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

May 162012
 

Over the past few years, Cheryl Bolen has been publishing a Spotlight series of biographical sketches of a number of romance writers at her web site. She has graciously allowed us to re-post those biographical sketches here at the Beau Monde blog.

Today, we begin with a biographical sketch of award-winning romance author, Barbara Dawson Smith …

Continue reading »

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

Mar 282012
 

Shannon Donnelly is today’s Featured Beau Monde Author.       Shannon Donnelly

Shannon Donnelly’s writing has won numerous awards, including a RITA nomination for Best Regency, the Grand Prize in the “Minute Maid Sensational Romance Writer” contest, judged by Nora Roberts, RWA’s Golden Heart, and others.

Her writing has repeatedly earned 4½ Star Top Pick reviews from Romantic Times magazine, as well as praise from Booklist and other reviewers, who note: “simply superb”…”wonderfully uplifting”….and “beautifully written.”

Her latest Regency Historical Romance, Paths of Desire, can be found as an ebooks on Kindle, Nook and at Smashwords, along with her Regency romances, and her free novella, Cats Cradle. She has had novellas published in several anthologies, has had young adult horror stories published, and is the author of several computer games.

Shannon is a regular speaker at writing conferences, and will be speaking at the 2012 RWA  National conference in Anaheim. She gives online workshops and is the author of Story Telling; Story Showing, an ebook that compliments her popular online class Show and Tell: An Interactive Workshop. She lives in New Mexico with two horses, two donkeys, two dogs, and the one love of her life.

Find Shannon at –  sd-writer.com              Paths of Desire by Shannon Donnelly

twitter.com/sdwriter     facebook.com/sdwriter

Google+ as SdonnellyNM@gmail.com

 

 

Mar 092012
 

Grace Kone (Blair Bancroft) is today’s Featured Beau Monde Author

Grace Kone’s Biography –

I began writing (as Blair Bancroft) later than most because my mother was the successful author of children’s books, and it never occurred to me we could have two writers in the same family.

When I did make the attempt, the Regency was closest to my heart. But since I truly believe variety is the spice of life, I also write Romantic Suspense, Thrillers, Mystery, Futuristic, and Steampunk.

My Tarleton’s Wife won a Golden Heart and The Indifferent Earl, a RITA finalist, was chosen Best Regency by Romantic Times.

In 2011 I went “indie” with my backlist and am thoroughly enjoying the renaissance of my traditional Regencies.

A new Regency novella, Mistletoe Moment, was published by Ellora’s Cave (Blush) for the holidays.

Grace Kone Orange blossoms & Mayhem

Grace Kone Orange blossoms & Mayhem

And in January 2012 I uploaded my first indie-published new work, the thriller, Orange Blossoms & Mayhem.

Website: www.blairbancroft.com

Blog: http://mosaicmoments.blogspot.com

Facebook: Grace Kone

Linkedin: Grace Kone

Twitter: @blairbancroft

 

Mar 072012
 

Today’s Featured Beau Monde Author is Deb Marlowe.

Deb Marlowe - Beau Monde headshot

Deb Marlowe

Deb Marlowe adores history, England and Men in Boots.

Clearly she was destined to write Regency Historical Romance.  A member of RWA, the Heart of Carolina RWA and the Beau Monde for nearly 15 years, she’s won the Royal Ascot and the Golden Heart and has been nominated for a Rita.

She sold her first book to Harlequin Historicals in 2006 and her newest, Tall, Dark and Disreputable releases in March 2012.  She is a director of the Raleigh/Durham satellite of Lady Jane’s Salon.

She lives in North Carolina where she spends her days with the people in her head and her evenings with her wonderful husband, her two charming, active and hungry boys and one spoiled cat.

blogging at The Lady Scribes http://ladyscribes.blogspot.com/
Feb 272012
 

With the entry period for Beau Monde’s Royal Ascot Contest now underway, many of us are polishing our manuscripts and daydreaming about what effect a win might have on our budding writing careers. In today’s article, Cheryl Bolen, award-winning published author of several historical romance novels, records her conversations with a group of Golden Heart award finalists. They share their thoughts on the impact which Golden Heart recognition had on their careers and their success in publishing their books.

Continue reading »

Feb 222012
 

Alicia Rasley is today’s Featured Beau Monde Author.

Alicia grew up as the oldest girl in a family of ten. She had a lot of responsibility early, but she is a self-admitted daydreamer. Books provided an escape from her routine life, and some of the books she read were the Regency novels of Georgette Heyer. "Suddenly there was a new world for me, far from the noise and chaos of a big family and school, a place of elegance and wit," she tells us. She was inspired to write Regencies, and after beginning a dozen, she finished her first when she was twenty-five. She wrote a half dozen Regencies, winning a Rita Award along the way.

But Alicia did not stay entirely faithful to Regency novels. She wrote a couple of women’s fiction novels and two non-fiction writing how-tos. But she has returned to the writing of Regencies once again, admitting that she has been seduced back into that elegant, exciting time and place. She likes rakish heroes, reckless heroines and elegant stories.

Regardless of all the romance she has read and written, Alicia says she has always been practical and is the most unromantic romance writer one would ever meet. She pours all her romantic notions into her writing. "Just ask my husband!" she says. "He’ll tell you he really gets off easy when it comes to anniversary and birthday gifts!"

Her most recent novel is The Year She Fell.

The Year She Fell Cover for Beau Monde blog

The Year She Fell - Alicia Rasley


Find her at   Facebookregencystories.wordpress.com/http://aliciarasleybooks.com/

Nov 072011
 

Nicole Jordan - Beau Monde author headshot

Nicole Jordan is today’s Featured Beau Monde Author.

New York Times bestselling author Nicole Jordan spins delightful Regency tales that simmer with passion and sensuality. With over two dozen historical romances to her credit and six million books in print, Nicole has earned such honors as RITA finalist, RWA’s Favorite Book of the Year, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, and the Dorothy Parker Award of Excellence, presented by a group of over one hundred romance reviewers.

In her former life, Nicole grew up as an Army brat, moving frequently and attending high school in Germany. She later earned a civil engineering degree from Georgia Tech. Currently Nicole lives in the Rocky Mountains of Utah with her real-life hero (her husband) and beloved kids (her horses).

Find her at Facebooknicolejordanauthor.com

Sep 282011
 

Kieran Kramer - Beau Monde Author headshot

Kieran Kramer, USA Today best-selling author and double-Rita finalist, is today’s Featured Beau Monde Author.

She writes lighthearted Regency historical romances for St. Martin’s Press. Her newest release, If You Give a Girl a Viscount, the fourth and final book in her Impossible Bachelors series, will be released in November 2011. A former CIA employee, journalist, and English teacher, Kieran’s also a game show veteran, karaoke enthusiast, and general adventurer.

Find her at: Facebook@KieranKramerhttp://kierankramerbooks.com/

Jun 192011
 

CHRISTINE WELLS

Christine Wells, today’s Featured Beau Monde Author, was a corporate   lawyer before resigning to write romance novels.

She lives in Brisbane, Australia with her husband and two small but very noisy boys and is a member of Romance Writers of America and Romance Writers of Australia.

A 2009 RITA nominee for THE DANGEROUS DUKE, Christine was also the first Australian to win the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award.

Find her at – Web

Apr 092011
 

Diane Gaston.

Diane’s dream came true in 2003 with an unexpected phone call from England.                      The Harlequin Mills & Boon editor who judged her Regency Historical manuscript in the Golden Heart wanted to buy it—and it also won!

Diane’s Regencies have gone on to win RWA’s most prestigious RITA award, the National Readers Choice Award, The Orange Rose (now Bookseller’s Best), the Golden Quill and Holt Medallion.

She continues to write for Harlequin Historical. A member of Beau Monde for at least a decade, Diane enjoys being among like-minded people who love the Regency as much as she does.

She blogs at Risky Regencies on Mondays, Diane’s Blog on Thursdays, and eHarlequin the third Wednesday of the month. You can also find her on Facebook and on Twitter as DianeGaston.