Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Meet My Main Character, by Rosanne E. Lortz

I've been tagged by Debra Brown over at English Epochs 101, and now, I get to tell you a little bit about the main character in one of my writing projects. I've talked before about my First Crusade novels on here, so I think I'll talk about my other novel in the works....

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

My main character is Harold Emison, the Earl of Anglesford, but he goes by Haro to family and friends. He is fictional.

2) When and where is the story set?

The story is a novel of romantic suspense set in Regency England. It is also, very loosely, based on the people and events surrounding the Norman Conquest (mostly because I'm such a nerd that I can't NOT write about the Middle Ages).

3) What should we know about him/her?

Haro's father has died recently, and Haro has become, quite unexpectedly, the new Earl of Anglesford and the head of the family.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Unbeknownst to the family, Haro's father had imperiled all their fortunes through his addiction to the gaming table. Haro is forced to find a way to restore the family fortunes, even if it means marrying a rich mill owner's daughter. But when he jilts his cousin to marry an heiress, tempers flare, family members clash, and events at the old family estate lead to murder most foul with Haro the prime suspect....

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

Haro's personal goal is to take care of his mother and family, even if he has to sacrifice his own personal desires and true love to do it.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

The working title of the novel is To Wed an Heiress...or A Fatal Conquest. I still haven't decided which one I like better.

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

Oh dear. I'm not sure on that one. Life has been very challenging lately and writing has been thrust onto the back burner. I would very much like to have this novel (and the second one of my First Crusade novels!) finished by the end of this year, but we shall see....

Thanks for visiting the post, and I will tag five historical fiction authors to answer these questions as well  once I have contacted them and have their permission. They'll be introducing their main character to you in a few days.

1) Philippa Jane Keyworth

2) Paula Lofting

3) Scott Howard

4) Nancy Bilyeau

5) Stephanie Moore Hopkins

Friday, April 4, 2014

Three Arguments concerning Richard the Lionheart

Now is the winter of our discontent....

Actually, I just wanted to say that line because I like it, not because it has anything to do with this blog post. Although, it has been a very bad winter (and now spring) for sickness around here! Cold, flu, cold, flu, over and over again. We're still finishing up a bout of the former right now.

I didn't get an EHFA post up in March, due to all the health drama, but today I break my blog silence with a post on "Was Richard the Lionheart a Homosexual?" There are three standard arguments to "prove" that he was. I address them each in turn. Click on over and a have a read if you like.... :-)

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Fashionable Phony: The Diary of Cleone Knox

March 3rd   
This morning had a vastly unpleasant interview with my Father. Last night, Mr. Ancaster, who is the indescreetest young man alive, was seized suddenly while riding home along the shore with the desire to say good night to me. He climbed the wall, the postern gate being locked at the late hour, and had the Boldness to attempt to climb the ivy below my window; while but half way up the Poor Impudent young man fell. (If he hadn’t, Lord knows what would have happened, for I am terribly catched by the Handsome Wretch.) As ill luck would have it, Papa and Ned, who were conversing in the library, looked out at the moment and saw him lying Prostrate on the ground!  
No need to describe the scene that followed....
Interested in reading more of this 18th century diary by Cleone Knox? Interested in finding out why she's a phony? You can read more at my post over at English Historical Fiction Authors.

A Gainsborough portrait of a fashionable lady
from the same era as Cleone Knox

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

King Alfred "Wins His Spurs"

The youngest of five brothers, Alfred was an unlikely candidate to ever become king of Wessex. But when the Danish invaders kept leaving Wessex without a ruler, he assumed the crown at 22 years of age. That year, 871, was also the first year where he won a pitched battle, the Battle of Ashdown. 

Today at English Historical Fiction Authors I describe that battle and how Alfred won his spurs, so to speak, against the Viking hordes.
...Æthelred, being the king, was to engage the Danish kings. Alfred would engage the part of the Danish army led by the earls. Merkle notes that with Alfred’s lack of military experience and with the disaster at Reading fresh on everyone’s minds, “he had little to commend himself to the men of Wessex who were now expected to follow him up the soon-to-be-bloodied slope of Ashdown"... (read more)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Cards Old and New

Some years I just throw them out--and then feel guilty for doing that--but this year I hung up a string across our living room to hold all the lovely Christmas cards we received from family and friends. And then, a few days ago, I added a second string because the first one was full.

Some of the cards are silly--smiling snowmen, grimacing gingerbread men. Some of the cards are serious--creches, stars, and wise men. About half of them are photos of friends from far away.

The history of the Christmas card goes back to the Victorian era. The BBC has an interesting article on Christmas traditions that originated during this time period and has this to say about the cards:
In 1843 Henry Cole commissioned an artist to design a card for Christmas. The illustration showed a group of people around a dinner table and a Christmas message. At one shilling each, these were pricey for ordinary Victorians and so were not immediately accessible. However the sentiment caught on and many children - Queen Victoria's included – were encouraged to make their own Christmas cards. In this age of industrialisation colour printing technology quickly became more advanced, causing the price of card production to drop significantly. Together with the introduction of the halfpenny postage rate, the Christmas card industry took off. By the 1880s the sending of cards had become hugely popular, creating a lucrative industry that produced 11.5 million cards in 1880 alone. The commercialisation of Christmas was well on its way.

The oldest Christmas card -- only 10 survive today
of the original printing of 1000 cards.

Nowadays Christmas cards are hugely popular--one estimate says that there are 1.9 billion Christmas cards sent annually.

This year was a lean year for us, and as much as I love doing it, we weren't able to have cards printed to mail to friends and family. But despite that, I was able to put together a digital version of a Victorian tradition and share it with family and friends via e-mail and Facebook.

Merry Christmas to all!

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