Today, I am sharing a few notecards about some of the visual inspiration I used while writing my newest release Enticing Miss Darcy as well as an excerpt from the book and a giveaway at the end of this longish, picture-filled post.
As you have heard me say many times before…
Into every story, a little research must fall.
This statement holds true once again for my newest release Enticing Miss Darcy. The research I did for this novella included, but is not limited to, the following things:
I read about the theatre and Hyde Park.
I looked up Shakespearean plays to see what they were about (to see if any “fit” with my story plot and one did 🙂 ) and what their performance history was. (I wanted one that would plausibly have been showing at the time of this story.)
I watched videos of Regency dances so I could picture them as Georgiana and Jack are dancing.
And, I even researched song choices for an appropriate set of lyrics and publication date for the bonus short story at the end of Enticing Miss Darcy because even a short story is not exempt from research. 🙂
While a lot of research that goes into a story involves reading, it is not the only way to research and add to a story. I also find pictures to be very helpful in sparking my imagination. Some of those pictures were part of the articles I read while others are not. All of the pictures on the cards below were ones that I remembered to add to my Pinterest board for Enticing Miss Darcy. Below the cards, you will find links to the sources of these pictures because none of them are mine and a good researcher must cite her sources. 🙂 These links will also give you an opportunity to do some reading if you wish. I did not read all of the articles attached to these pictures, but I did read many of them.
|Three ladies having tea||https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Soulacroix_Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric_-_Tea_Time.jpg|
|Saloon leading to the private boxes||http://www.regencyhistory.net/2017/02/covent-garden-theatre.html|
|The Music Room||https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:G_G_Kilburne_-_The_music_room.jpg|
|As You Like It||https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/As_You_Like_It|
|Entrance Hall||Picture found on Pinterest, no web address given; The Entrance Hall looking from the staircase towards the front door at Peckover House, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.|
And now, shall we take a look at a scene that has some of this research used in it?
One week later, throngs of people moved from their carriages on Bow Street, up the steps, between the columns, and through the doors of the theatre while Comedy and Tragedy kept watch. Tonight, Comedy would shine from the stage while Tragedy waited his turn to play another day. But neither moved a stony lip in protest of not being adored by this mass of people, for they knew that soon, the fickle amusement seekers of London would shift their allegiance from one to the other for the few hours they would spend within these great stone walls.
Just beyond where Tragedy and Comedy stood watch and through those great doors, gentlemen and ladies mingled in the vestibule, greeting one another and surveying each other – some with covert glances and other’s raised brows and lifted chins peering down their noses at nearly everyone. In the midst of this crowd and for the first time ever when attending a play, Georgiana placed her hand on the arm of a gentleman who was neither her brother or cousin.
Mr. Bernard Tibbett smiled down at her and then, covering her hand with his free one, led her to the grand staircase as they followed Darcy and Elizabeth up to the landing and on into the saloon leading to the private boxes.
Georgiana’s stomach fluttered. She had spoken with gentlemen at soirees and danced with them at balls, but until this moment, she had not spent a full evening in the presence of one – just one — gentleman. However, while on a drive through the park when Mr. Tibbett had asked her to accompany him to the play this evening, she had been unable to formulate a good reason to refuse. She enjoyed the gentleman’s company, and, while her stomach might be nervously fluttering now, it was not because he caused her to be uneasy. He put her at ease nearly as readily as her brother, her uncle, her cousin, Mr. Pratt, or Jack did. There was no nagging sense of distrust.
That last bit made her stomach do an extra tumble. While she might trust the man beside her, she was not certain she trusted her ability to choose who should or should not be trusted. That mechanism of her mind had betrayed her once already. So, while she was excited to be taking a seat next to Mr. Tibbett this evening and speaking with Elizabeth later of him in terms of a possible match, she was only tentatively excited. She would not allow herself to give her emotions full reign. She would be cautious.
Mr. Tibbett waited for Georgiana to be seated before he took his place next to her. “Have you ever seen As You Like It?”
“No, but I have read it.”
“Which character do you prefer?” He smoothed his jacket by giving its hem a firm tug.
“Orlando,” she replied with a smile.
“Not the heroine, Rosalind?”
Georgiana shook her head. “No, I do like Rosalind, but Orlando is so noble and kind. What he does for the old man and even his brother is endearing.”
“Might I do well to be jealous of this fictitious gentleman?” Mr. Tibbett asked with a chuckle.
Georgiana raised a brow and gave him a slightly imperious, though playful, look. “No more so than any other gentleman be he real or imagined.”
“Is that so?” Mr. Tibbett shifted slightly, so that he was closer to her and could speak in lower tones. “Are there any particular non-fictitious chaps of whom I should be aware?”
Georgiana blinked. She was not comfortable with such a forward question even if it was said lightly. Flirting was not what she preferred. She would rather that a gentleman just be himself and speak to her as a friend would. However, it seemed flirting was part of the game that was played during the season, for the only gentleman who had come to call on her who did speak to her as a friend was Jack. She sighed. He had not been to see her in a week, so she had been subjected to far more flirting without a reprieve than she would have liked.
“Just my brother,” she replied with a smile, causing the gentleman next to her to straighten. “The rest you shall have to ferret out on your own.”
“The rest?” he asked in surprise.
There were no others, but Mr. Tibbett did not need to know that. So, Georgiana merely shrugged and looked at the boxes across from them and then to the left and right as far as she could see without leaning forward. “It is a full house tonight, is it not?”
“It seems to be,” her brother replied. “But the crush is not so oppressive when one has his own place.”
“Indeed!” Elizabeth replied with a laugh. “If only assemblies had boxes where one could hide away from the masses.”
Georgiana smiled as her brother lifted Elizabeth’s hand and kissed his wife’s knuckles, and she was reminded that teasing and flirting were not always unpleasant nor were they something confined to the participants of the season. However, it was so much more delightful to watch two people so completely in love tease and flirt than it was to bear what felt like the practiced role of a gentleman when he called on or danced with her.
“I see Anne has managed to get Alistair to take her to the theater.” Elizabeth nodded toward a box across and to the left of them. “She was hoping he would allow her to attend when she called two days ago.”
“Anne – Mrs. Pratt – is my cousin,” Georgiana explained to Mr. Tibbett.
“Ah, I know of Pratt and his wife,” Mr. Tibbett said. “I did not, however, recognize Mrs. Pratt’s Christian name, so I thank you for the clarification.” He looked across the expanse of the theater. “It seems Mr. Ralston has joined them.”
“He is their particular friend,” Georgiana said, looking again at Pratt’s box. “Oh,” she said in surprise. “Who is that with him?” A pretty looking blonde was giggling behind her fan while Jack was no doubt sharing some delightful tale.
“I will be of no help,” said Elizabeth. “I am still learning who is who.”
Mr. Tibbett squinted as he looked in the direction of the lady in question. Then, his eyes grew wide, and he blinked. “It appears to be Miss Parkes. Hmm, I did not know she enjoyed the theater. I thought she said she found it a bore.” He shrugged. “Perhaps Mr. Ralston’s presence makes it more enjoyable.” He leaned back in his seat.
“You know her, then?” Georgiana asked.
He nodded. “Yes, Miss Hazel Parkes, third daughter of Mr. Geoffery Parkes of Warwickshire. This is her second season.”
“Warwickshire?” Georgiana asked in interest. Jack had attended a house party in Warwickshire with Alistair last year.
“Have you ever been there?” Mr. Tibbett asked.
“No, but Mr. Pratt and Mr. Ralston attended a house party there shortly before my cousin and Mr. Pratt married.”
Mr. Tibbett’s head bobbed up and down slowly. “At Stanton’s,” he said. “I was there as was Miss Parkes.”
“Oh.” Georgiana tipped her head and studied what she could make out of the lady sitting next to Jack. “Is she nice?”
Mr. Tibbett shrugged. “I suppose so, yes.”
Georgiana wished to know if the lady put on airs and pretended to be what she was not, for she did not wish for Jack to tie himself to someone who would not care for him as he deserved. However, she would not ask such a thing. For if she did, Mr. Tibbett might think that Jack was one of the gentlemen of whom he should be jealous, but he was not. He was Jack — kind, considerate, funny, endearing Jack. She sighed as the noise in the theater faded into silence, and the play began. She cast one more glance at Jack and Miss Parkes. Jack was leaning toward Anne and whispering something to her that caused her to swat him with her fan and Alistair to laugh. He really was charming, she told herself, and for a moment, she wished that she was sitting comfortably next to the charming Jack instead of here with Mr. Tibbett. Then, after one last look at her cousin’s box, she turned her attention to the stage and allowed herself to be swept away by the equally as charming Orlando.
Enticing Miss Darcy is the third in a series of three books: Unravelling Mr. Darcy, Becoming Entangled, and Enticing Miss Darcy. Although each book contains a complete story for one couple, each story also builds upon the last. Therefore, for maximum enjoyment, I would recommend reading them all and in order. Otherwise, you may run the risk of not understanding who Lady Margaret is or how Jack figures into things.
Because I know that reading them in order is best, this giveaway is for ONE copy of EACH of the three books. Yes, the winner of this giveaway will receive the complete Unravelled, Entangled, and Enticed three book series!
Contest closes at 11:59 PM EST on March 20, 2018.
To enter, please leave a comment below.
Enticing Miss Darcy is currently on preorder and will release on Thursday, March 15, 2018.