Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Why I Love American History: Guest Post by Becky Lower, Author of The Duplicitou​s Debutante

I’ll admit it. When I took American History in high school and college, it was not my favorite subject. I hated memorizing dates and spending days immersed in talking about battle strategy. Yuck! Sure, there were events along the way that captured my interest, such as the reason behind the Civil War, the culture and treatment of the American Indian, the western expansion, the wagon trains heading west from St. Joseph and St. Louis every spring. I gobbled up the Little House books when I was a child, and later consumed every Zane Grey western I could find.

Then, I began reading romance novels. I loved the lavish gowns depicted in the Regency era. I began collecting fashion plates from Godey’s Lady’s Book and La Mode Illustree. I know the value of a Frederick Worth gown. I never became a fashionista because my mind continually compared today’s fashions with the lush gowns from the past. And capris, even with killer heels, fall way short of the mark.

When I started my career as an author, I took a few twists and turns before I found my historic voice. I resisted it for a long time, since I didn’t want to write books set in England, nor did I want to write westerns. I thought there must be a way to combine my love of 19th century fashion with the bits of American history that I did find appealing. It took a man’s point of view to get me going in the right direction. He pointed out, in one of our writing sessions, that the Cotillion was not relegated just to English society, and the Cotillion is still a part of American culture today. My research led me to New York City in the mid 1850s. What a lucky set of circumstances it turned out to be.

America in the middle of the 1800s was beginning to have tensions between the North and the South, which would finally culminate in the Civil War in 1861. But there was so much going on in the rest of the country as well. Things that were never covered in an American History class. Little nuggets of history, insignificant events by themselves, but which made for a colorful, lush landscape in which to drop my characters. The expansion of the railroads across the country, the Pony Express, the wagon trains, which were still carrying, brave families westward. These are the events that get me excited. Add to that, the plight of women in society at the time. The rights of women were being addressed even in the 1800s. Amelia Bloomer, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Elizabeth Blackwell and Clara Barton were only a few of these strong ladies who defied convention. These women forged the way for all of us who followed.

If American History had been taught through the eyes of the people who were living the events, rather than by dealing with the memorization of dates and names, it would have made for a much livelier experience for me. My Cotillion Ball Series features the Fitzpatrick family’s nine children. Each gets his or her own book, and the years roll on from 1855 through the Civil War. It was never my intention to write a Civil War saga, but I can’t ignore it, either. So, the last two books in my series will have reference to the war, but only in an incidental role. The story of how the soldiers who died in battle were brought home to be buried is a fascinating tale, little known and largely ignored. Those are the kinds of events I love to uncover.

My appreciation of American history has grown over the course of this series. Once I write “The End” on the ninth book, I will be immensely sad.

Or, I’ll start writing the next series. The Gilded Age intrigues me, too.

The Duplicitous Debutante by Becky Lower
Publication Date: September 1, 2014
Crimson Romance
Format: eBook
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Cotillion Ball Series
In 1859, ladies of New York society were expected to do three things well: find a husband, organize a smooth-running household, and have children.
Rosemary Fitzpatrick’s agenda is very different. As the author of the popular Harry Hawk dime novels, she must hide her true identity from her new publisher, who assumes the person behind the F. P. Elliott pen name is male. She must pose as his secretary in order to ensure the continuation of her series. And in the midst of all this subterfuge, her mother is insisting that she become a debutante this year.
Henry Cooper is not the typical Boston Brahmin. Nor is he a typical publisher. He’s entranced by Mr. Elliott’s secretary the moment they meet, and wonders how his traditional-thinking father will react when he brings a working class woman into the family. Because his intentions are to marry her, regardless.
Rosemary’s deception begins to unravel at the Cotillion ball, when Henry recognizes her. The secretarial mask must come off, now that he knows she is a member of New York society. But she can’t yet confess who she truly is until she knows if Henry will accept her as F. P. Elliott.
The more time they spend together, the closer they become. But when Rosemary reveals her true identity to him, will Henry be able to forgive her or has her deceit cost her the man she loves?

Praise For The Duplicitous Debutante

“I cannot tell you enough how much I love Becky Lower’s books. She is by far my favorite historical romance author, and I would recommend anything she writes to everyone I meet. She just has a way with words and has a brilliantly warm and classic, romantic heart.” -HEAs Are Us
“If you are a historical romance fan, love multi-layered characters and enjoy a great story, please read this series.” -The Reading Café
“Kudos to Ms. Lower for writing a series that is different, the setting and subject matter unique and quite engaging.” -Deborah Cordes, Author


The Cotillion Ball Series

Book One: The Reluctant Debutante
Book Two: The Abolitionist’s Secret
Book Three: Banking on Temperance
Book Four: The Tempestuous Debutante
Book Five: Blinded by Grace
Book Six: The Duplicitous Debutante


About the Author

Amazon best-selling author Becky Lower has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the
backdrop of a great setting, be it present day middle America or on a covered wagon headed west in the 1850s. Contemporary and historical romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and is a member of the Contemporary and Historic RWA chapters. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. She loves to hear from her readers at

For more information please visit Becky Lower’s website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest, and sign up for her Newsletter.


The Duplicitous Debutante Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, October 7

Interview & Giveaway at Historical Romance Lover
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, October 8

Spotlight at Just One More Chapter
Thursday, October 9
Review at
The Lit Bitch
Friday, October 10

Review & Giveaway at Fic Central
Spotlight & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, October 13
Review at What’s On The Bookshelf
Tuesday, October 14
Review at SOS Aloha
Spotlight & Giveaway at Susan Heim on Writing

 Wednesday, October 15

Guest Post at Historical Tapestry
Thursday, October 16 Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary


  1. Thank you for a very interesting post.

    1. Thank you, Mystica, for visiting today. Glad you enjoyed what I had to say.

  2. Thank you so much, Historical Tapestry, for the guest spot today. I really enjoyed putting my post together, and hope your readers have some fun reading it.

  3. What a fun topic - very enjoyable. I just started your book last night and I'm already hooked.

    1. So glad you're enjoying the book, Kathleen. Eloisa James once said her favorite book is the one she's working on right now, and I kind of feel the same. Rosemary's story is my current favorite.

  4. A wonderful and informative article Becky. The cover is so romantic looking. Good luck with it all.

    1. Thanks, JoAnne, for visiting today and enjoying the article. I think the covers for all of Crimson's historic books are terrific.

  5. A wonderful series, Becky! Your passion for history, despite needing a male to get you there :--), is evident in your books. Good luck with the latest one.

  6. Thanks, Joanna. I'd love to write about Australian history some day, which I find fascinating.

  7. I enjoyed your post because I too love early American history as experienced by every day people and am writing a fiction series that covers the War of 1812 years. America had so many wonderful stories of grit and courage from those days! Good luck with the remainder of your tour and your series!

    1. I've been toying with the idea of the War of 1812, too. I am interested in the Firelands area of Ohio. Part of the settlement of the area was delayed because of the war. Fascinating times, indeed.