Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Welcome to this spotlight post for ‘Christmas Child’. Read on to discover more about this book, together with an excerpt to whet you appetite! There’s also information about the author and a special giveaway with the opportunity for you to enter to try to win five signed copies of books by Carol Rivers. Good luck!!
The 2019 Victorian romance from the Sunday Times bestselling author.
A perfect Dickensian saga for Christmas.
Christmas Day, London 1880. Snow falls … a dying Irish girl clutching her new-born baby drags herself to the sanctuary of an East End orphanage and throws herself on the mercy of the Sisters of Clemency. The nuns raise little Ettie O’Reilly as their own, but the lives of the nuns and orphans are soon crushed by an unscrupulous bishop. The heart-breaking outcome turns Ettie’s life upside down and Christmas will never mean the same again.
Will Ettie ever find her friend Michael Wilson whose secret holds the key to their past? Will Ettie keep her innocence and survive the traumatic events that are about to erupt?
An Excerpt to whet your appetitie:
‘Have I done something wrong?’ Ettie enquired.
‘No, child. But the sooner you learn the truth the better.’
Ettie hurried after the small, squat figure floating over the convent’s stone floors. Finally they reached the dining room. All the long wooden tables and benches were permanently set with cutlery, mugs and pitchers of water for the nuns’ simple meals.
Ettie kept this room as clean as a new pin. Sweeping the stone flags, polishing the table and lighting the fire on cold winter mornings was another labour of love. Once breakfast was over, Ettie and two young women employed from the local village would clean the children’s dormitories and tend to the sick.
Sister Patrick sat down on one of the benches. Ettie had an anxious sensation. The vast room echoed with an eerie silence. The strong smell of wax polish wafted up into the air. A smoky haze from the fire curled around the roof’s lofty ceilings.
It was late on a winter’s afternoon and Ettie moved restlessly. The boys and girls would be waiting for her. She loved her little friends and they loved her. For they all knew from life’s experience what it was like to be unloved.
But Sister Patrick was in no hurry to let her go. ‘Ettie, nothing in life is permanent, so?’
A little shiver went down Ettie’s spine. ’No, Sister Patrick. Nothing lasts forever. Except heaven.’
‘Heaven is our eternal home,’ Sister Patrick agreed. ‘But in this life we are in the hands of the Good Lord.’ The nun’s tongue came out and slipped nervously over her dry lips. ‘We must accept our fate.’
Ettie did not answer. For she too, had very dry lips.
‘The bishop has given us a directive.’
Ettie sat up. This new bishop who had replaced the old one, was very important. When he visited he arrived in a shiny cab pulled by a fine black horse. A special rug was produced for him to stand on; even Mother Superior knelt down and kissed the ring on his finger.
‘Rome can no longer support us,’ explained Sister Patrick. ’And there are many repairs to be done. The windows are all broken. There are leaks in the roof of the school house.’
Ettie wondered why this was important. ‘We catch the drips in pails,’ she reminded the nun.
‘Those drips are becoming waterfalls,’ Sister Patrick objected. ’The chapel too, needs attention. Sure, the big bell is so rickety it’s about to fall from its tower.’
‘Can’t it be tied with rope?’ asked Ettie innocently.
The nun smiled sadly. ‘Ah, if only the sisters had your youth! We should do a great deal more than we do now.’
Author Bio –
“Were there’s muck there’s money!” If my family had a royal crest I’m sure those are the words that would have been hewn into the stone above it.
Mum and Dad were both East Enders who were born on the famous or should I say the then infamous Isle of Dogs. They were costermongers selling fruit, veg and anything else that would stand still long enough!
Their family were immigrants who travelled to the UK from Ireland and France, while others emigrated to America.
As a child I would listen to the adults spinning their colourful stories, as my cousins and I drank pop under the table.
I know the seeds of all my stories come from those far off times that feel like only yesterday. So I would like to say a big heartfelt thank you to all my family and ancestors wherever you are now … UK, Ireland, France or America, as you’ve handed down to me the magic and love of story telling.
Social Media Links –
Giveaway to Win Five dedicated signed paperback novels by Carol Rivers (Open to UK Only)
One winner will win the following signed books
“Lizzie Flowers and the Family Firm”
“Molly’s Christmas Orphans”
“A Wartime Christmas”
“A Sister’s Shame”
“Eve of the Isle”
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the link to the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
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