I always enjoy hosting historical romance authors on my blog. Today’s guest is Becky Lower, who writes Victorian era romance for Crimson Romance. Becky has a new book out this month, so I’m going to turn the blog over to her so she can tell us all about it.
The Tempestuous Debutante, which is being released September 9, is set in 1857 America, in the middle of a financial crisis caused, in part, by the decline in popularity of the beaver top hat. The heroine, Jasmine Fitzpatrick, is affected, since her father owns one of the largest banks in New York City. Fearing a financial collapse, he limits household spending, including Jasmine’s wardrobe for the upcoming season.
But, being the feisty heroine that she is, Jasmine doesn’t merely accept her fate. She takes last year’s dresses and recreates them, with the help of her lady’s maid, into unique gowns the likes of which no one has seen before. But she doesn’t stop there. With the encouragement of the unlikely hero, she decides to go into business, creating fashionable dresses and ball gowns for other New Yorkers.
This book was a delight to write, partially because I was able to create, on paper, at least, a multitude of dresses for many women. I’ve been in love with 19th century fashion ever since my mom pulled a framed Godey print out of the mud under my sister’s house in Maine, and gave it to me. That fashion plate is still the kingpin in my collection, which grace nearly every wall in my home.
During the writing of this book, I took a field trip to the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, OH, to see a traveling collection of wedding gowns from the 1830s to present day. The most prized dress in the collection was a one designed by Charles Frederick Worth, famous fashion designer from Paris, who single-handedly invented haute couture. The few remaining Worth gowns are in private collections and are priceless works of art.
Here’s the blurb for The Tempestuous Debutante:
It’s Jasmine Fitzpatrick’s year to shine at this season’s Cotillion and men will be throwing themselves at her. But she sets her sights on a man she’s never met, the Viscount of Foxborough. He’s wealthy and has an English title. Only a few things stand in her way: a wealthy, young, beautiful widow who captures the viscount’s attention immediately, her fear of riding horses when he owns a breeding stable and racetrack, and the viscount’s stableboy, Parr.
Parr O’Shaughnessy loses his heart to Jasmine the moment he meets her. However, he has no title to interest her. He left behind an impoverished existence in Ireland when the viscount offered to bring him and his famous horse to America to build a dynasty together. He believes Jasmine barely noticed him when she was introduced–she only had eyes for the viscount. He struggles with his loyalty to the viscount and his love for Jasmine. But winning her love might mean losing all he has worked for.
I really enjoy historical romances set in America, and there sure aren’t enough of them. And I love the idea for this book–a heroine who takes older gowns, turns them into fashionable creations, and starts her own business!
For more info on all of Becky’s books in her Cotillion Ball Series, check out her website.
For my readers today, Becky is giving away a copy of the first book in her series, The Reluctant Debutante. Just tell us what other unusual settings you’d like to see for historical romance for a chance to win a copy of Becky’s book! And you can pre-order The Tempestuous Debutante on Amazon.
13 thoughts on “Guest Author: Becky Lower & Giveaway!!”
Hahaha I never even knew the beaver top hat could cause such a crisis in the American economy.
Maybe the introduction to the women’s huge hoop dresses or the introduction to swimsuits! Oh those bathing houses/huts that people use to carry/drag/pull with them around to the lakes and beaches back in the, who new when, 1900s? would also be fun to write about. Think about all the scandalous things that can happen there! In and out! LOL
I had forgotten all about the changing rooms at the beach! You’ve given me a great idea for another book.
I know that Paris is not that unusual for a setting, but I would like more. There are many countries throughout Europe that could have their time to shine.
I think any country that has survived wars, famine, fame, changes in monarchy, are all ripe as backdrops for great romances. Paris is a lovely idea.
I would like more set in that time period in the US! Congrats to Becky on the new release! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks, Erin, for stopping by. I collect new release info for USA Today on romances set from the colonial through the Civil War period in the US. They’re few and far between.
There are so many similarities between the panic of ’57 and the collapse in 2008. I think it’s a great hook for a book!
Thanks, Emma. When I was doing the research of events in 1857, I was very surprised to find out there was a financial collapse during this era. It was very much like 2008. Shame we can’t learn from our mistakes.
A financial crisis caused, in part, by the decline in popularity of the beaver top hat how interesting is that. Sounds like a fun book. Perhaps an unusual setting for a historical romance would be small town America at the turn of the Century 1890 – 1914 with all the various new items coming out but not yet in the small town. Would certainly be interesting research. 🙂
Thank you, everyone, for visiting with me today. And thank you, Vanessa, for being such a great hostess. Your ideas for new places to set stories are great fun. My mind is spinning with possibilities!
Thank you so much for joining us, Becky!
I only wish I had known & gone to the Worth Exhibit!! That would have been so interesting to see. Thanks for the opportunity!!