My next Regency-set historical romance, My Favorite Countess, will be released tomorrow!  To celebrate, I’m making some visits around the blogsphere this week and doing some giveaways of the book.  Today I’m at Book Lovers Inc for a really fun interview.  I’d love it if you would stop by and join the chat.

I’ve also got a great contest running on my website this month.  The hero of my book is a doctor, so in honor of that I’m giving away a DVD set of the entire seventh season of Grey’s Anatomy.

You see, my doctor was based a little bit on this guy, so I thought that might be a fun contest prize.  You can enter the contest on my website.

Hope to see you at Book Lovers Inc!

Regency Friday Fun And Giveaway

My next book, My Favorite Countess, will be released on May 3rd.  The hero of this book, John Blackmore, is a bit of a departure for me.  He’s a Regency physician, and you can read more about my inspiration for him here.

Like today’s doctors, Regency physicians often worked in hospitals as well as attending to their own practices.  That’s the case with John, who administers to high-born members of the ton as well as working in a large hospital in London.  In fact, I chose the oldest hospital in the city for John – St. Bartholomew’s in Smithfield.  St. Bartholomew’s or, Bart’s, is actually the oldest surviving hospital in England, and holds great historical and architectural value.

It was founded in 1123 by Rahere, an Augustinian who suffered a malarial attack while on pilgrimage to Rome and had vowed to build a hospital when he returned to England.  The picture above is of the famous King Henry VIII gateway, built in 1702 by Edward Strong.  The stone statue of Henry is by Frances Bird, and is apparently the only public statue of that monarch in the city.  On an adjoining wall is a plaque to William Wallace, who was executed nearby in 1305.

Over the years, there were a significant number of architectural and cultural beauties added to the grounds and the buildings, including the inner courtyard and the Great Hall.

The hospital was rebuilt in four blocks around this inner courtyard in the 18th century, and would have looked much like the above illustration when my hero, Dr. John, was attending to his patients.

Bart’s is also home to not one but two magnificent paintings by Hogarth, who was appointed a governor of the hospital in 1734.  Apparently, the hospital originally intended to commission art from Italy.  Hogarth, annoyed that the administrators would choose Italian painters, donated these two murals instead.  The one depicted below is called The Pool of Bethesda, and depicts Christ healing the sick.  The mural figures in a scene in my book, as the place of reconciliation between my hero John and my heroine, the fiery-tempered Bathsheba.

St. Bartholomew’s survived the Great Fire of London and The Blitz, and is a grand historical and cultural institution.  And it continues to be one of England’s best hospitals, with a medical school and a renowned international reputation.  For anyone interested in the history of London or of medicine, it is well worth the visit.

To celebrate the upcoming release of my book, I’ll be running some fun contests in March and April.  Today, I’m giving away signed cover flats of all four of my books:  Mastering The Marquess, Sex And The Single Earl, An Invitation To Sin, My Favorite Countess. Just leave a comment telling me who’s your favorite fictional doctor from either books, TV shows or movies.  Is it Dr. McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy? Or how about one of the crew from E.R?

And don’t forget to check out the great contest I’m running all month on my website. I’m giving away ARCS of My Favorite Countess, as well as tee shirts and tote bags!

Regency Friday Fun: Introducing Dr. John Blackmore.

Who is this mysterious Dr. Blackmore?  Well, he’s the hero of my next Regency-set historical romance, My Favorite Countess.  Like many writers, I often take inspiration for my characters from the movies or TV – in this case Hugh Jackman provided a whole lot of inspiration!  My hero is a crusading slum doctor, an accoucheur, or, as he would have been referred to in the Regency period, a man-midwife.  In other words, John is an obstetrician.

John is also a handsome and sophisticated man, and who better to model him on than good old Hugh?  Just look at that picture – could you imagine the kind of bedside manner you’d get from a guy like that?  Rowr!

I also found inspiration for my Regency doctor in the TV show Grey’s Anatomy, in the form of Dr. Derek Shepherd, as played by Patrick Dempsey. Like Derek, my hero is driven and dedicated, with more than a few personal demons to challenge him.  It was really fun to create this character – I like dukes and earls as much as the next gal, but it was fascinating to delve into the world of a dedicated Regency physician, and also imagine what would happen when he was matched up with a strong-willed aristocratic heroine.

My Favorite Countess will be released on May 3rd.  Over the next couple of months I’ll be blogging about some of my reading on 19th Century medicine, particularly obstetrics.  It’s a fascinating if occasionally hair-raising topic, which left me with a great deal of sympathy for the women of the time.  Stay tuned!