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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Christmas with the Marquis!

 
Don't have a cover for this one yet, but  it's a new Christmas story that's just now being edited.


 It's a new Christmas story, a novella, that I have a lot of fun writing. It's set in the Regency period, when Christmas was a little different. No Xmas trees, as they didn't arrive in England until Prince Albert brought the idea over from Germany and when Queen Victoria embraced the idea everyone else did too.
So there's no  tree in this story, but we do have holly, berries, red and green swags, and the most important thing, mistletoe. This story is not erotica, but sensual. There's as wicked a villain as one could want, and a heroine who starts out detesting the hero.  Here's an excerpt:


"Abigail did not take kindly to having an almost constant companion. Jason attached himself to her, seldom letting her out of his sight. She fretted at the lack of privacy and took her ill humor out on Jason. He merely smiled when she railed at him to leave her alone.
Still she couldn’t let it go.
“I’ve taken care of myself for years, my lord. Without any help from you at all. Now please go take care of your other guests.”
That comment brought a reaction she’d not expected. Jason’s face flushed with guilt, and he etched a formal bow and left her. In fact he left the room.
She stared after him, and then reddened. Blast it all. He thought she was still angry for her childhood years, when she’d been a pariah in her father’s house. Because of him. She hadn’t meant that at all. She’d merely been thinking of how she’d always done pretty much what she wanted, disregarding the social life she’d been cheated of but thoroughly enjoying her independence.
She still found it hard to accept help from anyone. But she’d hurt Jason. She hadn’t meant to do that at all.
Following him, she ran out of the room and onto the patio. He was leaning against the balustrade, staring out into the dark garden. Hurrying to him, she spun him around and cradled his face in her hands.
 
“Jason, I didn’t mean anything but that I’m tired of this whole business. Not you. Just that I hate this tension, and I hate the way I’m reacting. Please forgive me.”
He flung aside the cheroot he’d about to light, and grabbed her by her arms. 
“Abigail, do you know what it would do to me if you’re harmed because of me? Do you have any idea?  Do you?”
Before she could answer he’d wrapped her in an almost desperate embrace, kissing her with a wild passion he’d not shown her before. His lips left hers and he lowered the bodice of her thin evening gown, kissing the curving tops of her breasts. She gasped and started to melt into his embrace, then pushed away from him.
“Jason, we have to stop. We’re in full view of the living room.”
He brought her close again and briefly laid his cheek on her hair. Drawing a ragged breath, he stepped back.
“Abby, you destroy me. Go back in, sweetheart. I’ll follow in a little bit.”
She looked at him doubtfully, then turned and did as he said. Jason got another cheroot out of his pocket and lit it. He needed something to do to distract his thoughts and give his too solid erection time to subside.
For the moment his thoughts were not at all on his enemy. If they had been, he might have sensed the evil presence in the group of firs across the lawn.  He didn’t realize he’d just delighted his foe by displaying his biggest vulnerability. Anyone watching Jason would have to be blind not to realize just how to make him suffer the most."
 
One more little fact. I took a poll on Facebook to name the heroine, and Abigail won easily!

I can be found at all the usual places, or write me at jeanharstewart,earthlink.net.
Love comments, so please take the time to tell me what you're thinking. 

12 comments:

Rose Anderson said...

Getting your Christmas novel ready now. That's perfect planning, Jean! Great snippet. :)

Tina Donahue said...

I love regencies - great excerpt, Jean - can't wait to see the cover. :)

jean hart stewart said...

Rose, you have to do Xmas stories very early, as you probably know, to get through editing in time. It's kinda fun writing about Xmas when we're having a heat wave!!!!Glad you like it...

jean hart stewart said...

Thanks Tine. that's praise from a master! I don't dare say mistress!

Melissa Keir said...

Sounds like a great story! It is very strange to write Christmas stories in the middle of summer but we know how long it takes to get them edited and out.

I wish you all the best!

Cara Marsi said...

The book sounds great, Jean. Love the excerpt. I do love Regencies, especially ones set during Christmas. And I like the name Abigail. Great idea to do a FB poll. I may try that.

jean hart stewart said...

Melissa, EC has a policy of Xmas books edited and done by Sept. 1st. Haven't started edits yet so am a little concerned..

jean hart stewart said...

Cara, I gave them a choice of five names. I thought it a fun experiment...

R. Ann Siracusa said...

Sounds like a fun novella. The name Abigail seems like a natural choice to me.

jean hart stewart said...

Evidently Abigail is very popular. The only one I know with that name was delighted with the response when I told her about the poll. Thanks for commenting...

Sandy said...

Jean, this sounds like a wonderful regency, and I love them. There's so much danger in this one, too.

jean hart stewart said...

Thanks, Sandy. I appreciate your comment....

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