Saturday, June 20, 2009

Stop and Smell the Roses Blog Bouquet--Novel Time

Welcome to my entry for The Wild Rose Press's Stop and Smell the Roses Blog Bouquet. Leave a comment by June 23, 9AM Eastern Time for a chance to win a PDF copy of Lady of the Stars. Note: You must check back after the contest closes to see if you’ve won. I will post the winner as soon as possible after 9AM, June 23.

My topic is Time. In my two TWRP Regency novellas, time plays a prominent role.

In Lady of the Stars, my Regency time travel, when the heroine, Caroline, suspects she's traveled into the past, she asks Richard, the hero, what the day is. He answers the day is Wednesday, July 9, 1817. I checked. July 9, 1817 was a Wednesday. Here's the calendar for 1817.

I selected that date on purpose. Astronomy is a prominent part of Lady of the Stars. Caroline and Richard fall in love as they observe the stars. Bright moonlight washes out the stars, so part of the storyline had to occur when there was no moon to interfere.

From Lady of the Stars: "The clouds thinned that very day, and the next five nights were clear and moonless, perfect for observation."

These five nights occurred on days 4-9 of Caroline's sojourn in the past, July 12-16. According to the calendar, the new moon occurred on July 14. The new moon rises at sunrise and sets at sunset, so was not in the sky to interfere with their observations.

Romantic Times has given Lady of the Stars a 4 star review. The review itself isn't online yet, but author C. J. Parker sent me a copy. From the review (I can't post the whole thing): "a quick read and a delightful short romance." Thank you, Romantic Times.

Pumpkinnapper, my Regency Halloween comedy, also makes use of the moon's phases. The story starts on September 28, 1816, at the moon's first quarter. Here's the 1816 calendar.

The times for Pumpkinnapper were more complicated because most of the action occurs in the dark after moonset. I found the times for moonrise/moonset using the US Naval Observatory website. The times are valid only with the correct latitude and longitude, which I found at the NGA GEOnet Names Server (GNS) .

At first quarter, the sun rises about noon and sets around midnight. Corrected for the latitude and longitude of Lindsell, Essex, England, using the above sites, moonset on September 28, 1816, occurred around 10PM.

Each day, the moon rises and sets about an hour later. The Pumpkinnapper climax occurs on the night before full moon, the night of October 4-5, when the moon sets after 3AM.

Here Hank, the hero, waits until he can go to Emily's, the heroine's, house to try and catch the pumpkinnapper: "Hank glanced at the clock on the mantle above the fire. Only midnight. Moonset was at three, so he couldn't leave for at least another hour."

Why did I pick the dark after moonset? All kinds of things happen in the dark. The Wild Rose Press will release Pumpkinnapper on September 30.

Do you like this level of detail in your stories?

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll hop over to the blogs of the other authors participating in TWRP's Stop and Smell the Roses Blog Bouquet. Note, all the posts in the Blog Bouquet must be posted by 9AM Eastern time on June 22. Depending on when you read this, the other posts may not be up yet.

Thank you all,



SiNn said...

your book sounds awesome and i love detailed discriptions in the books i read please enter me in ur contest

Francesca Prescott said...

Hi Linda, I love the sound of the astrological detail in your book.

Congratulations on the wonderful RT review!

Detail? It's the writer's attention to detail in a book that make it come alive. It's like painting pictures with words.

Anonymous said...

Linda, I love it that you were that precise about dates and moon phases in your stories. Your Regency stories sound like great reads!

Skhye said...

Mornin', Linda!

Oh, yes. I'm a big fan of detail. And time. Gosh, all my work seems to operate around time. Weird. But moonset is a great angle! Have a great day!

lastnerve said...

Don't enter me in the contest as I already have the book but I do love detailed description in the books I read. You go girl


Sandra Sookoo said...

I like the level of detail. Of course, I'm a detail girl when I write too! :-) Your books sound cool

Donna Michaels said...

Hi Linda,

Super blog. I feel research is important in any story. It gives the premise more credence and helps you to imagine it correctly.

Woohoo on your RT review, too!

Have a great day,


Linda Banche said...

From the comments here so far, everyone likes detail. My kind of people.

SiNn, Thank you so much. And of course, you are entered in the contest.

Hi Francesca, thanks. A woman after my own heart. We both love detail.

Susan, I spent a lot of time tearing my hair out until I got those times right. Aarg!

Nice to see you, Skhye. We're both time nuts. Great minds think alike.

Val, you always drop over. Thanks.

Sandra and Donna, thanks for your kind words on my story. More detail nuts. I love it.

But I notice the trend lately seems to be less detail. Dialog and lots of white space rule the day. I, too, like stories that paint pictures with words.

Danielle Thorne said...

What a unique spin on your Regencies. I like learning little things like science and history in my books (as long as it's not overdone). I bet the research was alot of fun.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Linda, I love your details. They grind you in the story. Best of luck with your September release. My sweet and spicy medical romance, BABIES IN THE BARGAIN,a sort of Grey's Anatomy, is coming in two weeks to TWRP.

Erotic Horizon said...

Yes i agree, your book sound really good..

Loving the calendar references..


Nicole McCaffrey said...

I love detailed description! Sounds like a great book!

Lauri said...

I love details! And I love time travels! Congrats!

Tanya Hanson said...

H Linda, what wonderful plot lines and details! You must have really enjoyed the research.

Best wishes,

KyAnn said...

these types of details are so amazing to the way a story affects a reader. Which reminds me, tonight is the New Moon. :)

Susan Macatee said...

Sounds like a great story! Good luck with it!

Mary Malcolm said...

Sounds wonderful! I'm so big on detail, it adds so much to a story so I'm really looking forward to this one.


Debra St. John said...

Wow, that is a lot of detail. I love how it all ties together.

Linda Banche said...

Danielle, I promise, the science is not obtrusive. If I hadn't written this blog, I doubt anyone would have noticed.

Mona, thank you, and congratulations on your release.

Erotic Horizon, another calendar lover. I knew I couldn't be the only one.

Nicole and Lauri, more detail nuts! I love you!

Thank you, Tanya. Sometimes, when things didn't gel, "enjoy" was not the operative term. **grins**

Kyan, tonight is new moon? All kinds of things go bump in the dark. We don't have to wait for Halloween.

Susan, Mary, Debra, thank you so much. I'm so glad I found all you detail people.

Ann Whitaker said...

My problem with detail is that I get too hung up on it. I'd love to be able to see the big picture, but I'm one of those people who sees the trees and don't even know what forest I'm in.

Congrats, Linda. Glad I'm not the only detail person around.


I keep telling people how much detail is in some of these books.

Jennette Green said...

What a lot of wonderful research you did! Your blog post was very interesting, and your books sound great!

Kytaira said...

Maybe you can set a book a little earlier - Say 1752 - and incorporate the changed calender.

"In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII instigated a change, alarmed at how far Easter’s date had slipped out of line, but England and the British colonies did not make the shift from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar until 1752. By this time, the calendar was 11 whole days behind “real” astronomical time, so by legal decree, on September 2, 1752, at midnight, it became September 14."

Thanks for the interesting post!

lynda98662 at yahoo dot com

CFF said...

Linda, I'm intrigued. Looking forward to reading your work :)

Linda Banche said...

Ann, sometimes I get lost in the details, too. But it's great when they all gel.

Thanks, Loretta. We work very hard our books.

Jeannette, thanks. Research can sometimes be painful, but I do it.

Kytaira, 1752 is Georgian, and I pretty much stick to Regencies. But one interesting fact I found was that George Washington was born on February 11, 1732, not on February 22, when we celebrate his birthday. The date was changed in 1752 when England and its colonies finally switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.

CFF, thanks. Glad I caught your interest.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Hi Linda - I adore detail in stories! Many congratulations on the deserved success of Lady of the Stars. I'm counting the days down to Pumpkinnapper being released!

Linda Banche said...

Lindsay, thanks. I can tell from your "A Knight's Vow" and "A Knight's Captive" that you like detail--you paint pictures with words.

Kaye Manro said...

This is just fantastic, Linda! And such a great number of comment responses as well!

(Sorry I've been away for a while and missed this post.)