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New Year, New Books: Edie Cay and Dragonblade

By Edie Cay
January 16, 2024

Image Caption: Lucy Walker and her father Frank Walker in the front row. Lucy Walker was the first woman to summit the Matterhorn in 1871, the sixteenth successful ascent.

I’m writing a whole new series for the historical romance publisher Dragonblade called The Ladies Alpine Society. This makes me officially a “hybrid” author, meaning that I both self-publish and publish with an outside press. I’m very excited to work with them, and I’ve already turned in the first in this series of four books.

Of course, the series is about a group of young women pushing the norms of what is acceptable for women to do–climb mountains! Like all my work, these women are rooted in real history. As a very basic, beginning climber, I found it inspiring that some of the best climbers I encountered were young women. And I realized that women (once again), have contributed to the sport of alpine climbing (and rock climbing) in some major ways and have not gotten the recognition for those achievements. An obvious one to history-drop (like name-dropping, only FACTS): a woman created the first climbing harness. She was a real character.

The series is set in the Victoria era, from 1866-1871. We follow four women, determined in their own ways, to climb the Matterhorn. The first book, IN KNOTS OVER YOU, comes out in August 2024. It follows Eleanor Piper, 25, the daughter of merchant captain who made wise decisions and helped the Crown during the American Civil War (some English merchants bet on the Confederacy because of cotton, and were forced to pay restitution to the United States at the end of the Civil War). Eleanor’s father hopes for an honorary title, but doesn’t receive one, so instead, he thrusts his much-ignored daughter into Society. Eleanor’s best friend is a one-eyed, profanity-laced, bushy-eyebrowed sea captain, who has taught her every knot he knows. When, at the first occasion, a young lady’s ribbon falls apart on her dress, Eleanor is handily hiding in the ladies lounge and can help. She first ties an elegant butterfly knot, but when the young lady doesn’t care for butterflies, she executes a beautiful geometric infinity sign. Little does Eleanor realize that the young lady is Miss Ophelia Bridewell, daughter of the viscount Rascomb, and head of the Ladies Alpine Society. Against Eleanor’s protestations, Ophelia and her best friend, Justine “Bad News” Brewer, insist she become a member. Ophelia’s older brother, Tristan, also spots Eleanor that evening, but for entirely different reasons. He’s the second son–with no real job, no real role to play. So he supports his sister, as he loves to climb mountains like the rest of his family. He’s happy to help with the training of the ladies for their practice climb on Ben Nevis in Scotland, but is dismayed when shy Eleanor starts attending the Society’s meetings.

The Society must, above all else, maintain a spotless reputation, otherwise, none of Ophelia’s future writings and achievements will garner the career she so desperately wants. One that is so difficult for a woman to achieve. But Tristan can bide his time and do things properly. Probably. Sort of. Well, let’s put it at 50/50.

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Edie Cay

Written by Edie Cay

Edie Cay writes award-winning feminist Regency Romance about women’s boxing and relatable misfits. She is a member of the Regency Fiction Writers, the Historical Novel Society, ALLi, and a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. You can drop her a line on Facebook and Instagram @authorediecay or find her on her website, www.ediecay.com

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1 Comment

  1. Anne M Beggs

    How very exciting! Can’t wait to read these.

    Reply

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