Posts Categorized: General

Lots of historical romance books – completely free!

May 28, 2017 General, The Daughters of Allamont Hall 0

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A giveaway, and some news

May 15, 2017 General, Sons of the Marquess, The Daughters of Allamont Hall 2

I’m giving stuff away!

I have some cool swag for 6 lucky people – mousemats, keyrings and drinks coasters featuring the covers of the Daughters of Allamont Hall. To have a chance to win, all you have to do is email me and tell me which is your favourite character from any of the books. Not read them yet? Can’t remember their names? No problem! Just answer ‘the butler’, because the poor servants never get much of a mention in Regency romances, do they? No purchase or commitment necessary to enter, and your friends are welcome to join in the fun too.

The competition runs until the end of May, when I’ll whip out my random number generator and pick 6 winners to receive an assortment of swag.
All the news, and coming soon – your next free book

The audiobook of Amy is almost finished, and I’ll have some to give away FREE, so if you’re a fan of audiobooks, watch out for that in the next few weeks.

I’m hard at work on the follow-on series to The Daughters of Allamont Hall, which follows the match-making efforts of Connie, now the Marchioness of Carrbridge, on behalf of her brothers-in-law. The first book of the series, Lord Reginald, will be released in September.

But you don’t have to wait that long to hear more of the Allamonts and their many relations! In the next few weeks, I’ll be releasing a novella, The Earl of Deveron, about Connie’s husband at the time he inherited his title, explaining why he was so devious in his dealings with Connie and almost lost her to his brother. It also hints at the financial troubles about to hit the Marquess and his family in the new series.

Best of all, it will be completely FREE and exclusive to my mailing list subscribers. If you’re not already subscribed, now’s the time to sign up to be sure to get your free novella.

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About Regency book covers

November 13, 2016 General 0

When I was beginning to consider covers for my own series of Regency romances, naturally I looked at what was being put out there in the genre. I checked the bestsellers’ list, the hot new releases and the Kindle Unlimited lists for ideas. There were a few styles that came up over and over. And, to be honest, there were even a few stock photos that came up over and over.

MultiCovers

I really like this image. It’s very pretty, it indicates the genre perfectly and it’s one of the rare stock photos in which the costume actually isn’t too far from authentic. That white dress is also easy to modify; it can be colour-altered, inverted and cropped to give different looks. Still, it’s such a striking image that it’s very recognisable whatever you do. I’ve found eleven twelve fourteen variants of it so far (I’m sure there are many more).

But what are the alternatives? Here are some other cover styles that came up over and over again.

1) The Big Frock

We can probably blame Courtney Milan for starting this trend. A woman in a huge-skirt ball gown, typically off the shoulder, in a vivid colour, all of which has not the slightest relationship to the Regency era. I understand the need for a striking image which conveys the romantic element, and the rather grand background to many of these books, featuring as they do the upper echelons of wealthy, titled English society. But I still shudder whenever I see one of these adorning the front of a Regency book. Victorian, maybe, but please, not Regency! Lots of stock photos available for these, for self-publishers with a budget.

2) The Couple In A Clinch

These generally get closer to authentic Regency costume. The woman might wear a gown with a narrow skirt, short sleeves and long gloves. There might be a bonnet and a swept-up hairdo with ringlets. The man might be sporting breeches and a cravat (or not!). But still, they don’t usually come close to historical accuracy, especially as most of the couples are half undressed. There’s also a lot of bad Photoshopping and repeated use of the same stock photos. Still, they do at least inform the reader that’s there’s likely to be a hefty dose of sex in the book.

3) The Tasteful Floral Display

This is most often seen on Jane Austen fan fiction (JAFF), or, as they like to call it, Pride and Prejudice variations or continuations or retellings or whatever. I assume the lack of human figures is intended to leave the actual faces of the characters to the reader’s imagination, so that she can picture Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen or Matthew Rhys, as preferred. I’d always assumed that the flowers implied a lack of sex, but even a brief look at some opening chapters suggests that one purpose of JAFF is to fantasise about getting it on with Mr Darcy. To each their own. These have the virtue of being incredibly cheap to run up at home and some of them are lovely, but it’s not easy to do them well.

4) The Stylised Silhouette

Popular with traditional Regencies, these save the bother of finding stock photos with accurate costumes. The outlines used can be quite quirky, which makes me feel they’re aiming for the Regency-romp-style of Georgette Heyer (but her publisher doesn’t use covers like this, so what do I know?). Another simple option for self-pubbers who are handy with Photoshop or Canva.

5) The Serious Painting

The cover is a painting taken from the era. Again, the tone conveyed (to my mind) is less of the sexy bodice-ripping and more of the old-school romance, or maybe even a stab at tackling serious social issues of the day, or a darker tone in general. Easy to find for self-pubbers, but the good ones are very overused.

6) The Historically Accurate Gown

I’ve heard of one lady who makes her own gowns, and photographs her friends wearing them for her covers, which is totally awesome, but for those less skilled with a needle, it’s extremely hard to source authentic clothing images. What’s really needed is some way to connect cover designers with the thousands of historical re-enactment societies. Until then, this type of cover is the province of traditional publishers, who can afford to commission the costumes.

7) The Genuine Fashion Plate

There were innumerable journals published in the era which contained fashion plates, designed to show fashion-conscious ladies living in the provinces what the highest levels of society were wearing so that they could make cheap copies. These make excellent cover images if you don’t mind the rather stylised tiny hands and feet, and dainty faces. Generally used on traditional Regencies.

8) And then there’s mine…

I have an absolute abhorrence of historical inaccuracy in cover photos, so my options were limited. In the end, I took the serious painting idea, and modified it to make it a bit different from the many others. Most have dark backgrounds, inappropriate for my frothy, light-hearted tales, so I decided to use only the head and shoulders, surrounding the oval portrait shape with a lighter tone. Not having any artistic skills myself, I called in a professional to create the final images for me. I’m incredibly pleased with the result!

dulcie360

Which style of cover do you like best?

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Welcome to the website of Mary Kingswood!

May 19, 2016 General 4

Hi! I’m Mary Kingswood, author of The Daughters of Allamont Hall, a series of Regency romances about the six unmarried daughters of Mr William and Lady Sara Allamont. When their father, a man of strict regularity, dies unexpectedly, he leaves surprisingly large dowries for his daughters, but only on condition that they marry in the proper order, the eldest first, then the second eldest and so on.

These are traditional Regency romances, drawing room rather than bedroom.

 

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