Monday, July 16, 2018

The Silver Ladies of London Blog Tour: A Historical Novel by Lesley Eames

Welcome!  Lesley Eames was born in Manchester and now lives in Hertfordshire.  Lesley devotes her time to writing and teaching others creative writing.  A book from her childhood that still lingers with her today is Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild (one of my favorite books too and part of The Shoes Books).  She has written and sold over 90 short stories to women's magazines.  Ms. Eames is currently working on a saga set during the 1920s in Brighton featuring Thea, Anna and Daisy.  The suggested theme song for The Silver Ladies of London is The Charleston (think flapper dresses, jazz music, cocktails, jazz clubs).  Lesley Eames is on Facebook and Twitter (@LesleyEames).

The Silver Ladies of London by Lesley Eames sweeps readers back in time to 1923.  Ruth Turner is returning to her employer’s home of Arleigh Court after a surprising meeting.  Unfortunately, the day quickly takes a downturn when Ruth along with her three friends are accused of stealing Mrs. Arleigh’s necklace and dismissed without references.  Unable to find employment in their town because of the accusations of thievery, Ruth comes up with a plan.  She inherited some funds along with a carriage house in London from her aunt.  This will allow them to start over away from the stigma.  In the carriage house they find a gorgeous and rare Silver Ghost Rolls Royce.  They come up with the plan to open a car for hire service called the Silver Ladies.  With their combined talents, anything is possible especially if they are willing to work hard to achieve their goal.  The business soon takes off, their friendship is stronger than ever, and the girls have found romantic partners.  But soon all they hold dear is threatened from a dangerous menace.  How will they overcome this obstacle?

The Silver Ladies of London is well-written and engaging.  The four main characters of Ruth, Jenny, Lydia and Grace are just delightful.  I liked seeing the four ladies develop over the course of the book.  The author took the time to flesh out each character and bring them to life.  Each one of them has their own talents, weaknesses and secrets.  I enjoyed the descriptions of London, the hairstyles and fashions, and the gorgeous Rolls Royce.    There is plenty of action going on in the book that moves the book forward.  There is a slow spell in the middle, but then the pace picks up once again.  The Silver Ladies of London has a unique premise with four women starting up a car for hire service in the 1920s in London.  They were brave to embark into business a male dominated world.  I was happy to see all the storylines wrapped up at the end of the book and I appreciated the epilogue (it will have you smiling).  I am giving The Silver Ladies of London 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it).  The Silver Ladies of London is a charming, historical novel with a sweet, happy ending.

Here is an excerpt from The Silver Ladies of London:

It was Lydia, in filthy men’s overalls with a duster round her head. If Mrs Preece spotted her, she’d know Lydia had been tinkering with the car again and waste no time in reporting her.  Mrs Preece disliked all of them – Ruth, Lydia, Jenny and Grace – telling them often that none of them could hold a candle to her three nieces. But it was Lydia she disliked most of all. Unsurprisingly. Grace and Jenny regarded the housekeeper as a nuisance they had to tolerate, while Ruth wouldn’t say boo to a goose, but Lydia never hid the fact that the dislike was mutual. She had a way of staring at Mrs Preece through cool grey eyes that brought a hot and bothered look to the older woman’s face. Lydia was a terrible housemaid too and would have been dismissed long ago if Ruth, Jenny and Grace hadn’t covered up for her.  How could Ruth save Lydia now?  ‘Terrible night, isn’t it, Mrs Preece?’ she yelled. 

Catching on to the warning, Lydia stopped running and sent Ruth a conspiratorial grin before creeping forward to flatten herself against the wall out of sight.  ‘I didn’t mean you should leave that door open all night,’ Mrs Preece complained.
Ruth closed it. ‘May I leave my umbrella in the hearth to dry?’ She was already moving into the kitchen, squeezing a final few drips from her umbrella to lure Mrs Preece in after her.  ‘You’re making a mess, Turner!’  ‘Am I?’ Ruth looked round, pretending to be surprised, and was relieved to see Lydia glide down the passage towards the back stairs. ‘I’ll fetch the mop.’ Ruth brought it from the scullery, wondering if she might still manage a few minutes alone as Lydia would assume Mrs Preece had detained her if she didn’t go upstairs immediately. Questions were bound to be asked about Ruth’s day and she needed to be ready with answers if she was to avoid blurting out something she might later regret. She wiped the floor and headed back to the scullery.

‘Not so fast,’ Mrs Preece said. ‘Madam wants to see you.’  Ruth stopped in her tracks, then turned, wondering if she was to be questioned about the man she’d seen. But it wasn’t a chance encounter on the drive that had put that look of gleeful malice on the housekeeper’s face. Ruth was in trouble for something. ‘Do you know why she wants to see me?’  ‘That’s for Madam to explain. She wants to see all of you. Grey, Mallory, Lavenham and you. Immediately. Best not keep her waiting.’  Worried now, Ruth fled the kitchen, dumped the mop and rushed up to the attic passage where Lydia was waiting.  Predictably, Lydia laughed. ‘That was close.’   ‘Hush!’ It would be just like the housekeeper to eavesdrop from the bottom of the stairs.

Ruth shooed Lydia along the passage to the rooms they shared: Ruth with Grace, and Lydia with Jenny. They found Grace and Jenny together, Grace reading and Jenny sitting on Ruth’s bed trimming a cream cloche hat with blue ribbon.  There was no time now for Ruth to share her news even if she could work out what to say. No time to mention the man who’d threatened her either. ‘Mrs Arleigh wants to see us,’ Ruth explained. ‘She wants to see all of us.’  Grace sharpened to attention. ‘Do you know why? Goodness, you’re wet through, Ruth. You need to change into something dry.’ ‘Mrs Preece didn’t say.’ Ruth surrendered her coat to Grace who’d got up to help her. ‘Bound to be trouble,’ Lydia predicted, but Jenny was more optimistic. ‘Maybe Lady Maude left a tip for us.’ ‘That dried-up old prune?’ Lydia scoffed. ‘We’ve had worse house guests,’ Jenny pointed out, ‘and she was pleased with my repair to her lace collar.’ ‘She actually said so?’ ‘No, but I’m sure her mouth twitched.’ Could Jenny be right? It would be typical of Mrs Preece to set them worrying over nothing. Ruth felt a faint glimmer of hope.

The Silver Ladies of London is available at Amazon (Kindle Unlimited), Kobo, iBooks and at the Google Play store.  Thank you for visiting today and I hope you take the time to visit the other blogs on the tour (see below).  I will be sharing my thoughts on Dyeing Up Loose Ends by Maggie Sefton tomorrow.  I hope that you have a day filled with positive thoughts.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for hosting an excerpt from my 'Silver Ladies' and helping to bring the book to the attention of readers x