Thursday 11 June 2015

Blog Tour: No Place For A Lady by Gill Paul

TitleNo Place For A Lady
AuthorGill Paul
Published: 4th June 2015
Publisher: Avon Books

Today I am part of the blog Tour for No Place For A Lady by Gill Paul, whose cover I revealed a little while ago. Today I have a wonderful extract of the beginning of the book to share with you. Enjoy! 


25th October 1854

Mrs Lucy Harvington stands shivering on a hilltop near the coast of Crimea, watching armies massed for battle below, waiting to find out if her husband will die today. Charlie is somewhere in the group to the far left: she has overheard Lord Raglan pointing out the Light Brigade when giving an order and she peers in the direction he indicated to see indistinct figures on horseback, cold sunlight glinting on the steel of their bayonets. All around she can see lines of men standing poised, waiting for the order to rush forward and try to kill each other – men who are sons, nephews, husbands and fathers, even grandfathers. She can hear the impatient whinny of horses and the squawk of a bird high above. It sounds like a warning.

Suddenly it seems incomprehensible that she should find herself in such a situation. In less than a year her entire fortune has turned on its head: she’s gone from being a young lady of just seventeen years who lived at home with her father and older sister, to being the wife of an army captain who has followed her husband to war in a remote, inhospitable land. She still can’t quite believe the change in her circumstances. In London she has a wide circle of friends and used to attend balls and soirĂ©es wearing fashionable new gowns and the latest hairstyles. Now she has been wearing the same gown for almost a week without the opportunity to wash, her cloak is smeared in mud and her hair hangs in matted coils. She spends most of her time alone while Charlie is out in the field.

She is cold, her clothes are damp – they never seem to dry completely – and she is very, very scared. But her fate has been sealed since that first unforgettable meeting with Charlie Harvington, the beginning of a chain of circumstances that had led her to this godforsaken hillside.

It was a dull November day in 1853, when London was thick with sooty fog and the stench of the Thames. Lucy had called upon the Pendleburys, old friends of her parents, in the hope of seeing their son Henry, whom she knew was home on leave from the army. They’d enjoyed a brief flirtation during his last leave and she was curious to see where it might lead. Unfortunately Henry was absent and she had to make conversation with his mother and father, a rather staid couple. Once they had run through the usual topics – the weather, plans for the festive season, health of respective family members – Lucy offered to play the pianoforte and sing for them, simply to pass the time until she could decently make her excuses and leave.

About The Author
Gill Paul is a writer of meticulously researched historical fiction. Her five novels include Women and Children First (set on the Titanic and published in 2012 for the centenary of the sinking) and The Affair (set in Rome in the early 1960s, and published in May 2013, on the 50th anniversary of the release of the Burton-Taylor Cleopatra movie). Gill has written several non-fiction books, including Royal Love Stories and World War I Love Stories.
‘A wonderfully imagined peek into the fabulous excesses of the Burton-Taylor relationship, from booze-fuelled spats to their intoxicating chemistry.’ Hello! Magazine review of The Affair
"It's a galloping good story, and the author has clearly done her research and has a good grasp of the period." Natasha McEnroe, Director, Florence Nightingale Museum

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