Posts Tagged ‘Iskander Series’

Update on the website.

October 31, 2014

After missing my computer-lady’s slot for my website update I have had to wait through her busy season to have all my new writing details added. They are now active. I will give an idea of the changes here, but you could as easily go to to see them.

The background is very similar to the original site, and there are only two new books shown in the home page…but they are my new “Roberta Stephenson Trilogy” releases from Tyche Books. They have links to Tyche, but as I write this the release of the second novel “Spies and Subterfuge” is a month or so away.

What else is new? Well I have new publishers listed. Having given the original e-book publishers of the Iskander series novels and the fantasy “Rast” the old heave-ho I am published by Tyche and Autarkikal. The crunch came when I realised the little test piece novella at XinXii, “Visiting Pemberly” had outsold all six of the novels from the ebook publishers. So now the Iskander novels are sold as ebooks on XinXii as well and will be joined by Rast when it is ready. The link is I hired an artist to produce new covers for the Iskanders as the originals were the property of the publisher. The first quarter’s royalties are much improved, even though I reduced the sale price to $3.99.  I should also mention that XinXii also distributes through Amazon, B&N and a number of other sites, so you can also find the ebooks there.

I still have some of the older print copies left and tell readers how to get them from me on the website. I have no plans for new Print on Demand copies unless anxious readers start banging down my door, LOL. Autarkikal is my imprint; it was needed when I applied for ISBNs and submitted copies to Digital Legal Deposit, the ‘record’ of the books accepted.

Rast” will join the other books on XinXii by the end of the year, depending on the length of time taken to decide on a new cover image. I want to change the title a little because Googling Rast turns up all kinds of people whose company I would eschew. At the moment I am expecting to rename it “The Peril of Rast”.

That’s about it. I am to have access to the code on this new site which will give me the ability to do much of the updating. We will see how that goes…I was planning on getting away from software issues as I gave up coding when I retired from my survey contracting. This new site is supposed to be friendly, so if I have the patience to write a WordPress blog I should be able to manage the updates to the website.

All the best for Halloween and then Christmas and the New Year. (I should keep that up…I’m almost into Spring already.)


I’m Back….mostly

December 19, 2012

This is not the way to keep a blog going—posts every six months—but the obstacles are mostly behind me and I will try to inject a bit of life into The Wildcat’s Victory.

The first obstacle was the passing of my brother-in-law and my duty to pay most attention to my wife as we cleared the house and consigned most of the surviving artifacts of her family either to the landfill or to storage at home and a pending garage sale to clear them out.

The writing surrendered its prime place to all this. Poor Masquerade, that had just been released had absolutely zero help to make its way in the world. I have seen nothing in the way of royalty statements for it yet, but they can hardly be good. I will do some catching up there.

I have started to prepare a new project—a novella in honour of the 200th anniversary of the release, in January 1813, of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. How does a writer of SF and fantasy  find his way into Austen country? Well, by unleashing his fascination for the Regency world and a secret trip into a totally unsuspected multiverse. Gisel Matah, my feisty protagonist of the Iskander series comes along to help.  Stay tuned and thou wilt see.


Masquerade Update

June 6, 2012

I have to admit I have done very little in the way of promotion since Masquerade was released. Not the whole problem, but a significant part, has been the passing of my brother in law and dealing with the situation he has left behind. Another part has been the panicked flight to the US dollar which has made it uneconomic for me to take my publisher’s offer of a deal on some POD copies in Canadian dollars that I might otherwise have been sending out for reviews.

One way or another the economy will settle down again…either in pieces or in some new interesting chaos and we can get back to living our own lives again. When I have the freedom to spend some days on promoting Masquerade around the web I will do so. I see from tonight’s news that the first glimmers of realistic evaluation of the Canadian economy seem to be starting and so the ‘Loonie’ may recover its parity soon and I might gamble on ordering some new inventory at a price that makes it possible to sell them.

If anyone reading this would like to go to and read the blurb for Masquerade it is possible they might find the price of $5.99 for the e-book a worthwhile investment of their time and reading experience. If some friendly writers/reviewers would like to respond via comments we might arrange an equitable co-reviewing arrangement and I can send a free pdf copy.


Masquerade for the New Year.

December 24, 2011

I’m posting this on the 23rd of December so must wish all my blog visitors Happy Holidays and a  Fulfilling New Year. I’m going to start posting progress about the newest Iskander series novel, “Masquerade”, here in the new year. I will also be comparing and contrasting this novel with the other four and perhaps offer some observations that other authors and readers will find interesting.

Before I leave “Regency Bagatelle” completely I will mention again that it was started as an exercise in Regency thinking and style at the end of May, and posts continued until the last on December 6th. I expect to do some work on the ending and the events pointing to the ending to make it more polished and give the novella away on my website, my Muse Publisher’s site, and at other promotion spots. It will tie in with my “Steaming to Romance” Regency Romance/Steampunk crossover series—the first two novellas submitted to Muse yesterday.

I have a free Iskander novella on my website at the moment, called “Gisel Matah and the Slave Ship” that shows the increasingly savvy Gisel dealing with obstructions and dangers from both friends and enemies. One of the themes in the series has been to show that shortsighted friends and allies can sometimes be as big a problem as sworn enemies. If I write more novels in the series they will likely be on the themes of hubris and greed as Iskander grows into a rich and powerful society within the 17th century world of Gaia.

I’ll end this post with a brief outline of the published and forthcoming novels in the series. “Arrival” is labelled Book Three but that was the publisher looking at the publication date and not the story chronology. It is the very start of Gisel’s and the Iskanders’ adventures when they landed on Gaia and found they could never get away again. “Masquerade” slots in the following story year with Gisel now seventeen and an officer trainee for security and clandestine operations. The next story in the series has never been more than drafted…it would be called “Iskander’s Wildcat” and cover her activities in General Lord Ricart’s staff, and her with a rifle company holding a key village and crossroads at the centre of the Battle of Borhye.

The free novella “Gisel Matah and the Slave Ship’ is the next year in story time and starts the  adventures when Iskander sends its growing maritime forces to the Cosmoneos (the new world) to pick up cargoes of raw rubber and kerosine, and perhaps steal the bullion from the Empire’s annual convoy. Gisel is now nineteen and (after GMSS closes) she goes on to spy on the Empire’s main port for the export of gold and silver from their slave-worked mines.

The first published Iskander story, “Deadly Enterprise”, comes next where she meets the banker’s son Yohan Felger and foils a coup d’etat. It is followed by “The Wildcat’s Victory” when Gisel adds commanding a cavalry screen in war to her repertoire of security and business management. The final Iskander story (for now) “The Wildcat’s Burden” has the married and pregnant Gisel trying to juggle starting a family with an Iskander post as the military governor of the most turbulent city in the world. She’s only twenty-two and the social conflicts as well as marriage and childbirth have her wondering what she should be doing with her life.

The Family’s Concern

September 29, 2011

Another continuation of the adventures of the 23rd century ‘wildcat’ from my Iskander series novels, Gisel Matah, during a visit to Pemberly in Regency times… courtesy of Miss Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. The posts of these episodes can be found in the sidebar, starting with the post on May 31st.

Mr Author and the Darcys met the rest of the house party on the terrace as they returned from the stable yard. He was able to follow Miss Darcy’s gaze to see the distant figures of two horses and riders galloping across a far hillside. He profoundly hoped that the speed and direction of Gisel’s ride didn’t result in any injury to the poor groom.

It seemed that the escapade had been most disconcerting to Mrs Bennet who needed the support of both Miss Austen and Mr Bennet as she looked out across the balustrade. “Whatever is the world coming to? I do declare, the reckless behaviour of young ladies in these days is beyond all comprehension; to ride out in such a fashion, as if her femininity should be assuaged by wearing rough clothing procured from some military clothier. Where could she have obtained such garments—are there not Military regulations against all and sundry dressing as soldiers? And what dangers are the foolish girl exposing herself to—a woman’s constitution is made for more seemly activities—I dread to imagine what troubles she is laying in store for herself in the future. A girl who hopes and expects to engage herself in housewifely duties …no I can say no more. It is too indelicate… but I feel certain she will surely rue this wildness when she is older.

“Make no mistake, Miss Darcy. The holding of certain opinions may seem very fine in the drawing room, and make for excellent conversation among other young people but those of us who have…lived…taken on the true life and duties of a wife and mother can have nothing but approbation for such unnatural adventures. The very thought of what might happen on such a wild and reckless ride besets me with such palpitations … Oh. I do feel most beside myself with apprehensions … Mr Bennet, if you please, I would like to return to the drawing room; please give me your arm. And Miss Austen, too, I am so obliged to you for your kind attentions…such a great comfort. I can watch no more and must await further news in the deepest degree of distress … Oh, I pray the foolish girl will return with no more than superficial injuries from such a display of unbecoming recklessness.”

Miss Darcy seemed quite abashed at Mrs Bennet’s outburst—surely the most constructive commentary she’d offered the family in many years. Even Mr and Mrs Darcy exchanged a confidential comment in a succession of glances.

“I do hope that Miss Matah was not persuaded to undertake this adventure by anything I may have said or intimated,” Miss Darcy murmured as she stared at the distant hillside.

“I do not think you may blame yourself in any way,” Mr Author assured her. “I should have been more careful to note that her naturally high spirits would necessitate some wild initiative on her behalf…not that she isn’t perfectly capable of handling such a ride. I must admit to being somewhat concerned about the safety of the poor groom assigned to accompany her, Mr Darcy. Can you assure me that he is possessed of significant expertise?”

“Bonsall has been employed here since my Father’s time,” Mr Darcy replied. “I’m sure he has never ridden in a cavalry formation, but his skill is remarkable among the equestrian employees hereabouts.”

Miss Austen had returned from seeing Mrs Bennet to the house by this time and she addressed Mr Author at once. “While I must admit to obtaining some degree of amusement from your young friend’s exploits I really am concerned that I have brought such distress and consternation upon Mr and Mrs Darcy’s household. I think we may both have learned some new aspect of writing for a different audience but I am sure I shall never be tempted to make use of any of this experience in my own work. You may do as you will.”

Mrs Darcy immediately came to her side. “Do not trouble yourself unduly, dear Miss Austen. We are not so frail and timid at Pemberly as to be incapable of experiencing some new and novel excitements. I must admit that I thought we would be exposing Miss Matah to more genteel and social pursuits during the visit—and indeed, the Christmas Ball at Lambton is only two days away, and the first Church Worship of the season will be the day after. I presume she will find both to her liking?”

Mr Author stepped closer. “Those are the pursuits I had intended, Mrs Darcy, but I think we may have been a trouble to the household too much already. If you agree, Mr Darcy, we might hire a carriage tomorrow to return us from whence we came.”

“No, no. I will not hear of it. As my wife says, we are not so provincial here as to require protection from dramatic outside influences. Miss Matah has offered much constructive assistance with the matter of the letter that I feel fully resolved to entertain her to the pleasures of our region as had been intended. I feel reassured by your recounting the details of her riding experience and have no apprehension but that the two riders will return in due course much the better from their exercise and experience. I beseech you to reconsider your intention to leave.”

Mr Author felt that perhaps everyone’s polite reassurances needed more time and events to test them. “Thank you, both, for your magnanimity. It is far greater that we both deserve. However, I must consider the whole exploit before I can feel assured enough to pass judgement upon it…and she has barely begun what I expect might be a lengthy ride.”

Bagatelle—Miss Matah troubles

August 19, 2011

After lunch, Miss Austen busied herself in conversation with the Bennets on the prospects of Mr and Mrs Bingley arriving soon with words of great praise for the property they had visited, and perhaps even an intention to purchase it. Gisel disappeared into the library with Mr Darcy to further the project of writing a letter in Greek in answer to the one he had received; and perhaps even discussing one in English that might be sent to the attention of the English Consul in Athens.

Mr Author retired to the drawing room to look at the collection of newspapers Mr Darcy took. There were many in this golden age of newspapers when everyone and his brother, literally, ventured into the business of informing and educating their readership. Most of Mr Darcy’s were local-—two from Lambton; one from Hull; another from Derby, The Derby Mercury; and another—-a prize—-a recent London newspaper, the Observer. That took Mr Author back a few years to when he always chose the Observer whenever he wanted to read a London Sunday newspaper. Good old Observer, already 24 years in publication by this date at Pemberly.

Mrs Darcy and Miss Georgiana left the drawing room to examine some blossoms in the conservatory, but he suspected some weightier considerations than flowers might occupy much of their time. When the two returned a half hour later and Miss Georgiana expressed some interest in showing him the flowers blooming in December in the conservatory. Mr Author, who had been finding a certain fascination in the tone and substance of the Observer’s reports on the serious problems of the age, thought it prudent to express a little lassitude with the world of news and agree.

“I must admit that I am no gardener, Miss Darcy,” Mr Author allowed as they left the house. “Neither do I know a delphinium from a geranium.”

Miss Darcy laughed. “I am sure that you enjoy them all, nevertheless. But I must admit the discussion of flowers and gardening were not my intention.”

She looked around at the empty terrace. “Mrs Darcy suggested that you might be able to tell me of the disadvantages of living a full and exciting life…such as the one your young friend Miss Matah experiences.” She paused as her cheeks coloured slightly. “Not that I mean to pry, you understand. I would not like her to think that I wished to trespass into her private life.”

Mr Author nodded. “I did not expect that you did, but I recall she was the one who spoke to you about the secrets it would be improper to discuss. I must admit that she has a number of secrets it is better left unexamined, so I would prefer to structure my discussion in more general terms as they affect all young women in Gisel’s society.”

At this point they reached the steps leading down to the entrance to the conservatory and Mr Author offered his arm to Miss Darcy to steady her as she negotiated the steps in a dress that extended down to the buckles of her shoes.

“I notice that you use her name very familiarly,” she said as they reached the bottom. “Is she a member of your family?”

“Extended family I like to think, but one social difference I might point out as a preliminary exploration of the world Gisel comes from is the lack of much of Regency England’s formality. The more relaxed use of another person’s given name is emblematic of the much looser social graces of that age. These can work toward maintaining an atmosphere of social warmth, but also give rise to unnecessary and sometimes unwise familiarity.”

“Who would one address in such a less formal manner, pray?”

“One would always address ones brother by his first name, for example—-“

Miss Darcy placed a hand over her mouth as her eyes widened. “I could never do that.”

“Married couples would use the spouse’s first name in public, or perhaps a variation of Mother or Father if they are used to so naming the parent to their children. In Parliament a man must speak of an opponent as ‘the Right Honourable Gentleman’, but outside would eschew the use of any honorific whatsoever.”

“Yes…I see. But I would also like to hear more of the perils my sister-in-law mentioned.”

Back to Regency Bagatelle:

July 11, 2011

I have my own computer up and running again. It has a different hard drive but luckily all of the files on the old one were still accessible—it just couldn’t boot up. So, here is the continuation from the June 22nd post:–

Mr Author managed to edge Gisel out of the answer. “In our experience it’s held that everyone in the nation has some legitimate interest in the government of the land they live in. That makes it desirable to hear their voices; although the democracy of universal franchise has been described by a great statesman as the worst possible system of government—save all of the others.”

“One of the alternatives is an absolute despot,” Gisel cut in. “A Napoleon.”

Mr Darcy’s face darkened. “In some countries, perhaps, but never in England.”

“An enlightened electoral interest, like England’s of today, can serve all people well,” Mr Author soothed. “But a progression to a wider franchise can also benefit good government—if carried out slowly and with care.”

Georgina Darcy glanced at her brother’s face, losing its expression of good humour. “Oh, do not upset yourself, please, Brother. I’m sure our guests are not advocating a revolution.”

“Of course. Please excuse my consternation, but we have had enough of political troubles ever since the sans culottes of France began murdering their betters. Even today, although a Bourbon King is restored in Paris, we scarce can see our way out of these continuous wars.”

“The war with the Americans?” Gisel nodded. “My sources say it is almost over—the negotiations at Ghent are proceeding to a successful conclusion.”

“Indeed. That would be welcome news, if it is indeed the case.” Mr Darcy eyed her narrowly. “You must be well connected with the ‘administration’ of your people, as you refer to them.”

“My father is highly placed, and my brother has access to much of the communication. I have been able to assist with some activities, as well.”

“How exciting,” Georgiana Darcy exclaimed. “Yours sounds like a very political family, Miss Matah.”

“We are described as one, Miss Darcy. But our activities are always aimed at overcoming the difficulties we Iskanders experience with larger states.”

This looked as if the wars Gisel had taken part in were about to be mentioned.  “If I may be excused for butting in,” Mr Author ventured. “I believe we are in danger of transgressing into forbidden topics, Miss Matah. Perhaps we should change the topic…if all are in agreement.”

“Oh, Mr Author,” Georgiana Darcy pouted. “Just when the conversation was becoming exciting. I do love stories of intrigue and mystery.”

“But as my dutiful sister, I must insist you accept our judgement,” Mr Darcy told her. “Such interests are not considered wholesome for single ladies who hope to be introduced into notable families.”

“Yes,” Gisel said to her with a smile. “They may all have secrets to hide.”

All those present looked at her askance, but no further discussion was entered into that topic.


Slight detour

July 8, 2011

I’m having to delay the next installment of Regency Bagatelle because of a computer crash. I had saved most things to thumb drives, but not the continuation of RB. I’m waiting to find out if it’s recoverable or whether I get to rewrite the next two or three posts I had ready.
On a brighter note, the edit in progress for my next Iskander novel, Masquerade, was saved because I had transferred it to a thumb drive so my wife could start proofreading on the old Linux laptop. Shirl does all my proofreading and final read—she used to work for the legislative counsel’s department of our Alberta legislature…doing proofreading.
I’ll try to post something new here soon, but hopefully will have my own setup back online by then.

More from Regency Bagatelle

June 8, 2011


<This piece of Regency nonsense continues from the May 31st post below.>

“A king?” Miss Austen’s eyes brightened. “Even if monarch of some minor kingdom in a distant eastern land, I am perhaps somewhat reassured that you will find a ready acceptance of your foreign customs. While the owners of Pemberly are most respected county gentry they are not accustomed to being received at Court—although they have been presented to the Prince of Wales when attending a function in the city.”

Author quickly cut off Gisel’s darkening response by interjecting, “Is that Pemberly House?” drawing Miss Austen’s attention to the first view of Pemberly House offered by a bend in the drive and a gap in the formal row of beech trees.

“Yes. That will be the house. Perhaps you might request the coachman to pause here a few minutes.”

“Good idea.” Author let down the window of the door and leaned out. “I say, old chap. Will you stop here a moment so we might look at the estate?”

The coachman pulled back on the reins. “Right yer be, Sir.”

Author reached out to the handle and opened the door. “Would you like to step out a moment to look?” he suggested to Gisel. No response. “Miss Austen?”

“I think not. I believe I feel quite a chill in the air.”

“Yes of course, the nasty frost at Christmas in 1813,” Author remarked. “How about it, Miss Matah. I think it a good idea to stretch our legs.” He followed that up with a meaningful glare.

“Oh, all right.”

Author gave a hand to Miss Matah as she alighted and they walked a few yards away from the carriage without speaking. When they reached a place where they could see the house in the hillside opposite, Gisel began speaking in a low voice. “If I have to be exhibited as a throwback from some goddamned savage kingdom almost too, too coarse to speak of in polite company I’m bailing out of this horseshit right now. Turn this boneshaker around and let’s go back.”

“We can’t. Not without insulting our hostess and her people. This is a great opportunity to broaden our treatment of the culture and polite society of Lingdon and Tarnland. I don’t mean Gaian society to be anything inferior to Regency England.”

“I don’t see why I have to be included in this.”

“If I can put up with wearing this uncomfortable and damned cold monkey suit without complaint I’m sure you can practice your genteel discretion and modest silences when they are appropriate in formal society. You could find it useful.”


“Don’t speak so loudly. Look at the scenery.”

From the edge of the wood the eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House, situated on the opposite side of a valley, into which the drive, with some abruptness, wound. It was a large, handsome, stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; — and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal, nor falsely adorned.

Author turned his attention to his companion. “Miss Austen described the house, as seen for the first time by the mistress to be— “

Gisel waved her hands at waist height, as if conducting a very short choir. “Although she didn’t know she was going to be, then – did she? You’re not the only one who’s read the book.”

“Right. ‘She had never seen a place for which nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste’.”

“Okay. So I promise not to make a scene. Let’s get going.”

They climbed back into the carriage and resumed the drive—descended the hill, crossed the bridge, and drove to the door; and, while examining the nearer aspect of the house, the front door opened and a footman approached to speak with the driver.

Author heard the exchange as, “Yers, ‘tis the Austen party o’ three.”

With that another footman and three maids appeared from a side door and came to assist the travellers’ dismounting, removal of the baggage, and sundry other attentions that characterized an arrival of unfamiliar guests. The front door was opened by yet another footman who, with one of the maids, took their outer travelling garments and carried them away. An older man, the butler, met them in the foyer and with great dignity said, “If you’ll kindly come this way, Ladies, Sir, the family are gathered in the South drawing room,” and led them across a tiled hall and past a grand staircase to a door which stood partly open.

As they filed in the butler stood by the open door to address the family. “Your guests, Sir, Madam… Miss Austen, Miss Matah, and Mr Author.”

A tall man standing by the fireplace bowed, and the three responded. Fitzwilliam Darcy was every bit as imposing in appearance and manner as he had appeared in the novel: tall and handsome and of noble mien. “Miss Austen, Miss Matah, welcome. I hope you are not too fatigued from your journey. Mr Author, thank you for your diligent care of the ladies. I trust you found our county facilities adequate and easy of access. I hope we can find something to amuse you while the ladies are visiting. Do you shoot?”

“Not lately. I was somewhat of a marksman in my army service, but restrict myself to more social entertainment these days.”

“Quite. Quite so.” Mr Darcy dismissed the topic with a wave of a hand that scattered the grouse and partridge into far distant coverts. “You have not actually met any of the family before, I understand.” He proceeded to point everyone out by deferential but slight bows. “My father in law, Mr Bennet; my wife Mrs Darcy –“

That lady looked up and smiled. “Elizabeth, please. Let us be more hospitable than formal.”

Mr Darcy leaned back and raised his chin. “Very well. Elizabeth Darcy, then: My mother in law, Mrs Bennet; and my sister, Georgiana Darcy. Please take a seat— Miss Matah, beside me at the fire?” He turned to the butler still standing by the door. “Perhaps our guests would enjoy a glass of wine, Haggerston – the family also.”

How time flies.

May 31, 2011

I didn’t post much here while the VBT for Rast was going, because I used my blog at as designated Muse/Rast site. Then, I took a hiatus to unwind which grew into some computer work which put me mostly off-line.

Anyway, no excuses. I have some editing to do with my recent Iskander series novel, Masquerade, that I’ll be mentioning as time goes by. The preparations for the VBT and the stimulus of writing character interviews, guest interviews, and me interviews prompted me to try my hand at a new twist in the format. What if I wrote a visit by me and Gisel, my Iskander series protagonist, to some other literary venue and author? So I decided to take us both to visit Mr and Mrs Darcy one year after their wedding along with their author, Jane Austen.

I’ll give a bit of it here. Remember that Gisel, from the Iskander series, is a 23rd century young woman and is about as far as one could get from the formal ladies of Regency England. Should be fun, eh?

A Regency Bagatelle:

A tale made possible by the organisation Time Travel for Authors and Characters of Fiction — TTFAACOF provides a grant of temporal distortion in order to enlarge the interaction of fictional modes.

Three personages rode in a rented barouche drawn by two matched chestnut horses; an older gentleman in a blue frock coat, tight white breeches reaching to the mid-calf, a top hat resting on the seat beside him, and a cravat of grey silk at his throat, sat beside the door facing forwards; a young lady of almost twenty, wearing a travelling outfit of deep burgundy showing under a pelisse of heavy wool, and with a poke bonnet covering her long dark hair sat opposite him beside a somewhat older lady muffled in a dark grey cloak of wool topped by a cornette of pale yellow fastened below the chin. They look tired, although they have not made a long journey, but are perhaps feeling the cold this late-December day.

As the carriage turned into the gates of Pemberly House the bumps and potholes of the thoroughfare gave way to a steady rumble and spraying of crushed gravel. Miss Austen smiled at the guest of honour for the visit, Lieutenant Gisel Matah of Iskander Security.

“Mr Author advised me of your rolé in his fiction, Miss Matah,” she said with a twinkle in her eyes. “I must confess to being somewhat amused and intrigued, but trust you will speak as little of  that as courtesy and decorum will allow. I fear the Darcys, my characters, would be somewhat dismayed … yes, even shocked … should they be apprised of your career and reputation. It is not only that a young woman of breeding and sensibility does not enter into any form of employment – the character and scandalous nature of yours would cause them great disquiet. I believe Mrs Darcy’s parents are visiting at the moment — I’m sure you would cause Mrs Bennet a great deal of agitation should she hear of it.”

Gisel nodded. “I understand, Miss Austen. I will be as circumspect as possible.”

Author looked at her with a degree of concern. Regency society had one priority – to maintain decorum – and that wasn’t Gisel’s strong suit. “I’d hope you’ll remember the a lady’s stratagem in this society if you feel the strict formality and social etiquette getting to you. A headache and a degree of discomfort that causes you to offer your apologies and to retire to your room.”

She cast a baleful look at him. “Sound’s charming. Looks like I’ll be spending a lot of time in that room.”

“That need not be so,” Miss Austen suggested. “I did warn the Darcys that you were from a foreign family. I expect they will be most condescending to your foibles —“

Author cut in hastily as he saw Gisel’s eyes darken. “That’s meant in the nicest way; condescension is regarded as a generous social asset in this society.”

Gisel shrugged. “If you say so. I will remind you that I have not been entirely living among savages. I was presented to the King of Lingdon; and his Crown Prince is always very friendly toward me. Countess Felicie DeBormond of Burgendene is a close friend.”


I have quite a bit more—I was beginning to enjoy writing in Regency idiom, and when I next post it, you’ll see the fun I had with Mr and Mrs Bennet from “Pride and Prejudice”. Especially the Mrs.