Thursday, October 31, 2013

Aussie actor was a great icebreaker

Rob took this of me with my 2014 release, behind -
The Maid of Milan. I look a little mealie-mouthed.

I'm very happy to say the costume talk was great, very well attended, people enjoyed it, Romsey Library put on a fabulous afternoon tea, and I sold quite a few books.

I now also have a chauffeur and someone to introduce me, for this, and my upcoming talks...thank you, Rob Greer :)

Rob is one of my former writing students, a charming, charismatic retired stage and screen actor who appeared on Aussie television in favourites like Homocide and Division Four, as well as overseas with English actors, including Derek Nimmo and Sid James.

Not only did Rob pick me up and drive me to Romsey - after DH had laced me into my corset and helped me into my regalia - he provided a spontaneous and hugely appreciated ice-breaker.

I was in a back room doing last-minute preparations as the audience was seating themselves, and when I approached the side entrance to do the talk, Rob was up the front entertaining the room with his jokes. These went down really well, and no sooner had Rob sat down than an Irish gentleman sitting in the front row stood up and told his own joke. So there was my ice breaker, and a wonderful way to get everyone relaxed and already enjoying themselves by the time I walked on to talk about the changes in fashion from 1760 - 1820. One of the women asked Rob if he was my father so he reckoned that at the Kyneton Library talk on November 14th he'll give them some touching anecdote about 'my childhood'. 

Here's a nice added extra: one of the ladies tapped me on the shoulder during the tea, afterwards, and told me her friend had read The Reluctant Bride in a weekend. She added, "My friend said I had to read it, too, so it was just such a coincidence that you were doing this talk in Romsey."

Now everybody, one final thing - please drop by The Romance Reviews End of Year Splash Party to answer an easy question on The Reluctant Bride in order to win a prize. There are loads of prizes to be won, and my book is up there from November 1 - 5.

I'd love to see you! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

'History Through Costume' Talk at Romsey Library on Wed. Oct 30th

By Beverley Eikli

Last minute preparations are keeping me busy, ready for my talk on Wednesday at the Romsey Library.

'From Georgian Splendour to Regency Simplicity' is the title and I'll be wearing a 1780s polonaise made from Janet Waugh's iconic pattern book and referring to a mannequin wearing a simple 1805 Jane Austen muslin gown (again, using one of Waugh's patterns). Janet Waugh deconstructed a great many gowns found in historic homes throughout the UK and has produced them as patterns, which costumers and dressmakers can enlarge.

I started making the costume quite by impulse when I found two russet silk curtains priced at $1.99 in an op shop. I'd long wanted to make a Georgian gown but knew the cost would be prohibitive if I wanted to use beautiful, authentic material. So this was a serendipitous find.

Of course, that impetuousness resulted in a great deal more work than I'd anticipated, since I quickly realised that if I were making an authentic gown, then of course the underwear of today wouldn't do. Our modern day bras and no corsets, or I should say, stays (which was the term used in pre-Regency days) would create a body shape that would fit into the Janet Waugh gown I was spending so much time making.

I therefore started researching corsets and stays and settled upon half boned stays from the 1780s. These give my body the required 'barrel-shaped' torso required for the fashions of the day, pushing up my cleavage into what was referred artistically as 'rising moons'. After that I had to make panniers to create the wide hips.

Anyway, there are lots of pictures of these items and of the dress on this and other places I've blogged, though I will post a couple of pictures here, of the patterns used.

So on Wednesday at 2pm I'll be at the Romsey Library, about an hour north of Melbourne, doing my talk. It is in fact one of six costume/author talks scheduled for this month.

Kyneton Library (Nov 14) and City of Melbourne Library (Nov 4) are hosting the costume talks, and then I'll be celebrating the launch of my new book The Reluctant Bride at the Clare Valley Writers Festival on Wed November 17th.

So now I've returned to this late and will post with lots of pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Please visit me at one of these locations....

Here I am in costume at the Bendigo Writers Council

Please spread the word because it's all FREE (Victorian and South Australian

I'm doing a History through Costume Talk at the City of Melbourne Library on Monday November 4, from 6pm - 8pm, (followed by three weeks of writing workshops on Mondays at the same time.)

I'm teaching a 4-week romance writing class at the CAE, Flinders Lane, starting Saturday Nov 2, 10am - 1pm.

I've also got Costume Talks at:

Romsey Library, Wed Oct 30, 2-4pm
Kyneton Library, Thurs Nov 14th, 2.30 - 4.30pm

as well as author talks at Gisborne Book Bonding Bookstore (Thurs Nov 21 at 7pm; and
Lancefield's Red Door Books, Saturday Nov 23, 10.30am (to coincide with Market Day).

Also, another Costume Talk in South Australia at the Clare Valley Writers Festival, next to Collins Books, on Wednesday November 27 at 7pm.

I'd be really grateful if you could spread the word. They're all FREE. And I would love to see you at any of those events.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lady Farquhar's Butterfly is now a new ebook

I love metamorphoses. I like to think we all, in some way, metamorphose into something resembling what we'd like the world to see.

I was once the closet writer, too shy to call myself a writer because I felt I was putting tickets on myself to imagine I could one day write like my idols.

But now I'm working on edits for my eighth book, The Maid of Milan, to be published in March 2014 by Choc Lit. My debut with them is my winning entry The Reluctant Bride which has just been released.

Originally published in hard cover several years ago, my second book, Lady Farquhar's Butterfly, is now an ebook. It's a Regency romance about an abused wife, now a widow, who metamorphoses into the woman she wants the world to see, only to have her newfound happiness and position threatened by the malignant forces of her husband's influence beyond the grave.

I've just now uploaded it as a pre-order and on November 4 - my 19th wedding anniversary - it will be officially released. I chose that date as it was one of such hope and expectation all those years ago; and happily all those expectations were met. Unlike poor Olivia, the lively Regency 'party girl' who married the 'bad boy' and lived to rue the day.

So if you like historical romantic suspense, why not check it out HERE - and order it during the next month when the pre-order price comes with a 33% discount. It's not only readers who benefit from a lower price; a book gains much greater visibility due to the amount of pre-orders it receives.

Here is the premise of Lady Farquhar's Butterfly:

Falsely branded an adulteress and stripped of her child by her vengeful late husband, Olivia is desperate to escape her grim past. But when her charade to reclaim her son results in a deep and unexpected love with her son's kind and charming guardian, Max, Olivia fears that blackmail, revenge and possibly murder will continue to stalk her.

And here are some reviews from Long And Short Reviews, Red Roses for Authors, and Books Monthly:

Originally posted at: [...]

Sweet with heat and hard to beat, Lady Farquhar's Butterfly gains momentum as it builds to a terrifying climax.

The imagery of a fiery-eyed stallion rearing over Olivia, who has fallen in the mud, and its reminding her of her cruel, now-dead husband gives a clue to what she suffered at his hands.

Olivia wants her two-and-half-year-old son back who is in the care of her late husband's cousin. She been lead to believe her soul is destined for hell because of her past actions; but she wants to raise her child, while she is on earth, and is willing to do whatever it takes to do so. An error in judgment when she was seventeen years old governs much of what she does. Even though she is a beautiful, attention-grabbing woman on the outside, she feels ugly and horrid on the inside.

Max Atherton sells his commission in the army and returns home to be the guardian for his cousin, Lucien's little boy and to run the estate until the child reaches his twenty-first birthday so he can take over his inheritance. Max has no idea of what a life-changing experience awaits him.

The Rev. Nathaniel Kirkmen, confessor for the now-dead Lucien and the consoler and advisor to Olivia, Lucien's widow, has woven and continues to weave a web of lies so tightly around Olivia with his pseudo-piety that she feels helpless to do anything other than what he says to do, until...

Beverly Eirki's concise, smooth, and subtle writing reveals characters and their motivations with a style that makes Lady Farquhar's Butterfly fascinating--a thoroughly enjoyable, page-turner of a tale.

So, if you think it's the sort of book that you might enjoy whiling away a few hours with, you can...


Thank you :)