Do The Charleston!

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FlapperDanceOne of the things I love most about the 1920s (besides the clothes and the hilarious slang!) is the music and dance styles.  Nothing calls to mind “the ’20s” as quickly as an image of beautiful young flappers doing the Charleston.  Social dancing had been a very big deal for a long time, of course (I also write stories set in the Elizabethan era and the Regency, and those people LOVED their dance parties!0, but it changed very quickly in the 1920s.  Younger people loved going to speakeasies for the music and the dance floors as well as for an illicit cocktail, and the clubs that had the best bands were the most crowded.

Dances that had been popular before (like the waltz and the foxtrot) were still widely performed, and dances like the Black Bottom, the cakewalk, and the Charleston evolved from the ragtime dances of World War I (and were mostly done by the younger generation, since it took a lot of energy and strong knees!!  These were also popular solo dances for young women, which was something new).  Tangos and sambas were being imported from South America, and close dancing (“cheek to cheek”) was very popular.  (Seriously, when I look at some of the old photos, the couple seem very close indeed, even to 21st century standards!).  Most of the dances were fairly simple variations on “walk and glide,” and are fairly simple to learn at least the basics, so everyone could dance at parties.  (Even if you couldn’t do an elaborate, Valentino-esque tango, you could do a basic foxtrot, and a fringe-y, sparkling dress could easily distract from slipping footwork!)

So I wondered–what dance would our heroines most enjoy??

Jessica from Rebellious would like a tango–romantic, sexy, showy, but also somewhat traditional…

Meggie from Reckless would go for a Charleston–something that looks great from the stage, and would keep “mashers” at arms length when needed!

Eliza from Ruined would most like a Shimmy–very sexy, not too difficult to learn, and also useful as a solo dance…

And Charlotte from Runaway would do a waltz–fairly traditional, every deb would know it, but in newer, closer 1920s style!

For a great article about women in the ’20s and the power of dance, take a look here

Which dance would you choose???

 

 

 

Adventures of Book Signing – Krysta Scott

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Exclusive, Customized MC4 Martini Glass and a print copy of all four Martini Club 4 – The 1920’s stories in one volume, signed by all the authors. To enter, simply use the ‘follow’ button, found at the lower left, and follow our blog! Winner will be chosen at the end of April. (Only residents of the Unites States are eligible)

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When an author first publishes a story an inevitable question pops to the surface. Should I have a book signing or not? I didn’t even wrestle with the question having made up my mind a while ago. Every year my author friends and I attend a national conference hosted by Romance Writers of America (RWA). On the first evening of the conference, there is a Literary book signing where hundreds of authors appear holding their pen ready to sign. Most everyone attends. The purpose of this event is to fund organization working against illiteracy. Who can’t get behind that?
No matter how many times I attend, it is always the same. The well know authors have long lines of fans waiting to get their books signed. These authors have single tables at the edge of the room to allow for the demand. The rest sit at the tables listed in alphabetical order. Then it is a scramble. Some are sought after and some are not. As people go through searching for the right name, authors meet their eyes and smile. Hoping you’ll stop and have a book signed. That hopeful author may have just published her first book or the second and the buzz hasn’t caught on yet. Everybody starts there. Right or wrong, I decided I wouldn’t attend a book signing until people cared enough to actually have a signed book from me. Arrogant? Maybe. Practical? Yes. Naïve? Definitely. Right out of the gate I attended my first book signing. It all started with the book launch.
At the end of March, we had our book launch at the Martini Lounge in Edmond. The Martini Lounge is the inspiration for Club 501 and the place Alicia Dean, Amanda McCabe, Kathy L Wheeler and I meet most Fridays to unwind and discuss our writing projects. This fine establishment hosted our book launch party with the added bonus of free samples of a 1920’s drink the Bees’ Knees. I, of course, was nervous about the event. What if no one came? What if no one was interested in our book? But I was also excited. We were having a party and were receiving much encouragement.
We all dressed in 1920’s style clothes complete with boas and a rhinestone martini pin given to us by Alicia’s sister. Then we waited. Our family and friends flocked inside. We were congratulated and given warm hugs. Everyone bought a book. For the next several hours amongst mingling with our guests, we passed our books to each other to sign. Then, unexpectedly, we sold out. What a great party. It was my first launch and a complete success.

Kathy L Wheeler, Alicia Dean, Krysta Scott and Amanda McCabe at Launch Party

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The very next weekend, we headed down to Anadarko Library for a multi-author book signing. There were fourteen of us at the event. Everyone set up their tables with their books and decorations indicating their genre. We decorated our table with the Martini Glasses filled with candy. Gold, blue, red and green confetti was scattered across the surface. The library had banners made with every author’s name on them, every author was also given a laminated bio with an author picture and their book cover. It was a very well organized event. If a child attended, they were given a miniature version of the banner for every author to sign. When they got all fourteen signatures they got a free book from the library. Although attendance was lower than our launch party, everyone who came was interested in speaking with every author about their books. When there was a lull, we spent our time brainstorming our 1940’s story and visiting with the other authors. A very productive day.
I realized when you sign books with other authors, the event really isn’t about pushing books. Don’t get me wrong, selling a book is nice but it doesn’t have to be the only important thing. An author friend of mine, Callie Hutton (an author who also attended this event), told me not to look at it as a book selling opportunity but to view it as a networking opportunity. She’s right. A successful book signing is about meeting potential readers and getting to know them on a personal level. It’s also about getting to know your colleagues better, hearing their war stories and creating some war stories of your own. Just like in our stories, it isn’t about the destination. It’s about the journey. Now I look on the authors with the hopeful eyes differently. They’re at the start of their publishing journey. Not a bad place to be.
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That’s all I have for now. Thank you for reading my post.
Krysta

Please Help Me Find a Title. Also…a Fun Giveaway!!!

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Happy Easter everyone! Hope you’re having a great weekend.

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Yesterday, our MC4 group took a road trip to Anadarko for a book signing. We had a great day, not only at the signing, but the drive time of nearly three hours, round trip (with a stop off in Okarche for chicken and okra at Eischens), gave us an opportunity to brainstorm the next books in the Martini Club 4 series. These books will be set in 1947 Boston and will be about the offspring of our characters from the 1920’s series. We came up with some fun ideas for all four of the stories. Spending time together like that is so beneficial.

This is the four of us at the signing:

Me, Kathy, Amanda, Krysta

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I’ll let the others share their story ideas when they’re ready, but I’ll give you a brief glimpse of my idea. Also, we brainstormed titles, and where we went with ‘R’ before, it appears we’re going with ‘P’ for this one. I believe the other girls have decided on their titles, but I’d like some feedback on a few that I’m considering.

If you don’t mind, read the brief summary of my plot below, and let me know which of the potential titles you prefer.

A very rough summary:

Nina Taggart, at the prodding of her mother, is engaged to be married to a wealthy member of Boston’s blue-blood society. Nina isn’t madly in love with him, but as her mother pointed out, he’ll make a good match for her. But, when a dark secret from her mother’s past surfaces, Nina’s fiancé is horrified. He publicly humiliates her, calling her unspeakable names.

Sylvester is a World War II hero, now police officer, in Boston. He has loved Nina since they were children and has protected her reputation all these years. When her fiancé degrades her, Sylvester flies into a rage and beats him senseless. The man’s family insists on Sylvester’s removal from the force, and his superiors comply.

Sylvester has been working a case involving the kidnapping of wealthy Bostoners for ransom. Now, he’s taken off the case and has lost his job, not to mention, Nina is furious with him for nearly killing her former fiancé. In the blink of an eye, he’s gone from war hero and protector to unemployed outcast. With or without the force, he’s determined to solve the case. And to prove to Nina that he is worthy of her love.

Titles from the other stories: Krysta Scott: Priceless, Amanda McCabe: Perilous, Kathy L Wheeler: Pampered. (of course, these may change as we go forward)

For mine, I’m considering:

Perception

Precipice

Paragon

Protected

Provoked

What are your thoughts? Any preferences? Any new ideas?

GIVEAWAY – Exclusive, Customized MC4 Martini Glass and a print copy of all four Martini Club 4 – The 1920’s stories in one volume, signed by all the authors. To enter, simply use the ‘follow’ button, found at the lower left, and follow our blog! Winner will be chosen at the end of April. (Only residents of the Unites States are eligible)

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