Lady Griffith’s Second Chance: Chapter Two

Last week I brought you a sneak peek at the first chapter of Lady Griffith’s Second Chance! Today I bring you the entirety of Chapter Two! I hope you enjoy this special look!

(And you can pre-order the book here, if you find you can’t wait for these little teases.)

 

Chapter Two

“Oh, Mama! I was so glad to have you there!”

Regan patted Katharine’s hand and kept her eyes pinned to the trees that bent low over the pond. Beneath their branches, Jack and Maria batted a shuttlecock between them, their arms swinging with the force of an all-out war.  

“And I was happy to be there with you,” Regan said, casting a benevolent smile towards her daughter. “But you still need to tell me about the part of the dinner I missed.”

She tilted her face upwards, allowing the sunlight to warm her cheeks and forehead. She squinted at the brightness of the day, while clouds like dandelion fluff floated from one horizon to the other, drawing shadows on the lawn. She’d abandoned her bonnet some time before and the heat from the sun prickled at the part in her hair, no doubt already turning her exposed skin to a warm pinkish hue. But it was summer, and the rain had finally ceased, and the shrieks and laughter of her younger children filled the air around her.

They followed the same routine every morning after a ball, or assembly, or even a small dinner party accompanied by a game or three of cards. After breakfast and the children’s lessons, Katharine would regale her mother with the previous evening’s entertainments. No detail was ever spared, from the unbearable press of bodies in a ballroom to the quality of a Miss Simpson’s performance on the pianoforte. The only difference this time was that Regan had been there as well.

Regan felt her heel slip on the ground and looked down at her hem, the edges bearing three inches of mud and moisture on the darkened fabric. Two days of rain after a particularly wet spring had turned the ground into a sodden, squelching mess. She frowned at the stains, though half her gowns bore the evidence of too much time spent out of doors as she traipsed around the grounds with her children.

Her thoughts went to her gown from the previous night, stained beyond repair with half a glass of red wine. Those thoughts, of course, leading her to memories of a young man named Thomas, whom she had stumbled into head-first in a lonely hallway. A man who had presented himself as all too forward for his own good. A man who had taken to flirting with her within the first moments of their meeting, and before they had been formally introduced. A man she had done everything within her power to respectfully ignore for the remainder of the evening. 

It had not been difficult. Between Thomas’s late arrival and the ruination of her gown and an incident of Mr. Boyd knocking into a table and breaking one of his wife’s most treasured figurines, avoiding an introduction had taken no great skill. But Regan had caught herself glancing at him occasionally—more than occasionally—from the other side of the room, from her place with the other older ladies, the widows, the mothers with children grown. Where she belonged, and not lusting after gentlemen far beyond the circle her age and situation in life described around her.

Continue reading “Lady Griffith’s Second Chance: Chapter Two”

Read the First Chapter of Lady Griffith’s Second Chance!

My next book, the historical romance Lady Griffith’s Second Chance, releases in less than three weeks! Lady

I’m offering up the first few chapters for everyone’s perusal, and this week brings us Chapter One. So read ahead for a glimpse into Regan and Thomas’s story…

Pre-Order Here!

Chapter One

Regan stood beside her son’s bed, the light from the candle casting flickers of gold and shadow across his face. 

He slept like his father: sprawled across the bed, bare feet sticking out from beneath the edge of the blankets, his head nearly dangling over the side of the mattress while his pillow already lay in a rumpled lump on the floor. She set the candle on the nightstand, returned all of his gangling limbs to their proper positions, and swept his dark hair back from his brow before slipping the pillow back beneath his head.

She bent down to kiss his cheek, and still he didn’t stir. Just like Edmund, she thought, before crossing to the other side of the room.

There, Maria slept in her bed, her small figure a contrast to her brother’s while in repose. Not only did Maria’s dark head still rest in the center of her pillow, but she had tucked her hands beneath her cheek, her pink lips forming a soft pout as she slumbered.

Regan gave Maria’s blankets a perfunctory tug before leaning over to kiss her forehead. She was about to stand up and turn away when she paused to sweep an errant curl, a ribbon of hair as black as ink, from her daughter’s cheek. 

All of her children possessed their father’s coloring, the same curling dark hair and bright blue eyes. When they had been younger, she recalled her disappointment at their lack of her hazel-colored eyes or the auburn cast of her own hair. But then Edmund had gone and left her as a widow, making her forever grateful that in each of the children she had something by which to better remember him. 

Continue reading “Read the First Chapter of Lady Griffith’s Second Chance!”

Here, Have a Fluffy Short Story

The world is crap right now. So I’m going to throw this little story at you in the hopes it might make one of you smile. Warnings (if you’re used to some of my darker stuff): It is not fantasy. It is contemporary. It kinda sets up a potential for romance (in what a few thousand words can do.)

Have at it, and enjoy. 🙂

So That Happened

Rebecca ran towards the train platform, one hand grasping at the strap of her bag before it could slip off her shoulder. A few more seconds, she thought. A few more seconds and she would make it. Her lungs burned as she pushed forward, and she regretted all of the times she’d told herself she needed to get outside and exercise. But the winter had been so cold this year, and the snowstorms every few days hadn’t helped matters. That was what she had told herself, while sitting on the couch ensconced in fleece and drinking far too many cups of cheap hot chocolate.

A familiar whoosh of sound and Rebecca saw the doors of the train car slide shut. Even if she stuck out her arm, she knew she wouldn’t make it. As she watched the train set into motion, her bag finally slid down and landed in a puddle of some unidentifiable liquid. 

“Son of a—” She bit down on her lip and snatched her bag up from the ground, careful to hold it with an outstretched arm in case any bit of the mystery fluid should transfer itself to her.

This was it. She would lose her job. And all because the universe had decided to conspire against her. The one day she’d been told she absolutely could not be late. Well, apparently the universe wanted her to live on a steady diet of Ramen noodles and tap water until she could find another means of employment, since there was no way Mitch would let this slide.

And she hadn’t even taken the time to shave her legs this morning. Stupid universe. Stupid stubbly legs.

Continue reading “Here, Have a Fluffy Short Story”