Linking up the Past and a #Giveaway with author Marguerite Kaye

Today we are honored to welcome author Marguerite Kaye.

Linking up the Past and a Giveaway

Thank you so much for inviting me onto My Book Addiction, it’s great to be here. There are many things I love about writing historical romances, but I wanted to discuss making connections with the past. In this case, my own past. I love to incorporate real places into my stories, to establish a connection between my characters and me.  I sometimes share this with readers, for example when I have my characters stay in a stately home I know well (Inverary Castle, just an hour away from my home, is the setting for my current Christmas release, An Invitation to Pleasure). But sometimes it’s a secret, a little bit of insider information just to make me, or someone who knows me really well, smile.

One of my favourite ploys is to give my heroes titles from local place names. I live in Argyll in Scotland, which is known as the gateway to the Highlands, and if you look at a map, you’d quickly realise that I’ve borrowed scores of names from the area. I also like a little joke, so one character in my novella Spellbound and Seduced, is called Lachlan McSween, after a well-known Scottish brand of haggis! I’ve named lochs after my sisters, witches after my aunts and a fey wife after my cousin. The Gaelic name of the hero’s fishing boat in The Highlander’s Redemption came from the boat built by a Highland cousin of my mother’s, and the description in another story, The Highlander and the Sea Siren, of the boatshed, with its evocative smell of tar and wood shavings, came straight from my mother’s childhood memories.

More subversively, I confess to using (adulterated) names of personal bête noire for my baddies. I know, it’s a terrible thing to admit, but let me tell you, it feels good when you have the alter ego of the boss who gave you a terrible appraisal die in a coach accident, the guy who once told you that your jeans were too tight fatally wounded in a sword fight, or the teacher who told you not to talk so much spurned at an Almack’s ball. It’s like that trick, when you write the name of your enemy down on a bit of paper and lock it away, only much more effective.

My current release, The Lady Who Broke the Rules, is part of the Castonbury Park series of eight linked books written by eight different Harlequin Historical authors. It’s a Regency ‘upstairs/downstairs’ (or Downton Abbey, to use a more topical example), with each of the stories featuring one of the aristocratic Montague family members, and all of them telling a very scandalous tale of love between the classes. In my story, the heroine is Lady Katherine Montague, the daughter of the house, and the hero is Virgil Jackson, a freed African slave. As you can imagine, such an outrageous combination makes sure that the path of true love is a very rocky one indeed.

There are lots of personal connections embedded in The Lady Who Broke the Rules. Virgil visits the city of Glasgow, where I attended university and lived for many years. The descriptions of the Merchant City, of Robert Adam’s fabulous Trade’s House, and the atmospheric Merchant’s Graveyard are all gleaned from my own first-hand experience. Virgil meets Kate at a party hosted by Josiah Wedgwood, the abolitionist son of the Josiah Wedgwood who founded the Etruria pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, and cast the famous anti-slavery medallion (Am I not a Man, and a Brother?). I visited Stoke-on-Trent regularly for work, and first came across a copy of the medallion in the hotel I stayed in. The description of Kate and Virgil’s drive across Derbyshire reflects the many journeys I made across the beautiful Peak District back then. And most personally of all, there’s the series bad guy. He features in several of the books, but I named him for my Nemesis in primary school, a red-haired pesky boy who made my break-times miserable. His crimes were so heinous I regret to say I can’t actually recall them, though I suspect they included pushing me out of the way in the dinner queue. Dr Johnson knew what he was talking about when he said that revenge was a dish best served cold!

I hope sharing some of my in-jokes has made you smile. And just to whet your appetite for Castonbury Park, I have a print copy of The Lady Who Broke the Rules to give away to one commentator. Just tell me which character from your past would you happily see meet a gruesome fictional fate.

Thank you for having me, it’s been a pleasure to visit.

Links and Info

You can find out more about me and my books on my website,, or join me for a chat on Facebook ( or Twitter (@margueritekaye)

The Lady Who Broke the Rules is out now, print and digital in the UK, digital only in US and Canada, though it will be released in print as a duo in December.

‘Your rebellion has not gone unnoticed…’ Anticipating her wedding vows and then breaking off the engagement has left Kate Montague’s social status in tatters. She hides her hurt at her family’s disapproval behind a resolutely optimistic facade, but one thing really grates…For a fallen woman, she knows shockingly little about passion! Could Virgil Jackson be the man to teach her? A freed slave turned successful businessman, his striking good looks and lethally restrained power throw normally composed Kate into a tailspin! She’s already scandalised society, but succumbing to her craving for Virgil would be the most outrageous thing Kate’s done by far…

Buy the Book

The Lady Who Broke the Rules

Mills&Boon  Harlequin  Amazon (UK)  Amazon (.com)  Barnes+Noble  The Book Depository

An Invitation to Pleasure, my seasonal Scottish short story, is also out now on digital, from Harlequin Historical Undone!

December 1818, Scottish Highlands. Susanna Hunter once ignored Captain Fergus Lamont’s warnings not marry a fortune hunter –a decision she lived to regret. Three years later and since widowed, she’s surprised by his unexpected invitation to spend Christmas with him in the Highlands. But even more shocking is Fergus’s new proposition: that she pretend to be his fiancée, with all the accompanying pleasures….


Buy the Book

  Harlequin  Amazon (.com)  Barnes+Noble


Thank you to Marguerite for visiting with us today. It’s been fun! Don’t forget to answer Marguerite’s question for your chance to win!






20 Replies to “Linking up the Past and a #Giveaway with author Marguerite Kaye”

  1. The person I would have meet a fictional demise would be the DMV diving instructor who failed me my first try at 16, citing "dangerous actions" because I parked closer to a car on one side than the other ..( he could still open the door and get out, mind you!) I think he should be a hackney driver that collides with an ale wagon! That would show him 'dangerous actions'!!!

    1. That's so funny Jana. I failed first time too – I failed to notice a filter light. And I burst into tears when he told me. But yours sounds as if he was quite harsh – I love your idea of maiing him a hackney driver, so apt.

  2. a gruesome fictional fate – hummmm. . . . an accounting teacher in college that gave me my one and only "C'. He really wasn't a teacher but an accountant that had worked in his family firm and thought he knew it all! Maybe he could be dishonest businessman/ money -type person who loses his head —

    1. Definitely. Or you could have him caught for major fraud and have him publicly shamed and all his wealth taken from him. Or maybe he just makes a really badly-misjudged investment and has to go live on the streets.

  3. A gruesome fictional fate would be fitting for a family member who was arrogant and selfish during a time when I was extremely ill and ignored me for the duration.

    1. What would have happen to them Anne? Maybe have them ill and destitute begging on the streets and no-one giving them any money? Or just give them a horrible historical illness like the plague? Or small pox, they could recover from that but be horriblye marked!

  4. I'm so proud of you, Marguerite! Your novels are wonderful and you deserve all of the praise coming your way.

  5. How fun, to use names of your family and area you live! If I were related to you I would be combing every book you write for my name to show up! hahaha =)
    Not sure I have a past person I would wish a fic demise…hmmm. Live and let live eh?

    1. Lexi, you make me hang my head in shame for being so nice! I always tell my friends and family if I've given them an alter ego, I never take a chance on actually hurting anyone and make sure that they are not going to take it the wrong way. As for those I'm avenging myself on now though – no, I never tell and they'd never recognise themselves.

  6. Naming the ex for a gruesome fictional fate is just too easy…so I'd have to say the rude customers I've encountered.

    1. Sara, after reading this post another author told me they'd used their heavily-disguised ex. I've never done that, but I'm betting it's pretty common. Rude customers now, there's definitely a lot of scope in that

  7. Lol It's hard to just pick one!!!! An old boss that wouldn't let anyone that worked for him wear long hair (found out later that he had a daughter that never listened to him) so I wore a wig for over 2 years. He also wanted to know if the married women used contraception!!! This was 40 years ago and they could get away with that stuff. He was a real tyrant!!! I've not read any of your books but they do sound like something I would enjoy!


    1. I really did laugh out loud at this one, before I got outraged. Okay, it was a while ago, but really!! And I can't believe you wore a wig, serious respect on that one. He definitely, definitely deserves the fate of a major baddy to be killed off slowly and ;gruesomely. And maybe even throw in a bit of him being haunted before he goes too!

    1. Tyrannical or maybe sexist or maybe just basically unlikeable! I've used a couple of ex-boss's as baddies, and made them scarred and pathetic, it felt good.

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