Friday, September 11, 2009

Writing the Historical! RESEARCH!!!!!

Okay, before you all groan, research can be sooooo much fun! Truly. I mean,you get to go virtual shopping for fabulous gowns and accessories, furniture, fancy townhouses, country estates, get my drift!

Currently, I'm researching, and shopping for my new series coming out with Harlequin Spice. (The release is a bit away~Feb 2011) Anyhoo, I'm having fun. And with an unlimited budget, the sky is the limit!

The period I'm researching is the late Georgian era, approx 1790's. I like the gowns of that period, plus it's the era where the Gothic was slowly making it's comeback. Now, not to the extent that it did in the Victorian era, but it was there. I like pretty things, but I also like dark, gothic tones as well. So, I'm 'shopping' in both venues.

I'm having a blast outfitting my heroines, and picking out their houses. My heroes...well, that's something a bit different. Wigs and powder were out at this time (thank the heavens) but lace cuffs and ruffly, lacey jabots were still the rage for men. There's a challenge there, making a man masculine and virile while wearing lace and ruffles!!! But, I like the look for these men, because they are Dark Fey princes from the Unseelie Court. Frock coats with brocades and braid, with lace cuffs seems to go hand in hand with the Fey.

Speaking of Men, I've been shopping for them as well! And thus far, I've found three of the seven I need. (I know, I'm greedy!)

So, I'd like to introduce you to my new series, The Sins and Virtues series, as well as my current acquisitions from my shopping sprees.

Below is the outline for the Series, interspearced with some 'man candy'...A warning though, a fan may be required, and some are a bit risque....but it's Friday after all, and it's a helluva way to kick off the weekend!!!


In Georgian England, the court of King George III is full of amusements, ranging from the innocent to the most depraved. London in 1790 is a dichotomy of wealth and poverty, the West End—home to families of ancient titles, palatial townhouses and elegant courtesans, and the East End—a maze of tumbledown rookeries, gin taverns and bawdy houses.

It is the height of the Season where days are spent shopping, making calls and riding in Hyde Park. The nights are filled with concerts, the opera, and balls where marriage minded young ladies parade themselves before the available gentlemen. In the East End, Covent Garden attracts both sides of the city, and the Dark Walk is an avenue for both moral and immoral pleasure seekers.

Absorbed in their own dazzlingly world of privilege and leisure, or struggling to survive the hell of their miserable existence, the residents of London have no idea that they are living—and sleeping—with those that are not human…

It is said that the Fey have always lived amongst the mortals, their world lying parallel to ours. They live in two courts, the ‘good’ faeries, belong to the Seelie Court, where gaiety and happiness reign. And then there are the Dark Fey, those who live in the Unseelie Court, or the unholy court as it is known. These dark faeries are mysterious and sensual, well versed in pleasures of the flesh. It is said that to look upon them and their beauty is to be drawn into their erotic, voluptuous world, and once there, your fate is sealed, your body and will, no longer your own.

And that is precisely what happened, once, long, long ago to a beautiful queen of the Seelie Court who caught the attention of the king of the Unseelie Court.

The king found the queen stunning, and he desired her. Soon the queen was all the king could think about; he was consumed with yearning for the beautiful queen and wanted her more than anything, but the queen spurned him. So, the king stole her from her bed while she slept and brought her to his court where he used his erotic skills to win her over. The king was certain he could win the queen’s love, but the queen despised the king, and once she delivered twin boys, she found a way to leave his dark court.

One night, she stole away, taking one son with her, the golden haired child who was the image of her Seelie self, leaving behind his dark-haired brother who bore his father’s resemblance. As she fled she placed a spell on the Unseelie Court, that it whither away, never to thrive again until the king of the Unseelie’s could make a woman give herself to him of her own free will and love her deeply in return. As well, she cursed the sons of the king’s siblings, and any future male children of the king with each cardinal sin, further destroying the princes’ chances of finding a woman who would give herself willingly.

To this day, the Queen’s spell holds strong. The Unseelie Court is dying.
Abandoned as an infant, the son, named Aragos, is left to be raised in the cold darkness of the Unseelie Court. He knows nothing of love or affection, just the warmth of plotting revenge against his Seelie brother, and the queen who left him to be raised in misery. As the eldest of the Unseelie princes, he assumes the rule of the dark court when his father dies. Aragos is forced to watch its splendor continue to dwindle beneath the spell.

Despite trying for years, Aragos has never been able to find a way to break the spell. Until he discovers an obscure myth in the scrolls which says that to keep the courts thriving, a mortal female must mate with a fae prince. The scrolls further say that every one hundred years, seven women are born into the mortal realm who represent the virtuous aspects of humanity. Chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness and humility. The Seelie Fey, whose court is flourishing has always been able to tempt those virtuous mortals to their court, thereby mixing mortal and Fey blood together, ensuring longevity of their people.
It has been more than a century since the birth of the last virtues, and the seven mortal virtues are not only born, but of a marriageable age. These women, Aragos knows, are the only way to save the Dark Fey. He must find a way to entice the virtues to his court, but the trick is to ensure that they give themselves freely.
He spends much time thinking of a way, and finally comes upon a plan to ensure the virtues are unable to resist the Unseelie Court. He will use the Fey princes who represent the sins—lust, gluttony, greed, envy, sloth, wrath.

The King knows that the power of the dark court and its sensual mysteries are a lure to most mortals, and he can only hope that the virtues will feel the same. Could their resolve be softened? Could they, in fact, be tempted by sin?
Their task will not be easy, but nevertheless the king does set his plan in motion. Each sin will corrupt, through erotic pleasure and sinful offerings, their opposing virtues. But there is one caveat, the virtues must be enticed, never forced against their wills, and they must follow the sins back to the Unseelie Court of their own volition to live there and become the mates of the sins.
If the virtues give themselves freely, and mix their blood with that of the Fey, the court will once again flourish. Not only that, one union between a sin and virtue will produce a daughter that will grow up to be either the Seelie or Unseelie king’s bride.

Aragos is prepared to do battle with his twin brother, the Seelie King, for the right to claim the mortal as his. And only then, when his bride gives herself, and her soul to the Dark King will the spell be broken and the Unseelie court left to regain its glory of the past—a battle he knows will be bloody and fierce—but one he must win if he, and his court are to survive.

The future of the Dark Fey rests with the seven sins, and their ability to beguile their opposing virtues. But virtues being virtuous will not be easy to corrupt, and it will take very creative thinking on the part of the Sins to make the virtues fall into their dark, sensual embrace. But who is to save the Sins from falling for the charms of their virtues, especially when said virtues are ready for a taste of sin?

So, we've got some dark and sensual Unseelie Fey princes, and some maidenly mortal women who embody the virtues! I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what the sins have instore for their virtues!

The first book in the Sins and Virtues series will be.....LUST

And here's a yummy look of what I think could definitely embody the Fey Prince of Lust!

After Lust, Vanity will follow. I think this one is soooooo pretty. Perfect for Vanity.

The Fey princes of Sloth and Envy will also feature as secondary characters in this book. This next picture is of Sloth. I'm still looking for Envy. Please feel free to forward any suggestions my way!!!

So, a question. If you were reading about the Fey, would you want them to have pointed ears? Or what about normal looking ears with a little point? What if those little pointed ears were erogenous zones would that work for you. Or would it be offputting? Help a girl out with some research...puleeeease :)


Anonymous said...

I like Cheryl Brooks' futuristic romance "The Cat Star Chronicles" and all the sexy heroes have pointy ears and it doesn't bother me. I don't think I'd care for them being erogenous areas, I'd rather read the description of them, then move on the more sexy parts of a male - ears just aren't my thing. *grin*

ranearia said...

I like normal looking ears with a little point that would be very cute! Plus to have them a erogenous zone would be hot, cause who doesn't love a little ear nibble ;D

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Well, that's what I was thinking too, a little nibbly here and there! :)

I haven't read the Cat Star Chronicles, but I've heard about them.

Anyone got an visuals for Envy....

Kristi Cook said...

Well, Spock's pointy ears worked just fine for me....just sayin'.

Charlotte Featherstone said...

OH, I forgot about him! Leave it you find a way to fit in Spock!!!! lol!

Booklover1335 said...

Thanks for the Friday pics...totally made my afternoon. Love the idea for the new series!

As for your question. I would prefer them to be normal ears with small points..especially since you mentioned them being erogenous zones. I really like this idea. When it comes to EZ, bigger isn't always better so I would keep them smaller with intense sensations :)

I could envision them trying to blend in with mortals and trying to hide the fact that they are so sensitive in this area. I agree with ranearia that a little nibble is HOT! Something that would bring them to their knees...

adrienne said...

Hi Charlotte, I'm all for normal ears with little pointy erogenous part:) Love the hot guys too! I think it's great having a visual for a character:)

Anonymous said...

Wow, now this is going to be different, but I'm loving the concept! The guys ain't too shabby either *wink*

I'm all about the normal ears with a tiny point. Pointy ears is too Spock from Star Trek for me.

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Adrienne, a visual for characterization is invaluable! :) Funny, I never could find anyone who really embodied Wallingford. Some were close, but just not quite there...... :)

Barbara...different, yes. And fun. I've written the first chapter of Lust, and while the fantasy element is different, I feel comfortable with it. Maybe from writing Velvet Haven. But, it's still very much in my comfort zone with the historical.

Thanks for those Georgian links, they've been invaluable. Totally helped me pick which part of the era I wanted. NO PANNIERS, that's for sure! And no mile high wigs....HIDEOUS!!!!!

Glad you like the men. I'm thinking they ought to work out ok.

Charlotte Featherstone said...

I believe, that the majority has rule, normal ears, with little points that drive those Fey princes crazy when touched, kissed, breathed upon....etc!

Thanks for the research ladies. I knew our LIT readers would pull through for me!

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

**I am sitting with ~or should I say sitting on his lap~ Lord Craven Moore, who is whispering in my ear that he could do ruffles and lace and make it very masculine**

Charlotte, you know that I am loving this series you are putting in my mind. I think the ears should have a point, but not so much that it is visibly noticeable. They are among humans, so they want to blend. But I am so loving the idea of the ears being a very "hot" spot. Not most people would know this until they got personal with the fae and by then... it would be to late to turn around.
Awesome post, as always...!!