Monthly Archives: August 2016

New contest: "The Brightest Day" anthology plus signed postcard and more!

This contest is now closed. Lail won the books!

This month I’m giving away a paperback copy of The Brightest Day: A Juneteenth Historical Romance Anthology, by Kianna Alexander, Alyssa Cole, Lena Hart, and Piper Huguley! Included in the giveaway is a separate signed copy of Alyssa’s novella, “Let It Shine” (a RITA finalist and one of the greatest covers I’ve ever seen!), and a postcard for another upcoming anthology from these authors, Daughters of a Nation: A Black Suffragette Historical Romance Anthology, signed by ALL FOUR AUTHORS!

The “Let It Shine” paperback also includes a bonus short story!

brighest day

(Spokesmodel T-Rex not included in giveaway. Image credit: “Sunrise at Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky,” by DavidCrumm, via Wikimedia Commons.)

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Risky post: Wilt thou yet confess?

Garrick_as_Hamlet
I did a post at Risky Regencies about Regency ghosts!

Completely silent ghosts became the norm to a much greater extent over the course of the nineteenth century. Generally ghosts who did speak were wrong-righting ghosts. (Although there were exceptions! In 1706 Mr. Shaw, a fellow of St John’s College, Oxford, chatted with the ghost of a dead colleague for two hours before receiving word of his untimely death.) Murder victims were the most common. Conflicts over inheritance were also a big one: “Mother’s ghost appeared to me and she says I get the antique dining set!”

Read the whole thing!

Baby's First Query Letter

Okay, I said I was going to do this and I’m going to do it! BUT OH GOD THE HUMILIATION. ::covers face with hands::

While I was decluttering I came across…this. This is the very first query letter I ever sent to an agent, back when I was 20 (this query letter has my college email address on it, y’all). Yes, I actually mailed this to an actual agent. Please don’t mock me TOO harshly!

A little mockery is fine, and probably WELL deserved.

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Dear [NAME REDACTED]:

Ever since I read my first Georgette Heyer novel, The Corinthian, back in eighth grade, I felt that many authors of Regency Romances had forgotten what it was like to be seventeen.

“A woman—no, a chit of a girl! An impertinent, atrocious, audacious brat—whom I am very sure I cannot live without.”

“Oh!” said Pen, blushing furiously. “How kind of you to say that to me!”

In my opinion, no young woman of seventeen with anything stronger than milk and water flowing through her veins would thank a man for calling her an audacious brat. And being twenty myself, I’m rather an expert.

And the heroes are worse. It is the outside of enough to act as if being condescending were romantic. Personally, I’ve always felt the potential of the Byronic hero has been greatly overlook by Heyer and her literary descendents.

Look at it this way: on the one hand, you have a sardonic Corinthian with cool grey eyes, a list of inamoratas that would stretch from here to Hyde Park, and an iron self control so perfect that if his own mother died he’d merely go a shade whiter under his tan. Moreover, his gift of repartee makes you feel like a babe in arms every time you open your mouth. On the other, you have an ardent young man with flashing eyes and dark curls tumbling over his forehead who writes sonnets to your eyebrows. To whom would you give your hand, your heart, and control over your property?

And that’s precisely the choice my heroine Helen Ardsley has to make in Chimaeras and Cream Cakes. She’s a clever young bluestocking with a taste for poetry, intrigue, fine pastries and flashy jewelry—all of which find an outlet in her friendship with the Byronic Lord Beauregard, who soon turns out to have a sense of humor after all. And yet, she always thought she wanted a Corinthian, like the dashing Lord Fairfax. After all, they strip to such advantage! Things are complicated when a penniless marquess begins hanging out for Helen, her twin brother forms a tendre for a Cit’s daughter, and an old feud between Beauregard and Fairfax threatens to put a spoke in everyone’s wheel. Will Helen succeed in finding true love?

I’ll give you three guesses. This is a Regency Romance, after all.

I have enclosed the first chapter of Chimaeras and Cream Cakes. If you are interested in reading more of it, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours, &c.,
Rose Lerner

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Yeah. So that happened.