This coming Saturday, October 7, 2017, I am going to do something I have not done in a long time. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I did this. Want to know what it is? Hit play and while you listen to some lovely music accompanied by some beautiful pictures, I will tell you. 🙂
HelenaPrats. “New Day ~David Garrett~.” YouTube, YouTube, 28 July 2011.
I am going to take a day off from creating blog posts. I am not going to do extra posts this week to make up for it. I am actually going to let my blog sit idle for a week. As I write this, a little voice questions my ability to follow through, but I am determined. With the Colonel’s Help, the current Thursday Three Hundred story ends this week, so this is a natural time to hit pause for a day — or part of one. I feel a need to recharge. I’ve felt it for a while, so I am going to listen for once. 🙂
But don’t worry, even if the blog is idle next week, I won’t be. I will be writing and editing.
I have set a tentative release day of October 26, 2017, for With the Colonel’s Help. I will finish first round edits today or tomorrow, and it will begin its journey through the rest of the editorial process. Fingers crossed that there will be a short preorder for this one.
I am just a little over a third of the way through Becoming Entangled. I hope to have that book ready for you by the end of November, and then, I would like to (maybe) do a Christmas short story. So there is plenty for me to be writing during the blogs downtime. 🙂
I have just started tangling things up in Becoming Entangled this week and attempting to sort out how I want to present Anne. Currently, she is naive as well as sly. She is young for her age — likely due to her mother’s constraints, under which Anne is chafing and is rather desperate to leave behind. Will she do it in a good way or will she make a muddle of things and end up worse than she considers herself to be at present? I am not one hundred percent certain of that answer yet as my brain has been toying with shaking up what I had planned. I suppose with another couple of weeks of writing, I will know. 🙂
You may read a little about her below in the excerpt if you wish and let me know what you think. This is a first draft, so it is written in wet cement not set in stone at this point. 🙂 Remember, if you choose to read the excerpt, it may contain spoilers, so read at your own risk. 🙂
AN EXCERPT from Becoming Entangled:
Anne could not help but feel delighted at the startled expression Mr. Conrad wore at her words. It was perhaps not the wisest thing in the world to share such information on such short acquaintance, but if this man were Alistair’s friend, there could be very little risk in trusting him with such information. Besides, she wished to go to Warwickshire, and Mr. Conrad might be just the person to help her get there. She glanced up at the clouds.
“My mother insists that I invite you to dinner if you are still to be in the area this evening.” She turned wide eyes to him. “You did say you were to be here until tomorrow, did you not?” His mouth was still hanging open just a bit, and his eyes were still rather large. Anne pursed her lips to keep from smiling in enjoyment at his expression. Surprising people really was entertaining! If only there were people around her on a regular basis that would allow such fun. Her mother would only scold, and Anne was not certain Miss Jenkinson knew how to laugh properly. Her companion’s laugh was always creaky, like an old gate that was rarely used. Not at all pleasant.
“To Rosings, for supper?” Mr. Conrad stammered.
“You are not afraid of dragons, are you?” Anne asked with a laugh.
The gentleman next to her sat straighter at the challenge and assured her he was not. She had seen her maid Maggie use flattery and little challenges to get the footmen to do all sorts of things for her. Apparently, the same technique worked on gentlemen as well as footmen.
“I had to tell my mother of our meeting yesterday. There are those in this village who love nothing better than to share tales in a most elaborate fashion. I also told her I was to meet you here on my way to the parsonage, and since she knew that you were a friend of Mr. Pratt, she insisted that I invite you to dinner. Mr. and Mrs. Collins will also be attending, so you have no reason to fear being lonely. It will be an entertaining little group. If Lady Metcalfe were not already gone to town, I am certain she would have joined us. But as it is, she is gone to enjoy the theater and such. Her husband is in the House of Lords, you know.”
“Yes, yes, I did know that Lord Metcalfe was in Parliament.” He shifted a bit uneasily on the bench.
“Alistair will be there one day, too,” Anne added proudly. “You will come to dinner, will you not? You do not have other plans do you?”
“I – I do not, so,” he paused and his brow furrowed as if thinking, “yes, I would be honoured to come to dinner.”
“Do you play chess?” Anne asked, excitedly.
“Good then we shall play, and if we are so fortunate, we might have a discussion about how you might help me with a niggling little problem.”
Mr. Conrad blink. “We have only met. How do you know that I might be able to help you with anything?” His voice was filled with incredulity as she had hoped it would be.
“You are Alistair’s friend, are you not?”
“And you do know the counties of England, do you not?”
Again he nodded.
She stood. “Then you will be perfect.” She paused, furrowed her brows, and pursed her lips as if uncertain about something. “Unless, of course, it is not something you are brave enough to do.”
He brows flew to halfway to his hairline. “Is it dangerous?”
A small smile played on her lips. “Not if we do it correctly. Now, if you would be so kind as to help me back into my curricle, I must be on my way to the parsonage.”
Mr. Conrad was all that was gentlemanly as he helped her to climb up onto her perch. She instructed him on how to get to Rosings and at what time he should call as she arranged the reins in her hand. “Oh, there is one thing of which you must be aware. I will have to be on my best, most proper and reserved behavior this evening. My mother will insist on it.” She smiled at the way his brow furrowed. “I did not wish you to be startled if I am much different than I have been on our two meetings to this point. I would not wish to cause you any discomfort. You will also perform the part of gentleman admirably, will you not? Oh, listen to me. Of course, you will. You have been nothing but proper since we met. I just worry because of my mother, you see. She is very particular.”
Conrad nodded. “That is understandable. It is her home, and I am a guest.”
Anne was about to call to her horses to walk on, but just for fun, she thought she would make his eyes grow wide once more before she was away. “No, Mr. Conrad, you do not understand. Lady Catherine de Bourgh is particular about everyone no matter where she is. I believe if my mother was to visit the prince she would likely insist that he sit where she said and do as she instructed.”
There. That was the expression for which Anne had hoped. Now, she might be able to think on it as she listened to Mr. Collins tell her how wonderful it was that her mother deigned to invite he and his wife to dinner. It was incredible how that man found each and every occurrence of being invited to dinner at Rosings, though it happened once a week, to be worthy of such praise. She waved cheerily to Mr. Conrad as she reached the turn that would take her to the parsonage.
Tonight, if his answers to her mother’s inquisition about his relationship with Mr. Pratt as well as about his family and fortune and future plans were appropriate, Mr. Conrad would become her escort to a house party in Warwickshire.