Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Fourth Contract: GIFTS GONE ASTRAY

The Wild Rose Press has accepted my latest Regency comedy novella, Gifts Gone Astray. I have no idea when it will come out, but I assume it will be sometime this year. I hope, I hope!

Anyway, here are the unedited blurb and excerpt, to give you some idea of what the story is about:

A gift is a wonderful surprise. Or maybe not.

At the Earl of Langley's family gathering, everyone receives a gift, including the servants. Tutor Stephen Fairfax expects a small token, but the present from family member Mrs. Anne Copley, the widow who's caught his eye, is a dream come true.

Until he opens it. What a gift! How did that demure lady acquire such a book? And she wants to "study" it with him? If he accepts her offer, tempting as it is, he could lose his job.

Anne has no idea why Mr. Fairfax is in such a flutter. Her present is a simple book of illustrations. The subject interests them both, and she would like nothing better than to examine the book--and Mr. Fairfax--more closely.

She glanced at the mantle clock. "Oh, look at the time! I must return to the drawing room. So much to do before the family party tonight. But, before I leave—" she swallowed "—we had some trouble with the gifts today. Yours went missing. I apologize—"

"But I received a gift. Someone left it outside my door."

"Thank the stars." She pressed her hand to her bosom.

Stephen's gaze followed her hand down and his throat dried.

"I worried your present was lost."

She worried about me. Capital! He tore his eager gaze from her breasts and lifted his head. "I have not yet unwrapped it. A book, I take it?"

"Yes. The volume belonged to my husband. He was a scholar, and that book was one of his favorites. Mine, too. We spent many happy hours enjoying it." Another dazzling smile curved her lips. "I selected it with you in mind."

His pulse thumped. I have a chance. "You flatter me with your consideration."

"My pleasure." She flashed another of her heart-stopping smiles. "As much as I long to, I will not ruin the surprise by telling you what the book is." She smoothed her face into a blank stare, but her glorious chocolate eyes twinkled.

So, she wanted to play games. He gave an inward smirk. He would love to play games of a different sort. But he would settle for a guessing game. For now.

Thank you all,


Kaye Manro said...

Congrats on your contract # 4, Linda! Gifts, sounds like a fantastic and funny story!

catslady said...

Congratulations. I am very curious as to what that book is all about lol.

Monique DeVere said...

Hello, Linda,

Your blurb and excerpt are very intriguing. I'll be keeping alert for your release date when you announce it.


Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Kaye, catslady and Monique. I can't tell you what the book is, or I'll give the story away!

Joanna Aislinn said...

Wonderful news, Linda! Best wishes! Blurb and excerpt sound intriguing :)

Joanna Aislinn
Dream. Believe. Strive. Achieve!
The Wild Rose Press

Linda Banche said...

And thank you, too, Joanna!