Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, where I share snippets from new and past releases and works-in-progress, and occasionally invite author buddies along for the ride.
Ooh, you’re lucky things. As if last week’s fun with guest Fiona McArthur wasn’t enough, today we have another guest who might also be offering a giveaway.
But first, news from the Hein house and it’s big. Really big!
Watch your inboxes, my lovelies, because Eddie and the Show Queen is about to go live. Yup, this week I’ll be sending out a newsletter with its cover, blurb and all the linky goodness so you can pre-order this funny, big-hearted read. There’ll also be the chance to pre-order personally signed print copies too, along with the entire first chapter for you to enjoy.
Not part of the newsletter team? Fix that right here.
Done? Excellent. Now to our lovely guest.
Many of you will know Bronwyn Parry from her rural-set, romantic suspense novels like As Darkness Falls, Darkening Skies, Dead Heat, Sunset Shadows and more. Well, Bronwyn has now turned her pen to historical romance. The Clothier’s Daughter released on July 11th and is already making lots of readers happy, if the gorgeous reviews are anything to go by.
Here’s Bronwyn to tell you a bit more. Make sure you read the whole post, because there could be a giveaway in the offing and we wouldn’t want you to miss out.
Thanks so much for having me, Cathryn, and hello to all your readers! Some of you may know me already as I’ve written six romantic suspense novels set in New South Wales. However, my new book is a little different. It does have my usual gritty suspense and fast pace, but I’ve let my inner historian loose and The Clothier’s Daughter is set in Yorkshire, in 1816.
It’s been an interesting and enjoyable journey, writing my first historical novel, creating characters and imagining how their lives might have been in a time of huge social and technological change. Emma and Adam came to life in my mind quickly and I loved writing their story—although I did put them through a great deal before their happy ending!
I’ve been fascinated by historic costumes and textiles and other aspects of social history since I was a child, and making Emma the daughter of a clothier, a traditional textile manufacturer, was partly inspired by my Honours degree research on late 18th century British worsted textiles. I loved spending time in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and in the Dales to the north, and discovering the textiles once made in those areas, all spun and woven by hand. These wonderful fabrics were once a huge industry in Britain, exported around the world, but as the Industrial Revolution took hold and made cotton and other machine-made fabrics much cheaper, the traditional fabric industry died out.
There’s nothing like a time of turbulence and change to make a good setting for a book! With her father dead and her brother missing, Emma is trying to keep their family company running, even more of a challenge for a woman in a man’s world of business—especially when someone seems determined to send her to debtors’ prison. The sweet summer of her youth when she’d loved Adam Caldwell and regretfully rejected his proposal seems a lifetime ago.
And now for the teaser! I’ve chosen a scene from the first chapter, where Emma is in the weaving loft on the top floor of the company’s warehouse when a fire breaks out in the stairwell. The ladder only reaches to the office floor below, and she’s trapped in the loft with an unconscious weaver and his (very) young assistant. Adam, riding home after eight years away at war, stops to help at the fire, having scrambled up the ladder to assist the clerks in the office to safety….
The younger clerk was half-way down the ladder when the man at the base shouted, looking up, and Adam twisted to see above the window. Two small legs dangled, one shoe hanging loose, as someone in the loft lowered a child, inch by inch. As the legs came level, Adam grabbed them, guiding the swaying child towards the ladder. A wide strip of fabric wrapped around his chest, tied in a knot almost thicker than the skinny body, long ends of threads hanging. Braithwaite must have cut a web from a loom. Good thinking. Up to thirty yards on a piece of cloth, long enough to reach the ground.
While the boy—young, maybe eight or nine years old—clung to the ladder, Adam tugged the knot loose so the cloth could be used for another person.
“Down you go, lad. You’re safe now.”
His words shattered Adam’s detached focus. “Miss Braithwaite? Miss Braithwaite is up there?” He must have said it forcefully, because the boy barely nodded before he scampered down the ladder.
“Yes, sir,” the clerk behind Adam said. “Miss Emma Braithwaite. She’s the senior partner now, sir.”
Barely hearing anything past the confirmation, Adam leaned half his body out the window, straining to see upwards. “Emma!” The length of fabric obscured his view and he pulled it out of his way. There was no-one at the window. She was somewhere inside there, in the smoke and the fire. “Emma!”
He saw movement, and then her face, almost as pale as the white lace of her collar. She saw him but with the smoke all around she didn’t recognize him, didn’t know him. “I can’t lift Jacob,” she called down to him, to those below, panic sharpening her voice. “I can’t lift him and I won’t be able to hold his weight.”
He closed his fist around the fabric, gripping it tight. “Fasten the cloth to a beam or something heavy. I’m coming up.”
She properly saw him then, visibly startled. “Adam?” She shook her head, urgency overpowering her astonishment. “I can’t. There’s only the loom, and it’s not heavy enough. It just moves.”
Adam swore. He strode across and opened the office door so that he could check the door to the stairs, twenty feet away, near the front wall of the building. The smoke flowed under it, but he could see no flames licking the edge of the door itself. At the other end of the wall, where it met the back wall, the paper curled and smoked, but not near the door.
He returned to the open window and called up again, “Stay near the window, Emma. I’m coming to get you.”
He still wore his great coat, thick wool wet through after hours in the rain. Woollen breeches, leather boots, leather riding gloves. His beaver hat had fallen to the floor when he’d clambered through the window, and he swept it up, jamming it on his head as he pulled his damp cravat up over his face.
The clerk began to follow as he crossed the room. “Sir, you’re not going to…”
“Yes. Get down that ladder, man. Now.”
The metal of the door handle was warm through his gloves, but not searing hot. Not yet. With his ear to the door he held his breath and listened. Over the sound of his heart beats, the harsh crackling of fire eating wood, but not right outside the door. He opened it cautiously, keeping behind it. Smoke rushed in, and noise and heat, but not flames.
Immediately to his left, the stairs rose from the small landing to the upper floor. But there was a hole in the back wall, near the top landing, and the stairs leading to the lower floors were well alight, flames leaping upwards, and thick, choking smoke filled his nose and throat despite the small protection of his loosened cravat. Flames worked on the bannisters, and some of the steps smoked, small pockets of flames breaking through. He could make it. He had to make it.
Wow. Now that was exciting. Find out what happens next by purchasing your own copy of The Clothier’s Daughter today from these stores:
Righty-o, you saw the hints in the intro, it’s time for a…
Here’s Bronwyn to tell you the details.
I have a book prize of a free paperback of The Clothier’s Daughter to send to one reader. Simply share in the comments a place and time you’d like to visit if you had a Tardis or other time machine, and we’ll draw the winner from those who have commented.
Oooh, now this is a hard one. So many choices! It’s hard not to want to go into the future but I’m not sure it’s a good idea. What if I discovered something horrible, like… I don’t know, that I died from a shark or crocodile attack or something? Eeek!
But I would dearly love to see dinosaurs in the wild, preferably Australian ones. Or maybe even visit a bit later when giant mammals roamed the land. That would be very cool.
What about you? Share what place and time you’d like to visit and we’ll pop you into the draw to win a copy of The Clothier’s Daughter.
Please Note: Giveaway closes midnight Sunday 28th July 2019, Australian Eastern Time. Australian postal addresses only.