With: Jacki Delecki
As a historical author, I often stumble upon facts so intriguing and fascinating that they virtually demand inclusion in a story. What’s even more exciting is when I discover such a gem while doing research—historical truths that not only enrich a plot but provide exciting depth and dimension because they really happened.
While fans of historical fiction generally appreciate the history of whatever period they prefer, most are quick to complain when authors start focusing more on fact than fiction. My new release, A CODE OF THE HEART, is lush with factual elements that proved critical to developing a realistic storyline. I’d like to share two historical curiosities I discovered and show you how I wove them into my Regency romantic mystery.
FACT: The first is fashion dolls. Often life-size, these three-dimensional figures were first used to showcase Parisian fashion designs to European royalty and aristocrats. The dolls also served as “models” so local dressmakers could study and re-create the stylish garments for local clients. During the eighteenth century, fashion dolls increased in popularity and demand. Precursors to today’s mannequins, fashion dolls allowed milliners and modistes to display merchandise, and because the garments were fitted to life-size figures, made it possible for couturiers to sell clothing without fittings or pre-orders. The fascination with fashion often started at a young age, so small-scale fashion dolls were designed for the daughters of royal families and aristocracy.
FICTION: Amelia Bonnington, the heroine of A CODE OF THE HEART, works in a modiste shop where her friend and shop owner is accused of participating in a French smuggling ring. The fashion dolls being imported from France hold a clue that helps Amelia in her quest to prove her friend innocent.
FACT: Robert Fulton was an American inventor and engineer who is credited with developing the steamboat. During the course of his life, he travelled around the world, collaborating with other inventors and scientists on naval vessels and weaponry. He designed the first working submarine while in France before switching alliances and moving to England, where he was commissioned to build weapons for the Royal Navy.
FICTION: Lord Derrick Brinsley, the hero of A CODE OF THE HEART, is working undercover to protect the British Navy’s “secret weapon,” which the French espionage agents are attempting to steal.
Whoever said history is dull and boring has never read a historical romance. We know good storytelling when we see it, and it often comes in the form of research. I hope you’ll read A CODE OF THE HEART to learn how I incorporated these tiny factual details into my story.
Miss Amelia Bonnington has been in love with her childhood hero since she was nine years old… or so she thought until a not-so proper impassioned and unyielding kiss from the not-so honorable and equally disreputable Lord Derrick Brinsley, gave her reason to question the feelings of the heart.
Lord Brinsley, shunned from society for running off with his brother’s fiancée, hasn’t cared about or questioned his lack of acceptance until meeting the beguiling Amelia Bonnington. One passionate moment with the fiery Miss Bonnington has him more than willing to play by society’s rules to possess the breathtaking, red-haired woman.
Amelia unwittingly becomes embroiled in espionage when she stumbles upon a smuggling ring in the modiste shop of her good friend. To prove her French friend’s innocence, she dangerously jumps into the fray, jeopardizing more than her life.
On undercover assignment to prevent the French from stealing the Royal Navy’s deadly weapon, Derrick must fight to protect British secrets from falling into the hands of foreign agents, and the chance at love with the only woman capable of redeeming him.
Author Bio:Descended from a long line of storytellers, Jacki spins adventures filled with mystery, healing and romance.
Jacki’s love affair with the arts began at a young age and inspired her to train as a jazz singer and dancer. She has performed many acting roles with Seattle Opera Company and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Her travels to London and Paris ignited a deep-seated passion to write the Regency Code Breaker Series. Jacki is certain she spent at least one lifetime dancing in the Moulin Rouge.
Jacki has set her Grayce Walters Mystery Series in Seattle, her long-time home. The city’s unique and colorful locations are a backdrop for her thrilling romantic suspense. Although writing now fills much of her day, she continues to volunteer for Seattle’s Ballet and Opera Companies and leads children’s tours of Pike Street Market. Her volunteer work with Seattle’s homeless shelters influenced one of her main characters in An Inner Fire and Women Under Fire.
Jacki’s two Golden Labs, Gus and Talley, were her constant companions. Their years of devotion and intuition inspired her to write dogs as main characters alongside her strong heroines. A geek at heart, Jacki loves superhero movies—a hero’s battle against insurmountable odds. But her heroines don’t have to wear a unitard to fight injustice and battle for the underdog.
Look for more heart-pounding adventure, intrigue, and romance in Jacki’s Code Breakers Series. A Code of Love is the first book in the series. A Christmas Code—A Regency Novella, is now available at all retail sites. A Code of the Heart will be released on Valentine’s Day 2015.
To learn more about Jacki and her books and to be the first to hear about contests and giveaways join her newsletter found on her website: www.jackidelecki.com. Follow her on Facebook—Jacki Delecki; Twitter @jackidelecki.