Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wildcard Weekend : The History Behind A Book

Historicals author Amanda McCabe stops by The Pink Heart Society this weekend to share a bit about the real history behind historical romances.

It’s very true that none of our interests are ever wasted—at least not for a writer! When I was a little kid, my parents had a wonderfully illustrated book on archaeological sites around the world. I loved to sit on the floor in front of the bookshelf (since the book was too heavy to hold!) and lose myself in the colorful photographs of Egypt, Greece, the Lascaux caves, Macchu Pichu, Viking ship burials, and read about the wonderful idea that the past could be brought to life again. (I also became convinced we had Viking treasure buried in the backyard, like the Sutton Hoo hoard, and tore up newly-laid sod in my intrepid quest to find it! I think my dad is still mad about that…)

In college, I took one or two classes on archaeology, but writing took me in another direction. I never gave up my love of history, though—and I was so happy to “meet” the heroines of my “Muses of Mayfair” series, three Regency sisters who share my love of study and the excitement of discovery!

The 18th and early 19th centuries were great ones for the study of antiquities, spurred on by discoveries like that of Pompeii in 1748 and the arrival of the Elgin Marbles in England in between 1801 and 1812 (still a highly controversial subject!). This love was the catalyst for trends in architecture, fashion, literature, and travel, and my Chase family is a part of that passion. Sir Walter Chase is a renowned scholar of classical art and history, so when he had daughters what else could he do but name them after the Muses? Calliope, Clio, and Thalia are the three eldest, all of them dedicated to their studies—in very different ways. Through this devotion, they meet 3 equally passionate heroes. (I never had a sister myself, so I loved exploring this sibling relationship between the Chase sisters)

Book One, To Catch a Rogue, is Calliope Chase’s story. She is the oldest of the Muses, very intellectual, organized, and proper—but her life is about to be turned upside-down by the rakish, devil-may-care Earl of Westwood! (I love the stories of the straitlaced character who meets the free spirit and is forced to lighten up a bit!). The Lily Thief has been wreaking havoc in London Society, stealing antiquities right from under the collectors’ noses, and Calliope is determined those shenanigans have to stop before other valuable objects are lost. She also determines that only one person, Westwood, has to be the culprit. But how can she catch him if he keeps flirting with her—and stealing passionate kisses in the dark? And what will she do when the Lily Thief turns out to be something wholly unexpected?

What is your favorite sort of heroine?

To read an excerpt and to see more about the history behind the book, you can visit my website at! Books two and three, To Deceive a Duke and To Catch a Rogue, will be out in May and June, and a prequel, To Bed a Libertine, the tale of the real Greek Muse Erato coming to earth in Regency London and finding a hunky artist who needs her inspiration, is available through at through the “Harlequin Historical Undone!” line.


  1. Great covers Amanda on all 3 books. Can't wait to get my hands on them. Caroline x

  2. My favorite heroine needn't be beautiful but she must have charm. Hard to define, but sadly easy to recognize its absence!

  3. My favorite heroine is a Free Spirit. And I've loved history all my life too!