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Thursday, 20 March 2014

New project - a whole Regency Series!

I've got a big, exciting new writing project on hand! And it's partly down to mum being ill, and needing entertaining that I'm getting stuck right in there...

Now I enjoy the lighthearted Regencies of M.C. Beaton, who has written a heap of stories that stand alone but are part of a six-book series that interconnect, with some characters running through all of them.  And they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  So, I've started the first of a 6 - or maybe more - part series, opening in 1809 to be called the Charity School Series.

The first book, Elinor's Endowment, opens with a young woman, Elinor, who has always been given to believe that she will not survive past 30 with inherited heart disease deciding to endow a school for impoverished orphaned gentlewomen.  She wants to see it running before she dies, however, and as well as her own governess, Libby, as Headmistress, she engages a blunt Scots doctor who informs her that there's nothing wrong with her that fresh air, good food and exercise won't cure.  As both he and Elinor are very stubborn people, sparks fly from the first, and continue throughout the book as pupils arrive. 

Book 2 is Ophelia's Opportunity; a young lady left destitute applies for a post in the Charity School, to keep her younger brothers in their own schooling.  She becomes very close to the youngest orphan pupil, close in age to her own brothers.  This pupil however develops a father who has been trying to track his daughter down since he returned from the war. 

Book 3 is Abigail's Adventure; one of the orphans is told she has relatives she knew nothing about.  They offer to give her a Season.  However, there appears to be an ulterior motive in their generosity, and Abigail finds herself relying more and more on her guardians' nephew...

Book 4 is Marianne's Misanthrope.  Marianne was orphaned and had no skills to speak of outside being a lady; her branch of the family had been disowned by the main branch.  Her education is sponsored however by someone she knows only through his solicitor as Uncle Silas, who his the other branch of the family, on condition that she writes to him weekly with her progress.  Marianne learns to dislike him less through the letters she receives in return, and is glad to have a relative when one of her father's creditors decides that she is the means to pay off an old debt...

Book 5 is Francine's Fear.  Francine is the child of emigrĂ©s and she does not know of any relatives in England.  When a most dodgy cousin turns up and wants to use an innocent young girl to further his spying, however, Francine must choose whether to be terrorised by him, or confess the whole to Miss Libby Freemantle.  I'm currently wondering whether to cross over this with The Unwilling Viscount and use the government agent left at a loose end in that....

Book 6 is Libby's Luck.  Libby Freemantle was not many years older than her charge, Elinor, and though the school has run successfully she is still a handsome woman not yet 30.  She may have given up all hope of marriage, but it does not stop her being much disturbed by the new trustee, who believes in taking a closer interest in the school than merely overseeing its fiscal arrangements. 


3 comments:

  1. I take it that the blunt Scots doctor is Elinor;s love interest?? And so they are running this school together?? It sounds extremely promising--and, perhaps, there are potentially more sequels than the six you are projecting??

    Avanti!!
    Clio Clark

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  2. Well, as it happens, Clio, I did have a few other ideas.... and if I do use Stoat, I will need to build my world around the characters I use very carefully. Of course right now, nobody who hasn't beta read The Unwilling Viscount has no idea who Stoat is, but i have been asked to give him a story of his own... and yes, the Scots doctor is the love interest. It may be a rocky ride though. So far - and I'm up to chapter 6 - Elinor isn't sure if she approves of him, or if she wants to tell him to go away and never darken her door again. There are 4 children in the school so far, I plan 7 to start with, whose backgrounds are interwoven with future plots.

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