By clicking on the links below each excerpt, you’ll be able to follow the wave across 8 blogs to read the entire first chapter - or you can click on the buy links below to get your own copy!
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Dear Julia is set in the English countryside in the early 1920s, and is part of the Love Letters series from The Wild Rose Press.
The tiny Somerset village of Stogumber lay amidst green fields, almost within sight of Exmoor. It was a pretty place, soft and sleeping beneath the pale sky, a world away from the bustle and noise of London.
Rosalie strode across the cow pasture that lay beyond their tangled garden, her heeled boots sinking into the soft earth, then climbed the stile into the narrow and winding lane that led into the village. Dappled light slanted down between the trees, casting intricate patterns across the ground, a reminder of the ring and letter she’d locked carefully away in her jewellery box.
A bell chimed as she entered the general store that doubled as a post office, and the grey-haired woman behind the counter looked up. “Good afternoon, Miss Stanton. How may I help you?”
Rosalie smiled engagingly. “I’m looking for a little information on our house, and my housekeeper suggested you might be able to help.”
The older woman leaned forward across the scarred wooden counter, eyes bright with undisguised interest. “I hear you’re installing electric lights, and an electric water heater.”
If she’d already heard about the water heater, then Rosalie had come to the right place. Mrs. Wallace was without a doubt the village gossip.
Which meant she had to tread carefully. She’d tell Rosalie what she wanted to know, but she’d also spread the news of the ring around the village before Rosalie had walked home. And Rosalie had no intention of facing down a line of doubtful claimants.
So instead she perched on the high stool before the counter, as if settling in for nothing more than a cosy chat. “It’s the history of the house I’m interested in. I gather it’s stood empty for a couple of years. Before that, who lived there?”
“Alice Peabody stayed there a few years, before she got sick and went to live with her son, down Devon way.”
“Did she live alone?”
“There was a companion. Now what was her name?” Mrs. Wallace’s nose wrinkled as she thought.
“It was a flower name. Violet, or Ivy, or something like that.”
“And before them?”
“Before them was the Fortescues. Gentry, they were. Old Grandfather Fortescue built the house with money he made out of the railways.” Mrs. Wallace dropped her voice, as if discussing something scandalous. “He’s the one who insisted on the bathrooms.”
Rosalie sent up a prayer of thanks for the long dead Mr. Fortescue’s forethought. And for Mrs.
Wallace. At least now she knew Julia must have been a Fortescue. But how could she ask outright without arousing Mrs. Wallace’s curiosity? “Where are they now?”
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For the next instalment, click here to go to the blog of bestselling Desire author Rachel Bailey.
Here is the full list of participating blogs:
Stop 1 – Minxes of Romance
Stop 2 – You are here!
Stop 3 – Rachel Bailey
Stop 4 – Scarlet Wilson
Stop 5 – Olivia Miles
Stop 6 – Jennifer Shirk
Stop 7 – Suzanne Jones
Stop 8 – the last stop, at Romy Sommer’s blog.
Thank you to all these lovely ladies for hosting me today!
Dear Julia is on sale through Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, AllRomance eBook and The Wild Rose Press. You can find out more about this novella here – and don’t forget to tweet your feedback using the hashtag #DearJulia.