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Trip to Bellevue Antique Store Inspires Book Series


A trip to Twice As Nice Antiques and More in Bellevue inspired local author Heather Grothaus's newest medieval book series.

Grothaus said she visited the shop on a whim.

“I’m a bit of an Anglophile,” Grothaus said, “and was hoping to find some English plates to add to my collection.”

Instead, she found a book she didn't know she needed.

“I saw the spine within a stack of other books right away,” Grothaus said. “Lodge’s Peerage of the British Empire. And I thought, No way.”

Lodge's is an encyclopedic volume of British nobility genealogy published in around 1839.

Grothaus said the tome turned out to be a genuine historical mystery, with hand-written notes, and a newspaper clipping from 1843 detailing a scandal surroundong one man's fight to receive his title.

“The article moved me,” said Grothaus, a Kenton County native whose twelve previous historical romance novels have earned starred reviews from industry giants such as Publisher’s Weekly. “I found myself wondering about this man, about his circumstances and his family, and what had happened to him to bring him to this pivotal moment in his life. My imagination took over, and I came up with the Sons of Scotland series.”

While the Peerage and the article are Victorian, Grothaus’s new series is thoroughly medieval—which she describes as her specialty—and also Scottish. Although the article sparked the storyline, none of the books are based on any real family. 

“The series revolves around the story of a young lord framed for murder and on the run from the villains out to steal his inheritance," the author said. "He’s forced into hiding in Scotland, leaving a string of love affairs and illegitimate children in his wake. THE LAIRD’S VOW is the story of the first son.”

The author dedicated a page on her website to the Peerage and the article, in hopes that some of her readers from around the globe might have information about the book’s original owner or the family in the newspaper clipping. A national article highlighting the mystery is slated for publication in October, she said.

The new series was spawned by one simple trip to a Bellevue shop, a place that Grothaus said she will visit again.

“Of course," Grothaus said. "Not only did I find the English plates I was looking for, but the beginnings of four novels!”

The Laird's Vow was released on September 17.

-Staff report