Monday, 12 September 2011

Blog Tour: Velvet by Mary Hooper - Guest Post, Extract & Giveaway!

Velvet by Mary Hooper is one of my favourite books of 2011.  A historical fiction with a fascinating subject matter, Velvet explores the spiritualist craze which spread during Victorian times. If you like historical fiction and really great storytelling, then this one is for you!

I'm on the look out for further reading, so if you know of any historical fictions that deal with mediums or the spiritualist craze of the late 19th and early 20th centuries do let me know!

In the meantime, enjoy this guest post from Mary Hooper in which she talks about who she would contact at a séance.  I've also attached the first chapter of Velvet for you to read, and there's a great giveaway further down the page where you can win EIGHT of Mary's historical fiction titles (UK only comp!). You can thank the ever lovely Emma at Bloomsbury for the giveaway! 

Velvet by Mary Hooper
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release date: September 5th 2011

Velvet is a laundress in a Victorian steam laundry. With both her mother and father dead, she is an orphan and has to rely upon her own wits to make a living. The laundry is scalding, back-breaking work and Velvet is desperate to create a better life for herself. Then Velvet is noticed by Madame Savoya, a famed medium, who asks Velvet to come to work for her. Velvet is dazzled at first by the young yet beautifully dressed and bejewelled Madame. But soon Velvet realises that Madame Savoya is not all that she says she is, and Velvet’s very life is in danger . . .

A romantic and thrillingly exciting new novel from an acclaimed and much loved historical writer for teens

 Mary Hooper on who she would contact at a séance

One of my favourite historical characters is not famous for being clever, or writing books, or using great power wisely or trying to save the world, but for being a king’s mistress. Not much to that job, you might think, but if you were Nell Gwyn and mistress to Charles II (“The Merry Monarch”) then you had to tread carefully. All around you were other mistresses or would-be mistresses (Charles II had thirteen illegitimate children) every one of them trying to outdo each other in style, beauty and vivacity. Nell had something special, though: she did not give herself airs and graces and was the only one of his mistresses not to nag Charles to give her jewels and titles and footballer’s-wives type possessions. She was also fully aware of the precarious – and rather ludicrous - position she held at court. Best of all, she made Charles laugh.

Everyone seems to have liked Nelly, even her great rivals. She was right at the top of the celebrity A List and admiring crowds gathered around her carriage whenever she appeared in public. Pepys referred to her in his Diary as “pretty, witty, Nell”. Charles II’s doings are all recorded in history books, but from Nell I would get all the very latest tittle-tattle, the palace back-stairs gossip, and enough anecdotes to last me for several books.

Find out more about Mary Hooper:

Velvet by Mary Hooper - chapter one.

Bloomsbury publishing have generously provided a Mary Hooper historical fiction prize pack to go along with this post.  All the stops on the Velvet blog tour will be hosting a giveway, so you should  check out the rest of the stops on the tour. I know you were totally planning on doing that anyway. :)
Competition is open to UK only and closes September 18th.
Below are all the books you could win. Just fill in the form below and you're good to go.

Win all these books: The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose, At the House of the Magician, At the Sign of the Sugared Plum, By Royal Command, Fallen Grace, Petals in the Ashes, The Betrayal, Velvet


Pay me another visit later today when you'll be able to read my review of Velvet and take a look a the book trailer.
The Velvet blog tour continues tomorrow at Heaven, Hell and Purgatory Book Reviews.


  1. Wow I learned a new author today and just when I was looking for some historical fiction too. Shame I am not in the UK as that is one heck of a prize pack. Thanks for turning me onto Mary Hooper

  2. That is an incredible prize pack! Mary Hopper's books look really good :)

  3. More books to do with mediums: there is Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn which I liked ( and probably, though I'm embarrassed to say I haven't read it yet, Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey (also by Bloomsbury).


  4. Great choice of person! I really love historical fiction but as of yet I haven't really picked up any historical YA.

    Leanna if this is one of your favourite books that's a huge recommendation, I love your taste in books! :D

    Thanks for the giveaway, I'll have my fingers crossed for this one!

  5. @Karen - Thanks for the Distant Waves rec. It sounds really good. Just added it to my wish list. I haven't read Haunting Violet yet either. Plan on reading it soon!

    @Jules - Velvet is a really good historical YA. Great storytelling & a fascinating subject. My review will be up this evening. :)

  6. This is such a fantastic giveaway. I haven't read any of Mary Hooper's books yet, but SO many of them are on my TBR (and at least one is on my shelves).

    Have you read The Seance by John Harwood? It's a little slow in the beginning, but it takes off once the MC inherits the house.

  7. Oooo I've been on a historical fiction kick lately, this sounds right up my alley! And I cannot imagine being mistress to some monarch when he has 15 other mistresses waiting in the wings to take my place. I like the sound of Nell though, now I want to go look up more about her!

  8. walking here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =D

    Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

  9. Wow Velvet sounds absolutely wonderful. Thank you for sharing today and for the the awesome giveaway opportunity.

  10. Just added this to the TBR and noticed you gave it 5 stars...sweet!

  11. OH boo! I would have loved to entered!! Good Luck to everyone else!

  12. I love Mary Hooper and yay! a UK giveaway.
    Thanks :D

  13. @Small - I haven't read The Seance by John Harwood, but it's on my TBR. I've read The Ghost Writer by the same author. :)

  14. What a great giveaway, as a real bookworm I would love to read them.I could then put my thoughts on Goodreads.

  15. What an amazing giveaway. Would love the opportunity to read all the books.

  16. Thank you for the chance to win! :)

    Cherry Mischievous


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