One of my favorite authors and series is back! Today Rebecca Cohen, author of The Crofton Chronicles series, is here with the blurb and excerpt of her latest story in the Crofton Chronicles series, Saving Crofton Hall. I have an interview with her and a contest for all of you to enter. Check it all out below!
Book Name: Saving Crofton Hall
Author Name: Rebecca Cohen
Up Close with Rebecca Cohen and all Things Crofton Chronicles…
Q. Rebecca, I loved the Crofton Chronicles and was so happy to see this book come up. Why continue this series, what about this place and people wouldn’t let go of you?
RC: I’m so glad you enjoyed the series, I loved writing them. Sometimes it is easy to move on from characters and a setting, and sometimes isn’t. And I knew once I finished The Crofton Chronicles that there were more stories to be told about the Redbourn family and their home. I did think about writing in another historical period, but once I had the idea of a modern Crofton, I thought I could sneak in references to the earls that came in between. The idea of an old family with an interesting history was too much fun to pass up, and Crofton Hall is just as intriguing in her own right.
Q. How far are we in the timeline from the original story?
RC: Saving Crofton Hall is set in modern-day England, with Benjamin Redbourn as the 16th Earl of Crofton. Making it just over 400 years after the original series.
Q. At the end of the third story, we saw how it all worked out for our original lovers, Sebastian and Anthony, where do these relatives come into the story?
RC: I don’t want to spoil the plot, but let’s just say it wasn’t just Crofton Hall I couldn’t let go of completely.
Q. Historical romance can be a tricky genre to write in, especially when the author is setting her stories in several different eras. Do you have a favorite time period to write in? Or several? What about those eras pulls to you set your stories and character within their cultural framework?
RC: I love the Tudor and Stuart periods, so it’s unsurprising I set The Crofton Chronicles during the Elizabethan era. The political intrigue of the Elizabethan court and the Golden Age have always fascinated me, and characters of the time are so vibrant. The Tudors were utter bastards as monarchs, and Elizabeth I’s courtiers had to walk a fine line to keep in her good books. The gap between rich and poor was even wider than now, and social hierarchy was strict and unbending. Add in William Shakespeare, and there is no other period of history that can compare for me.
Q. Will there be more Crofton stories ahead? Are you thinking of doing more modern times stories?
RC: Saving Crofton Hall is the first in the Stately Passions series, where Crofton Hall will be the backdrop to a number of different couples and their romances. There’s still plenty to learn about the Redbourn family, and Ben and Ashley will be about in the background, but will see a different side to Crofton Hall, including below stairs.
Q. From Manderly to Pemberly, there are many famous estates in literature. I loved Anthony and Sebastian, and Crofton Hall, so much a third character in their stories. Is there a Hall or Manor you have visited in England that acts as a standin for Crofton Halls and is it open to the public?
RC: Crofton Hall is based on three different stately homes all open to the public: Harvington Hall, Sudbury House, and Hatfield house. Of these only Harvington Hall was built during the period of The Crofton Chronicles but Hatfield House is the basis for the Crofton Hall of today, with it gorgeous state rooms and beautiful grounds. It’s even in Hertfordshire, where Saving Crofton Hall is set.
Q. Favorite story from your childhood that has impacted you as an adult and as a writer? Or perhaps it’s an author as well?
RC: I loved the Chronicles of Narnia, Paddington Bear and I had a lovely book of Eastern European fairy tales. Basically I had a real passion for reading and I still do. I think my love of books in general inspired me to write, all the new worlds and fantastic tales ignited my imagination. It’s something I hope to pass on to my son, and I’m discovering so many new children’s books through him. The Gruffalo anyone?
Q. What would be your favorite romantic hero from literature? Or how about romantic poet?
RC: Although not the lead ‘hero’ I adore Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing and I also loved Dartanian from The Three Musketeers. I love the poem Fire and Ice by Edmund Spenser (so much I used in The Actor and the Earl).
Q. What’s next for Rebecca Cohen?
RC: I’ve a Sci Fi novel about a novice planet builder who is reunited with his lost love going through submission, so keeping my fingers crossed for that. On the WIP front, I’m currently working on a novella series based around an amateur dramatics group in London.
STRW: That’s both surprising and wonderful. I can’t wait for it to come out. Now for all the readers out there, a closer look at Crofton Hall and all those who love that dignified lady in Saving Crofton Hall!
Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and baby son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.
Sales Links: DSP ebook, DSP paperback amazon amazon UK All Romance
Saving Crofton Hall Blurb:
Benjamin Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, has no intention of giving up his beloved ancestral home without a fight. Faced with his mother’s gambling debts, forgery, and the possibility of foreclosure by the bank, Ben vows to make Crofton Hall pay for herself. But opening an Elizabethan manor house to the public isn’t a one man job. With time running out, Ben needs help—and fast.
Ashley Niven has experience managing events, and he also loves history. Being in charge of opening Crofton Hall is a dream come true. As he works with Ben to prepare the house as a venue for lavish weddings and receptions, Ashley finds himself drawn not just to the charm of the house but to the dashing Earl of Crofton. Even if Ashley can look past Ben’s playboy reputation, he fears an affair could prove too much of a distraction.
But Crofton Hall has many secrets, and something hidden for over four hundred years is about to change all their lives.
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
Saving Crofton Hall Excerpt:
She wouldn’t meet his eye.
“Just short of five million to the bank.”
Ben lost his balance and landed heavily on his arse in a nearby chair.
“How the hell did you manage that? I only agreed to borrow five hundred thousand, and that was for essential repairs, and the estate could easily repay the loan in ten years.”
“I approached the bank with a business case for a visitor attraction.
They were very enthusiastic.”
“What gave you the right?”
“Your father left us both in charge of Crofton Hall, Benjamin,” she said sharply.
He glowered at her and she deflated.
“I needed the money, and the only way I could get it was to tell the bank I wanted to open Crofton Hall to the public.”
“And they agreed to lend the money without my permission?” he asked carefully, hardly believing his mother’s audacity, but getting the feeling he knew what she was going to say next.
“They might have been under the impression that you’d agreed to it, and I was acting on both our behalves.”
“Really. And how would they have thought that?”
“Your signature isn’t exactly hard to copy.”
Ben covered his face with his hands, understanding what his mother had done.
“I know I shouldn’t have, not without your permission, but I was desperate. And the bank thought our business plan was excellent.”
He looked up at her. Elena’s eyes were red from crying, but there was still an edge of defiance in her face. “How much is left?”
She shrugged. “A few thousand, maybe.”
“And you used Crofton Hall as security?”
The anger flashed through him, burning through his usual amicable nature. “How could you have been so stupid? Were you even thinking past your own selfishness?”
Elena cowered in her seat.
“You’ve ruined us, destroyed this family!”
“I didn’t mean—”
Ben didn’t want to hear her feeble excuses. “Oh, that’s all right, then. We’ll tell the bank, you didn’t mean it, and they’ll forget all about it.”
Ben reined in his anger. Taking deep, slow breaths, he clenched and unclenched his fists as he regained his calm. He watched Catlin pace up and down. Harry stood slumped against the fireplace, shell-shocked. Now was not the time to panic. He needed to know exactly how much trouble they were in and deal with it.
“Get me the paperwork.”
Without argument, Elena jumped to her feet and scurried over to the writing bureau in the corner. From the folds of frills and ruffles of her blouse, she fished out a key on a chain and unlocked the bureau. She drew out a sheaf of paper.
“It’s all here.”
“Right, let’s hope my economics degree wasn’t for nothing.” Ben snatched the papers. “I suggest you all keep your distance until I’ve finished reading.”
He sank into a chair by the unlit fireplace, blocking out the angry thoughts as he scanned sheet after sheet. The figures danced before his eyes, and he saw the terms and conditions his mother had agreed to. The interest, compound interest, and payback terms were listed and categorized in black and white with no way of denying the facts. They were in deep shit, the bank would be at the door within weeks, and Ben seethed internally at his mother’s gall.The effort she’d put into defrauding the bank was amazing, the business case had been full of fine details and promised an excellent return, but little help would that do them now.
Ben stared around the sitting room; generations of Redbourns had sat in here. Men who’d fought at Blenheim, Waterloo, and El Alamein —they would never have given in and surrendered Crofton Hall in the face of adversity. And it wasn’t about to happen while Ben was Earl of Crofton either. As much as he wanted to rail against it, their only hope was to
convince the bank they were following through with the idea of opening the house to the public.
“We can probably sell the London apartment. That’ll raise around two million. Our trust funds are protected, so we can’t release the equity from those. If we’ve any hope of holding on to her, Crofton Hall is going have to earn her keep.”
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