Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Where Your Treasure Is by M. C. Bunn @MCBunn3 @GoddessFish


Where Your Treasure Is

by M. C. Bunn

GENRE: Historical Romance, Victorian Romance


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.


Chapter 2

A Fool and His Money Are Soon Parted

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.


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.

Interview with M. C. Bunn

What made you want to become a writer?

One of my earliest memories is being read to by both my parents from grown-up novels and short stories as well as beautiful children’s books of fairy tales and poems, so I had the experience of being held while I slipped into dreamland, accompanied by all these characters and the best of the English language coming from the lips of the people I loved most. That’s a powerful gift I’d cherish even if I didn’t write. Before I began to read, I was already making up stories. I’ve never stopped.

What inspired you to write Where Your Treasure Is?

A few years after my father died, I spent several summers helping my mother clean her house and their offices. They worked together many years and were very much a team. At the end of one summer, Winifred de la Coeur and Court Furor emerged out of nowhere, arguing. It was eerie, like one of those old-fashioned panoramas. Not a dream, it felt very real. A few days later, they came back while I was walking my dog, but it was at their story’s end. For the next four months, I seized every opportunity I could to fill in the middle of their tale. I could hardly wait to find out what was going to happen. It was a wild ride!

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Where Your Treasure Is?

Winifred de la Coeur is a very wealthy, middle-class spinster who spent her childhood in India and comes to live in England. She’s not a traditional beauty, but her money attracts many suitors, none of whom tempt her. By the time the book opens, she’s twenty-four and would like to marry if she could find a man whom she trusts and loves. She goes to the Royal Empire Bank to withdraw her mother’s diamond necklace, but her morning’s plans go awry.

Court Furor grew up in London’s most impoverished slum, the Old Nichol. A prizefighter, collector, and driver for a gangster, he’s in debt to a host of dangerous cronies and is especially desperate to pay off his half-brother, Geoff Ratchet, and their gang boss, P. Lili Piani.

Ratchet is determined to collect a card debt from one of the Royal Empire Bank’s employees. Court is equally determined to merely act as the getaway driver and collect a day’s wage. The plan blows up in their faces (no spoilers!), and Winifred literally lands in Court’s arms.

As he tells a character later in the book, Winifred’s presence at the bank was a complete surprise. They both get more than they bargain for.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

Every time I answer this question for an interview, I say someone different because so many books and authors are near my heart. This time I’ll confess that Dickens, for all his sentimental faults, is always in my top five. The beginning chapters of David Copperfield are nearly perfect. Great Expectations (with its original ending) is one of my favorite books. There’s a chapter in Our Mutual Friend about a couple who has married, each of them thinking that the other partner has more money than he or she does. Their reckoning beautifully captures the ethos of the age and was a turning point for my own writing. Oliver Twist brought children to the forefront as characters in adult reading material and helped change the world. Finally, Jacob Marley’s cry, “Mankind was my business,” is a challenge etched on my heart. I wish it was on everyone’s.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

I’m revising Time’s Promise, the second novel in the series, and there are at least two more to come. Several characters from Treasure return, but Promise’s action mainly follows the next generation’s coming of age. Edward and Tarquin, best friends and the books’ major characters, struggle to answer youth’s most compelling questions: what to do with one’s life and whom to share it with? They, and the independently-minded young women with whom they become involved, are faced with the first world war and the knowledge that all their dreams may come to naught. It’s time to seize the moment.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

At first, I wrote Treasure for myself and my mother, and for the sheer joy of storytelling. It was so fulfilling to read the first draft to her, the way she had read to me, and to hold her while I did so. I wish she was here now, though she always assured me my book would be published. It’s a love letter to both my parents, for all they gave me. I simply want to pass that on.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest


$25 Amazon/BN GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Unknown said...

M. C. Bunn
Thank you Avid Reader for hosting Day 8 of the Where Your Treasure Is launch tour. This site features all sorts of interesting books and authors. I look forward to checking in throughout the day to meet your readers!

Sue G. said...

Fun excerpt!

Unknown said...

M. C. Bunn
Glad you enjoyed it! Court is in a heap of trouble, not only because of Winifred. Find out how she landed in his arms on my website, where you can find a preview of Chapters 1-2. Thank you for your kind comment!

Unknown said...

M. C. Bunn
Action scenes are challenging, but fun to write. I read so many mysteries, adventure stories, and comic books as a child. I've always been fascinated by how directors of early Hollywood movies coordinated all the extras when there were no blue screens or animation options and film technology was at its most primitive. Writers have to make the reader see in the theater of the mind. The excerpt focuses on Court. Find out more about Winifred in Chapter 1, which is on my website. Thank you for visiting the Avid Reader!

Sherry said...

I really liked the excerpt.

Unknown said...

M. C. Bunn
Thank you for reading! There's more on my website, where you can find Chapters 1-2, music to accompany Where Your Treasure Is, and links to artwork and photographs from the Victorian era.

slehan said...

I need a book like this to read.
Thanks for the contest.

Unknown said...

M. C. Bunn
I hope you'll enjoy the story and all the characters! Thank you for posting!