A French Spy? Lady Elinor’s Escape #RegencyRomance #MFRWHooks

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I’m pivoting from Tova’s Dragon to my sweet Regency romance, Lady Elinor’s Escape for this week’sMFRW Book Hooks. She has a good reason to run away, but that doesn’t mean she should.

Lady Elinors Escape coverBlurb:

When a runaway heiress masquerades as a seamstress, she complicates the life of a tortured barrister who specializes in rescuing females in distress. Can he save her from a disaster of her own making or will the past repeat itself?

Buy now from Amazon, BN/Nook, Kobo and Smashwords.

Today’s snippet is from Chapter 1 of the book. For those not familiar with Regency London, Newgate was a notorious prison.

Chapter 1

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?

But it all depended on Mimi’s assistance.

Jumping up, she paced her small bedroom, eight steps forward, eight steps back, noting that the carpeting had begun to show the wear and tear of her impatience, a well-worn trail that led nowhere. Her immediate problem was finding a way to mail the letter to Mimi without her aunt knowing about it. In the past she’d been allowed to walk to the nearby village of Lacock, but lately…

With a sigh, she sat behind her small desk and skimmed the letter she’d just written in decent, if not fluent, French.

Beechwood Cottage, Wiltshire

April 29, 1812

Dear Mimi,

I have quite made up my mind to come to London and hope I may stay with you for a while. I would not ask except there is no one else upon whom I may impose. It will be only for a short time, just until I can find a way to join my father in Portugal.

I have not heard from him in several months and fear our letters are being intercepted by my Aunt Sarah, whose behavior has become quite unpredictable. She has come out of the deep melancholy she suffered after dear Uncle Thomas’s death, but she is often not herself. She sees French spies around every turn of a country lane, and of late, has begun accusing me of spying for Napoleon.

That is not the whole story, but I will explain more when I see you. Dear friend, do say I may stay with you. I eagerly await your answer.

Warmly,

Your little Ellie

Elinor folded her letter and had just picked up the sealing wax when her aunt burst into the room. Her graying hair had escaped from its bun and there was a wild look in her blue eyes. Oh, no, it was one of those days.

Before Elinor could stand, her aunt strode to the desk and towered over her.

“There you are, missy. I’ve been looking for you. What is that?” She snatched the letter from Elinor’s hand and looked at it. “Ah, ha! This is the proof I’ve been waiting for.”

Elinor’s heart thumped madly. “What are you talking about, Aunt Sarah? Proof of what?”

“Spying. Here it is, writ in your own hand.”

Lady E teaser graphic

Click on the linky list below for more MFRW Book Hooks.

Lyndi

Into the Dragon’s Lair #MFRWHooks #MFRWAuthor

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Welcome to another edition of MFRW Book Hooks featuring another snippet from Chapter One of Tova’s Dragon.

Warrior Maiden grapnic

A flash of lightning startled her, followed by a clap of thunder. Oh, goddess, just what she needed. She quickened her pace as the skies opened and rain poured down. Lightning flashed again and again as the thunder grew louder. Closer. Boulders littered the path, forcing her to weave around them and skirt the edge of the cliff. She made the mistake of looking over the rim and her heart lurched in fear, but she kept on.

She skidded to a halt when she came to a fork in the path. The right fork led toward a cleft in the mountain, but appeared to go nowhere. The left fork wound upward to the castle, but would leave her completely exposed to the storm. As she hesitated, a bolt of lightning darted at her. She raised a hand and directed what magic she had left to deflect the blow. Lightning hit a nearby tree, strong enough to split it down the middle.

She dropped to her knees and rested her hands on the earth, exhausted, her physical energy and magical powers depleted. ::Earth Mother, guide me.:: Her silent plea was answered when a voice beckoned her from the right. ::Follow the path to the cave.::

A cave! Thank the goddess.

The wind at her back propelled her through a narrow opening between two pine trees toward a steep cliff. She stumbled to a halt, searching for the cave. A brilliant flash of lightning revealed an opening just large enough for a man to crawl through. She tumbled inside as thunder shook the mountain.

Safe inside, she sank to the ground, gasping for breath and chilled to the bone. Her entire body trembled from fear and exertion. She closed her eyes and sent up a prayer of thanks for the relative safety of the cave and waited for her eyes to adjust to the blackness.

What had she seen outside? She searched her memory for what she knew of the area. On the rare occasions she’d seen the dragonfolk, they’d looked much like everyone else. But they kept apart, and visitors to the area were discouraged. True, dragon motifs decorated the doorframes of their houses—she’d seen that herself—and rumor said they worshipped some kind of serpent god.

According to Mutti Zee, over the years, travelers through these mountains had claimed to see large winged creatures soaring in the sky at sunrise, while others swore they’d seen men and women change shape and fly into the night. She’d thought the stories to be old wives’ tales, but now she wasn’t certain.

When she opened her eyes again, she spied a darker area. She moved toward it and found a passage leading farther into the mountain, along with a torch propped against the wall. She sighed in relief and reached into her pouch for her flint to light it.

The oil sparked to life, and she entered the passage, one hand on the tunnel wall for balance as she followed the trail down into the mountain. As she rounded a bend, she slipped on a loose rock and lost her balance. She dropped the torch, her head banged against the tunnel wall, and everything went blank.

Tova's Dragon coverTova’s Dragon
by Lyndi Lamont
Kingdoms & Legends Part 2
Steamy Paranormal Romance Novella

An earth mage sets out to save the kingdom, but must team up with a sexy outlawed dragon shifter. Together, they have the power to defeat the evil wizard, but only if they survive the coming battle. And if they do, can an earth mage find happiness with a dragonshifter?

Available for purchase or loan at Amazon:

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07635W1SR
AU: https://www.amazon.au/dp/B07635W1SR/
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07635W1SR/
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07635W1SR/

Click on the linky list below for more MFRW Book Hooks.

Lyndi