Peace of Amiens

The Peace of Amiens

Mary Jo

NotreDameDeParisMost Regency readers and writers are generally aware of the Peace of Amiens, a 15 month period of peace from March 1802 until May 1803.  It's the marker between the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars and was the only period of general peace in Europe until 1814, when Napoleon abdicated his throne.  (1815 was when he returned from exile, reigned for the Hundred Days, and was responsible for the slaughter of masses of men at Waterloo.)

 

Read more

Guest Author Amanda McCabe dishes on Paris, Jazz . . . and Love!

ManhattanHeiress2Andrea here, and today I'm delighted to welcome my good friend Amanda McCabe to the Word Wenches to dish about A Manhattan Heiress in Paris, her new historical romance set in the 1920s. (fluttery sigh.) Amanda and I met many moons ago when we were both writing traditional Regency romances for Signet. She had since branched out into a variety of fabulously interesting time periods . . . so without further ado, let's hear what she has to say about how history inspires her writing!

You’ve started in Regency romance but have also written in a number of other time periods—Renaissance, Elizabethan, Victorian, Gilded Age Edwardian and the 1920s! Tell us a little bit about what draws you to exploring different eras.
 
I admit, I’m Amanda and I’m a history junkie!!  I’ve always been fascinated by the past, ever since I found a stash of Jane Austen and various Gothic romances/Heyer titles on my grandmother’s bookshelf.  (she was a history/book junkie, too!).  One author she collected especially was Barbara Cartland, and while even as a ten year old I had scorn for her whispery, stammering, wide-eyed heroines, I loved the historical settings she used.  Elizabethan, Regency, Victorian India, the theatrical world, Monaco casinos, smugglers in Cornwall, she had a bit of everything, and talked about them in author’s notes I devoured.  They sent me to the library to find non-fiction works where I could learn more.  So, strangely, I owe my love of history to—Barbara Cartland!

Read more

Nicola on the Grand Tour!

Giovanni_Paolo_Panini_-_Interior_of_the_Pantheon _Rome_-_Google_Art_ProjectNicola here. Back in the 18th century it was considered part of a gentleman’s education to take the “Grand Tour,” a trip through Europe with Italy as the main destination. The young, upper-class man of means and rank would set out, accompanied by a long-suffering tutor or family member, on this educational rite of passage and would return home supposedly with a greater understanding of classical culture and often with some works of art tucked under their arm.  The phrase “bear-leader” that you come across in Georgette Heyer originated with the poor tutor/chaperon/guardian who had to try to keep the youth out of trouble and instill some knowledge in him!

With the advent of mass tourism in the nineteenth century, these itineraries were opened up to the rest of us; women, families and those without a title (!) who would take a guide book along rather than a tutor. So, when we (my husband and I, to quote the late Queen) planned a holiday to Italy to see the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, we decided to take in at least a few other elements of the Grand Tour on our way – a journey through the Alps, some shopping in Milan and a stopover in Paris!

Read more

July What We’re Reading

Christina here with a round-up of what the Wenches have been reading this month. This is a truly varied selection and I hope there will be something for everyone and that you find something that appeals to you. I’ve already clicked on a few things myself …

My own favourite reads this month were the two new Wench books – The Crystal Key by Patricia Rice and The Rake’s Daughter by Anne Gracie.

Crystal KeyThe Crystal Key is the third book in the Psychic Solutions Mystery series, and these stories just keep getting better and better. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, which broadened the cast and built on the previous books in a most satisfying way. Ghostbuster Evie Malcolm Carstairs has finally got together with gorgeous lawyer Jax Ives and they are raising their ward, Loretta, together while trying to make ends meet – her by speaking to ghosts and him by setting up a new law practice in the tiny town where they live. When Evie and her hacker team at the Sensible Solutions Agency take on a new case that involves a dead former FBI agent – an old lady who had been poking around in things she shouldn’t have – and a potential murder, things start to heat up. Jax tries to keep Evie out of trouble, but she has her own way of dealing with things and doesn’t think she needs his help. He wants to do things the proper way while Evie and the others don’t always take the legal approach. Add to that the fact that his reclusive sister Ariel starts to help his best friend to uncover a major scamming network run by some seriously unscrupulous people – while slightly coming out of her shell – and he has his work cut out for him making sure everyone is safe and the bad guys get their come-uppance. With a huge cast of crazy but wonderful characters, this is a fabulous story that kept me turning the pages. I can’t wait for the next book in the series to see what will happen next!

Read more

From Paris with Love!

FestivalNicola here, fresh back from Paris and the amazing Festival du Roman Feminin, Festival of Women’s Fiction. The festival is an annual event for readers and authors, and when I was invited I was thrilled; the combination of books and Paris was, of course, irresistible! I’m so glad I went. It was an opportunity to meet new-to-me authors as well as old friends, and also to have time to chat properly with readers in a relaxed way (chatting in Franglais and with the help of some awesome interpreters!)

Thursday morning found me at St Pancras Station in London all ready to board the Eurostar to Paris. It was a fast, smooth and 1024px-Seine_by_Eiffel
comfortable trip, delivering me to the Gard Du Nord whilst I was still wondering at how quick and easy it all was! The taxi ride through Paris to the hotel reminded me of how mad French traffic can be but also gave the opportunity for a whistle-stop sight-seeing tour of the city from Sacré Coeur to the Louvre, with the river Seine shining in the sun. (The photo is from the same bridge of the river at night and it's from Wikipedia.)

Read more