Velvet by Mary Hooper is one of my favourite books of 2011. A historical fiction with a fascinating subject matter, Velvet explores the spiritualist craze which spread during Victorian times. If you like historical fiction and really great storytelling, then this one is for you!
I'm on the look out for further reading, so if you know of any historical fictions that deal with mediums or the spiritualist craze of the late 19th and early 20th centuries do let me know!
In the meantime, enjoy this guest post from Mary Hooper in which she talks about who she would contact at a séance. I've also attached the first chapter of Velvet for you to read, and there's a great giveaway further down the page where you can win EIGHT of Mary's historical fiction titles (UK only comp!). You can thank the ever lovely Emma at Bloomsbury for the giveaway!
Velvet by Mary HooperPublisher: Bloomsbury PublishingRelease date: September 5th 2011
Velvet is a laundress in a Victorian steam laundry. With both her mother and father dead, she is an orphan and has to rely upon her own wits to make a living. The laundry is scalding, back-breaking work and Velvet is desperate to create a better life for herself. Then Velvet is noticed by Madame Savoya, a famed medium, who asks Velvet to come to work for her. Velvet is dazzled at first by the young yet beautifully dressed and bejewelled Madame. But soon Velvet realises that Madame Savoya is not all that she says she is, and Velvet’s very life is in danger . . .
A romantic and thrillingly exciting new novel from an acclaimed and much loved historical writer for teens
Mary Hooper on who she would contact at a séance
One of my favourite historical characters is not famous for being clever, or writing books, or using great power wisely or trying to save the world, but for being a king’s mistress. Not much to that job, you might think, but if you were Nell Gwyn and mistress to Charles II (“The Merry Monarch”) then you had to tread carefully. All around you were other mistresses or would-be mistresses (Charles II had thirteen illegitimate children) every one of them trying to outdo each other in style, beauty and vivacity. Nell had something special, though: she did not give herself airs and graces and was the only one of his mistresses not to nag Charles to give her jewels and titles and footballer’s-wives type possessions. She was also fully aware of the precarious – and rather ludicrous - position she held at court. Best of all, she made Charles laugh.
Everyone seems to have liked Nelly, even her great rivals. She was right at the top of the celebrity A List and admiring crowds gathered around her carriage whenever she appeared in public. Pepys referred to her in his Diary as “pretty, witty, Nell”. Charles II’s doings are all recorded in history books, but from Nell I would get all the very latest tittle-tattle, the palace back-stairs gossip, and enough anecdotes to last me for several books.
Find out more about Mary Hooper:
Find out more about Mary Hooper:
Bloomsbury publishing have generously provided a Mary Hooper historical fiction prize pack to go along with this post. All the stops on the Velvet blog tour will be hosting a giveway, so you should check out the rest of the stops on the tour. I know you were totally planning on doing that anyway. :)
Competition is open to UK only and closes September 18th.
Below are all the books you could win. Just fill in the form below and you're good to go.
|Win all these books: The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose, At the House of the Magician, At the Sign of the Sugared Plum, By Royal Command, Fallen Grace, Petals in the Ashes, The Betrayal, Velvet|
COMPETITION CLOSED! WINNER ANNOUNCED SOON!
Pay me another visit later today when you'll be able to read my review of Velvet and take a look a the book trailer.
The Velvet blog tour continues tomorrow at Heaven, Hell and Purgatory Book Reviews.