Thursday, 19 June 2014

Guest post by Diana Quincy + Giveaway

Please join me in welcoming the lovely Diana Quincy to Ex Libris today! Diana is here to tell us more about her inspiration for Engaging the Earl, the 4th book in her Accidental Peers series, which you might remember that I am a huge fan of! So read on and if you haven't read this series yet, don't waste any more time, pick it up, I'm sure you'll love it!

My Inspiration for Engaging the Earl
by Diana Quincy

In Engaging the Earl, the hero, Edward Stanhope, a second son with no prospects, is rejected as an appropriate suitor for Lady Katharine Granville, an earl's daughter. Devastated, he joins the fight against Napoleon, determined to make a name for himself. He returns years later on the very evening Kat becomes engaged to another man.

Edward’s journey was loosely inspired by Arthur Wellesley, the famed Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon’s forces on the battlefield and later became prime minister.

Elements of his personal story are surprisingly romantic and I drew on that for Engaging the Earl. Like Edward, the future duke fell in love—with a woman named Catherine Pakenham, known as Kitty—but his offer of marriage was rejected by the lady’s brother, the Earl of Longford. As the third son of an earl, Wellesley was in debt and his future prospects were considered to be poor. Devastated by the rejection, Wellesley, an aspiring musician, burned his violins in anger and vowed to forge a successful military career.

Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington
He succeeded and today is remembered as one of England’s greatest military heroes. After Napoleon was exiled in 1814, Wellesley was granted a dukedom for his exemplary wartime service. Ten years after his first proposal, Wellington returned to Kitty and renewed his offer of marriage.

Unfortunately, despite these romantic beginnings, the marriage was not a happy one. Wellington was disappointed by the change in Kitty. Where she’d once been pretty and vivacious, Kitty was now pale and in poor health. Wellington is reported to have said to his brother, “She has grown ugly, by Jove!” They lived apart most of the time, although they did have two sons together.

Wellesley became close to Harriet Arbuthnot, the wife of a colleague, who was also an accomplished diarist and wrote extensively about her relationship with Wellington. Regarding his wife, Harriet wrote that the duke had “repeatedly tried to live in a friendly manner with her...but it was impossible...and it drove him to seek that comfort & happiness abroad that was denied him at home.”

Duchess of Wellington
Kitty died of cancer in 1831 with Wellington by her side. Harriet’s death from cholera three years later devastated both her husband and the duke. The two widowers spent their last years together at Aspley House, Wellington’s London residence.

The Duke of Wellington’s story would certainly make an entertaining book; however, it does not make for a good romance. In Engaging the Earl, I borrowed some of the most romantic aspects of the duke’s life and then changed course, giving our fictional hero and heroine their own unique story, including the much-deserved happy ending that Wellington and his Kitty were denied.

Top 5 Reasons Engaging the Earl would make an excellent Beach Read

1. Intriguing set-up (long-lost first love, second chance at love) I don’t know about you, but I love stories of long-lost first love and second chances.

2. What's keeping them apart Not only does Lady Kat have a newly acquired fiancé, but Edward believes he is going mad because he suffers from nostalgia…better known today as Post Traumatic Stress, a condition suffered by soldiers who return from the battlefront. 

3. Twists & turns Elena, Edward's bombshell former mistress, and Viscount Lawrence Sinclair, Kat's betrothed, don't exactly behave as you'd expect which leads to some unexpected twists and turns. 

4. Real-life inspiration: As I mentioned above, Edward is loosely inspired by Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, who wasn’t allowed to marry an earl’s daughter because he was a second son with no prospects. Ten years later, after gaining a dukedom for his war service, Wellington returned to marry the woman he left behind.

5. There's a dog in it! The heroine’s dog helps Edward cope with his attacks. I decided to bring a dog into the story after being moved by an article about an Iraq war veteran whose trained service dog helps him manage his PTS.

Engaging the Earl by Diana Quincy

Book #4 in the Accidental Peers series

England, 1819

Vivacious Lady Katherine Granville is the toast of the ton, but society's most eligible miss secretly yearns for her childhood love, an untitled loner who vanished long ago after her father forbade their marriage.

After years abroad, the dark and brooding Edward Stanhope returns to England a changed man. No longer a second son with no prospects, his battlefield strategies have won him an earldom. His return should be a victorious one, but the new Earl of Randolph is battling secret demons that no one can discover. Least of all, Kat.

When the man she can't forget reappears at her betrothal ball, Kat's perfectly arranged future is thrown into tumult. Edward remains cold and distant, hoping she'll marry a man worthy of her. But nothing is settled when Kat sets out to win back her first love. Can the new Earl of Randolph resist the woman he's loved for so many years?

Buy at Amazon - B&N

Diana Quincy is an award-winning former television journalist who decided she'd rather make up stories where a happy ending is always guaranteed. Growing up as a foreign service brat, Diana lived in many countries and is now settled in Virginia with her husband and two sons. When not bent over her laptop or trying to keep up with laundry, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family and dreams of traveling much more than her current schedule (and budget) allows. Diana loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her at: 


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