Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the tantalising blog series where I share snippets from works-in-progress, up-coming releases and published novels. Unless I’m feeling lazy and invite good writing buddies to fill in for me, like today!
It’s my great pleasure to welcome back multi award-winning historical romance author Anna Campbell to the blog. Regular readers will know Anna pops by quite often, is always hugely entertaining and usually offers a wonderful giveaway.
Today is no different, so read on, my lovelies!
I can hardly believe it’s time to talk about Christmas romances again! This year has just flown. I’ve got two Christmas stories out in 2016, a stand-alone called A Match Made in Mistletoe, and “Mistletoe and the Major,” part of the multi-author, multi-genre anthology Under the Kissing Bough.
Today, I’m going to tease you with “Mistletoe and the Major.” My last couple of Christmas novellas have been comedic romps. But with this one, I set out to write a touching, heartfelt story about a brave man returning from eight brutal years of war to establish a life with the wife he loves, but who he’s not sure loves him.
The excerpt takes place on Christmas Eve, Lord Canforth’s first night back on his country estate after leaving the army. He’s come home to face the fallout from a fraught fortnight’s honeymoon just before he shipped out with his regiment. To his surprise, the innocent and unsure girl he left behind has become a lovely, confident woman in his absence. And at last, they start to talk to each other and heal the wounds left from their past mistakes.
Otway Hall, Shropshire, December 1815
Flick’s lips turned down in a self-derisive smile. “I owe you an apology. That was a poor welcome I gave you. An empty house, and a wife stinking of the stables.”
Actually when Canforth had first touched her, he’d caught the scent of crushed flowers and something that was Flick alone. He’d remembered that fragrance immediately—it would always be the aroma of heaven. There might have been a hint of horse and hay, too, but he hadn’t cared. He’d been too busy fighting the urge to bury his face in her hair and tell her how much he’d missed her. Which would have ruined things between them forever. If he leaped on her like a starving wolf the minute he came home, she’d run for the hills.
She took another sip of wine. “I didn’t feel like going through all the hullabaloo this year. It…it seemed easier to miss you here at Otway than in a noisy, happy crowd of people, however much I love them.”
Shock made him sit up straight and stare at her. “You missed me?”
The question surprised her. “Of course.”
“But I’ve been away for ages.”
She gave a grim laugh. “I know.”
By Jove, that was dashed nice to hear. Dashed nice. To think, she’d missed him. Perhaps his case wasn’t quite as hopeless as he thought. He leaned back and stretched his legs toward the fire. “Well.”
A smile lit her eyes to burned caramel. “Well, indeed.”
She set aside her wine and picked up her sewing, as if she hadn’t changed his world in the space of a second. “It means a plain Christmas dinner, I’m afraid. A returning hero deserves to have all the stops pulled out.”
Another silence fell, this one more comfortable than the last. Canforth finished his wine and let its warmth fortify the warmth seeping into his blood with every moment in his wife’s presence. For years, he’d been cold and lonely. Was his exile finally at an end?
Under the Kissing Bough, with 15 brand-new Christmas stories, including “Mistletoe and the Major,” is only 99 cents for a limited time.
It’s actually pretty funny that I’ve got two stories featuring mistletoe this Holiday season because “mistletoe” is one of those words I consistently type wrongly. It’s either “misletoe” or “miseltoe” or “mistetoe,” or some variation thereof!
Do you have any bugbear words? Words you consistently misspell or mistype? Homophones that trip you up? “Bare” and “bear” nearly always catch me out, although I’m perfectly well aware of the difference between them. How can a bare bear bear it?
So let’s confess our keyboard sins. I’ve got a Kindle download of Under the Kissing Bough to go to someone who comments today. No geographical restrictions on the giveaway. Good luck!
Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday AEST, 25th November 2016. Open internationally.
Ah, those pesky misspelled words. I feel your pain, Anna. I have one I do ALL the time too and that’s mischief. Even though I know how to spell it, for some stupid reason my fingers always mix up the I and E. So frustrating!
What about you, lovely readers? Share your keyboard sins and you’ll go into the draw. I bet there are some auto correct doozies out there too.