Thursday, March 04, 2021

Lady Wynwood's Spies, volume 1: Archer EXCERPT - Prologue 1b

I’m posting an excerpt of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer, the first part of my Lady Wynwood’s Spies series!

Part one in a Christian Regency Romantic Adventure epic serial novel with a supernatural twist
Lady Wynwood’s Spies series, volume 1

She met him again by shooting him.

After four seasons and unmarried because she is taller than most of her dance partners, Miss Phoebe Sauber receives the shocking news that she is being callously banished from her father’s estate because he is remarrying. Feeling betrayed by her father and by God, and wanting to escape her family’s presence, she attends an archery tournament with her friends.

But her perfect aim fails her, and her arrow hits a piece of paper held by Mr. Michael Coulton-Jones, whom she hasn’t seen much in society in several years. But strangely, her arrow tears a section of the paper with a partial symbol that looks eerily familiar to her.

He met her again while searching for a killer.

Michael had quit his work as a spy for the Foreign Office when his brother was poisoned. His search for the murderer leads him to Apothecary Jack, a criminal underworld leader with a penchant for poisons, who is gathering a powerful army through an alchemical potion that can give men supernatural strength.

But his path unexpectedly crosses again with Miss Sauber, who saves him from a trap laid by Jack. She and her Aunt Laura, Lady Wynwood, have found a vital connection to Apothecary Jack and the mysterious group he works for.

Now Michael, who had vowed to never again allow civilians to come to harm, must work with a nobleman keeping dangerous secrets, a human lie detector, a chemist, a fellow former spy, and the one woman he’s never allowed himself to get close to.

And it is only this ragtag group that stands against a traitorous organization that could enable Napoleon to conquer the world.

PLEASE NOTE: This is the first book in the Lady Wynwood’s Spies series, an epic serial novel. Each volume has a completed story arc, but this is NOT a stand-alone novel and ends on a cliffhanger.

All the posted parts are listed here.

***


Prologue 1b



Sol shifted in his chair in the silence. “I was surprised to receive your note today, asking me to call upon you when I had seen you only a few days ago.”

“Eighty-four hours ago, in fact.”

Sol cleared his throat. “Just so that I’m aware of the situation, are you upset with me or with something that happened while we were at Lady Meynhill’s birthday celebration?”

Her eyes narrowed at him.

He sighed and answered his own question. “Both.”

“You promised me that long discussion, did you not?”

He colored slightly but gave a smile full of all the charm he could infuse it with, including that adorable—er, lone dimple on his left cheek. “But I sent you that note as soon as I returned to town late Saturday—actually, quite early Sunday morning.”

She raised her eyebrows. “Oh. The one that said, ‘All are well. Thanks for your help this weekend.’”

“It was not that terse, surely.”

“It was nearly that terse. But it was not your letter, Sol. I realize there are certain things about which you cannot speak.” She had purposefully never spoken to him about his clandestine work for the government officials in the Home Office. She had suspected—how could she not, when she and Sol had been such close friends in the ten years since her husband died? Although she had not known about Sol’s work for the government when they had first met decades ago at her debut into society, she had observed him closely enough in the past few years to know that he was involved in some way in the government’s efforts against France’s secretive infiltration of these shores. And then his mysterious agenda at the birthday celebration this past weekend had solidified it in her mind, although he had never overtly spoken about it.

She continued, “It was the letter I just received from my cousin, Cecil.”

Laura had the satisfaction of seeing Sol’s face blush the faintest bit pink.

“Perhaps to ascertain you returned home safely? You had spent several weeks with your aunt in Northumberland directly after Christmastide with Cecil’s family, if I recall.” Sol had an innocent expression, but it was obvious that he knew exactly what that letter had been about.

“This charming letter had been sent only a week after Twelfth Night ended, but it had gone astray on its way to Northumberland and I had left before it arrived. My aunt forwarded it to me, so I did not read it until today.”

“How tragic, the mail these days—” Sol began, but she interrupted his attempt to detour the conversation.

“Among other pieces of gossip and random complaints, Cecil also mentioned that Sir Horace Bigby accused the servants of disturbing his things. He questioned the maids, who asserted they spotted a gentleman wandering the hallways near Sir Horace’s room around the time in question. About your height, with dark, wavy hair remarkably like yours. Cecil naturally didn’t believe them and thought they were simply trying to blame a guest.”

Sol opened his mouth, but Laura cut him off. “Do not even attempt to pretend surprise, Solomon Drydale. Pray, explain why you entered the room of another guest at Wintrell Hall this past Christmas. What were you searching for?”

“Why would you think that I—”

“Do not lie to me, Sol.”

Sol hesitated, then said, “I had thought I’d seen Sir Horace speaking to that woman, Harriet, who caused such distress at the house party. After the chaos had died down, I was concerned.”

It sounded extremely convincing, but Laura, catching every minute movement of Sol’s face, hands, and body, knew immediately that this was a lie. Unfortunately, Sol was one of the best liars Laura had ever seen. She would have to be smarter in the questions she asked him. “Concerned in what way?”

“Well … perhaps she had an accomplice or other plans putting the family in more danger. There might have been evidence in Sir Horace’s room.”

“And you couldn’t leave that task to Cecil?”

“Would you leave that task to Cecil?”

She had to admit he had a point. “And did you find anything?”

“No.” He sighed. “I felt very foolish afterward.”

But why had Sol felt the need to concern himself personally in that? She continued to press him. “Did you know what Harriet had been planning?”

“Upon my honor, I did not,” Sol said quickly.

He was telling the truth—about Harriet, at least. If she had not seen a different side of him—that “Stranger-Sol”—this past weekend, she might not have thought anything of Cecil’s letter about Sir Horace, but now … She phrased her question very carefully and with great detail. “Did you go to Wintrell Hall this past Christmas in order to investigate a person of interest for whatever work you’re doing for the government?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He was very good, but she could still tell that was a complete falsehood.

“Sol!” she protested. “My family was there! How could you put them in danger?”

Sol’s demeanor was calm and placating. “Laura, I assure you I didn’t.”

“But you went there with an agenda, just as you did to the birthday celebration.”

“Laura, you are quite mistaken. This weekend, I had no notion things would turn out as they did. And I understand that you are upset that I riffled through Sir Horace’s room, but it was done out of, I admit, rather poor taste and a lack of confidence in Cecil’s abilities to thoroughly determine that there was no longer any danger to anyone else at the house party.”

His voice was smooth, but Laura didn’t need her special talent to recognize the twitch at the corner of his left eyebrow that indicated it was all a lie.

***


NOTE: Laura and Sol mention events that happened at Christmas and about a month before the events of this story. The Christmas events are detailed in The Spinster’s Christmas, a stand-alone Christian Regency Romantic Suspense novel, but you do not have to read that book to enjoy Lady Wynwood’s Spies.

However, you can read about the events at the birthday celebration in my novella, The Gentleman Thief, which you can receive for FREE in exchange for signing up for my email newsletter. After a few welcome emails, I send out newsletters about once a month with a sale on one of my books, a freebie, or news about when my latest release is available.

***

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Buy Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer:
Kindle
Paperback

NOTE: Unfortunately, the book will only be in Amazon for now. However, if you buy a copy on Amazon and would like to read it on your non-Kindle reader, forward the receipt of your purchase to me at camys.loft@gmail.com and I’ll have BookFunnel send you an .epub copy of the file so you can side load it onto your ebook reader. (If you have any trouble downloading your copy, please click the help link at the top of the download page. The friendly folks at BookFunnel will help you get your book.) You might also be able to download a DRM-free copy from Amazon through “Your Content and Devices” page on the Amazon website.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Interview with Jaycee Weaver part 1

I’m very excited to be able to interview Jaycee Weaver!

Jaycees’ Bio:

Jaycee Weaver lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her awesome husband, three daughters, two crazy Shih Tzus, and a dwarf rabbit. When she’s not writing, she’s busy balancing the mom-wife life. Jaycee loves to read books in multiple genres, drink too much coffee (honestly, when are they going to make the coffee IV a real thing?!), sing, take landscape and floral photos, sew, cook, bake, and craft nearly anything. She considers herself a recovering perfectionist and sometimes hot mess. She does her best to live her faith in action, being open, honest, and real; letting God be Lord over the good, the bad, and the ugly even when it’s hard.

Camy here: Jaycee is one of the twelve authors participating with me in the Christian Contemporary Romance anthology, Save the Date, which releases September 15!

Also, Jaycee’s boxed set of her Christian Contemporary Romance series, Everyday Love: the Complete Series (All four titles + bonus material), releases next week. We’ll be talking a bit about book 2 in the series, Whatever Comes Our Way (I’ll be posting the excerpt next week) and about Jaycee’s writing life.

And now, here’s me and Jaycee!

What's your favorite scene from Whatever Comes Our Way?

I have a few favorite scenes in this book, but one of my favorites is when Jaydon and Gina make their first real connection. They've met in a few scenes to this point, but the girl who doesn't do church runs into the youth pastor at a local pizza place. She agrees to sit at a table with him and a couple of his youth group kids, one of whom is a girl Gina immediately feels a connection with...which is concerning because of her own past. But I love the scene because it's where the plot really starts forming, along with Gina and Jaydon's excellent banter, plus an unexpected first kiss!

I love it when first kisses are surprises!

If your heroine were a type of cake, what would she be and why?

I'm going to say a seven layer salted caramel cake. Gina is complicated and sweet, but a little salty. So that totally fits her. Ha ha!

She sounds like someone I’d like! :)

If your hero were stranded on a desert island with a screaming baby, what would he do first?

Jaydon is a giant teddy bear. I have no doubts he'd handle a screaming baby the same way he'd handle a freaking out Gina—with compassion, a soothing voice, his big arms, and a dash of humor. And then he'd tear down a tree and build the kid a rocking chair or something.

He sounds totally AWESOME!

What do you hope your readers will take away from the book?

My hope is for readers to take away the confidence that God understands their deepest hurts and heartaches, and is always there to walk through the fires—whatever comes their way.

Such a good message, especially in the current times!



What is your most memorable moment as a writer?

So many moments are memorable, but I will always treasure the day my first book went "live" on Amazon. Seeing my name and my book listed there in the search results was a dream come true!

I can totally relate! It’s a completely amazing feeling!

Do you have a special verse specifically to inspire your writing?

Each book tends to have a theme verse of its own, but not always. I love how I'll be writing something and suddenly a scripture will come to mind (or two or ten LOL) that perfectly captures the heart of the story. But if I had to choose a specific verse for my writing, it would be Proverbs 16:9, "We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps." That's my heart!

That totally happens to me when I’m writing, too—a verse will suddenly come to mind for a passage I’m writing!

Finish this line: Writing a novel is ...

like taking little pieces of your soul and turning them into an emotional stew that you simultaneously hope everyone and no one reads.

LOL! That is SUCH a good way of putting it!

Your Everyday Love boxed set is coming next week! Tell us about the series.



Camy here: Jaycee will be back in two weeks with part 2 of the interview. In the meantime, pre-order her boxed set, Everyday Love: the Complete Series (All four titles + bonus material), which releases on March 9th!

Next week, look forward to an excerpt from Whatever Comes Our Way (Everyday Love Book 2).

In the weeks following, I’ll post the second part of the interview AND a knitting pattern for the yoga bag that Jaycee’s heroine Ashlyn uses in her novella, Braver with You, which is in the Save the Date anthology!

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

The symbol from the Lady Wynwood's Spies series

I should have probably blogged about this when book 1 released, but I was kind of in a mental and physical meltdown in December last year (the book released December 8th), and so I didn’t even think about doing this until now that book 2 has already released.

Anyway, in book 1, the symbol Michael is carrying (which his brother Richard found before he died) and the symbol which is in the pocket watch is actually my family crest!



I was thinking I’d like something like the Scarlet Pimpernel, and my family crest was just too perfect, even though it’s not British, it’s Japanese. And some of you might have noticed that I use my family crest for my author logo on my website:



A friend of my cousin actually did my logo for me. She took a low-resolution version made by another designer and cleaned it up, then gave me the high-res version. I love my logo!

Anyway, I thought some of you might be interested in seeing what I was envisioning when I created the symbol for Jack’s nefarious evil organization. But since it’s my family crest, maybe it’s my nefarious evil organization? :)

Monday, March 01, 2021

Lady Wynwood's Spies, volume 2: Berserker released!

I’m excited to announce that the second volume in my Christian Regency Adventure epic serial novel, Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 2: Berserker, released on February 17th! Those of you who read Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer will be happy that the wait is finally over and you can find out what happens next!

Here’s the back cover description:

Part two in a Christian Regency Romantic Adventure epic serial novel with a supernatural twist
Lady Wynwood’s Spies volume 2

A dire situation

Mr. Solomon Drydale and his team are reeling. After only a single act of mayhem by underworld lord Apothecary Jack, one of their group is down and another is missing.

An urgent plea

Desperate, Sol acts on his forbidden knowledge of an agent for the Crown who is known only to the highest levels of government—le petit prince, master of disguises. He defies his superiors and asks the Prince for help.

A hazardous hunt

Now, the team must learn to work with a new member to save one of their own. But time is running out before Jack finds him and breaks him—and puts all of their lives at risk.

PLEASE NOTE: This is the second book in the Lady Wynwood’s Spies series, an epic serial novel. Each volume has a completed story arc, but this is NOT a stand-alone novel and the story continues in volume 3.

I hope you enjoy Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 2: Berserker! I’m on track to finish Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 3: Aggressor soon and I hope to publish it in April, if all goes well!

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Celebration Lit blog tour day 14



Lady Wynwood's Spies, volume 1: Archer is going on a blog tour with Celebration Lit! The tour is from February 15th through the 28th, so be sure to visit all the tour stops. Also enter the giveaway for a 1-year subscription to Kindle Unlimited!

The blog tour stops today are:

Adventures of a Travelers Wife

A Good Book and Cup of Tea

Blogging With Carol

Today is the last day of the tour! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Celebration Lit blog tour day 13



Lady Wynwood's Spies, volume 1: Archer is going on a blog tour with Celebration Lit! The tour is from February 15th through the 28th, so be sure to visit all the tour stops. Also enter the giveaway for a 1-year subscription to Kindle Unlimited!

The blog tour stops today are:

Blossoms and Blessings

Britt Reads Fiction

Friday, February 26, 2021

Tea for Today - Earl Grey Bella Luna by @AdagioTeas #myadagio

Today’s tea, Earl Grey Bella Luna by Adagio.com, is EXTRA special because this tea is only available to buy for 24 hours on the day of the full moon each month!

From the website:

Earl Grey Bella Luna brings the light of the full moon to your cup. Robust Earl Grey shines with familiar bergamot notes, highlighted by a soft glow of coconut and cream. Rich, bright, and well-rounded, this tea is not to be missed... but it only rises once a month, so don't miss out!

Please note - we operate on EST. This tea is available for 24 hours the day of each full moon. We kindly ask customers in timezones other than EST, to please account for the time difference when purchasing. Thanks!

Black Tea | High caffeine | Steep at 212° for 3-5 minutes.



The coconut and creme flavor added to earl grey is so weirdly complimentary! Earl grey purists won’t like this, but I tend to like earl grey with milk so this wasn’t too weird for me.



It’s a surprisingly exotic flavor, and a bit intense, so I would consider this an occasional tea rather than a flavor I could drink every day.

If you’re interested in buying it, hurry because you can only order it tomorrow! If you’d like a $5 gift certificate, comment below and I’ll post a 24-hour gift certificate code!

Celebration Lit blog tour day 12



Lady Wynwood's Spies, volume 1: Archer is going on a blog tour with Celebration Lit! The tour is from February 15th through the 28th, so be sure to visit all the tour stops. Also enter the giveaway for a 1-year subscription to Kindle Unlimited!

The blog tour stops today are:

Tell Tale Book Reviews

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy