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Monday, February 25, 2013

Guest Post with Author Máire Claremont and Giveaway

Today I would like to welcome back to the blog, author, Máire Claremont. Máire is celebrating the recent release of her book The Dark Lady and has stopped by to tell us why she adores Victorian romance. Please give Máire a warm welcome.

2011 Golden Heart winner Máire Claremont first fell in love with Mr. Rochester, not Mr. Darcy. Drawn to his dark snark, she longed to find a tortured hero of her own… until she realized the ramifications of Mr. Rochester locking his frst wife up in his attic. Discovering the errors of her ways, Máire now looks for a real-life Darcy and creates deliciously dark heroes on the page. Oh, and she wants everyone to know her name is pronounced Moira. Her parents just had to give her an Irish Gaelic name.

Places to find Máire:

Why I adore the Victorians and Victorian Romance

I love history. . . With a passion. From the Tudors {major Tudor fan} to the Georgians, disappearing into life in another era is one of my favorite things. But about five years ago, I absolutely fell for the Victorians. I, a dedicated Georgian/Regency writer, went head over heals for an entirely different period. For this, I have to blame Meredith Duran. Her book Duke of Shadows had just come out and I read it in one sitting at the airport. I can still remember how completely devastated and amazed I was by the story. I was a goner.

There is something special about this period. Everything is changing. For so long, travel was next to impossible for country people. Mostly, they stayed in their villages. Journeys to other countries was an arduous affair involving coaches, multiple changes of horses on very bad roads, and long sea travels. Suddenly, the train and steam engine comes along. People can MOVE. And they do. The industrial period which began in the Georgian era explodes in the Victorian society and everything becomes very urban. But most shocking of all is the rise of the middle class.

Georgians and Regency people were openly scandalous. The partied, they drank copious amounts of booze, and were fairly shocking in speech and innuendo. Actually, Georgian women had a surprising amount of freedom. The strictures we think of in regards to women really comes from the Victorian period. And largely its because of. . . Yep. That admirable but darned middle class.

People with titles could do a great many things that were “scandalous”. After all, they had titles and natural power. People from the middle class had to earn their respectability. So, they were more respectable than the most admired in the land. Strangely, these rules about morality began to seep into the upper classes. Now, part of this was because Victoria was so determined to be completely different than the dissolute rulers who had come before her. So, she focused on family. . . and a lack of partying, though she did love to dance.

Women’s lives would be forever changed. The notion of the “good woman” arose. A woman who didn’t involve herself in politics, ideas, or her husband’s business. She was suddenly relegated to the overseeing of her house, her children to a degree, and appearances. It was the ultimate keeping up with the Joneses.

Still, the Victorians were human and still experienced all the passions that the Georgians experienced. Now, they just did it in hiding. Prostitution positively exploded in the Victorian period. After all, good wives were not supposed to be touched by lust. In fact, a woman could be accused of moral insanity and be locked away. Can you imagine? Being locked away because of an affair? Well, it was definitely possible. Something that never would have occurred to the Georgians.

Now, you might be asking, why in god’s name would you love this hugely repressed and restrictive society? It is a bit mad. But the conflicts for women were huge. I couldn’t resist writing women who had to battle society, who had been misused by a group of men who believed themselves so entitled and right. . . ALL THE TIME.

I wanted to give these women power, to show that even in that time, when they had been abused, that they could still find themselves and purpose. Their struggles inspire me.

This period is so passionate. But the passion is a low boil, the gas on the lowest notch, simmering away, waiting to burn. Sometimes, the most fun comes from watching that simmer catch fire and burst out of its confines. The Victorian era gives me that. A time of change and brutal rules for women, I couldn’t resist giving them their chance at freedom.

The Dark Lady is the epitome of that fire catching, of a woman in the most horrid circumstances breaking free, and finding the power to be herself. I love Eva, my heroine. She inspires me to be grateful for the freedoms I have.

What freedom are you grateful for?

The Victorian era was full of majestic beauty and scandalous secrets—a time when corsets were the least of a woman’s restrictions, and men could kill or be killed in the name of honor....

Lord Ian Blake has returned from India a broken man. Years ago, he pledged to Lady Eva Carin—his childhood companion and " first love—that he would bring her husband back alive. His failure haunts him. But even his jade soul can’t anticipate the shocking sight of beautiful, independent Eva confined in a madhouse....

Locked in an asylum, forgotten by society, Eva is adrift in both body and mind. For Ian to break her free, they must cross a powerful enemy—and prove her sanity to England’s unforgiving aristocracy. But the biggest danger of all may come when the secrets of Eva’s tragic past are finally unlocked....

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |

Check out whats up for grabs.

Up For Grabs:

To Enter:
  • Please answer Máire question: What freedom are you grateful for?
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form
  • US Shipping ONLY

Good Luck =)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. There are so many freedoms we have now, in society and as women. I am grateful for any and all of these freedoms. I can vote and drive a car, while women in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere still do not have these freedoms. I can choose my mate, if and when I want to mate... or even if I do not want to. In my state I have marriage equality, so if I did not have my dh and want a wife instead.. I could. I can live my life without having my hoohah sliced, work if I want, have children, sex, go out in public un-escorted and wearing pretty much whatever I want. Freedom... oh, yes as Western society we sure have come a long way in general and specifically as women. I am probably most grateful that I can fight for others to get and keep these same freedoms.

  2. I lve that we have the freedom to vote and express ourselves. We have the frredom of choice, that alone is a gift. Thanks

  3. I agree with the freedom to vote.

  4. As a woman for everything, freedom to choice, to vote, to get a job, to wear whatever we want :)

  5. So many to choose from, but I think I couldn't have lived in a time when women were not able to own or inherit property - that utlimately made women so dependent on men for their well-being. I am grateful that now we have the same chance to be financially secure and that comes with its own freedoms as well!

  6. I was going to write EXACTLY what Lily B wrote, lol. So I will say instead that I am grateful for the freedom to raise my children in a safe environment.

  7. I enjoy every single freedom I have :)

  8. Freedom of speech. Well, all of them really.

    Marcy Shuler

  9. Of course it would be freedom of speech and voting for women and equal rights....all of them!

  10. What freedoms I enjoy most: the answer is simple ALL of them :)

  11. Elizabeth Cady Stanton is an ancestor of mine, so I would have to go with the Freedom to Vote, which started the ball rolling for women.

  12. Freedom of Speech I am very thankful for. It's important to be able to speak your mind without fear.

    mestith at gmail dot com

  13. I'm grateful for all the freedoms we have in this country.

  14. I love that you wanted to give women in this era power.
    Have you watched The Tudors tv series??? Henry Cavill????

    I am thankful for freedom of religon. Hard to imagine living your life dictated on things that should be your choice of belief.

  15. Freedom of speech is an amazing right here in the United States.

  16. I am grateful for all, but definitely need freedom of speech!

  17. Freedom of speech seems to be the one that is often denied in other parts of the world - and that leads to loss of other freedoms.

  18. freedom to express ourselves

  19. I think the freedom to just be ourselves is my favorite. I can do whatever I want, read what I want, listen to the music I love, etc.

  20. I am grateful for the freedom to vote and the freedom of speech. We have the opportunity to express ourselves and to have a say in who leads our government. I think that's pretty great.

  21. As a USMC Veteran married to the same, I do not take any of my personal freedoms for granted. We live in the greatest country on this earth.

    It's impossible to list just one that I am grateful for because people take them for granted, but would become sheep without them. These are just a few. The freedoms of speech, to vote, to gather, to bare arms, to choose, of religion.

    Freedom isn't free. Ask any Marine.

  22. I am grateful for all of them.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  23. The freedom to just be free! To speak, vote, everything!

  24. Freedom to bear arms. Even my teen daughters know how to shoot a gun.