Author Override is the place where authors take the reins and take you on a journey into their world. Some may allow you into their private writing dens. Others may take you along with them on research trips or interviews. Whatever the case may be, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride because here you’ll get an in-depth look into an author’s musings.
~ JANE ASHFORD ~
Writers are always advised to “show don’t tell.” The scene excerpted below from my new historical Once Again a Bride was designed to reveal character and demonstrate the bond starting to build between the hero and heroine – Charlotte and Alec – through their actions.
Charlotte has just come back from her first ton party, a pleasure she’s been longing to experience for some time. When she first agreed to her father’s marriage arrangement and came to London, she assumed she’d be entering society. But the opposite happened. She was shut away from almost all human contact by her disagreeable old husband Henry, who was interested only in her dowry. He even allowed his servants to treat her with disdain. Thus, she can’t be truly griefstricken when he’s killed in the dark London streets, though she never would have wished this upon him. Released from the marriage and taken in by Henry’s family, Charlotte is determined to recapture some of the lightness and joy of life. So she throws herself into this party.
Alec is a man with a bone-deep sense of responsibility and a fear of unbridled emotion, because of some family history. He offered shelter to his unpleasant old uncle’s widow after her house was invaded, bringing her to join his sisters as a member of his household. This means Charlotte is off limits to him, no matter how entrancing she may be. But he’s finding it harder and harder to heed the dictates of his sense of honor.
After attending the same party and trying to rein Charlotte in a little, Alec’s been waiting up. Not because he’s desperately attracted to her, or jealous of the male attention she received. Oh no. Of course not. He simply intends to provide a bit of guidance, some sage advice to a naïve young woman. Then, somehow, he’s kissing her. The fact that he’s swept away by the kiss makes him furious with himself, and cutting toward Charlotte. The two part angry, but obviously that’s not going to last. 🙂
Charlotte danced in, and stopped dead when she discovered that Sir Alexander was the doorkeeper. “Where’s Ethan? Or the other one –what’s ‘is name? James. That’s it. Same as your father.” She giggled.
“I sent them to bed. It’s very late.”
“So late it’s gone to early,” she agreed. This had been a phrase of her father’s. “You’re playing footman?” She giggled again.
“I take it you had a pleasant evening?”
“Wonderful!” Arms outstretched, she spun. “If only there’d been dancing. Can’t dance, though. Must mourn for Henry. Stupid!” She twirled faster, loving the way her velvet skirt belled around her, feeling her shawl slip, and letting it. The floor seemed to tilt suddenly; she missed her footing.
Sir Alexander caught her, held her effortlessly upright. She gazed up at him. “You’re frowning. Why frown so fierce?”
She swayed, and his arms tightened. They felt very right around her. Somehow her arms moved of their own accord. Her hands slid over his broad shoulders and laced behind his neck. The evening had been a mere taste of life and happiness. She wanted more.
“You’re…drunk.” Sir Alexander sounded strange.
“Not used to champagne,” Charlotte admitted. She giggled yet again. “It’s lovely, though. All those bubbles.” Moved by hope or impulse or desire she stood on tiptoes, tugged him down and kissed him.
It was sheer lunatic experiment at first. She wanted to know what it was like – a proper kiss, and a kiss from this particular man. Her only previous such experience had been with an awkward young man at a country assembly, and it had not gone very well. Charlotte knew there must be more to it, the way people spoke of passionate embraces.
Before she could think any more, Sir Alexander jerked her tight against him and took control of the enterprise with a demand and heat that melted her bones. No, she’d never been kissed before, hadn’t understood the meaning of the word. His mouth educated her, and she rushed to learn with every fiber of her body. This was lightning; this was glory.
Then it was over. He pushed her away, balanced her at a distance with a hand on each shoulder. Bereft, she reached for him. He let her go completely and stepped back. Charlotte swayed a little, mainly from disappointment.
“Can you get to your room without help?” He sounded furious. “Or must I ring for a servant?”
“Of course I can! I am not…drunk.”
“You’re giving a fine imitation of it then.”
Charlotte’s buoyant mood collapsed at his critical tone. He’d begun to sound like his uncle again. “Don’t you ever have fun? Just forget about everything and…and…revel in the moment? You’re so…”
“Unwilling to speak with you in this condition,” he interrupted.
“The condition of enjoying myself?” she taunted.
“I hope you enjoy tomorrow’s headache as much!” He turned on his heel and walked away, heading toward his study despite the hour. The door closed with a censorious snap behind him. Charlotte gathered her skirts and marched up the stairs, refusing to accept the possibility that they were tilting, just a little, now and then.
ONCE AGAIN A BRIDE BY JANE ASHFORD – IN STORES FEBRUARY 2013
She couldn’t be more alone…
Widowhood has freed Charlotte Wylde from a demoralizing and miserable marriage. But when her husband’s intriguing nephew and heir arrives to take over the estate, Charlotte discovers she’s unsafe in her own home… Alec Wylde was shocked by his uncle’s untimely death, and even more shocked to encounter his uncle’s beautiful young widow. Now clouds of suspicion are gathering, and charges of murder hover over Charlotte’s head.
He could be her only hope…or her next victim…
To Purchase Once Again a Bride:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Jane’s historical and contemporary romances have been published all over the world, and she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. Eighteen of her Regency romances will be published by Sourcebooks in the near future! Born in Ohio, Jane currently lives in Boston. For more information, please visit www.janeashford.com.
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