Book Spotlight | Featuring notes by Jorie and an extract from “Love and Marriage at Harpers” by Rosie Clarke

Posted Monday, 9 March, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I personally love reading Sagas even before I learnt of the keen tag to browse for #newtomeauthors who are writing this kind of fiction on Saturdays – #SagaSaturday! I’ve had my eye on Saga authors for *years!* – as when I first started book blogging I noticed a lot of lovely releases moving in this direction of Historical Fiction – especially lovely were the fact most of the authors were from Europe and the UK! I have a keen bit of joy settling into a Historical Saga – mostly as I have a personal preference for reading serial fiction as I never quite want to ‘let go’ of characters I have taken a shine on loving to see evolve through their own character arc and journey!

Within a saga, you get the beauty of following them on the next stages of their lives and most likely, the lives of those they love or whom they interact with on a daily basis! A prime example of a Saga I’ve loved discovering is the Daughters of Boston trilogy which kicked off the O’ Connor Saga by Julie Lessman – which is a series told through three separate and yet dearly connected trilogies!

I’ve been seeing updates about Rosie Clarke via Twitter for quite a long while now – her stories set round Harpers I felt would interest me as much as Rachel Brimble’s Pennington’s. This is why when an opportunity came along to host a spotlighted extract from her Harpers Emporium series I was thankful I could be on the blog tour to help introduce this series to my readers. You might have previously seen my review for a Christmas Historical novel by Ms Clarke Christmas is For Children which I read this past December. My readings of this dramatic Historical Fiction story was my first introduction to Ms Clarke’s writing style.

The Harpers series is set within a store – similar to Pennington’s where the fluidity of the series is set round the women who work inside it. I love stories which tackle workplaces such as this one as that is what led me into the Marjorie Corrigan series by Jennifer Lamont Leo!

What I love most about these kinds of series is how you get to hug close to their workspaces, get caught inside their lives and feel a part of the store they’re working at all the same!

This marks my first of three featured posts I’ll be sharing on behalf of Boldwood Books this Spring, 2020. I will be interviewing Jina Bacarr on behalf of her new release “The Runaway Girl” which is dramatic Historical set round Titanic (listed as one of my most anticipated reads for 2020) as well as interviewing Jessica Redland about her series Whitsborough Bay.

Brew yourself a lovely cuppa

and enjoy what is revealled about “Love and Marriage at Harpers”!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Love and Marriage at Harpers by Rosie Clarke

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Welcome to Harpers Emporium (saga series):

The Shop Girls of Harpers (book one)

Love & Marriage at Harpers (book two)

Rainy Days for the Harpers Girls (book three)

← forthcoming in June, 2020!

Converse via: #LoveAndMarriageAtHarpers, #RosieClarke, #Saga or #SagaSaturday
as well as #HistFic and #HistRom

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

add to LibraryThing

Published: 3rd March, 2020 | ISBN: 9781838891831

Oxford St, London, 1913.

The shop girls of Harpers Emporium on Oxford Street are happy in their work and their lives are moving on at quite a pace.

United by the suffragette cause and now living under one roof, some will find love and marriage whilst others experience heartache and

Harpers is the bond that holds them together, bringing strength through hardship and pain and friendship and love.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

About the Author: Rosie Clarke

Rosie ClarkeRosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire. Rosie’s brand new saga series, The Shop Girls of Harpers begins in December 2019.

Follow the author online: Blog | @AnneHerries | FantasticFiction

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Enjoy this Extract from the novel:

‘Oh, it’s warmer in here,’ Maggie, the youngest of them, exclaimed. ‘Sorry we’re late, Rachel. We went to buy some tinned fruit for afters and missed our bus so we had to wait twenty minutes for the next one.’

‘The wind goes straight through you out there,’ Beth said. She and Sally were both in their early twenties and Rachel was in her mid-thirties, a widow and supervisor for the hat, accessories, bags and jewellery departments. Beth was a senior salesgirl but Sally had risen swiftly to the position of buyer because Ben and Jenni Harper had taken a liking to her. ‘Are you two going to that suffragette meeting this evening? I intended to come, but I’m not sure I can face that bitter cold again…’

‘The meeting has been cancelled until further notice,’ Rachel told her. ‘Because of the arrest and coming trial of Emmeline Pankhurst, the sisters think that there will be agitators in the crowd. So we’re waiting until some of the fuss dies down… and both Sally and I have decided not to attend the WSPU meetings in future. What Emmeline did was just too much… too violent. Innocent men might have been hurt.’

‘Yes, I saw something in the paper…’ Maggie put in. ‘A man left his evening paper lying on the seat when he got off the bus so I brought it home. I haven’t read the whole article but it says she looked pale but calm as she was arrested. She pleaded guilty to the bombing and to other disturbances.’

‘They will put her in prison,’ Sally said. ‘I just don’t see the point of what she did – and I think it puts men who might agree with our cause, against us.’

‘I agree,’ Rachel said, ‘but you know that Emmeline thinks we have to do something drastic to make them listen to us, otherwise they will just go on ignoring us. I spoke to her a few weeks ago at one of our meetings because I wanted to know her opinion – and she is always open to all members, as you know. She said that even those who are not against us treat us like children or pets to be humoured. I asked her if she thought it worth the risk personally and she said she was willing to give her life if she had to… I admire and like her so much, but I fear she will lose support for both branches of the Movement if she goes on this way…’

Rachel looked at Beth, sending her a silent plea, because Sally was evidently angry and she wanted an end to politics. ‘Will you make the tea while I mash the potatoes? The carrots have butter on them already…’

‘Lovely, I’m hungry,’ Beth said and went to pour boiling water into the teapot. ‘I definitely want to join the Movement instead of just attending the meetings once they start again, Rachel, but not the WSPU…’

‘Yes, me too,’ Maggie agreed. ‘I think it is time women had equal rights with men. Why shouldn’t we? They’ve had it all their own way for too long…’ She looked angry, pink spots in her cheeks. ‘However, I agree with you and I do not want to see innocent people hurt…’

Rachel understood that some of the anger in the younger girl’s voice was because of her break-up with her boyfriend Ralf the previous autumn. After a big quarrel over Maggie’s visit to her dying and estranged mother, Ralf seemed to have disappeared from the picture. Yet it was ironic that the trouble between them had been caused by Ralf’s mother, who had wanted to dominate the girl she thought would be a docile bride for her son. Maggie had a mind of her own and she had not put up with Ralf’s mother’s interference for long. Instead, she’d left her lodgings at his home and come to join her friends at the flat. Although Ralf had tried to apologise, Maggie had refused to accept his remorse and told him she did not wish to see him, since then he’d stopped coming to the store where she worked and waiting for her outside when she left at night. However, she was still smarting from his refusal to take her side and her anger sometimes came out in other ways.

Rachel reflected on the changes in the young girl since she’d started to work at Harper’s. The death of her father and the suspicion that her mother might have had something to do with it had helped to turn her from the shy child she’d been to the determined young woman she now was, a woman quite capable of standing up for herself.

Maggie’s arrival at the apartment and then Beth’s after her aunt’s marriage, had made them a little crowded, for there were only two bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom and sitting room. Each bedroom had two single beds, but there wasn’t a lot of room for personal possessions. Their efforts to find a larger flat had been unsuccessful for the reason that landlords preferred married couples or families and tended not to trust women living together.

Fortunately, they had the use of a shed in the yard at the back in which Rachel had stored some things that she’d kept from the home she’d enjoyed before her husband had died so painfully and bitterly. His illness had gradually become worse over several months, causing her much grief and distress until his death and after. It was just some boxes of mementoes she was reluctant to throw out and a few bits of furniture.

‘I saw an advertisement for a larger flat today,’ Sally said as they all sat down to eat. ‘I think we might just have afforded it between us, but when I rang from the office they said it had gone…’

‘Do you think it really had?’ Rachel asked. It had taken time to find a landlord who would let to them in the first place and Sally was pretty sure they’d got their present flat because Mr Harper had stood guarantor for them and it was situated just round the corner from Harper’s in Berwick Street, making it easy to walk into work on fine days.

‘I’m not sure,’ Sally replied and made a wry face. ‘I think next time I’ll lie and say I want it for my husband and myself…’

‘Your non-existent husband would have to sign,’ Rachel said with a sigh. ‘That’s why we have to get recognition that women are more than just their husband’s belongings…’

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

This particular extract took me back into my Feminist Historical Fiction readings of Emmy Nation, Renegade Queen and Madame Presidentessall of which encompassed what was happening with the Suffragette movement and in particular, Pankhurst. I found all three of these stories to be guttingly realistic and emotionally jarring to read – which is why I have a feeling seeing the Women’s Movement through the eyes of the girls’ at Harpers would be a lovely respite from these prior readings!

I especially love finding Historical stories which eclipse us through the political and historical background of their eras – meaning, whenever a historical story can besiege us with news of the ‘day’ in which the characters lived it not only honours the past but it gives us a uniquely personal viewing of how those eras were once lived through and how the people who lived had as much to overcome as people do in modern eras. Things might appear on the surface to be less adverse than they do nowadays but for each generation there are always moments in History where people have had to transition through periods of difficulty and in the case of Women’s Rights – it was a long drawn out fight for Equality.

A chapter of that story is still being fought for today as there is a new campaign against Women’s Rights – especially women’s medical rights and the right to choose what is right for the woman herself in regards to her own health. Each new generation has to embrace the challenges which they are meant to face and find strength in sisterhood to find ways to fight for the rights we know are ours and to keep the balance of Equality truly free for everyone.

On a lighter note, I liked the ease of conversational exchanges within Love and Marriage at Harpers – as you can tell these girls’ get along well with one another and they care about each other too. They are encountering the key issues women had to face prior to being seen as an equal in both law and land where they did not have to rely on a man to accomplish things like establishing rental agreements, opening a bank account or any of the things we now take a bit for granted as being open access to both men and women. You can feel their frustrations but also their resolve.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

This blog tour is courtesy of: Boldwood Books

Love and Marriage at Harpers blog tour banner provided by Boldwood Books and is used with permission.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comNOTE: Similar to blog tours wherein I feature book reviews, book spotlights (with or without extracts), book announcements (or Cover Reveals) – I may elect to feature an author, editor, narrator, publisher or other creative person connected to the book, audiobook, Indie film project or otherwise creative publishing medium being featured wherein the supplemental content on my blog is never compensated monetarily nor am I ever obligated to feature this kind of content. I provide (98.5%) of all questions and guest topics regularly featured on Jorie Loves A Story. I receive direct responses back to those enquiries by publicists, literary agents, authors, blog tour companies, etc of whom I am working with to bring these supplemental features and showcases to my blog. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them: I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers. Whenever there is a conflict of connection I do disclose those connections per post and disclose the connection as it applies.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Love and Marriage at Harpers”, synopsis, the author’s photo (for Rosie Clarke) and biography as well as the blog tour banner were all provided by Boldwood Books and used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Stories in the Spotlight banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Monday, 9 March, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Romance Fiction

All posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary!
I try to visit your blog in return as I believe in ‘Bloggers Commenting Back
(which originated as a community via Readers Wonderland).

Comments are moderated. Once your comment is approved for the first time, your comments thereafter will be recognised and automatically approved. All comments are reviewed and continue to be moderated after automated approval. By using the comment form you are consenting with the storage and handling of your personal data by this website.

Once you use the comment form, if your comment receives a reply (this only applies to those who leave comments by email), there is a courtesy notification set to send you a reply ticket. It is at your discretion if you want to return to re-respond and/or to continue the conversation established. This is a courtesy for commenters to know when their comments have been replied by either the blog's owner or a visitor to the blog who wanted to add to the conversation. Your email address is hidden and never shared. Read my Privacy Policy.

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)