Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Mistress of Pennington's Release Day!

From the author of the Templeton Cove Series comes a new historical series sure to be loved by fans of British television  family dynasty dramas.

Release Date July 1, 2018

Buy Links:

1910 – A compelling tale of female empowerment in Bath's leading department store. Perfect for the fans of the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise.

Elizabeth Pennington should be the rightful heir of Bath's premier department store through her enterprising schemes and dogged hard work. Her father, Edward Pennington, believes his daughter lacks the business acumen to run his empire and is resolute a man will succeed him.
Determined to break from her father's iron-clad hold and prove she is worthy of inheriting the store, Elizabeth forms an unlikely alliance with ambitious and charismatic master glove-maker Joseph Carter. United they forge forward to bring Pennington's into a new decade, embracing woman's equality and progression whilst trying not to mix business and pleasure.
Can this dream team thwart Edward Pennington's plans for the store? Or will Edward prove himself an unshakeable force who will ultimately ruin both Elizabeth and Joseph?

I was delighted to be able to read an advance copy of the first book in this wonderful new series.
The author also graciously agreed to answer a few questions about her work.
I apologize that blogger is giving me difficulty with some settings, especially backgrounds.

Very well written with characters I really cared about, this historical novel will appeal to fans of Downton Abbey and Selfridges historical television series. Set in a time of emotional change and hard fought struggle, this story is about women being seen as more than possessions and bargaining chips for their fathers and families.

Edward Pennington is a difficult man to read, easy to dislike, but I wanted to feel there was more to him. His daughter feels his behavior is responsible for her mother's death. In the book this is paralleled by Joseph's guilty feelings of responsibility for his own wife's death.

Elizabeth Pennington is in the difficult position of being heir to a retail dynasty with the fault that she is not male. She is intelligent and strong willed and passionate, most of which are not given credit simply because she is female in a patriarchal society. 

Joseph Carter is also intelligent, passionate, talented and strong willed. He is a visionary with philanthropic dreams. His father and grandfather before him were milliners and leather workers. His specialty is gloves. Although he wants to continue the family name and reputation for fine goods, his dreams are even grander. 

Joseph takes a bold step toward achieving greater recognition and making his gloves available to a wider audience. Changes begin to happen the moment he and Elizabeth meet.

Will secrets between the two families be enough to be their downfall or can potential attraction between visionaries who are fighting for their own lives as well as for the future of the masses prevail and be strong enough to give birth to dreams?

The tension is thick as fog as they struggle to move forward and not encourage Mr. Pennington's wrath. Can they bring the store into a modern age? Will they open their hearts to each other and risk pain?

Which books (or book types) did you read as a kid that most influenced your writing today?
How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a published author?

My earliest influence was the Secret Seven series by Enid Blyton – I literally devoured those books and still have fond memories of the joy I have if I found a new one in our local second hand book shop. I then discovered Judy Blume and that was when I knew I wanted to be a published author. I must have been around twelve or thirteen – although I was already writing short stories by the time I was nine or ten.

Were there any characters you wished for as best friends, or wanted to hang out with –
as a child or young adult?   (in books you read)
See above, lol! I would’ve looked to have been a part of the Secret Seven and friends with Margaret from Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret J

Did any particular book or experience, maybe a class, influence you to write in your particular genres?   
I’ve always loved love – it’s as simple as that. In a world where so many terrible things happen, it’s nice to disappear into a world where you know there’s going to be a happy ever after. People can be extremely disparaging about the romance genre and make ignorant assumptions based on the bodice-rippers on the 70s. Times have moved on and romance novels cover such a broad spectrum, there is something for everybody. 

Is there a difference for you in the genres you write? Is any one more fun or more difficult than another?
Writing is difficult! There’s no genre easier to write than another in my experience – I love my job and, for me, writing has become a compulsion rather than something I like to do every now and then. I can go three days at the most without a desperate, all-consuming need to write. I even take my laptop on holiday so I can work – I have a very understanding (and indulgent) family!

What time of day do you do your most productive writing?  Do you keep to a regular schedule?
I’m lucky enough to write full time so I treat my writing as I would a ‘real’ job – I work 8.30am to 5.30pm every week day with a half hour lunch break and two dog walks in between. I try not to write in the evenings or at the weekends unless I’m on deadline. Not that I don’t want to…but because I owe it to my amazing husband and kids to be present when they’re home.

How do you capture your ideas?
With difficulty, lol! Most writers have lots of ideas buzzing in their imagination but it’s taking an idea or an idea and a character and finding a way to stretch that idea to 80,000 + words. In my experience, writing never gets easier… it just becomes more addictive. 
What is the craziest thing you have on your computer search history right now, or do you cleanse it at regular intervals?
Haha! SOOO much stuff could be seen as highly irregular or even suspicious – I love writing suspense so have a lot of research on poisons, knives, guns, famous murder cases as well as lots of research on historical living conditions, food and etiquette. 

Do you have a book crush?
 I adore anything by Nora Roberts as well as the Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis for contemporary and anything by Philippa Gregory and the Scotland Yard series by Alex Grecian for historical fiction.

Where do you see yourself ten years in the future?
Hopefully still writing but hitting the bestseller lists and being able to write on the deck of a cruise ship as my husband and I travel the world. That’s not a lot to ask, is it?

Do you have any guilty pleasures?  (Mine are dark chocolate or peanut butter M&Ms)
I enjoy far too much white wine and watch far too much TV – apart from that, I’d say I’m quite a good girl…

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a brand new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s releases in July 2018.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.
She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

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