Feeling emboldened from my last #teasertueaday foray, I’ve decided to participate again…
My novel is a comedic Regency mystery…its a bit of Jane Austen hyperbole…as I put it in a previous post:
Sometimes I say my novel is a ‘Regency Soap Opera’ because the plot is a little outlandish…but its all within the bounds of the era. French spies. Mad genius poets. Too much alcohol. Radical politics. Dopplegangers.
That’s how it was, in a way. Genteel with a Gothic underbelly.
Here is today’s #teasertuesday excerpt:
“Caro?” my aunt hissed beneath her breath and I came to suddenly to find Madam Foucoult, spry and wiry, with her grey hair pulled back in tight ringlets, studying me intently over the mahogany table top upon which she’d spread out several shades of lavender silk. I tried to focus on the fabric, wrenching my thoughts out of the past, but none of them would hold me. Nothing caught my eye.
I heard myself saying: “I think, perhaps, something yellow?” which raised my aunt’s eyebrows but Madam was ecstatic, ordering her assistants to pull out all the yellow fabric spools. Soon there were about twelve in a dazzling array, from palest butter cream to vivid daffodil and tropical sunshine.
Er…Now I was flummoxed. The brightness was overwhelming, inspiring second thoughts. Madam, sensing my hesitation, shooed me away, then circled the table, studious and concentrated, finally narrowing it down to three with a critical eye.
“You will be like the sun sparkling on water, yes? Like radiant sunbeams breaking through dull, skies, yes?” Decisively, she chose a solid buttery colour embossed with a silver diamond print. This, she said, with a Kashmir shawl in a slightly deeper shade. Kid boots in cream. Gloves to match. Hair band studded with diamond shaped crystals. Pointed crystal earrings and a crystal cross on a silver chain about my throat. And my mask would be silver fabric ringed with tiny crystals and fringed with downy silver feathers.
My aunt nodded her agreement, then went on to choose her usual peacock blue, with a matching turban heavily decorated in jewels and ostrich feathers, and a black velvet mask, as was her standard.
Leaving them to their discussions of fittings and time lines, I fingered a filigree of lace on display and tried not to fidget. I’d been thinking a stew’s mix since I’d woke that morning.
I kept wondering where they were now. What route they were taking.
Somerset was beautiful, mystical country, a land I both adored and abhorred and I couldn’t decide if I wished I was with them. Some sites were not meant to be re-visited.
Was I glad they were gone? I couldn’t decide that either. I had questions for them now. Demands. Requests. But if I had to face them again—just the thought made me choke. Lord Waverly, with his puppyish devotion. Sir Milburn, calculating and punctilious. I didn’t think I would be calm. I might say or do things I’d come to regret.
Best just to let it lie? I wondered.