Sunday, February 14, 2010

Novel Time - CRR Blog Carnival

Welcome to my entry for the Classic Romance Revival Blog Carnival.

Leave a comment by March 1, 9AM Eastern Time for a chance to win a PDF copy of Lady of the Stars or a PDF copy of Pumpkinnapper. Note: You must check back after the contest closes to see if you’ve won. I will post the winner as a comment to this post as soon as possible after 9AM, March 1.

Leaving a comment will also put you in the running for a 5-ARC package from the Classic Romance Revival authors, and a copy of Cupid Diaries, also from the CRR authors. The winner will be selected from the people who visit the most blogs in the festival, BUT you MUST register to win. Registration and the complete list of participating blogs is at Good luck!

My topic is Time. In my 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 Book Reviews gave Lady of the Stars a 4 star review (contains spoilers). From the review: "a quick read and a delightful short romance." Thank you, Romantic Times. Lady of the Stars is also a finalist in the 2010 EPIC EBook Competition in Science Fiction Romance.

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.

In Mistletoe Everywhere, my upcoming Regency Christmas novella, the climax occurs on Christmas Eve, 1814: "The almost full moon’s light glinted off the snow to bathe the area in a silvery glow." December 24, 1814 was two nights before the full moon. 1814 calendar here.

Do you like this level of detail in your stories?

Thank you all,


Kaye Manro said...

I love this post, Linda! It is so informative. Thanks for sharing all those dates into the past. The aspects of the moon phases and the star gazing you make use of in your writing is great.

Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day!

LuAnn said...

This is very fascinating. Now, I definitely have to read your books to find out how time plays out in your stories!

peggy said...

Thanks for sharing history info.with us about the stars.your book sounds very interesting

booklover0226 said...

I do like this type of detail. I learn something new while being entertained!

Tracey D

bella said...

I love to see the detail and research that you put into each and every novel

Linda Banche said...

Happy Valentine's Day, all!

Hi Kaye, glad you like the information. I love astronony, and try to incorporate it into my stories.

Thanks, LuAnn. I hope you enjoy my books.

You're welcome, Peggy Like I said, I'm an astronomy nut. We all have to go crazy about something.

Tracey, nice to know I'm not the only one who likes to learn something new with my entertainment.

Thanks, Bella. It makes me feel good to know someone appreciates my work.

Heather Snow said...

One of the things I've always loved about reading historicals is that there's always something new to learn...even if it's just a bit of new vocabulary.

I find I research a lot more than actually makes it into my stories, but I think the more we know, the more realistic we can set the scene for our readers.

Thanks for sharings this bit of history with us.

Meandi's corner said...

I love the extra details in the story.

-------jennifer mathis

Sherry Gloag said...

Your love for atronomy shines through in this post, as does the phenominal amount of research you've done.
I do enjoy the 'subliminal' learning I acquire when I read, so yes, I would enjoy all the information included in your books.
Thanks for sharing. Now I'll have to add them to my TGR list!!
Thanks for sharing.

Jo Ann said...

Great blog..thanks for all the info, very interesting!

Linda Banche said...

Heather, you're right. Most of our research will never make it into our stories, but they do help us provide the correct background.

Hi Jennifer. Thanks. It's always nice to know someone appreciates the work.

Thanks, Sherry. Yes, I've been an astronomy nut for a long time. I was probably just waiting to put it into a story!

Jo Ann, thanks. Nice to find another person who likes all this information!

SilverWolf said...

Wow you put a lot of work into your books before you even start. That's so cool, I never know how much of what I read is correct and how much is just the author doing thier own thing. Thanks for letting us know about the time factors in these books.

Belinda W

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Belinda. Yes, I do work very hard on my books. I'm glad you appreciate the information I put into them.

Taffy said...

Interesting post! I am always amazed how little I really know :)

Carol L. said...

This post was so informing and interesting. Astronomy is a great subject to get into. Your research shows in your stories. I love these type of details in a story. Thanks for sharing with us.
Carol L.

Linda Banche said...

LOL, Taffy! I'm sure you know lots of things I don't.

Thanks, Carol. I knew I wasn't the only one who likes detail in stories.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,
I'm an information junky myself. I'm constantly amazed at how much time I spend on the internet surfing to read about topics for no practical reasons ~ just an enjoyment and interest in learning. LOL. I also read alot of romance novels and often go to the computer to find out more about something I find in a book.
I think the research you do and the integration of facts speaks to your integrity and dedication.
I, for one, appreciate it. Thanks,
Sara J. ~:-]

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Sara. I'm glad you enjoy the information, and your appreciation certainly helps to make the effort worthwhile.

EVA SB said...

I love reading all about the moon phases. Especially when you have made such an effort to ensure they are accurate.

When I lived in a town the night sky was just an orange fuzz of light pollution.
Now I live more in the country I love observing how different the moon looks each night and I occasionally consult star charts to identify an particularly bright stars.

Linda Banche said...

Eva, you're a woman after my own heart. I have star charts, too, and I watch the constellations rise in the east and set in the west. And I love to see the earthshine on the crescent moon.

Tifferz said...

I like your blog. I would love to read your book!

Tifferz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Tifferz. You're in the running! Only three more days!

Tiffany Green said...

Great post! I have used similar research, mainly for the constellations and their positions in the sky on certain dates. I have always been interested in astronomy. Adding these little details does make a difference to the readers. And they do check for accuracy!

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Tiffany. Another astronomy nut--great! I do try to be accurate, and I'd be happy for the readers to check.

PhyllisC said...

I enjoyed your post and the info very much. Very fascinating information. Thanks so much for sharing.

aarbaugh said...

Thanks for sharing. Nice to know that someone else wants to put such care & effort into their writing!

Linda Banche said...

Hi PhyllisC, thanks for coming over. I'm happy you enjoyed the post.

Thanks, aarbaugh. The finished product makes writing look easy, but like most things in life, writing is a whole lot harder than it looks.

Redameter said...

Yepper for some it's in the stars.
For others they have to make it happen. I think astrology has some points we should consider more seriously.
God Bless

Linda Banche said...

Hi Redameter. The stars will always be there, however we want to use them.

Linda Banche said...

Winner, winner, we have a winner!

After dumping all the names into my trusty hat, the winner is

Sara J. (sjrlive)!

Sara, since you left your email, I'll be sending you an email to find whether you want LADY OF THE STARS or PUMPKINNAPPER. If the mail gets lost, you can contact me at

Thanks to all for coming, and CRR will have more blog carnivals.

SJR said...

Hi Linda,
This is so great and exciting! Thanks so very much!
I've already emailed you with my preference. The whole carnevale tour has been a lot of fun. Thanks to you and CRR! [and the Stars :-)]
Sara J. ~ : - ]

LK Hunsaker said...

Hi Linda, I'm very late, but yes, I like informational details in novels, as long as they're fitted into the story instead of stuck in to show an author's knowledge. That line can be very fine, and I've seen big name authors cross it too far. It's harder than readers think to weave and not throw!

I enjoy the way you weave in info. ;-)