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

Jan 022016
 

Information on our members’ new releases (along with other new Regency Romance fiction releases) and other Regency related articles are available for download at The Regency Reader – January 2016. If you wish to receive The Regency Reader via email, we ask that you subscribe through MailChimp using this short subscription form.

January 2016 Releases

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Cover image for Blair Bancroft's The Welshman's Bride

Blair Bancroft

The Welshman’s Bride
Kone Enterprises
eBook
Sensual (mild) Historical

Although it seems likely she is being married for the magnificence of her dowry, Jocelyn Hawley accepts an offer of marriage from a Welshman. And quickly discovers she is as unprepared for marriage as she is for her new family—a mother-in-law who insists on living in Wale’s Medieval past and a sister-in-law who seems to be trying to get rid of her. Jocelyn is also plagued by the problem of her husband’s mistress and a series of disastrous incidents—some potentially lethal—that dog her footsteps. As Jocelyn grows more alienated from her husband, who barks at her to “grow up,” she finds herself the classic stranger in a strange land. Where it appears someone is trying to kill her.

E-mail blairbancroft@aol.com
www.blairbancroft.com
Release Date 12/15/15

Dec 182015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

With this article, the Beau Monde brings to a close its year-long celebration of the eightieth anniversary of the Regency romance novel, the very first of which, Regency Buck, was written by Georgette Heyer and published in 1935. Yet today’s final article in this series is about a book which is neither a Regency nor a romance, My Lord John. Nevertheless, this book was very close to Georgette Heyer’s heart. Kalinya Parker-Pryce, historical romance author, explains why this book was so important to Heyer and where it stands in her body of work. She also provides some good advice for readers who are coming to this book for the first time. Advice that will enable them to get the most out of this tale in which Heyer invested so much of herself.

As always, please feel free to share your views about this book, historical romance and/or Georgette Heyer, in comments to this article.

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Dec 062015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

As this year draws to a close, the Beau Monde comes to the end of our celebration of the eightieth anniversary of Georgette Heyer’s founding of the Regency romance sub-genre. Today, romance author, Kalinya Parker-Pryce, shares her views of, and her history with, this last of Heyer’s Regency romances, Lady of Quality. Among other things, Kalinya compares and contrasts the hero of Heyer’s final romance novel with the hero of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy. Though Austen lived and wrote during the Regency, and Heyer, who lived in the twentieth century, did a great deal of research to re-create that world, how do you think these two heroes compare?

Everyone is welcome to post their views on this novel, and/or Regency romances in general, in comments to this article.

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Nov 232015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Pistols for Two is the only anthology of short stories which was ever published by Georgette Heyer. A special treat for those of us who love the Regency era, all the short stories in this anthology are set in that decade. Today, Regency romance author, Victoria Hinshaw, gives us a glimpse of some of the stories in this Regency anthology. And, Victoria also offers us some advice on how best to prolong our enjoyment of this volume of romantic bijoux. Would you pace yourself or devour all the stories at once?

Please feel free to share your ideas about this anthology and historical romance in general in comments to this article.

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Nov 182015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Regency romance author, Mary Moore, freely admits that Charity Girl is not one of her favorites among Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels. Nevertheless, today she gives this book its due, comparing and contrasting it to some of Heyer’s other Regency romances. And even admits to a sigh when she came to the end of the story. In addition, for all of you Regency aficionados who particularly enjoy the colorful language of that era, Mary shares some of the delectable phrases which Heyer sprinkled through Charity Girl.

Do you have a favorite Regency cant term? Please feel free to share it in a comment to this article.

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Nov 102015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Royal Escape stands alone in Georgette Heyer’s oeuvre, since it is the only novel she wrote which is set in the Cromwellian period and focuses on England’s Civil War. Today, Alicia Quigley, reader and writer of romance novels, shares her views on this unique Heyer story. The hero of this tale is the dashing and charming young Charles II. Though Alicia tells us there are no traditional romantic elements in this novel, might there be some non-traditional ones? The hero is certainly the gallant and irresistible young prince, but is the heroine, the woman who cares for him, the author of this book or the reader?

All visitors are welcome to share their ideas about this story and historical novels, romantic or otherwise, in comments to this article.

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Nov 042015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

There are at least a few of Georgette Heyer’s readers who have found her novel, Cousin Kate, something of an anomaly within her oeuvre. In today’s article, best-selling author, Heather Hiestand, explores what makes this novel unique among Heyer’s Regency romances. In fact, do you think this novel qualifies as a romance? And, would you use the same abbreviation to label the heroine as Heather has applied to her?

Whether you have views on Cousin Kate or the Regency genre in general, please feel free to post them in comments to this article.

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Oct 272015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Georgette Heyer’s second Medieval novel is The Conqueror. However, unlike her first Medieval, Simon the Coldheart, this story is not about a fictional character. It is about a real character from history, William, Duke of Normandy, the only man ever to conquer Britain. Today, romance author, Regan Walker, gives us some insights into this historical novel which is populated with a host of real characters from Medieval European history. Though Regan finds the romance between the main characters sadly lacking, she does share with us that a pair of secondary characters do find true love in this book. Do you prefer historical novels populated only with fictional characters, or do you like a few real historical figures thrown into the mix?

All are welcome to post their views on this novel, or historical romance in general, in comments to this article.

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Oct 212015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

We have a very special treat in store for us today. Romance author, Cara King, has invited along her particular friend to discuss Black Sheep, one of her favorites among Georgette Heyer’s Regencies. Cara and her friend, Bertie, have rather different views on the characters and the setting of this story. They even differ on whether this tale is a romance richly laced with humor or a dismal tragedy. As you read through the transcript of their conversation, you will have to decide which of them best understands Black Sheep.

Dear Readers, please do favor Cara with answers to her questions in comments to this article.

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Oct 092015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Frederica is one of a handful of Regencies which Georgette Heyer titled with the heroine’s first name. In today’s article, historical romance novelist, Miranda Neville, gives us some tantalizing glimpses into both the humor and romance of the story, combined as only Heyer could. What is your view with regard to Frederica’s late recognition of her love for Alverstoke? Do you consider it a flaw in the story, or the typical response of a young woman of her time and station in life?

All visitors are welcome to share their opinions on Regency romance, or Frederica in particular, in comments to this article.

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Oct 022015
 

Information on our members’ new releases (along with other new Regency Romance fiction releases) and other Regency related articles are available for download at The Regency Reader – October 2015. If you wish to receive The Regency Reader via email, we ask that you subscribe through MailChimp using this short subscription form.

New Releases for October 2015

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Gaelen Foley

One Moonlit Night (Moonlight Square: A Prequel Novella)
Gaelen Foley
Print, eNovella
Genre Type: Historical
Content Rating: Some Sexual Contact

Welcome to Moonlight Square ~ Regency London’s Most Exclusive Address!

At the ripe old age of two-and-twenty, Lady Katrina Glendon just can’t seem to snare a husband. Whether her frank tongue or slightly eccentric ways bear the blame, she faces a houseful of younger sisters clamoring for her, the eldest, to marry and move aside before they all end up as spinsters. When her latest suitor defects and proposes to another girl, Trinny throws up her hands in despair of ever finding a fiancé. But sometimes destiny waits just around the corner…and love lives right across the square!

Gable Winston-McCray, the charming, understated Viscount Roland saunters through life as a wealthy, sophisticated rakehell and man-about-town. Heir to an earldom, the handsome hedonist would rather dally with bored Society wives than acquire a bride of his own, much to his father’s dismay. Until, one moonlit night, fate strikes! Unsuspecting neighbors meet and become flirtatious allies. So when Gable receives his father’s ultimatum to wed or go penniless, he offers Trinny a marriage of convenience. Alas, the pretty redhead cannot possibly accept such an unfeeling proposal-even if her dear “Lord Sweet Cheeks” might be the man of her dreams…

September 17, 2015
www.gaelenfoley.com

Sep 282015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

False Colours is almost certainly the first switched twin story set in Regency England, since it was written by Georgette Heyer, the originator of the Regency romance genre. Today, Regency romance author and reader, Alicia Quigley, shares her memories of reading this story for the first time. She also gives us a glimpse of some of the more interesting characters who play a part in this tale of missing relatives, spendthrift parents and outlandish family friends who complicate the budding romance between the hero and the heroine. In addition, Alicia notes the plethora of Regency cultural information which is to be found in this book. Like Alicia, do you learn new details of the Regency when you read the novels of Georgette Heyer?

All are welcome to post their views on this story, or Regency romances in general, in comments to this article.

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Sep 212015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Over the course of her career, Georgette Heyer wrote only three novels set in medieval times. Simon the Coldheart was the first. In today’s article, romance author, Becca St. John, explains why it is unlikely any romance publisher today would accept this as a new manuscript. But she also shares with us some of the things which attracted her to this story of a strong, determined and honorable man who does seem to have a cold heart. Until he meets an equally "cold" woman who makes the sparks fly between them. Once you have read Becca’s article, will Simon the Coldheart go on your list of must-read Heyers?

All are welcome to share their views on this novel, or the historical romance genre in general, in comments to this article.

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Sep 162015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Best-selling Regency author, Kate Pearce, and her mystery-writing alter ego, Catherine Lloyd, have something in common with Georgette Heyer, whose creation of the Regency romance we are celebrating this year. Like Kate/Catherine, Heyer wrote mysteries as well as romance novels. She even wrote some Regencies which incorporated a mystery. In today’s article, Kate shares her views on The Nonesuch, one of Heyer’s Regencies which begin in London, but then sweeps us off to a remote country village, peopled with a host of fascinating characters. It must be noted that the only mystery in The Nonesuch is what Sir Waldo is going to do with the property he inherited, but this novel is one of Heyer’s best-loved Regencies.

Everyone is welcome to share their views on the Regency romance genre, or this novel in particular, in comments to this post.

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Sep 052015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Today, award-winning Regency romance author, Julia Justiss, tells us about her very favorite Georgette Heyer novel, A Civil Contract. This is a very delicate love story, one which a modern reader might not fully appreciate on first reading. But once you are prepared with Julia’s insights into this romance, you should find it just as delightful as she does. So, can a plain, shy young lady find true love with a handsome viscount?

All are welcome to share their thoughts on this story, or Regencies in general, in comments to this post.

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Aug 292015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Today, romance author, Andrea K. Stein, enlightens us on what may be Georgette Heyer’s most obscure historical novel, The Great Roxhythe. It is unlikely that many reading this article have ever read this book, for reasons which Andrea will explain. It has been included in Beau Monde’s Regency Turns 80 celebration of Heyer’s work, though sorely it stretches the definition of a romance, as Andrea also explains. Nevertheless, it is one of Heyer’s historical novels, and in the interest of completeness, it deserves our attention.

Whether or not you have read this novel, you are welcome to post your comments to this article.

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Aug 232015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Did you know that Georgette Heyer’s Regency novel, The Unknown Ajax has a Shakespearian connection? In today’s article, award-winning Regency romance author, Sheri Cobb South, explains the connection. She also explains why she is particularly fond of this particular story. In addition, she shares her memories as an avid reader of Georgette Heyer in quest of more of her books.

Please feel free to share your views on this book or on Regencies in general in comments to this post.

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Aug 202015
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Truth, as usual, is always stranger than fiction. The machines that wove all those lovely French silks which were so often smuggled into England during the war with Napoleon did indeed provide the key to issuing commands to computers shortly after the Regency. This same method continued in use for several decades, only falling out of favor at the end of the last century.

How holes made patterned silks and talked to computers …

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