Mystery and desire cloak the Scottish Highlands
Unruly. Unmarried. Unapologetic. Catriona Mackenzie’s reputation precedes her everywhere she goes. Her beloved late aunt Zelda taught Cat to live out loud and speak her mind, and that’s exactly what she does when Zelda’s legacy—a refuge for women in need—comes under fire. When her quest puts her in the path of the disturbingly mysterious Hamlin Graham, Duke of Montrose, Cat is soon caught up in the provocative rumors surrounding the dark duke. Never one to retreat, Cat boldly goes where no one else has dared for answers.
Shrouded in secrets, a hostage of lies, Hamlin must endure the fear and suspicion of those who believe he is a murderer. The sudden disappearance of his wife and the truth he keeps silent are a risk to his chances at earning a coveted parliamentary seat. But he’s kept his affairs tightly held until a woman with sparkling eyes and brazen determination appears unexpectedly in his life. Deadly allegations might be his downfall, but his unleashed passion could be the duke’s ultimate undoing.
Oh, my word! This is incredibly good! I have been a fan of Julia London’s work for ages now and I have been avidly reading this ‘Highland Grooms’ series with relish but this, I have to say is the best of the series, so far. I will admit that the last book; Aulay’s story didn’t live up to the previous book’s, after reading Rabbie’s and Cailean’s stories I didn’t think that this series could get any better and along come Catriona and Hamlin.
After her auntie Zelda’s death, Catriona is left to run Kishorn Abbey on her own, for it is in fact a refuge for women who for whatever reason need a safe place to turn to. Catriona has had a lot to deal with, she was by her auntie Zelda’s side through her illness and slowly she withdrew from society and public life and now she is practically a shell of what she used to be. To an extent that her family are worried, she is drinking heavily, unsociable and severely unhappy. She maybe proud of her spinsterhood and the fact that she doesn’t want or need a man in her life, deep down she is lonely.
Which is why they plot against her and send her to recuperate at her uncle Knox’s, Catriona doesn’t intend to spend her days lounging about she fully intends to get her wealthy English uncle’s support to help save Kishorn Abbey from being taken by the crown. But her well laid out plan’s soon take a turn when she meets the mysterious and devilishly handsome Duke of Montrose. As soon as she sees him across the Inn for the first time in years she feels alive and intrigued by something.
From the onset of meeting Catriona, you see straight way that there is a darkness hanging over her head, London has wonderful job with Catriona’s depression in the first part she hasn’t gone over done it but in those few moment’s you can get a glimpse of Catriona’s state of mind and she isn’t a happy woman. She tries to show to the world she is content but deep down she is a crying wreck.
Hamlin Graham is living under a dark and heavy cloud, of secrets, lies and scandal after the disappearance of his wife all of society think’s that Hamlin murdered her. He has lived with that hanging over his head, it has tarnished his reputation blackened his good name and now driven him to live a lonely and isolated life. It would all be well and good if he didn’t have his hopes set on gaining his seat in Parliament, after all Scotland were only allowed a handful of seats and he wanted one. He had plans to help and he could only do that once he gained that seat. But the scandal in his past and the secret he holds close to his heart are standing in his way.
That is until he meets feisty, determined kindred spirit; Catriona. Who brings the sunshine back into his dark life and makes his once dead heart begin to beat again. Catriona is the only one that knows Hamlin wouldn’t have killed his wife, he may be a huge, brawny and monosyllabic man but he she sees the goodness, she knows beneath that rude persona there lies a gentle, sensitive man.
Oh, my goodness, what a stud! Hamlin is soooo swoon-worthy, he ruggedly handsome. Kind, generous, dark and brooding. Plus, he is very good with his hands in more ways than just welding a hammer to fix his own roof, he isn’t your stereotypical duke. Part man part devil and when he looks at Catriona with those dark/black soulful eyes you melt. He is dark uncivilised and equally as sad as Catriona, they are a match made in heaven!
I love that first chapter where all the Mackenzie clan are all together after Zelda’s death, their closeness and protectiveness to one and other is so heart-warming. This is why I love this family so much, they maybe brutish men in kilts and fierce women with great mind, but they are also hugely supportive of each other and a wonderful family.
Just want to say that I am so intrigued by Nichol Bain who is Hamlin’s secretary. He is a mysterious young man, he has many secrets hidden behind those green eyes and I do hope that he will get a story of his own. He is quite a man I would love to know more about him.
This really is so good, wonderful storyline that keeps you hooked, and keeps you turning those pages to find out what happens’. Character’s that are engaging, intriguing and it’s a joy to watch as their relationship blossoms and their personal characters develop.
As I said in the beginning of the review, this is the best of the series, it’s thrilling, romantic, sexy with two of the best character’s. London has outdone herself with this, it is perfection!
This was an ARC copy via the Author’s PA in exchange for an honest review.
Tempting The Laird is to be released 26th June and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.
I have a wonderful and exclusive to Chicks Rogues and Scandals Giveaway, to be in for a chance to win some exclusive Julia London swag then just answer the question below.
As the Highland Grooms is set in Scotland, what is your favourite thing about Scotland?
It can be anything, from food, clothes, the highlands or something Scottish from TV, mine has got to be Outlander 😉 what’s yours?
This giveaway will be open on here and on the Chicks, Rogues and Scandals Facebook Page which means you have the chance to put your name into the hat twice.
(Eg: Comment on this post -1 entry / Comment & Like Facebook post – 1 entry)
Good luck everyone!
*Unfortunately, giveaway is only opened to US and UK, Giveaway closes on 31st May at midnight GMT. Winner will be announced as soon as possible after closing date.
The Hell Hath No Fury by Annabelle Anders, Release Day Blitz
Read on for an exclusive to the Blitz Tour Except, Get to know Annabelle and an exclusive to the Blitz Giveaway and my Review of her debut Historical Romance, Hell Hath No Fury.
Cecily Nottingham has made a huge mistake.
The marriage bed was still warm when the earl she thought she loved crawled out of it and announced that he loved someone else.
Loves. Someone else.
All he saw in Cecily was her dowry.
But he’s in for the shock of his life, because in order to keep the money, he has to keep her.
With nothing to lose, in an attempt to goad the earl into divorcing her, Cecily sets out to seduce her husband’s cousin, Stephen Nottingham.
Little does she realize that Stephen would turn out to be everything her husband was not: Honorable, loyal, trustworthy…
Handsome as sin.
Stephen returned to England for one reason. Save his cousin’s estate from financial ruin. Instead, he finds himself tempted by his cousins beautiful and scorned wife.
He isn’t sure what to do first, strangle his cousin, or kiss his wife. His honor is put to the test, right along with his self-control.
Amid snakes, duels and a good catfight, Cecily realizes the game she’s playing has high stakes indeed.
There are only a few ways for a marriage to end in Regency England and none of them come without a high price. Is she willing to pay it? Is Stephen?
A ‘Happily Ever After’ hangs in the balance, because, yes, love can conquer all, but sometimes it needs a little bit of help.
“Stephen!” she gasped, shocked by what he seemed intent upon doing. “What on earth are you doing?”
He looked up at her, smiling lustily. “Nothing.”
And then he went about his business.
Not in a million years had she ever imagined allowing a man to do… this!
And with his mouth no less!
“Oh, my God! Stephen, you are wicked,” she said, feeling quite wicked herself as she grasped the sides
of his head.
He was not to be deterred. His tongue stroked and sucked in much the same way he’d done with her
mouth, causing a new multitude of sensations to spiral inside of her.
He paused only a moment to look up at her.
“Surrender, Cecily.” He said. Giving her a lazy, sensual smile, “And prepare to die.”
A little about the music in the trailer by Annabelle Anders
The song for the trailer was written by myself and my sister, Marcie Stanley. Marcie’s beautiful voice is
featured while she plays the piano… Due to illness, Marcie doesn’t perform much anymore so it was
very special for me to be able to use the song that we wrote together, over twenty years ago.
The Song is titled “Disposable Relationship.” I have a few tweeks for the lyrics to fit Stephen and
Cecily’s situation. Next time Marcie is up to recording I’ll change them to this:
For you, I would have done anything.
For you, can NOT have my soul.
For once you looked at me with empty eyes, the consequences… began to roll…
You’re a disposable relationship, damn the ton I’ll see your body gone. I’m throwing away a piece of
my heart with you.
with the ash and the chamber pots of my life… you’re going down and I won’t cry… anymore…
There is nothing more frightening then a woman scorned, and this really showcases just how far women will go for the revenge they so desperately want.
And that is exactly what Cecily wants. Revenge…
I have come across real bad egg before, but Flavian Nottingham is one real nasty piece of work. He is egotistical, self righteous pain in the backside, who unfortunately can charm the bird out of the trees with his golden looks and manners. But in actual fact he is anything but, he is exactly how Cecily describes him; as a toad! The way he treats Cecily is really terrible and this guy deserves everything that’s coming to him!
Cecily wasn’t born an aristocrat her father is a Merchant/Business man, who has built up his Empire from scratch h she grew up learning the ropes and ways of business, she knows her ways around the books and banking and even legal documents. There is nothing that she cannot have she has everything a girl would want, the only thing her father can’t seem to purchase for her is respect and social standing, he cannot buy her someone to love her.
Then came along handsome, charming Flavian Nottingham. This god took an interest her, he charming her and made her fall in love with him and she thought he loved her too. So contracts were signed, the marriage was sealed and then he told her the awful truth …that he only married her for her !money and he didn’t love or feel anything for her.
Obviously Cecily was devastated but the hurt from her husband wasn’t finished there, he goes out of his way again and again to ostracize her from society and humiliate by flaunting his mistress about adorned in Jewels he had bought with Cecily’s dowry.
This really is the last straw for her so she decided that she needs to rid of him, now this is where her fabulous three friends come in and basically tell her, she needs to bump him off and live as a lavish widow, but she isn’t keen on that idea so with help of her toadish husband’s cousin Stephen she comes up with a plan that will force him to divorce her.
There is only two issues, one that someone is trying their damdest to murder her and secondly she falls head over heals for the cousin.
Cecily is in her own right an intelligent, strong-minded women but I felt as soon as she married Flavian and learnt the horrible truth she did loose s lot of her spark. She returned into some kind of simpering mouse who cries and whines – a lot! But once she has got over that and her friends start coming up with hilarious ways to get rid of him she really comes into her own.
I like the fact that she is from a normal background, it is so refreshing to have a working class woman as the lead but this is what Anders has done perfectly, the social divide between then is as clear as a bell, the way she gets ostracized just for her back ground really is quote appalling and true for the time.
Stephen is an enigma he keeps his emotions and the thoughts under wraps, he is a powerful man in his own right as handsome as sin but what I like about him is he respects her and takes as she is. Being business man and one of her father’s competitors he has a good solid intelligent head on those impossibly wide shoulders.
The two of them as much as they try to keep those feeling under wraps and under control the atmosphere sizzles with a built up tension. I especially like when they are plotting both their revenge on Flavian and it is highly entertaining watching as Cecily plot revenge on him and when Stephen asks her what she wants the fist it me she says is her husband’s head on a silver platter is very funny.
I adore this it is by far the funniest Historical Romance I have read, the plot is enjoyable very fun and I can see some really good things coming from this author. Her writing flows she has created a story that has you laughing out loud, gripped to edge of your seat and shouting at the book wanting to know what comes next.
This is highly recommended, really very good and a fabulous debut.
About the author
Married to the same man for over 25 years, Annabelle Anders is mother to three children and two
Miniature Wiener dogs. After owning a business and experiencing considerable success, she and
her husband got caught in the financial crisis and lost everything; their business, their home, even
At this point, she put her B.A. in Poly Sci to use and took work as a waitress and bartender.
Unwilling to give up on a professional life, she simultaneously went back to college and obtained a degree in Energy Management.
And then the energy market dropped off.
And then her dog died.
We can only be grateful for this series of unfortunate events, for, with nothing to lose and completely demoralized, she sat down and began to write the romance novels which had until then, existed only in her imagination.
She is happy to have found her place in life.
Annabelle is generously giving away some of her tasselled Hell Hath No Fury, Bookmarks. So to be in for a chance of winning one answer the question that Annabelle has set and follow the instructions… Over to Annabelle..
“I write under the name ANNABELLE ANDERS and my first book, Hell Hath No Fury released on 7-7-17. I love the date!
Anyway, my novel is an edgy Regency Romance. I say ‘ edgy’, because it’s a little off the beaten path. Whereas most heroines in Regency Romances begin the story NEEDING a husband, my character, Cecily, needs to get rid of one. The man she married (an earl) turned out to be a
complete and utter toad (not literally! LOL)”
To be in for a chance of winning a bookmark answer the following Question :
Does it bother you that the hero is not the man she is married to in the beginning?
E-mail your comment to email@example.com along with your address and I’ll send you a Hell Hath No Fury tasselled Bookmark. (First 20 Respondents) Please include the name of the group or blog you are responding from ☺
I look forward to discovering your thoughts on this concept!
* I received this ARC copy from Love Affair With Fiction via the author in return of an honest review.
* The Promo including; Excerpt, Trailer and Author information were provided to Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s exclusively for this Release Blitz.
A Winner for the Virginia Heath Gift Set has been randomly selected and the name that came out of the hat is…..drum roll, please!
Congratulations Alison, we will be in touch with you to arrange sending your prize.
I am very excited because I have a pretty special post for you all, my friend and awesome Historical Romance author Virginia Heath dropped by Chicks Rogues and Scandals to celebrate her upcoming newest release of “A Warriner to Rescue Her” which is book 2 in the Wild Warriners Series and she brought with her some incredible goodies, an exclusive to Chicks Rogues and Scandals excerpt and an amazing Gift Set that we will be giving away to one very lucky winner. I did want to keep the gift for myself but I promise I will let the prize go to a good home – it is seriously amazing though 😉.
To celebrate the up and coming release of “A Warriner to Rescue Her” we are going to be chatting Beatrix Potter, The Warriners and Acorns?…So to get our little celebration going with an exclusive post from the lady her self; here’s Virginia Heath…
From Little Acorns…
Just over a year ago, my first book came out. Like most debut authors, I found it all exciting yet a strangely daunting process. There was so much to learn and so much to do, and everyone told me that top of that list was to get some reviews because without them my book would fade into obscurity. Eagerly, I sent out my precious book to all and sundry, terrified they would all hate my work but knowing I had to do it or else nobody else would read it, hoping that from little acorns an oak tree would grow.
However, there was a problem. The reviewers weren’t interested. Why would they be? Why would they waste their valuable time on a new, unknown author when they already had a huge To Be Read pile filled with well-established and brilliant authors? It seemed my debut book was doomed and so was I.
That’s when I came across Frankie on Twitter. She had just started up her own blogging site Chicks, Rogues and Scandals. She was new and so was I, so I asked her if she would review That Despicable Rogue and to my delight and utter relief she said yes.
It was my first review, and a very nice one. Thanks to that review, other reviewers picked up my book and gave me a go. Since then, it’s all snowballed and I truly have had the most phenomenal first year. I’m building a name for myself and a solid following of readers. I was even nominated for a RONA award (Romantic Novel of the Year) for my third book The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide- I didn’t win but to have been shortlisted felt like I did. The big sites now regularly review my books, and by and large those reviews have all been excellent. The response to my first ever series- The Wild Warriners- has been awesome and I can already feel it building momentum after the success of the first book A Warriner to Protect Her.
I’m not an oak tree yet, more a sapling, and I will be forever grateful to Frankie for her part in that. That’s why I decided to celebrate the launch of the second Warriner book with a giveaway and excerpt exclusively on Chicks, Rogues and Scandals rather than on my own website. A little thank-you for being the first person to take a chance on me. I hope you all enjoy A Warriner to Rescue Her…
Exclusive Excerpt of A Warriner to Rescue Her.
Their butler crept in stealthily and coughed subtly. Every time Jamie saw him it gave him a start. Six months ago they had not even had a maid—now, thanks to Letty, there was a veritable army running Markham Manor, all transplanted from her opulent mansion in Mayfair.
‘You have a caller, my lady.’
A rarity indeed. Nobody called on the Warriners unless they were baying for blood or demanding immediate payment.
‘A young lady. A Miss Reeves. She is enquiring as to whether Captain Warriner is at home.’
Jamie could feel the beginnings of nerves in the pit of his stomach, warning of further impending humiliation, but tried to appear impassive.
‘Captain Warriner?’ Letty was staring at him with barely contained delight. ‘How very dashing that sounds.’
‘Tell her I am not at home, Chivers.’
‘Tell her no such thing! Have her shown in immediately, Chivers. And arrange for some tea.’ His sister-in-law tossed aside her already forgotten sewing and sat eagerly forward in her chair. ‘Why is a young lady calling for you, Jamie?’
He considered lying, but as the real reason for Miss Reeves’s unwelcome visit was doubtless about to be unveiled there seemed little point. ‘I tried to rescue her from a tree yesterday.’
‘Yes. And failed. Miserably.’
Further explanation was prevented by the arrival of his embarrassment. Just as it had yesterday, those red-gold curls refused to be tamed by her hairpins. Several very becoming silky tendrils poked out of her sensible bonnet and framed her pretty face. Her lovely chestnut eyes were wary as they darted between him and Letty.
Politeness dictated he should stand in the presence of a lady, but if he stood she would see more damning evidence of his infirmity and his pride was already bruised and battered quite enough. Letty, of course, sprang to her feet in an instant and gushingly greeted their guest.
‘Miss Reeves! I am delighted to make your acquaintance. I am Letty Warriner- technically the Countess of Markham, although my husband is reticent about using his title. Do take a seat. I hope you will join us for tea?’
It was all a little over the top, in Jamie’s opinion. Yes, a visitor was something of a rarity here, but the way Letty was behaving was a little too effusive. Especially as he was already counting the seconds until Miss Reeves left him in humiliated solitary peace.
‘Tea would be lovely,’ she said, flicking her eyes towards his briefly as she arranged her bottom on a chair. Jamie could still remember the feel of it in his hands. Firm. Rounded. Womanly. Which of course made him think about the incongruous garters again. ‘I came to check on Captain Warriner’s recovery. Because of my own lack of judgement, he was injured yesterday.’
Jamie stared straight ahead, but could feel Letty’s eyes boring into him. ‘Really? Jamie made no mention of an injury. Come to mention it, he also made no mention of the accident which must have led to the injury. All I know is what I have just been told. You were apparently stuck in a tree, Miss Reeves, and my brother-in-law tried and failed to get you down.’
She put unnecessary emphasis on the words brother-in-law, clearly making a point to their guest. A point which made Jamie uncomfortable.
He is single, in case you were wondering, Miss Reeves, and desperately in want of a wife. Try to ignore the fact he is lame, futureless and has the potential to kill if the mood takes him.
Miss Reeves blushed like a beetroot, a beetroot with distracting freckles on her dainty button of a nose, and wore a pained expression. ‘Captain Warriner climbed the apple tree to save me, but I fidgeted too much and the branch snapped. I am afraid we both fell to the ground. The poor captain absorbed the brunt of the impact.’
An understatement. His ribs had damn near snapped in half.
Letty was grinning like an idiot. ‘You fell on top of him? In the orchard?’ And like a nodcock he just happened to be painting the same blasted orchard and things looked so much more beautiful through his stupid eyes.
Miss Reeves nodded. ‘I feel awful about it.’
For his own sake, now was the opportune time to intervene, before Letty started to matchmake in earnest. ‘As you can see, I am in fine fettle, Miss Reeves. You needn’t have troubled yourself by coming all this way to see the evidence for yourself.’ His sister-in-law shot him a pointed glance for his rudeness, but Jamie was unrepentant. The last thing he needed was Letty reading more into his choice of painting than he was comfortable with her knowing. Miss Reeves’s fine eyes swivelled towards his leg, raised as always on a supportive footstool, and he inwardly cringed.
‘But I can see your leg is still injured, Captain Warriner, and that is completely my fault.’
She thought his infirmity was a temporary affliction, and as tempting as it was to go along with the fantasy, his innate sense of futility kicked in. ‘This is Napoleon’s fault, Miss Reeves. Not yours.’
Now, please go away, woman!
‘Indirectly. It was his guns which fired the musket balls.’
Her voice came out a little high-pitched and he simply nodded. He had no intention of telling her how they had had to dig three of the blighters out of his thigh while he was still conscious and he’d very nearly lost the whole leg, as well as his life, to infection afterwards. She blinked rapidly and Jamie could see her imagination filling in the blanks, those long lashes fluttering like butterflies as she did so.
Somehow that made it worse. Pretty and pity made him feel less of a man than he usually did. However, under the circumstances, it was probably best to divulge the horrible truth and suffer her pity rather than give Letty false hope that this delightful armful of woman might enter into a romance with a dangerous invalid. ‘They left me crippled, Miss Reeves.’ And cripples were not attractive. Especially not to freckle-faced fertility goddesses with positively sinful hair and saucy garters.
Cassie had no idea how to respond to such a statement. Part of her was sorry he had suffered, another part of her was hugely relieved not to have been the cause of his injury and a bigger part of her kept remembering how very big, solid and manly his body had been sprawled beneath hers. Just thinking about it made her feel all warm and those deliciously sinful sapphire eyes were not helping. Once again those exuberant passions she was trying her hardest to suppress jumped to the fore. Fortunately, the arrival of the tea tray meant she did not have to respond and had a perfectly reasonable excuse for removing her bonnet before she began to perspire from her wayward, wicked thoughts.
‘Do you take sugar, Miss Reeves?’
‘Just one, please, Mrs…er…my lady.’
The pretty blonde woman giggled. ‘To be honest, it confuses me, too. Perhaps we should simply dispense with the formalities. Why don’t you call me Letty?’
‘In that case, please feel free to call me Cassie.’ She risked peeking at Captain Galahad, but he made no move to invite her to call him anything familiar. In fact, he looked quite irritated at her continued presence. His gorgeous eyes were distinctly narrowed, which made her babble. ‘I am new to the area. My father has recently been appointed the vicar of this parish. We live at the vicarage.’ A completely ridiculous clarification only an idiot would make. It would probably be sensible to stop babbling nonsense and wait to be asked a question. Unfortunately, once her nerves got the better of her, Cassie’s mouth had a habit of running away with itself. ‘I couldn’t help noticing you are going to have a baby.’ Was it polite to mention such things?
Whether it was or it wasn’t, her hostess smiled and Cassie watched in wonder as the young woman’s hand automatically went to her protruding stomach lovingly. ‘Yes, indeed. But not until the autumn. I appear to have got very fat very quickly.’ She handed Cassie her tea. ‘Are you engaged to be married, Miss Reeves, or is there an ardent suitor on the cusp of proposing to you in the near future?’
A very sore point.
Cassie’s odd personality, off-putting exuberance, unfortunate freckles combined with her father’s ferocious temperament had all proved to be highly effective deterrents to the male sex. ‘No to both questions, I’m afraid.’
I am doomed to sit on the shelf and gather dust; I only hope it is sturdy enough and wide enough to bear my weight.
‘Well, I am sure it won’t be long before some lucky gentleman snaps you up—you are uncommonly pretty, Miss Reeves. Isn’t that right, Jamie?’
Captain Galahad grunted and appeared very bored. Clearly he disagreed. He was sipping his tea and practically glaring at her over the rim of the ridiculously delicate cup in his large, manly hand. Or perhaps he was glaring at his sister-in-law for asking him such an impertinent question? It was quite difficult to tell.
A Warriner to Rescue Her cam be Pre-ordered at Amazon
As you would have guessed from the Amazing Excerpt “A Warriner to Rescue Her” follows second brother; war hero Jamie as he tries to get on with his life after being severely wounded in battle. Jamie is an accomplished artist and it is through his art that he really comes into his own. On meeting Cassie, the new vicar’s daughter who like Jamie comes into her own through her stories, they come together to create a book, in a very Beatrix Potter way. Cassie writes the story about talking animals, no less and Jamie creates the glorious pictures and soon through their shared love of this venture they begin to heal each other. Which leads nicely into the next part of our Celebration The lady, who is the inspiration to Cassie and Jamie’s book; Beatrix Potter….
A Lady who Inspired….
Beatrix Potter was a childhood heroine of mine, she inspired children, young girls especially, to go out there and pursue their dreams, just like she did. Beatrix was a kind-hearted, intelligent and wonderful woman who could see the beauty in the most ordinary, everyday things. Her gift for creating these lovable tales is extraordinary but that isn’t all she achieved, her legacy will be her love and respect for the wild and all its creatures.
Beatrix wrote and illustrated 28 children’s books that to this day are loved by children all over the world, they have been translated into over 35 languages.
She was originally from Kensington, London born 28th July 1866 to a Rupert and Helen Potter, but her heart was and always would be in the country; such as Scotland and the Lake District. She was the eldest of two, her little brother Bertram were very close and they shared a love of animals and nature. As Bertram was really the only childhood friend she had while growing up, once he was sent off to school Beatrix was very lonely and it was at these times that her artistic talents and astonishing imagination really took root and started her off down the path she took and why and how she became the inspiring woman she became.
Like all girls growing up during the Victorian era, Beatrix was restricted in her activities, she rarely spent much time with her parents and other than her brother her main source of companionship was various governesses who were brought in to educate young Beatrix, because of her extraordinary talent she was encouraged to pursue her love of art. She created astonishingly accurate drawings of fungi and insects and her beloved pet rabbit Benjamin Bouncer.
Throughout her twenties, after years of observation and studies she developed into a keen and talented naturalist and she wrote her first paper called “On the Germination of the Spores of Agaricineae” all about how fungi spores reproduced but was rejected by William Thiselton-Dyer, director of the Royal Botanical Gardens. She refused to give up and carried on with her research and a year later George Massee, a fungi expert who worked at the Kew gardens, agreed to present her paper to the Linnean Society of London as women weren’t allowed to at the time.
Way before becoming the published author we know her to be, Beatrix created illustrated post cards depicting scenes from her favourite stories such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for the publisher Hildesheimer & Faulkner. Many more illustrations and verses followed, this cemented her desire to Publish her own stories.
In 1901 after being rejected by many publishers Beatrix decided to print and Publish The Tale of Peter Rabbit herself, she initially printed 250 copies and sent them to friends and family. The book was an instant success and the publishers Frederick Warne & Co., who had previously turned it down, reconsidered and offered to publish as long as Beatrix illustrated in colour. On publishing in October 1902 the book was an instant hit.
But she wasn’t just a one hit wonder she created many more books that were instant successes, she started exploring more creative pursuits, she created her own Peter Rabbit doll and in 1903 she registered it at the patent office making Peter Rabbit the world’s oldest licensed literary character. Beatrix dabbled in other merchandise such as tea sets. Slippers, she invented The Peter Rabbit board game in 1904. She also published Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle Duck painting books.
She met her soul mate in her editor, Norman Warne but unfortunately after a long courtship Norman died of Leukaemia just a month after his proposal of marriage. To recover from his passing Beatrix took to the Lake District, which was her sanctuary a place she could grieve and be herself in peace and it was a place where she spent the majority of the rest of her life.
She loved the area and the people and just the way of life so much she bought fifteen farms and took a very hands on approach to caring for them. She was known to helping with the haymaking, wading through mud to unblock drains or dressed in tweed searching the hills for lost sheep. She was at her utmost happiest when she was tending to her animals.
Beatrix became the first woman elected President of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association in 1943 and in the same year Beatrix sadly passed away, leaving her fifteen farms and over four thousand acres to The National Trust.
For me Beatrix was an astonishing woman, she pushed the boundaries of what women could do in the time and she never gave in. She was a force to be reckoned with and she brought so much joy and happiness into the world, her legacy is of her love of nature and these wonderful stories that are still loved to this day. She had her heart breaks and it was in those times that she showed again and again just how much strength she had.
I promised at the beginning of the post that we have a doozy of a giveaway and here it is. Virginia has generously put together a Warriner/Beatrix Potter Gift set which includes…
• A signed copy of A Warriner to Rescue her.
• Virginia Heath Bookmarks.
• Beatrix Potter Adult Colouring Book.
• Horses Adult Colouring Book.
• A Pack of Fancy Steadler Norris Colouring Pencils.
So, to be in for a chance of winning this incredible Gift set then all you have to do is tell me : Who is your favourite Beatrix Potter Character? That’s it simple!
Revised Giveaway Entrant Rules : I have had a it pointed out to me that those who don’t have a wordpress account are having difficulties commenting, so I have adjusted how you all can enter – You can either comment below, or you can leave your answer on the original Giveaway Post on the Chick’s Rogues and Scandals Facebook page. Link – HERE
The Giveaway is open Internationally. The closing date is Tuesday 27th June at 6pm GMT. The winner will be drawn at random after the closing date and will be notified shortly after.