Here is this weekend snippet from the start of a historical novel set in Victorian London called THE VEILED HEART.
This is in the beginning of the book, Chapter 1, word 1, pages 1 & 2. I’m going to start reading in order from this weekend on as THE VEILED HEART will be on pre-sale shortly and available from 14th July.
Audio File ( seems to work best with google chrome)
The sun had long gone down and the fog hung over the city like a reluctant and indifferent lover. It hovered over the skyline, not fully committing to either its decent or its departure. A languid libertine measuring the extent of its desire to slip into the waiting passage of streets below.
Lady Miriam Rothbury touched the black, lace veil covering her face and deftly followed the ends to where the material was pinned to her hat. Everything was still in place.
The door to the cab opened. She lowered her foot to the carriage step and the limitation of her disguise became apparent. Nearly everything was obscured by the dense pattern of wild flowers. Miriam tilted her head higher and got a clearer view around the ribboned stalks than through the motif of petals and leaves.
In a few skillful steps, she reached out and opened the door to the prestigious Bond Street Bookshop. The shop hosted author talks and stocked the best of literature, travel, reference, and lighter fiction books. What sent a ripple of pleasure through her was that few if any of those well-educated patrons knew what they walked above in their neat, expensive shoes.
However, she did.
A small brass bell rang discordantly as she stepped over the threshold and a squat, balding shopkeeper hurried forward.
“Good evening, Mr. Howard.”
He’d recommended Elizabeth Robins Pennell’s book Over the Alps on a Bicycle, illustrated by her loving husband, Joseph Pernell. Yet another assumption about her late marriage, that she and Freddy had been London’s greatest sweethearts. She’d refused to buy the book on principle.
“Oh, dear. Dear, dear me, Lady Rothbury, I regret to say we are closed. Is your carriage still here?” He peered outside as if the sight of her cab would be a clear path to ushering her out.
Miriam took a deep breath and drew herself up taking the few inches advantage she had on him in height.
“But you are not closed now are you, or I wouldn’t be inside.” Her voice was sweetness laced with steel. Years of managing servants evident in every syllable.
He went to speak and she lifted her reticule enticingly into view.
His interest flared as the clasp clicked open, blossomed into full attention as she flashed the neatly folded pound notes tucked within its soft, pink folds.
Now they were speaking the same language.
Besides, the shop she wanted was open through to the early hours of the morning for the right customers. She may not be the usual type but she had money.