Skip to main content

Happy Girls' Day!

I realize it’s not a traditional hinamatsuri photo, but I couldn’t help it, the cat was so cute! Happy Girls’ Day!

The Spinster's Christmas - Chapter 12a #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 12a

December 28th

The next morning, as Gerard lounged in bed wearing a banyan, Maddox asked in long-suffering accents, “Will you attend the skating party today, sir?”

He hesitated before answering. He had no wish to be cooped up, but he also had no wish to sit on the sidelines with the women, or worse, to be shoved about on the ice in a sled like an old man. It was also a jostling carriage ride to the particular lake that had frozen over enough for skating.

There was a knock at the door, and Maddox had no sooner opened it than Miranda's voice asked, “Is he giving you a bear garden jaw, Maddox? Or is he pouting and refusing to stir?”

“Neither, you heartless wench,” Gerard shouted to the open door.

“I have another poultice,” came the disembodied voice.

“I'll not have you freezing off my leg.”

“This one is warm.”

Gerard glowered at the doorway, then nodded to Maddox. The valet was not able to suppress a shudder as he took a cloth bag from Miranda. He bore it well ahead of himself, and Gerard understood why as he neared the bed. The cloth held a lump of steaming mash that smelled like boiled turnips and a mix of pungent herbs.

“That smells even worse than the ones before,” Gerard said.

The voice came from the doorway. “You would do well to be civil, Captain Foremont, lest Maddox accidentally spill that upon your person, allowing you to enjoy the aroma even longer.”

The corner of Maddox’s lips twitched, but his face remained impassive. “If you would, sir?”

Gerard pulled up his pantaloon leg and removed his stocking. However, as Maddox laid the mash on his knee, Gerard caught Miranda peeking into the bedroom. “Miranda!”

But she was extraordinarily unmoved by the sight of his bare limb. “Move it more over the leg muscle, Maddox,” she said. Somehow her undisturbed countenance soothed him. Perhaps it was simply the lack of fussing that he appreciated.

Suddenly there was movement at the doorway and Miranda’s head disappeared. He heard his mother’s voice, “Miranda, what are you—oh good gracious!” His mother halted in the open doorway, looking first at Gerard on his bed and Miranda just outside the room.

Gerard froze. Even with his valet here, this was highly irregular.

His mother saw the poultice, still steaming, then exhaled audibly. She swept into the room and promptly sat on the chair on the other side of Gerard's bed. “Pray continue, Maddox.”

Maddox finished wrapping the disgusting mash around Gerard’s knee. The strong scent burned his nose hairs, but he admitted the aches lessened considerably.

“Good Lord, that smells like a rat died on your leg,” his mother said.

“Thank you, madam,” he said.

“So, Gerard,” his mother said, for all the world as if a young unmarried woman were not standing outside his bedchamber, “will you join the skating party today?”

He had not intended to subject himself to the ordeal, but something in her expression made him wonder if he ought to do so. And he had a sudden idea as to how he might use the skating party to enact a plan that had been rattling about in his head for the past two days. “Had you intended to go?” he asked her.

“I shall not skate, but I will sit with you if you desire. You could also ride in a sled. Cecil will be bringing two of them, I believe.”

“Mrs. Foremont, you should ride in the sled with Mr. Foremont,” Miranda called from the doorway. Of course, being Miranda, she would not act as any other person and pretend that she could not hear every word.

His mother tried to ignore her. “I should be glad to sit with you, especially now that ...”

The heaviness settled on his chest. As an adult, he ought not to be a burden to his parents, to his mother in particular. Just as he had started gaining more independence, the attack had cast him back to the same situation of over a month ago.

“I’m certain Gerard will not lack for friends to sit with him. Miss Church-Pratton, perhaps?” Miranda peeked inside, and the look she gave him was completely unexceptionable, but he caught the devilish glint in those green eyes.

“Oh, this is ridiculous,” his mother said. “I refuse to converse with a doorway. Miranda, do come inside. Maddox, are you quite finished?”

“Indeed, madam.” His valet covered his leg discreetly with a towel as Miranda entered the bedroom. She was more hesitant than she had been last night with Ellie, but she sat quietly next to his mother. Maddox moved away and remained standing next to the open door.

“You should not curtail your amusement, Mrs. Foremont,” Miranda said. “As we know, Gerard becomes insufferable when his every whim is being fulfilled. We should not contribute to the dissolution of his moral character.”

He burst into laughter.

His mother blinked at him, then glanced uncertainly at Miranda.

“There you have it, Mother,” he said. “My immortal soul may be at risk.”

“Do not be irreverent, Gerard,” his mother scolded.

“I shall sit with him, ma’am,” Miranda said. “Surely you would rather spend time with your husband than your ill-tempered son. I am willing to sacrifice my head so no one else need do so.”

His mother hesitated, but then she suddenly smiled. She was more relaxed with him than she had been in a long time. “Gerard, I beg you not to bite Miranda's head off.”

“I will be on my best behaviour, I promise.”

Miranda rose. “Maddox, please wait a few minutes more before removing the poultice. Then you may convey your tyrannical master to the coach.”

“I am not a tyrant,” Gerard said.

“Gerard, don’t be ridiculous. Of course you are.”

He scowled at her.

She smiled, gave an elegant curtsey to him and his mother, and left the room.

His mother left soon afterwards. As Maddox helped him to dress, Gerard was forced to concede that his knee felt a great deal better. After giving the valet a message to send, Gerard made his way, on the crutches, to his parents’ coach, which would convey them to the lake. He was relieved to find his parents as his only companions, although it was because the cursed crutches were like another passenger inside.

***

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

Comments

Anna & Hubert said…
Hi Camy! I am enjoying your book. Just wanted to make a comment on something that is consistently standing out. We often use poultices for ourselves and others; it is not often that a poultice is removed within a few minutes. It is usually applied over hours or often overnight.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards

Anna
Camy Tang said…
Hi Anna,
Thank you so much for your comment! I have had herbal mashes applied to my skin for only an hour or two at a time. Are those not called poultices? Are they called something else?
Thanks!
Camy

Popular Posts

Bethany House Publishers Cover Survey Invitation

Captain's Log, Supplemental I just got this from Bethany House Publishers: Hello Reader, We at Bethany House Publishers appreciate our readers opinions about the books we publish. Occasionally, we seek your input about upcoming products. Currently, we are conducting a survey about the cover image for an upcoming novel. For your time, we are offering a giveaway in conjunction with this survey. You will be able to choose from ten recent Bethany House novels, and there will be ten winners. Winners will be notified within two weeks. Click here to take the survey, which should take about 10 minutes to complete. Thank you for your participation, and feel free to forward this email on to your friends or link the survey on your website. The survey will be available through Monday, September 17. Thanks for your time and your opinions. We value your feedback. Sincerely, Jim Hart Internet Marketing Manager Bethany House Publishers

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 introduc

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

Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 22

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 Mari 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, Auntie Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Chri

Clean & Christian Romance Book Sale

I’m participating in this promo. Click on the graphic to check out all the Christian suspense books available and stuff your eBook reader! Clean & Christian Romance Book Sale

Cupid's Library Escape

Sign up for these authors’ newsletters and get free books! Click on the graphic to check out all the free books. You might find a new favorite author! Cupid's Library Escape

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

Cover Reveals!

Here are the covers to my next books! Spinster will be the 7th volume in my Lady Wynwood’s Spies series. I don’t yet have a release date because I’m still writing it and it’s taking a bit longer than I had anticipated, but within the next few months, I’m pretty sure. This is the cover for Lissa and the Spy, a novella I’m writing that will be in Once Upon a Courtship , a multi-author box set releasing in October this year. You can preorder Once Upon a Courtship now for only 99 cents! And then click here for how you can get additional free Christian romance ebooks! When the box set is unpublished in January 2025, I’ll release Lissa and the Spy as a separate ebook. I’m thinking that I might make it only available to my newsletter subscribers, and if that’s the case, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you can download it for free. But that wouldn’t be until spring of next year. In the meantime, preorder Once Upon a Courtship!

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

Cleo’s Drawstring Purse knitting pattern w/ @KnitPicks CotLin

Kari Trumbo is one of the twelve authors who participated with me in the Christian Contemporary Romance anthology, Save the Date . Kari’s novella in the anthology is titled January Hope . In celebration, I wrote a knitting pattern for the lace drawstring purse used by Kari’s heroine, Cleo. (In case you missed it, here are the links for my interview with Kari part 1 and part 2 . Tomorrow I’ll post an excerpt of one of Kari’s other books, Better Than First .) This is a pretty and practical little bag used by the heroine Cleo in Kari Trumbo’s novella, January Hope . Knit in a cotton/linen blend yarn, it’s just large enough for a cell phone and a small wallet. In the book, Cleo’s bag was a coral shade, but the bag I knit here is a chocolate brown color. The lace pattern is the Double Rose Leaf stitch pattern originally published on page 195 in The Lady's Assistant, volume 2 by Mrs. Jane Gaugain, published in 1847. ( You can download a scanned .pdf of the book from Archive.