Today we are pleased to bring you the wonderful Grace Burrowes who is the author of such beloved historical romance series as the Windham series and the Lonely Lord series. She is here today to tell you about her brand new series the MacGregor trilogy, the first novel of which The Bridegroom Wore Plaid was released recently and which Caro loved (read her review here)! So read on and you could even win yourself a copy!
The Basis for My New Series
I embarked upon a Scottish Victorian trilogy with some trepidation. While I’ve been reading Regencies since… well, for decades, there simply haven’t been Scottish Victorian romances thick on the ground, and my confidence with the time period was not as great.
Jennifer Ashley’s MacKenzie Brothers series was my first temptation to write in the Victorian era. Her novels are set in the 1880s and later, and start off with the stories of the four MacKenzie brothers and their lady loves. The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie, which features a hero who has autism spectrum qualities, is a work of brilliance and has pride of place on my keeper shelf.
Jennifer’s novels, like those of many other Victorian writers, reveal the long, long reign of Queen Victoria as an era of dynamic change and immense diversity. We think of the Victorians as staid, corseted people who sublimated their wilder passions into things like temperance movements and development of the London sewer system.
They were that, but they were also the folks who turned the camera to pornographic use very shortly after it was invented. According to some studies, half the couples marrying in certain jurisdictions were recording the birth of their first born within six months of the wedding.
Interesting times, indeed.
I set my stories in the early 1850s, for several reasons. First, half the population of Great Britain was still living on the land at that point. The conditions in the cities had not yet reached their nadir, the great country houses were not yet gaslit, and many facets of Regency life still applied. In other words, I could visualize the early Victorian more easily than the later.
Second, Prince Albert was still alive, and he and Victoria were still adding to their family (eventually to total nine children, which made it the ideal Victorian family size—yikes!). I wanted the margins of my novels laced with the royal love story, rather than with a fascination with death, the afterlife and mourning, that characterized the later period.
Third, the early 1850s were a fairly happy time for the United Kingdom. The potato blight had subsided, trade was thriving, the Great Exhibition in 1851 had done much for national morale, and the war in the Crimea was not yet under way.
And yet, even in 1850, what we think of as modern technology was having an impact. We have daguerreotypes of the Duke of Wellington, who lived until 1851. Locomotives crisscrossed the realm at the pace of tireless racehorses, and the telegraph transmitted news and private messages even more swiftly.
For a Regency author, this is big, fun stuff. My Victorian characters still get to ride horses, have aristocratic titles, and dress beautifully, but they can also own private rail cars and—be still my thumpin’ heart—enjoy indoor plumbing! If that isn’t the best of both historical and modern worlds, I don’t know what is.
Throw in beautiful Highland scenery, kilts, and the hero’s manly Scottish burr, and you have a recipe for wonderful books that are—I hope—as much fun to read as they are to write.
The Bridegroom Wore Plaid by Grace Burrowes
Book #1 in the MacGregor trilogy
His Family or His Heart — One of Them Will Be Betrayed…
In an effort to preserve the family estate, Ian MacGregor, the Earl of Balfour, must marry for money. When a promising match emerges in the form of Genie Daniels, a rich English heiress, Ian begins devising a strategy to woo her. When he meets Genie’s poor cousin Augusta, he discovers a new avenue to Genie’s heart. But after spending time with Augusta and falling for her charms, Ian begins to question whether or not he’s willing to forfeit his heart to save the family name…
Grace Burrowes is a bestselling and award-winning author of historical romances. Her debut, The Heir, was selected as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year for 2010 in the romance category, and Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish won RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Historical Romance of 2011 and was also nominated for the prestigious RWA RITA award. The author of the bestsellers The Heir, The Soldier and Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Grace is a practicing attorney and lives in rural Maryland. She’ll conclude to the Windham Family Series with Lady Jenny’s story in October 2013, and will begin a new regency series with Darius in April 2013. The next book in Grace’s Scottish Victorian series, Once Upon a Tartan, will be in stores in August 2013.
Sourcebooks has generously offered a paperback copy of The Bridegroom Wore Plaid to a US/CAN resident and BLI is offering a copy to an international commenter as well!
All you have to do is tell us: what is your favourite historical time period to read about? Or in which era would you like to live (or if you wouldn’t want to live there just to “visit”)?
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)
Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment).
This giveaway is open to all!
Giveaway ends on Saturday, 15 December 2012; we will announce the winner on Sunday.