Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Carole Penfield on Blog Tour for The Midwife Chronicles, July 5-30

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Midwife of Normandy
by Carole Penfield

Publication Date: November 29, 2021
Sycamore Lane Press

Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: The Midwife Chronicles, Book One

 

 

King Louis’ dreaded Dragonnades are galloping towards Maison Dupres…

They have an arrest warrant for the Dupres, a Huguenot family. But what is Clare’s crime?

1680, France. Clare Dupres is not your average midwife. Her successful career relies on an ancient family secret formula (the magic elixir) which provides a pain-free birthing experience, offered solely to her wealthy aristocratic patients. In return, she is richly rewarded with gold and jewels. Clare’s husband Jacques resents her working outside the home but is too weak to stop her.

King Louis XIV detests Huguenots and is determined to convert them to Catholicism or eradicate them. He begins to tighten the noose by quartering troops in their homes until they abjure their religious beliefs. Bans them from singing psalms or leaving France without official permission.

In 1682, he issues an edict forbidding Huguenot midwives from delivering babies, which delights Jacques. But Clare rightly senses that things will only get worse. She urges her husband to relocate their family to England, where she can resume her profession. Jacques blindly refuses, relying on the Edict of Nantes to protect their religious freedoms.

Until it is too late! In 1685, the Edict is revoked. A vengeful servant wrongfully accuses the Dupres of violating the restrictions. Jacques is devastated. Clare’s only hope of saving her family is to devise a clever escape plan, but she must act quickly.

Full of twists and turns, this fast-paced adventure will keep the reader in suspense until the final page.

Recommended for readers who enjoy stories about strong women and are eager to learn about a dark chapter in 17th century French history. Perfect for fans of Call the Midwife, The Midwife of Hope River, and The Huguenot Chronicles.

Available on Amazon

Praise for Midwife of Normandy

“…a beautiful and flowing story with elements of history, romance, and storytelling brought together by a colourful cast of characters. Clare is a strong female lead dealing with issues that are timeless.” Literary Titan

“A gripping historical novel. A finalist and highly recommended.” The Wishing Shelf Book Awards

“…well-written, well-paced, with a story that carries you along.” The Coffee Pot Book Club

“In the sea of new books published today, I am so pleased to have found this book and author. Clare Dupres’ story is completely entertaining. And there is subtle humor. I like that.” Mike Bove, author of The Bruce DelReno Mysteries.

Lucina’s Destiny
by Carole Penfield

Publication Date: December 1, 2021
Sycamore Lane Press

Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: The Midwife Chronicles, Book Two

 

 

This spellbinding sequel to Midwife of Normandy recounts Lucina’s coming-of-age story as she begins her exciting new life in England.

But living with extended family can be fraught with tension …

1685. London. After their harrowing escape, the Dupres join the childless household of Jacques’ brother Pierre. His melancholic wife Celia adores the children but is terribly jealous of Clare. Lucina, an inquisitive child with exceptional perception and the added gift of second sight, quickly discovers the reason; Uncle Pierre and her mother were childhood sweethearts! As hopes of Jacques’ survival fade, Pierre’s growing romantic passion for Clare worries Lucina.

Horrified that Lucina is destined to follow the ancestral path of midwifery, Celia tempts her young niece with promises of an idyllic life in her tranquil village. Unwilling to be parted from her children, and seeking a safer environment than London, Clare rents Honeysuckle Cottage next door to Celia. She writes to Lady Louise in Normandy, disclosing her new village address. Lucina justly fears this letter will be intercepted by French authorities searching for Clare. Using her psychic powers, Lucina manages to avert danger by sending “mind messages” across the Channel.

As years pass, Lucina is torn between the conflicting desires of Celia and Clare to determine her future. An unexpected suitor for Lucina’s hand in marriage complicates matters further. Will she abandon the Dupres’ midwifery tradition?

A series of disasters forces Lucina to come to terms with her own destiny, as the plot takes unexpected twists and turns towards a stunning, surprise conclusion.

Recommended for fans of Jane Austen, who once advised her niece Anna “a small village with three or four families is just the thing.” And for readers who enjoy novels about 17th century domestic family life and strong women.

Available on Amazon

Austens of Broadford
by Carole Penfield

Publication Date: December 16, 2021
Sycamore Lane Press

Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: The Midwife Chronicles, Book Three

 

 

A rich, sweeping novel, inspired by the true life of Jane Austen’s remarkable great-grandmother…

Marriage to John Austen IV, presumptive heir to the family fortune, was a dream come true for Eliza. Until his cantankerous father turned it into her worst nightmare!

1702. England. Despite having a loving relationship with her husband and seven children, Eliza is not the wife wealthy John Austen III would have chosen for his only son. She complains to Lucina (her midwife and best friend) about struggling daily with the overbearing tyrant’s interference. He plants a spy in her nursery, criticizes Eliza constantly, reneges on promises of financial assistance, and turns her eldest son against her. She begins to dread that if the curmudgeon outlives his son, she will be left penniless and debt-ridden.

Eliza also worries that without a dowry, her timid daughter Bettybird will never attract a husband. But through the young girl’s narrative voice, we see her coming of age into genteel society.
Whilst attending a house party to celebrate Queen Anne’s coronation, Bettybird meets actor Bart, son of a doxy who is searching for his purported landowner father. Coming to Kent as a footman, handsome Bart portrays life among the gentry class from a servant’s perspective.

When Eliza’s worst fear materializes, she is faced with the most difficult decision of her life, but not before writing a scathing memorandum detailing her mistreatment, which passes down through the Austen family into the hands of her famous great-granddaughter Jane.

It is widely believed Jane Austen was influenced by Eliza’s memorandum when she wrote about money, social class, and the evils of inheritance laws in Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Carole Penfield has always been an avid fan of historical fiction, and five years ago she decided to become a novelist. Many decades ago, she obtained a B.A. in elementary education. After 14 years as a teacher, school librarian, and director of a children’s film-making workshop, she returned to law school where she earned a J.D. with honors from Arizona State University. Her law career included practicing employment law as a partner at a large firm, and later as Attorney General and Appellate Court Justice for the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

For three years, she was owner of Amanda Jane’s Doll Shoppe in Sedona, sharing her lifetime passion for dolls with like-minded collectors. A life member of JASNA (Jane Austen Society of North America), she enjoys dressing in period-appropriate apparel from the Georgian and Regency eras.

Carole lives in Northern Arizona with her husband Perry Krowne, two friendly cats, and 225 dolls. Midwife of Normandy was her debut novel, followed by Lucina’s Destiny and Austens of Broadford. Visit Carole’s website at carolepenfield.com or her Facebook page.

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