From grieving widow…
After her merchant husband saved her from a life of prostitution, Louisa Hill was briefly happy as a housewife in Bristol. But then a constable arrives at her door. Her husband has been found hanged in a Bath hotel room, a note and a key to a property in Bath the only things she has left of him. And now the debt collectors will come calling.
To a new life as a madam.
Forced to leave everything she knows behind, Louisa finds more painful betrayals waiting for her in the house in Bath. Left with no means of income, Louisa knows she has nothing to turn to but her old way of life. But this time, she’ll do it on her own terms – by turning her home into a brothel for upper class gentleman. And she’s determined to spare the girls she saves from the street the horrors she endured in the past.
Enlisting the help of Jacob Jackson, a quiet but feared boxer, to watch over the house, Louisa is about to embark on a life she never envisaged. Can she find the courage to forge this new path?
A Widow’s Vow is the first in a gripping and gritty new Victorian saga series from Rachel Brimble. You won’t be able to put it down.
1) Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?
When I’m writing, yes, but when I’m editing or working on interviews/blogs etc I don’t mind a bit of background noise – I either have the general hubbub of family life as company or I listen to Magic FM on my laptop!
2) If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you choose and why?
I am really keen to go to somewhere in Italy that I haven’t been before like Tuscany or Florence – I am determined to write a novel set in Italy, but a plot idea has yet to surface although I’m sure it will. I have a feeling the novel will be contemporary rather than historical which is interesting!
3) If you had the chance to co-write a book, whom would it be with?
I was asked this question recently and the answer is unequivocally American historical romance author, Julia London. She writes such great books filled with brilliant characters and great humour – she could definitely teach me a thing or two! I think with my need to write the poorer classes and villains, we’d create a really unique novel…
4) How do you come up with the names for your characters?
Haha! Now then, this is quite a complex process… Only joking! I actually put in a search on the internet for Victorian/Edwardian names and keep trawling until I find a first name and surname that I love together and encapsulates the character I have in mind. Occasionally, the name will change as I write and get to know the character better, but not very often.
5) Which character would you like to be in A Widow’s Vow?
I am torn between Louisa, the heroine of the story. and her best friend Nancy who is the heroine of the next book, Trouble for the Leading Lady… I think if I had to chose it would be Nancy because she is such a fabulous good time girl. She is far more flamboyant than I could ever be and I admire that.
There is a little of me in all my heroines so they are all special to me
6) How do you come up with title for your book?
Thankfully, I don’t! I am absolutely hopeless at coming up with titles, so I leave that job to my publisher. So far, I have been really pleased with my titles and only occasionally had to have a little back and forth with an editor.
When I’m working on a novel, I simply titled it ‘Louisa’s Story’ or ‘Nancy’s Story’ – that way I don’t get attached to the title which is more than likely going to change.
7) How do you pick a cover for your book?
Similar answer to question 6 – my publisher is in charge of the cover and so far I have been very happy. Long may it last!
8) If a movie or series would be made from your books, would you be happy with the ‘based on’ version or would you rather they showed it exactly the way you created it?
Ooh, this is a hard question! Ideally, I think I’d like to see it played out as I created it BUT I understand that adapting books to screen is not a straightforward process and compromises need to be made in order to make it work. I am very flexible with my work so I’m sure I would eventually concede to the ‘based on’. Now, if there are any producers out there looking for the next big Victorian drama…
9) Have you already started writing a new book?
I have finished the edits on the final book in the Ladies of Carson Street trilogy and Octavia’s story will be released early 2022.
My latest project is a new series set in past British royal courts – these are historical romances starting in the court of Queen Victoria. I have just finished writing that one and currently plotting book 2…
10) Which book is next on your ‘to read’ pile?
The next book on my pile is actually the latest selection from my Book Club, chosen by my friend Sue – it is Saving Missy by Beth Morrey and I’m looking forward to jumping in!
Thank you, Rachel Brimble
About the author
Rachel lives in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of over 25 published novels including the Ladies of Carson Street series, the Shop Girl series (Aria Fiction) and the Templeton Cove Stories (Harlequin).
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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