For the month of December–with bonus posts on November 30 and January 1!–I am delighted to welcome a wonderful assortment of guest bloggers to take over the helm. Please enjoy their generous contributions to the blog this month. My own bloggery will resume January 2. I wish you and yours happiness and health this holiday season. Please note: comments are disabled until my return.
In Which Author Heather Webb Takes Over My Blog to Gush About Josephine Bonaparte
I’m delighted to be here at Deanna’s blog—and during such a festive month of the year. December was a big month for Josephine Bonaparte, the heroine of my upcoming novel BECOMING JOSEPHINE, about the woman who stole Napoleon’s heart and enchanted an empire.
What I love about Josephine
To write any historical, an author spends hundreds of hours researching and spending time with the person or setting they’re writing about. Josephine had so many enchanting qualities that drew me in–her grace and generosity, her ability to reinvent herself again and again during an insanely volatile time, and her sauciness. Not to mention she was one of the biggest fashion icons in history. (If you’d like to see pictures of her gowns and jewels, check out my Pinterest boards HERE—live link http://www.pinterest.com/msheatherwebb/josephine-bonaparte/) Did I mention Josephine’s sauciness? The woman had so many scandals associated with her name and all that grandeur and greatness—how could I not be intrigued?
December, a Time for Memories & Celebrations—Good and bad
Some of the major events of Josephine’s life took place in December. On…
December 13, 1779—Rose Tascher (aka Josephine) married her first husband on this cold, dreary day in December—an omen of what was to come between them.
December 24, 1800—The Bonapartes were headed to listen to a Christmas Eve performance of Haydn’s opera. Josephine, choosing a new shawl à l’égyptienne to adorn her risqué gown, made them late and rode in separate carriage with her daughter Hortense and her sister-in-law in a carriage behind Napoleon and his consort. Her love of fashion saved her life. In a plot to assassinate Napoléon, a team of men set up explosives in the street Saint-Nicaise. Napoléon had already escaped to safety. But when the explosion detonated, Josephine’s carriage was badly damaged and the trio barely escaped death. She continued on to the opera house as per Napoleon’s orders to put on a brave face for his people. I can only imagine what was going through Josephine’s head that night…As a matter of fact, in the novel, I did imagine it!
December 2nd 1804—On this day, Josephine and Napoléon were crowned Empress and Emperor of France and the European empire at the famous church, Notre Dame de Paris. Louis David, famous painter of the era, captured the moment in this lovely painting, now hanging in the Louvre. An exact replica of the painting, also painted by David, can be found in one of the bedrooms at Versailles.
For Me December is Special Because…
December 30th is my birthday! Fondue, massive amounts of chocolate ganache, and champagne will be consumed this year. Josephine would heartily approve—especially of the sugary treats.
December 31, 2013 is the official release date of BECOMING JOSEPHINE published by Plume, an imprint of Penguin. Be sure to check my website for touring and book club information HERE (live link—http://www.HeatherWebbAuthor.com).
About the Book:
Rose sails from Martinique to Paris to trade her plantation ways and Creole black magic culture for love and adventure. But her haughty Parisian husband dashes her hopes when he abandons her amid the tumult of the French Revolution.
Through her savoir faire, Rose secures her footing in high society, reveling in handsome men and glitzy balls—until the heads of her friends begin to roll.
After narrowly escaping death in the blood-drenched cells of Les Carmes prison, she reinvents herself as Josephine, a socialite of status and power. Yet her youth is fading, and Josephine must choose between a precarious independence and the unwelcome love of an awkward suitor. Little does she know, he would become the most powerful man of his century—Napoleon Bonaparte.
BECOMING JOSEPHINE is a novel of one woman’s journey to find eternal love and stability, and ultimately to find herself.
Thank you for having me on the blog, Deanna!