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Miss Lacey’s Last Fling

This story was initially inspired by that old TV series “Run For Your Life.” For those of you too young to remember, the series was about a man dying of some disease (I cannot recall what), who intended to spend his remaining days doing all the adventurous things he’d never found time to do. I’m always thinking of how modern stories might be told in a Regency setting, so I wondered what a Regency protagonist would do under a similar death sentence? And what if it was a woman instead of a man? Of course, there was the minor problem of a happy ending. I couldn’t let my heroine die, unless I wanted to write a book Oprah might recommend. And now that I think about it . . .

Well, Oprah might have liked it, but my editor wouldn’t. So I decided my heroine would only think she was going to die. She could have a few adventures, kick up her heels a bit, cause a spot of trouble, and then learn she was going to live. I had fun with this story.

A special thank you to Dr. Guenter B. Risse, Chair of the History of Health Sciences at University of California, San Francisco, who was very helpful with the medical information. Dr. Risse did not laugh or throw me out of his office when I told him my heroine needed to think she was going to die but that I didn’t know from what cause. With the help of a great old copy of Buchan’s Domestic Medicine from 1807, he helped me to figure out Rosie’s dilemma.

My working title for this story was The Last Season. I gave my editor a long list of other possible titles, and at the end of the list, as a joke, I included Rosie’s Last Fling. Of course, that’s the one she liked best. But “Rosie” sounded too much like a maid, so we needed a formal name in the title. At that time, the heroine’s name was Rosalind (Rosie) Mandeville, but Miss Mandeville was much too long a name for the title. So she was re-christened Miss Rosalind Lacey . . . all for the sake of a title that would fit on the cover!

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