Monday, December 13, 2010
Aloha to Linda Banche and MISTLETOE EVERYWHERE!
Aloha from Safety Harbor, Florida! The picture above is the fishing pier overlooking the top of Tampa Bay. Sometimes ducks, manatees and dolphins greet the fishermen. Speaking of ducks, please join me in welcoming duck fanatic and Regency author Linda Banche.
From her website,
Welcome to My World of Historical Hilarity!
I'm Linda Banche, and I write sweet/sensual Regency romances. Most contain humor, some fantasy, and occasionally a little paranormal. But comedy is my love, and I've created my own wacky blend of humor and Regency with stories that can elicit reactions from a gentle smile to a belly laugh.
Like many other romance authors, I read romances for years before I wrote my own. Once I tried, I quickly discovered how difficult writing is. Did I stop? No, I'm persistent--that's French for "too stupid to quit".
I live in New England and like aerobics and ducks.
So, laugh along with me on a voyage back to the Regency. Me and my ducks. Quack.
Kim: Why Regency?
Linda: The smart-aleck answer is why not? Seriously, though, I think the Regency appeals to me because I want an escape from the modern world. But I don't want to escape too far. The Regency is far enough in the past for some fantasy, but not so far as to be radically different. The clothes are pretty, too. And never forget those gorgeous men in tight breeches and ruffled shirts. Sigh.
Kim: What is your favorite place, food, and custom from the Regency Period?
Linda: I've never been to the UK, so everything I know comes what I've read and pictures I've seen. At the top of my list is Montague House, the original location of the British Museum. I have a novel I'm shopping around that takes place in Montague House/the British Museum in 1807 before they started to add and rebuild. As for food, I would like to try a plum pudding. A British custom I'm curious about is Guy Fawkes Night, or Bonfire Night. That holiday, which commemorates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot of November 5, 1605, was also celebrated in the Regency. I'd like to see a Regency version. Alas, I need a time machine.
Kim: Why "humor most of the time, fantasy some of the time, and paranormal once in a while"?
Linda: My stories take whatever direction they please. I like a funny story, so most of my stuff contains humor. But if a little fantasy or paranormal sneaks in, that's fine with me. For example, my LADY OF THE STARS is a time travel. I thought all time travels were paranormals. Lo, and behold, LADY OF THE STARS is science fiction romance because the transport mode, a wormhole, has some basis in modern physics. I had never heard of science fiction romance and I wrote one. I suppose I can add science fiction to my list of add-ins.
Kim: How do you "research" these components to achieve your "historically accurate" stories?
Linda: I try. I may not always succeed, but I try. I started out with some library books on the Regency. Although a lot of people don't like it, What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Poole is a good for a lot of the basics. Quick, how many shillings in a guinea? I found that out in that book. It also has a lot of references. And I google. A lot. Google is my friend.
Kim: Tell us about the Historical Hussies.
Linda: Historical Hussies is a group historical blog owned by Joyce Moore. There are four of us--Joyce, who writes mainly medieval, Donna Hatch, another Regency author, and Jen Childers, who writes about World War II. With Donna and me, we may have a surfeit of Regency on HH, but my attitude is there can never be enough Regency. My favorite Regency post is Gorgeous Men in Tight Breeches and Ruffled Shirts. How's that for a title and a subject?
I do write other posts besides Regency. How about Macaroni! And I Don't Mean Pasta about the Georgian macaroni fashion, and Regency Hygiene, Or the Lack Thereof, Part I about cleanliness in Western Europe from ancient Rome to the Regency.
Oh, and we take guest bloggers! Let us know if you want to guest. Historical topics only, and PG.
Kim: New England - I loved New England when I was stationed at Hanscom AFB (outside Boston). What is your favorite place, food, and custom from New England?
Linda: I'm a mountain person more than a seashore person, so I'm for the White Mountains. New England food? Turkey! Thanksgiving started in New England with the Pilgrims, but we eat domestic turkeys now, not wild turkeys. The wild turkeys come to my bird feeder, and I can't imagine them gracing my dinner table. Although, if they continue to lift their tails in my back yard, I might reconsider. Not really a custom, but I like snow at Christmas, although we don't always get snow. But when we do, it really adds to the Christmas atmosphere.
Kim: Ducks? What's up with ducks? My father had an obsession with ducks at one time.
Linda: I love ducks! They're pretty birds, and they're also big enough to see. I live on a hill, so I go to the ponds and rivers to visit my feathered friends. Bring bread and they'll love you forever--or at least as long as the bread lasts. One hundred years ago, Great Meadows in Concord, MA, which, as you know, is cheek by jowl with Hanscom AFB, was one of the areas responsible for saving the North American Wood Duck when they were hunted almost to extinction for their feathers. Your father is my kind of person.
Kim: Tell us about your current book and what's next.
Linda: My latest novella, MISTLETOE EVERYWHERE, is a Regency Christmas comedy.
A man who sees mistletoe everywhere is mad--or in love.
Charles sees mistletoe. Not surprising, since he's spending Christmas at Mistletoe Manor. But why does no one else see it? And why does it always appear above Penelope, the despised lady who jilted him after their last meeting?
Penelope wants nothing to do with the faithless Charles, the man who cried off after she accepted his marriage proposal. But he still stirs her heart--and he stares at her all the time. Or rather, he stares at the empty ceiling over her head…What does he see?
According to folklore, mistletoe is the plant of peace. Can Penelope and Charles, so full of hurt and anger, heed the mistletoe's message and make peace?
After Charles had heaped his plate with more food than he wanted, he took one of the empty chairs at the table bottom, as far from Penelope as possible.
His tensed muscles eased as he joked with his friends. Smythe made a comment and Charles turned to answer. He caught sight of Penelope…and a monstrous bunch of mistletoe above her.
"Gordon? What is it?" Smythe swiveled in the direction Charles was staring. He looked up and down, and from one side to the other. "I say, with your mouth hanging open like that, you must see something spectacular, but damned if I know what it is."
With an audible click, Charles clamped his jaw shut. "I thought I saw…" He forced his gaze back to his companion. "Nothing. I imagined I saw mistletoe."
Smythe's eyebrows rose. "Mistletoe?"
"Yes. The house is named 'Mistletoe Manor', so the place is filled with mistletoe decorations. Pictures, wall hangings, ceiling trim, whatnot."
"Indeed." Smythe's eyebrows rose higher. "That 'mistletoe' you saw is over that Miss Lawrence. Lovely little filly." His lips curved into a knowing grin. "My jaw dropped the first time I saw her, too."
Charles stiffened. "I was not looking at Miss Lawrence. I believed I saw mistletoe over her."
"'Mistletoe'." Symthe's grin widened. "Of course."
Kim: Readers can purchase Linda's books, including MISTLETOE EVERYWHERE, from the TWRP website.
Also check out other links for Linda:
Web site: http://www.lindabanche.com/
In honor of Linda's visit, I am giving away a "Regency Gift Set" to two randomly selected commenters. To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about Linda, New England, duck obsession, and who you would like to kiss under the mistletoe (I'm waiting for Alex O'Laughlin aka Steve McGarrett).
2. Make sure I know how to contact you - send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. This contest is open to US and Canadian residents. Comments will be open through Wednesday, December 15, to be eligible for the giveaway.
Kim in Florida
* That's how my English relatives say good bye.
Check out the Historical Hussies Blogspot - fabulous info and pictures! Other contributors include:
- Joyce Moore, who we met during the TWRP spotlight. Joyce is the author of French set medieval romances.
- Jennifer Childers, who we will meet next week.
- Donna Hatch, who I am currently negotiating a date for her to visit us in the new year!
I can't get enough of history ... how about you?