Shondaland and Netflix’s Bridgerton series: Everything we know | EW.com

We keep you up to date on all the news about the new Shonda Rhimes Netflix series, ‘Bridgerton,’ based on the bestselling historical romance novels by Julia Quinn.

Source: Shondaland and Netflix’s Bridgerton series: Everything we know | EW.com

Jane Austen’s Sanditon ‘Sexed Up’ in Andrew Davies Adaptation | The Guardian

 

Screenwriter says he used all the material from Austen’s work in first half of first episode

Source: Jane Austen’s Sanditon ‘sexed up’ in Andrew Davies adaptation | Television & radio | The Guardian

I guess we have plenty of sex in Regency romances in book form.  What do you think about taking a Jane Austen book and sexing it up?

Julie Andrews To Voice Lady Whistledown In Netflix ‘Bridgerton’ Series – Deadline

Julie Andrews is set to voice Lady Whistledown in Netflix and Shondaland’s Untitled Bridgerton Project, based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling series of novels.

Source: Julie Andrews To Voice Lady Whistledown In Netflix ‘Bridgerton’ Series – Deadline

Grande Dame of Historical Romance Comes to Kensington: Spotlight on Sabrina Jeffries

For her latest series and her first with Kensington, Duke Dynasty, Jeffries chronicles the lives of the children of a thrice-widowed duchess. (Sponsored)

Source: Grande Dame of Historical Romance Comes to Kensington: Spotlight on Sabrina Jeffries

Outlander is Based on Books by Diana Gabaldon – Here’s Everything to Know About the Epic Series from The Oprah Magazine

Interesting article. Netflix has picked up the first two seasons.  Diana is working on another book. This article was published in Oprah Magazine on May 15. Follow link to read.  Though not a true “historical romance,” as even Diana admits, I’m sure readers will enjoy the news.

Gabaldon is currently working on the series’ ninth book titled Go Tell the Bees I’m Gone.

Source: Outlander Based on Books by Diana Gabaldon – Outlander Books in Order

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Has Risen to Bestseller After Fire

The tragic fire of Notre Dame has risen Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame to the bestseller list. In France, it’s currently number one in Gothic Romance and number 26 on Amazon USA Historical Romance Best Seller list!  Read more below at one of the many articles being published about its resurgence to fame.

When it was first published in 1831, the novel led to the restoration of Notre Dame.

Source: ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ has risen to the top of France’s best-seller list following Notre Dame fire | Deseret News

Can book piracy be stopped? | Books | The Guardian

Book piracy is a huge problem for authors. Yesterday, I got an alert from Google that one of my books was available for download on a piracy site. It’s not the first time, nor will it be the last.  I sent a take-down notice, but 24-hours later, it’s still there for free.  It will probably get ignored like all the rest of the notices I’ve filed.

In a writers group today, I read about an author who had sold 47,000 copies of a book that was pirated 101,000 time – that means 101,000 books downloaded, and she didn’t receive a penny.

Piracy is a word that perhaps conjures up images of Captian Jack Sparrow in the Caribbean, being the somewhat comical pirate pillaging and stealing.  He may be an entertaining character, but he’s still a thief.  For authors, piracy is no ship ride that we enjoy to see our hard work posted by thieves and given away to the general public. Perhaps those who download think they have the permission of authors to do so because occasionally authors will do free giveaways for a limited time or have a permanently free book for readers to download. On pirate sites, that’s not the case, and most of these sites don’t advertise to those who visit them with flashing neon signs, “We stole these books so you could read them for free.”

Below is a good article from the Guardian talking about illegally downloaded books and the damage it does to authors.  Next time you are tempted, please don’t hit the download button.  Authors are like any other people – they are working people who have bills to pay, families to feed, etc.  We write for you, the reader, and only ask for a small amount in return for the joy of reading our books.

To keep in perspective, when you pay 99 cents for a book on Amazon, authors get 35 cents.  When you pay $2.99 for a book, we get $2.06.  For a $3.99 book, we get  $2.76, which will get me a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  I can’t live off of coffee, even though I’ve tried.

The next time you’re tempted for a free book, please pay and give the author a nod of thanks for their hard work.

 

As publishers struggle with ‘whack-a-mole’ websites, experts, authors and Guardian readers who illegally download books, assess the damage

Source: ‘I can get any novel I want in 30 seconds’: can book piracy be stopped? | Books | The Guardian

Men Sold their Wives at Market

“Centuries before legal divorce was accessible, selling your partner to someone else allowed working-class couples to be publicly separate.”

Source: A brief history of when men sold their wives at market, and why some women enthusiastically consented to it – inews.co.uk

Here’s an interesting trope for a Historical Romance novel. I wondered if anyone has tried weaving this historical tidbit into a tantalizing book, and apparently, they have (see below).  Read all about it. Men who sold their wives.

‘The options available were to grin and bear it, try and get an annulment (tricky), desertion, bigamy, or to tie a rope around their neck and sell them at market to the highest bidder’  Read more at iNews/UK.

To read more about divorce laws, here’s a refresh on a previous post I wrote some time ago:  AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER

Period Fashions – The End of the Victorian Era (1890-1910)

The ever-changing styles.  We now enter the 1890s to 1900s and find the fashions of the decades. For a wonderful background on Women’s Fashions of the 1890s and what influenced the changes, head over to Bellatory for fashion and history.

Here are some beautiful fashions, closing out the Victorian era.

Queen Victoria died January 22, 1901, which ushered in the Edwardian era. Here a few of the dresses that followed.

I hope you enjoyed the period fashions to help you visual your historical romance novel. Of course, we didn’t cover all of them, but a sampling is enough.

If you wish to see more of the dresses, visit The Metropolitan Museum of Arts website and surf to your heart’s content.

Period Fashions Victorian Era – (1870-1880)

An era of reasonableness in ladies fashions has returned. The skirts are slimmer, the waists are smaller, the collars are high, and the sleeves are tighter. These are the decades that I drool over the fashions, knowing full well even in my twenties, I didn’t have a waist that small.  The dresses are absolutely gorgeous for the next three decades.  The hoops are gone, and the bustles have made an appearance. It’s the hourglass figure with crushed organs and narrower skirts.

There were morning dresses, afternoon dresses, tea gowns, evening gowns, and ball gowns. The rich changed throughout the day into various fashions, showing their wealth and status by the frocks they wore.  Women who could afford beautiful clothing were delicate in appearance, adorned in silk and lace, and tied up very neatly in tight corsets.  I, on the other hand, run around in blue jeans, blouses, and sneakers all day.  The first thing I do when I get home is strip off my bra.  Comfort is the order of the day in the twenty-first century, while ladies of the past didn’t care how tight they were wound to look like a million while they sought husbands.

Imagine a heroine in that gorgeous red 1875 British ball gown waltzing with the hero in a historical romance novel.  Thanks, again, to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts posting these wonderful fashion creations. (Click on the pictures to enlarge and use the arrows on the right to scroll through the collection.)

Period Fashions – Victorian Era (1850-1860)

It’s the years of the huge skirts!  Get out of the way men, women need room to navigate.  I mean, who came up with this idea?  A man?  A woman?  I’m too lazy to research that point, but nevertheless, whoever decided that skirts needed to have a huge circumference didn’t realize they were putting women’s lives in danger.   The cartoons are enough to make you chuckle and the horror of going up in flames or dying from arsenic poisoning because you wore green were female hazards. Here are a few good articles thanks to Racked to give you historical background on fashionable hazards.

A History of Women Who Burned to Death in Flammable Dresses

The History of Green Dye Is a History of Death


So authors and readers alike, if you read a historical romance set in these eras, you can wonder if they wore any of the fashions below. You can also wonder if they lived to tell about it.

Period Fashions – Early Victorian Years (1840-1850)

Below is a sampling of dresses from the Metropolitan Museum of Arts from 1840 to 1850. Necklines are up; sleeves are longer, skirts are a bit fuller.   You’ll see, though, as the years progressed, the skirts widen, as well as the sleeves.  I’ll write next about the dangerous years of arsenic in fabrics and highly flammable crinoline.  Frankly, I prefer the simplicity of these fashions in the early Victorian years.

Period Fashions – The Regency Period

Most of us think of the Regency Period and Jane Austen at the same time.  Naturally, Mr. Darcy comes to mind and plenty of Regency Era historical romances, plus favorite authors of the genre.

From the years 1795 to 1820, this historical time began when the Prince of Wales ruled as Prince Regent when King George III was deemed unfit.  When we think of fashions, it’s the high empire waistlines that come to mind.  From the samplings I found, most colors were very neutral.  Below are actual dresses from that era. (Click to Enlarge)

Here are a few more dresses from 1821-1837, before the Victorian era began. There are so many styles during the Victorian years, I’ll break them down as they change through the decades.  As you can see, the styles are beginning to change with the lowering of the empire waist and the sleeves becoming longer and fuller and colors are returning to catch the male eye.  I’m particularly enthralled with silk fabrics.

Check back for the Victorian dresses! They are so beautiful.

Period Fashions – The Georgian Era

The Metropolitan Museum of Arts has opened up to the public a huge selection of photography that can be used for any purpose, including commercial.  In that collection is period clothing.  I thought since many readers have an avid interest in the Georgian, Regency, and Victorian eras, I’d do a post on each era with a few fashion examples.  Hopefully, while you read about the latest duke, wishing to take off the heroine’s dress and make mad passionate love, you’ll get an idea what the dress looked like before it hit the floor.  Enjoy.

The Georgian Era

(There are links on some dresses to read the background at the Met website.)

 

 

Copyright Infringement and Registration

News for authors! I know that some writers do not register copyrights at the U.S. Copyright office. I register all my books, and it’s easy to do and fairly inexpensive.  Even if you have copyright as soon as you create, in order to bring a lawsuit for infringement, which as you know has been a big discussion of late, you need registered copyright.  Frankly, getting that official certificate feels great and gives validation of your creation.

I also apply for a Library of Congress number for my own books and send a print copy off to Washington D.C. I guess it’s my legacy as an author to think after I’ll be long gone,  my books are still alive.

Authors, take the plunge if you haven’t already! Register your books and be protected. At least if someone steals your work, you’ll have recourse.

The U.S. Supreme Court held today that bringing a suit for copyright infringement requires that the infringed work actually be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, and that a mere application fo

Source: SCOTUS on Copyright Infringement and Registration

Corsets and Carriages: 15 Must-Read Regency Romance Novels from BookRiot

Do you agree with their choice? Chime in on the comments and post your best Regency Romance Novels.


Get your TBR list ready. These are 15 of the best regency romance novels, which range in content from squeaky-clean to filthily explicit.

Source: Corsets and Carriages: 15 Must-Read Regency Romance Novels

Amazon Author Rank – Top Ten Historical Romance Authors as of 5:50 a.m. March 6, 2019

As Amazon states, the most popular author list is updated hourly.  So who are the reigning queens of the pen this time?  Some of the regulars remain, while some new releases have pushed others back up the ladder.  Here they are with their most popular books:

  1. Caroline Fyffe (Heart of Mine)
  2. Dragonblade Publishing (This is a collection of various authors – The Wicked Baron by Mary Lancaster leads the group.)
  3. Amy Harmon (What the Wind Knows)
  4. Christi Caldwell (The Governess)
  5. Samantha Holt (Once a Wallflower, Always a Wallflower)
  6. Kathryn Le Veque (The Mountain Dark)
  7. Lisa Kleypas (Devil’s Daughter)
  8. Mary Balogh (Second Chances)
  9. Ann Lethbridge (No Regrets)
  10. Alexa Aston (The Heir)

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon (Review)

Occasionally, I read other books but not often.  The reason is that I don’t want to be influenced in my own writing with the words or thoughts of other authors.  With all of the plagiarism going on at the moment, I think that is a safe practice.  It was probably a good thing that I did read it.  It was offered as an Amazon first read so I downloaded.  You can see my reason in the last paragraph below.

What the Wind Knows takes readers back in time to 1920’s Ireland. It’s a time-travel trope where the heroine disappears in the fog on a lake in Ireland while spreading her grandfather’s ashes after his death. No stones like Outlander. No time machine from 2001. No wonky portals. Just a rowboat and fog on the lough.

Anne takes a trip through time and arrives in a rather violent welcome to the time period when her grandfather was a young child. Because of the close resemblance, her family and their friends instantly think that she is her grandfather’s mother, who disappeared years earlier. The book is set in the turbulent times of Ireland, wanting to break free from British rule and is filled with a historical backdrop that may be interesting to read but often takes away from the romance in the story.

Amy Harmon is a well-known writer, whose prose is very wordy. I’m more of a get to the point type of reader and writer, who gets bogged down in unnecessary flowery words. Such prose is beautiful to some readers. Frankly, it’s my personal preference not to drown in letters, so my comment is not meant to be a judgmental rant but rather a personal preference.

With a bit of Irish in me on my fourth-great grandfather’s line, I’ve never immersed myself in Irish history.  I am well aware and have watched other television shows about Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, and what occurred.  Therefore, the backdrop timeline was familiar but of little interest to me. Nevertheless, I found the romance between Anne and Thomas sweet in its own right. The fact that he eventually comes to the realization that she is not of his time is a long journey to acceptance. I guessed the antagonist twist long before the reveal (my author plot brain) and thought the ending probably made for another path to a sequel if that’s the author’s intent.

I will add that nothing is new under the sun in many ways when ideas pop into an author’s head. You’ll find similarities in this story with other time-travel storylines such as Outlander.  Amy Harmon wrote this book because of her Irish heritage.  To my gasping horror, the premise is very similar to an unfinished book of my own, time traveling back to my ancestor’s lives, falling in love with a family character, returning to my time, and my lover eventually following through that mysterious portal to live with me happily ever after.  To add to the problem, my main character is an author as well, just as Amy Harmon made her Anne a best-selling author in What the Wind Knows.  Unfortunately, now I’ll probably need to dump my idea and rethink the plot thanks to Amy who apparently was on the same wavelength with my muse.  Of course, she’s a NY Times bestselling traditionally published author, while I, on the other hand, live in the obscurity of the indie world.

It’s a good read, especially if you’re Irish and love the time-traveling trope.  I recommend it in spite of my slight negativity and disappointment that my own book just got trashed.

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