If You Could Live in Any Period Setting and Fall in Love, When Would You Go?

Guest Post by Sandra Scholes

I am a lover of period romance novels, and I would like to say that I’m not fussy about what period novels I read, but I would be lying. The Regency period is as romantic as it gets for me; I like the setting, the architecture, the underlying passion that makes them so rakish, even in polite society circles. Everyone has their own period idea of what setting and period they would choose to fall in love. It could be the Middle Ages, Roman times, Georgian, Edwardian or Victorian, but which period sends your heart a flutter enough to fall in love?

1.) Regency

Everyone associates the Regency period with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice these days as they have read them or seen them brought to life on TV, but there is more to this period than meets the eye, and it’s no wonder it was seen as one of the most romantic periods since the Victorians. One look at Mr. Darcy in his tight pants, taking off his shirt is enough to make any woman swoon!

2.) Edwardian

This was a time when opulence and extravagance still ruled, but for the last time; before World War I took hold on Europe. Edward took over the throne after Prince Albert’s death and Queen Victoria’s mourning, and refusal to keep up with her duties as queen. Casual flings were among the fun they got up to in upper class society as long as they maintained there were a certain amount of rules to follow.

3.) Victorian

Queen Victoria lost her dear husband, Albert and was forever clothed in mourning outfits that showed he had been the only man for her, and she could not take another man at her side. This, for many people was the one of the most progressive eras, but also the most repressive and prudish. There were many new art styles, and scientific discoveries
made in this time. The Bronte’s, Lord Tennyson and Oscar Wilde were some of the Victorian eras most interesting writers; not forgetting Oscar’s scandal with men which has spawned some rather immersive LGBT Victorian writing.

4.) Georgian

George I ruled this era having come all the way from Germany. Not having spoke any English, or fitted in with anyone else in society, he was seen as an unpopular king and spent most of his time in Germany while others considered his being there political. It is considered a decadent era where the filthy rich were idle as lampooned in popular
comedy Blackadder the Third.

5.) Roman

These people had a rich history steeped in discovery, conquest, and enjoyment of all the senses. They favoured romantic attachments with either men or women, or both and had no hang-ups about what others would think about them. Some women think a man in a toga is a sensual thing, and a woman in even less might be a blessing. Think of the
Spartacus: Blood and Sand series where men were gladiators, sweating and fighting shirtless in deadly arenas.

6.) Frontier/Western

This isn’t just about the Indians who featured highly in the setting; women can’t resist the sight of a cowboy in leathers and hat, sporting jeans in calf length boots with spurs. These men are rough and ready to help a woman in distress. Everyone loves a cowboy especially if they are Clint Eastwood or John Wayne no nonsense types. There are the
good guys, but as we all know, the bad guys are out there too and dressed in black.

7.) Medieval

It was a rough time for most ordinary people, but girls still had the time to fantasize about knights in shining armour who would whisk them away from the doldrums of a boring lifestyle. Think of castles, fairy tales and men like King Arthur, along with his Knights of the Round Table. Don’t forget Mordred, Merlin or Guinevere – they play their
part in a difficult period in history.

8.) Elizabethan England

Daughter of Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth Tudor, or Queen Elizabeth as she would come to be known ruled after her father, King Henry VIII died and her mother was beheaded. She swore that she would never marry once she had witnessed her mother being dragged away for execution, and remained so until she died. It didn’t stop her having a few men at her
side, though. The Elizabethan era proved to be a very romantic one where William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe were the playwrights of the day, and Sir Francis Drake was one of the best seafarers known.

9.) Dark Ages/Viking

The longboats drifted along treacherous seas, they had gods who were powerful and brave, and the berserkers liked to go about pillaging, but these Vikings liked other things too, they liked their women, and, if the woman was game enough, they could have a handsome, strong, blue-eyed blond hugging them at night beside a nice warm campfire, forever protected and cared for.

10.) American Civil War/Reconstruction

With the Southern belle all primped and preened, often fanning her while men fall all over her by the dozen, this can be seen as one of the best eras to be romanced in even though the war was raging. Women are dressed in satins and silks, with more modern types of make-up than their predecessors. This could easily be one of the most impressive.

11.) Historical Romance

As this one is more about certain earlier time periods such as the Egyptians, Celts, and Greeks, these can be some of the most overlooked eras, even though romantic men and women have had novels written about them; Alexander the Great, and Queen Cleopatra for example.

For me it would have to be the Regency era. Men were rangy and handsome, well-mannered, but underneath it all, their hearts burned with a passion they couldn’t let out to their spouse – many found solace in other women’s bedchambers, but this was an era of beauty and extravagance in every way, from the food they ate, to the luxurious balls they hosted and the women they bedded.

What do you think? Was the Regency period the most romantic? Or are there some you think better settings for romance novels.

Photo Credits: Kıvanç Niş

Have You Kissed a Stranger Today?

Guest blog by BL Bonita, author of Romancing a Stranger

Silly question, I know, but it does happen. Maybe you’ve gone on a blind date and at the end of the evening, as the guy drops you off at your doorstep, you decide to reward him with a little peck. Maybe some random hunk saved your life from a would-be killer, and you felt it fitting to show him how thankful you are with a kiss. A little out there, maybe, but hey, crazier things have happened.

Like in my upcoming time travel, Romancing a Stranger. My heroine, Milli, finds a strange globe on her doorstep and brings it inside her home. That little mistake (or blessing?) changes her life in a way she could never have imagined. From 2010 back to 1889 Boston, life is quite different. For a modern and very willful woman like Milli, hanging with the crowd is more than a little awkward.

Not only does she have to hold her tongue and be reasonably proper, she must also search for a way back home—all while playing the role of wife to a man she doesn’t know. After all, she’s the modern version of his real wife. But why was she sent to the past, and where is the woman she replaced?

ROMANCING A STRANGER – available March 19 at Noble Romance Publishing.

She’s tough enough to survive anything . . . or so she thinks.

Either Milli Bishop is drunk out of her mind, or she seriously just woke up one-hundred years in the past. One minute she’s gazing at an amethyst ball; the next she’s fainting in the arms of a stranger . . . who claims to be her husband. Can she find her way back to the future, or will the taste of a real gentleman be too irresistible to escape?

He’s bored and lonely . . . until she comes along.

Warden Blackwood is confused by the sudden change in his estranged wife and believes she’s cut a path out of her head. Once frigid and indifferent, she’s suddenly arousing him with her scandalous seduction and shocking language. Should he continue his pursuit of a mistress—or tame his wayward wife? Only time will tell . . . .

Excerpt:

From what little moonlight trickled in through the windows, she could tell it was a study or library. All three walls were covered with bookshelves, the fourth encasing a fireplace. She walked around the room, splaying her fingertips over the backs of the two winged-back chairs and then over the mantle. The room smelled like cigar, brandy, and Warden. She might be in a strange place, in a completely different time, but, for some reason, the scent of him kept her sane.

Maybe he—

A beam of moonlight glinted off something round sitting on the desk. It reflected like light off a purple mirror. Purple.

The amethyst ball!

How could this be? Did the globe come back to the past with her? Would it bring her back?

She rubbed it. Nothing happened. No glowing light, not a damn thing. The prickle of tears made her blink rapidly. She may have come to enjoy her time here, but she still had the urge to go home. She wanted to see her friends, wanted to get back to work writing her weekly newspaper columns.

She rubbed it harder this time, desperate for the globe to save her.

Nothing.

A sob wrenched from her throat.

“Be careful. You might disturb its purpose.”

Milli spun around with a gasp. The silhouette of a tall man stood on the threshold, leaning casually against the door frame. She knew, even without seeing his face, it was Warden.

“Its purpose?”

Warden stepped into the room and gently closed the door behind him. If it wasn’t for her instant attraction to the man, and the knowledge that he was her husband, she might’ve been scared. A beam of silvery light bathed his face. His dark-angel looks made her heart pound harder. He was so tall and broad and deliciously sexy, but, at the moment, he looked deeply troubled.

“You don’t remember? Ah, that’s right; Josephine mentioned you’ve forgotten everything, including me.”

She ignored his sarcastic tone. “I asked you a question.”

Warden stared at her, his feelings unreadable. “Saska’s globe is given to the one you love. If that love is returned, all of your dreams come true.”

Saska. Another piece of the puzzle.

“Where did you get it?”

“From the leader of the traveling Finnish Romas. Saska himself.”

“Why would you give it to me?”

In two strides he was in front of her. Milli had to crane her neck to gaze up at him. His dark eyes singed a burning path up her arms when he stared down at her. His hand cupped over hers holding the globe.

“It took weeks for me to find you the perfect gift. When I gave it to you before the party, you barely glanced at it. Do you know how hurtful it is to love someone, to give them everything they want, only to have them act as though you don’t exist?”

“I’m not who you think—”

“Why did you come to the study, Millicent? You never come to this room. In fact, you never come near me.” His piercing gaze made her skin tingle and heart pound. “What do you want from me?”

Milli fought for some explanation, some kind of reasoning. The things he said about her were confusing. “I—I was looking for my globe. I want it back.”

He stood so close she could feel the heat of his body and smell the booze on his breath.

“How about I give you another gift instead?”

“Another—?”

Warden seized her wrists. Startled, she dropped the globe and it rolled away. He pulled her roughly against him and sealed her mouth with his. The kiss was demanding, meant to hurt . . . to punish. She whimpered as their mouths met in a heated battle. Caught between the urge to push him away and her body’s hot reaction, she felt light-headed and nervous, but, most of all, wanted.

His kiss was so good, so tantalizing. Aching with need, Milli pushed up on her tiptoes and arched her back, pressed her chest hard against him. Warden groaned and slid his tongue in her mouth, deliciously sliding along hers. Hot and cold shivers rushed through her, making her pulse between her thighs. She wanted to take him in, deep and hard, and forget about this craziness.

She may not know exactly where she was, or how she’d get home, but she was sure this tension between them could be eased by one thing.

She wanted to show him that whoever Mrs. Blackwood was before was not the same woman standing before him.

Would you fit in with the proper crowd and enjoy the everyday duties expected of a woman back then, or would you be under lock and key in a madhouse with me? 😉

Thank you Love Romance Passion for having me here today!

BL Bonita

Author Bio:

BL Bonita lives in Eastern Ontario with her retired USMC Captain, however, she grew up in the lush wilderness of Northern Ontario at a family-owned hunting/fishing resort. Nature has always inspired her to write, and her imagination is as wild as her memories of the bush. Some call her funny, some call her a little crazy, and to her family, she’s the black sheep of the bunch. BL writes multiple categories/themes of erotic romance, always with a touch of humor and wild adventure—a reflection of her own life. And of course, strong coffee is a necessity while the writing bug has her in its fiery grip.

GIVEAWAY: Comment for a chance to win a download of Romancing a Stranger! Deadline to enter is March 20. Open to all! Good luck!

Right Man, Wrong Time

Guest Post by Susanna Kearsley, author of The Rose Garden

One of my very first crushes was Errol Flynn. I still remember the Saturday afternoon I sat and watched Captain Blood on TV in our family room—I would have been about twelve at the time—and fell head over heels for that dashing guy wearing the cape slung across his one shoulder, the way that he usually wore it in films, so his sword arm stayed free. I was totally smitten…and totally crushed when I learned that the man I’d just fallen in love with on screen had been dead twenty years.

That’s the thing about films—you can find yourself being attracted to men who are no longer living. This happens sometimes in my research as well, when I come across letters or journals from someone whose thoughts I begin to connect with, until I think how much I would have enjoyed sitting down face-to-face with them, getting to know them.

One of the great things about being a writer is that I can bridge that time barrier whenever I choose. I can resurrect those men I’ve met in letters, interact with them, and let them walk and talk and breathe, but it’s a far cry, still, from truly meeting them.

The same year I saw Captain Blood I also watched a made-for-TV movie called The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan, in which Lindsay Wagner travelled back in time thanks to an antique dress and met her soulmate in the past, the man that she was meant to love and be with.

That’s likely what set me to wondering, what if the right man for you really did live in some other time? And it’s probably that thought that, thirty years later, inspired me to do what I’d always said I’d never do: write a time travel story.

I’m still searching, though, for a time-travelling dress that can carry me back to the forties so I can get Errol Flynn’s autograph…

What about you? Have you ever found yourself liking a person long dead?

Buy: The Rose Garden

Top 10 Reasons to Travel to Victorian England

by Isabel Cooper, guest blogger and author of No Proper Lady

When Joan, the heroine of No Proper Lady, finds herself back in Victorian England, she’s pretty happy about it. Sure, she takes issue with some expectations for women—but compared to the post-apocalyptic future she came from, where demon lords rule the Earth, 1888 is a pretty easy time to live. Since my time includes more lattes and laptops and fewer tentacled things trying to eat my face, I think I’d be less enthused about going back permanently.

As a tourist, though? Absolutely. Get me some money, a fake name, and a chance to go back to the twenty-first century next time I get a cavity, and I’d take all my vacation days in Victorian England. Here’s why:

10. An Age of Discovery! Evolution, spiritualism, railways, automobiles—the Victorian era was as inventive and controversial as our own, and people really seemed to get invested in the theories as well as the gadgets. They also used More Capital Letters, which may or may not be a good thing.

9. Travel Was Fun. If you had the money, first class on a railway sounds like it beats any road trip I ever took. Plush seats, private compartments, and great dining when you stop, plus nobody would be talking on their cell phone. Likewise, I’d much rather cross the ocean by boat than by plane if I could go in luxury. Sure, it’s slower, but that brings me to my next point…

8. Life Was Slower.  Which is weird, because I am not a patient woman—ask anyone. But maybe that means it would do me good to go to a time and place where I had to slow down and take it easy. Maybe I’d take more in, relax a little, and be better for it. Sounds nice, anyhow.

7. Food. Again, this is one of those things that depends on having money. But if you did…wow. I’ve seen some menus from the time. Meat. Cream. Pastries that defy the imagination. I would explode, but I would enjoy myself until I did.

6. You’re a Time Traveler.  In itself, that’s pretty cool. You can try and change the past; if you can’t change the past, you can always make strangely knowing predictions and impress young men/women; and you can always hope to run into David Tennant.

5. The Clothes (Women). Oh my God, the clothes—and the reasons to wear them. In my daily life, it’s hard not to just wander around in jeans and a turtleneck, and while that’s good in its way, I’d love to have some motivation to make myself all pretty and have tea, or go dancing, or similar.

4. Dancing. Yes, people dance today. I do it myself, and it’s fun—and the ratio of men to women in most dancing groups my age is not great. Back in the 1800s, men who danced were not rare and majestic creatures like the noble…I’ve run out of metaphor here, but you get my point.

3. Active Recreation. Or at least different recreation. I like video games as well as the next geek girl, but it would be nice to sing for fun, or dance, or ride horses or row boats—and to have those things be regular amusements rather than once-in-a-while novelties.

2. Meeting Future Famous People. Darwin. Dickens.  Tennyson. Eliot. You could have harsh words with Freud, if you wanted, and maybe set him straight about a few things. Why not?

1. The Clothes (Men). Insofar as I have recently been a single young woman, and insofar as the baseball cap dude-bro look does not flatter one single person ever, and neither does the cartoon-t-shirt neckbeard look…I would so not mind an era when the average guy wore a nice suit regularly. Nope. Would not mind that at all.

NO PROPER LADY BY ISABEL COOPER – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2011

It’s Terminator meets My Fair Lady in this fascinating debut of black magic and brilliant ball gowns, martial arts, and mysticism.

England, 1888. The trees are green, the birds are singing, and in 200 years demons will destroy it all. Unless Joan, a rough-around-the-edges assassin from the future, can take out the dark magician responsible. But to get close to her target she’ll need help learning how to fit into polite Victorian society to get close to her target.

Simon Grenville has his own reasons for wanting to destroy Alex Reynell. The man used to be his best friend—until his practice of the dark arts almost killed Simon’s sister. The beautiful half-naked stranger Simon meets in the woods may be the perfect instrument for his revenge. It will just take a little time to teach her the necessary etiquette and assemble a proper wardrobe. But as each day passes, Simon is less sure he wants Joan anywhere near Reynell. Because no spell in the world will save his future if she isn’t in it.

Buy: No Proper Lady

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Debut author Isabel Cooper lives in Boston and maintains her guise as a mild-mannered project manager working in legal publishing. She only travels through time the normal way and has never fought a demon, but she can waltz. Her next book, No Honest Woman, will be in stores in April 2011. For more information, please visit http://isabelcooper.wordpress.com.

GIVEAWAY: I have 2 copies of No Proper Lady for 2 lucky readers. Open to US and Canadian readers/addresses only. Enter by leaving a comment about why you would want to visit Victorian England! Last Day to Enter: October 15, 2011.

12 Signs You’ve Traveled Backwards in Time

By popular request from 10 Ways to Time Travel in Romance I present to you 12 Signs You’ve Traveled Backwards in Time.

  1. It sounds like English but you’ve no idea what is being said. This is called old English. It even looks funny written out.
  2. The buildings look really funny and quaint. It’s like you’re back in some medieval village themepark.
  3. Everywhere you look you see and smell horses. Phew. Stinky. (They didn’t have pick up your horse manure laws back then like they do now with dog poop.)
  4. People stare at your clothes, makeup, shoes, and funny hairstyle. You whore! Oh wait — there’s the really enlightened hero to the rescue. Stick you’re tongue out at all those small minded folks and go “Nah nah nah” that will really wind them up!
  5. Men and women alike are appalled by your ill manners and forwardness. Shoot, have they never heard of the 21st century? Oh wait that’s right, they haven’t!
  6. Instead of flipping on a switch for light, you’re required to light a candle. Better have matches on your person… well that or a highly badged ex-girl scout hiding under the bed.
  7. Got boots? You’re going to need them to get around because roads are unpaved and mucky nine times out of ten, unless they’re cobbled and then your boots will insulate your feet from the hard stones.
  8. The bathroom is a pot. Where’s the toilet? When does that get invented again? You might have to wait a long while. (Conveniently forgets to mention that toilet paper isn’t around either, whistles innocently and walks away.)
  9. Your teeth look nicer than anybody else’s. If you were back in your own time you know a good dentist you could recommend to get their teeth fixed. In the meantime, they all stare at your shiny choppers.
  10. You haven’t been able to find anything proper to brush your teeth with and your breath is starting to get funky. Unfortunately for you the evil villain with even worst breath than your beloved dog Charlie’s halitosis thinks your breath is like a fresh rose compared to all the other ladies around. On second thought, you might go back to the present and strangle your dentist.
  11. Your sexy enlightened hero thinks protection means one of two things: pulling out before coming or one of those sheep skin condoms with bows to secure them in place. How you long for a normal box of prophylactics size extra extra large!
  12. The medical help… not so great. You do not want to get pregnant in the past because of the high mortality rates in giving birth. Not to mention they thought babies could eat solids and the wet nursemaids probably soaked a cloth in dirty slightly milky water when feeding your kid. If you’re kid doesn’t breastfeed he’s going to get formula and Gerber’s baby food!

Photo Credits: geebee2007