Friday, April 23, 2021

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Where Your Treasure Is by M.C. Bunn

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Where Your Treasure Is by M.C. Bunn. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a great guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Where Your Treasure Is
Author: M.C. Bunn
Publication Date: April 23rd 2021
Print Length: 466 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
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Feisty, independent heiress Winifred de la Coeur has never wanted to live according to someone else’s rules—but even she didn’t plan on falling in love with a bank robber.

Winifred is a wealthy, nontraditional beauty who bridles against the strict rules and conventions of Victorian London society. When she gets caught up in the chaos of a bungled bank robbery, she is thrust unwillingly into an encounter with Court Furor, a reluctant getaway driver and prizefighter. In the bitter cold of a bleak London winter, sparks fly.

Winifred and Court are two misfits in their own circumscribed worlds—the fashionable beau monde with its rigorously upheld rules, and the gritty demimonde, where survival often means life-or-death choices.

Despite their conflicting backgrounds, they fall desperately in love while acknowledging the impossibility of remaining together. Returning to their own worlds, they try to make peace with their lives until a moment of unrestrained honesty and defiance threatens to topple the deceptions they have carefully constructed to protect each other.

A story of the overlapping entanglements of Victorian London’s social classes, the strength of family bonds and true friendship, and the power of love to heal a broken spirit.

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EXCERPT:
Approaching the right turn that would take him to Swift Street and the Royal Empire Bank, Court Furor concentrated on traffic. Cold bit his cheeks and hunger gnawed his belly, but he ignored both through force of habit. The soles of his boots were thin and his gloves pointless…No point worrying about what the day would bring, never mind the next one…He was a man of no prospects and no property but preferred to think of it as freedom from responsibility…It was no secret he fancied himself a bit of a lad though he wasn’t overly tempted by long, romantic entanglements. An hour or two with a willing girl would suit…

He directed the horse to a slow walk, trying to secure a place in the queue for the curb. In the gleaming brougham beside him sat a woman, her face hidden under an enormous, bright green hat trimmed with black ostrich feathers. Her driver signaled, and Court tugged his reins…Though a thick veil covered her face, Court caught a glimpse of golden hair, coiled in heavy masses on her shoulders. The wind lifted the edge of her mantle, and he was briefly amazed by the brilliant green of her dress…She’d obviously never missed a meal in her life.

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Suddenly Geoff and a woman appeared at the bottom of the stairs…Their progress was impeded by the woman’s wildly kicking little boots. Her struggles and the flashes of her bright green and purple silks made her look like an exotic bird thrashing in Geoff’s arms….

Geoff…thrust the woman at him…the woman struggled and kicked…and cried for help. Involuntarily, he clapped his hand over her mouth. She only screamed louder.

“Shut up, you fat sow!” Geoff swatted her across the temple….

The woman’s eyes rolled and she went limp.

Court howled in dismay and caught her… In his arms, she was a mountain of soft cashmere and folds of velvet. Her mantle fell open, and her scent hit him. Lilies and some dark, exotic spice. It was so unexpected and heavenly that the alley and the hackney disappeared. Even his panic was gone.

“…We can’t take ’er!”

Geoff clicked off the safety and waved the pistol under Court’s nose. When Court did not let go of the woman, he pointed the pistol at her head. “I ain’t arguin’! Drive!” He slammed the cab door…

His heart hammering, his head whirling, Court untied the horse, swung up onto the box, and grabbed the reins. As he turned the cab into the street behind the bank, yet another fire truck raced past. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! They were in for it now.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
M. C. Bunn is a writer of Victorian romance and historical romance novels, a singer (in the indie rock band Mister Felix), and a songwriter. She holds an English degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a master’s in English from North Carolina State University.

"I've always loved writing. It's a joy to do what makes me happy and to share it.

“My father was a great story-teller. He read to us at the dinner table and passed on his love of history. He’d haul me out of bed in the middle of the night if there was a great old movie on the late show, and family trips always included visits to historic sites. His father was born in 1888, and I have Granddaddy's letters to his bride-to-be in my dresser. I'm working on the story of Daddy's first ancestor in America. It's set in Jamestown, 1690. My mother's grandmother was placed in an orphanage after the Civil War because her father died on the way home, so I always felt that connection to and had a curiosity about the past. Both of my parents read to me before I could walk. Daddy gave me Dickens, Twain, and Stevenson. Mama put the dictionary in my hands and let me watch I, Claudius and Shoulder to Shoulder when they first aired on Masterpiece Theatre. She told me I'd be a writer one day.”

Acting was another girlhood passion. “I wanted to play all the characters in the books I'd read, or in the stories I made up, like Dickens and Louisa May Alcott did. I also wanted to be an archaeologist because we knew one who worked on digs in Israel. There was never a time when I wasn't making up a story, and it was always set 'a long time ago.' What I really wished for was the car in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, so I could fly back in time and see what it was actually like for women in Victorian and Edwardian England.”

When she's not writing, she loves reading long old books. "I love Anthony Trollope's series, and Anna Karenina. Of more recent vintage, I really enjoyed The Forsyte Saga and The Raj Quartet."

Her idea of a well-appointed room includes multiple bookshelves, a full pot of coffee, and a place to lie down and read. To feed her soul, she takes a walk or makes music with friends. "I try to remember to look up at the sky and take some time each day to be thankful."

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and their dog. Where Your Treasure Is is her first published novel.

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GUEST POST:
- Which true crime event do you find the most intriguing?

This is a great question even though I’m not a mystery or suspense writer. There’s a lot to learn from reading those genres. I’ve always loved classic mysteries—Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, and Arthur Conan Doyle. These authors were masters of how to create cliff-hangers, or when to reveal and withhold information in dialogue. They used unreliable narrators and controlled point of view to keep readers spinning. Appearance versus reality—watch out for it, just like your freshman English teacher taught! The old adage about crime, that it’s always for love or money, seems to hold true.

Though “love” can take some mighty eccentric forms in real and fictional criminal motivation.

All that being said, my Victorian romance, Where Your Treasure Is (Bellastoria Press, release date April 23 2021), does contain multiple illegal actions, some of them quite serious.

The novel opens in November, 1892. Fans of the Miss Scarlet and the Duke series or Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies will recognize a similar, gritty London, though Scarlet’s production is set a decade prior. Treasure is a Victorian romance with all the familiar tropes, so readers can look forward to country houses, dances, and beautiful clothes, but it’s also a love story with some edginess.

In the first chapter Treasure’s heroine, spinster and heiress Winifred de la Coeur visits the Royal Empire Bank to withdraw her mother’s fabulous Moghul diamond necklace. Down the hall from where she meets with her banker are two men—one of whom is a full-fledged gang member. The fellows are drunk, reckless, and intent on collecting a card debt from a bank employer who carried an extra ace to their last game. It was an era when cheating at cards could get a man ousted from his club and banned from joining another. Edward VII was even involved in such a case. Gentlemen took it very seriously.

This was also a time when anarchists across Europe were pitching homemade bombs to make their statements. Not that our debt-collectors have any interest in politics, but matches and alcohol don’t mix. No spoilers!

The morning’s events land Winifred, literally, in the arms of Court Furor, the duo’s getaway driver. He’s a man whose body is his greatest weapon, and he has every reason to do his worst to her. Oh yes, and she’s hiding her mother’s necklace in her cloak.

Before Treasure is over, the lives of Winifred and her family are irrevocably entangled with those of Court, his half-siblings, and their friends. In Where Your Treasure Is, London has two faces—and so do a couple of its major characters. Just outside the door of the glittering beau monde is an underworld of policemen and prostitutes, pornography, murder and extortion, horse racing, gambling, fixed prizefighting, and traveling circuses.

None of that gets in the way of true love, or Winifred and Court’s romance!
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GIVEAWAY:
M. C. Bunn will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at another stop on the tour each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

74 comments:

  1. M. C. Bunn
    It's great to be here on All the Ups and Downs. I look forward to meeting your readers. It's also Lovers' Day and release day for Where Your Treasure Is, so celebrate love and all things romantic!

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  2. We were excited about finding the artist Giovanni Boldini's Woman in Red too. The color of the dress is similar to the pendant-gem of Winifred's necklace, which you can see on my website. It's unique, like her! There is quite a bit of action in the story. Court is a prizefighter who enjoys a horse race! Thanks for your comment.

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  3. Sounds great! I like the cover, beautiful dress.

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. You can get a more complete preview of Chapters 1-2 at my website. That wonderful dress! The only person I know who has regular occasion to wear such a gown is a concert pianist and composer. Her work is featured on my website, under Music To Treasure.

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  4. How long was the writing process?

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  5. Congratulations on the release. Sounds like a great book.

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      Thank you so much! It's an exciting day. I hope you'll enjoy the Winifred's and Court's (mis)adventures!

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  6. This sounds like a very good book.

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      A big cast, lots of plot twists, a bit of armchair time travel to Victorian England, adventure and romance...thanks for following the tour!

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  7. M. C. Bunn
    I wrote the first draft in 2011; set it aside and wrote another book; came back in late 2012 and rewrote it (and wrote several more books over the next few years). In 2019 I found a publisher for the third re-write. Throughout, I incorporated new research and had a few trusted readers. Everyone's process is so different. While some of this has to do with daily logistics (having time to write), perhaps some of a writer's process is also affected by their goals. There is more on this subject in my blog Treasures, which is part of my website. Thank you for asking!

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  8. I too wanted the car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. wowowow

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  9. thanks this sounds like a wonderful book

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    1. May reading Where Your Treasure Is be a wonderful experience for you! Thanks for the kind words, and Celebrate Lovers' Day!

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  10. Ian Fleming and his cars! In 1892, when Treasure opens, London's streets are still full of horse-drawn vehicles. The change over the next twenty years is stupendous! Cheers!

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  11. This sounds like an interesting book and the cover has a beautiful artwork.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      So many people are intrigued by the Victorian period, its glitter and grit. Winifred is unique, like her mother's flame-colored diamond, and many-faceted. Thank you for posting today!

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  12. Replies
    1. M. C. Bunn
      I'm glad you enjoyed what you've read so far. Explore the website for more from Chapters 1-2, and the books I'm working on in the series. Thank you for the encouragement! Celebrate Lovers' Day with Winifred and Court and your own treasure!

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  13. What do you like/love about Winifred?

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      Both Winifred and Court are vulnerable people who play up to (or against) societal roles for their gender and class in order to protect themselves. What each thinks is a personal strength is, at times, actually a weakness. It's through their experiences after they meet one another that they discover their true strengths. Wonderful question!

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  14. This sounds like a book that would keep me up reading past my bedtime.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      That's precisely what we want a good book to do! I'll bet many avid readers remember a book they stayed up with until they finished it--or the book they couldn't bear to end. Or maybe there's a book you have to re-read every year...I hope Where Your Treasure Is will become one of those books! Thank you for your comment.

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  15. Replies
    1. M. C. Bunn
      As one reader said after finishing the book, "...characters are driven by passion. They fight to attain their heart's desire or struggle to resist it." Everyone must decide who or what their treasure is and what they are going to do about it. I hope you enjoy the book, and thanks for the uplifting words!

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  16. M. C. Bunn
    Thank you for writing. At one point, Winifred reflects that the most precious treasure in the world is the hardest one to find. Join the search! Celebrate Lovers' Day, and happy reading!

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  17. I love Historical Romances, especially if they're set in the Victorian era. Beautiful cover.

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      We wanted the cover to stand out and set the tone, not only for Treasure but the projected series. I hope you will enjoy getting to know Winifred, Court, and the whole cast. There are links to music on the website that go with scenes from the story. I have my own idea about what song Winifred is playing and what scene the cover represents. It will be interesting to learn what readers think.

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  18. Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      Thank you for posting, and I hope you'll find a winner with Where Your Treasure Is. Preview Chapters 1-2 on my website. Happy reading!

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  19. nice book cover and the book sounds interesting.

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      Thank you so much for stopping by, and I hope you'll reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

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  20. It's lovely to learn about your book. Exciting tour.

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      It has been exciting to preview so many other imaginative writers' works and be in their company. Celebrate bookstores and authors this Saturday, and I hope you enjoy Where Your Treasure Is.

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  21. I love the cover art.. it is so eye catching....

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      Good morning, and thank you for stopping by. Compared to Giovanni Boldini's other works, this painting appears unfinished (though still lovely). Once you read Treasure, you'll see why that unfinished quality makes our finding this picture for the cover all the more amazing!

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  22. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      Though the excerpt shows more about Court than Winifred, it plunges the reader into the dangerous world that both of them must navigate. There's a link to Chapters 1-2 on my website so you can get to know both of the characters (and Geoff) better. Thank you so much for your interest.

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  23. Replies
    1. M. C. Bunn
      It has been wonderful to be here on such an active and exciting blog. Enjoy your day too, and do so with a good read!

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  24. Nice cover. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      The cover has gotten so many positive responses, and I'm deeply grateful to my publisher for allowing my input. it is as though Giovanni Boldini, the artist, was in the room with Winifred, listening as she played her piano. Thank you!

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  25. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

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    1. Thank you so much for your interest and your positive response to the cover. Because Winifred is musical, there is a playlist on the website to evoke characters and scenes. I'll be interested to know which scene from Treasure readers think the cover illustrates.

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  26. Replies
    1. M. C. Bunn
      I think I finally got back to your comment. Thanks so much for your patience!!!

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  27. Replies
    1. M. C. Bunn
      Writing, that sounds lovely! During the launch and blog tour, no. However, when I'm working on a book, I do keep a reading/research schedule and a separate writing time. Because "life happens," there are always interruptions. I write on weekdays and weekends--whenever I can!

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  28. How many books do you read in a year?

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  29. M. C. Bunn
    There is no set goal or number. I read for enjoyment, for research, to study an author or time period, to support writers I've met or know. I suppose everyone has favorites that they re-read. I've recently joined Goodreads, and posted a few of the books I've read and re-read. Many of those are "classic" novels which I would love to pass on to new readers as they were passed on to me. It's wonderful that there's always another good book and interesting author to discover. Cheers!

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  30. Hope you are having better weather than we are.
    Cloudy & stormy.

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  31. The cover art is fabulous! I'm looking forward to reading this!

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      Thank you so much for checking in, and I hope you will enjoy entering the world of Winifred de la Coeur and Court Furor. See your own treasure!

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  32. I think that the cover of your book is really pretty!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      It was a challenge to find a work of art that would express who Winifred is but still leave something to the reader's imagination. Finding that painting felt like a gift, much as I felt when Winifred and Court "came to me." Read about that on my blog, Treasures! Thank you for posting.

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  33. David HollingsworthApril 27, 2021 at 4:45 PM

    Lovely cover and the story sounds interesting.

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      So many people have commented on the dress and its bold color, the mystery of the woman's averted face. I've posted captions from Chapters 1-2 along with photographs from the era and more artwork on Pinterest. Thank you for your comments!

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      Look inside the cover for more! Chapters 1-2 are on my website, along with a playlist of music that accompanies scenes from the book. Thank you for posting today, and happy reading!

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  35. Shared this on Facebook -
    https://www.facebook.com/barbara.montag.7/posts/10226067508370515

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      That is brilliant, and thank you so much for spreading the word about Where Your Treasure Is!

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  36. I always enjoy hearing about new books.
    Thank you for sharing this review.

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  37. I like the soft Impressionist style of this book cover.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      Thank you so much. Our intention was to set the tone for the rest of series, which includes not only love stories, but the intertwining tales of several families of generations. There are descriptions of the upcoming books on my website. Happy reading!

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  38. This sounds like a good read. I like reading about the Victorian era.

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    1. M. C. Bunn
      It's a complex time period, and a poignant one as well. Thank you for your comments!

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  39. I like the composition of your author photo on the post. I like that it is taken from above and has the background of autumn leaves.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  40. I enjoy reading books that take place in history.

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  41. I tried several times to write.
    Apparently I do not have the needed talent!

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  42. Do you relax on the weekends? LAST DAY

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