Anne Bonny #BlogTour Character Profile #VioletRayfield ~ A Thimbleful Of Hope by @eviegrace2017 #NewRelease #Saga @arrowpublishing

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A Thimbleful Of Hope by Evie Grace
Synopsis:

A tale of triumph over adversity from the author of the Maids of Kent trilogy. Perfect for fans of Dilly Court and Rosie Goodwin.

Dover, 1864: Violet Rayfield leads a happy life with her family in a beautiful terrace on Camden Crescent.

But Violet’s seemingly perfect world is shattered when her father makes a decision that costs her family everything. Now Violet must sacrifice all she holds dear, including the man she loves.

As Violet strives to pick up the threads of her existence, a series of shocking revelations leaves her feeling even more alone.

But where one door closes, another opens, and the embroidery skills Violet perfected while a young woman of leisure win her vital work.

If she can find the strength to stitch the remnants of her family back together, there might just be a little hope after all…

A character profile of Violet Rayfield:

I’m delighted to introduce A Thimbleful of Hope and Miss Violet Rayfield whose story is set among the gas-lit streets of the historic Cinque port of Dover. Born in 1846, Violet cuts a striking figure with her deep blue eyes, and white-blonde hair which she wears scraped back into plaited loops at the nape of her neck. The only feature she would change if she could, is her nose which she feels is a little too large for her face.
Violet lives with her family and their servants in one of the best addresses in Dover, a large terraced house in Camden Crescent with views of the sea. Her father is a businessman, a successful shipping agent who’s made enough money to invest in a cargo ship and shares in the London Chatham and Dover Railway Company, meaning that his wife can lead a life of leisure, showing off their home and its contents to their friends and acquaintances.
Mr Rayfield employs a governess to educate Violet and her sisters, Ottilie and Eleanor, in the pursuits which are considered suitable for refined young ladies, and useful preparation for the advantageous marriages they’re expected to make. Although they’re taught how to play the piano, paint in watercolour and make polite conversation, Violet’s favourite hobby is embroidery. She has a natural talent for design as well as needlework, while she finds her younger sister’s desire to write sensationalist novels rather amusing.
One of her favourite things is her wooden sewing box with its velvet lining. It contains needles, chalk, scissors and her silver thimble, the tools with which she creates the butterflies in the latest ombre threads for the gown that she wears to her first dance, the ball to celebrate Dover’s annual regatta.
Violet is somewhat sceptical of her mother’s attempts to teach her and her sisters how to run a household. When Mrs Rayfield invites a decorator to give an estimate for redecorating parts of the house, Violet is unable to contain her laughter when he shows them proof that green wallpaper is no risk to their health. She also decides that she’ll never ask her servants to make mock turtle soup when shown how to make it herself – the sight of calf’s brain turns her stomach.
However, Violet is trapped by her upbringing and the expectations of society, and she knows that she’ll marry and take on an establishment of her own, just as her mother did. She’s kind, resourceful and resilient, and even when everything is against her, she finds the strength to carry on.
I hope you enjoy reading Violet’s story as much as I loved writing it. I felt quite bereft when I had to leave her and write, ‘The End’.
Evie x

evie grace
Evie Grace
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My #BlogTour #Review Her Mother’s Daughter by @eviegrace2017 @arrowpublishing 5* #NewRelease #Saga by @annebonnybook

*I received an arc via the publisher in return for an honest review*

Her Mothers Daughter - Jacket
Her Mother’s Daughter by Evie Grace
Synopsis:

Canterbury, 1853

Agnes Berry-Clay might have been born into rags but she is growing up with riches.
Given away as a baby by her real mother, she was rescued and raised by her darling Papa and distant Mama. Agnes wants for nothing, except perhaps a little freedom.

But as times goes on, her life at Windmarsh Court changes. New arrivals and old resentments push Agnes to the peripheries, and finally the consequences of one fateful day shatter her dreams for the future.

Heartbroken and surrounded by the threat of scandal, Agnes is faced with a terrible choice: stay and surrender, or flee and fight to keep her freedom.

My review:

Canterbury 1853, Agnes Berry-Clay born into rags buts raised in riches at Windmarsh Court. Her loving adopted father James owns a local brewery, Agnes wants for nothing, except perhaps a little bit of freedom…….

When the novel opens Agnes, is just 14yrs old. She lives in a world surrounded by the help. Where her every need and whim, is met. The wealthy family have a cook Mrs Nidget, a housekeeper Mrs Turner and Agnes’s beloved governess/nanny Miss Treen. But Victorian England is a stifling time for a young woman to be reaching her adulthood.
An era when children should be seen and not heard, where women must ‘know their place’ in society.

“You would be wise to practice obedience until it becomes a habit. When you marry, you will be required to carry out the duties of the lady of the house without question or complaint” – Nanny

Over the course of the beginning of the novel. We learn Agnes’s true parentage. Her adopted mother Louisa, is cold, rude and abrupt towards her. Once Louisa discovers she is pregnant with her own child, which she believes is a much-wanted son. Agnes feels even more emotionally abandoned. But her father remains to treat the children as equals. When Henry is finally born, Agnes does bond with the new arrival.

The novel also features her uncle Rufus, auntie Sarah and cousins Phillip and Edward. Philip longs to be a man of medicine, but this is met with much disapproval. In the Victorian era, the profession of medicine, was often scoffed at by the upper class.
The novel deals with various themes of the Victorian era, with the class system as a central running theme.

Agnes develops into a young woman over the course of the novel. But she is growing up spoilt, rude and uncaring due to the wealth that is showered upon her. As a punishment for her behaviour, her father arranges for her to spend some time with her Nanny’s family. In the hope that witnessing a family from much more humble beginnings, will calm her attitude.
But no one can know, how much this introduction, will come to mean so much to Agnes.

The novel progresses, this time jumping four years ahead to Agnes’s impending 19th birthday. A party is organised as a way to introduce her to high society. With the ultimate goal of securing Agnes, a worthy marriage prospect.
In the preparations for the impending party, Agnes is informed of some painful home truths. Secrets and lies that uproot everything Agnes has ever believed in. It is these secrets that explode at the party, making Agnes a cuckoo in the nest…..

In the aftermath of the party and Agnes’s introduction to high society as an absolute failure. Her mother conspires to marry her off, to her cousin Phillip. Something Agnes neither desires nor wants.
But the cost of her freedom, will mean abandoning everything she has ever known. Does Agnes have the courage to find her own future?

This novel really is a novel of two parts. The first half explains her background and Agnes draws you into her storyline slowly, page by page. I was completely HOOKED on the second half of the novel. Agnes will fully come to understand the implication of ‘hard times’ and poverty. Life for Agnes is going to be far from easy! But in the typical style of a saga novel. I closed the final pages with a smile on my face.
I am a huge fan of saga novels. One of my favourites of all time, Remember Me by Lesley Pearce is set within this era. Although the novels are entirely different in their respective themes. I thought Evie Grace has done a phenomenal job of portraying the era.
This is most definitely her best book yet! 5*

EG
Evie Grace
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Evie Grace was born in Kent, and one of her earliest memories is of picking cherries with her grandfather who managed a fruit farm near Selling. Holidays spent in the Kent countryside and the stories passed down through her family inspired her to write Half a Sixpence.

Evie now lives in Devon with her partner and dog. She has a grown-up daughter and son.

She loves researching the history of the nineteenth century and is very grateful for the invention of the washing machine, having discovered how the Victorians struggled to do their laundry.

Her Mother’s Daughter is Evie’s second novel in the Maids of Kent trilogy.

*Don’t miss the other blogs on the #BlogTour and the #Giveaway with @arrowpublishing tomorrow via Twitter*
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#BlogTour #GuestPost 5* #MiniReview #HalfASixpence @Eviegrace2017 @arrowpublishing

Half a Sixpence - Evie Grace - blog tour
Half A Sixpence by Evie Grave

Synopsis:
True love sometimes comes at a price

East Kent, 1830

Catherine Rook takes her peaceful life for granted. Her days are spent at the village school and lending a hand on her family’s farm. Life is run by the seasons, and there’s little time for worry.

But rural unrest begins sweeping through Kent, and when Pa Rook buys a threshing machine it brings turbulence and tragedy to Wanstall Farm. With the Rooks’ fortunes forever changed, Catherine must struggle to hold her family together.

She turns to her childhood companion, Matty Carter, for comfort, and finds more than friendship in his loving arms. But Matty has his own family to protect, and almost as quickly as their love blossomed their future begins to unravel.

With the threat of destitution nipping at her heels, Catherine must forge a way out of ruin . . .

#MiniReview:

This is Debut novel, that opens in 1830 Kent. The characters are from all walks of lives and the poverty of 1830 is explored fully. Your heart begins to warm to the individuals and you feel invested in their journeys throughout the novel.
Last year I read the entire series of Poldark and I was absolutely gripped and I would say this is extremely similar. The characterisation is massively on point, fans of Poldark will LOVE it!
I loved the use of relevant terms for the era ‘gallivantin’ etc.
The peace and tranquillity of Overshill is atmospheric at the beginning and I also felt jealous of Catherine’s simple farm life. but then I discovered that in 1830 social hierarchy is everything!

There are some subtle theme of politics, power, charity and it is rich in historical accuracy. Catherine’s Pa was in instant favourite of mine, holds strict socialist values,  before socialism was a political movement! highly recommend to fans of novels in the saga or historical fiction genre. 5*

Guest Post: Character Profile Matty Carter

I’m delighted to join you for today’s stop on my blogtour with Half a Sixpence, the first book in a new series, a Victorian family saga. It’s the story of Catherine Rook, a country girl born in East Kent in 1817. She grows up in Overshill with her best friend, Emily, and the other village children, including the mischievous Matty Carter.

I’d love to tell you a little more about him.

I was inspired to write about Matty by my family tree in which there are several farm labourers, including one who worked on the land until he was one hundred years old, a fact that I found recorded in a cutting from a local newspaper.

Matty Carter came from a poor family who inhabited a tumbledown cottage near Catherine’s home, Wanstall Farm. He lived with his ma, pa and several siblings with whom he shared a bed, topping and tailing with them, or taking turns to sleep. They would leave their boots filled with grass to absorb moisture and smells, under the porch that was held up with a chestnut pole.

As a boy of fourteen, he had a reputation for upsetting the girls at the local dame school with mice and slowworms, and he was looked down on for going around Overshill in raggedy clothes. His brown hair stood up on end like a stook of corn, the bridge of his nose was spattered with freckles and his cheeks were always smeared with dirt.

His father was a farm labourer and Matty took after him, starting out in work at nine years old as a bird scarer when he’d work from dawn till dusk, chasing the birds off the seeds in the fields by blowing a whistle, and hurling stones. When he was older, he became a ploughboy, walking up and down the furrow with the horses. He played the fiddle and sang with his father and brothers who were often worse for wear at the local church every Sunday in return for a few extra pennies. He collected honey from the woods and filched bits and pieces that he found lying around to support the Carters, but in spite of the family’s efforts, they were always short of money, a problem made worse by his mother’s chronic illness that kept her bed-bound.

In spite of their lowly situation, Matty and his family were proud people. Matty had a clear sense of justice and followed his heart. He usually did the right thing, but sometimes went about it the wrong way.

Determined to better himself, Matty had ambitions to rent a few acres of land and become a sheep farmer in the future, but when the rural idyll of East Kent was thrown into unrest with the arrival of mechanisation on the farms, his plans were thrown into disarray.

I hope you enjoy reading about Matty in Half a Sixpence.

x Evie

EG
Evie Grace
Author Bio:

Evie Grace was born in Kent, and one of her earliest memories is of picking cherries with her grandfather who managed a fruit farm near Selling. Holidays spent in the Kent countryside and the stories passed down through her family inspired her to write Half a Sixpence.

Evie now lives in Devon with her partner and dog. She has a grown-up daughter and son.

She loves researching the history of the nineteenth century and is very grateful for the invention of the washing machine, having discovered how the Victorians struggled to do their laundry.

Half a Sixpence is Evie’s first novel in her Maids of Kent trilogy. Half a Heart and Half a Chance will follow.

Authors Links:
Via Publisher:  https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/evie-grace/1079654/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8637801.Evie_Grace
Twitter: @eviegrace2017