As a historical romance author, I’m naturally fascinated by the past. I love most anything antiquated, but old books particularly enthrall me. I had stopped at an antiques store in a small town along the Ohio River on a whim and was perusing a pile on a dilapidated and peeling side table when a spine in the center of the stack caused my Anglophile heart to flutter.
Lodge’s Peerage of the British Empire, 9th edition, 1839.
I couldn’t get my wallet out fast enough.
A more thorough examination once I arrived home revealed the uniqueness of my find. Throughout the entries, the original owner had scribbled notes next to the names: “dead,” “married M.P., 1840.” I was running my finger over the ink splatters and tea rings of a real person’s social circle.
As if that wasn’t thrilling enough, further in the book I found a brittle little square of yellowed paper—an article carefully snipped from a newspaper and dated 1 July, 1843.
What scandal it detailed! A child born out of wedlock, a hasty marriage, a fight for a title. My mind whirled with ideas: What if the earl had been prevented from giving evidence? What would have happened to his title had he lost his appeal? What if there had been someone else determined to win the title? And what became of the firstborn child?
Within hours, I had completed an outline for my latest medieval series, The Sons of Scotland. Young Lord Thomas Annesley, on the run from villains out to steal his inheritance, is forced into hiding in Scotland, leaving a string of love affairs and illegitimate children in his wake.
The Laird’s Vow is the story of Tavish Cameron, the first son of the disgraced Lord of Darlyrede. A self-made Edinburgh merchant, Tavish is more than ready to claim Tower Roscraig, even if it means having to evict beautiful Glenna Douglas from the only home she has ever known. But Glenna offers him a scandalous bargain that stirs Tavish’s deepest desires, and soon everyone connected to Tavish and his father is in danger, as the race begins to discover who is the rightful heir—and who really killed Cordelia Hargrave.
And now the real mystery: Who was the original owner of my Victorian-era Lodge’s Peerage? And what happened to the people in the article? While the Sons of Scotland series is not based on any real family, I’ve devoted a page on my website to photos of the clipping and the Peerage. Are you up for a little sleuthing of your own?
About the Novel
In medieval Scotland, the illegitimate children of a notorious criminal vie to claim their birthrights and find that love is an even greater prize …
Edinburgh merchant Tavish Cameron has no choice but to pay outrageous tolls to the nobility, until fate gives him an unexpected opportunity for advancement. To claim Tower Roscraig, all he has to do is admit that he is the bastard son of a murdering baron … and evict the proud, impoverished Lady Glenna Douglas from her crumbling castle.
With her father ailing and her village devastated by illness, Glenna has lost almost everything except her home. Now a ruggedly handsome stranger intends to take that, too. Until the king himself arrives to determine the rightful laird, Glenna and Tavish must share Tower Roscraig—resulting in a scandalous bargain.
But something deeper than passion ignites as they realize that Roscraig has been targeted by enemies. And only by uniting can they evade the traps set for them both.
About the Author
Before writing historical romance, Heather Grothaus worked as a successful freelance journalist, short–story writer, and magazine writer. Her work has been featured in such publications as Kentucky Living, Countryside & Small Stock Journal, and The Recorder Newspaper’s Creative Living magazine. Readers can visit her online at HeatherGrothaus.com and on the social platforms below.