Monday, 28 October 2013

Midwinter Masquerade Party!

A very warm welcome to my party celebration for the launch of my new full length historical romance, Midwinter Masquerade, from wonderful Tirgearr Publishing, Ireland. I hope you’ll join in the fun and games to help me celebrate. It’s been an amazing weekend, with my birthday on Saturday and watching the novel climb into the best seller charts on Amazon UK.

I am truly grateful for all the kind and generous support I’ve had for both celebrations and appreciate every one of my online friends. So let’s party! Feel free to pop over to Facebook with a picture of yourself in a mask, if you have one.
I’m giving away the following prizes as a thank you for your support and because I like giving gifts! In any of your comments, please tell me which prize you would you like to be entered for and one person will be chosen from each prize category tomorrow (Tuesday). The prizes are all easy to post so anyone can enter.

Cranberry lip balm
Calendar of Scotland

Black mask

Small earring studs


Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite for the novel, and some cordial and cake while you read. I've come in my mask, ready for the ball - wish I was also dressed in a long Regency gown! This was me at the Venetian masked ball on a cruise ship last year when we were actually moored overnight at Venice!

Midwinter Masquerade Blurb

In Edinburgh, December 1816, young widow Lady Lenora Fitzallan accepts an invitation to the country estate of Edward Montgomery, the man she once thought to marry twenty years previously. Until he left without explanation. Accompanied by her godmother, Lady Pettigrew, Lenora forms a friendship with Edward’s young niece and ward, Annabelle, who has a propensity for getting into scrapes and falling in love with the wrong man.
In the days leading up to the Masquerade Ball on the Winter Solstice, another guest arrives. Mr. Henderson has a particular reason for meeting Annabelle, who distrusts him on sight. Meanwhile, Lenora struggles with her rekindled feelings for Edward, while thinking of Robert Masters, the sophisticated man who hopes to marry her when he returns from abroad. As past secrets begin to unfold, Annabelle is rescued from harm, and a dashing, costumed stranger arrives at the Ball.

Once the past is revealed and the real villain unmasked, Lenora must decide where and with whom her future now lies.

The story is set in my own lovely Scotland during the Regency period, which was officially from 1811 to 1820 when the Prince Regent was on the British throne. For this book, I wanted a less traditional Regency romp, although the niece, Annabelle, provides more than one escapade. I love winter, and the winter solstice is an added interest for me, as well as signifying a time of change for my characters. As for the masked ball – well the photo of me above already shows how much I enjoy a mask!
Which is your favourite time of year and why?

Here’s the first excerpt
As the carriage departed from her house in Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square, Lady Lenora Fitzallan settled back in her seat and contemplated the change to her plans since receiving the unexpected correspondence.

“Let me read the letter again, Lenora, if you will.”

Lenora reached across the short distance and handed the well-folded paper to Lady Clarissa Pettigrew.

Lenora’s godmother read the letter twice over, then handed it back. “How mysterious, my dear. And you had no knowledge of this niece, Annabelle, whom he wishes you to meet?”

“Not only have I never heard of the girl, but I’ve had no contact from Edward Montgomery in seventeen years, which makes his invitation to a midwinter solstice house party and masquerade ball all the more intriguing.”

“One wonders how Mr. Montgomery knows you to be a widow. His invitation would not otherwise have been proffered.”

Lenora turned the letter over in her hand as if the answer to her godmother’s astute question could be found there. “I do not know, Godmother. It is exceedingly curious.”

She fingered the firm, sloping signature before returning the missive to her reticule. She knew it by heart, especially the part concerning the unknown niece. A sudden vague remembrance surfaced of rumours about the birth of a child, and she recalled Edward had a younger brother but knew nothing of his life. But why should the girl be in Edward’s care, as the letter inferred?


Have some more refreshments and sweetmeats while you watch the following trailer. You can even open the Champagne if it’s time!


Do you have a favourite Jane Austen character, or a type of hero you prefer in romantic novels? Take the J.A. Character quiz by clicking on the link below the picture!

Second Excerpt
She was trying to identify the remaining plants, when a crunch of feet warned her of someone’s approach.

“I hope I don’t disturb you, Lady Fitzallan.”

Lenora knew it was Edward even before he spoke, as though her heart recognised his presence.
“Not at all. As you see, I am admiring your herbs.”

They regarded each other without moving and Lenora wondered how to escape without appearing too eager, not quite ready for meaningful conversation between them.

She shivered. “Forgive me, but I had only meant to take a short stroll around the garden and the cold is now biting at my toes.”

He smiled and offered his arm. “Come let me walk you back to the house, lest you lose your way.”

Hesitating for the merest moment, Lenora took his arm. She was hardly a simpering miss to react at the touch of a man’s hand on her arm, yet, annoyingly, she was not unmoved by his tall masculinity. The boy she once knew and loved had become a handsome man, the scar merely adding an intriguing, rakish air. Lenora stiffened away from him. Handsome features and intrigue aside, she could not, no, would not forget his betrayal so easily. If Edward noticed her reaction, he gave no sign.

“Thank you for accepting my invitation, Lenora. I hardly dared to think you might come after so many years between us.”
So they were to use their given names again. “I confess I almost did not, but curiosity won over any other emotion.” This time he glanced at her but did not speak.

They strolled on in silence and Lenora wondered if his thoughts were as deep as her own. Yet she could not broach the subject that had lain between them for this long. Another time, perhaps. However, she must mention the poems, although not the one he had singled out. Not today.

“Thank you for the volume of Sonnets. I have always loved Mr. Shakespeare’s words.”

“I remember.” He smiled and said nothing more.

I love Shakespeare's sonnets and there is a particular one quoted in parts of the novel - it has great significance for Lenora and Edward's story.

Do you have a favourite line from a Shakespeare sonnet or play? 

If anyone wants to read Midwinter Masquerade, It's available on kindle from Amazon UK and AmazonUS, and in all e-formats through Tirgearr Publishing and Smashwords

The above photo is one of the views from my home and I love when the hills are covered in snow on dark winter mornings.
This fine plump pheasant wandered into our garden on one such morning in the hope of some food. Perhaps in the Regency period, it was more likely to be the food!

Well thank you all for joining in the celebrations. Carriages are now waiting for anyone ready to go home. Don't forget to leave a comment if you'd like to be entered for one of the prizes - and mention which one. Safe journey until the next party!

Romy x


Jenny Harper said...

Wow, this is going to be some party! Lovely pics, Rosemary, sorry I don't have one of me in a mask - but you never know, maybe before the day is out...

Favourite Shakespeare sonnet? Well, I know it's corny, but is there a better love poem in the world?

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Good luck with the party - the book is already doing well!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Jenny - thanks for being my first guest! Love that sonnet, although it's not my own favourite one! Enjoy the day.

Paula Martin said...

Sorry, I don't have a mask - or any photo of me wearing one!
Favourite Austen character has to be Mr. Darcy; favourite Shakespeare quote;
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Have a wonderful party, Rosemary, and every success with your new novel!

Wendy's Writing said...

Happy Birthday for last Saturday, Rosemary! My favourite Austen character is the long suffering Mr Bennet. Favourite Shakespeare quote - 'Out vile jelly'. I love the trailer and will download my ebook (it will be good for me to read a genre that is not my usual choice). Good luck with it all and thanks for the drink. P.S the mask would be my winning choice.

Teresa Ashby said...

What a lovely post! I enjoyed reading the excerpts and the setting sounds lovely! It even makes me feel more positive towards winter! Spring is my favourite time of year with all the new growth and the days getting longer.

Good luck with the novel and the party :-) x

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Paula - Love your Shakespeare quote (and Mr Darcy of course). Thanks for dropping by!

Morning Wendy - thanks so much for getting a book outside your normal reading. Hope you enjoy it! Will put you in the draw for the mask - good luck!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Teresa - many thanks for your lovely comment! I can understand why you love spring - I thrive more in autumn and winter!

Vikki said...

Dropping by to say hello and congratulations again on the release of the novel! Really enjoyed reading it. I've got my mask on over on facebook x P.S No need to add my name into the prizedraw

Vikki said...

Me again - couldn't play the trailer in here properly so I'll watch it when I get home!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Morning Vikki - many thanks for dropping in just now and for your lovely comments about the book!

Cathy Mansell said...

Hi Rosemary - Great blog. I love the pictures, especially the food.

Have a wonderful party and well done with Midwinter Masquerade.

Joanna said...

Thank you for inviting me to this gorgeous launch party, Rosemary. Your lovely pictures conjure up the atmosphere so beautifully.

I love autumn for the changing colours and the sense of nature curling up to hide for the winter.

My favourite Jane Austen character is Jane Bennett and the quiz tells me I'm Marianne Dashwood.

My favourite Shakespeare quote is from Coriolanus: '...chaste as the icicle that's curdied by the frost from purest snow and hangs on Dian's temple.'

Midwinter Masquerade looks like a wonderful, magical book and the trailer gives a really tempting insight. I love the music that accompanies it.

Many congratulations, Rosemary, and I'm raising my coffee-cup (I wish it was champagne!) to the great success I am sure you will enjoy. xxx

ann burnett said...

Good morning Rosemary! Elinor Dashwood here though I'd much prefer to be Lizzie Bennet!
Love your party and all that glorious food and drinks at this time of the day.
I don't like the cold dark weather that's starting now, give me tropical heat and waving palm trees any day.
Best of luck with your launch and see you at SAW.

Anonymous said...

Loved MM and should've sipped cordial as I read! Now nibbling on dainty delights wearing Lady Lenora's gold silk gown. It seems I'm Elinor Dashwood - not sure she'd approve... I await the return of Master B who will no doubt don his Venetian Doctor's mask. I hope the party goes well and look forward to our luncheon. C xo

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Cathy - many thanks for your good wishes!

Hi Joanna - thanks so much for your lovely comments. I love that Shakespeare line - should be on my blog!

Hi Ann - many thanks for dropping by. You and me both with the Lizzie Bennet! See you in March!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Morning Catriona - great to see you here and thanks for the lovely comments about the novel! Looking forward to Thursday.

Kemberlee said...

What a great party! Congrats on your book. It's a wonderful new take on Regency Romance.

Janice Horton said...

Morning Rosemary - just popping into offer my congratulations on the launch of Midwinter Masquerade. It sounds like a fablulous story and I can't wait to read it. I don't have a photo of myself at a masked ball - as I've never been to one - but I do have aspirations as I think it must be such fun and rather sexy!! I have put together a couple of masked ball outfits and will post them to your FB page. My favourite JA character is of course Mr Darcy and my best time of year is most definitely summer - it's the light - I love those long summer days. A sonnet? Well, Jenny beat me to it!Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Should I be lucky enough to win a prize - my eyes lit up at the stud earrings as I have a ring that looks just the same!

See you on FB!

LOve Janice xx

Patricia Keyson said...

What a wonderful party! The pic of you at the masked ball is fantastic.
You've put a lot of work into ensuring we all have a lovely time. Thank you and good luck with all you do.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Morning Kemberlee - many thanks for joining in and for your support!

Hi Janice - thanks a lot for your lovely comment. You're definitely entered into that draw!

Thanks so much for joining in, Patricia! Have fun.

Sara Bain said...

Greetings from sunny Kenya where it's 34 degrees. Well done, Rosemary, you deserve it all. Celebrating with a glass of mango juice and a coconut! Sara x

Bill Kirton said...

It's so crowded. I think I'll do the usual thing and slip into the kitchen with the other misanthropes. Looks like a great party, Rosemary, and augurs well for the book. Lots of luck with it. I'm sure it'll do well (partly because it already has).
OK, favourite Austen character, Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey - her observations on the novel form are sharp, funny and show Austen at her wicked best.
Favourite season. I like all of them so I'll use the criteria of my son when he was Little. His favourite colour was black and his favourite animal a pig - because nobody else liked them. So I'll go for winter - which I do quite like actually because there are fewer temptations outside and fewer excuses not to write.
Shakespeare? - There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Have a great launch day and I'm sorry I missed your birthday. X

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Sara - thanks so much for taking time out form your holiday! Must say I prefer our temperatures. raising a glass in return.

Hello Bill - many thanks for dropping by and entering the spirit of the party! Love your son's way of choosing and I agree with your positive reasons for winter. Catherine Morland is an interesting choice of heroine but I can see why she's your favourite!

Emily Harvale said...

Great party, Rosemary. Congratulations on your launch. The book looks fabulous.
It seems I am Marianne Dashwood. Yep. That's me!
Wishing you mega sales. I'll nip over to FB now.
Emily x

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Many thanks, Emily! saw your post on FB and commented that we're sisters in Jane Austen land!

Rose Anderson said...

How fun. Congratulations on your Midwinter Masquerade! It sounds like a fabulous story.

Rose Anderson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brenna Chase said...

What fun! Congrats on your new release!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Many thanks for joining in, Rose!

Thank you for dropping by, Brenna!

SharonM said...

Hi Rosemary
Hearty Congratulations on the publication of your new novel. I love the trailer and the music for it.
Mr Darcy springs to mind. Spring is my favourite time of year. 'I know a bank where the wild thyme grows' for Shakespeare.
All the very best.
Sharon x

Mary Smith said...

Congratulations, Rosemary. Great party. I'm skipping the cordial and going straight for the bubbly, thanks.
You have worked so hard - every success is well deserved.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Sharon - many thanks for joining in the fun!

Hi Mary - thank you! Enjoy the virtual bubbles.

Marie Laval said...

Congratulations Rosemary and the best of luck for your new historical novel. The cover is beautiful and I love the excerpts too.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Marie - many thanks for your lovely comment!

Linda LaRoque said...

Great party, Rosemary! Sorry but I don't have a mask or been to a costume party in probably 30 years. Seems I should learn to go out and have fun.

I think Mr. Darcy. I'm ashamed to say Shakespeare was never my cup of tea. I know we studied his works in high school and some in college but . . . .

The trailer is beautiful and loved the excerpt. You've gotten my attention. I have to find out why Edward jilted her.

I took the quiz and learned I am Jane Elliott.

This is a fun party, Romy! I loved the pictures of Scotland.

Best of luck with your new release!


Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Linda - many thanks for dropping by the blog! Glad you like the excerpt, trailer and photos!

Kate Blackadder said...

I do like winter - if I'm warm inside looking out on a snowy Christmas card scene.
Mr Knightly for me!
All the best with Midwinter Masquerade.

Dr Valerie Williamson said...

Hi Romy, I took my mask to the facebook party, where the cake and cordial are very tasty, thank you.
I find the Jane Austen quiz shows me as Anne Elliot - who I don't recall encountering before. I obviously need to do some further reading!
All best wishes for Midwinter Masquerade
Val Williamson

Gwen Kirkwood said...

Hi Rosemary I left it a bit late so it is rather crowded now and everyone entering the spirit of the party. I'm in the kitchen with Bill enjoying the nibbles. You really do make an excellent job with the lovely photos and the video. You deserve every success.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Kate - thanks for commenting. I always liked Mr Knightly!

Hi Valerie - I saw your great mask! I really like Anne Elliot - she's the main character in Persuasion and gets Captain Wentworth at the end!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hello Gwen - thanks very much for entering into the fun and for your kind comment!

Gill Stewart said...

Lovley party Rosemary. And lovley cover for the book. Congrats!

GA said...

Hi, Rosemary - What a wonderful party. Plenty of nibbles and drink to go around:) You know I love the book, and that it's a different approach from others I've read. You worked long and hard on it, and now is the time to enjoy the well deserved accolades.
Mr. Darcy was my dream man, but now I'm torn between your Edward, and the dashing Robert Masters. I demand a sequel! LOL
Have a wonderful celebration:)

Jean Bull said...

Have a great party, Rosemary, and good luck with Midwinter Masquerade!
My favourite Shakespeare quote is, 'Some are born to greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.' Not so sure that either applies to me though!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Gill - thanks a lot for commenting!

Hi GA - many thanks for coming over and for all the wonderful advice and work on the novel! You can take RM and I'll keep Edward. As for a sequel - I've had that in my mind for the last few days!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Jean - thanks a lot for dropping by to comment!

Melanie said...

Great party, Rosemary. Sorry I didn't get a chance to pop in and out more yesterday.

I just downloaded Midwinter Masquerade and can't wait to read it.

I love all of the seasons, although I'm getting to the point where I prefer not to have to leave the house in the winter - especially on snowy days.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Melanie - thanks so much for coming over and for downloading the book! I do like being inside on very cold, snowy days, after a very short walk!

Karen said...

Big congratulations Rosemary, the book sounds great :o)

So sorry I'm too late for the party, I hope a good time was had by all!

Patsy said...

I'm another latecomer. Hope the book does really well for you.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Karen - many thanks for dropping in - had a great time!

Hi Patsy - thank you for that!