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August 7, 2013 – 12:48 am | One Comment

I’m back from vacation and ready to get down and dirty finding new free and amazingly bargained books for you! But first this week I have something special. I convinced super hot and crazy talented …

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Blog Tour Interview and Giveaway: Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal by Grace Burrowes

Submitted by on May 21, 2012 – 4:00 am23 Comments

Kitt: Hi Grace, we’d like to welcome you back to Paperback Dolls! We’re so happy to have you here!

Grace: Thrilled to be here!

Kitt: The first time you visited us was during our first Month of Love for the debut of your first book, The Heir, in which you told us your Valentine’s Day resolutions. Can you tell our readers a little about yourself now and what you’ve been doing since?

Grace: I have been writing my everlasting aspirations off, and loving every minute of it. I’m still a practicing foster care attorney, but more and more of my time is devoted to the writing, and that’s a wonderful thing. Each book teaches me something, each book has some insight to show me.

Kitt: When did you first start writing? What made you decide – ‘ok, this is it, I’m writing a book’?

Grace: I started writing romance maybe five years ago, and the story is not unusual: After reading romance for decades, I opened up a NYT bestseller that struck me as much in need of revision, and said to myself, “I bet I could write at least this well…” Dangerous thought, that, but also inspiring.

Kitt: What was it about the Romance genre that made you choose to write love stories?

Grace: People say romance is a formula, but look at what the elements of that formula are: Like a traditional tragedy, the protagonists end the story morally and emotionally healthier because—in the case of the romance—love has redeemed their worst flaws. Like a comedy, by the end of the book, the future looks bright and all obstacles have been surmounted (the happily ever after) for not one hero, but two fully developed protagonists. Like a mystery or a thriller, the book should crackle with tension related to both the dramatic arc and to the romantic arc. Like good literature, the writing must be top notch. Like the best of the oral tradition, the moral is uplifting: Love conquers all.

All of which is to say, I write love stories because when I get it right, or even mostly right, the results feel wonderful.

Kitt: For a romance heroine, do you prefer a timid flower, a scorned & scarred fatalist, an optimistic romantic, or the one always ignored or passed over?

Grace: Hmm. Maybe somewhere in between? For a heroine, I need a woman whose defining trauma is unhealed. The love, courage and trust of the hero give her the groceries to work on her own big issues, and conversely.

Kitt: Do you have any authors that you took inspiration from or influenced you the most?

Grace: Judith Ivory is a treasure, same with Mary Balogh, Carolyn Jewel, Eloisa James, Loretta Chase, Julie Ann Long, Meredith Duran, and my all time favorite author, Joanna Bourne. For variety, I do enjoy JR Ward immensely.

Kitt: When you want to get away from your own books and take a break, what do you read?

Grace: Research is a break from the writing, and oddly enough, court is also a break of a sort. I like road trips, which is fortunate. I live in Maryland and my parents live in San Diego.

Kitt: Can you tell us a little bit about your new novel, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal?

Grace: Maggie is the Duke of Moreland’s illegitimate daughter, though she was raised with all the privileges his other children enjoyed. Maggie is burdened though, by her maternal roots in the demimonde, and tries to keep that burden utterly to herself. Along comes investigator Benjamin Hazlit, and though he’s hired to snoop for Maggie, not on her, he’s fascinated by the parts of her she tries to keep hidden. And she finds Benjamin isn’t entirely who he wants the world to think he is, either…

Kitt: Are any of your characters, such as your heroine Maggie Windham, based on other people? Do you have mental images for your characters?

Grace: Sometimes I have mental images, but more often it’s a case of recognizing an emotional landscape. Maggie is in the same dilemma as a foster child adopted into a functional, loving, materially secure family. For some children, to bond with that new family is to betray their natural family, and all manner of mischief and misery results.

Kitt: Was there a particular scene or part of the book that was more challenging to write, if so, can you explain?

Grace: There’s a place where Maggie has to decide to turn her back on her past, to hold true to the values and self-worth her ducal family has tried to give her. This is an enormously courageous step—to stand up for the values that ring true to you, regardless of cost—but all healthy people make it at some point, to some degree, in the maturation process. We belong to ourselves and to the people who truly love us, not to the people who use genetic relationships to dump their pathology on us.

Kitt: If there is a lesson that each of your main characters need to learn what would it be?

Grace: Love heals everything. That’s not original, that’s a quote from Eloisa James.

Kitt: What can we expect next from your Duke’s Daughters series? The Windham series as a whole?

Grace: Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight comes out in October, and that is a dear, dear book to me. Louisa Windham is a bit of misfit, but she finds the one man on the entire planet who sees past her unusual gifts into her heart, and she has the sense to treasure him too. We’ll finish the series in 2013 with Lady Eve and Lady Jenny’s stories.

Kitt: So, what’s next on your “to-do” list? We know you are busy promoting your new book, but are there any new works in progress we can be anticipating? Or are there any other genres that you’d like to explore?

Grace: My first Scottish Victorian, The Bridegroom Wore Plaid, hits the shelves in December 2012. I wrote part of that book while staying on grounds at Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands, and I passionately hope that series grows to such lengths that it requires repeated research trips on Scottish soil.

Kitt: We want to thank you so much for taking the time to visit us and answer our questions! We are super thrilled to have you on Paperback Dolls. Best of Luck to you!

Grace: My thanks for having me here!

Grace Burrowes is a prolific and award-winning author of historical romances. Her debut, The Heir, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and was selected as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year for 2010 in the romance category. Both The Heir and its follow-up, The Solider, are New York Times and USA Today bestsellers. Her third novel, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Historical for 2011. She is a practicing attorney specializing in family law and lives in a restored log cabin in western Maryland without a TV, DVD player or radio because she’s too busy working on her next books. Please visit for more information.

Website | Blog | | |

Maggie Windham, oldest of the Windham sisters and a by-blow from His Grace’s pre-marital wild oats, finds herself in desperate needs of an investigator to help her retrieve a missing reticule. Benjamin Hazlit knows the Windham family secrets, and can be trusted to keep them to himself, so Maggie turns to Benjamin, though it means ignoring his too-broad shoulders, his too-knowing smile… and his too-skilled kisses.

As Benjamin starts the search for Maggie’s missing purse, he realizes two things: First, whatever was in that purse, its loss has Maggie not just rattled, but terrified. Second, Benjamin will go to any lengths to see Maggie’s peace of mind restored, even if it means he must keep himself in very close proximity to the shy, secretive lady who says she wants nothing to do with him. Read an Excerpt. Read Kitt’s Review.


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Paperback Dolls is made up of women from different parts of the world, with different backgrounds, different tastes and beliefs that were brought together through a love of reading. We like to think of ourselves as a cyber version of "The View" that focuses on books, authors, and reading. We are proof positive that one common love can unite the most opposite of people and form lasting friendships that introduce other ways of life and perspectives to each other.
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  • Alisa says:

    Looks like a great book. Now on my to read list

    Reply to this comment »
  • sienny says:

    Darn.. US/can only..

    Hope you’ll get plenty of research trips, Grace ;)

    Reply to this comment »
  • Maria Pronounced Mariah says:

    Take a few road trips for me since I can never seem to get out of Tex

    Book sounds terrific. Thanks for the chance.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Shelley Bagby says:

    I’ve read all of Ms. Burrows books. Big fan!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Ladies, thanks for those kind sentiments, and you bet I’ll be taking as many research trips as ye olde exchequer can afford. Might have to set a Regency in Bermuda Jamaica…. Portugal is lovely too.

    Reply to this comment »
  • kimmyl says:

    The book sounds awesome and I can’t wait to read it. Especially your Scottish story in December. I hope we get to see pics and hear of your adventures when you take your road trips.

    Reply to this comment »
    • I’ve driven cross country so many times I probably no longer see Routes 40, 70, 80 or 90 with new eyes, but I should keep my camera handy–then too, every trip has some special moments. Can’t wait to see the Redwoods this summer!

      Reply to this comment »
  • Maureen says:

    Maggie sounds like an interesting heroine who is not entirely what she seems.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Victoria Zumbrum says:

    Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good.

    Reply to this comment »
  • erinf1 says:

    Thanks for an awesome interview and giveaway! I loved the Windham boys, now I need to read about the girls :)

    Reply to this comment »
  • Maggie is an interesting heroine. I didn’t set out to write the sister’s stories, but then I was asked to do the Christmas book and a Windham sister came to mind. That book was a pleasure to write, so we forged on with the rest of the family. Maggie was the heroine who convinced me that I can write a heroine-centric book and do a good job of it.

    Reply to this comment »
  • mary hay says:

    Your books sound great and I’d love to (win) read them.

    Reply to this comment »
  • bn100 says:

    I enjoyed the interview. The series sounds good.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Jeanne Miro says:

    Grace -

    I love your books and the deleted parts you have on your website (but always wait to read them AFTER I finish the book so I don’t read any “spoilers”.

    Who decides what to delete? Actually it does give me the “excuse” to visit your website (which I love) and find out what you have up your sleeve next!

    I can’t wait to read Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal and see what you have your characters up to this time!

    Reply to this comment »
    • Jeanne,
      I am an “organic” writer, that is, I sit down, think up a scene, and that’s what I write that day. I cannot tell you two days ahead what the characters are likely to get up to, other than in a general sense. This is inefficient, to put it mildly. I’ve had first drafts in excess of 200,00 words, when the finished MS is supposed to be 95,000.

      Mostly, I decide what to delete. Scenes without both protags are always good candidates for cutting; scenes in the Point of View of a minor characters, scenes enriching a subplot. scenes that don’t advance the character arc or dramatic plot of the major players…

      The first draft for me is like shuffling through a deck to make sure it has 52 cards. When the major revisions get under way, that’s when the book begins to take shape.

      Reply to this comment »
  • Barbara Elness says:

    I love Grace Burrowes’ books, and I’m looking forward to reading Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal. I’m intrigued by her first Scottish Victorian, The Bridegroom Wore Plaid and I can’t wait to read that one too. :D

    Reply to this comment »
    • Barbara, I really had a wonderful time writing and researching the Scottish Victorians. There’s a dauntless vigor about Scottish culture that makes it fertile ground for wonderful characters. Then too, the scenery is incredible, to say nothing of the whiskey.

      Reply to this comment »
  • says:

    I just got Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish and can’t wait to read it.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Alicia Jespersen says:

    Your book looks amazing!!! How did you come across the Idea for your books? Why and when did you start writting historical romance?

    Thank you for the giveaway!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Linda says:

    Love the interview and the giveaway, =) Looking forward to your scottish adventure and hope for more, =D i´m a sucker for a real Scot!

    best wishes, Linda xo

    Reply to this comment »
  • Rhiannon Rowland says:

    Great interview, cannot wait to read Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal!

    Reply to this comment »
  • says:

    Thanks for the lovely interview I enjoyed reading it.

    Reply to this comment »
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