Regency Quick Fix

Christina here. We all lead very busy lives and sometimes we might not have time to read an entire novel – that’s when a short story collection or a novella comes in handy. A few years ago, I wrote some Regency novellas and I was delighted to find that Choc Lit are relaunching them this month with gorgeous new covers! It’s lovely to see them going out into the world again and I hope they are picked up by new readers. If you want a “quick fix” of the Regency period, these should do the trick!

In a recent post, some of the Wenches mentioned how they fell in love with Regency romance thanks to Georgette Heyer. It was the same for me. I first discovered her novels in my high school library when I was supposed to be doing homework. Always a voracious reader, I couldn’t resist checking out the shelves to see what was on offer, and her novels looked intriguing. At the time, I was hooked on Victoria Holt’s gothic romances and had never read anything set in the Regency period. That was soon remedied. Luckily for me, that library had at least half of Ms Heyer’s stories, and I was very happily reading those instead of the boring books I was supposed to read for class.

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Inside a book

Anne here, and I’m following on from Andrea’s lovely post about ornamental bookplates and talking about what else you might find inside the covers of a book. I’m fascinated by all kinds of ways in which people make a mass-produced book, something personal. Sometimes it’s by making a new cover for a book — I did that once for the hardback version of one of my books because I disliked the cover the publisher gave me. And I know some people use cloth covers to disguise the fact they they’re reading a romance — in case some nasty person shames them for their reading taste.

It can be by simply writing your name in a book. It’s a sign of ownership — or at least a claim of ownership. As the youngest of four, most of the books I read were very clearly labeled as Not Mine — in other words my older sisters and brother had put their names inside the front covers.

I was amused to find this written in one of my old childhood books. I’m not sure whether you can make it out, by the first name to be written in it was that of my middle sister. Her name and even the address was later very firmly written over by my oldest sister, stating her ownership in no uncertain terms. And of course, who owns the book now? Yes, the baby sister, but shh, don’t tell.

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Heyer Quiz #2

Anne here: Welcome to the new WordWench blog site. We hope you like the new design. Make sure you bookmark it, as the URL has changed. And since the system is new to us all, please be patient while we sort out the kinks.

To start us off with a bang (or a scratching of the head), I’m presenting another quiz — the second Georgette Heyer quiz, where we test your knowledge of her novels. It’s just for fun, and your score doesn’t matter in the least.

Make a note of your answers, check them on the link at the bottom, then come back and tell us how you went, and whether you enjoyed it, found it too hard, too easy or just right.

1)   Who said: “I feel an almost overwhelming interest in the methods of daylight abduction employed by the modern youth.” ?
a)  The Marquis of Alverstoke
b)  The Duke of Avon
c)  Miles Calverleigh
d)  The Duke of Salford

2). Who is our hero talking about here?
          “She blurts out whatever may come into her head; she tumbles from one outrageous escapade into another; she’s happier grooming horses and hobnobbing with stable-hands than going to parties; she’s impertinent; you daren’t catch her eye for fear she should start to giggle; she hasn’t any accomplishments; I never saw anyone with less dignity; she’s abominable, and damnably hot at hand, frank to a fault, and – a darling!”
a)  Phoebe Laxton
b)  Phoebe Marlowe
c)  Tiffany Wield
d)  Hero Wantage

3) Who is X in this exchange? 
    “What do you mean to do when you reach Lacy Manor?” asked X, regarding him in some amusement.
      “Wring her neck!” said Z savagely.
      “Well, you don’t need my help for that, my dear boy!” said X, settling himself more comfortably in his chair.
a)  Lord Sheringham
b)  Dominic, the Marquis of Vidal
c)  Charles Rivenhall
d)  Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy

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From Chicks to Hens

Purple_Fedora_hatChristina here. I’ve been thinking about so called “hen lit” recently, as I read some books that could be put in that category. It’s usually defined as stories with older heroines, and Wikipedia also calls it “matron lit”, a term I vehemently dislike! I mean, just because you’ve hit a certain age doesn’t mean you automatically turn into a “matron”, does it? I’m of the mindset of the poem Warning by Jenny Joseph, about breaking the rules when you get old, wearing purple and doing things you shouldn’t just because you can – that is the way I want to age, not conforming to any mould.

FredericaWhat do we consider an older heroine? I’m guessing women from the age of about forty/forty-five and upwards, although to me forty now seems fairly young. (Yes, I’m already that old!) It’s all very subjective, but the actual age doesn’t really matter – it’s the fact that they are not pretty young things any more, waiting for their big love story and Happy-Ever-After with a gorgeous man, two point five children, and a lovely house with a picket fence. Instead they are older and (hopefully) wiser than the average romance heroine, and may already have been there and done that. Also got the T-shirt and discarded it.

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What a Quiz!

Quiz winnerNicola here. This weekend we took part in our local village charity quiz, fifteen teams trying to answer questions on everything from the names of Disney princesses to Olympic swimming champions. Amazingly, we won – as a team we knew a lot of obscure, random general knowledge! – plus we raised some money and enjoyed an evening out with friends and neighbours. It was all very good humoured, unlike some of the quizzes I've been involved with where professional teams got very irate if they didn't win!

I’ve always liked the word “quiz.” It's got a fun feel to it, and, being a writer, I've often wondered where the word originated from. I remember it featuring in Georgette Heyer, but as a description of a person rather than an activity. So I set out to find out more.

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