Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Redemption of Lord Rawlings - Release Party

Welcome to the Party!

Fortune smiles! Today is release day for two fantastic new titles by Rachel Van Dyken: The long-awaited The Redemption of Lord Rawlings, the third book in the House of Renwick trilogy -- and the new novella Waltzing with the Wallflower, co-written by Rachel Van Dyken and Leah Sanders. And also this week a new release by Kay Springsteen and Kim Bowman, the Regency romance, A Lot Like a Lady. All three titles published by Astraea Press.

The Redemption of Lord Rawlings

Poor, alone, and lost in the rain--Lord Rawlings has no hope for his future, until an unknown lady appears out of nowhere to kiss him and disappear again as mysteriously as she came.

With society against him and time slipping away, there is very little chance Lord Rawlings will be able to find a suitable wife who will accept him in his fallen state, even if money wasn't in short supply.

Is there anyone who will take a chance on him? And in the mean time, will he be able to resist the young siren who so readily throws herself at him at every turn?

Waltzing with the Wallflower

The Season has only just begun, but already Ambrose Benson is bored…until his brother offers him a challenge. Something worthy of his particular talents.

The object: The girl hiding behind the plants—the one in the horrible dress.

The goal: Turn her into the envy of the ton. A lady suitable for a duke.

But there is just something about the lady—in spite of all her social misgivings—something that draws him like a moth to flame and makes him want to waltz with the wallflower.

A Lot Like a Lady by Kay Springsteen and Kim BowmanLadies’ maid, Juliet Baines has gotten herself into a pickle by agreeing to go to London and taking the place of her mistress and best friend, Annabella Price, stepsister to the Duke of Wyndham. After all, what does a servant know about being a lady? But Juliet soon finds that pretending to be a lady isn’t nearly as hard as guarding her heart against the folly of wanting a man who’s completely out of reach.

Graeme "Grey" Roland Dominick Markwythe, Sixth Duke of Wyndham, approaches his duties as a nobleman with great dedication and meticulous care. And he’s a man who is not easily fooled...except when he tries to convince himself he's not utterly and madly in love with the beautiful imposter who has turned his life upside down. Will society and his responsibilities to his noble status keep him from opening his heart to the woman he loves?

Your turn:
Who is your favorite House of Renwick character?

What is your favorite House of Renwick scene?

Leave me your answers below!

A comment will constitute an entry here for a chance to win one of three prizes.
Your choice of an ebook copy of Waltzing with a Wallflower or A Lot Like a Lady.
Winners will be chosen at random on Sunday, April 1st.

Wonder where to go next? Try Delicious Romance by Rachel OR Whispers from a Book for more chances to win in the Release Party Giveaway.

Still want more? Check out a review of Rawlings!
OR Excerpts from A Lot Like a Lady!
MORE Lady Excerpts by the talented Kay Springsteen and Kim Bowman

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sweet Saturday: All We See

The party was a bust. Aaron had no idea how his parents could possibly know so many excruciatingly boring people. The only excitement the evening held for him was the anticipation of how the next person he met would outdo all the others by achieving new heights of monotony.
After enduring an exhausting hour of tedium, he started to search for an avenue of escape. His mother, seeming to sense his desire for flight had posted a vigilant watch over the stairs. Aaron would never be able to sneak by undetected.
His father, on the other hand, had made himself comfortable near the back door leading into the kitchen. Aaron considered it as an option for a moment, but he knew what his father's response would be. "I feel your pain, son. I really do. But if I have to endure it, you sure ain't getting out of it. Besides, you remember the old adage — That which does not kill you only makes you stronger." Aaron didn't know which would be worse, the party or the lecture. At any rate, the back door was not his best exit strategy.
There were the French doors in the sitting room which led out to the veranda, but to get there he'd have to run the gauntlet of senators' wives — all of whom were certain they knew of the perfect eligible young woman for him. Another escape route hardly worth the trouble, sounded like a torture straight out of the pages of one of those Regency novels Mom loved so much.
You know, for such an impressive house, there were surprisingly few exits. The front door was out of the question — his mother had a full view of it from her post by the mahogany staircase. That left only Dad's office. The buffet table was strategically situated next to the entrance. If he acted nonchalant, like he was going for the hors d'oeuvres, Aaron might be able to manage a stealthy spin move and duck in under the radar. He just prayed it wasn't locked.
Yes, he had promised his mother he would be sociable, but he had put in a good hour, and even Bobby, Mr. Social, had disappeared after only twenty minutes. Knowing Bobby, Aaron realized his escape plan had probably been worked out days in advance. After all, Bobby had been to several of Mom’s parties, and all of them more recently than Aaron’s latest subjection. Why hadn’t Bobby warned him to get out quick? Well, that was just Bobby. Not a whole lot mattered if it didn’t affect him directly.
Aaron began his journey to the food table, careful to seem purposeless as he sauntered with his hands loosely in his pockets. He smiled and made casual conversation with a few of the guests as he passed them.
“Enjoying yourself, Senator Abel? – Looks like you need a refill, Judge Williamson. – Secretary Tavish, I didn’t know you were back in town!” His parents’ circle of friends had included politicians and high-ranking officials for so long, Aaron had long since developed his own art of polite and diplomatic avoidance.
Finally he arrived at his destination. He lifted a small plate from the side table and began selecting a few of the more appetizing offerings. If he was going into hiding, he would need provisions. He caught his mother’s glance while he piled his plate with crab-stuffed mushrooms and mini-quiches, so he offered her what he believed to be an irreproachably innocent smile and pretended to inspect the fruit tarts.
When he was satisfied she had stopped watching him, he made a quick scan of the area for surveillance and then made a covert escape into his father’s office. Phew! It was unlocked.
Ah! Sweet freedom, he thought as he made his way through the unlit room to the outside door. Aaron could see through the glass it was only beginning to get dusky outside. He opened a door and stepped out onto the deck.
The evening breeze was a welcome relief in the July humidity. Of course, the climate in D.C. was nothing like his desert post, so he sure wasn’t complaining.
It was a little stuffy in the house – or was that just the guest list? Aaron leaned his forearms on the deck rail and looked over his parents’ grounds.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lucky Leprechaun Announcement

Congratulations to my three winners of the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Blog Hop!

Winner of the $10 Amazon gift card and copy of Sacred Ring:
Lauren M.

Winners of a copy of Sacred Ring:
Kimberly R.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by during the giveaway hop! And thank you to the hosts of the blog hop -- I'm a Reader, Not a Writer
Books Complete Me and
Author Cindy Thomas

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Leprechaun Luck

Blog Hop Tour
March 23-25

I have always loved rainbows. They are probably the most colorful things found in nature.Whenever one crops up around here, I grab my camera and run out to capture the phenomenon. And of course, if you're lucky enough to capture a double rainbow...well, that's a good day.

Rainbows are the subject of old wives' tales, myths, legends and beliefs. There is the ever-popular pot of gold hidden at the end of the rainbow, the path Iris (the messenger of the gods) takes when travelling between Mt. Olympus and earth, and of course, the symbol of the promise that the earth would never again be destroyed by a flood.

That's what I want to discuss. The rainbow as a promise. A promise of new beginnings. There's nothing quite as promising as a beginning.

The beginning of the school year for me means a new group of students to get to know. And with that the promise that this will be the best year yet. One year on the first day of school, I had the pleasure of waking up to a double rainbow hanging in the horizon. It was an optimistic omen.

A wedding holds a promise of wonderful beginning of a life with the one you love.

The dawn each morning brings promise of a new day. And I am reminded of Anne Shirley's (from L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables) assessment of a new day, "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"

Another wonderful new beginning is the start of a book. There are so many possibilities when you sit down to read that first line. 

I love the first lines of some books. They set the stage for what is to happen. A promise of an amazing adventure the author will lead you on.

Consider some of the most famous first lines of Western literature:

It was a pleasure to burn. ~ Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. ~ The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Call me Ishmael. ~ Moby Dick by Herman Melville

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a good wife. ~ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... ~ A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. ~ 1984 by George Orwell

The first lines in books are the rainbows of good reading. Here are the first lines from my books.

Sacred Ring: “Your Holiness, there has been a development at the Saint Hippolytus catacomb site.”

The Parting Gift: David Graham stood over his wife’s grave while the minister prayed.

Waltzing with the Wallflower: “Do you think it best to fight your brother so deep in your cups?” Wilde asked a foxed Ambrose.

All We See or Seem (w.i.p.): His orders lay unopened on the table.

What are your favorite first lines?
Leave a comment for me with your contact information for your chance to win a $10 gift card for Amazon or Barnes and Noble and a copy of your choice of Sacred Ring or The Parting Gift.
The winner will be chosen at random, notified, and posted on March 26th.

1) HAVE FUN!!!


3) THIS TOUR STARTS: Friday, March 23rd, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
THIS TOUR ENDS: Sunday, March 25th, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
Winners will be drawn and posted Monday, March 26th!



***Authors & Book Pages have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this blog hop tour is subject to these rules***

Back to the Linky List.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lucky Leprechaun Hop

I have always liked Saint Patrick's Day. I can't explain why, but I think it's because I love the color green. That, and while everyone else answers "Christmas" to the question "What's your favorite holiday?" I felt like I wanted to pick something that not as many people chose. I guess I just don't like to conform to the status quo.

Rock formations at Giants Causeway - - 450050
Besides Ireland is enchanting. The scenery, the history, the legends. I love to study them. For instance, have you heard the legend of the Giant's Causeway on the northern coast of Ireland? There are a few different versions of the explanation for the amazing geological feature pictured above.

One of which says a giant wanted to build a bridge between his home and another place, so he could travel across the water and engage the enemy in battle. But when he got there, he realized the enemy was a much larger giant. This scared him, so he ran home and dressed up like a baby and told his wife to tell the approaching opponent that the father of this giant infant would soon be home. When the enemy arrived, she did just that. And when he saw the size of the infant, he ran home in fear of the enormity of giant who must have sired the baby. As he ran, he tore up the bridge between the two places leaving only what is now known as the Giant's Causeway as proof the bridge had existed.

The picture on the right is a courtyard view of Saint Patrick's Church of Ireland located in Coleraine, a town near the Giant's Causeway. It is believed to be built on the original site of Saint Patrick's church which was in use back in the early 400s. The present church building was built in the late 1800s and has undergone renovation a few times since then. The history behind this beautiful building is amazing to learn about.

Saint Patrick is a patron saint of Ireland for obvious reasons. He worked there as a Christian missionary sent from Rome for many years.

He is not the only Irish saint though. Saint Valentine was adopted as an Irish saint around 1836, when his remains (found in Rome) were brought to the Catholic church in Ireland as a gift for a famous friar who had visited Rome and impressed the Pope. These remains were enshrined at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church, which houses the shrines of a number of Catholic saints.

St-valentine 110921-01
Pictured here is the shrine of Saint Valentine at Whitefriar. The statue of Saint Valentine shows him in the red martyr vestments and holding a crocus, his special flower.

All three of these settings are explored in Sacred Ring. Kynan Murphy and his two friends are on a field trip to the Saint Valentine shrine when they hear about the existence of a ring once belonging to the revered saint. A ring with special miraculous powers that can mend broken relationships.

The rocky relationship between Kynan's parents spurs him on a quest to find that ring and use it to help his mom and dad. Their quest takes them to Saint Patrick's Church of Ireland in Coleraine to search for clues in the church's archives. Those clues lead them to the Giant's Causeway, where a hidden uncharted cave holds more than just adventure for the three kids.

Here's what happened in the archives of Saint Patrick's Church of Ireland:

The archives were nothing more than a room the size of a walk-in closet with walls lined with bookshelves and one old wooden file cabinet in the corner. There was a small table and two chairs off on the side, but other than that it was unfurnished. Not that there was room for much else.
“Feel free to look around. There may be something here to help you with your project,” the man said.
“My project?”
“Your friend said you were working on a school project,” he reminded him. Kynan could feel heat rushing to his face.
“Uh, right. Our school project… I’m sure I’ll be able to find something for it. Thanks.”
The man scrutinized him for a moment, then stepped backward out of the doorway and pulled the door closed as he said, “Let me know if you need anything else.”
Kynan took a deep breath and turned to the shelves surrounding him. He coughed. The breeze from the closing door seemed to have stirred up the light layer of dust. It must’ve been awhile since the last time someone was researching the archives. Where to start…
Tracing the shelves with his eyes, his gaze fell upon a familiar brown leather binding on the top shelf. It looked remarkably like the book Brianna had borrowed from the reference section back at the school. Could it be another copy? Brother Leroy had insisted it was the only one of its kind. He grabbed the chair and dragged it across the short distance from the table to the shelf and stepped up on it to reach the book.
As he slipped it from its place, dust particles scattered through the air, floating down into his face and hair, making him sneeze. Whatever it was, it hadn’t been disturbed in ages judging by how much dust was there. Kynan brought the ancient book down and stepped off the chair. It definitely looked like the same title. It was hard to know for sure since he couldn’t translate Gaelic. He’d have to ask Brianna. He placed the book on the table and gently blew away the dust.
Holding back the urge for another sneeze, he lifted the front cover of the book and began to leaf through the brittle parchment pages. The drawings and script were familiar. It had to be another copy of that same book. When he came to the back he noticed the glue had begun to deteriorate under the endsheet pasted to the inside coverboard and was peeling away. He smoothed his hand over the thick parchment, but it felt as though something was under it—something hidden beneath the endsheet.
Kynan lifted the edge of the curling paper but stopped and looked over his shoulder at the closed door. He wiped his palms on his thighs to blot the nervous moisture while he glanced around at the ceiling for security cameras. This was an old book. Brother Leroy had been upset about them removing the other one from the library; if Kynan was seen damaging this one, he would certainly get into much more trouble.
Satisfied he wasn’t being watched, he reached again for the detached corner and pulled the endsheet away from the inside cover. The antique glue was brittle and came easily.
Hidden beneath the fragile parchment was a pale ivory papyrus folded in quarters. The corner nearest the peeling edge of the end paper showed had discolored with age. Kynan slipped the thick paper from its hiding place and closed the book.
Licking his lips nervously, he took the folded page and slowly opened it. In aged brown ink, a hand-drawn map of the northern Irish seaboard appeared as he smoothed the creases with a gentle touch. The broad hand stroke of Gaelic script marked landmarks along the coast. Again, Kynan cringed with remorse for not having paid more attention in Irish class.
            This had to be it. The map to the Sacred Ring.

What is your favorite thing about Saint Patrick's Day?  

Follow me and leave a comment with your email address to enter the giveaway on this blog. One person with the luck of the Irish will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and a free copy of Sacred Ring. I will also give away two more free copies of Sacred Ring -- all three winners will be chosen at random and will be posted and notified on March 23rd.

Thanks for stopping by and make sure to make your way to the other blogs on this hop.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Being the Wallflower

When I was in second grade I used to get in trouble for talking in class. Apparently, I was so social the teacher felt I needed to be removed from temptation. She moved my desk behind the book shelf.

Those of you who know me will probably have difficulty believing this to be true. But it is.

Somewhere along the way I swung that pendulum to the other extreme and became so dreadfully shy that it was difficult for me to carry on a normal conversation with anyone I didn't know. And even if I did know you, if anyone else was around who could hear me talking, I probably wouldn't.

In the classroom, I would have to leave the room to collect myself and get a drink of water before attempting to give a speech. I know, I know. Why did I ever become a teacher?

When I met my husband for the first time I was a Christmas party with one person I knew and about ten others I didn't. I sat hiding behind the food table away from everyone because I was nervous about talking to anyone. My friend had to physically drag me into the living room to socialize.

My husband is the opposite of me. He talks nonstop. So he started the conversation (obviously I wasn't going to do it): "So, do you go to school with Amy?"

I responded with... *insert drum roll here* "No."

It didn't occur to me that it was still my turn to talk. After all, I had answered the question. I should be done. It's somebody else's turn. Right?

Nobody else seemed to agree with me. Three pairs of eyes stared at me expectantly--Amy's, her mother's, and this guy's. A sudden fear shot through me when I realized they wanted me to say something else. Naturally the words tangled up on my tongue making it impossible to structure a cohesive sentence, but eventually I stammered out, "I go to school in Florida."

Lucky for me, my husband doesn't really need my participation in order to carry on a complete conversation. So he prattled on for the next couple of hours, asking the occasional question and eventually wearing down my social defenses. What was I to do? I married him.

Being shy is a bit of a handicap. It's difficult for someone to get to know me at first, and only the persistent make the cut. Not because I'm exclusive, mind you, but because I need a little coaxing out of my shell. Ask my husband. Ask any one of my good friends. I hope they say it's worth it. :)

Not that I'm biased at all, but introverts really do make the best friends! They're definitely more than they appear at first glance.

Take Cordelia from Waltzing with the Wallflower. She's a lot like me. That's probably what made her so easy to write. I just thought, "This is how I would feel and think." Then I projected that onto her. She's scared to death of attention. The very thought of it makes breathing difficult. Yeah, I get that. To look at her, one might think she has no personality. But she's so much more than just the girl in the hideous dress camouflaging herself behind the house plants.

Witty, intelligent and so funny.

But she wouldn't have you know She would say, "Let's keep it our little secret, shall we? We wouldn't want the ton to get the idea I have a personality."

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sweet Saturday: Sneak Peeks!

Another excerpt from the upcoming release Waltzing with the Wallflower, co-authored with Rachel Van Dyken (this is from one of my chapters):

She stared down at her skirt and struggled to free it from the branch with one hand. Even the small movement brought heat to her cheeks, and she hoped no one would notice her predicament. The last thing she needed right now was attention. Turning her focus to the snag, she tugged gently, trying to draw as little notice as possible.

“May I be of some assistance, m’lady?” A rich baritone startled her from her task and her head jerked up to ascertain who was speaking to her. She had been introduced to only one man present at this ball, and surely she would have sensed his approach long before he was close enough to engage her in conversation.

She recognized him in an instant. It was one of the well-known Benson twins. She dared not look long enough to determine which. They were nearly identical, and Cordelia had heard the only way to tell one from the other was by the length of his hair. Unfortunately, his unexpected notice of her brought an immediate mortification constricting in her throat and burning into her neck and cheeks. What was he doing over here? Why was he speaking to her?

“No!” she yelled then remembered herself. “Uh, no. Thank you, my lord.” Her eyes focused on her skirt, while her left hand worked frantically to free it from the entanglement.

His attention meant everyone in the room would also be staring at her. The burning in her cheeks spread to her ears. If only she could melt into the marble floor and disappear.

When a large gloved hand reached around her and twisted the skirt free from the branch, brushing her hand as it did so, she retracted her hand quickly with a gasp. Her eyes darted to his and to the floor again. Her words tangled in her throat and tripped over one another on their way out of her mouth. “I’m sor— Thank y—I mean, pardon me, my lord.”

“Not at all, m’lady. Glad to be of service.” Cordelia dared not speak again for fear of humiliating herself further. Undoubtedly another mess of undecipherable utterances would only speed her already determined fate as an old maid. So she did the only thing she could think of. She spun on her heel and fled, weaving in and out of the throng of debutantes, having no real direction until she caught sight of her aunt sitting among the other matrons.

When the sea of debutantes began to part as if she were being led by Moses himself, Cordelia realized she had failed in her effort to escape. Fear gripped her, making it impossible for her to look up, so she kept her gaze on the path before her and made a beeline to where her aunt waited, imagining she could feel the heat from the man following close behind her.

As she neared her sponsor, the woman’s eyes widened in recognition and a patronizing smile spread across her red lips. She did not return Cordelia’s gaze but rested hers instead on the man behind her.

“Lord Hawthorne, so lovely to see you again,” she crooned with a low curtsy, dropping her fan in a most inappropriate fashion.

“Lady Trowbridge,” he said, reaching for her hand and kissing it chastely. “How do you fare this evening?” Cordelia peeked at him out of the corner of her eye. His brown wavy hair hung unfashionably long, teasing at the edge of his collar. That would make him the elder of the two men, the Earl of Hawthorne, though both men were regarded highly by the bulk of the ton. What could he possibly want with her?

She wasn’t so daft as to believe she would be of interest to anyone other than Sir Bryan, the stench of Cumberland. Which would leave only the man’s pure morbid curiosity.

“Would you be so kind as to introduce me to your lovely charge?” Cordelia again felt the surge of embarrassment warm her neck and cheeks. Her gaze dropped to her hands. She busied herself with straightening her gloves and pretended not to hear Lord Hawthorne’s request.

“Certainly, my lord,” Lady Trowbridge replied. Cordelia’s gaze darted to her aunt’s face just in time to catch her wicked grin. “May I present my niece? Lady Cordelia Edwards.” She nudged Cordelia with an elbow. Cordelia curtsied awkwardly, losing her balance. Flailing her arms forward, she caught Lord Hawthorne’s arm at the last moment and saved herself from falling flat on her face.

Her heart beat wildly in her chest as she righted herself and realized at the same moment she was still clutching his arm. She released her hold immediately, snapping her shaking hand behind her back with a gasp.

And then he laughed. Her humiliation was complete.

And as a special treat, a short excerpt from Rachel's other upcoming release (expected this coming week), The Redemption of Lord Rawlings. I've had the opportunity to read an advance copy of this one. It's UH.MAY.ZING. Just sayin'...

“What are you looking for?” Her sultry voice interrupted his brooding. “I may be able to help.”

Phillip let out an irritated huff. “Brilliant. You see all those gentlemen standing by the lemonade?”

She nodded emphatically.

“Any one of them will do.”

“Do?” Abigail tilted her head. “I believe I’m lost, my lord. What will they do?”

Phillip tightened his grip on her waist, out of a mixture of lust and anger. “I thought it would be obvious, my dear. Any one of them would be acceptable for your attentions. In fact, I’m convinced you can secure at least four marriage proposals tonight, if you so desire. Your hair alone would drive them wild.”

Abigail smiled triumphantly. “So, you like my hair now that it is out of pigtails?”

“Forgive me for being misleading. I wasn’t aiming to compliment you, Abby.”

She rolled her eyes. “Yes, like you did not mean to enjoy the kiss we shared either. Yet I know you did. Oh, close your mouth, Rawlings, before you set the tongues wagging. Interesting. Your skin has turned a sort of red color. You wouldn’t happen to be embarrassed about our little tryst now, would you?”

Phillip bit back the cutting remark, knowing it was improper for a lady’s ears. “I do wonder how Sebastian would feel about my strangling your pretty little neck. It is doubtful that Emma would miss you, since you’re barely old enough to be out of the schoolroom.”

At her brilliant blush and the sudden chip in her haughty attitude, Phillip continued, “Ah, I see I’ve hit a sore spot haven’t I? Dare I say that was your first kiss, Abigail? And how did it fair? Was it so disappointing? I found it wasn’t even enough to become a memory I would hold on to. But that’s because I’ve had practice, which you have obviously not.” Gripping her even tighter around the waist, he pulled her closer, so he could whisper in her ear. “Run along now, and play with those more suitable to your innocent charms and manipulations, my dear. I have more important things to worry about than your blackmail and adolescent kisses.”

Be looking for this new release as well as Waltzing with a Wallflower--both coming soon!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sweet Saturday: Waltzing with a Wallflower

This week's excerpt comes from Waltzing with a Wallflower, a story co-authored with Rachel Van Dyken (author of the USA Today Bestseller Ugly Duckling Debutante).

One of my favorite scenes from the book (from one of Rachel's chapters):

Ambrose laughed, but it was hollow. Just what was his brother getting at? “You want me to choose a woman based on….”
“Need. I want you to choose a woman based on need. What woman needs to be the toast—needs to be saved from scandal? Needs to find a wealthy husband? What woman deserves it?”
“Not that I’m known to be the vainer of the two of us.” Ambrose grinned. “But I could turn the Dowager of Marsaille into the most sought after woman in London, and you know it.” As if on cue the elderly lady laughed sending shivers throughout Ambrose’s body. The men gave each other a look of disdain.
“Of course I do, so you shouldn’t have any trouble with her.” Anthony pointed to the other side of the ballroom where several potted plants stood lining the wall.
“A plant? You want me to turn a plant into the toast of the ton?” Ambrose asked confused and simultaneously wondering how much champagne Anthony had already consumed.
“No, I want you to turn her into the toast of the ton.” He pointed again.
Ambrose rubbed his eyes straining to see what his brother was pointing to. “Do you see her, Wilde?”
Wilde shook his head, then paled. “Anthony, are you sure this is a good idea? Say, Ambrose, why don’t we go to the tables and—”
“—Where the devil is she?! I don’t see a thing. All I see is Lady Markham drinking her weight in sherry and the little chit in that God-awful green…um, yellow… what color is that dress? Oh—” he said all in the same breath. “Her? You want her to be the toast of the ton?”
“I think the color you’re looking for is putrid,” Wilde said in a helpful tone.
Ambrose cursed, ignoring his friend.
“Her name is Lady Cordelia.”
“I know her bloody name, Anthony. What game do you play at? She bloody well blends into the wall! The plant looks more inviting than the girl standing next to it!”
All three men watched as the lady in question appeared to be frozen, nay, paralyzed in her place. She gave the word wallflower a new meaning. Ambrose tilted his head to the side; surely she would look more inviting from another angle. After waiting several seconds, he gave up and cursed. Then he saw Anthony and Wilde doing the exact same thing.
“Doesn’t help,” he muttered, reaching for another glass of champagne. “Well, Anthony, you have outdone yourself.”
“So I have.” Anthony rubbed his hands together. “Shall we gain you an introduction?”

Back to the Sweet Saturday list.