Excerpt & Giveaway: The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper

The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper

Publication Date: March 9, 2021
Thomas Nelson
Paperback & eBook; 384 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

A young prodigy in need of family. A painting that shatters a woman’s peace. And a decades-old mystery demanding to be solved.

Australia, 1906

Orphan Jane Piper is nine years old when philanthropist siblings Michael and Elizabeth Quinn take her into their home to further her schooling. The Quinns are no strangers to hardship— having arrived in Australia as penniless immigrants, they now care for others as lost as they once were.

Despite Jane’s mysterious past, her remarkable aptitude for mathematics takes her far over the next seven years, and her relationship with Elizabeth and Michael flourishes as she plays an increasingly prominent part in their business.

But when Elizabeth reacts in terror to an exhibition at the local gallery, Jane realizes no one knows Elizabeth after all—not even Elizabeth herself. As the past and the present converge and Elizabeth’s grasp on reality loosens, Jane sets out to unravel Elizabeth’s story before it is too late.

From the gritty reality of the Australian goldfields to the grand institutions of Sydney, this compelling novel takes us on a mystery across continents and decades as both women finally discover a place to call home.

Deeply researched. Emotional. Atmospheric and alive. . . Tea Cooper transports the reader to a sweeping landscape of turn of the twentieth century Australia—from the raw realities of the Australian goldfields to the sophisticated institutions of Sydney—and does so with an expert pen. Combining characters that are wonderfully complex with a story spanning decades of their lives, The Girl in the Painting is a triumph of family, faith, and long-awaited forgiveness. I was swept away!” —Kristy Cambron, award-winning author of The Paris Dressmaker and the Hidden Masterpiece novels

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Birkenhead, England, 1862

“Ó’Cuinn. Michael.” The clerk studied the sheath of papers in his hand, then spat toward the rail. The globule missed, landing with a plop on the deck. “Where’s your sister?”

A small hand crept into Michael’s palm and his sister turned her face up, leaned against his legs.

The mismatched group of people—men, women, children—standing behind him pushed closer, impatient to present their papers and secure a berth.

“Get a move on. Answer the question.”

He stared up at the mast, his mind in turmoil. The crowd behind him rumbled. “She’s here.”

The clerk scribbled a series of unintelligible marks on their papers and glared down. “Got you down for the single men’s accommodation.” He flicked his thumb over his shoulder, down into the bowels of the ship. “No berth for her down there. Says here she’s in the family accommodation with Nuala Ó’Cuinn.”

“That’s me aunty. She died six months ago. I told them in the office.” A bloke behind him gave a shove, releasing the festering coil of anger deep in Michael’s gut. “We’ve been on the manifest for almost a year, down for family accommodation.” He stabbed at the papers. “Says so right there. You sort it out. You’re the one pushing your weight around, keeping everyone waiting.”

“Remarks like that ain’t going to get you anything special. No single men in family accommodation. How old are you?”


“Over fourteen. Too old for family accommodation.”

Michael drew in a slow breath. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! What was a man supposed to do? It couldn’t be the first time a brother and sister had immigrated to Australia.

A stout woman who barely reached his shoulder pushed forward. “I’ll take the little angel with me.”

Michael reached down and hitched the mop-headed little bundle of bones up against his shoulder.

“Who are you?” The clerk rolled his eyes and leaned on his elbow.

“Mrs. Cameron. Mrs. William Cameron. Full fare-paying passenger.” She thrust her ticket at the clerk and smiled down at Michael’s sister. “You’re a pretty little thing, ain’t you, with them big blue eyes and lovely curls. Lucky you didn’t get your brother’s black looks.”

What was a man to do? The woman looked kindly enough.

“I’ll get her settled with me. Be good to have some company. What’s your name, poppet?”

“Elizabeth. Her name’s Elizabeth.”

About the Author

Tea is an award-winning Australian author of historical fiction. In a past life she was a teacher, a journalist, and a farmer. These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling. She is the bestselling author of several novels, including The Horse Thief, The Cedar Cutter, The Currency Lass, The Naturalist's Daughter, The Woman in the Green Dress, and The Girl in the Painting.

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Tuesday, March 9
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Wednesday, March 10
Review at Crystal's Library

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Review at Pursuing Stacie
Review at Proverbial Reads

Friday, March 12
Review at Jessica Belmont

Monday, March 15
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Tuesday, March 16
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Review at Novels Alive
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Thursday, March 25
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Saturday, March 27
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Monday, March 29
Review at Bookworlder
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Tuesday, March 30
Review at Rachelle Loves Books

Wednesday, March 31
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary


Enter to win a paperback copy of The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on March 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Girl in the Painting

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for introducing Tea Cooper. All of her books look so exciting especially this one.


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