Monday, September 21, 2009

Awww, I'm blushing!

I've never received a blog award before. I'm touched and tickled pink. So I thank the lovely and generous Allie over at who passed along this award to me ... of course the reason my blog is so lovely is because she coached (copiously) from the sidelines, guiding me where to go online for terrific backgrounds and banners. I was thrilled to fong an image of a crowned woman and a key to her heart -- perfect indeed for a blog titled ROYAL AFFAIRS!
and ... if you have any royal scandals on your mind, please pop in for a visit anytime to discuss them. Who are some of your favorite scandalous royals -- and why?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Most RAUCOUS acquisition!

I am delighted to say that I am now the very tickled recipient of Carlyn Beccia's delightful (and fabulously illustrated) RAUCOUS ROYALS.

Not only can this delicious volume be enjoyed by adults for its sheer whimsy (as well as its solid research); but it's a set of regal training wheels (and I mean the phrase as a compliment) for younger readers whose appetites for royal scandals will surely be whetted by it, and who may become tempted down the line to read my nonfiction titles on royals behaving badly ...

ROYAL AFFAIRS: A Lusty Romp Through the Extramarital Adventures That Rocked the British Monarchy;


NOTORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES: A Juicy Journey Through Nine Centuries of Dynasty, Destiny, and Desire. (from NAL trade; the release date is January 5, 2010).

Carlyn will soon be giving away a copy of ROYAL AFFAIRS on her blog, so be sure to pay her a visit. Her blog is always chock-full of fascinating historical arcana.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Allie Rocks!

I have finally brought this blog up to aesthetic speed!

And about 95% of the credit is due to the talented, witty, and articulate Allie Greenwald at

Allie is one of the premier bloggers in the world of historical fiction. Without her online tutorials, suggestions, crosstown hand-holding, talking this near-Luddite off the metaphorical ledge, my blog wouldn't look this pretty.

Please visit my other blog, too, at to view my own efforts after following her tutorial.

Monday, September 14, 2009


At long last I have been given the thumbs-up to formally release the cover image for my second nonfiction release, NOTORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES: A Juicy Journey Through Nine Centuries of Dynasty, Destiny, and Desire.

Comparing the selection of a marriage partner to fishing for an eel—that staple of Renaissance diets—Sir Thomas More’s father commented that it was as if “ye should put your hand into a blind bag full of snakes and eels together, seven snakes for one eel.”

In these pages are the snakes as well as the eels—the disastrous unions and the delightful ones; the martyrs to marriage and the iconoclasts who barely took their vows seriously; the saintly and the suffering; the rebels and the renegades—all of whom took the phrases “I do” and “I will” and ran as far as they could go with them, exploring and embracing the broad spectrum of passion, power, and possibilities far beyond the royal bedchamber.

You can pre-order the book from Amazon at

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Worth Mentioning: The Royal Unmentionables

A pair of drawers and a linen chemise that once belonged to Queen Victoria (1819-1901) have been restored to Britain's Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection at London's Kensington Palace.

Although Victoria had a sylphlike 20-inch waist when she became queen at the age of eighteen, decades of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, and unhappiness when she was widowed in 1861 at the age of forty-two, took their toll.

The pair of drawers, with its 56-inch waist have a matching chemise (which is quite voluminous). Both unmentionables are embroidered with a "VR" (which stands for Victoria Regina, Latin for Queen Victoria) and are believed to date from the 1890s.

In my nonfiction debut, ROYAL AFFAIRS there is a chapter on Victoria's relationship with one of her Highland ghillies, John Brown, and the rampant innuendo that speculated on whether they became sexually involved, leading to her nickname of "Mrs. Brown."

And in NOTORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES, which will be published on January 5, 2010, you can read a chapter on one of the greatest real-life love stories in English history, Victoria's marriage to her first cousin, Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Theirs was the rare happy royal marriage.