TODAY IS ONLY SCANDAL WILL DO’S
I’m so incredibly happy I want to PARTY all day!
For details on the contest and giveaways, scroll down to Post #1. It gives you the Contest lowdown. :)
Post #3 of this fabulous day is a little flash fiction free read–from Only Scandal Will Do. It’s a scene that got deleted in revision 4 (a long time ago, folks), but that I thought might be fun for you to read.
I originally had it in the novel because it gave quick insight to Katraina’s personality and her relationship between her and her brother Jack. The two of them are having breakfast and an argument erupts—into a food fight.
The scene got deleted it because it was positioned in the opening of the book as a flashback to the events of Katarina’s morning and how she came to be in a position to be kidnapped. But unfortunately it slowed the action too much and I found a way to relay all the information in subsequent chapters.
It’s still a fun scene (unedited, I might add, so there may be flubs here and there) and I hope you enjoy it. At this point, Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam has been kidnapped and thrown into her carriage by unknown assailants.
A Breakfast to Remember
As the carriage bumped over the cobbled streets, Katarina thought briefly that if they had stayed in Virginia they would have been better off. But her brother had inherited a title, forcing them to come to London. Because the six months of mourning for their father was not quite over, Great-Aunt Harriet had unfortunately taken command of the little social life allowed her. As a result, for the past month, she’d been stuck all day with strong tea and boring gossip about people she didn’t know. Until today, when she had finally rebelled.
When her brother came down for breakfast, all unsuspecting, she pounced on him. “Jack, you are going to take me with you today or I swear I will board the next ship back to Virginia. I cannot stand one more haughty old woman ‘tsk, tsking’ at me as though I was a savage just because I say I would rather ride than dance.”
“What are you talking about, Kat?” He scarcely glanced at her as he motioned the footman to serve his breakfast and reached for the newspaper.
“I am talking about being bored to tears by London society.” She watched him take a bite of toast and fix his eyes on the paper, completely ignoring her.
“Bored?” He sipped his tea and turned the page.
“Yes, bored! There is nothing to do but talk to ancient people I don’t know and don’t want to know. They seem to think the world revolves around fashion and marriage and this blasted Season that’s starting in a week or two. I will simply go stark staring mad and run screaming down St. James Place if I have to hear more descriptions of the latest bonnets, or silk taffeta saques, or who will be marrying whom.”
“You can order more dresses if you wish.” His absentminded tone said he had not heard a word of her complaint. That he didn’t even look up confirmed it.
A soft-boiled egg landed with deadly accuracy right between his dark eyebrows. He started from his seat in surprise. “Kat!” He glared at her indignantly. “I hardly think that was called for!” He wiped at the sticky mess oozing into his blue eyes.
“I think it was completely called for, Lord Manning! I am complaining and you are ignoring me. So I gave you something to complain about. What are you going to do about it?”
“Wash my face and go change my shirt, I suppose.” He frowned at her and stood to put action to words. Before he made it to his feet, Katarina hurled herself at him. They tussled as if in a fight to the death; even at twenty-one and eighteen they were as fiercely competitive as they had been at thirteen and ten.
“You are not leaving this house unless I go with you.” She grabbed his wrist and forced it behind him. “You have left me to the mercies of Aunt Harriet and London society long enough. Give over before I hurt you.”
Jack struggled in earnest, but she had the advantage of position. “You cannot lay hands on a peer, Kat. It’s a hanging offense.”
“I’ve been laying hands on you for almost eighteen years. I don’t plan to stop now, even if you are an earl. Take me with you!”
“I can’t. I’m off to Smithfield today to look at carriage horses with some of the fellows from my club. Ladies do not accompany gentlemen to such things.” He shot his free hand around and grabbed her arm, pinching it unmercifully. Reluctantly, she let go.
“I’m not a lady, I’m your sister.” She rubbed her arm. That would bruise by tomorrow.
“You’re a lady now, even if you are my sister.”
“Then I don’t want to be either!” Katarina stamped her foot in exasperation. “I want to go home!”
“You are home. This is our home now, Kat.”
“Well, I don’t like it. I’d much rather be back in Williamsburg, riding with the officers in Papa’s regiment. Or fencing with you and Sergeant Darby. I swear I haven’t held a sword since we came to England.”
“Nor should you, Kat. You’re a. . .
“Don’t say it, Jack!
“Lady! Well you are, and you had better start acting like one.” The shout reverberated throughout the breakfast room. He straightened his back, then sighed and finally met her eyes. “It’s really been as bad as all that?”
Kat threw herself down in a seat, and crossed her arms over her chest. “Yes, it has, much that you care. I want to do something fun and daring, such as attend a function with people younger than fifty! We’re in London, for God’s sake. The most exciting city in the world, and I’m bored! Can’t we go have fun?”
“We are still in mourning, Kat.”
“Only for a couple more weeks.” She switched tactics and began her best wheedling tones. “Aunt Harriet said once the Season began I could leave it off. Come on, Jack. Please?”
Jack gave her a long appraising look. “Would a masquerade be adventure enough to start with?”
“A masquerade?” Her spirits perked up at the word. “Wear some scandalously wicked costume, but no one would know who I was?” She raised an eyebrow. “What if I wanted them to know?”
“That too is possible. We unmask at midnight.”
She bit her lip, calculating. “How adventuresome can this costume be?”
Jack laughed. “Well, you cannot go dressed as Pocahontas in a hide dress that would show your legs. But you can be daring. I’m to go as Apollo, the sun-god, glittering in golden robes. Will you be my goddess?”
Katarina’s heart sped up with excitement. “I could go as Athena, calm, cool.”
“Truly going in disguise, then?” He ducked just in time to avoid her jab. “It’s done then. Go down to the costumier this afternoon and be ready in the hall at seven.”
At the doorway he turned back to her, a cheery grin on his face. “This night will banish your boredom, dear sister. I guarantee it.”
Have you ever been involved in a food fight? Leave me a comment and let me know what happened/almost happened/didn’t happen and be entered to win a signed copy of Heart of Deception, my historical romance short story.
Blurb for Only Scandal Will Do:
Kidnapped and sold at auction in a London brothel, Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam squelches an undeniable attraction to the masked stranger who purchased her, pits her wits against him, and escapes him and the scandal that would ruin her life.
Unable to resist temptation in a London brothel, Duncan Ferrers, Marquess of Dalbury, purchases a fiery beauty. She claims she’s a lady, but how can she be? No lady of his acquaintance in polite society is anything like her. Then he discovers she is who she says, and that this latest romp has compromised her reputation. He knows how that is. One more scandal and he’ll be cast out of London society, but he needs a wife who’ll provide an heir to carry on his illustrious family’s name. He seeks out Katarina, intending only to scotch the scandal, but instead finds his heart ensnared. He’s betting their future he’ll capture her heart, but does he have what it takes to win the wager?
WARNING: A blade-wielding heroine who crosses swords with a master of sensuality.
I just checked and had to tell you that Only Scandal Will Do is currently #66 on Amazon’s list of Historical Romance!
Now, just in case you were wondering about the contest, here are the Prize Packages again:
3rd Place Winner will win a Scandal swag pack
(Bookmark, signature card, business cards, magnet,
and print copy of Heart of Deception, my historical romance short story)
2nd Place Winner will receive a $15.00 Gift Card
1st Place Winner will Become a Character
in the third book of the Scandal series, Only A Mistress Will Do
And each post on my blog this week (including each of my four posts today) will be entered into my Instant Giveaways. Instant Giveaway prizes will include pieces of swag, e-copies of my books or a signed print copy of Heart of Deception.
Thank you all for coming by today. My next post will be at 6:00 pm and includes excerpts from the next books in The House of Pleasure series, Only Marriage Will Do and Only A Mistress Will Do!