Welcome to the Blog Tour for A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Title: A Tapestry of Light
Author: Kimberly Duffy
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release date: March 16, 2021
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon her skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women.
When a stranger appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. Despite her growing friendship with Everett Scott, friend to Ottilie’s English grandmother and aunt, she refuses to give up her brother. Then tragedy strikes, and she is forced to make a decision that will take Thaddeus far from death and herself far from home.
But betrayal and loss lurk in England, too, and soon Ottilie must fight to ensure Thaddeus doesn’t forget who he is, as well as find a way to stitch a place for herself in this foreign land.
Excerpts from A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy
Ottilie set her packages on the table beside the settee and drew the shawl from its wrapping. She carefully unfolded it and laid it over Mrs. Winship’s lap. As Ottilie pulled the reticule free, she watched Mrs. Winship’s fingers trace the intricate embroidery edging the ruffle, her nails catching the elytra splayed in a floral pattern.
“Your mother was quite good. How do I know she didn’t do this work?”
Ottilie’s brows rose. “You don’t, I suppose, but why would I take on work I’m not qualified to do?” She held out the reticule.
Mrs. Winship didn’t reach for it. She picked up the shawl and shoved it at Ottilie before leaning back against the settee. With an elegant yawn, she gave a wave. “I’m sure you’re qualified, but I’m looking for something exceptional. Damaris is reaching an age where even our money won’t be enough to turn a man’s head. She needs to look spectacular. Especially with all those Fishing Fleet girls coming and stealing the Raj’s best men.” She pressed her fingers to her temples, and her eyes drifted shut. “It’s a shame your mother is no longer here. I had something spectacular in mind.”
“Mother!” Damaris’s rebuke covered Ottilie’s small gasp.
Ottilie focused on the paper-wrapped shoes she held in her arms. She didn’t want to show this foreign woman the gift she’d made for the most precious person in Calcutta. Didn’t want her pale fingers prodding the embroidery and picking apart the memories Ottilie had tucked away of hours snipping wings and beading thread and giggling in the lamplight, impatiently anticipating Maji’s joy and pride and the sight of her small, perfectly arched foot slipping into something beautiful again.
Ottilie pushed up from her mat and, ignoring her mourning gown, wrapped herself round and round in the white sari. The gauzy fabric slid over her hips and swathed her shoulders. She pulled the neatly hemmed edge around her back and tucked it into her waistband.
There. Now that she was hidden and protected within a brilliant chrysalis, God could do something with her shattered spirit. With time, maybe a butterfly would emerge. When she wore European dress, expected of her because of her majority of English blood, she drew stares and abuse from British and Indian alike.
When she wore a sari, because she looked Indian, she could hide. No one noticed her. Her waist was uncrushed by stays, and her movements unhampered by bustle and heavy fabric meant for foggy days. Maybe the most Anglophile in their Eurasian community would raise their brows and the aunties would gossip about Ottilie behind raised hands, but no one would say anything. Especially in her grief. And today she wanted to be like N?n?. Wanted to distance herself from the feelings that came whenever she donned woolen gowns—as though she were a child playing dress-up. Clothing that didn’t fit properly. A look that endeared her to no one and drew distrustful pale English eyes and resentful Bengali frowns.
“You’re young. There’s no reason to say you’ll never marry. Why? No. You will marry someday, and it might as well be someone who can feed us. Keep Thaddeus in school.” N?n? crossed her arms, matching Ottilie’s posture.
N?n? didn’t know. Had never met Victor. Had never seen him resplendent in his gold-braided uniform. Had never been tugged into a dark corner of the Imperial Museum and held in his arms. Had never heard Ottilie whisper a frantic yes when he proposed. Hadn’t noticed when Ottilie wept when it ended only four months after Papa’s death. Because there had been so much weeping, and how would she know Ottilie shed tears over a cowardly soldier, not again for the loss of father and siblings?
She didn’t know, and Ottilie wouldn’t tell her. And even if Ottilie did, one day, set aside her vow not to marry, she wouldn’t be coerced into a marriage of convenience. Not when she’d grown up watching the restrained passion and evident love between her parents. “I don’t love him, N?n?. I never could.”
“Psssh, love. What did it bring me but heartache? Even your mother suffered from it. Better to marry a man you merely like so that if he rejects you, you won’t grow cold, and if he dies, you won’t grow weak from grief.”
Ottilie stood and looked down at her grandmother, able to see the fear in N?n?’s drawn face. Her grandmother only wanted to spare them the indignity of poverty. Her stubborn meddling was birthed in love and concern.
Ottilie held out her hand and helped N?n? to her feet. Placing her hands on her grandmother’s narrow shoulders, she pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I love you and would do almost anything to see you happy, but I won’t do this. I’d rather marry no man than marry a man I feel as much for as I do a jackfruit.”
“I’ve been sent here for a purpose, and I’m surprised your mother mentioned nothing of my coming.”
Ottilie narrowed her eyes. “Being struck down by a horse has a way of obstructing conversations—even important ones.”
Mr. Scott sighed. “I must know—was your mother Indian, and is she also Thaddeus’s mother?”
Ottilie didn’t want to answer. Didn’t want to give his impudent question another thought. But if her mother had expected this man, invited him to their home, Ottilie wanted to know why, and she wasn’t sure he’d give her the answers she needed if she didn’t give him the ones he did.
“Yes, Sonia and Edwin Russell are the parents of us both. My mother is Eurasian—she has a British father and Indian mother. I look like my grandmother. Thaddeus looks like—”
“No, my father. Thaddeus looks nothing like the colonel.”
He shook his head. “I meant your father’s father. He’s the exact replica, except for the brown hair. Your grandfather had blond hair.”
Ottilie’s breath caught in her chest, and something hard and impossible to ignore fisted her stomach. “You know my father’s family?”
“Quite well. They sent me here.”
“Why?” she whispered. The English Russells had never contacted them before. Father alluded to some kind of falling out, but otherwise never spoke of his family except to say he had two brothers and a younger sister.
“Thaddeus is . . .” Mr. Scott laughed in a nervous way. “There is no easy way to say this. Your father’s eldest brother, Newell, was killed in a carriage accident nine months ago, and he had only daughters. Four of them. They’ve gone north to live with their mother and her family. The second brother, who died three years ago in the Anglo-Zulu War, wasn’t married. That makes Thaddeus the new Baron Sunderson.”
Ottilie laughed. “Thaddeus . . . a baron? That’s not possible.”
“But it is. And your grandmother, Lady Sunderson, has sent me here to bring him home.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kimberly Duffy is a Long Island native currently living in Southwest Ohio, via six months in India. When she’s not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of twenty years. He doesn’t mind.
(1) winner will receive a print copy of A Tapestry of Light, A Mosaic of Wings, and Recipes from an Indian Kitchen!
Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 22, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 29, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
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