Friday, June 15, 2007
One Bashful Lady by Brenda Williamson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Brenda Williamson was born in the state of New Jersey, in the United States. She is married, has one son, and a house full off cats. Writing full-time, one would think she has a hobby to get away from the many hours of writing, but writing is her hobby, too. She writes in all genres of romance, generally with erotic elements; historical, suspense, paranormal, and contemporary. She is a member of Romance Writer’s of America and several RWA special interest chapters.
Visit her website at: http://www.brendawilliamson.com
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Desmond Rawlington, Marquess of Dunsmore and seductive charmer, needs a Delacorte sister as a wife. When the eldest elopes, Desmond marries Ainsley only to find himself falling in love with the enchanting young woman, despite her quirky habit of hiding behind draperies.
Lady Ainsley Delacorte, the shyest person anyone has ever met, is nervous around servants, overwhelmed by the ton and forced into marriage. Her reluctance fades with her husband’s sinfully romantic touch, but she can’t forget he’s involved in a traitorous plot to return Napoleon to power.
When Ainsley is caught with an incriminating letter she stole from her husband, Desmond intervenes. Will they face the gallows or can love save them?
Desmond brushed off his sleeves, straightened the cream silk cravat and raked a hand through his hat-ravaged hair. He looked up, not for the reason that he had finished his perfunctory grooming, but because he sensed someone watching him.
A halo glowed above the head of a young lady standing on the staircase. Her stillness reminded him of a startled animal. If the beautiful vision on the riser was his intended bride, he’d be a blessed man. However, he feared there might be no way to start his heart again if the angel belonged to another.
“M’lord?” A servant spoke and Desmond raised a hand to silence him.
He waited for the young lady to speak. Only the longer he stared, the less likely
it seemed she’d make any noise. Not a sound stirred. Not even a rasp of air to say she was real. He usually got some response from women, even if it was a sigh. Then he witnessed the truest form of innocence. Shyness washed over her face in a red blush and he watched with stunned bemusement as the lovely young lady hurried down the remaining steps.
“Good evening. I’m Lord…Dunsmore.” His declaration faded.
Her flight did not end with him. It began.
She moved like a gazelle, and in seconds, she disappeared from sight. He looked to the servant with question, yet shook his head, indicating the man need not give a response. Desmond had no wish to pry.
“My Lord Dunsmore, forgive my delay.” The duchess descended on him. “Servants are not what they used to be and I’m afraid the French are far worse than our English ones.”
“Your Grace.” Desmond bowed. “You do me an honor to have me in your lovely home.”
“Thank you, my lord. We shall conduct our conversation in the drawing room.”
He followed her slow walk toward the doorway. “I fear I have given a fright to a member of your family.”
While the girl intrigued him, he didn’t think he’d like one who might be daft. However, bound by honor, he would not shirk his responsibility even if he was being tricked into marrying a mute.
Besides, he hadn’t come for a bride, but a wife with the Delacorte name.
“About the arrangement I had with your grandfather, the duke, there is a slight problem,” the duchess commented nervously.
“Oh?” Desmond stopped walking. “What sort of problem?”
“This is just dreadful to have to tell you, but my daughter, Lady Delacorte…” She paused, wringing her hands together. “She’s burdened with a malady preventing her from…ah…wedding you.”
Warily, he eyed the woman’s uneasiness.
“Preventing her,” he repeated. “If you mean because she can’t speak, I assure you the condition of silence would be no problem.”
“Oh, heavens no, I’m not talking about my younger daughter. I know this is a terrible inconvenience. There’s no way to express how upsetting this has been for me, but Lady Delacorte ran off to marry a baron, a Frenchman, no less. I had no way to stop it. I hope you can forgive this insult to your good name.”
“This is more than an inconvenience, Your Grace. This is a direct affront to the duke. Announcements that I am marrying the Lady Delacorte are being made in England as we speak.”
Desmond glanced at the empty path the young lady had taken into the drawing room.
“The girl I saw who fled my presence. You said she is a daughter. Is she of marrying age?”
“Why yes, yes she is. Ainsley is beyond that age. She’s twenty-one, and oh my lord, what a wonderful solution!” She clapped her hands together. “She’d be much more to your liking. Lady Delacorte has always been a troublesome child. She would not have been right for you at all as your wife. Lady Ainsley is quiet, reserved and quite intelligent.”
“Except she can’t talk.”
“On the contrary, you have it all wrong. Lady Ainsley has no trouble speaking when she wishes to. She’s merely shy. Poor child simply puts a mother at her wits’ end with her silence, but you did say silence would not be a problem.”
“Shall we conclude our deal then?” He waved a hand for her to go into the drawing room before him.
The duchess sat in a chair and he took a place on the settee.
“Pierre, please bring Lord Dunsmore and myself a cognac. Also, some of those delightful little cakes, what are they called again?” While the duchess conversed with the servant about wine and petit fours, Desmond felt a chill from watchful eyes and remembered the girl.
Discreetly turning his head, he spotted the young lady on the opposite side of the open door. She stood absolutely still, petrified no doubt, by the plot against her. He took pity on her as she stared at him with a glassy, dazed expression. Her bright blue eyes, wide and beautiful, locked on his and he felt compelled to help her. The gorgeous creature and her radiant gaze made his body harden and ache in anticipation of their wedding night.
Desmond turned back to the duchess so as not to draw attention to Lady Ainsley. But the duchess was fretting over the lack of petit fours while he cared nothing about eating.
His gaze returned to Lady Ainsley. He offered her a smile and a solution. Desperately frightened, she needed a moment to compose herself before he requested to speak to her.
“That is a lovely vase, Greek I believe.” Desmond pointed to the urn behind the duchess making her turn her head away.
Discreetly, he waved a hand at Lady Ainsley to flee.
“I must say I wasn’t aware that it was.” She glanced over her shoulder for a second, then turned back to him. “I’m simply at a loss about designs other than those popular in England.”
He looked at the doorway hoping the lady’s petrified state had not fastened her to the wall as an ornament.
She was gone.
1. Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I've always wrote and liked the process of publishing. When I was fifteen a friend and I used to write a weekly newsletter for our neighborhood. We sold our newsletter for five cents a copy. We also hand typed each one on a manual typewriter. That was the start of my career.
2. What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love the finished product, holding the book in my hand and seeing my name on it. More than that, I love when people tell me they liked the story. I can't say there's anything I dislike, if there were, I'd be doing something else.
3. How do you balance your personal and writing time?
I write full time and only stop when there are things to do. Every balances itself in the course of the day.
4. How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
I pick a genre, which takes about five minutes. I pick the hero and heroines names, which takes five days, or so it would seem, and then I come up with something in my head to start with, like a particular scene. It's not necessarily the first, but whatever it is, I build around it.
5. What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write light erotic romance in most subgenres of historical, contemporary and paranormal. I jump around to have variety. I like reading about different things, so it comes natural to want to explore the same in writing.
6. Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
There's always some aspect of a real person's personality in a character, but mostly they are my imagination's conglomeration of what the character needs to be.
7. Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
Jack McCay in my western, Devil's Kiss. He's strong, handsome, charming and when he loves a woman, he goes after her with a relentess passion.
8. What would you want readers to take away from your books?
Characters can have flaws, make big mistakes, act like jerks, be silly, immature, irrational and yet, with love, they can turn their lives in a whole new direction. People are just like them and a reader should be able to appreciate the flaws in themselves because it's what makes them unique.
9. Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Learn what point of view (pov) is and how to avoid head-hopping.
Drop words that slow down a story such as was, been, could, thought, so, but, and start to. Reword to eliminate moving body parts, such as his eyes rolled to her or his hands crawled over her. Show, don't tell in a story, and be creative with your plot.
10. What are you reading right now?
Edits for my next book, A Desperate Longing. I get rare chances to read since I have so many projects in the works.
11. If you could be anyone or anything that you wanted, who or what would you be?
I don't think there is anybody I'd rather be than myself, just with a whole lot more money.
"The intrigue, suspense and great love scenes make this one a must read for fans of Historical Romance."
...Maura Frankman, The Romance Studio
One Bashful Lady by Brenda Williamson
Electronic ISBN: 1-59998-198-X
Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Publication Date: May 15, 2007
$5.50 from My Bookstore and More
Purchase One Bashful Lady by Brenda Williamson HERE!!