I’ll let you in on a little secret. Well, maybe you’re already are aware of it, but most writers grind their molars down to the gums when expected to sell their works. There are a few who actually LIKE it. I’m in the larger group that doesn’t. So when I see all the tweets for selling one’s wares, I get a little squishy inside.
Even though we are socially distanced, that doesn’t stop my good friend, great writer, and warrior queen critique partner Judi/Judy from bashing me upside the head and telling me to do the work. (See me doing the work. Insert exasperated huff.) And because she is my rock and so good at what she does, here is her blog site, full of juicy ideas, snippets, and free stories.
So, this morning I wasted time this listening to NPR updates and pausing to marvel at the sight of bluebirds outside my window from over the top of the computer screen. Their industry at digging fruit from suet got me going.
The snippet is from my most recent regency, More Than a Milkmaid. The next one, fourteenth in the series, continues to follow the theme of friendship. Throughout my life I have been blessed with remarkable, loyal, talented, and constantly supportive friends and was supremely lucky to have my late husband, John, my closest, most encouraging and supportive. He would never let a phone call interrupt when I was working, would quietly place a fresh cup of coffee on the desk, read whatever I wrote with admiration and wonder, even when it didn’t deserve it. (I have Judi/Judy for pointing out the mistakes, thank you, thank you for that!) So during this time when I am without hubby and my writing friends, I will be grateful for what I have had, and continue to have, even at a distance. And I really miss Judi/Judy’s cooking. She fed me my favorites. Now, is that friendship or what?
Here is a blurb for the snippet:
Lenora Asher’s happy future came to a tragic end when the lad she was contracted to marry lost his life in a fire. Grieving and rebellious, she refused to agree to her family’s plan for an alternate future. When they cast her off, she found work and refuge with an estranged aunt and settled into the struggle to survive—until one day she discovers the love she’d thought long dead was quite vibrantly alive. He returned to show her that the troubled road to happily-ever-after littered with barriers of doubt, distrust and resentment are no obstacle for a man risen from dead, one who will do whatever is needed to restore her love.
More Than a Milkmaid
A vague familiarity about his blue-eyed stare made her heart slow to sluggish thumps.
It couldn’t be. He’d died ten horribly long years ago. And yet, there was something about the valet’s gaze, especially when disinterest became something else, brightening with a spark of recognition that altered with stunned comprehension.
She fled, moving as swiftly as possible out of the stable without disturbing the horses. The feeling of being chased made the flesh on her back cringe, sent tingles racing down her arms. She had to get away from here, from him, the past. Confusion and panic spread pressure throughout her chest. Wild emotion clogged her throat, inciting the acute urge to weep.
A man’s voice behind her bellowed, “Lenora!”
No, it could not be possible. Wasn’t possible. Welling tears blurred her vision, spilled, and scorched her cheeks. She hurried faster, now desperate to flee, but he called again, “Nora, wait!”
That familiar but different voice hadn’t caused her to stop, but the name he called out brought her to a halt. No one but Philippe, traitorous Philippe, called her Nora. No one had since the day he died, when no one spoke his name again. Her dreams were buried with him and his name was never again mentioned—only etched on a headstone.
Clenching her hands into fists, she slowly turned around. Ten years ago, he’d been thin, too tall and angular, his white-blond waves always in disarray, his expression always mischievous and cheerful. The years had darkened his complexion and hair. Maturity had broadened his frame, filled out his face, but the sky-blue eyes were the same. Except now, the merry glint was absent, his gaze now severe but tempered by puzzlement.
Anger, fear, despair seized her heart when he stopped a few steps away. He looked larger than she remembered and too different. This couldn’t be the lad who’d broken her heart, destroyed their future, and ruined her reputation. Emotions too devastating to confront choked off her panting breaths until she could do nothing but give voice to the pain and years of resentment.
All she could think of to say was, “You’re dead.”
M.L Rigdon (aka Julia Donner)
Follow on Twitter @RigdonML