Welcome to weekend writing warriors. Many fine authors, and me, contribute short snippets for your delectation.
Since it seems that our Regency spy romance is much more popular than our science fiction, this post introduces the sequel to The Art of Deception. Amanda’s reading was interrupted by a summons to attend on her mother. Amanda’s mother made it clear that she must attend the assembly. After a short carriage journey, it only being six or so miles between Coalpit Heath and Chipping Sodbury, they have arrived. Mr Jameson just asked Amanda to dance, despite her interest in a mathematics problem. The set over, Amanda wants to return to her usual pursuits when her mother stops her. Amanda has just said a biting remark about the mysterious Mr Jameson, and her friend Louisa wonders why she is so sour.
Beyond them, the orchestra struck the final chords of the dance; Amanda nodded to Louisa, “Time to join the throng for refreshments.”
“What a crush.”
Mr Jameson slipped in beside them, “It is; Do you mind if we join you in the queue?”
Despite her professed bad temper, Amanda found herself smiling, “Please … Mr Jameson, this is my dear friend Louisa Phillips.”
Mr Jameson bowed, slightly, exactly the correct amount that manners required, “Enchanted Miss Phillips;” he gestured to the woman he had been dancing with, “May I present Alice … Alice.”
The woman said, “Alice Mapleton, Miss Mapleton.”
Amanda said to Mr Jameson, “My friend, Miss Phillips tells me that you’re the chaplain at Mrs Hudson’s academy and on leave from Oxford.”
After glancing quickly at Miss Mapleton, Mr Jameson replied, “News travels quickly in these parts, doesn’t it? Yes, I’m on leave from Oxford and acting as chaplain at that august institution.”
My sincere apologies for abusing semi-colons.
The Chinese reportedly have a curse, “May you live in exciting times.” I’m not sure if that’s true, but the last months have been interesting to say the least. Any road, I’m back.
This snippet introduces the first formal connection to the previous book in the series (the art of deception). While I doubt they had academies for female spies, the British were remarkably organized during the Napoleonic wars. I can heartily recommend Roger Knight’s “Britain against Napoleon” if you’re interested in the real story. Much of the jobbery, nepotism, and blatant incompetence that allowed us Yanks to achieve our independence went by the wayside during this existential struggle. Not all, the army was crippled by cronyism until near the end of the war. It lead to various unrealistic – and costly – expeditions such as the invasion of Holland (the Walcheren expedition in 1809 is a great example).
I’ve put up a couple of things on instafreebie. The first is a short story, To Court a Dragon.