2Cellos. “2CELLOS – Shape Of My Heart [OFFICIAL VIDEO].” YouTube. 09 Dec. 2014. Web. 08 Jan. 2017.
Happy Monday! Isn’t this a beautiful piece of music to start the week? It is one of my favourites to listen to while writing. (Yes, I know I have a lot of favourites, but they are all so good. )
I chose to feature this video today for a couple of reasons that are related to what I was working on this week. First, the plucking of the strings makes me think of traveling by horse or carriage and the constant clip-clop of hooves as you roll or ride along for hours. There was a good deal of travel in what I was writing this week because Bingley had some business to take care of.
Second, the visuals of floating and burning papers made me think of things happening in the plot. The business our hero left to complete was not of a pleasant nature, and it was the sort of which you do not really wish to have documentation. (Yes, I am talking about Bingley as the hero here. There is something surprising hidden behind that pleasant exterior.)
I finished the story except for an epilogue, and, thanks to the help of a reader and friend on Facebook, I have a title for this fourth book in the Willow Hall Romance series. Yay! The title is At All Costs, and I think it fits perfectly since the story, both for the hero and one of the “villains” (yes, one of them — there are several that cause trouble), is a story of fighting for and protecting your love at all costs.
I plan to write the epilogue in a few weeks after I have edited So Very Unexpected. That book is slated to be published on February 14, 2017, so I am busy doing the first round of edits so that I can send it to my first reader, fix what she tells me, and then send it on to my proofreaders/copy editors. This means the story has disappeared from the blog, but I have left a link to a two chapter preview on my Leenie B Books page. I am enjoying going back to this story after being away from it for about two months. I still love Lydia!
I believe that is all the writing news I have for you today. This week, I will be editing and working on my Austen Author’s blog post for next Tuesday (which will feature a giveaway). Enjoy your week! Hopefully, you will get to stop by the blog on Wednesday and Thursday for a lovely painting and a full chapter of At All Costs.
EXCERPT FROM At All Costs: *Contains spoilers and a cliffhanger. *
The sun was setting as Bingley and Richard wound their way through the streets of London. They had paused long enough upon arrival to leave their bags at Bingley’s townhouse and for Bingley to stop at his solicitor’s office to check on the progress of marriage papers and a special license. Now, however, he and Richard had left the favourable portion of town and were slowly making their way down toward the river.
Bingley waved to some chap who was seated on a crate marking things off in his notebook.
“She sails at dawn,” the man called.
“Where to?” Bingley called back.
The man wore a large grin. “Portsmouth.”
Bingley drew his horse close to the man. “And my package?”
“Plenty of room,” said the man standing, “and not a question to be answered. Always looking for an extra set of hands to man the ropes and hoist the cargo.”
“He’ll not be a willing worker.”
“Not the first reticent squab I’ve dealt with.” The man swore as a dog with a piece of bread in its mouth raced between his legs attempting to escape the lad that chased it. He eyed the colonel cautiously. “As long as the cur can stand and function, he’ll be of use.” There was a hint of a warning in the man’s voice.
“No promises,” muttered Richard.
The man raised a brow and chortled. “Not just you wishin’ to see him off?” he said to Bingley.
“We are but two,” Bingley replied. “It would be best if he were kept below until you have set sail.”
“Aye, a sneaky scoundrel, is he?”
“Among other things,” Richard replied. His horse stepped sideways as impatient as his master to be going.
“If you see my uncle while in port, give him my greetings.” Bingley gave a bow of his head and moved a short distance down the road before dismounting and tying up his horse. He waited for Richard and then ducked into a tavern, wound his way through the establishment and out a side door. Across the alley, a large man leaned against the wall of a building, smoking. Seeing Bingley, he nodded and tipped his head toward the door to his right. Bingley gave a look up and down the narrow passage before entering the building.
“You continue to surprise me,” whispered Richard as he ducked through the door behind Bingley. “Ever considered espionage?”
Bingley chuckled. “No, although covert imports did cross my mind when I was younger.”
Richard raised a questioning brow.
Bingley shook his head. “All legal, nothing covert.” A slow smile spread across his face, “Well, until now, I suppose.”
Richard chuckled softly and followed Bingley down a hall and into a room where Wickham sat slumped over a table, a bottle of rum three quarters empty and a scattered deck of cards framing where his head lay.
Bingley motioned for Richard to take a seat and then took one himself as he picked up the bottle of liquor, wiped the top, took a draught, and passed it to Richard. Richard took the bottle and a gulp of his own, all the while eying Bingley with a mixture of intrigue and appreciation. Bingley gathered the cards and gave them a shuffle. He also gave Wickham’s leg a nudge with his foot.
“Leave me be,” Wickham muttered.
“I am afraid that is impossible,” said Bingley discarding the deck of cards and catching the legs of Wickham’s chair with the toes of his boots upset it, sending Wickham sprawling backward.
“What is the meaning of this?” Wickham sputtered as he clambered to his feet. He swayed slightly as he stood, blinking his eyes as he attempted to focus on the men before him.
Bingley waited patiently until Wickham’s eyes grew wide, and he took an unsteady step backward.
“I’ve heard stories,” said Bingley, rising and moving toward Wickham who matched Bingley’s every step with a retreating step of his own. Bingley only smiled and continued to advance, steadily moving his prey toward the wall. “Lady Catherine visited Derbyshire.”