Saturday, March 16, 2013
Guest Blog: Stephanie Burkhart: The Appeal of Downton Abbey
The fictional Downton Abbey is set against the backdrop of Highclere Castle in Hampshire. The exterior and most of the interior shots are shot there. The town of Bampton in Oxfordshire is used for shots of the town. The castle has a rich history and has been in the Carnarvon family since 1679. The view of the castle takes a visitor's breath away and stirs the romantic soul.
Downton Abbey started in 1912 with the sinking of the Titanic. Since then, we've discovered electricity along with Carson, the telephone, and an electric toaster with Mrs. Hughes. What I find fascinating is how the characters initially scoff at the changes of the "modern" world, but finally come to embrace them. There's a bit of "awe" in each new discovery that warms the heart.
Downton Abbey doesn't just explore the Earl, his family, and their trials and tribulations, the show gives us a delicious peek into the servants. Each character is unique, flawed, noble in some ways and failing in others. The Earl believes in justice and doesn't like to see his staff treated poorly. Yet, during the war he lost his way a bit and turned a roving eye onto one of the maids. Mrs. O'Brien is a wicked schemer, yet the regret she holds when she thinks of the Countess losing her baby because of her is palpable.
I'd like to think what Downton Abbey has done is blend all three of the above excellently. The locale stirs our romantic heartstrings, the setting appeals to our sense of discovery and the characters come across as real and true to themselves.
Here's my question to you: Who is your favorite character? Why? What the appeal of the show for you?
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. Prior to that she served in the US Army as an MP. She writes paranormal, steampunk, contemporary, and fantasy romance. Her children's books are published with 4RV Publishing. She adores chocolate and is addicted to coffee. She currently lives in Castaic, CA. Her latest book is "The Secret Door," Book 4 in the paranormal romance series, Budapest Moon.
"The Secret Door's exciting action, paranormal elements, and romance will not disappoint a reader." - Joy Cagil, Amazon Reader.
"I was quite pleased to find an original take on the werewolf mythology and was impressed by the author's choice of location and historical accuracy. The Secret Door is a fun read and is highly recommended." - 5 Stars, Jack Magnus, Reader's Favorite Reviews.
It's 1927 and Lord Zoltan Kristos, Hungary's Minister of the Interior, takes great pains to hide the fact he's a werewolf from the world. Despite his efforts, he's recognized when he goes to the Austrian-Hungarian border to inspect the area for damage from a recent rare earthquake.
Zoltan is accused of stealing Kurt Meklau's witch, Inna, and is recklessly pursed to Volturn Manor, a residence belonging to another werewolf family, the Vargas. After a fight with Meklau, Zoltan barely escapes and his adversary is found dead.
Sophia Varga and Tomas Martin find Zoltan. Sophia is determine to attend to Zoltan's injuries and protect her home, but when Kurt's father, Marcus, comes seeking revenge, Sophia is tested like never before. As Zoltan and Sophia work together, attraction and desire flame between them.
Will the secrets Volturn Manor harbors offer Zoltan and Sophia the clues they need to defeat Marcus and give them the opportunity to explore their feelings for one another?
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Posted by Marianne Stephens at 12:01 AM