I’m still a bit under the weather and the day job beckons today, forcing me to travel this morning, but I hope you all will come by and post your excerpts of 500 words or less of your newest release, current WIP with your buy links and all the good stuff!
I hope to get back and post mine this morning.
Updating: I must still be foggy headed-I’m here today out tomorrow. So here is my exceprt from The Duke’s Frozen Heart, where we first meet the lonely Tristan, Duke of Avery.
He watched Fairley walk away with Lady Elizabeth, leaving a young woman standing in solitary misery by the matrons. Never one who could abide the shabby treatment of the wallflowers and other young women who somehow didn’t measure up in the so-called gilded eye of the ton, Tristan’s chest tightened in sympathy for the poor girl. All his friends laughed at him, calling him softhearted for his penchant to dance with the unwanted, but he shrugged off their jibes. No one should be alone and miserable at a ball, and if the price to pay to make a quiet, shy young lady smile for just a short while was a dance with her, then so be it. It was the least he could do to cleanse the taint of guilt from his soul.
The echoes of his father’s voice speaking to both him and Grayson sounded in his head. “My sons.” The Duke of Avery had sat them down in his study, his usual sanguine nature tempered for the moment. “I’ve taught you two the true meaning of family and the bond between both you and your sisters will always be strong. But never forget all women, no matter their station or lot in life, must be treated with respect and dignity.” That day they’d seen a young woman in the town pestered by a local man, and the duke had stepped in to halt the unwelcome advance. As usual, he used the situation as a life lesson for Tristan and his brother.
“One day, God willing you two will each meet a woman and fall in love. I pray you’ll be blessed as I’ve been with a woman like your mother. One of uncommon goodness, strength and beauty. The moment I saw your mother I fell in love with her, and knew I would spend the rest of my life being the kind of man she would be proud to call husband and father.” His blue eyes twinkled as his face creased with laughter. “Whoever said women are the weaker sex is a fool, for when a man falls in love, there isn’t anything he won’t do for his lady, no matter the cost to his pride.”
Two weeks later his entire family was dead. The memories of their faces faded now, out of focus and somewhat blurred, their voices harder to conjure up in his thoughts.
A decade had now passed. It seemed as interminable as a watched clock, yet as quick as a first kiss. Ten years of existing without living, Existing with no one to love and to give love to. A lonely life indeed.
Christ he was turning maudlin. It must be the sight of all the husband hunting woman, with their fluttering lashes and pale virginal skin on display.
He stared, unseeing, into the crowd. He always knew marriages made within the stranglehold of the ton were solely to consolidate power or fortunes. Love hardly ever entered as a factor. Perhaps that’s why he shunned these women and events. The base callousness displayed by the matchmaking mothers, who no doubt calculated his weight in gold and jewels, turned his stomach. His father had bucked convention by marrying the woman he loved. Tristan could want no less for himself.