Friday, May 29, 2015

Speed Dating for Authors

Author Tierney James has this cool feature on her blog called "Speed Dating for Authors" where she shares intriguing bits and pieces about books and authors -- including trivia or personal details or stuff you wouldn't otherwise know.  It's a good place to find new authors or find out more about your favorites.

This week I'm featured -- along with some photos of my dollhouse. 

Come on over to Journeys, Treks and Daylilies and join us! Here's a sneak peek: 

Yep, that's really a dollhouse!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Top Five Ways Historical Authors Go Wrong

A couple of weeks ago I met fellow author and blogger Kelly Abell when we were both guests on Marsha Casper Cook's radio show. We talked there about the errors that historical authors most commonly make, and that led to Kelly inviting me to guest blog for her. You can read my post on the Top Five Ways Historical Authors Go Wrong here. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Splitting Heirs

Under the aristocratic system of primogeniture, followed almost religiously during the Regency period, the eldest son is the heir. He gets the title, the fortune, and the land. 

But what if there isn’t an eldest son?

If a title-holder has no legitimate children, or has only daughters, then the lot goes to the nearest male relative of the title-holder. The next in line would be the title-holder’s next-younger brother, and then his sons (if he has any). If the younger brother has no children or only daughters, the title descends to the next brother in the original family, and then to his sons.

An eldest son is known as the heir apparent, because no matter what happens, if he outlives his father he will inherit. Because no one can come between him and the title, he is the apparent – obvious – heir.

If there is no oldest son, then whoever stands next in line is known as the heir presumptive. Since the title-holder could still sire a son (no matter how unlikely that might be), the heir presumptive could still be pushed out of the line of succession. So he’s presumed – but not guaranteed – to be the heir.

If the title-holder dies without a surviving son, but his widow is pregnant, then everything comes to a halt until the baby is born. If it’s a boy, he will hold the title from the moment of his birth. But if it’s a girl, then the next heir in the male line wins the jackpot.

I used this scenario in my Regency novel, Gentleman in Waiting – where the entire family is gathered, waiting to see whether Lady Abingdon’s child will be a boy or a girl...

* * * * *

Everything depends on the baby…

Lady Mariah Gerrard anxiously awaits the birth of her stepmother’s child, desperately hoping for a boy who will inherit their father’s title so Mariah can gain access to her dowry and her freedom. Her father’s cousin John, the next heir in line, has other plans – so if the baby is a girl, disaster looms for Mariah.

When Myles Moreton comes to Edgeworth to manage the family estate, Mariah’s no longer certain that even the birth of a boy will solve her problems. Why is money missing? Why is Mariah’s dowry in doubt?  Despite his genial fa├žade, is Cousin John planning mischief – or worse? Why is Myles Moreton, rather than the late earl’s trustees, suddenly in control? And how can Myles -- a man who’s entirely ineligible -- be not only completely maddening but utterly charming and very, very tempting?

As the family gathers to await the birth, Mariah and Myles search for answers – and they find that playing the waiting game can have its own rewards.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Authors Chat About Writing Historical Fiction

Recently, I was a guest on Marsha Casper Cook's blogtalk radio show to chat about the challenges of writing historical fiction. Another of the guests, Kelly Abell, has posted her comments and a link to the show here. I hope you'll enjoy listening!