Guest Post & Giveaway: Susan Dennard

12:35 AM

I'm so excited to welcome Susan Dennard, author of Something Strange and Deadly, to Harley Bear Book Blog!  Thank you Susan for taking time out of your busy schedule to do a guest post!

On this blog tour stop, she will be telling us a little about the main characters in her book and what they wore.  Something Strange and Deadly takes place in 1876 so fashion showed your social status and gender.  

I wish I had seen this post before I read the book so I could picture the characters even more clearly.  If you want to see what I thought about the book my review can be found here.  Don't forget to scroll down and enter the GIVEAWAY!

One of the most fun things to research for Something Strange and Deadly was the fashion--at least for
Eleanor. Men's fashion in Victorian days was rather drab. Frock coats, top hats, and a nice tie--boooring.

Fortunately, my three main characters in men's garb are so different, they demand different styles. For Joseph
Boyer--leader of the Spirit-Hunters and son of a plantation owner--only the finest, most elegant clothes will do.

And, as a young gentleman, he would never leave home without his top hat, nor would
he EVER be seen without his gloves. He's a firm believer in cleanliness being next to godliness.

Jie Chen, the Spirit-Hunters' "muscle", said good-bye to Chinese garb in favor of an
American boy's fashion. Trousers, a waist coat--or more often, just suspenders--and a bright red tie leave this brawl-loving character happy...and more importantly, mobile enough to knock skulls when needed.

In fact, the only thing still Chinese about Jie--other than the lovely facial structure, of
course--is the Manchu Queue, which was required for all Chinese men (punishable by death!) and leaves the front
half of the head bald with a long braid behind.

As for Daniel Sheridan--the inventor for the Spirit-Hunters'--fashion is about as important
to him as...well, snowfall in Antarctica (not at all, in other words). That said, he does care what people
think of him, so he's been known to clean up on occasion. But, when it comes to working in the lab, he's most
comfortable in loose trousers and a baggy white shirt--collar scandalously unbuttoned at the top and hands
glove-free (gasp!).
Oh, and we can't forget his flat cap--which he never leaves the lab without. I imagine it
looking exactly like this:
Daniel would NEVER be seen in public without least not in book 1. In A
Darkness Strange and Lovely
, well...let's just say, things change.
Finally, we have the heroine of the story, Miss Eleanor Fitt of the
Philadelphia Fitts. Though she was born into privilege, her family has fallen on some seriously hard times. No more
new wardrobe each season; no more scouring the pages of Godey's and Harper's
for a new walking gown; and no more worrying about which parasol would look best with which hat.
I had so much fun finding somewhat plain--though still stunning--gowns for
Eleanor since she needs things that will stay as timeless as she can make them. Even though she may
not care about fashion, her Mama does as well as all the people in her social circle. When the book opens, she's
wears something like:
And then later on, she gets to dress up all fancy like this:
But by the end of the book, Eleanor has pretty much taken to no corsets...and no skirts
even! (It's not like it's easy to fight the dead in layers of petticoats and bustle!) Yet, by the end of the
trilogy, Eleanor has gone back to skirts because--despite her love of mobility--she's still a curvy young woman and proud of it. I imagine her dressing in something of her own design, similar to this image by anndr on Deviantart:
Oh, and let's not forget her parasol--the perfect protection against the sun
and zombies! As Jie teaches her, Aim for the Knees!

You tell me:
What do you think of Victorian fashion? Are you a
fan of all the ladies' frills or more into the simplicity of men's clothes?

I love dresses and am glad that girls are starting to wear them again.  Not sure if I'd like to wear one with all the frills every day though.  I don't like corsets so I would probably be like Eleanor and complain about it all the time.  The men's clothes are nice.  Daniel's hat reminds me of what Noah (Ryan Gosling) wears in The Notebook lol so of course I like that!  What do you guys think?

Susan, thank you again for stopping by! 
I can't wait to find out what happens next for the spirit hunters in book 2!

Check out other blog tour stops at Itching for Books
or enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Spotlight:

Susan Dennard is a reader, writer,
lover of animals, and eater of cookies.

She is a writer turned marine biologist turned
writer again. Among the traits she shares with
her heroine Eleanor are a weakness for
Shakespeare quotes, a healthy appetite for
baked goods, and an insatiable curiosity.
Sadly, Susan does not get to wear a corset or
wave a parasol on a daily basis.
She lives in Germany with her French husband
and Irish setter, and you can learn more about

her crazy thoughts and crippling cookie-addiction on her blog, twitter, facebook, or Goodreads. Something Strange and Deadly is her debut novel.

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