Countess of Scandal
by Laurel McKee
As children, Eliza Blacknall and William Denton ran wild over the fields of southern Ireland and swore they would be friends forever. Then fate took Will away to England, while Eliza stayed behind to become a proper Irish countess.
Years later, Will finally makes his way home-as an English soldier sent to crush the Irish uprising. When he spies the lovely Eliza, he is captivated by the passionate woman she has become. But Eliza's passions have led her to join the Irish rebel cause, and Will and Eliza now find themselves on opposite sides of a dangerous conflict.
When Ireland explodes in bloody rebellion, Will's regiment is ordered to the front lines, and he is forced to choose between his duty to the English king and his love for Eliza and their Irish homeland.
Listen to an excerpt.
Five Fun Facts
1) When I was a teenager, my friends were mostly fan-girls for movie stars and rock musicians. Not me. I was a geeky history fan-girl for people like Madame de Pompadour, Marie Antoinette, Anne Boleyn, and Elizabeth I. (I had one friend who inexplicably liked Mary Queen of Scots! Despite the odds, we are still friends.) This made me a weird 14-year-old but has given me endless inspiration for stories. For Countess of Scandal, I looked at women like Mary Ann McCracken, Emily the Duchess of Leinster, and Margaret King.
2) As well as being a historical fan-girl, I’m a bona fide girly-girl, with secret guilty pleasures like Hello Kitty, bright pink shoes, and MAC lipgloss. That means I spend huge amounts of time researching my heroines’ wardrobes.
3) I had an inkling for the beginning of a story that would grow into Countess of Scandal years ago on a tour of the grand house Castletown outside of Dublin. Castletown was once owned by Lady Louisa Conolly, one of the famous Lennox sisters, and the home is stunningly gorgeous. The tour guide provided lots of information about the lives of the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy and what they faced in 1798. It just took me a while to meet the characters to fill the story!
4) I have no sisters and always sort of wanted one. I even made my poor little brother have tea parties with me when we were kids. Maybe that’s why I love writing connected stories about sisters.
5) I always create characters collages when I start a new book. This usually entails copious amounts of time online looking at photos of hunky actors. Very hard work, but I’m willing to make the sacrifice for my book! For Countess of Scandal, I was inspired by Rupert Friend in uniform in Pride and Prejudice, and I pictured Eliza as looking something like Rachel Weisz. (I also create soundtracks for books! Lots of Chieftains and the Young Dubliners for this book…)
I have five copies of this book to giveaway courtesy of Hachette Books. For your first entry (MUST DO THIS ONE FOR ANY OTHER ENTRIES TO COUNT) tell us if you were a fan-girl of movie stars and rock musicians or a historical fan-girl like Laurel McKee and leave your email address. (I was a fan-girl of movie stars and rock musicians - remember Leif Garret? and then there was a variety show I think in the late 70's with the Keane (?) brothers - very short lived but it was the first fan letter I ever wrote!)
For additional entries you can sign up to follow (old followers let me know), Twitter or post it on your blog. Each entry must have it's own comment. (Four entries total.)