Gay Book Reviews is thrilled to have author M.J. O’Shea guest blogging today!
MJ’s Top Four Stately Houses (in England)
Hi this is MJ O’Shea! and while my first loves are writing and music, I also have a serious addiction with old homes…especially the ones that pop up in Regency novels and Jane Austen books:) There are some amazing manor houses all over the world — even in my US hometown surprisingly, but when I was researching my book The Worst Best Man, I scoured page after page of British manor houses to find one that worked for Longwick, the fictional house one of my main characters grew up in.
I found that one… but I also got to drool over some old favorites in the Stately Home listings. And here they are!
This one has been a longtime favorite <3 It probably doesn’t need much introduction, but it’s hard not to picture Mr. Darcy wandering around its halls.
I love this one for very different reasons. It’s old even by stately home standards and a little creepy because of it. The interior courtyard is beautiful and, well… it does look an awful lot like Hogwarts. Even the movie people seemed to think so because they filmed parts of it there.
I found this one when I was looking up Winston Churchill one night in one of my meandering bouts of research. He was born and I believe grew up here. This house is one of the few (or maybe the only) non-royal residence that is allowed the name ‘palace’. Also, one of the duchesses was an American and a Vanderbilt
Of course:) This one doesn’t need much introduction these days, but my fascination with it is years old. When I was little, there was a Secret Garden that played on PBS quite often, and it was filmed here but also, Highclere Castle was the home of Lord Carnarvon and for a time Howard Carter — the team who found the tomb of King Tut. Lord Carnarvon’s descendants still own the castle even if it’s hard to imagine it not belonging to the Earl of Grantham:)
And for a bonus, here’s the house that I picked for Longwick Blickling Hall! It’s not in the right place and it has a rather interesting history (and some rumors of haunting) but it looked exactly the way I pictured in my head:)
That’s it for my very short tour of my favorite stately homes in England! I’ve included a book link below and a blurb if you’re interested. Also there are links to find me online. I’m always available to talk!
Thanks for having me stop by,
Title: The Worst Best Man
Author: M.J. O’Shea
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Febrary 1, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 208 pages
Reviewed by: Natosha
It was her special day… but his worst nightmare.
A rekindled romance wasn’t part of the plan.
Despite his American background, August O’Leary is the most sought-after wedding planner in London. Naturally, Libby and Edward come to him for a wedding the city will never forget. But Edward is an international businessman, so the details are left to Libby and her best friend—who happens to be the love of August’s life and the one who broke his heart eight years ago: Christopher Burke.
How’s August supposed to pull off the event of the year with Christopher distracting him and old feelings crashing the party uninvited?
Christopher has let money and status dictate his life, but no more. His failure to stand up to others’ expectations cost him his future with August—one he hoped would include marriage. Now he has to face August’s hurt and anger and prove he’s still the best man to make August happy.
About M.J. O’Shea
M.J. O’Shea has never met a music festival, paintbrush, or flower crown she can stay away from. She loves rainstorms and a perfect cup of tea, beach days, music, bright colors, and more than anything a cozy evening with a really great book.
She is from the Pacific Northwest. While she still lives there and loves it, M.J. has the heart of a wanderer. So she puts all her dreams of far off places and extraordinary people in her books.
Except for every once in a while when she does what all travelers have to do on occasion… come home.