Friday, 25 February 2011

The mysterious reasons of an author setting their historical novels in a certain period... by Laura Lee Guhrke + Giveaway

Banner made by Beth from Maybe Tomorrow?
Today I have the pleasure of welcoming another beloved historical romance author to the blog, the fantastic Laura Lee Guhrke. Laura was a new to me author until I stumbled upon her new series (Abandoned at the Altar) and read the first novel: Wedding of the Season. I was surprised to find such an original and I have to say groundbreaking historical romance. The setting was fresh (the story took place in the early 20th century around 1904 and not the so well known Regency period every other historical is set in), it discussed women's rights, decline of the old aristocracy, emergence of societal problems these changing times rose while at the same time not losing sight of the romance storyline. So of course when I had the chance to approach Laura, I absolutely wanted to know why she chose this specific, very exciting time period. Read on if you are curious like me and you could also win a fantastic bundle!

Please give a warm welcome to Laura Lee Guhrke!

(ps. You can read my review of Wedding of the Season here if you are curious.)

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Wedding of the Season: Abandoned at the AltarWith the release of my two latest books, Wedding of the Season and Scandal of the Year, many people have been asking me about the time period in which these books are set. It is unusual, I admit, to set romance novels in 1902 and 1904, and I wish I could tell you I was driven by some sort of highbrow, intellectual need to show the pivotal social implications and changes of the early 20th century. Alas, no. I just thought it would be fun to write a heroine with a car. 

I love old automobiles. If I had my way, I’d own an antique roadster and drive it all around town. But when I started researching the history of automobiles and deciding on the make and model of my first historical romance car (a 1901 Daimler), I found many other things to love about the turn of the century. Telephones, for instance. I’d love to be able to say to a telephone operator, “Mayfair 6472, please.” So much more exciting than just punching in a number like we do nowadays. And I love the idea of heroines who go motoring in long dusters and ring their friends up on the telephone to suggest lunch at the Savoy. That sort of stuff felt so fresh to me, so much more fun to write than yet another ball. I discovered a love for the wit of Oscar Wilde and a fascination with the whole concept of the transatlantic marriage and transatlantic divorce. I may have started writing in this period because I wanted to write a heroine with a car, but writing Wedding of the Season and Scandal of the Year opened a whole new world of writing possibilities for me, and it has helped me rediscover a love of research for its own sake.

The Perfect Summer: England 1911, Just Before the StormI’m currently reading a book called The Perfect Summer by Juliet Nicholson. It’s a nonfiction book about the hot British summer of 1911. The theme of it centers around the fact that the world was dancing on the edge of an abyss—headed straight for WWI, but living in extravagant, debt-ridden opulence. This book is red meat for the historical romance writer, chock-full of juicy tidbits of social life at that time. One example I just have to use in a book: ladies wearing silver rings clamped around their nipples to provide “a sort of ledge on which the evening gown rested precariously,” rings which allowed the wearer to experience a “secret frisson of pleasure” at the dinner table. How can a writer not love stuff like that?

Scandal of the Year: Abandoned at the AltarWhat about you? What time periods do you like to read and why do you like them? Does the setting matter to you or not? If you’re a writer, what period do you write and why? Are you sad that Westerns and medievals are out of favor, or do you say yay, that means more Regency? Which romances are sure to entice you because of their setting? Would you try reading or writing a time period you haven’t in the past?

Share your thoughts and you could win a complete set of my Girl-Bachelor Chronicles.

Laura Lee Guhrke spent seven years in advertising, had a successful catering business, and managed a construction company before she decided writing books was more fun.

From the publication of her very first historical romance, Laura has received numerous honors and critical acclaim for her novels and her writing style. Her books have been seen on both the USA Today and New York Times Bestseller Lists. In addition, Laura has been honored with the most prestigious award of romance fiction, the Romance Writers of America RITA Award, and she has been a RITA finalist five times. Among her publishing credits are seventeen historical romances, including her latest for Avon Books, Wedding of the Season and Scandal of the Year, available in January and February respectively.

Laura is currently hard at work on her eighteenth historical romance, but when she’s not tapping away at her keyboard, Laura can be found skiing the slopes, wakeboarding across the lakes, and fly fishing the streams of her beautiful home state of Idaho.

You can reach Laura at her website.

GIVEAWAY RULES:

Laura generously offered a complete set of her Girl Bachelor series to a lucky commentator living in the US or Canada.

And Then He Kissed Her The Wicked Ways of a Duke Secret Desires of a Gentleman With Seduction in Mind

To be entered all you have to do is:

1. fill out the main form so I have your contact info (just once, if you have already filled it out for a previous giveaway that's enough)

2. Answer Laura's question above: What time periods do you like to read and why do you like them? Does the setting matter to you or not? If you’re a writer, what period do you write and why? Are you sad that Westerns and medievals are out of favor, or do you say yay, that means more Regency? Which romances are sure to entice you because of their setting? Would you try reading or writing a time period you haven’t in the past?


Giveaway is open to residents of US/Canada and ends on Friday 4 March 2011.

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