Friday, 12 August 2011

Romantic Friday Writers Challenge/Blogfest - Confused!

For this week's theme "Confused" I've snatched a snippet from my present WIP, a historical novella set in the period of the French Revolution.  

Brief:  Half French by birth, Diamonta Whitaker, long-since returned from trip to France, has it in mind for a return visit. After all, she's received a letter from dear friend Angelica De Boviere, a lady-in-waiting to Marie Antoinette Queen of France. She's also received an invite to attend at the Court of Versailles for Christ's mass. How can she possibly refuse such an invite, but will her mother agree to her going once knowledge of Diamonta's interest in Angelica's brother comes to light?   

Word Count 400 +: MPA.

“There you are. I quite thought you all in the music room.” Rustle of silk implied great haste, her mother upon them so quick Charles barely managed to raise his rump from seat. “Sit down, dear boy.”
       Charles fell back to chair. “What ails, dear lady? You have the look of news most important.”
       “Viscount Somerton. I must speak with him.” Her mother glanced about them. “Please tell me Leohne has not imposed herself upon him.”
       “Not in the least,” said Charles, a broad grin. “Blame Diamonta. It was her idea to foist our little sister upon Richard.” He inclined his head toward the lake. “They will return fairly soon, I shouldn’t wonder.”
       “I did not foist Leohne upon the viscount, I merely suggested they go ahead while I assisted in Charles’ exercise.” How beautiful her mother was, when suspecting intrigue afoot.  Chloetilde DeRochers, a daughter of France who married below her station for love, embraced joy of step-son and would no doubt be enraptured to know her eldest daughter had eyes for a handsome young French count. “Does it matter, if Leohne has her heart set at Richard?”
       Her mother grimaced but momentary, a smile slow to face, her dark brown eyes cast to the lakeside path visible here and there between trees. “I had thought your heart, Richard’s.”
       “I am fond of him, it is true.”
       “Ha,” blustered Charles. “Diamonta has her heart set on a . . .” He faltered, Diamonta held his gaze to prevent utterance of Frenchy. He gathered himself. “A count, and son of France.”
       “Is this true?” Her mother glanced her way, eyebrow raised. “What is the name of this count?”
       “It is Angelica’s brother, and  . . .”
       “Ah, I see,” came forth as unaccountable dismissal. “A most unsuitable choice.”
 Stunned and confused she could not muster words, words to extract explanation of her mother’s disregard for Francois. “I hardly know him,” her defence. “I’ve met him once only.”
       “Just as well,” her mother’s curt response. “Good, I see them, now.”
       Sense of relief at Leohne and Richard’s reappearance swept over her, for her mother would not press further on Francois and the way in which they had met, nor the time and place of their meeting. How glad she was to have refrained from telling her brother and sister all that had happened on her last venture to France. Perhaps there were things best kept secret, after all.
       To see entries by other participants go here.


Andy said...

Love the dialogue of these period pieces & how "proper" they all are. I always like how they dress too.
Hmm...wonder what happened in France? Great intrigue in the end.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

What happens in France, stays in France, right? Not. Great job as always, Roland

Anna said...

Dear Francine,

I hope you get your characters out of France before the Reign of Terror!

I would love to be able write a convincing period piece like this! Great dialogue. There are so many layers of meaning here!

You are such a versatile writer!

Best wishes,
Anna's RFW No 14 - "Confused"

Francine Howarth said...

Hi Andy, Roland & Anna,

Thanks for dropping by to comment. I do appreciate it very much.

Mine wasn't particularly romantic this time and I didn't have tme this week to write a piece off-the-cuff, but hint of romance in the air nonetheless! ;)


Ana Morgan said...

Romance is good when there are secrets. Suspense and consequences if one is exposed.

Raquel Byrnes said...

That was intriguing! Now I'm wondering what happened in France before and if they'll get out before the heads start rolling. :)

li said...

:-) Romance is hinted at in the past!
I love the mother's dismissal of "unsuitable choice". I wish that my mother had done the same - it would have saved me a lot of heartache!

Hywela Lyn said...

Really enjoyed your excerpt, Francine, I felt drawn right into the era!

Ruth Madison said...

Way to hook us at the end! What more happened in France, I wonder.

Laura said...

Blimey - I want to know what happened on her first visit to France - great piece... oh the intrigue!

L'Aussie said...

Oh I love this intrigue. A girl's gotta have her secrets. No doubt these will be revealed in time, or perhaps already revealed earlier in the novel. A whiff of romance will have to be enough this time Francine.


Anonymous said...

I love that the dialogue and descriptions took me right back into that place and time! Rich and flowing!

Madeleine said...

Ho ho! A drop of confusion laced with intrigue. ;O)

Francine Howarth said...

Hi ladies,

Ana: it is fun when the reader is given a little insight to the secret and the other characters left in the dark! It creates a secret link between author and principal character.

Racquel: believe it, it's going to be a close shave for several of the characters as heads begin to roll.

Lisa: ooh yes, Chloetilde is a formidable character and her children mean every thing to her.

Lyn: glad the era washed over you.

Ruth: ha ha, wouldn't you love to know!

Laura: a tease piece, all right!

Denise: I know, I know: only a whiff of romance. Real tease in chapter two, though. :o

Babyrocka: gled you felt the vibes of the era.


J.L. Campbell said...

If I were Diamonta, I'd definitely want to keep my own counsel. Less explanations and cause for confusion that way.

Francine Howarth said...

Hi Joy,

Hee hee, soon secrets abound and Francois the biggest secret of all until . . . ;)


Ms. Queenly said...

Oh how I've missed the intrigue of historical romance! Thank you for this, Francine. ~MsQ

Anna said...

I've added a postscript to my post.
Visiting is optional.
Best wishes,
Anna's RFW No 14 - "Confused"

Marsha A. Moore said...

I wonder what happened with Diamonta and Francois during her trip to France? And I'm sure her mother must also. Love the secret trysts of historical romance!

Sorry I'm so late in commenting. I had house guests until the end of the weekend and then exhaustion/illness set in...still not feeling well.