Monday, October 7, 2013

Announcing THE NATURALIST

The Lady Wore Yellow
What was that I was saying, a couple posts ago, about giving the traditional publishing route another go? Well, scratch that, baby! My native impatience has taken hold, and I'm off and running again.


All of which is to say, please be watching for the Friday, November 15, launch of my historical romance The Naturalist! The book is set in 1808, so it's not technically a Regency romance, but people use that label nowadays to cover anything set in Jane Austen's era. I'll post the cover as soon as I have it, but here's the plot:

Joseph Tierney, a naturalist commissioned by the Royal Society, stumbles upon the perfect assistant: an eager lad who knows the lay of the landscape and his flora from his fauna. But Joseph finds their fruitful partnership compromised when this so-called Arthur Baddely turns out to be one Miss Alice Hapgood, daughter of the neighboring squire.

If you aren't "Regencied out," like the agent chosen to judge the 2013 Best Romance category, you might enjoy this little romp. And if you're a big Regency reader, fair warning that my book is more along the Georgette Heyer lines and NOT a bodice-ripper in the Mary Balogh/Grace Burrowes vein.

This:




NOT this:

I think she's taking off her dress because it's not period-accurate.



I've got the most fabulosa idea for a book launch: we'll do the usual reading and snacking, of course, but I want to make it a Regency party! Yes, we must have an assembly, dear readers, so get your best Austen outfits and hairdos ready. Or just a long skirt. Or just a pair of gloves. More on that later.

Ideas for your ensemble

You know that country dance they do in every single Austen movie ever?

The usual suspects at it
And in Emma:

Emma and Mr. Knightley
It turns out the dance has the appetizing name of "Mr. Beveridge's Maggot," not as in "the little nasty worm belonging to Mr. Beveridge," but as in "Mr. Beveridge's extravagant little whim."

Dear readers, I would love for us to try to learn this dance at my book launch! Uh huh. I've got the music and instruction DVD en route to my house as you read this, and I plan to do lots of study. If we can get 16 willing dancers to give it a whirl, I've got Margo's awesome "ballroom" lined up. SO FUN.

The Naturalist features both a public assembly and a private ball. Although a twisted ankle prevents my heroine from dancing at the first event, I would like to think she gets asked to perform Mr. Beveridge's Maggot at the latter.

So start thinking about your costumes and block Friday, November 15, for me, okay? Oh--and if you already know the date won't work for you, think about holding a private assembly with your book club or circle of friends. I'm already picturing a second career as a country dance "caller" and dancing master. Tee hee.

In the meantime, for your viewing pleasure, I give you Mr. Beveridge's Maggot from Pride and Prejudice:


and from Emma:


Enjoy! I'm rather fond of Jeremy Northam's balletic tendencies myself.

14 comments:

  1. Ooh! I love any excuse for dressing up. Sounds like so much fun. Melissa

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    1. Ha! I thought you would like it. I was channeling you yesterday, poring over costume ideas online.

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  2. Congratulations Christina. What a great idea.

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    1. You're invited, naturally! Margo's is no Octagon Room in Bath, but it's a pretty close second. :)

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  3. Yay! It is penciled in on my calendar!

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    1. Hooray! And since you're married to a ballroom dancer, I expect some slick moves out of you. :)

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  4. Oooh oooh ooh! Sounds like fun! Any chance I could be one of your "16 willing dancers"???

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    1. Jeannette, I am counting on it! We need your sure-footed expertise. And I only said 16 because I think we would need at least eight volunteers to get the full effect. I'm hoping just about everyone will give it a try.

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  5. Being an admirer of all (okay, most) things Austen, your launch party plans are perfect!

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    1. So glad you think so, you card-carrying JASNA member! Really hope you can come and dance with us.

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  6. I shall be delighted to attend. I do so love a ball! < giddily claps gloved hands>

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    1. Yippee! And speaking of gloves, I just bought some on eBay.

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  7. I wish I could come!!!! This sounds lovely, I think Jeremy Northam is a sublime dancer! ;)

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  8. Meredith, I wish you could come too! Yes--who knew Jeremy Northam was so graceful?

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