“I fell in love after the first page and didn’t want the book to end!”

— USA TODAY Bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken

There’s Something About Lady Mary:

A Summersby Tale – Book 2

 

Mary Croyden lives a simple life . . . and she likes it. But when she inherits a title and a large sum of money, everything changes. Forced to navigate high society, Mary finds herself relying on the help of one man—Ryan Summersby. Determined not to lose her sense of self, she realizes that Ryan is the only person she can trust. But Mary’s hobbies are not exactly proper, and Ryan is starting to discover that this simple miss is not at all what he expected . . . but just might be exactly what he needs.

There’s Something About Lady Mary
Avon Impulse ISBN: 9780062225375

 

 

 

My knowledge pertaining to 19th century medicine was greatly improved during the process of writing this novel. What probably shocked me the most, was discovering how often the key to curing an ailment already existed, but was somehow brushed aside and completely ignored. Take William Buchan for instance. Mary refers to him on numerous occasions throughout the novel. That’s because, when I was trying to find out when people initially became aware of the importance of hand-washing, Ignaz Semmelweiz, a Hungarian physician, kept popping up. He apparently demonstrated that the contagion of puerperal fever could be drastically reduced by routine hand-washing.  This discovery was made in 1847, and even then he failed to convince the rest of the medical community of the importance of his findings. But, since 1847 didn’t suit the period in which the story was set (1816),  I decided to dig a little deeper, and low and behold, William Buchan eventually popped up, though he was not at all easy to find. His book on Domestic Medicine was initially written in 1769 – almost 100 years before Semmelweiz made his claim. In it, he does insist that personal hygiene is imperative to ones health and that one should always wash ones hands after dealing with the sick or the dead, so as not  to convey any illness to others. To read more about William Buchan, please visit my RESEARCH page.

The dialogue between Rosemary and Simon regarding Gulliver’s Travels and The Iliad, has been inspired by numerous conversations of that nature between my husband and I.

Michael Ashford’s sister Cassandra makes numerous appearances throughout the novel. I love her character and am becoming increasingly convinced that she’ll one day have a story of her own to tell.

Another character whom I plan to write about at a later date, is Mary’s nemesis, Stephanie Maplewood, for as disagreeable as she is in this story, I do believe there’s a man out there who might be able to make a drastic improvement upon her personality. Of course I’m refering to none other than Colonel Conrad Jennings, a man with little tolerance for spoiled women like Stephanie.

During the summer of 1816, the weather in England was in fact quite bad, and just as the book mentions, it did snow on a couple of occasions. The cause of this was indeed a volcanic eruption in the Dutch East Indies which took place the previous year, filling the atmosphere with so much ash that it brought on this unexpected climate.

The working title for this novel was A Dose of Romance.

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