#Blogmas | feat. #CleanRomanceForChristmas showcases | “The Promise of Miss Spencer” by Sarah L. McConkie

Posted Thursday, 17 December, 2020 by jorielov 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

When I used to be a blog tour hostess for Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, I loved their *Pure Romance* imprint of Historical Romances – each of them were a warm and cosy story within a genre I personally love to read and each other choose how to approach writing their #HistRom’s a bit differently from one another. When the blogging program discontinued I started hosting Cedar Fort’s blog tours with Singing Librarian Books until Sydney decided to close her touring company late this Summer, 2020. Therefore, I wasn’t sure if or when I’d get the chance to hear about forthcoming and new titles by Cedar Fort for awhile as most of their authors are in charge of their own marketing and publicity online or otherwise. Happily I found Ms McConkie was part of the Clean Romance for Christmas showcases via Prism Book Tours which is why I am celebrating her latest release with you today!

I originally read “Love and Secrets at Cassfield Manor” wherein I had this to share about the story:

What kept me grounded in the narrative though is the intricate natures of all the characters – their queues of moving in and out of the foreground, the flashbacks to yesterday where other truths are letting out their angst(s) of revelations and where, everyone is moving ‘towards’ each other and towards a larger moment of revelation. Each of them are acting on what they know or their instincts; some are making hard choices to thrive out of the necessity of choosing someone to walk through life together granting a better balance of equity and stability of accounting whilst your simply hoping those of whom have a harder road ahead of them have the courage to overcome the odds they never knew they had to face.

There were the usual hang-ups – the bloke who is a twin and whose business affairs on the surface look nefarious but what if the suppositions against him are the workings of a rumour mill? The girl who feels she has everything (Ivory) but longs to have the self-confidence to believe in herself? The quiet soul (Meg) who doesn’t seek for much and humbly accepts what comes her way. Whilst the bloke who has the most to gain, may or may not be the best of characters to trust? As you vacillate between which of the gentleman (Robertson or Davenport) are the better match for any girl who fetches after them with an open heart, you start to see the larger picture unfold through how McConkie draws you closer to where she wants you to walk past your assumptions and truly see her characters as the flawed individuals they always were but of whom could hold a few redemptive qualities within themselves.

Ms McConkie has writ an intricate drama – where the lives of four girls’ lingers in the balance against the men they choose to feel is their rightly match in life, love and a continuance of wealthy gains. Such was the hour of enlightenment in the Regency – girls’ were meant to marry well and secure their futures and the futures of their families. The men had a bit more flexibility but only justly so as everyone was under the same pressures and reputation had a lot of do with everything when it boiled down to marriage, matches and fortunes.

One of the pluses to reading this story is the ways in which the intrigue steps out of the shadows of a traditional scene of the Regency. Finding new entries into the romance and the courtship is a nice discovery to be made – for me, what I love most is how McConkie doesn’t let you rest on the laurels of what she discloses per each of her characters’. She wants you to think about everything that is happening in the story whilst countering that knowledge with the hopefulness she has etched into the path each of the girls’ are walking towards their own personal destiny. They each have different personalities with different goals – some are taking life as it comes, others are trying to curate the path they wish to walk and the others, wells, I think they are halfway between the duty and obligation of marriage and the carefree joy of youth.

I was blessed Singing Librarian Books had the blog tour – whilst I am now thankful to be hosting this spotlight for Prism as I hope more Cedar Fort authors might consider moving their tours to be hosted by Tressa @ Prism Book Tours as she has such a wonderful way of hosting, organising and featuring the kinds of stories and genres Cedar Fort is known for in the reading community.

Likewise, I look forward to adding this lovely release to my list for stories I want to be reading in 2021! It is nice to revisit an author you’ve previously read – seeing the changes in their style and voice as a writer since you’ve last read them whilst continuing to see how they’ve developed their niche within the craft of storytelling. I happen to love complicated love stories and this one – as it begins on the auspicious premise of a deathbed promise sounds like a lovely one to dive inside because what the heart wants and what is once promised could become two very different things!!

Curiously – what draws your eye into reading #HistRom’s? Do you like the lighter side of the Historical Romance genre wherein you’re either reading releases by publishers like Cedar Fort and/or through routes which feature INSPY narratives OR are you a bit more traditional seeking mainstream Historical Romances? Which eras are your preferred timescapes to explore and which authors would you recommend to me?

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Sarah L. McConkie's book photo provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

MISS SUZANNA SPENCER has successfully avoided marriage,
waiting for love and equality in a husband of her choice.

Yet when her father suddenly becomes ill, she agrees to his dying wish—to marry Mr. Lacy and secure her future. Cast suddenly into a mourning period, Suzanna and Mr. Lacy agree to keep their engagement a secret until the proper six months have passed. But when Suzanna and Mr. Lacy find themselves thrown together with Miss Grysham and her handsome uncle Lord Haversley, everything becomes complicated. If only Lord Haversley didn’t expose his true bravery.

If only there wasn’t so much more to him than a gaudy Lord in Parliament. If only he would leave Suzanna alone. As the threat of smallpox looms close, all four friends must work together—and apart—to save the lives of those they love. Forced into keeping a promise, or securing the promise of her future, Suzanna must reconcile her obligations with her heart as she searches for a love she never had.

Add to LibraryThing | ISBN: 978-1462135806

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Converse via: #CleanRomanceForChristmas and/or #HistoricalRomance OR #HistRom
as well #SweetRomance and/or #CleanRomance or #CleanReads

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Enjoy an Extract from

The Promise of Miss Spencer by Sarah L. McConkie
“The Promise of Miss Spencer”:

Miss Suzanna Spencer smoothed her slightly dirty work apron and checked the state of her unruly dark blonde bun. She reached for her basket and pressed deeper into her family’s large vegetable garden. The fall sun shone with a warm hue as she smelled the rich, musky earth around her. At the edge of the plot on a stone bench sat her sickly, coughing father, who dutifully inspected his radishes.

She sat down a few yards from him and sunk her trowel near a carrot, unearthing a rock. Chocolate-colored soil flew all over the tidy linen cravat of Mr. Lacy, her father’s studying vicar, who followed directly behind her, weeding the beds as she continued her story. “You see,” she said speaking quickly and with such animated hand motions that Mr. Lacy had no choice but to submit to the barrage of soil now covering his vest.

“I could not believe it. That old man must have been nearly forty-five. What on earth did I do to give Colonel Newbold the idea that I would accept his hand in marriage?” Suzanna furrowed her brow toward Mr. Lacy, letting out a large breath. “Oh, Mr. Lacy! Your poor linen. I am ever so sorry. I just got carried away.”

She shot a plaintive glance to her father, her light blue eyes reverting back to her schoolgirl pleadings. “Surely you do not blame me for my refusal, Papa?” She pushed her unmanageable hair out of her eyes and continued to drive the point with her look.

Mr. Spencer’s dark hat shaded his white hair and conservative black suit. His modest clothing befitted his reserved personality, even though he stood as rector of the largest parish in Elmbridge, possessing one of the most robust livings in all of England. Coupled with his yearly sum as a younger son of an earl, he lived quite simply for one with so much influence and disposable income. Mr. Spencer’s curved back attempted to straighten a little. “Colonel Newbold is a respectable man, Suzanna. And might I remind you, there are many ‘old’ men who are still very fine.” He smiled warmly toward his daughter as he collected the last of his produce. “But I know that, from your infancy, you have never acted against your conscience. And your conscience, luckily for me, is quite well-mannered and amiable. So if he is not your choice, then so be it, I suppose. Although . . .” He coughed again and cleared his throat, and Suzanna noted it sounded worse than it had a few weeks before. “I would like it if you were married before God takes me from my mortal sojourn.”

Excerpted from The Promise of Miss Spencer by Sarah L. McConkie.
Copyright © Sarah L. McConkie. Published by Cedar Fort, Inc.

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This extract happily extracts the situation and circumstance Miss Spencer finds herself in – how does one promise their heart and their future against the unknowns of the present? As said – I love complicated romances – wherein a character is torn through circumstance and duty, not understanding which way is the right way forward or even understand the murmurings of their own heart as they’ve put everyone else in front of their own desires. They try to do what is right and/or expected of them but what is their own will in the situation?

I love how she’s determined to speak her mind, own her heart and find her own path – but what of the promises of those who love us and believe they are making suggestions for the greater good of our lives? It makes it complicated – to weight and choose which path is the better one for us whilst taking into consideration what others presume as the best path for us to walk. I’d love to see what she chooses and how further complicated her life becomes as she’s sorting it all out!!

I vacillate about how to categorise these Romances – for me their Gentle Romances or Sweet Romances yet I understand why their known as “Clean Romances” as some readers like Romance to be absent of other kinds of scenes and language; of which I can relate, as I have a staunch stance against vulgarity in literature myself (ie. courtesy of my Fly in the Ointment sections on my reviews) however, I don’t mind a bit of heat in romance as long as it isn’t broaching itself to be a genre which I don’t read at all. As sometimes those lines become blurred and obscured especially in Contemporary Romances! However, which way you say it – this is the kind of Historical Romance I love to find and am blessed I could champion on this tour.

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About Sarah L. McConkie

Sarah L. McConkie

From writing an award-wining tale of a dragon falling from the stars in the 3rd grade to regency romance written at thirty, Sarah McConkie has always had a passion for creating intriguing stories. After years of singledom looking for romance (and teaching Junior High Choir to fill up real life), Sarah began a Master’s degree in Literacy.

When love finally found her, she married and became a wife and eventually a mother. After tucking in her own little princess one January evening she determined to attempt her life-long dream to write and publish a novel.

Using her many years of experience in the single realm, a robust knowledge of regency classics, and a love of all things old fashioned and proper, Sarah wrote Love and Secrets at Cassfield Manor. She now lives with her own Mr. Right and her two daughters, and believes providing stimulating and moral stories promotes literacy in a world which needs more readers. This is her first novel.

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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Clean Romance for Christmas blog tour banner provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

Click through via the badge to find out what else awaits you!

Each day, a new author is showcased – I selected the authors I wanted to feature ahead of time –
therefore, return to see which of the authors I am focusing on throughout the 12 days!

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#blogmas 2020 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

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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: Cover art of “The Promise of Miss Spencer”, the extract from “The Promise of Miss Spencer”, the book photo for “The Promise of Miss Spencer” as well as the blog tour banner and The Prism Book Tours badge were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. The author’s photo (for Sarah L. McConkie) and biography were originally given to me by Singing Librarian Books and are reused 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: #blogmas 2020 banner & badge and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

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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)

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Posted Thursday, 17 December, 2020 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

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