Home > Dancing the Maypole, Feeling Creative, General, Ghost stories, I've been thinking > Dancing the Maypole is on my website…

Dancing the Maypole is on my website…

March 29th, 2013
The real Adderbury House in Adderbury Oxfordshire

The real Adderbury House in Adderbury Oxfordshire!

Dear members of Regency Romance Novels.com

I’ve finished Dancing the Maypole and it’s on my website ready to read (all fifty-one chapters). For those of you who prefer e-books Smashwords has approved it. For those who might not have noticed, the Goblin has redesigned my website. It now shrinks down to fit all hand held devices that connect to the internet. I hope you enjoy long stories. Dancing the Maypole is twice the length of my other novels. On the Goblin’s iphone it came out as over 1500 pages (but those are tiny pages). In a paperback the book would be about five hundred pages. I would have liked it to be shorter, but the story had other ideas.

Dancing the Maypole follows on from The Hired Wife. A year older, the five Smirke brothers have decided it’s time to help their father find a wife. Knowing Peter Smirke will be attending a house party they put an ad in all the papers. They assume they’ll have at least a week and a half to interview applicants before their father returns to give them his spine chilling glare.

When I started the story, I knew by the end of chapter two that the title would be Dancing the Maypole. Dancing around a maypole is an old European custom that stretches back into pre-history. Originally Pagan, it was a celebration of May day. The dance is performed around a pole or a tree cut down and trimmed for the occasion. In recent times multi coloured ribbons were attached to the top of the pole and each dancer would hold one ribbon. The dancers then dance…half going one way, the other half going the other…and the ribbons entwine around the pole.

The heroine, Isabel de Bourbon, is a tall woman so she is what some unkindly term, a maypole, but half way through the story I realised that the maypole being danced was something bigger. The story is a romance novel, but it’s also about the weaving of the generations. We often think that our choices alone define us, but really it’s a combination of our choices and the choices of our parents/ancestors (both genetic and adopted). Our great to the tenth grandparents made decisions that genetically and emotionally affect us today. All these layers of stories woven together make up our story. I find that utterly fascinating.

Happy Reading!

Even if you’re not a member, the first ten chapters are free to read here.

  1. Sariah Ryland
    March 29th, 2013 at 22:58 | #1

    Just in time for holidays – Thanks I know what I am going to be reading….. Happy Easter

  2. Sariah
    March 30th, 2013 at 09:41 | #2

    The wait was worth it! Thanks for a totally awesome book – truly loved the ending.

  3. Fatna
    March 31st, 2013 at 02:40 | #3

    I was wondering when the book will arrive on Barnse and Nobles?

  4. April 1st, 2013 at 07:41 | #4

    Thanks Sariah! I loved the ending too! It took me a while to get it right, but I finally listened to the story and did what I was told.

  5. April 1st, 2013 at 07:55 | #5

    Hello Fatna, Good question! I hope it doesn’t take long. I’m hoping it be longer than a day or two. I thought it would be up by now, but I just checked and it’s not yet up. The Goblin just came in and told me to check Smashwords. Apparently the book is still “pending review” whatever that means. We’re at the mercy of machines!

  6. April 1st, 2013 at 07:56 | #6

    @Sariah Ryland
    Thanks Sariah! Happy Easter to you too…and Happy Reading! 🙂

  7. avis
    April 3rd, 2013 at 01:06 | #7

    As always, you rock Cari. Your stories are never ‘just funny, enjoyable stories.’ They are so much more. Dancing The Maypole is, Philosophy: life, love, nature, well-meaning, loving but interfering children, and Lucius- he is the steward.
    Whimsy: fun, playful, the fickleness of a good romance and, Cecil and Iris Bedingfield.
    Metaphysics: faith, hope, Pierre, Ma Belle,and ‘the agent romantique 1680.
    What would Peter do, the whole Smirke clan for that matter, should it turn out that my darling Cosmo falls in love with a–a–man? Would Lucius be the one to sniff out that secret and finally get himself an estate? Or would Cosmo just blurt it out to his brothers?
    Seriously now, interesting how Lucius was the only other person who was truly attuned to Peter’s troubled conscience. Like Cosmo, he too is hurting and is in some form of despair. How will his life turn out, Cari?
    Dancing The Maypole is a must read for everyone. Never a dull second when the Smirkes are around. Love them!

  8. April 3rd, 2013 at 10:23 | #8

    Hello Avis, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!! I adore the Smirke family. I wish I could visit them (I’d even sleep and eat with the servants). When I write I generally have no idea what’s going to happen. It’s like taking dictation. I only know what I’ve heard or seen in my head as the story unfolds; anything under the surface is subconscious. I think each story is a message to me from that part of the brain that conjures up dreams. I write to find out what happens, but each story ends up teaching me something about myself or about humanity. (I spend a lot of time pondering why people do what they do or why they’ve done what they’ve done).

    Ah Cosmo, I wish he was my son. The poor lad has never recovered from his mother’s rejection. His love language is quality time and he doesn’t get enough…hence his constant complaining that no one spends any time with him. If you’ve ever taken the Myers Brigg Personality Test, Cosmo is an ISFJ. Peter is an ISTJ. (You can type the four letters into Google and you’ll find the profiles). Peter’s head rules his heart (generally speaking), but Cosmo’s heart rules his head otherwise they’re very similar in how they view the world (too similar). Peter’s love language is gifts so he shows his children that he loves them by giving them things they want. One on One quality time doesn’t have the same emotional meaning to him so it doesn’t have the same value. (I LOVE that book by Gary Chapman, The Five Love Languages). Cosmo will find love; I’ve met her (her name is Olivia). She’s very intelligent (a rare ENTP). Cosmo’s saving grace is that he’s grown up surrounded by smart intuitive people. They’re the norm!

    Lucius…he just walked onto the page and I was like…Oh my…another Smirke! I’ve been thinking about his story a lot. Whatever happens, to be able to love his heart will have to go through the mill. I think his problem is that he doesn’t love himself. Without self-love we can’t love anyone else. Or in the Maypole parlay, he has to learn how to feel big even as a servant before he can be the big man in charge. I look forward to finding out what happens! 🙂

  9. avis
    April 5th, 2013 at 18:49 | #9


    Well, I’ll be . . . MBTI in character development? You are just genius. Is this something many authors do?

    More than a decade ago that test tagged me an ISTP– ever since I feel justified / vindicated with my habit to overthink a thing into oblivion while digging in my heels like the rock of Gibraltar. (giggle)

    I agree with you about Lucius but why do you think he was able to see agent 1680 when no one else could (other than Peter of course)? It would be interesting to know if he comes to that realization which may lead to him losing the bitterness creeping up on him.

    In any case, I so am looking forward to reading my dear Cosmo’s story someday. Thank you for allowing readers like me to be able read a romance story with thought.

  10. April 6th, 2013 at 18:52 | #10

    You make me laugh! I can’t imagine authors not using the Myers Brigg if they’ve taken it. It’s such an amazing tool. If you know the character’s personality you know how they see the world, how they’ll likely react in certain situations and how they think and what they value. When I first took it at nineteen I came out an EXXP (which means I have a split personality between SP, NF and NT (depending on who I’m with and what I’m doing). Think of a pie with three equal pieces. It took me years to figure out the difference between concrete thinking and intuitive thinking, but now I can feel the difference. It’s like being bi-lingual, except I can only speak and understand one language at a time. Depending on which mode I’m in, words take on completely different meanings. I wouldn’t understand myself (let alone anyone else) if I hadn’t taken the Myers Brigg (thanks to my friend Jen)!

    I think my Mom is an ISTP. She’s a brilliant artist, but she’s also a great tools person. My dad could barely hammer a nail into a wall without losing a limb, but my mom could build things (not that the steps or walls were ever really finished because she’d get bored and move onto new more exciting projects). Her biggest unfinished project was the front yard fence. We lived on a corner lot. The sidewalk reached the corner from one side. For some reason she decided to make a three foot high fence supported by 3-4in wooden posts. She got as far as digging all the post holes a yard apart. The wooden poles remained piled up somewhere (maybe she eventually used them as fire wood), but the holes remained…booby traps hidden all around the perimeter camouflaged by the grass. I don’t know how many times I nearly broke my ankle stepping in one of those stupid holes. It never occurred to me to fill in the holes probably because I had my own more exciting projects to work on…stories to write…pictures to draw…a whole library of books to read! She does finish things, but only if she’s really enjoying herself or she knows she’s going to be paid.

    I think Lucius can see Agent1680 because the Agent has been assigned to help Lucius, but for some reason the Agent has not yet been informed. (the paperwork has gone missing!)

    I hope you’re having a lovely weekend! Thanks for making me laugh. 🙂

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