Sunday, September 8, 2013

Costume Talks Are Fun - & Sell Books

I can't resist making period costumes from authentic patterns.  Earlier this year I made some 1780s half boned stays and panniers and chemise to go under my 1780s polonaise, together with a Regency gown for my 'History Through Costume Talks'.  A few weeks ago I made my two daughters a couple of pretty 1850s dresses and capes for a 'Christmas in July' event we went to at nearby Sovereign Hill which recreates the gold rush era of the 1850s.

Author talks can be great but they're more fun if I dress in costume, as I'll be doing when I take a workshop tomorrow evening for the Bendigo Writers Council in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.

In just a few days my Regency espionage romantic suspense The Reluctant Bride will be released in paperback (though it's already out in kindle), and I like to promote it as authentically as I can. It spans the years between the September Massacres during the French Revolution and the Battle of Waterloo, so I chose to make a costume around that period and also have a simple Jane Austen-type gown displayed on a mannequin to underscore the radical change in clothing.

You'll note, above, the long torso of the gown. During the 1780s a barrel-shaped torso with wide hips and full skirts was the fashionable silhouette. The breasts were pushed up and referred to as 'rising moons'. When I found the authentic pattern I realised I couldn't make it until I'd made some half boned stays to create the authentic underpinnings. That then led to making the panniers and chemise.

Tomorrow on my blog I'll be describing the various layers, with accompanying photographs. In the meantime here's the...

Blurb for The Reluctant Bride:-
Can honour and action banish the shadows of old sins?
Emily Micklen has no option after the death of her loving fiancé, Jack, but to marry the scarred, taciturn, soldier who represents her only escape from destitution.

Major Angus McCartney is tormented by the reproachful slate-grey eyes of two strikingly similar women: Jessamine, his dead mistress, and Emily, the unobtainable beauty who is now his reluctant bride.

Emily’s loyalty to Jack’s memory is matched only by Angus’s determination to atone for the past and win his wife with honour and action.  As Napoleon cuts a swathe across Europe, Angus is sent to France on a mission of national security, forcing Emily to confront both her allegiance to Jack and her traitorous half-French family. 
Angus and Emily may find love, but will the secrets they uncover divide them forever?

Buy links:


Hayson Manning said...

Congratulations, Beverley. Your book sounds awesome. Love the costume. Totally fabulous!

Beverley Eikli aka Beverley Oakley said...

Thanks, Hayson. I'm off to the Bendigo Writers Council to do a workshop on 'It's in the Detail...' and I'll be wearing this :)

Hayson Manning said...

They'll love it. It's gorgeous!