Please help me welcome today’s guest, Rachel Brimble…
Rachel, thank you for joining me today! Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?
Hi, I am so happy to be here! Although originally from Bristol in the UK, I am now lucky enough to live just a short drive from the famous city of Bath, England. I have been married to my wonderful Mr. B for 24 years and we have two grown up daughters and a chocolate Labrador called Tyler.
When I’m not working, I love to travel, read, knit and watch far too many period and crime dramas…
Where did you get the idea for Victoria & Violet?
This book is the realization of a long-held ambition – I have wanted to include real characters and events in one of my novels for so long and I have finally managed it with Victoria & Violet.
I love writing historical romance so had the idea to write a series where the books are linked by each successive monarch or their consort, but the actual romance revolves around two fictional characters at court. Victoria & Violet is set in the court of Queen Victoria and follows the journey and escapades of her housemaid, Violet.
I absolutely loved writing it and now enjoying book 2 set in the court of Queen Alexandra.
What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?
Social media! It has so many benefits for artists of any kind promoting their work, but it does take up a large chunk of my writing time. Having said that, it’s absolutely necessary and I secretly enjoy it! I have made some of best online friends through social media, not to mention building some fantastic relationships with my readers. So, it’s fair to say I have accepted social media is part of my working life!
What do you want readers to come away with after they read Victoria & Violet?
I’d say this book will appeal to all fans of British period drama, so I’d love for readers to come away with the feeling that they have been transported to a different world where courtiers, royalty and common people interact and learn to love and respect one another.
I hope I provide laughter, a few tears and memorable scenes that readers will recall time and time again.
What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?
I am currently studying for a history degree in the hope of writing Royal biographies sometime in the future. I am a bit of Royal nut and especially enjoy reading about past British monarchs so would love to spend my days immersed in research and writing about one of them.
For fiction, I also occasionally think whether or not I could write a cozy crime novel…watch this space!
What is your favorite quote?
“Set it up the way you want it to be.” Iyanla Vanzant
What do your friends and family think of your writing?
They love that I write and are quick to tell anyone and everyone who will listen what I do! Not all of them read my work, but the ones who do are always asking when the next book is coming and the ones who don’t still ask me a hundred questions whenever we’re together.
It really warms me to have their unending support.
Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
Nora Roberts! As a ridiculously starry-eyed fan of hers for over two decades, it was the biggest thrill of my life when my husband surprised me by booking afternoon tea with Nora Roberts at the beautiful Ashford Castle in Ireland (we also stayed the night!).
I spoke to her at the book signing and said hello again in the hotel later that evening. It was a weekend I will never forget 😊
Movie Notting Hill
Place you’ve visited Croatia
Place you’d like to visit Sardinia
TV show from childhood Grange Hill
TV show from adulthood Too many!
Food Chicken Satay
Sports team None – not a sports person at all!
Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? Television
Great interview….I agree about Social Media! 🙂 Now, please tell us about your book…
It should be a dream come true to serve the Queen of England…
When Violet Parker is told she will be Queen Victoria’s personal housemaid, she cannot believe her good fortune. She finally has the chance to escape her overbearing mother, a servant to the Duchess of Kent.
Violet hopes to explore who she is and what the world has to offer without her mother’s schemes overshadowing her every thought and action.
Then she meets James Greene, assistant to the queen’s chief political adviser, Lord Melbourne. From entirely different backgrounds and social class, Violet and James should have neither need nor desire to speak to one another, yet through their service, their paths cross and their lives merge—as do their feelings.
Only Victoria’s court is not always the place for romance, but rather secrets, scandals, and conspiracies…
What awaits me is marriage,” he said. “But I am not a man any woman should want for a husband so it’s something I will avoid for as long as possible.”
The curiosity in her eyes made his confidence falter, and James lifted his fingers from her arm. No doubt she thought him pathetic for fearing something that so many longed for. But Violet did not know him or what he might be capable of. Of the nasty, volatile temperament passed down through the men in his family for generations.
“Better marriage than imprisonment with a mother who has controlled and belittled you your entire life.” She smiled wryly, her gaze sad. “Better a son who will one day marry than a daughter shackled to a mother who wishes her to scheme and spy upon the only person who has made her feel human, liked, and worthy of a modicum of respect for the first time in months.”
He stilled. “Do you speak of the queen?”
Mistress Parker swallowed before looking at Victoria where she stood a few feet away. “What would you like to do if not marry?” she asked quietly.
James stared at her profile, unsure of her thoughts or disposition. “Stay at court where I am happy. Work hard. Rise within the hierarchy as a single man.”
“I want to paint.”
Had he heard her correctly? “Paint?”
She softly smiled as she faced him. “Yes. I dream of my landscapes hanging in every gallery and every grand house in the country. If you think yourself an oddity in this mercenary world, whatever must you think of me? Good evening, Mr. Greene.”
James stared after her as Violet disappeared amongst the mass of finery, his heart heavy for the sadness that emanated from her, yet his inquisitiveness about her had only deepened. He looked at Victoria as she laughed with Melbourne and others in her circle. Could it be that the queen saw the same spark of something special in Violet Parker that he did?
Find the book here: Buy Links
Rachel lives in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of 29 novels including the Ladies of Carson Street trilogy, the Shop Girl series (Aria Fiction) and the Templeton Cove Stories (Harlequin). Her latest novel, Victoria & Violet is the first book in her new Royal Maids series with the Wild Rose Press and releases 17th October 2022.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association as well as the Historical Novel Society and has thousands of social media followers all over the world.
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