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Thursday, May 17, 2012

GUEST BLOG: GRACE BURROWES

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Leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a print copy of Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal. US and Canada only please.
What Would Be My Best Research Trip…



My best research trip would be to Great Britain, of course! I could spend months in London alone…


Except I’m not a city girl, so there would be trips to Cornwall, Portsmouth, and Brighton, where I would flirt with former members of the RAF who’ve taken up bird watching, and handsome, soft-spoken amateur antiquarians with names like Chatham and Upton. The little tidbits of history and culture they pass along would get me started on ideas for a Georgian series set on the coast.


Because I’m in the neighborhood and it’s so easy to do, I’d hop the train for at least a weekend in Paris, where I’d fall in “like” with a chance met vacationing Professor of Something Cool with the most scrumptious accent and a Gallic sense of humor. I’d ask Joanna Bourne what the Do Not Miss sights are—she’s been known to disappear on the Left Bank for days.


Because the 200th anniversary of Waterloo is coming up in 2015, the Professor and I would make a sortie to the battleground over in Belgium. An inscription on a monument would form the germ of a novella in a commemorative anthology. Then back to that scepter’d isle where my books are set (after a fond farewell to Quel est His Name).


I would hire a driver/guide, a tall, charming fellow named Ian with a wonderful Scottish accent with whom I’d fall a little in love (though he must never guess, of course). We’d tour some of the great country houses—Chatsworth, Blenheim, Burghley for starts—and then up to the Lakes. There I would like to do much fell walking, see Wordsworth’s house, be inundated with story ideas, and see what this cheese rolling sport is all about.


And then—while Ian falls a little in love with me, but would never confess such a thing—we’d spend a few days in York, where there is a little shoppe dedicated to the sale of whiskey, and bless them, they do give out free samples. After taking in the Minster, the Viking museum, and the shopping district, my guide and I would walk the city walls as the sun sets, a little tipsy from all the comparison shopping in the whisky store. We might even hold hands, and then not speak of it. Ever.


And then—after my guide introduces me to his dear old mum in Northumbria (she likes to paint portraits of companion animals)—we’re on to Scotland. We get drunk on Edinburgh, on the castles and kilts, the view from Arthur’s seat, the Scottish National Gallery, the medieval Old Town, the Botanical Gardens—where Ian kisses my cheek and I blush. The story ideas are coming thick and fast, but we must move on. Ian reminds me that all good things end, and he gives me a very earnest look with his green, green eyes when he says this.


Up through the countryside we go, moving from castle to castle until we’re at Balmoral itself, staying in one of the cottages on grounds. At Balmoral, the walking is fantastic (which is a good thing, considering how well butter goes with scones), the scenery is beyond fantastic, and the local whiskey distillery not bad either. The writing is going wonderfully, but alas, it’s time to turn for home.


Ian tells me I must spend one night in the Eisenhower Apartments at Culzean Castle, and though it means rearranging my flight, I agree, only to find the man with whom I’ve made so many great memories proposes to me, and has hired the Castle for our wedding (the L7,500 60-guest package). My family flies in, Mum and the cousins are there, and after an unforgettable pre-wedding honeymoon, I write a bunch of terrific books.


And we live happily ever after, too of course.



LADY MAGGIE’S SECRET SCANDAL BY GRACE BURROWES – IN STORES MAY 2012



Lady Maggie Windham Has Secrets…


And she’s been perfectly capable of keeping them...until now. When she’s threatened with exposure, she turns to investigator Benjamin Hazlit to keep catastrophe at bay. But Maggie herself intrigues Benjamin more than the riddle she’s set him to solve. As he uncovers more and more of her past, Maggie struggles to keep him at a distance, until they both begin to discover the truth in their hearts...


Praise for Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal



“Delicious... Burrowes delivers red-hot chemistry with a masterful mix of playfulness and sensuality, and her themes of healing and familial strength give this page-turner unusual depth. Charming and original with superb characters ready to walk off the page, this is a splendid addition to any Regency fan’s bookshelf.” —Publishers Weekly Starred Review


“An unconventional tale of strikingly unique characters with realistic emotions and exciting antics. It’s always a delight to read one of Burrowes’ creations...” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Grace Burrowes is a prolific and award-winning author of historical romances. Her debut, The Heir, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and was selected as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year for 2010 in the romance category. Both The Heir and its follow-up, The Solider, are New York Times and USA Today bestsellers. She is a practicing attorney specializing in family law and lives in a restored log cabin in western Maryland without a TV, DVD player or radio because she’s too busy working on her next books. Please visit http://www.graceburrowes.com, follow her on Twitter: @GraceBurrowes, and check out www.sourcebooks.com for more information.

12 comments:

The Original Drama Mama said...

Now that's muti-tasking! You know how to make a research tour count ;)

I'd be over the moon to take a research trip to Wales,and would linger in Snowdonia (yes, there is such a place - I didn't know it existed until my hero told my heroine that's where he is from - she laughed and told him he was making it up) Then I looked it up and discovered that yes indeed, it does exist, and I WANT to go there!

Grace Burrowes said...

I had wanted to take a Big Trip to the UK for years, then a friend asked if I'd go to Australia with her. I said the UK was much higher on my bucket list, and she decided she wouldn't mind going back there with me. We had a wonderful time,and six months later I was back by myself, this time for three weeks.... I'm feeling overdue... Have to look up Snowdonia and tell your hero's folks you say hi.

Kitchen Witch of the West said...

Grace, I want to travel with you! Anywhere, since it would clearly be an Adventure. No wonder your books are awesome.

moodymolly said...

Oh wow! Grace I'd be so jealous of your trip. If I ever win the lottery, yes I know I need to buy a ticket first, that's the trip I'd want to take.

Grace Burrowes said...

Kitch, when I was kid, my parents would stash four or five of us kids in the station wagon and drive us from Pennsylvania to San Diego for the summer. The actual travel was great (though I am NOT a SoCal gal). Seeing what those pioneers covered on horseback really makes your respect for the the sojourner of yore grow.

Molly, you may have the itinerary, but IAN is MINE. (Don't tell his mum I said that.)

krazymama_98 said...

I can tell, you have not given this one moments thought. All of this is just flying by the seat of your pants writing! LOLOL

June M. said...

Hey, don't you need a research assistant for this trip, and doesn't Ian have a brother/cousin? This sounds like a great trip.
June
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Grace Burrowes said...

Well, now that you mention it, Ian IS from a big family. They run a car hire and pony trekking biz upon which a contemporary romance trilogy could easily be based, if only I could come up with some co-authors...

Barbara E. said...

I love the sound of that research trip, I'm so envious! :D From what I've heard about it, Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal sounds like a fantastic story and I can't wait to read it.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Karen H in NC said...

Oh, what a fantastic trip...I so want to go with you! I so want a copy of Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal too!

flchen1 said...

This sounds fabulous, Grace! Don't include me for the draw though--just bought myself a copy :)

Long and Short Reviews said...

Congratulations to June M, the winner of this giveaway.