Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Exclusive: Bright 'N Nerdy -- Chase/Holloway Scott Launch Funky Blog

Best pals and bestsellers Loretta Chase and Susan Holloway Scott invite you to join them TODAY at the launch of their fresh n’ funky new blog, TwoNerdyHistoryGirls.com (TNHG)!

CONTEST TODAY!!! Head over to check out TNHG, then pop back to tell me which post you think is my fave so far…a copy of Loretta’s “Don’t Tempt Me,” and Susan’s “The French Mistress” go to one randomly chosen commenter!

TwoNerdyHistoryGirls.com is a lot about history, sure, but it’s more about cool facts and the foolishness that happens when we hook up w/our best girlfriends. Yes, according to Lorretta and Susan, talk about shoes will ensue.

But more than that, TNHG’s cool. Because especially in the historical romance and hist fict communities, it’s hip to be square. Says Scott, “Is it cool? We're so nerdy we don't really know if it's cool or not.”

Well, ch’ya! Have you been to a romance- or historical- writers conference? Those chicks love clothes and shoes and great bags, as well as being in the know about pop culture. They just want the “know” to be “in” the vicinity of at least 100 years ago, give/take.

Says Chase, “While we research our books, we always find lots of cool history stuff that we can't find places for in our stories. Not everything gets used, but we can't bear to part with it, so we made a blog. Consider the TNHG as the illustrated, annotated version of our books.”

Yeah, but what’s so different about TNHG from other history blogs? “Well, it's Susan and Loretta,” they say, “and we're different enough.” But more than that, says Chase, “We just like finding out interesting stuff and wondering about it (and making fun of it) and we think there are at least three readers out there who’ll think it’s fun to talk about how much those tight stockinette breeches actually stretched, and how you keep a smooth line in tight pants when your shirt comes down to your knees.”

Count me in, nerdy girls! But the question I most want answered is, Are you chicks the new History Police? ‘Cause readin’ and/or writin’ nerdy history girls can be really tough on one another ‘bout that pesky “accuracy” thang.

Chase and Holloway say you can think of TNHG as “a gossip column about history.” “We want to be informative and entertaining,” Scott states. “We might shatter some cherished myths along the way, but we’re not trying to teach history or police it. For one thing, we’re too shallow. For another, that’s no fun.”

“I like historical accuracy,” says Chase. “I make myself insane trying to get details right, but I’m writing romance, not history, and romance is a fantasy. Isn’t the sex usually better or easier than in real life? Aren’t the guys more . . . um . . . romantic? More articulate and understanding? Well, some of them. So why can’t I let them have great teeth? And no venereal disease?”

And Scott, who writes historical fiction and has published 30+ historical romances as Miranda Jarrett, says that points out the one of the biggest differences between her current novels and historical romance. “Because my historical novels are based on the lives of real people, I have to be accurate. I believe it's part of my obligation to those long-dead folk,” she says. “As much as I might long to play God and change history -- and sometimes I really, really want to -- I just can't justify giving Charles II a legitimate male heir to inherit his crown, or making the Earl of Rochester trot off to anachronistic rehab so he survives to see his thirty-fifth birthday.

”This is also what's making the TNHG blog so...alluring to me. NO ONE will die badly from the pox in any of our blogs, and a good thing it will be, too.”

Holloway and Chase say they’re procrastinators under deadline who aim to have fresh posts up several times a week about “whatever captures our shallow and easily distracted yet historically accurate little minds.”

And they want you to know one more thing. “The picture in this post, the one Michelle demanded? we took it in Colonial Williamsburg, shortly before the colonial gaoler told us to move along.

See, now, that’s one of the things you’ll giggle over at TNHG if you’re a NHG, too; why not just jailer? Because for NHGs like Susan and Loretta and you and me, the gaol house – and a hot new way old school girlfriends blog -- just, well, rocks.
***
Susan Holloway Scott visits RBTB Monday to talk why historical fiction for chicks is a whole lot like romance, and then some.
***
Check out this take on history:
Mozart, pretty derrieres in footmen's pants and Highlanders here!

54 comments:

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Mucho thanks for the warm welcome, Michelle! One more thing I might add for the benefit of your lovely Bellas: I've also written bunches (a technical term for over thirty) historical romances as Miranda Jarrett. So while I know my way around the mustiest libraries, I, too, have touched the mighty Fabio's arm. Hoo-hah!

Margay said...

That is an interesting site, thank you so much for pointing it out. I must be a nerdy girl, too, because love history, especially certain time periods like the Regency and the latter half of the Victorian era (1890s). And I think the post on "Tight Pantaloons" is pretty interesting, what about you?

Margay

Vanessa Kelly said...

Oh, I am so down with this! Stand back for nerdy fan-girl squeeing!

I love the post on the horror of petticoat breeches, and the accompanying illustration. Naturally, there are so many things we love about our historical research, but these types of horror must be brought to light of day and ruthlessly mocked! Clearly, the Nerdy History Girls are performing a public service.

Thanks, Loretta and Susan. Your blog is bookmarked for me! History and fun - what could be better?

Leigh Duncan said...

Great blogs, Loretta and Susan! I especially enjoyed the piece on the jewelry but then, what girl doesn't like jewelry? Thanks for sharing this with us, Michelle.

debbie haupt said...

Great blog guys,
hmm, I think Michelle likes "further unbuttoning"
whada ya think?
Deb

Becke Davis said...

The thing about historicals: they're an addiction. I've been an avid -- possibly even obsessive -- romance reader for more decades than I want to count, but I only discovered historicals about a year and a half ago. I thought they'd be dry and old-fashioned -- who knew? I've always loved to read about history, so I don't know why I held back so long. Loretta's books were some of the first I read (on Anna Campbell's recommendation), and I've loved every one. Now I'll have to go buy some of Susan's books, too.

I think bad teeth, poor hygiene and, ugh, nasty diseases were some of the things that held me back from reading historicals. I wanted my heroes and heroines to have daily showers, thank you very much. Well, who knew baths could be so sexy? And, of course, our romance heroes were born with superior genetics that enable them to be tall, strong, buff, sweet-smelling and with teeth so white and shiny they sparkle in the sun.

I figure if I can accept the many and varied worlds of paranormal romance, I can suspend disbelief enough to believe in a past where people didn't empty their chamberpots out the window and fleas and lice didn't crawl in those powdered wigs.

I just bookmarked the history girls site -- I love it!

Loretta Chase said...

OK, now everyone knows I'm the late riser in the duo.
Thank you Michelle, and thank you Bellas, for the very warm welcome.
I loved the Horror of Petticoat Breeches, too--a reminder that Big Pants are not a new development.

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Hmmm, I see there's a definite interest here among the Bellas in what men are wearing below the waist. What a surprise. *g*

I wish you all could have seen us in the Colonial Williamsburg tailor shop as Loretta and I, uh, inspected those breeches. While schoolgroups and other tourists trooped past, we could not leave those breeches alone, buttoning and unbuttoning and photographing and turning them inside out to see exactly how stretchy they were. All in a day's work for the TNHG.

As for Loretta's admission to being a late riser: one of us is a Lark and rises at an unspeakably early hour, while one of us is an Owl, enjoying the delights of Netflix at midnight. This explains how between us we are awake 24 hours a day. Like rust, the TNHG never sleep....

Monica Burns said...

Heading over in a few, but Loretta is one of MY FAVORITE evah Historical Writers!! LOVE her books.

Monica Burns said...

Ok, I tried to post over on the blog, but it won't let me get to the verification word. No scroll down bar. :-(

If some has a way to post that I'm missing, holler. *grin*

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Monica, it SHOULD work. Try clicking on that little comment-balloon at the top of each blog, which should lead you to the usual Blogger-pop-up to post a comment. Sorry for the confusion. :(

Portia Da Costa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vanessa Kelly said...

Susan, I clicked on the little ballon and was able to post a comment.

Portia Da Costa said...

Ack, that was me... can't spell to save my life and it looked so embarrassing. LOL

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for a fantastic blog, Susan and Loretta. I've added it to my feed reader as I don't want to miss a single post!

Portia Da Costa said...

ps. Hi Margay. Late Victorian is my favourite historical period too, although I'm also enjoying other eras.

cheryl c said...

I love that site. It is VERY interesting! Michelle, I think that you especiallly liked the "Tight Pantaloons" post. I know I did. ;-)

Loretta Chase said...

Portia, I'm so happy you like Late Victorian, because Susan and I have been talking about that, too. We're especially fascinated by the bustles--and have been talking about the emphasis on the booty, then and now.

amy kennedy said...

Susan and Loretta, I love it. Thanks for bringing this to us Michelle.

And I'm gonna have to go with either:
Tight Pantaloons, or
Reader, I Unbuttoned Them

I love details, I always get lost in research...sometimes I like the research part much better than the writing part.

Portia Da Costa said...

Oh yes, bustles! I'm writing a couple of things set in 1888, which I believe is the 'Late Bustle Period'... which makes me laugh, just to write. I know there were some astounding mechanical contraptions eg. the folding Langtry bustle, but I'm going to have my heroines stick to something simpler, along the lines of a horsehair 'pad' as it makes things a lot easier to describe in erotic encounters. And I can't believe that all late Victorian women wore the same, high fashion, high tech undercarriages, and some hung onto older, less elaborate bustles... ;)

Monica Burns said...

Susan, I didn't see a balloon, but I think that's cuz Vanessa figured out how to post and I just followed her post. *grin* Thanks!!

Susan/Loretta, Do you all live near WmsBurg or just doing the research trip. I live 45 min away, and it's such old hat to me, I forget it's there for research *gasp* LOL I do remember one gal I talked with a couple of years ago who willingly showed me how her bodice worked and told me they can only use authentic items when dressing. So no safety pins, just straight pins. I'd go mad!!

Portia, I just found Google REader. Isn't it DIVINE!!!!!

Ok, back to work. Trying to get stuff done as tomorrow is the big day for Oldest to go to her first day of Freshman year college. I'm already Verklempt.

Monica Burns said...

Portia, you mentioned the Langtry bustle and I'm betting that was named for Lily Langtry. LOVE that woman!! She incredibly bright, sharp, and always seemed to bounce back.

Portia Da Costa said...

Yes, as far as I know, that particular folding bustle was just one of a number of products Lillie endorsed. She was a fascinating character, not always admirable in some ways, but incredibly determined and modern and feisty. I find her extremely interesting, and I love the 70s TV series about her staring Francesca Annis. I recently got it on DVD... fantastic costumes and production values for the time.

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Susan Holloway Scott said...
Loretta and I do love bustles -- not only the late-Victorian models that you're describing, Portia, but their earlier antecedents in 18th c. hoops. (Though I find the "bum-rolls" worn by Elizabethan ladies about as unsexy as the enormous codpieces worn by their male counterparts.) We're going there soon on the TNHG.

Really, the more you read/study/browse through the history of fashion, the more you realize that there's absolutely nothing that is new. We also have another blog in the wings comparing the astonishingly high-soled shoes worn by courtesans in Renaissance Venice with today's platform shoes, which are in turn dead ringers for the Corkeez that some of us (you know who you are) wore in the early 1970s.....

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Monica –– Loretta and I visited Williamsburg last fall. She lives in MA and I'm in PA, so VA was neutral turf. My parents live in Wililamsburg, so I can be guilty of the same jaded pov. But it is a fantastic research source, and as you noted, the interpreters all share the same passion for history.

As for your daughter going off to college -- I'm driving mine up tomorrow as well. (Entire villages emigrating to America brought less with them than my daughter has packed and waiting in the living room.) Good luck tomorrow, and bring plenty of Kleenex!

Loretta Chase said...

I'd been to Colonial Williamsburg years ago, but that was a tourist sort of trip, nothing like my four-day-excursion with nerdy history girlfriend Susan. For one thing, neither of us got bored! Day after day, history, history, history. No boredom. Great excitement. Oh, yes, and we shopped, too. Purses were purchased.

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Another reason we like Williamsburg. There are outlets. History and shopping and BFF's. Heaven.

Monica Burns said...

Another reason we like Williamsburg. There are outlets.

O-M-G. Lightfoot is surreal. I remember the last time I went (YEARS ago) I spent close to $1K the DH will not let me go back. With good reason. It's like Sophia on Golden Girls when she joins Costco and buys tons of stuff she doesn't need, simply because it's cheap. I'm sooo bad. LOL

ddurance said...

Hmmmm.....maybe

Reader, I unbuttoned them

LOL

Who says history can't be fun?

Deidre

Jane said...

Fascinating stuff. I'm guessing that "Tight pantaloons" is Michelle's favorite.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buona sera, Bellas! Welcome, Susan and Loretta, and congratulazione on TNHG! I'm just back from an appt and on the way a nice man told me at a stop light that my tire was about to blow out. So I spent some time getting a couple new tires, but now I'm back to read what's what with youz and see what you think I like best at TNHGs... Thanks for stopping in to celebrate this great day!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

ok, nessa, don't the petticoat breeches remind you of leg warmers? Whatever happened to the maxim 'those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it," huh?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Isn't the lovers' eye jewelry awesome, Leigh? So much less creepy than the braided-hair remembrances... And you're welcome, but I'm kinda happy Susan and Loretta let me scoop the news for you all.

Debbie, what are you implying?! :)

So glad you dove in, becke. And you know, if an author starts telling me why a hero or hn's teeth are white -- short of just explaining tooth powder -- I'm kinda thinking, "save the ink to tell me more about the hero's manly attributes, please." I have no prob suspending disbelief on the hygiene, but it's always cool to learn a bit of something about what was used at the time to keep clean. And sometimes the issues about why the 'unwashed masses' can't afford soap can play into class struggle storylines, and that's cool, too. Man, I'm thinking too much now...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

We're pleased you're joining us at any hour, Loretta. You nerdy girls make a good team if you can provide round the clock service for our nerdy history needs. And I can just see you caressing the stockinette... Lovely.

Portia! You've become quite the nerdy history girl yourself of late, no? And you love the Vics, I think? I'm kinda partial to a Medieval, but'll take any historical I can get.

I think the bustle's pretty amazing, too, Loretta, cause in terms of the whole mating dance thing, it's interesting to track the emphasis from bosom to derriere silhouettes. I'd like to think more about what was going on musically at that time, the grand ballrooms, the promenade...

Thanks, Cheryl!

Oh, Amy, you think you know me so well...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Jane and Deidre, I'm just shocked at how you could jump on board with this shameful suggestion that I might -- and I emphasize might -- be obsessed with the Whole Package of a Man, as it were. :)

ooo, Mon/Susan/Loretta: History and, dare I ask, purses to purchase?

Mon, I was sharing w/Susan a while back my fear of my daughter heading into puberty, and she's only nine -- and she's a really good kid. But I'm still bracing myself. I'm thinking good thoughts for you for tomorrow (and you, too, Susan). Eventually, I'll bet it's nice to have a home a little emptier. Or maybe not. But then again, my kids are w/my mom and bro for the week...

I think a trip to Col Wmsbrg w/girlfriends would be outrageous fun! Mon, we're thinking of taking the kids next year, so maybe you and I and whomever else wants to go along can hook up one day. We'll call it "Williamsburg: Once More Into the Breech(es) Get-Together." Got a nice ring, no?

Becke Davis said...

We'll call it "Williamsburg: Once More Into the Breech(es) Get-Together." Got a nice ring, no?

Only you would have come up with that one, Michelle!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Oh, Michelle - leg warmers! I actually had pink-striped pair back in the eighties. That I wore. Shudder.

Loretta Chase said...

OK, Susan's put up a new post with a hilarious print, and thinking about leg warmers, I'm making a connection between that and the high, nipped in waist and big shoulders look. I'm getting an 80s kind of feeling. Anyone else?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

oh, no! I'm having a really bad 80s flashback. ugh. this must be what it was like if you were at Woodstock. Please don't start talking big hair, marie antoinette.

Chelsea B said...

Hmmmm, is it 'The Eyes Have it'? I don't know LOL:)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hey, Bellas! Just a note that SUSAN will be visiting RBTB MONDAY to dish the dirt on historical fiction for chicks -- and whether it's not just a little like romance... :)

Princess Bumblebee said...

Hey, Bellas! Welcome, Loretta and Susan! So great to have you here.
Hmmm...Imagine us talking about men in tight pantaloons or anything tight, really, hehe. Ok, so, preferably NOT in those clothes, hehe.
Me, I love history and when history is interwoven with romance, which a lot of romances are, then all the better, I say. And, who needs to know about hygeine during an era, anyway? I certainly don't want to read about taht in a book, hehe.

Loretta Chase said...

Now about those nipped in waists. Susan did raise the question of corsets, and I wondered if others besides the corpulent wore them. Then I remembered watching Onegin (a film set in 1830s Russia), the other night. Along with being dumbstruck by the fabulous red gown Liv Tyler wore, I was astonished to see Ralph Fiennes in what couldn't be a corset--could it? Well, it had straps over the shoulders, and I'm pretty sure guys didn't wear tank tops in those days, and though I couldn't see the waist or below, it looked exactly like, yes, a corset.

Virginia said...

I must be a nerdy girl too, because I liked the one about the "Tight Pantaloons" it was my favorite.

Loretta Chase said...

I had to post an antidote to the image of Dain in skirts over at TNHG. This is a great example, though, of the difference in the types of fiction Susan and I write. I'm not likely to put my manly man into extreme weird fashion. He'll follow Brummell's dictum of not dressing in a way that makes people stare. But if I were writing a historical novel, I'd have to dress the man the way he was painted or drawn or reported as dressing, no matter how nutty it was.

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Oooh, Loretta, I LOVE that painting! Much more Dain-ish. But I must protest: I may have to stick to the facts in historical fiction, but I'd never, ever write a book about ANY man who dressed to the degree of nuttiness in that cartoon. *g*

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Ahh, Bellas, Bellas, you've left so many excellent comments today to welcome Loretta and me here and help us launch the TNHGs -- and I'm afraid I haven't been able to respond in kind. Today has been Drama, with a capital D as I'm still "helping" my daughter pack for the college trek tomorrow.

Monica, how's it going at your house?

OK, my verification word is "danasm." Who's Dan, Michelle? And what kind of mojo does he have that he needs verification?

Susan Holloway Scott said...

LOVE the idea of an "Into the Breeches" tour of CW. The tailor shop may never be the same

Loretta, we may have made that particular pair of black breeches famous. Or was that notorious?

And don't forget the Lightfoot outlets!

Loretta Chase said...

I think the Into the Breeches tour is a great idea. Some of us really need to see those guys in their breeches and stockings,walking or dancing or riding. It's hotter than you think.

Loretta Chase said...

Susan wrote:
"But I must protest: I may have to stick to the facts in historical fiction, but I'd never, ever write a book about ANY man who dressed to the degree of nuttiness in that cartoon. *g*"

OK, then I'll use one of those guys as a secondary character in a romance. I think there's potential, though maybe not as the hero...but you never know. It would be a challenge, certainly, to turn him into a proper hero.

Portia Da Costa said...

Yes, Queen Bella, my nerdy history girl side is emerging of late. Or perhaps, re-emerging. Was mad for Victorian history in the early 90s, although I didn't write any fic. But I'm finding books on historical costume and art in my collection that I didn't know I had. Several books on the history of underwear, which are proving very useful! :)

ps. if you like Medievals, have you tried books by my Brit buddy, Elizabeth Chadwick? She's amazing, and often writes romantically and with authority about the lives of real figures from the era.

Monica Burns said...

I think a trip to Col Wmsbrg w/girlfriends would be outrageous fun! Mon, we're thinking of taking the kids next year, so maybe you and I and whomever else wants to go along can hook up one day. We'll call it "Williamsburg: Once More Into the Breech(es) Get-Together." Got a nice ring, no?

Sorry I didn't respond yesterday, work exploded given the special session of the General Assembly yesterday and I didn't leave work until 7:30pm last night, soooooo, I didn't get to keep up with msgs.

BUT, YESSSS!! I think that's a fabulous idea Michelle. I would love to hang for a day. There's a B&N at Merchants Square at the end of Duke of Gloucester Street, where I've been wanting to do a signing cuz it's right at Wm&Mary, which means intelligent women who read romance!! But the real attraction at the Square is the Candy shop. Chocolate Maple Creams anyone!!

And if you need any tips on what are don't misses based on personal tastes, just holler.

Monica Burns said...

But if I were writing a historical novel, I'd have to dress the man the way he was painted or drawn or reported as dressing, no matter how nutty it was.

Johnny Depp - Earl of Rochester - Libertine

Long curly hair, stupid walking stick, long coat, somewhat gritty, but GAWD was he sexy in that movie. Of Course, I find Johnny sexy in just about anything, although I could have done without the hairdo in Pirates of C - LOL


Loretta, if you and Susan come, then we MUST do a book signing!! I'm sure you'll have a new book out and everyone will want to buy with your autograph. Susan, I love historical fiction too, and that store gets a great deal of traffic. I think it would be WONDERFUL.


Susan - Off to the school in about 2 hrs. We're doing afternoon move-in per their schedule. I'm calm at the moment. Although I teared up three times yesterday when friends asked. Okay, now I'm choking up again. *sigh* Oldest took Baby to Starbucks for coffee a little while ago. Some sister time together. I sure hope they don't bicker as usual *sigh*

Laurie said...

I loved the background info on the styles of the Beau Brummel era.
It's amazing that they commented on the physical attributes of the males in their tight button down pantaloons. Is this also when the woman dampened their dresses?

I think Michele liked the article where you hand your hands all over the pants in front of everyone. What a hoot!

Theresa N. said...

Peacock, Some More drew my attention with the reference to Scarlett O'Hara. Interesting stuff.
Theresa N
weceno(at)yahoo(dot)com