Gaslight Gathering 6: The Photos!

It’s Monday, and I’m almost recovered from this weekend’s crazy incredible Gaslight Gathering 6 in San Diego. The monster panels with Gail Carriger and David Lee Summers were fantastic, and definitely a high point for me. Meeting the lovely people who stopped by the Traveling Suitcase of Swag at the Floating Flea Market and Victor Von Frankenstein’s Monster Ball were others.

In fact, I was having so much fun that I forgot to take photos most of the time, but I do have a few to share. So let’s get started…

 

Gail Carriger Corset

Lovely Gail Carriger is not only a master storyteller, but darn crafty when it comes to embellishing a corset. Yes, those are real teaspoons and they are magnificent!

Dude Vader at Gaslight Gathering 6

Dude Vader made another appearance this year in all his Steampunk-styled, toy-inspired glory.

Teapot Racers at Gaslight Gathering 6

I didn’t realize Tea Pot Racing is the sport I’ve been waiting for all my life. Honestly, how can you resist all that cuteness?

splash at Gaslight Gathering 6

The SPLASH Water Ballet was back this year and better than ever. The choreography was set to the Flash Gordon theme, and, yes, it was awesome.

Ruby Gloom Purse

This young lady melted my heart with her Ruby Gloom purse. Can you believe she was the only one in the audience at Sunday’s monster panel familiar with Ruby Gloom? I couldn’t either 🙂

Mr. Steampunk Pokemon

This dapper gentleman is perfectly outfitted to play a Steampunk version of Pokemon Go, with Poke Balls and a catcher. But wait, there’s more….

Mrs Steampunk Pokemon and the Cthulini

His lovely wife is the keeper of the ultra-rare Cthul-ini monster. She created them all, he says, in less than two weeks. That, people, is the sign of a true maker genius.

Hope you enjoyed the pics. If you were at Gaslight, share some of your favorite moments in the comments section.

Happy reading,

DeAnna

THE GIRL ON THE VAUDEVILLE STAGE Is Officially Out: Launch Day Sale!

The Girl on the Vaudeville Stage by DeAnna CameronTHE GIRL ON THE VAUDEVILLE STAGE

(The Dancer Chronicles, Book 2)

$3.99 ebook
Get it TODAY for 99 cents!


(FREE on Kindle Unlimited)

The magic that happens onstage is only half the story. Go behind the red curtain, and follow Pepper’s wild vaudeville adventure…

New York City in 1907 is a wonderland of endless possibilities for anyone who dares to dream, and no one has bigger dreams than young Pepper MacClair, a struggling vaudeville chorus girl who craves the Broadway limelight.

When Pepper must choose between the love of her life and her beloved Chance Theatre, a run-down venue well past its prime and her home for as long as she can remember, she’ll discover real life doesn’t always go according to script.

She’s left heartbroken and betrayed. But as the larger world changes around her and she is pulled into the intrigues of the city’s elite, it is her last hope, not only to fulfill her dream, but to follow her heart.


THE GIRL ON THE VAUDEVILLE STAGE is a richly drawn historical tale that takes readers behind the scenes of the exuberant, exciting, and often eccentric world of early New York vaudeville and one woman’s romantic journey to find the life she craves and the love she deserves — with a little help from the legendary showman Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.


Rating: PG

 

*** This book was formerly published as DANCING AT THE CHANCE ***

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2dL7Cl8

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Historical-Romance-Vaudeville-Dreams-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01LXFY971

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Historical-Romance-Vaudeville-Dreams-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01LXFY971

Amazon AUS: https://www.amazon.ca/Historical-Romance-Vaudeville-Dreams-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01LXFY971

THE DANCER CHRONICLES is a series of stand-alone novels featuring young women destined for passion and fame. Step into their heart-warming stories of love and discovery, where there’s never a cliff-hanger ending and always an uplifiting happily-ever-after.

 

Happy reading!
DeAnna

Ready for Gaslight Gathering

Gaslight Gathering 5 friends and family

Friends and family at Gaslight Gathering 5 in 2015.

It’s almost here… It’s almost here… IT’S ALMOST HERE! 

Come Saturday morning, the Cameron crew and I will be heading out to Gaslight Gathering, a steampunk and neo-Victoriana convention, at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego, for another weekend full of turn-of-the-last-century goodness.

This will be our fifth year in attendance, and I think it might just be the best one yet because my favorite steampunk author, Gail Carriger, will be in attendance. Will I be able to keep it together when we’re on the author panels together? I honestly don’t know. There’s a seriously good chance I’ll melt into a sticky pile of fan-girl goop the minute she walks into the room. We’ll have to see…

The Dancer Chronicles traveling suitcase of swag for Gaslight Gathering.

The Dancer Chronicles traveling suitcase of swag for Gaslight Gathering.

If you’re planning to attend the event and want to check out the panels, here are the details:

SATURDAY 1-2PM – Zombies, Vampires, and Ghosts – What Are Your Favorite Monsters? – a panel that explores different monsters and paranormal creatures who have appeared in steampunk books. Which ones work best? Which are your favorite? Which didn’t work so well in both literature and the cinema! – Gail Carriger, David Lee Summers and DeAnna Cameron – Garden Salon One

SUNDAY Noon-1PM – Taking the Horror Out of Monsters – Not all monsters are monstrous. Some monsters are darn near lovable. Share who are your favorite monsters and why you like them better than certain people. – Gail Carriger, David Lee Summers and DeAnna Cameron – Garden Salon One

And if you stop by the FLOATING FLEA MARKET (10AM-Noon in the Le Chanticleer Room), I’ll be giving away some free stuff to celebrate my Victorian girls (THE GIRL ON THE MIDWAY STAGE and THE GIRL ON THE VAUDEVILLE STAGE). 

 

 

THE GIRL ON THE VAUDEVILLE STAGE #Novel #Inspiration: Sweet Pancakes Recipe

Have you seen the PBS show “Taste of History” with Chef Walter Staib, where he re-creates meals from colonial America? It’s one of my favorites, and it has inspired me to track down recipes from my own favorite era in American history – the late Victorian and early Edwardian years.

My first discovery in that search was “The Myrtle Reed Cookbook,” published posthumously by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in 1916, which pulls together the author’s earlier cookbooks. Books with such charmingly simple and straightforward names as “What to Have for Breakfast,” “How to Cook Meat and Poultry,” and “One Thousand Salads.”

I have been working my way through the book, and one section in particular that caught my attention was one devoted to pancakes. This is Myrtle Reed’s introduction to that topic:

“The edible varieties of pancakes are readily distinguished from the poisonous growths. The harmless ones are healthful and nutritious and grow in private kitchens. The dark, soggy, leaden varieties are usually to be found in restaurants, but have been known to flourish in private kitchens also.”

She goes on to explain the perfect consistency for a batter and the type of pan that should be used (“[a] soapstone griddle is best, but an iron one will do, and many a savory pancake has come from a humble frying-pan”).

She concludes with this cautionary note:

“Batter enough for one pancake should be dipped from the bowl with a cup or large spoon, as adding uncooked batter to that on the griddle even an instant after it has begun to cook will work disaster to the pancake—and the hapless mortal who eats it.”

I found Ms. Reeds’ recipes to be such a delight that it was her version of Sweet Pancakes that I was imagining when they’re mentioned in The Girl on the Vaudeville Stage.

Recently, after mail-ordering some orange-flower water, I set out to make them myself. 

 

SWEET PANCAKES

From the Myrtle Reed Cookbook

Mix two tablespoons of flour with a few drops of orange-flower water and a few grains of salt. Add the yolks of four eggs, well-beaten, and the whites of two. Fry by tablespoonfuls in butter, turning once, and sprinkling with sugar. Or, spread with Jelly, roll up, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

sweetpancakes

The result?

The recipe yielded 13 pancakes, and I can’t say they resembled anything that I have come to expect of pancakes. I would describe them as thick, small crepes. Also, the amount of orange-flower water was not nearly enough to be detected. Still, the pancakes were good and they went quickly. I had a few with just the powdered sugar, sort of like a French Quarter beignet. And before my husband could even sample them, my picky-eater 3-year-old daughter smeared them with grape jelly and finished them off.

If anyone else gives them a try, I’d love to hear how they turned out for you.

If you’re interested in seeing more inspirations for THE GIRL ON THE VAUDEVILLE STAGE, check out my Inspiration board on Pinterest.

The Girl on the Vaudeville Stage by DeAnna Cameron

THE GIRL ON THE VAUDEVILLE STAGE is a richly drawn historical tale that takes readers behind the scenes of the exuberant, exciting, and often eccentric world of early New York vaudeville and one woman’s romantic journey to find the life she craves and the love she deserves — with a little help from the legendary showman Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.

Photos by DeAnna Cameron. An earlier version of this post appeared on March 15, 2012.

 

THE GIRL ON THE VAUDEVILLE STAGE #Novel #Inspiration: Ragtime Music and More

One of the joys of writing a historical novel is getting lost in the research. Something as benign as looking up women’s fashion for a particular year or sifting through old photographs of a particular place at a particular time can lead to so many interesting and unexpected discoveries.

One of the most fascinating rabbit holes I fell down during the research of the story that became THE GIRL ON THE VAUDEVILLE STAGE had to do with the music that was performed on theater stages in 1906 and 1907. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, and especially the sidebar recommendations on YouTube, I stumbled onto all sorts of music that was popular at that time.

I spent countless hours listening to original ragtime recordings, as well as new and restored versions of the old classics. It was a joy to discover this incredible window onto the past, and I thought you might enjoy listening in on some of the recordings I refer to in the novel.

MAPLE LEAF RAG, composed and played by Scott Joplin

FROG LEGS RAG, composed by James Scott

IN MY MERRY OLDSMOBILE, sung by Billy Murray

ESPANA WALTZ, played on a music box 

DON’T LET HER LOSE HER WAY, played on a music box

I’ll share more inspiration Monday 🙂

In the meantime, check out my Inspiration board on Pinterest.

The Girl on the Vaudeville Stage by DeAnna Cameron

THE GIRL ON THE VAUDEVILLE STAGE is a richly drawn historical tale that takes readers behind the scenes of the exuberant, exciting, and often eccentric world of early New York vaudeville and one woman’s romantic journey to find the life she craves and the love she deserves — with a little help from the legendary showman Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. 

 

Frog Legs Rag sheet music cover artwork courtesy of Wikicommons.

THE GIRL ON THE VAUDEVILLE STAGE #Novel #Inspiration: Vaudeville, of Course!

The Girl on the Vaudeville Stage by DeAnna CameronHow did I come to fall in love with vaudeville? I blame it on the belly dancers.

While researching the story that became THE GIRL ON THE MIDWAY STAGE, I learned that many of the Egyptian dancers who performed at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair stayed after the fair closed and began to dance in the vaudeville circuits.

That sparked my imagination. I wondered what it must have been like for them, and how did the audiences react? I had to find out, and along the way I discovered so much more. 

For example, I thought vaudeville theaters, concert saloons, burlesque theaters and dime museums were all part of the same entertainment stew. How wrong I was!

Just as society was deeply stratified during the late 1800s and early 1900s, so was public entertainment. Vaudeville, at the time, occupied a middle ground between the lowbrow concert saloons and burlesque theaters and the posher opera houses and “legitimate” theaters. It was considered “polite entertainment.”

Despite the rigid divisions between the entertainment venues, however, the theater world was more fluid for the performers themselves. Even the biggest stars of the day—Lillian Russell, Eddie Cantor, Eve Tangua,y and the like—found themselves booked for vaudeville runs between bigger bookings, or when their popularity ebbed.

Yet it wasn’t the headliners who appealed to me as much as the performers who worked at the other end of the spectrum—the show openers and the chasers, and all the acts that filled the least desirable spots on the bill. These were performers who worked long hours in poor conditions for very little pay, and even less prestige, with the hope of one day making it big. They were people who lived on hopes and dreams and promises—and that captivated me.

I also found myself captivated by the idea that at this time in vaudeville’s evolution, before the slick productions that Florenz Ziegfeld,, Jr., and others would go on to pioneer, the magic of a theatrical production depended almost entirely on people: the performers, of course, but also the workers backstage, from the seamstresses stitching costumes to the stagehands who built the sets and then muscled them to their mark between acts.

It was a much more human endeavor than it is now, and that was the world I wanted to explore in THE GIRL ON THE VAUDEVILLE STAGE. It was a world where people could determine their own success—or failure—as well as the wonderful joys and challenges and heartaches that could bring. I wanted readers to experience this sometimes eccentric and often chaotic environment where the rules of the outside world didn’t always apply, and where individuals—performers and others—were free to rewrite the scripts of their own lives, to reinvent themselves, if they had the courage and the talent to do it. A world, I think, many of would like to inhabit, at least for a little while.

Ultimately, that’s what I came to love most about vaudeville—the courage and determination, the imagination and perseverance of the dreamers and believers who inhabited this world: the vaudevillians themselves.

I’ll share more inspiration this weekend 🙂

In the meantime, check out my Inspiration board on Pinterest.

 

The Girl on the Vaudeville Stage by DeAnna Cameron

 

THE GIRL ON THE VAUDEVILLE STAGE is a richly drawn historical tale that takes readers behind the scenes of the exuberant, exciting, and often eccentric world of early New York vaudeville and one woman’s romantic journey to find the life she craves and the love she deserves — with a little help from the legendary showman Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. 

 

 

[An earlier version of this article appeared on the Historical Tapestry blog.]

Sandow Trocadero Vaudevilles promotional poster image courtesy of Wikicommons.

The Girl on the Vaudeville Stage by DeAnna Cameron

#CoverReveal: THE GIRL ON THE VAUDEVILLE STAGE

Who’s THE GIRL ON THE VAUDEVILLE STAGE? Well, let me tell you 😉 She’s the wild and willful heroine from Dancing at The Chance, and her story has a new edit, a new title, and a fun new cover.

There’s also a new a publishing date: October 6. Just a little more than three weeks away! Wanna see the cover?

Here it is!

The Girl on the Vaudeville Stage by DeAnna Cameron

The magic that happens onstage is only half the story…

Go behind the red curtain, and follow Pepper’s wild vaudeville adventure. 

______

New York City in 1907 is a wonderland of endless possibilities for anyone who dares to dream, and no one has bigger dreams than young Pepper MacClair, a struggling vaudeville chorus girl who craves the Broadway limelight.

When Pepper must choose between the love of her life and her beloved Chance Theatre, a run-down venue well past its prime and her home for as long as she can remember, she’ll discover real life doesn’t always go according to script.

She’s left heartbroken and betrayed. But as the larger world changes around her and she is pulled into the intrigues of the city’s elite, it is her last hope, not only to fulfill her dream, but to follow her heart.

THE GIRL ON THE VAUDEVILLE STAGE is a richly drawn historical tale that takes readers behind the scenes of the exuberant, exciting, and often eccentric world of early New York vaudeville and one woman’s romantic journey to find the life she craves and the love she deserves — with a little help from the legendary Florenz Ziegfeld,

I hope you’ll head over to Goodreads and add it to your To-Read list 🙂

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31434182-the-girl-on-the-vaudeville-stage

Thanks and happy reading!

Thank You for a Great First Day for THE GIRL ON THE MIDWAY STAGE!

You guys are a fantastic bunch. Seriously. I have never had a book debut in the top 10 of an Amazon subcategory before, and that’s exactly what THE GIRL ON THE MIDWAY STAGE did yesterday, thanks to all of you!

Screen_7inME
Do you know what happens when a book hits #7 in that subcategory? It has the privilege of sitting between to Ken Follett and James Michener. Yeah, I thought that was really cool, too!Screen_7Bookshelf Do you have a friend who might be interested in the Dora’s adventures with the Egyptian belly dancers at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair? Please let them know the book will be available for 99 cents for another day.

Here’s the universal link that will take them to the Amazon store in their region: myBook.to/TheGirlOTMS

Thanks again, everybody. It was a fantastic day!

THE GIRL ON THE MIDWAY STAGE Is Officially Out: Release Day Sale!

The Girl on the Midway Stage by DeAnna CameronTHE GIRL ON THE MIDWAY STAGE

(The Dancer Chronicles, Book 1)

$3.99 ebook
Get it TODAY for 99 cents!


(FREE on Kindle Unlimited)

What happens when a nice Victorian girl meets the Egyptian belly dancers? Follow Dora’s scandalous adventure at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair…

Young bride Dora Chambers can’t wait to begin her new life in Chicago. It’s an exciting time, with the 1893 World’s Fair putting a kaleidoscope of new inventions, new cultures, and new ideas on display.

Unfortunately, those aren’t the only things on display.

The Egyptian belly dancers’ performances are stirring up a scandal, and the distasteful task of enforcing proper conduct on them has fallen to Dora as part of her initiation into the Fair’s prestigious Board of Lady Managers.

Dora’s sensibilities, however, are not so easily flustered by the dancers. She finds herself captivated by these exotic women, and by their enigmatic manager, Hossam Farouk, who makes his mistrust of her known–although his lingering glances hint at something else.

As Dora’s eyes are opened to the world beyond her own, she finds the courage to break free of her life of social expectations and self-imposed bondage, and discovers the truth about the desire and passion in her heart.


THE GIRL ON THE MIDWAY STAGE is a lush historical novel rich with authentic period detail, discovery, and romance that will sweep you up in Dora’s struggle to understand herself, her quickly changing world, and her unique journey to happiness.


Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2c0qKLa

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girl-Midway-Stage-Ambition-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01LM18MSW

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01LM18MSW

Amazon AUS: https://www.amazon.com.au/Girl-Midway-Stage-Ambition-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01LM18MSW

*** This book was formerly published as THE BELLY DANCER ***

Happy reading!
DeAnna

THE GIRL ON THE MIDWAY STAGE #Novel #Inspiration: The Egyptian Belly Dancers at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair

Views_of_the_World's_fair_and_Midway_plaisance_(1894)-14595822648

Egyptian dancers who performed at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Credit: Unknown photographer via Wikicommons.

I’ve already shared a little about the Cairo Street attraction at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, but today I’d like to elaborate on the Egyptian women dancers, along with Egyptian men musicians, who were hired to perform in the fair’s Egyptian Theatre.

An important thing to know about these performers is that they weren’t ordinary Egyptians. They were people from a distinct tribe called the Ghawazee, and they lived on the fringes of even their own society.

These were families who supported themselves by performing at weddings, saints day festivals, and other celebrations, and within the Egyptian society, this wasn’t considered an honorable profession. These people — these performers — professed the Muslim faith and spoke the same language as the larger Egyptian society, but they occupied the lowest rungs of their country’s social hierarchy.

Also, the Ghawazee social rules were quite different, not only from the Americans but also those of Egypt at the time.

These women made their living as dancers, and, if they took a husband — and they weren’t required to — he might drum for her or play some other instrument to accompany her dancing. He was a subordinate part of the act and the family structure. The women were the breadwinners, which gave them the power in the household. They made the decisions, and this afforded them a level of independence that very few American women enjoyed at this time.

Amina_72dpi

An Egyptian dancer who performed at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Credit: Unknown photographer via Wikicommons.

Another important thing to know about the Ghawazee is that in 1834, about 60 years before the fair, the government banished them from Cairo to Upper Egypt. Officially, it was in response to their practice of dancing without veils covering their faces and in a manner that wasn’t considered proper for a lady. But many have suggested it was primarily because these women simply didn’t follow the government’s rules, and in a male-dominated world like Egypt and most other countries at that time, that just wasn’t tolerated.

By the time the fair rolled around, these women were already outcasts in the own country, so I can’t imagine it surprised them when they faced more trouble in Chicago about the way they dressed, the way they danced, and basically the way they led their lives.

This is something that was written about their performances by a Mr. Hubert Howe Bancroft in “The Book of the Fair,” which published the same year as the fair.

“The dancing … is merely a series of writhing and contortions offensive to taste and disgusting to look upon.”

Strong words, but I think it’s fair to say they’re untrue.

If they were true, the Egyptian Theatre wouldn’t have been one of the fair’s biggest money-making exhibits, which it was. And, even more importantly, the legacy of what those ladies did upon that stage 120-plus years ago wouldn’t have captured the imagination of millions of men and women, and endured as a thriving art form even to this day.

It has been an amazing experience for me to research these women and to learn about them, and it was important to me to honor their legacy and share at least some of their story with readers.

In THE GIRL ON THE MIDWAY STAGE, I wanted to make the Egyptian dancers come alive for the reader and to share their unique story.

 

Thank you for spending some time with me and taking an interest in my work. If you’d like to see how all these influences come together, please check back tomorrow, when I post The Girl on the Midway Stage’s opening chapter.

In the meantime, check out my Inspiration board on Pinterest.

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The Girl on the Midway Stage Novel Inspiration

THE GIRL ON THE MIDWAY STAGE is a lush historical novel rich with authentic period detail, discovery, and romance that will sweep you up in Dora’s struggle to understand herself, her quickly changing world, and her own unique journey to happiness.