Sweet Nothings

Whisperings of Love  (or Sweet Nothings)

Whisperings of Love (or Sweet Nothings)

I was just getting ready to start back up with Sweet Saturday Samples, when I found that it’s been (hopefully) temporarily suspended while the coordinator takes a much needed hiatus.  I do hope Gunnar gets the break she needs and comes back full force in just a little while.

So, until that happens, I thought I’d do a little weekly post called Sweet Nothings.  I plan to post a PG 13 (or milder) excerpt from some of my works.  And I invite anyone else who would like to post similar excerpts on my blog to please do so.  If you can hold the excerpt to 300 words or less, that would be great. And if a few cuttings need just a few more words, that’s okay too.  I won’t be counting. LOL

My first “Sweet Nothing” is an excerpt from my Victorian historical romance, As Long As You’re Mine.  In this snippet, from the beginning of Chapter 1, Lady Samantha is plotting to thwart her father’s decree that she cannot marry the man she has chosen.

Berkshire, England

November 1892

This seduction might not be easy but by God, she would accomplish it tonight.

The clock chimed the half hour as Samantha Easterling stormed into her bedroom on the second floor of Monk’s Copse, the Armstrong’s country home. Lavishly decorated in pink, cream and maroon, and boasting a soft bed and warm fire, the room seemed much too cheerful for her current mood. She glared at the frilly decor then rang for the maid.

While she waited, she paced, fuming at the recollection of the recent interview with her father.

“You do not, and will not, have my permission to marry Raiford Tolbert. I will not have you wed to a milksop! And until you can present me with a suitor who has the backbone of a man, not a jellyfish, I will continue to withhold my approval for your marriage.”

Impossible man! One would think his disastrous marriage to her mother would have compelled him to allow her to choose her own path. But that, of course, was out of the question. He had to dictate everything about her life. Well, Father would be sorely disappointed tomorrow morning when she summarily took the decision about her bridegroom out of his hands.

A knock sounded at the door and Sara appeared, looking harried. The poor girl had been assigned as lady’s maid to all those house guests without their own servants, which included Samantha herself. A crucial part of her scheme involved leaving her Meg at home. She wanted no interference with her well-laid plans. A maid would certainly object to her mistress’s absence during the night.

Okay, now it’s your turn to share a “Sweet Nothing.”


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27 Responses to Sweet Nothings

  1. Carrie-Anne says:

    Very nice excerpt! I also like the idea of sharing a little something here on Saturdays until (or if) SSS resumes. This is something from one of my collections of stories waiting to be expanded and fleshed-out into a book, about a well-deserved miracle for my characters Amalia (Malchen) von Hinderburg and Paul (Pali) Weiss during their late middle-age.

    Malchen came home at 1:00 and found the bed littered with boxes. A huge bouquet of yellow roses sat in a new lilac porcelain vase on the dresser.

    “I would’ve bought you chrysanthemums, your birth flower, but I remembered that back in Europe, they’re used at funerals.”

    “Who’s watching the babies?”

    “I arranged for Ms. Kevorkian to take them out to the park this afternoon. After you finish going through everything I bought you, we’re going to be driven to an upscale photography studio for our first family pictures. But before that, you’re going to the most expensive salon I could afford so you look even more stunning than usual for the pictures. Some of the things here will be taken to the studio, as you’ll soon find out.”

    Malchen began taking the lids off of the boxes. Pali had bought her what appeared to be a small fortune in jewelry, clothing, shoes, and perfume. There were also a music box, porcelain miniatures, and hand-carved decorations.

    “Are you serious? All this for me? You know I don’t deserve all these things and that we’re not wealthy! We’re still paying Olga’s hospital bills, and now we’ll have rather limited finances with quintuplets!”

    “Of course it’s all for you, kisédes. Who else deserves it more? Besides, you’ve never been able to celebrate Mother’s Day before. What better excuse to spend a lot of money on my beautiful wife? You deserve to be treated like a queen after the awful things you went through as a child, treated with nothing but love and pampering after the horrible crimes that were committed against you. And you know it’ll just break my heart if you don’t want to get made up for family portraits, for the first time with seven Weisses instead of only two.”

    “If it’ll make you happy, I’ll keep these things and go to the portrait studio.”

    “I hope you’re not just saying that for my sake.”

    “Is it really alright with you if I keep them? You really must’ve gone to a lot of time and effort to pick all this out, and they’re all so lovely that I’d love to be able to wear them and put them up around the house!”

    “I got them for you so you could keep them, drágám. You know I’ve lived to make you happy and do right by you for going on thirty-one years.”


  2. Great idea, Jenna! This is from Liv’s Journey, the first of my Journey series books. In this segment, Trey and Liv meet for the first time and begin a flirtation.

    “Is it a big river?”

    “Big enough for some decent fishin’.”

    She bit her lower lip, and Trey’s eyes were drawn to her mouth. Her lips were lightly shaded pink and glossy as though she’d just been kissed. It was a very kissable mouth. “I’ve never been fishing.”

    “Never? Why Miss Aune, you don’t know what you’ve been missin’!”

    “Call me Liv, please. And, I’ve managed to live this long without handling a rod and reel, so I think I’ll manage a while longer.”

    He couldn’t resist. “Never handled a rod and reel, huh?”

    She blushed. “You know what I meant.”

    Trey chuckled. “Yeah, I know.” Her light brown eyebrows tried to meet at the middle. He ran a finger over her soft cheek. “I could show you.”

    “Your rod and reel?” Her frown didn’t stick, replaced by that twinkle in her eyes again.

    “You have a thirst to see my rod and reel, Liv?”

    She laughed and gently pushed his hand away. “No, thanks.”

    “Your loss,” he said with a grin, enjoying the warmth of her hand on his wrist until she let go. “How long will y’all be here?”

    “A week or so. Depends on the weather, but if today is an example, a week ought to be enough.”

    He was enjoying their flirtation, and thought maybe it would be a particularly pleasant week if they could build on it. Maybe he’d wish for some rain so their stay would be extended. “Do you like ridin’?”

    Her eyebrows rose. “I presume you mean horses.”

    “Naturally.” He tilted his well-worn Cavender’s cowboy hat back a little on his head. “Have you ever been in the saddle?”

    She groaned, then giggled. “It’s an innuendo-fest.”

    “I can introduce you to a real stud.”


  3. ginadanna says:

    Oooo Jenna I like your excerpt! And a cool idea so I’ll jump in… From Her Eternal Rogue –

    Alexander pulled her into his embrace, keeping the respectable distance though his eyes caressed her intimately. She flushed with excitement. He seemed to know the dance and picked up the beat, swirling her about the room. Handsome, with a cocky smile on his face and merriment in his eyes, he whirled her through the steps with expertise. She fought enjoying herself but the whiff of his scent, the aroma of spice and the ocean, enticed her to remember the summer not long ago and being—
    She opened her eyes and glared at him. “That was inconceivably rude.”
    “No,” he countered. “I broke in, he released you to me. All perfect English manners.”
    “You shouldn’t be dancing with me,” she said harshly. “Especially a waltz.”
    “This dance is perfect for lovers,” he replied with a seductive tone. “Or have you taken Monroe as your lover? Frankly, if so, the way he relinquished you to another does not prove any quality. You could do better.” He swung her around the next turn, closer to the edge of the floor.
    “How dare you! I have done no such thing and for you to accuse me of—”
    They were at the edge of the dance floor, near the opened windows that led to the terrace. Alexander stopped and pulled her closer, behind a statue near the doors. “Darlin’,” he said, his voice holding more of the West Indies sway. “Surely ye know the laws concerning matrimony.” He looked her straight in the eye, a half grin on his lips that didn’t reach his eyes. “Knowin’ it’s illegal to marry yer deceased husband’s brother, my dear.”
    She furrowed her brows. “What are you referring to, sir?” She turned, trying to find Nicholas, and opened her mouth to call for him, ignoring the commotion that would create.
    He stopped them on the dance floor and took her out of the ballroom with lightning vampiric speed. “I am the deceased husband, Lavinia, and you married my brother.”
    She shook her head vehemently. “I did not marry you—”
    “Darlin’, but I’m afraid we were married on board The Lily,” he told her quietly, his voice factual. “As captain of a ship, I am the law—”
    “I don’t remember any marriage ceremony, no vows exchanged.” She searched her memory frantically, looking for some truth in his declaration. The scene came crashing into her mind: standing on deck with those three vile pirates, and him protecting her, claiming her…
    He said nothing.
    “You’re lying.” A chill raced down her spine. “How can that be marriage? A vampire? A pirate? A dead man?”
    “Sweetheart, keep your voice down,” he said, his voice calm as he encircled her waist. “Tell me how we are not.” He bent, sealing his lips over hers.


  4. danijace says:

    Love the idea and excerpts, Jenna. This is from my current WIP, Trident Valor.

    Peri approached her newest patron as he saddled up to the bar. His steely-eyed glint hinted at danger. Most of the Trident’s patrons did. However, this one intrigued her. “Wow, I’ve only seen one other man strode in with a more pissed-off expression than yours.” She arched a brow.

    “Your ex?” He nodded with a barely there smile.

    Mr. Dark Blues matched her sarcasm. She liked him already. The small scar on his chin kept him from being too pretty. She pushed again. “Let me guess…vodka tonic.

    His eyes scolded her.
    “Martini?” She smiled absentmindedly tossing her hair. “You’re too GQ looking for domestic beer,” she said teasing. “Heineken?”
    He squinted.

    She’d struck a nerve with the pretty boy comment not meaning to. “Whiskey on the rocks.”
    His chin lifted letting her ponder as to the brand.

    Such swagger. “You gotta be a Jack man.” Delighted by his resulting grin and near perfect teeth, she nodded and turned to pour his drink.

    Usually she went for the rugged variety of handsome, but something in his eyes drew her in. His straight nose with slightly elevated bridge was sexy as hell. She poured him a double shot over ice and planted it in front of him, noting his broad shoulders.

    “TJ said y’all have the biggest and best cheeseburgers around.”

    Recognition hit her as she drew in a quick breath. “You’re Jax.”

    “A psychic bartender, you know my brand and my name?”

    “TJ showed me a picture of you two at BUD/s graduation. He never mentioned you being on an East Coast team.”

    “I’m not. Currently in a holding pattern, here.”

    Not happy about it either. “They call you GQ.” A Texan too handsome to be nicknamed Tex and not rugged enough for Cowboy according to his buddy.

    He raised a brow and sipped his drink. “Did he share my birthday, too?”

    “No, just a story about you chasing some bad guys through the streets of a South American country in your birthday suit.” Peri winked.


  5. I’m not sure how sweet this is, but here you go. This is from the Seduction of Lady Phoebe, which releases on September 19th.

    Her aunt turned toward the direction Uncle Henry had gone and smiled. “Ah, here come the gentlemen.”

    Phoebe glanced at Mrs. Burwell, feigning a nonchalance she did not feel. “Indeed ma’am, it is fascinating about Lord Marcus Finley. Perhaps when you see him, you could point him out. I would be interested in how such a reputed reprobate looks.”

    Phoebe wanted to escape the room before he could approach her.

    Mrs. Burwell squinted. “There he is, I believe, next to Lord Abemarle.”

    Phoebe glanced in the direction Mrs. Burwell indicated and saw a tall, slender gentleman with dark hair. She noted that Lord Abemarle and Lord Marcus were walking in their direction.
    Catching her aunt’s eye, Phoebe said in a low voice, “Aunt Ester, I believe I shall go to the ladies’ withdrawing room.”

    Her aunt inclined her head as Phoebe moved quickly and discreetly away.

    Phoebe reached the door leading into the hall where the ladies’ retiring room was situated. Having been to the house many times before, she knew the library was a few doors down. Perhaps she could safely sit there for a few minutes, to regain her composure and steel herself to meet Lord Marcus Finley again.

    The ball, although well attended, was not so crowded she could hope to avoid him. Eventually, she thought grimly, he would cozen some unsuspecting person to introduce him to her.


  6. Sue says:

    So are you re- releasing this?

    These words are from one of my WIP tentatively called “The High Cost of Mortality”

    The ambulance’s wail pierced the air. People: doctors, nurses, orderlies and civilians moved in a seemingly random pattern but Stone knew it was precise and structured. Well trained they did d their job with alacrity in an attempt to triage the bodies, several lifeless and a few covered in blood and mud with limbs stuck out at inhuman angles. The frantic activity startled distressed and crying children into silence

    One of the patients stabbed by another inmate at the near-by mental institution raved incoherent words that sliced though the ongoing din. The smell of impatient suffering hovered throughout.

    Stone observed the scene before him. As his mind worked to make sense of the commotion a nurse thrust a wheelchair into his hands. “Take this woman to x-ray. When she’s done page me and I’ll give further instructions. Stay with her. She’s upset.”

    Since his second year of high school, on Saturdays, Stone has volunteered at a hospital emergency room. Originally he signed up as part of the school requirement for students to complete 40 hours of community involvement before graduation. Stone could have discontinued the position but he enjoyed, if that is the appropriate word, his contribution. Simply put, helping people gave him a sense of satisfaction.

    As he pushed the wheel chair down the long hallway on his way to the basement radiology department, he thought he glimpsed Robert at the other end of the corridor.
    Stone rolled the chair into the elevator just as the doors started to shut.

    Robert might be ill or hurt, though come to think of it Stone couldn’t recall ever hearing that he had been in hospital. For that matter Stone had never required admittance either.
    But if Robert was ill or hurt, he would be in the ER.


    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      I loved the sentence “The smell of impatient suffering hovered throughout.” Brilliant! Is this part of the work I’d read earlier about the friends in a special school or with special abilities? An intense scene, Sue.

      I’m currently waiting to hear from agents and an editor on As Long As You’re Mine. If they pass, yes, I’ll have the book out ASAP. 🙂


  7. Great exceprt, Jenna, and a great idea!

    Here’s mine from my contemporary western romance, HEARTSTRINGS…. A father-daughter moment…. Seth is a country music superstar. He knows Emily is his daughter, but the 14 yr old doesn’t know he is her father. He’s her favorite singer…….

    “Emily.” She looked back at him. He rubbed his goatee and cleared his throat. “I said soon. Not now. Want to sit with me for a little while? Maybe you can help me with this crazy song. I’m having trouble with the chorus.”

    A blinding grin replaced her frown. “You want to write a song with me?”

    “Yeah. Let’s see what we can come up with.”

    Time seemed to fly as he picked out the melody on the guitar and sang what he had already. She sat on the ground by his feet and patted her thigh with the beat. She’d add a word here and there, or make suggestions about phrasing, once she’d lost her shyness.

    They struggled with the last line of the bridge. Nothing Seth came up with matched the meter he’d set for the song. She hummed the bridge a few times. Frustration furrowed her brow.
    “It’s almost there.”

    “Here.” He unclipped his guitar strap and handed the instrument to her. “Play it and see if that helps.”

    Her eyes widened as she stared at him, then at the guitar. “You’re gonna let me play your guitar?”

    Shrugging, he looped the strap around her neck. She gingerly took the one-of-a-kind Gibson as if it were the most precious thing in the world. He smiled and clipped the strap to the neck. “Yep. Because you’re gonna help me get this danged thing done.”

    Her freckled face shimmered as she strummed down the strings. She looked up at him.
    Would she feel the same awe when she found out he was her father?

    Dear God, the tight squeeze in his chest was back. Her very existence sent a thrill through him every time he thought about it.

    Emily studied the strings a second, then played and sang the song from the beginning. She glanced at the notebook and hummed the end of the bridge where there needed to be words to finish the thought. Then she sang,

    “Flowers fade, seasons change,
    But I’ll always be traveling the long road home.”

    The tingling in his chest was back. “That’s perfect.


  8. Marie says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to share my work, Jenna!! This snippet is from my newest release – a ghost story / time-travel romance, “Waiting For You”.
    “I think I know a way for you to prove you’re not a figment of my imagination,” he said.
    She stilled her hand and inhaled slowly. “Indeed? How?”
    “By…um…well, you can suck on your lip to make it a raspberry color, so perhaps you could do the same to me?”
    Blood rushed to her cheeks and she thought her face would ignite into flames—a feeling she hadn’t experienced since she’d died. Her heartbeat danced an unsteady rhythm, hammering like a runaway train. Yet, the idea wasn’t that far-fetched.
    His eyes twinkled as if improper thoughts swam in his head, also. Indeed, he was a rogue of the first order.
    “You…you want me to…suck on your lip?”
    Nick pushed away from his desk and stood. She rose with him until they were face to face. He pulled the shirt collar away from his neck again, exposing more skin. Oh heavens!
    “As much as the thought of kissing you sounds enjoyable,” he said, “I was thinking about something entirely different.” He pointed to his neck and chuckled. “Go for it, honey. Give me a hickey. This ought to be interesting.”
    “A hickey?”
    “Yes. Suck on my neck until you bruise my skin.”
    “Oh, that is utterly ridiculous.” She released an uneasy laugh even as his deep voice sent heated tingles up her spine. As improper as the suggestion seemed, she still wanted to do it with every fiber of her being…or in her case, semi-being. “Why, I’m a ghost and cannot even touch you. How am I supposed to draw forth a bruise?”
    “I just want to see if it works.” He shrugged. “What could it hurt?”
    Fear and anticipation made her hands moist. She shouldn’t do it, but she wanted to prove to him she was not a figment of his imagination. Would it work? What if it didn’t? He’d think she was just a hallucination.
    No matter how insane the idea sounded, she had to try. She had to prove to him she was real…well, as real as possible, anyway.
    Taking a deep breath, she concentrated on her goal. While she’d been dead, she’d moved papers and objects just a little heavier, but could she do this? Would her newly-acquired ghostly skills allow her to make a mark on his neck?
    She stepped closer. Once again, butterflies jumped wildly in her stomach. Swallowing hard, she leaned toward his neck. His masculine spice encircled her.
    Closing her eyes, she smiled. Never in her life—or death—had she imagined doing this to a man, but if it would prove to him she needed his help, she’d try anything.
    She opened her mouth slightly, putting all her concentration on bruising his neck. She sucked, just as if she was trying to draw juice from a stubborn melon. Although she couldn’t feel a thing, she prayed something good would come out of their little experiment.
    A low growl shook his chest. “Hmm…I feel tingles.”

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  9. karyrader says:

    I love Samantha, but, sadly, I don’t think she’s gonna get her wish for a pliable male. Hee hee. Thanks for the excerpt, Jenna!


  10. What a great idea Jenna. I was missing the SSS too. Thanks for opening your blog in the meantime. Here’s a sample of my soon-to-be-release Enchanted Skye:

    He watched with mild interest from the rocks. It wasn’t until Angus and the reverend walked back to the house that his interest got the better of him. He scooted a little closer and lifted his head to get a better view. He didn’t recognize this young woman on the land but watched her kneel before the pool. Her dark sable hair covered her face as she keened and for some reason he was compelled to go to her side. He slid into the water to investigate and the closer he drew, the stranger he felt. Only feet away now, he blinked the saltwater from his eyes and watched her a while. The wind whipped at her hair and the sea mist clung to her clothing as she hugged an urn tightly to her chest. He knew what he was seeing then. They’d scattered ashes on the water. He considered her. Who was this woman to Angus MacLeod?

    The woman must have felt his presence for she looked up from her grief. Meeting his eyes, she looked startled to see him so close. She rose slowly and backed away.

    His heart ached to watch her go and he found the feeling both perplexing and extraordinary. Then and there he knew he had to meet her. Taking a breath, he plunged under the water and swam to the far side of the cliff where the sea cave sat undetected. On dry land now, inside the dark chamber, he peeled away his waterskin. And where flippers were a moment before, a man’s arms and legs appeared. Shaking out his spotted skin with a snap, he rolled it into a tight bundle and headed toward the passage.


  11. Tricia says:

    My excerpt is from my weekly free serial read found every Sunday on the Sweet Cravings Publishing website..http://store.sweetcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=7&products_id=186

    “All that glitters isn’t always gold, Livvy Randall. Remember that.”

    I squinted against the summer sunshine that flooded through the passenger car window. Miles of emerald green corn as far as the eye could see waved in the sultry breeze. As I brushed an auburn curl from my forehead I thought hard about the words Pa spoke as he drove me to the train station in Omaha.

    Pa was never too thrilled about me going to college. He would have been more than happy if I would have just married Horace White, the boy down the lane, and become a farmer’s wife with a dozen children. Don’t get me wrong. Horace was a perfectly nice boy. He was tall and blonde. He played quarterback for our high school. Every girl in the school would have died to be his girlfriend.

    But the day that I found Pa, Horace and Mr. White talking on the porch when I came home from school was the day I decided to go to college and make something of myself. The intense gaze in their eyes as they stared at me while I climbed the porch steps made me shiver. To them I was no more important than a cow at market. I was a commodity to be sold.

    The next day I sent a letter to the University of Nebraska requesting admission the next term. The day after graduation I packed my suitcases and demanded that Pa drive me to the college.

    “All that glitters isn’t gold, Livvy Randall. Remember that.”

    I smoothed my black skirt with long, slender fingers then studied the silk stockings that covered my legs. I lost my shoes beneath my seat shortly after the train pulled from the station.


  12. This is the opening my Sweet Craving Publishing free read, with a new episode available every Wednesday at- http://store.sweetcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=7&products_id=188.

    The sound of the office door opening followed by running feet told Lord Jeffrey Weston his daughter had escaped from her governess. Again.
    “Morning Daddy,” Abigail called out as she rushed up to him.
    He was pleased to see a happy smile brightening her nine year old face.
    He waited until his daughter came to a halt beside him before setting the pencil down he’d been using while working on the estate books.
    “And a good morning to you princess.” he responded with a weak grin then leaned over giving her a kiss on the top of the head.
    “Father I’ve got a question for you?” she replied, reaching up and giving him a hug.
    “What’s that?” he asked, glancing toward the office door wondering where her governess was.
    “Why don’t you smile anymore? I remember you used to all the time but now you never do.”
    Jeffery cocked his head to the side studying her face. What he found disturbed him, unhappiness had replaced her smile of a moment ago.
    How could he tell her he missed his wife, her mother so greatly that his heart ached? Would Abigail understand no other woman could replace her?
    Hearing a soft knock on the door frame told him it could only come from her governess. Turning he noticed the young woman had the look of panic in her eyes. As she stepped into the room his attention was caught by the way the sun glinted off her brunette hair.
    Why hadn’t he noticed it before?
    “No Jane, it’s quite all right. I was about to take a stroll in the garden so her interruption came at an opportune time. Would you care to join us?” he spoke rising from his oak chair and taking his daughter by the hand.


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