Just a few minutes before the ball begins. Not all of us have assembled yet. I believe Lauren and Sarah are still changing into their costumes. And Lady B is busy studying those of everyone else.
“So what are you, Miss Noble?”
Kate: “Writer on deadline. It’s eerie. And involves yoga pants.”
“And Miss Ashe?”
Katharine: “A ghost, the ethereal, translucent sort with flowy white garments (of some recent but indeterminate era, i.e. anything 18th century) and pale hair, and a perpetually startled yet seeking look on my face.”
“Intriguing. What of you, Miss. Neville?”
Miranda: “A cross between Marie Antoinette and Miss Havisham. Big skirt and wig, with a tasteful draping of cobwebs for that Halloween touch.”
“Miss Havisham? I’ve never heard of her.”
Lady B is looking magnificent herself tonight. Albert is dressed as a pirate and she is dressed as a ship (inspired by Miss Noble’s ship that nearly destroyed the ballroom). Similarly, her ability to give a backhanded complement is equally magnificent.
“I must say, Miss Darby, when I agreed to let you have full rein in the ballroom tonight, I was not without my doubts. After all, you (converse/socialize) with courtesans and all sorts of less than respectable characters, and I am not entirely certain that motherhood has reformed you.”
Reformed? I should hope not!
And to prove that, today is a special occasion. It is two days after the release of my newest book, Private Research, which is an erotic contemporary.
The last person PhD candidate Mina Cavallari expects to meet on her research trip to London is the sexy financier whose rejection devastated her. But Sebastian Graham is even more irresistible than he was two years ago, and she’s no longer the innocent girl shocked at his indulgent pursuit of physical pleasure. Now she’s ready to embark on a love affair on her terms—and is using every possible moment to live out her fantasies.
Sebastian is more than happy to help Mina make her passionate dreams a reality. But he wants more, luring her into a search for a mysterious, underworld club where they can explore all of their sexual desires. He needs Mina completely at his mercy, and, unlike two years ago, this time he may not let her go.
That mysterious, underworld club? Yep, it’s Harridan House, the Regency era erotic club that was featured in my first work, On These Silken Sheets. And why yes, I did decorate Lady B’s ballroom to look like it.
From the careful lighting and the use of chaise lounges and beds to create “conversation” corners, to the masks and capes handed out to anyone who dares to arrive without a costume, tonight is about the fiction of anonymity and the enjoyment of everything sensual.
In fact, as Madame Rouge plays an important role in Private Research, I decided to dress as the original Madame Rouge, as she appears in On These Silken Sheets. How could I resist a Rsegency-era simple red sheath with a length of gold tissue wrapped about my hair in a turban?
Now, I’ll let you in on a secret. The sort of secret only time-travelling writers can possibly know. Something scandalous is going to happen in this Ballroom tonight. And I rater suspect that it has to do with Monty and the striped suit he’s wearing.
What do you think is going down in the ballroom tonight? And for those who need last minute inspiration for tonight or for any Saturday parties, I’m giving away a copy of On These Silken Sheets and of Private Research. Please say in the comments which one (or both) that you would like!