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Friday, August 5, 2011

Guest Grace Burrowes: The Windham Family


Linda Banche here. Today I welcome back New York Times best-selling author Grace Burrowes, author of the Regency historicals The Heir and The Soldier, with more to come. Her series tells the story of the Windham family, and, I admit, I'm somewhat confused about the relationships between the family members. In this post, Grace has kindly explained a little about all the delicious characters she has created.

Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win a signed copy of either The Heir or The Soldier (I'm drooling, but I'm not eligible), or one of two signed ARCs of The Virtuoso, which Grace has generously provided. That's THREE chances to win! So comment away! Check back here to see who won.

Grace will also sign your e-copies using Kindlegraph, for those who already have The Heir and/or The Soldier in eformat. Any eformat will work.

The winners Grace selected are: Karen H and Toni for The Virtuoso, Phyllis C for The Heir, and Bonnie for The Soldier. Thanks to all for coming over.

Welcome back, Grace!

Grace Burrowes:

Which Windham?

I’m happily at work on the seventh book in an eight-book sibling series featuring the offspring of Percival Windham, the Duke of Moreland, but I must confess I never foresaw starting my career as a published author with such an ambitious project. Like many aspiring writers, I entered a lot of contests in an effort to get professional feedback on my manuscripts, and when it came time to pitch, of the twenty or so completed manuscripts I had, I chose the contest winners to send in to an editor.

There’s a problem with this approach: My contest champ was “The Heir,” which in addition to being about a third son, was also my fifth completed MS in a related series. Hmm. My editor at Sourcebooks figured out that I’d completed books about two of the hero’s brothers, and a trilogy was born. When the first book did fairly well, we decided to write stories for the five Windham sisters, and the rest, one hopes, will be bestseller history.

This has taxed the patience of many of my readers, and what follows is an attempt to fill in some blanks regarding the Windham family.

The oldest child is Maggie, a by-blow of the duke’s conceived prior to his marriage. The duke and duchess have adopted her, but she maintains her own establishment, being well past marriageable age… or so she thinks. Her story is slated for publication in May 2012 as “Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal.”

Next comes Devlin St. Just, another by-blow who joined the ducal household at the age of five. His story is “The Soldier” which came out in June 2011.

The oldest legitimate son is Bartholomew, or Lord Bart. Friction between His Grace and Bart go so bad that when Bart asked to join Wellington’s cavalry, his parents permitted it. Alas, Lord Bart came to grief in Portugal when he mistook a decent woman for a soiled dove and her menfolk took lethal exception.

Next in line we have Gayle, the Earl of Westhaven (Bart had used the courtesy title Marquis of Pembroke). As a spare Gayle envisioned himself going into the legal profession, but we saw a happier fate befall him in “The Heir,” which was published in December 2010.

And this is where it gets a trifle tricky, because we have another Windham brother resting in peace as a result of consumption, Lord Victor, though Victor left a daughter behind. The story of little Rose and her mother’s involvement with first Victor and then Douglas, Viscount Amery, goes by the working title of “The Proper Peer.” His Grace’s matrimonial fixations create significant havoc for Guinevere and Douglas on the road to their happily ever after. I hope this book becomes available at least for e-readers in early 2012.

The youngest brother, Valentine, is familiar to readers as an accomplished musician and his story, “The Virtuoso,” comes out in November.

Which leaves us with the four remaining sisters, in order of planned publication: “Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish” comes out in October 2011, to be followed by stories for Lady Eve, Lady Louisa, and Lady Genevieve, the last two also being planned as Christmas books.

When my website is up sometime in the next few weeks, I intend to have a family tree available to keep the Windham batting order organized for my readers. It won’t stop there, though. The Windhams have friends, neighbors, cousins and other associations, all of whom are clamoring for books. In fact, I heard a rumor the other day even Lord Bart might have left a small legacy…

Thanks so much for coming over, Grace.

Readers, don't forget to leave a comment!

24 comments:

Karen H in NC said...

Hi Grace,

Thanks for the tidbits about your series. Will there be 8 books in all in this series? Can't wait for your website to be up so I can track your progress! Notice I said 'track' and not 'stalk' LOL. I have copies of The Heir & The Soldier, so if I'm lucky enough to be one of the winners in your giveaway, I'd love to have the ARC of The Virtuoso.

kareninnc at gmail dot com

PhyllisC said...

These sound great. Can't wait to read them. I look forward to your website being up to check the family tree. It's always fun to have those to follow along and keep all the characters straight.

pnc07 (at) aol (dot) com

Grace Burrowes said...

Karen, there will be a lot more than eight, if all goes well. There's a quartet of prequels before the Windham siblings proper, and there are at least a dozen related stories already in draft. My editor is also after me to write a story for Their Graces, because their courtship was unusual.

THAT will be a challenge to write, what with the whole family reading over my shoulder every step of the way.

Grace Burrowes said...

Phyliss, From your typing fingers to God's ears. I never realized what a production a proper website can be, and it only gets more complicated once you have books rolling out while the site is in development. But what a nice problem to have, yes?

catslady said...

I enjoyed The Heir but thank you so much for explaining all the characters. It's nice knowing ahead of time what is coming up and I look forward to all the others' stories and keeping track of things on your website!

Diane M. Wylie said...

Historicals are my favorite. It is nice to see that yours are doing so well. Congratulations. I look forward to the rest of the books in the series.

Linda Banche said...

Grace, I think I had finally figured out some of the relationships, but it's nice to get everything straightened out from the author. I'm really looking forward to Valentine's story.

Also nice to know that you succeeded with a book in the middle of your saga. I thought I had to start with the beginning. I have a quartet, and the one finished book I have is Book 3. *g*

Grace Burrowes said...

Hello, Cats! I am from a big family, and this is probably another example of that old editing chestnut: I am not my readers. Just because I'm used to a full house and shirt-tail cousins up to the rafters, that doesn't mean such a melee (or milieu) will make sense to my readers.

Grace Burrowes said...

Diane, I love the historicals best too (though I must have my JR Ward fixes). When there is talent like Mary Balogy, Loretta Chase, Meredith Duran, Julie Ann Long, Carolyn Jewel... we just go on and on couldn't we?

Grace Burrowes said...

Linda, My editor's approach was "lead with your strongest book," regardless of order. I think her judgment has been vindicated. The slight questions left hanging in readers' minds as a result of the out-of-chron order result in emails to moi (big fun), some interesting material for the website (more fun), and opportunities to post with great groups like this one.

So keep writing, but don't make us wait for the whole series before we start reading, please?

bonnie said...

Ah, this does help me keep track of the family. Loved "The Heir" and "The Soldier," and very much looking forward to "The Virtuoso." He has intrigued me since he first appeared.

bonnie

bonnieblue at wowway dot com

Meg Fielding said...

Ah, this is SO helpful! I just sent you an email yesterday asking about "missing stories". I'm so excited that so many more are coming. I read the Soldier first, then the Heir - and found I needed to read the Soldier again because I knew so much more about the family. LOL

Meg Fielding said...

Meg again - realized that I didn't leave my email address:

seansq at aol dot com

Carolyn Brown said...

Grace,
What a delightful family you are writing about. So many shirt tail kin as we say in Texas and back stories that give your books flavor and substinance! I can imagine a whole bookcase of beautiful books with your name on them! Keep 'em coming.

Kat said...

I have sooo enjoyed the Windham family thus far and wait with anticipation for more to come!

Grace Burrowes said...

Bonnie, Valentine was the second Windham I met, Gayle having shown up in Douglas and Gwen's story as His Grace's fiance of choice for Douglas' true love. If that isn't just like a duke... meanwhile, Valentine was hiding from His Grace's schemes by playing piano night after night in a high class bordello. Well, mostly hiding from them... almost mostly...

Grace Burrowes said...

Meg, I hope on my website to include not just the family tree, such as it will not spoil plot beyond the most recently printed book, but also some deleted scenes that further fill in the blanks. If I'm a VERY good girl, I might be able to put several of the back stories up on e-reader next year.

Grace Burrowes said...

Carolyn, All my books needs is a cowboy or two and they'd be perfect, right? Not sure we had cowboys in 1815, but we had frontiersmen and mountain men, which does give me something to think about. Thanks for stopping by.

Grace Burrowes said...

Kat, I'm sooooo glad you did, because as much fun as you had reading them, I had even more fun writing them.

Linda Banche said...

Thanks for the info, Grace. And I'm trying to find someone who wants my book!

Toni said...

I just love the Windham family. I can't wait to continue on their journey. What a great post!! Loved the breakdown of the books.

tsteinerid(gmail)

Grace Burrowes said...

Toni, thanks for stopping by. I think we all owe a debt to Julia Quinn and her Bridgertons. Editors weren't sure more than a trilogy could work, and geezopete... guess she showed 'em!

Dee said...

I really enjoyed The Heir and am looking forward to The Soldier (TBR pile). The relationships are a bit complex for an outsider (aka reader) but I like that the characters and family are complex. It really adds depth to the story.

Rosebud Too said...

Hi Grace,

Your series sounds fascinating. I prefer reading many books in one area si will be sure to look for them. I already have The Soldier and would love to have The Heir.

Betty@cinderpeak.com