great uncle accomplished the task of making a success of his life in the world described above is beyond my comprehension. The one ability he possessed was to read and write, which certainly worked in his favor. He is undoubtedly what they call a self-made man. In my ancestral research, I have had the pleasure of meeting a few of his descendants and visiting his twelve-bedroom home from 1882 that still stands today.

It is because of him that I use the name of Red Brick Media as my acknowledgment of his accomplishments and success in spite of the poverty to which he was born into.

Admin

Historical Romance Books

Recommending this great blog, Sweet Savage Flame, filled with reviews of the bodice-ripper greats from the past.  Check it out!  I’ve posted a link on our blog page as well.

SWEET SAVAGE FLAME Bodice Rippers, Vintage Category, & Old-School Historical Romance from Avon to Zebra

Source: SWEET SAVAGE FLAME – Bodice Rippers, Vintage Category, & Old-School Historical Romance from Avon to Zebra

Welcome! Here is a recap of our author promotions for the week of April 19, 2021, that you may have missed on our website. Make sure to follow the links on our page to see the covers, read the synopsis, and peek inside. The purchase price, links to retailers, and various formats, along with the sub-genre of historical romance are listed for your review. You can also get notices of new releases via email by signing up for our newsletter.

Our first promotion was Never Kiss a Notorious Marquess, part of the Infamous Lords Series, written by author Renee Ann Miller, published by Zebra, and available on Kindle, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and Audible. A brief synopsis is as follows. For James Trent, Lord Huntington, there’s no escaping the question that labeled him The Murdering Marquess: was his wife’s death a tragic accident or a cold-blooded crime? He’s avoided London’s gossipmongers since that terrible night, as guardian to his younger siblings on his Essex estate. But trouble finds him when a veiled temptress with secrets of her own falls—quite literally—into his arms..

Our second promotion was a book titled Tempting a Gentleman, part of the Hadfields Series written by author Rachel Ann Smith and published by Penford Publishing. It’s available on Kindle, Apple books, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. A brief synopsis is as follows. As a key member of the Network and modiste to the ladies of the ton, Emma Lennox favors freedom over marriage. But when her best friend asks that she attend the Hadfield ball, Emma finds herself thrown into the arms of a dance master who raises both her pulse and her temper.

Our third promotion was a book titled Charming Dr. Forrester by author Jemma Frost, and is available on Kindle, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo, and is published by The Arrowed Heart. A brief synopsis is as follows. Dr. Robert Forrester spends most of his time as an on-call hotel physician while moonlighting as a free healthcare provider to the lower classes of Manchester. And while he’s plagued by memories of the Crimean War, he’s managed to avoid letting them affect his work. Until unexpected events trigger increasingly debilitating episodes of flashbacks, forcing him to confront emotions long-buried or face being consumed by them.

Our fourth promotion was a box set titled Love’s First Kiss by author Glynnis Campbell, and is independently published. It’s available on Kindle, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and Smashwords. A brief synopsis is as follows: High-spirited medieval lasses and the daring heroes who give them Love’s First Kiss! Whether they’re crossing swords with a fierce bridegroom, tangling with a knight disguised as a beggar, seeking sanctuary with the laird’s huntsman, or dodging the most feared lawman in the shire, these four intrepid heroines meet their match in these four full-length tales of romance and adventure.

Our fifth promotion was a book titled Loving the Scarred Soldier by author Rose Pearson, published by Landon Hill Media, and is part of the Second Chance Regency Romance Series. It’s available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. A brief synopsis is as follows: Lady Charlotte Tate has returned to the protection of her father’s roof after the death of her husband. Broken-hearted, she seeks to find a new beginning where it all began – Caldor House – the place where she first loved and lost. However, things aren’t as they used to be. When her former governess falls ill, and Charlotte decides to be her nurse, she is drawn into the secrets lurking in the shadows of the woman’s home, and the truth no one has dared tell her.

Our sixth promotion was a book titled Gentleman of Mystery by Ellie St. Clair, independently published, and is part of the Bluestocking Scandals Series. It’s available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. A brief is as follows: As the only woman at Bow Street, Georgie lives by two rules — to never be swayed by emotion, and to seek justice — but only when it’s warranted. For she despises the fact that the punishment fits the station in life, and not the crime, a reality she knows all too well. She must now fight to keep from being distracted by the handsome stranger who appears in her life.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to keep up-to-date on news, articles, and historical tidbits!

I hope you enjoy this week’s recap. It’s a full week of promotions next week, so check back. Happy searching for your next historical romance.


Find these books on:

Never Kiss a Notorious Marquess – https://amzn.to/2Q4IOh7

Tempting a Gentleman – https://amzn.to/3du6vs4

Charming Dr. Forrester – https://amzn.to/3aitT9W

Love’s First Kiss – https://amzn.to/3al5LU0

Loving a Scarred Soldier – https://amzn.to/32nlJZt

A Gentleman of Mystery – https://amzn.to/3e5BcCE

My goodness! One of my favorite Austen stories. Who is playing Captain Wentworth? I hope Netflix does the new adaptation justice. For me, I think it will be hard for me to look at Dakota in such a tame role after Fifty Shades.  I wonder what, “modern, witty approach to a beloved story means.” Thoughts? Comments?

It’s strange Netflix is doing the series when Searchlight is doing one as well with Sarah Snook in the role.

Dakota Johnson is set to star in Netflix’s retelling of Jane Austen’s novel “Persuasion.”

Source: Dakota Johnson to Star in Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’ Movie at Netflix – Variety

Welcome! Here is a recap of our author promotions for the week of April 12, 2021, that you may have missed on our website. Make sure to follow the links on our page to see the covers, read the synopsis, and peek inside. The purchase price, links to retailers, and various formats, along with the sub-genre of historical romance are listed for your review. You can also get notices of new releases via email by signing up for our newsletter.

Our first promotion was An Agreement with a Soldier, part of the Necessary Arrangements Series, written by author Sadie Bosque, independently published, and available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. A brief synopsis is as follows. John Godfrey, the Baron of Ashbury, has spent most of his life as a soldier. He was never meant to become a baron. But circumstances have changed and now that he’s back home, he has to face another battle – saving his failing estates.

Our second promotion was a book titled In the Viscount’s Arms, part of the Staunton Sisters Series written by author Allyson Jeleyne and published by Fifty Forty Productions. It’s available on Kindle. A brief synopsis is as follows. Reeling from the death of her parents, eldest daughter Octavia strives to be a source of strength for her sisters. She defies their grandfather’s high-handed meddling–and his desire to see the Staunton girls married. She forges her own path to independence, which leads to the gates of Caswell Hall. There, the governess has just quit her post, leaving a vacant spot in the local lord’s household.

Our third promotion was a book titled Lord of the Manor by author Elizabeth Keysian, and is available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. It’s part of the Trysts and Treachery Series. A brief synopsis is as follows. Orphaned at birth, Cecily Neville owes more than her name to the former hospitallers of Temple Roding. She was still a child when the reformation wrenched her home and adopted family from her and now, like the few surviving monks, she lives in fear that her past could take a deadly toll.

Our fourth promotion was a book titled A Deal with the Earl by author Sadie Bosque and is part of the Necessary Arrangements Series, independently published. It’s available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. A brief synopsis is as follows: Lady Julia has dreamed of marrying her childhood sweetheart since she was four years old. But her father has other plans, he wants her to marry an earl. When she is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Julie needs to make a choice: ruin her honor, but wait for her true love or make a deal with the forbidding earl.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to keep up-to-date on news, articles, and historical tidbits!

I hope you enjoy this week’s recap. It’s a full week of promotions next week, so check back. Happy searching for your next historical romance.


Find these books on:

An Agreement with a Soldier – https://amzn.to/2QhHXcj

In the Viscount’s Arms – https://amzn.to/3sujfTN

Lord of the Manor – https://amzn.to/39YOfVe

A Deal with the Earl – https://amzn.to/39ioRZx

In 1972, Avon Books published “The Flame and the Flower,” by Kathleen Woodiwiss — a hefty historical romance that traded chastity for steamy sex scenes. It arrived in the thick of the sexual revolution, and readers loved it: It was an instant bestseller that’s credited with birthing the modern romance genre.Here, a dozen people — authors, editors, agents, cover artists and one mononymous male model — recount how the modern romance industry came together and took off.

Source: Romance novels are big business. Here’s how the genre took off. – The Washington Post