I have company in from the States, so I’m leaving it up to you. Strut your stuff and post an PG excerpt of reasonable length from your finished word or WIP. You may also post buy links or contact links. I’m off to play tour guide. Have fun!
Her is my excerpt from The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh, which releases for pre-order in June!
October 25, 1814, Marsh House, London
Miss Anna Marsh was in her parlor reading, when her maid, Lizzy, entered and held out a grubby piece of paper.
“Came from my brother, Kev, this morning,” Lizzy said.
Anna nodded, took the note, and opened it. She perused the contents then closed her eyes. “I’m going to have to find a way to convince Mamma to allow me to remove to Marsh Hill before the Little Season has ended. Though I cannot do anything until after Lady Phoebe’s wedding.”
“That bad, miss?” her maid asked, screwing up her face. “You might have a time of it. I heard Lady Marsh was planning to go to some country house next week.”
Anna sighed. Ever since her brother Harry’s death, Mamma had become difficult. “She probably expects me to go with her.” Anna shrugged. “Well I cannot. Someone has been sniffing around Thanport. I don’t like the sound of it.” Anna rose and walked over to her mahogany writing desk. She opened a drawer. Eschewing the neat stack of elegant pressed paper, she pulled out a piece of the distinctly rougher type. “I’ll write Kev and tell him to lay low until I can get there.”
No information exchanged or meetings scheduled until I arrive.
She sealed the message and handed it to Lizzy. “Make sure this goes out to-day, even if you have to take it yourself.”
Anna pinched her upper nose. “I do hope this is not going to make our lives even more complicated.”
“What do you think that other man wants?” Lizzy asked.
“I don’t know.” Anna shook her head. “But I have a feeling whatever it is will do us no good. I’m going to Mamma and try to talk her around. I do wish she and Papa could settle their differences.”
Lizzy nodded. “It does make things a bit more difficult.”
“That it does,” Anna said, smiling grimly.
A few minutes later, she knocked briefly on the door to the morning room in the back of the house, and tripped in only to stop. The gentleman sitting on a chair next to her mother’s chaise rose. Anna curtseyed.
Sebastian, Baron Rutherford, bowed. Anna fought the urge to smile. He was tall and rangy. The cut of his coat molded to his broad shoulders, and his pantaloons clung to his muscular legs. He had hair the color of a hazelnut and impossibly gray eyes. When he was angry, they shone like molten silver. Anna frequently made him angry.
She’d loved him since she was a child. If he’d asked for her hand when she’d first come out, she would have accepted him. Now, at one and twenty, she was wiser.
Sebastian— he hated his given name— spent the last few years dangling after Anna’s best friend, Phoebe, who was now marrying Lord Marcus Finley. With no more cover and his mother nagging at him to wed, he’d turned to Anna. Yet, the past two years had made it impossible for her to marry him unless he truly loved her and all she was. She wasn’t sure they even knew each other anymore.
Anna met his gaze coolly. “Lord Rutherford, pray, what brings you here?”
“Oh, Anna dear,” her mother said. “Lord Rutherford has very kindly offered to help by escorting you to Charteries for Lady Phoebe’s wedding.”
Anna raised a brow and stared at Sebastian for a moment before turning to address her mother. Lady Marsh reminded Anna of a wraith. Her mother’s dark brown hair was still unmarked by silver. She always dressed in flowing gowns and draped gauzy shawls around her shoulders, giving the impression she would blow away if one breathed hard enough. Mamma desperately wanted Anna married and could not understand how it was she’d reached the age of one and twenty still single.
As objecting to Sebastian’s escort would do her no good, Anna kept the smile on her face. “Yes, Mamma, very kind of him.” She glanced at him and thought she saw the remnants of a smug look on his face. “How do you think of these ideas?” she asked sweetly.