The Magpie Masquerade – cover reveal!

SO excited about the gorgeous cover for The Magpie Masquerade, designed by Cover Your Dreams.

newdesignedit copy [comp]

And I’m thrilled to announce that The Magpie Masquerade: Part 1 will be released on Friday 20th March 2015!

Yes, I’m bringing the adventures of The Magpie to you in serial format – shades of Dickens!

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Unicorn-style driving

U [150x150]       U is for UNICORN

In Georgette Heyer’s The Unknown Ajax, young Richmond Darracott is mightily impressed when his rakish cousin Vincent arrives,

“…driving himself in a curricle to which were harnessed three magnificent black geldings, randem-tandem…and exclaimed: ‘Here’s my cousin at last! Oh, he’s driving unicorn! He’s the most complete hand!'”

[He asks] ‘What’s this new quirk, Vincent? ….Is it now the high kick of fashion to drive–unicorn, do you call it?’

‘Yes, or Sudden Death,’ replied Vincent…’And no, little cousin, you may not drive them. We have had enough sudden deaths in the family.’

When I first read The Unknown Ajax, there was no Google-search, and the dictionary only described the mythical horned beast, so I had to guess what the term meant.

Later I learned that driving a team of horses unicorn-style means there are 3 horses pulling the carriage — a pair of  wheelers behind a single lead horse.

Unicorn2 [261x200]Farmers would hitch their horses in this fashion in order to negotiate closer turns along the edge of the field. Coachmen might drive unicorn when one horse in a team of four went lame and had to be left behind.

This difficult style of driving, also known as “randem (sic)-tandem,” requires a particularly well-trained lead horse and an experienced driver (see, e.g., Jennifer Kloester’s Georgette Heyer’s Regency World, p. 169)


During the Regency, sporting gentlemen (and the occasional dashing lady) would drive unicorn-style as a display of their prowess.

Unicorn

Even trickier was driving a coach in a pickaxe hitch — five horses, three across at the front and two wheelers behind them. Apparently the fashionable Corinthians and Go’s wanting to show off restricted themselves to driving  tandem (one horse in front of another) or unicorn, and left the pickaxe hitch to professional coachmen.

 

 

 

A Feather to Fly With

F [150x150]    F is for A Feather to Fly With

A new Regency romance from author Joyce Harmon!


Really a delight, this is a Regency romance in the Georgette Heyer tradition, with engaging characters, a clever plot, and witty dialogue.

From the blurb:

    In Regency England, young ladies make their fortune by marrying it.         But Cleo Cooper has come to London with a different idea – she’s going to make her fortune by stealing it. Raised abroad by unconventional parents, Cleo has no use for the rules and strictures of the ton. She’ll pretend to fit in, but she has a secret scheme.

      Arthur Ramsey, Duke of Winton, is in the market for a wife. He imagines a sweet, conformable young lady who will gracefully fill the role of Duchess, secure the succession with an heir, and not interfere with his scientific pursuits. That’s what he’s looking for – but what he finds is Cleo.           (Author’s Note: A Feather To Fly With is a traditional Regency. If it were a movie, it would be rated PG, or even G.)

Harmon is also the author of a cozy mystery series, and anyone who has read Died on the Vine or Bidding on Death will recognize her talent for understated humour and well-drawn characters.

* * *
Check it out! Particularly if you like Joan Smith, Georgette Heyer, or Barbara Metzger, A Feather to Fly With is a highly enjoyable read.

 

Classic Regency romance

Hello! I’m Victoria Hodge, and I write traditional Regency romances.

What is a Regency romance? A romance set during the Regency era in England. For people unfamiliar with the genre, the easiest way to explain is: think Jane Austen and high-waisted gowns so familiar from the many productions of Pride & Prejudice.

JaneAusten 

Jane Austen                                          Pride & Prejudice Ball

The late, great Georgette Heyer invented the genre. Although some of her Regency romances are mysteries or melodramas, most are lighthearted comedies of manners, exploring love and courtship among the gentry and aristocrats of the time.

More recent Regency authors often incorporate varying degrees of heat (little pun there, unintentional!) in their stories, ranging from spicy to steamy, much to the delight of readers.

My Regencies emulate the more traditional, classic style of Georgette Heyer – a dash of ironic humor, a little adventure, sparks fly and misunderstandings abound, all on the way to a happy ending.

HEA P&P Pride and Prejudice – The Special Edition (A&E Miniseries)

A kiss is inevitable, but everything else? I leave up to the vivid imaginations of my readers!

Pride-and-Prejudice-1995-kiss

Coming soon, The Magpie Masquerade:

newdesignedit copy [comp]

In Regency London, an orphaned and penniless young lady hopes to earn independence from her unkind aunt by secretly working as a gossip columnist, but when a Navy captain enters the social season as a new earl (and the biggest catch on the Marriage Mart), his unexpected interest jeopardizes her plan….and her heart.

Scheduled for release on March 20, 2015 — I hope you enjoy it!

Do you have a favorite Regency romance? author or book? Comment below!