on September 12th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
True love never goes out of style….
Once renowned for creating the most envied gowns in London, Madame Follette’s dressmaking shop has fallen far out of fashion. The approaching coronation of King George IV offers a chance to reclaim former glory by supplying stunning new wardrobes to the most glittering society in Regency England. In the face of long-held secrets, looming scandals, and the potential ruin of their shop, the dressmakers of Follette’s are undaunted, not even by the most unexpected complication of all: true love.
The Duke’s Dressmaker by Madeline Hunter
When the Duke of Barrowmore walks into the dress shop, Selina Fontaine assumes her secret identity will compromised. Four years ago this man’s brother seduced her and abandoned her to scandal, and she holds the duke responsible. To her amazement the duke is more interested in pursuing her than exposing her, however—and that pursuit soon becomes seductively pleasurable.
Threads of Love by Myretta Robens
Delyth Owen’s exuberant passion for her new job as a dressmaker at Madame Follette’s is matched only by her love of diverse, vibrant, and frequently unfortunate color combinations. Simon Merrithew, the pseudonymous author of a well-regarded fashion column, is horrified by the gown Delyth creates for a friend, and suspects her motives. He sets out to uncover her duplicity, but instead, he uncovers genuine joy and discovers the colors of love.
No Accounting for Love by Megan Frampton
Miss Katherine Grant is a lady’s companion, one whose number of dishonorable offers (six) greatly outweigh her honorable ones (zero). Now tasked with making certain her charge, Lady Euphemia, does not contract herself to someone inappropriate, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to Mr. Henry Dawkins, the inappropriate gentleman Lady Euphemia wants to charm, who keeps the books at Madame Follette's. But it seems that Henry only has eyes for Miss Katherine Grant.
A Fashionable Affair by Caroline Linden
Madame Follette’s is Felicity Dawkins’s birthright; her mother founded it, and now she runs it. She's fiercely committed to making it the most exclusive modiste in London. The Earl of Carmarthen also has big plans for the shop—he wants to buy it and tear it down, to make way for a grand new boulevard of shops. One way or another, he’s determined to persuade Felicity…not only to sell her shop, but to explore the passion that sparks between them every time they meet.
We are excited to have the lovely ladies- Madeline Hunter, Caroline Lindon, Megan Frampton and Myretta Robens visiting us this week.
They are sharing their anthology Dressed to Kiss with us. Stop by each day to learn more about each story.
Monday- An interview about their Anthology process.
Tuesday- A Fashionable Affair by Caroline Linden
Wednesday- The Duke’s Dressmaker by Madeline Hunter
Thursday- The Colors of Love by Myretta Robens
Friday- No Accounting for Love by Megan Frampton
What attracted you to writing this kind of interconnected story?
Caroline Linden: It’s always been the actual story proposal that lured me into anthologies. In this case, Megan Frampton came up with the idea of setting it in a dressmaker’s shop, with all the stories involving someone who worked there. She mentioned it to me and I pretty much invited myself to the party because I thought it was a great concept. I happen to have been my daughter’s dressmaker (for fancy dresses) since she was very small, so I really liked the idea of writing about a seamstress and business owner. I love writing smart competent women who take charge of their own lives. Setting it before the king’s coronation, and giving the business financial problems, offered all sorts of conflict and tension. And then my co-authors were all fantastic, so I jumped at the chance to work with them.
Madeline Hunter: I was coming off a series, and needed a palate cleanser (which is how a more experienced novella writer once referred to them.) I liked the idea of having the four stories connected, and taking place in one world, because I thought it would read like a serial that was all available at once. I thought making those connections would be both a challenge, and fun.
Megan Frampton: I like having a community of others to work with. I wanted to dive into doing a self-published project, but didn’t want to do it alone.
Myretta Robens: Although I love anthologies, I was initially attracted by the authors with whom I’d be working. I know, respect, and have a great deal of affection for, Caroline, Megan, and Madeline. I also love what they write. Who wouldn’t want to be part of this group?
What was the best part about writing in collaboration?
Caroline Linden: Plotting with other authors. I love plotting.
Megan Frampton: Knowing there’d be someone who knows more than you to help with the process.
Madeline Hunter: A little community forms among the writers. Since I normally work in isolation, I enjoyed that a lot, especially the brainstorming that we shared. I also came to know three other writers whom I had not known well before. Finally I learned a lot about indie publishing. I have been following it closely and have a huge file of information and advice, but actually doing it helped me to sift through a lot of that and see what was truly valuable.
Myretta Robens: It was wonderful to have support during the process, to have other writers who were, essentially, working in the same shop I was. If I had a question (about another character, the setting, the action), I could just ask. It was also great to work with them on the non-writing portions of this collaboration. Knowing that each one of us would take responsibility for things like formatting, marketing, cover, administration took some of the pressure off. I will add, however, that, although each of us had a specific responsibility, almost all of it was a collaborative effort.
What was the worst part about writing in collaboration?
Caroline Linden: So far all of my collaborations have been great, so I don’t know! If there is anything “bad” for me, I would say that when another author has a great idea, late in the game, which requires me to change something in my story, I grumble. But a great idea is always worth it in the end.
Madeline Hunter: I would not call it worst, or even bad, but coordinating the stories was a challenge. If stories overlapped, each one had to acknowledge at least in passing what was happening with the characters in the other ones. The physical details of that world had to be consistent too. We all knew that going in and wrote accordingly, but of course in the process of writing sometimes we did not always line up the way we wanted. Our copy editor helped us find points that needed to be clarified, and we all found others too.
Megan Frampton: Knowing that there were parts of someone else’s story I might unknowingly affect. Also knowing that authors who I love were going to have their stories side-by-side with mine!
Myretta Robens: Fear that everyone’s novella would be better than mine. I was working with three, well-published, well-reviewed, well-liked authors and I was a two-book traditional regency has-been. The best part of the worst part was that no one questioned my ability and everyone was receptive to my work. I think I may have turned out my best work because of the support of my partners.
How was writing a collaborative anthology different from writing a stand-alone novella?
Caroline Linden: It allows you to bring in other characters and story lines without worrying that readers will be left wanting more. It allows for more subtle jokes and plotting; if I mention character X is famous for dueling without his shirt on in a standalone novella, I have to explain it or tell the story of how and why he became the shirtless duelist. But in an anthology, I can mention it without explanation, because the next story will be all about him (and probably involves him taking off his shirt). It’s like writing a series, but I only have to do a quarter of the writing.
Madeline Hunter: My only other novella was in a thematically connected anthology, so this was quite different. Then, as long as I touched on the theme, I could do whatever I wanted. In the case of Dressed to Kiss, the collaborative aspect meant I needed to keep other stories in mind, and make sure all of us had our characters in the same world and same time frame. One other difference for me was that my last novella was brought out by a publisher, and I had a word length restriction. I did not mind that at the time, but it meant I had to make sure I chose a story that fit that length. Because this anthology is epublished primarily, I was more free when it came to length. The result is this one is 50% longer than the last one.
Megan Frampton: I think the interconnectedness of the stories make each of them stronger, making the whole greater than the parts, and I think the parts are all pretty great!
Myretta Robens: This was a totally new experience for me. I loved having others working alongside me on the same project. I loved knowing what my deadlines were (more or less). I’m the sort of writer who tends to push deadlines and write in a fury. Knowing others were counting on me, kept me at the computer. Knowing that others were working on the same project gave me a terrific pool of brains for brainstorming. On the dark side, I was afraid of letting my cohorts down. I like to think I didn’t.
What other historical anthologies do you love?
Caroline Linden: I really enjoyed Christmas in the Duke’s Arms, especially the wonderful novella from my friend Miranda Neville.
Megan Frampton: I used to rabidly collect all the traditional Christmas anthologies, which is where I read Edith Layton, Mary Balogh, Carla Kelly, and other of my favorite historical authors.
Myretta Robens: I love Caroline Linden’s novellas, so I look for her anthologies. My first experience of a connected anthology, was At the Duke’s Wedding, with Caroline Linden, Katherine Ashe, Miranda Neville, and Maya Rodale. I’m also a sucker for Christmas Anthologies. Every fall, I look for something new but I also pull out the older ones, particularly those including Mary Balogh, Mary Jo Putney, Carla Kelly, or Jo Beverley.
There will be a Giveaway of a digital copy of the book today and Friday.
Today the ladies are curious….
Who would be the person you collaborate the best with?