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Guest Post & Promo: "Fan Language in the Ballroom" by Moriah Densley

By Longagolove @longagolove

Sophia Duncombe is playing a dangerous game, hiding from her father while working for the mysterious Lord Devon. Afraid someone will recognize her, she knows going to a ball with him is a bad idea, but she can’t explain why without telling secrets that would compromise her identity.
She attends the ball, cautiously watching for acquaintances who could out her with even a casual greeting. Here’s how Sophia handles meeting an old friend at the ball:
Sophia saw the men in her circle looking at the stairway landing above them. They exchanged nods with a striking violet-eyed woman, the one and only Violet Villier — longtime friend to Sophia’s own mother.
Madame Villier noticed Sophia and allowed a subtle look of surprise. She cocked her head and nodded minimally in greeting then touched a finger to the tip of her fan: May we speak?
Sophia raised her own fan to rest on her left cheek: No. She opened her fan with clasped hands. Forgive me. Then she twirled her closed fan in her left hand. We are being watched.
Madame Villier drew her fan across her eyes. My apologies.
Sophia lowered her fan in a gesture of friendship. She looked sideways at Wilhelm then back up with a slight shake of the head to indicate he didn’t know her identity, implying she needed discretion.
Violet Villier rotated her wrist to place the fan behind her ear with a finger extended in the sign for farewell and winked in conspiracy.
Neither Wilhelm nor Lord Courtenay seemed to notice the exchange, occupied with their quiet argument.
I loved writing this scene! And the best part: the fan language is historically genuine. Nowadays, we text each other with clandestine messages, but there was a time when a lady could carry on a conversation by gesturing with her fan.
A few of my favorite signals:
  • Pressing half-open fan to the lips: “You may kiss me.” 
  • Fanning slowly with downward-facing fan: “Sorry, I’m taken.”
  • Quickly, emphatically closing the fan: “I’m jealous!”
  • Striking an object with the fan: “I’m impatient!”
  • Presenting a shut fan: “Do you love me?”

As you no doubt imagine, the success of a conversation in fan language depends on the other party’s understanding. How many gentlemen do you suppose went to the trouble to learn these signals?
Find out if Sophia’s secret conversation remains a secret in SONG FOR SOPHIA, a historical romance set in 1865 England.
To win a man's heart, a woman must have the mind of a diplomat, a general, and Cleopatra, all in one.
Desperation has led Anne-Sophia Duncombe to a life of exile. Still, she is always just one mistake away from capture and a marriage she would rather die than endure. As a last resort to remain hidden from her former life, Sophia attempts a radical scheme; a life of humility and disguise.
Rumor has it Wilhelm Montegue, the Earl of Devon, is insane. A tormented war hero haunted by scandal, he is only tolerated because of his brilliant mind and swarthy good looks. His unmentionable “condition” which keeps him confined to his country home is also the source of his talent for composing music.
When a new housemaid is hired at Rougemont, Lord Devon is perplexed to find himself fascinated by her. He knows the exquisite beauty is keeping secrets but her siren’s voice draws him ever closer, and he can’t resist the intoxicating scent of danger surrounding her.
2012 RWA Golden Heart® Finalist
2012 OKRWA National Reader’s Choice Award Winner, Historical Romance
2012 OKRWA National Reader’s Choice Award Finalist, Best First Book
“5-Crown” Review, RomCon®
Author Bio
Moriah Densley sees nothing odd at all about keeping both a violin case and a range bag stuffed with pistols in the back seat of her car. They hold up the stack of books in the middle, of course. She enjoys writing about Victorians, assassins, and geeks. Her muses are summoned by the smell of chocolate, usually at odd hours of the night. By day her alter ego is your friendly neighborhood music teacher. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and four children. Published in historical and paranormal romance, Moriah has a Master’s degree in music, is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart finalist, 2012 National Reader’s Choice Award winner in historical romance and ’12 NRCA “Best First Book” finalist.
I love connecting with readers on my blog ( where I post news, free chapters, and snarky articles about publishing and life as a writer, including a series called “Weird Stuff Kids Say.” 
Check out what readers are saying at Goodreads. 
Come hang out with me:  Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest  
FOR SOPHIA is on sale for .99! Amazon | Smashwords | All Romance eBooks | Kobo  | Barnes & Noble 

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