Many historical romance readers know Grace Burrowes as the very prolific author of European historicals, many of which have been enjoyed by our reviewers and readers. Darius received a DIK review here, and many of her other books and novellas have been well-received also.
Burrowes’ latest release, Once Upon a Tartan takes readers to Scotland, where a smart, headstrong beauty has little use for an English lord’s highhanded ways. Hester Daniels and Tiberius Flynn are entrusted with the care of a little girl and while Hester wants her raised in her beloved – if rundown – home in Scotland, Tiberius insists that his prosperous estate is the only fit place for a child. And as they battle, other kinds of sparks start to fly!
Jane Granville has read several of Burrowes’ books and novellas and recently had a chance to interview the author. Here is what they had to say:
Jane: Your newest book, Once Upon a Tartan, is out today. Congratulations! Aside from the fact that it takes us back to the Highlands, what can you tell us about this story?
Grace: First, I LOVE this book! Tiberius Flynn, Earl of Spathfoy, came galloping onto the page and stole the book right out from under my fingers, abetted by Hester Daniel, who in turn stole it from HIM. When it comes to his niece’s welfare, Tye must choose between abiding by his family’s wishes, or listening to his heart. Hester stands in direct opposition to what Tye’s family wants, but is absolutely who Tye needs in his life to be happy. Takes a tough man, to make a tender choice…
Jane: My first book of yours was The Virtuoso, which I reviewed for AAR, and loved. One of the things that stood out to me as I read that book—and was reminded of when I recently read the other two books in the trilogy, The Heir and The Soldier—was how clearly you conveyed the hero’s love of music. Is that something you share with Val? What role does music play in your writing process?
Grace: I have a degree in music history and put myself through college accompanying ballet classes. I stopped playing because my back hurt incessantly. Valentine was thus very close to my heart, because his story let me indulge in all my love of music without spending eight hours a day on a piano bench. While writing his book, I listened to a four-hands piano arrangement of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” over and over again.
Some of my other books have demanded a playlist. For Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish, it was the Christmas portion of Handel’s “Messiah.” For my third Scottish Victorian, The MacGregor’s Lady (February 2014), it was the Roger Whittaker tune, “The Last Farewell.”
Jane: You’ve published a truly impressive number of novels and novellas in the relatively brief amount of time that you’ve been with Sourcebooks; your debut, The Heir, was published in 2010, and since then there have been 23 stories, either already published or in the works. How do you do it?
Grace: I don’t write that quickly, but I got a loooong running start. When my daughter left home, I disappeared into the writing, playing “Let’s pretend” for story after story. By the time it occurred to me (several years later) that publication might be an option, I had at least two dozen completed manuscripts. Oops! I’m very lucky to have a publisher that has figured out a way to get most of those titles to my readers in a short amount of time, because compared to other writers my age, I’m still playing catch up ball when it comes to the back list.
Jane: Many of your books are connected; even the various series exist in the same universe with some of the same characters. Did you start writing with a huge family tree and book outlines in mind, or have stories grown out of each other as you write?
Grace: I call it the spider plant approach, and my poor editor deserves everybody’s sympathy as she tries to organize the results into coherent sequences. I wrote one book, and then, hmm, two of the supporting characters agitated for a story. That book was over all too soon, and then… I peered around, grabbed a couple more supporting characters by their Big Black Moments, and another book resulted. This went on for twenty books, because I didn’t know any better. Some readers love it, others have the constant sense that they’re missing a prequel or sequel. With publication of the Lonely Lords, that problem should be solved, because all of the stories will be on the shelves.
Jane: Another thing I’ve enjoyed in your books is the presence of male friendship and brotherly affection. For many of your heroes, a friend or brother is a huge source of support. What inspires that? How does it differ from how you present friendships between your heroines and other women?
Grace: I’m the sixth out of seven children, which has two consequences for my writing. First, I have direct experience with large family dynamics. I’ve seen my four brothers rough house, tease, hug, and otherwise go at each other, and how they’re all close friends regardless of how gruff or even silly the interactions may appear. I’m also one of the youngest siblings, and little kids tend to really watch their elders, far more than the other way around.
With my heroines, there’s usually a sister, or two (or three or four), who offers moral support and advice, but sometimes, the heroine’s very problem is that she’s so isolated with her hurts and challenges that only a hero can scale her defenses (which kinda puts me in mind of some Bryan Adams….).
And, for those who are interested in winning a new ereader, we are happily giving away a Nook HD. This is the ereader my husband got for Christmas, and he loves it! To enter, you just need to comment below with one of the following: (1) If you’ve read Burrowes already, which work is your favorite? and (2) if you haven’t, which of this prolific author’s works would you like to try? NOTE: This giveaway is US and Canada only. Giveaway closes at 11:59 p.m. on August 9, 2013 and we’ll announce our winner on Monday, August 12.
– Jane Granville
THE GRACE BURROWES ONCE UPON A TARTAN EREADER EXTRAVAGANZA!
10 eReaders, 10 Blogs, a different giveaway each day during the work week, August 5-9 and 12-16
Four Kindle Paperwhite 3Gs
Four Nook HDs
One Nook Color
In celebration of Grace Burrowes’ latest book in the MacGregor Trilogy, 10 eReaders will be given away during the first two weeks of August! Follow along as Grace guest blogs and answers questions at different blogs, and enter a chance to win a brand new eReader!
8/5 RTBookReviews.com: Kindle Paperwhite
8/6 All About Romance: Nook HD
8/7 Delighted Reader: Kindle Paperwhite
8/8 Night Owl Reviews: Nook HD
8/9 Book Lovers Inc.: Kindle Paperwhite
8/12 Discover a New Love: Nook Color
8/13 Book Savvy Babe: Nook HD
8/14 Jaunty Quills: Kindle Paperwhite
8/15 Fresh Fiction: Nook HD
8/16 Her Grace Notes: iPad