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Regan Walker: Rebel Warrior

Edgar was the Rightful King

When Edward the Confessor, a gentle, pious king, who left no direct heirs, died on January 5, 1066, there were several candidates to become King of England in his place. One thing to keep in mind: under English law, no one, not even the king, could promise the crown to anyone. That was for the Witan, a council of nobles and spiritual leaders, to decide. What was the Witan to do?

Bayeux Tapestry: King Edward the Confessor Talks to Earl Harold

Bayeux Tapestry: King Edward the Confessor Talks to Earl Harold

In England, Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, wanted the job. But he was only Edward’s brother-in-law. Harold claimed Edward had given the throne to him on his deathbed. And so he might have done, even though he was thought to have murdered Edward’s brother.

Harald Hardrada King of Norway

Harald Hardrada King of Norway

In Norway, King Harald Hardrada had inherited land in England from King Canute who had once been King of England. Hardrada believed this meant he had a claim to be the King of England. Well, why not? After all, he was supported by Tostig, Harold of Wessex’s brother and Hardrada was already the powerful King of Norway. And he was planning to take England by force if he must.

King Sweyn of Denmark

King Sweyn of Denmark

There was another Scandinavian king who had a claim to the throne, too. King Sweyn of Denmark’s uncle had been Canute the Great, King of England, Denmark and Norway. Canute was ruling England when Edward took over. But Sweyn waited until Hardrada was defeated in his claim, then took his time to rally his hundreds of longships and fighting men. The Danes did not arrive in England until 1069, but more about that in my novel, Rogue Knight.

William the Conqueror Arriving in England

William the Conqueror Arriving in England

Meanwhile, across the English Channel lay Normandy and William, the bastard son of Robert, Duke of Normandy. William, now the duke, was Edward’s first cousin’s son. Seems a stretch to me, but this guy had ambition. And he had already demonstrated he was ruthless in battle. Besides all that, he told some tale about Edward having promised him the crown of England. But it seems Edward promised the crown to many, so what was that? William also claimed that Harold of Wessex had vowed to help him become king one day. Not sure about that and neither are the historians but then William’s folks wrote most of the history so there you have it.

As his father’s heir and now Duke of Normandy, William was used to ruling a large land. Why not more? So, William the Bastard planned to invade England just like Harald Hardrada. The plot thickens.

So what happened? The Witan named Harold of Wessex king. But we all know what happened to him…

Harald Hardrada invaded the north of England. King Harold fought him off. Weakened by the battle they’d just fought, Harold’s men trudged south to meet William the Bastard at Hastings where his men were storming ashore from Normandy. In a daylong battle, Harold was killed.

But one claimant to the throne of England remained… an heir of Edward’s. Indeed, Edgar Ætheling was the rightful heir to the throne. “Ætheling” is an Old English term used in Anglo-Saxon England to designate the princes of the royal dynasty eligible for the kingship. And so Edgar was. His father, Edmund Ironside, was King Edward’s half brother until he was killed, some say by poisoning. Unfortunately, when King Edward died, Edgar was only 14 or 15, a bit young to be leading soldiers and fighting off contenders for the crown.

Nevertheless, upon King Harold’s death, Edgar was named king, but he was never crowned because William the Bastard, earning his name as “the Conqueror”, moved in and took over.

Although Edgar had many supporters and, in 1069, joined with the Danes and the rebels in Yorkshire in a bid to reclaim England, through a series of fiascos, their fight was unsuccessful.

Edgar, his mother and two sisters fled to Scotland where King Malcolm welcomed them. And that is where Edgar enters my newest medieval romance, Rebel Warrior, set in Scotland in 1072.

Malcolm welcoming Edgar

Malcolm welcoming Edgar to Scotland

By then, Edgar was 21 and though the rightful king, he would be denied his legacy. But one day his family would regain the throne in a manner of speaking. Edgar’s niece, Edith, daughter of Edgar’s sister Margaret who married the King of Scots, would become Queen of England, marrying Henry I.

If you want to see Edgar and his beautiful sister Margaret in Scotland, you will have to read Rebel Warrior!

ReganWalker_RebelWarrior_800 copy

 

“Master storytelling transports you to medieval Scotland!”

Paula Quinn, NY Times Bestselling Author

About Rebel Warrior

When your destiny lies far from where you began…

Scotland 1072

The Norman Conqueror robbed Steinar of Talisand of his noble father and his lands, forcing him to flee to Scotland while still recovering from a devastating wound. At the royal court, Steinar becomes scribe to the unlettered King of Scots while secretly regaining his skill with a sword.

The first time Steinar glimpses the flame-haired maiden, Catrìona of the Vale of Leven, he is drawn to her spirited beauty. She does not fit among the ladies who serve the devout queen. Not pious, not obedient and not given to stitchery, the firebrand flies a falcon! Though Catrìona captures Steinar’s attention, he is only a scribe and she is promised to another.

Catrìona has come to Malcolm’s court wounded in spirit from the vicious attack on her home by Northmen who slayed her parents and her people. But that is not all she will suffer. The man she thought to wed will soon betray her.

When all is lost, what hope is there for love? Can a broken heart be mended? Can a damaged soul be healed?

Rebel Warrior on Amazon:

US • UK

About the Author

Regan Walker profile pic 2014 copyRegan Walker is an award-winning, #1 bestselling, multi-published author of Regency, Georgian and Medieval romance. She has five times been featured on USA TODAY’s HEA blog and twice nominated for the prestigious RONE award (her novel, The Red Wolf’s Prize won Best Historical Novel for 2015 in the medieval category). Regan writes historically authentic novels with real history and real historic figures where her readers experience history, adventure and love.

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Regan Walker: To Tame the Wind

The Coaching Inn—Tonbridge

Around the end of the Georgian period (1714 to 1830), the population of Tonbridge in Kent in Southeast England numbered about two thousand. It was a main stop for stagecoaches travelling from London to Hastings and Rye and was used as a staging post for the mail coaches, where horses could be changed and passengers provided with food.

Stage coach

The coaches the travelers rode in during the early eighteenth century were heavy, lumbering vehicles devoid of springs. They were generally covered with dull black leather, studded with nails and the frames and wheels picked out with red. The windows were covered with boards or sometimes with leather curtains. Pastor Moritz, who came to England in 1782, found a coach of this description still upon the roads, and having a taste for fresh air and sunshine he complained of a fellow traveller, a farmer “who seemed anxious to shun the light and so shut up every window he could come at.” It was not the light to which the farmer objected—no one in England minded light—but they did object to the air that came through the window. This was considered prejudicial to health.

Mail coach, London to Birmingham, 18th century

Mail coach, London to Birmingham, 18th century

Though the carriage or coach ride had to be jarring, the countryside in Essex would have been beautiful.

Countryside in Sussex

Countryside in Sussex

In To Tame the Wind, set in 1782, the hero and heroine flee London (and her French pirate father) for Rye via carriage, which is how the upper classes most frequently traveled (though some Englishmen might prefer to travel on horseback). It would take them two days from London with an overnight in Tonbridge.

The roads were very rough and they would be jostled around in what was essentially a padded box. In Sussex the roads were often impassable in winter. Fortunately, my hero and heroine traveled in summer.

Once they arrived in Tonbridge, they stayed at the Rose and Crown, a coaching inn open for business then and still serving travelers today. Located on High Street, it is just down from the Ivy Public House.

Rose & Crown, Tonbridge

Rose & Crown, Tonbridge

The original Rose and Crown inn was a Tudor house built in the 16th century. The front and porch display alterations made some two centuries later. Thus, as my hero and heroine saw it, the inn was a fine timber-framed building with an impressive brick façade. According to its current owner, it still features “many oak beams and Jacobean panels” inside.

 Rose & Crown sign

At the sign of the Rose and Crown, one could find a comfortable bed and a hot meal. It was known in the Stuart Court, to Roundheads and Cavaliers, to the diary writers John Evelyn and Samuel Pepys and to all the travellers who passed on their way to Rye, Hastings or “the Wells” in the wasteland to the south.

While a traveller had his choice of inns, he had to choose carefully. There were the grand establishments, the posting houses, such as the Rose and Crown, which entertained the quality who posted in their own carriages. Such inns might accommodate a riding gentleman if his servants accompanied him. Some of these inns accepted passengers from the mail-coach, some did not; but they would not to take in passengers from a common stage. Those people had to go to the inns that catered to them.

Even in good inns it was not unusual for strangers to share rooms or even beds, as my hero, Captain Powell tells the heroine. This was regarded in much the same way as the sharing of a ship’s cabin in later times.

On the whole, English coaching inns were good. Arthur Young, who had travelled through the length and breadth of England, described them as “neat inns, well-dressed and clean people keeping them, good furniture and refreshing civility.

About To Tame the Wind

ReganWalker_ToTametheWind - 800px copyParis 1782…AN INNOCENT IS TAKEN

All Claire Donet knew was the world inside the convent walls in Saint-Denis. She had no idea her beloved papa was a pirate. But when he seized Simon Powell’s schooner, the English privateer decided to take the one thing his enemy held most dear… her.

A BATTLE IS JOINED

The waters between France and England roil with the clashes of Claire’s father and her captor as the last year of the American Revolution rages on the sea, spies lurk in Paris and Claire’s passion for the English captain rises.

Amazon

About the Author

Regan Walker profile pic 2014 copyBestselling author Regan Walker loved to write stories as a child, particularly those about adventure-loving girls, but by the time she got to college more serious pursuits were encouraged. One of her professors suggested a career in law, and she took that path. Years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government gave her a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown.” Hence her romance novels often involve a demanding sovereign who taps his subjects for “special assignments.” Each of her novels features real history and real historic figures. And, of course, adventure and love.

Regan lives in San Diego with her golden retriever, Link, who she says inspires her every day to relax and smell the roses.

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Regan Walker: The Shamrock and the Rose

Theatre Choices for Valentine’s Day in Regency London

By Regan Walker

 Today, we have a lot of choices for theaters (“theatre” in England) if we’re looking for one for Valentine’s Day, but you might be surprised to know how many theatres Londoners had to choose from during the Regency period.

In researching London theatres in England during the Regency period (1811-1820) for my Valentine’s Day story The Shamrock & The Rose I was amazed to discover the numerous choices that Londoners had on any given night. Many more than we have today in many of America’s cities if we are talking live theatre. From the variety of choices Londoners had, it would seem they frequently enjoyed an evening at the theatre with as many as 20,000 attending on any given evening.

One could see a drama, perhaps one of Shakespeare’s plays, a light comedy or an opera, as well as ballet, pantomimes and skits—even a clown! And some of these offerings might be combined in a single theatre in a single night.

As you can see from the pictures, while the theatres had boxes on the sides for those who could afford them, the majority of people stood in the central area. The theatres were lit mostly by candlelight from a score of chandeliers, and while this might seem romantic, it also presented some issues. First, since this light was not dimmed as the entertainment began, you could see everyone in the audience as well as the actors on stage and they could see you! So whatever activities you might think to engage in while in your private box, they had best be discreet. Second, the use of candlelight also posed a fire hazard, as evidenced by the fact several of the theatres burned down and had to be replaced.

More than one theatre had Letters Patent from the Crown, and could, therefore, claim the name “Theatre-Royal.” In addition to those, there were more specialized theatres and smaller playhouses as well. Here are some of the choices they had:

The Theatre-Royal, Covent Garden (now the Royal Opera House) was rebuilt in 1809 after a fire destroyed it the year before. Holding crowds exceeding 3,000, it became, perhaps, the leading theatre of the time. Several of the actresses and singers who performed on this stage married into the peerage, including Mary Bolton, Lady Thurlow, mentioned in my story.

Theatre Royal Covent Garden copy

The Theatre-Royal Covent Garden

The Theatre-Royal, Drury Lane (mentioned in my Christmas short story, The Holly & The Thistle in reference to its holiday entertainment), was redesigned in 1812 after a fire destroyed it in 1809. That was the fourth theatre to be on the site, the first having been constructed in 1663, pursuant to Letters Patent from Charles II. This was the first theatre to be entirely lit by gaslight in 1817.

The Theatre-Royal Drury Lane

The Theatre-Royal Drury Lane

The Theatre-Royal, Hay-Market (also known as Haymarket Theatre or the Little Theatre) dates to 1720. (My Valentine’s Day short story, The Shamrock & The Rose opens with a scene set in this theatre.) It was relocated and redesigned in 1820 and the new theatre, while in many ways a reflection of the old one with flat sidewalls, tiers of boxes, a back gallery and the pit, was much more opulent with colors of pink, crimson and gold, and a circular vestibule “almost lined” with mirrors. It was the last theatre to be lit by gaslight (in 1843).

The Theatre-Royal Hay-Market

The Theatre-Royal Hay-Market

The Sadler’s Wells Theatre in the London Borough of Islington during the Regency featured famous actors, including Edmund Kean and Joseph Grimaldi, who was best remembered for his character “Joey the Clown” with white face and rouge half-moons on each cheek. Sadler’s Wells (also known as “The Aquatic Theatre“) was used to stage sensational naval melodramas, including a recreation of Nelson’s victory at the Nile called Naval Pillars, and a recreation of the Franco-Spanish siege of Gibraltar, which included water and replicas of the fleet of ships, using a one inch to one foot scale, and working miniature cannon.

Sadler Wells Theatre

Sadler’s Wells Theatre

In addition to the major theatres holding thousands, there were many other options for the theatregoer in the Regency:

The Pantheon, constructed on Oxford Street in 1772, was originally designed for balls and masquerades before becoming an opera house in 1791. It was converted to a theatre 1811-12, but its role in the theatres of London was short lived. Damaged by fire and troubled financially owing to irregularities in its license, it was replaced in 1814 by the Pantheon Bazaar.

The Pantheon Theatre

The Pantheon Theatre

The Haymarket (King’s Theatre) Opera House was originally built by the architect and playwright Sir John Vanbrugh in 1705. Destroyed by fire in 1789, it was rebuilt and used extensively for opera.

The Lyceum Theatre first became a “licensed” house in 1809 and was rebuilt in 1816, and renamed The English Opera House. It was famous for being the first theatre in London to feature some gas lighting (1817), and for hosting the London première of Mozart’s Italian opera Così fan tutte.

The Adelphi Theatre was constructed in 1806 by merchant John Scott to showcase his daughter’s theatrical talents, and was given a new facade and redecorated in 1814. It reopened in 1819 as the Adelphi, named after the area of West London built by the brothers Adam from 1768. Among the actors who appeared on its stage was the comedian Charles Matthews, whose work was so admired by young Charles Dickens.

The Olympic Theatre was a playhouse built from the timbers of the French warship “Ville de Paris” (the former deck serving as the stage). It opened as the “Olympic Pavilion” in 1806. After financial losses, in 1813, it was sold to Robert William Elliston, who refurbished the interior and renamed it the “Little Drury Lane” by virtue of its proximity to the more established patent theatre.

The Royalty Theatre was opened in 1787 by the actor John Palmer in defiance of the 1737 patent monopoly act and featured as its first production As You Like It. Without a proper license, however, it was forced to close, and Palmer was arrested. Under the management of William Macready, the Royalty continued on, struggling with pantomimes and burlettas (comic opera). In 1816, it was renamed the “East End Theatre,” and continued to offer entertainment until it was burned down ten years later.

About The Shamrock and the Rose

A stint playing Portia at the Theatre-Royal at Haymarket in London, a dropped valentine and a dangerous desire lead gentle-born Rose Collingwood into the arms of a handsome Irish barrister whose love will hazard all she is.

Amazon

Excerpt

“Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.”

—from The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

London, February 1818

Morgan O’Connell hardly noticed Sophie as she turned her attention from the stage and artfully tossed her head of dark curls, smiling at him from behind her lace-covered fan. He was tired of his companion’s feigned shyness and coquettish glances, just as he was tired of the play they would be seeing. The Merchant of Venice, though just beginning, held little interest for him. Once a favorite, he supposed he’d seen too many bad productions for it to remain so. Still, he liked the ambience of the Theatre-Royal at Haymarket, which seemed the place he most often sought entertainment now that he lived in London. Sophie seemed to be enjoying it, too.

ReganWalker The Shamrock & The Rose-small copyHis gaze drifted to the stage where appeared the three chests from which Portia’s suitors must choose, her dead father having left a puzzle to determine which man would gain both his daughter and his wealth. Gold, silver and lead; only one held the prize. And the cost to hazard a guess was high, for those who failed must vow never to wed.

As the play unfolded, Morgan’s eyes soon diverted from the chests to the woman acting the part of Portia. She was beautiful and young, somewhere between nineteen and twenty-one. Though he couldn’t tell if that luxurious long brown hair was the actress’s own, the sixteenth-century gown was most becoming to her curves. Her acting was extraordinary, holding him enraptured and sweeping him into a story he’d thought no longer held any allure. Small movements of her eyes, facial expressions and gestures conveyed much that Shakespeare’s lines did not. If she’d never spoken a word, he would have known Portia’s true heart. When she did speak, he believed in a real Portia of long ago.

Ignoring his female companion, Morgan leaned forward. “A superb Portia, Roger, would you not agree?”

“She’s captured my attention,” his friend whispered, likely so Judith Seaton sitting next to him would not hear. Judith was a new love interest, and Roger had been trying to impress her. “I’ve heard she is fresh to the stage but already drawing many compliments.”

“Remind me who she is,” Morgan said in a voice too low for Sophie to hear.

“Lily Underwood, as I recall the playbill.”

Morgan nodded and sat back, relieved that Sophie had again taken up her study of the audience below. It was clear she was more a follower of the haut ton than a devotee of Shakespeare.

From his box above the stage, Morgan could see well the actors moving about below. His eyes lingered on the woman portraying Portia, the one he now knew as Miss Underwood. She had a compelling voice, one that deepened as the character she portrayed donned the guise of a man to adroitly argue the points of law that would save her lover’s friend while cleverly entrapping the moneylender who demanded Antonio’s flesh.

Leaning forward, he listened as she spoke the lines that were his favorites:

“The quality of mercy is not strain’d.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”

Portia was the kind of woman Morgan wanted: brave, forthright and intelligent, a woman whose spirit was equal to his own. Unfortunately, these were not qualities he’d find in an English actress, however comely. And though he might consider a tryst with such an actress, his Irish family would only be satisfied with an Irish bride.

About the Author

Regan Walker profile pic 2014 copyBestselling author Regan Walker loved to write stories as a child, particularly those about adventure-loving girls, but by the time she got to college more serious pursuits took priority. One of her professors encouraged her to pursue the profession of law, which she did. Years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government gave her a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown” on its subjects. Hence her romance novels often involve a demanding sovereign who taps his subjects for “special assignments.” In each of her novels, there is always real history and real historic figures.

Regan lives in San Diego with her golden retriever, Link, whom she says inspires her every day to relax and smell the roses.

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Susana’s Parlour Got Nominated For a Lighthouse Award…by some Scottish hamsters!

lighthouse award

Shehanne Moore is a hoot. A Scots hoot to boot. (Oh look, I’m a poet!) Her Lady Fury hosted me on Furious Unravelingsand I’ve never had so much fun in my life hobnobbing with pirates in the Caribbean. This writer gig is really the best. I never got to meet pirates when I was a teacher! To find out more about Lady Fury and her own special pirate, Flint, check out The Unraveling of Lady Fury.

lady fury

Anyway, Shehanne’s pet hamsters have nominated me for a Lighthouse Award. Isn’t that fabulous! They’re so cute too! Check ’em out here.

The rules:

  • Display the Award Certificate on your blog.
  • Write a post and link back to the blogger that nominated you.
  • Inform your nominees of their award nominations.
  • Share three ways that you like to help others.
  • Nominate as many bloggers as you like.

Three ways I like to help others:

I love to host other authors on my blogs. Susana’s Parlour is for historical romance (mostly Regency) and Susana’s Morning Room is for all sub-genres of romance. I’ve met so many fascinating people, and I hope featuring them and their books helps them find new readers. Information about guest blogging is available in the top menu under Susana Seeks Guest Authors. I also host for Goddess Fish Promotions.

Another thing I enjoy doing is organizing blog tours and hops. After participating in a few very large hops featuring a diverse group of authors, it occurred to me that smaller hops focusing on a single sub-genre—historical—might be more effective.While you still get some folks who are mostly interested in the prize, there seem to be more who are truly interested in discovering new books to read.It’s fun to experiment with new things and discover more about what works and what doesn’t. And I LOVE putting together treasure boxes full of cool stuff for the winner!

Lady P

Lady P

Most of all, I enjoy posting about historical information for the benefit of my readers.That’s why I created Lady P, an eccentric Regency, time-traveling lady who comes to Toledo (and now Florida) to help Susana learn about the “real” Regency. Lady P bears a strong resemblance to my mother, Mrs. Ellis, and I am featuring her in my current WIP, a time travel. Much of what I learn in my own research gets shared here on Susana’s Parlour.

My Nominees

I’m nominating the following bloggers for the Lighthouse Award:

  • Suzi Love
  • Regan’s Romance Reviews (Regan Walker)
  • The Things That Catch My Eye (David William Wilkin)
  • Blue Rose Romance (Collette Cameron)
  • Stories From History (Jane Lark)
  • Regina Jeffers’s Blog
  • Ella Quinn
  • Piper Huguley

Congrats to all the nominees! You deserve it!

Regan Walker and “The Twelfth Night Wager”

VBT The Twelfth Night Wager Banner copy

Regan will be awarding a copy of three (3) of her books, Racing with the Wind, The Holly and the Thistle and The Shamrock and the Rose to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

Interview with Regan Walker

Your new novella, The Twelfth Night Wager, begins as two men in White’s, one of the men’s clubs in Regency England, are discussing marriage (“the leg shackled state”). Then one of them challenges the other to a wager, that he must seduce, bed and leave a certain unnamed lady (and she is a lady) by Twelfth Night, or January 5th. I found this intriguing…how did you conceive of this?

Well, in my research about the lives of men and women during that period in England’s history (from 1811-1820) when the Prince Regent reigned, I discovered they loved to wager. About almost anything. And in some clubs, such as White’s (a very old club) they kept a book where the wagers were entered. Such occurred the evening my story begins: two men drinking at White’s and one, a bit bored, agrees to an outrageous wager. He’s a rake after all, known for his conquests. How difficult could it be to seduce one widow? Seemed like an interesting beginning to me, and apparently it did to Christopher St. Ives, Viscount Eustace, too.

Is this your first holiday themed story?

No, actually I have three—all set in the same year, 1818. First is The Shamrock & The Rose, a short story that takes place around Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day (with an Irish hero). Then there’s the novella, The Twelfth Night Wager, that begins in October and extends through the New Year, capturing the fall season of house parties, fox hunting, pheasant shooting, Christmas and, of course, Twelfth Night. And on the tale of that comes The Holly & The Thistle, a short story that features Lady Emily Picton, introduced in the novella, and a Scot hero. All three have as a character Muriel, the Dowager Countess of Claremont, an infamous matchmaker.

What are you working on now?

Having finished the third in my Agents of the Crown trilogy, Wind Raven (which should be released early spring), I turned back to a project I started a few years ago, a medieval titled The Red Wolf’s Prize. It’s set in England just after William the Conqueror claimed the land for his own. I’m about mid way through the novel and deep into a siege scene at the moment when William faced the rebellious English at Exeter in 1068. Researching is a love of mine but going all the way back to the 11th century is a huge challenge, I must say.
 
What are you reading now?

I have a blog for lovers of historical romance, Regan’s Romance Reviews, and January is Viking month. So, I’m deep into some Viking romances that I’ll be reviewing for an update of my Best Viking Romances list. I love a good Viking raid, don’t you? All those handsome, conquering hunks towering over the fair maidens. Ah yes…at least in fiction it can end happily, no?

What author or authors have most influenced your writing?

It would be the classic romance authors I still read and re-read today. All have been featured on my blog. Their books (along with those of some newer authors) can be found on my “best lists.” But my short list would be Penelope Williamson, Elizabeth Stuart, Jan Cox Speas, Virginia Henley, Shirlee Busbee, Heather Graham (aka Shannon Drake), Meagan McKinney, Kathleen Woodiwiss and Marsha Canham to name a few. They tell sweeping sagas based on solid research for a great love story. And they are the ones I want my work to be like. I want to sweep the reader away and I want her to feel like she knows the characters, like she’s traveled with them. And, in the end, I want the reader to enjoy the happily ever after.

If your publisher offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming project, where 
would you mostly likely want to go? Why?

I’m thinking Istanbul. It has a fascinating history and I can so see a romance set there. And though I’ve been to 40 countries, including Turkey (more than once), I’ve never been to Istanbul. I would love it. Yet I must add that after I finish my medieval, I’m going to write the prequel to my trilogy, To Tame the Wind, and that novel begins in France in the late 18th century. So, while I’ve been to Paris, a trip to northern France would not go amiss.

What’s your social media of choice and why?

It would have to be Facebook. I love the pictures, the conversations I strike up with my Facebook friends and the general sharing we indulge in. It’s the way I connect with readers most of the time, though some contact me via my blog, too. I spend at least an hour each day on FB and love it when my friends tell me my posts meant much to them or a particular picture I posted inspired them. I love to get new friends, too, so I encourage your followers to find me on Facebook (see below).

About The Twelfth Night Wager

On a dull day at White’s, the Redheaded Rake agreed to a wager: seduce and abandon the lovely Lady Leisterfield by Twelfth Night. After one taste of her virtue, he will stop at nothing less than complete possession.

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Excerpt

MEDIA KIT Book CoverSoon he was escorted into the gilded green dining room and to his place. The other guests had already been seated. Across from him sat Alvanley and Lady Ormond, and on either side of him a lady new to him. Neither, he reflected sadly, was the beautiful blonde who occupied his thoughts.

A few places down the table he saw her sitting next to Ormond. There was a gallant on her other side with whom she was conversing. The shimmering coral gown she wore embraced her curves, modestly revealing the creamy mounds of her full breasts. Would that she was close enough he could speak to her. Close enough he could inhale her delicate scent. Memories of their morning ride assailed him—

Perhaps it was just as well she was not so close. His fervent interest in the lady might be too apparent, which would not do.

Lord Ormond, seeing the direction of Christopher’s gaze, raised an eyebrow. Christopher forced a smile and dipped his head in greeting, just as Lady Ormond sitting across from him drew his attention.

“Good eve to you, Lord Eustace.”

“And to you, my lady. And you, Alvanley.”

Introducing himself briefly to the two brunettes on either side of him, Christopher attempted to keep the conversation moving along through dinner. One was the daughter of a fellow Whig and companion of the other, who was young and apparently unattached by the way she was flirting with him. Carrying on with many women while desiring only one was proving to be exhausting. Generally he took women on one at a time. Not so this game. He was forced to at least appear to pursue several at once.

About the Author

MEDIA KIT Author PhotoAs a child Regan Walker loved to write stories, particularly about adventure-loving girls, but by the time she got to college more serious pursuits took priority. One of her professors thought her suited to the profession of law, and Regan realized it would be better to be a hammer than a nail. Years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government gave her a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown” on its subjects. Hence her romance novels often involve a demanding Prince Regent who thinks of his subjects as his private talent pool.

Contacts

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Short and Sweet Holiday Treats

If you’re looking for a quick HEA fix for the holiday season, here are some suggestions. Not all are holiday-related and not all are sweet, heat-wise, but all are bargains and great reading!

A Holiday Anthology, Vol. 1 by Rose Anderson

holiday anthologyA Holiday Anthology, Vol. 1 is a  FREE collection of short Christmas stories By Exquisite Quills Authors and Friends. It has been written for adults who love romance stories but is family friendly. Each story is unique and is meant to give a sampling of the writing of that author. From contemporary to historical, the Exquisite Quills authors and friends wish you a happy holiday filled with wonderful books.

  • Christmas Knight by Victoria Adams
  • Star of Wonder by Rose Anderson
  • The Kissing Ball by E. Ayers
  • The Christmas Risk by Beverley Bateman
  • Fallen in Love by Helena Fairfax
  • Snow Job by J.D. Faver
  • Christmas Miracle by Jennifer Garcia
  • Highland Hogmanay by Romy Gemmell
  • Almost Christmas by Vonnie Hughes
  • The Unexpected Christmas Gift by Susan Jaymes
  • Shooting Star Holiday Express by Gemma Juliana
  • The Christmas Gift by Jean Lamb
  • A Faery’s Wish by Jane Leopold Quinn
  • Joyeux Noel by Zanna Mackenzie
  • Gifts to Treasure by Kaye Spencer

Free download on Smashwords.

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A Grosvenor Square Christmas by Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly, Anna Campbell, and Kate Noble

Four breathtakingly romantic tales of a Regency Christmas from four bestselling romance authors.

Down through the years, enchantment touches a tall gray house in Grosvenor Square. The legend of Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball promises true love and happiness to one lucky couple. Who will feel the magic this winter?

1803 – The Seduction of a Duchess by Shana Galen

Rowena Harcourt, the Duchess of Valère, never forgot the handsome footman who helped her escape the French Revolution. For fourteen years, Gabriel Lamarque has loved Rowena—now at Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball, has fate finally delivered a chance to win her hand?

1818 – One Kiss for Christmas by Vanessa Kelly

Nigel Dash is London’s most reliable gentleman, a reputation he never minded until he fell in love with beautiful Amelia Easton. Unfortunately, Amelia sees Nigel as a dependable friend, not a dashing suitor. At Lady Winterson’s famous Christmas ball, Nigel vows to change Amelia’s mind—by sweeping her off her feet.

1825 – His Christmas Cinderella by Anna Campbell

At the season’s most glittering ball, a girl who has never dared to dream of forever after discovers a Christmas miracle.

1830 – The Last First Kiss by Kate Noble

Susannah Westforth has always loved Sebastian Beckett – but he’s only ever seen her as a friend. When Sebastian takes his Grand Tour, Susannah transforms herself into a woman he’ll notice. Now Sebastian is back, just in time for Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball – but the last thing he expects to see is his little Susie, all grown up…

You’re invited to join the whirling dance at Lady Winterson’s sparkling Christmas ball, where miracles happen and true love shines forever. How can you resist?

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Mischief and Mistletoe by Tanya Anne Crosby

Suspecting he can never be the man Emma Peters wishes him to be, Lucien Morgen, the fifth duke of Willyngham, decides to break off their long-standing engagement… only to discover the innocent fiancé he set aside for years has unexpectedly blossomed into a passionate, irresistible woman.

As the family counts down to Christmas, everyone else seems to realize Lucien and Emma are truly meant to be–except the oblivious couple. With the help of some very mischievous children, Emma and Lucien are about to discover that a little mischief beneath the mistletoe might just open their hearts to love.

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Christmas Roses: Love Blooms in Winter by Mary Jo Putney, Patricia Rice and Susan King

Love Blooms in Winter. Three rare, historical romance novellas by acclaimed writers Patricia Rice, Mary Jo Putney, and Susan King are collected together here for the first time in this exclusive eBook, Christmas Roses. “The Snow Rose”, “The Black Beast of Belleterre”, and “The Kissing Bough” weave tales of the joy of unexpected Love, at a special time of year, Christmas – as only these talented writers can. Discovery in the midst of a clash of clans, hidden desires from an unexpected suitor, and a love once lost and found combine for a truly romantic journey through history. This tantalizing collection of historical romances also includes all-new introductions and recipes to add to the delight of the season.

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The Gladiator’s Girl by Amy Hearst

Rue, a slave girl in an ancient Roman ludus, has been searching for love all her life. Her mistress often gives her to victorious gladiators for pleasure at their school as a reward for competence in the arena.But Rue has only experienced cruelty from men until she meets Ducius,a muscled and handsome gladiator who relishes their love and revives Rue’s wilting spirit. He treats her gently and nurtures her, and Rue begins to believe in the future again.Their relationship grows ever deeper each time they come together. But the shadow of death haunts them whenever Ducius sets foot upon the sands of the arena, and Rue is certain she will never escape the bonds of slavery. They both search for a path to permanent happiness, a path that can only be determined by their master.

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A Winning Streak by Téa Cooper

Will the path of true love incur the wrath of the virgin Goddess Artemis?

Abandoned at birth, Atalante, protege of the goddess Artemis, is forced into an untenable position by her estranged father, the King of Arcadia—renege on her vow of virginity or condemn her suitors to a sacrificial death. The aristocratic courtier, Melanion, cannot believe anyone would be foolish enough to put their life on the line for the dirty little predator whose reputation for speed and cruelty is legendary. That is until he falls under Atalante’s spell.

Consumed by desire and jealousy, Melanion is determined to win Atalante’s hand or die trying. He calls upon Aphrodite to assist him, little realizing that her noisome brat, Eros, has the pair of them in his sights and is determined to inject a little spice into their lives. Spice that will devastate the path of true love and incur the wrath of the virgin Goddess Artemis.

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Kisses, She Wrote: A Christmas Romance by Katharine Ashe

Christmas in town has never been so steamy . . .

Handsome as sin and scandalously rakish, Cam Westfall, the Earl of Bedwyr, is every young lady’s wickedest dream. Shy wallflower Princess Jacqueline of Sensaire knows this better than anyone, because her dreams are full of the breathtaking earl’s kisses. And not only her dreams—her diary, too.

But when Cam discovers the maiden’s not-so-maidenly diary, will her wildest Christmas wishes be fulfilled in its pages . . . or in his arms?

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Her New Year’s Knight by Selene Grace Silver

The holidays are a time for family. So what if Darla doesn’t have one. She’s a trained psychologist and well-versed in all the dangers of inflating the importance of one week of the year. Besides, she has her clients who need her. Unfortunately, one of them seems to have a dangerous obsession for her. She doesn’t need Santa to bring her a family. What she really needs to find under the tree is a strong protector.

This novella runs 110 pages. It contains explicit descriptions of sex. Recommended for mature (17+) readers only.

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All That’s Unspoken by Constance Phillips

After eight years, Hailey is back in Caseville, Michigan. Just months after her mother’s death, her siblings want to put their father in a nursing home and rent out the family farm. If that wasn’t enough, the prospective tenant is Nate, the high school crush she left behind the day after they acted on their mutual attraction.

After high school, Nate Jenkins planned to leave small town behind, but life dealt him a different hand of cards. He’s now back in Caseville, raising his daughter and running his family’s diner. His daughter’s speech disorder has been improved by therapeutic horse riding and if he can lease the old Lambert farm, he can get her a horse of her own. The only thing standing in the way is Hailey, the same woman who left him eight years ago without even saying goodbye.

Can they get over all that’s unspoken between them?

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Council Courtship by Constance Phillips

When Tristan Ipsly becomes eligible to fill a vacated Council seat, he thinks his chances are non-existent. Especially since he is the sole member to a house the fell to the revolution and his contender Edwin Vettore is an elder from a house that adheres to Canon teachings.

If fairykind has a chance at survival, it will come on Tristan’s wings of change. Or so Quinn Vettore believes. But voicing her support for Tristan will anger her grandfather, and he’s the one man who can stand in the way of a courtship between Quinn and Tristan.

Will Edwin successfully keep both Quinn and the position out Tristan’s grasp, or will the Council yield to change?

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Twelfth Night Wager by Regan Walker

THE REDHEADED RAKE
It was a dull day at White’s the day he agreed to the wager: seduce, bed and walk away from the lovely Lady Leisterfield, all by Twelfth Night. But this holiday season, Christopher St. Ives, Viscount Eustace, planned to give himself a gift.

THE VIRTUOUS WIDOW
She was too proper by half—or so was the accusation of her friends, which was why her father had found her a husband. But Lord Leisterfield was now gone a year, and Grace was at last shedding the drab colors of mourning. The house felt empty, more so during the coming Christmastide, and so tonight would begin with a scandalous piece of theater. The play would attract rogues, or so promised her friend the dowager countess. Rogues, indeed. The night would preface the greatest danger—and the greatest happiness—that Grace had ever known.

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The Holly and the Thistle by Regan Walker

A chance meeting at Berry’s wine shop, a misunderstanding and Christmastide all come together to allow the most handsome Scot in London to give Lady Emily Picton the best Christmas gift ever: a marriage not of convenience, but of love.

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Three Timeless Loves by Claire Delacroix, Terri Brisbin, Eliza Knight

Not short, but a great deal, especially if you like Scottish time travels!

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The Christmas Cuckoo by Mary Jo Putney

Major Jack Howard, a weary veteran of the Peninsular Wars, has just returned to England and intends to travel to an unwelcoming family home for Christmas. But when a pompous secretary gives him too many orders, Jack hops on the next stagecoach leaving the London inn, not caring where it’s going. Too much whisky to stave off freezing leaves him sleeping it off in a different inn, and when an attractive young woman asks if he’s Jack Howard, he happily goes home with her.

Despite vile weather, Meg Lambert drives to the local inn to collect her brother’s friend Jack Howard, but since she’s never met the man, she doesn’t realize that she’s brought home the wrong Jack Howard. Jack realizes her mistake when he awakes the next morning with an aching head—but he finds a warmth and welcome with Meg and her family that he’s yearned for all his life. He can’t bring himself to admit that he’s a cuckoo in her nest—but what will happen when Meg’s brother and the right Jack Howard turn up for Christmas???

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A Lass For Christmas by Jane Charles

Lady Madeline Trent had grand plans for her future until she learned her family’s awful secret. When a fall through an icy lake lands her in the arms of a handsome Scot, her future is more unsure than ever.

Lachlan Grant, the Marquess of Brachton, may hold an English title, but he’s a Scot through and through. He’s bound and determined to marry a lass just as Scottish as he is, at least until his fate is altered one snowy night.

A Lass for Christmas is a novella of approximately 27,000 words and the fourth story in the Tenacious Trents series.

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Mistletoe and Magic by Katie Rose

SusanaSays3SUSANA SAYS: A delightful holiday romance: 4/5 stars

Penelope Appleton has an unusual gift—that of seeing visions of the future. Among other things, she foresaw both of her older sisters’ love matches, and then, finally, she sees her own.

When she and Jared Marton clasp eyes on each other at the Christmas Ball, they both know they are destined for each other. Unfortunately, Penelope sees something else as well—a newspaper headline proclaiming Jared’s death on Christmas Eve.

In an attempt to protect her heart from the devastating blow of losing her true love, Penelope determines to avoid Jared. But the smitten attorney doesn’t give up easily. No matter what Penelope contrives to discourage him, he manages to find a way to counteract it. And Penelope finds herself falling for him in spite of herself.

Mistletoe+and+Magic+(Novella)But Penelope’s visions have always come true, so she can’t help becoming more and more anxious as Christmas Eve approaches.

This novella is a sequel to Rose’s “Courting Trouble” and “A Hint of Mischief.” “Mistletoe and Magic” stands by itself, however, which I can verify since I have not read either of the preceding novels.

“Mistletoe and Magic” is a delightful Christmas read that will no doubt spur other readers on to obtain the first two stories and discover how Penelope’s sisters met their matches.

Available

AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo

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Cotillion Christmas Traditions series

cotillionchristmastraditions                    printbook copy2

This series of eight sweet Regency novellas has previously been featured on this blog. These stories are also available in two print volumes: Cotillion Christmas Traditions and Cotillion Christmas Celebrations.

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A Regency Christmas Collection by Hetty St. James

Three Regency Christmas stories available in digital form as well as print and large print. Previously featured on this blog.