Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Guest Blog-Emory Lee

Emory Lee has written a guest post here for all to read.

I never felt a passion for writing until finding the story I was impassioned to write!

At forty- three years old, and with absolutely nothing literary to my credit, I was suddenly struck with a bizarre and unfathomable compulsion to write a love story about horseracing.

It would be set in Georgian England with all of its glory and vice, and through an ill-fated romance, tell about the genesis of modern horseracing and the three Arabian stallions that were progenitors of the Thoroughbred breed. It would be a tale of love, war, intrigue, betrayal, and horseracing!

This idea incessantly churned around in my head during the day, and suddenly fictional characters began invading my dreams at night. It wouldn’t let me be. The impulse was unbidden and confounding, but I didn’t even know how to write, or where to begin.

Then I began writing what would be The Highest Stakes.

I started with my setting – England in 1741, during the reign of George II, a period well known for its arranged marriages, high stakes gaming, immorality and vice, all hidden behind a gilded fa├žade of politesse. The era was one of political turmoil, and the beginning of a war that would eventually wage across the Continent of Europe, across the Atlantic Ocean, and into the next century.

My main character was Robert Devington, a lowly stable groom and would be lover, desperate to prove himself worthy to the guardian of the girl he loves.

I wondered what it would have been like to join the British cavalry. What might Robert have experienced?

Suddenly I saw Devington astride his misfit horse, and mocked by his commanding officer, a man not much older than himself set to prove himself to the world, the man destined to become Robert’s best friend and most hated enemy.

How would these two men of such different backgrounds forge their fates? A test, a trial of courage and skill? Valor in battle? Brother-in-arms?

I had read the histories and personal accounts of battle. I closed my eyes, and conjured the battlefield of Dettingen, where both men would make their mark. The stage was set and the scenes began flashing into my head faster than I could write them.

The story moved on to the horses and the racing. Returning from war, Devington is determined to win Charlotte the only way he can – by means of a racing wager.

In my mind’s eye, I travelled to the race tracks of Doncaster and Newmarket. I watched the trainers. I raced the horses. Part of me lived every experience and shared every triumph and defeat. I became part of every character in the story.

This is how I describe my passion in writing The Highest Stakes.


All thoroughbred horses in the world to this very day can trace their blood back to three specific Arabian stallions imported to England in the early part of the 18th century. Against this backdrop comes a painstakingly researched novel with breathtaking scenes of real races, real horses, glimpses of the men who cared for them, and the tensions of those who owned and controlled them.

In 18th century England and Colonial Virginia, when high-spirited stallions filled the stables of the lords of the land and fortunes were won and lost on the outcome of a race, a love story unfolds between a young woman for whom her uncle's horses are her only friends and the young man who teaches her everything about their care and racing. When she's forced into marriage, his only hope of winning her back is to race his horse to reclaim all that was stolen from him—his land, his dignity, and his love.

About the Author

Emery Lee is a life-long equestrienne, a history buff, and a born romantic. Combine the three and you have the essence of her debut novel: a tale of love, war, politics, and horseracing. A member of Romance Writers of America, she lives with her husband, sons, and two horses in upstate South Carolina. For more information, please visit http://authoremerylee.com/.

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