Snippet Sunday: January 15, 2017 – Getting There…

Today, my oldest child said, “Time is going really fast lately!” It is, sweetie. It is.

We’re already up to the third week in January. My youngest child is now eight months old. The girls started at a new dance school and are settling into their new schedules. LIFE, MAN.

Today’s snippet picks up right where last week’s left off, with Lydia arriving at her new home on a cold, wet evening.

And if you’re looking for more snippets, check out Weekend Writing Warriors for lots of reading fun!

Charlotte had prepared herself for a heavy Scottish brogue, but the old woman’s accent was more Cheshire than anything.

“Um, Mrs. Faraday?”

The woman tilted her head to one side, but gave no indication that she might be the Mrs. Faraday in question.

Charlotte cleared her throat and began again. “I’m looking for a Mrs. Harriet Faraday. My name is Charlotte Claridge. I am your… Well, her niece.”

The other woman drew in a breath and held onto it as she took in every detail of Charlotte’s appearance from head to toe. “Wipe your boots,” she said after a full minute had passed, and stepped aside to let Charlotte enter.

 

A Thief and a Lady: Chapter One, Part Two

Has it been a week already? I thought the time over Christmas break went quickly, and now here we are, over a week into the month and I feel like time is running through my fingers… or like sand through the hourglass… these are days of our lives…

Wait. Wrong thing.

This week, I bring you the second part of Chapter One of A Thief and a Lady. It’s a shorter section than last week, but that’s how it will be as the story progresses, some scenes longer or shorter than others. And next week we’ll delve into Chapter Two!

*Chapter One, Part One can be found here.

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A Thief and a Lady

Chapter One, Part Two

The rain dripped off the edges of Esther’s bonnet, soaking into her shawl and into the collar of her dress. She cursed at the people who stood in her way, the stream of pedestrians moving as sluggishly as the water backed up in the various gutters and byways.

Her boots slopped on her feet, the bits of rag she’d stuffed into the toes squishing with every step. By the time she arrived outside the closed up shop with the broken toys in the window, she suspected she’d have a drier time of it if she simply submerged herself in the Thames. Another curse slipped past her lips as she shook a few drops of water out of her face and opened the door in front of her.

She didn’t need to knock. She let herself in, a bell above the door chiming shrilly enough to alert anyone and everyone within to her presence. But there was no one in the front room, a dark and dusty space that boasted empty shelves and a counter bearing a decrepit Punch with a shattered face.

She stepped around the counter and through another doorway that led her to the back room. A few candles burned on bases of chipped bits of crockery and tin cups, aided by a thin, watery light from the single window behind the stove. The stove sat cold and empty, but a small figure huddled near to it, a dark head bent over a mound of miniscule bits of metal and springs and gears and screws.

“Hallo, Jack.”

Continue reading “A Thief and a Lady: Chapter One, Part Two”

Snippet Sunday – January 8, 2017: Onward and Outward

It’s now officially one week into the new year. Am I already exhausted? Indeed. Can I believe that it’s January and the days are already getting longer and people are counting down to spring? Very much so.

Today’s snippet is from the same story as last week, A Hollow Lady, and picks up just a little further from where we left off. And after you read my snippet, head over to Weekend Writing Warriors and check out all the others!

She paused at the gate, two stone columns that rose out of the ground like the trunks of ancient trees. Ahead of her, the ground changed from a road pockmarked with dirt and sharp stones to neat path strewn with a pale shade of gravel. She followed the path for several yards before turning stepping off it once she realized it would lead her away from the beckoning light. A few more steps and she found herself in front of a shabby wooden door. She searched for a knocker or bell of some sort, but found nothing. With no other recourse before her, she raised her bare fist and gave the door three hard raps.

A shuffling came from the other side, before the door was opened wide to her. A grey-haired, wiry woman filled only a small portion of the doorway, but the intensity of the woman’s gaze caused Charlotte to take a wary step backwards into the night.

“What d’you want?”

***

Looking for something to read? Check out my latest release, The Crimson Gown, available on Amazon now!

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Lydia Hunt is familiar with the concept of sin. Reared beneath the strictures of religious zealotry and abuse, she has heard again and again that her nature is wicked and her soul bound for eternal damnation. But when she is sent to work at Mowbray Hall, ancestral home of the enigmatic Lord Cailvairt, Lydia begins to fear just how wicked she might be.

For although Cailvairt makes no effort to hide his pursuit of her, his insistence on challenging the ideals imposed upon her as a child―even while speaking to her as an equal―leaves it difficult for Lydia to resist his attentions. As her inhibitions crumble away and the foundation of her beliefs  threatens to falter, she must determine if giving into temptation will destroy her… or be the act that saves her.

 

A Thief and a Lady: Chapter One, Part One

It’s the start of a new year, and so here I am, beginning something new on my blog. The new thing? A story to share with you, in its entirety, bit by bit. Like the serials of old, I’ll be posting a segment every week until it’s finished.

The story? I’ve given it the working title of A Thief and a Lady, and it takes place in England in 1799. The characters? Esther Kirkpatrick, a young woman who makes her way picking pockets and cleaning up after her often drunk and gambling father. And we also have Jeremy Dudley, a younger brother who has inherited the title of Marquess after his brother’s untimely death.

So here is Part One of Chapter One, and I do hope you enjoy it!

***

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A Thief and a Lady

Chapter One, Part One

He would be an easy one, Esther decided. She studied him from her place on the opposite side of the street, beneath the crooked sign for the butcher’s shop and beside a cart of mouldering potatoes that smelled of damp earth and dung. A cab trundled past, blocking him from sight for a minute, but she found him again quickly enough.

He stood with the confidence of one too often given his own way. He held his chin that half an inch higher than those around him, his dark hair combed in a style that gave him the air of a puffed up cockerel. The corners of Esther’s mouth twitched with the urge to grin. Yes, he looked a fool, and a bored one at that. She could only hope that he would be disinterested enough in the sights and sounds around him to prevent his noticing her progress towards him.

Esther tugged at the ends of her shawl and stepped off the pavement. Horses pulling all manner of vehicle clattered past her, leaving behind piles of droppings to be cleared away by the crossing sweepers. She maneuvered through the maze of traffic, both wheeled and shod, and found herself on the other side of the street, only a few paces behind the bored fool with the starched cravat.

People dashed about her on every side, taking no pains to mutter even the briefest of apologies as their elbows and shoulders knocked into her slight frame. That she was a diminutive creature often worked in her favor, allowing her to slip in and out of places that larger persons could not navigate without attracting attention towards themselves. As a child, she had lamented being given so small a figure. Now she rather enjoyed the benefits of being underestimated due to her petite frame. It always caught people off guard when she so deftly outwitted them.

Continue reading “A Thief and a Lady: Chapter One, Part One”

Snippet Sunday – January 1, 2017: A New Year Awaits!

It’s a new year! Out with the old and in with the new, as they say. But I’m here chugging along on a few older stories, hoping to see them all finished off in the months ahead.

Today is my first dive into Snippet Sunday brought to you by the Weekend Writing Warriors, and I bring you the first few lines of my work-in-progress A Hollow Lady (working title, most definitely).

By next week, I hope to have a working blurb for this story (which probably won’t see the light of publishing day until later this year or even early next year… alas.)

Little preamble marked the coach’s departure. A loud oath from the old driver’s mouth, the brief, sharp rattle of harness, and then nothing but the wet slap of horses’ hooves and slipping wheels on the damp ground before the vehicle disappeared around a bend in the road.

Charlotte stood still, the mud sucking at her boots as she gazed into the distance. Two miles, the driver had said. Two more miles to Ellesferth Castle. She glanced over her shoulder at the darkening horizon. Two miles, without light, on an unfamiliar highway that threatened to pull her into the mire with every step. She took a deep breath, the chill in the air making her nose run and her eyes water. If she moved, she knew, she would at least keep some of the cold at bay.