Thursday, November 1, 2018

Blog Tour: Carols and Chaos by Cindy Anstey — Guest Post + Giveaway (INTL)

Carols and Chaos
Cindy Anstey
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: October 9th 2018
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult

A lady’s maid and a valet become entangled in a yuletide counterfeiting scheme in this romantic Christmas YA adventure.

1817. The happy chaos of the Yuletide season has descended upon the country estate of Shackleford Park in full force, but lady’s maid Kate Darby barely has the time to notice. Between her household duties, caring for her ailing mother, and saving up money to someday own a dress shop, her hands are quite full. Matt Harlow is also rather busy. He’s performing double-duty, acting as valet for both of the Steeple brothers, two of the estate’s holiday guests.

Falling in love would be a disaster for either of them. But staving off their feelings for each other becomes the least of their problems when a devious counterfeiting scheme reaches the gates of Shackleford Park, and Kate and Matt are unwittingly swept up in the intrigue. Full of sweetness, charm, and holiday shenanigans, Carols and Chaos is perfect for fans of Jane Austen and Downton Abbey.

Guest Post:

Why Regency? by Cindy Anstey

The Regency Period took place in England between 1811 and 1820 when King George was declared mad and his son was appointed his Regent. It is a fascinating era, full of contrasts; the upper echelons of society lived in luxury and yet were expected to behave within a very ridged framework of rules—especially young ladies. (Rules were decidedly more lax after marriage and the birth of ‘an heir and a spare.’) The lower classes lived in very harsh conditions where the mortality rate was very high; their rules were more about survival.

The main characters in Carols and Chaos sit in the middle of the Regency ‘class’ road. They work below stairs—meaning they are servants in a large, country manor house. It was a bit of a challenge, coming up with ways for my main characters, Kate and Matt, to investigate a footman’s disappearance as their duties kept them quite busy. Fortunately, Christmas brings its own chaos—everything is off kilter: extra baking/special treats, decorating and family visits—and rules can be bent a little. However, society in general was changing; becoming more accepting in some ways and more judgmental in other.

It is this dichotomy that attracts me to the Regency time period; it allows me to point out the absurdities of their social norms. For example: married couples would address one another formally by their last name in company. Strangers had to be introduced by an acquaintance before they could have a conversation—even if it was about something as innocuous as the weather. Girls wore virginal white and then dampened their dresses until they were semi-transparent. And servants were called by the name of the previous person in their position, that way the mistress and master of the house would not be required to remember a different name. Morning calls were often in the afternoon and only for fifteen or so minutes. The Regency period

is rife with pretty bonnets and horses. It’s as good a reason as any to set a novel in the Regency period.

So, while the lives of my characters are recognizable to the modern reader, the way they lived is novel (pun intended).

Author Bio:
Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found–actually, not found–adventuring around the world with her hubby.
She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.
Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester.



  1. This book sounds so cute! And I love Downton Abbey, so this is right up my alley!

  2. Thanks for hosting today, Stephanie! :)

  3. Oh this sounds so good! Cannot wait to read all the holiday shenanigans! :)


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