Want to order one...

All orders will go through my Etsy shop. For custom items I'll create a special listing with your name on it.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. :) To contact me about a purse please send me a message through my Etsy shop, or 2011 Books With Bite (on FB).


- ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ -

Monday, April 29, 2013

Blog Tour: A Note of Scandal


What’s the harm in a little white lie?

Especially when it could carry so much good: a new life for a wounded soldier, catharsis after long years of war—and an opportunity for lady composer Olivia Delancey to finally hear her music played in public.
Newspaper publisher Will Marsh refuses to compound the sins of his father’s generation by taking money to print propaganda. But with the end of the wars in France and America, he needs something new to drive Londoners to grab his paper first. Why not publish the score of the “Tune That Took Waterloo,” by a wounded vet, no less?
As Olivia struggles to keep her secrets from this unsuitably alluring publisher, and Will fights to find the truth without losing his hold on this bright-eyed angel who has descended into his life, both discover another sort of truth.
Being the talk of London can be bad—or very, very good.

Interesting elements:
The newspaper-publishing setting is very rare in regencies but fascinating to the author, a former newspaperwoman.
Music plays a big role: Olivia plays pianoforte and Spanish-style guitar; there are three very different concerts in the story.
Water also is big: the hero falls in the sound and nearly drowns; the heroine surprises the hero during a steamy bath.
Olivia lies to help a wounded veteran and he is a strong secondary character. Services and conditions for war veterans were poor at this time.
London, 1815—A resourceful composer falls for the newspaper publisher she tricks into printing her music, crossing the political aisle, the class line, and the new method of journalism: “nothing but the truth.”
Miss Olivia Delancey can’t disclose that she wrote the piece of music a former flame played to lead his regiment into battle at Waterloo because the news would ruin her in high society. But by selling it as his work, and sharing any profits, she might offer her badly injured friend a decent way to pay his hospital bills and start on his new life.
Powerful, principled Will MARSH won’t publish anything of suspicious origin. The fledgling newspaper’s reputation was badly tarnished after his father was sent to prison for printing political slander. In the five years Will has run it, he has lifted the London Beacon out of the pockets of politicians and grown a steady circulation interested in timely, uncensored news from the wars in Europe and the Americas. But now even as England only begins to return to civilian life after Napoleon’s second defeat, he finds circulation declining. He needs to change his paper and deliver something that appeals to the public’s changing tastes. This paper is his life.
Why not try featuring the arts? The lady makes a good point, and Will agrees to publish the piece. He proposes a new style of story, a profile, and offers to print the piece of music to pair with it. The uplifting, martial tune by “an injured war veteran” is a hit, performed at parties and even during a peace celebration held by the regent. At the celebration, they discover their attraction is more than cerebral.
She likes his straightforward manner, and how he doesn’t immediately discount what she says just because she’s a lady. She finds she wants to please him, wants him to look at her that way that makes her feel desirable for herself, not the filigree that is her image as a lady.
Will is shocked by his attraction to the lady, and at first treats it as simple flirting. But he can’t stop himself after a surprise touch during the regent’s celebratory ball; he cozies up to her in the midst of a throng of people—and she plays along. He forces himself to step back.
Olivia is thrilled to hear her tune played and admired, but family finances force her to leave for Plymouth at the height of the interest. She sells Will on running another piece “by the same composer,” then leaves for her family’s house in Plymouth.
The story grows so large (and the other news so small) that a rival publisher starts chasing after the titular composer, initially coming up cold. Will brushes them off, and when he hears that Napoleon is headed to Plymouth aboard a British “jail” ship, he decides to travel south to cover the Little General’s story—and see a certain lady.
Olivia, who had offered to be his local guide, meets him at the dock, where the flotilla of Britishers goggling at the former emperor inspires them both: Will to caricature and Olivia to composition. After an altercation with another boat, Will falls into the bay, which even in summer can bring on hypothermia. Olivia nurses him on the boat and takes him home to clean up. He repays her with a kiss, which grows deeper than either expect.
With all the tourists in town, he can’t find lodgings. Her aunt insists he stay with them. She finds he is not as out of place here as she expected; a year at Oxford has put polish in his manner. She doesn’t know that that year also turned him off Society woman, as the sister of a college chum publicly played him for a fool. But Will finds his attraction growing to this unusual lady. They tell childhood stories and Olivia plays the piano for him.
Later, they kiss, and this time Will doesn’t step back. Neither does Olivia.
Will wakes to find the competitor paper accusing him of lying about the music story. Before Olivia wakes he has left for London. He assigns his best reporter to investigate.
A few days later, at the funeral for one of Olivia’s father’s Commons allies, the father, a baron, offers his political support to Will. Politics was a pipe dream while Will was getting the paper up and profitable, now it could be a reality.
But later in the Commons, during a confrontation with the rival publisher, the baron lets slip that Olivia is a gifted composer. Will feels he has been deceived again, repeating his mistake from college and his father’s mistake in politics (his father’s “source” was a woman, too). He and her father agree to confront Olivia.
Meanwhile, at the engagement tea for the faux composer, the man tells Olivia his new fiancée “won’t marry a man whose life is a lie” and he must come clean. This and her aunt’s earlier lecture convince Olivia to confess to Will, but she’s too late, he’s heard it already, and after a confrontation walks away from her. His paper runs a terse retraction, not naming her.
Hearing others belittle the Beacon and its “dupe of a publisher,” Olivia realizes what her white lies have meant to Will and to his paper. She knows he hates being part of the story, and that he will not forgive her. But, she decides, she must make things right anyway.
Will has learned to see shades of gray, and realizes there are worse things than losing a story, such as losing the affection of a good, if wayward, woman. But he decides it is up to Olivia to see sense, and he’s not sure she’s up to it.
Olivia offers to tell the whole story to Will’s chief correspondent. Will is suspicious, but she proves to him this story is truth, and he runs it. She finds that having the cat out of the bag is not so bad: Though the invitations to the homes of the Upper Crust have declined, her family is still her family, and her friends still her friends. But she has changed. The third piece of music she publishes, with the new story, is melancholy.
Will decides it’s time to hand the reins of the daily paper over to his editor, who had suspected the story from the first, and announces his candidacy for a seat in the House of Commons. His first campaign rally gives him a sense of déjà vu—just months before he had covered a rally in the same coaching inn for his predecessor. That time, Olivia and her family had attended to show their support. It was where they first met.
This time, she appears again, surprising him and the crowd as Will leans Whig. She publicly says she is here because he is a good man; privately, she tells him it is to make up, in some small way, for the wrong she has done him. It’s not right to hurt the people you love, she says.
Cut off by her political family, Olivia tells him she plans to leave London and live cheaply in Plymouth, trying to make it as a composer. He suggests she take up residence in his district, which is close enough to London she could still enjoy the music and arts. In fact, he has just the home for her. And while she would make a very poor newspaperman’s wife, he says, as a politician’s wife she’d be perfection. She agrees.


Nicky Penttila writes stories with adventure and love, and often with ideas and history as well. Her favorite settings are faraway cities and countries, because then she *must* travel there, you know, for research. She lives in Maryland with her reading-mad husband and amazing rescue cat. She’s chattiest on Twitter, @sunshinyday, and can also be found at nickypenttila.com and on Facebook.

Pinterest (sometimes): http://pinterest.com/nickypenttila/
Present but rarely on: Google+, FriendFeed, new.myspace.com, shelfari, Kindleboards

Member of: 
Washington Romance Writers (Romance Writers of America), The Beau Monde (RWA), Historical Novel Society, National Association of Science Writers


Giveaway link

No comments:

Post a Comment