Today the Riskies welcome guest author, Camille Elliot. She’s offering a giveaway, too, so be sure to check the details at the end of her post.
Hello! My name is Camille Elliot and I’m a relatively new Regency romance author.
I’ve been reading Regencies since I was thirteen years old, but didn’t start writing them until a few years ago. For my 40th birthday, I decided to take a “bucket list” trip to England rather than throwing a big party, and I’m so glad I went! It was the most wonderful experience I’ve ever had and it inspired some scenes in my latest Regency, The Spinster’s Christmas.
I was able to visit Lord Byron’s estate, Newstead Abbey, and it absolutely captivated me from the first sight of the ruined chapel front attached to the house.
The grounds are absolutely stunning—not as extensive as, say, Chatsworth, but beautifully cultivated. Most of the gardens were developed in the late 1800s but some of the gardens nearer to the house had been there when Lord Byron lived at Newstead.
Two of the gardens that really captivated me were the Small Walled Garden and the Rose Garden. They were originally the kitchen gardens, but were developed, I believe, in the late 1800s. The Small Walled Garden is especially beautiful with arches made of trained pear trees, and the high walls make it seem like it’s cut off from the rest of the world.
The Rose Garden is gigantic and I could see it as a wonderful place for children to play hide and seek. What was rather funny was the way the trees were sculpted. My friend, Liz Babbs, said they looked like Hershey’s kisses, but I thought they looked like giant turds.
When I wrote The Spinster’s Christmas, I went back to my memories of Newstead Abbey for a key scene in the book (in other words, a major kissing scene). The children are playing Hide and Seek in the Rose Garden, which I named the Lower Gardens, and my heroine speaks to my hero in the Small Walled Garden, which I named the Upper Gardens.
When writing the scene, I almost felt like I was back at Newstead. Sigh. I hope to go back to England soon, and back to Newstead again!
Thanks so much for visiting with us today and sharing this adventure, Camy!
Camy writes Christian romantic suspense as Camy Tang and Regency romance as USA Today bestselling author Camille Elliot. She lives in San Jose, California, with her engineer husband and rambunctious dog. She is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads one of the Sunday worship teams. Her latest novel, The Spinster’s Christmas, is now available for pre-order: http://camilleelliot.com/books/lady_wynwood_series/1_the_spinsters_christmas
This story is the first in Camy’s new series.
Camy is offering three copies of The Spinster’s Christmas when it releases (please note it is not available yet!!) to three lucky winners who will be chosen randomly from among those who comment below. Do you have a favorite place in England you would most like to go back to visit again? If you haven’t been there, what one place is highest on your “wish to see” list? Writers, what real places have inspired scenes in your stories?
Camy and Gail, thanks for this beautiful post. I lived in England for three years and I can’t believe I never visited Newstead! It will be on the list for next time I go.
I’ve used a lot of locations that I enjoyed visiting–the northern area of the Lake District around Ullswater for THE INCORRIGIBLE LADY CATHERINE, the area of western Cornwall near Tintagel for SAVING LORD VERWOOD. And I often base my characters’ fictional homes on real places.
Elena, I LOVED Saving Lord Verwood! I would have liked to visit the Lake District during my vacation but didn’t have time. 🙁
Thanks, Camille! And I hope you get the chance to visit the Lake District sometime.
I’ve been to London 5 times and have toured a great deal of the country. I missed this site and would have liked to see it.
London was wonderful–I was able to stay an entire week–but I admit the country manor houses really stole my heart!
no fav place
What place would you like to see?
The V & A has been on my bucket-list for a while! I’m getting to the point I can afford the trip financially, but need more vacation time!!!
Ooooh the V&A museum was fantastic! Totally worth the trip right there, plus I got to meet a friend who lives in London and we had lunch together.
I want to see the Cotswolds. I would also like to tour the Tea Rooms. Yum.
Camy, thanks for a lovely post! I can easily see how those beautiful gardens inspired you. Annamarie, I think a “tearoom tour” would be so much fun!! I love the photos that are always popping up on Facebook!
Oooh, yes the Cotswolds is on my bucket list, too! And I’m always up for tea. 🙂
A trip to Great Britain is a dream of mine, and someday it will come true. I’d definitely have to visit London, and I’d love to see all of the big touristy spots. Second, I’d love to visit Edinburgh and the castle would be first on my list.
I love castles! I’d like to visit Scotland someday, too!
What a lovely post ! I would love to visit the British Museum again. The last time I visited I was twelve and I enjoyed it completely, but my perspective as an adult will be very different. I’d also like to visit Hatchard’s. And the Sloane Museum. And the National Gallery. Well, that is just London. I could go on and on!
Oh I know! A week wasn’t enough time when I went to London!
I’ve been to England several times and done walking tours of Derbyshire, Shropshire, and the Lake District. I’d love to revisit them all, plus go to places I’ve never been. I’ve not been to Cornwall, for example, and now I’ve got Newstead Abbey to add to my list. Not sure whether I should be happy about the prospect of visiting this lovely place or depressed because the list is now so long it’s quite intimidating. It resembles my list of books TBR — which also now has an addition of “The Spinster’s Christmas”.
Susan, I also must admit that my list of places to visit go longer after my trip to England! I hope to go again soon, since it has turned into my favorite place to travel to!