The House in the Hollow by Allie Cresswell @alliescribbler #guestpost #extract #historicalfiction

The House in the Hollow written and self-published by Allie Cresswell is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

Book Blurb

The Talbots are wealthy. But their wealth is from ‘trade’. With neither ancient lineage nor title, they struggle for entrance into elite Regency society. Finally, aided by an impecunious viscount, they gain access to the drawing rooms of England’s most illustrious houses.

Once established in le bon ton, Mrs Talbot intends her daughter Jocelyn to marry well, to eliminate the stain of the family’s ignoble beginnings. But the young men Jocelyn meets are vacuous, seeing Jocelyn as merely a brood mare with a great deal of money. Only Lieutenant Barnaby Willow sees the real Jocelyn, but he must go to Europe to fight the French. The hypocrisy of fashionable society repulses Jocelyn—beneath the courtly manners and studied elegance she finds tittle-tattle, deceit, dissipation and vice.

Jocelyn stumbles upon and then is embroiled in a sordid scandal which will mean utter disgrace for the Talbot family. Humiliated and dishonoured, she is sent to a remote house hidden in a hollow of the Yorkshire moors. There, separated from family, friends and any hope of hearing about the lieutenant’s fate, she must build her own life—and her own social order—anew.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/32UYCG2

I am so pleased to welcome the author, Allie Cresswell, to my blog today sharing an extract with a brief explanation. Thank you for joining my blog Allie …

The House in the Hollow has as one of its themes the idea of things that are concealed beneath the veneer of Regency respectability. To this end I decided to introduce characters who work for the Talbot family in the capacity of servants; those who, out of sight, make their elegant lifestyle possible. Researching what life was like for Regency servants, and how a large country house functioned with what seems to be smooth and effortless efficiency, was very interesting. Obviously life was much harder for servants than it was for the wealthy and privileged but the tenets of essential morality remained the same, and this included the appalling way that women were victimised for moral lapses whereas men were forgiven. Girls who were compromised by men always got the blame, and had to suffer the consequences alone. This was true for women at all levels of Regency society.

Here a servant girl, Sally, has been found injured and unconscious in the middle of the night by Annie, another maid.

‘You did right to wake me, Annie,’ the housekeeper said, ‘although I wish Miss Nugent had been here. She is more practiced than I. Now we must examine every inch of Sally to see where her injuries are. You begin at the head and I will start at her feet.’

Annie ran her hands carefully over Sally’s skull, feeling for swellings or cuts. Sally’s hair was badly matted and tangled with straw—she would be upset, Annie thought, to have it so. Sally’s one vanity was her lovely, lustrous hair. Annie could feel no contusions, however. She inserted a finger into Sally’s mouth, feeling for loose teeth. One on the left felt spongy but otherwise all were firm. She leant closer and smelled Sally’s breath. Cider.

‘Is she intoxicated?’ she asked Mrs Butterwick. ‘Perhaps she drank too much cider, and fell? She may have hit her face …’

‘I don’t think so,’ Mrs Butterwick said grimly. She had lifted Sally’s wounded knees and now peered up beneath the material of her chemise. ‘There is much swelling here, bleeding and bruising. I think she has been forced.’

‘Forced?’ Annie’s mouth was dry.

‘Yes. A man has forced her.’

Mrs Butterwick turned to Sally’s hands. ‘Her nails are broken. I think she tried to defend herself.’ She felt gently up the length of Sally’s arms. ‘No bones broken, though, and no fever that I can discern.’

Annie thought of Jackie Silver, but did not voice her thought.

‘Her knees,’ Annie said.

‘Yes, she has crawled on them. There is gravel in them that will have to be got out.’

Between them they managed to lift Sally on to Annie’s bed. It was unusual for Annie to see the housekeeper engage in any physical endeavour. Her habit was to direct and supervise and then to confirm that her orders had been carried out. She might sweep a hand over furniture that should have been dusted, pull back a sheet to ensure that a bed had been properly made. But now Annie found Mrs Butterwick quite capable of the lifting and shifting required to settle Sally comfortably, by no means shirking of what needed to be done.

They removed the rest of Sally’s clothes and bathed her body, applying salves to her injuries and packing the place between her legs with some of the rags the girls used for their courses. Mrs Butterwick picked the gravel from Sally’s knees and cleaned them with liniment. Sally winced and whimpered, but did not wake. Annie washed the dirt and crusted blood from Sally’s eye and put a pad of clean material over it. She combed the worst of the straw from her hair. All the time she murmured reassurance although Sally made no sign of being able to hear. If anything the girl looked worse rather than better. Her jaw and cheek became blacker and more bloated as the night went by. She spoke no sensible word. Her good eye was glazed and unfocussed.

‘I fear concussion,’ Mrs Butterwick said, ‘and her jaw may be broken, but I cannot tell.’

They worked in the light of a single candle. Its flame flickered in the draught as they moved about their task, throwing shadows across Sally’s distended features, rendering them even more horrific. Annie’s throat was clogged, tight with anxiety, and tears pressed the backs of her eyes. Beneath her concern lay a ventricle brimming with caustic anger at the man who had done this.

‘Will she live, do you think?’ Annie asked when they had covered Sally with a clean sheet and managed to dribble a little willow bark tea between her poor, swollen lips. They sat either side of the little bed. A greyish glow divided the square of skylight from the gloom of the rest of the room. Above them, in the eaves, the first sparrows began to stir.

‘She will, if there are no injuries that we cannot see. If she is not awake and sensible by morning the surgeon must be called. She has been badly used, that’s clear enough. But Sally’s character speaks against her.’

‘Because she is a flirt?’

Mrs Butterwick nodded. ‘We must hope and pray there is no child. However it is come by, whether Sally be guilty or no, she will be dismissed.’

‘And the man who did this to her? I believe it might have been Mr Silver. I know he has hurt her before. I saw the bruises on her arms. Surely he’ll be sent packing?’

Mrs Butterwick pressed her lips together but did not reply.

About the Author

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.

Social Media Links –

Website – http://www.allie-cresswell.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/alliescribbler/
Twitter – @alliescribbler

Dear Jane by Allie Cresswell @alliescribbler @rararesources #blogtour #bookreview #DearJane #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance #HighburyTrilogy


Dear John
Dear Jane written and self-published by Allie Cresswell is available NOW in ebook and paperback format. The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2vEZPjR

Book Blurb

The final instalment of the Highbury trilogy, Dear Jane recounts events hinted at but never actually described in Jane Austen’s Emma; the formative childhood years of Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill, their meeting in Weymouth and the agony of their secret engagement.
Orphaned Jane seems likely to be brought up in parochial Highbury until adoption by her papa’s old friend Colonel Campbell opens to her all the excitement and opportunities of London. Frank Weston is also transplanted from Highbury, adopted as heir to the wealthy Churchills and taken to their drear and inhospitable Yorkshire estate. Readers of Emma will be familiar with the conclusion of Jane and Frank’s story, but Dear Jane pulls back the veil which Jane Austen drew over its remainder.

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I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the final instalment in Allie Cresswell’s Highbury Trilogy: Dear Jane.  The Highbury Trilogy was inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma and the author, Allie Cresswell, has shown references in Dear Jane to scenes from Emma.

As I’ve mentioned previously I haven’t read Jane Austen’s Emma but I’ve become a fan of historical romance and I have particularly enjoyed this trilogy by Allie Cresswell that sweeps you away to the lives and loves of three generations of ladies from one family living in the village of Highbury.  You can find my reviews for Book One, Mrs Bates of Highbury by Allie Cresswell blogtour book review and Book Two, The Other Miss Bates by Allie Cresswell blogtour book review.

I have to admit that it did take me a little longer to get my head around the characters and storyline in Dear Jane but it is well worth sticking with the story as once I was immersed in the storyline I was totally swept away with the romance and the secrecy of a love that was kept hidden due to the constrains of family and society rules.

Dear Jane is the story of Jane, Mrs Bates’ granddaughter who sadly had been left orphaned at a young age.  Jane has been granted guardianship by dear friends of her late father, a Colonel Campbell and his wife.  The couple have a daughter, Rowena, who is of similar age to Jane.  Jane was to become a friend and confidante to Rowena.  The girls temperaments complimented each other Rowena was shy, a little clumsy and lacking in confidence whereas Jane had been blessed with beauty and musical ability and was able to guide Rowena when she felt her confidence needed boosting.  As time went on the girls grew into delightful young ladies and their friendship was soon put to the test with emotions on matters of the heart.

Dear Jane was a fitting finale to a charming historical romance trilogy.  The lives and loves of three generations of women from one family evoked many emotions within me, my heart ached, my heart soared and I smiled during happier times with Mrs Bates, her daughter’s Jane and Hetty and granddaughter Jane.

About the Author
Mrs Bates Author PictAllie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.
Dear Jane is her ninth novel.

Social Media Links –

Website – http://www.allie-cresswell.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/alliescribbler/
Twitter – @alliescribbler

The Other Miss Bates by Allie Cresswell blogtour book review

 

The Other Miss Bates

The Other Miss Bates written and self-published by Allie Cresswell is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2L2Z8rp

Product Details

Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences – balls at the Assembly rooms, carriage rides and promenades on the Steyne – make her new life all Jane had hoped for.
While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Jane is kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.
When handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind.

The Other Miss Bates Full Tour Banner

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the second instalment in the Highbury Trilogy, inspired by Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’: The Other Miss Bates.  I was first introduced to the work of Allie Cresswell in September when I read and reviewed the first instalment in this trilogy.  You can find my review for Mrs Bates of Highbury here.

Once again I was completely entranced by this delightful instalment in the Highbury Trilogy.  As mentioned in my review of book one I haven’t read Emma by Jane Austen but I’ve grown an appreciation of historical romances and I believe the author Allie Cresswell has written a stunning series of stories that befits the style of writing by Jane Austen and I’m sure Jane Austen would have been as equally delighted.

The Other Miss Bates follows on were we left off and we see Jane and her mother travel to Brighton in readiness for Jane to start her occupation working for a Mrs Sealy.  Brighton was to bring new adventures for Jane.  Adventures that would broaden her outlook on life, adventure that would re-light a flame in her heart that had been lit the previous year, adventures that would have her then question her heart’s desire.  The adventures in Brighton would bring danger and tragedy and life would now follow a different course.

A story filled with chivalry, an unassuming hero, a villain you want to banish, the glamorous and sometimes scandalous society circus, grief and tragedy but most of all new friendships and alliances.  My heart broke with the tragic loss of a blossoming love.  Allie Cresswell has included a wealth of characters and storyline to captivate you.

Another absolutely beautiful story that evoked many emotions in me.  I’m eager to read the third and final instalment.

About the Author

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.
The Other Miss Bates is her eighth novel and the second in the Highbury series

Social Media Links:

http://www.allie-cresswell.com
https://www.facebook.com/alliescribbler/
@alliescribbler

Mrs Bates of Highbury by Allie Cresswell blogtour book review

mrs bates of highbury

Mrs Bates of Highbury: A prequel inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma is written and self-published by Allie Cresswell.  The book is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  https://amzn.to/2NwOwpd

Product Details

The new novel from Readers’ Favourite silver medalist Allie Cresswell.

Thirty years before the beginning of ‘Emma’ Mrs Bates is entirely different from the elderly, silent figure familiar to fans of Jane Austen’s fourth novel. She is comparatively young and beautiful, widowed – but ready to love again. She is the lynch-pin of Highbury society until the appalling Mrs Winwood arrives, very determined to hold sway over that ordered little town. Miss Bates is as talkative aged twenty nine as she is in her later iteration, with a ghoulish fancy, seeing disaster in every cloud. When young Mr Woodhouse arrives looking for a plot for his new house, the two strike up a relationship characterised by their shared hypochondria, personal chariness and horror of draughts. Jane, the other Miss Bates, is just seventeen and eager to leave the parochialism of Highbury behind her until handsome Lieutenant Weston comes home on furlough from the militia and sweeps her – quite literally – off her feet. Mrs Bates of Highbury is the first of three novels by the Amazon #1 best-selling Allie Cresswell, which trace the pre-history of Emma and then run in parallel to it.

Mrs Bates of Highbury Ful Tour Banner

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting Allie Cresswell’s latest novel; Mrs Bates of Highbury.

I haven’t read Jane Austen’s Emma but I do love a good historical romance so after reading the synopsis for Allie Cresswell’s Mrs Bates of Highbury I was keen to learn more.

This is my first introduction to the work of Allie Cresswell and her words complimented the era and genre of the novel.  I feel for historical fiction you have to set your mind to that era and to expect the writing style to use words and phrases that are no longer in fashion.  Allie Cresswell did just that and at times I had to look up the meaning of some words; this is such a benefit with reading an ebook as a quick touch of the screen soon brings up the dictionary.  The author totally convinced me with her prose and I was soon immersed into the character’s lives.

Mrs Bates sounded such a kind, caring, gracious woman; a friend to all and a favourite figure to the whole community of Highbury.  As the wife to Revered Bates she complimented her role and would seek daily to help others.  She helped her husband with his work and was a guiding figure to her two daughters; 29 years Hettie and 17 year old Jane.  Hettie was a character I struggled to warm to at first, she had her quirks and her personality sometimes appeared rude and cumbersome.  But she was totally misunderstood and towards the end of the novel I grew a fondness to her and felt my feelings wanting to champion her and wishing her all that her heart desires.  Jane was just like her mother, very amenable but she also had an energy and lust for adventure.

This was such a lovely novel that lays down the groundwork to 30 years prior to Jane Austen’s Emma.  We learn of the backstory.  We learn of the heartache and struggles of the lives of the well-loved characters.  We learn of a village on the cusp of new beginnings for many.  At times I was evoked with emotions as I journeyed through life with Mrs Bates and her daughters.  There is also a gentle humour interwoven within the storyline.  I’m very much looking forward to discovering what lies ahead for Mrs Bates, Hettie and Jane.

About the Author

Mrs Bates Author PictAllie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters and two grandsons, is married to Tim and lives in Cumbria, NW England.
You can contact her via her website at http://www.allie-cresswell.com or find her on Facebook

Social Media Links –
https://www.facebook.com/alliescribbler/
@alliescribbler

For the duration of the blog tour, Allie Cresswell has five hard copies of Game Show and five hard copies of Tiger in a Cage, all signed, available for £5 plus p & p to UK addresses. If you are interested then please get in touch.