Saturday, May 10, 2014

What's Next? A Summer Full of Great Reads!

It's going to be a busy summer, with releases nearly every month until September, I think.

Book Two in the Far From Home series will be released around June 1st. This title, Lessons in Fly Fishing, is a second chances story about high school sweethearts who could never get it together. Finally at their 20th high school reunion, the time is right.

Sometime during June, my next Ellora's Cave novella will be out. Book Three in the Mad Duchesses series, title Age of Innocence is a great story about sexual inexperience and the expert teacher but in a complete roll reversal. Ferd has only been with one woman and he doesn't want to suffer the same humiliation with his new, twice-wed duchess. Let's just say Ferd has a trigger problem.

By the first week in July, Book Three in Far From Home series will be ready. I love this story as my couple meets in Greece! I'm waffling on the title for this story but I have to get the cover ordered soon, so I'd better make up my mind!

And then, Book Four the final story in the Mad Duchesses series will be available. The Day After is a heart-wrenching story about honor and duty and loyalty to a best friend. What would you do if you loved your best friend's wife? I've always wanted to write a Scottish hero - I think you will love him.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Regency Man and his Cravat

Cravatiana, Stock, Neckclothiana.

In 1830, the Regency period was winding down with the death of George IV, but fashion for men was still considered an art. In the manner and elegance of dress, gentlemen were accustomed to flawless personal appearance. 

One of the most important components of dress was the cravat, the forerunner to the modern tie. The cravat replaced the black ribbons, jabots and stocks and became a focal point to the modern suit.

The Royal George: This stock has a similar style to the Military with a stiff neck. It is composed of black Genoa velvet and satin. The satin slopes down the side of the velvet to the center, where it is tied with a Gordian knot. This tie was favored by the Royals and they wore it high to the cheek, nearly brushing their ear.

The Plain Bow: Business-like and utilitarian, this tie is entirely of black silk, pliant and straight-sided.

The Military: This fashion accessory is stiff around the neck, usually made of corded silk, edged with kid and lined with crimson. More importantly, it is has no tie.

The Ballroom: True to its name, the Ballroom is the most complicated of the ties and requires much practice. Good thing nobles had valets who could perform this complicated pattern. This cloth was virgin white, starched and folded. Again there is no tie as the end pieces are cross and attached to the braces or in the back by means of white tape. And the part I like best, is that usually a brilliant brooch or pin was used to secure the cloth where it crossed in front.

The Corsican: This tie is another simple cravat and is primarily worn during the summer months. Commonly the cloth will be a light shade of cerulean blue and a plain gold pin will be used to fasten the cloth in front. This tie is also named the Napoleon.

Hibernian Tie: This emerald green tie is worn much like the Ballroom, though it has only one horizontal dent with a small Gordian knot.

Eastern Tie: Another white, very neat tie, this one relies heavily upon starch to keep it stiff. All around it should be smooth and straight, with a square knot in front.

Hunting Tie: This tie is indicative of sportsmen and is usually embellished with pins bearing fox heads or some other emblem indicating the hunter’s preference. Colors for this tie could be white, bright buff or with white spots on a blue background. The cloth itself is known for its height and tightness with three creases on either side.

Yankee Tie: A more complicated tie, there is a perpendicular crease on each side of the chin with a slight collateral dent on each side. Again a small, flat Gordian knot is used for the final tie though the ends can be crossed over the chest. Usually the cloth color is a light brimstone.

Other ties include the Osbaldstone, the Mathematical, the Mail Coach, the Irish Tie, the Trone d’Amour, the Horse Collar Tie, the Maharatta and the Oriental.

Beau Brummel is widely attributed to the revival of men’s fashion in the 19th Century. However, cravats were a fashion of the army, navy and marines in a utilitarian function. It was the year 1822 when His Majesty, George IV, started wearing certain stocks that propelled the fashion into wider acceptance. That year, he appeared at the Drury Lane Theater, wearing a velvet and satin cravat.

For more, check out the Whole Art of Dress, 1830, by Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange, from which most of this information was obtained.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               A list of neckcloth styles from 1818

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Release Day: Lessons in Mountain Climbing

Far From Home, a new contemporary romance series.

I'm really excited that today the first book in my new series is being released. Lessons in Mountain Climbing is the story of Rane Kirk, recluse billionaire. He had his fill of paparazzi early in his life and has chosen a private life in the mountains of Colorado.

I love my heroine Kinzey Vance. She's all about family, even though she was adopted as a baby. She is the eldest of four siblings and they have helped her accomplish a dream made possible by seed money from Rane Kirk's grant program. Only it is years too late for her to make Rane believe she actually accomplished such great things, not when Kirk is impossible to reach.

When she arrives at his mountain home, it isn't Kirk who sparks her interest, but the gardener Bill O'Toole. Now it is Bill who is determined to keep her from Rane Kirk and the larger than life persona of Kirk that is keeping them apart.

Well, I don't have to tell you the big secret. Hopefully, you've figured it out. Bill O'Toole is Rane Kirk's alter ego. As O'Toole he is free to do as he pleases without the interference of fame. Oh, and he hasn't forgotten Kinzey, he hasn't forgotten that she did nothing with her grant money and he hasn't forgotten the attraction he always felt for her.

It's a sexy, sweet story about the power of love and family. And what to do when your dreams could easily be shattered by the one person who might make all the difference in a lonely life.

Hope you enjoy this new series. Book Two, Lessons in Fly Fishing releases next month!

Over at Ellora's Cave, the next Mad Duchesses series book is undergoing edits. The title? Age of Innocence. Yes, that is where I am heading as soon as I hit 'publish' on this blog post. I am doing first round edits and should have back to my editor in a few days. Hopefully this will be released sometime in June. Here's the cover.