Friday, February 8, 2013

"How Did I Come Up with the Windham Family?" a Guest Blog by Grace Burrowes (and GIVEAWAY!)

I'm excited to have author Grace Burrowes as a guest on Laura's Reviews today.  I love her bestselling Windham series and this post on how she came up with the complex, loveable family is fascinating.  Enjoy!

How Did I Come Up with the Windham Family? by Grace Burrowes
I’m seven books into the Windham series, and nobody has asked me this yet, which surely qualifies it as great question.

Of the Windham siblings, I started off writing Westhaven’s story first, and because every hero needs reflection characters, I gave Westhaven a couple brothers who by turns support and exhort his lordship. They were good fellows, those two, so good in fact, that after serving their terms in The Heir, they merited books of their own, The Soldier and The Virtuoso.

Because families of the Regency period tended to be large, I also sprinkled a few sisters into the mix, and because most families also lost somebody to disease, I consigned one brother to an unfortunate demise as a function of consumption. Then too, the Napoleonic wars were taking a toll, so the loss of the late ducal heir also hovers over the family. I was trying for historical accuracy, but in fact, I got much more than that.

When my editor gave me the opportunity to write a Christmas story, it seemed only natural to turn to a Windham sister for inspiration, and wasn’t it convenient that she had three older brothers riding in from the east to meddle with her happily ever after? Lady Sophie didn’t quite see it that way…

With Sophie’s tale complete in draft, I could have turned back to the manuscripts preceding the Windham’s, written completely new material, or come up with stories for the remaining four Windham sisters. My editor’s guidance was to write the sisters’ stories, and it turned out to be good guidance.

I am relatively new at this published author business, having seen my first book in print little more than two years ago. Having one milieu to work in across many books let me focus on the writing and the stories, and spend a bit less time on the research and the world building. Then too, readers have become fond of the family, something I did not anticipate, and the family members are fond of one another.

It’s interesting to me that often, the scene in each book that readers will say got to them—St. Just reading his mother’s letters with Valentine, Maggie finally accepting Her Grace as her mother, His Grace waiting with Eve at the back of the church on her wedding day—are not scenes between the lovers, but rather, family scenes.

I’m a child welfare attorney, and I see families on the verge of falling apart, pulling back from the brink of disaster, and falling into complete disarray. More to the point, I’m the sixth out of seven children, and my family members are among my favorite people on the entire planet.

So where did the Windham family come from? From my own formative years, from what I see in the courtroom, from historical realities, from editorial guidance. Mostly, the Windham family came from my belief that when two people love each other and commit to a lifetime together, that love creates family. It might not be biological family, it might not be a big family, but love and family are intertwined, and mutually reinforcing.

Then too, Their Graces were such fun characters are parents… I do wonder what tricks they’ll get up to as grandparents. Don’t you?


Lady Eve's Got The Perfect Plan…

Pretty, petite Evie Windham has been more indiscreet than her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Moreland, suspect. Fearing that a wedding night would reveal her past, she's running out of excuses to dodge adoring swains. Lucas Denning, the newly titled Marquis of Deene, has reason of his own for avoiding marriage. So Evie and Deene strike a deal, each agreeing to be the other's decoy. At this rate, matrimony could be avoided indefinitely...until the two are caught in a steamy kiss that no one was supposed to see.

Praise for Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal:

"Burrowes delivers red-hot chemistry with a masterful mix of playfulness and sensuality."—Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"A tantalizing, delectably sexy story that is one of the best yet from an author on the way to the top."—Library Journal Starred Review

"A delight...strikingly unique characters with realistic emotions and exciting antics."—RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

"Captivating...historical romance at its finest and rife with mystery and intrigue."—Romance Fiction on Suite 101


Grace Burrowes is a bestselling and award-winning author of historical romances. Her debut, The Heir, was selected as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year for 2010 in the romance category, and Lady Louisa’s Christmas Wish won RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Historical Romance of 2011 and was also nominated for the prestigious RWA RITA© award. The author of the bestsellers The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, and Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish, Grace is a practicing attorney and lives in rural Maryland. She’ll conclude to the Windham Family Series with Lady Jenny’s story in October 2013, and will begin a new regency series with Darius in April 2013. She also has a Scottish Victorian series as well, beginning with The Bridegroom Wore Plaid, which was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2012. Please visit or follow her on Twitter: @GraceBurrowes for more information.

To Purchase Lady Eve’s Indiscretion:


Barnes and Noble

Sourcebooks has graciously offered a prize pack of the two books—Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal and Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight (the two books that come before Lady Eve’s Indiscretion). 

If you would like to win this prize pack please leave a comment about what intrigues you about the these books, Lady Eve's Indiscretion or about author Grace Burrowes Guest Blog.

As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.

For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.

I will be using (or a monte carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is only open to US and Canadian residents (Sorry!).

No P.O. Boxes.

The deadline for entry is midnight on Friday February 22, 2013.

Please make sure to check the last week of February to see if you are a winner. I send emails to the winner, but lately I've been put in their "junk mail" folder instead of their inbox.

Good luck!


  1. Wonderful guest post! The characters in her stories sound absolutely fascinating. Please enter me in this great giveaway, Laura. I will try to post the giveaway in my sidebar later today. :)


  2. What an awesome post. I LOVE the Windham family, I have read all but the first book. Thanks for this great post about how the family came to be.

    (not an entry, I have this book!)

    1. Carrie, Glad you're enjoying the books. I still have some author copies of "The Heir," if you'd like a signed copy. Message me on FB at my Grace Burrowes Author page.

  3. What a great post, Laura! I need to read this series now! Ack. ;)

    1. The books standalone, Bella, so you could start with Maggie or Louisa and still enjoy the read.

  4. Suko, I have noticed that the pull of family transcends sub-genre. Contemporary romances are full of family, as are paranormals, steampunk, historicals...we all seem to agree on family as a source of both love and aggravation.

    1. Yes, you are so right, Grace! Your work sounds fabulous--I just posted this giveaway in my blog's sidebar. :)

  5. I absolutely love these books and the main reason for that is this family is a wonderful blend of personalities, and I the interactions between them are wonderfully written. I'm looking forward to the remaining sisters books, as well as the Lonely Lord books containing characters that have already popped up in this series.

    1. Cathy, it's gotten to the point when I'm working on a MS, and I can't figure out why it lacks juice, the problem is usually that there are no "siblings," no secondary characters who are THAT close to the protags, no hovering parents, no community against which the romance unfolds. The Windhams have spoiled me.

  6. I've really enjoyed reading about the Wyndam family. His Grace certainly doesn't fit the mold of the cold, formal reserved parent. He is a meddler! I look forward to future books and will content myself with rereading until they arrive!


    1. Unknown, I think but for his duchess, Percival would be a real pain in the patoot. his parents were not a love match, he never wanted the title, and he's a Tory, through and through. But Esther turns him into a husband and a papa, and that's somebody we can love.

  7. In all the blog's I've read that Grace has been a part of I've never thought to ask this question but it deserved to be asked and answered. Thank you so much Grace for explaining to us where the family came from.
    I can be reached

    1. Molly, nice to see you here. Thanks for topping by. I think other have come close, but maybe my answer wasn't as complete because I wasn't as far along in the series?

  8. I love this series; it’s one of my all-time favorites. I love how the characters struggle on their own but only seem to overcome their difficulties when they let their family and loved ones in to help. I can’t wait to see how Lady Eve overcomes her troubles!

  9. I really enjoy these books (and love the Windham family)! I think what appeals is the believable character interactions. Of course, I also like tortured heroes, and they deliver that, as well (though, sometimes, the heroine is the more tortured one).

    jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu

  10. I really enjoy historical romance or just plain historical fiction and think I would enjoy this book because of that. Also, something with a little bit of scandal, especially in a time when one's reputation was everything they had, is really intriguing to me!

  11. I like books about families and historicals.


  12. The best books I have read have always been ones where I would love to meet the characters in real life. The Windham series easily fits this description for me. Thanks so much for this wonderful family, Grace!

  13. These novels are captivating and special. A fascinating family that appeals to me. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  14. the characters in these books are wonderfully portrayed and the relationships memorable. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  15. I love to follow a series and a family connection is extra special. Often things from their childhood can be brought in to explain the relationships.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  16. I am intrigued by how Grace formed this family from many factors. I love historical romance and must put this series on my TBR list.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  17. Love the Windhams. As someone whose family consists of a sister with a seven year age gap, reading the sibling and larger family interactions is a visit to an unknown world. Curious to see how family plays out in future non-Windham books. Thanks for asking this pertinent question!!


  18. It's the best when you're reading a book by a favorite author and a great character you remember from a previous book pops in to comment and visit! I'm writing a series about two brothers marrying two sisters and I love the interplay, even though I was raised as almost an only child because my brothers were so much older than me. Keep 'em coming, Grace and thanks for the great post! juleejadams(at)gmail(dot)com

  19. I love the premise of Lady Eve's Indiscretion, it sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun to read. I love Grace Burrowe's books and I'm always happy to see a new one coming out.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com