Mysteries in Histories

James V coinAs a historical romance author, one of the great things I have going for me is a wonderful canvas to serve as a backdrop for my stories–actual history. Behind the conflict between Adam and Cait is the political wrangling about who should serve as Regent for the under-aged king of Scotland, James V. He was the only surviving son of James VI and Mary Tudor (daughter of King Henry VII) and was proclaimed king at the tender age of 17 months!

Plaid to the BoneNaturally, the Regent would wield immense power so every laird had an opinion about who that regent should be. My hero Adam Cameron favored the Duke of Albany (an actual person and one who served as Regent for a time) while Cait Grant’s father (my creation) thought he should be the one to shape and mold the young king.

Rather than come to blows over their disagreement, Wallace Grant offers up his daughter to seal peace between their clans. However, the marriage will put the resources and the fighting men attached to Bonniebroch under Cait’s command should some ill chance befall Adam.

Cait’s father never dreamed his daughter might actually fall in love with her husband…

Would you like to read more?
Find Plaid to the Bone at: Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo
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Samantha Grace

My guest today and I share a publisher–Sourcebooks! (I’m happy to confirm I just signed a new multi-book deal to write the Somerfield Park series for them. It’s a family saga, a Downton Abbey-esque series set in the Regency era.) Samantha also writes English Regency romance. Technically, this Regency (in contrast with the one in Plaid to the Bone which lasted from 1513-1524) was 1811-1820 when King George III was declared unfit to rule and his son “Prinny” took the reins. But any story set in 1795-1830 can be considered a Regency romance. The era is characterized by witty banter, exaggerated manners and wonderful gowns. Samantha’s books are filled with all three.

Lady Vivian Defies a DukeLady Vivian Worth knows perfectly well how to behave like a lady. But observing proper manners when there’s no one around to impress is just silly. Why shouldn’t she strip down to her chemise for a swim? When her betrothed arrives to finally meet her, Vivi will act every inch the lady—demure, polite, compliant. Everything her brother promised the man. But until then, she’s going to enjoy her freedom…

Luke Forest, the newly named Duke of Foxhaven, wants nothing to do with his inheritance—or the bride who comes with it. He wants adventure and excitement, like the enchanting water nymph he’s just stumbled across. When he discovers the skinny-dipping minx is his intended, he reconsiders his plan to find Lady Vivian another husband. Because the idea of this vivacious woman in the arms of another man might be enough to drive him insane—or to the altar.

One lucky commenter will win a copy of Lady Vivian Defies a Duke, but if you don’t want to wait, order it at:  Amazon | Barnes&Noble

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And if you sign up for her newsletter, you’ll be able to access a free read from Samantha–A Beau Monde Bachelor Christmas!

Lord of Devil Isle

Lord of Devil Isle

Click to claim your own Lord of Devil Isle!

This pre-Revolutionary War romance is set on Bermuda, an island that was torn between its allegiance to Britain and its dependence  on its American trading partners. My writing partner, New York Times bestseller Connie Mason, and I even managed to squeeze in an actual historical event–the infamous Powder Steal.

Colonists slipped in close to Bermuda and managed to empty one of the powder magazines and slip out without anyone the wiser, though a French parolee’s body was found near the site of the theft. Since the culprit who organized this bold theft was never caught, I thought it would be interesting to make my hero the instigator of the Powder Steal. (He did not, however, kill the Frenchman.)

The fun thing about playing with history is that anything that’s not absolutely set in stone is fair game for a fiction writer!

The Prize

Plaid to the Bone from Kensington Publishing, Lady Vivian Defies a Duke from Samantha, or Lord of Devil Isle from me are all up for grabs today. Along with a shot at the Grand Prize: A Kindle Paperwhite!

Here’s our question of the day: We’ve been talking history today. Is there an actual event or a time period you’d like to see incorporated into a historical romance?

47 thoughts on “Mysteries in Histories

  1. Christine A. says:

    I don’t have a favorite era to read but I am partial to anything written before the 1800’s. A little time travel is great. My favorite things are the attire and the mannerisms- I can just hear the brogue in the men’s voices.

  2. Barbara Elness says:

    I like the Victorian era, and it would be fun to read about some of the inventions that were made during that time.

  3. ELF says:

    I have to confess that history was my worst subject in school (right up there with geography, lol) but I have learned quite a few interesting facts in historicals because you lovely authors make it come alive. I don’t mind any historical romances if the story is told well but I enjoy the regencies the most. Congrats on your 20th title, what a wonderful accomplishment!

  4. Quilt Lady says:

    I love reading stories set during the Civil War but this I really like about all historicals. Love Scotland also.

  5. Mary Preston says:

    I’d love to read more stories set during the French Revolution. I have’t come across many. I think the last I read was THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL.

  6. Ada says:

    I like regencies and historicals and while I appreciate when actual events are written in (even if they are embellished or twisted to suit the story), I don’t really feel there has to be actual events thrown in to make me enjoy it. I like my books light-hearted and not weighed down too much by facts so just the time period itself is enough of a draw.

  7. Chelsea B. says:

    Regency and Victorian are my favorites, and both are plenty to come by! Which I’m glad for :-)

  8. Glenda says:

    I LOVE all historical romances as long as the real historical facts are not changed!!! I love when the events blend seamlessly with the story either as backdrop or a major focus of the story.

    If the author wants to change events and call the novel an alternative reality, that’s fine with me, just don’t claim it is true historical. :-)

  9. Janie McGaugh says:

    Regency England and pretty much any era in Scotland are my favorite historical settings, so I’m pretty happy with what’s out there.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    I love to see some more stuff set during or before the French Revolution. I think Roanoke, the lost colony, could make an interest romance. I also would like to see romances set during the Renaissance Italy. I watched Showtime’s the Borgias and it made me really interested in that time period.

  11. Rhonda Kirby says:

    Other than Scotland, Ireland, or Wales, I love a good Viking book. There is just something about a sexy highlander or raw untamed Viking that grabs your attention. I also like a good regency or other historical as well.

    I haven’t had the privilege of reading Samantha Grace yet but I will definitely check her out.

    Thanks for the tip.

  12. Sandy Xiong says:

    I may love history but I haven’t been really into European history at all. I was more of an Asian history person but with me reading historical romance…I’m starting to like European history.

  13. Trudy Miner says:

    There hasn’t been much written about pre-Revolutionary American frontier in a long time. I know where I come from in PA there are plenty of stories that could serve as a background for a novel or two or three….

  14. Marcy Shuler says:

    Medieval romances are my favorite, but I also love Scottish Highland and Regency settings.

    Congrats on the multi-book Regency deal, Mia! Sounds exciting!

  15. bn100 says:

    no, not really

  16. Glittergirl says:

    My favorite times to read about are medieval Scotland, pirates and the Byzantium harems. But then again I love paranormal; past, present or future/space. I think an era that’s not seen much in romance though is the French court of Louie XIV or XV. I was always fascinated by the fashions (Watteau gowns) and the mistresses, Madame Pompadour and Madam du Barry. Thanks for the celebration and giveaways!

  17. Becky says:

    I love reading about the Vikings. I find it interesting that they assimilated into every culture they “invaded”.

  18. Danny says:

    Greek or Roman, or how about Elizabethan stories

  19. Armeni says:

    I’ve always wondered about the Boston Tea Party. What I have read about it has been pretty sketchy, but it would be great if that event were included in an historical romance.

  20. Jennifer L says:

    I don’t have a specific event in mind. I’m fascinated by all history, especially the Tudor era.

  21. CrystalGB says:

    How about WWII. I think it would be a fascinating time to read.

  22. catslady says:

    The older the better. The further a story goes back in time, the more I seem to enjoy it. Medievals are one of my favorites. But I do like all historical settings.

  23. Azucena Rodriguez says:

    I really don’t care what is covered, as long as the love story and the characters are wonderful, I’m happy :)

  24. BETH SHEEHE says:

    I have never been much into history, but since I have started reading about great Highlander romance stories, I love Scottish history. Any era is great if it has Highlanders in it.

  25. Shirene says:

    I’d like to see more Roman or Greek historical. There is so much going on during their rise to power that I think there has to be a story or two that could be told. Not to mention a little story set in Egypt during the Roman empire. Has must buy written all over it.

  26. julie says:

    ld like to see Boudica, see how they live and love and what they got up too

  27. Theresa Fischer says:

    I am not a history buff, so I am content to let the author decide!

  28. may says:

    I love reading about the French Revolution! Such a violent time… Lots of conflicts… It makes good drama!

  29. Laurie W G says:

    Pamela Clare’s Surrender trilogy introduced me to the French and Indian War in the 1300’s.

    I loved Braveheart so I do enjoy 1300’s Scotland’s Independence struggle from England.
    Love Scottish Highland Laird stories.

    I enjoy Regency: aristocracy, balls and Almach’s and Victorian England breaking free of all of society’s constraints and prudishness.

    The settling of Australia when all the English prisoners were sent there.

  30. Mary Chen says:

    As I’m really fond of the Victorian period, incorporating the Crystal Palace and new steam technologies would be fun to read about, though they’re not discrete historical events. I’m a lover of history but only know a little of major events, so anything that is slightly obscure mixed in a romance novel would be great.

  31. Nicole Laverdure says:

    I love stories set in the Regency-Victorian era! I don’t see often stories written for the Edwardian era (1901-1910) that might be interesting to discover the evolution of women in the high Society specially with men!

  32. Amy Hart says:

    Hmmm, I really liked the Roman/Greek period like when Caesar was assassinated and Cleopatra loved Marc Anthony. I’d like to see a twist on those time periods. Not necessarily be true to the history, but a story made up in that time period.

    1. Mia says:

      Can’t say I have any to recommend from the Roman/Greek era, especially ones with a tie in to Cleopatra. Joy Nash did some interesting stories set in Roman Britain–a retelling of the Arthurian legends. The series was called the Druids of Avalon.

      1. Amy Hart says:

        Maybe that means you should suggest to fellow author who also enjoys that time period to write a lovely romance of it. ;)

  33. Sheryl N says:

    I love history. I have no complaints about any that I have read. I enjoy a bit of mystery or a touch of paranormal to mine too.

  34. Cindy says:

    Not a fan of history in school and my husband boars me when he talks about it. But on the other hand I LOVE reading about certain facts Incorporated in historical’s. As long as the “facts” do not take away from the couple.

    I have learned more about countries/facts in my books better than in school :)

    1. Mia says:

      I always try to make sure the history doesn’t overshadow the story. It’s the backdrop, not the main event.

  35. Sarah Meral says:

    I don´t have a specific event I would like to see, I enjoy every real event incorporated in a book.
    I was not a big fan of history classes in school, but since I´ve been out of school I´m getting more and more interested by the day.

    For me it´s a wonderful way to learn about history through fiction books. I can “connect” with the historic events much better, than just reading a non-fictional book, because I am “there” through the characters :)

    1. Mia says:

      In the classroom, teachers tend to focus on “men’s history”–wars, laws, technological advancements. I like to dwell on “women’s history”–how people lived their lives, what they thought about themselves and their world.

  36. Anita H. says:

    Hmm…how far back in history could an author write about? I’d like to see a historical romance set in the time of when dinosaurs roamed the earth, perhaps like The Flintstones? Hahaha! ;-)

    1. Mia says:

      Have you tried Jane Auel’s books? Her Earth’s Children series are as far back as I’ve ever read–when both humans and Neanderthals shared the planet.

  37. Aly P says:

    I love Cleopatra the 7th so I read whatever falls into my hands :D I would love to read an adapted story where she has a happily ever after.

    1. Mia says:

      Hmm… no suicide by asp. It might be hard to rewrite that ending, but she was a fascinating person, no doubt.

      1. Aly P says:

        I imagine it would be :D I think it would work best in a paranormal romance…

  38. Linda Thum says:

    Here’s where I admit that history was never my forte! I’m not particular about the period at all. I’m happy to read any era as long as it’s well written.

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