Love Game of Thrones, Outlander or Peaky Blinders? Try These Books.

The following historical romance novel recommendations are based on the premise you’ve already read or watched Outlandar by Dianna Gabaldon and/or A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin.

Full disclosure . . . A Song of Ice and Fire happens to be one of my favorite book series of all-time so I’m extremely biased. However, if you’re a historical romance reader like myself, there’s a decent chance you’re looking for a quicker read or new authors recommendations.

Then You'll Love


Outlandar fans who haven’t read The Highland Guard series by Monica McCarty are missing out. I have nothing else to say on that matter.

Moving on, do you still think about Robb Stark? (For the record, Jon Snow is 100% not dead for good. I know this because I’m willing it to be. *Update* I was right!) Check out The Ransom by Julie Garwood. It’s by no means as bloody as Game of Thrones, but with a violent medieval element and plenty of bad guys, it’s a winner. And since it’s a romance novel, the HEA is firmly intact. AKA no Red Wedding.

Work with me on this one. While Defy Not the Heart by Johanna Lindsay is not set in Birmingham, nor is it about a street gang, you may be wondering how Peaky Blinders fits in. Early 20th century England may be very different than it’s medieval counterpart–I’m a sucker for medieval–but the two have one very important element in common. No one writes the alpha male like Ms. Lindsay, and no character on television is more of one than Tommy Shelby. It may seem a stretch, but I’m willing go out on a limb for this one.

Have you read any of these books or series? What recommendations would you give for historical romance readers and fans of the above mentioned shows? Find me @CeceliaMecca on Twitter or on Facebook to let me know what you think.

Happy Reading!

Looking for Scottish Historical Romance? Try My Favorite Author.

When I started reading romance over twenty years ago, it was Johanna Lindsey who lured me into the genre. Also an avid Jude Deveraux and Julie Garwood fan, it wasn’t long before I finished all of my favorite author’s offerings. Reading romance on and off, sprinkled with a bit of A Song of Fire and Ice, Outlander, Harry Potter (of course) and educational books, it wasn’t until the summer of 2014 I finally found an author worthy of binge reading again.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Purchasing most books these days via Kindle, I downloaded a sample of The Chief by Monica McCarty and was hooked. By the end of our annual beach vacation at Sea Isle City, I was fully ensconced in the story of elite Scottish warriors known as the Highland Guard. Any student of history, or fan of Braveheart, is familiar with Robert the Bruce.

Scouring the darkest corners of the Highlands and Western Isles, Robert the Bruce handpicks ten warriors to help him in his quest to free Scotland from English rule. They are the best of the best, chosen for their superior skills in each discipline of warfare. To lead his secret Highland Guard, Bruce chooses the greatest warrior of all.

Source: The Chief,

I can Google “medieval historical romance” all day to find new novels. Ones as well-written and intricately researched are much more difficult to uncover. Reading every book in the series in record time, I was thrilled when Monica* recently announced the publication of two earlier works. Though Regency and not my favorite time period, I was nevertheless overjoyed.

Looking forward to Monica McCarty’s The Striker, the first book I’ve ever pre-ordered, I’m concentrating on my own writing in the interim since finding an author this good takes more time than I have at the moment.

*Update* The Striker was awesome, of course. Have you read any of Monica McCarty’s books? What do you think?

My First Romance Manuscript & What I’ve Learned About Writing Romance

An update on my alter ego which anyone following Cecelia Mecca on Facebook already knows:

I’ve finally finished my manuscript, and it only took 16 years!

At 2:20 am on my birthday in September, I finally wrote “The End” on a manuscript I started 16 years ago. Attending RWA15 propelled me forward, and I’ll be forever grateful for the advice I received there and since the conference. The community of writers at RWA is amazing. After spending so long writing, I sent a post in the forum recently titled, “Now What!?” essentially asking for next steps. With vague notions about an agent and some research under my belt, I was honestly still confused. Do I need a professional editor? How do I find an agent? What exactly is a query letter? What is the difference between a critique partner and a beta readers?

My lack of knowledge about publishing, not unlike my lack of knowledge about how to integrate so much research into a vague idea of a story in my head, will not hold me back as it did so many years ago. I know where to go for help with writing and publishing and have learned so much already since January 1, 2015 when I decided–THIS is the year. Here is a small sampling of what I’ve learned so far:

romance writing tips


As a romance reader, what is one question you would ask an author about their process?

Say Hello To My Alter Ego: A Historical Romance Author

Once in a class at Penn State working toward a PhD in Curriculum, a professor assigned an article on the romance genre asking the class to speculate why it attracts a lion’s share of readers–13% of adult fiction. (Source: Nielsen Books & Consumer Tracker, BISAC Romance)

An avid romance reader, I never admitted that fact to the class. Even though romance readers are highly educated (42% have a bachelor’s degree, 15% post-graduate work or degrees according to RWA), I was embarrassed to admit my reading habits.

Having picked up Johanna Lindsey in college, this English major turned educator has always longed to emulate the greats such as Judith McKnight, Kathleen Woodwiss and Julie Garwood. Back in 1998 I started a manuscript and began researching Medieval England in earnest, overlapping it with studies as an English Master’s degree student. From there a few events such as getting married, snagging my first teaching job, having two children and then starting a digital media consulting company took front stage.


  1. I have read all these books and have them. Yes Medieval will always be my favorite time to read. You didn’t have Secret by Julie Garwood in this group of books. I was wondering if you have a P>O> Box so I could get you to sign my book labels for your books I bought of yours. I really would appreciate it.

    • Hi Debi…I LOVE The Secret and actually just re-read it recently. I will email you on the label. So glad you found my books and enjoyed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment