Monday, December 13, 2010

Guest Post by Grace Burrowes and Giveaway!

Help me welcome Historical Romance author Grace Burrows, as she talks about what she loves about the Regency period. I have two copies of her book, The Heir to giveaway to a US or Canadian resident. For details of the giveaway, see the end of the post. :)

What’s not to love about the Regency period?

It’s long ago and far away enough to tolerate a lot of creative liberties with personalities and period details, but also recent enough that many original sources and artifacts exist for the serious researcher.

It was a time of great contrasts. England itself was peaceful during the Regency, but the Napoleonic conflicts raged on the Continent. There was extravagant wealth and horrendous poverty. Slavery had been abolished, but children were still hung for stealing spoons. Chivalric values were much in evidence, as was prostitution and exploitation of women and children.

This is a delightful palette from which to draw stories. There were iconic figures such as Europe’s First Gentleman, the Prince Regent himself; Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington; Harriette Wilson, Wellington’s sometime-paramour (about whose scheme to issue her memoirs, he said, “publish and be damned,”), Napoleon, and Mad King George.

London was growing like a weed during the Regency and yet England was getting smaller. Coach roads and turnpikes made overland travel increasingly commodious and the post was nothing if not reliable. Regency England was a vibrant, dynamic time and place.

I’m drawn to the beauty of it, to the hundreds of acres of greenery in Hyde Park, to the twenty foot ceilings at Apsley House (Wellington’s town house) and to the balance of emotion and restraint in Beethoven’s music. I love the waltz, English or Viennese. I love the horses, horses, everywhere. Horses for the gentlemen, horses for the ladies, big, solid draft horses for the dray and the plough, early versions of the thoroughbred for the race track and the hunt field.

I like that many of the things I learned in early experiences on a farm were skills the common people had: How to butcher a chicken, how to milk a cow, how to skim the cream and make it into butter, how to make ice cream by hand, how to manage without electricity or a flush potty, how to can fruit, how to trim a horse’s hoof with simple tools, how to shear a sheep that will not hold still no matter how many bad words you say. How to stack a wagon of hay and how to sleep like the dead after a day of hard, hard work.

The Regency Period has so much… I enjoy the Georgian and Victorian periods too, but mostly as antecedent and consequent periods to the Regency. The best of times, the worst of times, the most wonderful of times to set a romance novel!


An Earl Who Can’t Be Bribed…
Gayle Windham, Earl of Westhaven, is the first legitimate son and heir to the Duke of Moreland. To escape his father’s inexorable pressure to marry, he decides to spend the summer at his townhouse in London, where he finds himself intrigued by the secretive ways of his beautiful housekeeper.

A Lady Who Can’t Be Protected…
Anna Seaton is a beautiful, talented, educated woman, which is why it is so puzzling to Gayle that she works as his housekeeper.  As the two draw closer and begin to lose their hearts to each other, Anna’s secrets threaten to bring the earl’s orderly life crashing down—and he doesn’t know how he’s going to protect her from the fallout…


Grace Burrowes is the penname for a prolific author of historical romances whose manuscripts have so far won, finaled, or garnered honorable mention in Romance Writers of America-run contests in Georgia, Indiana, New Jersey, and Florida. Burrowes is a practicing attorney specializing in family law. She lives in rural Maryland and is working on her next book, The Soldier, set to release in July 2011.

 The Giveaway
Sourcebooks is giving away two copies of the Heir to a US or Canadian Resident. You must be a blog follower to win, and answer this question: If you could live in any time period, what period would it be?  Please state if you want to be entered in the giveaway in your comment, and if you don't have your email address on your blogger profile, please leave it so I can contact you that you won. Giveaway is open till December 20th, 2010 8:00am.