I have a busy day planned, so I’m just popping in to give you some news. First – book & writing news (with a book excerpt at the end).
I’ve been in this state of awe and joy that my memoir has managed to remain in the top 100 bestsellers for Christian Inspiration for a whole month – (this is the Kindle version of Amazon). And I finally cleared 100 reviews, so I feel sort of established now. I’ll eventually pull the exclusivity with Amazon and make the memoir available for Nook and iBook, etc. But for now it makes sense to remain exclusive since it’s doing so well. That said, there is a print version available through Amazon, and I just set up the print version through Barnes & Nobles and that will be ready in 72 hours. If you’d like to purchase Stars Upside Down, there’s a button on the sidebar that will take you to Amazon and you can choose between print and Kindle. I’ll let you know the B&N link once I have it.
My romance will be getting a much-needed boost (I hope) since sales and reviews have been sluggish. (You probably don’t care about this unless you’re an author, and in that case you sympathise with my plight). 😉 I found a website that specialises in clean romance and have signed up for their review program. I’m also adding both print and Nook versions to Barnes & Nobles. That will be up next week. This is my debut novel, and although I continue to grow as an author, it’s nice to see my book baby get out there. If you’re interested, the link for The Viscount of Maisons-Laffitte on the sidebar will also take you to Amazon where you can get a print or Kindle version. And I’ll give you the B&N link when I have it.
For my current WIP (work-in-progress) – my Regency – I’m about 26,000 words in. I’ve signed up for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) where I’ll be committing to writing 1666 words a day for the entire month, which will bring me to 50,000 words – or 76,000 if I add on what I already have. That’s a standard novel length, although as a historical, mine will probably be longer.
I need to do this. I find that the beginning of the novel is always slow going as I try to figure out the plot line and flesh out the characters. Then, when that’s in place, I need a push to just get the thing written. It’s so much easier to rework words that are already on the page than it is to create them in the first place. So. I’m telling you this because I’ll need to take a break from blogging during the month of November so I can get my first draft done before Christmas. If it’s going well (1600 words is not that much in the scheme of things) I’ll do an occasional post. But if not, you’ll understand my silence.
Family news. Our friend, Hisill, who will be welcoming us in India, recommended I read The God of Small Things to understand Kerala better, so I downloaded that. We’re dealing with visas, vaccines and collecting donations and gifts at present.
We had friends visit us from Minnesota. I know Tracy from blogging (she blogs at Sellabit Mum), and we met at the BlogHer conference a couple years in a row.
Her girls are close in age to my three children and it was so amazing to see them together. We did a car tour from Versailles to Maisons-Laffitte where we stopped and walked around the exterior of the château. (Eloise, their eldest, helped me with the teenage text lingo for The Viscount, and she also has a namesake in the book – a girl named Eloise who has a stellar character, just like her real-live counterpart).
I love this picture!
We then came to my house and hung out and had food.
Lots of it!
I won’t bother you with my annoyances lately – of which there have been plenty! I vowed to God I wouldn’t get mad at him anymore for my troubles, and I will say – remembering the vow wipes out the temptation to gripe.
Instead, I’ll tell you that it’s a beautiful fall day today –
(this is a recent late-afternoon shot, but is not from today)
– and my husband and I are about to celebrate 16 years of marriage. And there’re a lot of reasons to be joyful even amidst the annoyances.
And now I’ll leave you with this recent excerpt of my WIP (lightly edited, but still first draft):
Eleanor kept her face in an implacable mask until she had given the voucher for her coat and rushed through the front door. Only then did the tears fall, and she turned her face aside to avoid looking at the merry group making its way up the steps. She walked half a block, vaguely aware of the pungent odors produced by a London street in June, before realizing she had nowhere to go. Even Lydia had looked stunned, and Lydia’s mother– oh, Lady Harvey had looked thunderous. The earl… hot tears poured down her cheeks when she remembered the frozen expression on his face.
She went blindly for another block before slowing her pace and forcing herself to focus on her next move. It would be impossible to impose upon the Harveys any longer; that much was sure. She considered the small amount that was left in her possession. There would be no time to request money from her aunt or draw a draft on her bank; she would need to leave Lady Harvey’s house immediately, before they returned from the party.
It would be a simple matter of packing a small portmanteau with only a change of dress, take a spot in a hotel… but I have no maid! They will never receive me… She had no chance to ruminate on this quandry further when she heard a voice calling her, a man stepping out of the shadows of a closed carriage. It was le Vicomte de Bressen.
“Mr. de Bressen, I am sorry, I cannot…” She forced the words through her constricted throat. “I’m unable to stay and speak with you just now. I must reach Lady Harvey’s house without delay.”
“Ma’am, you are unattended. I cannot allow you—my honor as a gentleman will not permit me to let you continue without seeing you safely escorted.”
Eleanor paused, but was borne away by his insistence. “Miss Daventry, the Harvey house is some ways from here, and it would not do to walk there alone.” When he saw that she still hesitated, he added, “You need not fear I will press my advantage. I quite see I was mistaken in the reading of your character.”
The sight of two gentlemen, heavily intoxicated, leering after a woman of questionable morals decided the affair. She allowed le vicomte to assist her into the carriage. Once inside, she shrank to the edge of the seat, hoping he would take the other side and keep a proper distance. To her relief, he did.
“Shall we not open the windows?” she asked. “So that we are not quite private in the carriage?”
“And allow the ton to see you driving alone with a gentleman?” Le vicomte shook his head. “Je ne peux pas le permettre. It would be most unwise. I’ve instructed the driver to bring the carriage around the corner of Lady Harvey’s house so you can alight without being seen.”
“That is kind in you… I hadn’t thought clearly…” Eleanor reached into her reticule for a handkerchief and pressed it to her eyes, trembling from suppressed emotion.
“I’m sorry you suffered under the eyes of the ton. They can be cruel.” There was bitterness in his voice, and she looked up at him in surprise.
“Had you been there, then? How did you know what transpired?”
Le vicomte looked momentarily nonplussed. “I heard only the rumblings before I left. I was already on my way out.”
“So did you know to find me here? Were you waiting for me?” Suspician knotted her forehead, and she had difficulty in drawing a breath.
“How could I possibly know which direction you would turn? I left because I had a rendez-vous to keep, mademoiselle.” His eyes narrowed and he stared at a spot above the squabs of the carriage. “My interests lay in another direction.”
Eleanor bit her lip, wondering to which poor creature he was referring. “Am I taking you out of your way, sir?”
“Only the slightest détour. It’s nothing to speak of.” With that silence reigned.
Eleanor worried at one of the lower buttons on her pelisse. Now she was well and truly in a fix. She would not find a husband, and although this was never an object of hers, she felt its loss acutely. Miss Daventry, I find I am quite reconciled to one loss, if only because it has been replaced by something of far greater value.
The earl’s face, and the eyes that had looked just so, hovered in her vision, and she drew a sharp breath from this unfamiliar pain so acute it stole her senses. There would be no stern husband to cajole, no children to tug at her skirts, no hearth to sit before and embroider as she presided over a merry family. A vision she had only recently dared dream of was dashed, and its loss was more painful than if she’d never hoped at all.
There would be no comfortable income from the property. She would likely have to serve as a governess, and the occupation she had once accepted with complacency now seemed stark. The property would revert back to the earl, or his descendent, on her eventual death. Eleanor shook her head bitterly. She was of too prosaic a disposition to consider throwing herself into the Thames. Perhaps if she were lucky, a virulent strain of influenza might carry her away.
The carriage rumbled over cobblestones, which made their way to a smoother path. The noises from the streets ceased to penetrate to where Eleanor sat, and she darted forward to slide open the shade on the carriage window. Her efforts were blocked by the gloved hand grasping hers, which de Bressen shot out from his otherwise lazy posture. “I told you it would not be seemly to be discovered in a carriage alone with a man.”
Her voice held the barest tremor. “Surely we would have reached my aunt’s by now. It was only a couple of blocks away.”
“We have reached it, ma chérie, and we’ve left it behind on our way to Dover. I have other plans which will not entail your needing to collect your belongings.” His hand still gripping hers, he opened the window shade closest to his side and peered out.
Eleanor forced the terror out of her voice. “The other rendez-vous… your other interest…”
“…n’est pas venue.” Grief was replaced by terror as his chilling words settled into her marrow. “And I find in her absence, you’ll do.”