Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Loretta Chase GuestBlog: The Thighs Have It

CONTEST TODAY!!! One randomly chosen LCB wins a copy of "Don't Tempt Me" courtesy of Loretta!

From Michelle: A few years ago, I asked fave-of-readers-and-writers Loretta Chase why chicks dig Regencies and the peerage so much. I was certain it'd have to do w/ Americans' senses of inferiority to British class system, even tho' we spanked 'em back in the 18th C. Nope. Says Ms Chase: It's all about the breeches. Today, as Loretta takes a break from her wicked-busy schedule to visit, please offer her your warmest, "It's kinda hawt when they keep their Hessians on" Bella buongiorno...
From Loretta: Ciao, Bellas. I’m so happy to be back among you again.

Here’s my story:

In April, my good friend, historical fiction author Susan Holloway Scott and I spent a few days time-traveling in Colonial Williamsburg. One night we attended an 18th Century dance performance. A lone flute and several couples performing what looked like very calm square dancing. Lady Gaga it’s not. But Susan & I sat entranced by the candlelit room, the sound of dancing footsteps, the swish of silk, the sensual bounce of hooped petticoats, and . . . men’s legs.

Don’t know about you but I grew up thinking of our Founding Fathers as old men in wigs and weird clothes. I didn’t think deeply about what a young man might look like, up close and personal, in 18th C clothes, until I needed to do a court presentation scene for "Don’t Tempt Me." My book’s setting is the early 19th C, when hooped petticoats are horribly out of date (Grandma’s clothes!), but 18th C style is what you wear to court, like it or not.

My heroine Zoe, who’s lived in another culture, recognizes, as I did, the seductive power of the hoop. I also knew, intellectually, that a girl had to feel a charge when she saw a stunning man like the Duke of Marchmont in snug breeches and white stockings that showcased his long, muscled legs. Still, I had no idea what a tingly charge it could be until I experienced it firsthand.

So back to the dance. One interpreter, demonstrating the art of bowing, explained that the man begins by putting one leg forward--“his good leg”--IOW, the handsomer of his lower limbs. (Yes, that’s where “put your best foot forward” originated).

Suddenly, I became extremely conscious of the masculine leg in its elegant white stocking and . . . ooh, the images my mind conjured.

Madam, I show you my very handsome leg. Sir, I make alluring eyes over my fan, and sink into a curtsey, layers of hoops and petticoats and silk and satin, rustling, like whispers in the dark.

I had no trouble understanding why this was so sexy once upon a time, because it still is. Later in the trip I saw a couple of 18th C-dressed men on horseback. I nearly swooned. I swear I could see the testosterone shimmering in the air.

I’d entered another world, where men in velvet and satin and silk and lace were incredibly virile, where a bow and a curtsey before dancing could seem like a delicious invitation. Dangerous Liaisons, indeed. I’ll never look at white stockings the same way again.

What say you, Bellas? Is it delicious to you? Do you think some settings--and the attire that goes with them--are just more romantic than others? When you’re choosing what to read, what time and setting most appeal to you and why do you think that is?
Encore! "Don't Tempt Me" is featured here at "Unabashedly Bookish!"
Encore due!
Check out Loretta's "Lord of Scoundrels" reissue GuestBlog


I ♥ Book Gossip said...

I choose to read at the crack of dawn and right before I sleep.

Please count me in.

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Hi Loretta,
For me reading is essentialy about travel and being in a different place, in a different time for some hours. I need this escape. As a result, being a french girl living in France, I never pick a book that takes place in France. Even an historical romance. I don't particularly like when an aristocrat has a french name, even worse if he starts speaking french. I don't care where the book takes me as long as I leave France !!!LOL

And of course I'm in for the contest too !;-)

Portia Da Costa said...

I like the Victorian period a lot, because of the emotional contrasts. The correct, almost prudish surface veneer covering up a seething bed of sensuality and wickedness beneath.

Oh, and I do like the men in their stiff collars and immaculate neck-wear, waistcoats and watch chains, and long frock coats. Yum!

I would love to be in the contest:

portiadacosta [at] gmail [dot] com

ps. at the risk of gushing, LORD OF SCOUNDRELS is one of my all time favourite romances. It's just divine!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Hi Loretta! I'm a Regency girl all around - to my mind, there's nothing sexier than breeches and hessians on a well-turned leg.

Congratulations on Don't Tempt Me - I finished it at RWA. I just HAD to finish it, even with all the distractions going on around me. Zoe is a fantastic character, and you just know Lucien looks great in his breeches!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas, and welcome, o, welcome, Loretta! If I may quote Portia, "at the risk of gushing," I'm always honored when you make a visit to RBTB. I mean, I knew I was a nut for your books as they were some of the first I'd read when I picked up romance about 6 years ago as a history freak and realized one could have it all (ah, Rupert...).

When I began to write about romance professionally, I found this curious phenomenon: Romance authors, and I mean biiiiig, famous romance authors, would go all glassy eyed and worshipful and the sound of your name. What must that be like, professionally? I mean, I'm only used to men doing that when they hear my name. No? You don't buy that? Ok,well, it was worth a try.

Miranda Neville said...

Hi Loretta. I haven't read Don't Tempt Me yet, but I've devoured everything else you've written, including the trad Regencies and novellas. I'm saving DTM for a moment when I need a special reward (I can feel that coming up, perhaps tonight...)

You've made me want to visit Williamsburg. Like Vanessa (waving) I am a Regency girl as far as my men are concerned - there is nothing more elegant than the Beau Brummell look. OTOH I think wide skirts are sexier for women - I am with you on the petticoats. There's something about having lots of layers to be unwrapped. T-shirt and shorts? Not so much.

In DC I spent some time at the National Gallery with the lovely Anna Campbell. We discovered mutually dirty minds when it comes to art. Those Italian outfits with the short jackets and tight hosiery really showed off a man's assets. Could the Renaissance be the next big period?

Charlotte Featherstone said...

I adore the 18th century and early 19th. There's something about a lace cuff dangling over a very masucline hand....

And I love your books, Loretta!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Vanessa, I'm with you on the Corinthians in doeskin. I'm ashamed to say I missed out on the whole strapping lad thing when I was a young'n cause I was very shy. Now I understand. And so, I only imagine how very masculine and athletic a guy had to be to look virile in the fashions of the day. And the fine, costly fabric, well that adds a whole layer -- oh, sorry bout the pun -- to the mating appeal, as his ability to provide would make him all the sexier. Unless one were looking to provide for some profligate young thing, than his need for yours or your late husband's fortune would make him all the more attractive...

Goodness, it may be too early in the morning for this! Uh. Not.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Portia, Dr Freud would pick quite a few descriptives from your comment about Victorian men's gear and have a field day! But I'm with you. I'm just crazy about any historical, the more clothing, the better. flip up the swishy underskirts (was ever there a better word that susurrate?)or wrench aside some plackety things and I'm in heaven. Even the freedom of the kilt is divine.

But it's the slowing down of the seduction -- and the addition of danger to the illicit seduction -- because of layers and delicacy of fabric, etc., that makes the addition of period clothing like Loretta's speaking of so wonderful.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Emannuelle! Welcome! So interesting about your not wanting to read anything French. How do you feel about the anti-French attitudes in the Regency? Is it offensive or no big thing? Do you have lots of friends who read romance? What is the attitude toward romance reading of your friends or, that you've seen, in general. For instance, I have a colleague in Italy who says it's not considered a mark of sophistication in that land of 'lovers.' Will you share your knowledge, please?

I love American-set romances and hear lots of readers want more. Yet some readers here always want to escape outside the states. Now, women's historical fiction w/strong romantic elements, as they say, are more often being set in the States.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oooh, Charlotte, good. Very good. Nice to see you.

Oh, but let me ask this: When a hero's described as, perhaps, just wearing black and very sedate cravat, simply tied, because his masculinity is so, well, masculine, etc. Is that enough for you all? Do you need more? Or do you understand exactly what type of man he would have had to be to pull that off in the Regency, for instance? And perhaps we shouldn't argue that he wouldn't have made it through the door of Almack's, but just go with the flow and think that he was someone's brother and had to be allowed into the partay...

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle,
I really don't find the anti-french attitude offenssive (to be true I can't say I've even noticed). For me the less french references the better.
As for reading romance well... let's just say that If I weren't fluent in english I would't read a lot of romance. Romance is poorly considered here. If you say you read romance people will mock you (nicely but still !!). They only know about Harlequin and Barbara Cartland. In stores the romance section is so small it's quasi non existant. I buy my books online thanks to a very famous american bookseller.
So romance reading is basicaly a secret addiction for me. Only DH and a friend of mine who share my passion for the english language and romance novels !!

Loretta Chase said...

Buongiorno, Michelle & Bellas. Thank you for the warm welcome. What a wonderful place to be on this grey & rainy (again) day in New England, where I write accompanied by the sounds of jackhammers & various other heavy machinery--all of it filling my narrow, steep street, as they spend the summer replacing water lines. How peaceful it is with you! I’ll move on to responding to you all, but Michelle, really, I believe you about the men.

Loretta Chase said...

I Heart, you start and end your day in a perfect way .___ Emmanuelle, hello again. I do relate. While I’ll read some genres set in the U.S., I prefer to travel in my reading. That’s probably what got me writing Regency historicals in the first place. ___ Portia, I’m glad you said that about Victorian settings. I love the tension between the outside & the inside. And thank you for gushing about LOS. As you might guess, it’s dear to my heart. ___ Vanessa, I keep photos of Colin Firth in his Darcy costume for inspiration. The costumer said that when he put on the costume, he _became_ Mr. Darcy. ___ Miranda, I agree about layers to be unwrapped. One of the things I love about writing stories set in the past is the delicious ritual of undressing, the art of conceal and reveal. I hope you like the book. ___ Charlotte, thank you. It’s that wonderful contrast, isn’t it? But it’s also about the male wearing colorful plumage to attract the female. I think it’s so sexy. ___

Becke Davis said...

I've read romance for years but was only converted to historicals about a year and a half ago. Since then, I've been working my way through all the books I missed, while still trying to keep up with new releases. I probably have 200 historicals in my TBR bin right now -- more, since I picked up a bunch at National that I shipped home.

I discovered Loretta Chase's books earlier this year and have since bought everything of hers that I could find. I read DON'T TEMPT ME just last week, and it is absolutely wonderful. I'm reading YOUR SCANDALOUS WAYS right now. Loved THE LAST HELLION, LORD OF SCOUNDRELS, MISS WONDERFUL and LORD PERFECT, but I absolutely adored MR. IMPOSSIBLE. I have to thank Anna Campbell for introducing me to Loretta's amazing books.

When do I read? Well, I can't sleep unless I've read for a bit first, but I read pretty much whenever I have a spare minute.

Soooo excited to "meet" on of my favorite authors!

Anonymous said...

I have always liked stories about pirates and of course, about the early days in America's history.
JWIsley AT aol DOT com

Myrin said...

Buonasera bellas (at least in this part of the world)!

Hi Emmanuelle, seems like our paths are crossing quite often today (even with somehow related topics!)! *waves*

And another big Hi to Loretta. So good to have you here!

I have to admit that I'm not exactly a big fan of Regency romances - although most novels I read are Regencies (am I making sense?). It's just that the rigid rules of the aristocracy are getting on my nerves, and you don't wanna know how much! I don't dislike the Regency period per se, just the aristocratic blabla - that's why I like Lisa Kleypas so much, or your Lord Of Scoundrels - Jess is a commoner and I LOVED that!

However, funny that you should mention clothing. Just the other day I was talking with a friend about how much I'd love to see all the guys in my circle of acquaintances in tight things for one day. I'm from Bavaria and on fairs the men wear Lederhosn (maybe someone has heard of them) which are verrrra tight. That gave us the idea. I'm not exactly the stockinged feet type but rather favour breeches and boots - sahexxy!

Becke Davis said...

I guess because the whole historical genre is new to me, I haven't really paid a lot of attention to which periods I like best. I do always enjoy stories with an Egyptian connection, probably because I teethed on Agatha Christie and she got me interested in that part of the world early on.

Initially, it was the strictures of society that made me think I wouldn't enjoy historicals. I am finding it a lot of fun to see how authors introduce heroines who don't quite fit in -- as in LC's Don't Tempt Me and Joanna Bourne's My Lord and Spymaster.

And Michelle has mentioned the whole "what goes on in the carriage, stays in the carriage" thing. I've gotta say, I never really thought about the possibilities until I started reading this genre!

Unknown said...

I'm not sure what my favorite time period is, I seem to like them all. I think the early 19th century is very interesting. Your description of Colonial Williamsburg makes me really want to go there soon.

Elizabeth K-W said...

Regency was my first love for romances, and remains my lode star. I love both the clothes and the elegant settings. I also love the manners. The lack of first names, the proper way of doing things give a certain grace and elegance that our informal times lack. Of course, then breaking with the formality becomes part of a rogue's charm!

News From the Holmestead said...

I pretty much love all historical settings, and I especially love the clothing represented by each historical era. Regency is my favorite, but I also like Colonial America and the Victorian Era.

I've heard that people dislike the Victorian era for its underlying core of nastiness hidden by a veneer of rigid respectability. In my opinion, we get that in just about any historical era if you dig deep enough.

For me, the appeal of historical romance is that it takes me back to a time and place I can relate to. I don't really know why that is -- you'd think that I'd "relate" to contemporaries, since I live contemporary, but the fact is I just prefer historicals. I find the historical era romantic, elegant, gritty, and closer to the bone. I also like learning new things, and a well-researched historical novel is often interesting for its educational aspects, too.

Sherrie Holmes

Jane said...

Hi Loretta,
Congrats on the new release. I like the fashion during the Regency period where the women were decked out in a pelisse, empire dresses and riding habits and the men wore cravats, breeches and Hessian boots.

The Granny-Nanny said...

Interesting comparison between Regency England and Williamsburg, but when one thinks about it, it makes sense. Although they are separated by hundreds of miles, chronologically there is less than 50 years.

Mitzi H. said...

Love your book Loretta.

I love the 18th and 19th century best. Lots of change going on in America and Europe. It was a time of great heroism on land and at sea. The clothes are important. Men in kilts are very daring, Men in tights are very elegant, Men in buckskin and moccasins are very brave and Men in open shirts and a cutlass at sea are very dangerous; but they are all very romantic.

Can’t wait to read Don’t Tempt Me!!!


Vanessa Kelly said...

Miranda, Williamsburg is wonderful. It's been some years since I've been there, but after reading LC's post I really want to go back.

So smart that you and Anna went to the National Gallery while you were in Washington. Why didn't I make time to do that?! (smacking palm to forehead!)

Doeskin breeches. Colin Firth. Sigh!

Becke Davis said...

Vanessa - It's so cool I know who you are now! And, oh yeah, Colin Firth. Major sigh.

mrsshukra said...

What I like best are historical romances set in Europe. I enjoy reading descriptions of the fashion in any era and the way the authors describe sooner or later how each piece comes off!

Loretta, you're awesome and I can't wait to read Don't Tempt Me!

Lynn said...

Hi Loretta,

I, too, am a HUGE fan of your books. I'm saving DTM for a trip to CA I'm making where I KNOW I'll need a "romantic getaway" in the midst of family!

I find the Regency period is my favorite. The tight breeches, the polished Hessians, and the molded to the body coats by Weston are all hugely romantic to me. Although I have to say, the men I'm most attracted to wear a very simple yet superbly cut version of these clothes because their masculinity is such that it outshines all.

I just love the slow seductions, where simply touching a bare hand is titillating and the glimpse of a woman's ankle sets his heart beating.

Thanks for the great article as well - now I know I'll be making that trip to Williamsburg a priority!

amy kennedy said...

Loretta, I practically swooned from your description of his leg...and well, that's it right? It's sexy if the author, the character makes it sexy.

But doeskins will always be sexy.

I love your books.

amy kennedy said...

I love Regency, but I'm a fan of turn of the century, especially set in the Americas. Maybe trying to get some American History "the good way."

Anonymous said...

Ok, fangirl moment. Loretta you can write in whatever century you want and I'll buy it. I adore your books.
Although I do have a partiality to Lord of Scoundrels and more recently Your Scandalous Ways. I'm saving Don't Tempt Me as a reward for finishing my current book.
Gives me something to shoot for. *grin*

I live in Richmond, so Wmsburg is normal haunt, and I adore those men with their pulled back silky locks and homespun stockings. Ruggedly handsome. The mini-series John Adams was a great example of younger men in Colonial garb too, although I confess I think Ben Franklin would have really been sexy with all that intellectual stuff going on.

However, if I had to choose a time period, I'd choose late Victorian era. I think the gowns of that era are my fav by far. There's something about a woman dressed like a ship's figurehead that makes me think we're leading the pack. *grin*

Loretta Chase said...

Becke, I love Egypt, too, and have forever. It was so great finally to come up with a story I could set there. Please thank Anna Campbell for me. ___ Lisa, it’s interesting that so many U.S. readers, love reading about noblemen, when we dumped them a couple of centuries ago. I know there’s a glamour element, but what else? Is it because the ones in books aren't real aristocrats, and we mold them into the shape we want? ___Crystal, I have to admit, I had my doubts before I went there. Colonial America has never been one of my dream worlds. But it turned out to be so interesting--and though it’s frontier land in a way, there’s plenty of elegance. And the virile guys on the horses. ___ Elizabeth, it’s another of those Outside-Inside tensions. The manners and formality in public--and then what happens in private. It makes it all more . . . private, I think. Naughty really seems naughty. We don’t seem to have that anymore.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Crystal, my husband's been talking about taking the kids to Colonial Williamsburg for years. I'm SO on board with that trip now!!!

LisaK, I started returning a nice email you sent me a while back, then got buried. One of the things I was writing was how, when we were younger, my friends and I went every summer to a big music festival. Musicians of all kinds from all over the world played, but we liked to go to Fest Platz and see the young men in the Bavarian bands, and we'd polka and raise toasts all night. I actually can sing Ein Prosit! :)

Oh, well said, Elizabeth!

becke, I'm hearing more and more folks wishing for Egyptian historicals... But we traveled w/Rupert to Egypt. But perhaps Im repeating myself. shocking.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi, Sherrie: I love that you've mentioned the educational aspects of the historical. We learn history, and we also learn the bits/pieces of history, mores, terms, decorum, etc., that help us get into romance novels as we continue to read them. One can see how historicals even influence contemporaries if the contemp authors are or were historical fans. :)

Jane, don't you love the etchings of the fashions?

Loretta Chase said...

Hi Sherrie (waving). “romantic, elegant, gritty, and closer to the bone”--that’s a great way of putting it. ___ Jane, thank you. When I move to the later Regency or afterward, it means developing a new way of thinking about clothes. But I do feel that the understated elegance of men’s clothes, and the emphasis on the physique, does make it a wonderful time for men’s fashion. And it was nice that the styles were generally flattering to women of all sizes. ___ Granny Nanny, that was one of the things that really struck home: It was only 50 years or less--our characters’ parents and grandparents lived in that era--and Americans still saw themselves as English. ___ Mitzi, thank you. Do you know, it wasn’t until I went to Scotland that I truly understood (oh, indeed I did), the allure of a man in kilts. Love your summary of what the clothes say about the man.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh, joye, pirates. Pirates. Pirates. As long as they're fairly cleanly. sigh.

good connection, granny nanny. I guess dances stayed in style longer then, too because musical periods didn't change as rapidly as they do now. It'd be cool to talk w/the people who do the programming at c Williamsburg...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Thanks for putting that so well and succinctly, mitzi!

etriv, great point and carrot cake. please visit more often.

Miranda Neville said...

"it’s interesting that so many U.S. readers, love reading about noblemen, when we dumped them a couple of centuries ago. I know there’s a glamour element, but what else?"

I think it's about power and wealth - the same thing that makes Greek billionaires and sheiks appealing. In a historical context you don't have to suspend any scruples about such people in the present (like they might be miserable creeps who exploit people). The aristocrats in our books are all noblemen who treat their servants and tenants well (even Dain! not to mention my other fave, Lord Perfect) and we can admire them for paternalistic attitudes we'd find hard to take in the 21st century.

Vanessa - next time you must come with us. There is an art museum in Nashville, yes?

orannia said...

...when she saw a stunning man like the Duke of Marchmont in snug breeches and white stockings that showcased his long, muscled legs.

*fans self*

Morning QB and Bellas and welcome Loretta!

Hmmm. There is definitely something to be said for a man in breeches :) For me, it's not about how little or much you wear, but about how what you wear hints at (not showcases) what lies underneath. Titillates all the senses *grin*

And while I did enjoy Lord of Scoundrels, my favourite of your books is still Knave's Wager :) Lord Brandon.... *fans self vigourously* That is definitely a man who knows how to dress to temptation *grin*

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Lynn, that's what I'm talking about, the guys who wear the pared down versions...

Yes, ames, I'm really craving some American-set romance, too! But I adore, adore, adore, adore Regencies. I probably haven't mentioned that I love historicals, have I? Please, Bellas, always remind me when I repeat myself, ok?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Miranda, how much did we squee over Lord Perfect at RWA last week? we were kind of pathetic.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I hunted down "Knave's Wager" at Orannia's suggestion. :)

News From the Holmestead said...

Michelle, I often learn something new from reading a historical romance if it is well-researched. Nowadays, readers of historicals are very sophisticated and knowledgeable, so a writer who cheats on research is going to be called on it by her readers. And they do it in *such* a public way, what with all the online review venues!

Most readers don't really know how much research goes into a book. Sometimes extensive research results in a single sentence in the book. I know Loretta is especially conscientious about her research. Most of the historical authors I know are just as diligent as she is.

Sherrie Holmes

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

And, yes, Miranda, you're right. some of us may still have a bit of an inferiority thang bout the aristos. But I do always smile over the "benevolent master and mistress" characterization in historicals. Perhaps it's my American cynicism that precludes me from believing that all servants loved well and protected their employers. It smacks a little too much of the happy slave in the Big House stereotype.

But may I say I find it heartwarming nonetheless when the hero everyone else thinks is an unfeeling profligate ends up being respected even by the boot boy, etc, thus earning the heroine's respect and, later, love? Yup. Hook. Line. Sinker.

Amelia said...

I like books with different settings, especially France.

I particularly enjoy the setting when an author personifies it rather than just mentioning where the characters are.


ThatBrunette said...

Oh, thank goodness! I'm not the only one who likes the 18th century look. TV and movies don't do it justice.

We did Tartuffe in college and I was dating one of the other cast members. (I played the old lady) Unfortunately, the costumes had to stay in the theatre or we would have had some fun after the show.

Every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Good evening Michelle, Bellas and Loretta! What a fun post. I think I fell in love with men in britches when I first saw Anthony Andrews portray the Scarlet Pimpernel. Then there was those great scenes from The Highlander series with Adrien Paul dueling it out in britches. Uh...oh yeah. I think the nearest equevilant today is baseball players or football players in uniform. Sigh...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

lol, ThatB! Adds new meaning to 'let's play dress up."

Interesting that you say you like France Isolde, cause some authors say you can't sell an historical that takes place in France. I like when they move into France, or back/forth (but poor Emannuelle is most distressed)! :) We need to stay out of France for her sake!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh, Suz, you do bring it on home, girl, don'cha.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Oh and then as of late there was Hugh in britches for Kate & Leopold. Ohhhhhhhhhhh mama!!

Anonymous said...

@Suzanne - Hugh in breeches oh yeah!!! He was awesomely awesome!

Barbara B said...

Excuse me if this posts twice had a litte trouble.
Regency, Victorian, and American west, I love reading them all but my all time favorite is the American West with a well written gunslinger hero. A man wearing a gunbelt and riding a horse, my oh my. Sigh, fan myself, sigh.

Emily S. said...

Hey Bellas!

I love reading Regency and anything else set in the British Isles. I really enjoy the history of that area so when I read books set in the time period I feel like I am there too. Its nice getting away from the here and now sometimes. Plus in the Regency era etiquette and rules are rather different from today so its fun to see how authors make situations work for that time period.

I'll read anything as long as it keeps my interest and I admit I do love those breeches. ;-)

Ciao Bellas!

Anonymous said...

I never really thought about those sexy leggings...and the top which covered how much??? I love to read all time periods and also time travel...

Gram said...

I didn't mean to be Anon.


Miranda Neville said...

Squee-ing is nevah pathetic in the face of great talent. It is the only sane response

Tiona said...

Hey, Bellas!
Sorry, I've been plotzing to Nalini Singh about her new book. Wanna shake that woman for making us wait 2 whole years for Hawke's story. Hope everything's great.
Loretta, welome! Love your books. You seem to have a deep understanding of your characters and, not only that, but how to have fun and laugh. Love it.
As to settings and clothes, the Regency will always be a draw cause it's so...different, structured but breaking the rules at the same time, hehe. Then there's always something about a man with a claymore..yum!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Becke, it was so great to meet you, too!

Miranda, I'm down with the museum thing in Nashville. And how did I miss the squee-fest over Lord Perfect? I LOVE that book.

orannia said...

I hunted down "Knave's Wager" at Orannia's suggestion. :)

And? Michelle - you can't leave me hanging like that! Did you like meeting the Marquess of Brandon? I believe he was described as a bad, beautiful angel...and wasn't he just? *SIGH*

And IIRC, didn't they used to call the coats in Regency times 'superfine'...because I bet they were :)

Unknown said...

I read late at night before I go to bed. I love reading all kinds of historicals, it doesn't matter about the settings. I love to travel to different places in my books. You can travel the world in books.


LizbethSelvig said...

Hi Bellas -
This is such a cool subject. I'm not a knowledgeable historical reader but I am very conversant on breeches! Can I make a right turn here and give a shout out to English-style riding? When most women today think of riding they think of cowboys. But ... my daughter has spent her life from age 12 riding dressage, show jumping and three-day eventing. Can you say 'many men in breeches'? When you get a very, um, masculine man with a gentle voice, a long lunge whip and a pair of form-fitting riding breeches in front of you -- let's just say, you don't have to go to Williamsburg! Breeches are alive and well in modern day!

Here's a little saying from equestrians who have to "buck" the prissy stereotype of men who ride "English":

"Real men don't have room for a saddle horn."

Thanks for all the wonderful breeches stories!

EmilyBryan said...

Loretta--I adore LORD OF SCOUNDRELS! It's the ultimate "bad boy" classic. Thanks for that truly touching story. Can't wait for your new book!

The Scarf Princess said...

I do find the Regency period to be more romantic. With all their rules and all those layers of clothes, it's way more exciting to read when all those things are thrown aside literally and figuratively.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't stop laughing when I read about men in "tights" and Williamsburg! you have a GREAT sense of humor LOL!

stefinne said...

Love your Williamsburg comments and the link to Colonial Williamsburg! You are too funny! I am a big fan of yours; please consider this as an entry to your contest! Thanks!

Monica Burns said...

@Miranda, Vanessa....ok you two. Give. WHAT museum in Nashville? It's the home of country music, but are you saying there's some sort of museum there for historical lovers???? Oh, and loved meeting you two and Becke and other Bellas at the breakfast.

Miranda Neville said...

@Monica. I know nothing about Nashville but I figure there has to be a museum there and I have a year to find out. I LOVE 19th century American painting. Maybe there are some good ones there. Recommendations anyone?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

orannia, I thought I told you how much I loved KW! Bad, beautiful angel, indeed. sigh. He's lovely.

robynl said...

hi and welcome;
when it comes to romance almost any setting is fine; I do love the Victorian era though. The balls, the belles, the suitors, etc.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Well, MOn, there's much history to be had in Nashville. They don't call it the Grand "ol" Opry for nuthin.

Vanessa (yes, I do want to give you a nickname of 'nessa), the squee fest came between breakfast and the RITAs. It started with my being so excited to talk LChase that I confused all my faves, from Lord Perfect to Mr Impossible w/Dain tossed in for good measure.

The story goes that there's a fave line from Lord Perfect I wanted to quote in an old feature I did way back at WNBC, et al, called "Language of Love." And I had a test called the "Reid" test, named for the ceo of the co I wrote for. If I couldn't say it to his face, I didn't publish it. I thought the line was a little too racy. In retrospect, I was playing it super-safe in those days. Miranda knows the line by heart, but it's to the effect of "Ladies don't remove gentlemen's breeches nearly often enough." Takers on the correct line?

Oh, I remember barely breathing when I read it thinking, genius. This woman's a genius.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi, Emily! We're thankful you keep the love alive w/your gentlemen's clothing, too! Thanks for stopping by. So nice to say drive-by 'hi" several times at national.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

robynl, we're getting more and more votes for the Vics today. :)

Truly, Anny, those tights do make us smile.

You're right, joder. What a cool way to look at it.

lizee, so wish I'd met you earlier... missed you at national.

I'm with you, barbarab. I hope we see more Westerns soon.

Hi, Gram!

Loretta Chase said...

OK, I had to go lie down, what with all the blushing from compliments and swooning from all your visions of masculinity. And then I was thinking, if the men in breeches on horseback or off aren't enough in Colonial Williamsburg, there's the...chocolate. Special chocolate made from an 18th C recipe. We tried one stick and then we kept going into the shops to buy more and more. It's really chocolate, with a little hot stuff (cayenne) and other spices, but just a tantalizing hint of them. I must say, that place truly is a feast for the senses.

Gannon Carr said...

Late to the party--so sorry, bellas! Welcome, Loretta! I do so love your books!

Ah, Regency men in doeskin--yes, Colin Firth deserves a big sigh--and shiny Hessians. But there is something to be said for men in just about any historical dress. Always some asset to be highlighted. *g*

I lived about an hour from Colonial Williamsburg for about five years. It was such a wonderful place to visit, especially when decorated for Christmas.

Miranda Neville said...

OMG. We never even got on to Knave's Wager. If we had we'd have never made it to lunch.

Just had to run up stairs to find Lord P. and get the lines right.

"I daresay proper ladies do not unbutton gentlemen's trousers."
"They do not do that," he said as he tugged her frock straight, "nearly as often as one could wish."

Amen to that

Monica Burns said...

Loretta, since you mention chocolate, which qualifies as food, LOL, did you get to eat in Chownings Tavern? Their dinners there are superb.

And their lemonades in the back patio are a fav of my girls.

Loretta Chase said...

Michelle, Bellas--
Thank you so much for the great discussion & inspiring words & the love of my books. It's such a joy to visit here. You make me laugh & make me think & yes you make me do a lot of fanning of face. Whew. I'd like to stay up all night & go on talking with you but then I'll get no pages written tomorrow. Bye for now but not for long I hope.

Pat Cochran said...

I'm so late for this very important
date! I'm going to run back to the beginning and read all the comments.
I'll vicariously enjoy the day in
that manner. Just in case, I am


Pat Cochran

Anonymous said...

Lisa K - You here ??!!?? lol
(seems like we got the same aaddiction right...)

orannia said...

You did Michelle - my memory is shocking at the moment :)

And Miranda thank you for checking the lines. They are good :)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

It really is marvelous, orannia, you're right!

Laurie G said...

I love the Almack's dances. The beautiful gowns, the young debutantes, the rakes, the gaming hells, the arogance of the aristocracy ....AHHHHHHH!
I think just because it's so different than how the USA is. We don't have royalty, or balls. We do have a wealthy, old school rich group but it 's just not the same with Dukes, Princes, Earls, Princesses etc.

SlipStitchWitch said...

Interesting. I wonder..why do I like them? I suppose its because not only am I transported somewhere besides america. Usually (not in some books) but money is rarely an issue. Or what I mean its not the same kind of issue. There is romance and (again usually) a happy ending. I like that period most because of the men....women seem more important. Now I think..in contemporaries the women are never virginal where in almost ALL regency they are. That part I like and in regency rather than western or contemporary the women have ALOT of time to spend on the men...where as contemporary and western its like work/find food/live Regency (most of the time) all that doesn't matter all that matters is finding that one man...yes...thats why I like them. True Love. I suppose thats why I dont like the ones that fit into the usually category.