It's Here!

Book Two in The Huntington Saga Series Novels~

Pirate Bride!

Miss Susannah Blakemore is kidnapped and sold into white slavery as payback to the Huntingtons. Will her pirate hero save her?

“The Huntingtons will pay. Oh, they will pay.” Plots and unholy alliances are put into action carrying out long-awaited retribution.

Only … one was not thought of. One was not even considered. How would anyone have guessed that a descendant of a pirate would take up his old family tradition in a mad quest to regain his bitterly lost love? The Marquess of Latham will not abide by this act of violence arranged for his precious love, but will surely save her -- will he not? And will he make her the next pirate bride?

Next? There must be a first to have a 'next'. But there was another ... centuries ago ... that still walks the halls of Stonecrest Castle.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011 -- Twice Weekly Blog -- The Governess

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 11 continued:

Carly was busy spreading the old patchwork quilt for the fifth time in one week, while Jonathon helped Elspeth carry the picnic basket over to her.  She had been excited to find out that Jonathon loved the outdoors, so made their picnics work to her advantage. 
“Shall we put this here, Miss Blakemore?”  These were the first voluntary words that Jonathon had spoken to her since the day of their introduction.  Smiling an encouraging smile at him, she said, “That would be fine, dear.”     
            Taking in a deep breath of fresh country air, she exclaimed, “What fresh air!  Mmmm!  I think the lake was a fine choice for our picnic today, do you not think so children?”  Only Elspeth agreed. 
            Jonathon hesitantly volunteered, “It has been a long time since we have come here.” 
            “Well, I think it is absolutely gorgeous!  We shall come here often, I think,” Carly exclaimed, laughing as she spoke.  As they sat down upon the quilt and started to unpack the delicious-looking food, Carly said, “Mrs. Cooper has spoiled us again today!  Look at all this food!  We could feed an army!”  Apparently Elspeth thought this was funny, that they could feed a whole army, and she giggled about it while they passed out freshly-made sandwiches.  “Look here, she has packed some early berries, lemonade, and even chocolate cake!”  The children gasped excitedly, and they looked at each other in surprise. 
            “Chocolate cake,” Elspeth sighed. 
            “That is the second time in one week,” Jonathon said.  Carly was glad to see that he was excited too. 
            “Yes!”  Elspeth agreed in amazement. 
            Jonathon was showing remarkable improvement today by contributing so much to their conversation.  “I believe we have had more desserts than normal since you have arrived, Miss Blakemore.”  Jonathon looked at Miss Blakemore as if she were some magical genie with powers to snap her fingers together and produce sumptuous chocolate cake! 
Smiling at his excitement, she laughed as she said, “Well, let us hope we do not get fat!”  As Carly and Elspeth laughed, Jonathon smiled. 
Having been here for nearly two weeks, Carly was hopeful that things were beginning to improve as she watched both children enjoy their lovely outing.  She had not had any more trouble from their father, and Jonathon had been fresh out of tricks for three days.  Both children were exuberant, but Carly’s youthful energy and excitement could match their own.  Jonathon had been a difficult child, but she would catch him smiling and laughing from time to time; and now, during their picnic today, seemed to have made a decision that it was not so unpleasant for him to talk.  Carly would find him watching her frequently, as if he was trying to figure out her secrets. 
Elspeth, on the other hand, had completely accepted Carly.  Finding that she loved sitting in the governess’s lap, hugging and spreading sweet kisses on her cheeks, Elspeth reminded Carly again of what this dear child’s father had told her of their mother’s unkind ways.  Elspeth was very affectionate and ate up any loving tenderness that was shown her.  She loved Carly’s hair and would, most often as not, undo the pins and run her fingers through it like a comb.  By the end of their picnics her hair would be cascading down her shoulders and back.  Elspeth loved this and would then insist upon Carly doing the same to her hair so they would be twins. 
“I will grow my hair to be as long as yours!” Elspeth told Carly.  “In fact, I am determined to grow it to be even longer!”
“Well, then.  Let us see how far you shall have to grow it!”  Carly placed her finger between Elspeth’s shoulder blades showing the little girl how long her hair was and how far she had yet to go. 
Carly had tried each day to make sure there were plenty of hugs to go around for both children, drawing understanding from the words Lord Huntington had shared with her about their mother’s cruel heart.  Jonathon never welcomed these hugs, unlike Elspeth, but Carly always pretended not to notice.  She felt that if she altered this new routine, having been established, he would feel selectively different, immediately noticing her change towards him.  This would not do.  Eventually, she was sure he would give in to this much needed affection. 
Each day, Nanny, as she became even to Carly, took charge by bathing the children, feeding them dinner, and getting them to bed after stories each night.  “You shall be the death ‘o me yet!” she always mocked. 
Following dinner with Lord Huntington, Carly would sneak into their bedroom kneeling with them for prayers.  She made sure she always snuggled and tucked them back into bed, as though they were her own precious treasures.  Once in a while, Carly would slip in a bedtime story, making up a funny one, or telling them of her youth.  The children were growing to love this special story time with her, especially the stories about her and Susannah and always begged for more.  This affection from Carly, she could already see, was working on Jonathon’s tender heart.  She only wished his father was here to shower affection upon him too. 
After they had finished their cake, Elspeth skipped over to the water and Jonathon excitedly followed.  They began throwing rocks into the lake listening to the splashes, laughing as they watched the ripples getting bigger, enjoying the tiny minnows as they darted here and there.  Looking back at her, they would laugh, even Jonathon, and she would laugh with them and wave.  As they excitedly pointed at the minnows, she thought to herself that she must remember to bring a jar next time to show the children how to catch them.  The children would enjoy that, she was sure.  It had been a favorite pastime of hers and Susannah’s.  She found herself relaxing on the blanket gazing up at the cornflower blue sky, her favorite happy color.  Hardly even a cloud on this pleasant day, they had enjoyed exceptional weather this spring, and she was determined to enjoy every minute of it, especially with the children. 
Suddenly, she heard Lord Huntington yelling at the children as he rode up on his steed.  “Jonathon!  Elspeth!  Get away from that water!” 

So what's next?  Why would Lord Huntington be upset about the children being next to the lake?

Thanks for reading today!
Ellise ;)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011 -- Twice Weekly Blog -- The Governess

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 11 cont'd:

Dear Susannah,

            How I miss you, dear sister!  I think of you daily and miss our walks and talks about anything and everything.  I hope this letter finds you well and happy.  Tell me how you are doing and be completely honest.  I must know if you are healing from our loss of mother, and also what is actually taking place in your life so that I will not worry.  At least if I cannot do anything about it I can always pray for you, which, of course, I do anyway.  But help me be specific in my prayers, dear sister.  How are the children?  The staff?  Your master and mistress? 
            Huntington Manor is a very grand house with a large support staff that has been kind to me.  I even have my own personal maid, Millesant.  She is a dear girl and loves doing my hair even more than you do, if that is possible.  My rooms are lovely and adjoin to the children’s.  I say rooms, for I have a dressing and bathing room in my chambers!  Quite spoiled!
 I do love the children, Elspeth, 7, and Jonathon, 8.  They are good and rather brilliant, which, of course, makes my occupation much easier.  However, I need your help, please.  I must find some creative ways to bring Jonathon out more.  He has been deserted over and over again for two years by previous governesses and is distrustful.  I believe he thinks I will desert him also.  He finds satisfaction in playing tricks on me.  Any suggestions?  At least Elspeth loves me. 
            Lord Huntington, on the other hand, is quite troublesome.  Do not worry, sister.  I only tell you this because we are still working at establishing a relationship that we both can tolerate and live with, I suppose.  You know me and my opinions.  Have you had any trouble in this respect?  I suppose not since your temperament is quite perfect. 
He is an extremely generous master though as he has seen fit to have a new wardrobe made for me.  I must look frumpy?  This prospect is exciting, but I worry about you, so I will be sending you my frumpy old gowns just as soon as I can.  Even though you are taller than I am, you work miracles with needle and thread.
            Well, I must retire and will write again soon.  Please write back.  I know you will, silly me. 
                                                Your loving sister,

Communication in any age has been important.  We love those whom we love, and love to hear from them, even in this instant digital age. 

Thanks for reading with me today!  Join me on Friday for more!
Ellise ;)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011, BiWeekly Blog -- The Governess -- Chapter 11 continued:

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 11 continued:

Fuming in her London bedchamber at the letter she had just received from a devout servant, at home in Dunfordshire, she paced. 
Hatred always came easy to her.  She felt it for most everyone. 
But especially now for the new governess at Huntington Manor! 
Did she really have anything to worry about? 
Of course not.  But she would not take a chance at losing Creighton!  No one would have him but her! 
Why had he engaged her?  And so young a person?  That was a troubling first for her dear earl. 
New gowns must be ordered today!  Preparations for home must be started.  Her return to the country would be grand indeed! 


Jonathon was being obstinate again. 
He was thorough in his testing of her.  Carly was sure he was thinking that she, like all previous governess’s, would desert him.  He was trying his boundaries, keeping himself safe from caring, not lending his heart to anyone who would crush it.  Elspeth was becoming more and more impatient with her brother by the day, for she was convinced that Miss Blakemore cared for them both.  Jonathon’s antics were her frustration, as well as Miss Blakemore’s.  Carly was sure he was venturing to see if she would tattle on him and, therefore, receive his father’s attention, even if it was in reproof. 
One night, Jonathon had put powder all over Carly’s sheets.  The next day, he locked her out of the nursery.  Other times, he ignored her when she would speak to him during their studies.  He had put dirt upon her schoolroom chair, and so forth. 
He was miserable, she could tell. 
But he was only contributing to those feelings.  She must catch him off his guard and make him smile or laugh, anything to show him that he could be happy again. 
Carly would write to her sister for suggestions.  Susannah had always been creative.  Maybe there was something they could arrange together to bring Jonathon a long-lasting kind of happiness.    
She would write. 
She would pray. 

Thank you for reading with me today!  :)  Join me on Monday for more. 
Ellise ;)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011 - BiWeekly Blog - The Governess -- Chapter 11 continued --

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 11 continued (and revised):

Creighton had been angry upon finding that Lady Blakemore had not taken an escort with her into the village.  Remembering that he had not requested this of her, he had been shocked that he would have to.  Of all things, she had walked the three miles!  He was angered further when he realized that he had inadvertently forgotten to inform her of the recent dangers in their region.  Bent upon keeping her safe, he was determined to find and escort her back himself. 
Upon his approach, and unseen by Lady Blakemore, he watched as she lifted her skirts through the tall grasses weaving through the trees to the secluded meadow.  What was she doing?  He sat upon his steed silently watching as she, thinking she was alone, released her glorious hair and spun around in the meadow as if there was not another soul in the world. 
In awe of this young lady’s wholesome, tireless beauty, he squirmed uncomfortably, feeling guilty for invading her privacy.  But she was magnificent!  A frown creased his brow as he clenched his jaw, the muscles working in his concentration.  He must control his appreciation of her!  Barely hearing her happy laughter, his heartstrings pulled and tugged as he continued to watch her in amazement.  He struggled with the thought of leaving here before she knew he watched her, yet he knew he could not depart, leaving her unattended.  His frustration grew as he watched her fine curves, her silken-soft hair that gleamed deep auburn in the sunshine.  
When Carly had finished replenishing her spirit in the meadow, she tranquilly walked back through the trees to the road.  Stooping to pick another flower, her hair fell gloriously around her.  As she stood again, she noticed for the first time that Lord Huntington was astride his horse watching her.  Dismayed at finding him waiting for her, and suddenly reminded again of the gossip in the village, Carly abruptly stopped any action, taken aback with worry.  Lord Huntington’s expression did not alleviate her concerns. 
“Am I in trouble?” she cautiously queried. 
Impatiently, he growled, “You immediately jump to that conclusion?” 
“It seems appropriate since you are scowling at me.” 
Aggravated by her conclusion, Lord Huntington jumped down from his horse.  Stalking over to her, she stepped backward as he drew nearer.  “I am not going to hurt you!” 
“Well, how am I supposed to know that?  You seem angry with me.  What have I done?” 
Looking down upon her, controlling his urge to touch her glistening hair, he gruffly stated, “I failed to inform you that you must always take an escort with you when you are about.” 
Confused at his concern, which contrasted greatly with the tittle-tattle of town, Carly asked, “Why?” 
Sighing heavily, he explained with annoyance, “We have had trouble in… Dunfordshire.  Kidnappings… and such.”  He sighed in his explanation, “I only want you to be…protected.” 
“Oh.  I did not know.”  Carly felt humbled.  She recognized, now, his expression of growing concern that must be genuine. She had automatically assumed it was anger. 
Suddenly taking her hand and threading it through his arm, he pulled her towards his horse, none too gently, causing her to spill her flowers. 
“My lord!” she exclaimed in shock. Concern or not, she was still wary of him!
“I will escort you back home myself,” was all he offered as explanation. 
Exasperated, she said, “I am quite capable of walking, sir!” 
“As you have shown,” he grumbled. 
As if she were a feather, he took hold of her waist and quickly lifted her up into his saddle.  Temporarily, her hair fell about his face and shoulders, her fragrant tresses stimulating something dormant in him.  Dizzying…satisfying…
Carly was fighting her own battle of emotions at being so near him.  The sudden pleasure of his strong muscled shoulders under her palms unsettled her, his masculine scent stirring.  His strong hands pressed around her waist had almost been too much for her.  Flustered, Carly insisted, “Please let me down at once!” 
Their eyes met.  Scolding.  Scorching.  Tantalizing... 
Removing his hands from her tiny waist, and pulling her skirt down modestly into place around her ankles, singeing her face with further color, he again looked up and, because of her discomfort, found humor with the situation.  With barely a visible twitch to his lips, he calmly explained, “You are my responsibility, Lady Blakemore.” 
His amazing voice flushed her face more than it already had been.
“I take responsibility for you quite seriously.” 
Carly’s nervous hand quickly smoothed her bodice where he had only just released her.  She shivered.  And what all would that responsibility entail? she thought worriedly.  He was awfully strong, as she had only just witnessed. 
And strong! 
"Oh my!" Carly bit her lip to silence herself.  Didn't I just say that? she scolded. 
But he was!  
And big...and...very capable of doing her much harm!  Was she really that wicked and harsh to think so badly of him?  Would she really consider local gossip her source of information about such an impressive man?  She did not have answers…
He had just come to her ‘supposed’ aid, after all…
Agitatedly, Lord Huntington swiftly stepped from her taking hold of the reins impatiently to begin the journey to Huntington Manor in silence.  She wondered at his strange mood.  So complicated and…well, moody! 
Carly could find nothing further to say in the silent moment.  Grasping at the saddle horn as they moved forward, Carly controlled her vexation. 
If she hadn’t been so annoyed, his concern for her would have been appreciated—just like his shoulders—the object of her attention all the way home. 

I would love to hear from my readers.  What do you think so far? 
Thanks for reading with me today!  Sorry I'm so late in the day...I have the flu...ickky!
I'll be here on Friday!  Thanks!
Ellise ;)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday, July 15th BiWeekly Blog -- The Governess -- Chapter 11 continued:

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 11 continued:

“Well, we ‘ope you’ll stay a bit longer than most governesses. They get spooked, I think. And rightly so!” Carly noticed Mr. Fisher warning his wife with a look. But she ignored him. “Any ribbon with that muslin? Mrs. Fielding—that was the last governess at the manor ‘ouse—always purchased ribbon when she was in town.” Mrs. Fisher’s eyebrows raised, and she hunched over the countertop to whisper to Carly. “Mrs. Fielding was always one to talk over tea.” She snickered. “Would you care for some tea?”
“Thank you, no.” She is annoying! “But I would like some lace, please.” Prying woman! Carly would have to watch her tongue.
Mr. Fisher stepped over handing his wife the scissors and frowning at her. With a sniff, she ignored him and moved from behind the counter to help Carly pick out the lace she wanted. “Lord Huntington has quite a reputation with the ladies, you know.” With eyebrows flashing again, Mrs. Fisher further inquired, “I’m sure you get an eyeful and earful of all that!” Mr. Fisher stepped over to his wife, glaring at her impudence. But still, the whole room seemed bent upon listening for the answer.
Carly felt no obligation to respond to this woman, or to the listening populace, for that matter. But she was disturbed to think on this subject. Lord Huntington a philanderer? It had crossed her mind!
After completing her shopping, the shopkeepers explained to Carly the different businesses that were found in the village which they were obviously proud of. She followed instructions to a small inn for some needed refreshment. In her wake, the Fisher’s argued over how long this latest governess would last. Even better, if she would become the lord’s latest conquest!
The jolly innkeeper and his merry wife were accommodating and kind, rather curious, with a few disconcerting customers that wouldn’t stop staring. Rather bold, she even overheard conversations about herself in relation to the earl. Bolder still, would she be his next conquest! Utterly disturbed, Carly took her fresh cider outside to a small table and chair where she could enjoy the village green and calm her harried nerves.
Such gossip! She must breathe.
Carly became aware of the chapel across the way, deciding she might like a turn in the yard just to become familiar with it. But she knew, in her heart, that she only missed home. And safety.
Before long, she was on her way back to Huntington Manor, happily swinging her satchel upon her arm. It was growing into a lovely morning! Aware of a small little meadow amongst a wood that she had determined to visit on her way back, she now detoured long enough to meander through the springtime medley of flowers, grasses, and trees still damp with dew. Busy bees went buzzing by on their way to work. Multi-colored butterflies flitted about determined to find a sweet, succulent drink among generously colored petals. Birds filled the silence with their melodious songs. She was awed at the simple majesty of the meadow and silently stood in the middle feasting her eyes upon the beauty she found. Closing her eyes she took in an invigorating breath and held it. Letting it out, she laughed out loud at the simple pleasures she found in nature.
Impulsively, she took the pins out of her hair, letting it fall down her shoulders and back. Carefully putting her pins into her bag, she put it down on the grass at her feet. Then, spinning around in circles, she let her arms and hair flow freely about her, gleefully laughing in her moment of private release.
Or so she thought…

Her private reverie interrupted? Find out Monday! :)
Thanks for reading with me!
Ellise ;)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011 -- BiWeekly Blog -- The Governess

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 11:

Carly skipped a few steps in her excitement, for she could not believe her good fortune!  Lord Huntington would be paying her in advance at the beginning of every month a more sizable sum than she had thought to receive.  She must be wise with her expenses, saving up for future rainy days as she had been taught to do.  Gratitude filled her heart, thinking that surely she would be able to do so with the generous raise she had already received. 
She was anxious to reach Dunford village and procure not only ribbon, lace, needle and thread to alter her gowns to last much longer, but to pick out material to make a new gown as well.  She could not bear to be anyone’s center of attention dressed in snug fitting gowns any longer.  Of course, Lord Huntington had insisted upon a new wardrobe to be ordered for her shortly, but in the meantime, she must be modestly attired. 
            It was a beautiful spring morning, and Carly was determined to make the most of it by walking the three miles into the small village, enjoying her much-loved outdoors.  She needed this precious restorative time to herself before her hours with the children.  The Huntington estate was immense and well-tended, and she enjoyed this time to ponder upon heaven’s creations about her.  Coming up over a rise, she saw that the village was engulfed in a misty haze that curved in and out between trees and cottages. 
“Beautiful!” she breathed. 
Nestled in the middle of the village, she could see the spire belonging to the town church peeking through the mist, and suddenly felt a pang of homesickness for her small village that resembled many like Dunford. 
In the distance, she could see an old bridge made from stone with many arches crossing a large waterway.  It must be very ancient, she decided.  As she approached the village, she began crossing the solid structure, noting that the mist was quickly burning off in the early sunshine.  She briefly wondered about the history of Dunfordshire, but only for a moment.  As she stepped from the bridge, she entered an enchanting world of winding streets and adorable cottages that immediately caught her breath away. 
At her right, a charming white cottage had bluish-purple wisteria climbing across the front of the home, shading the window and crossing over the doorway to continue around the side and up and down the chimney.  The large flowering clusters hung heavily, dangling upon the vines and perfuming the entire section of the village she was walking through.  This seemed to be a popular flower growing upon many of the village’s cottages and businesses. 
Soon she entered a cobblestoned walkway and knew she must be close to her destination when a little shop came into view displaying a hand-painted sign of a giant needle and spool of thread dangling over its front window. 
She entered, and upon meeting the shopkeeper and his talkative wife, quickly found they were both eager to help her and discover all they could about her, especially upon learning she was employed at the manor house. 
“Only two spools of thread, milady?” the proprietor, Mr. Fisher asked. 
“Thank you, yes.  The black and the white, please.  I still have thread at home.  But I do like the muslin there.” 
“Yes, of course, milady,” he smiled pleasantly, and taking up the scissors began cutting the fabric she would need. 
“And you like the manor ‘ouse, milady?”  Mrs. Fisher was nosier.  “And the master?” 
With the ensuing silence from the few customers and shopkeeper, Carly knew all ears were waiting for the latest gossip.  “I think the place will grow on me.” 

Gossip-mongers!  Always available and willing to share!  :) 
Hope you enjoyed this little tidbit.  Join me on Friday to see what happens. 
Thanks for reading with me!
Ellise ;)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011 -- BiWeekly Blog -- The Governess

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 10 concluded:

            Lord Huntington nodded his head to his private secretary, Mr. Baldwin, unnoticed by Carly until now.  As he opened the door, Nanny shuffled the children in, scooting them forward, curtseying and turning, and quietly leaving.  Silently, they came in seemingly especially well behaved.  They both acted timid around their father, let alone Lady Blakemore.  Lord Huntington came around his desk and sat on the sofa patting it for them to come to him.  “Come children.”  They gathered on either side of him.  Smiling at them, he said, “Jonathon, Elspeth, I would like to present you both to your new governess, Lady Carly Blakemore, but you may call her Miss Blakemore like most governesses like to be called.” 
            Elspeth smiled a cute knowing smile and curtsied as she said, “How do you do Miss Blakemore?” 
            Jonathon said, more stiffly, as he made a slight bow, “How do you do, Miss Blakemore?” 
            Carly nodded to them both, saying, “I am well, thank you—and you?” 
            “Very well and thank you,” they said simultaneously. 
            Carly saw the pride in Lord Huntington’s face, even reaching his eyes.  She was pleased. 
Lord Huntington continued, “Jonathon is eight years old and Elspeth is seven.”  Touching little Elspeth’s nose when he said this, Carly was glad to see him show some affection.  Then Lord Huntington became serious.  “Jonathon, Elspeth.  I would like you to take exceedingly good care of Miss Blakemore, is that understood?” 
They both nodded, saying, “Yes, sir.” 
“You will do as she asks please, and you will work hard at your lessons.  No tricks.”  He particularly eyed Jonathon.  Even Elspeth peeked at Jonathon for a quick second. 
Again, they nodded, saying, “Yes, sir.” 
“She in return will treat you very well, I am sure.  I have every confidence in her.”  These last words were said while looking directly at Carly, his feelings being that he, indeed, was turning over his children into good hands. 
Carly was hopeful for his confidence. 
            “Now, I wish for you to get to know each other today.  No lessons.”  The children’s eyes brightened with excitement.  “Be extra good and there will be a special dessert for you tonight.”  This brought a smile even to Jonathon’s face, since Mrs. Wilder, their nanny, did not spoil them with many desserts.  “Lady Blakemore, you may choose how you wish to spend your day with the children, getting to know each other.”  Lady Blakemore was in agreement with a smile upon her face. 
He could tell she was excited to get on with their day, as she nodded her head, so he said, “You may be excused, and…have a wonderful day.”  Smiling at each of his children, and also at Lady Blakemore, he felt satisfaction that she was as excited as she seemed to be with his children, and they, also, seemed excited to be with her.  This was a first and very rewarding to behold. 

            As Carly left the study with her new pupils in tow, she said with a smile.  “What shall we do today, any ideas?”  Stopping in the middle of the hallway, she turned to them, waiting for an answer. 
Both Jonathon and Elspeth just looked at her, but Elspeth had an extra little wiggle about her person.  Carly could tell she was excited.  Jonathon was quiet. 
“How about if you show me the rest of your rooms, the schoolroom and any rooms I have not seen that you would like me to see?”  Elspeth quickly nodded in agreement.  Jonathon just stared.  Carly must break through his reserve, she thought. 
“But first, let us stop by the kitchen and ask Mrs. Cooper, if she would mind terribly, packing us a picnic lunch.” 
This got a reaction from both children.  Elspeth clapped her hands as she squealed, and Jonathon timidly smiled as he rejoiced by watching Elspeth celebrate for both of them.    

            Lord Huntington was watching all of this from the door to the study, feeling emotions that he was not quite sure how to express:  happiness for his children; satisfaction with Lady Blakemore; and, was it peace that he, himself was feeling? 

I hope you've enjoyed this chapter.  Getting to know Elspeth and Jonathon is an adventure as is getting to know 'the formidable master.'  Join me on Monday for the beginning of a new adventure that will eventually lead to another encounter with Lord Huntington...of course! 

Ellise ;)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Bi-Weekly Blog

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 10 continued:       

     Carly’s face turned white as a sheet as she contemplated this request.  Astonished, she sat in silence for a moment as his request sank in, “Surely, you do not expect me to…want me to…but, I am your children’s governess.  I did not expect to be a part of your household in this way.” 
            “I am sure you did not.” 
            In Carly’s mind, she could see countless guests around the banquet table dressed in their finery.  Hers was so limited, she was sure to embarrass her master.  Looking down at her simple gown, she smoothed her skirt self consciously.  Mumbling, she whispered, “But…but, I do not have… I am sure I shall not fit in with your guests, my lord.” 
“Quite the contrary, my lady.  I think you will fit in very nicely.”  He contemplated the boring dinner parties of late.  How they piqued him!  Already he had had more interesting mealtimes spent with his governess than any in recent history.  He could not wait until tonight to see what next could possibly happen between them.  He had not been so entertained for quite some time.  It isn’t all bad, he thought.  Besides, her manners really were more than gracious.  He could tell that she had been groomed for society all her simple life. 
Creighton observed Lady Blakemore as she fidgeted with her hair, already nervous, it seemed, at putting a good foot forward.  Was she really that humble to not see her remarkable beauty that was apparent to all who must be in her company?  She undoubtedly was different from any lady, or governess for that matter, he had ever met. 
            “I have gone ahead and ordered a seamstress to come fit you for a new wardrobe.”  Holding up a hand to her immediate protests, he insisted, “I will supply this, since I am the one requiring this of you.  I believe it is good for ladies to remain socially engaged when possible, especially if you do not desire to get rusty in teaching my own children propriety and social etiquettes.  If I did not insist, my mother certainly would.  She will be joining us soon to live with us the rest of the year.  I would have to deal with her disappointment if this were not already taken care of for you.  Do you wish for me to be in trouble with my mother, Lady Blakemore?”  He was pleased with himself for sneakily figuring out how to renew her wardrobe. 
Watching him smile was fascinating, so opposite to his nature, but she shook her head, no.  But somehow she could not fathom this man being in trouble. 
“So, you see, it is of no use arguing with me on this point.  I wish you to be quite at home here.” 
            Shock showed upon her face as she said, “Yes, my lord.”  The beginnings of a frown creased her brow from worry. 
In addition to the dark circles under her eyes, his desire to keep her from distress prompted his next words.  “Are you up to meeting my children then?”  Her frown quickly disappeared, and she smiled an excited, enthusiastic smile, lighting the room.  Creighton kept his wonder to himself. 
“Oh yes, please, my lord!” 

Finally!  She's here to stay!  And...she finally 'officially' meets the children!  What an overprotective parent!  Can anyone else relate?  I can! :)  Find out more reasons why Lord Huntington is the way he is. 

Join me on Friday! 
Ellise ;)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011 -- Bi-Weekly Blog -- The Governess

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 10 continued:

Noticing the way his amazing jaw clenched, muscles working hard against his own emotion, she listened to him say, “My last question may be difficult for you, but I require your unfailing honesty, again.”
“Yes, my lord.”  Worry furrowed her brow. 
“Will you be obedient to my will?” 
Blushing, she knew that she had already shown him how well she obeyed.  Did he have anything else in mind?  She hoped not!  But how certain could she be?  Looking down at her hands wringing her skirt in her lap, she uncomfortably, haltingly said, “My… lord…I…”
“It is simple.  Will you, or will you not?”
“I will to the best of my ability to do so, my lord.” 
He smiled a slight, knowing smile. 
Nervously sputtering out, she exclaimed, “I cannot know your will in all things my lord.  I will make mistakes, to be sure.  I believe there can be leniency about some things, sir, understanding in others…” 
“Alright.  I will accept that—for now.”  Shocking her, he smiled the handsomest smile, stopping her from thinking or doing anything coherent.  It disappeared all too quickly, and he was all business again.  Surely, she hoped, he was not laughing at her.  “I do have here a list of criteria I wish for my children to be taught, almost exactly like the one that I sent you by post.”  Handing her his list, she looked it over, noticing his strong, masculine handwriting.  Nodding, she exhaled as she read, looking back up at him. 
“Do you wish to add to this list?”
“I do, my lord.”  Gulping nervously for air, she added, “I would like to have the music lessons of which I have mentioned before.  Also, it would be wonderful for them to perform some of the music and songs they have learned from time to time.  I believe it builds confidence that cannot be found in any other way than having those they love applaud them in their efforts.” 
            “I have contemplated the use of the music room, and I have decided I will allow its use, but I will have to think about the performances.” 
            “Sir, it is the only natural course to take upon engaging in such lessons.”  Noting his scowl, she immediately complied, “Alright.”  Sighing, she said, “Children and governesses need fresh air.  I would like to be allowed time outdoors with the children to explore their world, to teach them by feeling, touching, smelling…”
            He nodded.   
            “…and outings, like picnics and such.” 
            Again, he nodded his head in agreement.  To himself, he thought that his children would be having a wonderful time with Lady Blakemore. 
            “Also, some basics in the language arts.” 
            “Hmmm, I do not expect this, but approve.”  Enthusiastic, he asked, “What languages would you teach, out of curiosity?” 
            “I would teach French, German, Italian, and maybe some Danish.” 
Nodding his approval again, he asked, “And where did you gain this knowledge, may I ask?” 
“My mother, and also my governess, my lord.”  He raised his eyebrows, impressed with her skills.  She hesitated before asking the next question.  “And I would like to request that you be a part of their education at least once a week.”  
She waited. 
            Sighing a heavy sigh, he scowled at her.  “You ask too much of me presently.” 
            Disappointedly, she nodded her head. 
            To change the subject quickly, he said, “The children have always had Mrs. Wilder as their nanny.  I will continue to engage her for the care and nurture of the children; bathing, meals, and those sorts of things.  This gives you both a break and time off to the betterment of both your care of my children.  You will be allowed to regulate your own time off to begin with, and if I need to, I will step in to regulate it as well.  But I seriously doubt it will come to that.”  His eyes twinkled. 
            Carly queried, “Do you have any kind of schedule for Mrs. Wilder and me to follow, as a guide?”
            Handing her another sheet of paper, she glanced at it and nodded. 
            “Do you have any other questions or requests, Lady Blakemore?”
            “Not at the moment, my lord.” 
            Continuing, he explained, “All the family’s private rooms are in the same hall, as you have probably been told.  Even though the children’s room adjoins to yours on one side, and to Nanny’s on the other, through the schoolroom, I am nearby if there is need of me.  Most children, as I’m sure you are aware, spend their lives above stairs in the schoolroom.  My family has strayed from this tradition, and I have kept that practice of my family, hence, the additional schoolroom.” 
            “Yes, my lord.  I approve.  I think it wonderful that they are kept close to you.” 
            “Do you then?”  Raising an eyebrow, he sarcastically continued.  “I am glad of your approval.” 
Carly squirmed in her chair growing unsure of herself. 
He suddenly became serious, “I do mean it, Lady Blakemore.  Your approval is quite welcome.” 
His look was tantalizingly mischievous.  Carly could feel color rising in her cheeks as he persistently scrutinized her. 
He continued, “Lastly, I have a request to make of you.” 
            Carly ignored the impulse to fan her face, answering him instead, “Yes, my lord?” 
            With new determination upon his face, he said, “I wish you to be a part of my household—socially.  Dine with me and my guests, attend parties, balls, and those sorts of things.” 

Hmmm?  Why would Lord Huntington want her to be part of his household socially?  Questions and more questions...  Thanks for reading today!  Join me on Monday for more! 
Ellise ;)