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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.
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...
“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:http://www.graceburrowes.com, follow her on Twitter: @GraceBurrowes, and check out www.sourcebooks.com for more information.