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

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

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Character Showcase - Queenie Du Bois

In DAMON UNDONE, the heroine and her two sisters are sent to England by their wealthy father to escape scandal and, hopefully, gather a little elegant sophistication -- not to mention a few titled, landed husbands. The lady chosen to chaperone the sisters on this adventure is their aunt, a colorful, lively lady who has traveled extensively and, in the words of our heroine, is "well versed in the art of marriage and husbands, having disposed of several herself. Not all of them her own."

Queenie Du Bois likes to let everybody know that she is still grieving her last husband - a charming wastrel who died in debt - and she has no intention to marry again herself, but that doesn't stop her eagerly matchmaking for those three nieces in her charge. She takes this mission very seriously, but it's an uphill task, particularly when unsavory rumors manage to follow those young women across the Atlantic and into London drawing rooms.

Along with her brother Prospero she was born into poverty in Louisiana. Since those early days, they have both gained and lost fortunes several times over, but they possess a certain stubborn resiliency that soon helps them back on their feet and smiling after every defeat. They are never without resources for too long and will use whatever method they find at their fingertips to raise their status in life. 
For the past few years Queenie has lived a full and luxurious existence, restlessly skipping about Europe and, basically, relying on her wits. Occasionally - when necessary - she has accepted her brother's financial assistance, and now she wants to repay that debt by getting his daughters married into the aristocracy. For the time being Queenie has settled in England, where she considers herself an expert on Society  and manners, "even going so far as to speak, at times, with a frighteningly inept semblance of an English accent. Nobody had yet told her how bizarre it sounded."

Queenie is a determined lady, with a practical eye and a severe distrust of poets and lawyers. She is not averse to fighting dirty, as our hero discovers when he steps beyond his boundaries with one of her precious charges. But even he can't help admiring her fearlessness. Damon Deverell has squared off, undaunted, against some of the most vicious delinquents and cunning rogues from London's underbelly, but Queenie Du Bois could put them all in the shade.

As her niece likes to say, "One could take Queenie Du Bois out of Hog's Flank, Louisiana, dress her up and give her airs and graces, but one could not quite take the Hog's Flank out of Queenie."

DAMON UNDONE arrives Wednesday, April 26th, 2017. Happy Reading!


copyright Jayne Fresina 2017

(Painting: A Portrait of Francisca Carolina Gonzaga de Braganca by Franz Xavier Winterhalter c. 1850)

Friday, April 21, 2017

DAMON DEVERELL is about to be undone

Is it a battle of the sexes, a comedy of errors, or a chemical reaction? Perhaps a little bit of all three...

Coming on Wednesday April 26th, DAMON UNDONE (The Deverells Book Five).

            "We're not going to get along, you and I, are we?"

            "Good god, I hope not."

            Thus begins the acquaintance of Damon Deverell and a young woman he finds under his feet one evening, at a ball to which he isn't invited She reminds him instantly of someone he knew before, but that would be impossible, of course, because she — the girl from  his past—was entirely a construct of his own imagination. Wherever this disturbingly real woman came from, he's determined to maintain a cautious distance. But when he's hired to keep an eye on her, Damon's resolve to keep it "merely business" is soon threatened by some fresh-baked muffins, a pair of ankles he wishes he'd never seen, and a certain bold, independent American woman who boasts of a "very efficient right hook".

            Miss Epiphany "Pip" Piper has been sent into exile abroad, where her father hopes she'll learn to cool off her hot temper, acquire some elegant manners, and, hopefully, find a titled husband.  Mr. Prospero "Smokey" Piper, of Louisiana and various other parts unknown and best unmentioned, claims to be the first ambitious and wealthy American businessman to think of this idea, but just like his very first boyhood attempt at building a whiskey still behind the family outhouse, this plan doesn't exactly turn out the way he expects either.

            And although explosions are inevitable, it's not his grandmother's drawers in danger this time.

            When these two stubborn young people— Damon the "merciless shark" of a lawyer, who likes his world in order, and the utterly disorderly Miss Piper, a "despicable girl of whom nothing could be made"- find themselves thrown together by mischievous fate, it's not just a battle of the sexes or even a comedy of errors, it's a chemical reaction that will change both their worlds forever.