Hi readers! Who would like to take a short trip to Vegas today? Perhaps in the company of a modern-day Darcy and Elizabeth? Sounds so fun, right? I think so! I’ve never been to Vegas, but I think it would be a fun place to see and visit. Well, it looks like we can virtually travel to Vegas in Amy George’s latest release, The Sweetest Ruin! The lovely Amy George is currently on tour for this new release, and she is visiting today to talk about the similarities between Jane Austen’s Gretna Green and Las Vegas! We hope you enjoy!
Gretna to Vegas
Good morning, Meredith, and thank you for hosting me at Austenesque Reviews for the launch of the blog tour for my newest release, “The Sweetest Ruin.” This story is a bit different from my first published story, “Second Impressions,” because it’s a modernization of Pride & Prejudice that has Darcy and Elizabeth initially meeting one another in Las Vegas, Nevada. I think that when JAFF readers hear the words Las Vegas as the setting of a JAFF story, their minds might also go to another place we dearly love to read about in JAFF; the scandalously romantic setting of Gretna Green in Scotland.
Imagine you’re a parent. You have a lovely daughter or a handsome son. This child is impetuous, a little selfish, and lives in the moment. You find a note in this child’s bedroom and it simply says, “I’ve gone to….”
It doesn’t matter what the last 2 words are. You know they mean.
Your kid’s getting hitched.
Back in the 18th century, a little Scottish village called Gretna Green was on the fortunate end of a happy accident. Marriage laws in England were amended to change the age of consent for marriage. A couple had to be 21 and have their parents’ permission. For many young couples this would not do. Scottish laws were different; they required no such permissions. And Gretna Green happened to be situated on the road that came from London into Scotland.
Fast forward a couple of centuries later and you find yourself in the middle of another Gretna Green.
This time in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Gretna Green (now Graceland Wedding Chapel), Wee Kirk o’ the Heather, and the Little Church of the West were all opened in Las Vegas, Nevada in the 1940’s to take advantage of the state’s lax marriage license laws. No blood tests or waiting periods were required. A couple could arrive, buy their license and get married. The three chapels combined have hosted the marriages of hundreds of thousands of couples as the oldest operating chapels in the town. There are no statistics available for the number of angry fathers chasing down rogue daughters.
Quickie marriages can, obviously, strike fear in the hearts of many, like Fitzwilliam Darcy when he learns of Georgiana’s impending travels to what, for her, would have have been a very dangerous place. They can also be something magical, like for William & Elizabeth, in “The Sweetest Ruin.”
Gretna Green, Scotland, I think, has a bit of a different reputation than Vegas does.Perhaps it is because I first learned of Gretna Green through P&P, it has tiny bit of danger associated with it. There were unscrupulous rakes trying to gain fortunes through marriage, panicked parents tracking down wayward, lovesick children, and ruined women looking for a way to become respectable once again.
Las Vegas has none of those connotations for me. (Although, yes, there are still unscrupulous men. I did listen to “Dirty John,” after all.) For me Vegas marriages are about the fun parts of love, the spontaneous moments that make us cherish our partners more. Vegas marriages are, of course, instant gratification, but they are also an immediate and attainable happily-ever-after.
Thanks so much for sharing, Amy! I feel silly saying this, but I honestly never made the connection between Gretna Green and Las Vegas before! I wonder if the old tag line “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” will prove true in your story! I can’t wait to find out! Viva Las Vegas!
About the Author
“Amy George is a middle-aged woman who got rid of her old lady/grown up and has since purchased an unreasonably small car. She refuses to listen to its radio at a reasonable volume, especially when the Beastie Boys or the Violent Femmes are playing. She lives in a small town in the Midwest where the bookstore and yarn shop are neighbors and most food is fried. Her household consists of a dog, a man, a hermit, and stubborn soap scum.
She has been writing since she was a child and ran the Hyacinth Gardens, a popular but defunct JAFF site.”
Fun fact: My birthday is January 30th so this is like a big birthday party.
Connect with Amy
Meryton Press is generously giving away 8 ebook editions of The Sweetest Ruin in conjunction with this blog tour!! Woot woot!
Commenting on this post and entering through the rafflecopter widget on this blog enters you in a chance to win!
- This giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you, Meryton Press!
- This giveaway ends February 10th!
Click the above image to check out the rest of the tour!
My thanks to Amy George, Claudine Pepe, and the lovely people at Meryton Press for making this tour possible!