I am excited to finally share the cover with you guys!! I can just imagine Harriet's apprehension as she comes up those stairs and out into the bright stage lights.
BUT WAIT--I know what some of you Regency purists are thinking. That cover is so far from historically accurate it's insane! And you'd be right. But I've fallen in love with this cover because I see it symbolically. Obviously a young Regency socialite would never be un-gloved with hair down at any occasion formal enough for a train (and how would she dance??), but I don't see this as a scene directly from the book. I see it as a representation of Harriet's inner feelings throughout her dramatic adventure.
The red satin pooling down the steps is like a luxurious stage curtain. The stairs represent both social elevation and the limelight that Harriet is thrust into during act two. Her hands aren't gloved, her hair is down: she is herself when no one is around. In the image she is unaccompanied, showing her just as alone as she often feels on her often awkward adventure. Her "audience" is obscured from view by mystery, but her overall outlook of the future is bright, so although her tense hands show some apprehension, her bearing is proud and she is ready to carry herself to new heights.
I hope that you can learn to love this book (and it's cover!) as I have, and that it can help brighten your day, as it has brightened many of mine. I'm excited for you to be able to read it!
P.S. I think her little tush is quite fetching, too. Don't you? :)
EDIT 3/25/2021: This story is available to download HERE!
Hannah shifted on the window seat and looked up from her novel. She breathed fog on the glass of her bedroom window to obscure the beautiful sunny day outside. She drew a little heart with a crack in it.
“I shall never be free until I break out of this gilded cage.”
There was a light knock at the door. “Shall we leave for our morning walk, my love?” her mother’s voice sounded.
Hannah scurried off the window seat and began pulling on her spencer, bonnet and half-boots. “I’m coming, Mother!” she called.
As her fingers tripped over the knots of her boots, in her mind she became a maid in the frigid servants’ quarters that she had sneaked into once as a little girl. She had been awakened rudely at the crack of dawn to light the fires and needed to hurry to prepare herself to serve her wicked employer. Her maid daydream flickered as she buttoned the peach satin-covered buttons at the front of her spencer. It really was a fine one—it had been part of her birthday present from her father, who said that she looked beautiful in the color no matter how vehemently she tried to deny it.
She glanced up in the mirror as she tied her bonnet, and had to admit that her father was right. Peach was fetching on her. She looked as fresh and healthy as springtime, and knew that her glow would only be brighter as she strolled beside the gardens’ new blooms with her mother. It was almost too pretty a picture to bear. She groaned inwardly.
“Nothing exciting ever happens to me,” she muttered, and flounced out of the door with a sigh.
“There you are,” her mother said as she came down the stairs. “Are you ready? Mr. Green has just told me that our hydrangeas have begun to blossom.”
“Of course,” Hannah replied sweetly. “That sounds lovely.” In her mind, however, she wished a violent death by fire to their insufferably perfect gardens—the hydrangeas would be the first ones to go.
***TO BE CONTINUED***
I will send a PDF of the whole short story (It's not that long--can be read during a long potty break, if you do that sort of thing!) to everyone who signs up to receive the newsletter I'm starting! I promise not to send an email out more than once a week, and I'll try to keep your interests and suggestions in mind.
Ah! I'm so excited! It feels in some ways like it's snuck up on me, but my book is being released NEXT MONTH and it's already available for pre-order! A friend of mine told me that the code FALL20 doesn't work, but THANKS20 does, so try that. There's also code PRE15 that's for 15% off. It's kind of expensive, but I think that means they're going with a really great binding option so it should be a very handsome book when finished. I'm excited!
Preorder the book here: https://www.cedarfort.com/collections/pre-order/products/a-stage-for-harriet
I can't wait to post the final cover online! Apparently they're still applying the changes I suggested to the initial cover, which was FABULOUS, but just was not *quite* there. I'm looking forward to seeing it and I hope you are too! <3
who am I?
My name is Mary-Celeste, but my friends call me M.C. I am a writer, wife, mother, amateur gardener, sourdough bread baker, n00b video gamer, Austen enthusiast, tabletop gamer, Trekkie, and generally cheerful human being. I write Regency romances and I post about it here (among other things). Thanks for stopping by!