Monday, September 14, 2009

Romantic Rambling Interviews: Historical Romance Author, Blythe Gifford!

Greetings Everyone!

I’m very excited today because I'm holding my very first Romantic Ramblings Interview with Historical Romance Author, Blythe Gifford. Blythe exploded onto the romance scene back in 2004 with her debut novel, The Knave and The Maiden which received rave reviews. Today, we’re celebrating Blythe’s fourth book, In the Master’s Bed with an interview and contest! So grab yourself a cup of java, sit back and enjoy…

In the Master's Bed by Blythe Gifford

Disguised as a man in a place where women are forbidden, Jane meets a man who, for the first time, makes her want to be a women. But what will happen when he discovers her secret and she’s discovered IN The MASTER’S BED?

Ingela: Welcome Blythe, to the Romantic Ramblings blog.  Can you tell us about your latest Harlequin Historical, In The Master's Bed?

Blythe Gifford: It’s a medieval romance featuring a heroine born on the wrong side of the royal blanket, the sister from my previous release The HARLOT’S DAUGHTER. She runs away from home, disguised as a man, to study at the university, where women are forbidden. There, she meets a man who, for the first time, makes her want to be a woman. But what will happen when he discovers her secret and she’s discovered IN The MASTER’S BED?

Ingela: What inspired you to write a romance in the fourteenth Century England?

Blythe Gifford: In junior high school, I read Katherine, by Anya Seton. It’s the story of a lifelong love affair between John of Gaunt, a son of Edward III, fourteenth century English monarch, and Katherine Swynford. They had four children together and in a happily-ever-after moment, they finally married late in life. Their children were legitimized and in just a few generations, their descendents sat on the English throne. It sparked my interest in fourteenth century England and the royal family, particularly the behind-the-throne stories. I subsequently put together my own royal family tree, complete with all the mistresses and bastards I could find. And I’m writing stories of royal bastards today!

Beyond that, I like to write about turbulent times and the fourteenth century has it all: plagues, wars, political intrigue, religious and economic upheavals. My characters grapple with a changing world, just as we do. There’s always something coming to test their mettle.  

Ingela: What made you decided to become a writer? Is writing your "first love" or is it something you "fell into?"

Blythe Gifford: After many years in public relations, advertising, and marketing, I started writing seriously after a corporate layoff. Ten years and one layoff later, I was an “overnight success.” That’s when I sold my Golden Heart finalist manuscript to Harlequin.
But the truth is, I’ve been a writer all my life. I started to write (and illustrate) my first historical novel when I was ten. (I have since given up illustration!)

Ingela: So what's in store for you now? What book are you currently inspired to write?

Blythe Gifford: I’m just finishing revisions on my next book about a fourteenth century royal bastard, which will be released next year by Harlequin Historical. (Date and title still to be determined!) This time, I’ve written my first Scottish set story. I’ll be interested to see what readers think about my trip across the border!

Ingela: And now for some fun questions... ;) If you could travel back in time for a month long vacation, which Era would you visit and why?

Blythe Gifford: Well, I’d have to say the fourteenth century. It would be interesting to see whether I got it right. But it might not feel like much of a vacation! And I’d want a time travel guarantee that I wouldn’t catch from the plague, or be have to ride to war or get on the king’s bad side. If any of those happened, I might not make it back!

Ingela: If you could meet anyone of your characters in person, who would it be and why?

Blythe Gifford: The one I would like to meet is a character in my books, but also a real person. Jane, the heroine of IN The MASTER’S BED, and Solay, the heroine of The HARLOT’S DAUGHTER, were inspired by real people: the daughters of Alice Perrers, the notorious mistress of Edward III. If you Google Alice, “notorious” is the nicest word that pops up. The list includes greedy, unscrupulous, shrewd, venal, shameless, and rapacious! But in creating her as a character, and a mother, I developed my own take on her life and motives. In twenty-first century hindsight, I think she was scandalous because she exceeded the boundaries set for a mistress in her age. Had she been a man, she would have been admired for her wealth and power. I’d like to know whether I’m right.

Ingela: If you could meet any author in the world (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

Blythe Gifford: Oh, I could make a list! But let me give the “dead” answer. I’d love to meet Anya Seton so I could tell her how her book had influenced my life. I did get to do the second best thing. I met her granddaughter at a conference earlier this year. That was a real thrill, I have to say. I got goose bumps!

Ingela: What is your favorite "guilty" pleasure and why?

Blythe Gifford: Only one? I’m a fan of “Dancing With the Stars” and I’m really looking forward to having it back on air next week!

Ingela: What is the "coolest" or most interesting thing that has happened to you since becoming a published author?

Blythe Gifford: Actually, just being a published author is pretty cool! And hearing from a reader who loved the book is the best thing ever. But my favorite event was having my first book, The KNAVE AND The MAIDEN, named the book club selection of my hometown library. I visited with the group after they had read the book and got to hear their perceptions and fill them in on some of the flotsam and jetsam of inspiration that went into the story. That was wonderful enough, but while I was there, I kept remembering myself as a little girl, haunting the shelves and taking home stacks of books to read. It is still amazing and wonderful to think that that little girl grew up to write books!

Blythe Gifford: I’d like to thank you for having me, Ingela. I know you are a fellow medieval lover! And I’d love to hear your blog readers tell us what they are reading right now. A copy of IN The MASTER’S BED will go to one lucky commenter.

Ingela: And thank you for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to drop by and do this interview, Blythe. 

To learn more about Blythe Gifford and her books, be sure to check out these websites: , and


Now readers, heres your chance to WIN a Signed copy of Blythe Gifford's In the Master's Bed! Simply ask a question or tell us what your reading, or leave a comment.  Blythe will be popping in and out throughout the day to answer any of your questions.

Good Luck!

Please check back on Wednesday, September 23rd, for the announcement of the Winner of Blythe's Contest.

Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved®and TM are trademarks of Harlequin Enterprises Limited and/or its affiliated companies, used under license.
Author photo by Jennifer Girard

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  • At 11:45 AM, Blogger Judy said…

    I enjoyed your interview!! This book looks like a great read. I love historicals. I have not read any of Ms. Gifford's books, but will have to change that.

    I also love Anya Seton. I have several of her books. They are hard to find.

  • At 11:46 AM, Blogger Joan said…

    Great interview. Would love to win a Blythe Gifford novel.

  • At 12:50 PM, Blogger Gwynlyn MacKenzie said…

    Great interview. Since I write fifteenth century, my current reads are far removed from the period. I loved Shirlee Busbee back in the day, so picked up Scandal Becomes Her. It's very disconcerting because I think I've read it before! If the bad guy is the doctor, then I have, but I read so much and, lately, it seems they all kind of run together. Ah well.

    Looking forward to reading In the Master's Bed.

  • At 1:37 PM, Blogger Blythe Gifford said…

    Thanks, Judy! Hope you enjoy them. I've been collecting Anya Seton for a long time, so I think I have them all.
    Good luck, Joan. Thanks for stopping by.
    Gwynlyn, it's hard to read in your period when you are writing, isn't it?

  • At 4:33 PM, Blogger The Blackraven said…

    I enjoyed the interview. I'm currently reading Myla by Moonlight, which has it's own King, Queen, Prince, Princess, Knights, and of course magic. I love period pieces.

  • At 4:58 PM, Blogger Kammie said…

    Congratulations on your success! I'm a huge fan of medieval romance. That's the genre that got me hooked on romance stories many years ago and I'm always looking for a new "favorite" author. Your stories sound really good!

    I just finished reading Everything I Ever Wanted by Jo Goodman and I just started Sleeping at the Magnolia by Lisa G. Brown.

  • At 8:38 PM, Blogger Blythe Gifford said…

    Blackraven - sounds like an interesting read. Kammie - glad to see a medieval lover. You all have given me some things to add to my TBR pile.

  • At 9:29 PM, Blogger Martha Lawson said…

    Hi! This book sounds truly terrific!! I would love to win a copy!!

  • At 5:22 AM, Blogger Blythe Gifford said…

    Thanks, Martha. Appreciate you stopping by!

  • At 1:59 PM, Blogger catslady said…

    Historicals have always been my favorite and this sounds wonderful. I'm always looking for new authors :)

  • At 2:33 PM, Blogger Mari said…

    Hi Blythe, I love historicals and your new book sounds lovely!

    I like medievals and books set in tudor era also.

  • At 3:34 AM, Blogger Maureen said…

    The book looks great and right now I am reading More Than You Wished by Jo Goodman.

  • At 4:40 AM, Blogger Inez Kelley said…

    There was so much happening in the 1300's. I love the fourteenth century, it is the outermost 'crust' of my historical passions. Anything after 1500 is too late for me. This setting is harder to find than people think! Thanks for writing it!

  • At 7:19 AM, Blogger Tanya Hanson said…

    Hi Blythe and Ingela, what a great interview. I totally love Anya Seton's Katherine and can't wait to investigate your books, Blythe. I hope I win one LOL. I love the 13the century as well.

    Have you read Seton's Green Darkness? Oh, it is yummy.



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