Rakes Rogues and Romance

Historical Romance-Because Passion Lives Forever

Whip It Out Wednesday!

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I know I’ve been a little MIA lately, but I’ve been working on a bunch of new projects that have popping into my head. I finished NaNaWriMo and while I won, I ended up changing around and adding to my book, so It is a vastly different project than it was before.

But today I’m going to post my beginning from my third book in what I’ve called my Rogues with a Heart of Gold Series. This is Ashton, Earl of Wallingford’s story, entitled Her Reluctant Earl.

Please, please post your own excerpts of 500 words or less, suitable for for please! Post your buy, links covers or share your work in progress or your NaNo writing.

Here is my inspiration for Ash:

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“It should have been you, not your brother.” Though spoken almost four years ago, his father’s utterances still echoed like a mournful funeral dirge through his mind. Ashton, Earl of Wallingford tossed his quill across his mahogany desk , leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. As always, his father’s hurtful words, though quietly spoken on his deathbed, still had the power to wound him, greater than any physical blow imaginable.

How the words of a parent can haunt a child.

What he said wasn’t so surprising, considering Ash knew from an early age both his father and mother had never loved him as much as they did his older brother, Jasper. But to hear them spoken, hitting him like balls shot from a pistol straight into his gut, it made it all so real. Even on his deathbed, couldn’t his father at least have told him he was loved? Maybe not as much as Jasper, but still…

Knowing however, that it was so very necessary for his father, amid his dying gasps to tell him he was but a pale imitation of his brother, festered like an unhealed sore. How could it not, for Christ’s sake? It whispered through his brain, unquenching in its thirst to secure its stranglehold upon his soul. No matter his accomplishments, or any joy he might achieve, it lay dormant, waiting to rise up, like a dark demon sent to torment him.

“It should’ve been you who died.”

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11 thoughts on “Whip It Out Wednesday!

  1. I have had to cut back on blogging as well. Loved the excerpt.
    Here is mine from The Temptation of Lady Serena, which will release on January 2d, and is on pre-order everywhere.

    Robert Beaumont rode toward the woman on the crest of the hill. She sat atop a raking roan, much too large for a lady. Her riding habit, a dull rust color, reminded him of autumn leaves. Her long auburn hair curled down her back, and she wore a small hat with some sort of feather—pheasant, by the way it stuck out. He wondered how the devil she kept the hat on her head with her hair down. His interest piqued, he urged his horse to a trot. As he neared, she took off at a fast gallop.

    She was gone when he reached the top of the hill. Beaumont looked out over the valley. A horse and rider were in the north. How had she got that far so quickly? Disgruntled, he turned and rode home. After throwing his reins to a groom, he strode through the doors into the main hall and called to his housekeeper, “Norry!”

    She came out from a parlor. “I’m here, my lord. There’s no reason to shout.”
    “Who lives to the north?”

    “Well, my lord,” she muttered, “if you were here more often, you’d know. It’s a widow lady. I can’t remember her name right off my head. Why?”

    Ignoring Norry’s all too familiar complaint, he pressed for more information. “Does she have any children?”

    The housekeeper narrowed her eyes. “I heard all her children are grown. She moved here after her son married. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my lord, I have work to do.”

    “Norry, let me know if you remember. Especially if it concerns an auburn-haired female.”

    “Master Robert,” she began in a censorious tone, “we’ll have none of your carrying on up here. You leave it in London.” She nodded her head curtly and left.

    Beaumont clenched his jaw and stormed off to his study, cursing the fact that so many of his servants had been with him since childhood, and never let him forget it.

  2. Love your excerpt, Nancy. Lots of angst!

  3. Don’t you just a good Historical read? Nice excerpt. Here’s mine from:
    Love & Betrayal on the Santa Fe

    Excitement filled the air. Anticipation pulsed through each man as the group of six hid along the ridge. Thunderous noise deafened any words spoken between them. It didn’t matter. These braves worked together as a team many times before.

    On hands and knees they moved closer to their goal. Running Bear took the lead. Tasa followed closely behind.

    The skin of the old buffalo robe bore heavily down on Tasa. Thick unsettled dust that formed from the herd’s movements stung his eyes and choked his throat. His body, which glistened only moments ago, now dripped with sweat as the sun’s rays beat on the dark animal skin. A few more steps and he would be next to the herd. His arrow already found its place against his bow. Well defined arm muscles tensed in readiness.

    Since the herd was already moving more than at a leisurely pace, once the braves exposed themselves the danger would increase tenfold. The pack would stampede.

    As if in a choreographed dance, the braves threw off their burdens and fired rapidly into the nearest bulls. Tasa’s strong legs kept him running along side of the large animal. Reloading and firing until all quivers were empty, two of the mammoth beings went down.

    The disturbance unsettled the remaining large beasts. In a group, all responded in terror. The rambling thunder increased, and the earth danced as it carried the vibrations.

    Hunters sought refuge behind the fallen creatures as the pounding hooves of the frightened herd careened over the bodies of the lost. Finally, only a few stray enormous animals remained as if uninterested in the events happening around them. Three more buffalo sacrificed their lives for the good of mankind before the day was over.

    Running Bear led the songs to the Creator, giving thanks for the bounty from this day’s work.
    Unlike hunts in the past only the men took part today. There would be no women, no children, or old men to help.

    The few other people were back in camp, nursing the ill. This band had separated from the main tribe as they moved to their summer grounds. White man’s disease had come to them. Two members had already died. One old man and the newest child, only three months old, had perished. The rest, who took ill, fortunately survived.

    The buffalo herd coming so close to them was considered a good sign. Soon, all tribe members would be strong. In a few days they could continue their way to the main group. The delay from butchering, preparing the meat, and skins, would be worth the time.
    ***
    The hunters were too far away to hear. The seventy year old man, who was unable to prevent the slaughter, laid dead – his great grandson by his side. A blood covered blade was still gripped tightly in his hand…………..

    …..When the time came to complete the march to rejoin the others, one brave was missing from the group. Tasa went in a different direction. He went to seek revenge.

    Thank you, Nancy for letting our share our work.

  4. Your excerpt was excellent, and Trent wants me to tell you he understands the guys feelings all to well. He even offered to help him get over it, but then I mentioned the time issue and he regretfully has to retract his offer. He’s got to work on his brother as well.

  5. This is the first time I have posted an excerpt from any of my bodies of work. Sarah De Luz – Child of the Night is scheduled for release spring 2014. Soul Mate Publishing is due to post an interview Q&A blog on December 7, with an excerpt taken from the first chapter.

    The excerpt below is from a later chapter of Sarah De Luz – Child of the Night…

    The office is quiet. I walk up to the cylinder bookcase and eye the instruments on the wall. The hourglass shape of each violin is distinct. An ebony fingerboard delicately lines the maple neck of each priceless piece of work. They all have a hand-carved grafted scroll between the pegbox and neck that rests at a slightly increased angle. The soul post fits like a well fitted glove between the back and top, just below the treble foot of the bridge.

    My eyes are drawn downward to the hard black leather case with the Stradivarius label. I slide my fingertips across the smooth cool dark surface. My hands glide down to the front side of the case. The sound of the locks springing open echoes through the room and my heart flutters. My fingers grip the cool metal zippers. The tension in the pit of my stomach builds as I slowly pull the metal teeth apart. I lift the case and gaze at all the beauty the instrument has to offer.

    When I release the bow from its nesting spot, the corners of my lips curl upward into a smile. The weight of the bow feels natural in my hands. I tighten the bleached horsehair then gently rub rosin up and down the full length until the hair is coated. Setting the bow down, I wrap my fingers around the neck and ease the violin out of the velvety confines of the case. My fingertips slide over the black padded shoulder rest, and I make a few minor adjustments before slipping it onto the instrument.

    I cradle the violin under my chin and revel in the feel of it against my cool flesh. Picking up the bow, I play a D minor scale, followed by a B major. The notes resonate and wash over my body. I close my eyes and feel the music take over as I play Dovorak’s Four Romantic Pieces, starting with the first movement.

    My body sways to Cavatina as the bow sails over the strings. The fingers of my left hand tenderly stoke each note, caressing them to ensure the music resonates with clarity. Leading into the second movement, Capriccio, my fingers glide gently up and down the ebony fingerboard as the music sings. The individual notes grip my fingertips, holding them under the spell of the resonating sound of each note as the piece rides a title wave of emotions. When I hit the end of the movement, the high note sings with such exquisite beauty, it makes my eyes brim with tears and takes my breath away.

    The third movement, Romance, congers vivid memories and feelings, which shakes the very confines of my soul, leaving me broken and shattered. My body moves becoming one with the instrument as I feel each note waft in the air around me. The sounds engulf my body. I take a deep breath and sigh as the first wave of tears cascade down my face.

  6. Thank you for this opportunity, Nancy. This is a conversation between the hero of my 2nd book and his father-in-law. The book, A Thin Line, is a Regency-era historical set to come out in the next couple of weeks. If you, or any of your readers, would like more information, my webpage is http://www.tammyjoburns.com and it has all sorts of good information on it. Now for the excerpt (hope y’all like… :-) )

    “Let me tell you something about my daughter. Mikala is hard-headed and stubborn. She knows what she wants and she goes after it. You boys allowed her to play with you, and taught her all the things you knew how to do. You did her a disservice,” he raised his hand when Derek started to speak. “I am glad she knows how to do all that, but she is considered an oddity and perhaps even a freak by other women, even her own mother and sister. I love my daughter with all my heart, but there are others that do not know how to handle her. Mikala needs to be allowed her freedom, but she also needs to know that someone loves her for who and what she is. Don’t try and force her to become someone she can never be.”

    “I don’t want to.”

    “But she thinks you do. I stopped by her room on my way down here and eavesdropped. She is very insecure about your relationship with Clarissa Blackerby. I hear it in her tone of voice. She fears that you will regret marrying her because she is not perfect in your eyes. Gabriel, her biggest fear is that you will find a mistress to love. That you will turn to someone else and set her aside.”

    “She said that?”

    “No, I heard it in her voice and what she didn’t say. Few know my daughter as well as I. She fears that sometime in the future she will lose you to another woman. A mistress, perhaps. Someone that will meet that perfection you think you must have.”

    “I would never do that to Mikala. Why just the thought of her with someone else makes me angry enough to want to hurt them. I would never put her in that situation. I have told her she is what I want, that I am glad we were forced to marry.”

    “Son, I will leave you with this thought. You better decide soon whether or not you love her, because you stand a good chance of losing her forever. She will only allow you so long to play with her heart before she seals it off for good. I also would not use the word ‘forced’ when talking about marriage with her again. And Gabriel, I know you will never take a mistress, because if you do, it is not my daughter you have to worry about. I may be a tutor, but my father raised livestock and I do know how to castrate a sheep. I imagine it wouldn’t be much different for a man.” Michael Simmons stood up and clasped Gabe’s shoulder where he remained sitting on the floor.
    “Welcome to the family, son.”

    The three men watched the older man leave the stable and walk to the house, whistling.

    “I never,” Derek said, shaking his head.

    “Reminds me of the speech he gave me in regards to his baby sister,” Richard said, shifting uncomfortably.

    “I always thought him mild-mannered,” Gabe said, shaken.

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