In honor of the third season of Downton Abbey, which I have been awaiting anxiously ever since the last episode of Season 2, I have gotten together with 8 other authors/bloggers to pay homage to one of our favorite shows! The 8 of us have answered 10 questions relating to the show.
Please see below for your chance to win a copy of To Marry an English Lord by Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace simply by sharing your own answers to our questions on our blog (giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only and runs until midnight Thursday, January 10th. Winner will be announced on January 11th.):
To Marry an English Lord:
From the Gilded Age until 1914, more than 100 American heiresses invaded Britannia and swapped dollars for titles–just like Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, the first of the Downton Abbey characters Julian Fellowes was inspired to create after reading To Marry An English Lord. Filled with vivid personalities, gossipy anecdotes, grand houses, and a wealth of period details–plus photographs, illustrations, quotes, and the finer points of Victorian and Edwardian etiquette–To Marry An English Lord is social history at its liveliest and most accessible.
Without further ado, our questions:
1. You’re planning a dinner party for the Downton crew – who would be No. 1 on your invite list?
I would choose Lady Sybil Crawley Branson. I find her rebellious spirit to be admirable (and often humorous) and I would probably invite a more conservative guest or even a blatant male chauvinist just to facilitate a passionate debate at the table. I loved the way Sybil fiercely supported Gwen’s desire to move on from her housemaid duties at Downton to become a secretary. Perhaps that supportive nature would lend itself to telling her family and all of their friends about my books! Finally, I must admit to having a slight girl crush – she’s beautiful.
2. Whose closet will you raid before the party?
Lady Mary for sure. Her wardrobe includes some pretty sexy dresses and they show more skin than the dresses her sisters wear. I wasn’t a fan of Sybil’s harem pants…
3. Once your guests have arrived who are you most likely to flirt with?
Matthew Crawley. Hopefully I can get to him before he marries Mary or perhaps I can convince him that I am Mary since I also go by the name “Meri”.
4. Who will you likely smack before the dessert course?
O’Brien – She’s such a malicious, conniving wench! When she tripped Bates in the first season, I wanted to smack her, but that would be a lot more fun to do while her mouth is full of food! I prefer not to invite her at all but the opportunity to do a little physical harm is a small incentive.
5. Let’s adjourn to the drawing room for some not-so-polite conversation: What’s your theory on Patrick Gordon aka The Bandaged Man? Impostor or legitimate Crawley?
I tend to be extremely trusting; overly trusting, in fact, until I am proven otherwise (and often hurt in the process). As a result, my initial reaction to The Bandaged Man was that he was the real Patrick Gordon. My instinct is to believe that he is Lady Edith’s one true love and that she will agree to marry Sir Anthony Strallan only for Patrick to return with proof of his identity mere seconds after “I dos” are exchanged. That’s totally what would happen on General Hospital!
In actuality, I’m pretty certain The Bandaged Man was a greedy imposter trying to get his hands on the Crawley fortune 🙂.
6. How about Bates? Did he do it? Could he do it? If not, who killed Vera?
Here goes my trusting nature again, but I do not believe that Bates murdered his ex-wife for one second! I think he is more than capable of killing someone in order to defend himself and the people he loves, but I do not believe he is capable of murder despite the wretched behavior of his ex-wife.
My thoughts? I believe that Thomas murdered Vera because he could not stand that Bates not only held his coveted position but was also happy and in love with Anna. Unlike Bates, I absolutely believe that Thomas is capable of pre-meditated murder. I do not think that O’Brien was a part of or privy to his plan because, while I cannot stand her, I do not think she is capable of murder. I do feel that Thomas will eventually confide in her and she will keep his secret. Or perhaps in a rare display of good judgment and kindness, she will report what she knows and help free Bates. Yeah, right.
7. Favorite quip from The Dowager Countess
Oh my, there are so many but this one made me laugh out loud:
Dowager Countess of Grantham: “You are quite wonderful, the way you see room for improvement wherever you look. I never knew such reforming zeal.”
Isobel Crawley: “I take that as a compliment.”
Dowager Countess: “I must have said it wrong.”
8. Favorite Downton Spoof –
I love this one from Stephen Colbert. The comedian’s parody, titled “Breaking Abbey,” shows the “Downton Abbey” characters cooking meth in their English estate and fighting drug lords in the desert.
9. Now you’ve done it! You’ve landed a guest spot on the show. What is your storyline?
Well, I would definitely want to be a socialite so that I could wear the pretty period clothes. The staff has such a limited wardrobe. How about the illegitimate daughter of the Earl of Grantham from a romance he had before his arranged marriage to Cora? After her mother’s early death, she comes to wreak havoc on her “dead beat dad” and try to get her hands on the Crawley fortune, perhaps through blackmail. Either Mary and Sybil will find out and get her thrown out on her ass or she will develop a true relationship with her sisters, win the approval of father and even Cora and they will welcome her into their home. I prefer the latter option as it allows for a permanent role on the show!
10. What would you like to see happen in series three.
Mary and Matthew will get married! Bates will be freed and he and Anna will be allowed at least a brief reprieve from the constant misfortune that seems to follow them. O’Brien and Thomas will continue their hijinks and cause problems for everyone on the staff but basically chase their own tails and get nowhere closer to reaching their goals of higher positions and respect in the household. And I think a mysterious, gorgeous woman should show up at the mansion claiming to be the Earl’s first born daughter!
For your chance to win a copy of To Marry an English Lord, please comment with your answer to question 10 – WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAPPEN IN SEASON 3? And for extra chances to win, please visit the other blogs below and share your answer to the specified question.
Tracie Banister: http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/
Laura Chapman: http://change-the-word.blogspot.com/
Jen Coffeen: http://jenniferanncoffeen.com/
Jenny Gardiner: http://jennygardiner.net/blog/
Cat Lavoie: http://www.catlavoie.com/blog/
Tracey Livesay: http://traceylivesay.com/
Elizabeth Marx: http://elizabethmarxbooks.blogspot.com/
Jen Tucker: http://authorjlht.blogspot.com/
Also, if you are planning on watching the premiere on Sunday, January 7th please join us for a fun, interactive Twitter chat (#DowntonGala). Finally, please follow our blogs every Monday during Season 3, where one of the participating authors will be posting a recap of that week’s episode.