Hi guys! Just wanted to share some of my behind-the-scenes tidbits that I came across while writing, imagining, and researching DUKE OF SECRETS. Enjoy!
German-born violin maestro David Garrett seemed like a great inspiration for Azrael. Looks + talent + passion = Hero material. :)
Fun with Raja
Now here's what I call a cat video!! This little vid from a Big Cat Sanctuary reminds me of Azrael playing with his pet leopard, Raja. So cute. The juvenile leopard here is gorgeous. Then there's the South African hottie. This is just way too much handsome all one one blog post, lol. (Is there such a thing??)
This very beautiful French actress, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, was my "model" for the physical appearance of Lady Serena Parker in Duke of Secrets, although Serena's hair was darker, actually black. I love writing about complicated heroines.
Moonlight Square Map
Time for another stroll through Moonlight Square, Regency London's most romantic garden park, home to many an aristocrat. I had this map created for the series and I find it helpful to go back and refer to it from time to time. On the left, you can see the Grand Albion, a fancy hotel with ballrooms a la Almack's upstairs and an exclusive gentlemen's club a la White's on the ground floor. On the right is St. Andrew's (a la St. George's of Hanover Square), a small but highly fashionable place to get married! Right in the middle is the little park itself -- including the fanciful white folly where all sorts of things might happen...
NeoGothic Regency Interiors
I got the inspiration for the neo-gothic interior of Azrael's house in Moonlight Square (Duke of Secrets) from the famed Strawberry Hill in London, the home of Horace Walpole. It was recently restored to its original glory, and its website is full of fascinating pics from one of the masterpieces of the Neogothic interior style.
MOUNDS, TOMBS & BARROWS, OH MY!
Much of the intrigue in my new book, Duke of Secrets, centers around mysterious doings at an ancient barrow. People in the 19th century were as curious about these strange earthworks as we are today. This period engraving via the Heritage Trust shows Regency folk exploring the Bartlow Burial Mounds in Cambridgeshire.
You can link to the full article on the Heritage Trust here, but I especially loved this part:
The noticeboard at the foot of one of the mounds records that, “The seven mounds covered extraordinary rich burials containing a collection of wonderful artistic objects, the best found in Britain. Mound IV, the largest, is 45ft high and 144ft in diameter...
In 1815 Busick Harwood “excavated” Mound VI to provide work for the unemployed… They began at the apex and digging down at great labour to the cist despoiled it of its contents, which were distributed and no account of them taken”.
Hmm! I wonder whatever happened to those ancient artifacts and what they might've been like...
Hope you enjoyed these little Bonus Extras. I have more to share soon! Thanks again for reading my books.