Circa 1890 Books










Vetiver Letters - Book 1



Patricia Davenport




When Marni Gilford returns to Toronto in 1897, she does so without the intention of reuniting with her estranged father. Nor is it her primary goal to meet with Mr. Edward Milner, a distinguished lawyer almost twenty years her senior, with whom she has been corresponding

Under the tutelage of M. de la Croix, Marni has apprenticed in the field of mechanical patent design in Winnipeg. Her single-minded focus is to make a connection with a prominent businessman at Toronto’s Industrial Fair. When she makes the long journey by train to present her patented inventions, she understands only too well that she is entering territory traditionally slated for men. Although Marni’s ambition rests almost entirely in her pursuit of occupation, her growing fondness for Mr. Milner, as well as a chance meeting on the train, finds her on a journey of the unexpected.

Raised in a loving home, by parents well-practiced in the art of mental science, Marni leans toward the positive. Yet, in many ways, she has divorced herself from risks of the heart, resisting close connections since the passing of her beloved mother. Her return home brings a feeling of nostalgia around the family mercantile, M. W. Gilford Dry Goods Co. It also brings a deepening connection with Edward, until she learns he has a secret that ties him back to her mother. As suspicions rise to the surface, Marni is sent into turmoil. What could Edward be hiding and why does it appear her father is also concealing the truth? 



This Old Toronto historical romance series, set primarily in the heart of Toronto at the M. W. Gilford Dry Goods Co., begins in 1897. Following the story of Marni Gilford and her family’s dry goods store on King Street West, this romantic tale takes us on a journey of the heart and the spirit.

We begin with Marni’s story as she makes the long trip by train and steamship from Winnipeg to Toronto, after a seven-year absence. There, she presents a business proposal to a prominent businessman at the Toronto Industrial Fair. During her stay, she reunites with her estranged father, forms a close bond with a woman she met on the train, and meets the distinguished lawyer, Edward Milner, with whom she has been corresponding; a man almost twenty years her senior.

The series takes us through Marni’s courtship with Edward, with its missteps and challenges. Book two sees the introduction of new characters as well as a continuation of Marni and Edward’s romance. We take a visit to New York in 1898, where Marni reconnects with Elise, her favorite cousin whom she dearly misses. A second love interest enters the scene in books three and four; the story taking place at Toronto’s most highly reputed annual Industrial Fair.

We continue the series with a Christmas book celebrating love and the festive season at Gilford’s. The stories are heartfelt, introspective, and uplifting. All romantic encounters are within keeping of the era and tastefully presented (with a little playfulness ; ). Finally, Marni's legacy lives on with a romantic tale of the next generation; the story also connected with the Industrial Fair, by that time known as the Canadian National Exhibition.

Discover some of Toronto’s historical sights and events. Share in the heartfelt stories of synchronicity, love and romance, alongside a little light humor and intrigue.



Vetiver Letters

Patricia Davenport



The New York Tour

Book 2


Patricia Davenport



In book two of this Old Toronto series, Marni returns to Winnipeg with one goal in mind. She plans to declare her intention to terminate her employment, for she means to make Toronto again her home. However, when she arrives, the task proves more difficult than imagined. Soon, she finds herself burdened by the task of disappointing Antoine de la Croix, who is not only her employer, but indeed a trusted friend and mentor.

The loving correspondence between Marni and Edward continues to deepen, but feelings arise that challenge both of them as they plan for their future together. A rather confident and bold gentleman from New York, Mr. Jarvis St Clair, enters the scene. Not only is Marni obliged to converse with the man; they may indeed cross paths often, for he is the investor and business partner to Mr. Pennington, the businessman with whom Marni has a binding contract. The exuberant and charming Mr. St Clair causes an unwelcome stir, which has Edward rattled and exceedingly uneasy.

By spring 1898, Marni finds herself happily situated and plans are underway to visit New York. There, she reunites with her beloved cousin, Elise Sutherland, whom she hasn’t seen in nine years. As Marni grows more confident, she embraces personal freedom and overcomes inhibitions that, no doubt, have been imposed by the society in which she lives. Just who is this handsome New York gentleman, Mr. St. Clair, and how is it he becomes so quickly familiar with Marni? Will this inordinately confident young gentleman give Edward a run for his money?




The New York Tour

Patricia Davenport



About the Author


Patricia Davenport is a writer and artist living in Toronto. With a lifelong calling toward the late Victorian period, Patricia both writes and designs in keeping with the era. Set in Old Toronto, her historical romance novels will take readers on a journey through lost department stores, forgotten shops, old hotels, and historical events. Explore love and courtship in an era when adhering to the rules of propriety often meant that romance took its sweet time. Travel back to the most loved places of the era, including landmarks that have evolved over time and are still in operation over a century later.

Patricia writes in a heartfelt style, bringing introspection and light humor to her romance stories. She loves revisiting some of the Old Toronto locations she frequented as a child, even some in which she exhibited her wares over the past decades. Share in the romance of the era and the exciting journey of like-minded women on the cusp of emancipation. With a fondness for the age-old art of mental science, Patricia loves to dabble in the world of intention, inner wisdom, and synchronicity, often sprinkling a little of its magic in her novels.




The Thoughts and Clouds Book

Teach Your Child How to Think About Thoughts . . .



Thoughts go by like clouds in the sky...



Thoughts are all around us. Sometimes they come from an internal process or from reactions to our environment, but sometimes thoughts are just floating about and we pick up on them unconsciously. Trouble is, when thoughts are upsetting, they can trigger feelings that often make children want to hide their thoughts, or hide from their thoughts.

As your child becomes aware of his or her own thoughts, around the age of four, those thoughts can make your child feel uncomfortable as they judge or fear new thoughts that persist. The natural response is to push thoughts away, but the harder they try, the more those thoughts recur. When focus is placed on trying to make yucky thoughts go away, energetically they become bigger.

The Thoughts and Clouds mindfulness book will guide your child and encourage the power to choose new and welcome thoughts. The key to that choice is to shift the attention to thoughts that feel positive, rather than fight an endless battle with thoughts that cause distress.

With contemplative verse, vibrant illustrations, and gentle guidance, the Thoughts and Clouds picture book will help your child relax about thoughts that come and go. Your child will learn the most effective tool for building positive thoughts and allowing negative thoughts to naturally subside.

The moment your child discovers it’s not about reacting to the discomfort of unpleasant thoughts, but most entirely about allowing those thoughts to float by like clouds in the sky, she or he will feel a sense of empowerment around choosing thoughts. With your child’s newfound ability to witness thoughts, without worry or judgment, it will become much easier to simply choose the thoughts that bring greater joy and more internal comfort.

We live in challenging times and children pick up on our troubles and stresses, soaking up unspoken emotions. With strong visuals and some guided mindfulness, Thoughts and Clouds is designed to help your child to become aware and in charge of his or her thoughts early in life, easing the internal battle with unwanted thoughts. Once your child learns that thoughts of all kinds are normal and that you can choose your thoughts, this new discovery can bring a great sense of relief.

This gentle book speaks to that little one in all of us. Even as adults we have the tendency to feel triggered by uncomfortable thoughts and often don’t know how to shut them off. The more we pay attention, the more pesky they become. Thoughts can feel intrusive and yet they are simply a natural part of life as we grow up and our minds begin to develop. As children, most of us never learned about what thoughts are and how to observe them without reaction or how to shift our thoughts from what we don’t want to those which give us joy and motivation.

This cherished mindfulness picture book offers a simple and effective way to teach your child new ways to think of thoughts!... "Choose the thoughts that you love and watch the others go by like clouds in the sky."
 ♥ May this little love-filled book bring both entertainment and comfort to your little one.



Thoughts and Clouds