‘Brizecombe Hall’ – Short Victorian Romance Free on Kindle

‘Brizecombe Hall’ – Short Victorian Romance currently free

Since Valentine’s Day, ‘Brizecombe Hall,’ my short Governess romance, set in early Victorian England, has been free on Kindle in the UK and I’m delighted to report that it’s currently topping the charts for free women’s historical fiction and Victorian romance:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Brizecombe-Hall-Catherine-Chapman-ebook/dp/B008GSXHFS/

The story is also currently available free from Smashwords and their retailers:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/75187

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/brizecombe-hall-catherine-chapman/1104561332

If you read and enjoy ‘Brizecombe Hall,’ I’d appreciate reviews, ratings and recommendations on Amazon and elsewhere.

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‘Three Romances’ – Bronte Bicentenary Promotion

Featured Image -- 246To mark the bicentenary celebrations of the Bronte sisters, ‘Three Romances,’ my collection of three short historical romantic stories, including ‘Brizecombe Hall,’ an homage to Charlotte Bronte, will be free from Smashwords and its retailers until 21st April (Charlotte’s birthday):

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/356113

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/three-romances-catherine-e-chapman/1116987953

http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/three-romances-brizecombe/id715416548

I would appreciate all reviews, recommendations and ratings on retailer sites and elsewhere.

Also, several of my books are available at reduced price throughout Smashwords’ ‘Read an ebook Week’, 6-12 March:

http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CatherineChapman

 

A New Look for ‘Three Romances’ for Valentine’s Day

New Cover for historical romance anthology, 'Three Romances'

New Cover for historical romance anthology, ‘Three Romances’

I’m really thrilled to reveal my new cover for ‘Three Romances.’  It’s been difficult to find the right cover for a collection of stories that comprises a Regency romance, a Victorian romance and a story set in WWII.  But I think this one is perfect.  The ebook is available in all the usual places and also in print form so, if you’d like to read some sweet, historical romances to put you in the mood for 14th February, look no further…

And remember that my short Victorian romance, ‘High Sea,’ is currently free from Smashwords and its retailers.  I’m particularly delighted that it’s steadily climbing up the rankings on Barnes & Noble at present.

Here’s wishing everyone a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

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!

‘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.

‘Brizecombe Hall’ – Free on Smashwords

Bronte 1To celebrate the forthcoming 198th birthday of Charlotte Bronte, my novelette, ‘Brizecombe Hall,’ is currently free from Smashwords & its retailers:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/75187

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/brizecombe-hall-catherine-chapman/1104561332

http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/brizecombe-hall/id453421308

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/brizecombe-hall

It’s also currently topping the rankings on Amazon in the ‘Short Romance Reads’ and ‘Victorian Historical Romance’ categories:

http://www.amazon.com/Brizecombe-Hall-Catherine-E-Chapman-ebook/dp/B008GSXHFS/

As ever, I’m delighted when readers rate, review and recommend the book.  Many thanks to all who have provided invaluable feedback on my writing.  If you read ‘Brizecombe Hall’ during this free promo, I hope you enjoy it.

Three Romances Published on Smashwords

‘Three Romances,’ the collection of stories comprising ‘Brizecombe Hall,’ ‘Kitty’ and ‘The Hangar Dance,’ is now available on Smashwords (complete with a distinctive new cover!) and will shortly be available from its retailers too:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/356113

I was really pleased to discover this morning that ‘The Hangar Dance,’ one of the stories in the collection, was almost! within the top 5k books on Amazon UK ranking – not bad for my little World War II romance!