Now that we’re all supposed to be practicing Social Distancing and staying home more, we need a cure for cabin fever. My answer is hunker down and read. If you’re like me, you have a TBR list as long as your arm. Or the Empire State Building, in my case.
As for me, I plan to write more and blog more, which is why I’m back with MFRW Book Hooks after a long absence.
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1 of my Regency romance, Lady Elinor’s Escape.
She might as well be in Newgate.
Lady Elinor Ashworth stared out the window of her bedchamber at acres of farmland sprouting new growth. Spring green brightened the vista, taunting her with the promise of freedom. After three long, lonely months trapped in this cottage, her spirit cried out for something more, something she could not name.
She glanced at the sketchbook in her lap. She had intended to draw the pastoral scene outside her window, but her hand had sketched a young lady forlornly staring through the panes of a window. A truer self-portrait had never been drawn.
Until the last few months, she had been allowed to wander alone through the Wiltshire countryside, but no longer. Not since Aunt Sarah came out of her melancholy and turned into a raving madwoman.
All her life Elinor had dreamed of adventure, so what she was planning to do should not daunt her in the slightest. She had read about people braving the ocean in small boats, exploring the jungles of Africa, searching for ancient artifacts in Egypt.
In contrast, stealing out of her aunt’s house in the dark, walking to the nearest coaching inn and traveling by herself to London hardly qualified as an adventure. The merest of escapades, in fact. Or so she assured herself to calm the butterflies suddenly dancing in her stomach. Still, what other choice did she have?
I hope we don’t all end up with as bad a case of cabin fever as Elinor does in this scene! But then, she has good reasons to stage an escape attempt.
Lady Elinor’s Escape
by Linda McLaughlin
Lady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him.
There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin’s life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a ‘rescuer’ of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with his secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party.
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