Here is this weekend snippet from the start of a historical novel set in Victorian London called THE VEILED HEART.
This is the final few pages of Chapter 1, pages 11 & 12, You can read the 1st chapter using the link to the flip book at the bottom of this post or you can also listen to / read pages 1 & 2 here & pages 3 & 4 here , pages 5 & 6 here, and pages 7& 8 here pages 9 & 10 here
THE VEILED HEART will be available from 14th July.
Audio File ( seems to work best with google chrome)
Neither of them said anything.
A cough came from somewhere in the shop, some soft talking, and the sound of one of the cabinets opening.
Then he stepped back and raised his hands, palms forward in a signal of surrender.
“As you wish.”
A surprisingly civil response. As though he understood.
Understood defiance was the very foundation that held her up.
Did he instinctively know that any other answer would undo her? That ‘no’ was what she needed to say, had needed to say and never could? Never did?
A cool reserve dropped in front of those blue eyes as he pulled on his gloves. Then turned and left in a handful of long sure strides.
She was forgotten.
As inconsequential as a wife to an indifferent husband.
That she was considered the beauty of the season at her come out had never mattered. Five-foot-five, hourglass figure, alabaster skin, eyes the color of dew-scattered violets. Her heart-shaped face was framed with hair that was as straight, shiny, and thick as a bolt of black satin.
None of that had made a single bit of difference to what her husband found pleasure in.
Men of all ranks had lined up in front of her; in the end filial duty was what made the ultimate choice. The family estate was resurrected and she was left with the reality.
Oh yes, she had long ago mastered belittling sensations. It came right after she had mastered self-pity and bitter disappointment.
Accepting the way things were had seemed better than the alternative.
However, that was the old Miriam.
She took a deep breath and lifted her head.
She was making changes.
Payment to the angel was swift; and after a quick ascent and the address of the next stop given to her cab driver, her heart finally slowed down to something resembling Big Ben as it chimed the hour across the city.
She hadn’t remembered that blue water for a long time.
The way it washed away the heat of her pain, had cloaked her like a satin skin. The gentle water had slipped between her legs with an equanimity that reminded the rest of her body there was nothing special there to guard. It had stung her scratches and raw surfaces, and yet simultaneously caressed the beaten flesh, nonjudgmental and accepting.