Saturday, February 9, 2019

The Slum Angel out now!


The Slum Angel.
Can Victoria find the security she has lost? Will a certain doctor be the man she can give her heart to? 
My latest book has been released. Set in Victorian York, England. 

Blurb:
Orphan, Victoria Carlton is brought up by her uncle, a banker, to be a lady and make a good marriage. Yet, she is drawn to help the poor families in the slums, much to her family’s disgust. When her uncle dies suddenly, her cousins blame Victoria, and she is thrown out of the house with nothing. 
Victoria flees to the poor side of York to start again in a world that is full of perils. To combat the heartache of being without her family, she befriends the destitute women and children in the slums, but such friendships come with the danger of disease, and increasing poverty, and the threat of a brutal man could cost her everything.
Can Victoria find the security she has lost? Will a certain doctor be the man she can give her heart to? Or will the ghosts of the past return to take away everything she has worked so hard for?


Available in ebook and paperback from Amazon: http://mybook.to/theslumangel


Friday, January 11, 2019

Poor House Lane Series

Editions of Poor House Lane Series have been published by Canelo, provided with beautiful covers. 1 -
The Girl from Poor House Lane What lengths will a mother go to in order to protect her son? The first in the historical Poor House Lane sagas The slums of Poor House Lane are no place to bring up a child, and Kate O'Connor struggles to make ends meet when her beloved husband is killed, leaving her a single mother with a baby to support on the meagre hand-outs she gleans from charity. So when the childless Tysons, owners of Kendal's shoe factory, offer to adopt her son, Callum, and employ Kate as his nanny, she seizes the chance to ensure he has a better life. To be so close to her son, yet no longer be his mother, is bittersweet. But Kate is not prepared for the jealousy the new arrangement provokes in Eliot Tyson's brother, Charles, who sees Callum as a direct threat to his inheritance…

 Amazon


2 -The Child from Nowhere Kate finds herself back in Poor House Lane with some heartrending decisions to be made, not least how to find her missing son. Somehow she must also make a living for herself and help the women being abused by the hated Swainson. But nothing is straightforward, and her sister-in-law Lucy isn't done with her yet…

Amazon

3 - The Woman from Heartbreak House The Great War is over and Kate is ready to welcome back Eliot with open arms. But her husband is a changed man. Kate has become used to her independence, and Eliot's return creates tensions both at work and at home, particularly with Kate's son, Callum. It tears Kate apart to see such strife between the two men she loves most. And her sister-in-law seems determined to stir up the animosity in order to benefit her own son. But when tragedy strikes, Kate cannot imagine just how much trouble Lucy's ambition can cause…

Amazon


Friday, December 28, 2018

Guest post: Elizabeth Ellen Carter!

Today I'm showcasing fellow Australian author Elizabeth Ellen Carter and her brand new book, which is out today!



Here's the blurb:

Refused his rightful promotion, Adam Hardacre quits the Royal Navy in disgust and is quickly approached with an intriguing proposition to serve his country undercover.

His first assignment takes him home to Cornwall to expose traitors plotting a French invasion of England. There, he meets newly unemployed governess, Olivia Collins, who has stumbled upon a hidden secret from Adam’s past – his youthful summer love affair with the local squire’s daughter. It is a tragic history that brings Adam and Olivia closer than is wise.
However, with the attraction deepening to something more, neither realize that Olivia unwittingly holds the key to his mission.

As Adam infiltrates the plot, Olivia finds out the shocking truth behind his lost love’s death many years ago, and both their lives are in danger. But their growing relationship is clouded by suspicion. Who can and cannot be trusted – anyone or no one?

Or... even each other?

Here is the buy links:
US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L23VCZT
CA - https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07L23VCZT
AUS - https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07L23VCZT
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07L23VCZT

Excerpt 1

Adam felt the hair rise on the back of his neck.
He was not alone.
Whoever watched did not want to make themselves known. He turned slowly, looking in the shadows for a tell-tale figure. Nothing made itself obvious to him. The stream bubbled along merrily as it had always done; the old priory was still there. He’d played in the ruin as a child and later became a man there, in deed if not in years. In fact, it looked as though not another stone had tumbled since he first saw it. It made him feel like he was ten years old once more.
Surmising that whoever watched had slipped away, more cautious of him than he of them, Adam started whistling a familiar tune, one they used to keep time as they brought in the halyards. He approached the standing end wall where an old window opening would have once have contained stained glass, the sill at waist height. Adam lay a palm flat on the wall to the left of the opening and closed his eyes, feeling the rough texture of stone weathered for centuries but still solid – a mute sentinel which had stood watch while two young people cautiously and tentatively explored the act of love together.
Sweet Constance.
Kenstec House was only just through the trees. Perhaps it wouldn’t do any harm to venture as far as the edge of the lawns. He doubted anyone would recognise him. Squire Denton would be in his seventies now, if he lived.
Even if his presence was questioned, he could always say he was a rambler who had lost his way.
Adam took a deep breath bringing with it the nostalgic scent of honeysuckle. It was a perfume Constance favored, and it was strong here, as though her presence lingered still. And yet...
He furrowed a brow. There was no honeysuckle covering the ruins, so where had it come from?
He opened his eyes and was face to face with a woman through the opening in the wall.
“Constance?”
The woman looked as shocked as he did.
Before he had time to compose himself, the woman fled, disappearing into the thick of the trees.
“Constance!”
He called out her name once more but had gone no further than a few steps in pursuit before his rational mind could alert him to the differences between the two women.
Constance would be nearly forty now. That woman was at least ten years younger. This woman’s hair was much darker. But it was the eyes he remembered. Constance’s eyes were the lightest shade of blue. His wood sprite had brown eyes – as big and as frightened as a doe’s.
Adam chuckled to himself. He’d frightened a maid from Kenstec House. Or perhaps it was she who startled him.
Either way, it wasn’t an auspicious return to Ponsnowyth.

Excerpt 2
Constance? Constance!
The man’s question lingered and his exclamation rang in Olivia’s ears as she ran through the woods into the safety of the estate grounds.
Who was he? Why would this stranger mistake her for a girl who had been dead these past twenty years? She was afraid she knew the answer, but no – surely it was too much for a coincidence for it to be Adam Hardacre.
By the time Olivia had got half way across the lawn, she had dissuaded herself from such a foolish belief. She must have misheard the man. Clearly, he had been as surprised by her appearance there as she was of his.
She let herself into the house via the kitchen and bolted the door. In the stillness, she became acutely aware of her isolation inside the manor walls. Perhaps it wasn’t wise to stay here on her own tonight.
She wondered if it was too late to accept Polly’s invitation to live at the inn for a few days. Olivia hadn’t minded being on her own in the earlier part of the week when there was much to do in the house, but now, with that work nearly complete, one could almost entertain the thought of ghosts.
And while she was in the mood to contemplate such matters, it was also time to stop dwelling in the past; worse still, in someone else’s past.
The fate of the ill-starred lovers from Constance’s diary was long ago and there was nothing more she could do about it. The mystery of it had been solved.
Olivia went up to her room and packed a small valais. The afternoon sun through the window brought out the red grain of the mahogany of the writing box. Inside it, she had reunited Adam’s love notes with Constance’s diary as well as the letters from St Thomas’ Hospital in London which told of the young woman’s untimely end.
She ran her hand over the box. Did this Adam the carpenter still live?
If she left now, she could stop by the Trezises’ at the timber mill on her way to the inn and ask if they knew how to contact the former owner. She would write him a letter to explain who she was and what she had found. She would make the offer of returning the box and the papers relating to his one-time sweetheart.
Without truly knowing why she did so, Olivia shoved the writing box under her bed next to her trunk. Something which had been hidden for so long ought to be kept hidden until it could be returned to its rightful owner.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Nicola's Virtue FREE!


Nicola’s Virtue – ebook FREE until Dec 16th.
She crossed the world to start again, only it was harder than she expected.

#Australia #historical #governess #Sydney #19thcentury #saga



Thursday, December 6, 2018

New books to find on BookBub!


To all our lovely readers, you can follow all your favourite authors and be notified when they have a new book release or a price deal on BookBub. It's a website that authors use for promotion, and its great for readers to find new books to read! Win win!
(I'm on there too.)
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/annemarie-brear

Go find your favourites, I'll see you there!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Medieval Gift-Giving at Christmas. Plus 2 Sweet Medieval Historical Romances

During the Middle Ages, Christmas was seen as a sacred time, the time for the three Christ-Masses. Charitable giving to the poor was encouraged on Saint Stephen's day, December 26, which we know as Boxing Day.  On Boxing Day in the middle ages, the poor received money in hollow clay pots with a slit in the top, nicknamed 'piggies'. Unlike modern piggy banks, these clay pots had to be broken to extract the cash.

A page from the Bedford Hours.
What about gift-giving among other classes?

Sacred gifts - of prayer books and so on - were seen as being appropriate for the holy Christmas period. Anne of Burgundy presented the Bedford Hours to Henry VI, her eight-year-old nephew, in 1430. The book is now at the British Library.

Gifts were sometimes given at the New Year. New Year's day, known at the time as the étrenne, a word derived from the Latin strena,  (used to mean both the gifts and the ritual exchange) was the traditional time to do so. Gifts might be food -Christmas was a time of feasting and, for example, it was considered bad luck to refuse a Christmas mince pie given by a host. A Christmas kiss of peace might be given under the green kissing bough of holly and other green-stuff and mistletoe, the plant of peace. Sometimes the 'gift' might be a joke, such as the 'book' given by the illuminators of Les Tres Riches Heures to the Duke de Berry, which turned out to be a block of wood. 

At times the gifts were part of very formal processions and ceremonies. At the courts of Henry Tudor and Richard II the king rose on the day of the New Year and seated himself in his chamber ready to give and receive presents, given and received in strict order or rank. Sometimes the heralds and messengers bringing such gifts could also find themselves rewarded, as happened in the court of Richard II when the carver of the King was given a gold cup by the French King Charles. Kings and Queens could exchange gifts, often of rich jewels, as a public show of respect and affection. Rulers were expected to be generous but at the same time the size and value of gifts were ranged in order of class - kings and queens, their families, nobles, servants, right down to laundresses and cleaning-women. In some years, certain symbols might be used in gifts. In 1422 at the court of Charles VI, small jewels shaped like peacocks were given out to courtiers -  the peacock being one of Charles's badges. 


In medieval England, such gift-giving also went on. People gave New Year’s gifts to those above and below them in the social hierarchy. For example, peasants who worked on landed estates brought gifts of farm produce to the local lord during the Twelve Days of Christmas. Custom dictated that the lord respond by inviting them to a Christmas feast. Personal gifts between people of equal status might have taken place but there are few records of such. In the records and for many kings and nobles, gift-giving meant ostentation and display.



Christmas and gift-giving features in several of my books. In my latest medieval romance, "Sir Conrad and the Christmas Treasure" I show my hero and heroine taking part in several medieval Christmas customs, including winter hunts, gathering and displaying Christmas greenery, Christmas fairs and dancing carols.






In the dark time of the year and the winter solstice, there might also be spirits and ghosts. My Christmas novella "Sir Baldwin and the Christmas Ghosts"
have Sir Baldwin and Sofia seeking to placate the restless dead in time for Christmas.



Lindsay Townsend

Sunday, November 18, 2018

A GIFT FROM A GODDESS by Maggi Andersen Amazon Bestselling author. Pre-order 0.99 releases 20th November!

It is said that Aphrodite stands for love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation, and she can even mend a broken heart.
Can the goddess’ power be real? 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Apple iBooks

 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A woman hurtled through time, Beyond the Fall

Yesterday my first time travel adventure was released. In BEYOND THE FALL, Tamara Ledbetter struggles to reorder her life after her husband leaves her for another woman.

In my extensive research of the eighteenth century for my other novels, I wondered what it would be like to take a modern woman from San Francisco, have her travel to England, fall back to 1789, and have to deal with a primitive life with few rights of her own.

Novel blurb:

Tamara Ledbetter, dumped by her arrogant husband, travels to Cornwall, England to research her ancestors. A trip first planned with her soon-to-be ex. In a neglected cemetery, she scrapes two fallen headstones together to read the one beneath, faints, and wakes up in 1789. Certain she’s caught up in a reenactment, she fast discovers she’s in the year of the French Revolution, grain riots in England, miners out of work, and she’s mistrusted by the young farmer, Colum Polwhele, who’s come to her aid. Can a sassy San Francisco gal survive in this primitive time where women have few rights? Could she fall for Colum, a man active in underhanded dealings that involve stolen grain, or will she struggle to return to her own time before danger stalks them both?

Tamara tries to make sense of her situation, thinking she's being tricked, it must be a reenactment. Here an excerpt when she's fist met Colum and he wonders why she's alone:

“I have a sister, and my father isn’t well.” Tamara sighed and wished Eva was with her now.  She glanced again at his face, and he had large turquoise eyes full of intelligence. He smelled of horse and a faint, spicy cologne. “We lost our mother three years ago.”
“My condolences. If you’re a single lady, who is protectin’ you then?” His dark eyebrows drew together. He was a good actor, she'd give him that.
“No one since...” Since her rat-bastard of a husband had run off with a slut, but she thought better of mentioning that. Her heart felt heavy for a moment, but more in irritation than sadness. “I protect myself. I’m perfectly capable.” At least she’d thought so, until a few minutes ago.
“That’s not advisable, for a woman to be on her own. Is your sister near? Do you have an abigail?” He dropped his horse’s reins, and the large animal stopped and stilled.
“My sister is across the ocean.” Tamara began to grow slightly annoyed by this farce. “And I don’t know anyone named Abigail.”
They climbed the stairs, which also looked less neglected. If there sat a cart and horse instead of her car on the hill, she’d scream.
       At the top, Tamara sucked in her breath. The car park was gone, no cars, no asphalt to park on, only a field. The nausea bubbled up once more. What was happening!

To purchase from Amazon, click HERE

For more info on me and my novels, please visit my website: dianescottlewis.org

Diane Scott Lewis grew up in California, traveled the world with the navy, edited for magazines and an on-line publisher. She lives with her husband in Pennsylvania.
 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Queen's Letters


This is Book 3 in the Scottish Queen Trilogy that began with Abduction of the Scots Queen and continued with Queen's Courier.
The Kindle version will be available mid November, hopefully the paperback soon afterwards.

Here's a short extract:


Meg Douglas, niece to Henry of England and with the rich, roaring blood of her father, the Scottish earl of Angus, in her veins, stood at the window of St James’s Palace in her newly sewn shift and held the corset flat against her bosom. Dean, standing behind her, drew the edges together.
“Shall I pull, m’lady?”
Meg inhaled, held her breath and stood tall. Dean pulled and the strings rasped through the eyelets of the leather corset.
“Stop! No more, I beg you! I must breathe!”

Dean tied off the corset strings. Meg placed a hand on each hip and swayed from side to side, admiring the way her bosom jutted out over the smooth straight front of the corset. She preened, eyeing the many reflections of herself in the small window panes. Once in her gown, her hair properly dressed beneath her new headdress, she would look as if she truly belonged to the royal family of England.

“Shall I dress your hair now, or after the gown, m’lady?”
“Do it now, Dean. Oh, if only the sun would shine, the day would be perfect.”
She whirled from the window to the table littered with combs, pins and feathers and the steel mirror, recently polished free of fingermarks. Pouting and smiling at her reflection, she thanked the Good Lord that her teeth were still good and she had not lost her looks.

As Dean ran her comb through the red-gold strands, Meg frowned. Had some of the glowing fire gone out of her hair in the last months? There had certainly been weeks of strain before the great Henry had finally given his permission to marry. “Do you see grey hairs, Dean?” She met her maid’s dark eyes in the mirror. “Tell me truly.”

Dean’s impish smile accompanied a vigorous shake of her brown curls. “Not a single strand, m’lady.”
“It’s all very well for you to laugh, but Princess Mary has them and so has the king. I saw much grey in his beard last week, but none dare remark on it.” She shivered. “Certainly not I.”
“Will His Majesty be at the wedding, m’lady?”

Meg gave a tiny nod. “Thank God, yes. I was afraid he would go off to France and forget all about my wedding, but he will be present. He leaves for Dover the next day.”
Her uncle marching off to wage war on France meant little to Meg when compared to her own good fortune. Henry had made her wait so long that her wedding day must be perfect. At twenty-eight, she had so little time to enjoy marriage and a family. Once passed thirty-five, one thought of one’s gravestone as not too far ahead.

Dean pulled the bulk of her mistress’s long hair back and began to plait strands together.
Meg raised a hand. “No plaits today. I want my hair to fall smooth and shining to my hips when Mathew removes my head dress after the ceremony.”

She shivered as images of what might happen after that slid through her mind. The delights of love had not been a predominant part of her life so far, thanks to Uncle Henry; but she had hopes of an improvement in that quarter once she married Mathew. An image long forgotten slid across her memory; red-headed Matho Spirston and their energetic coupling in the stables of Brinkburn Priory. Meg bit her lip; it must be unlucky to think of him on her wedding day. The low-born fellow ought to have been banished along with memories of Thomas Howard, dead these last seven years.



Saturday, October 27, 2018

Isabelle's Choice

Halifax, 1876. On the death of her mother and sister, Isabelle Gibson is left to fend for herself and her brother in a privately-run workhouse. After the matron's son attacks her, Isabelle decides to escape him and a life of drudgery by agreeing to marry a moorland farmer she has never met. But this man, Farrell, is a drunkard and a bully in constant feud with his landlord, Ethan Harrington. 
When Farrell bungles a robbery and deserts her, Isabelle and Ethan are thrown together as she struggles to save the farm. Both are married and must hide their growing love. But despite the secrecy, Isabelle draws strength from Ethan as faces from the past return to haunt her and a tragedy is set to strike that will change all of their lives forever.​

Isabelle’s Choice - ebook/pbk
Will the choices she’s made ruin her? Will she find the happiness she’s searching for?
#Victorian #Yorkshire  #saga #Hebdenbridge #historical

Friday, September 21, 2018

Inspiration for Polly's Pride books

The idea came from the story of Great Aunt Hannah who, back in the thirties in order to survive through difficult times, sold off all the furniture save for an earthenware bread bin and their bed. The bread bin thereafter held their food, and acted as a table or stool. With the money, she and her husband bought second hand carpets from auctions and better class homes, which they cut up to sell on the local market. They also bought many other items offered, such as small pictures, clocks, jugs and vases, even chamber pots. Anything saleable was grist to the mill for them to survive. Everything would be loaded on to a two-wheeled hand cart and transported home to their rented terraced house.

Carpets in those days were a luxury, most houses in working class areas covering their floors with lino, although kitchens were generally just scrubbed flags, perhaps with a rag rug made from scraps of old clothes. But when they first went into business they did not have the space or the facilities to properly clean the carpets before putting them up for sale. On one occasion Aunt Hannah was showing a carpet to a prospective buyer when a huge cockroach ran across it. Fortunately he didn’t see it as she quickly grabbed the horrible thing in her hand and held it until the customer had paid for the carpet and left. She must have been a tough lady.

They also bought the entire set of carpets from the German ship SS Leviathan which was being scrapped. In order to do that, and having refurnished from the profit made, they sold everything all over again, repeating this process several times. Gradually their hard work paid off and they expanded, renting the shop next door, and later bought property where they began to sell new carpets, as Polly does in the books. Aunt Hannah was such a kind lady that when my parents, who had married early in the war, finally set up home together in 1945 in rented premises as a shoe repairer, living behind the shop, she gave them a brand new carpet as a gift. They treasured this for much of their married life, as they’d only had Dad’s demob money, and otherwise would have been on bare boards.

I often use family stories, suitably adapted and fictionalised. In this case my aunt had a very happy marriage, not suffering the traumas that Polly was forced to endure.


ebooks and paperbacks available on Amazon 

Polly’s Pride

Polly’s War 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Free on Kindle!

Kitty McKenzie Book 1 FREE on Kindle 5 days only!!
After losing everything, can she keep her family safe?
‘5 Stars – enjoyable read!’
#Historical #Victorian @amazonkindle
myBook.to/KittyMcKenzie


1864 - Suddenly left as the head of the family, Kitty McKenzie must find her inner strength to keep her family together against the odds. Evicted from their resplendent home in the fashionable part of York after her parents’ deaths, Kitty must fight the legacy of bankruptcy and homelessness to secure a home for her and her siblings. Through sheer willpower and determination she grabs opportunities with both hands from working on a clothes and rag stall in the market to creating a teashop for the wealthy. Her road to happiness is fraught with obstacles of hardship and despair, but she refuses to let her dream of a better life for her family die. She soon learns that love and loyalty brings its own reward.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Blog Tour of The Promise of Tomorrow

The Promise of Tomorrow is going on a blog tour - when I write that I always think of a rock star tour - haha - anyway, my lovely historical novel is being featured at the blogs below from October 1st - 8th.
Everyone is welcome to stop by each blog and say hello.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

New release!

Happy Release Day to me!!
The Promise of Tomorrow has been released!
Can Charlotte find the happiness that always seems under threat, and will Harry return home to her?

Available in ebook and paperback on Amazon:


The Promise of Tomorrow blurb
Charlotte Brookes flees her lecherous guardian, McBride, taking her younger sister with her. After a year on the road, they stumble into a Yorkshire village where the Wheelers, owners of the village shop, take them in. This new life is strange for Charlotte, but preferable to living with McBride or surviving on the roads.  Harry Belmont is an important man in the village, but he’s missing something in his life. His budding friendship with Charlotte gives him hope she will feel more for him one day, and he will marry the woman he yearns for. 
When McBride discovers where Charlotte lives, his threats begin. Harry fights to keep Charlotte safe, but World War I erupts and Harry enlists.  Left to face a world of new responsibilities, and Harry’s difficult sister, Charlotte must run the gauntlet of family disputes, McBride's constant harassment, and the possibility of the man she loves being killed.
Can Charlotte find the happiness that always seems under threat, and will Harry return home to her?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Cover Reveal!

Here it is! The beautiful cover for The Promise of Tomorrow. 

Now available for pre-order on Amazon!

Can Charlotte find the happiness that always seems under threat, and will Harry return home to her?

Amazon: