This will be the final newsletter before I begin my book tour next week, so I wanted to remind you that you can find the list of appearances on my website.
In the last newsletter, I included information on a special offer from my US publisher, Harper Collins. I must grovel because I failed to check with them to find out the limitations of the offer, and it was only when I heard from readers around the world that I discovered it was only available to US readers (and a bit later, to Canadian readers). My fault for not checking—and I am so sorry about that.
I have something for UK readers though! (And I am copying it directly from their instructions, so I don't get anything wrong!):
ELEGY FOR EDDIE is a Book of the Month on the Allison & Busby website, where you can read a free extract and get £2 off the regular price (£7.99) when you buy it online here by the end of March 2013. Enter promo code BOTM3 in your shopping basket.
And here's something more for all readers:
Join me for a live Book Club Girl On Air show on Tuesday, March 18th at 7 pm EST! We'll be discussing the tenth novel in the Maisie Dobbs series, LEAVING EVERYTHING MOST LOVED. Tune in here to ask questions during the live show or catch the archived recording.
Regarding limitations on the link above—anyone can log on from anywhere in the world, but the call-in number (which you will see if you go to the Blog Talk Radio link) is USA-based, therefore callers from outside the US will pay international charges.
Well, we are finally on the countdown to publication of LEAVING EVERYTHING MOST LOVED on March 26th. In previous newsletters, I've told you about some of the memories and experiences that came together, helping me to create the story. But these elements remain only memories until something comes along to create a spark—a bit like putting a match to the kindling. And in this case, that spark was something quite simple. My cousin, who was a teacher at the time, was telling me about a project she'd been doing with her class—they were looking into the history of different immigrant cultures in Britain. During their research, they had come across several locations that were once hostels for Indian ayahs—"ayahs" were the women who helped with children for their British employers. Many of them came to England when the families returned home following service in the Indian subcontinent (perhaps in the military, the diplomatic corps or with a shipping company, or a similar corporation with interests overseas). Although many of these women were treated well and kindly, with passage paid for them to return home when they were no longer required, there were still a significant number who were simply turned out onto the streets, often with little money, virtually no prospects and in most cases without proficiency in the language. A few compassionate individuals, touched by the desperate plight of these women, set up hostels offering a room and board, and a place of refuge—though life was still far from easy. The story really touched me—it's hard enough to be far from home, but when the odds are stacked against you, it's a very lonely and vulnerable place to be. I knew, then, that in time I would create a story based on a woman who yearns to return to her homeland—and another who feels the pull of places yet to be seen and understood.
I hope to see many of you during my book tour travels, and in the meantime, I wish you well.
LEAVING EVERYTHING MOST LOVED by Jacqueline Winspear, will be published in the US on March 26th* by Harper Collins Publishers. You can pre-order it here:
*Publication dates vary in different parts of the world.