A Rebel at Pennington’s
Author: Rachel Brimble
Series: Pennington’s Department Store, book 2
Genre: Historical Romance
1911 Bath. Banished from her ancestral home, passionate suffrage campaigner, Esther Stanbury works as a window dresser in Pennington’s Department Store. She has hopes and dreams for women’s progression and will do anything to help secure the vote. Owner of the prestigious Phoenix Hotel, Lawrence Culford has what most would view as a successful life. But Lawrence is harbouring shame, resentment and an anger that threatens his future happiness. When Esther and Lawrence meet their mutual understanding of life’s challenges unites them and they are drawn to the possibility of a life of love that neither thought existed. With the Coronation of King-Emperor George V looming, the atmosphere in Bath is building to fever pitch, as is the suffragists’ determination to secure the vote. Will Esther’s rebellious nature lead her to ruin or can they overcome their pasts and look to build a future together?
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Author Q&A with Rachel Brimble
How do you go about conducting research for your books?
I write contemporary romance, romantic suspense and historical romance so the historical books always require more research than my contemporary work. Having said that, after writing over twenty romances, I have come to realise that, as my books are driven by emotion, everything we feel today would’ve been felt in much the same way in the 1700s, 1800s etc.
My historicals usually begin with an issue of some kind so that’s where I start my research – in A Rebel At Pennington’s, the issue is women’s suffrage. Before I started writing, I read a LOT of non-fiction on the subject, visited the local history archives and attend several talks. I soon discovered several real-life suffragists and suffragettes that inspired my heroine, Esther Stanbury. The rest, as they say, is history!
What are some of your favorite research resources?
I love reading biographies! I would say they are my favourite resource – I enjoy digging deep into the actions and beliefs of historical figures, the social and political feelings of the day. People are inspiring and I enjoy getting to know little known historical figures who made big differences in our lives today.
Looking through old newspapers and letters is also a favourite and a huge resource on capturing the dialect and social tone of the day.
Do you attend writer/writing conventions and workshops?
I am an active member of the Romantic Novelists Association (UK equivalent of the RWA) and run my local Chapter. I do my best to attend the annual conference every summer which is great fun as well as being an amazing place to gain knowledge from other writers and the technical sessions.
Twenty books later and I’m quite experienced so I don’t attend as many workshops as I once did, but I highly recommend aspiring writers to sign up for as many as they can afford!
What about those “historical romance retreats”?
I haven’t attended any but would love to! I do tend to take a lot of weekends away to historical locations – my poor husband comes along willingly…sometimes.
Do you read other historical romance? Who are some of your faves?
Of course! I would have to say Julia London is my favourite along with Elizabeth Hoyt and Jane Austen.
She looked towards Lawrence.
He softly studied her, and her cheeks warmed. The way he looked at her inferred he was equally moved by Mrs Hadley’s sadness. Esther looked away. He, too, was widowed. Had he and his wife once shared the same love that Grace Hadley spoke of?
Shamed by the jolt of jealousy that shot through her, Esther walked to stand behind a pillar that blocked Lawrence’s sight of her but gave her full view of Mrs Hadley. A familiar sense of unworthiness knotted Esther’s stomach. If Lawrence understood Grace Hadley’s words and sorrow, then, he too, must have known deep and meaningful love.
She would never be enough to compete with such a ghost. Would never be enough to be with a man who bore such longing for a person he’d lost. If she listened to her body and how it so treacherously reacted to Lawrence, her attraction to him would only end badly when the moment came that she’d inevitably held something of herself back.
She could not forgo everything she had built. Somehow, she had to find the strength to fight the temptation of Lawrence’s gaze and quash the yearning to see him again…to see his children again. The emotions he’d evoked in her proved her capable of feeling. Something she had doubted for so very long. Her meeting him had been worth that, at least.
Rachel Brimble will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.
In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018 with book two coming February 2019.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America and has thousands of social media followers from all over the world. To sign up for her quarterly and new release newsletter, click here to go to her website.