Thursday, July 16, 2020

#

Rosemary or Too Clever to Love by GL Robinson - Book Tour

Rosemary or Too Clever To Love by GL Robinson @gl_robinson @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours 

The Ugly Duckling meets the Gothic novel: a plain governess, a romantic Miss, a stern but handsome guardian, involved in a midnight chase, a woman dressed in britches and a gloomy castle. Throw in a bit of Vivaldi and some French philosophy, and you have it all!
If Rosemary can't control her wayward pupil and prove her worth to her guardian the Earl, her future is bleak.
When Marianne's father dies, she and her governess Rosemary are forced to go and live with her guardian the Earl of Tyndell. The Earl has strict ideas about how young ladies should behave. He isn't impressed by the romantic notions Marianne has absorbed straight from the pages of a Gothic novel. And her governess is not only dowdy but perfectly ready to put him in his place, especially regarding his ideas about the education of women. But when the Earl's interest in Rosemary blossoms just as Marianne falls in love with the last person he would ever agree to her marrying, where will it all end?
Read Rosemary or Too Clever to Love to see how this tangle is sorted out.
In spite of its light-hearted and often humorous tone, this charming novel raises questions about women's education and philosophy. Book Group discussion topic have been included at the end.



Buy Link 

Excerpt

The Earl begins to realize the plain governess is more than she appears.

Taking the time only to find her sheet music in her trunk, Rosemary did not look at herself in the mirror above the washstand in her room. She was not in the habit of looking at herself, since her mother had discouraged that form of pride, and anyway, her reflection was always uninspiring. If she had looked this evening, however, she would have seen a young woman whose curls now framed her face charmingly and, her color heightened by the warmth and the unaccustomed wine, a young woman whose face, while not exactly pretty, had an arresting quality, perhaps from the calm gaze of her wide eyes whose color seemed to change with the light. But as she urged her charge to stop rummaging in her trunk and come along, she did not see herself.
Marianne took no notice but suddenly drew forth a very blue, short sleeved narrow gown, gathered into folds at the center of the shoulders in the back. It was in the new Empire style that Rosemary had copied from a Mode Illustrée lent by a neighbor, and she had been pleased with how well it had turned out. But Marianne was right. The color had never really suited her. She had only worn it once,  at an afternoon tea ball given by the same neighbor whose daughter was due to be presented in London and who needed the dancing practice. Rosemary had played the piano, the young people had practiced their steps, and a fine time had been enjoyed by all.
Marianne was looking closely at the gown. “You know, Rosie, if you take out one of these gathers in the back, you will have enough material to lengthen the gown. And look!” She held the dress close to Rosemary’s face. “It does make your eyes look blue! It really does!”
“Well, I’ll think about it,” conceded Rosemary. “But for now, let’s put it aside and not keep Dear Uncle Giles waiting. Come along.”
“But you said you’d dance a jig if we found you a blue dress, so come on! Dance!”
Rosemary laughed and, neatly executing a series of pas de basque, danced to the bedroom door, opened it and danced down the hall to the stairs. Then, as Marianne stifled her giggles, she stopped dancing and, her chin high and her mouth drawn into a solemn purse, proceeded in an exaggeratedly stately fashion down the stairs.
In the drawing room, his lordship was back in the armchair, staring vacantly into the fire.
“I’ll never know what takes you ladies so long,” he remarked. “You look exactly the same, so what have you been doing?”
“Our trunks arrived, Uncle Giles, and we were looking at our things. At least, I was,” said Marianne still suppressing her giggles. “All Rosie did was to get out her sheet music.” She was going to say and dance a jig but saw Rosemary’s hasty shake of the head, so continued soberly, “I was persuading her to alter a blue dress she made for me so it will fit her. I think she’ll look lovely in blue, don’t you?”
“I’m no arbiter of women’s fashions,” said Uncle Giles, “but I imagine that just about anything would look better than the sackcloth she is presently wearing.”
“That’s what I said!” cried Marianne. “And I persuaded her to take off that awful cap. Don’t you think she looks much better without it?”
“If you please, I would prefer your not discussing my person while I am standing here, or indeed, at any time,” said Rosemary, speaking more calmly than she felt. So he had noticed her! And fancy calling her gown sackcloth! Then she changed the subject. “I shall go to the piano. Do you think it is in tune?”
“It had better be. I despise having things around me that are defective,” said the Earl. "My servants all know that.” He did not answer Marianne’s question.
“And that had better warn you, my girl,” thought Rosemary. “You had better not be defective in your playing, or the servants will toss you out.” She smiled, but since her back was by now to the others, no one saw it.
 She walked around the pianoforte, sat down, lifted the lid, adjusted the seat to her height and began to play Mozart’s Turkish March. She had brought the music, but, in truth, did not need it as she had been playing the piece for years. It amazed her that Mozart had composed this piece when he was not much older than she was now. It was the last movement of his 11th Sonata for piano and was basically a round, with the theme being repeated in various ways, but she marveled at how he had taken such a simple idea and made it transcendent.
Her touch was deft and light as she began and, as always when playing, she lost herself. When the Earl looked at her, he could hardly believe this was the same nondescript woman he had travelled with that morning. She was lightly tossing her head in tempo with the music, her eyes, were they blue? brown? grey? sparkling, a half smile on her lips. As the piece came to its final, almost military, conclusion, she at last appeared to come back into herself and looked down, striking the keys with verve and passion. It was a performance all the more remarkable for being completely unexpected.
Marianne clapped her hands. “Oh, I love it when you play that piece. It always makes me happy!”
“Yes, me too,” said Rosemary, rising from the piano. “I can almost see the Turkish band and feel the sun on my shoulders.”
“You played it well,” was his lordship’s more sedate response. “Will you not play again?”
Rosemary sat down again and, after a little thought, played the slow, melodic first movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. It was a complete change from the Mozart, with its almost somber, elegiac mood. When the last notes had died softly away, there was a moment of complete silence before Marianne said, “I don’t know why Beethoven found the moonlight so sad! I always think it should be happy - lovers meeting in the moonlight and that sort of thing,” she blushed and glanced quickly at her uncle, “but he must have had another idea entirely!”
“I congratulate you on your knowledge of the composer, Marianne, for which no doubt Miss Drover is responsible, but I would be interested to know whence comes your idea of lovers in the moonlight. It must be the result of your reading material. I’m surprised, Miss Drover, that you encourage such rubbish.”
“Oh, Rosie doesn’t encourage it, Uncle Giles,” came the quick retort. “It’s just that I like novels so much more than all those dreary French philosophers she’s always trying to get me to read. Suffering for one’s love is always a feature of those stories, it seems.”
Rosemary saw his lordship’s eyebrows rise, but before he could say anything, she broke in, “Perhaps Beethoven was acquainted with lovers who had an uncle who felt as you do, my lord. That would explain the tone of the piece.”
The Earl made as if to retort, but then simply said, “Touché, Miss Drover!” Decidedly, he thought, this governess-companion was a most unusual person. To look at her, one would dismiss her as a complete nonentity, but she clearly had hidden depths. 


G L Robinson I'm a product of a convent boarding school in the south of England in the 1950's and early 60's. You can probably guess I received an old-fashioned education. I learned a great deal about the humanities and practically nothing in the sciences. I understand Latin, speak French fluently and my German isn't bad. I read the Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English when I was 16 and Shakespeare is an open book. But the only science I remember is the ditty: Miss Cummings (our teacher) was a scientist, alas she is no more, for what she took for H2O (water) was H2SO4 (sulfuric acid). Not bad, eh? Words to live by.
I met my American husband while working in Brussels (Belgium). Then we moved to Bonn (Germany).  I had three children in a foreign tongue. If you want to know how to say "push" in French and German, ask me!
I've lived in the USA for over 40 years, have seven grandchildren and the same husband I started with. We live in a small town in upstate New York but nowadays spend the winter in Florida. I need to sell lots of books so we can buy a waterfront condo! (laughs ironically).
I love my garden, telling my grandchildren stories and eating desserts.  I'd give up a steak for a Key Lime Pie any day!
I began writing Regency Romances just under two years ago after the death of my beloved sister who was in the convent with me all those years ago. We used to read them under the covers with a torch after lights out. My books are dedicated to her.
I've so far indie published three.  The third, Rosemary or Too Clever to Love, just came out at the beginning of May.  I'm writing a fourth and editing a trilogy I wrote 18 months ago. I plan on publishing them over the summer.
I love Regency Romances and they've always been a guilty pleasure. I was a French professor, and I tell you, after a day of teaching Existentialism, you need a bit of sprigged muslin and some polished topboots to clear your head.  
But more than that, I think they fulfil a need for order and calm that is so lacking in our lives today.  You know that Almack's is only going to allow entry to men in white britches; you know young ladies may only dance twice with the same man at the ball; you know the couple is going to get together, no matter how mismatched they appear, or how many obstacles are in their path.
There is something soothing about it all.  Of course, it's escapism and it's often silly, but it's always satisfying.
Having been a teacher for 30 years, I find I can't get away from the urge to provoke discussion. Plus, I belong to three Book Groups. I've therefore included Discussion Topics at the end of my last two novels. I hope my readers will have fun with them. 

2 comments: