Dressing and Undressing My Characters

A funny thing has happened in terms of my historical setting.

From the last Carsington book (Last Night’s Scandal) on, I’ve been setting my stories in the 1830s, when clothes looked very, very different from those we associate with the Regency era and Pride and Prejudice. Below are a few fashion plates displaying the vertical style of the Regency.

Many people find 1830s styles ridiculous, even hideous, but I love them because they are so flamboyant and inventive and over-the-top. I especially love this era’s fashion because it’s so complicated to put on and take off, which makes for interesting intimate scenes between hero and heroine.

Mainly we see historical dress in fashion plates, where it does look cartoonish, as fashion plates tend to do. Then as now, the images are stylized. For instance, the pelerines and canazous look like stiff white capes jutting out over the dresses’ enormous sleeves. The images below are from the Los Angeles Public Library Casey Fashion Plates collection.

We can get a better sense of the clothing in portraits, like this one. But in portraits, people are posed. The fabric may drape beautifully, but everything is frozen.

Images in museums show the clothing on mannequins, often headless. Sometimes there’s no mannequin, only the dress. Rarely do we see an entire ensemble.

So imagine my excitement recently to discover, thanks to author Susan Holloway Scott, that a group of historical dressmakers and re-enactors have turned their dressmaking skills to recreating 1830s fashions. I can tell you it’s already made a difference in how I’ve handled the most recent occasion of the hero getting his hands on the heroine.

In case you were curious about 1830s corsets, here’s a video.

This blog post deals with making and adorning an 1830s dress.

A group of talented dressmakers invade the Dickens Fair in 1830s fashions.

Let’s not forget headwear.

And this 1833 dress is from about time of my Difficult Dukes series.


U.K. eBook Bargain and eBook News for Germany

Most of the time, I find myself apologizing to my readers outside the U.S. because an eBook isn’t available or a special deal isn’t offered in their part of the world.

This time, though, I’ve got good news for readers in the U.K and Germany.

In the U.K.
Silk Is for Seduction
£ 0.99
Kindle Summer Sale
8 July – 31 August


Meanwhile in Germany, eBook editions of my stories have been scarce. Only the last  two Dressmaker books so far.

But that’s going to change, and soon.

My agents have let me know that the following eBooks will become available in Germany sometime between now and the spring of 2017:

Scandal Wears Satin
Silk Is for Seduction
Your Scandalous Ways
Not Quite a Lady
Last Night’s Scandal
Lord Perfect
Miss Wonderful
Mr. Impossible
Lord of Scoundrels

Not Quite a Lady and Last Night's Scandal audiobooks news

Two more Carsington Brothers audiobooks are coming soon.

Books Four and Five of the series go on sale 26 January.

They’re available now for pre-order:

 

Not Quite a Lady (Book 4)

Last Night's Scandal (Book 5)

We expect to release the two Fallen Women books, Your Scandalous Ways and Don’t Tempt Me, in March.

In all cases, the marvelous Kate Reading narrates.


Audio and U.K. eBook News

Edison phonograph

Readers have asked when to expect more of my books in audio format. I'm happy to report that we'll soon be scheduling with Kate Reading for the last two Carsington books:

Not Quite a Lady

Last Night's Scandal

and the two standalone books:

Your Scandalous Ways

Don't Tempt Me

We estimate that two of these will be available in November and the other two by March. I don't know which two when, but will report as soon as I get more information.

In other news—

The Carsingtons are coming digitally to the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand!

Yes, the negotiators have finished negotiating and I've received word that the first four Carsington books will be available for sale as eBooks on 3 September. In order these are:

Miss Wonderful (Alistair's story)

Mr. Impossible (Rupert's story)

Lord Perfect (Benedict's story)

Not Quite a Lady (Darius's story)