27 May 2011

Please welcome back Grace Elliot

Grace, thank you for coming back and sharing some more with us over the next four days.

Why the Regency is Romantic – THE SEASON.
Hello there and a big thank you to Sherry for making me feel so welcome.

My name is Grace Elliot and I lead a double life. By day I am a veterinarian and by night I write historical romance. Now that isn’t quite as odd as it sounds because I started writing as a de-stress from the emotionally draining side of veterinary work. As an avid reader, my aim is to write the sort of page turning, lump in the throat romances I love to read.

Now, where was I? Oh yes, explaining why I find the regency so romantic, and first off its ‘The Season.’

In purely factual terms the Season took place between New Year and August, peaking after Easter and over the summer. The actual dates varied according to when Parliament sat, which in turn depended on sport.

“The sessions of Parliament cannot be held til the frost is out of the ground and the foxes begin to breed.”

The Season was a round a social events that any young lady out to snag a good husband must attend. To snare such a man you had to attend the right events such as the Derby (for which Parliament adjourned), Ascot, the Royal Academy Exhibition, the Henley Regatta and cricket at Lords. The mark of a successful season was to be admitted to Almack’s – the exclusive club run by fearsome high born ladies who had the power to make or break reputations.

So why was the Season romantic? Well apart from the gorgeous balls, so much was at stake. Finding a husband was no casual task but the work of a social mastermind; from daring gowns, epic hairstyles and witty conversation, to being seen in the right company everything must be just so…and not a hint of scandal. What better setting for intrigue and heartbreak could a writer ask for?

In Georgian times marriage was a commodity people traded for mutual advancement…so what of true love? If our heroine sets her sights on an unsuitable match, a rogue that makes her heart race, how to protect reputation? How resourceful must our heroine be with her fearsome Mama breathing down her neck? For a writer the obstacles to true love are just delicious and part of why the Regency is so romantic.

So what eras do you read and why? I’d love to know, do please comment below.

EXCERPT – ‘A Dead Man’s Debt.’
(Exiled in the country, Celeste writes to her mother.)

“Celeste chewed her top lip and frowned. It simply wouldn’t do. She’d never liked half-truths and platitudes and wasn’t about to start now. Breaking the inky meniscus, wiping the nib she began again in bold lettering.

Dear Mother,
If you thought to teach me a lesson by sending me to the country, it is one poorly learnt. I will not change my opinion of the odious Earl of Crumbourne, no matter how excellent a match you consider him to be. Further more, my sojourn here has granted ample time for reflection and I remain resolute that marriage is not for me. It is my determined and final decision to remain unattached…
She shivered, suddenly vulnerable, as unwelcome memories sprang to mind; of Lord Crumbourne with his greasy slobberings and mutton chop breath. Bile rose in her throat as she remembered scratchy bristles against her neck and his odor of onions. What an idiot she’d been, feeling sorry for that fool! It had been so insufferably hot in that ballroom, when he’d suggest a turn round the rose garden it had all seemed so innocent, just a gentleman concerned for a lady’s comfort. A chaperone seemed unnecessary… presumptuous even…with a family friend.
Once out of sight of the lighted windows, his clammy hand had tightened on her shoulder, catching her by surprise. When he’d run a hand behind her head to force her mouth towards his, her first reaction was that it was a jest. When he’d rammed his tongue past her gritted teeth and kissed her it had been a most unpleasant shock.
Then when he’d crushed her against a wall, bearing his full weight against her hips, her blood had run cold. His mouth smothered, sucking air from her lungs. She’d squirmed to get away but he’d tightened his grip. She panicked as cool air flooded round her knees, his free hand lifting her skirts. The shock of his rough probing, his thumb pressed into her inner thigh had given her strength. As her protests were muffled by his lips, instinctively her knee jabbed sharply up into his groin. The result was immediate and satisfying. He’d released her and crumpled like a leaf.
Later Estella had written to her that Crumbourne walked with a limp for a full week afterwards. In a strange way he had done her a favor. It would take a while for the gossip to subside and until in effect she’d been banished from London by her mother, who apparently approved of his lordship as a match. With a sigh Celeste set the quill aside.
The more she thought about the future, the more she knew the restrictions of marriage were not for her….”

A Dead Man’s Debt is available from most eBook retailers including

To find out more about the author visit: Http://graceelliot-author.blogspot.com

Join me tomorrow when  I post on Why the Regency is Romantic – Satins and Silks. 

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