Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 10/23/22 ~ Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve ~ No One Knows One’s Partner

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !

Happy October!!!

It’s autumn and October, my favorite season and month. Counting down to Halloween all month! And in honor of everything spooky, I’m sharing snippets all month from my Halloween short story, Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve, part of my Handful of Hearts series.

BLURB:

When Miss Cecilia Powell attends her very first masquerade on All Hallows’ Eve, she’s thrilled when a mysterious reveler pays court to her. As their encounter continues, Cecilia is charmed, then smitten with this masked stranger, even though she senses something odd about him. Is he truly the man of her dreams, or will Cecilia find her dream a true nightmare?

I’ve skipped ahead a few paragraphs, in which Cecelia sees another happy couple getting ready to dance. So now the stage is set for…something to happen. 🙂 Enjoy!

EXCERPT:

His graceful, light carriage sent more anticipation buzzing through her and Cecilia could not stop staring as he halted in front of her and made a deep bow.

“Goddess Astraea, I come to make obeisance to your loveliness, fair one, for I am rendered weak by the beauty and grace that stands before me.” The rich, deep baritone of his voice fell oh-so-pleasurably on her ear.

Disappointment tugged at her, however, when she didn’t recognize his voice. It was softened somewhat by the charming compliment, which caught her by surprise and sent a wave of shyness cascading through her. “Thank you, sir, for your kind tribute–Astraea is always appreciative of those who worship at the altar of innocence and virtue, but I fear you have me at a disadvantage. From my garb, you have apparently easily ascertained my identity,” she swept her hand down the white and silver Grecian gown, “although how you did so is a wonder, for I could have been any number of goddesses instead of Astraea.” Making her curtsy, she continued, “I give you great credit and must bow to acknowledge the sharpness of your acumen.”

He smiled, and her heart melted at the warmth he radiated.

And a little more for good measure…

“Would you do me the honor of dancing this waltz with me, Astraea?” The blue pools deepened to darkest sapphire.

“Oh, yes,” she whispered and extended her hand. She would dance after all tonight, and with a mysterious and exciting gentleman. Still, caution raised its bothersome head. Goddess or not, there were rules to be followed. “At least, I should find my mother and inform her of my intention. I can’t think why she has left me alone all this time.”

“Of course, my dear. Do you see her?” The dark stranger turned his head this way and that. “What manner of costume is she wearing?”

“She is wearing…” Cecilia knit her brows, trying to concentrate. But the mere nearness of the man seemed to steal her wits. “I must sound very dull-witted when I tell you that I cannot recall how Mama is dressed this evening.”

What on earth was the matter with her?

“Not at all.” His soothing tone calmed her. “I am certain it will be permissible for you to partner me and enjoy the dance together. It is a masquerade, after all. No one knows who one’s partner is until midnight.” He drew her arm through his and patted her hand.

At his touch, confidence returned to her. “Of course, how silly of me. It is, as you say, a masquerade ball. We have this good company to act as chaperones, even if we have not been introduced.”

“But we have been, I assure you.” He chuckled as he led her onto the dance floor.

“Then you know who I am beneath my disguise?” A trifle disappointing. The point of the masquerade was to remain as anonymous as possible for as long as possible. To think this man knew her already took a little of the joy from their encounter. But only a little.

“I confess I do know you, Astraea. Or I should say, Miss Powell. And I hope you will remember me when we unmask.” He nodded to the longcase clock just visible in the corridor through the open doors of the ballroom. Its hands stood at ten minutes to twelve. “Once we finish our dance, I believe it will be time.”

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There are some fantastic snippets to be read.

Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve is now available on Amazon and Smashwords for .99. But you’d better hurry to claim your copy. This Regency ghost story only appears during the month of October. Come the witching hour October 31 it will disappear for another year!

UPDATE on my House of Pleasure series! At long last, the series is now available on Amazon and on KU for free! This includes all five House of Pleasure novels plus the boxset! Grab your copy(s) today!

The Handful of Hearts series

 

This entry was posted in A Handful of Hearts, Blog Hops, Halloween, Halloween stories, Hearts at All Hallows' Eve, Historical Romance, Holiday Posts, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Regency Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 10/23/22 ~ Hearts at All Hallows’ Eve ~ No One Knows One’s Partner

  1. Kate Hill says:

    I enjoyed reading this story so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elaine Cantrell says:

    How exciting! I know she’s about to die from curiosity.

    Like

  3. Intriguing! Interesting he knows her but she can’t figure out who he is. Enjoyed the snippet – masquerades did cause a few problems for the starchy etiquette, didn’t they? But fun…

    Like

  4. Kate Warren says:

    He has a decided advantage then since she hasn’t figured out who he is. Whoever it turns out to be, he better keep using that voice if he wants to get anywhere with Cecilia. And maybe wear a mask more often. 😉

    Like

  5. daryldevore says:

    10 minutes to discover who her mystery man is – a very long time to wait. I remember I was surprised at the “reveal”.
    Tweeted.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    I think that would be a bit unnerving for him to know who she is, yet she has no idea of his identity. I hope she will be pleasantly surprised come midnight! Great snippet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      That was part of the thrill of the masquerade, the mystery of dancing with a partner you didn’t know. Although you usually could figure out who they were. Miss Powell, however, doesn’t have a clue–yet.

      Liked by 1 person

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