Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Swooning...romantic? Not!

I confess as a teen, I grew up on hand-me-down penny-dreadfuls. And another confession, I loved it when the heroine swooned. How romantic, especially if the right man was there to catch her.

But you know something?
Phial of smelling salts. photo Rita Gerlach
I could never swoon. Couldn't even faint. Oh, I wanted to so badly. Not one measly time could I even try to force myself to delicately crumple.

Mind you, when I saw my mother faint one day, I sort of retracted that desire. Poor mum just keeled over without warning and landed with a thump. I found out later she was expecting.

Hmm, being pregnant was something I wasn't ready for at that stage. So I figured I'd have to leave it to all those fragile heroines to deliver the romantic swooning stuff.

Seriously though, I'm sure the tight corsets had a great deal to to with it. The way their undergarments pulled in their waists and then were tightly laced, they could hardly get a deep breath. And imagine that in sweltering hot weather! No wonder the poor gals keeled over. So instead of loosening their nipped in torture garments, they carried their own personal phials of smelling salts. Who wouldn't be shocked back to their senses when those ammonium carbonate salts were waved under their noses?

He was an aristocrat. She was in service. Will they dare cross this invisible line?
Windsor Castle, mid 1800s.
Separated by the class barrier, handsome aristocrat, Nicholas Forbes-Mannering and kitchen apprentice, Charmian Kintrairy can't ignore their mutual attraction. But conventions are strong, and as their love grows, they struggle to find equal footing.

When she discovers her mysterious family history, she is convinced their differences are insurmountable. Can she use her culinary skills to make a new life in a new land?

Only a tragic event causes their paths to cross again.... 
Will Charmian find the courage to hold fast to her faith and face the ghosts of her past? 

* Book III of the Victoriana Series, A Parcel of Promises, is at the printers as this goes online. But sadly, this heroine never got to swoon! She was too busy in Windsor Castle's kitchens. But she has shared her scrumptious recipe of a genuine boiled rag pudding for the Christmas table.

See:  www.ritastellapress.com for updates.


  1. Swooning never entered my mind... but it seems to have been quite effective at times. Very much looking forward to your new book, Rita!

  2. Thanks Margaret. I just had to have a dose of reality. Yes, I should get the galley proof in a couple of days.

  3. Hi Rita, Congrats on your upcoming release! :) When will it be available on Kindle?

  4. Rita, congrats on the new book. You made me chuckle about the swooning. Not as romantic in reality.

  5. Hi Rita, I enjoyed your comments on the swooning! Not really very romantic or attractive if you think of it! All the best for your new book. It's an exciting time.