How I research My Regency romances.
I never ever thought I'd write Regency romance. Or any historical story to be honest.
Yes, I loved history, (still do for that matter) but after researching for school and university, I thought that would be it. How wrong can you be?
For years I was the archetypical, I want to write a book someday person. Oh I did submit and get rejected (quite rightly so) a couple of times. But I didn't have my own voice.
Then one day I was chatting in my crit group and on a dare, my first book was started. I'd said I'd write Regency. First hurdle. Not only that it was going to be f/f/m.
Where to start? Well truly the internet is a wonderful thing. Anyone who didn't know me, and looking through my history on my laptop would freak. Who is the woman? From jade dildos to Beau Brummel. Women's underclothes and men's cock rings. All have been searched and read about. The trouble is, I look for one thing, and four hours later having had a great time reading, I still haven't actually found what I was looking for.
I live in a small village, and we have a mobile library van. Our librarians are great, and are used to me asking,…"Do you have a book about?" They search headquarters for me and usually come up trumps. They then like to keep up with what I'm writing. And read some of it!
Once you look, it's amazing what you can find out. I still have an old laptop full of docs with titles such as... Sex toys C 1800, and Spies in China. I have notebooks with information jotted in, and a brain full of trivia. Now if only I could remember where I've put my frequent flyer card!
(I did see a very interesting jade carved object on a stall at the bottom of The Fragrant Hills in China. Sadly I didn't buy it, so I can't report if it worked!)
Reading other people's regency books is interesting. I resisted at first. I was scared stiff of accidentally plagiarizing. But to be honest, there are so many good (and not so good) books out there it would be silly to deny myself the pleasure. I don't when I'm writing though. I'm sure I read somewhere Georgette Heyer deliberately described things incorrectly so she could check up on copycats.
My 'bible' for a lot of things is the Oxford Dictionary of Slang. It gives dates of when words were used. So no 'pussy' in 1810, but you can have muff. The 'c' word which up until recently was frowned upon was in common usage. I cringed the first time I wrote it. Now it flows off the keys without a problem. In regency times it was a normal everyday slang word!
Names are easier. You can always find lists of what was popular when, but I also like visiting old churchyards. The names on the headstones are a perfect way of seeing who was christened what and when.
I do think in one way we have it easier now than when I wrote my first terrible m/s. (discounting where does chocolate come from, my award winning competition entry aged 8) I did have a computer but it was a million discs in and out to use it. And no internet! Now it's Google away!
On the other hand, all your readers can find it easy to check for mistakes!
My latest Regency, A most Unusual Mistress, is a slight departure for me. No ménage. But if you read it you'll soon understand why. Ash couldn't cope with another person in the relationship. Adriana is more than enough for him!
Why be a wife if a mistress has more fun? All Adriana has to do is get Ashley to agree...
Finding her intended bollocks-deep in his mistress when she is trembling with wanting and suppressed desires does not impress Adriana. If being a mistress entails being part of such passion, then a mistress only she will be.
Ashley, Earl of Addersley, thinks otherwise. He wants a wife on his terms. Terms that would send this lady of the Ton screaming...or would they?
An agreement, a challenge, a single night of mind-blowing passion very well may determine the outcome. Wife or mistress? Which shall it be?
He leant toward her. “Later, my love, I will introduce you to a much better way of tasting champagne. For now I suggest you sip it. Slowly.” For Adriana was gurgling and choking on her first sip. He patted her solicitously on her back. “Oh dear, did it go down the wrong way? ‘Tis bad when something does that.” He paused. “One needs to learn the correct way for anything to slide down your throat.”
Her face reddened, but she held her peace. How, he knew not, for he could tell she had a ready retort. He let his hand slide slowly down her spine, feeling the shiver she gave as he did so.
Suddenly, he could not wait until that part of the evening ended. For the sooner he escorted her home, the sooner he could join her and begin her slow sensuous introduction to seduction. She might say she wished to be his mistress, but Ashley had no doubt she would soon balk at some of his more extreme preferences. However, until he reached her refusals, he intended to enjoy all she was prepared to offer him. He was sure she would not be over- accepting of his demands, and once her limit was reached, her agreement to their marriage reinstated, and the ceremony over; he would return to the kind, considerate, and respecting husband a wife should receive. His more extreme proclivities would remain shrouded until such time he needed to unleash them. Then he would do so in the body of someone other than his wife. Someone who would accept and receive his ministrations without expecting either heart to be involved. He could not subject Adriana to his dark side. Well, he pondered, not all of it.
He realized his companions were looking at him quizzically. He essayed a smile. “Your pardon. I was wool gathering.”
“Wishing you were elsewhere?” Adriana asked archly.
“Wishing we were elsewhere,” he corrected.
“Well, that is easily achieved.” Adriana stood and shook out her skirts. “I am ready to leave.” She laughingly made her farewell to their companions, ignoring their knowing looks, and paused for Ashley to do likewise before moving toward the cloakroom.
He slipped her cloak around her shoulders as they awaited the arrival of her carriage. He accepted that his body was on a knife-edge. Strung out with all his senses heightened, it almost seemed he could feel her heart beat in time with his, their blood swirling around their bodies and their breathing as one. Fanciful, but very stimulating. As the carriage pulled up in front of them, he was punctilious in his manner, guiding her inside and helping her be seated to her satisfaction. How long had he to begin his campaign? Scant minutes, unfortunately, but enough for the initial skirmish. He waited until the carriage had begun to lurch over the cobbles, setting up that familiar thrum in his rod, before lifting her onto his lap, making sure her skirts were not trapped between them. His now-rigid tool, which he had swiftly released from its confines, rubbed deliciously along that warm enveloping hollow between her cheeks. Her gasp reverberated into the very area of his body that strained to feel more than the echoes of movement that a mere gasp elicited.
“Soon, my cock will be more than just rubbing your arse,” he said crudely into her ear, as he brought one hand to her clit and squeezed it firmly, eliciting another hiss of breath. “I will have it buried bollocks deep inside it, my balls on your mound and my dildo in your cunt. You will know not which is pleasure or pain, so great will be the depth of ecstasy you experience. As I come and fill you with my seed, you will cry out your completion and shudder around me as I shudder in you.”
She was silent. Had he gone too far? For in truth, he had not measured his words and had spoken from his soul.
“And I, my lord? What will I do in return?” Her voice was breathy, the arousal unmistakable.
“You, my love, will enjoy. For I will have you spread-eagled, tied, and captive, to receive all I choose for you to partake. Until we are both sated.” Gad, the picture he was painting was painful. All he wanted to do now was pick up his brush and begin to paint. Her. Over and over until he was satisfied his vision had nothing comparable. He felt the coach lurch around the corner, looked out of the window, and identified from the many houses on the opposite side of the square, that belonging to Adriana. Reluctantly, he lifted her onto the seat adjacent, ignoring—with difficulty—her soft moan of protest.
A Most Unusual Mistress is available from
as an ebook or in print along with Wallflowers Don't Wilt, and To Please A Lady, in one volume entitled Rogue Scandals
Raven can be found at
and Rogue Scandals has a facebook page as well