Skip to main content

The Spinster's Christmas - Chapter 11a #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 11a

December 27th

After Miranda had put the children to bed after dinner, she entered the drawing room and immediately saw Gerard in the far corner. It seemed she could always find him in a crowded room, which was why she had noticed that he had seemed preoccupied all day.

It was more than the seriousness of the situation, or frustration that the men who had attacked them had not yet been found. There was a deadness in his eyes, and an increased tension along his jaw, which made her concerned about him. It was as though he was in deep pain, but not from his body.

Tonight, he sat with his mother while a large number of the party played at Charades in front of the roaring fire. His mother watched the players and laughed at their wild antics, but Gerard barely looked at them. He was not stiff, but he was stern. His mother occasionally spoke to him, but it was obvious to Miranda that they were both irritated, although perhaps for different reasons.

Miranda had never seen Gerard like this, but she imagined this would be his expression as he stood on board his ship, the implacable captain.

She sailed across the room. “Mrs. Foremont, I know how much you enjoy music. Wouldn't you like to join the glee that is forming?” Several of the older members of the party were gathering around the pianoforte for singing. “I should be happy to sit with Gerard.”

“I do not need a nursery-maid,” he snapped.

“I fear I know not how else to behave since I am a nursery-maid,” Miranda said sweetly.

He glared at her, but with a touch less irritation than before.

His mother’s mouth had fallen open as she looked first at Miranda, then at Gerard. Her surprise only lasted a moment, however, before she said, “There is no need, Miranda. My son is my responsibility.”

Her cold words made him look away.

Mrs. Foremont had never before been unfriendly to Miranda, but perhaps it was her resistance to allowing Miranda to accompany Ellie that made her seem more aloof. Yet whatever the cause, and whatever the outcome, Miranda could not bear to allow Gerard to wallow in his foul temper. Just as she had felt compelled to interfere with him yesterday, she wished to see him smile today.

“Mrs. Foremont, do leave your curmudgeonly son to me,” Miranda urged. “Although he needs a good clout to the head to knock him out of his ill mood, I shall do my best with rousing conversation.”

“I should like to see you try,” he growled.

“The clout or the rousing conversation?”

He glowered at her.

Mrs. Foremont’s eyebrows rose as she regarded the two of them.

“Gerard, it is of no purpose for us to be at loggerheads, because I always win.” Miranda gave him a superior smile.

Gerard grunted and put his chin on his fist.

Strangely, his mother looked stricken, as if by a thought that surprised her. But there was also a touch of meekness as she nodded to Miranda. “I leave you to your fate, Miranda.” Then she added with a saucy gleam in her eye, “If only to keep from laughing in front of my son and putting him even more out of sorts.”

Yes, there was the Mrs. Foremont Miranda was used to. Gerard’s mother swept away and Miranda took her seat. “There, did that make you feel better?” she asked Gerard cheerfully.

“I am not a child.”

“No, you are not. But you were upsetting your mother.”

“It was not my behaviour that was upsetting my mother,” he said in a low voice.

“What do you mean?”

He shook his head, but she reached out to touch the back of his hand briefly, where it lay on the arm of the chair. “You look as though you have been abandoned,” she said.

“I am hardly abandoned. On the contrary, I am never left alone.”

“Not physically abandoned, but perhaps emotionally.”

He moved his hand from hers. “You are mistaken.”

But she knew she was not. She recognized that expression because she had felt it herself for so many years. “While my parents were alive, I knew I was very different from them, and they could not understand me. So they stopped trying. And I felt abandoned.”

A muscle in his neck spasmed once, then stilled.

“I know they loved me,” she said, “and yet they were apart from me.”

He was silent, and she said nothing. She had never confessed that to anyone, and yet she had just spoken as if spilling a glass of wine into his lap.

When he spoke, she could barely hear him over the glee singers at the pianoforte and the rowdy yelling of the Charades players.

“They think I may have done something unsavoury.”

She had hardly expected that. “Of course you did nothing of the sort.”

He looked at her, but she could not read his expression. “You believe me.”

“I always believe you.” She said it without thinking.

Then he smiled. She took a short breath, and then calmed herself.

“My mother asked what I had done to cause those men to attack me.”

“Oh, Gerard.”

“Lately, my mother and I are constantly at daggers drawn. But I had not expected her to know me so little that she would ask that.”

“You have been away from your family for many years. And then you were in their company for your convalescence. You are no longer their little boy. You have changed—you can hardly help having changed—and perhaps it frightens them because you are now a man, and they are uncertain of who you are.”

You did not change.”

“You are wrong. I am very different.” She was no longer that schoolgirl, and yet she felt her woman's heart reaching out to him again as she had done when she was twelve.

Their eyes met, and held. He seemed frozen, but not surprised. He reached out, and while he did not quite cup her cheek, his fingertips trailed from her cheekbone down to her jaw. He touched her as if she were a delicate flower, the centrepiece of an arrangement. Except that she was nothing of the sort. She was Miranda, who had just blurted to him that she felt abandoned.

She turned her head away, and his hand dropped.

She knew all the reasons he would not choose her. She was impoverished and his family would not wish him to marry a fortune-hunter. He would not consider the complication of a relationship with any woman while his leg had not yet healed.

She knew all the reasons she should not feel this way. Too many people in her life had failed her, and she was not willing to take the risk with someone like Gerard, who could have any woman he wanted as his wife. She could never believe he could ever love her. She had always thought that perhaps something was broken inside of her, which prevented people from caring about her.

Which prevented her from being able to open herself to anyone.

And yet she could not stop herself from wanting him as she had always wanted him. He had always been brave and kind, and he was all that still, but the experiences of his life had given him a depth and understanding that had not been there before.

And she was falling in love with him all over again. She could not stop herself.


Sign up for Camy's newsletter

* indicates required

Buy The Spinster’s Christmas ebook!
Google Play


Popular Posts

Year of the Dog serial novel

About Year of the Dog : A month or two ago, I remembered an old manuscript I had completed but which hadn’t sold. It was a contemporary romance meant for Zondervan, titled Year of the Dog . The book had gone into the pipeline and I even got another title ( Bad Dog ) and a cover for it, but eventually my editor at the time decided she didn’t want to publish it, for various reasons. She instead requested a romantic suspense, and so I cannibalized some of the characters from Year of the Dog and thrust them into the next book I wrote, which was Protection for Hire . Honestly, I didn’t take a lot from Year of the Dog to put in Protection for Hire , aside from character names and a few relationship ties. I was originally thinking I’d post Year of the Dog as-is on my blog as a free read, but then it occurred to me that I could revamp it into a romantic suspense and change the setting to Hawaii. It would work out perfectly as (yet another) prequel to the Warubozu series and introduce

A new tier in my Patreon

I started my Patreon for my fans and for people who didn’t want to buy my books on Kindle. My patrons get each new ebook 2-3 weeks early for only $3 (which is usually the newsletter-only price), and they only get charged when I release a book, not every month. At the moment, I’m releasing my Christian historical romantic suspense series, Lady Wynwood’s Spies. But after I finish that series, I’ll be releasing my Christian contemporary romantic suspense series, the Warubozu Spa Chronicles, and those in my Patreon will be able to get those books early, too. I just added a new $1.00 tier for fans who would prefer to read my books in Kindle Unlimited or buy the Kindle ebook, but just want to support me. Click here to read more about my Patreon. Thank you so much for reading my books!

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

Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 9

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 Chri

Grace Livingston Hill romances free to read online

I wanted to update my old post on Grace Livingston Hill romances because now there are tons more options for you to be able to read her books for free online! I’m a huge Grace Livingston Hill fan. Granted, not all her books resonate with me, but there are a few that I absolutely love, like The Enchanted Barn and Crimson Roses . And the best part is that she wrote over 100 books and I haven’t yet read them all! When I have time, I like to dive into a new GLH novel. I like the fact that most of them are romances, and I especially appreciate that they all have strong Christian themes. Occasionally the Christian content is a little heavy-handed for my taste, but it’s so interesting to see what the Christian faith was like in the early part of the 20th century. These books are often Cinderella-type stories or A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett) type stories, which I love. And the best part is that they’re all set in the early 1900s, so the time period is absolutely fasci

Follow Camy on BookBub

Follow my author profile on BookBub! You’ll get an email from BookBub whenever I have a new ebook release and when my books are ever featured there. Click here to go to my Camille Elliot page on BookBub.


「ひとり寿司」をブログに連載します! ひとり寿司 寿司シリーズの第一作 キャミー・タング 西島美幸 訳 スポーツ狂のレックス・坂井 —— いとこのマリコが数ヶ月後に結婚することにより、「いとこの中で一番年上の独身女性」という内輪の肩書を「勝ち取る」ことについては、あまり気にしていない。コントロールフリークの祖母を無視するのは容易だ —— しかし、祖母は最終通告を出した —— マリコの結婚式までにデート相手を見つけなければ、無慈悲な祖母は、レックスがコーチをしている女子バレーボールチームへの資金供給を切ると言う。 ダグアウトにいる選手全員とデートに出かけるほど絶望的なわけではない。レックスは、バイブルスタディで読んだ「エペソの手紙」をもとに「最高の男性」の条件の厳しいリストを作った。バレーボールではいつも勝つ —— ゲームを有利に進めれば、必ず成功するはずだ。 そのとき兄は、クリスチャンではなく、アスリートでもなく、一見何の魅力もないエイデンを彼女に引き合わせる。 エイデンは、クリスチャンではないという理由で離れていったトリッシュという女の子から受けた痛手から立ち直ろうとしている。そして、レックスが(1)彼に全く興味がないこと、(2)クリスチャンであること、(3)トリッシュのいとこであることを知る。あの狂った家族とまた付き合うのはごめんだ。まして、偽善的なクリスチャンの女の子など、お断り。彼はマゾヒストじゃない。 レックスは時間がなくなってきた。いくら頑張っても、いい人は現れない。それに、どこへ行ってもエイデンに遭遇する。あのリストはどんどん長くなっていくばかり —— 過去に掲載済みのストーリーのリンクはこちらです。 *** キッチンテーブルの上にごちゃごちゃと置かれている食べ物を見つけた。フルーツが入ったお皿は、すでに子供たちがめちゃくちゃにしていたが、新鮮なマグロの刺身は、巻き寿司の隣にきれいに並んでいた。天ぷら鍋から取り出したばかりのもち粉チキンは、まだ湯気が立っていて、祖母の自家製たくあんが、その隣の小皿に置かれている。 「わあ、叔母さんか誰かが、エビの天ぷら作ったんだわ」トリッシュはエビの天ぷらを紙皿に取った。 レックスはお皿をつかんだ。ここに来た唯一の理由。祖母ですら、美味しい日本食を食べていると

A List of my Free Blog Reads

Curious about what my writing is like? Here’s a list of all my free books and the free short stories, novellas, and novels that you can read here on my blog. I’ll update this post as I add more free reads. Christian Humorous Romantic Suspense: Year of the Dog (Warubozu Spa Chronicles series, Prequel novel) (Currently being posted monthly on my blog as a serial novel) Marisol Mutou, a professional dog trainer, finally has a chance to buy a facility for her business, but her world is upended when she must move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate. When she stumbles upon a three-year-old missing persons case, security expert Ashwin Keitou, whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier, is tasked with protecting her. However, danger begins to circle around them from people who want the past to remain there. Can they shed light on the secrets moving in the shadows? Christian Romantic Suspense: Necessary Proof (Sonoma series #4.1, n

Just another day at youth group

My Christian contemporary romance, Single Sashimi , includes some of the wilder tales from my and my husband’s stints as youth staff workers at our church. The Steven character in the book is actually the same Steven who’s the associate pastor and youth group leader at our church now, since I wrote Single Sashimi when he was still in youth group. :) He’s a young man in his late twenties (maybe early thirties?), and he’s full of great ideas and lots of energy. On one particular Saturday, my husband and I were at youth group as usual. Steven had bought a tug of war rope—the really long, thick kind that looks like it belongs on a sea trawler. The opening game for the kids was, of course, tug of war. Then we came indoors for a three-song worship set. After worship, we usually split up into Junior High and High School for lessons, but this time Steven had an idea: “Okay guys, we’re going to have a tug of war--staff versus kids. If you guys win, we’ll ditch the lesson and go out t

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th