Book Spotlight | Featuring notes by Jorie and an extract from “A Shop Girl at Sea” by Rachel Brimble

Posted Thursday, 23 April, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am wicked delighted to be featuring a lovely author I’ve been dearly trying to read for quite a long time today – as I recently had the chance to select quite a few Head of Zeus and Aria Fiction novelists to be spotlighting throughout the Spring months this year – wherein I was rather delighted finding so many keenly interesting stories to start seeking out to read! These are stories which dance between Romance & Women’s Fiction – from Contemporary to Historical settings. Being an avid reader of these genres I couldn’t miss the chance to bring the JOY of discovering these lovely authors to my readers of Jorie Loves A Story!

It is my intention to start requesting these novels via my local library if they are not available in audio formats via Scribd. At the moment my library is experiencing an unprecedented sabbatical on requests which put me in a bit of a pickle as I’m an active patron whose constantly requesting purchases every month – which is why I’m simply saving my queue lists and will turn them in once the services resume. For now at least – I can champion the discoveries and the joy of finding the stories whilst hosting the blog tours!

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Why I wanted to host a spotlight & extract
for “Home to the Hills”:

As the founder and host of @SatBookChat – I am constantly seeking to find new stories featuring strong women in the centre of Romance & Women’s Fiction. I read an equal amount of Contemporary and Historical stories within these genres of interest whilst encompassing all the lovely sub-niches of their literary styles as well. This New Year 2020 I am also seeking out Feminist Lit which celebrates the kind of stories I am enjoying to discover as well. All of which I try to champion and showcase in the chats I host on Saturdays – wherein writers, readers, book reviewers, book bloggers and the rest of the bookish community on Twitter get to engage with one another. Thereby as a regular reader of these stories I was delighted to find a #newtomeauthor to start seeking out to read!

This particular series by Ms Brimble has been on my bookish radar for quite a long while now – as I have hosted her a few times in the past on Jorie Loves A Story! In 2018 – I had the pleasure of interviewing her during a Brook Cottage blog tour for “The Mistress of Pennington’s” – wherein this series first began its journey into reader’s hearts. This was also a social tour I followed closely on Twitter – getting to chat with her during #HistFicChat and other places online as the book made its tour route to become a bit more known in social communities who appreciate Historical Fiction and/or Historical Romance. Being a regular chatter of these kinds of meet-ups I was truly grateful for the moments I was able to share with Ms Brimble!

The series itself has been given a bit of a re-branding and re-titling since it was first introduced to me – as I requested the first novel “The Mistress of Pennington’s” through my local library – of which I am happy to say they’ve added to the card catalogue – however, I’ve not yet had the pleasure of reading it in full as it has been readily checked out by other patrons who are just as eager to read it as I have been myself!

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Did I grab your eye and attention?

Sound like the kind of bookish read you’ve been needing?

Be sure to brew your favourite cuppa and enjoy this extract from the novel.

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Book Spotlight | Featuring notes by Jorie and an extract from “A Shop Girl at Sea” by Rachel BrimbleA Shop Girl at Sea
Subtitle: One journey of the Titanic. Three lives changed forever.
by Ms Rachel Brimble, Rachel Brimble

Bath, 1912.

Amelia Wakefield loves working at Pennington's, Bath's finest department store. An escape from her traumatic past, it saved her life. So when Miss Pennington sets her a task to set sail on the Titanic and study the department stores of New York, she couldn't be more excited – or determined!

Frustrated with his life at home, Samuel Murphy longs for a few weeks of freedom and adventure. Meeting Amelia on board the Titanic, Samuel can't help wonder what painful history has made the beauty so reserved. But he already has too many responsibilities for love.

Ruby Taylor has always kept her Pennington co-workers at a distance. Making sure her little brother is safe has always been her priority. But when that means accepting Victoria Lark's offer of sanctuary, more than one of Ruby's secrets is under threat of being revealed...

A riveting and uplifting saga, perfect for fans of Elaine Everest and Fiona Ford.

Genres: Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Women's Fiction, Women's Fiction

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1788546539

Also by this author: The Mistress of Pennington's, A Stranger in the Cove

Published by Aria Fiction

on 9th April, 2020

Published By: Aria Fiction (@Aria_Fiction)
a Digital First imprint of Head of Zeus (@HoZ_Books)

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Pennington’s Department Store series

The Mistress of Pennington’s | A Shop Girl at Bath (book one)

A Rebel at Pennington’s | A Shop Girl gets the Vote (book two)

Christmas at Pennington’s | A Shop Girl’s Christmas (book three)

A Shop Girl at Sea (book four)

*to curb confusion for those of us familiar with the original titles, I’ve listed them alongside their newer titles in case you were late in gathering the books!

This also marks my 3rd Titanic story I’ve found in 2020!

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #AShopGirlAtSea, #HistoricalFiction or #HistFicFun Stuff for Your Blog via

Enjoy this Extract from “A Shop Girl at Sea”

In the back room of Pennington’s men’s department, Amelia stood at a table and met the eyes of her colleagues. George Weir, Mrs Woolden, the head of the ladies’ department, and design department assistant, Ruby Taylor – each watched her with varying degrees of attention.

Tightly clenching her new window design, Amelia steadfastly ignored the derision in Mr Weir’s eyes. It mattered so much to her that this design went ahead as she’d planned. Elizabeth had never before given her a free hand on the main window and this design was special – to celebrate the launch of the Titanic. It would almost certainly draw an infinite amount of attention. Especially considering how the store had been advertising its unveiling for the last month.

She cleared her throat. ‘So, with just two weeks until the Titanic departs, it’s time to start erecting the new window display. All the plans are in place and the merchandise selected, so I think it’s safe to say we can have everything ready in two days’ time.’

Mr Weir crossed his arms. ‘I understand Miss Pennington would like an equal amount of space given to menswear, Miss Wakefield. I hope you have taken that into account… this time.’

‘I have.’ She fought to keep her smile in place, lest her nerves showed. ‘I think you’ll all be pleased with the design.’

Mrs Woolden smiled. ‘I’m sure we will. Why don’t we take a look, dear?’

Amelia glanced at Ruby who nodded, the younger girl’s blue eyes unreadable. Although Ruby was a skilled seamstress, her often aloof manner meant she had few friends at Pennington’s – something Amelia had tried, and failed, to help her rectify. There only seemed to be one person who had broken through Ruby’s detachment and that was Victoria Lark who worked in Accessories.

Refusing to be party to the shop floor gossip circulating about the true nature of the two women’s relationship, Amelia had neither uncovered its credence, nor cared to further speculate. To her mind, whatever went on between Ruby and Victoria was no one else’s business.

Unrolling the design, Amelia smoothed it out on the table, taking some paperweights to secure the corners. ‘I thought we could have an image of the ship on the backboard and then a selection of mannequins showing clothes suitable for first-class passengers, right through to third. From Accessories, we could make use of hats, shoes, parasols. From Jewellery, we could have the women wearing—’

‘If I might interrupt…’ Mr Weir peered over his half-rimmed spectacles at the design, his expression reminiscent of a bulldog chewing a wasp. ‘For all Miss Pennington’s insistence we are a store for everyone, I really can’t believe she would want third-class passengers represented in our main window. Isn’t such a notion profoundly insensitive? The Titanic is a ship of prestige, Miss Wakefield. Something of wonder and excitement. How would anyone travelling third class be able to afford the clothes you intend displaying?’

‘That is exactly my point. We’ll display clothes affordable to all.’

He arched an eyebrow, his brown eyes shadowed with annoyance. ‘Isn’t it myself and Mrs Woolden that Miss Pennington consults about the latest fashions? Who she relies on to know what will sell and to whom? Do you think she and Mr Carter wish to appeal to people likely to spend more, or less, money in the store?’

Amelia squared her shoulders, prepared for a fight even as Mrs Woolden and Ruby remained tight-lipped. ‘I believe Miss Pennington and Mr Carter want Pennington’s to be a place people feel encouraged, not defeated. By showing clothes and accessories affordable to every pocket, we are filling people’s hearts and minds with possibility. That is what Pennington’s stands for, is it not?’

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I have long since felt I would enjoy this series as much as I enjoy the Marjorie Corrigan series by Jennifer Lamont Leo which started off with “You’re the Cream in my Coffee”. There is something quite exciting about department stores – I’m unsure if it is because of the allure of them whilst I was a young child, the joy of visiting them at Christmas and seeing how they handled their displays and/or just the surge of energy you find at a department store – there is definitely something rather appealling to me to be reading these kinds of stories and I am thankful to have another keenly well-writ series in which to soak my teeth into as Ms Brimble has been happily releasing new installments of her lovely Saga at an equal rate of release as Ms Lamont Leo!

In this snippet from the extract, you can tell how there is a changing of perspective happening – about how the class & station of Titanic was now impacting how shops offered their wares to their customers as they were broaching into waters of class hierarchy. I agreed with the idea of showcasing clothes affordable to all customers and not allowing a distinction of taste & style to be impeded by a person’s personal budget. However, with some department stores and specialty clothing shops even in today’s world – they do take-on a rather uppity personality for trying to curb the enthused browser who might (in their eyes) be less than ideal in their expectations of whom would walk into the shop to both browse and buy.

It is a ridiculous injustice in inequality and shows how some people perceive of a person’s worth not only in wealth but in station of life. One thing I have loved about how Ms Brimble approaches writing this series (by way of the convos I’ve had online & keeping tabs on the releases as they come forward) is that she is truly writing a testament of Feminist Women’s Fiction set during a backdrop of change and of the churning tides wherein History met with the fortitude of strength some women exhumed in order to have history reflect a changing of heart & mind in the routes society took as time shifted forward. It remains a series I am most eager to be reading and/or continuing on audiobook.

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About Rachel Brimble (2020)

Rachel Brimble

Rachel Brimble lives in Wiltshire with her husband of twenty years, two teenage daughters and her beloved chocolate Labrador, Tyler. Multi-published in the US, she is thrilled to have a new beginning writing for Aria in the UK. When Rachel isn’t writing, she enjoys reading across the genres, knitting and walking the English countryside with her family…often stopping off at a country pub for lunch and a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary! Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. Are you a reader of Historical Women’s Fiction or war dramas? Have you been reading this series as it has become published or have you fallen a bit behind like Jorie? I’d love to know!! One good stroke of luck – the first novel is still available to be heard via audiobook on Scribd!
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Bookish conversations are always welcome on Jorie Loves A Story.

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Follow this Blog Tour:

A Shop Girl at Sea blog tour poster provided by Head of Zeus and is used with permission.A Shop Girl at Sea blog tour poster provided by Head of Zeus and is used with permission.

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NOTE: 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.

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “A Shop Girl at Sea”, book synopsis, author photograph of Rachel Brimble, author biography and the blog tour banners were all provided by Head of Zeus and used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to 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 Thursday, 23 April, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Head of Zeus, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

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