Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Forsaking All Other - Spotlight Book Tour

Publication Date: April 1, 2018
Courante Publishing
eBook & Print; 291 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Love is no game for women; the price is far too high.

England 1585.

Bess Stoughton, waiting woman to the well-connected Lady Allingbourne, has discovered that her father is arranging for her to marry an elderly neighbour. Normally obedient Bess rebels and wrests from her father a year’s grace to find a husband more to her liking.

Edmund Wyard, a taciturn and scarred veteran of England’s campaign in Ireland, is attempting to ignore the pressure from his family to find a suitable wife as he prepares to join the Earl of Leicester’s army in the Netherlands.

Although Bess and Edmund are drawn to each other, they are aware that they can have nothing more than friendship. Bess knows that Edmund’s wealth and family connections place him beyond her reach. And Edmund, with his well-honed sense of duty, has never considered that he could follow his own wishes. Until now.

With England on the brink of war and fear of Catholic plots extending even into Lady Allingbourne’s household, time is running out for both of them.

You can read the first chapter here.

The beautiful cover for the novel was designed by Jennifer Quinlan of Historical Fiction Book Covers.

Catherine Meyrick is a writer of historical fiction with a particular love of Elizabethan England. Her stories weave fictional characters into the gaps within the historical record – tales of ordinary people who are very much men and women of their time, yet in so many ways not unlike ourselves.

Although she grew up in regional Victoria, Australia, she has lived all her adult life in Melbourne. She has worked as a nurse, a tax assessor and finally a librarian. She has a Master of Arts in history and is also a family history obsessive.

For more information, please visit Catherine Meyrick’s website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

Bess felt a prickling along her spine and turned to find an elderly man standing close.
Askew beckoned to him. ‘Bess, you will remember Master Litchfield.’
The old man simpered as he bowed and took her hand. Bess did remember him. He had been one of those too friendly men who always had an apple or a sweetmeat ready for any child. Her father, like so many others, had seen him as a kindly man yet she and Ann had not warmed to him. Bess supposed he was approaching the allotted span of three score and ten. Time had not been gentle. He stepped forward and kissed her. His breath was rank and his lips moist. Bess resisted the urge to wipe her hand across her mouth.

His smile was unnerving. ‘Mistress… Ahhh…’
Stoughton,’ Bess finished for him.
‘No need for formality, Dick,’ Askew beamed. ‘You have known Bess since she was a baby.’
‘Bess,’ he said, still holding her hand, ‘you have grown indeed.’ When his eyes finally settled on her face, he said, ‘I was sorry to hear of your loss.’
‘Thank you, Master Litchfield.’ She wriggled her fingers free.
‘And you still serve Lady Allingbourne?’
‘Yes.’ Bess was surprised he knew so much of her life.
‘A lively household, no doubt.’ His eyes once more travelled over her body. ‘No doubt you have many young men dancing after you. You’ll be married again in no time.’

Bess opened her mouth to speak but, in face of his unwavering lascivious gaze, could think of nothing to say. All her training had deserted her—the ability to make light conversation, to lead it away from uncomfortable or unpleasant subjects without making the other party feel reproof.

‘Your…, your family, Master Litchfield,’ she stuttered, ‘how…, how are they?’
‘Ah Bess, I am quite deserted.’ His eyes moistened. ‘Both my daughters know nothing of their duty. Once married, they have never visited me. It has been nigh on fifteen years since I have seen either. I know only of their fortunes through others.’ His pale face was narrow, his sparse hair combed across his balding pate. He had made Bess uneasy as a child and nothing had changed. Her mother had no liking for him, declining all invitations for Bess and Ann to stay when his wife had been alive.

‘I visited my Joan once,’ he said. ‘Her husband was away. She barred the door against me, would not let me enter under her roof.’ He smiled his oily smile again. ‘But you are a dutiful daughter, Bess, you come at your father’s bidding. You follow his direction, do you not?’
‘I suppose I do,’ Bess said. She looked for a way of escape. Her father had disappeared, but she caught the eye of Maggie Drayton.

‘And you have no children, do you?’ Litchfield asked.
‘So sad. A young woman in her prime, so ripe…’
‘Dick,’ Maggie broke in, ‘you will have to excuse me, there is someone Bess must meet.’
‘’Till tomorrow,’ he smirked.

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 paperback copies of Forsaking All Other! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on June 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Forsaking All Other

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