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, September 30, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011 -- The Governess -- A Twice Weekly Blog

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 17 continued:

Henry nervously shrugged his shoulders saying, “He disappeared a while ago when he saw…” Suddenly hesitating, Henry’s neck turned mottled, splotchy-red colors. 
            “When he saw what?”  Creighton was concerned at the young groomsman’s tentativeness. 
            “He saw one of the chambermaids beating rugs, my lord,” was all he could offer. 
            Understanding dawned upon Creighton.  He was aware that Henry watched his color rise in anger.  Nodding in appreciation of his obedience, Creighton said, “You are wise to be truthful with me always, Henry.  Thank you.” 
            “My lord,” nodding his head, Henry took a deep breath.  He began chewing a piece of grass again, probably too vigorously. 
            Turning to the cottage once more, Creighton was suddenly assaulted by old memories.  This place had a history that…well…he was getting furious just thinking about it. 
            He physically calmed himself before stepping forward, knocking upon the door.  Instantly, it got quiet inside before Lady Blakemore softly answered, “Come in.” 
            Lord Huntington stepped inside the cottage, and all three sets of eyes went wide, ready for the reprimand.  But all he could do was chuckle when he saw the sight before him.  Both Jonathon and Elspeth had a feather tucked into their hair holding an especially beautiful prisoner hostage.  Lady Blakemore sat tied to her chair.  Laughing quietly, he said, “Please, do not let me stop you.  Continue, by all means.” 
            Sitting down in a chair opposite of where they were playing in front of the fireplace, his stature filling the space, they only stared at him.  They could not seem to play anymore. 
He insisted, “Well—I interrupted you.  How is this going to end?  I wish to see.”  Jonathon and Elspeth looked at each other as if they did not know this man who was asking them to perform for him, but timidly they turned around to Miss Blakemore for guidance. 
Embarrassed herself, she was determined to conquer these feelings and make this an opportunity for father and children to spend time together.  Forcing her own nervousness back, she smiled encouragingly at both of them, and began wailing, “Please…no!  What will my poor children do if you take me prisoner?  Oh, help me, someone!  Please help me!” 
            Quickly catching up in the excitement, Elspeth exclaimed, “You must come quietly or we bonk your head with hatchet…” she looked over at her father with a coy smile.  Smiling back, he nodded his approval. 
            Carly said, “Yes, yes.  I will be silent.” 
            Carly and Elspeth looked expectantly at Jonathon as if it was his turn.  But Jonathon said quietly, “I…I do not wish to play anymore.”  Turning around, he went outside, shoulders sagging.  Elspeth followed him outdoors and sat down next to him on a fallen trunk, rubbing his back, taking the quills from both their hair. 
Lady Blakemore looked dreadfully apologetic towards Lord Huntington, “I am sorry my lord.  I think he was only being shy.” 
Nodding his head, he asked, “Would you like some help?  You look a little tied up at the moment.” 
Smiling in trepidation at his joke, she nodded in agreement.  “Thank you.” 
As he untied her, she said, “I hope you do not mind us coming here.  We were merely outdoors having our botany lessons when we came upon this darling cottage.  The children wanted to play house, and we lost track of time, we were having so much fun.” 
The anger that stirred quickly in his gut at this sensitive topic was too quick for him to smother, knowing even as he spoke that he did not mean to be so harsh, for how could she possibly know his reasons for feeling this way.  “I do mind, Lady Blakemore, very much!”  Now standing directly in front of her, he continued, “This cottage is off limits!” 

Off-limit cottages, rug-beating chambermaids...what does this have to do with making Lord Huntington angry?

Read with me on Monday!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011 -- The Governess -- A Twice Weekly Blog

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 17:

“Where did they go, Joe, did you see?  This woman does not understand taking precautions!”  Creighton was beside himself with worry.  “Does she not heed fear?”  He did not realize that she truly did not understand the depths of the community’s worry over the kidnappings. 
On a daily basis, Creighton made available to himself the locations of the outings that Lady Blakemore took the children on, but this one had evaded him.  “Where are they?  Were they walking about the grounds?” 
            “Yes, milord.  I saw ‘em not an ‘our ago walkin’ in the direction o’ the cottage, sire.  I ‘ave tried to be watchful with all the trouble ‘bout, sire.  In fact, ‘Enry an’ George are following them as instructed.” 
            A look of great relief showed upon Lord Huntington’s face with this news.  “Good, good.” 
            “But ‘ee know little ones, milord; they love to explore places.  Do not be too ‘ard on them now, sire; they are, after all, only children.”  No one would ever convince old Joe that Lord Huntington had anything to do with the awful rumors going about, for he was a good, honorable man with worry written clearly on every feature of his face. 
            “Thank you, Joe.”  Striding off in the direction of the cottage with anger diffusing, if only a little, he thought of another week gone by since the incident at the lake.  But here and now, he had worried that she had gone and done it again; taken the children off without anyone to help her if trouble were to arise.  It angered him that she would even need to take such precautions.  He sighed heavily, slightly relieving his stress. 
And then, even more discouraging to him, to have their outing occur at a place that he loathed so completely.  It made his stomach churn.  His stress was instantly re-fed. 
“Why have I not torn it down?” he asked himself in self recrimination.  
He was getting tired of following her around telling her what not to do.  Knowing he was being overprotective, that he frightened her, just like all the other governesses, he could not seem to restrain himself. 
            As he walked into the clearing and approached the door, he could hear the children talking excitedly and Lady Blakemore answering in her soft, sweet voice.  Stopping to listen for a moment to what they were saying, he was surprised at what he heard. 
            “Chief Jumping Horse says you must trade flour and sugar supplies or he will not let you free.” 
            “Oh!  Please do not harm us!  What will my poor family eat?” 
            “You can get your white man food easier than any of us Indians can,” Creighton heard Elspeth giggle as she playacted. 
            Creighton smiled as he realized that they were playing house—or more accurately, Indians—and Jonathon was actually joining in on the fun.  What a breakthrough!  Listening again, he heard Lady Blakemore pretend to struggle, hearing her make grunting noises.  Then he heard Jonathon say, “Me capture you, make you squaw.”  Chuckling to himself, he thought, how can I interrupt this fun playtime?  I was going to come bursting in here a minute ago.  Elspeth probably would have started crying again.  What are they harming? 
But he knew.  Worrying about their safety first, he looked around to see Henry sitting under a nearby tree watching him.  Just then, Henry must have decided that it was best to address his master on his feet as he scrambled to do so.  Nodding, Creighton stepped closer, and quietly asked, “Where is George?” 

Children playing Indians.  Governesses tied up.  Hmmm... Where is George, and why should it matter?  Stay tuned for more of this scene on Friday.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011 -- The Governess -- A Twice Weekly Blog

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 16 continued and finished:

As for Lord Huntington, he had mistakenly refused new bedding upon Lady Blakemore’s bed, thinking it silly for his one night stay, but now could not sleep because of it.  Her gentle fragrance filled his nostrils with a heady sensation that enveloped him with feelings he tried best to ignore. 
But sleep would not come. 
Finally, he stalked from the room to seek relief in the library. 
Frustration mounted as he thought about what Lady Blakemore had experienced tonight.  She had been quite upset, and he had felt responsible for it!  He did not wish to see her so unhappy again.  It had troubled him greatly.  To the dark room, he stated, “I cannot help myself.” 
This incident would be investigated at all cost.  Someone was up to no good, and he would not sleep restfully until this mystery was solved. 

That uncomfortable sensation of being watched grew as Carly walked the grounds.  Figuring that it was the Study window, she looked. 
No one. 
Searching the windows, she gazed up towards the attics and shivered all over upon seeing a distinct figure. 
She was being watched.                                                                   
But not by Lord Huntington. 
Curiosity took hold.  She must visit the attics. 
            As she mounted the final staircase to her destination, she felt an eeriness creep over her.  Freezing mid-step, Carly worried over the strange sensation that had stopped her.  Out of a dark corner of the staircase, Carly sensed again that she was being watched. 
Horrified, she wondered what to do? 
Go back?  But then she would not know who it was watching her. 
But did she really want to know? 
Petrified, she wondered, indeed, if it was a ghost.  It was almost as if the darkness had hands reaching out to her throat, cutting short her breath.  After an insanely tense moment, she laughed at herself for her ridiculousness.  She gingerly took another step forward only to let out a terrified scream. 
Ethel stood disturbingly silent in the darkness, watching Carly. 
            Trying to catch her breath, Carly demanded, “What…what are you doing?” 
            Ethel stood staring.  It was thoughtless.  Unhuman.  In a monotone whisper, the indistinct figure said, “I might ask you the same thing.” 
            Indignant, Carly insisted, “What is your purpose in these dark attics?  Surely you have not been asked to clean them alone…and without light?” 
            “Such a know-it-all!  So ‘aughty!”  Ethel’s expression was not kind. 
Carly would not be bullied.  “Why do you always look at me from the windows when I am walking the grounds?” 
            Snorting with disgust, Ethel said, “You think I ‘ave nothin’ betta to do than watch the likes o’ you?  You must think you are mighty special, milady.”  Her sneer showed an ugly side to this girl, her mocking curtsey demonstrating her dislike. 
            “No.  Just annoyed with your rudeness.”  Carly’s brow crinkled with newfound insight.  “I wonder if you are the one who has tried scaring me in the night,” Carly reasoned aloud.  Her limbs froze when she thought of the bloodied, shattered mirror.  Might she be in danger?  Here in the dark?  Away from anyone else in the house? 
A wicked smile spread upon the servant’s face at the governess’s fear.  Her insight. 
            Watchful, resentful, especially if her assumptions were correct, Carly asked, “Are you guilty?” 
            They stood staring at each other in the dark stairwell, questions unanswered. 
            With disturbing composure, Ethel stated, “I ‘ave work to be done.  Please excuse me.” 
Carly leaned against the wall, unwilling to be close to the servant girl as she stepped down and around her. 
Ethel only laughed, the sound bouncing off the walls in her plunge into the darkness.  Unkind thoughts and feelings roiled around in her breast. 
Carly was disturbed. 

Perfumed sheets and scary stairwells?  The best kind of romance/suspense.  I hope you enjoy today's excerpts!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Woohoo! I'm at #14! Help me keep my momentum, please!

It's a tight race to the top five on authonomy.com.  I'm neck-and-neck with several who could steal my spot, which is what I've just done to another fellow authonomite.  It's hard not to feel bad, so I do.  However, even though I've moved ahead, I've also lost backings on bookshelves and my star rating has gone down again.  Which translates into disaster!  Please help me if you can.  Thank you!  Instructions how to help are at the bottom of my Blog page. 


Check Out My New Look!

Whimsical!  Spunky!  I'm in the mood for...Flirting!...

Monday, September 19, 2011

To My Readers:

Hello out there in cyberspace!  Please let me tell you about my goal. 
I would like to see my manuscript, The Governess, published.  I am looking for willing publishers and/or agents.  One way that I am seeking this opportunity is by having uploaded my manuscript onto HarperCollins Publishers website for 'unpublished authors' called authonomy.comI am looking for support, from readers like you, for the difficult journey to the Editor’s Desk on authonomy.com.  The top five manuscripts each month receive a free review by HarperCollins editors.  Currently, because of registered voters on the site voting for me, I am at #15.  I'm very grateful for the support I have received.  If you would like to help my journey to the top, please follow the instructions below.  I could really use the help, for there is quite an abundance of healthy competition, and this month is coming to a close very quickly.
Here's how you can help.  Sign on to authonomy.com and do the following:
  1. RegisterBy registering, you can participate. 
  2. Bookshelf.  By placing my manuscript, The Governess, on your authonomy bookshelf, you have voted, which will rise my book rank and get my manuscript more positive attention. 
  3. Star rate.  By star rating my manuscript, it will rise in rank also.
  4. Comment.  Comments also get me noticed.
Because many publishing houses and agents look on authonomy.com for new manuscripts, my chances of getting noticed are greater with this help.  I can also be found on my website:  elliseweaver.weebly.com.  God bless you for your kindness!

All my best to your dreams too,
Please go to:  http://www.authonomy.com/books/31440/the-governess/

If you have any questions, please contact me by going to my email address: elliseweaver@hotmail.com.  You also may ask questions on authonomy once you are registered.  Thanks!

Monday, September 19, 2011 -- The Governess -- A Twice Weekly Blog

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 16:

As Carly sat down to brush through her hair that night, she looked up into her mirror startled, squelching a sudden scream.  Instantly, she dropped her brush, her hands going to her face in horror.  Her countenance was cut into disfigured fragments as she stared back at her shattered, bloodied, broken mirror.  The scarlet globules dripped down the disjointed pieces, terrifying Carly at the deliberateness of such a diabolical act.  Running from her room in terror, Carly pounded upon Lord Huntington’s door. 
            He had heard her scream. 
            Upon opening his door to find her standing there in nothing but her nightgown, Creighton immediately saw the panic upon her face, increasing his own.  Unnerved, he asked, “What is wrong?” 
            “My…my mirror…” was all she could sob, pointing towards her bedroom. 
            Stalking down the hallway in nothing but his pajama bottoms, he entered her room to see what she was distressed about.  As he drew near her dressing table, he could see the shattered glass, the blood dripping down its fragments.  Confused by such hateful evil in his household, he was at once livid. 
Why would someone be so purposely cruel to Lady Blakemore? 
Turning, he could see that she would not enter her room, but only stood at the doorway, distraught at what this might mean.  Her discomfort was distressing.  Striding back to her, he pulled her to him.  Her hands seared his flesh as she pressed her hands against his chest in awkwardness, choking back more tears from the spectacle of his nakedness. 
“Forgive me, my lady.”  Fighting for something to say or do, he said surprisingly calmly, “You must sleep in the chambers next door tonight.  I will ring for someone to clean up this mess, and all will be well here for you by tomorrow.”  Nodding her head in agreement, he pulled the bell pull, retrieved her robe, and then escorted her next door. 
            Opening the door to the spare room, he shuddered at the coldness of the closed up space.  Turning to her again, he said, “No, this will not do.  It is much too cold in here for you.  Please…I offer you my warm room for the night, and I will stay in yours.”  Holding his hand up to quiet her protests, he said, “I do not mean to upset you in any way, my lady, but I do mean to protect you and to make certain you are comfortable.” 
Mrs. Thompson quickly came down the hallway in her robe and nightcap, and asked, “My lord?” 
“Thank you, Mrs. Thompson.  Something rather disturbing has occurred tonight.  Please have my room made ready for Lady Blakemore.  She will be staying there to keep her safe.” 
Mrs. Thompson could see by his expression that he was holding back in front of Lady Blakemore.  She knew he would explain to her when they were alone.  “Yes, my lord.  It shall be done immediately.”  She left to attend to her duties, with the help of Ethel and Doris, who, in passing, eyed Carly strangely. 
She shivered. 
“You are cold.  Here, let us get you a blanket or something.” 
“Thank you,” was all Carly could seem to say. 
“Come.  Let us get you more comfortable while you wait.”  Lord Huntington led Carly to the sitting area of his chambers near the fire and made her comfortable on a couch with the promised blanket.  As he belted his robe, he said, “I will return shortly.”  He seemed bent upon a mission, his scowl ever-present upon his brow as he left. 
Carly shuddered again.  As she looked around his room, she observed the simple masculinity she found.  Dark wood etched with exquisite millwork was complimented by navy and burgundy accents.  The furniture was heavy and straightforward in its designs.  Snuggling deeper into her blanket, she observed the women remaking the bed, stacking fresh towels, refilling hot water, and stoking the fire.  The chambermaids kept looking at Carly oddly, almost smugly, which was beginning to annoy her. 
As the two maids finished and were shooed from the room, Carly received a whiff of the master’s scent from the removed bedding, breathing deeply.  Contentedly, she sighed, feeling comforted because of it.  She would, indeed, feel safer in his rooms tonight. 
Mrs. Thompson looked over the room one last time and asked, “Is there anything else you might need from your room that I can get for you, my lady?” 
“Yes, actually, Mrs. Thompson.  Thank you.  Just my essentials, please.” 
“Very good.  I will see to it, my lady, and will bring to you some hot chocolate while I am at it.” 
“Thank you for all your kindness, Mrs. Thompson, but it is not necessary.” 
“No trouble at all.  You might find it soothing.” 
“Thank you.  You are so kind.”  She smiled at the sympathetic housekeeper, finding her smile returned.  It was a godsend. 
As Carly snuggled deep into the covers of the master’s bed, she felt strange.  His scent was still present throughout the room, and it invaded her solitude over and over, but was not unwelcome.  In fact, it continued to calm her and reassure her as nothing ever had. 
Without the hot chocolate, she drifted into an exhausted slumber with the master still upon her mind. 

It's always nice to have a hero save you from certain misery.  Creighton's kindness and urgency in taking care of Carly is sweet, for she could not bear to deal with the bloodied, broken mirror in her room that someone purposely plotted. 

Thanks for reading with me today.  Read more on Friday. 


Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011 -- The Governess -- A Twice Weekly Blog

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 15 continued:

(Last week's post has more to it that I have not posted.  To read the rest, follow my link on this page to authonomy.com to finish.)

Carly and the children were laughing and giggling as they played hide-and-seek around the house.  Lady Blakemore informed Mrs. Thompson they were taking time out from their lessons, and since it was raining outside, decided to play indoors.  They should return to their lessons after a well-deserved break.  The servants, though busy about their work, would, from time to time, give hints to Lady Blakemore’s or the children’s whereabouts when stuck and could not find each other. 
Everyone but Ethel and Doris, that is. 
Between the two of them, they did all they could to cause trouble, steering them in the wrong direction always.  Once, in such a moment, Carly was following their altered instructions and ran right into the broad chest of Lord Huntington with such force, he had to catch her to him for fear that she would tumble to the floor. 
As he gingerly held her to him, he asked, “Are you alright, my lady?” 
            “I am…quite alright, my lord.  For…forgive me for…” she looked up into his face, hesitating in her words, fascinated by his pale lips that slowly curved up into a smile.  Thoroughly embarrassed, she could not remember what to say. 
            But he continued to hold her to him, he himself fascinated with the way she felt and smelled, and asked, “You are enjoying your day?”  Only able to nod her head, he gently squeezed her arms and said, “I am glad to see it.  Now, if you will please excuse me.”  Bowing to her, he walked off in his brusque manner. 
She was left to ponder her feelings, suddenly hiccupping, covering her mouth. 
Quickly laughing, Lord Huntington said over his shoulder, “Those hiccups will give you away to the children, Lady Blakemore.” 
Mortified that he had heard, she hiccupped again.  His chuckling was heard as he continued down the corridor.  
            The children then found her, and she screeched in feigned surprise grabbing Jonathon and Elspeth to her and making them jump and giggle from being startled too.  Then she would search for them again, and the household would be disrupted by pattering feet quickly hiding. 
            Happily, the household was getting used to their days being interrupted by fun-loving giggles and exciting escapades. 
Mrs. Thompson nodded to herself as she thought; it has been too many years…too many years, indeed. 


All was working out well. 
            Her companion was quite thrilled with getting away from the doldrums of home.  Shortly, they would be engaged in her services for a prolonged visit to Dunfordshire. 
She was anxious to see the handsome earl again and would be so grateful for the assistance in any way to appeal to him.  Her collaborator would do anything for her… 
Anything at all! 

A chance encounter with the master while playing hide-and-seek?  Hmmm.  Could be interesting... 

And, do you remember previous tidbits of a secret person plotting against Carly?  Here are her thoughts again.  She wants Lord Huntington to herself.

Join me on Monday for more.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011 -- The Governess -- A Twice Weekly Blog

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 15:

Carly was led to a room she had never seen before.  It was tucked away upstairs for privacy.  On their way to this room, Millesant explained to Carly that this was where the seamstresses came to prepare new wardrobes.  The seamstress had everything she needed supplied for her here in this room.  Privacy curtains and dividing screens would be set up for fittings, she explained.  Outside the door, Millesant said excitedly, “Now you go in and enjoy yourself, milady.  I cannot wait to see you in your pretty new things.  We will have so much fun, will we not?”  Clapping her hands together eagerly, she then gave her a hug and was off on her way.  Carly was catching Millesant’s excitement as she entered the room and shut the door behind her. 
Mrs. Thompson, the housekeeper, came over to the door where Carly shyly stood and locked the door behind her, “So nice to see you today, my lady,” and taking her motheringly by the arm, led her over to a young girl.  “This lovely young lady is Lady Blakemore, Deborah, for whom your services have been requested.”  Mrs. Thompson introduced Carly to the seamstress, “Lady Blakemore, this is my granddaughter, Miss Deborah Thompson, my eldest son’s daughter.” 
Carly could hardly believe that Lord Huntington would go to so much trouble, and expense, for her alone.  As guilty as she felt, Carly was strangely eager, too. 
            Miss Thompson bobbed a curtsey and said, “How do you do, Lady Blakemore?” 
            “I am fine, thank you,” curtseying herself.  Carly suddenly realized that this young girl was the very one she had seen giggling with Lord Huntington in the salon.  So, he does dally with servants. 
Carly scolded herself for thinking so ill of either of them. 
            Mrs. Thompson again proudly chimed in, “I highly recommend Miss Thompson’s services and skills.” 
            I’m sure you do.  Again, unkind thoughts.  I must be better. 
Beaming a pleased smile towards her granddaughter, Mrs. Thompson announced, “She has been sewing for many ladies in the area, as well as Lord Huntington’s late wife, for,” she looked at her granddaughter for help, “how long dear?”
            “I would say, at least five years, grandmamma.” 
            “Yes, at least.  We are both so excited about this wardrobe, are we not Deborah?”  Deborah nodded vigorously, beaming from ear to ear.  “Deborah is a magical seamstress, my dear, and she will have you outfitted in no time at all.  Most importantly, we will have you well prepared for the Dowager Lady Elisabeth Huntington’s arrival and the inevitable balls and parties that will accompany her stay.” 
            “Balls…and parties?”  Carly forgot all else.  In fact, she had completely forgotten anything about such matters. 
            “Why, yes, my dear, and we have been instructed to make several ball gowns for you as your presence will be required at those special events.” 

Have you ever wished you could go clothes shopping but couldn't?  Well, I've figured it out...Just write about it.  :)  This way, you can have the biggest wardrobe ever!

Thanks for reading with me today.  Join me on Friday for more. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011 -- The Governess -- A Twice Weekly Blog

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 14 continued:

Sitting together at their evening meal, Carly was intensely quiet after having seen her master’s state of undress earlier this morning.  Finding herself unable to speak, she ate in silence. 
            Creighton sensed Lady Blakemore’s distress and figured it was because of what she saw of him this morning.  But he only found it amusing. 
He enjoyed working the land, just as his fathers before him, alongside his tenants.  This teamwork had always engendered a trust that seemed to only strengthen relationships through each generation.  Some of the neighboring peerage, especially Lord Pembrooke, were outspoken over such vulgarity, annoyed with his arrogance of lowering oneself to such levels, but Creighton had always done what he pleased regardless of anyone’s opinion. 
            Finally, he said, “Did you enjoy your ride this morning, my lady?”  Smiling at her immediate discomfort, he fought back his feelings of guilt for making her so shy. 
            Shades of crimson crept up her throat while she stammered, “I…I did, my lord.”  However, she would not make eye contact with him.  No.  For she knew as soon as she did, all she would again see in her mind’s eye was his nakedness.  Oh dear, there it was!  Insistent in its presence, precisely what she was fighting to sponge from her mind, Lord Huntington invaded in all his glory.  Nearly choking on her meal, Carly tried, in vain, to stop her rogue thoughts.  Certainly her mother would scold her if only she knew.  
            “You have enjoyed the surrounding countryside, have you not?” 
            Carly coughed, choking yet again upon hearing his deep voice, insisting upon conversation with her.  Would he not shut up?  Taking a sip of water and clearing her throat, she calmly answered, “Yes, my lord.”  Still avoiding eye contact, she concentrated upon her meal as best she could.  “Mrs. Cooper has made a delicious meatloaf tonight,” she added, expertly guiding the topic away from dangerous ground. 
            But Creighton would not take her bait.  He had other things to discuss.  “Where was your escort, may I ask?” 
            All nakedness forgotten, Carly’s eyes grew wide as she realized her blunder.  “Oh dear.  I did forget again, didn’t I?” 
            “Yes,” he frowned.  “Please do not forget again.” 
            “Yes, of course, my lord.”  Her eyes went back to her meal. 
            He could have such fun with her.  He knew of her discomfort.  No.  He would not let this pass.  Too enjoyable to watch her squirm.  He was a rake.  After tearing a large chunk from the freshly baked bread and enjoying it for a moment, he said, “I believe you caught me off my guard today.”  His pleasure was instantaneous, for she was blushing while trying to calm her falling utensils.  If he were to share the laughter that was bubbling up inside, the entire room would be booming with noise.  But he would not.  The quiet worked much better upon her nerves.  He nearly smiled. 
After gaining control of her fork, Carly could only stare at her master, her face flushing brilliantly.  She felt like a fool.  Could she not control herself? 
Bewitched, he continued his play with her, “I am often found in such a state, for I fear I have no manners, something my mother has given up on long ago.” 
Was he smirking? 
She was sure of it. 
“I have shocked you, I see.  Unfortunately for you, I am sure it will not be the last time I am found in such a state.  You must allow me to apologize in advance for my ungentlemanly ways.” 
            His roguish smile annoyed Carly, brought to her some anger for which she could grasp hold of her misguided thoughts.  She quickly recovered by saying, “My lord, you revel in my discomfort, I believe.  I would ask that you at least try to remember that I am present.” 
            Mischievously grinning at her still, he said, “Oh…I am well aware of your presence, my lady.  I promise you that.” 
            As her face grew warm again, so did her irritation.  “Please, sir!  Do not tease!” 
            “Who says I am teasing?” 
That lopsided grin of his was distracting…
She was mortified that he rattled her so easily.  “I am not as na├»ve as you think me.” 
            Squinting his eyes in thought, he said, “That is debatable.”  He smiled his devilish grin, adding, “But I must say I do enjoy it.”  Taking another bite of his meal, he relished in the conversation, in her discomfort, in the debate.  It had been some time…  
“I also enjoy crossing words with you.  You have quite a temper.”   
            “You purposely mean to aggravate me, my lord,” she fumed. 
            “It can be quite entertaining,” he chuckled, taking a long drink from his wine glass, intent upon watching her fidget. 
            “You are insufferable!”  Carly threw her napkin upon the table, frustration apparent. 
            “Many would agree,” he simply stated. 
She must endeavor to control her temper better, she thought.  “This cannot be who you really are?” 
“Really.  And why not, pray tell?” 
Compelled to speak honestly, she said, “I have seen more from you, my lord.”  She had seen kindness and caring, gentleness and sensitivity. 
Suddenly uncomfortable with where she was going with their conversation, he harshly said, “And you think I care?” 
“Do you not, sir?” 
Sighing heavily in exasperation, his fun come to an abrupt end, Creighton said, “Lady Blakemore, you must know that I do, of course.  Let us be friends, shall we not?” 
Hesitating briefly, Carly said, “Well…  Yes.  We must…for the children’s sake, at least.” 
“And what of ours?” 
“What?  Well, yes, of course, I suppose.  Oh!  I don’t know!  You always seem to vex me.  It is most infuriating.” 
“At least you are a very honest person, I must say.” 
“I have no reason not to be.  Would you prefer lies?” 
Thinking back on a marriage full of lies and treacheries, he grumbled, “I have had my fill of lies to last a lifetime.  No.  I find your honesty…refreshing…stimulating.” 
Again, Carly began to squirm from his penetrating gaze.  Focusing her attention upon her meal, she tried to think of something to say in response, but she could not. 
“You find intimate conversation disturbing, Lady Blakemore?”  
“With you, of course.” 
“You have been in social settings, I gather, Lady Blakemore.  Yet you seem…unprepared to discuss life with the opposite sex.  Why is that?” 
“Simple, my lord.  No one has ever spoken to me as familiarly as you have.”  She was growing more upset by the minute.  “Furthermore, I have never seen any other gentleman half-naked…” abruptly cutting off, she gasped, blushing freely, feeling angrier at having blurted out such delicate subject matter.  “Oh, bother!”  Indignantly, Carly folded her arms angrily across her chest.  Pouting, she quickly hiccupped.  She rolled her eyes in complete and utter annoyance, disgusted with herself. 
Unexpectedly, Creighton chuckled at her embarrassment.  He said, “Come, come, my lady, do you not know how to tease but a little?  Surely, you must realize that I goad you?  You are much too easily upset by my taunting words.” 
Quietly standing, Creighton leaned over the table in order to speak closely to her.  Carly sat back in her chair, upset by his nearness.  Whispering his carefully chosen words, he breathed, “You are rather enchanting, my dear.” 
Standing uprightly again, he pulled his jacket firmly, smiling beguilingly down upon her. 
He left her alone to contemplate his stirring words as he exited the dining room, apparently finished with his meal. 

This makes me laugh!  ;)  I love Carly's nervousness, and yet, I can completely relate.  And Creighton is a complete rake!  Tell me what you think?

Thanks for reading with me today.  Join me on Monday for more.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Changed my Blog Title

I've changed my Blog title to:  Christian Victorian Romance with Sizzle instead of Victorian Clean Romance with Sizzle. 

I think it is more fitting because one assumes Christian romance will be clean, but not necessarily romance to be clean. 

Any comments?

Thanks for letting me bug you so much this week!  I'm just trying to do my best. 

I'm quickly sinking! Help!

I've gone down 5 points since Monday to #21.  Bad!  Very bad on authonomy.com.  But I'm not going down without a fight!  :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My "Rank" on Authonomy.com

Dear Readers:

Did you know that I am #18 from the Editor's Desk on authonomy.com?  And the last two days, I was #4 on this week's Top Reads?  Woohoo!  I'm sooo excited. 

What this means to me -- If I can make it to the Top Five on Authonomy.com, I will automatically get a FREE editor's review from HarperCollins Publishers.  Now, this does not necessarily mean that they will publish me (although, I hope they do!).  However, it does mean I'll get noticed.  Also, since my budget is very limited, the FREE part is important to me. 

Please join me in my journey to the top of the list!  Sign on to authonomy.com, and do the following:
  1. Register.  By registering, you have a vote. 
  2. Bookshelf.  My ranking will rise by placing my book, The Governess, on your bookshelf. 
  3. Star rate.  This causes my "Star" status and my ranking to rise. 
  4. Comment.  The comments also get me noticed. 
I appreciate any support you can give to my manuscript.  Writing has been an incredible journey for me, helping me to heal from my bout with breast cancer.  My goal is to pay off the medical bills and our house.

Thank you for your support!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 14:

Carly was enjoying her ride immensely until rounding a thicket and coming upon a most disturbing scene. 
She had noticed a farmer carrying a large fence pole who now deposited it into a hole for the very bare-chested Lord Huntington who immediately set about pounding the post into the ground with enormous force.  Picking up his shovel, he then began filling the hole with mounds of dirt wasting no time at all.  His golden muscles rippled in the sun’s rays, moisture dripping down his body, his dark locks blowing in the breeze, wet with perspiration. 
The farmer’s hesitation in helping to fill the hole brought Creighton’s attention to the subject which had caught his tenant’s interest. 
Lady Blakemore sat upon Clover with her mouth gaping open in her flushed face as she stared wide-eyed at his near nakedness, her flowers spilt upon the ground. 
As they quickly observed each other, she hiccupped. 
Grinning stunningly, he was aware of his half-clad body, and the reason for her qualms.  Stepping forward to have a chat with the shy girl, he reached to grasp the horse’s halter, but she was too fast for him.  With lightning speed, she whirled about, turning in the opposite direction, yelling HeeYaw! galloping quickly away. 
Chuckling together, he and the farmer had a good, long laugh over the poor governess’s obvious embarrassment. 

This is one of my most favorite scenes.  I love next Friday's selection as well, the follow-up to this scene, where she must face Lord Huntington again.  Carly is so embarrassed! 

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

Friday, September 2, 2011

Excerpt from The Governess -- Chapter 13 concluded, Chapter 14 begun:

Recognizing Lord Huntington’s horse, Carly avoided her master.  But not before she saw an amazingly dressed lady riding alongside him. 
            So.  He did socialize. 
            Why did she question this?  Why did she have to think on the gossip that she had heard?  And, most annoyingly, why did she care? 
He had every right to engage in company of his choosing. 

Chapter 14

Carly continued to plan the treasure hunt with care.  “It must be perfect,” she said with joy.  Would Jonathon enjoy this adventure, she wondered?  “How could he not?”  She was even making him an eye patch and red handkerchief for him to wear. 
They had made great progress together, and she was hoping to break down his reserve once and for all.  He had given up on his antics, discovering that Carly was not disturbed by them in the slightest. 
At least, that is what she led him to believe. 
In fact, his last trick had backfired upon him completely.  The slippery frog which he had carefully placed in the potted plant, strategically positioned in the middle of the schoolroom table, had become the next biology lesson when it plopped upon the table in front of them making Elspeth scream.  Carly had barely controlled the same impulse. 
Obviously, the creature was dissatisfied with the potted plant in which it was hiding. 
Without so much as blinking an eye, Carly had picked it up, and Jonathon’s curiosity in studying the green, slimy creature had gotten the best of him.  He had completely forgotten that it was to be a joke. 
Carly hated every sticky minute of it.  It had taken all her courage to handle the bulging creature, but she had determined that if she could take advantage of his presented opportunity, he would not pester her anymore with his tricks. 
Or so she hoped. 

Frogs have not been all Carly has battled.  Will she find a way to fit in at Huntington Manor?  Read with me on Monday to find out more.