Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Weekly Quote Wednesday - Sylvia Plath and Tessa Dare

Weekly Quote Wednesday
Writing quote

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath

Historical romance quote

 “I'm not going to accept your challenge. There will be no duel."
"Why not? Because I'm a woman?"
"No, because I've seen the way you spinsters handle a pistol. You'd shoot me dead where I stood.”
― Tessa Dare, A Night to Surrender

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Heores - Mr Darcy

And so, we've come to Mr. Darcy. He is arguably the penultimate Jane Austen hero.

Why love Mr Darcy?

At first it seems he's arrogant and proud, but when we see more of his actions, we see that he is only trying to do what he feels is best for those he cares about, no matter how misguided his judgement, and when Elizabeth points out his faulty logic, he's man enough to accept her judgement and try to rectify his mistakes.

My heroes have a bit of Mr. Darcy in them. My heroes often have deeper thoughts than they speak aloud. They also can be guarded with their feelings and emotions, until the right heroine comes along to drive them into admitting their feelings and looking at themselves honestly.

Do you love Darcy? Why?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Weekly Quote Wednesday - Robert Frost and Lorraine Heath

Weekly Quote Wednesday
Writing quote

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
― Robert Frost

Historical romance quote

 “I would rather be a cripple and have your love for all of a single moment than to live as I am without ever having it.”
― Lorraine Heath, Waking Up With the Duke

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Hero for Every Heroine - Mr. Bingley

Jane Austen had a wonderful grasp on men--what made them great and what made them terrible. We've already discussed Mr Knightley, my personal favorite. Let us continue our discussion of the Jane Austen heroes by discussing Mr. Bingley.

What makes Mr. Bingley a great hero?

Mr Bingley is not only handsome and rich,  he's open and honest with his feelings. He's amiable and kind, with little of the darkness or mystery that some men have. I for one love that about him. I love that he dotes on Jane, and though he is easily persuaded, in the end, he comes to claim her.

My heroes have a little of Mr. Bingley in them. I write heroes who may not be as open as he is with their feelings, but they certainly work to charm their heroines. (Particularly once they realize how much she means to them.)

Writers: Feel free to share how your heroes are like or unlike Mr. Bingley.
Readers: I'd love to hear why you love or don't love Mr. Bingley.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Weekly Quote Wednesday - Anaïs Nin and Courtney Milan

Weekly Quote Wednesday
Writing quote

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
― Anaïs Nin

Historical romance quote

 “Her lips found his and a stab of exquisite desire shot through him. This is what he's been waiting for all this time. Not a stolen embrace. A gift, freely given. One that he would keep forever in some small part of his soul.”
― Courtney Milan, Unveiled

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Hero For Every Woman - Mr Knightley

I know most women love Mr. Darcy, and he is great, but I admit I am partial to Mr. Knightley, and not just because he's been played by such handsome actors as Jeremy Northam and Jonny Lee Miller.

Why Mr.. Knightley is awesome. 
He is not only the perfect opposite to Emma's flawed and somewhat childish personality, but he's also a wonderful man.
Kindness, compassion, and maturity are amongst his greatest qualities, but his best quality for me is his fearlessness. He's never cowed into silence. Even with the woman he loves, he's not afraid to call it like he sees it. He is not timid or reserved when he tells Emma she was not living up to her own kind nature.
All my heroes are in some way inspired by him. Every book I have ever written includes a hero who is fearless in some way. Even though my heroes can have huge fears (like a fear of guns or the fear of being alone), they are never afraid to do what they must when it really matters--whether that be facing down their demons or facing down their heroines.

So share;
Readers: which hero do you love most and why?
Writers: is there a hero who inspires your writing? Who and why?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weekly Quote Wednesday - Oscar Wilde and Christina Dodd

Weekly Quote Wednesday
Writing quote

“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Historical romance quote

 “I intend to marry Michael, and squander all his money and run his life, and make sure he never again consorts with wicked women or gambles with licentious men. I promise I will henpeck him until he has no life beyond what I allow him, and when we die, I will lie in his arms through all eternity.”
― Christina Dodd, In Bed with the Duke

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Daily Life 1770-1830 - Undergarments

Elégante à sa toilette, 1796

This post is about the basic undergarments a lady wore (and didn't wear) during the late 18th and early 19th century. Starting from the skin and working my way out. 

Stockings and Garters

  1.  As you can see in the picture above, women wore stockings that came just above the knee. Ribbons and other ties were used as garters to secure the stockings in place.


  1. First, for most of the 18th and well into the 19th century, women did not wear panties, often called drawers, pantaloons, or pantalettes, depending on the year and style. Drawers slowly gained popularity in the 19th century, but for quite some time, they were considered a garment for prostitutes and men. 
  2. Even when they were worn, they were not like what we wear today. They were almost like shorts and they tied around the waist. They had a large opening between the legs. I found this great pic that illustrates what I'm talking about on the Jane's World blog.

  1. The chemise (called a shift for most of the late Georgian and early Regency periods) was a simple, loose dress that women wore beneath a dress to prevent chaffing. It often came to the knee or mid calf. Sleeve length varied from 1/2 to 3/4 or full length, depending upon the dress worn. 
  2. Chemises could have decorative sleeves or collars, if the wearer thought they might be seen, but first and foremost was comfort, because it was going to run against the skin all day.


  1. Corsets, called stays during this time,  changed greatly. Late 18th century stays were conical and rigid. They had boning that ran along the front and back to keep the posture straight, and the torso in a pleasing shape. They ranged from adorned, for stays that would be seen, to rather plain, for stays that would be beneath a stomacher.
  2. Whereas early 19th century stays (as seen in the shift image above) were softer and more natural, in going with the softer style of dress. They varied in length as well, from shorter and almost bra-like, to full length stays.

 Pockets, hoops, paniers, bumrolls, ect...

  1. These things went in and out of fashion. Women used to wear pockets tied beneath their skirts, but these faded from use with the rise in popularity of the lithe silhouette. Soon the reticule became the popular way to hold your necessities.
  2. Paniers and pocket hoops, which gave the 18th century the famous I-have-hips-wide-enough-to-birth-a-elephant look tapered off toward the end of the 18th century. Bum rolls, which gave the skirts a full look, also went out of fashion as the 19th century ushered in the era of slim figures. This gave way to a petticoat or two. Women sometimes wet down the few petticoats they wore in order to show their figure to best advantage. 
  3. In 19th century France, a few unusual fashion trends (most of which I'll blog about separately) came into use. Bare breasts and see thru clothing became popular for a time, but these trends never made it to England in any real way.

After the woman had put on all these things, she was finally ready to put on her dress. Are you as exhausted as I am?

So tell me, what parts of historical dress do you like most? Least? I'd love to hear what you think.