Monday, June 4, 2012

A Proper Companion by Louise Gouge Ends June 10th

 Award-winning Florida author Louise M. Gouge writes historical fiction for Harlequin's Love Inspire imprint. In addition to numerous other awards, Louise is the recipient of the prestigious Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award for her 2005 novel, Hannah Rose. With her great love of history and research, Louise has traveled to several of her locations to ensure the accuracy of her stories’ settings. When she isn't writing, she and her husband love to visit historical sites and museums. Her latest release from Harlequin is The Proper Companion, a Love Inspired Regency novel.

I'm excited to have my good friend, Louise Gouge on my blog this week. Louise is graciously giving away her new release, A Proper Companion. Answer one of her questions to be entered. Don't forget to leave your email so I can contact you if you win. And don't forget to let me know if you are a fb follower. Good Luck!
Thank you, Debbie Lynne, for inviting me to be your blog guest. I’m delighted to share a bit of my writing life with your readers.

Questions for readers:
Do you like to see real life historical people portrayed in fiction? Why or why not? Who is your favorite real life historical person, and if you could meet him/her, what question(s) would you ask or say?

Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
I’m at my desk in my home office wearing capris and my old ACRW tee shirt. (American Christian Fiction Writers began as American Christian Romance Writers, and I still have the memorabilia.) This is my writing “uniform,” all comfy and loose so my brain is free to create.

Do your characters ever give you surprises when you are writing? Can you give us an example if they do and if they don’t, do you know why?
Oh, yes. They frequently try to take over the story. Usually, it’s the hero and/or heroine falling in love way too soon. But then my books would be short stories instead of novels! So I have to rein them in and say, “Hey, you, not so fast. I know he/she is the person you’ve been waiting for all your life, but we still have a lot of pages to fill, a lot more adventure to have.”

If you could be any character in any literary book who would you be and why?
I used to say Jane Eyre, the heroine of my favorite novel. But when I think of all she had to suffer on her journey to happiness, it gives me pause. The essence of enjoyable fiction is traumatic conflict, and I think most of us try to avoid that. So I’ll just say I like being me, but I love to visit fictional worlds and go along for the adventure.

What is something that very few people know about you?
In spite of writing about people who live in large, elegant mansions, I love small spaces. Neat, tidy little rooms with everything at my fingertips. I think I’d be happy living in a motor home.

Can you tell something about this book or in writing it that is maybe a behind the scenes that we’d find interesting?
I got the idea for this series while reading another author’s book. One of her wealthy female characters had a companion, a dowdy old woman who lived in the shadows of this other woman’s life. I began to wonder about the lives of these companions and came up with three ideas. I began with the wealthy ladies, three friends who had grown up together. Then I figured out who would make the best companion for each of them. These would be my heroines. Next, I decided on the heroes who would fit the story. I was actually on a road trip (my husband was driving), and I typed all of my ideas into my cell phone (I call it my not-so-smart phone for too many reasons to list here, but it worked in this case). When I got home, I sent the idea off to my editor, and she gave me the okay to write it. A Proper Companion is Book One in my Ladies in Waiting series.

If you could live in any time period when and where would that be and why?
I would live in the late 1800s, when my grandparents grew up and married, but only if I could take modern medicine and several modern conveniences! This was a time when unapologetic faith, morality, and manners prevailed in America. Of course there were ugly prejudices, too, and I think it’s silly to gloss over such issues in our fiction. On the other hand, the elegant dresses and gorgeous hats ladies wore would just take my breath away. And I mean that literally, because every decent lady, my grandmothers included, had to wear waist-cinching corsets! So much for my loose tee shirts. Hmm. Maybe I’m glad to live in the present time and just daydream about the better parts of the past.

If you could visit any place in the world where would you go and why?
If I could take a Grand Tour of any kind in any place, it would be an American Patriot’s tour of my own country – and take my grandchildren along for the ride. As a college professor, I am often dismayed by my students’ lack of historical knowledge. I would love to travel to all of the places where our country’s greatest events took place so I could pass the excitement on to my classes. I’ve been to Boston Common and Bunker Hill, where the early shots of our American Revolution were fired, and Yorktown, where we finally defeated the British. These sites stay in my heart as I think of the Patriots who fought and died so that we can have our freedom in the greatest nation in human history, the United States of America.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
My favorite material item is my paternal great-grandparents’ family Bible. It’s very fragile and needs to be rebound, but it’s still beautiful. Inside are family records such as marriages, births, and deaths. There is also a temperance pledge signed by my great-grandparents, my grandfather, and my great-uncle. They were devoted Christians, and there faith is a wonderful legacy for me.

 With her father's death, Anna Newfield loses everything—her home, her inheritance and her future. Her only piece of good fortune is a job offer from wounded major Edmond Grenville, whose mother requires a companion. The Dowager Lady Greystone is controlling and unwelcoming, but Anna can enjoy Edmond's company, even if she knows the aristocratic war hero could never return her love.

Even amid the glittering ballrooms of London, nothing glows brighter for Edmond than Anna's gentle courage. Loving her means going against his family's rigid command. Yet how can he walk away, when his heart may have found its true companion?
DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice.
Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday,  June 10th . Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.


  1. I do like to see real people portrayed in fiction. I know that is is fiction, but I'm sure that the authors have done their research and portray them as accurately as possible.


    I am also a Follower!

    1. Yes, a good author does. I know I've been in many a discussion when a writer asks, "I've checked everywhere I can and as far as I can tell there is no information on where John Doe (famous person)was on June 13th (or what ever date)do you think it is viable that he was in Savannah at a ball on this date?"

  2. Debbie Lynn, please don't add me to your contestant list for the drawing. I just wanted to drop in and let everyone know how wonderful this first book Louise has in her Ladies In Waiting series. It has shown me how difficult it is to live as God would have me live in the face of tragedy. I am SO MUCH looking forward to reading them all!! It would do us all good to catch the enthusiasm for history Louise has. What a contagious blessing it must be to sit in her class at college.

    1. Thank you for stopping by Pamela. This was a wonderful story and I promise you, her next in the series is EVERY BIT AS GOOD!

    2. Thank you so much, Pamela. I am honored that you enjoyed my story. It was so much fun to write and even more fun to learn about the Regency era.

  3. yes, i do like real people portrayed in fiction...and i agree, i'm sure that the author does extensive research on him/her...adding a bit of creativity.

    enjoyed this interview/posting...thanks for the chance to read this wonderful novel.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  4. I love to read about real historical figures and my favorite has to be Anne Boleyn. I think she's fascinating and maybe gets misrepresented a lot in history. If I could talk to her I would ask her for her side of the story and she felt about what happened to her.


    1. Liz, I share your interest in Anne Boleyn. I have often felt she has been misrepresented in history and fiction. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  5. I follow via FEEDBURNER.


  6. I love historical fiction, and thoroughly enjoyed this interview. I'm with you, Louise! I'd love to have lived in the latter half of the 1800s, but with modern medicine, and at least a few modern conveniences. Thank you for offering a giveaway of your book!

    Debbie, I'm a follower of your blog and follow through Feedburner.


  7. I dont know about real life historical folks portrayed but I love seeing how real folks lived, especially in the 1800s as mentioned above. I just loved the whole Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke. I know their lives were hard then but their roles defined and sometimes the 'simplicity' appeals to me.

    Anyway, it was acutally my husband who brought my attention to the books. He used to drive a big old 18 wheeler truck - yes, a few of the truckers out there are actually Christian men - and so when he was home he'd go to the library and pick up a bunch of audio books. (Sometimes we call each other Marty and Clark when Im pouring the morning coffee). It was a treat to see the movies on the Hallmark channel as well.

    Thanks for offering up some God-approved reading choices!

  8. Yes, I do like to see real people from history portrayed in works of fiction. I appreciate that even... especially if it is surrounded by true events, historical information, etc. I have always HATED history (not sure if it's been my teachers or just the way it's tested-- too much memorization for me), but I love to read historical fiction... I love to hear about things from a personal/emotional perspective.

    I don't have a favorite person from history.

    Thank you for the interview/review/giveaway!! :)

    I do follow through Feedburner. ladettek[at]gmail[dot]com

  9. I like to have real people mentioned in a story if it fits in well with the time and place. Sometimes it just adds a nice touch! :)I'd love to be added to the drawing.
    I'm a follower via Feedburner.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  10. I enjoy seeing real historical characters in novels. If thoroughly researched and presented in their true character they add to the depth and authenticity of a novel. They can anchor a story in the reader's mind.
    As to who I would like to meet, I would like to meet Martha Washington. It would be interesting to know how she dealt with the separation during the war and the unknown expectations of being the first First Lady of our country.
    I'ma follower

  11. I do like to see real people in fiction. Why? Because I like to read about others, but biographies are boring. I appreciate authors who can do the research and give me tidbits into the lives of our predecessors.

    Favorite person in history...well, it goes a long, long way back, but I think Ruth. She was a courageous woman.

    ginger dot solomon at gmail dot com

    1. Ginger, I agree that biographies can be boring. Some recent authors have written bios of great people but have been a bit more creative to make them interesting. Ruth is one of my favorites, too. What an example of faith!

  12. I'd love to win! In answer to this question: Do you like to see real life historical people portrayed in fiction? - Yes!


    frequentreader19 (at) gmail dot com

    feedburner subscriber

  13. I appreciate everyone's comments. The consensus seems to be that we do like real people presented in fiction but only if they act within character as we know them. I would agree. So I won't have the Prince Regen tapdancing in my books. LOL!

  14. In Regencies, I don't mind reading about Wellington! How he required the officers to dance! Would love to win this.

  15. Hi Deborah, Enjoyed your interview and looking foward to reading The Proper Companion. You are new author for me so I am adding to my wish list.
    Do you like to see real life historical people portrayed in fiction? Why or why not?
    Yes, even if fictional I like to have real historical people and imagine what if.
    Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    1. Hi, MissCallie. I wonder if you have me confused with one of my favorite Regency authors, Deborah Hale. She has a new book out this month, too. It's called The Baron's Governess Bride. I'm about to start reading it. You may want to give it a try.

  16. I do enjoy reading about "real people" in fiction when they are very well researched and their personality comes through just right. :)

    crandallberries at gmail dot com

  17. I've been slack this week! Hey everyone! Waving from South Carolina. Recuperating from graduation week. Trying to catch up on all of the things that I had to put aside. Thank you all for stopping by and answering Louise questions. I'm like the rest of you and love to have real people in stories. It so much fun and makes the story seem more real. Hey Louise! Thanks for being on top of things here. So glad to have you here this week!

  18. Hi, Debbie Lynne. I'm so glad to be here. If anyone has a question about writing for me, I'd love to answer.

  19. I love to see real people portrayed in fiction--if it's done well. :) Hi Louise! So glad to see this story come out. I'm mostly a suspense girl, but love a good regency! A great interview by a wonderful author. Thanks so much for sharing!

    lynetteeason at lynetteeason dot com