Free Festive Reads

Free Festive Reads 2016

Free Festive Reads 2016

In the run up to Christmas, ‘High Sea’, my short Victorian romance, is free from Smashwords and its retailers:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/517058

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/high-sea-catherine-e-chapman/1121176105

http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/high-sea/id965045299

http://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/high-sea-1

Additionally, perma-free reads available from Smashwords with a festive flavour are my short stories, ‘The Office Party’ and ‘All the Trimmings’:

‘The Office Party’ on Smashwords

‘All the Trimmings’ on Smashwords

Also, if you have Kindle Unlimited, ‘The Laird’s Right-Hand Lady’ (which has a seasonal feel, being set during winter in the Scottish Highlands) and ‘Miss Millie’s Groom,’ are both free to download through that scheme:

The Laird’s Right-Hand Lady on Amazon

Miss Millie’s Groom on Amazon

Season’s Greetings!

‘Miss Millie’s Groom’ – First World War Romance

'Miss Millie's Groom' book cover

‘Miss Millie’s Groom’ book cover

I’m delighted to announce that ‘Miss Millie’s Groom,’ a sweet romance set in England during the First World War, is newly-published on Amazon and currently available through Kindle Unlimited:

Miss Millie’s Groom on Amazon.com

Here’s the blurb:

It is the summer of 1914 and Britain teeters on the brink of war. Society girl, Millicent Awbridge, is oblivious to the impending conflict and preoccupied with the recent shooting of her horse. When she confronts the culprit, Ryan O’Flynn, a groom in her father’s service, Millie gets more than she’d bargained for. Their encounter sparks a series of events that brings Millie’s burgeoning womanhood to fruition.

If you read and enjoy ‘Miss Millie’s Groom,’ reviews, recommendations and ratings would, as ever, be greatly appreciated.

Review of Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Shirley’

Review of 'Shirley' by Charlotte Bronte

Review of ‘Shirley’ by Charlotte Bronte

New Year brings a renewed dedication to reviewing books I’ve been reading.  I finished Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Shirley’ a couple of months back, but have finally got around to writing a review.  Here it is:

I feel a strong sense of relief at having discovered Shirley.  I consider myself a fan of Charlotte Bronte but have in the past abandoned her novel The Professor and found Villette hard-going (though ultimately rewarding).

Shirley is certainly not ‘standard’ Charlotte Bronte.  It reads a lot more like a George Eliot (or even Charles Dickens) novel, in being a work which is much more socially aware than Jane Eyre, with a larger cast of characters.  In contrast with Jane Eyre, the book has a third person narrator, which brings it more in line with the standard model for the Nineteenth Century novel.  Also significant is the fact that it’s her only novel to really transcend her abiding obsession with the lot of a female governess – although, latterly, a male tutor does become a significant character.

But I found it refreshing to read heroines who were not as doom-laden and self-absorbed as Lucy Snowe (Villette).  Whilst Caroline is a more sensitive character, more akin to what we expect from Bronte, the feisty Shirley herself defies our expectations and, for me, this was one of the greatest revelations of the novel.

I found the first 100 pages (one-fifth) of the book rather arduous (although, it’s here that there is social scene-setting that is interestingly atypical of Bronte) but it’s necessary for what follows.  Whilst I acknowledge that Shirley is Bronte’s most ambitious novel in terms of providing a commentary on the society of early Nineteenth Century Britain, I found it most rewarding as the story of a love triangle and, when this strand of the plot develops later on in the book, I believe it becomes a much more compelling read.  We also see in this storyline CB writing with emotional depth to challenge Jane Eyre.

So it’s for this aspect of Shirley that I would recommend the book to any fan of CB’s writing.  But I would also say that, if you’re a fan of the Nineteenth Century novel but not a fan of Jane Eyre, I would give Shirley a go – it shows a very different side to Charlotte Bronte’s writing.

Happy New Year to everyone!

‘Collected Romances’ on Kindle Countdown this weekend

'Three Medieval Romances' - New Book Cover

‘Three Medieval Romances’ – New Book Cover

‘Three Medieval Romances’ recently had a face-lift, and I’m thrilled with this new cover, which suits the book perfectly.  If you’re an Amazon customer, you can acquire the stories included in ‘Three Medieval Romances’ in an even better value deal this weekend by buying my ‘Collected Romances’ whilst it’s featured on Kindle Countdown.

‘Collected Romances,’ my anthology of seven short historical romances, will be priced at only 99c (99p in UK) from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th October – that’s seven stories for the normal price of one!

http://www.amazon.com/Collected-Romances-Catherine-E-Chapman-ebook/dp/B00N16DKRK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Collected-Romances-Catherine-E-Chapman-ebook/dp/B00N16DKRK

If you read and enjoy the collection, I would really appreciate reviews, recommendations and ratings on Amazon and elsewhere.

Also on Amazon, ‘Elizabeth Clansham’ is now free to download on both the .com and UK sites:

http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Clansham-ebook/dp/B005LFNWDG

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Elizabeth-Clansham-Catherine-E-Chapman-ebook/dp/B005LFNWDG

‘Brizecombe Hall’ Gets A Make-Over…

New Book Cover for 'Brizecombe Hall,' short historical romance

New Book Cover for ‘Brizecombe Hall,’ short historical romance

… because apparently books really are judged by their covers!

I have been digesting the advice of Mark Coker (Smashwords Founder and Self-Publishing Guru) and, as a result, have decided to embark on a process of revamping my bookcovers.  Having now become a lot clearer about defining my short historical stories as ‘Romance,’ I figure that, accordingly, their covers should be romantic!

First to get the treatment is ‘Brizecombe Hall,’ my Regency / Victorian romance.  I acquired this cover from Self Pub Book Covers.com and I’m really thrilled with it.  Their site is a great concept, I think, connecting authors and artists and enabling authors to browse loads of designers’ images and customise them.

In other news, I’m delighted that the current promo of ‘Elizabeth Clansham‘ has now filtered through to Amazon.com, where readers have started to download the book for free.