Be Warned: These are the scribblings of a writer unruly, unsupervised, and largely unrepentant

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Love is in the Air - Blog Hop

Spring is on the way - hopefully! I know for a lot of us, the season of rejuvenation and renewal (and nice weather!) still feels a long way off. To get a little warm-up for the change of seasons, here is an excerpt from LADY MERCY DANFORTHE FLIRTS WITH SCANDAL (Sydney Dovedale book 3) coming to a bookstore or an e-reader near you in June 2013.

I'm looking forward to watching the flowers bloom in my garden and being able to sit outside with my coffee in the morning. What do you look forward to about Spring? Leave a comment below and you could win an arc copy of LADY MERCY DANFORTHE FLIRTS WITH SCANDAL!

Don't forget to check out the other authors participating in this blog hop. Good luck!



There he was, slumped over the table. Panic squeezed around her heart with cold fingers until her searching eyes adjusted to the dim, smoky light and she saw the pewter jug beside his head. Mercy exhaled in relief. Unless he’d cracked himself over the head with it, he was merely drunk. That she could deal with, thanks to experience with her brother. Since no one else was brave enough to beard the beast in his lair, the task was up to her.

She hitched up her skirt and petticoat, climbed onto the brick window ledge, and swung her legs into the room. It was an action no proper chaperon would have condoned, but Mercy could never be kept out of somewhere she intended to be.

The shutters fell back against the wall with a clatter, causing Rafe to jerk upright in his chair as if roused by cannon fire. He swore loudly, holding his hands to his brow, and then she watched his gaze tracking the pale morning light where it cleared a path through the ashen gloom. Stiffly, he turned his head, and a pair of furious, hot blue eyes burned into her, scorching her fine gown.

When he spoke, his voice cracked, and the way he set each word down like a heavy burden was more menacing even than the manner in which his eyes raked over her. "My Lady Bossy-Breeches…what the blazes are you doing here?"

She brushed dirt from her frock and checked that her bonnet remained in place. If she was going to face this man, eye to eye, and deal with the business for which she came, Mercy needed all her parts in order. This was a man who earned money by fighting with his fists, and she knew he had a hot temper. However, she thought with a sudden sly smile, he was her property now, was he not? Rafe Hartley’s boxing contract was in her hands. With this pleasing thought in mind, Mercy ran her wondering gaze over his wide shoulders, down his chest to his narrow hips and thick, hard thighs. Her eyelids grew heavy; her pulse quickened. Her teeth dug into her lower lip, and she forgot—for just a moment—what she’d gone there to do.

"Well?" he barked as he jerked to his feet and the chair fell back to the flagstones with a bang. "You’d better have a damned good reason for coming here, woman."

It did not escape her notice that this was the second time he’d said "damn" in her presence. He not only said it, he relished the word.

Mercy’s gaze fastened on the abused chair. Someone ought to pick that up before it was tripped over, she thought.

"Well?" Rafe demanded.

Back to the business at hand. "I’m here to set you straight, Master Rafe Hartley. Apparently no one else has the courage. Your father thinks you should be left to your own devices until you stop sulking. But I have no time to wait around on your whim. Oh, and I’ll take an apology, too, for those things you said to me in the churchyard. I understand I must make certain allowances for your temper in the heat of that moment, but I would like an apology nonetheless."

"Don’t hold your breath for one, meddlesome harridan."

He stood before her, shoulders braced, fists at his side—a man ready to chase her out. She might as well be ten again and guilty of aiming an egg at the back of his head. Mercy could almost see the yolk dripping down the side of his neck, as it did back then.

Assessing him slowly, inch by inch, Mercy was just as astonished by his height today as she was every time she saw him since he turned fifteen and shot up almost overnight. It never ceased to shock. Rafe Hartley continued stretching north, and his shoulders were, she was certain, wider than some doors.

His eyes were still as blue as cornflowers, his hair as black as a crow’s wing. And that sizeable chip remained on his shoulders, possibly growing in unison with their width.

copyright Jayne Fresina 2013 LadyMercyDanfortheFlirtsWithScandal.

Lady Mercy likes her life neat and tidy. She prides herself on being practical—like her engagement to Viscount Grey, whose dark coloring coordinates very well with her favorite furnishings. But things start to get messy when her best friend abandons her fiance at the altar, leaving it up to Mercy to help the couple. There's just one problem. The jilted man is Rafe Hartley—Mercy's former husband.

Rafe has not forgiven Mercy for deserting him when they were seventeen. Their hasty marriage was declared void by law, but in his eyes the bossy little vixen was still his wife, even if the marriage lasted only a few hours. And Mercy "Silky Drawers" Danforthe still owes him a wedding night.

HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE EXCERPT. Leave a comment below for a chance to win and don't forget to check out the other authors on the blog hop!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Will the real Lizzie Bennet stand up?

Over the years Jane Austen's character, Elizabeth Bennet, has been portrayed by a number of talented actresses, who all put their own touch on the feisty, opinionated miss. I know which is my favorite. Who's yours? I'd love to hear what you think and why. Who came closest to the vision you had after reading the book?
And if you had the opportunity to cast a new version, which of the current actresses would you choose?

Of whom could you hear Mr Fitzwiliam Darcy declare, "She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me."?

Greer Garson

Jennifer Ehrle

Keira Knightly

Elizabeth Garvie
Gemma Arteton

The character of Lizzie Bennet is so beloved, so well known, that it must be a pretty daunting task to play her. I confess, I often imagine who might portray my heroines in a movie version and I'm a tough, protective mummy when it comes to my characters! I wonder what Miss Jane Austen herself would think of these ladies and which one would meet with her approval. Although it's interesting to note that the first illustrations of her characters had Lizzie as fair and her sister, Jane, as a brunette, Miss Austen herself leaves only the mention of Lizzie's "bright eyes" and light figure with which to tease us. And, of course, her petticoats, shamefully "six inches deep in mud."