Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Remember When . . . The New Setting Began?

Okay, is it seriously Wednesday? We're having some holiday-induced confusion around here, don't know about you. Totally feels like Monday...

Emma Stone is my pick for
casting Marietta Gaines
But since it's not, it's time to get back to my Remember Whens. =) And since I just turned in Whispers from the Shadows before Christmas break began, that means it's time to start prep for book number 3! (Still unnamed...)

I've only just begun research, so I don't have a ton of fun tidbits to share yet. But I thought I'd give you a sneak peak of what I'll be working with, which will in turn give you a hint of some of the fun to come. =)

The book (whatever she shall be called, LOL) opens with my heroine, Marietta Gaines, transitioning from second-mourning to half-mourning. Now, those of you who aren't up on Victorian mourning traditions (which is probably all of us, LOL), don't know what in the world that means. So a brief (very brief) description.

Full Mourning
First year after death of spouse
Widow must wear unrelieved black and will not participate in social events

Second Mourning
Six months to one year after full mourning ends
Widow will add a white lace collar to her black mourning gowns and will begin doing some social activities

Half Mourning
Three to six months after second mourning ends
Widow will transition to gray and lavender, but will not wear any brighter colors, and will resume normal activities.
An evening gown that would be
appropriate for half-mourning

So as you can see, mourning really lasted no less than a year and a half and sometimes as much as two and a half years. We have this idea that it was exactly a year, which is true of full, first mourning. But moderns tend to forget about that second year. 

My book starts with Marietta coming down the stairs in color (lavender) for the first time since her husband's death, and feeling guilty about transitioning after only a year and three months. Not because it's premature, but because she knows her late husband would be none too pleased with the secret courtship his brother has been paying her.

Marietta's going to be a fun heroine to get to know. At the beginning of the book, she's a bad girl (and I haven't written one of those in years!). Perhaps not so much by today's standards, but by Victorian ones for sure. She's got the femme fatale thing going on, has been using her womanly wiles for years to get her way, and feels like the black sheep--worldly and concerned with her social status--in a family that has always been altruistic and not materialistic. She'd rather be exchanging repartee with actors and poets than worrying with politics or the war. And she's eager for her mourning to end so she can get on with life--with Devereaux Gaines, her brother-in-law.

At least until her grandfather informs her in the first chapter that Dev is in fact the villain of our story. ;-) And calls her to account for squandering her gift--perfect memory. She's been using it all these years as nothing but a parlor trick, but now he needs her to utilize it for the greater good of their country. A task which will require her, for the first time, putting something else above her own needs.

Yep, me and Marietta (and Dev and hero Slade) are going to be having some good times around here over the next few months. =)

Happy 2013!


  1. Lol - I came here expecting etymology :)

    Emma Stone is a PERFECT cast for Marietta! I can totally see that.

    1. Isn't she perfect? =) And I nearly WROTE an etymology post, LOL!

  2. I ALWAYS learn something here. Had no clue of the mourning stuff. And, of course, I wanna read it (and title it LOL).