05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Friday, June 30, 2017

Grace Burrowes and M.L. Buchman: Favorite Authors

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.
One of my favorite authors is Grace Burrowes. I’ve lost myself for many hours in her historical romance novels. Imagine my surprise when Genre-ista M.L. Buchman talked about a joint project he’d done with Ms. Burrowes!

Big Sky Ever After is a Montana Romance duet. Matt’s book is Nathan’s Big Sky. I loved the story of a New York City chef ending up at a ranch in Montana. Culture shock and much more. As a reader my warning is “Don’t read Nathan’s Big Sky on an empty stomach!

Ms. Burrowes’ Tartan Two Step has a culture shock of another kind. Magnus Cromarty travels from Scotland to Montana to check out a Phenom in the world of whisky brewing. Little does he know that the young woman he picks up at the bar is who he’s looking for.

One of the reasons I wanted to read these two stories is because I’ve enjoyed both authors’ earlier books. However, I especially wanted to read more of Ms. Burrowes contemporary romances. While I learned more than I ever knew I wanted to know about whisky distilling, in Ms. Burrowes SweetestKisses series, set in Maryland her background as a family law attorney is put to good use.

Because of my own background in child protective services I was particularly aware of how she portrayed the system that is in place to protect young people. In the child’s best interest was a concept that gained momentum during my years working in the CPS system. And Judge Jean Lewis, one of our circuit court judges, was known nationally for her work in using the “in the child’s best interest” standard in juvenile/dependency court.

I’ve completed the first three Sweetest Kisses books and am looking forward to reading the next and even more of Ms. Burrowes' contemporary romance. Not that I won't be spending time with her historical romance novels. I can see my keeper shelf holding more and more of Ms. Burrowes stories!

My caveat is this: there are child protective services workers who are conscientious, compassionate and genuinely care about the children in their caseloads. They do look at what the child wants and what is in that child’s best interest. However, I truly do understand and appreciate that if that CPS worker showed up in Ms. Burrowes’ stories, conflict and drama would be lost.

The reality is there are CPS workers as portrayed by Ms. Burrowes and there are also attorneys who do the easiest not necessarily the best for their young clients. For some attorneys working in family law or juvenile court is beneath them, drudgery, a thankless duty. I’m grateful Ms. Burrowes portrays lawyering in a child’s best interest as a higher calling. Making a positive difference in a child’s life only makes our society and our country stronger.

I'm always interested in your thoughts. Please let me know how important authenticity is to you as a reader?

Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.

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Linda Lovely said...

Great post, Judith. Enjoyed both your portrayal of the authors and your comments about social workers and attorneys--the best and the worst. It's true that if you're writing mystery/suspense you need to have conflict and villains. That doesn't mean you don't know folks in the same professions who are wonderful.

Sarah Hawthorne said...

Who doesn't love Grace Burrowes?? She's fantastic!!

Sarah Raplee said...

Excellent question! For me the most important thing is not to demonize any group. To make ALL people working in 'the system' out to be jaded and uncaring in your book would be a disservice to both readers and the profession. Likewise, to make EVERY villain be a government worker would be blatant prejudice.

As writers, we need some leeway to interpret our story worlds through the eyes and minds of our protagonists.

Grace Burrowes sounds like another author for my to-be-read list!

Judith Ashley said...

Linda, Grace does indicate that an earlier social worker in the case was a good one - conscientious, listened to child, etc. And unfortunately, when I worked in Child Welfare, I did know case workers/social workers as portrayed in this series. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Judith Ashley said...

Sarah, I totally agree. I'm a big fan girl and have much to learn (i.e. read) to catch up with her. I've only read 15 or so of her books so about 50% of what she's published.

Judith Ashley said...

Sarah, I've paperback copies of some of her books. Would share with my co-BQ! Contemporary or historical or one of each?