Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Georgian Portraiture and an April release! Maggi Andersen

I need no urging to study art history. The fourth book in the BAXENDALE SISTERS Series, THE SEDUCTION OF LADY CHARITY is to be released in April, 2016, and my heroine is an artist. Charity’s unique style brings her attention among the ton, and requests for sittings from important personages, including dukes, lords and their ladies, and their children.
After the posed portraits of the past, intended to reveal a person’s stature and wealth, Sir Thomas Lawrence brought his portraits to life revealing the character of his subject: 

The artist’s career was launched at the Royal Academy in 1790 with a full-length portrait of Elizabeth Farren, a celebrated actress engaged to the Earl of Derby. The painting drew much attention. The actress was known for her comic roles on stage where she often gave her audience a wink. Lawrence has painted her with a mischievous glance over the shoulder. Set against a landscape of rolling hills on a spring morning with sheep grazing in the distance, she is dressed for the evening in her fur-trimmed evening cloak and muff, as if we’ve caught her hurrying home in the morning after a late-night assignation. 
Lawrence was famed for his ability to let his viewers in on the joke, to turn us into his accomplices. In his lifetime, a contemporary accused him of being a “male coquet.”
Some of his portraits are of children and capture their vitality and personality.

“Miss Murray”1824-26

The Calmady Children

As a general rule, a sitter’s merits or accomplishments were usually less important to Lawrence than the appearance he presented to the world.
Arthur Atherley as an Etonian

Lady Maria Conynham

Lady Maria's father was created Marquess Conyngham in the peerage of Ireland in 1816. This was through the influence of his wife, Elizabeth, who in 1820 became the final mistress of the future King George IV of England. Husband and wife were in constant attendance at court. Between 1823 and 1826 the Marchioness and her three children sat for Lawrence, the leading portraitist of the era. George IV was fond of Maria Conyngham and the present portrait hung for a time in his bedroom at one of the royal residences, St. James's Palace. The composition of the girl's portrait is elegant and the paint is applied to the canvas in broad, creamy strokes, with great assurance. However Lawrence was not greatly interested in drawing and her fingers are oddly jointed and disproportionately long.

Research: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Tags: #Georgian Art, #Regency portraits, #Sir Thomas Lawrence

Lady Honor's Debt - Read the first in the Baxendale Sisters Series 99cents!


Freedom. That’s all Lady Honor Baxendale wants—for her sisters and for herself. Honor has a bold plan to become financially independent, using a skill she learned at her father’s knee. She seeks the help of a solicitor and is pleased with her choice…as long as she can resist the solicitor himself.
Lord Edward Winborne has been happy to come to the aid of his four sisters in the past. But when a neighbor’s daughter, Lady Honor Baxendale, requests his help for a dangerous scheme she has in mind, he feels it his duty to dissuade her. When that fails, he wants to protect her, and then somehow finds he wants to do more. Much more. 

Released April!

THE SEDUCTION OF LADY CHARITY - The Baxendale Sisters Book #4

Lady Charity Baxendale has long dreamed of becoming a renowned portrait painter. After she’s received two significant commissions from esteemed family members, a rakish Scottish baron commissions her to do his portrait, and she feels she is one step closer.
When Robin, Lord Stanberry, with whom Charity has had a long friendship, asks her to marry him, she must choose between marriage and her career. She refuses him, for he is heir to a dukedom, and Charity fears that not only would she be unsuited to life as a duchess but also that her burgeoning career might end before it begins. And besides, Robin has made no mention of love.

Due to tragic unforeseen circumstances, Robin is now the Duke of Harwood. Robin feels himself unfitted for such a position. He was perfectly content living as a Viscount in Tunbridge Wells, writing a manuscript on ornithology. He’d hoped to have Charity at his side by the time he took his place at Harwood Castle, for her pragmatic nature and strength of character would be of enormous help to him. Should he have thrown himself at her feet and declared an undying love? Charity would have seen through it, for that was not the sort of friendship they enjoyed. But her refusal has brought him lower than he’d thought possible. Can he change her mind, despite the distance that now lay between them?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Two of my novellas have been nominated for the RONE Awards!

After refusing him once, heiress Miss Selina Wakefield accepts Giles Devereux, Earl of Halcrow’s, offer of marriage, against her better instincts. The handsome earl confesses that he needs to marry into money to save his crumbling estate, Halcrow Hall, and produce an heir.
Giles is the most interesting and fascinating man Selina knows. But he is also the most secretive. He has resigned his commission in the army while England is at war, and members of the ton cut him.
Because of the earl’s rakish reputation, Selina fears she may be leaving her calm, organized life for one of disorder and heartbreak. But she never expects what lies ahead.


Dutiful daughter Faith Baxendale just wants to please. Faith isn’t as adventurous as her younger sister, Hope, gadding about the Continent with their aunt, nor as rebellious as her elder sister, Honor, who planned to become a card sharp. And Faith couldn’t lose herself in her art like sixteen-year-old, Charity. Even Mercy, at fourteen, shows more backbone!
After Faith’s first Season ends, her father urges her to marry the man of his choice. But when Lord Vaughn Winborne, a neighbor Faith had a crush on while still in the schoolroom, arrives home for the Brandreth’s hunt ball, surprising even to herself, Faith is drawn again towards a man her father would never consider.
The youngest Brandreth male, Vaughn, is the black sheep of the family. His elder brother, Chaloner, Marquess of Brandreth, still looks upon him as a reckless youth, and Vaughn is determined to prove him wrong.
A chance comes in the form of a scandal not of Vaughn’s making, and he must learn to trust Faith, who, when all’s said and done, has always known her own mind.

VOTING begins May 16-22
If you've read and enjoyed these two novellas please vote.  Thank you!


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

AN IMPROPER EARL "Difficult to put down" The Romance Reviews" #kindle



At the end of her third Season, Lady Harriett Edgerton has refused her one offer of marriage from a perfectly worthy, if dull, suitor. Harriett doesn’t want proper. She wants passion. And the prospect of a passionate marriage is becoming increasingly unlikely, judging by the men she meets. When she and her family visit a dying relative at his country mansion in Kent, Pendleton Manor, everything appears normal on the surface, until Harriet is suddenly embroiled in murder, intrigue, and lust.

Gentleman farmer, Gerard Everard, Earl of Foxworth, has inherited an estate deep in debt. While he toils to save Foxworth from creditors, he becomes embroiled in a dangerous mission.

Together, Harriett and Gerard work to uncover a murderer, while Harriett, expecting Gerard to succumb to the charms of her younger, beautiful sister, Leonora, tries unsuccessfully to guard her heart.
Originally published as Murder at Pendleton Manor


Before she knew it, she’d walked over a mile and stood before the stately old oak tree that she used to climb. She paused, remembering that Pendleton lay on a rise above a wide green valley, and the tree offered a wonderful view all the way to the Channel from its topmost branches. One might see the French coast on such a fine day. It was undignified for an adult, but who would see her? She looked around. Finding no one in sight, she untied her poke bonnet, divested herself of her cinnamon-brown spencer and pulled off her kid half boots. She rolled down her stockings and tucked them into her shoes. Gathering her cream percale carriage dress up around her knees, she eased herself onto the lowest branch, and began to climb. Pleased, she quickly got into the swing of it. She’d been an excellent climber when she was young. Such a practice stayed with one into adulthood, apparently, although she was now a little more cautious. She’d climbed half way and stopped to consider her way forward when a figure rose from the shrubbery below her. He stood examining something, in his hand. He looked up and caught sight of her then shoved it into his pocket. Whipping off his hat, he stared up at her in surprise. “Can that be you, Harry? It must be. Taller, but as skinny as ever.”
From her lofty perch, Harriett took a deep breath. “Gerard.”
“’Tis I.” He came to stand below her. “So, you can still climb that tree.”
“Why ever not?” She put a foot on a lower branch in an attempt to climb down without affording him a revealing view up her dress, and soon found it impossible. “Turn your back, will you?”
He gave a sly look at her bare legs before he turned away. “Are you sure you don’t require my assistance?”
“I’ll ask if I do,” she said ungraciously. She reached the bottom branch and stood holding on, while considering whether to jump and possibly fall in a heap at his feet. In the end, she swallowed her pride. “You might help me,” she suggested.
Gerard turned around and put up his arms. She leaned over and rested her hands on his broad shoulders. He gripped her waist and lifted her down. For a moment, he held her close against his chest, causing a rush of sensation to pass through her. “Not so scrawny after all,” he said with a grin.
His hard male body pressed against hers, his mouth close enough to kiss, unsettling her. She struggled within his arms. “Put me down! You are just as outrageous as ever.”
He set her on her feet and stood with legs spread and arms folded, studying her. “You always were tall for a girl.”
In her bare feet, Harriett’s head reached his shoulder and Gerard stood well over six feet. “Too tall for beauty, or so I’m told,” she said pragmatically.
His dark brows rose. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
Beholding Gerard, Harriett quite agreed. With his well-shaped mouth and the cleft in his chin, he was still the handsomest man she’d ever set eyes on. She bent to pick up one of her boots.
“Allow me.”
Her cheeks burned. “No. I have to put on my stockings. Would you turn your back again, please?”
“What gentleman would refuse?” He turned away.
Harriet was securing her blue satin garter around her stocking when he swiveled to face her. She hastily pulled down her dress. “You agreed not to look.”
He grinned. “I didn’t say I was a gentleman. May I assist with your shoes?”
“No, I—”
“Nonsense. We are cousins after all.”
In truth, their connection was distant at best, he being the only son of Cousin Harrison’s brother. Very aware of that fact she leaned back against the oak’s trunk, and gazed down at his dark head, as he crouched at her feet. Harriett stiffened when he grasped her ankle. Her senses swam at the gentle touch of his fingers. He eased her foot into her half boot and fastened it. She almost lost her balance and had to resort to holding onto his shoulder which felt broad and strong. She quickly let go.
Seemingly less affected than she, he tackled the other.
He tied the laces with nimble fingers. When he’d finished, Harriett released the breath she’d held. After he rose, his touch on her ankle seemed to linger. She picked up her bonnet and donned it. “I’m not sure I should thank you. Touching my ankle was quite disreputable.”
His blue eyes beneath dark brows gazed into hers. “But you didn’t stop me.”