Where Romance and History Meet - www.heartsthroughhistory.com/

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Setting Collector, by Mia Marlowe

Although today is usually my day to post, I have invited special guest author Mia Marlowe to take my spot! You are all in for a special treat. Mia is a wonderful author of historical romance, and I think you will find her post today to be equally fascinating and get your minds cranking.  Mia is an avid supporter of writers and the romance genre, and I encourage you to not only check out her books, but her blog as well. Visit her at her site, http://www.miamarlowe.com/.

The Setting Collector
by Mia Marlowe

Travel is one of my passions. I like to think of myself a "setting collector." When I explore a new place, the seeds of stories are planted in my subconscious, even if it takes them a while to germinate. In 2002, my DH and I went to Hanover, Germany a couple times--he to conduct business and me to play tourist. One of the places I discovered was Schloss Celle, a castle a short train ride from Hanover.

Like all castles, it was built in stages, starting with a fortified tower around 980 AD. Through the years, it was altered and added to till it became the Renaissance style 4-winged structure that exists today. It's a fascinating place with a hodge-podge interior, reflecting many different building styles.

It doesn't have a moat and was never used defensively. The schloss (German for castle) was primarily a pleasure retreat for the House of Hanover. But in 1772, it also became a prison of sorts for Queen Caroline Mathilda.

Queen Caroline MathildaShe was the sister of Britain's George III and, as if having a mad brother weren't bad enough, this unlucky princess had the misfortune to wed her equally mad cousin, Christian VII of Denmark.

Caroline may not have been a beauty, but she had a vivacious and fun-loving personality. She sometimes outraged people by dressing in men's clothing and riding astride. At Schloss Celle, there is a miniature of her with a decolletage so daring, her rouged nipples are proudly on display.

A free spirit like Caroline couldn't avoid trouble long and soon was embroiled in a long-running affair with her husband's doctor, Johann Friedrich Struensee. Her daughter was almost certainly her lover's child since Christian VII didn't seem to like his queen much.

Even mad kings resent being cuckolded. There was a seething scandal and a messy divorce. Caroline was banished to Celle and her lover was executed. She died of scarlet fever three years later in 1775 at the age of 23.

Touch of a Thief by Mia MarloweThe story of this sad queen inspired me to use Schloss Celle as the setting for a rather gothic section of Touch of a Thief. Lady Viola Preston and Lt. Greydon Quinn are on the trail of the Blood of the Tiger, a cursed red diamond. They encounter the malevolent stone and the villain who has possession of it at this Hanoverian castle.

Posing as newlyweds, Quinn and Viola's adventures take them from London to Paris to Hanover and back again. I hope you'll enjoy doing a little armchair traveling with them!

Have you ever visited a place and thought it would be a good setting for a romance? Leave a comment or question today for a chance to win a copy of Touch of a Thief!

24 comments:

Debra Maher said...

What a wonderful post, Mia! I love houses, little cottages to royal castles and everything in between. There's a character in them.

After touring some of the "summer cottages" in Newport, Rhode Island, I always thought they (one in particular) would make a great setting for an early 20th century novel. Great topic!

Sandy said...

How intriguing, Mia. To me every place I go inspires characters and stories.

Once, I was in Hong Kong for ten days, the harbor there has many little boats where people live. On those boats were television antennas. Smile. It made me very curious of what went on those boats. What the people did for a living, etc.?

Diane D - Florida said...

I loved reading your post. It's always nice to know where a writer gets their inspiration from.

I've visited Warwick Castle in England a few times, and really think that this would make a wonderful setting for a romance novel. The grounds and castle are spectacular. Having said that though, I think that most castles and stately homes are great settings for a romance to bloom.


dpd333@aol.com

Beth Trissel said...

What a fascinating post. I love the history you've unearthed. Great inspiration for your book. Wonderful. I collect scenes too. :)

Beth Caudill said...

I always liked the Winchester Mystery House near San Francisco. (http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/)

I think it would be great for a mystery or Treasure Hunt story.

beth@bethcaudill.net

catslady said...

Oh I love hearing all the history behind the story. I wish I could always travel but at least my husband and I were able to see quite a few countries in our early years. So many wonderful castles in Europe but a place that really intrigued me was the fortress, The Citadel, in Haiti. At the top of the mountain it felt like you were at the end of the world. Your book sounds very intriguing!

MiaMarlowe said...

Debra--Rhode Island is very lovely--all those fingers of the sea reaching into the land. Great setting!

MiaMarlowe said...

Sandy--Hong Kong! What a wonderful experience for you.

MiaMarlowe said...

Diane--I was in a workshop with Hannah Howell today. She always makes up her towns, homes, castles, etc, but she uses parts from existing places--a dungeon from here, a tower from there, etc.

MiaMarlowe said...

Thanks, Beth. History calls to me.

MiaMarlowe said...

Beth T--Thanks for sharing the link to MysteryHOuse!

MiaMarlowe said...

Catslady--That Haitan citadel sound fascinating. Bermuda is filled with great historical, mostly military settings. Commissioners House at Royal Docks has killer sea views.

Sandy said...

I enjoyed your post, Mia. I know there is probably a castle or two in my ancestors' history (at least one of my ancestors was a knight who fought with the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings and was subsequently rewarded with land by the King). I've never visited any castles, but here in Virginia, we are fortunate to have beautiful old homes and plantations that evoke a strong sense of nostalgia and respect for the lives of our forefathers. There's something a bit romantic, even idyllic about standing in Jefferson's dining room or Washington's bedchamber. And I adore antebellum plantations - they make for wonderful settings for time-travel romances or stories with a ghostly twist.

Chelsea B. said...

I always think places I go would make a good setting for romance, haha! I guess I just always have romance on the brain :-)

justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

sbo said...

Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never sbobet
seem to get there! Many thanks.

Blogger said...

Find out how to get free flights with Travel Hacking.

smokegood said...

Even though payout percentage is important, it's not the only thing you should look for when deciding on which online casino to play at.
idn play
It doesn't matter if the online casino payout percentages and game RTPs are really high at the site you're playing at if it takes ages to actually collect the winnings you're owed.
agen judi bola resmi
This is because it shows a good amount of respect for players and demonstrates that they know what they're doing.
game duit asli
It's no wonder that the casinos with the fastest payouts are usually the most popular.
betplace88
If you ever find yourself waiting ages and not getting the best payout speeds, then it might be time to make a move to other online gambling sites.
s128
That's because slow payouts are often an indicator that a company is struggling to make a profit and could possibly be facing financial difficulty.
daftar rolet
The best indicator of how likely you are to win is to look at the total a casino has paid out. If it's low, chances are you might not be onto a big winner.
joker777
The main impact is the banking method you use, as each one will have slightly different processing times.
s128 apk
We've listed the methods that offer the fastest processing times so that you can make a more informed decision when it comes to withdrawing your funds.
login idn poker
Making a withdrawal from an online casino is easy; especially as most casinos do all that they can to keep the process as fuss-free as possible.
idn poker
Choosing an online casino is a serious business and, with the vast volume of payout statistics floating around the web, there's no excuse for not doing your homework.

Laurensia Chia said...

osg777

Laurensia Chia said...

I am so happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc. http://www.nontontvonline.web.id

Laurensia Chia said...

A lot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definately interested in this one.
SBOBET88 MOBILE

Laurensia Chia said...

Hi there. Very cool site!! Guy ..Wonderful .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally…I am glad to locate so much useful info right here in the article. Thanks for sharing…
http://www.7sportsbola.org/

Laurensia Chia said...

Saya sangat terkesan dengan bakat menulis Anda dan juga format untuk blog Anda.
Apakah ini subjek berbayar atau apakah Anda memodifikasinya sendiri?
Pokoknya teruskan penulisan berkualitas tinggi yang sangat baik,
jarang terlihat blog yang bagus seperti ini akhir-akhir ini ..

Permainan poker menggunakan kartu remi yang berjumlah 52 buah kartu, dalam permainan ini setiap pemain harus tahu susunan-susunan kartu poker dari yang paling tinggi sampai dengan yang paling rendah. Tujuan dalam permainan ini adalah pemain mendapatkan susunan kartu yang paling tinggi maka dialah pemenangnya.Anda bisa menguji keberuntungan anda disiniidn poker

Laurensia Chia said...

situs agen judi slot terbaik dan terpercaya,jangan sampai ketinggalan bonus menariknya. daftar dan mainkan sekarang juga, Uji keberuntungan anda disini bersama kami Agen Game Online Resmi dan terpercaya.game slot sbobet pulsa

Laurensia Chia said...

Artikel yang sangat bagus dan bermanfaat, apa bila anda ingin menguji keburuntungan anda,kami punya solusinya. Anda langsung ditangani oleh Agen resmi dan CS yang berpengalaman dalam bidangnya sehingga anda tidak perlu menunggu waktu yang lama untuk mengambil hasil kebruntungan anda. kepuasan anda adalah tugas kami.deposit slot sbobet pulsa murah