Welcome back! As much as I love autumn colors and temperatures, the writing world has already been working feverishly to prepare for the holiday season. The Partridge and the Peartree is part of the Christmas Regency series coming out soon at Astraea Press. Here, Lady Amelia Partridge is attending a recital given by the daughters of a friend:
The dance concluded, and the audience applauded politely. Desiree announced a short intermission, and the guests rose to chat and partake of the sumptuous refreshments spread on the banquet tables. Amelia wasn't particularly hungry or thirsty, but she rose, needing to stand and use her legs. As much as she loved writing, it caused her to sit for long periods of time. She didn't enjoy the small talk – it bored her. But she put on her public face, for her friend’s sake. If nothing else, perhaps she could get some fodder for her next book.
"Excuse me, miss."
She spun around, and her eyes locked with the same mesmerizing gaze from the bookstore. He seemed even taller than he had that afternoon, and in his formal dress he looked quite dashing. "Yes?"
"I believe you dropped this." He held out a satin scarf. She'd forgotten she'd removed it during the recital.
"Thank you, sir. Once again, you've come to my aid, saving me from my clumsiness."
"I was in the way. I should know better than to stand in one spot in the bookstore."
Amelia put a finger to her lips. "Shh. My brother doesn't approve of me frequenting that shop. It's not in a fashionable area of town."
He nodded. "I understand. Incident forgotten."
Desiree, ever the hostess, appeared suddenly. "Phillip, I see you've met my dear friend, Lady Amelia Partridge. Amelia, this is my brother, the Duke of Bartlett."
Phillip bowed deeply. "How do you, do, Lady Amelia?"
Amelia curtseyed. "I'm honored to meet you, Your Grace."
"I am surprised we haven't met before. Have you and my sister been friends for a long time?"
Desiree chuckled and touched his arm, causing him to turn his attention back to her. "How diplomatic, Phillip. You can see Amelia is closer to Laurel's age than mine. Amelia is a fellow member of the Ladies' Literary Society, and she's been a boon to us. She has a way with words, and has written our newsletter and other promotional tracts for our organization."
Phillip turned back to Amelia. "Very impressive, Lady Amelia. The Literary Society is one of my sister's passions, and anyone who forwards their cause is a treasure."
Amelia felt her face warm, and she scolded herself. She was normally immune to flattery, but the duke's praise made her feel almost giddy. Why was she acting like a silly lovesick schoolgirl? She held herself regally and just managed to keep her voice from rising to a giggly pitch. "Thank you. I am honored to be associated with such a worthy cause."
Thanks for stopping by! Several other great authors are sharing excerpts from their books as well. Just go to Sweet Saturday Samples for their links.
But before you go, let me know what you think of this sample! If you like it, please look for The Partridge and the Peartree starting next Friday, November 2, at Astraea Press, as well as several other ebook distributors! I'll have the links here next week. In the meantime, please enjoy the cover above, designed by the fabulous Elaina Lee.