Apr 302012

This month, the Beau Monde Chapter of the Romance Writers of America is pleased to announce the debut of a new section in the Chapters/Special Interest Groups area of the myRWA.org forum. This new section is entitled "Working on the Web." It is intended to be a place where Beau Monde members can come to learn, or to share, tips and tricks on how to enhance our outcomes when working on the Internet.

The World Wide Web is now a fact of life for most authors, but we all have different attitudes, needs and levels of experience as we work in the online environment. This new section of the myRWA forum will be devoted to discussing those issues so that members will have one place where they can come to ask questions, get information and/or share it. Thus, we can all better understand and maximize our usage of the Web to our mutual advantage and benefit.

Some of the topics in this new forum will include:

  • Blogging:   Tips and Best Practices
  • eBook Publishing:   Authors’ Advice and Experiences
  • General Web-Related Topics
  • Online Safeguards:   Protecting Your Work & Safe Surfing
  • Search Engine Optimization:   Getting Found on the Web
  • Social Media:   FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter &c.
  • Web Site Usability and Accessibility

This month, articles have been posted in the Working on the Web forum which explain the basic theory of search engine optimization (SEO) and how to select the necessary keywords in order to optimize your own web site. There is also an article which discusses the different digital denizens who inhabit the web and why each group tends to approach the use of the web in different ways. Visit the new Working on the Web forum to determine into which "digital" category you fall.

Next month, articles planned for the new forum include details on taking maximum SEO advantage of the single most powerful HTML tag on any web page, as well as a safe-surfing article on the whys and hows of constructing strong passwords to increase the security of your online accounts. In addition, all Beau Monde members are invited to drop in to this new section of the forum any time, to ask questions, or to share any information you have gleaned in your online travels and adventures.

If you are not yet a Beau Monde member, and would like to join us, please visit our Membership page for details.

Apr 272012

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Readers of Regency romance novels are familiar with the ubiquitous figures of the jarvey and the Jehu on the box of one kind of vehicle or another. These two words are commonly used in modern writing interchangeably, as though they were synonymous. Yet, my reading of various Regency documents such as books, letters, diaries, newspapers and other periodicals over the years has led me to the conclusion that in actual fact these two words are quite antonymous. A jarvey is not a Jehu, nor is a Jehu a jarvey. Not to mention that a jarvey is not a coachman, but a Jehu might be.

So what is the difference between a Jehu and a jarvey?

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Apr 232012

In today’s article, Cheryl Bolen, award-winning romance author, tells us about Nielsen’s BookScan, which tracks point-of-sale statistics on book sales at a number of retail outlets. This article was written in 2005, and sadly, some of those retail outlets have fallen to the economic pressures of recent years. Nevertheless, publisher’s do use this list to guide many of the decisions they make, including whether or not to acquire another book from one of their authors.

If you are not already aware of the importance of the Nielson BookScan, let Cheryl Bolen explain …

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Apr 192012

Sophia Nash is today’s Featured Author for The Beau Monde Regency chapter of Romance Sophia NashWriters of America.

Sophia Nash’s first three novels won eight national awards including the prestigious RITA Award and a spot on the American Library Association’s “Top Ten Romances of the Year.”

Sophia was born in Switzerland, raised in France and the United States, but says her heart resides in Regency England. Her ancestor, an infamous French admiral who traded epic cannon fire with the British Royal Navy, is surely turning in his grave.

Before pursuing her long held dream of writing Historicals, Sophia was an award winning television producer for CBS, a congressional speechwriter, and a nonprofit CEO.

Now writing for Avon/Harper Collins, Sophia’s back to back releases of her brand new Royal Entourage series are: Between the Duke and The Deep Blue Sea and The Art of Duke Hunting.

Find Sophia Nash at Web       Facebook

Twitter @SophiaNash1

Sophia Nash - Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea

Sophia Nash – Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea

Apr 182012

A Primer on Regency Era Women’s Fashion by Kristen Koster.

"Parisian Ladies in their Full Winter Dre...

“Parisian Ladies in their Full Winter Dress for 1800”, an over-the-top exaggerated satirical Nov. 24th 1799 caricature print by Isaac Cruikshank, on the excesses of the late-1790s Parisian high Greek look, and the too-diaphanous styles allegedly sometimes worn there. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an overview of women’s fashions in the Regency Era and the apparel they changed in and out of multiple times per day. This list isn’t exhaustive by any means and is rather representative of the upper classes rather than the working classes, but should give a good foundation in recognizing what an author is talking about and why they’re so focused on their characters being fashion conscious.

Before we get into the individual items of clothing, it’s important to realize some phrases we use today didn’t mean quite the same thing 200 years ago. For example, when we say “She was in a state of undress.” or “She was caught en dishabille.” The folks of the regency wouldn’t have batted an eye. It was quite common for ladies to entertain guests in their boudoirs while dressed in comfortable, but concealing gowns and robes. The terms “undress”, “half-dress” and “full-dress” were degrees of formality, not coverage.

“Undress” meant simply casual, informal dress in the Regency period. This would be the type of dress worn from early morning to noon or perhaps as late as four or five, depending on one’s engagements for the day. Undress was usually more comfortable, more warm, more casual, and much cheaper in cost than half dress or full dress.

“Half Dress” is perhaps one of the most difficult concepts to grasp about Regency Fashion. Basically it is any dress halfway between Undress and Full Dress. In modern terms it might be thought of as dressy casual or casual business attire in terms of formality, if not style.

“Full dress” was the most formal kind of dress in a Regency Lady’s wardrobe. Full dress was worn for the most formal occasions — evening concerts and card parties, soirees, balls, and court occasions. “Evening dress” referred to outfits suitable only at evening events, but was a specific subset of “full dress”.

1817 walking costume

1817 walking costume                       (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Apr 172012

Following on from her Primer of Men’s Regency fashion, Kristen Koster now explains The Art of the Cravat for the Regency Gentleman.

One of the fun things about writing historicals is you have to learn all this really cool trivia. You need to be able to set the stage and do it in a believable manner. This includes how to properly dress your characters.

Contemporary heroes have life easy. They pretty much only have to know how to tie a half-Windsor knot and their heroines always step in to rescue the day if they’ve forgotten or get fumble-fingered. And then there’s the clip-on bow tie for formal wear.

Not so the Regency rake! His valet was under much more pressure to make his master presentable and indeed, even to shine above the rest and be perceived as unique. Instead of a couple of basic ways to tie that already nicely formed strip of silk that’s decorated in a rank suitable fashion, the Regency buck (or at least his man) was expected to be familiar with a far more numerous array of styles.

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Apr 162012

A Primer on Regency Era Men’s Fashion by Kristen Koster at Impulsive Hearts.

Beau Brummell wears a Regency dress coat as daytime dress. The coat is able to close and the tails are knee length. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beau Brummell wears a Regency period dress coat as daytime dress. The coat is able to close and the tails are knee length. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Regency Men’s Fashion.

The terms Undress, Half Dress, and Full Dress were applied to men and women.

For men, “Undress” would include having his jacket and cravat removed, something that was not done in polite or mixed company if the gentleman could avoid it. Dressing gowns and robes also fit this bill for gentlemen lounging at home. “Half Dress” for men would be less elaborate knots in their neck cloths, much simpler and more casual styles of clothing. “Full Dress” and “Evening Dress” are the equivalent of today’s black tie affairs. Almack’s was a special case, where gentlemen of the ton were expected to wear breeches instead of trousers.

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Apr 132012

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

First introduced in France as the eighteenth century slipped into the nineteenth, and despite the ongoing Napoleonic wars, this particular type of sentimental jewelery soon crossed the English Channel to become all the rage in England, just as the Prince of Wales was poised to become Regent. The majority of this kind of jewelery had a romantic theme, though there were instances when it was used to register political protest. Though these jeweled messages were very popular in Regency England, they have yet to find their way into any Regency romance which I have come across.

How precious gems first began to express tender sentiments, two hundred years ago …

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Apr 052012
Henry William Paget

 Nancy Mayer looks at the life of Henry Paget in today’s Regency Promenade.

Sir Henry William Paget (1768-1854), 1st Marquess of Anglesey, 2nd Earl of Uxbridge

Sir Henry William Paget (1768-1854), 1st Marquess of Anglesey, 2nd Earl of Uxbridge

From Scandal to Hero.

Lord Paget, Earl of Uxbridge, Marquess of Anglesey.

 When Henry was born, his father had the surname of Bayly and was Lord Paget.

The father adopted Paget as a surname when he was created  the Earl of Uxbridge in 1784 . At that time, Henry became Lord Paget by which name he was known until 1812.

Henry, Lord Paget married Lady Caroline Villiers, daughter of the 4th Earl of Jersey  in 1795, and had eight children with her.

Lord Paget was a member of parliament from 1790 to 1804 as well as between  1806 to 1810. Though he was elected to a seat in Parliament, Paget was also an active military officer.

Wikipedia says: Paget raised the regiment of Staffordshire volunteers and was given the temporary rank of lieutenant-colonel in 1793. He rose rapidly in rank after he had some experience. 

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Apr 012012

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Earl Grey, that is.

In the last several months, I have read at least three novels set in the English Regency in which the characters are depicted drinking Earl Grey tea. Which was completely impossible, since Earl Grey tea was not introduced in England until the reign of William IV. The tea was named after King William’s Prime Minister, who had been instrumental in the abolition of slavery, the restriction of child labor and the passage of the Reform Act of 1832, which finally brought sweeping changes to the British electoral system.

The legend and the facts behind Earl Grey Tea …

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