Valuing Vanessa: Griswold Finds a Home (Giveaway)

Susana's Parlour


Holly and Hopeful Hearts

When the Duchess of Haverford sends out invitations to a Yuletide house party and a New Year’s Eve ball at her country estate, Hollystone Hall, those who respond know that Her Grace intends to raise money for her favorite cause and promote whatever marriages she can. Eight assorted heroes and heroines set out with their pocketbooks firmly clutched and hearts in protective custody. Or are they?

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Griswold’s Story

from Valuing Vanessa

The second morning of their visit dawned sunny and unseasonably warm, so Louise and Blanche and her cousins Alice and Celia decided to explore the extensive grounds. Miss Grenford recommended that they stay within view of the house for the morning, but that the head groom should be able to provide mounts for them in the afternoon if they wished to go…

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Living History: Connecting to Heritage, Part I

History Imagined: For Readers, Writers, & Lovers of Historical Fiction

georgesantayanaquote1In a recent post, I posed a question that is central to this series: why is living history important? My initial answer dealt with the need to communicate the facts and concepts of history to those persons who have not previously connected with the past in a meaningful way. Knowing the history of one’s community, nation, and the world not only informs how we view those entities, but also impacts who we are as individuals and how we function within those entities. I strongly believe that individuals and nations cannot know where they are going unless they know where they have been. As the philosopher George Santayana so eloquently put it, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

img_0841And then, of course, there is always the entertainment factor associated with living history events and attractions. They are great fun. They allow us to step back in…

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#RomanticTravel Fall Blog Exchange ~ Alaska and Author Devon McKay!

Raisin' the Signal Flag

Welcome Author Devon McKay  today as we continue Author Tina Gayle‘s #RomanticTravel Fall Blog Exchange.

Where do you recommend taking a romantic getaway, Lady Devon?


My romantic getaway would be Alaska. I lived there for 27 years and have yet to find a more beautiful place, which is one of the reasons I wrote Staking A Claim.               

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Amy Rose Bennett: The Ice Duchess (Scandalous Regency Widows, Book 2)

Susana's Parlour

In The Ice Duchess, my heroine, Georgiana, the widowed Duchess of Darby, prides herself on her ability to be a brilliant piquet player. Because of her past history—she suffered tremendous heartbreak at the hands of a scoundrel when she was a debutante—she became an adept player. She uses piquet as both a shield and a weapon during ton social events. In her mind, her fearsome card-playing reputation is a way to keep men, especially rakehells, at bay. Rather than converse, or worse still, flirt, she can just play cards. And it feels good to trounce the other player, particularly if he is a man!

Piquet was a popular card game during the Regency era and was often played at home, society events and even at the gaming table. A trick-taking game played by two players, it has quite a complicated scoring system. My hero, Lord Markham, and Georgie play…

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The Art of Courtly Love: Romance in 12th Century France

Dirty, Sexy History

lancelot_and_guinevere_by_herbert_james_draper Lancelot and Guinevere. Herbert Draper, 1890s.

De Amore, more commonly known as The Art of Courtly Love, was written in the late twelfth century by Andreas Capellanus (Andreas the Chaplain) as a guide to the theory and practice of love. Capellanus was a friend and contemporary of Chretien de Troyes and though he was not really a literary figure himself, his manual offers an invaluable insight into life in the French court. Along with medieval manners, the rules of love were taught and probably practiced to a point.

The idea that love as we know it was invented in this period is frankly ridiculous. Even if you’re inclined to believe that love is a construct rather than a feeling (science would disagree), Capellanus and de Troyes did not invent what we would call romantic love. Ovid’s The Art of Love and The Cure for Love predate…

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