Today we begin our research series with a guest post from USA Today bestselling author Patricia McLinn. You may know her as a writer of romance and women’s fiction, but she loves writing on the dark side too, as you’ll see if you read on.
Handcuffed? Patricia McLinn comes clean
I was put in handcuffs back in August.
That was after I made another car spin out in a PIT maneuver. Though the handcuffs weren’t because of spinning out the other car. They were because, Continue reading →
Today we welcome Georgette Heyer’s biographer, Jennifer Kloester, to the blog. She has some exciting news for Heyer fans.
Jennifer has unearthed Heyer stories that were long out of print. And now, three new Heyer stories are being republished.
Read on for Jennifer’s detective story . . .
Snowdrift & Other Stories by Georgette Heyer
Georgette Heyer with her dog, Misty
Millions of romance readers the world over love Georgette Heyer’s sparkling Regency and Georgian novels. Since 1921 when, as a teenager, she published her first novel, The Black Moth, Heyer has delighted us. Continue reading →
Today’s guest post on romantic comedy is from multi-published author Alison May whose bubbling sense of fun comes through brilliantly in her writing.
(Alison and Joanna are members of the same local chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Needless to say, Alison always manages to inject some laughter into the meetings.)
Love and laughter go together, according to Alison …
Romantic Comedy — Love and Laughter
Romance and comedy are natural bedfellows. Shakespeare knew it when he threw Benedick and Beatrice together in Much Ado About Nothing. Jane Austen knew it when she teamed Pride with Prejudice. And Hollywood has known it repeatedly from Doris Day and Rock Hudson, to Harry meeting Sally and beyond.
The two sit so perfectly together because love is such a rich source of comedy. It makes us throw caution to the winds and do stupid things. It makes us awkward. It makes us tongue-tied. It makes us, frankly, ridiculous, and where there are humans being ridiculous, there is comedy. Continue reading →
Today’s guest blog on YA heroes is from award-winning author Pia Fenton (Christina Courtenay)
Heroes, Villains . . . What’s Not To Love?
There’s been a lot of talk about heroes on the Libertà blog. Also delicious villains.
Yes, I too am a fan of Mr Rickman and others like him, notably Lucius Malfoy (actor Jason Isaacs) in the Harry Potter movies — how could you forget him?! — and Loki in the Thor movies (actor Tom Hiddleston). Continue reading →
Today, our guest blogger is Janet Gover, an Australian writer who grew up in the bush. There she discovered that falling in love with the boy next door is difficult — when next door is 50 miles away and all you have for transport is a horse.
With a pedigree like that, the Hive was not at all sure what kind of guest blog we were going to get. And when it arrived, it was … well … different. But different can also be great fun as you’ll discover. Over to Janet . . .
Do you speak Oz/Australian/Strine?
It’s time for a confession.
The guilt of my nation has weighed heavily on my shoulders — and at last I’m coming clean. Australia is a nation of thieves. It must have something to do with our convict past. But I’m afraid we have stolen something very valuable… Welsh vowels.
Our guest blogger today is multi-published historical author Elizabeth Hawksley. She does more than write novels. Her plays have been performed at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, the Oxford Playhouse and the Edinburgh Festival. She is currently the UK Children’s Book Review editor for the Historical Novel Society Review and also teaches creative writing via courses, workshop and lectures.
It is not surprising that she is in demand on the platform. Many writers will remember a certain Sunday afternoon at the RNA Conference. Elizabeth recited the whole of Elinor Glyn with a perfectly straight face while her audience rolled around, aching with laughter and pleading to be given a chance to catch their breath. A real tour de force.
Today, Elizabeth is writing about emotion in the shrubbery and how it figures in the much-loved novels of Jane Austen.
Jane Austen : Emotion in the Shrubbery
In the early 19th century, every house of consequence had a shrubbery: a grassy area with shrubs, a few trees, a bench to sit on, and a winding gravel path. In essence, it was the antithesis of the formal parterres, geometrical shapes and clipped box hedges at the front of the house which proclaimed the owner’s status and control over Nature. Continue reading →
Today our guest blogger is multi-award-winning historical author Sarah Mallory who has more than 40 books under her belt, under various writing names including Melinda Hammond.
Although Sarah was born in the West Country, she now lives on the romantic Yorkshire moors, within a stone’s throw of Brontë country which is, she says, a constant source of inspiration. She is also inspired by history, an abiding love, and the Hive can vouch for her wide knowledge of the Regency and other periods. Get her into a corner (with a glass of something) and the discussion flows wonderfully.
At the request of the Hive, Sarah is going to tell us about her experience of writing historical romantic novels in a series. These days, it’s the received wisdom that readers want series books. So a guide from an award-winning author sounds just the ticket. Over to Sarah . . .
Today our guest blogger is bestselling historical author (and part-time tour guide) Nicola Cornick. She has wonderfully romantic origins that seem to us to be just right for the books she writes — full of the sweep of history, and with heroes to die for.
Nicola was born in Yorkshire within a stone’s throw of the moors that inspired the Brontë sisters. She grew up in a sprawling Edwardian house full of books and went to school in a converted Georgian mansion. Her grandmother nurtured her love of history as well as teaching her to play canasta and grow rhubarb. (Buzz from the hive: clearly even rhubarb can be romantic!)
Nicola has written over 30 Regency historical romances for Harlequin Books and now writes historical mystery.
Confessions of a Country House Tour Guide
Nicola’s Confessions start with a couple of tourist/tour guide exchanges…
“Did you enjoy the guided tour?”“Not much. I don’t really like history.”“What did you think of the view from the roof platform?”
“I’ve seen better on the road into Swindon.”
Ah, the joys of being a National Trust guide at Ashdown House! Most of our visitors are absolutely fantastic — interested, engaged, out to enjoy their day and full of questions or indeed information about Ashdown House and the Craven family. Sometimes they are people with a family connection to the house or the estate, and are able to help us fill in a part of the history of the place. We learn a lot from them. Continue reading →
Today our guest blogger is Lesley Cookman, an author who is probably most widely known for murder mysteries featuring her amateur sleuth, Libby Sarjeant.
But Lesley also writes in lots of other genres.
Lesley is the author of seven pantomimes, a Music Hall Musical, two romances and sixteen books in the Libby Sarjeant series. She has also written the first in what she hopes will become a new series about an Edwardian Concert Party. In describing her professional life, Lesley says she “writes a lot, reads a lot and occasionally acts a bit.” Sounds like a typically tongue-in-cheek description!
Libertà hive members know what it’s like to keep trying to find new plots for romantic entanglements, but Lesley’s challenge is probably even greater. Her sleuth is established, but how do you find yet another scenario for an unexplained death that your amateur sleuth can solve?
Over to Lesley…
New Ideas for the Amateur Sleuth
New ideas for the amateur sleuth?
“If only,” says the beleaguered writer.
“Can’t wait,” says the eager reader.
Suspension of Disbelief
I sometimes think that, apart from Fantasy Fiction, the amateur sleuth mystery is the one genre in which readers are the most determined to suspend disbelief. Take my own Libby Sarjeant. How could one middle-aged woman actually fall over murders in sixteen novels, one novella and a short story? That’s eighteen crimes she has managed to investigate. Continue reading →