Query letter for my historical romance,THE GARDENER'S DAUGHTER.
In 1806, Charles Francis Greville, the second son of the Earl of Warwick, cultivates a vanilla orchid to bloom in his hothouse just outside of London. Only a few months before, seventeen year old Anne Blake, the daughter of Lord Greville’s elderly head gardener, has been sent away from service to the family of a Duke by no fault of her own. She live with her father on Lord Greville’s manor awaiting a letter of character and a new postition. How Anne Blake comes to be the one who depicts the flowering orchid at the unique, one-day event despite her age, sex, class, and troublesome curiosity is the story I have told in the 95,000 word historical romance, THE GARDENER’S DAUGHTER.
Despite a rough beginning and unexpected meetings and mishaps, a relationship forms between Lord Greville and Anne. The nobleman is warned by his valet, his brother, and his friend, Sir Joseph Banks, the explorer and naturalist, against involvement with the young woman. On Anne’s side, the reproach comes from her father and the cook. When Anne is rewarded for her artwork with attendance to a dance, she oversteps propriety leaving the household in turmoil. Lord Greville escapes to Wales as Anne’s aging father’s health declines, and the young artist’s life seems hopeless as she waits for new employment.
Historical references abound in THE GARDENER’S DAUGHTER as Lord Greville is connected to King George III as well as the top scientific minds of the time. There is a happy ending for Anne even if no romantic conclusion for the nobleman. The story is mostly prim and proper with hints of sex coinciding plant biology and love as self-sacrifice.
As an organic vegetable grower with three greenhouses of my own, I have researched English estate gardens and the horticulturalists who first collected the plants we still grow in our gardens today. I have written garden articles for local newspapers and grower’s market newsletters. I have posted an almost daily garden blog for three years, and find I enjoy the process of writing much more than weeding! Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely, Sara Hammond