Monday, 15 December 2014

Blog Tour: His Saving Grace by Sharon Cullen; Guest Post + Giveaway

His Saving Grace (Secrets & Seduction #4)
Author: Sharon Cullen
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Date: 23 December 2014

Perfect for fans of Mary Balogh, Sharon Cullen’s captivating novel tells the deeply emotional tale of two devoted lovers facing the ravages of war.

For months now, Lady Grace Ashworth has mourned the death of her beloved husband—until the day a very-much-alive Michael arrives at her front door. It’s nothing less than a miracle. However, Grace soon realizes that this Michael isn’t the same man who left for the Crimean War. She’s stunned to learn that he has suffered a devastating head injury. Putting all her own desires aside, Grace resolves to devote herself to Michael’s recovery and to love him no matter what troubles may come.

Convinced that his wife is wasting her time on a broken man, Michael attempts to shield Grace from a life of inconvenience by driving her away. But Grace will have none of that. Despite every obstacle Michael throws in her path, she stubbornly soldiers on, fighting not only for their marriage but for the love they once shared. In the end, will her determination alone be enough to save Michael from the darkness that threatens to consume him?

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Guest Post- The Crystal Palace

“I thought that since you loved your little glass houses so much, you would like to see a large glass house.”

This was more than a large glass house. This was the Crystal Palace, the largest glass and steel building ever made. She’d heard of it, of course—who hadn’t? It was one of the greatest achievements in England’s history. She’d read many articles about the structure designed by the famous Joseph Paxton, head gardener to the duke of Devonshire, but she’d never thought to see it for herself.

She climbed down from the carriage and looked with awe at the massive building. Sunlight reflecting off the hundreds of glass panes caused her to squint.

“No use standing around gawking at it when we can go inside.”
– His Saving Grace

The heroine of His Saving Grace enjoyed gardening. Grace had a small glass conservatory built, which turned out to be her saving grace when life got too much for her to handle. Her conservatory became her sanctuary.

While I was researching the time period that His Saving Grace took place in I was excited when I discovered the Crystal Palace. I knew Grace would be awed by the exhibit that so closely resembled her conservatory—only on a much, much grander scale.

I loved writing the scene when Michael takes Grace to the Crystal Palace. It’s one of the few scenes in the book where we see Michael and Grace as they probably had been before Michael’s accident and one of the fewer scenes in which Michael’s injury was not a central theme.

The Crystal Palace housed the Great Exhibition of 1851 in Hyde Park, London. It was the biggest building made of steel and glass at that time and was backed by Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria.

The exhibition and the building were only meant to last six months after which the building was supposed to be torn down, but the steel and glass structure was so popular that private investors raised the funds to have the building moved to a more permanent location. It couldn’t remain at its original location because it wasn’t built to stay there and the ground couldn’t support the incredible weight of the building for much longer.

Originally the building housed an exhibition of the world’s most up to date technology. Hundreds of countries contributed to the endeavor.

After the building was moved the exhibition changed somewhat to reflect different nationalities and time periods. There were dinosaur exhibits, Byzantine exhibits and Egyptian exhibits just to name a few.

Even after the building was moved it proved to be incredibly popular. One of its most endearing qualities was that it brought all different walks of people together. Shop owners mixed with nobility. Laborers mixed with shop owners. Vendors came daily to sell their wares.

What was meant to last only six months ended up lasting forty years. Popularity began to decline in the 1890s. In the early 1900s it was revived and rose in popularity for a short time before it declined once again in the 1920s. In 1936 the Crystal Palace was destroyed by a fire that people could see from eight counties away.

About the Author

Sharon Cullen is the author of the historical romances The Notorious Lady Anne, Loving the Earl, and Pleasing the Pirate, as well as many novels of romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. If you’d like to find out more about the author and her books, you can visit her blog or her website. She is addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion: books.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


There's a $25.00 eGift Card to Choice Book Seller and Loveswept Mug & Tote to be won, to celebrate the release of His Saving Grace. Good luck!

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