Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !
This is the last week for snippets from The Widow’s Christmas Surprise. Next week I’m switching back to Pride of Lyon’s.
The death of her husband has thrown Lady Maria Kersey’s future into doubt—and her heart into the arms of a man she cannot have. But Christmas with the Widows’ Club will bring choices—and surprises–that may change all her holidays to come . . .
Maria just gave birth to her first child, a beautiful daughter—but the event is shrouded in sorrow. A month earlier, Maria’s husband, Lord Kersey, was killed in a duel under compromising circumstances. Worse, Maria’s failure to provide a male heir has stripped her of any hope of an inheritance. Scorned by the ton, one of her few allies is her late husband’s steward, Hugh Granger. Hugh is everything her husband was not—warm, charming—and penniless. . . .
Hugh has fallen desperately in love with Maria, but has little to offer but comfort. As their attraction becomes impossible to resist, Maria flees to London to spend Christmas with her dearest friends, a group of widows who lost their own husbands in the Battle of Waterloo. Little does she know the holidays will reveal a twist of fate she never expected—proving that the greatest Christmas gift is the magic of true love . . .
I’m starting the snippets about a third of he way through the novel. Maria has been widowed a second time and is virtually penniless and living off the kindness of her dead husband’s distant relations. Maria is trying to make a good impression on the family, especially on their elder son–who will eventually inherit her late husband’s title. But when the family invites her to a greenery gathering party, things get a little out of hand… Enjoy!
He’d bent her backward over his arm, pressing her so far she could see the sky directly above them. In a flash of intuition, she lifted both her legs off the ground–he’d tipped them so far off balance that they crashed to the ground. His arms had released her as he struggled to regain his footing, so Maria managed to fling herself away from him as they hit the ground. Unfortunately, the fall knocked the wind out of her and she lay staring at the sky once more, struggling to draw breath back into her lungs. Groaning and cursing from close by told her Lord Wetherby had not suffered any grievous harm. An eternity passed as she lay hitching in little gulps of air, praying that she would recover before Lord Wetherby could rouse himself and attack her again.
With a huge effort, she rolled to her side and struggled to her feet. Lord Wetherby had landed face-first on the ground, his head apparently coming down on a rock. He bled, though not copiously, from a gash on his forehead.
“What the devil is going on here?”
And a little more for good measure…
Maria whirled around to find Mr. Granger, face darkened with rage, speeding toward them. Right behind him were Jane, Miss Granger, and James Garrett.
Jane darted forward and pulled Maria into her arms. “Are you all right, my dear?”
Although still shaken, Maria nodded. Best for them all if she said nothing about what had just occurred. At least not publicly. “I am fine. There was a . . . little accident. Lord Wetherby took the worst of it I believe.”
“Anthony.” James Garrett dashed forward to assist his brother to rise, the latter groaning and clutching his head.
“Lady Kersey, tell me what happened.” Mr. Granger had come to her side, although he still sent deadly glances at Lord Wetherby.
Sighing, Maria cut her gaze briefly to Jane. Her cousin would understand and forgive the lie she was about to tell. Hopefully convincing enough that Mr. Granger would accept her word, or want to believe her enough to do so. “One of those freakish accidents you read about in The Times, Mr. Granger. Rather stupid really.”
Lord Wetherby was on his feet now, glaring at her while pressing his handkerchief to his forehead. He’d likely agree with the tale she was about to tell, as it would not paint him as the villain he actually was.
His gaze darting suspiciously between her and Lord Wetherby, Mr. Granger nodded. “Go on.”
Keeping Jane’s admonition to keep to the truth as much as possible, Maria launched into her tale with what she hoped was believable excitement. “I was gathering holly boughs and one of the thorny leaves pricked my finger rather deeply. I took off my glove and looked at it, but it was bleeding more heavily than it should have done. Lord Wetherby came to look at it and produced his handkerchief to bind it. As we were standing there, very close together, a huge bird swooped down as if to attack us.”
“A bird?” Mr. Granger’s brows lowered. “What kind of bird?”
“A very large bird. With brown feathers is all I recall. I’m afraid I have no idea what kind of bird it was.”
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There are some fantastic snippets to be read.
Today is the final day to get The Widow’s Christmas Surprise on Amazon for .99. So grab your copy ASAP!
CHRISTMAS IN JULY TITLES