Hello! This is Eliza. I write Victorian-era historical romance. I am thrilled with the release of A Love Made to Measure, the first of a series of three books about three strong women living through the social changes of the late nineteenth century. A Love Made to Measure tells the story of a tailoress, Cora Larsen and a baron, Grant Galavyin, who fall in love and fight for their right to be together despite social conventions and the expectations of his mother. United by their common interest in social justice, they overcome all the obstacles along the way, including the loss of Cora’s shop, which is coincidently located in a Galavyin-family building! Thank you for allowing me to share a bit of my passion for books in this post. If you would like to learn more about my work or sign up for my newsletter, please write to me at eliza.emmett.fiction(at)gmail.com
Let’s Get To Know Eliza Emmett
Q: What are the top five books that have influenced your career?
A: I love Jane Austen more than anyone! My favorite of her novels are Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, but I will read and re-read her other books all the time too. She is the reason I write. As for contemporary books, I am a big fan of Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale (it is the book I wish I had written!) and Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind. In romance I love the work of Eloisa James. My favorite book by her is probably A Duke of her Own.
Q: What’s the funniest thing a reader has ever said/emailed to you?
A: I will actually share the loveliest thing I ever heard: about a book currently under submission, an early reader said I wrote the way Regina Spektor sang. They were referring to the song Us, which I absolutely adore. I can’t think of anything better.
Q: If you could go back in time before you published your first book, what advice would you give yourself about publishing?
A: Publishing is an enterprise of small, everyday victories and special moments. We tend to search for big accomplishments and get disappointed if they do not happen, but if we string together all the “little” (but not really) parts of the process—the friendship of fellow writers, the thought of readers enjoying what we wrote, a compliment by an agent or an editor, the pride of our family members, it all adds up to a whole lot of happiness.
Q: Pick a super-power and tell us what you’d do with it.
A: I would like to have photographic memory. Although it really exists, I consider it a super-power. It would help me as a writer, and, in general, I love the capacity of remembering. Memory is a great teacher.
About A Love Made to Measure by Eliza Emmett
Cora Larsen is a Victorian tailoress on Regent Street, where she creates dresses that are “the toast of the Season.” She is a gifted maker of men’s suits too, not that many are willing to have a woman take their measurements.
Lord Galavyin believes in marrying for love, not convenience. He feels bad enough about the privilege of being a baron and refuses to consider an arranged marriage. One day, he walks through Cora’s door to collect a dress and is smitten with her forward-thinking social ideals. But, despite their growing friendship, he cannot persuade Cora to ignore the difference in their status and address him by his first name—Grant.
When Cora loses the lease on her shop, she thinks it is simply a coincidence that the building belongs to Grant’s family. She doesn’t yet know she is in love with a man whose mother is the worst enemy one can imagine.
Grant will do anything to keep Cora safe and employed, even if it takes helping her without her knowledge. What follows is a game of cat and mouse that will test Cora’s resolve and Grant’s love to their limits.
He extended a hand to catch hers as she exited the coach, and he felt the electricity that resulted from their touch. Looking at her, he could tell she felt it too. It showed in the way her cheeks turned rosy and her breathing a little swifter.
“Tonight’s lecture is an account of an archeological expedition to Egypt. The presenter will be showing some artefacts. I hope you like it.”
“But we have time to see some works before the event starts.”
They talked while walking through the beautiful halls, stopping at their favorite pieces. He felt bold when he told her he wished he was an artist to paint her portrait. They visited Roman antiquities, British watercolors, and she explained to him some principles of color theory. Finally, they arrived at the reading room.
A church-like silence infused the place with an aura of sanctity. Grant had such reverence for these books that sharing them with Cora felt a splendid prospect. Almost without realizing, he took her hand in his and perused the stacks. Soon they were both breathless and blissful. They commented on their favorite finds and noticed the gold leaf on the spines, and circled the room faster and faster.
“I cannot think of anyone else I would like to share this place with, Miss Larsen.”
“I’m glad to hear. It would be difficult to be a proxy to someone better who just didn’t show.”
“I can guarantee there’s no one better than you, Miss Larsen. Believe me when I say I’ve searched everywhere.”
“Maybe you were searching in all the wrong places.” She had travelled to an area behind one of the stacks and let her face peek out from behind one of the frames.
“Oh?” he said realizing this had become a game of hide-and-seek.
“High society. Palatial homes. That is where you searched, is it not?” She moved to yet another area of the stacks, leaving only a trail of her whispers behind.
“Yes, Miss Larsen, mea culpa.” He tried to find her by letting her faint voice be his guide.
“Oh, he speaks Latin. But the question is, does the seamstress?”
Now they were almost running, and some of the other readers turned their heads to see better and to disapprove.
Cora then took a wrong turn and almost landed in his arms. She stopped right before they collided. They were so close he could smell her perfume. It was fragrant like roses but not too sweet. He dared take a small step closer, and was glad that she didn’t retract. He was hoping to kiss her and made every effort to convey that with his eyes, and still she didn’t move. When he was about to close the distance and take her lips in his, the censorial and intentional loud cough of an old patron, who was looking at them over the rims of his glasses, stopped him.
Spell broken, Grant took a step back and her hand again. That kiss would have to wait, though it couldn’t be too far. “Come, the lecture is about to start.”
My favorite quote from A Love Made to Measure is:
…”you forget I am a working person, with little time for myself. And despite my flawless manners and superior taste”—that she said with mock affectation while straightening her lapel—“I am neither a debutante nor a society lady. I am a common woman, Lord Galavyin, simply too thinking for my own good and for my station in life.”