Thursday, August 26, 2010

A BUSMAN'S HOLIDAY - Sarah Mallory enjoys a little Regency Recreation

I spend my days writing historical romantic adventures, recreating the Georgian or Regency world with words, so when I wanted a break last weekend, what better than to indulge in a Regency Day?
Kedleston Hall is a lovely old house in Derbyshire,often used by TV and film companies for costume drama (including the recent films of Pride & Prejudice and The Duchess). They were staging a special Regency Day in the beautiful pleasure gardens, so we had a chance to enjoy some real Regency entertainments. There were the redcoats giving a display of drill and exercise, including firing their muskets and explaining how they routed the French at Waterloo), plus we could wander through their encampment and talk to the soldiers (eat your heart out, Lydia Bennett!). There was a re-enactment of the Battle of the Nile with a life-size figure of Nelson looking on while miniature English and French navies manoevred on a blue cloth.
We also listened to a hurdy-gurdy man playing popular songs of the day such as The Lass of Richmond Hill and other hits from Vauxhall pleasure gardens. As befits a successful entertainer he had a very pretty companion, an accomplished young lady who sang, played the harp and even the trumpet for the more military songs! Before the advent of radio and the i-pod this is the way most people heard and learned new songs at fairs and in the public pleasure gardens.

Then we wandered over to see Mr Punch getting the better of the dastardly Napoleon Bonaparte: it was such a treat to see a modern day audience of children enjoying Punch's antics – shouts of "wake up, Punch!" and "He's there behind you!" rang out at regular intervals. It may not be politically correct (Punch had started by burying his wife in the garden) but it was great fun.

The weather was lovely, so we could wander through the pleasure gardens and see Regency ladies and gentlemen taking refreshments in the orangery – and I think I even spotted one couple heading off for a tryst in the summer house!

This is all grist to the historical novelist's mill and even the weather was kind and a beautifully warm, sunny day showed the gardens at their best.
All novelists need inspiration, and while the Regency Day didn't fire my imagination with any plots, it did help to bring the settings alive – and showed the difficulties for ladies of trying to walk up a flight of stairs whilst carrying a fan and a reticule, holding up a parasol and lifting ones' skirts enough to clear the steps without exposing more than a glimpse of an ankle!

Great stuff! If you want to see pictures of the day, you can visit my website at


Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Do you have to feel "familiar" with a setting in order to fully appreciate a story?

As a reader, if I pick up a book set in a locale with which I'm not familiar, I usually go scurrying to the internet to check mapquest and flickr, to get a sense of what the setting looks like. As a writer, I suffer from a similar compulsion. I just can't seem to get into writing my story until I can "see" the same scenery my characters do.

I've just posted a blog on the eharlequin community "Regency Silk and Scandal" page about that discovery process for my current release, THE SMUGGLER AND THE SOCIETY BRIDE. Check it out at

Friday, August 20, 2010

His Californian Countess is this Friday's Freebie at Eharlequin

His Californian Countess Kate Welsh's fantastic tale about romance and intrigue on board a clipper to California is this week's Freebie Friday. Buy 2 books from eharlequin and get Hsi Californian Countess free. Today (20 August only)
also at eharlequin and this time until 15 September:

Save 5% on your order with coupon EHQNSAVE5

Monday, August 16, 2010

Blogging about Untamed Rogue at Romconinc blog Aug. 18th

Hi all,

Stop by for our Untamed Rogue give away at the Romconinc historical blog. I'll be blogging there August 18th. It was great to meet so many readers at the Harlequin book signing at RWA! And thanks for loving the cover! Untamed Rogue is absolutely hot hot hot.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hot Historical Sale

The Eharlequin is having a 30% off sale of selected Hot Historicals. This is both in Print and in ebooks. The offer ends 31 August but it is your chance to stock up!!!