A Stranger at Castonbury

StrangerAtCastonbury2March 1 marks the release of my book A Stranger at Castonbury, the last book in the Castonbury Park series!!  (it’s up for pre-order at Amazon now…)  I will be giving away a copy to one commenter today…

When I was first asked to participate in a series described as “Downton Abbey in the Regency,” I jumped eagerly at the chance! Like so many other people, I am a Downton fanatic and have avidly followed the series from the beginning. (Mary and Matthew! Sybil and Branson! Bates and Anna! Thomas! The scandal! The clothes!). Mix it with another of my favorite things, the Regency period, and I was completely hooked. Also, I was very, very excited at the chance to work with so many authors whose books I love.

But then the reality set in. There were eight of us, and we had to work closely together to create a world as colorful and complex as that of Downton, with interlocking characters, upstairs/downstairs dynamics, scandal and passion. And I had to write the last story, tying it all together and making sure I stayed true to the world of Castonbury and other authors’ characters. Easy and simple, of course. Not!

Luckily one of the things I love best about Downton is how everyone’s lives interlock and entwine, and having the chance to create the same thing at Castonbury was great fun. (And luckily many of the other authors are much more organized than I am, and created spreadsheets and images that made the place come really alive for us all). Through the other stories, I could easily envision the house and the people in it, and by the time I finished writing Stranger at Castonbury, it felt like home.

For more info on the series, visit my website’s Castonbury Page!  Do you like continuity series?  What are some you have followed?  What did you like/not like about series like Downton??

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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13 Responses to A Stranger at Castonbury

  1. Emily says:

    I’m so glad I caught your Facebook post. I didn’t know about this series but I love Regencies, Downton Abbey, and continuity series. This one sounds like lots of fun. Thanks!

  2. Elena says:

    Congratulations on the new release, Amanda! I’m not surprised they trusted you with the task of giving the series a satisfying ending.

  3. I’m glad you found it, too, Emily!! I am just now reading all the books as “real books” back to back, and I love seeing how it all came together in the end.

    Elena, I was very, very nervous about wrapping up all the the threads of the series, and being true to other authors’ characters…I hope it ended all right 🙂

  4. Snookie Mello says:

    I have the first three books. Have to wait for money in my book budget to order the rest. I have them on my ereader.

  5. Jane George says:

    Wow, what a challenge! I’m sure you pulled it off brilliantly. 🙂

  6. Marcy says:

    I’m relatively new to Regencys, and a Downton Abbey fan as well, and from your description of the Castonbury series have added all the available titles to my Amazon Wish List. Should I wait to read “A Stranger at Castonbury” until I’ve read the other books in the series?

  7. I have so enjoyed the Castonbury Park series and I hate to see it come to and end. I am, however, looking forward to reading your finale book for the series! I enjoy this sort of series because it gives me a chance to see each author’s take on a particular setting and set of characters. It is always interesting and fun!

  8. Marcy, I did work hard to make Jamie and Catalina’s romance as much a stand-alone story as possible–I just think reading the other stories will enhance it 🙂

  9. librarypat says:

    I like series in general, so continuity series fit in well. What I like best about them is being able to see the story, place, and characters from a slightly different angle/viewpoint. A single author will do this in a series by focusing on different characters. In a continuity series, that voice is more unique because not only is the character different, but so is the author. Each one injects their own special style of writing and flavor into the series. It makes the individual characters and stories more distinct.

  10. Patricia Finnegan says:

    I have been eyeing this series for a while. The covers for books are gorgeous!

  11. Jo's Daughter says:

    😀 I too am a Downton fanatic & love love love the Regency. So this series sounds pretty great.

  12. diane says:

    Tying up 8 stories? What a job. It couldn’t go to a better author, though.

    I love that Harlequin Historical thought up this series and let you all run with it. Brilliant!!!!

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