Sweet Nothings–09/07/13

 

Two Cherubs from  Madonna and Child     with  Saints by Giovanni Fiorentino

Two Cherubs from
Madonna and Child with Saints
by
Giovanni Fiorentino

Welcome back to Sweet Nothings, a little shadow of Sweet Saturday Samples, until that sweet treat starts back up.  Until that happens, I’m doing a little weekly blog where you can post a “sweet” excerpt  (PG 13 or milder) from one of your works.  Remember: please  hold the excerpt to 300 words or less. But if your cutting needs just a few more words, that’s okay too.  I won’t be counting. LOL

Today’s “Sweet Nothing” is an excerpt from my medieval historical novella, Betrothal, Book 1 of Time Enough to Love.  This snippet shows an early encounter between Sir Geoffrey Longford and Lady Alyse de Courcy.  They have been betrothed, never having met before the announcement of the betrothal.  Now they are trying to get to know one another and Alyse finds out she is the reason Geoffrey must leave England.

“Though our fathers decreed we should marry, ’twas the insistence of the king that I go with you to Spain. Princess Joanna is loath to part with you.” He meant it as a compliment—that she was highly placed in the princess’s affections—but the dark, wide eyes in the pale, drawn face foretold some ill omen. He had to lean in to hear her low whisper.

“Then it is my fault you will be sent from your home.”

* * * *

Alyse stared at him, aghast at the disaster looming at the beginning of their marriage. How much would he resent her for wresting him from his home and country? Tears welled in her eyes. Had she not served the princess so well, perhaps she would not have been chosen to accompany her to Spain. A great honor, yes, but at what cost? And the fear of him she had begun to dismiss crept back. Would he punish her for his banishment?

The first tears brimmed over and trickled down her cheeks. Alyse raised aGeoffrey(1) hand to shield this weakness from him. Tried to turn away. But, before she could even shift in her seat, he clamped a big hand on her shoulder. She stiffened, resisted, though she might as well have tried to fight upstream against a torrent. Relentless, he drew her around the end of the table until she pressed against his hard chest and his free hand guided her head to rest against his shoulder.

“Shh. Do not cry, sweet. ’Tis not your fault. Our fathers betrothed us. Neither of us had a choice in the matter.” His gentle tone belied his previous gruffness.

Her heart calmed a trifle.

He turned her head and she looked into clear, kind eyes. “For my part, Alyse, if I must travel hence to Spain, I can think of none other I would have accompany me as my wife.” He brushed the tears away with his thumb.

His compassion stunned her, as sweet as it was unexpected. Was this the same great oaf as yesterday? She blinked back tears and struggled to sit up, but Geoffrey held her close with unyielding arms. Somehow, his nearness did not frighten her as much now. 

Yes, I did run over this week. 🙂  I just couldn’t resist this scene.

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

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17 Responses to Sweet Nothings–09/07/13

  1. Its difficult to get knowledgeable men and women on this subject matter, but you appear to be you know what youre speaking about! Thanks

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  2. Carrie-Anne says:

    I love your excerpt. This week I have one from one of my hiatused WIPs, Lazarus Lost and Found, part of a spin-off series of sorts from my Atlantic City historicals. It’s April 1947, and 16-year-old Lazarus von Hinderburg has finally come to America to see the childhood sweetheart he hasn’t seen since 1938. All the time they’ve been apart, he’s held onto a necklace with her Hebrew name, Avigayil, in little silver letters. He presents this as proof to her overprotective big brother that he really is who he says he is.

    “Calm down, Barry. Don’t you recognize Lazarus? He came just today.”

    “Are you seriously telling me this is Lazarus? How do you know it’s not just someone pretending to be him?”

    “Don’t be so paranoid and hyper-judgmental. This is Lazarus. I recognized him and Mutti recognized him. Nobody could pull off a ruse like that. And just listen to everything he’s been saying. No one else could know those things or fake the emotional reactions he’s been having.”

    “I see this big brother in particular is still very overprotective of you. But if he really doubts my identity, I present this as evidence.” Lazarus reached into his pocket. “I guess I’ve hung onto this long enough. Don’t ask me how I managed to never lose it during all I went through, particularly when I was in the camps.”

    Sparky stood motionless and speechless as Lazarus fastened the silver necklace around her neck. She hadn’t seen it since she’d given it to him before she’d left Holland, and had long assumed it had been melted down, thrown in the garbage, or lost somewhere. When she finally came back to herself, she reached into her own pocket and produced the silver pin Lazarus had given to her.

    “And I guess I’ve held onto this for you long enough too.” She pinned it onto his shirt. “There were so many nights when I slept with this under my pillow.”

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  3. I love your passage, Jenna. This is a great weekend treat. I was thinking about dropping in a bit from the book I’m featuring this week, Kiki’s Millionaire (It’s on HHD and SatSpanks), but I realized that Kiki tends to curse like a sailor unless Jim reprimands her for it, and there is spanking and sex all over the place. There are no “sweet” parts! LOL Well, all I can say is, darn, I never even thought of it that way. I’ll play next Saturday…I think. I haven’t decided which book to feature next week.

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    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      I suppose Kiki is a little more than PG-13, but i do love that book. And that heroine! There’s just something about her that speaks to me. Well, you know, I bet there are some very sweet parts in Glee (or Under Wraps as it’s called now). I love that book also. I’m just sayin’ 🙂

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  4. Melissa Keir says:

    Great excerpts! All wonderful and I love to read different author’s voices!

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  5. Pingback: Chivalry or something more… | Paranormal & Romance author Juli D. Revezzo

  6. danijace says:

    This started as a Christmas short…not sure how sweet it is or how it will end up.

    A sea breeze buffeted Jake’s face as he stepped out onto the deck. Refreshing and crisp, it mixed with the Casino’s outdoor Christmas tree. The evergreen aroma made him pause in nostalgia before hitting the stairs. The crashing surf soothed and sobered him for his walk home.

    The beautiful woman dancing in the club lingered in his thoughts as he crossed the parking lot for the beach. The sight of Mac’s four-door pick-up truck stopped him cold. His buddy and his wife were vacationing in St Croix and he never loaned out his truck, except to Jake for his scuba business. Had the vehicle had been stolen?

    Reaching inside his jean pocket, he whipped out his set of keys to his friend’s pride and joy. The pistol was missing from the console. Damn. Climbing in the back, he hit the auto lock and slumped into seat. With searching fingers, he located a tire iron. Not a gun, but enough to knock a car thief senseless. He waited.

    The electric door locks popped, jarring him from his snooze. The sweet scent of woman washed over him before she slid behind the driver’s seat. Holy crap…was Mac cheating on Barb?

    He sat still. Shit! The hot chick with the diamond belly chain from the dance floor… Hell flew into him. “Sweetheart, you better have a damn good reason to be driving my married friend’s truck.”

    The husky note of a man’s voice caused her to flinch as she silently cursed the tinted windows. As his words registered, her fingers wrapped around the cold steel she’d moved from the console to beneath the seat.

    “Nice to see someone’s got my sister’s back.” She turned aiming the barrel of a 9mm at his large frame. Sinfully sexy, familiar green eyes widened making her flinch. How many years since she’d gazed into them? Christ!

    “Jake.” Just the man she was looking for.

    “Jesus! Raven?”

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  7. Awww….he sounds like a keeper. Thank you for this, opportunity Jenna! I was missing the Sweet Saturday Samples. 😉 Here’s mine from my newly released paranormal romance novel PASSION’S SACRED DANCE. My heroine Stacy is having a really bad day when a handsome new friend steps in to save her from disrupting the peace of her gallery with a fist fight with a very strange foe:

    Aaron turned to face her. “This should never have happened,” he said. “Forgive me, Stacy.”
    Surprised to see his medallion glowing with a soft golden light and his eyes an unearthly shade of green, Stacy gasped. She stepped back only to be jostled aside as the patrons slowly filed into the parking lot.
    Wondering why the woman threatened her and why Aaron felt the need to rescue her, Stacy bent to pick up a broken glass—what had once been the discarded dishes before the fight started.
    What was going on? Why was Aaron Fielding even here? A second more and she would’ve shoved the woman into her security guards’ hands.
    “Thanks, but I didn’t need your help,” she said.
    Peering through the crowd pushing through the back door, she could just make out the flutter of Miss Silver Eyes’ skirt. “What was that woman on?”
    “Better to ask what she is,” Aaron said. Then he shook his head. “No. You don’t want to know. We were lax in our vigilance, and this intrusion never should’ve been allowed.”
    His gaze came back to hers as the door shut behind the last patron. The glow in his eyes was gone. Had she hallucinated?
    “I give you my solemn vow that I’ll do everything in my power to see it doesn’t happen again.”
    “Do you?” She stood, glaring at him. “And who are you?”
    “Is that truly important?”
    She had a sneaking suspicion she knew the answer, but wanted his confirmation. She’d heard fables all her life about women and fated love with mystery men.
    Was the tale just the stuff of silly bedtime stories? Was Aaron merely defending her from an attacker as any gentleman might? Or did his purpose spring from something other than chivalry?

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  8. Sue says:

    From one of my WIP, The High Cost of Mortality. I’ve skipped some stuff in the middle.

    As the group headed toward their favourite picnic table, Stone’s peripheral vision picked up two older boys staring at Quinn. He turned his head and smirked back at them, she’s mine, then glanced at his girlfriend who had let go of his hand to catch up to Vonny. No doubt to finish their conversation regarding the war of 1812, not surprising since they were both history buffs. Quinn never acknowledged her followers; he wasn’t even sure she noticed them. Men always watched Quinn. Stone understood why of course. With her blonde- red hair, blue- green eyes and shapely curves, she was impossible to disregard. She must have felt his gaze because she looked over her shoulder and grinned.

    Quinn returned to the table with her cold treat. Stone stuck out his tongue and she allowed him a taste. “Good,” he said, and extended his neck toward the ice-cream attempting another lick before she pulled the cone out of his reach. “Meanie,” he scolded

    “If you want one for yourself you’re perfectly capable of walking over and getting your own.”

    Quinn moved away from Stone to eat her ice-cream in peace.

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    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      I really like that Quinn is very self-assured and comfortable in her own skin. That takes a bit of maturity–as does Stone’s acknowledgement of her attraction. How old are your characters? I’m thinking late teens, very early 20s but mature beyond their years. Nice excerpt!

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