Sorry to be late! I’ve gone through another round of kids with stomach bugs, and have some big revisions to do on my WIP, and the time just got away from me.
I’ve wrestled the revisions under control and have a clear plan of what I need to do, so now it’s a matter of putting the words to the page. Hopefully, the right words this time. I’ve also realized that I can’t write a book from a synposis. I need to do an synopsis that gives me the feel for the story and its emotional highpoints (and basic plot) and then write an outline.
It’s always a learning process.
Since it’s winter I have to hurry out and take the kids up for some skiing, so I’m going to post a small excerpt of my upcoming BLACK SILK—out so soon, April 2008:
One glass of champagne for courage.
Maryanne handed her empty flute to a barechested, masked footman, who whisked it away. She couldn’t help but stare at his finely hewn, bronzed muscles, such a startling contrast to his immaculate powdered wig and black breeches.
Her invitation had gained her entry to Mrs. Master’s salon, but she rather felt as though she’d walked into hell. Surely hell was as hot, as raucous, and smelled as strangely. Decorated in Eastern fashion, the salon was a sumptuous den of gold and scarlet, velvet and silk. Pillows spilled everywhere, on daybeds and on the floor. Couples and groups explored pleasure in sensuous and astonishing positions.
Behind her mask, Maryanne’s cheeks heated. She pushed aside a spray of glittering red beads that dangled from a swinging lamp.
Most of the women strolling about were completely nude, and they encouraged the handsome gentlemen to paw, pinch, or kiss them in any place desired before inviting them to play on the cushions. A few wore virginal gowns of pale silk, like hers, so she did not look out of place, at least.
How would she find Georgiana in this crush?
“My dear, you must be parched.”
Another glass was thrust into her hand. She half-turned and the gentleman bowed. Lord Craven. She almost dropped the glass. Lord Craven had been featured in many of her authors’ books. The acts he enjoyed gave her nightmares.
He plucked the glass from her fingers, his smile dazzling. Craven was a handsome man, a fair-haired gentleman with angelic blue eyes, long lashes of gold, and lean, sculpted form. He held the glass to her lips. “Such a delicious brew is not to be wasted.”
This was a smaller glass than the one that had held champagne and the fluid within was a deep burgundy. What harm in a sip?
But Craven tipped up the glass, and the liquor was sweet, intoxicating, and tempting. She continued to drink. At his laugh, she saw she’d drained the glass.
He gave her a leering wink and raised his hand. Instantly another tray of champagne was presented. “To cleanse the palate.”
It was true. The drink was…clinging to her tongue, sickly sweet. She took the champagne. He grabbed a flute and drank it in a gulp. “Do you dare, my dear?”
His smug smile irritated. “I’m not a fool, my lord.” She thrust the glass back, untouched, on a passing tray. She did not have to do as Lord Craven asked.
“Ah, the timid and pretty kitten is now a lioness.” But his smirk became a beaming grin of delight.
Understanding dawned. Most jades would not be concerned about becoming drunk. She had given away a clue that she was not a lightskirt.
Lord Craven raised his hand. In the blink of an eye, men surrounded her, gathered by Craven. They made a circle—eight of London’s most desirable gentlemen.