Thursday, July 6, 2017

Rags and Riches: A Tale of Two Hearts

Gabrielle Here:

Yay! It's release month for Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection and I couldn't be more excited to share this time with my fellow Coffee Cups & Camisoles ladies Erica, Jaime, and Anne. I'm also thrilled to welcome the other authors in this collection, Michelle Griep, Susanne Dietze, Natalie Monk, Jennifer Uhlarik, and Kathleen Y'Barbo. They'll join us here in the next couple of weeks to keep the celebration going.

About a year ago, I had an idea to gather some of my favorite historical romance authors together and propose a collection to Barbour set in the Gilded Age. It's my favorite period in American history and it's ripe with the potential for romance.

My story, A Tale of Two Hearts, is the last in the collection since it's set in 1899 at the tail end of this era. It's inspired by a historical estate in my hometown of Little Falls, Minnesota called Linden Hill. The estate was built by two lumber barons, Charles A. Weyerhaeuser and Richard Drew Musser, who came to Little Falls in the early 1890's to operate the largest sawmill in the world (at that time). The population boomed, industries grew, and our little town became one of the first in Minnesota to have an entire city street full of lights powered by electricity (from the dam on the river). Weyerhaeuser and Musser were bachelors and built neighboring mansions along the banks of the Mississippi River. One of them, Charles, was the first to marry and brought his new wife home to the mansion he'd just completed.

Linden Hill Mansions. Charles A. Weyerhaeuser built the green
one on the left and Richard Drew Musser built the white house
on the right. In my story, Eli works in the white house and
Lucy works in the green house.
In my story, I changed the name of the estate to Basswood Hill and I focus on the domestic servants employed in these neighboring mansions. The hero is Elijah Boyer, a young man who is hired by one of the wealthy lumber barons to build and race automobiles, and play the footman when the need arises. Eli is one of the best racers in the state, but he knows nothing about being a footman, and hopes to one day leave his domestic service behind to build and race automobiles full time.

The heroine is Lucy Taylor who was recently hired by the new wife of the other lumber baron to be a lady's maid. Lucy knows very little about being a maid. She was a socialite until the untimely death of her father forced her into finding a job. Lucy's biggest dream is to make enough money to pay for her younger sister to have a surgery that would help her walk again.

When Eli and Lucy's employers announce there will be a competition held between the two homes, and the winner will receive a large sum of money, both are eager to compete. If Lucy wins, her sister can finally have the surgery she desperately needs. But if Eli wins, he can start a new automobile manufacturing company and leave his domestic service days behind.

When they start to fall in love, both want what's best for the other--but in the end, there will only be one winner. Is it possible for both to get what they want?

To celebrate this new collection, the authors in Of Rags and Riches will be visiting this blog for the next couple of weeks to share about their stories. We'll also be hosting a fun Facebook party on July 18th! There will be games, giveaways, and so much more. Just follow this link to RSVP and Facebook will remind you when it's time for the party to start.

Here's the link to purchase a copy of the collection: Of Rags and Romance Novella Collection

Don't forget to come back tomorrow and check out our awesome giveaway!!

Your Turn: Are you familiar with the Gilded Age? What's your favorite time period in American history? Do you enjoy reading novella collections? Have you read any other stories by these authors?

Gabrielle Meyer
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  1. I'm familiar with all the authors except for two. Your story has me intrigued. Surely the little sister will get her surgery?

    1. All I will say is that Eli turns out to be the very best kind of hero. ❤

  2. Loved your story, Gabrielle! Thanks for the fabulous post! I love the photo of the two houses. :)

    1. Thanks, Susie! I love this collection of stories and authors! :) I'm so happy you agreed to be a part of it.

  3. Wonderful idea for a collection Gabrielle! Have read about the Gilded age before,but am always happy to read more!Love reading about many eras,but must confess my very favorite tend to be the 30's and WWII .

    1. The 30's and WWII are fantastic eras. I especially love the movies made during that time. I would even go so far as saying they are my favorite movies of all time. Such a turbulent time for our country, but also a time of great courage, bravery, and patriotism.

  4. I adore the Gilded Age it was a time of huge underground movement and upper class beauty. I also really love the colonial period of history for the US. I think it's interesting to see how we have evolved as a country

  5. Ooh, what a great giveaway! Thanks for the chance!
    Trdivincenzo (at) gmail (dot) com


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