Double the Love: How to get even more out of your love of historical romance novels

By Lindsey Teske

The author (Lindsey Teske) with Period Images’ model Connor Floyd. Used with permission.

I love curling up with a historical romance novel, especially on a chilly winter evening. Yes, I’m a reader, editor, and publisher of historical romance, but mostly I’m a lover. A quick peek into my closet shows that most of my dresses are from a different century. If you are ready to travel beyond the page, I’m happy to guide you into the HR lifestyle.

You can start with a simple click. Head to your favorite author’s website and sign up for her email newsletter to hear about her current research, book sales and fun happenings. GoodReads is a site designed specifically for readers. Here you can track your reading, leave reviews, and discover new titles.

Social media offers great opportunities to interact with fellow fans and authors in the comfort of your fuzzy slippers. Annabelle Anders leads a delightful Facebook group called A Regency House Party. She hosts author interviews, book giveaways, and light-hearted historical games.

I enjoy participating in the author follow loops on Instagram like #authorfollowfriday to discover new voices. The best part about social media is you can get as specific as you like. For example, you could just collect Victorian ballgowns on Pinterest or see Austen quotes on Twitter.

When you are ready really to live the life, check out the events calendar of the local museums and historic houses you already adore. They often have casual tea parties or costumed volunteer opportunities. While you wait for the next event you might try a new historic hobby like calligraphy, dressmaking or English riding. I’m taking fencing lessons this year and am enjoying them immensely. So far, it’s a lot like ballet, but with a sword.

While hobbies are nice, nothing is quite as thrilling as a brand-new book. If you enjoy writing reviews, there are several sites that will give you new releases for free. Hidden Gems Books, BookSprout , and NetGalley are a few places to start. Reviews help authors get visibility and give readers more information when they choose their next book.

The ultimate indulgence is a historic romance reader event. I had the time of my life at The Historic Romance Retreat in California. I got to wear the clothing, dance the dances and even pose with a cover model. There are similar events around the country including Romancing Williamsburg, Romancing the Gold Coast, and the Jane Austen Festival. This year, I’m thrilled to be headed to the Book Lovers Conference in Nashville, which celebrates all things romance. I’d be delighted if you stopped by my table to say hello.

Whichever way you choose to indulge your love of historical romance, we salute you!

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