Here is your chance to shine. Post an excerpt of whatever you have published, with buy links, or that you’re working on. Please do not post more than one excerpt, keep them to a reasonable length, and PG rated.
Here is mine from The Seduction of Lady Phoebe which goes on pre-order at the beginning of April and releases in September.
Late June 1806, Worthington Hall, England
Lord Marcus Finley poured his third glass of brandy and strolled back to the library window. The sunlit terrace and lawn provided a stark contrast to the dim, wood paneled room in which he stood contemplating his bleak future and imminent banishment to the West Indies.
His gaze was drawn to the petite figure of Lady Phoebe Stanhope. The sun caught her reddish-blonde curls, creating a halo effect as she laughed and played with the Worthingtons’ young girls. Simply seeing her joy eased some of his pain.
Everything about Lady Phoebe was perfect, from her curls and deep sky blue eyes to her small feet and neatly turned ankle. There was a connection between them. He’d felt it. She was the only one who had tried to understand him. He wanted to marry her, but it seemed impossible now. Why had he met the only woman he’d ever want just days before he left?
He wondered what their children would have looked like. Another rush of anger swept through him, and he forcibly loosened the fingers he’d tightened around his glass.
“Marcus, there you are.”
He turned as his friend, Mattheus Vivers, heir to the Earl of Worthington, strode towards him. Vivers was the only reason Marcus was at the house party.
His friend pointed at the brandy. “That’s not going to help, you know.”
Marcus stared at the glass for a moment, watching the sun catch the amber shades of the liquid before downing the drink. “I’m going to hell in any case. What does it matter how I do it?”
Vivers rubbed a hand over his face. “When was the last time you were completely sober?”
“When my father told me I was being banished—and to where.” Marcus turned back to the window, his anger consuming him. Even his brother, Arthur, hadn’t defended Marcus. That had been the worse betrayal.
Vivers joined him at the window. “What’s so interesting out there?”
Marcus went back to the view of Lady Phoebe. “My last unshattered dream.”
Vivers glanced out. “Lady Phoebe Stanhope? Give it up.”
Scowling, Marcus replied, “Why? I may be a second son, but I’m still eligible. Once I reach my majority, I have the inheritance from my mother’s aunt.”
His friend ran a hand through his hair, disordering its fashionable style. “Very well, I’ll list the reasons. You’re a minor and need your father’s consent to wed, the same father, by the way, who is banishing you to the West Indies before you embroil yourself in a scandal here that can’t be smoothed over. The most important is she is not yet out.”
Marcus’s stomach clenched as if he’d been punched. “What do you mean she’s not out?”
“Not. Out. Not old enough to be on the Marriage Mart,” Vivers enunciated clearly. “At twenty you’re five years to young yourself. Do you really imagine that her father would consent to you marrying her? Ladies marry at twenty, not gentlemen.”
Marcus shook his head, trying to clear it. Why was she at this house party then? Was this some joke fate was playing on him? Or was it more punishment? “How old is she?”
“I don’t really know,” his friend shrugged. “Sixteen or seventeen, maybe. She has a great deal of countenance, so it’s hard to be certain. It’s a shame you won’t be here when she does come out,” Vivers mused. “I don’t expect she’ll last long on the Marriage Mart.”
Marcus felt like he was dying. By the time he was five and twenty, she would be married and have children. “Perhaps Lady Phoebe would go with me to the West Indies. God knows I love her.”
“We’ll have dinner at the tavern and attend the cock fight,” Vivers said. “That will put you in a better frame of mind. She leaves early tomorrow. Better if you don’t see her.”
Marcus poured another glass, tossed it off. “There must be something I can do.”
He went to add more brandy to his glass, but Vivers snatched the tumbler from Marcus’s hand.
“You’ve had more than enough to drink. Good God, man. Get it through your head. You cannot marry her. Now go to your chamber, and sleep it off before you do something stupid.”
Vivers left, and Marcus went to follow. He wobbled a bit as he took a step.
Lady Phoebe was waving as she made her way to the house. He would intercept her and make his case. This was his last chance to win her. In nine days he’d be on a ship to the West Indies, but first he’d take her to Gretna Green.