How to Host a Regency House Party – with Anna Campbell

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. 

house party

Welcome, Anna!

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!

Whose hot kisses will melt the ice princess? All London is agog to know!TPaS

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 commencebut will the best man win?

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Hungry for more? Read an excerpt here, and buy now at Amazon and Smashwords

You’ll find Anna on Facebook and Twitter.

Me and Anna in our best country house party frocks
Me and Anna in our best country house party frocks

Anna, thank you so much for imparting your wisdom on hosting the perfect Regency house party. Poor Sidonie indeed — she really could have done with this advice!

Now, readers, please tell us what activities you’d partake in at a Regency house party. (A few hints below…)

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64 thoughts on “How to Host a Regency House Party – with Anna Campbell

  1. Hello ladies! Two of my favourite authors here today! Loved this gorgeous novella of Anna’s–readers are going to eat it up! Speaking of which,I do love a Regency house party picnic. Or maybe some amateur dramatics where H/h can pretend to be in love while they really are in love! that is such a pretty photo of you both, too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Christine, thanks so much for swinging by. House parties are fun to write, aren’t they? I know you’ve done some classics yourself. Ooh, I love the amateur dramatics idea. Must use it somewhere along the line. I’ve got a hero interrupting a pantomime rehearsal in a story that will come out early next year but your idea is even better, I think. Mmmm, picnics with champagne and smoked salmon. I’m there!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Anna and Vanessa, I love your post Anna and the graphics of the house party antics are gorgeous, Vanessa. My naughty side rather likes the scurrying around darkened corridors at night in an illicit way aspect of those Regency house parties! Oh the risk and the potential scandal! Pure fantasy, you understand… Please don’t put me in the draw for THREE PROPOSALS AND A SCANDAL as I already have the novella and in fact am half way through reading it. A delightful story and also fun to meet again with some of the characters from the Sons of Sins series of full length novels. Well done Anna!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ooh, secret trysts in darkened corridors — how scandalous, Kandy!

      I thought it was delicious fun to see those Sons of Sin guest appearances in Anna’s novella, too! Thanks so much for visiting la Campbell at Chez Barneveld! xx

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Kandy, thanks so much for picking up 3 Proposals! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. It was such fun bringing back Jonas and Sidonie and Richard and Genevieve, not to mention the ill-fated Lord Desborough! Ooh, like the idea of midnight scurryings (as long as mice aren’t involved). That’s another one I need to use!

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Vanessa, it was odd. When he first appeared as a character in What a Duke Dares, he was very much a placeholder but he really comes into his own in this story, I think. I suspect there might be a happy ending somewhere in his future! He deserves one!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Anna and Vanessa! Charades could be entertaining and a way to convey secret messages through titles. One could be very brazen about making a declaration and claim ‘it was the author’s fault for writing that title!’ 😉
    I suppose wet Regency dresses wouldn’t cut it, although a deluge would offer some Darcy-like moments of enjoyment for the females of the party!
    I have a copy already and look forward to reading it on my cruise in a few days!
    Cheers, Susanne

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sue, thanks so much for picking up the novella! That’s great. And it’s going to sea – what fun. Have a great time on your cruise. I like the idea of charades too – I’m getting lots of ideas for future stories featuring Regency house parties. Yay!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Susanne, I adore the idea of conveying messages through charades! Though as Anna will tell you, I’m not terribly good at charades, so that would be a real challenge for me. I’ll leave the games to the dukes and duchesses. 🙂

      Thanks so much for visiting us today. Have a fabulous holiday, and happy reading!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Waving, Anna and Vanessa! What a fun post! I do love the idea of a Regency house party – though I suspect attending one in weather like poor Sidonie had for hers would be pretty trying! But if the weather was nice, I’d fancy a lesson at the ribbons! I’m sure I’d have been a cracking carriage driver! And shouldn’t we all be thankful I’ll never get the opportunity to try that out!

    On a more serious note, Anna, I adored Marianne and Elias’s story! Your winners from this draw are in for a fabulous treat!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sharon, thanks so much for those kind words about Three Proposals and a Scandal. Ooh, the idea of driving a carriage actually really appeals to me – much more so than driving a prosaic old car! But not in the sort of weather poor Sidonie has to cope with.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. *Waving* back at you, Lady Sharon! Thanks so much for stopping by! You know, I really can picture you doing a fine job at driving a carriage. 😉

      Totally agree with you about the treat that isTHREE PROPOSALS AND A SCANDAL. Marianne certainly has her hands full in this story.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely to see you together, Vanessa and Anna! I know Anna is a great hostess – would love to see you host a regency party, madam!

    For me, I think a little flirtation would be absolutely necessary. Preferably with men in boots!

    Wonderful to see Three Proposals and a Scandal out and getting so many great reviews. Such a terrific short romance. Brava, Anna! Another excellent read.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely necessary flirtation, Annie? I think you’re absolutely right!

      Lovely to see *you* here! That’s a great suggestion about Anna hosting a Regency house party for us at her country estate. Perhaps she’ll bake us some chocolate slice. What say you, Anna? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a fun post, ladies! Anna, your book sounds like great fun… I always like the dance scenes and the tension they build and the telling looks and body language! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Welcome to the party, McCall! It’s lovely to see you here! I’m with you on those dance scenes. You’ll be pleased to know there’s a dance scene at the start of Anna’s Three Proposals novella. Let’s just say nobody puts her heroine in a corner! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks, McCall! I always like dance scenes too. There were some great ones in the recent Pride and Prejudice adaptations. Actually I go to a Regency picnic at a local museum every year and they have a Regency dance troupe who let you join in – it’s such fun! I used some of those dances in the book.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Julie! How funny — I actually came across a couple of whist games when I updated my phone apps yesterday. Anna’s novella is indeed amazing and reading it is a great way to while away a rainy day. Thanks so much for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yay, it’s Anna and Vanessa!!! Hello to both of you supporters of #scoundrelcy. haha.
    This books sounds so awesome! There’s nothing I like better than people who aren’t playing by the supposed rules of society. I’m putting all my money on that Elias. If she doesn’t want him, I do!

    I love the mazes, but it sounds like the weather won’t permit getting lost in there. So I have to say I like those secret passageways in those old residences. 🙂 And I love when people keep jumping from room to room, like musical beds. haha. Apparently I like my regencies sexed up a bit.

    Can’t wait to read it, Anna! And thanks for inviting me over to partake in the house party festivities, Vanessa.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kim, I blame that naughty Vanessa. I”m a very proper Regency miss! Never put a foot wrong and always lift my pinkie when I drink my weak tea (strong tea is just too exciting for my delicate sensibilities). Yeah, I think pretty much any regular romance reader might have their dough on Elias to win! The others just get in the way, really! Ooh, secret passages and priest holes. I really need to write some of those. Thanks for saying you’re looking forward to reading the story!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Anna and Vanessa! I think I’d like to grab my parasol and “take a turn” with someone who looks remarkably like Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy! Or rather, one of Anna Campbell’s dashing heroes! Great news about the new book–I’m excited to read Anna’s latest!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Terrific to see you here, Tina! Enjoy that turn with Mr Darcy (or his lookalike!). It’s raining here — very much like it rained and rained through Anna’s novella — so I’ll swap the parasol for an umbrella. I hope you love Three Proposals as much as I did!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks, Tina! Ooh, I can see you with a parasol and Mr. Darcy. I still laugh at your story about being carried around on a pink silk cushion when you were a bub. That’s the way we should all start out in life! I’ve downloaded your latest STUPID CUPID. Waiting for a quite moment so I can wallow!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Very fun post! Now I’m ready to throw my own house party– if only I had the vast country estate. 🙂 Lawn games sound like fun, but if we had to stay inside, maybe a little mixed billiards tournament. I can just see the gents sizing up the shot in their tight breeches. Congratulations on your new release Anna. Brilliant hosting job as always Vanessa!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amy, I’m sure Anna will let you lease her vast country pile (pictured above — ha ha!). I’d never been interested in billiards until you pointed out the benefits!

      Thanks so much for visiting! I always love seeing you here!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Vanessa, I got such a thrill when you put Culzean Castle up as your venue. I visited there in late autumn one year. The house wasn’t open, sadly, but the setting is spectacular on the wild Scottish coast and the grounds were beautiful turning red and gold with the colder weather.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Amy, Vanessa really could run a great house party, couldn’t she? Hmm, if you get that great country estate, can I come and visit? For like the rest of my life? Hmm, tight breeches would definitely be mentioned in the invitation!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi, Anna and Vanessa! Poor Sidonie, but her misfortunes make for a great post! I’m not much of a dancer, so that would be out for me, but I could go with sliding down a banister. Or sneaking into the library to grab a book in the middle of the night.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nancy, in my books, libraries are definitely dangerous spots when it comes to a bit of flirtation. In this particular story, I varied it and picked the music room! Yes, I feel for Sidonie. It’s terrible when you go to a lot of trouble for a big social event and people derail you.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh what fun! And hey, chocolate slice is involved? I’m there. Grins. I’m the one dancing all the time, even if it’s with the other gels. Grins. I get cooped up and cabin feverish if I can’t go on those aforementioned long walks. Or I’d be the one pulling pranks on people when I wasn’t sneaking into the library with Nancy Northcott in the middle of the night. Snork!! And banisters are MADE for sliding, even in a dress. Grins.
    Can’t wait to read this delicious novella! Its going to be my treat for the upcoming 4th of July weekend (in the US). Yay! Can’t wait!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jeanne, have you ever had my chocolate slice? It’s my claim to fame! The boys would love it! Yes, I can see you doing all of that and more – you’re not a sit with her embroidery kinda gal! I can see you riding ventre a terre to save the day too. Thanks for picking up the novella!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh, my, a house party! And with such lovely hostesses, too. Who could possibly choose between all the delights on offer? I would love to stroll about the gardens, play a competitive game of croquet (I might be tempted to cheat a bit) and partake in the dancing. I might also sneak off for a frolic in the gallery if I imbibe in too much champagne!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Caren, there’s something intriguing in the very words house party, isn’t there? I love your list of things to do, especially the tipsy frolic in the gallery. I can imagine some high jinks beneath the family Rembrandts! Actually one of the things I love about writing stately homes is that I can give my characters the art collection I’d have in my wildest dreams.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you to everyone who swung by to say hello and wish my novella well – wouldn’t be it be lovely if we could all meet at a house party one day. Vanessa, thank you for your examplary hosting! I’ve had a blast. Don’t forget to check back to see who won the downloads of THREE PROPOSALS AND A SCANDAL.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anna, you’re a wonderful guest, host, writer, friend, and chocolate slice baker!!!! Thank you so much for spending time with me and our readers on the blog.

      The lucky winners of Anna’s novella, Three Proposals and a Scandal, are:

      ** McCall Hoyle
      ** Aretha

      Congrats to both of you! Happy reading.

      Thank you to all who took the time to visit and comment! Let’s keep an eye on our inboxes for an invitation to Anna’s country manor, eh? 🙂

      Like

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