Tuesday

TUESDAY'S TEASER


The past few weeks I've been posting from the first time Miss Catherine Bennet meets Lord George, and that's kind of unfair as it's not where the book begins - that's Chapter Two. Previously, I've posted the delightful romp of Lord George and Evangeline being assaulted at her place of 'employment' and before killing the two unknown ruffians, George was convinced the one man recognized him. And... on we go.
"I'm afraid your cover has been compromised." Lord Patrick Grayson, Marquis of Chadwick clasped his hands on his desk and peered at George over the rim of his reading glasses. "You're quite useless to us now."
"I'd like to know who sent those men."
George sat in the chair placed directly in front of Lord Grayson's desk. One elbow rested on the arm of the chair and he rhythmically rubbed his lower lip with his index finger. A childhood habit indicating deep thought.
He and Evangeline had searched both men thoroughly, finding no form of identification or written instructions on either of them. The larger man definitely had been a thug for hire, but the cultured tones and soft hands of 'Reggie' hinted at a decent education and no real hard labor. Had he been the leader or following someone else's orders? The same sense of familiarity washed over George.
"I'd like to know as well." Lord Grayson removed his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. "At times, I think there are more people working for Boney in England than in France. Money and a skewered devotion to ancient family ties can turn even the most patriotic away from their King. Look at what happened in our very own country. The Prime Minister assassinated."
"Nasty business, that. I'm still not convinced there wasn't a conspiracy." George rose to his feet and paced to the large Palladian window, clasping his hands behind his back. "So what am I to do? Become another useless younger brother to a Peer of the realm?"
"You do yourself a disservice, Lord George. You family has a proud history. The ton does not know you work for the Crown. For all they care you are their golden boy who sowed more than his share of wild oats. Continue on with your life. Find a pretty girl and get married. It would make the Duke a happy man if you settled down."
"Maxwell would be ecstatic if I entered into marital bliss." George turned to face Lord Grayson. "Unfortunately, I have played the part of a Rake so convincingly I'm sure all the good mothers will hide their daughters as soon as I enter the ballroom."
"As the brother of a Duke, you and I both know your reputation will not stop them from wanting an association with your family."
"All they see are my connections and fortune. I'd like to meet someone fresh and new. Someone who isn't skilled with the arts and allurements used to ensnare a husband."
"Then, look at this as a blessing. Now that you no longer have to look over your shoulder and peer into every dark corner for the enemy, you can enjoy the full social whirl. With your charm and exceedingly handsome visage, you will have no difficulty meeting a nice young lady."
George doubted that very much, but didn't have the heart to contradict his friend and mentor. All this talk of meeting young girls was beginning to give him a headache. He'd take a rough and tumble spy any day over a cunning mother on the hunt for a son-in-law.
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Of Note: Today is my wedding anniversary.
Happy Anniversary, Rob. I love you more than cheesecake.



Friday

FIRST LINE FRIDAY

The object of this exercise is to take the nearest book, open to Chapter One and post the first sentence. As the closest book to me was the Bible, I can tell you the opening line is a good one.
'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.'
Kinda hard to beat an opener like that, but because most of us are romantic fiction readers, I grabbed the next book which happened to be my Jane Austen inspired Regency romance, entitled CAROLINE: Pride & Prejudice continued... Book One.

Without further ado, here is the first line.
'Caroline Bingley descended the grand staircase and proceeded toward the breakfast room, barely acknowledging the footman who'd efficiently pulled a chair away from the table for her.'
This is not a line that jumps out at you, unlike two of my works in progress which begin with:
'When Mama told her to always be prepared for unexpected guests to drop in, Allie never expected they'd come through the skylight of her kitchen.'
or
'When Leah Swanson made plans for her twenty-fifth birthday, dying was NOT on her to do list.'

However, if you are a fan of Jane Austen's novel Pride & Prejudice, you know that Caroline Bingley is portrayed as the self-centered, spoiled sister of Charles Bingley. She has a skewed sense of her own importance, holds those she's deemed as unworthy in disdain, and is determined to marry Mr. Darcy of Pemberley. Based on her character, this sentence captures her personality perfectly.

I decided to write my first Jane Austen Fan Fiction and focused on Caroline. So many fans love to hate her, and lose sleep if she gets a happy ever after, but I've always felt she could be redeemed. Anyone can be redeemed. If not, then none of us would be worthy of God's love and sacrifice, so who am I to judge the saucy Miss Caroline Bingley? Anyway, she does get an HEA, but the road to that happiness is not without some bumps. CAROLINE is available at all on-line retailers, listed below, and you can read about her journey yourself.
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Tuesday

TUESDAY'S TEASER


Lord Kerr picked up a knife and fork and sliced into the meat on his plate. Surreptitiously, she cut a sideways glance to see which cutlery he used. Dash it all, why did there have to be so many forks and spoons and knives lining the perimeter of her place setting? Mama always put up such lovely dinners, but none of them compared to the pomp and ceremony here at Pemberley.

Her stomach rumbled in protest. Lord Kerr turned slightly and smiled again.

"You are famished. Why aren't you eating?"

Embarrassed, she stared at her dinner plate and tears threatened to trickle down her cheeks. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed him tapping one of his knives and when her left hand touched the proper fork he gave a slight nod.

"Thank you," she murmured.

"You're welcome," he whispered back.

Less than two hours later, standing near the French doors which led out to a pretty terrace, Kitty surveyed the rolling grounds of Pemberley. Once Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy exited for their wedding trip, she and Mary could escape to their rooms and talk about the day.

"Miss Bennet, we didn't get to finish our conversation in the dining room."

For the second time that day she gave a small start. For such a large man he moved with much stealth and grace. She turned and gave him a polite curtsy.

"Lord Kerr."

"You may call me Lord George, if you like. Otherwise Nathan and sometimes even Maxwell will answer you."

"Oh... of course."

They stood slightly apart, the silence stretching long between them.

"Are you pleased--"

"How long are you--"

Both of them spoke at the same time.

"Pray, excuse me, Miss Bennet. Please continue." He gave her a quick nod.

"I was going to ask if you were pleased with your brother's announcement at church, after Lizzie and Darcy's banns were read the third and final time."

"You are speaking of his engagement to Miss Bingley?"

"Yes, it came as a quite the surprise to most of us."

"I must admit I don't know the lady, but then I only arrived the evening previous and hadn't time to converse with my younger brother."

"In some ways your brother will become part of our extended family." At Lord George's quizzical expression she explained further. "Miss Bingley's brother Charles is engaged to my eldest sister, Jane."

"Ah, the angel of Hertfordshire I've heard him sigh about."

Kitty stifled a giggle. "Mr. Bingley is quite besotted, as is she."

"How long are you and your family staying at Pemberley?"

"We leave this coming Thursday. With Lizzie and Mr. Darcy away on their wedding trip, Papa made the decision to return home, although I'm sure he'd like to stay longer if only to enjoy the library."

"Darcy has a massive library. Generations of Darcys have contributed to its contents." He gave another one of his beatific smiles. "And you? Will you miss anything from Pemberley?"

Kitty paused and thought for a few seconds. "I shall miss the grounds. I don't walk as often as my sister Lizzie, but I enjoy a ramble every now and then and the gardens are beautiful."

"That they are. I'm staying with my brother Nathan for a few days--"

"Kitty!" Mrs. Bennet called from the doorway, unmindful that the room was filled with guests. For the first time in her young life Kitty became aware of her mother's coarse behavior and felt exposed in front of Lord George.  "Come quickly. Lizzie and Darcy are leaving."

"I must go, sir." Cheeks flaming, Kitty gave Lord George a quick curtsy and turned to follow her mother, faltering only slightly in her progress when she thought she heard him say.

"I shall see you again, Miss Bennet."

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TUESDAY'S TEASER

 
Somewhat of a Prologue
November 1, 1812
 
Pemberley ~ Wedding Breakfast of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet
 
Catherine Bennet, better known as Kitty to family and close friends, could barely eat so consumed was she by nervousness. The multitude of Lords and Ladies gathered around the table made her feel as if they were at St. James Court instead of the formal dining hall at Pemberley.
 
Across from her sat Miss Georgiana Darcy and to her left was Maxwell Kerr, the Fifth Duke of Adborough. Further down the table were the Earl and Countess of Matlock, the Marquis of Dorchester and a host of other nobility. Although the room was filled with members from the ‘first circle’ of London’s society, none of them filled her as much disquiet as the gentleman on her immediate right.
 
Lord George Kerr.
 
Never had she met someone who was so… attractive. Not even Jane, with all her serene beauty, came close. Their Father in Heaven must have been feeling most generous when He formed this man. At that exact moment, to her utter dismay, Lord Kerr turned his attention from Lady Dalrymple on his right side toward her. Unprepared for his direct attention, she froze. Almost against her will, her gaze zeroed in on his perfectly formed mouth, which moved as he said something.
 
Oh dear heaven. He was speaking to her, yet the blood rushing to her ears continued to drown out all sound. Then, that perfectly formed mouth curved into a slight smile. She ducked her head, hoping against hope her face hadn’t flared a crimson red, for then he would think she was a gauche child and not a young lady who had just turned eighteen. When her composure returned, she risked another glance and caught him watching her.
 
Confound the man! Why must he still look her way? Was he not hungry? Did he have nothing better to do than discompose her so completely?
 
With great care she took her spoon and dipped it into the soup. All she had to do was behave as though dining with near royalty was a common occurrence.
 
“Did you enjoy the wedding ceremony, Miss Bennet?”
 
She gave a start and a bit of soup sloshed over the side of the spoon. Even his voice was heavenly, all deep and rumbly and flowed over her like white sauce over a good Christmas pudding. She lowered the spoon back into the soup bowl, willing her nerves to settle.
 
“Yes, I did. I’m very happy for Lizzy and Mr. Darcy.”
 
Trying to ignore the rapid staccato of her heart, she once again attempted to partake of her soup.
 
“As I only arrived last evening I didn’t get to meet your sister until today. She and Darcy seem very well suited.”
 
Kitty once again lowered the full spoon of soup into her bowl. This would not do. At this rate she’d die of starvation. She almost sighed in relief when the footman whisked away her still full bowl and placed in front of her the second course.
 
“Lizzy and Mr. Darcy are very well suited,” she replied. “They both have strong opinions and are not afraid to voice them. I’m sure some of their future breakfasts will be very interesting.”
 
Lord George barked out a laugh at her observation, causing more than one head to turn in their direction. She reached for a glass of water, grateful her trembling was not too visible, and took a sip. Papa always said she was a silly girl and here she was, proving him right by embarrassing herself in front of important strangers.
 

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Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #51

We left off last week with Kitty musing how she and Mary were often the 'forgotten' ones in relation to their other sisters. Jane, the beautiful one;  Lizzie, the witty one; and Lydia, their mother's favourite. Kitty is confined to bed from her injuries after nearly being run over by Lord George Kerr and his horse, Buttons and Mary has brought up tea and scones.

This week's excerpt:

She'd been the silly sister who followed after Lydia, while Mary was the pious sister who put a damper on most of their activities. Well, not her activities, per say, but mostly Lydia's, which Kitty had happily engaged in until... until George Wickham entered their lives.
Once Lydia met him she became even more untameable. None of the family knew how many times she snuck out to meet him. Kitty begged her to behave in a more circumspect manner, but Lydia then only teased her that she was becoming more like Mary. Angry and hurt that her closest sister was abandoning her, she'd retorted she'd never become like Mary.
Cruel words and not for the first time she'd had to ask forgiveness for such an unchristian attitude toward her sister - a sister who didn't deserve those cruel and unkind words.
"I'm so glad we have this moment of peace together." Impulsively, she reached out and grabbed Mary's hand. "At times I feel we are strangers living under the same roof."
There you go. Kitty is healing the breach.
To check out other authors who participate in Weekend Writing Warriors, and for the rules of how to partake, if you decide you'd like to join, click HERE.

Always in love,
Sue B

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #50

I'm back!

I took a little hiatus. My physical condition is exasperated by stress, so I decided to step away from writing and my self-imposed deadline. Sorry, faithful readers, CATHERINE will probably not get published prior to the end of the year, but THE END is in sight, and I can probably have her out by early 2018.

Having said all that, here is my contribution to Weekend Writing Warriors. For a brief run down of their rules and how to participate, as well as to find other authors who also do this crazy writing thing, click HERE.

I've bounced ahead in my story of CATHERINE and thought I'd share a moment between two sisters.
Kitty settled herself against the pillows and while waiting for Mary, turned her thoughts toward the enigmatic Lord George. He perplexed her greatly. One minute she perceived great intellect, similar to Elizabeth and Darcy and then, like a coin turning over, he played the foppish fool. What was he hiding? Better yet, whom was he hiding from? The question played around the edges of her brain until Mary returned with a small bowl of preserves in one hand, an empty tea cup in the other.
Within minutes both of them were enjoying their tea and a scone. Kitty couldn’t remember a time when she and Mary had sat together, other than at church. In some ways, both of them were overlooked. Jane was the beautiful sister, Elizabeth the wit, and Lydia the favorite and when all five sisters lived within the walls of Longbourn, she and Mary had been afterthoughts to most people. 

That's it for this week. As always, stay safe and hug someone you love.

Always with love,
Sue B

SHARP DRESS MAN ~ Video Montage


Sunday

FIRST PAGE REVIEW

Well, this is exciting. Weekend Writing Warriors have started something new for readers, and authors (who are readers as well). It goes like this...

Do you want to know what readers think when they read the first page of your book?

Welcome to The First Page Review blog hop happening during the month of October! The idea is simple. Sign the linky list,
HERE, linking your own blog post that contains the first page--NO MORE than the first 1,000 words of a WIP, a manuscript, or a novel, published or unpublished.

This month-long blog hop is meant to answer one simple question for each participant. After reading your first 1,000 words, would a person continue reading it?

If you are so inclined, you can comment about why you would or wouldn't continue reading--in fact, that would be wonderful. If you do, please be professional and show respect for the author. 

This list will remain up for the month of October.

So - here is my First Page Review from CATHERINE, a work in progress.
The drawing room was quiet, save for the shuffling of papers and every now and then a soft, yet impatient sigh. “Darling, as much as I love our trysts, I’m feeling a trifle neglected.”
Lord George Kerr lifted his gaze from the documents spread before him and glanced toward the beautiful woman.  Lady Evangeline Anstruther, better known as Madame Reauchard, was currently draped in a seductive manner on the settee. He appreciated the way the crimson brocade couch acted as a perfect foil for her exotic features and raven hair.
“Evangeline, you know our agreement. I attend your exquisite establishment and you whisk me away to your drawing room, whereupon I gather information for King and Country.” He grinned at her sultry pout. “Now, be a pet and make some noise. Otherwise the servants will think I’m not a satisfactory lover.”
“If you only knew how envious my maids are. They remain convinced you are Casanova reincarnated. How they would laugh if they knew we only drink tea and talk.” She arose from the divan and glided behind his chair, combing her fingers through his hair, the scent of her perfume a heady aphrodisiac. “Could I not entice you, just this once?”
He stilled her hand and brought her palm to his lips. Pressing a kiss against the soft skin, he turned slightly to face her. “While I admire your tenacity, I cannot give what you ask. The only woman I will share a bed with will be my future wife.”
“I did not say we had to be in a bed.”
“Evangeline,” George warned in a low voice.
“Very well,” she purred, turning aside with an elegant shrug of her slim shoulders before she stopped and glanced toward the door. “Someone is coming.”
She moved swiftly to the divan. Without questioning her instinct, which had proven itself time and again, George laid his coat on top of the papers and joined her, positioning his body so that his head rested against her soft lap. He placed his left foot on the couch, knee slightly bent, and stretched the right leg to the floor. She glanced down at him, her exquisite features tight with concern.
“Prepare yourself, Lord George. In order to facilitate our ruse, I must expose more than you would like.”
“I believe I’ll survive,” he replied in a dry tone.
She slipped the filmy gown down one arm and it puddled gracefully against his cheek. The door to her boudoir burst open and her lady’s maid, Colleen, the only one who knew of their true connection, trembled within the door frame. Behind her stood two men with hardened faces and loaded pistols. It may have been the way the candles reflected against his features, but George thought the eyes of the smaller man widened when his gaze fell upon the two of them.
“What is the meaning of this?” Evangeline demanded with a perfect Parisian accent. She tugged the gown back onto her shoulder while George remained where he lay, a deceptive picture of languor and satisfied coitus.
“I’m sorry, Madame,” Colleen began.
“Quiet, slut.” The larger man backhanded Colleen and she stumbled to one side.
Still semi-reclined, George slid a hand down his leg toward his boot. Meanwhile, Evangeline pushed George’s head off her lap and arose in an apparent state of agitation. She intended to clutch the divan as though frightened, which allowed her to retrieve a hidden weapon strapped to the back of it.
George was familiar with this ruse because she’d done it to him in France.
“Please don’t hurt me,” she begged and stumbled, steadying herself by gripping the back of the divan. “Why are you here?”
With both men distracted by her nervous display, George was able to unsheathe the knife and palm the deadly weapon. Colleen inched away from the two men who now advanced further into the room.
“Make sure they don’t move,” the smaller man said, moving toward the table. “Shoot the prancing dandy first.”
“With pleasure, Reggie.”
It was only through years of conditioning that George didn’t betray concern that Reggie would discover the smuggled documents. If he escaped with the knowledge of their clandestine operation, then many courageous people died for nothing. It was time for him to act.
He arose from the couch like a sleepy giant.
“You hafta wait your turn,” he slurred out, weaving on his feet as though drunk. “I paid a lot of money for her favors. You can have her when I’m done.”
“How dare you pass me off to these… these ruffians!” Evangeline raged and stomped her foot, the pistol hidden against her side.
Her tantrum had the desired effect. The man momentarily shifted his attention from George to Evangeline. Without hesitation, George whipped the knife toward him. Surprised, the thug glanced down at the hilt of the knife protruding from his chest. Then, a dark red stain slowly spread across his dingy shirt. In a matter of seconds he sank to his knees, dropped the gun and crumpled to the floor.
At the sound of his accomplice hitting the floor, Reggie turned, but before he could even point his weapon Evangeline had raised her arm and with deadly aim made sure he never breathed again. George eyeballed the bullet hole in the assailant’s forehead.
“Remind me to never challenge you to a duel, Madame Reauchard.”
She lowered her arm and cut him a sideways glance. “You are most fortunate I adore you, Lord George. Otherwise that may have been you on the floor after hinting I’d be your peace offering.”
“It was a means to an end.” He took hold of her free hand and brought it to his lips, murmuring against her skin. “I am forever grateful you did not shoot me in France.”
“Bah, Cavendish was right. You are a terrible flirt.” She tugged her hand from his light grasp and signaled to Colleen. “Let us find out who these two Cretans are.”
There you have it, and it's exactly 1000 words - Not Bad.
Would love to hear your comments.

 

Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #49

We left off and Evangeline was being nagged by a disquieting thought...
Had she been discovered and this was but a game of cat and mouse for the dark stranger, or had he happened upon her and recognizing her decided to follow her movements? Much as she'd love to shadow him today, she wasn't prepared and so, the hunt would begin in earnest tomorrow. Utilizing one of her carefully crafted disguises she'd wait for him to show. As this was where he 'lost' her, she theorized he'd resume the search in the same area, hoping to stumble across her again.
Strolling down the street, stopping every now and then to test the ripeness of a fruit, or smell the flowers from the ever present flower girl, she wondered who or what he'd become tomorrow. His last two creations had been ingenious and she would have missed him today if not for that scarf. First rule of being a good spy - never, ever draw attention to yourself. She tutted and shook her head. Cavendish drummed that into her head day and night for weeks prior to them joining Viscount Castlereigh's delegation to Spain in 1808.
Ah, Cavendish.

So, she is about to hunt the hunter and is appreciative of his creativity, but who is Cavendish?

For information about what Weekend Writing Warriors is all about and their ever pesky rules of keeping your creative juices corralled to eight-ten lines, click HERE. From there you can also click on other authors links and read what they've contributed this week.

Always with love,
Sue B

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #48

Welcome back my fellow Weekend Warriors! I took a break for a couple of weeks and recharged my batteries. I have a few health issues which preclude me from typing, and I was a bad girl continuing to 'mouse' around, and... well...my body said 'STOP'. Naturally, I did.

So, I read a lot, caught up on all the movies I've seen 30+ times each and baked. Baked and baked and baked. I need to get back to writing to bring my blood sugars down.  LOL  My family thought this was fabulous, but then, I live in a testosterone laden house and they love the fact there were fresh cookies and cakes to be snacked on.

We left off with Evangeline sneaking out of the church to evade her unknown stalker.
Upon exit, she shaded her eyes from the bright sun and crossed the pretty garden, enclosed by a high wall. She wasn't worried about becoming entrapped within the enclosure, the gate to the garden never closed properly and was one of the spots she and a courier met to exchange documents and money. Within seconds she'd pushed through onto the alleyway which ran alongside the east side of the church.
She had only minutes to spare before her shadow realized she no longer remained in the building, so she practically flew across the street and entered a stairwell that led to a small apartment above the book store. Once inside she removed the dark blouse with its fake bosom and tugged off the blonde wig, allowing her long mahogany curls to cascade down her back in messy curls as she hastened toward the window. Although the wig made her head unbearably itchy on hot days such as this, it was a necessary evil to keep her identity secret. Her shadow was on the lookout for a buxom strawberry blonde, he wouldn't think twice about the petite brunette exiting the book store.
Partially concealed by the gauzy curtain, she watched the front of the church, anticipating it would not be long before he appeared and was not disappointed. Minutes after her escape, the man burst through the main doors, and glanced up and down the street in search of her. She almost laughed out loud at having evaded him, but a disquieting thought nagged at her.
So, what is bothering her? Make sure to come back next week and find out, until then please check out other authors participating in this fun writing exercise by clicking HERE.

Always with love,
Sue B

Tuesday

Tidbit Tuesday

I enjoyed writing the scene where Kitty and Lord George run into each other. Literally. Here is their 'cute/meet' Regency style.

She’d turned onto the road which led to Longbourn, traversing the small slope immediately following when she heard thunderous hooves pounding from behind. Before she could move out of the way, a horse and rider nearly ran her down, jumping over her body at the last minute. Startled, she screamed and tumbled into the ditch.

Arms flailing helplessly, she rolled once and came to a soggy stop at the bottom of the shallow gully. With shaking hands she pushed her bonnet back off her face and took a few precious seconds to gather her wits. Nothing was broken, that she could tell, and her heart raced along as though she’d run all the way home from Lucas Lodge. She heard the rustling of grass as the rider of the horse slipped down the embankment toward her.

“Are you hurt?” he queried.

She nodded, not trusting her voice. Tears threatened to overflow onto her cheeks with the realization of how perilously close she’d come to being injured, or killed.

“Here, take my hand. I’ll help you up.”

She raised her hand, but when he went to pull her toward him, she cried out at the sharp pain in her side.

“You’re injured!”

“I don’t know,” she managed to breathe out and pressed her palm to her side where the pain still radiated.

She finally glanced up at the rider and gasped. Before her stood Lord George Kerr. They’d met briefly at Lizzie and Darcy’s wedding breakfast at Pemberley, their conversation lasting only a few short minutes before she’d been called away by Mama.

“Miss Catherine Bennet!” He seemed equally surprised. “I’m so sorry for having caused you such undue pain. Please let me help you up this embankment.”

Her cheeks flamed with embarrassment. She’d been giddy about the small attention she received from him last November and for months painted a romantic dream around his dark good looks and storm colored eyes. Now, the fantasy presented itself in living color and she was mortified to be covered in mud and weeds, through no fault of her own.

He slipped and slid closer and with a perfunctory ‘Sorry’, cradled her in his arms and lifted. She clenched her jaw tight and tried to not cry out, but couldn’t stop a small whimper from escaping.

“I’m truly sorry, Miss Catherine. I wouldn’t blame your father if he called for a public flogging because of my recklessness.”

“No worries, Lord Kerr,” she panted out in quick breaths. “Father isn’t bothered by much. Mama wore him down years ago.”

She thought she heard him chuckle and dared to glance up at his face, which was achingly close now that he held her in his arms. She noted a firm chin and full mouth, which was most definitely curved in a smile at her comment. Before he caught her staring, she fixed her eyes on the ditch they were in.

“There is a natural incline over there.” She pointed to the area where the gully gradually met the road. “If you must carry me, this would make it much easier to gain access. I don’t wish to be a burden.”

“Miss Catherine, you are no burden. I swear you are as light as a feather, but I agree, the access is much easier over there.” He began walking toward the berm and within minutes set her on her feet, holding her arms for a few seconds longer until he was sure she wouldn’t collapse.

“I’m fine, Lord Kerr. I’ll be on my way.” She attempted a small curtsy and winced.

“What kind of gentleman do you think I am, allowing an injured female to walk home when I have a perfectly fine horse to carry us?”

“No!” She pulled away from him and almost fell again in pain. This time, her ankle refused to hold her weight. With lightning fast reflexes, he caught her before she hit the ground. “We can’t ride together. What would people say?”

With his arms wrapped firmly around her, he glanced up and down the road. His eyebrow arched and he grinned. “What people do you see, Miss Catherine?”

“You never know who could come along. No, I’ll have to walk.”

She pushed lightly against his chest and he allowed them to separate, but kept his hands firmly on her forearms, to steady her balance.

“No.” His tone was resolute. “I’ll walk, you’ll ride Buttons.”

“Buttons?” She tried not to laugh out loud as it hurt, but the horse was a handsome steed, worthy of a name like Zeus, Juno, or Lightning.

“Laugh if you must. I bought him from a friend whose son named the beast. To change it now would confuse him greatly.” He placed his hands around her waist and lifted her with ease onto the saddle. She grimaced from the pressure on her ribs and once again he apologized. “Let’s get you home and then we can send for a doctor.”

With that he swung up behind her and she stiffened, arching her body away from his strong, solid one. He slid an arm around her waist, his other hand loose on the reins.

“Relax, Miss Catherine. I’ve got you.”

Jaw clenched tight, she nodded and relaxed her body into his.

“You might want to hold onto my arm, to give you better balance.”

He was wedged against her so tight his voice resonated through her body, and his essence, the sheer maleness of him surrounded her. The sensation was as much frightening as it was exciting. Face aflame, she did as he bade. All her romanticized day dreams of Lord George having his arms about her did not come close to the real thing.

Soon the thrill of his arms around her subsided. With each rocking step Button’s took, pain spiraled across her ribs and it required all her concentration to take in shallow breaths.

“We’re almost there, Miss Catherine. I can see a house through the break in the trees.”

She lifted her gaze and almost wept at the sight of Longbourn. Both her mother and father exited the house to greet them, no doubt having been warned by a servant they were coming up the drive. She expected a full on assault by her mother and was not disappointed.

“Whatever happened?” Mrs. Bennet’s mouth gaped open at the sight of Kitty seated in front of Lord George, his arms around her in a familiar fashion.

Lord Kerr slid off the horse and turned toward Kitty. She placed her hands on his broad shoulders and with great care he lifted her off Buttons. She fully expected him to set her on her feet, instead, with little effort he swung her up into his arms and turned to face her parents.

“I apologize for this breach of decorum, but Miss Catherine has been injured. Do you have somewhere I may take her?”

“Right this way, Lord Kerr.” Mr. Bennet said, waving his arm in the direction of the door. He’d obviously recognized Lord George from Lizzie’s wedding.

“Oh my nerves. My body is trembling. Hill, I need my smelling salts.” Mrs. Bennet held the back of her hand to her forehead and swayed on her feet.

Sunday

Keith Green - Your Love Broke Through

I took a break from Weekend Writing Warriors to share a little bit of my Christian faith, and what better time than on a Sunday - the Sabbath. :)

I was listening to an interview with Keith Green - fabulous ministry in song for the Lord - on 100 Huntley Street a few months before his death in 1982. He said something that jumped out at me concerning young people who attend church with their parents, (because they HAVE to), and don't have a personal relationship with the Lord. Sometimes they believe that because they have been brought up in the church that they are all right.

They're not.

You must make a decision on your own. You must make the choice to follow God. There is no other way. Keith said to the host, David Mainse, God does not have grandchildren. Wow. To the point and a reminder that WE are the only ones responsible for our choices.
Below is a recording of one of his songs. I hope this touches your heart like it did mine.


Friday

This and That

And the scribes and the Pharisees led a woman who was taken in adultery and standing her in their midst saying to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery: and in the Torah of Moses it is commanded for us to stone such as those. Therefore what do You Yourself say?" And they were saying this testing Him, so they could accuse Him. But Y'shua, bending down, wrote with His finger in the dirt. And as they were continuing to ask Him, He straightened up and said to them, "The one of you who is without sin must cast the first stone." Then bending down again, He wrote in the dirt. And those listening were leaving one by one, beginning with the elders. Then only He and the woman in the middle were left. And straightening up Y'shua said to her, "Woman, where are they? Does no one accuse you?" And she said, "No one Lord." Then Y'shua said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, from now on you must no longer sin."
John 8: 1-11

This is a beautiful parable of not only the woman who sinned, but of us. Each of us has sinned and the devil loves nothing better than to throw our past mistakes in our face and taunt us that we deserve to die. But Christ writes in the sand and the devil has to flee. Do you want to know what He would write in the sand for us?

IT IS FINISHED

Christ died on the cross so that if we believe on Him, our sins are forgiven, never to be remembered. Never let anyone tell you that you are a worthless person, for you are so precious that even if you were the only person on this planet - Christ would still take on all your sin so that you can stand before God forgiven. How awesome is that?

Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #47

Welcome to another instalment of Weekend Writing Warriors where authors showcase a portion of their work in a miniscule frame of 8-10 lines. Cruel and Unusual punishment, I assure you. However, these are the constraints within we all work (although some of us use creative punctuation and break every grammar rule to stay within the confines).

Have said that, here is my contribution for the week, continuing on where Evangeline has entered a church to escape the man who's been following her these past few days. Just as she sat down, he entered so she dropped to the floor and rolled under the pew.

Enjoy.
She gathered her skirts close to her legs, grateful they didn't swish. Having determined she was being watched or followed, she'd carefully chosen a dark muslin gown, choosing not to wear a corset or any type of bulky underskirt. The last thing she needed was the creak of whale bone or the rustle of petticoats to give away her location, or impede a hasty retreat.
Every nerve in her body tensed as she strained for any sound, any noise that would indicate his location in the sanctuary.
There - a soft shuffling noise near the confessional. Did he think she was careless enough to conceal herself in the most obvious spot? She almost sniffed aloud with disdain. The door latch to the confessional clicked and she belly crawled along the cold marble floor toward a side stairwell used by the priests to enter and exit the building.
Keeping low, she slipped behind a large column and crept down the hall. When she was sure no one from within the chapel could see her, she straightened and hurried down the short corridor, her soft soled slippers not making a sound.
Clever Evangeline! I'm enjoying this heroine.

To learn more about Weekend Writing Warriors and to link with other authors partaking this weekend, please click HERE.

Always with love,
Sue B

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #46

Welcome back everyone. Are you all ready for the next year of school, or back to work? I've got grandkiddo #2 ready to rock and roll. This is his last year with us and then he and his dad (after the wedding in June) move out. More news on the home front - grandkiddo #1 wants to move in with us so she can be with her dad and brother. I might be ferrying two kids around this year. Yikes!

I'm sure I retired. I know I gave notice and get a pension cheque, but I'm still working hard. What is wrong with this picture....? I love 'em to death, but - man - I cannot wait to be just the grandma, fill them up with candy and shoot them home. Upside to all of this is when my son marries, I gain some more grandchildren as his fiancĂ© has two little ones. Christmas just doubled in fun.

Enough of that, let's get on with this week's Weekend Writing Warriors. We left off with Evangeline wondering if the man following her was friend or foe. She felt of stirring of recognition when she finally caught a glimpse of his face, but she can't be sure. Was he friend or foe?
When her contact from England failed to show at the designated time and place three months ago she'd begun to see the enemy in every stranger, in every greeting and today she suspected the enemy finally had a face.
Turning from the window, she continued down the street until she came to the church. Mounting the stairs, she breathed a prayer that God would grant her one more day. One more day to find a way back to England and continue the work she and her husband were commissioned with two years ago to rid France of a tyrant.
She pushed the heavy door open and stepped inside, allowing her eyes to adjust to the quiet darkness before moving further into the sanctuary. Hopefully her shadow would also be hindered when he finally chose to come inside, unless he waited across the street, like he had the past three days.
Keeping a routine was important in determining whether he was dangerous and she'd allowed him to keep an eye on her, but today - today - the tables would turn. The hunter would become the hunted.
She moved down the aisle and slipped into a row of pews near the front of the church just as the creak of the front door and a brief flash of sunlight alerted her to the fact someone had entered the building. She laid low on the seat, dropped to the floor and rolled beneath the bench.
 The tension mounts....
Please take the time to check out other author's contributions and for further guidelines on how Weekend Writing Warriors work HERE.

As always, hug someone you love today.