A Widow’s Guide to Scandal

A Widow's Guide to Scandal

With my book out, my daughter asked me how I handled problematic aspects of the American Revolution. She was referring to the fact that Liberty, Justice, and Freedom were all well and good, but only if you were a land-owning white man.

Founding Fathers of America.
Founding Fathers—Red dots indicate slave owners
Image: @arlenparsa/Twitter

In A Widow’s Guide to Scandal, I purposely left out the Founding Fathers. They wouldn’t have added to the story in any meaningful way, and I didn’t want to distract from the regular folks who don’t usually share the pages of a history book.

Diversity: Sarah Harrison/Google

While I wrote a fictional battle — based on actual events — into the story, I had no desire to fictionalize the people in America by pushing the dominant culture mythology.

Not everyone in 17760-America was white, Christian, able-bodied, or cis-gendered. In fact, many marginalized people, by today’s standards, held positions of power, influence, and leadership during the War. Their place in society wouldn’t change until America headed into the 19th Century and faced growth and immigration at uncomfortable rates.

Even so, the Revolutionary War didn’t benefit everyone. The economy in 1776 was very much based on slavery, even in Northern states. Many slaves went to fight for the King based on Lord Dunmore’s promises of freedom when the war was won. However, when the British lost, slave-owners, including George Washington, took back their “property,” denying their slaves their promised freedom.

Henry Singleton The Ale-House Door c. 1790/Public Domain

For women, their status wouldn’t change either regardless of who won the War. Unless a woman was widowed, her rights and property were her father’s or husband’s. And, if she was widowed, it was best to have a little money saved up. One way for widows to earn a living and respect was to become a tavern owner.

Incidentally, taverns were where cross-sections of the community came together, regardless of status, race, or religion. Because of this mixing, and the fact that women weren’t to drink in public, taverns were not respectable places for unmarried and married (white) women to visit.

A Widow’s Guide to Scandal wasn’t meant to be a commentary on the history of racism and rights in America, down to today’s political environment, but under all that heat and comedy within the romance, it exists because it inextricably still matters.


A Widow’s Guide to Scandal is a historical romance set in 1776, New York at the beginning of the American Revolution. 💜

“Toss into the mix the Sons of Liberty, espionage, and privateering, add a splash of banter-filled dialogue and a healthy sprinkle of steamy love scenes and you wind up with an HEA that’s satisfying on all sides.”

Reviewer on GoodReads

A Widow’s Guide to Scandal
Available via Amazon & Kindle Unlimited: https://amzn.to/2ZxZqhJ

A Widow’s Guide to Scandal

A Widow's Guide to Scandal by Hallie Alexander
Available now!

Henrietta Smith was fifteen when she stole a kiss from Marcus Hardwicke. Over a decade later, she’s still waiting to be kissed back…

Henrietta learned the hard way that when you get what you pay for you might end up with a British soldier quartering in your home threatening your friends, an enormous dog tracking mud through your house and stealing the chickens, and Marcus Hardwicke disrupting your uncomplicated life by trying to improve it. And to think she just wanted her roof fixed.

Marcus, wickedly handsome carpenter and rebel rogue, fell off Henrietta’s leaking roof. He can’t leave until his broken ankle heals, giving him plenty of time to consider his past mistakes, including Henrietta’s indelible kiss from a lifetime ago. But Henrietta could lose more than her home if she doesn’t encrypt British secrets, and the latest puts Marcus in the crosshairs.

Available via Amazon & Kindle Unlimited: https://amzn.to/2ZxZqhJ

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Published by Hallie Alexander

Hallie Alexander writes steamy historical romance novels set during the American Revolution. Her first novel, A Widow's Guide to Scandal, arrives July 2020. Hallie resides in North Carolina with her family.

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