It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. - Seneca

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Excerpt from A CHRISTMAS BALL ...

If you go to my website , you can read the first chapter of My Lady Below Stairs, which is my novella in A CHRISTMAS BALL. Since it’s available there, I thought I’d share a different excerpt here. Jane Tate is masquerading as her well-born half-sister at the ball. Ian, the well-muscled head groom who loves her doesn’t think much of the idea and ‘borrowed’ a suit of clothing from Lord Hartwell’s own wardrobe to crash the party.

“I’m supposed to be accepting a proposal of marriage this night as Lady Sybil,” Jane said. “How would it look if I were found kissing someone else?”

“Like you’d been caught under the mistletoe.” Ian pointed upward to the clump of greenery Jane had missed. “A perfectly innocent situation. None can fault Lady Sybil for a bit of Christmas spirit.”

“Besides,” Ian said as he tugged her closer. “What if my Lady Jane were offered a proposal this night for herself?”

She gasped a quick breath. Did he mean it? The soft gleam in his eyes said he did.

“I guess,” she said slowly, “it would depend on who was doing the offering.”

“Let me show you.”

His lips brushed hers, a teasing kiss. Then he covered her mouth with his. Jane’s lips parted and he accepted her welcome, sweeping in with his tongue.

Jane arched against him. His warmth penetrated the silk as if she were naked. Heat settled low in her belly and the strange dull ache she always felt when Ian kissed her began afresh. It was an odd sensation, a wanting, hollow feeling.

She was certain Ian could make it better, if she let him.

But she didn’t dare.
She pushed against his chest until he released her mouth, but Jane didn’t pull out of his arms. She laid her head against his chest and felt his heart pounding beneath her cheek.

“Why must everything be so hard?” she whispered.

“I don’t know, lass,” he said, stroking her spine. “But there are some things that come easily if we let them.”
Her body throbbed an ‘Amen.’

A group of gentlemen suddenly spilled out one of the doors from the ballroom, talking in low murmurs.

“Oh, no!” Jane spotted Lord Hartwell at the center of the moving circle. “If the marquess recognizes that suit of clothes you’re wearing, you’re done as a Christmas goose.”

Jane grabbed Ian’s shoulders and turned with him to face the tall windows. He slipped an arm around her waist and she leaned into him. Maybe if they stood still, Lord Hartwell and his entourage would overlook them. Jane held her breath until the last click of their heels on the hardwood faded in the distance.

“That’s it, Ian,” she hissed. “You must get out of those clothes right now.”

“I thought ye’d never ask,” he said with a chuckle. “Only if ye help me.”

“His lordship might come back at any moment.”

“Then we’d best hurry.”


Mary McCall said...

Emily, your novella sounds wonderful! I just love Christmas stories! I look forward to a great read.

EmilyBryan said...

Thanks, Mary! I had a wonderful time writing it. In fact it was great therapy (I was recovering from cancer surgery through half of it, but my editor claims it's the funniest stuff I've ever written!)

Jackie said...

Thank you for the lovely excerpt, those 2 characters you have created in Jane and Ian are going to be a very entertaining read.
Christmas time I have mixed feelings of joy and sadness and reading a good book always helps me through the holidays...

Jackie B Central Texas

EmilyBryan said...

Jackie--I think lots of folks struggle with mixed feelings over the holidays. We remember those we've lost. We wonder about the choices we didn't make. It's natural to experience a "bitter-sweet" sensation.

Glad a book helps!

Eliza Knight said...

Sounds fantastic! I can't wait to read it :) Maybe Santa will put it in my stocking!

Unknown said...

Hi Emily!! I'm going to read the excerpt on your site right now!! Glad you're used to stalkers, umm I meant followers!! It would be nice to think the crazies are too busy to visit romance blogs!! LOL!! See ya tomorrow!! Thanks, Sue

Gwynlyn said...

So looking forward to reading this!

Julie Robinson said...

Emily, I love this excerpt. And I hope you are feeling back to your bubbly self.

Janet Kay Gallagher said...

Love the excerpt!
Have you thought about making this into its own larger book?
Or would you rather be on to a new adventure?

Linda Henderson said...

I enjoyed the excerpt very much. Can't wait to read the whole thing.

seriousreader at live dot com

librarypat said...

Found my copy and will be able to start it tomorrow. I can't wait. Each excerpt I read makes me want to read more.

librarypat at comcast dot net

Tamsyn said...

Emily, thank you for the excerpt. I enjoyed reading it. Sounds like a good read, and just right for the season!

Nicole North said...

Wonderful excerpt! I enjoyed reading it!

Skhye said...

Ahhhhhhhhh, I want to read that! LOL. Nice excerpt. :) ~Skhye

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Skhye said...

Oooooooo, sorry I missed this one yesterday. Long day. Bad day... :( But what a fun intriguing excerpt. ;) Doesn't everyone love a well-muscled guy crashing a party?

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