Tuesday, December 22, 2020

We Wish You a Merry (Victorian) Christmas!

What is it that makes me get sort of goofy and sentimental about the Victorians and how they elevated the celebration of Christmas to a fine (if florid) art? The candles, the decorations, the food—the sheer coziness—and the emphasis on home and family…it paints a very beguiling mental picture, doesn’t it?

But it certainly isn’t just me (and feel free to comment and make me feel less sheepish. 😉) I’ve found some splendid bits around the interwebs by other just as beguiled and fascinated by Victorian Christmases as I am, such as this video about Victoria’s Christmas dinners by history blogger/filmmaker Lindsay Holiday:

Now, you probably know by now that I’m all about the 19th century clothes... While I’m usually more excited by clothes from the earlier part of the century, I couldn’t help being delighted by a video by CrowsEye Productions about Queen Victoria being dressed for an evening Christmas party, as depicted in this popular engraving from 1848 as seen above right at the beginning of the post. The dress isn’t exact, but close enough:

And just because it’s really neat, here’s Prince Albert getting ready for the same party:

While I expect that I’ll be dressed in a considerably more casual fashion on the 25th (because of course I’ve given my lady’s maid the day off), I’ll be enjoying the holiday...and Regina and I hope that you will be doing the same. A very happy Christmas to you, dear NineteenTeen readers, and we’ll see you in the new year. 😘

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Always Kiss at Christmas (and Enter Giveaways Too)

Are presents starting to appear under your tree? They are here. I’ve finished wrapping the ones I bought for family, and packages from friends have been arriving.

So has a book! Two years ago, I published a novella about the origin of the love story between Meredith Thorn (born Mary Rose) and Julian Mayes in a Yuletide Regency collection with five other authors. I’m pleased to say I could bring it out this Christmas all on its own, in both print and ebook, as an addition to the Fortune’s Brides series: Always Kiss at Christmas. It’s available now at 99cents.

Mary Rose has one goal for her mother’s annual Christmas Eve party: convince her childhood friend Julian Mayes to marry her. She has always admired Julian. Surely one moment under the kissing bough will convince him they were meant to be together. Newly hired by a prestigious London law firm, Julian is ready to shake the dust of the countryside off his polished boots. But he’s always had a soft spot for Mary. As the danger to her future becomes clear, will one kiss be enough to prove to him how far he will go to protect her?

If you’d rather listen to your love stories, Never Marry a Marquess is now out in audiobook. The amazing Jannie Meisberger once again lends her talents to finishing the Fortune’s Brides series in style.

And, if you act quickly, you have two opportunities to introduce yourself to some fine reads.

TODAY ONLY—December 15, 2020, you can still enter this giveaway to travel the world, from the comfort of your cozy chair. Multiple winners will take home a print bundle of 13 sweet historical novels by some of the most beloved authors in the field, including Karen Witemeyer, Rachel Fordham, Jen Turano, Laura Franz, and Heather B. Moore. US readers only. Enter here.

Through December 27, 2020, fourteen different authors are sharing about their sweet reads for Christmas. To learn more about the stories and enter for a chance to win a $70 Amazon gift card, go here.  

Lots of ways for your Christmas reading to be merry and bright!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Marissa's Bookish Doings: Past, Present, and Future

First, some award news: I’m delighted to report that Evergreen won first place in the Young Adult category of the 2020 International Digital Awards, sponsored by Oklahoma Romance Writers of America. Between Silk and Sand won the same category back in 2018, incidentally.

In other award news, Evergreen is a finalist in the Paranormal category of the 2020 Golden Leaf Award, sponsored by New Jersey Romance Writers…and yes, other books of mine have been honored in this contest, including Skin Deep winning the Paranormal category in 2017 and both Betraying Season and Courtship and Curses being finalists in the Young Adult category.

I’ve discovered that I really enjoy making “book trailers”—teaser videos for books, much like movie trailers. Whether they’re much good is another issue. 😜 Still, it’s exciting, as an author, to find images that resonate with my vision of my stories…and after all, it’s just another form of storytelling. All of which is a roundabout way to get to showing you the video I created for an older book of mine, By Jove:

What do you think?

And finally, some future bookish news. Between a family bereavement at the beginning of the year and the weight of the present pandemic, my writing has slowed to a snail’s pace. But even snails eventually reach their destinations: in 2021, look for a new young adult book from me as well as a new story in the Leland Sisters world featuring Persy and Pen (and Charles!)…and a new venture: I’ll be co-editing an anthology of ghost stories for Book View Café, due out in September. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

19th Century Christmas Wish List, 2020

Have you been shopping earlier than usual this year? I have, partly because whatever I buy will have to be shipped to me before I ship to those I love. Yes, I could ship direct, but I want to see the items, and I like wrapping things. But if you’re still looking for the reader, or writer, in your life, or you’re interested in things that make a nineteenth century aficionado’s heart go pitter-pat, then allow me to direct your attention to some of the lovelies for this year. 

To start, there’s a nice overview of the Regency period, well-told, that I somehow missed last year: Robert Morrison’s The Regency Years: During Which Jane Austen Writers, Napoleon Fights, Byron Makes Love, and Britain Becomes Modern.  

For some calming thoughts and a pretty craft, try Regency Dress Fashion Coloring Book: A Fashion Adult Coloring Book in Grayscale for Fans of Jane Austen, by Caroline James. 

More interested in making a statement, Jane Austen style? Try a t-shirt proclaiming your membership in the Society of Obstinate, Headstrong Girls. (Wish I could have been a charter member!) 

And if you’d like some wonderful vintage posters and maps, look into Cartolina of Canada.  

Then there’s the “just cuz” category: 
What nineteenth-century-like goodies are on your list this year?