It's been a long wait, but, finally. . .the cover for The Marquis is out!!! Woo-hoo!!
Isn't it gorgeous?
Now, all I have to do is figure out how to get it on the sidebar.
I'll be back later with another Background update - I hope.
Oh Denise, it's beautiful! I can't wait to see read it. Cheerleader
Oh Denise, it is beautiful and I can hardly wait to read it, too
Thanks, Dani and Linda. I just love it - I can't stop looking at it. It looks almost exactly as I pictured it.
Dawn at Samhain is fabulous.
Yesterday on the Samhaincafe loop over at yahoo groups we were celebrating Samhain's 2nd birthday. As part of my hour, I posted the first excerpt from The Marquis. So, just in case you missed it, here it is.
Enjoy this introduction to Jay Collings as he returns home for the first time in 18 years and gets a shock.
Gypsy Legacy: The Marquis
© 2007 Denise Patrick
My father must be squirming in his grave!
Andrew James Collings, Jay to his family and friends, raised his glass in mock salute to the empty room, then downed the potent whiskey in one swallow. At the unpardonable hour of three o'clock in the afternoon, he was nearly drunk, but he didn't care.
He never thought he would set foot in this house again, yet memories assailed him the moment he had. It had taken the solicitor almost four years to track him down to inform him of his father's death. He'd heard a rumor about his brother's death, but paid scant attention to it except to briefly register that, if it was true, he was now his father's heir. Returning to find out that it was, and that his father had also died in the interim thereby making him the eighth Marquis of Thanet, had shaken him.
Now, he surveyed the library of Thane House as he poured himself another drink and smiled.
The library had changed. The last time he'd been in this room the drapes and carpet had not been royal blue. The overstuffed, wingbacked chairs sitting before the fireplace and the large oak desk had not been upholstered in wine red velvet. What hadn't changed was the smell of beeswax used to clean all the surfaces to a bright shine, the dreary paintings of the English countryside displayed on the walls between the oak floor to ceiling bookshelves, and the location of the whisky decanter on the sideboard.
Crossing the thick Aubusson carpet to the window, he pushed aside the velvet drapes and stared out across a nearly deserted London square at the houses standing sentinel over the small patch of green in the center without seeing any of it. A hackney went by, but he was lost in the past.
He was the ungovernable one. How often had he heard that? Wild. Reckless. Uncontrollable. Destined to end badly. First his governess, then his tutor, had said so. He'd heard it all before he was sixteen - before he left his home for what he thought was the last time.
Eighteen years. Eighteen long, lonely years. He hadn't been idle—he'd managed to amass a fortune in that time, building a shipping concern and traveling extensively, but he missed England. If it hadn't been for Brand, he might have lost his purpose long ago.
Now, he'd returned—but to what? He was not the same headstrong youth who'd slipped away in the night. He had come back a man and his father would never know, not that he would have cared.
The door to the library opened and in strolled Brand. His friend and business partner always made people look twice. He was as tall as Jay, but thin and wiry, often giving the impression of a half-starved adolescent. His light hair and pale skin only contributed to the impression of fragility, causing most people to underestimate him on first acquaintance. But he had become a master fighter in the Orient and Jay had been thankful for his skills more than once during their partnership.
"Not bad," Brand commented now. "You've done well, my lord."
Jay grinned. "Well, that's a relief. I thought perhaps my humble home wouldn't measure up to your standards."
"Considering I have no standards, that wouldn't be too hard," Brand returned. Dropping into one of the wingback chairs before the desk, violet-colored eyes watched Jay keenly from beneath a thatch of straw-colored hair. "Now what?"
Jay knew not to prevaricate. Brand understood him better than anyone. Although six years his junior, Brand had a perceptiveness about him that gave one the impression that he could see right through any half-truths. "I don't know. I suppose we wait to see what the solicitor has to say when he arrives. I sent a note asking him to come 'round as soon as possible. I suppose we will get to the bottom of this then."
Brand nodded and said no more.
* * * * *
"A Mr. Strate, milord."
Jay nodded. The solicitor. "Show him in." He was impatient to get the interview over with.
Mr. Derrick Strate was a slight man with a balding pate. A bit on the rumpled side, he reminded one of an absent-minded uncle, until you looked into his pale blue eyes and noted the keen intelligence that shone forth.
"Ah, my lord. A great pleasure to finally meet you." He nearly tripped over his words. "I must say that I'm glad you are finally here. I came as soon as I could, as time is running out. Another two months and disaster might have struck."
Pleasingly intoxicated only moments before, Jay was suddenly stone cold sober as the solicitor's words sunk in. Introducing the solicitor to Brand, Jay bade him sit in the other chair in front of the desk.
"What kind of disaster?" he inquired in a deceptively mild voice.
Mr. Strate rummaged in his battered satchel for a few moments and came up with a sheaf of papers. "Ah, yes. Here they are," he muttered to himself. Then, putting the papers on the desk and pushing them toward Jay, he said, "I think that everything is in order. The top document is your father's will. You might want to read that first."
Jay picked up the papers warily. He thought he was prepared for anything—until he saw the contents of the will. As he read his anger grew. The wily bastard had managed to trap him after all. Flipping through the rest of the stack, he found the other document referred to. Reading it through, he could feel the beginning of a fine rage. When he finished and looked up at the solicitor, the man flinched.
"Well?" he ground out. He didn't trust himself to say more.
"I tried to talk him out of it, my lord, but he was adamant." Shifting nervously in his chair, Mr. Strate continued. "He insisted that it was the only way to ensure that you took your responsibilities seriously. Having never met you, my lord, I could not gainsay his opinion."
"I see." Jay glared at the solicitor. "So, tell me about my betrothed," he demanded in a tightly controlled voice, ignoring his partner's sharp intake of breath.
The solicitor visibly relaxed. "She is a wonderful young lady. Lady Christina is, I believe, two-and-twenty years of age and currently resides in the dower house at Thane Park."
"What does she look like?"
"Pardon, my lord?"
"Is she a hag? Does she limp? Is there something wrong with her that my father saw fit to foist her on me instead of society?"
"I do not believe so, my lord."
"Would you say she was comely?"
"I—I believe so, my lord."
"What color is her hair?"
"Black, my lord."
"I'm not sure, my lord. Blue, I think. Lady Carolyn's eyes are blue, as were her mother's."
"Your sister, my lord. She lives with Lady Christina."
"I see. And how old is my…sister?"
"I believe she is fifteen or sixteen, my lord."
Jay ran a hand over his eyes. Good God! Saddled with a wife and sister. Could it get worse?
"The earl is four-and-twenty, I believe."
Jay's head snapped up. "Earl?" he asked. "What earl?"
"The Earl of Wynton. He is Lady Christina's brother, my lord. You will find a complete explanation in the documents before you." The solicitor cleared his throat and continued. "You are his guardian until he reaches the age of five-and-twenty."
"Guardian? Me? To an earl, no less." Jay leaned his head against the back of the chair, resisting the urge to laugh, and closed his eyes. After a moment, he returned his gaze to the solicitor and sighed, "I suppose you'd better just tell me everything."
"Everything, my lord?"
"Yes. Let's start with a sister I didn't know existed."
I saw this over there Denise! I really liked it and commented about it there too. I also made mention about the little blurbs that you have been putting up here in your background thread too. Those are great as well.:biggrin:
Thanks, Dani. You're the best!! :wub: I replied, too, but I don't know if you saw it or not.
As for those little background blurbs - I think it's time for another one, don't you?:yes:
:scooter:Heading over there now.
They seem to have been very high paced over there the past few days, so probably not although I do go back to check and see what's been posted. I'll find it soon though. :biggrin:
I went back and found it Denise! :) I was right, there was a lot of posting done on there recently.
I'll have to check out the background thread again to see what new stuff you've posted. Cheerleader
In honor of Release Day, I'm going to give you another teaser from The Marquis. Enjoy!
Tina was dancing when Jay entered the ballroom from the garden. He had not seen her come in, but he knew Jon was waiting by the door to keep watch for her. Pymm and four policemen were stationed throughout the ballroom and gardens to watch for anything untoward.
Now, he was free to find Tina. He had tried to guess what she might devise in the way of a costume. Knowing she had the help of the duchess and Lady Weston, he knew she could be any number of things. Surveying the dancers as he skirted the ballroom, he suddenly caught sight of a bright red skirt and raven-hued hair.
His blood chilled. She wouldn’t, his mind screamed. She could not possibly be that naïve. Yet, he was sure he had found her, even though his thoughts denied the evidence before his eyes.
Jay watched the woman until the dance came to an end, then moved to intercept her and her partner as they left the dance floor. He reached them just as they reached the side of a woman in a sky blue domino. The woman’s escort bowed over her hand and raised it to his lips, then left her to another man standing beside the woman in the blue domino. He recognized Jon.
As he approached, he heard her laugh. The sound enveloped him and settled somewhere in the vicinity of his heart. It lightened his mood somewhat, but only a notch.
“And then he asked me to tell his fortune,” she was saying to her companions.
“And what did you say to that,” the woman, whom he recognized as the duchess, asked.
“I told him I had left my crystal ball at home for the evening, but perhaps another time,” Tina replied easily. She smiled as she sipped the lemonade Jon handed her.
Jay came up behind her, resisting the impulse to clamp his hands around her waist and anchor her back against him.
“Perhaps you should have offered to read the cards for him, instead,” he said in a taut voice. He didn’t trust himself to say more. He was still reeling from her costume.
How dare she openly challenge Milton to come for her? He expected she would wear a normal costume and be difficult to pick out among everyone else. But, no, not his wife! She had to blatantly advertise her presence. It would be like picking a blood-red rose out of a snowbank. He had underestimated her—again.
She spun around to look up at him, the laughter dying in her eyes at the sparks flying from his. His black gaze took in her features, alight with joy, before that light was extinguished with one look at his face. He knew he was scowling, but the more he looked at her, the blacker his thoughts, and the deeper the glare. His mood soured. The crowded ballroom faded into the distance, then disappeared.
“My lord?” her voice was tentative.
Good, he thought. I ought to pack her up and take her home right this minute and to hell with Milton. But, even as he considered doing just that, her next partner appeared as the sets were forming for a quadrille.
Congratulations on the release of the book. Cheerleader
That was a great excerpt. Now I'm going to have to buy it to find out whats truely going on. :lol: