It’s launch day for Rae Summers’ new historical novella, Dear Julia, and to celebrate she’s having a Launch Wave of excerpts! You can keep up with the wave’s progress on the Twitter hashtag #DearJulia. If you enjoy the story, feel free to tweet your comments and chat to other wave surfers.
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.
Read the opening extract here.
Rosalie placed the last of the summer roses in the antique silver vase and turned it to check the arrangement from all sides.
“Thank you so much for helping out today,” said Mrs. Ferncroft. “And for agreeing to join the WI committee. We really need fresh ideas, and your harvest festival suggestion is pure inspiration.”
Rosalie smiled. “I can’t take the credit. My aunt’s parish did something similar last year.”
“Frances Weatherby,” Rosalie explained. “My late mother’s sister.”
“Oh, my poor dear, do you miss her terribly? Your mother, I mean.”
Rosalie handed the unwieldy vase to one of Mrs. Ferncroft’s daughters to carry over to the church.
“Not at all. I was very young when she died, and I scarcely remember her at all.”
“And your father never remarried?”
Here was the opening Rosalie had hoped for. “He was so in love with her. I don’t think he’d ever be able to love anyone else as he loved her. Some men are like that, you know.”
Mrs. Ferncroft’s voice dropped to a dramatic whisper. “Just like poor Commander Cavendish. He never recovered after Julia ran away with that American. Lives all alone in his big old house and won’t have anything to do with the outside world.”
Rosalie fought back a surge of jubilation. She had a name!
“It’s a shame, isn’t it?” She prayed she sounded convincing, as if none of this was news.
“And he was such a good-looking man. Such a waste!” Mrs. Ferncroft placed a hand over her heart and sighed, for all the world like a young woman swooning over a young man.
Rosalie suppressed the urge to giggle, and hopped down off the stool. “I really must get back before the workmen drive Anna insane. I’ll see you in church tomorrow.”
Armed with a name, it was easy for Rosalie to discover more. One of the advantages of a house in disarray, and being cooped up indoors by several days of unending rain, meant she spent more time in the kitchen with Anna than usual. While Anna potted around making tea for every caller, including the post boy, the milkman, and the butcher who called twice a week, Rosalie was free to chatter with the visitors.
She discovered that Commander William Cavendish lived all alone with just one manservant in the old manor house on the far side of the village, a house that had been in the Cavendish family for generations. He had been in the navy, serving on the HMS Dartmouth, in the Indies when war broke out.
He hadn’t returned home until after the war, and had shunned all polite company since then. Every mention of his name was accompanied by a great deal of head-shaking and “What a shame,”though no one was entirely certain whether it was the war or returning home to find his sweetheart had run off with another man that had sent him into seclusion.
It was apparent the entire village held him in some kind of awe. And it was also apparent to
Rosalie just who had left that envelope on the mantelpiece for Julia to find. And just who she should return it to.
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For the final instalment, click here to go to Romy Sommer’s blog.
Here is the full list of participating blogs:
Stop1 – Minxes of Romance
Stop2 – Sally Clements
Stop3 – Rachel Bailey
Stop4 – Scarlet Wilson
Stop5 – Olivia Miles
Stop6 – Jennifer Shirk
Stop7 – you are here!
Stop8 – Romy Sommer
Dear Julia is on sale through Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, AllRomanceeBooks, 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.