Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Alice’s Secret by Lynne Francis. I have an extract to share with you all today but first, here’s what the novel is all about.
Author : Lynne Francis
Title : Alice’s Secret
Series : The Mill Valley Girls #2
Pages : 400
Publisher : Avon UK
Publication date : March 5, 2018
Alys’s life hasn’t quite turned out the way she thought… By now she should be married, have children and working in a career she loves. How did she end up making all the wrong choices? Escaping to Yorkshire to help out her aunt by baking cakes and cookies for her café might be just the change she needs. Only to uncover a long-buried family mystery, one that Alys can’t let go…
1890s Alice is the sole bread-winner for her family, working at the local cotton mill. She enjoys her job, until she suddenly begins to attract the wrong attention.
Oh, my goodness.’ Kate, Alys’s mother, had stopped, cup halfway to her lips, peering at the screen over the top of her glasses. She’d got a new pair of those ready-readers, Alys noticed. Bright-green frames this time: they worked rather well with her silver hair. Kate said that she kept losing them, so that was why she needed to buy more pairs, but Alys suspected that they were a fashion accessory rather than a necessity. Alys had once picked up a pair belonging to her mother and looked through them. The lenses could just as well have been plain glass for all the difference they seemed to make.
‘What’s up, Mum?’ Alys was only half interested. She was used to her mother’s exclamations. Kate had a tendency to be alarmed by the warnings of fraud scams or deadly computer viruses emailed to her by her friends.
‘It’s your Aunt Moira,’ said Kate, glancing up at her youngest daughter over the top of her laptop screen. She paused a moment, arrested – as usual – by Alys’s appearance. Wild hair, scraped back into an elastic band, from which crinkly blonde curls escaped at random. Forget-me-not blue cardigan, rather shrunken, buttoned over one of her signature crêpe-de-Chine dresses, orange flowered this time. 1940s vintage, surely. Where did she get them from? Kate wondered.
And not a scrap of make-up, at a guess. Kate favoured the woven- or knitted-linen look once spring had arrived, in the sort of tasteful shades that also graced her walls. She couldn’t understand her daughter’s taste and style – or rather, her lack of it. She must have inherited it from her father’s side of the family, Kate decided.
Lynne Francis grew up in East Yorkshire in the UK but studied, lived and worked in London for many years. It was while she was on a writing course in West Yorkshire that the characters and setting for The Mill Valley Girls novels came into being. She draws her inspiration from landscapes and the countryside, as well as the history of an area, and now that she has moved to east Kent she’s begun work on a new novel, to be set there in the late 1700s.
Ella’s Journey is her debut and the first of three novels about the same family, covering the period 1850 to the present day.