An Independent Woman
In keeping with my Victorian theme I have a special guest here to talk about her ancestors and her new book, introducing Frances Evesham.
Hello and thank you Marlow for so kindly letting me feature on your blog today. I’m Frances Evesham and my novel, An Independent Woman, is available now from The Wild Rose Press.
Like Marlow, I admire a spirited, energetic woman who makes something of her life, as Emmeline Pankhurst did, while still finding love.
I’m old enough to remember some of my own Victorian ancestors. My great aunts, Annie and Winnie, were tiny and neat but they stood for no nonsense. Annie became a schoolteacher while Winnie kept the Post Office in a beautiful Cotswold village, Sibford Gower.
I met them in their later years when they had both retired. At 90, still fiercely independent, their carriage was dainty, their backs as straight as rulers. They made tea for their guests, spooning whole leaves from their precious caddy. This tin box inhabited a special corner cupboard in the immaculate, minute parlour where Annie and Winnie received visitors.
They expected children to sit quietly, rewarding good behaviour with a boiled sweet and a wink, quelling shouting or fidgeting with a single glance. Even the noisiest boy subsided at once under their quizzical gaze.
I thought about Annie and Winnie as my heroine, Philomena, set out on her quest to find independence, alone and adrift in a Victorian world were men had every advantage.
Philomena, feisty and determined, makes plans that seem inevitably to fail, leaving her in a series of predicaments. She never gives up, even when she meets and falls for Hugh, the grand and aristocratic Lord Thatcham, who complicates her life still further. She makes another plan and moves on, just as I imagine Annie and Winnie would have done.
An Independent Woman
With nothing left from her childhood except a tiny portrait of a beautiful woman, some skill with a needle, and the knowledge of a dreadful secret, Philomena escapes her tormentor, Joseph, and the dank fogs of Victorian London, only for a train crash to interrupt her quest for independence and freedom.
Trapped between the upstairs and downstairs occupants of the great country house, Philomena hears whispers of the mysteries and lies that lurk in empty corridors and behind closed doors. Her rescuer, the dangerous, enigmatic Hugh, Lord Thatcham, wrestles with his own demons and makes Philomena’s heart race, but she must fight her passion for she can never marry.
Haunted by her past, Philomena’s only hope of happiness is to confront the evil forces that threaten to destroy her.
To purchase An Independent Woman
Amazon.com print version
Wild Rose Press print version
Wild Rose Press digital versions On Special Today
Her eyes were half closed. His lips brushed gently, soft and warm, over her mouth.
For an endless moment she stayed quite still, beguiled by the spicy sharp taste of his lips. A charge electrified her body.
Then her head cleared. She gasped. Was she mad? This was Lord Thatcham and she was nothing but a penniless waif in his power. He meant to have his way with her, just as Joseph had tried to do.
She tore herself away from the embrace. “How dare you.” Her voice shook with fury. “How dare you treat me so?”
Lord Thatcham’s arms fell away. Blood drained from his countenance, leaving the dark eyes aglow in a white face. He said not a word.
Frances Evesham, Somerset author of the Victorian mystery romance, An Independent Woman, published on 11 June 2014 by The Wild Rose Press, is so fascinated by genealogy that she set her debut novel in the 19th Century as a tribute to her ancestors.
Frances has worked as a speech therapist, a professional communication fiend and a road sweeper. She’s also spent time as an intermediary with vulnerable people in the English criminal courts.
She lives in Burnham on Sea, collects grandsons and Victorian trivia, cooks with a glass of wine in one hand and a bunch of chillies in the other and loves the smells of rosemary and garlic.
Writing historical romances and books on communication leaves enough time to enjoy bad jokes and puns and wishes she’d kept on with the piano lessons.
by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website and blog at www.francesevesham.com
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/frances.evesham.writer
6/10/2014 11:27:48 pm
Thanks for a great interview.
6/10/2014 11:43:25 pm
Thanks, Louise, and thanks Marlow for having me on your blog today.
6/10/2014 11:51:46 pm
Lovely story, Frances...I'm a great fan of your blog posts and have been looking forward to your release. Thank you!
6/11/2014 01:17:13 am
Thank you so much, Ash. I love the connection with people who lived before us. We're similar in many ways but living in different times. I remember that my mother, who was no shy flower herself (that's another story)being on her very best behaviour around the Victorian aunts!
6/11/2014 07:25:34 am
I can't boast a Victorian heritage, but I had a great-aunt who tried her best to teach me propriety... but at age 9, I wasn't very interested in learning how to sit quiet with my legs crossed at the ankles while sipping her "special recipe" tea. I wanted to be out chasing my brothers on her farm :)
6/11/2014 05:51:34 am
How wonderful that you were able to know your elder aunts. That strong family continuity is so important, and it something many don't have today.
6/11/2014 06:07:49 am
Great to meet you here Frances. Your book sounds wonderful. Loved the post and hearing of the lovely memories you have of your aunts. Best of luck with the release!
6/11/2014 06:26:39 am
Thanks for your lovely comments Ashantay and Barbara. I feel privileged to have known those Victorian women. They were such characters! I can sometimes see glimpses of them in my own children and grandchildren. I agree that it's important for families to remember former generations. No wonder genealogy is so popular. I bet you have interesting ancestors too.
6/11/2014 07:50:40 am
Thank you Frances, it has been such a pleasure having you on my blog. I learned so much and I, too, loved learing about your aunts from your discription I could almost picture them. I hope you feature them in one of your stories.
6/11/2014 03:36:57 pm
Thank you for sharing your stories, Frances! I'm looking forward to reading your book. Wishing you all the best!
6/11/2014 04:36:53 pm
Thanks, Mary, for your good wishes. I've really enjoyed writing about the Victorians, Marlow. The next book is already under way!
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