Tag Archives: Pygmalion

My Fair Guardian • Book Trailer

My Fair Guardian Book Trailer

When Bethany is saddled with an unwanted, unrefined, and decidedly common guardian, she must polish him up before he’s fit for good society. As for Willoughby Winter, all that stands between him and his inheritance is to marry Bethany off. Can he succeed in his efforts before his past becomes known or will she manage to distract him from his goal—by hook or by crook?

Release Date: April 30, 2019. Buy your preorder copy HERE for $0.99!

My Fair Guardian • specially priced for Pre-Order

My standalone Victorian romance, My Fair Guardian, will be released on April 30, 2019.

Blurb: When Bethany is saddled with an unwanted, unrefined, and decidedly common guardian, she must polish him up before he’s fit for good society. As for Willoughby Winter, all that stands between him and his inheritance is to marry Bethany off. Can he succeed in his efforts before his past becomes known or will she manage to distract him from his goal—by hook or by crook?

Reserve your copy HERE at a special $0.99 price now!

Excerpt:

As Miss Christensen spoke, Will noticed her eyes were the color of the pigment he often used to paint a deep blue sky. Her lips reminded him of a pastel chalk he employed to color roses, and the heightened blush on her cheek echoed the shade he favored for certain spectacular sunsets, just before the sun winked out altogether. The periwinkle silk of her gown set off her loveliness perfectly, and his fingers twitched in frustration. If he had any art supplies at hand, he would have loved to sketch her portrait.

She gave him a piercing glance. “Mr. Winter?”

“What?” Will snapped to attention. “Sorry. My mind was elsewhere.”

Her gaze lingered on his clothes. “I was saying that you’re a trifle taller than Mr. Leopold and broader in the chest, so I’ll summon a tailor from the village to alter everything according to your measurements.”

Will glanced down at himself, bewildered. As far as he could tell, the elegant suit fit him perfectly. “Do you people really notice such things as a half-inch here or a quarter-inch there?”

She shook her head. “You must stop referring to genteel people as another species, Mr. Winter. You are one of us now.”

He shrugged. “It doesn’t feel that way.”

“You look the part, nevertheless.”

She rose from behind her desk and came around to join him and Mr. Pace. Once more, Will was enveloped in a cloud of her heady fragrance. He didn’t know if she could smell him too, but at least she didn’t rush over to open the window this time.

“Now we must work on the rest of you,” she said.

#SALE • GRACE UNMASKED • Sweet Victorian Romance

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It’s a countdown deal at Amazon! From Monday, August 15th – Friday, August 19th download Grace Unmasked (reg. $3.99) for only $0.99!

Blurb: On the heels of an unjust accusation, Grace flees from her country village to the anonymity of London. Although she intends to seek sanctuary with her cousin Joe Fiddick, she discovers he’s also suffered a setback and needs more help than she can offer. Desperate, she solicits assistance from Joe’s friend–the notorious rake, Lord Henley. Will the price of the handsome baron’s help be more than she’s willing to pay?

Although it’s a standalone, you can start with The Mannequin, which is Book One of the Mannequin series.

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Blurb: When she was a poor country girl in a hand-me-down dress, Rosamund saved the Duke of Swanhaven from the brink of despair…only to fall in love with him. Now a celebrated mannequin for an exclusive London dressmaker, her glamorous life is empty without the man to whom she gave her heart. Can a beastly duke and a beautiful mannequin ever find a fairy-tale ending?

Buy The Mannequin HERE • Buy Grace Unmasked HERE

And, as always, you can count on reading a pure, blush-free romance!

Historical Research • Grace Unmasked

Krakatoa_east_of_javaWhen I was writing Grace Unmasked, I did some research on what historical events had taken place in 1883. I was hoping to incorporate something of interest, of course, to add to the historical ambiance. The eruption of the volcano on Krakatoa caught my eye, and triggered a childhood memory. My parents had taken the family to see a disaster movie entitled Krakatoa, East of Java, and I’d been riveted. The plot of the movie didn’t stand out to me as much as the special effects at the end, when the filmmakers sought to portray the explosive eruption and the resulting tsunami. I found a copy of the movie and watched it again. Considering what was available in terms of special effects in 1969, I was still impressed.

I did a little more research on the eruption itself, purchasing a used copy of Simkin and51lwTNmqYPL._SX381_BO1,204,203,200_ Fiske’s Krakatau 1883. In it, there are many fascinating eyewitness accounts of the event, and facts about the aftereffects. For example, the violent eruption destroyed most of the island of Krakatau. The explosion could be heard over 1/13th of the earth’s surface. The resulting ash cast the Sunda Strait (which connects the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean) into darkness for almost 24 hours, and giant waves over 40 meters (appx. 131 feet) above sea level destroyed everything in their path. In addition, over 36,000 people were killed. The volcanic dust veil created spectacular atmospheric effects over a vast distance and lowered global temperatures as much as 1/2 degree Celsius in the following year. In fact, temperatures didn’t return to normal until five years later.

Sunda_strait_map_v3News of the disaster traveled quickly because of the telegraph system, and papers around the world carried the story the day after the massive eruption had occurred.

Now, Grace Unmasked is set in England, which is nowhere near Krakatau. So how did this event find its way–albeit indirectly–into the narrative? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

~ Suzanne

MANNEQUINTWOFINALCOVER

On the heels of an unjust accusation, Grace flees from her country village to the anonymity of London. Although she intends to seek sanctuary with her cousin Joe Fiddick, she discovers he’s also suffered a setback and needs more help than she can offer. Desperate, she solicits assistance from Joe’s friend–the notorious rake, Lord Henley. Will the price of the handsome baron’s help be more than she’s willing to pay?

Grace Unmasked is available for the Kindle HEREScreen Shot 2016-01-09 at 12.22.20 PM

 

Eating Elephants and Writing Grace Unmasked

“When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.”

– U.S. Army General Creighton W. Abrams, Jr.

sgrmannequin6x9How do you write a sequel to a popular book that’s sure to please everyone? You can’t, of course. When I planned the sequel to my bestselling book The Mannequin, however, I re-read the reviews to get an idea what readers enjoyed most. Ultimately, I concluded that lightning rarely strikes twice in the same place. I didn’t want to tell the same story a slightly different way, so I vowed to begin fresh. Easier said than done!

1920px-Château_de_Versailles,_salon_des_nobles,_Pygmalion_priant_Vénus_d'animer_sa_statue,_Jean-Baptiste_Regnault
Pygmalion by Jean-Baptiste Regnault, 1786

You see, when I wrote The Mannequin, I didn’t start out to write a novel based on Cendrillon (Cinderella), La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast), or Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. As the story unfolded, however, I wove in some familiar elements, hoping to strike an emotional chord. In the development of Grace Unmasked, however, I wanted to draw on other inspiration. I chose the mythological figure of Pygmalion, a sculptor who falls in love with his creation. Many 20th Century plays, musicals, and movies have been written about Pygmalion, most notably George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, the musical My Fair Lady, and even Gigi.

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Actress Mary Anderson as Galatea (1883)

Since Grace Unmasked is set in 1883, I had to find a version of Pygmalion written early enough to warrant a mention in the narrative. I chose Pygmalion and Galatea, a play written by W.S. Gilbert. (Download a .pdf copy from Boise State University website HERE). The three-act blank verse production opened at the Haymarket Theatre in December, 1871, was quite popular, and sparked many imitations. Although Grace Unmasked is not a retelling of the myth, I touch upon a similar theme.

One other interesting aspect of Grace Unmasked is its length. I’d wanted it to be longer than The Mannequin (over 64,000 words), but I hadn’t planned for it to exceed 96,000 words!  As Abe Lincoln said, when asked how long a man’s legs should be, “Long enough to reach the ground.” I wrote until the story was done…for the most part. That is to say, there are a few characters who might warrant a third book in the series. 😀

~ Suzanne

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Blurb: On the heels of an unjust accusation, Grace flees from her country village to the anonymity of London. Although she intends to seek sanctuary with her cousin Joe Fiddick, she discovers he’s also suffered a setback and needs more help than she can offer. Desperate, she solicits assistance from Joe’s friend–the notorious rake, Lord Henley. Will the price of the handsome baron’s help be more than she’s willing to pay?

Grace Unmasked is available for pre-order at a special price HERE. Release date Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

Excerpt from Grace Unmasked

MANNEQUINTWOFINALCOVERWhen Henley entered the breakfast room, he was somewhat startled to see a young lady standing in front of window, looking out at the garden view. He’d known Miss Fiddick would be joining him for breakfast, but he hadn’t pictured her looking quite so fetching from the back. She turned as he cleared his throat, and gave him a beaming smile. Dressed as she was the day before, he hadn’t noticed her even white teeth, tiny waistline, or clear blue eyes. Albeit grudgingly, he acknowledged to himself the girl had possibilities. It was a shame her charms would be wasted as the wife of some country farmer or school teacher. Inwardly he shrugged. Never had anyone’s business been less his problem.

“Good morning. How are you feeling?”

“With the help of liniment, I should survive.”

“I’m very glad.” He gestured toward the chafing dishes and platters of food set up on the sideboard nearby. “I hope you’re hungry.”

“Indeed, I am.” She glanced at his arm. “May I help you with your plate?”

“That’s very thoughtful, but Morris will assist me.”

After they were settled at the table, the girl began spouting a long list of things she admired about his lifestyle, including indoor lavatories, hot water, and milled soap. Then came an equally long litany of gratitude, from his leniency regarding her deception, to the kindly ministrations of Ursula, and thereafter for her clothes. He let her conversation flow past, unheeded, as he ate the egg dish Mrs. Evans had prepared.

“Lord Henley, had you heard the quagga has gone extinct?”

He glanced up. “What?”

“The last one in the entire world just died in Amsterdam. It’s rather sad, really.”

His eyebrows drew together. “The quagga, did you say?”

“Yes. It’s a species of zebra, native to South Africa.”

“I’ve not heard of it.”

“I rather doubted you had.”

Her tone held a note of reproach, and he chuckled. “I suppose this is your way of pointing out I’ve been neglecting you?”

“I’d never dream of making such an accusation.”

“No, of course not, but you’re right. You should know that I’m exceedingly absorbed with myself. It’s a personal failing of mine.”

She gave him a little smile. “I shan’t let you off that easily; I expect I was prattling on.” She shrugged. “I’ve no idea how to converse with a baron.”

“Neither do I, actually. Whenever I talk to myself, it’s usually about the weather.”

flourish

Blurb: On the heels of an unjust accusation, Grace flees from her country village to the anonymity of London. Although she intends to seek sanctuary with her cousin Joe Fiddick, she discovers he’s also suffered a setback and needs more help than she can offer. Desperate, she solicits assistance from Joe’s friend–the notorious rake, Lord Henley. Will the price of the handsome baron’s help be more than she’s willing to pay?

Grace Unmasked • Book Two of The Mannequin Series is available HERE for pre-order at the special price of $0.99.  Release date: May 31, 2016.

 

Grace Unmasked • The Mannequin Book Two

MANNEQUINTWOFINALCOVEROn the heels of an unjust accusation, Grace flees from her country village to the anonymity of London. Although she intends to seek sanctuary with her cousin Joe Fiddick, she discovers he’s also suffered a setback and needs more help than she can offer. Desperate, she solicits assistance from Joe’s friend–the notorious rake, Lord Henley. Will the price of the handsome baron’s help be more than she’s willing to pay?

This sweet Victorian sequel to The Mannequin will be published on May 31st, 2016, but is available to pre-order at the special price of $0.99 HERE.