My guest today is Kathryn Kane, who writes erotic regency romance like me! I love this period, so her topic today about flowers and titles and a bunch of other cool stuff is pretty much like catnip for me! So enjoy! 🙂
It is an honor and a privilege to have received an invitation to guest post here today. I have enjoyed the romance novels of both Jenna Petersen and later, Jess Michaels, so I am very much a fan, and rather in awe to have this opportunity. My sincere thanks to Jess!
I would like to tell you a little about how I came to write my debut novel, an erotic Regency romance. I wanted to write a first-time story, since I have always enjoyed reading them. Of course, it had to be set in the Regency, since that is my favorite period of history. Over the years, I have known a few women who shared with me the fact that they found their own first time rather disappointing. I wanted to write a story for all of them in which the hero got it right, even if it is fiction. I hope I have achieved that goal for all those who would like an alternate version of their own first time.
Then came the choice of title. Title is very important to me, for I find the title sets the course of the entire story. I cannot begin to write until it is settled. Since it was a first-time story, one word persistently demanded to be included. You may have already guessed it, “deflowering.” I love flowers at least as much as I love words, and that middle syllable inspired me to use them in my story. And so, Deflowering Daisy has a number of snippets of floral history woven throughout the tale. As a former museum and historic house curator, I spent a lot of time researching a wide array of topics related to flowers during the course of my career and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to take advantage of that research to embellish the story for my readers.
Since I am very partial to alliteration, I knew the heroine’s name must begin with the letter D, as would the hero’s. After researching all of the flowers whose names begin with D, I found that Daisy was the perfect name for my heroine. Though they are quite common flowers, they have powerful healing properties. A perfect combination, since at the beginning of the story, Daisy thinks herself very common, while David, the hero, is soul-sick after a terrible event for which he blames himself and is in great need of healing. Over the course of the story, David bolsters Daisy’s self-esteem while she brings him the forgiveness and peace he thought never to have.
Roses are my favorite flower, so naturally, one of the most important settings in my first romance is the large rose garden on the secluded country estate where much of the interaction between Daisy and David takes place. Rose gardens were a new phenomena which had only begun to be laid out in England in the last decades of the eighteenth century. Prior to that time, most roses were grown in kitchen gardens for their culinary and medicinal properties. The most fragrant were cultivated for the essential oils which were pressed from their petals. Until the end of the eighteenth century, few roses had been planted in ornamental gardens, simply for the beauty of their blooms. That all began to change as new species of roses were imported from the Orient.
Though the rose is now considered the quintessential English flower, at the end of the eighteenth century, the finest roses were bred in France. The very best of them flourished in the gardens of the Château de Malmaison, the country estate of the Empress Joséphine, just outside Paris. Joséphine had actually been christened Rose when she was born, but Napoleon demanded that she use the name Joséphine after they were married because he though it sounded more appropriate for his ambitions. Despite her name change, the French Empress loved her namesake flower and decided to showcase them in the gardens of her country estate. With the help of her powerful husband, she set out to plant at least one example of every known variety of rose. Napoleon ordered all his ship captains to search every ship they encountered and every port in which they dropped anchor for new and unknown plants, especially roses. And he ordered they all be brought back to France for the Empress. She planted them at Malmaison, along with all of the rose varieties which were bred by the top French rose breeders. When she passed away in May of 1814, Joséphine had more than 250 different varieties of roses growing in the grand gardens of her country estate. With her famous gardens, Joséphine had made rose gardens fashionable. By the end of the Regency, rose gardens became increasingly popular in Europe and across the Channel in Britain.
The rose garden in Deflowering Daisy, where Daisy and David share several intimate moments, is based on the rose gardens at Malmaison. But the lady who created their rose garden was the wife of a captain in the Royal Navy who brought her roses from anywhere he made landfall when he was away at sea. David is charmed by the fact that Daisy thinks that is much more romantic, because the captain brought roses to his lady because he loved her, not because he was ordered to do so. It is in this rose garden, created and tended with love, that Daisy is first introduced to a man’s caress. And it is in this same rose garden that perhaps the most erotic scene between David and Daisy takes place.
Old-fashioned roses, the kind that would have been growing in this rose garden, were much more fragrant than are many modern garden roses. They typically bloomed only from late May into June, but my story takes place in July. However, it is set in the summer of 1816, the year after the eruption of Mount Tambora, which spread a thin layer of fine volcanic ash high in the atmosphere around the globe. This phenomena caused cooler weather in England that year, and that cooler weather would have delayed the blooming of the roses into July. Therefore, the rose garden in which David introduces Daisy to sensual pleasure was in full bloom, even though it was July, and richly fragrant.
If you like a generous measure of sensual bed games well-laced with tidbits of floral history, I think you will enjoy Deflowering Daisy.
Deflowering Daisy Blurb
“She cannot remain a virgin!”
For so she was, after nearly a decade of marriage. When she was sixteen, Daisy had willingly, happily, married a man more than fifty years her senior, to escape a forced marriage to a man she abhorred. Though Sir Arthur Hammond had been a wild rake in his youth, he was so deeply in love with his late, beloved first wife that he never considered consummating his second marriage, certainly not with a woman he considered a daughter. But now, knowing he was dying and that he would be leaving sweet, innocent Daisy ignorant of the physical intimacies which could be enjoyed between a man and a woman, he felt that it was imperative she be given the knowledge which would prepare her for the life of a wealthy widow. Armed with the knowledge of physical intimacy, she would be much better prepared to deal with any fortune hunter who might try to seduce her into marriage for her money. And who better to initiate Daisy into the pleasures of the bedchamber than his godson. David had become nearly a recluse since a tragedy which occurred while he was serving the Crown against the forces of Napoleon Bonaparte. Prior to that, his skill as a tender and considerate lover had been bruited about in certain circles. Therefore, Sir Arthur believed that David was just the man to introduce Daisy to physical pleasure. And what might spending time with true and gentle Daisy do for David?
You can find an extended excerpt of Deflowering Daisy at: http://kathrynkane.net/books.html
Kathryn Kane is a historian and former museum curator who has enjoyed Regency romances since she first discovered them in her teens. She credits the novels of Georgette Heyer with influencing her choice of college curriculum, and she now takes advantage of her knowledge of history to write her own stories of romance in the Regency. Though she now has a career in the tech industry, she has never lost her love of the period and continues to enjoy reading Regency novels and researching her favorite period of English history.
The Regency Redingote: http://regencyredingote.wordpress.com/
Kathryn Kane Romance: http://kathrynkaneromance.wordpress.com/
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