Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !
I’m back this week with another excerpt from my just finished WIP Heart of Hope, the sixth book in my Handful of Hearts novella series. It’s the story of Lady Letitia Stowe and Mr. Albert (Bertie) Symmons, who meet, although not for the first time, at Lady Hamilton’s ball (where all couples meet in this series).
In this excerpt, Letitia is trying to be a wallflower because she doesn’t want to dance with anyone she doesn’t know. But she spies Mr. Symmons, who she does know, and hopes he’s headed toward her. He is and the conversation this week is now leading toward an invitation to dance. However, at the penultimate moment, someone else shows up! Hope you enjoy.
(PS–This is the unedited version, so any flubs are my own and will be dealt with by my editor I’m sure. But if you wish to point out anything, please do! Also, there’s no cover yet, but I’ve put up a picture of the couple who will be on the cover.)
BLURB: Tentative Blurb! Tell me what you think! Feedback is most appreciated!
Shy wallflower Lady Letitia Stowe is determined to dance with no one at Lady Hamilton’s ball unless she knows the gentleman. And when just such a man appears in the form of Albert “Bertie” Symmons, Letitia is suddenly eager to dance with him. But when their set turns out to be a waltz, Letitia cannot bring herself to perform the scandalous dance even with Bertie. They talk together instead and confess weaknesses they struggle with. Inspired to help one another they make a pact: she will instruct him in the correct forms of dancing and he will do likewise for her in horseback riding. Their frequent meetings grow into true affection and respect for one another, until Bertie is so bedazzled by Letitia he asks her to marry him and she joyously says yes.
Unfortunately, Letitia’s brother has another match in mind for her with the wealthy, titled Lord Kettering. To change her brother’s mind about the man she loves, Letitia and Bertie stage a series of faux rescues in which Bertie saves Letitia from harm. But when none of them work, Letitia fears they may have to resort to a tried and true method of assuring a marriage will take place: have Bertie compromise her. However, when Bertie proves unwilling to go down that path to matrimony, Letitia may have to take matters into her own capable hands.
A young gentleman, dressed in flawless black evening dress with a white waistcoat and an elaborately tied cravat with a flashy gold and diamond pin pinned to the center of it, had crept up on her unawares while she and Mr. Symmons talked.
Letitia wrinkled her brow. She’d been introduced to many of the gentlemen in attendance this evening, but had this been one of them? She’d not paid too much attention, actually.
Aunt Alexandra seemed to have the same question. “Have we been introduced, young man?”
“Yes, Lady Romley,” he bowed elegantly, “Lord Kettering, ma’am. Son of the Earl of Pytchley. We were introduced briefly by Lady Hamilton, at which point I determined I must ask Lady Letitia to partner me in a set this evening.”
And a little more for good measure…
Drat! Caught like a mouse in a trap. Letitia looked from Mr. Symmons, with whom she wanted to stand up, to Lord Kettering with whom she now must dance, to Aunt Alexandra who was shooting daggers at her from coal black eyes. Letitia sighed. If she had her wish, she’d be in bed alongside her sisters right now.
“Yes, Lord Kettering, I will dance this set with you.” Resigned, but trying not to show it, Letitia sent one sorrowful look to Mr. Symmons before Lord Kettering placed her hand in the crook of his arm and led her onto the dance floor.
Due to unfortunate circumstances, Heart of Hope will release on October 29th instead of the first. I promise to have it up on pre-order as soon as I get a cover for it.
Meanwhile, I’ve just put my contemporary Christmas novella, The Present, on pre-order on Amazon, part of a Christmas series called Christmas on the Side. You can go check it out here.
And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.
Handful of Hearts series