As those of you who read my blog posts here and have read my novels already know, I’m not a writer who sticks to one type of story or theme. Most publicity experts would tell me that’s where I go astray. Readers like to know what they’re getting. I should pick a “brand” and stay with it to attract more readers here and with my stories too. But I’ve never wanted to be “Brand Ann,” even if it does have a pleasant alliterative sound. In my books, I’ve always simply wanted to tell my characters’ stories. And here on my blog, I’ve just wanted to talk about first one thing and then another with you, my reading friends. And I thank you for reading my words. I never take that for granted.
So, since my book Words Spoken True is on e-book sale this month, I decided to talk about it. This book is definitely a bit of a departure from my other recent books. For one thing it is more romantic than my Shaker books and family stories even though those books all have their share of romance. Also, this story seems to have a little of everything. A beautiful, independent heroine. Newspaper history from the mid 1800’s. Dramatic and tragic 1855 Louisville history about what is known as “Bloody Monday.” A dashing hero. Fancy balls. An old stray dog. And surprisingly enough, a serial killer. The seed of that idea also came from history.
If you have an e-reader and have room for a new book, you can download Words Spoken True right now for $3.99 at Barnes & Noble, $3.19 at Christianbook.com and $2.99 at Amazon Kindle. Some of my other novels are at attractive e-book prices right now too.
So here’s a bit of the scene where Adriane meets Blake Garrett, the editor of the newspaper competing with Adriane’s father’s paper. They ran into each other earlier in the day while Adriane was chasing after a story disguised as a young boy. At the time, she didn’t know who he was.
Adriane could hardly believe her eyes when she looked across Mrs. Wigginham’s parlor and saw the man who had grabbed her down at the riverfront that morning. It couldn’t be, but there he was. Staring directly at her. Her heart began pounding madly as she fought the urge to flee back out the front door before the man could recognize her.
She might have lost the battle and run like Cinderella at the stroke of midnight if she hadn’t caught a glimpse of herself in one of Mrs. Wigginham’s many mirrors. Her breathing slowed as her panic receded. In spite of his sharp eyes, the man would hardly make the connection between the ragged Irish boy he’d grabbed in the dim light of the street lamps and the picture of a lady she presented now. And what did it matter if he did? No one would believe him even if he were ungentlemanly enough to speak of it.
She lifted her head a bit defiantly, but did not look in the man’s direction in spite of the way she could practically feel his eyes burning into her. Perhaps it had nothing to do with her early morning visit to the murder scene, but was simply because she looked so out of place in her dark cranberry dress among all the pastel skirts of the other young ladies. He looked as out of place himself in the same rumpled suit he’d had on that morning, but it wasn’t just his unpressed coat. It was more that he seemed too large for the room, as though he’d had to corral his energy in order to be play attendance on Mrs. Wigginham.
Adriane had the crazy desire to raise her eyes and meet the man’s brazen stare directly and challenge his memory. Saner thoughts prevailed. She kept a polite smile firmly on her lips and pretended not to notice him at all while Stan helped her off with her cloak.
Yesterday she might have whispered to Stan to ask who the man might be, but today everything was changed. Stan was no longer simply a convenient escort but the man she was to marry. As Stan handed Adriane’s cloak to the servant, whispers frantically circled the room. Adriane kept her smile firmly fixed on her face even as her heart sank. It was more than obvious that hers and Stan’s pending engagement was far from a secret.
Her head high, Adriane pretended not to notice the curious stares as she crossed the long parlor to greet Mrs. Wigginham. Stan kept Adriane’s hand tucked tightly under his arm as though he feared she might try to escape him.
Oddly enough, Mrs. Wigginham seemed to be holding on to the man by her side as if fearing the same thing about him. In fact the man did appear anxious to escape as he began to rise from his seat beside the old lady. All around the room, Adriane noticed young ladies poised, ready to rush the man whenever Mrs. Wigginham removed her hand from his arm.
If she did. Adriane looked directly at Mrs. Wigginham. A happy flush of red spread across her cheekbones and her eyes sparkled as though she’d just discovered a potion to recapture her youth.
There was no denying the man was handsome, Adriane thought, as she slid her eyes quickly past him again. Black hair curling across his forehead. Eyes almost as dark. Skin that showed he was outside in the weather a lot. A dark mustache that surprisingly sprouted a few red hairs. A mouth that seemed to want to curl into a smile, but did not. Broad shoulders stretching the material of that wrinkled coat. He was not the typical guest at one of Mrs. Wigginham’s afternoon functions.
Yet everyone else in the room, including Stan, seemed to know him. In fact Stan muttered under his breath as they crossed the room, “What is he doing here?”
Hope you enjoyed this little tidbit from the book. I really enjoyed writing Adriane’s story. Lots of action and excitement in this one.
As always, thanks for reading. I’m going to come up with some kind of contest and giveaway on Sunday. So come back and see. I’ll be giving away books and who knows? Maybe I’ll do mystery pictures again.