header('Cache-Control: max-age=259200'); Regency Historical Romance Archives – Kristen Koster
Sep 072016
 
Finalist Badge for 2016 Pages From The Heart Unpublished Author, Historical Category

JACK OF HEARTS by Kristen Koster
2016 Pages From The Heart Finalist
Unpublished Author, Historical Category

You know how they say you can’t win the lottery if you don’t play? That holds true for a whole lot of things in life. If you don’t put yourself or your work out there, how can you expect any recognition?

A couple of months ago, I submitted the first 25 pages of JACK OF HEARTS to two RWA Chapter contests. I got the scores back for one of them a while ago and had one really glowing set where the judge loved it. The other two judges were far more critical. So, I figured the other contest would come back with similar scores.
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Dec 202015
 

Cover image for 3 YULETIDE WISHES, an anthology by Deneane Clark, Alanna Lucas and Charlotte RussellThere’s less than a week until Christmas Day and if you’re like me, you’re not done shopping yet! If you’ve got a reader of Regency Romance on your list, we’ve got something that might just be a perfect fit. Join us in celebrating the holiday release from Boroughs Publishing, 3 YULETIDE WISHES, an anthology by Deneane Clark, Alanna Lucas and Charlotte Russell. I know Charlotte and Alanna through The Beau Monde chapter of RWA® and I hope to get to know Deneane Clark better in the future. I’m looking forward to some holiday reading after downloading this to my e-reader and I hope you will too!

3 YULETIDE WISHES
an anthology by Deneane Clark, Alanna Lucas and Charlotte Russell

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#WhyIReadHistoricals and write them too!

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May 292015
 

Graphic: #WhyIReadHistoricals over images of an old print, an old clock face, and an old sailing ship.This post was originally published on Feb 10, 2012 as “Why I Love Historical Romance”, but I’m dragging it back out because the Historical Romance Network is celebrating all the sub-genres of Historical Romance today on social media with #WhyIReadHistoricals and #WhyIWriteHistoricals and these reasons are all still valid for me.

My accountability group was talking about why we write in a particular genre and what attracted us to it. Also, we were asked if we like to read any genres we don’t or can’t write? Why? And would we like to try a different genre? I’ve already answered the “Why Romance” question, but I’m not sure I’ve ever covered Why Write Historical Romance and Regency Romance in specific.

#WhyIReadHistoricals: How I found them & Why I stuck with them

I grew up reading a variety of historical romances pilfered from my mom’s stash: Kathleen Woodiwiss, Kat Martin, Rosemary Rogers, Shirlee Busbee, Virgina Henley, Johanna Lindsey, and many, many, more. I’ll freely admit I was looking for escapism and a bit of the bodice ripping excitement promised by the covers. It was a slightly different kind from what I was finding in Science Fiction and Fantasy in that this was real world stuff, not wholly made up! Westerns/Colonial American, Medievals, Regencies… all were fair game. I never read the contemporary romances then. Probably because they all had boring object-centric covers instead of those wildly passionate clinches.

#WhyIWriteHistoricals: Why settle into the Regency Era?

The romantic notions of titles and balls, the escapist fantasy, the slower/different pace of life, along with the layers and intrigue in the rules of society intrigued me. The descriptions of men’s fashions, especially the mysteries revealed when a man removes his cravat. While I love me some eye-candy, there’s something to be said for leaving things to your imagination too.

They’d also just done away with the powdered wigs, patches, and panniers of the Georgian Era. Not practical and not attractive, in my opinion. Medievals were too much fantasy compared to the historical reality of fleas, sandy grit in the bread, women being literal property. In the Regency that last hadn’t changed legally, but the authors were showing their heroines more as partners than dependents. Victorian Era was too hypocritical for me in many of its attitudes around sex. I never really got into Edwardian Era books because anytime they drive up in a car or the phone rings, my immersion is shattered. Yes, I love Downton Abbey, but yup, the phone and the cars were jarring at first there too. I suspect my problem is more with books where the setting isn’t firmly established in the beginning and those things sneak up on me.

What else do I read besides Historical Romance?

What don’t I read? The most represented genres on our shelves (well, the ones *I* read anyway) include Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, some Contemporary Romance, some Romantic suspense, historical time travel, a handful of chick lit mysteries, and a selection of urban fantasy. Again, it’s usually the escapist aspect that draws me to these genres, something removed from my ordinary world. But I always circle back to historical romance of one flavor or another.

If not Historical Romance, what else might I try to write?

Maybe contemporary romance, Urban Fantasy or some fantasy, but it’d probably be flavored in some way by the historical aspect and it’d likely still have lots of romantic elements. But for now, I’m focused on the current crop of characters in my head who all reside firmly in Regency London.


If you’d like to join the buzz please consider posting your reasons for reading or writing historical romance using either of the hashtags (#WhyIReadHistoricals and/or #WhyIWriteHistoricals) on your social media. The more the merrier!


Your Turn: What’s YOUR favorite genre of book to read and why?

Interview with Historical Romance Author Wendy LaCapra

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Mar 152015
 

Cover image for Lady Vice (A Furies Novel) by Wendy LaCapraToday, we’re celebrating Wendy LaCapra‘s debut release, LADY VICE, the first in her Furies trilogy from Entangled Publishing. I met Wendy through The Beau Monde chapter of RWA® and have been following her publishing trajectory for a while now. She’s one of the sweetest people I know and so willing to reach out and help others. I hope you come to love her and her work as much as I do!

LADY VICE
by Wendy LaCapra

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Interview with Historical Romance Author Sally Orr

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Nov 242014
 

Cover of Sally Orr's debut novel, THE RAKE'S HANDBOOK: INCLUDING FIELD GUIDE.Today’s guest is a fellow member of RWASD and the Beau Monde. Please welcome, Sally Orr who is celebrating her debut novel which released on November 4th!

I’ve gotten to know Sally over the last several years and love her wonderful sense of humor, so I wasn’t surprised when Deb Werksman from Sourcebooks took an interest in her manuscript that was a 2013 Golden Heart® finalist and the next two books in the series as well. Sally’s website describes her writing as “Romping Regency-Era Romance” — yup, a match well-made!

THE RAKE’S HANDBOOK: INCLUDING FIELD GUIDE
by Sally Orr

ISBN: 978-1492602118
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Nov 012014
 

Some people think you need a machine like H.G. Wells’, or Dr. Who’s TARDIS to travel through time. Others believe all you need is to stumble into a faerie ring.

Me? I think all you need is a good book!
#fallbackintime
Today, the Historical Romance Network is celebrating National Author’s Day and the end of Daylight Savings Time today with a special #FallBackInTime event on Facebook and Twitter as well as Tumblr and Google+ to share their love of the historical romance genre. So if your social media is flooded with pictures of romance books, don’t grumble and ignore it, TRY one!

I had trouble picking just one book, so I chose Lynn Kurland’s A Dance Through Time because I felt it best fit the spirit of the ‪#‎FallBackInTime‬ hashtag. Time travel, thematic title and a great read! However, you can see from the shelves behind me, that my historical romance keeper shelf (6 ft bookcase, 40″ shelves, double stacked) is overflowing! Somehow, browsing through my kindle reader isn’t as fun as running my hand over the spines on this shelf.

The variety within the historical romance genre these days is amazing. From Medieval, Vikings, Scottish Highlands, Elizabethan, Georgian and Regency, Victorian, the Wild West and Colonial America, Edwardian, WWI, The Roaring 20s, WWII, to ancient Egypt and ancient China (GO read Jeannie Lin now!)! You can escape almost anywhere you’d like and find plenty more to read along the way.

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So, what do I like about Historical romance as opposed to other subgenres of Romance? I like the slower pace of life and the distance and perspective shift away from the craziness that invades my everyday life. Everyone in those long carriage lines as everyone arrives at the balls are patient and the drivers aren’t stupid or rude, they’re just part of the process. Unlike the drop-off lines at school where I swear I need a doctor’s note to show my kids that I’m not allowed to go in there because of the effect on my blood pressure. You’d think by high school these people would know what was expected of them and it’d be calmer and more orderly. Not!

Anyway, I digress…

I tend to read a lot of Regency set romances because I like the fairy tale aspect of the balls and the titled men. Oh yes, and the cravats! Mustn’t forget those! But honestly, I’ll read a bit of everything. I started out reading fantasy and science fiction in the very early 80s, and naturally also found my mom’s stash of romance novels. She read a lot of cowboys, Native Americans, Dukes, Earls and Viscounts. The worlds that historical romance opened up for me were very similar to the fantasy and science fiction I was reading, but also very different. There was a guaranteed feel good ending. The Happily Ever After. Now she also read mysteries and contemporary romances, but those didn’t spark for me then. I like mysteries, but they’re not my first choice unless they’ve also got a good love story attached!

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I hope if you don’t read historical romance, you’ll give it (another?) try! And if you read a book you enjoy, regardless of genre, post a review to help spread the word or drop them a note through social media and make their day. It’s a fabulous way to thank an author!

If you need a recommendation, check out my post: 13 Repeatedly Reread Books or my Historical Romance Shelf on GoodReads or check out my Interviews section!

May 292014
 

I’ll be teaching my SECRETS OF A RESEARCH NINJA online course next month for my local RWA Chapter in San Diego. It doesn’t matter if you’re a romance writer or even a writer at all, the class is open to everyone! So, if you’d like to improve your google-fu, this is the class for you.


Secrets of a Research Ninja

Everyone’s Googled something at least once, right? But there must be ways to make your searches more efficient, effective and accurate, because no one wants or needs pages and pages of endless irrelevant results.

Would you rather spend more time writing than on a frustrating search for that proverbial needle in an ever-growing haystack?

By the end of this two week class, you will:
– write better basic Google searches,
– recognize good & bad results,
– use advanced Google searches,
– learn about specialized Google searches, and
– have resources other than Google to use.

*Please note Google does not give all countries, Canada for instance, the same access to some options or advanced search methods covered in the course.

Online Course: 2 weeks of MWF Lessons & some light homework

Date: June 16 – June 27, 2014
Cost: $20.00 (RWA-SD members) / $25.00 (non RWA-SD members)
Open to: All

Click here to Register.


Hope to see ya there!

Jan 152014
 
Hyde Park section of "Improved map of London for 1833, from Actual Survey. Engraved by W. Schmollinger, 27 Goswell Terrace"

When talking about the Royal London Parks in the Regency, the first thing to remember the word “park” held different meanings from how we (especially Americans) typically think of them today.

So get those visions of benches, swing sets, picnic tables and those box-shaped grills on metal posts out of your head, because our Regency folks would often say a “park” refers to a large open tract of land that is often used for grazing cattle or a place where deer were hunted. You’ll often see the land surrounding a country manor house referred to as a park as well and the author just means that there is a lot of open land surrounding the place that may or may not be landscaped or fenced off.

London Parks in the Regency Era

Today, we’re going to talk a bit about some of the parks in London that Regency Era heroes and heroines might have visited. And I’m using Regency Era to mean the long Regency, which continues through the reigns of George IV, William IV and ends when Queen Victoria was crowned.
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Aug 022013
 

Cover for HERO'S REDEMPTION by Georgie LeePlease welcome Georgie Lee to the blog today to celebrate her recent release of her Regency novella, HERO’S REDEMPTION. I met Georgie through my local RWA San Diego chapter because we both had an interest in Regency Romance and she’s also a member of The Beau Monde chapter. If you can’t guess from her bio picture below, she’s a wonderfully animated person and a veritable whirlwind of energy when you get her going on topics she’s passionate about.

HERO’S REDEMPTION
by Georgie Lee

eISBN: 9781426895913

Blurb:

London, 1817

Devon, the Earl of Malton, is a hero for his deeds at the Battle of Waterloo. But he suffers terrible nightmares, and drinks himself to sleep most nights. A habit he vows to break when he awakes one morning to find a woman sharing his bed, no memory of how she got there, and her angry brother at his door.

Cathleen is mortified when her wastrel brother and his greedy wife propose a blackmail scheme involving the earl, but as a penniless war widow she’s at their mercy. She goes along with the plan and sneaks into Devon’s bed one night, and ends up comforting him through a night terror.

Charmed by her beauty and kindness, Devon determines that rather than pay the blackmail, he will offer his hand in marriage to Cathleen. Although she is deeply attracted to the stoic earl, Cathleen cannot understand why Devon would want to marry her. What she doesn’t know is that Devon owes her a debt that can never fully be repaid…


Georgie’s a fan of many historical eras from Ancient Rome to the Golden Age of Hollywood, but let’s find out a bit more about her and why she writes in the Regency Era.

1. What drew you to writing Historical Romances in general and specifically to setting stories during the Regency Era?

I’m a history buff who loves many different eras from ancient Egypt to early America but I’ve always been drawn to British history. Jane Austen is responsible for leading me to focus on the Regency in my writing. I love Jane Austen because she captures the spirit of a very specific era with great insight, humor, wit and intelligence. Her characters are well-developed and with foibles, heartbreaks, challenges and triumphs that everyone can relate to. And, even after almost 200 years, Mr. Darcy is still very dishy.

2. What’s the strangest bit of historical trivia you’ve picked up in your research?

I’ve learned a lot of strange things, but one of the strangest is that the Sears catalogue used to sell morphine and a syringe, back when it was legal.

3. These next few questions assume that time travel is possible. I know you’ve written novels in several different time periods from Ancient Rome to Regency England to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Which era in time would you pick to visit?

Choosing just one time period is tough, but I have to pick ancient Egypt during the reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III. She was the most powerful female ruler in Egypt and they were co-rulers for some time. Once she died, Thutmose became one of Egypt’s greatest Pharaohs. It would be wonderful to see the dynamics that made her reign possible, to watch her rise to power and to know why, so many years after her death, Thutmose decided to remove her from the historical record. Also, I’d love to know more about the ancient Egyptian’s daily lives. Although we know a great deal about their funerary practices, very little is known about their daily lives. I would love to see the court of Pharaoh, to see how he and the noble women spent their days.

4. What modern conveniences would you miss most? What would you miss least?

The modern convenience I would miss the most is modern medicine. The one thing I would miss the least is TV. I just don’t watch it as much as I used to.

5. What would be the hardest for you to adapt to in the Regency Era?

The lack of plumbing and bathrooms. I really like running water and flushing toilets. It is so convenient.

6. Where would you fit into the society?

Oh, I would definitely fit in right at the top, maybe not as Queen, but definitely as a Duchess (hey, this is all make-believe so why not aim high, right?)

7. How long have you been writing? What advice would you go back and give yourself as a beginning novelist if you could? Would this advice differ from what you’d say to an aspiring author now?

I grew up writing many different things including poetry, short stories and screenplays. I wrote a short story for a contest in sixth grade. At the time, I was fascinated by Greek mythology so I created a myth about the Greek gods and the creation of the silver swan constellation. The story won first prize.

I began my professional writing career at a small cable TV station in San Diego where I wrote marketing videos and public service announcements. I’d always dreamed of being a screenwriter, so I moved to Los Angeles and earned my MA in screenwriting. Despite my best efforts, screenwriting success proved a little elusive (OK, a LOT elusive). I’d always read romance novels and so I thought to myself, heck, I can write a romance novel. So I did. The first draft wasn’t pretty, but I learned a lot during the revision process. That story went on to become Lady’s Wager, a Regency romance and my first published novel.

The best advice I would give myself as a beginning novelist is to learn to plot. I could have saved myself a lot of time if I’d forced myself to become a plotter sooner. The best advice I can give to aspiring authors now is to keep trying and don’t give up. There were many years where I was writing and nothing was being published and then all of a sudden, one day, all the hard work began to pay off. It’s a long term career so you can’t let setbacks make you give up.

8. I know you also love the Golden Age of Hollywood and even have a novel set there. Tell us a bit about your Hollywood experience and what are the biggest differences between writing for the screen and writing for novels that you’ve found?

Ah, the Hollywood experience. I have so many whacky stories from when I worked in La-La land, there isn’t a blog post long enough to write them all. However, I also have a lot of great stories too, like the time I accidentally met Enya, my favorite singer. It was the only time I’ve ever been star struck.

The biggest difference between writing for the screen and writing novels is detail. Screenplays don’t demand a lot of detail about setting, characters etc, so when I made the switch from screenwriting to novels, I had to learn to add details and not leave them out.

9. How do you balance your writing life and with being a wife and mom?

Making time to write is key and those writing times are usually first thing in the morning when the house is quiet and I am, for the most part, awake. I’m also an opportunistic writer and I will sneak in writing time during naps, quiet play and in the evening.

10. Are you reader? What are some of your favorites?

I am a voracious reader of non-fiction history. It’s where many of my ideas for historical romances come from and something I’ve always enjoyed. I have a large library of non-fiction books covering subjects from ancient Egypt to medicine, Regency England and classic Hollywood, to period costume and dance. There are very few topics or times periods that I am not interested in reading about.

I also read a lot of fiction, but when it comes to favorites, I lean towards classics authors such as Oscar Wilde for sharp witty dialogue, W. Somerset Maugham for great insight into characters and D.H. Lawrence for well-developed internal monologue.

11. What do you find to be the most challenging part of being a writer?

The most challenging part of being a writer is marketing. However, I am really good at walking up to strangers holding a Kindle and handing them a card for my book. I have done this numerous times, much to the embarrassment of the person I’m with.

Photo of Georgie Lee, Author


About the Author

A dedicated history and film buff, Georgie Lee loves combining her passion for Hollywood, history and storytelling through romantic fiction. She began writing professionally at a small TV station in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles to work in the interesting but strange world of the entertainment industry.

Her first novel, LADY’S WAGER, and her contemporary novella, ROCK ‘N ROLL REUNION are both available from Ellora’s Cave Blush. LABOR RELATIONS, a contemporary romance of Hollywood, and STUDIO RELATIONS, a love story set in 1935 Hollywood, are currently available from Montlake Romance. Her Regency novella, HERO’S REDEMPTION from Carina Press released on July 29, 2013, and her Regency novel, ENGAGEMENT OF CONVENIENCE is coming from Harlequin Historical on October 1, 2013.

When not writing, Georgie enjoys reading non-fiction history and watching any movie with a costume and an accent. Please visit www.georgie-lee.com or http://georgielee.blogspot.com for more information about Georgie and her novels. She can also be found on Facebook, GoodReads, and Twitter.

Buy HERO’S REDEMPTION: Amazon | Carina Press

Aug 012013
 

Weekly Photo 28/52 for 2013: Pork Loin with Bacon Weave by Kristen Koster on FlickrSettings: Sony A33-SLT • 1/25 • ƒ/5.0 • ISO 1600 • 35 mm

Not quite a Bacon Explosion, but it’s still pretty tasty. Take one pound of bacon and lay out in a weave pattern. Take one pork loin and coat with dry rub of choice. Wrap and bake… um how long? HOW LONG?! Oh right.. I made it, I should know. I want to say it was 325˚F for about 90 minutes give or take. Fairly easily to do for an impressive presentation.


Weekly Photo 29/52 for 2013: Ella Quinn headed to Beau Monde Soiree by Kristen Koster on FlickrSettings: Apple iPhone 4S • 1/15 • ƒ/2.4 • ISO 500 • 4.3 mm

Two weeks ago I was in Atlanta for the RWA National convention. The Beau Monde chapter’s annual mini-conference and soiree is always held the day before and some of the ladies go all out in getting dressed up in period costumes for the dancing. Here’s the lovely Ella Quinn on her way to the party!


Weekly Photo 30/52 for 2013: Waterfall by Kristen Koster on FlickrSettings: Sony A33-SLT • 1/500 • ƒ/5.6 • ISO 250 • 300 mm

This waterfall is part of our pool. It runs the same time as the water slide. Love the play of light on running water and the sound is so soothing. Ok, this one roars between the two, but it’s still pretty!


I THINK this catches me up! Thanks for being patient and indulging me! I’ll have an interview up with Georgie Lee tomorrow, talking about the Regency and many other periods of history and her new Regency novella, HERO’S REDEMPTION.