My Catchphrases

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Saturday Spotlight: Blog Tour: You can travel the World in a Library by Stephanie Burgis

It is beyond words for me today with this wonderful guest post by Stephanie Burgis, I am very proud to be Welsh and this just warms my heart. Enjoy, comments greatly appreciated, thank you.

Title: A Tangle of Magicks
Series: The Unladylike Adventurs of Kat Stephenson
Author: Stephanie Burgis
Publisher: Templar
Publication Date: 1 Aug 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon

After her antics in A Most Improper Magick, Kat Stephenson is back to cause more chaos! Stepmama drags the family to Bath to find Kat's sister a new suitor. But, unknown to most of its gossipy visitors, Bath is full of wild magic. When Kat uncovers a plot to harness this magic in the Roman Baths, she finds her brother Charles is unwittingly involved. Kat must risk her newfound magical powers as she defies the Order of the Guardians to foil the plot and clear her brother's name

The first time I ever visited Bath, I was ten years old. Oh, and I happened to be in East Lansing, Michigan (USA), at the time. I wouldn’t actually fly to the UK for another fourteen years--but luckily, I had another way to travel. I had a library card, and I had book-loving parents who took me to the library at least once a week, every single week from the time I was a toddler.

Sitting in the East Lansing Public Library, curled up in a comfy reading chair, I opened up Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and was swept away to the fascinating, fashionable, and often scary city of Bath with fifteen-year-old Catherine Morland. I stood a little behind her, watching over her shoulder as she faced a sea of intimidating strangers at the candle-lit Assembly Rooms at night and met new friends (who might become enemies) in the Pump Room in the morning. And of course Catherine and her dangerous new friend Isabella headed straight to the circulating library to pick up the most shocking new novels - it was a top priority!

I might have lived a continent - and nearly two centuries - apart from Catherine and Isabella, but I was with them in spirit all the way. And I traveled all over the world through my local library, following adventurous Elizabeth Peters heroines to Egypt, Sweden, and of course back to England again (a recurring theme in all my reading - hmm), and following witty, strong-minded Georgette Heyer heroines all around the hotspots of Regency Britain to meet their perfect romantic matches. Over and over again, those heroines headed to Bath, and so did I.

When I finally stepped off the train and into the real city of Bath, physically, for the first time in my life, I was twenty-eight years old, not ten anymore…but walking around the city felt like rejoining an old friend, or finally arriving in a city I’d already visited over and over again in my dreams. I walked through exactly the same Assembly Rooms where Catherine Morland had wished desperately for a dancing partner. I visited the Pump Room where she and her friend Isabella had gossiped and people-watched, and where so many Georgette Heyer heroines had bantered with their heroes. I went on pilgrimage to the Jane Austen Centre, in a house where Jane Austen herself lived, and I fell in love all over again.

Now I’m thirty-four, and my novel A Tangle of Magicks is about to come out - set in Bath, of course. My own fearless Kat is about to cause chaos in the city of Bath, hitting the Pump Room and - of course! - the circulating library along the way.

Although I’m now living in Wales, half a world away, I can’t wait to see the book shelved back in my own hometown library, back in East Lansing…and I love the idea that a new generation of ten-year-olds will be opening up their library copies and visiting Bath for the first time at Kat’s side. I hope they have as much fun as I always did.

Thank you again to Stephanie for making me fall in love with Bath and Wales all over again.

For more about Stephanie check out her gorgeous webpage here

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