Saturday, April 5, 2014

Michele Stegeman ~ The Shrew that Tames

This week's Succulent Saturday Story is Michele Stegeman with The Shrew That Tames. I asked her to do a post on why she likes the regency era so much as she seems most comfortable writing in that period, in my opinion. A lovely lady, who also happens to be an artist (I have ideas for next time I have her on my blog!), I'm happy to present you with this regency author. Welcome Michele!

Thank you, Leona, for hosting me today. You asked why I like the Regency period so much. There are many reasons.

First, I can relate to the morality of the period. It's the way I was raised. In my family a woman lived at home until she married. Period. For me, the only exception was when I went to college. Even then, I was only 20 minutes from home and lived in a dorm where I had to be in by 10:00 p.m. No guys were allowed in the rooms or even in the hallways! One of my friends was expelled because she was seen leaving the apartment building where her boyfriend lived. This was not some strict religious school, either. It was a state university. But things have certainly changed there now!

Even at age 24, when I was engaged, I was not allowed to go to my fiancĂ©'s  apartment. I finally broke that rule the night before our wedding and it was so nice to be alone and talk.

In the Regency, most women were not educated beyond the basics plus some "finishing" school where they learned domestic arts and perhaps painting and music. When I was in junior high school girls took home economics, and boys took shop class. One of my friends bravely fought the system and was finally allowed to take shop, but everyone wondered why a girl would want to take that class! I was considered a bit strange because I loved math and science. I read science fiction by hiding it behind another book.

Growing up, I was supposed to be a perfect lady. Ladies wore skirts. Even on the coldest winter days with the wind whistling and legs exposed, we had to wear skirts. Fortunately, the skirts were mid calf and there were lots and lots of slips and crinolines to help keep warm! Gloves and hats were worn to church and on special occasions even in the hottest weather.

Part of being a lady was deportment, or behavior. I was never allowed to use "bad" words. Frankly, I didn't even know any. I was also not supposed to know anything about "the birds and the bees." And I really didn't know much. If I did hear and "get" an "off color" joke, I had to pretend I didn't! A lady was innocent.

Just as in the Regency, women were expected to be dependent  on a man, and men came first. Growing up, I knew that the only way I could get a loan from a bank was if a man, husband or father or brother, signed for me. Few careers were open to women, mainly teaching or nursing. If you wanted to be anything else, you had to fight for it.

I also love the Regency period because, like any historical period before WWI, horses were a main form of transportation. I love horses. And I love the pace of the period. Things seemed slower then and there was more time for family just like when I was growing up. Letters were written by hand and so welcome. I remember my grandmother sitting down to write letters every evening, keeping up a steady correspondence. I wrote a lot of letters, too.

These are just a few reasons why I love the Regency. I feel at home there!
Thank you Michele! I love receiving a glimpse inside an author's mind :) You can get your copy from your favorite retailer! Here are a few links for you:
Want a peek at her cover? Of course you do!
Blurb and links:
What's an impoverished aristocrat to do when a beautiful heiress asks him to marry her?
Katherine is an heiress who uses her shrewish tongue to keep fortune hunters away. But what is it about Lord Ashfair that leaves her speechless?
Although in need of money, Peter Monroe, Marquis of Ashfair, has resolved to restore his ravaged estates on his own. How can he convince Katherine that he wants her, not her money?
Buy Links for The Shrew That Tames

All Romance Ebooks:
Want a little taste of what you'll get before you buy? *grins* I have an excerpt for you... Be sure to say hi to our Saturday Succulent Stories author :)
The evening of the Harrington's ball, Ashfair and Sir Anthony escorted the Driscol sisters and their mother to the event. Bianca was besieged at once, and her dance card filled quickly.
Katherine stood to the side, watching her sister's card fill.
Ashfair bowed over her hand. "Will you do me the honor of adding my name to your card, Miss Driscol?"
She clutched her card tighter, her head up. "Really, my lord, you do not have to dance with me simply because you are my escort."
His brow went up. The men in this town were all fools if they would dance with such a lovely woman only to edge closer to her money or her sister and not herself. How many times had she been hurt because of it? "You are right, of course. I have to dance with you because I want to see what it is like to hold you in my arms. There are two waltzes this evening. Please put my name beside one of them. And if you will honor me with a second dance, the quadrille would be nice."
As she added his name to her card, he bent to whisper, "I wish I could dance more than twice with you."
"You are entirely too forward, my lord." He heard her set down. However, he also saw the blush that tinged her cheeks. He tried not to smile, but he was beginning to enjoy teasing a blush into her cheeks.
Katherine had a smattering of attention, mostly, Ashfair thought, from those hoping to win Bianca's approval. He was amazed Katherine could be so easily disregarded. True, she could wield a waspish tongue, but every set down she rendered was, in his opinion, well deserved.
At last they began the quadrille, and Ashfair led Katherine onto the dance floor. As they went through the forms of the dance, he noticed that she became transformed. Her features softened, she gracefully floated, and pleasure sparkled in her eyes.
"You love to dance!" he exclaimed.
Laughing, she agreed. "I always have."
The movements took them apart for a moment. When they came together again he said, "A smile or two from you and your dance card would be full."
Her mouth pursed. "And be forced to endure every crack-wit fortune hunter in the place with sweaty hands and a penchant for writing bad verses to my eyes?" She shook her head. "I'd rather be a wallflower."
Surely by now she knew he was one of those fortune hunters. He pulled her close. "You are dancing with me."
She tossed her head. "You do not have sweaty hands, my lord."
"And so far, I have failed to write a single ode to your eyes. What a dastardly escort I am."
"Yes, terrible." She laughed.

So I was gone most of the day with personal stuff. However, Michele left me a message! She's going to give away your choice of Fortune's Foe or Fortune's Pride to a lucky commenter!!! You have until Monday night to enter :D Tell your friends!!