Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Corset Capers

By Killarney Sheffield (Guest Blogger)


I am historical romance author Killarney Sheffield. I am delighted to be here today! As a historical romance author I share something in common with all of you. I love corsets! Corsets are a big part of history and historical romances. After all, all Regency, Victorian and Georgian ladies wore them. In addition to wearing them, getting in and out of them often proved exasperating, and a whole lot of fun to write about as an author.

Corsets come is all shapes and sizes, colors and materials. I recently saw an amazing hand embroidered one of mint green silk with pink panels and tiny fuchsia flowers sewn on it. I also came across one in black patterned with bright red roses, so well sewn that the pattern matched up perfectly when fastened. And don’t get me started on the lacings! I even discovered there is a right and a wrong way to tie the laces. Go figure!

Something that really surprised me during my research was the fact that women in the Regency, Georgian and Victorian era often wore a pregnancy corset. Women tried to hide their pregnancies as long as possible back then to avoid having to ‘lay in’, in other words retire to the country and not be seen in public until after the baby was born. The thought of compressing ones stomach like that with a growing fetus inside was horrifying.

I myself have worn a corset on exactly two occasions, my wedding day and at a large book award ceremony a few years ago. Being a farm gal I don’t have much call for a corset I suppose, it would be awfully uncomfortable to try and feed the horses and cattle in one I am thinking. However, because I write about periods in history where all women wore them they are something I have gotten a chance to admire on many occasion, especially now with the upcoming release of my 19th historical romance called, Corseting The Earl. An Earl in a corset you say? Highly unlikely and very unconventional I know, but trust me, I had a blast putting him in one! A little womanly payback to the male species is always fun, am I right? 



Pippa Nickle is a merchant’s daughter who has made a grave mistake. When the chance to leave her little town to help with a cousin’s nuptials arises, Pippa hops on a mail coach grateful the trip will buy her some time to figure out what to do about her predicament. That is until she ends up seated across from a Mrs. Percephany Doyale who is not exactly what she appears.

Lord Heath Sedgewick has been put in charge of finding the ringleader to the corrupt faction willing to kill to put Queen Charlotte on the throne. When he meets Miss Pippa Nickle he is hard pressed to decide if she is a friend, or a foe. Either way, falling for the doe eyed girl is not part of his mission.

Can Pippa be trusted to keep Heath’s secret? Or will falling in love expose them both?


Could we please not talk about it?” Pippa held up a corset of black satin, whalebone and threaded with bright yellow ribbon. “I would rather forget it all happened.”

That will be mighty hard in a few months’ time.”

Be that as it may, I refuse to think any more on the subject, or discuss it with the likes of you.” She thrust the corset into his hands. “Put this around your middle.”

He eyed the contraption in his hands as if it were going to bite. “You are not serious?”

You can never hope to fit into your gowns without a corset. They are made for a woman after all and you…” She swallowed, her cheeks heating. “do not have any, ah, curves.”

Holding the material betwixt his thumb and index finger he lay it against his flat stomach. “Man was not designed to have curves,” he groused.

Pippa snickered. “Be a big boy now.” She made quick work of the lacings and braced her foot in the small of his back. “Now exhale.” When he let out a whoosh of breath she pulled as hard as she could on the laces and cinched them up tight.

Dear God,” Heath grunted. “No wonder women… are always fainting. How does one… breathe… in this thing?”

With great difficulty,” she snapped, tossing the gown over his head.

Heath adjusted the two rolls of cloth supposed to resemble breasts in the chemise before tugging the high neckline of the dress in place. “Do you think these breasts are too small?”

Pippa snorted. “I am sure I would not have an appropriate opinion on the subject, Sir.”

He gave her a quizzical look. “Why not? You are a woman after all.”

Her face heated. “Do you go around ogling other men’s, ah, attributes?”

Drawing himself up tall he shot her a wounded look. “Certainly not! What do you take me for? One of those reprobates who like young boys?”

Well you are wearing a dress, Sir.” She snickered.

He let out a huff of air. “Well, that aside, no I have never leered over another man.”

Good for you.” Shaking her head she fastened the buttons down the back of the dress. “And in answer to your absurd question, the size of one’s breasts are neither here, nor there a consideration. After all I am afraid us women are stuck with what the good Lord gave us.”

Hum… ‘Tis truly a shame the good Lord is so generous with some and meager with others. I myself think these need be a little larger. I mean to draw the eye from my face.” Heath turned sideways in the mirror, studying his profile with a thoughtful expression.

I do believe you have crossed into inappropriate subject matter again, Sir. I must say it is beginning to be an awful habit, and more than a little disconcerting.” Pippa looked away and busied herself tidying up the room.

Well, I am only trying to be a convincing specimen of the female persuasion. How can I hope to cajole any useful information out of a man without a tempting distraction now?”

Pippa made a face at him in the mirror. “You could try using your brain; most women have those, I hear.”

~ ~ ~

Corseting the Earl will release on the 13th of April, but you can pre-order your copy today: 

Leave me a comment below, and I will enter you into a drawing for a copy of Kidnapping the Duke, another of my historical romps. Be sure to include your email address in the comment!


About Killarney Sheffield

Killarney is a Canadian prairie farm gal. Corseting The Earl is her 19th published historical romance novel. In addition to penning romances she breeds Appendix Quarter Horses, raises a family of 5 kids, rescues horses and is often found wrangling the cats and reading.

Historical romance author Killarney Sheffield.

Facebook: Killarney’s Kozy Book Korner
Twitter: @authorkillarney
Books available online Amazon, Itunes, B&N, and anywhere ebooks and paperbacks are sold and in paperback at your local Chapters, Coles and Indigo stores.


Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Killarney,

I was away most of the week, but I'd like to welcome you back to Beyond Romance, a bit late!

This sounds like a really fun book!

Killarney said...

Hi Lisabet! Thanks for having me! I have been tied up (no pun intended) with an injured broodmare these last couple weeks and the sudden unexpected release of my first post-apocalyptic romance The Emperor's Concubine. (The first reviews in are raving!). I feel a bit like a zombie right now lol!

Killarney said...

Hi Lisabet! Thanks for having me! I have been tied up (no pun intended) with an injured broodmare these last couple weeks and the sudden unexpected release of my first post-apocalyptic romance The Emperor's Concubine. (The first reviews in are raving!). I feel a bit like a zombie right now lol!

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