Hold onto your bonnets! I’ve a special treat for you. Anna Campbell is my guest today. Her latest historical novella, THREE PROPOSALS AND A SCANDAL, is set during a house party on an extravagant estate. Now, having been a weekend guest at la maison de Campbell on a number of occasions, I can tell you Anna knows how to throw a good par-tay. I mean, between rounds of Champagne and charades, the fun does not stop! Anna has agreed to share the secrets of her success.
Vanessa, thanks so much for having me as your guest today! It’s always such fun to be a visitor to your blog. Much more fun than most of the guests at my Regency house party are having!
Poor Sidonie Merrick, Lady Hillbrook!
She clearly needs some advice on how to host a house party. The gathering at her palatial country residence, Ferney, in Three Proposals and a Scandal: A Sons of Sin Novella is turning into a major disaster!
House parties are a staple of Regency romance – a couple of weeks in the country offers lots of opportunity for flirtation (and other things!), with all those hedgerows and hidden gardens and woodlands, not to mention isolated shepherds’ cottages (one must isolate one’s shepherds if they don’t bathe regularly!).
Here are a few elements that are de rigueur in the successful house party – and where poor Sidonie is failing so miserably!
Item 1: Delightful sunny weather so one’s guests may wander around the parterre and get lost in the maze for naughty purposes without getting their tootsies wet.
Ooops! Sidonie’s house party takes place in the middle of a deluge – to the point where her husband Jonas gains the nickname Noah! Everybody’s stuck inside and emotions are running high!
Item 2: A carefully chosen guest list of people who get along like a house on fire.
Nuh, Sidonie doesn’t have this either, although that’s not entirely her fault. She arranged this house party so that her husband Lord Hillbrook can persuade the crusty Marquess of Baildon to sell half of Hampstead to him. The guest list was put together specifically to keep Lord Baildon onside, including inviting Lord Desborough, the man he hopes will propose to his lovely daughter Marianne during the fortnight in the country. Unfortunately, Marianne has two other suitors, neither of whom has her father’s approval, and they both pursue her down to the country. Worse, one of them turns up with a whole pack of uninvited friends. Sidonie is stuck having to cope with crowds of cranky, lovesick young men who can’t get home because they’re flooded in.
Item 3: No scandals to titillate the gossips back in London.
Sidonie misses out here too. With Marianne’s ardent suitors on site, passions run high. The awful weather means that the lovely house becomes a crucible where when heat is applied, an explosion is sure to follow.
If you’re game, I’d love to invite you to the season’s most notorious house party which starts on Wednesday, 24th June, when Three Proposals and a Scandal makes its debut at Amazon and Smashwords. And you won’t even have to break the bank to hire a carriage to get there – only 99 cents will gain you admission to all those Regency high-jinks! How can you resist?
So in between following Marianne’s courtship and its wild twists and turns, what else would you like to do at the Regency house party? The weather makes cricket and long walks a little difficult, but I’m sure you could think of plenty to get up to inside!
I’ve got two downloads of Three Proposals and a Scandal: A Sons of Sin Novella (international) up for grabs today, so good luck!
As the season reaches its brilliant climax, three very different men pursue beautiful Lady Marianne Seaton. She’s the marriage mart’s greatest prize – even if cruel and unjust gossip paints her as a woman cold and glittering as any diamond.
Lord Desborough is her father’s choice – rich, powerful, safe. Lord Tranter is society’s darling – handsome, dashing, charming.
Then there’s the dangerous, compelling man nobody in their right mind calls eligible. Elias Thorne, son of scandal, reputed deceiver, possessing a rakish fascination no woman can resist. A lady might choose Elias as a lover, but as a husband, he’s too risky a bet. Even if Marianne’s forbidden yearning for him threatens her future and her reputation.
When Marianne’s suitors pursue her to the year’s most glamorous house party, there will be proposals and passion, rivals and revelations, secrets and scandals.
Let battle commence – but will the best man win?