Monday, 5 September 2011

Judge & Jury Blogfest!

This blogfest is hosted by the lovely Lady Gwen.

For this blogfest I've snatched two snippets from my latest historical romance novella:
The Highwayman's Mistress.

As you will gather there's a highwayman on the loose, and while Diamonta has it in mind Francois - her beloved -  might be a highwayman, doubt suddenly enters play! So, who do you think might be the robbing culprit who very nearly caused a Duchess to fall vagary to the faints, or is this a devious author's red-herring?   

“Diamonta, Diamonta,” squealed Leohne. “Mother has just returned from town, and you will never believe what has happened.”
    “Oh do stop dramatising and just tell me.”
    “Well, it seems a highwayman was shot today.”
   Her heart lurched. “Our highwayman?”
   “No one knows for sure. He was shot on the London road not far beyond Malmesbury.”
   “Killed?”  Oh God, please, let it not be Francois.
   “No, not dead. He escaped, but it was said he near fell from his horse so it was thought he was badly wounded.”
   Sense of nausea and dizziness overwhelmed her. She dared not stand, dared not display any sense of concern as to the highwayman’s welfare, yet her need to know finite details of the man’s escape a must.    “Who shot him, and which way did he go?”
   “In this direction, I suppose, because mother said a horseman rode past her carriage at the gallop and barely keeping to his saddle. It wasn’t until she reached town she discovered what had occurred a few miles ahead of her.”
   Oh Francois, what have you done?
   “Diamonta, are you all right, you’ve turned as white as the sheets on our beds.”
   “I have a bit of head pain, and need to go and lie down for a while.”


The grand masked ball at its peak she noted her mother now in conversation with Lady Fortnum and barely a glance in their direction. About to ask Richard a leading question about Francois, he declared in hushed tone, “I think I’m bleeding.”   
   “I have a wound in my shoulder, and I swear blood is running down my arm.”
   She instinctively glanced the length of his arm to hand, and indeed his fingers were blooded and blood dripping to the floor. “Oh Lord.” She snatched his lace-trimmed kerchief from his sleeve, and discreetly wrapped it around his hand to cover his blooded fingers.  “Just keep walking toward the garden doors.”
   “Damn fool, I’ve been such a damn fool,” he said, as they hurried out into the cool night air, stars in abundance and as yet no moon. “We can go round to the stables and perhaps slip back into the house unseen.”
   As they hurriedly made their way around the house aided by light casting through windows, she asked, “How did you come by this injury?”

To see entries by other participants go here.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I love your writing - you make really good use of the show don't tell rule! I'm also dying to know how he came by his injury.

Clarissa Draper said...

A great mystery. Sounds like a historical piece. Thanks for your entry.

Lady Gwen said...

Wow, you're obviously so experienced at this! You told so much in so few words. It's back to the drawing board for me!

Deborah Walker said...

Richard's definitely guilty. Why else would he be wounded. or maybe . . . Great excerpt. Such a short piece is creating all kinds of quetions.

Lady Gwen said...

Hi Francine, I hope we've straightened out the technical problems from my site - I think it was Google! Happens a lot!

Also, I'm thinking of extending the blogfest. I only have 6 entries and I think I'm competing with the hundreds of people involved in Rach Harrie's platorm-building campaign - the First Challenge - there are over 300 so far (including me - having a blast, but...). What do you think?

Francine Howarth said...

Hi ladies, and thanks for stopping by.

Lady Gwen: I think you might be right re the Campaign Challenge. ;)


Anonymous said...

Love it~!