Skip to main content

The Spinster's Christmas - Chapter 1b #Christianfiction #Regency #romance

I’m posting my Regency romance, The Spinster's Christmas, so all my blog readers get a chance to read it! It’s the Prequel novel to my Lady Wynwood’s Spies series.

A Christian Regency romantic suspense

Spinster Miranda Belmoore has become a poor relation in her cousin’s house. She determines to escape a life of drudgery and disdain from her own family members, who are embarrassed by her straightforward speech and unconventional behavior that does not match with proper society. She is beginning to believe what they tell her—that she doesn’t matter to anyone, not even to God.

Former naval captain Gerard Foremont is having difficulty adjusting to life back on land, bitter that his career has been cut short by his severely injured knee. A Christmastide houseparty with the Belmoores reunites him with his childhood friend, Miranda, but he is appalled at the verbal abuse she endures and wants to help her.

The festivities are disrupted when a cloaked intruder attacks Gerard, with Miranda as the only witness. Now the two of them must uncover who wants to harm him and why, before Twelfth Night ends in murder …

All the posted parts are listed here.

***

Chapter 1b

“Ellie will be happy to see you, ma’am,” Miranda said to his mother. “She was asking after you all this week, wondering when you would arrive.”

The mention of the six-year-old made his mother smile. “We so enjoyed her visit in the summer. It quite lifted my spirits.”

Her joyful tone contrasted with her peevishness with her own son, and Gerard looked away. But he could not fault her. An orphaned grand-niece was surely better company than an invalid sailor.

This past summer, Ellie had been sent to visit her mother’s relations at Foremont Court. Because Gerard’s mother loved children, she’d begged Ellie’s grandfather to extend the visit to a full eight weeks. At the time, Gerard had still been in the hospital in London, recovering from the cannonball that had exploded the deck beneath his feet, driving splintered wood into his knee.

Only when Gerard had been about to return home was his mother forced to give up Ellie and let her go back to the household of Sir Cecil, her father’s cousin. Ellie’s paternal grandfather had not felt adequate to raise a young girl after her father had been killed on the Peninsula and her mother had died in childbirth only a few months later, so Ellie had been living with Cecil’s family above eight months now.

“How is Ellie?” Gerard’s mother asked Miranda.

Miranda hesitated before answering. “She was in high spirits in the weeks after she returned from your home, but since then, she has become quieter. It is difficult for her, since Cecil’s two younger boys are away at school most of the year, and only his two older daughters are at home. They are more likely to want to talk about gowns and fripperies than romp about with Ellie.”

“She has no playmates in the neighborhood?” Gerard asked.

Miranda said carefully, “Cecil is fastidious about the company his family keeps.”

Gerard frowned. Cecil apparently hadn’t changed in the years since they’d all played together. He was likely too proud to want to associate with any families of insufficiently high birth.

“Ellie enjoyed playing with our neighbors’ children. There was a veritable herd of children that galloped into our drawing room for tea and biscuits every morning,” his mother said with a laugh.

Because unlike Cecil, Gerard’s family had good relationships with all their neighbors, who had many young children below the age of ten.

“I worry that she is lonely,” Miranda said.

“You mustn’t worry,” Gerard said. “After Twelfth Night, we plan to take Ellie home with us to stay.”

He caught a flash of green as she raised her head, and her mouth fell open. “You do?”

“We should enjoy having Ellie with us ever so much,” his mother said. “The idea would never have come into our heads if we had not met Lady Wynwood in London a month ago. It was she who suggested it. She had recently spoken to her cousin Edward—Ellie’s grandfather—and he had mentioned that Ellie was feeling low.”

“Laura thought Ellie would enjoy a change of scenery,” his father said, “with the added benefit of having a girl around the house to cheer Mary up.” He patted his wife’s hand.

“It will not occupy too much of your time with Gerard to have Ellie at home?” Miranda had always been rather blunt, but the artless way she said it made it obvious that she was concerned about him.

Gerard had had enough of pity from his family and neighbors in the past few months, but somehow Miranda’s concern did not upset him. “I am well on the mend. In fact, I insisted we convince Uncle Edward to allow us to take Ellie.”

“Uncle Edward agreed to it?” Miranda asked. “Cecil’s house is but ten miles from his own.”

“And Foremont Court is merely twelve in the other direction,” his father said. “Ellie will be able to see her grandfather as often as she wishes.”

“Does Cecil know of this plan?” Miranda asked. Gerard wondered if anyone besides himself could hear the wary edge to her voice.

“Not yet,” his father said.

“I can’t imagine why he should make a fuss at having a dependent taken off his hands,” his mother said. “Cecil may be the tenth Baronet Belmoore, but Edward is Cecil’s uncle and Ellie’s grandfather.”

“And both of Ellie’s grandfathers agree,” Gerard’s father said, “for not only Edward, but also my brother have written their consent.”

“It would be better by far for Ellie to remove to your home,” Miranda agreed.

At this point, the coach turned onto the stretch of drive that led up to the front of Wintrell Hall. The trees lining the drive were bare, but snow had not yet fallen, and the lawn in front of the house was a pale ash-green color. In contrast, on the east side of the house, the bushes peeking over the top of the stone garden wall were a startling orange-brown, waving in the wind that swept down the valley and swirled around the house.

***

Sign up for Camy's newsletter

* indicates required

Buy The Spinster’s Christmas ebook!
Kindle
iBooks
Kobo
Nook
Smashwords
Google Play

Comments

Popular Posts

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

I joined Sweet Romance Reads!

I just joined Sweet Romance Reads, a group of authors who all write sweet romances in a variety of sub-genres. I’m friends with several of the authors from my days writing for Harlequin/Love Inspired, so it’s nice to be able to join their group. If you’re on Facebook, this is their Facebook page , and this is their Facebook group . I posted my introductory post yesterday on the Sweet Romance Reads blog (Blogger), where I listed three strange things about me. Click here to read the post, and tell me three strange things about you!

Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 5

I’m posting a Humorous Christian Romantic Suspense serial novel here on my blog! Year of the Dog is a (second) prequel to my Warubozu Spa Chronicles series. Year of the Dog serial novel by Camy Tang Marisol Mutou, a professional dog trainer, is having a bad year. While renovating her new dog kenneling and training facility, she needs to move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate—according to them, a job requiring her to be covered in dog hair and slobber is an embarrassment to the family. She convinces her ex-boyfriend to take her dog for a few months … but discovers that his brother is the irate security expert whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier. Ashwin Keitou has enough problems. His aunt has just shown up on his doorstep, expecting to move in with him, and he can’t say no because he owes her everything—after his mother walked out on them, Aunt Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Christ