It's Ash Wednesday!

Final story index:

#1: Toogood as a child at Tassell Hall.
#2: Rafe offscreen during True Pretenses.
#3: Jamie and Rafe and sheep-shearing.
#4: Imogen Makepeace buys a new dress.
#5: Little Rafe and Ash celebrate Passover.
#6: Ash tries to explain the scheduling of Ash Wednesday.
#7: Ash goes missing on Ash Wednesday.
#8: Little Ash and Rafe, SPOILERZZZZZZ.


This is one of Ash’s favorite days of the year (Ash: “Rafe, it’s my day again!” Rafe: [groans] “That isn’t any funnier this year than it was last year, Ash.” Ash: [laughs and laughs]) and I wanted to do something to celebrate.

So give me a prompt, related to either of the Lively St. Lemeston books (Sweet Disorder and True Pretenses), and I will write you at least 100 words of fiction in response.

Open until midnight 2/18 (in your own time zone).

ETA: I’ve been asked what kind of prompts I’m looking for. I think what I was imagining was like, “I want to see tiny Rafe steal something,” etc., but if there’s another way you like to give prompts, I am open to whatever!

ETA2: I’m not sure I’ll get to any more of these today (Wednesday). They’re coming out a bit longer than I was expecting and I need to do some research for a few of them! This is so much fun, guys, thanks for loving these characters. All your prompts are awesome. Keep ’em coming, and I will work on them over the next few days. <3

I'm teaching a workshop!

I’m teaching an online class on Regency politics! It’s open to everyone ($20, with $5 off for Beau Monde members).

Covent Garden Market, Westminster Election by Rowlandson

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

I am happy to answer questions and provide supplemental info, and I will be assuming that you came in knowing nothing about the subject (since I knew nothing myself before I started researching), so don’t worry that you have to be a historian to sign up.

The Regency British political system was complex, evolving, and unique—and even if women couldn’t sit in Parliament, they were involved in it everywhere, as patronesses, hostesses, possessors of pocket boroughs, information brokers, canvassers, and more. You’ll get a detailed overview of Parliament, political parties, elections, and the patronage system, and then explore the many ways that contemporary women (particularly elite women) participated.

Sign up through the Beau Monde Regency Academe (but you DO NOT have to be a member to register).

Good starter romances masterlist

Have a friend you think would love romance, but when you think about where to start recommending, your mind goes blank? Below is my own shortlist of proven starter romances, plus I asked for recommendations on Twitter and have compiled the answers.

See this post at Delilah Devlin’s blog for why this list came to be, tips for pimping friends into romance, and detailed commentary on my shortlist. If you just want the list, you’re in the right place!

ETA: This is an extremely non-diverse list overall. Alisha Rai has compiled a fabulous list of diverse starter romances, read it!

[Image credit: Patrik Neckman via Wikimedia Commons.]

My list of go-to books to loan to non-romance readers (mostly historical):

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer. Regency historical. (Please warn for anti-Semitism.)
Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie. Contemporary. (Or Bet Me.)
Fall From Grace by Megan Chance. Western historical.
Loretta Chase (historical, Regency and early Victorian). Lord of Scoundrels or Miss Wonderful are my picks but Mr. Impossible got the most Twitter votes.
A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant. Regency.
The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan. Victorian.

Now here is the full list of Twitter recommendations plus some of my own. Thanks to everyone who shared their tried-and-true conversion tools! I apologize if I’ve mis-sorted anyone; I did my best, but I haven’t read most of these books. I also have not included content warnings because figuring out which books included dubcon, etc., proved to be way more work than I could do. Please recommend responsibly!

Corrections, suggestions, and additions welcome.

Continue reading “Good starter romances masterlist”

Ash/Lydia playlist

I made an Ash/Lydia playlist for True Pretenses!

album cover for playlist

[image credit: “The flesh of hassaku fruit” by Froggieboy via Wikimedia Commons.]

When did you last let your heart decide?

The italicized songs are Ash, the bold are Lydia.

01 – Cry for Judas – Mountain Goats // 02 – Grown Woman – Beyoncé // 03 – The Crow – Dessa // 04 – Down to the Wire – Kris Delmhorst // 05 – A Ghost to Most – The Drive-by Truckers // 06 – A Whole New World – Aladdin // 07 – Treacherous – Taylor Swift // 08 – The Bargain Store – Dolly Parton // 09 – Wake Up – Ditty Bops // 10 – Do It Anyway – Ben Folds Five // 11 – Uptown Girl – Billy Joel

YouTube playlist

(OMG you guys if you have not seen the video of “Uptown Girl”…you need to. NOW.)

Night Owl Reviews Scavenger Hunt!

Hi guys! I’m excited to be a sponsor of the Night Owl Reviews February Scavenger Hunt. This is an awesome event where you basically read book blurbs and do fill-in-the-blanks, and you learn about new books and are entered to win e-books and gift cards. (OMG that $500 Amazon card is calling to me, singing its siren song. “Boooooooooooks,” it croons seductively. “Boooks books fa la la booooooooooks.”) And since I’m a sponsor, one of the e-book prizes is True Pretenses!

You can use this Rafflecopter form to enter, or go here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy reading!