Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !
This week I’m switching to my just released as a single Christmas novella, It Happened Under the Mistletoe. It’s the second of a pair of Christmas tales sent in Bath, England and featuring heroes who are two long-time friends. The first of the two is It Happened at Christmas.
Christmas magic under the mistletoe…
Roger, Lord Daventry is contemplating a quiet Christmas at his home in Bath—until he literally falls at the feet of beautiful Lady Sylvia Montgomery. He and Lady Sylvia have an immediate attraction, but everyone is leaving London for their country homes for the holidays. Roger says his goodbyes, hoping to meet Sylvia again in the spring.
Lady Sylvia, however, has other plans.
Cajoling her parents into spending Christmas in Bath, Lady Sylvia is thrilled to meet Lord Daventry once more at the city’s Assembly Rooms. She and Roger manage a tryst under the mistletoe and Roger is ready to make a declaration for Sylvia’s hand. But when her father is called away on business, and her brother, Lord Chumleigh, arrives to chaperone Sylvia, Roger recognizes a man from his past who can sabotage his hopes of marriage to Sylvia.
The snippet takes place about half way through the book. Roger is asking Lady Sylvia for the supper dance when things take a surprising turn. We are in Roger’s POV.
At last a lull in the conversation gave Roger the opportunity he needed to ask, “Lady Sylvia, may I request the supper dance with you, if it is still available?”
“It is no longer free, my lord.”
Hopes dashed, Roger gritted his teeth but continued to smile.
“Now that you have claimed it.”
His smile now genuine, Roger exhaled silently.
Grinning at his discomfort, Lady Sylvia tossed her head, making her curls bounce and swing around her face, and said, “I saved it for you particularly, my lord.”
“Indeed, my son has had a change of plans for the Christmas season as well,” said Lady Kenniston, who had apparently continued her conversation about plans and travel during the season. “He was to come to us in Lincolnshire, but finding us fixed here in Bath, he has determined to remain in London for the yuletide.”
“Please stop fussing with Chumleigh, Mamma–he attained his majority long ago and should be allowed to decide for himself where he will and will not spend Christmas,” Lady Sylvia turned to Roger and asked, “Your parents do not fuss so over your whereabouts at Christmas, do they, my lord? Lord Daventry, are you quite all right, my lord?”
And a little more for good measure…
Roger had stopped still as stone, a sick dread rushing through his body. Please God, let him have misheard her. “Excuse me.” Amazingly, his voice sounded almost normal. “You have a brother, Lady Sylvia?”
She nodded and screwed her face into a comic mask of dismay. “I do, although I often wish I didn’t. He is a bit older than me, though we have always gotten along famously.” She lowered her voice. “He’s the bookish one in the family, rather shy. And then Mamma has always pampered him too much. I’ve told him time and again he must stand up to her.”
“Sylvia!” Her mother’s voice rose, and Lady Sylvia took a step back from him. “You will not say such things about your brother before others. He is a delicate young gentleman who must have allowances made for him.”
Oh, Christ. “You said his name is Chumleigh?”
“Yes, my lord.” Lady Kenniston beamed at him. “Are you acquainted with him?”
“I believe so, but very briefly, many years ago. He likely will not recall my name.” Praying with all his might the lady didn’t mention that name to her son, Roger offered his arm to Lady Sylvia. “I believe this is our dance, my lady.”
But don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.