Friday 2 December 2011

Author Interview: Grace Burrowes and The Virtuoso giveaway

Today I have Grace Burrowes over for an interview, and you have the chance to win her new book The Virtuoso.

1. Tell me 3 interesting facts about yourself….
GB: I have kissed the Blarney Stone; I spent a wonderful week last spring in Scotland writing on grounds at Balmoral Castle; I have a three-legged cat named Caspar. 

2. You have 2 new books out;  Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish and The Virtuoso. Could you tell me about these two?
GB: I was a debut author with Sourcebooks last fall, looking forward to the publication of my first book, The Heir, when my editor offered me the opportunity to write a Christmas romance. We decided to develop a story for Sophie, another sibling in the Windham family (to which my first three heroes belong). Sophie’s story is hitting the shelves at the same time as the third brother’s story, The Virtuoso. In that book, Lord Valentine Windham, known far and wide for his skill at the piano, has to learn how to live and love when that skill is taken from him. 

3. With Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish you are starting a new subseries within the Windham books. Can you tell me anything about the books yet to come?
GB: The Duke of Moreland, in addition to having three extant sons, has five lovely unmarried daughters. When I signed my contract with Sourcebooks, the sisters’ stories weren’t written—I had other manuscripts ready to meet my contract obligations. Lady Sophie’s book was great fun to write, so we decided to continue with the four remaining sisters stories in 2012 and 2013. 

4. I liked Val from the moment I read about him. What was your inspiration behind him?
GB: I have a degree in music history and piano was my instrument. I was by no means a virtuoso, but I saw many skilled musicians who were pouring their lives, their souls, their entire beings into their art. I also saw what happened when their art failed them or demanded too much, and it wasn’t pretty. 

Then too, I am the sixth out of seven children. In large families, there’s a paradoxically greater privacy for each sibling—Mom and Dad can’t micro-manage each child—but also a threat of getting lost in the crowd. Valentine solved the part about not being micro-managed a little too well by committing so intensely to his music.

5. Is it hard writing a series about siblings? How do you keep track of everyone?
GB: Because I grew up in a large family, I think the more difficult challenge for me would be to write the story of an only child—though, ironically, I am a single parent to one child, which is as small as a family can get. It is difficult to keep track of some details—which aftershave scent does the Earl of Westhaven favor? Does Lord Valentine ride a bay or a chestnut, and what is that horse’s favorite treat? Readers catch the smallest slips, and I hate to disappoint a reader like that. 

6. We all love heroes, so tell my readers why they will fall for Lady Sophie’s hero…
GB: Vim Charpentier is the only romance hero I’ve met who captures a lady’s heart (in part!) by showing her how to change a dirty nappy. He loves babies, he cannot leave a damsel to her distress no matter the inconvenience to him, and he knows exactly what to do when faced with a lady lingering under a sprig of mistletoe. 

7. And last, do you do a lot of research for your books?
GB: I can never do enough research for my books! When I’m done writing for the day—which task I enjoy tremendously—I go off frolicking on the internet. When was the door knob invented? The sulfur match? When was whiskey first exported from Scotland commercially? When were the first corsets available that laced up the front? So many wonderful questions and so little time! I’ve also taking to traveling in the UK, and that is habit forming.

Thank you :D

2 copies 2 winners The Virtuoso

1.Open to US and Canada
2, Ends December 11
3. Go ahead and enter :)
Or if you want to write more, then tell me what you want for Xmas.

The Virtuoso by Grace Burrowes – In Stores November 2011
A genius with a terrible loss…
Gifted pianist Valentine Windham, youngest son of the Duke of Moreland, has little interest in his father’s obsession to see his sons married, and instead pours passion into his music. But when Val loses his music, he flees to the country, alone and tormented by what has been robbed from him.

A widow with a heartbreaking secret…
Grieving Ellen Markham has hidden herself away, looking for safety in solitude. Her curious new neighbor offers a kindred lonely soul whose desperation is matched only by his desire, but Ellen’s devastating secret could be the one thing that destroys them both.

Together they’ll find there’s no rescue from the past, but sometimes losing everything can help you find what you need most.

Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes – In Stores NOW!
A luminous holiday tale of romance, passion, and dreams come true from rising star Grace Burrowes, whose award-winning Regency romances are capturing hearts worldwide.

All she wants is peace and anonymity…
Lady Sophie Windham has maneuvered a few days to herself at the ducal mansion in London before she must join her family for Christmas in Kent. Suddenly trapped by a London snowstorm, she finds herself with an abandoned baby and only the assistance of a kind, handsome stranger standing between her and complete disaster.

But Sophie’s holiday is about to heat up…
With his estate in ruins, Vim Charpentier sees little to feel festive about this Christmas. His growing attraction for Sophie Windham is the only thing that warms his spirits—but when Sophie’s brothers whisk her away, Vim’s most painful holiday memories are reawakened.

It seems Sophie’s been keeping secrets, and now it will take much more than a mistletoe kiss to make her deepest wishes come true…

About the Author 
Grace Burrowes is the pen name for an award-winning author of historical romances. The Heir, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and was selected as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year for 2010. Both The Heir and its follow-up, The Solider, are New York Times and USA Today bestsellers. She is a practicing attorney specializing in family law and lives in a restored log cabin in western Maryland without a TV, DVD or radio because she's too busy working on her next books. For more information, please visit


  1. Oh how I love Valentine!!! His book was so amazing and I hope we get to see lots more of him in the rest of the Windham books. I'm reading Sophie's book now and I love it too.

  2. I've kissed the Blarney Stone as well! I had no idea you had to do it bent over backwards and I may or may not have panicked when I got into position:)

    I can't imagine trying to keep track of all those little details about the characters and the world and everything else. I don't think I'd ever keep it all straight:) Thanks for the interview!

  3. Thanks for the interview, I enjoyed reading it. Not entering the contest though as I do not live in the US.

  4. Thank you both for a great interview.

    I spent a wonderful week last spring in Scotland writing on grounds at Balmoral Castle
    This sounds like an amazing experience.

    I also like the idea of writing a series based on family and its different siblings. It amazes me sometimes how the same family can produce brothers and sisters who can be so alike in some ways and so different in others.

  5. Of course I can't enter the giveaway. I would like to read The Virtuoso - I wanted to be a musician myself...long time ago in a galaxy far far away...

  6. oooh, totally new-to-me author -- thanks for the great interview. I do love Sourcebooks for this reason -- lots of great new hist fic for me to get hooked on!

  7. Oh, how I would love to visit Scotland! And Ireland... and parts of England. *SIGH* I envy you that! :D

    Caspar, the three-legged cat? Oh, he sounds so cute! :D I'm always amazed at how animals can rebound from such things (three-legged animals, I've even hear of a one-legged bird, and he just kept on trucking! Lol).

    I've not yet read any of your books, but I'm dying to--I've heard such great things about them! :D


  8. Carrie, Glad you enjoyed Val's story. Westhaven and St. Just were tough acts to follow, but I really like Val's book too.

    Jenny--it wasn't dignified, that business with the Blarney Stone, and it was thirty years ago when I was a tad more flexible.

    Aurian, watch my website for giveaways. I ship internationally.

    HKatz, I wish every writer with books set in the UK could travel there. It's easy to get around, and there are details you just don't pick up doing web research.

    Anarchronist, I WAS a musician a long time ago, but that road diverged in the yellow wood. I hope I get back to the piano some day.... some day soon.

    Audra, I'm having particular fun with Emery Lee's books because I'm a horse buff and a historical fiction reader. She's also a Sourcebooks author, come to find out.

    Book Queen, I'm really, really lucky to have been able to travel some in recent years, but before that it was decades of keeping my parental feet planted. I hope you get loose some day soon. Scotland in particular was just a joy to visit.

  9. 3 legged cat? KITTY! :D I wanted to adopt a 3 legged pit bull, but didn't have the room for her. She was a sweetie!

    Oh and the interview and the last review really has me wanting to read it. Thanks for the opportunity!
    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

  10. Thanks for the interview Grace :)

    I look forward to the next book, well books, yay for more!

  11. Ha! Yes, I can relate.

    I have 5 younger siblings, all girls, so I know what a challenge is it to keep up with details, but I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

  12. I love these interviews because it just makes me appreciate even more all of a person's life experiences and curiosity going into writing a novel that's not immediately apparent.

  13. Great interview and the book sounds so good.

  14. I enjoyed the interview and I'm looking forward to reading The Virtuoso.
    I want a charm bracelet for Christmas, I've been browsing the Brighton website all day. :D

  15. Melissa, my best writer buddy, Robin Kaye, also has a three-legged cat. What are the odds of that?

    Missie, I have six siblings, and think the large family dynamic was the best one for me. Lots of company when you need it, and plenty of room to fly under the radar when you want privacy.

    Stephanie, you are so right. It's fiction, but there's a thread of autobiography in each book--whether I can see it or not.

    Barbara, would that be the Brighton Pavilion website? I went there on my last trip to England, and ye gods, what a lovely building. I'm so glad it has been preserved. In the kitchen there's a sample menu of one of Prinny's company meals... my, my, my. THAT was living large.

    Thanks to everybody who stopped by, and most especially to the Book Girl herself. Happy holiday everyone, and may you gets lots of good books this year!

  16. I am a follower and email subscriber. I want a baby for Christmas. Please enter me in contest.

  17. Great interview...of course...haha.

    Thank you Grace Burrowes for stopping by! I must read one of your books someday. =D

    I want a smexy guy to have his tire pop right in front of my house and we have a happily ever after...OR I'll just wish for one of those fancy new Kindles. They seem pretty epic. lol

    Well, I can't help myself so I'll throw my hat into the ring.

  18. I've only read The Heir so far but enjoyed it so much I definitely plan to get to the rest of the series.

  19. Great post ladies. lol...I wnat to kiss the Blarney Stone too one day.
    The books sound great. I do enjoy this genre.

  20. Loved "Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish", "The Soldier", and "the Heir"; wonderful and refreshing stories. Gorgeous website, too, Grace.

  21. I love Grace's books and can't wait to read these two!! I really, really want a new digital camera for Christmas because my son broke mine!
    jwitt33 at live dot com

  22. Freaking TBR pile just keeps building and building and I keep wanting and wanting more!

    I want more time to read for Christmas..yea that's what I want!

    Great interview and so jealous you got to visit Scotland, Grace! So want to visit that country one day.


  23. Thank you for introducing me to another writer and another intriguing book.

    Great interview! I look forward to reading more from this blog.

    mirely at g mail dot com

  24. Thank you both for the wonderful Interview! I really enjoyed reading it :D Have a lovely Christmas!!



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