Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Guest post, Review & Giveaway: One Rogue Too Many by Samantha Grace

Today we are joined by author Samantha Grace as she promotes her latest book, One Rogue Too Many.  Enjoy her guest post about her methods of research for her historical romances after my thoughts on the book.

Want to win a copy?  Fill out the rafflecopter below to enter. (Us & Canada only)

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Date of publication: January 2014

All Bets Are Off When the Game is Love…
Lady Gabrielle is thrilled when Anthony Keaton, earl of Ellis, asks for her hand in marriage. She's not so pleased when he then leaves the country and four months pass without a word. Clearly, the scoundrel has changed his mind and is too cowardly to tell her. There's nothing to do but go back on the marriage mart...

When Anthony returns to town and finds his ultimate rival has set sights on Gabby, his continual battle of one-upmanship with Sebastian Thorne ceases to be a game. Anthony is determined to win back the woman who holds his heart--but he's not expecting Gabby herself to up the stakes...

My thoughts:

One Rogue Too Many was a fun read.  Gabby is  Luke Forest's sister. We met Luke and Vivian in their story, Lady Vivian Defies a Duke.  Gabby has loved Anthony forever, but she has given up hope that he will return to marry her, so she sets herself out onto the marriage mart.  The problem is that Anthony's rival, Sebastian Thorne is more than ready to take over for Anthony.  Who will win?

There really was no contest as Anthony and Gabby really do love each other.  It was fun watching Anthony set about properly courting Gabby as he feels she deserves. Of course in all good love stories, there is a big misunderstanding that could have been solved had all of the cards been laid out on the table from the start.  But, then we wouldn't have had the great adventure to the border, right?  I loved what Anthony did to try to stop Gabby's marriage to Thorne.  The thing that melted my heart the most was the way Gabby helped Anthony and Annabelle bond.  Very sweet!

Thorne gets his own story soon in, In Bed With a Rogue, coming out later this year!  

Hi, everyone! I’m historical romance author Samantha Grace. It’s great to be at From the TBR Pile discussing my love for history, the source of some of my story ideas, and how I go about researching for my Regency romance novels.

I developed a love for history in 8th grade from the meanest, no-nonsense or-you-will-be-tarred-and-feathered American History teacher ever. She made it clear on Day 1 that we would pay attention or else. Her warnings were unnecessary, however. The moment she launched into our first lesson, the class became mesmerized. It was the first time I realized history wasn’t a bunch of boring dates or an endless list of battles. *yawn*

History is all about stories. True stories! (Or else someone’s version of the truth. Depends on who is retelling it.) And I’ve loved stories since I was a little girl. I’m sure most people have heard the saying, “Life is stranger than fiction.” Well, Mark Twain wasn’t joking. History is full of really weird stuff, and it’s a great source for book ideas.

Sometimes my research for a book begins with general curiosity. I’ll be browsing the biography or history section in a bookstore or library, find a book that looks interesting, and in the course of reading a historical account of a person’s life or an event, I get my next story idea.

About a year ago, I found a book on Ninjas in a coffee shop that also sells used books. I was so excited, because I’ve been toying with a series idea about Ninja-type warriors. I said to my husband, “I can’t believe I found a Ninja book.” And he said, “Me either. They are usually better at hiding.” LOL

So my first research method is very technical. It’s called dumb luck!

My second method is called “Rely on the Experts”. I knew my story Miss Lavigne’s Little White would take place on a ship, but I knew NOTHING about sailing or wooden ships. I’d never even been on the ocean. Fortunately, I found experts who were willing to share their knowledge.

I took an online class about the age of sail. It was fantastic! There was so much information, and the instructor helped me with some of my research on travel to New Orleans from England. (Did you know ships actually have to travel quite a ways up the Mississippi to reach New Orleans? On the map, it looks like New Orleans is right there in the Gulf.) Then I had help from my friend and critique partner Suzie Grant. She is also an author and writes adventurous historical romances. She was especially helpful with the confrontation at sea between the hero’s ship and the nasty villain’s.

The resource librarian at the local library is a wonderful help, too. They are definitely the experts when it comes to research.  

Personal experience is some of the best research, of course. My husband planned a family cruise while I was working on the story, which allowed me to have at least had some idea of what it was like to be on the ocean. I’ve also toured old houses and visited historical landmarks. I’ve stood outside in subzero weather to better describe the bite of cold. I’ve tried Regency recipes so I know what they ate. And some day, I really want to take a trip to England so I can experience the places I write about. 

YouTube has become my research buddy. When I needed to learn how to load and fire a flintlock pistol for Lady Vivian Defies a Duke, I watched several YouTube videos. Not only did I learn how to do it the correct way, I learned that you could end up with a busted nose if you aren’t prepared for the kick back when firing. Ouch! I also watched how to get a horse to back up and how to jump a fence.

Google Books rock for research! I find a lot of information through Google books. If you aren’t familiar with the service, it searches full text of books for whatever search terms you enter. Some books are for purchase, but many old books are free because they are considered to be in the public domain. I’ve found information about mail coaches, gambling, and many other topics. It takes patience and digging, but it’s often possible to find what I’m looking for without leaving home.

And of course there is the Internet for research. The information isn’t always accurate, but it can provide a starting point for further exploration. I especially like to use Google Maps and “walk” around an area to get a feel for the streets. I also like finding old maps, drawings, and diagrams.

Here are some interesting things I ran across while researching for my newest book One Rogue Too Many:

I learned that innocent young misses often sang bawdy songs at musicales while affecting a Scottish accent.

I searched online for ancient erotic art for a scene where Gabby stumbles across a gentleman’s private art collection during a gallery showing for select members of Society. And I blushed. A lot!

I also researched art galleries in the early 1800s and that’s how I found out collections were privately owned rather than displayed in a public forum.

I looked up information on Gunter’s and learned what flavor ices were served and that it was the only place a courting couple could go without a chaperone.

When researching travel on the Great North Road, I ran across a story about a highwayman nicknamed Swift Nick (John Nevison). The story goes in 1676 Nevison committed a crime early in the morning in Rochester, Kent then rode his horse hell-for-leather to York (200 miles away). He arrived at sunset, made sure he met the Lord Mayor, and created an alibi. It worked too. When he was arrested for the robbery in Kent, he produced the Lord Mayor and was acquitted. Hmm… Maybe I can use that some day.

Lastly, I love looking at photos or old drawings for inspiration and information. If you would like to see some of the photos that inspired me during the writing of One Rogue Too Many, you can view the storyboard on Pinterest.

What time-period or culture do you find fascinating? (Vikings, Romans, Ancient Egyptians, Regency England, Medieval, WWI or II…)

I’d like to thank From the TBR Pile for having me here today, and I look forward to chatting with everyone.

Enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Historical romance author Samantha Grace discovered the appeal of a great love story when she was
just a young girl, thanks to Disney’s “Robin Hood”. She didn’t care that Robin Hood and Maid Marian were cartoon animals. It was her first happily-ever-after experience and she didn’t want the warm fuzzies to end. Now that Samantha is grown, she enjoys creating her own happy-endings for characters that spring from her imagination. Publisher’s Weekly describes her stories as “fresh and romantic” with subtle humor and charm. Samantha describes romance writing as the best job ever.      

Part-time hospice social worker, moonlighting author, and Pilates nut, she enjoys a happy and hectic life with her real life hero and two kids in the Midwest. 

To Connect with Samantha, you can find her at:


Misty H said...

Just about all history interests me, some more than others lol.

Diane D - Florida said...

I love Samantha's books. I'm keeping everything crossed. said...

Well, you did choose history as your field of study. ;) said...

Hi, Diane!
Wishing you luck! :)

Sharlene said...

Hi Samantha! Thanks for sharing your research process! It's great that you find history so interesting & that you can find so much information. The internet is pretty amazing! I remember encyclopedia's!Love your books & good luck with the new release! said...

Thank you, Sharlene!
I remember encyclopedias too. I always wanted a set, but we couldn't afford it, so I had to do my research at the library. That's not too bad though. I've always loved the library. :)