Kristen Koster

Wife & mom of two teens, enthusiastic reader & cook,Regency Era Historical Romance Writer. Pro Member of RWARWASD, & BeauMonde.

Apr 252017
 

Today’s featured Beau Monde author is Janna MacGregor!

Photo of author Janna MacGregor.Thank you so much for allowing me this opportunity to introduce myself. I was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. I am delighted to announce that I’m a debut author with St. Martin’s Press. My first book in The Cavensham Heiresses series is The Bad Luck Bride. I credit my darling mom for introducing me to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Her favorite Regencies quickly became mine too. I write stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally-matched heroes. I’m the proud mother of triplets and live in Kansas City, Missouri with my very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. I adore hearing from readers.
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Apr 032017
 

April 2017 Releases

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Kathy L Wheeler

The Earl’s Error (Rebel Lords of London)

Trifecta Publishing House
Print | eBook
Historical Spicy

Lorelei Grey, the countess of Kimpton, can’t trust her husband. Not only did he exile her brother from England without a word to her, but, she’s since learned he fathered his ex-mistress’s unborn child. She had only one stipulation for their marriage…to treat her with respect.

Thorne Grey, the Earl of Kimpton, wants his wife, craves his wife. When she threatens to leave, he panics and offers to pay her to stay with him. He’s bought himself two weeks and prays it’s enough time to find her missing brother and prove he’s not the scoundrel she believes.

Neither is able to ignore the explosive passion between them, but in their search for her brother, they encounter a threat that could not only destroy their relationship, but their very lives.

kathylwheeler.com

Release Date 04/24/17

Mar 022017
 

March 2017 Releases

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Cover image for THE MAD COUNTESS by Erica Monroe

Erica Monroe

The Mad Countess (Darkest Regency)

Quillfire Publishing
eNovella
Historical Sensual (mild)

Theodore Lockwood, Earl of Ashbrooke, has been in love with his best friend, Lady Claire Deering, for as long as he can remember. Claire too harbors a secret desire for him—but a witch cursed her family with madness, and she’s terrified she’ll only hurt him if they act on their feelings. When a will reading at a mysterious castle in Cornwall brings them both together, they’ll work to break her family’s curse…and find true love.

ericamonroe.com
Release Date 03/21/2017

Feb 102017
 

Today’s featured Beau Monde author is Bliss Bennet!

Photo of author Bliss Bennet.

Author photo Copyright © 2015 by Jessica Boyatt

Bliss Bennet writes smart, edgy novels for readers who love history as much as they love romance. Despite being born and bred in New England, Bliss finds herself fascinated by the history of that country across the pond, particularly the politically-volatile period known as the English Regency. Though she’s visited Britain several times, Bliss continues to make her home in New England, along with her husband, daughter, and two monstrously fluffy black cats.

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Feb 022017
 

February 2017 Releases

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Cover image for Only a Duke Will Do by Tamara Gill

Tamara Gill

Only a Duke Will Do (To Marry a Rogue)

Entangled: Select Historical
Print | eBook
Spicy Historical

Without a Season, Lady Isolde Worthingham captured the Duke of Moore’s heart at a country dance. But on the eve of her wedding, a scandal that rocked the ton and sent her fleeing to Scotland alone and unwed, leaves her perfectly planned future in a tangle of disgrace and heartbreak.

Merrick Mountshaw, the Duke of Moore, loathes the pitiful existence he portrays to the ton. With a scandalous wife he never wanted, who flaunts her many indiscretions, life is a never-ending parade of hell. When the one woman he loved and lost returns to London, he knows he can no longer live without her.

But vows and past hurts are not easily forgotten. Love may not win against the ton when a too proper lord and lady play by the rules.

www.tamaragill.com
Release Date 02/20/17

Jan 022017
 

January 2017 Releases

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Cover image for Sweet Revenge by Andrea Penrose

Andrea Penrose

Sweet Revenge (The Lady Arianna Regency Mystery Series)

Andrea Penrose
eBook
Sweet Historical

London, 1813. Lady Arianna Hadley’s desire to discover her disgraced father’s murderer has brought her back to London from exile in the Caribbean. Masquerading as a male chef, she is working in one of London’s aristocratic households in order to get close to her main suspect. But when the Prince Regent is taken ill after consuming Arianna’s special chocolate dessert, she unexpectedly finds herself at the center of a dangerous scandal.

Because of his expertise in chocolate, the eccentric Earl of Saybrook, a former military intelligence officer, is asked by the top brass at Horse Guards to investigate the suspected poisoning. But during his first interrogation of Arianna, someone tries to assassinate both of them, and it quickly becomes clear that something very sinister is afoot within the highest circles of government. They each have very different reasons for wanting to uncover the truth, yet to have any chance of doing so they must become allies.

Trust. Treachery. Arianna must assume yet another identity as their search takes them from the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair to the slums of St. Giles. And their reluctant alliance is tested in more ways that one as it becomes clear that someone is looking to plunge England into chaos . . .

www.andreapenrose.com
Release Date 01/02/17

Dec 022016
 

December 2016 Releases

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Cover image for To Tempt an Heiress by Susanna Craig

Susanna Craig

To Tempt an Heiress (Runaway Desires)

Kensington (Lyrical)
Print ebook
Spicy Historical

After her beloved father dies, Tempest Holderin wants nothing more than to fulfill his wish to free the slaves on their Antiguan sugar plantation. But the now wealthy woman finds herself pursued by a pack of unsavory suitors with other plans for her inheritance. To keep her from danger, her dearest friend arranges a most unconventional solution: have Tempest kidnapped and taken to safety.

Captain Andrew Corrvan has a reputation as a ruthless, money-hungry blackguard—but those on his ship know differently. He is driven by only one thing: the quest to avenge his father’s death on the high seas. Until he agrees to abduct a headstrong heiress…

If traveling for weeks—without a chaperone—isn’t enough to ruin Tempest, the desire she feels for her dark and dangerously attractive captor will do the rest. The storm brewing between them will only gather strength when they reach England, where past and present perils threaten to tear them apart—even more so than their own stubborn hearts…

susannacraig.com
Release Date 12/06/16

Nov 022016
 

November 2016 Releases

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Cover image for The Legendary Lord by Valerie Bowman

Valerie Bowman

The Legendary Lord (Playful Brides)

St. Martin’s Press
Print eBook
Spicy Historical

THE MAKING OF A LEGEND…

When Christian Forrester, Viscount Berkeley, flees the stuffy ballrooms of London for his Scottish hunting lodge, the last thing he expects to find ensconced before his fire is an incredibly beautiful woman. But the plight of lovely young Sarah Highgate, who has run away from an unwanted betrothal, inspires an eminently practical exchange. He’ll safeguard her reputation with the ton while she advises him how to best attract a proper bride…

As the undisputed belle of the season, Sarah has enchanted plenty of suitors. Still, she isn’t interested in marriage, especially not to the pompous bore her father has chosen for her. But her hasty escape seems reckless now that she’s estranged from her family and has no one to count on besides Christian. Turning the luckless lord into such a catch has another unplanned consequence for Sarah: Has he run away with her heart?

www.ValerieBowmanBooks.com
Release Date 11/01/2016

Oct 312016
 

This post originally appeared on Alina K. Field‘s blog on September 16, 2014. Reposted with permission from the author.


10 Facts about Marriage and Divorce in Historical England

I’m writing about marriage and divorce in England, but I must start earlier than the Georgian/Regency period because the chaos of the earlier years led to major reforms during the Georgian era.

GroegerPetersen

1. There were three basic ways to marry in early England: by voluntary consent before two witnesses, through clandestine marriages performed by clergymen without a license or the reading of banns, and by canon law, in a church, after banns had been read or a license obtained.

2. In 1753, Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act provided that only the third type of marriage was legal in England, though if a special license was obtained the marriage could be performed outside of a church.

3. Prior to 1753, bigamy was not uncommon. Birthright, by A. Roger Ekirch tells the true story of James Annesley who was kidnapped and sent off to America by a bigamous uncle to prevent James from inheriting.

"Jumping the Broom" was an expression for a marriage by consent

“Jumping the Broom” was an expression for a marriage by consent

4. The Marriage Act of 1753 did not apply in Scotland. Contract marriages “by consent” and clandestine marriages were still legal there.

The Old Marriage House at Coldstream

The Old Marriage House at Coldstream

5. Thus came the Gretna Green marriages. In Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, the heroine and her family are concerned that her sister Lydia is headed to Gretna Green with the villainous Mr. Wickham. Couples in a hurry to marry due to lack of parental consent, pregnancy, or in some cases kidnapping, traveled to a Scottish border town, Coldstream or the more famous Gretna Green to avoid the requirements of the Marriage Act of 1753. Upon crossing the border, they merely needed to find two Scottish citizens to witness their vows, or their “handfasting”.

500px-Wifesale

6. Legally ending an English marriage was far more difficult. Desertion, wife sales, which I’ve blogged about previously, and separation by private deed, did not render the partners able to legally remarry.

7. The ecclesiastical authorities could grant legal separations, or they could annul marriages that were not valid at the start, much in the way the Roman Catholic Church provides its members with annulments today, (though that process today has no impact on civil dissolution of marriages). Grounds for such ecclesiastical invalidation of a marriage could be: lack of consummation; or prohibited degrees of consanguinity between the bride and groom, for example, a man marrying his deceased wife’s sister; or bigamy.

8. Parliamentary divorce was extremely rare and very expensive. The process required legal action in a series of three courts: ecclesiastical, a common-law court, and a private bill in Parliament.

9. If a couple married in Scotland, they could more easily divorce in Scotland. If they had married in England, they could still divorce in Scotland but by the second decade of the nineteenth century the divorce would not be recognized in England.

483px-Henry_William_Paget_00

10. An exception to this is Henry Paget, the first Marquess of Anglesey. He began an affair with Wellington’s sister-in-law, and in 1810, both he and his lover managed to divorce their spouses in Scotland and marry each other, with no charges of bigamy or questions about the legitimacy of the children they had together. Paget is an interesting character who lost a leg at the Battle of Waterloo and lived on another thirty-nine years.

I’ve used handfasting in Rosalyn’s Ring, and a special license in Bella’s Band, and I have plans for the Scottish divorce to deal with a plot problem in my Work in Progress. I wont say any more—I have to see how this plays out for my characters first!

Do you have any interesting facts to add? I’d love to hear them.

Sources:
Broken Lives, Separation and Divorce in England 1660-1857 by Lawrence Stone
Wikipedia
All images, Wikimedia Commons


©2014 Alina K. Field

Find Alina K. Field online: website | facebook | twitter

Oct 272016
 

Today’s featured Beau Monde author is Julie Daines!

Photo of author Julie Daines.Julie Daines was born in Concord, Massachusetts, and was raised in Utah. She spent eighteen months living in London, where she studied and fell in love with English literature, sticky toffee pudding, and the mysterious guy who ran the kebab store around the corner. She returns to the UK to refill her soul every year or so.
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Oct 212016
 

Today’s featured Beau Monde author is Suzan Lauder!

Photo of author Suzan Lauder.A love for Jane Austen’s novels and Regency and Austenesque romance novels inspired Suzan Lauder to write her own variations, which led her to a passion for Regency era history and costuming, as well as social media book marketing. She cherishes the many friends she’s made as a result of these interests: readers, authors, historians, costumers, milliners, and more!
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Oct 022016
 

October 2016 Releases

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Cover image for BY CANDLELIGHT: TWO REGENCY HOLIDAY NOVELLAS by Andrea Pickens

Andrea Pickens

By Candlelight: Two Regency Holiday Novellas

Andrea DaRif/Andrea Pickens
eBook
Traditional Sweet

Two Regency Holiday novellas celebrating the true meaning of the season.

When winter nights are at their darkest, candlelight and the spirit of Christmas can spark light and love in even the most guarded hearts . . .

In “Lost And Found,” a snowstorm strands two travelers at a remote inn. Even though they clash at their first encounter, carriage trouble forces them to join forces in order to make it to London by Christmas. Neither Nicholas nor Anna is happy about the arrangement, but as the journey takes an unexpected turn, they soon discover they have more in common than they think . . .

In “A Gathering of Gifts,” an impetuous riding accident forces a country baron to play holiday host not only to his grieving widowed sister and young nephew but also to the headstrong heiress who lands her on his doorstep. He thinks she’s arrogant and spoiled while she finds him gruff and unfeeling. But as Noel and his family prepare the modest house for a simple Christmas, secrets slowly come unwrapped, revealing that happiness can come in the most unexpected packages.

So come light the candles and celebrate a Regency Christmas—where Love is the greatest gift of all.

andreapickensonline.com
Release Date 10/3/16

Sep 022016
 

September 2016 Releases

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Cover image for DRESSED TO KISS anthology by Myretta Robens, Madeline Hunter, Caroline Linden and Megan Frampton

Myretta Robens, Madeline Hunter, Caroline Linden and Megan Frampton

Dressed to Kiss Anthology

with Vine Street 2016
eBookTraditional Sensual (mild)

True love never goes out of style…

Once renowned for creating the most envied gowns in London, Madame Follette’s dressmaking shop has fallen far out of fashion. The approaching coronation of King George IV offers a chance to reclaim former glory by supplying stunning new wardrobes to the most glittering society in Regency England. In the face of long-held secrets, looming scandals, and the potential ruin of their shop, the dressmakers of Follette’s are undaunted, not even by the most unexpected complication of all: true love.

myrettarobens.com
Release Date 09/12/2017

Aug 232016
 

Today’s featured Beau Monde author is Julia Justiss!

Photo of author Julia Justiss.Award-winning historical romance author Julia Justiss has written more than twenty-five novels and novellas set in the English Regency. Her awards include the Golden Heart for Regency from Romance Writers of America, The Golden Quill, and finals in Romantic Times Magazine’s Best First Historical, the National Readers Choice, the Daphne du Maurier and All About Romance’s Favorite Book of the Year.

A voracious reader who began jotting down plot ideas for Nancy Drew novels in her third grade spiral, Julia has published poetry and worked as a business journalist. An avid fan of Georgette Heyer, while unable to work a regular job when her husband was posted at the U.S Embassy in Tunisia, she decided to write her own Regency novel. And never looked back.
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Aug 122016
 

Today’s featured Beau Monde author is Wareeze Woodson!

Photo of author Wareeze WoodsonWareeze Woodson, is a native of Texas and still lives in that great state. She writes period romance tangled with suspense. Years and years ago, she married her high school sweetheart. They raised four children and have eight grandchildren, and grandchildren are Grand. At the moment, all their children and grandchildren live within seventy miles of their home, which means lots of visits. Her husband and she still love each other after all these years — the stuff romance is made of, Happy Ever After!

Cover of Before She Became a Lady by Wareeze Woodson

BEFORE SHE BECAME A LADY
by Wareeze Woodson
Released: 07/30/16
ISBN: 978-1535498326


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Aug 022016
 

August 2016 Releases

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Cover image for A SEASON OF RUIN by Anna Bradley

Anna Bradley

A Season of Ruin (Sutherland Scandals)

Berkley
Print, eBook
Spicy Historical

Even the Best Laid Plans…

Lily Somerset has the perfect plan. A quick London season, a proper courtship, and then marriage to a carefully chosen respectable gentleman. All she has to do is avoid scandal and sidestep the wicked London rogues and she’ll be rewarded with quiet, peaceful life as Lady Atherton. Simple.

That is, until one tiny misstep at a musical evening leaves Lily on the edge of social ruin and she’s forced to depend on a wicked rogue to save her reputation. And Robyn Sutherland isn’t just any rogue—he’s the wickedest gentleman in London.

Have a Way of Going Awry…

Robyn doesn’t save reputations—he ruins them, and it’s best for everyone if no one expects too much more of him. He’d rather spend the season in the seventh circle of hell than escort dull, proper Lily to every tedious entertainment in London, but he’s trapped in the palm of her dainty hand, and there he’ll stay for as long as it takes to repair her tattered reputation, no matter how hard she squeezes.

When Desire Overwhelms Reason

What begins as a ruse to deceive London soon flames into an uncontrollable passion. Robyn calls to the fiery spirit trapped under Lily’s prim exterior, and Lily awakens the hero’s heart that beats in Robyn’s chest. But can these unlikely lovers trust themselves enough to let desire overrule reason?

www.annabradley.net
Release Date 08/02/16

Jul 232016
 

Each year on the day before National conference begins, many members of the Beau Monde chapter of RWA® gather for a day filled with Regency workshops and after the Literacy Signing they reconvene for our annual Soirée. This year’s gathering included breakfast and time to mingle and check-in for the conference, followed by the Annual General Meeting with the usual various committee reports and the changing over of the board. Thank you to the 2015-2016 Board and Committee members for all your hard work but especially our conference chair Janna MacGregor, catering wrangler Sharon Sobel, and workshop coordinator Isobel Carr for doing such a fantastic jobs in organizing the event for us!

The Morning Sessions

A photo of the Jo Bevereley tribute at the 2016 Beau Monde mini-conference. The screen reads, "Remembering Jo Beverley (1947-2016)."

Remembering Jo Beverley (1947-2016)

We had a very special tribute to former Beau Monde member, Jo Beverley who lost her bout with cancer at the end of May this year.

Photo of Diana Belchase paying tribute to Jo Beverley.

Diana Belchase shared what is thought to be the last video interview with former Beau Monde member Jo Beverley.

Member Diana Belchase, had filmed an interview with the author for her TV show BookSmart and was gracious enough to share the unaired footage with the chapter members present. Jo’s wit, grace and perspective, not to mention her love of historical romance, shone through during the interview and are just a small part of why she and her wonderful books will be long remembered.

We spent the rest of the morning learning about Spies and Codes with Patricia Coleman, Regency Era Titles with Ella Quinn and The Education and Training of Medical Professionals in the Regency Era with Georgie Lee.

Our Keynote Address

After lunch, Jade Lee gave our keynote speech. If you know Jade, she’s funny and always cracking jokes. She did that. But she was also fiercely serious about how writing is also an ART, not just a craft and business.

Keynote Speaker, Jade Lee

Keynote Speaker, Jade Lee

Jade pointed out that the RWA National Workshop list included around 54 Craft/Research sessions, 65 Career Track topics and another 16 on Writer’s Life/Block/Depression. She told us she was going to talk about the one thing that never gets discussed– the ART of writing. Commercial Fiction — not literary. Every book has a core message in it. Not just the basics of genre or tropes, every book has a deeper more personal message. At its core, your book has a message that YOU need to hear.

“Art has us look at issues we are dealing with in our real life and look at them in a new way.” But digging in your soul is hard to do. Theme is one way as writers and even readers we do this. Look closer at your books and see what you keep coming back to again and again. Think about the last book you read that touched your heart and why?

She recently read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. Did you know Hitler wanted to be an artist but resistance beat him? It was easier for him to start World War II than to face a blank canvas. “Don’t start WW3, face that dark and awful blank page instead!” She urged us to tell that story that your soul is crying out for. Someone else out there needs to hear it too. Please, she begged us, go forth and write those stories. Because we are all artists in the truest, most beautiful sense of the word.

The Afternoon Sessions

The rest of the afternoon was spent in more workshops where Louisa Cornell helped us navigate the Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Regency World both in terms of what was known/thought of mental illness at the time and various places where and ways in which people were ‘treated’ for their madness. Then, we charted a course in The Age of Sail with Alice Eakes and learned all about ships, different types of sails, and other nautical terms to use in our stories.

A special treat was the extended Q&A session on The State of the Regency Romance with Sarah Wendell – SBTB, Leah HultenschmidtGrand Central Publishing, Theresa Romain – Author, and Kevan Lyon – Marsal Lyon Literary Agency on the panel. The afternoon concluded with a look at The Grand Tour with Cheryl Bolen before we took a break for dinner and the Literacy Signing.

Photo of Kevan Lyon and Theresa Romain

Kevan Lyon and Theresa Romain

Photo of Leah Hultenschmidt and Sarah Wendell

Leah Hultenschmidt and Sarah Wendell

All sessions were recorded and they will soon be made available for purchase by members.

Our Annual Soirée

That evening, the soirée was quite an elegant affair. Cara King was our dance mistress for the evening and taught a variety of country dances including a Scottish Reel. Not all of the attendees dressed in their Regency Era finery, but the many who did looked absolutely wonderful, and a fabulous time was had by all.

Photo of 8 people in Regency costume at the 2016 Beau Monde Soirée.

You might recognize these Beau Monde members from the Regency Era report with Sarah MacLean during the Rita/GH ceremony on Saturday night.

Photo of Sir Reginald Scott, Lady Elena Greene and Lady Cara King at the 2016 Beau Monde Soirée.

Sir Reginald Scott, Lady Elena Greene and Lady Cara King at the 2016 Beau Monde Soirée.

Photo of Alanna Lucas, Alina K. Field and Ann Cleeland, dressed as a highwayman.

This dashing highwayman made an appearance at the Soiree! Perhaps Sir Reginald had some competition?

Photo of Erica Ridley (left) an Emma Locke (Right) in their Regency finery.

Erica Ridley (left) an Emma Locke (Right) in their Regency finery.

Photo of Regency Dancing at the Soirée.

Learning a Country Dance

Photo of the Beau Monde Soirée as the dancers learn a Scottish Reel.

Learning a Scottish Reel

Awards and Congratulations to Beau Monde Members

Photo of President Karen Dobbins presenting Cheryl Bolen with the 2016 Lady of the Realm award.

Cheryl Bolen received the distinction as our 2016 Lady of the Realm. Thank you for all that you do for the chapter, Cheryl!

Photo of Elizabeth King winning the Grand Prize for the Royal Ascot writing contest with her manuscript TAMING THE EARL.

Elizabeth King won the Grand Prize in the 2016 Royal Ascot with her manuscript, TAMING THE EARL.

Rita Inspirational Romance Winner:
A Noble MasqueradePhoto of Kristi Ann Hunter A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter
Baker Publishing Group, Bethany House
Raela Schoenherr, editor
Golden Heart Historical Winner:
Photo of Elizabeth King “The Earl and the Pussycat” by Elizabeth King

Jul 202016
 

This post originally appeared on Lillian Marek’s blog Tales of Romance and Adventure on March 24, 2015. Reposted with permission from the author.


A Romantic Tale and a Screwball Comedy

In the early 19th century there were four Tree sisters, all of whom went on the stage. (If there were three of them, one could probably create a nice tongue twister, but there were four.) Ellen Tree, who married the noted actor Charles Kean, was the only one who remained in the theater, performing with her husband as Mrs. Charles Kean until his death.

The other three all retired from the stage when they married, and it is only Maria Tree who seems to have left much of an impression. In Our Actresses: or Glances at Stage Favourites Past and Present (1844), Mrs. C. Baron-Wilson comments on Maria’s “simplicity and blameless life … in contrast with many of her sisters in the profession.”

Mrs. Baron-Wilson notes that there was a romantic story attached to Maria’s courtship, but declines to give it. I don’t know why. It’s a charming story as recounted by Captain Gronow in his Reminiscences. Charming, and also very much in the Screwball Comedy tradition. Continue reading »

Jul 132016
 

This post originally appeared on Sheri Cobb South‘s blog on January 6, 2014. Reposted with permission from the author.


Patrick Colquhoun, London magistrate

Painting of Patrick ColquhounSome of my favorite comments from readers regarding the John Pickett mystery series concern the father-son relationship of Pickett and his magistrate, and how much the reader enjoys it. In fact, of the questions I’m asked most frequently about the series (aside from the obvious ones about if, when, and/or how Pickett and Lady Fieldhurst will ever get together), several concern the character of Pickett’s magistrate, Patrick Colquhoun. Readers want to know how his name is pronounced, and why I chose to give a character such a difficult name. To answer the first question, according to Debrett’s Correct Form, the name is pronounced “Ca-HOON,” at least in the United Kingdom.

As for the second question, Continue reading »