Today I am very happy to have Katherine Longshore on Tales of a Ravenous Reader as part of the MANOR OF SECRETS blog tour hosted by ROCKSTR BLOG TOURS. Katherine is going to share with us WHY MANOR OF SECRETS is NOT Downton Abbey (and you will love to know why) Also, don't forget to enter the contest at the end of this post to win one of five finished copies of MANOR OF SECRETS to add to you lovely library.

10 Reasons Why MANOR OF SECRETS is not Downton Abbey

Disclaimer:  I love Downton Abbey.  I love that MANOR OF SECRETS gets compared to Downton Abbey.  I love the cast and the setting (I even visited Highclere Castle the last time I was in England).  I love the writer (and I love even more his Academy award-winning film Gosford Park).  My favorite character was Sybil, though Anna is a close second.  I love the clothes (oh, the clothes!) and all the drama.  This is a comparison not to prove that one is better than the other, but to illustrate the differences.

1.     Downton Abbey is written by Julian Fellowes, baron and member of the House of Lords with ancient links to the aristocracy.

Manor of Secrets is written by me.  Katherine Longshore.  California girl with links to farmers, shepherds and household servants.  Our perspectives—and our writing—is definitely different.

2.     Manor of Secrets is about two teenage girls.  Downton Abbey tells the interlocking stories of several adults.

3.     The Crawley family of Downton lives in Yorkshire—a county in the north of England, known for the Bronte sisters, Yorkshire pudding and the Dales and Peaks.

The Manor is in Kent, in the south of England, known for The Canterbury Tales, the Battle of Britain and the Weald.

4.     Downton Abbey (so far) spans a time period from the sinking of the Titanic in April of 1912 to the summer of 1923.

Manor of Secrets spans a very short spell during the long, dry, hot summer of 1911.

5.     The Crawley family’s biggest concern for much of the first and second series is the inheritance of the Abbey and its lands, which have been entailed to distant male relatives, something resented by Lady Crawley and her daughters.

There is no question about the inheritance of The Manor.  Lady Charlotte has five older brothers.  To secure her own status in the world, she will have to marry—and marry well.

6.     The Crawleys are nice to its servants.  They practically treat them like family, helping them to get ahead, accepting many of their foibles, and encouraging love amongst them.  This is one of the reasons I love the show.  But I also feel like they should get the same benediction as Jane Bennett and Mr. Bingley in Pride and Prejudice:  You are each of you so complying, that nothing will ever be resolved on; so easy, that every servant will cheat you; and so generous, that you will always exceed your income.

The Edmonds family—like most landowners of the time—treat their servants little better than their horses (and some families treated their horses better).  Any staff member with a toe out of line will be sacked without pay, references or appeal.

7.     Because the atmosphere at Downton Abbey is so convivial, we don’t find it surprising when upstairs and downstairs characters interact.  But in The Manor, this is a severe breach of etiquette on both sides, causing repercussions that change Charlotte and Janie’s lives forever.

8.     On Downton Abbey, a romantic relationship between a lady of the house and a servant is not acceptable.  Until it is.  (I do love Sybil and Branson together!)

At The Manor, a romantic relationship between a lady of the house and a servant is not acceptable.  Period.  So what happens when Lady Charlotte thinks she’s falling for the new footman?

9.     Downton Abbey has the inimitable Maggie Smith.  Nothing can compare.

10.  Television gives us amazing richness—we can see Lady Mary’s beaded gown, hear the differences in accents between upstairs and downstairs, delight in Maggie Smith’s hooting little nasal chuckles.

A novel hopefully gives us insight into what characters think and how they feel, why they act they way they do.  It can provide even more sensory details—how things taste and smell, making for a different kind of sensory richness.

I’m obviously not trying to say one is better than the other or that you should focus on one and eschew the next.  I’m trying to say they’re complementary.  We love the period, the stateliness, the upstairs/downstairs.  Why not immerse ourselves in it fully?  I spent months in Edwardian England, researching and writing MANOR OF SECRETS.  This only makes me appreciate Downton Abbey (and the brilliance of Julian Fellowes and the cast and crew) even more.

About the Book


Author: Katherine Longshore

Release Date: January 28, 2014

Pages: 320

Publisher: Point (Scholastic)

The year is 1911. And at The Manor, nothing is as it seems . . .

Lady Charlotte Edmonds: Beautiful, wealthy, and sheltered, Charlotte feels suffocated by the strictures of upper-crust society. She longs to see the world beyond The Manor, to seek out high adventure. And most of all, romance.

Janie Seward: Fiery, hardworking, and clever, Janie knows she can be more than just a kitchen maid. But she isn't sure she possesses the courage -- or the means -- to break free and follow her passions.

Both Charlotte and Janie are ready for change. As their paths overlap in the gilded hallways and dark corridors of The Manor, rules are broken and secrets are revealed. Secrets that will alter the course of their lives. . . forever.

About Katherine:

Katherine Longshore grew up on the northern California coast. At university, she created her own major in Cross-Cultural Studies and Communications, planning to travel and write. Forever. Four years, six continents and countless pairs of shoes later, she went to England for two weeks, stayed five years and discovered history. She now lives in California with her husband, two children and a sun-worshiping dog.

Giveaway Details:

5 Signed finished copies of MANOR OF SECRETS US Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Week One:
1/27/2014- Fiktshun- Guest Post
1/28/2014- Two Chicks on Books- Guest Post
1/29/2014- Good Books and Good Wine- Review
1/30/2014- Hobbitsies- Review
1/31/2014- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads- Interview

Week Two:
2/3/2014- A Glass Of Wine- Guest Post
2/4/2014- Mundie Moms- Interview & Review
2/5/2014- Read My Breath Away- Guest Post
2/6/2014- Page Turners- Review
2/7/2014- Tales of a Ravenous Reader- Guest Post


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