A Rebel at Pennington’s
by Rachel Brimble
GENRE: Historical romance/saga
1911 Bath. Banished from her ancestral home, passionate suffrage campaigner, Esther Stanbury works as a window dresser in Pennington’s Department Store. She has hopes and dreams for women’s progression and will do anything to help secure the vote.
Owner of the prestigious Phoenix Hotel, Lawrence Culford has what most would view as a successful life. But Lawrence is harbouring shame, resentment and an anger that threatens his future happiness.
When Esther and Lawrence meet their mutual understanding of life’s challenges unites them and they are drawn to the possibility of a life of love that neither thought existed.
With the Coronation of King-Emperor George V looming, the atmosphere in Bath is building to fever pitch, as is the suffragists’ determination to secure the vote.
Will Esther’s rebellious nature lead her to ruin or can they overcome their pasts and look to build a future together?
His beautiful daughter beamed as she held the cricket set aloft, Nathanial standing tall and proud beside her. ‘Daddy bought me the cricket set.’
Miss Stanbury looked from Rose and Nathanial to Lawrence and back again, her face lighting with a smile. ‘Well, look at that. I’m so glad your father saw sense in the end.’ She met Lawrence’s gaze over their heads, her eyes glittering with victory. ‘That’s wonderful.’ He stared at her, his smile fixed and his heart pounding with frustration. Did the woman not see how condescending she sounded? ‘Wonderful or not. I thought it important you knew I am not the tyrant you clearly consider me.’ Dragging his gaze from hers, Lawrence looked at his children. ‘Come, Rose. Nathanial. Let’s leave the nice lady to her work.’ He took their hands before looking at Esther once more. ‘It was…interesting meeting you.’
Her gaze shadowed as she glared, her smile too bright to be sincere. ‘I hardly thought you a tyrant, Mr Culford.’
‘Good, then the matter is settled.’
He turned towards the department exit and didn’t look back…regardless of the almost overwhelming urge to do so.
The woman had infuriated him, bewildered him and left him feeling she’d ended the conversation on her terms once again. Damnation!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.
In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018 with book two coming February 2019.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America and has thousands of social media followers from all over the world. To sign up for her quarterly and new release newsletter, click here to go to her website: https://rachelbrimble.com/
5 Things Every Historical Fiction book should include…
Here are five things I believe every reader wants to find between the pages of a historical fiction novel:
- A sense of time
It’s important that the reader feels grounded in history as soon as they begin to read – or at least by the end of the first page…ideally, the first paragraph. How do authors do this? For me, it’s all about the language used in dialogue, the objects, clothes and food in the scene. Using the odd old English phrase or word, adding an object rarely, or better still, never used today will go a long way to ‘showing’ the reader, the story is set in the past or even which period.
- A sense of place
Setting is vital in historical fiction – it’s the author’s job to create as rich a setting as possible. Buildings, horses, carriages, balls, lighting or a dark, cobbled street can bring the setting alive. The more the reader pictures in their mind, the quicker they will read. As authors, we want our readers to ‘see’ the scenes unfold as though they are watching a movie…
Another vital ingredient that deserves a slot all of its own – there is a reason why we call historical movies and TV shows, “costume dramas.” Clothes are vitally important to bring colour, romance and vitality to a historical novel. Dresses, bustles and hoops, cravats, boots, hairstyles and jewellery are a simple way to transport a reader back in time.
- Old-fashioned Romance
My focus is more on historical romance than mainstream fiction, so this sub-genre gives the reader and I a chance to indulge in moments of old-fashioned gallantry that, if I’m honest, I still love to experience in today’s world. In my historical romances, I take full advantage of my heroes and male secondary characters opening doors, pulling out chairs, kissing gloved hands and generally treating the females as genteelly as possible…without being sickly sweet, of course!
- And finally…social conventions and restrictions
I love to write about women fighting against the societal obstacles they had at the time – their sexist struggles are the background for all my historical work. Showing these conventions and restrictions provides a premise for my novels where I can explore and enjoy watching how my hero and heroine fight against them and, ultimately overcome them, in order to achieve their goals, grow and develop.
I love writing strong women who wish to expand their lives and change things for other women…with the hero’s full approval and support. It’s often the hero’s support and encouragement that makes me fall head over heels in love with my him…
Plans For The Future…
I was thrilled when Independent Authors asked me to share what my plans are for the future. Why? Well, I have been getting ultra-focused on 2019 since November 2018. This level of ‘pre-planning’ is a first for me and it has been SO liberating.
For a long time, I’ve wondered how other authors manage to get so much done. Have their fingers in so many pies and managing to appear here, there and everywhere at promo events. I was under the disillusion that my current productivity was all I could manage.
It seems that’s not true if you have a plan in place – if you are clear on what you want to get done each day, and stick to it, amazing things happen.
So, I bought planners for the end of 2018 and the whole of 2019 and mapped out my working week (Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm) and then segmented days for SPECIFIC tasks. For example, blog posts, query letters, interviews and social media planning on Monday, novel writing on Tuesday, visiting my mum and household stuff on Wednesday… you get the idea!
Guess what? By sticking to this, my days have become hugely productive to the point that I can’t quite believe I wasn’t working this way all along.
So, what are my 2019 goals?
– Secure one new book contract…preferably two!
– Have at least one non-fiction magazine article published every other month
– More guest author visits on websites
– Act on every opportunity as it presents itself
For the books, I’d ideally like to secure a new series contract for a Georgian idea I am working on as well as a shorter novel trilogy which will be contemporary romance set in New York. I am so excited about both of these projects. As for now though, I am working on the final draft of the third book in my Pennington’s Department Stores series which I hope will release in the Autumn. Watch this space!