Disappearing Down The Research Rabbit Hole
By Wendy Vella
Thanks so much Mary Anne for inviting me to be part of your wonderful community here on Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots. A person can get lost in here reading all those amazing posts!
When I started writing it was a simple choice for me to write both Regency and Romance as I’d already had a love of both for years. I read my first Regency at 10 years of age, Georgette Heyer ‘These Old Shades,’ and I was smitten from the first page. I love the secrets and nuances, the scandals and dramas. It was a time that lent itself to romance and intrigue. I’ve never experienced it first hand, nor has anyone else alive today; therefore, you get a certain amount of licence when you write about that time. I always make sure that any events or characters I use are accurate. However you can build a world that is as big or small as your imagination allows. Imagine a ballroom filled with hundreds of elegantly dressed people all talking and dancing, their objective to see or be seen, or a dawn appointment with two terrified men walking onto a mist shrouded field unsure if they will leave alive.
Society had rules of etiquette for pretty much everything and I would have been disgraced and hounded out of London at my first ball for breaking at least a dozen of them! Can you imagine trying to remember to let men walk up the stairs before you and never wear pearls in the morning? If a lady took off her hat she was supposed to hold it so people couldn’t see the lining as this was unseemly.
Of course the Regency Era was also a time of great change in the United Kingdom. The Prince Regent, who ruled when his father was declared unfit, and his peers were excessive in their decadent behaviour, a direct contrast to the poor who struggled to find enough food to eat. Some even feared there would be an uprising along the same lines as the French Revolution.
There was so much fuel for writing during this time and before starting book 3 in my Regency Rakes series, Tempting Miss Allender. I spent a lot of time researching facts that I thought I would need.
Patience, my heroine, was thrust into the roll of head of her family after the deaths of her parents, and does not take kindly to an old family friend trying to wrest control from her hands. Even if it is the man who was her first love!
She has two loves in her life, (that is until she realizes she still loves, Mathew) her siblings and her animals, and it was the latter that had me spending ours researching. I wanted to find a shop in London for a scene in my book, somewhere Patience could go to get supplies for the salves she makes for her animals when injured. But where I actually ended up putting her was in a Cow Keepers Shop.
The shop was in Golden Lane, not far from St Pauls Cathedral, and when I stumbled across it I was instantly enthralled. The cows were actually kept underneath the family’s accommodations, in well-ventilated stalls. Customers and milk-maids would come to the side window to purchase their fresh milk. Gives an entire new meaning to the phrase, ‘fresh to you daily’! Eggs and cheese were sold there, and a thirsty person could wander up and get a cup of lovely, creamy milk if they wanted. Could you imagine the regulations they’d be breaking if they tried that today?
Tempting Miss Allender
(Regency Rakes Book 3)
Seven years after her disastrous debut, Miss Patience Allender has reluctantly returned to society to chaperone her sister. No longer the meek, mild Miss, she will never again allow a man to humiliate her. However, Patience’s resolve is severely tested when she comes face-to-face, with the very man who shattered her heart. Desperate for help when her family is thrust into danger, he is the only one she can turn to - but can she do so and keep her heart whole or will he destroy her once again?
His eyes fell on the cowkeeper’s shop, and he saw Charlie’s head through the window.
“How about a nice warm cup of milk before we attend our appointment?” Mathew asked his brother in law.
“What?” Simon looked at the shop and shuddered. “Absolutely not. I hate warm milk unless it has whisky in it.”
“It’ll help you grow into a big strong man,” Mathew said as he entered the shop seconds later.
“Good day to you, Charlie.” The other footman was standing at his back. He was big too, like the other one Mathew had just seen driving the carriage, and was standing close to the young Lord Allender, almost as if protecting him. Mathew wondered from what.
“Oh, now it makes sense,” he heard Simon say from behind him. “Where is she?”
“Are you here for warm milk also, Mathew?” Charlie was cradling a cup in his hands.
“It wasn’t my intention, but now that you’ve mentioned it, it does sound like a good idea. What do you say, Simon?”
“Not if it was a gold-lined cup,” Simon muttered, coming forward. “Hello, Charlie,” he greeted the boy. “Are you here alone?”
“Patience is with the cowkeeper. He is showing her his cows.” Charlie accompanied his words with a roll of his eyes, which told Mathew that he did not share his sister’s love of animals. “That way,” the boy said, pointing to a stall.
“I shall keep you company, Charlie, as I too am not overly enamored with cows. We shall make Mathew go and find her.”
This time it was Mathew who rolled his eyes at the look his friend gave him.
Moving closer to the small stall, Mathew heard voices.
“And you say it will clear the infection up, Miss Allender?”
“That it will, Mr. Pody, and I shall have one of my staff get it to you today, so you can start Lisa’s treatment immediately.”
She was bent over, inspecting the hoof of a cow, who he guessed was Lisa, and presented him with a lovely view of her bottom. Round curves pressed against the lavender material of her dress. This vision would do nothing for his tormented dreams.
Wendy Vella is a lover of all things romantic, and with a voracious appetite for reading across all genre's, she started her love for historical romance with These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer. She penned her first novel at eighteen and vows it will never make an appearance further than the closet in which it currently resides.
With several of her Regency historical novels reaching bestseller statues on Amazon, she has recently moved into contemporary, and Regency paranormal romance.
Wendy shares her home with her own hero of 30 years, and lives in the rural North Island of New Zealand.
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Mary Anne xxx