Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !
I’m back this week after an unfortunate absence. The last Sunday I was here I came down with what I thought was a bad case of the flu–which turned out to be a breakthrough case of COVID. I’ve been battling it for the past two weeks and am awaiting my test results, hoping for a negative report. But I feel much better now and am back 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).
And here’s the new cover, just revealed this past week!
Shy wallflower Lady Letitia Stowe is determined to dance with no one at Lady Hamilton’s ball unless she knows the gentleman. When just such a man appears in the form of Albert “Bertie” Symmons, Letitia is suddenly eager to dance with him until she discovers their set turns is the scandalous waltz. Letitia begs off and instead they talk together, each confessing a weakness. Inspired to help one another, they make a pact: she will instruct him in dancing and he will do likewise for her in horseback riding. Their frequent meetings grow into true affection and respect 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, Letitia and Bertie stage a series of faux rescues where Bertie is the hero. Regrettably, none of them work and Letitia fears they may have to resort to a tried and true method of assuring their marriage: 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.
This excerpt takes up right where we left off: 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, Lord Kettering intrudes and asks Letitia for a dance.
We have now switched to Bertie’s POV. 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!)
If the great chandelier fell down upon him this minute and pounded him to dust, Bertie could not have been more perturbed.
“You were too slow, Mr. Symmons,” Lady Romsey’s lips were pressed into a straight line, “the prize goes to the swift.”
“Thank you, Lady Romsey.” Bertie hoped the lady would do more than state the obvious. “I won’t make that mistake again, I promise you.” His gaze strayed to Lady Letitia on the dance floor with Kettering. He’d never liked the viscount, always so smug when speaking to Bertie. Just because he had a title and Bertie didn’t–titles weren’t everything. Many a titled gentleman didn’t have a feather to line his nest. And Bertie’s nest, or his father’s at any rate, was well lined indeed.
And a little more for good measure…
“As her dance card is all but empty, she must still have the supper dance open, you know.” Lady Romsey raised her quizzer to stare at Lord Haversham who was approaching, a grim look on his face. “You might ask her as soon as the present set has finished. Don’t let her get away again, Mr. Symmons.”
Bertie decided to take her advice, and his own instincts said he should take his leave of Lady Romney before her nephew arrived. “My lady, I shall wait beside the dance floor and ask as soon as she’s free.” A hasty bow and he fled to the farthest corner of the floor, close to where Lady Letitia was dancing. He’d make certain he was right there when they finished so he could get first crack at the supper dance.
Heart of Hope is now up for pre-order on Amazon and will release on October 31th. The pre-order price is just .99, so grab your copy now. After release it will revert to its regular price of $2.99.
Additionally, my upcoming contemporary Christmas novella, The Present, is on pre-order on Amazon, part of a Christmas series called Christmas on the Side. It will release on November 9th. You can go check it out here.
And the final Widows’ Club book, The Widow Wore Plaid, is available for pre-order on Amazon as well. It will release on December 28th.
Because it’s October, my Halloween short story, Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve is available again as well. It’s .99 on Amazon and free on Smashwords.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.
Handful of Hearts series
(all on sale for .99 each during October)