SHOOTIN’ THE BREEZE WITH AUTHOR BECKY LOWER

I’m excited to be chatting with fellow Crimson Romance Author Becky Lower about her second Cotillion release, “The Abolitionist’s Secret.”

I’ve read it and it’s even better than her first (The Reluctant Debutante). We both write romance but from different perspectives — me, suspense, and Becky, history.

Here’s how Becky explains it:

“People keep asking me why I decided to write historical romances. My answer is always the same. I didn’t choose to write historicals, they chose me. Let me explain.

“I love reading Regency romances. What’s not to love? The gowns, the balls, the fans and reticules, (I had to ask her what that was — it’s a woman’s small handbag, usually with a string!) the horses, the men of wealth and title fawning all over you. Sigh. But I know next to nothing about English history, much less the peerage charts, the rules of society during this period, all of that. I was much more at home in my native country—The United States.

“My ‘aha’ moment came a few years ago, when I heard a young woman on television talking about her Deb ball. I remembered several girls when I was growing up also having Debutante balls, and I thought I could go back to the very beginnings of the Debutante balls in this country and write about them instead. As it turns out, the Debutante ball was introduced in 1854, in New York City.”

At some point, we decided we’d both love to attend one — we even know what our dresses would like like.

“As I began to dig into the history of the decade prior to the Civil War, I realized how rich each year was in events that shaped this country. I may have been a bit too ambitious, since I set up the Fitzpatrick family to have nine children, each with their own story to be told. But, I am having fun with it.”

Becky’s first book, “The Reluctant Debutante,” was released in e-book format in July 2012, and in October as a paperback and is a proud addition to my bookshelf.

For those of you who don’t know, “The Reluctant Debutante” is about a woman coming of age in 1855 and chafing against the many social restrictions placed on women of her time. “But, as one reviewer stated, it’s much more than that. Ginger Fitzpatrick falls in love with a man who is half American Indian and therefore totally unsuitable for her. I tackle the problem of Indian racism in this country, which for many years was a real problem. And, in some parts of the country, I’m sure it still is today.”

The second book in the series, coming out on Dec. 3, is “The Abolitionist’s Secret.” In this book, Becky looks at the issue of slavery in the United States in the late 1850s and the rising tensions in the country—both North and South. She has a knack for teaching us while we read.

“Many authors romanticize the Civil War, but forget why the war was fought. I chose to tackle it head-on. Young Heather Fitzpatrick unwittingly becomes an abolitionist when she helps a young woman and her child escape from the hands of slavemongers. She becomes passionate about equal rights for all races, and it’s just her luck to fall in love with a southern plantation owner. Oh, and did I mention, the reason he was in the city was to look for a slave that escaped from his plantation—a young woman with a child?”

We celebrated Becky’s signed contract for the third book in the series, “Banking On Temperance.”

“This book is about one of the brothers in the Fitzpatrick household—Basil, who, at the age of 22 is president of the St. Louis branch of his father’s bank. For his entire life, things have been handed to him because of his social standing and influence. When he meets Temperance Jones, who is anything but wealthy, he begins to realize his world up until now has been very shallow indeed. Temperance is too caught up in the daily struggle to survive to entertain such notions as a Cotillion Ball. Her driving ambition is to get her family on a wagon train bound for Oregon where her teenage brothers will be safe from the war her father sees coming to a head in the country.

“So, I guess this book will be known not just for illustrating the economic differences between Basil and Temperance, but also for the issue of being a conscientious objector to the war.”

With Becky, it’s always something.

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