Skip to main content

Lady Wynwood's Spies, volume 1: Archer EXCERPT - Chapter 1a

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.

***


Chapter 1a



London, England, April 3rd, 1811



Miss Phoebe Sauber jolted to a halt in the doorway to the morning room at the sight of her father sitting at the table. She didn’t realize her mouth had opened in surprise until he looked up at her and snapped, “Close your mouth and come inside or go out. You’re letting in a draft.”

She belatedly closed the door behind her.

Mr. Denholm Sauber had spread the newspaper out on the table beside him, so Phoebe took that as an excuse to sit far away from him at the opposite corner. Her normal breakfast fare of muffins and tea had been supplanted by her father’s preference for bacon, eggs, toast, and coffee, and the servants had bowed to his wishes rather than leaving the tea and muffins out for her. She gritted her teeth in irritation and selected toast, then deliberately turned to the hovering maid and said loudly, “Agnes, I would like a pot of tea.”

“You’ll have coffee and be glad of it,” her father growled.

“Tea, Agnes.”

Thankfully, her father didn’t bother to argue further, and the maid bobbed a sulky curtsy before leaving the room.

Several years ago, before her brother had been born and even for a few years after, she would have professed to prefer coffee over tea and would have been thrilled to eat breakfast with her father. Now, she guessed that his unwonted presence here this morning was because she had inadvertently done something to displease him again, and the thought annoyed her rather than arousing any feelings of guilt.

“You are playing archery with your friends again?”

His unexpected question made her choke on her toast. She coughed a few seconds, wishing for the absent tea, before she was able to croak out, “Yes.” He had probably guessed because she wore one of her special gowns, cut with more fullness in the shoulders for her archery practice.

Her father frowned at his eggs. “It is only an acceptable pastime because your archery friends are from influential families.” It was the only reason he approved of her interest in it—he was in the process of angling for a title, and a few of her friends’ families were close to members of the royal family, especially the newly sworn-in Prince Regent.

“I won the last three tournaments I participated in.” As soon as the words left her mouth, she regretted them. Why did she continue to say things like that, as if she still desired his approval?

“At least it’s not costly.” He glanced out the window a moment before turning back to his plate and shoveling bacon into his mouth.

Her toast crumbled in her tightened fingers. It was only through her efforts managing his estate in his stead that he was able to remain in town for much of the year, and that they had the money to pay for the rent on this townhouse. She worked with his steward much more efficiently and smoothly than he did, and her efforts had increased the funds flowing into the family coffers. However, the increased wealth had numbed her father to the fact that it was his daughter who was responsible.

Agnes arrived with a teapot and cup, which distracted Phoebe from her frustrations, only to introduce new ones. “Agnes, you forgot the milk and sugar.”

The maid’s mouth thinned in irritation, and she practically flounced from the room.

Phoebe sighed. Unlike the servants at their country estate, the servants in the London townhouse adopted their master’s dismissive and disrespectful attitude toward her.

“Stop harassing the servants.” Her father glanced out the window again, then reached for his coffee cup. “You should have drunk coffee.”

She ignored him. Despite the servants, she was glad to be in town again for the Season because she was determined that this year, she would find a suitable man to marry. It was her only way to escape her home, which had slowly become intolerable over the past few years. She was nearly on the shelf, but surely if she lowered her standards (and kept her mouth shut), she could find someone.

For the past four Seasons, nearly all her suitors had been the more desperate fortune hunters, although sprinkled in with the mix had been a few aged, pox-ridden roués looking for a young wife to belatedly try to sprout some offspring for them. Her father had rejected all of them—he possessed a manager for his land and house in his daughter, so he would not relinquish her unless her husband benefited him personally somehow, such as connections to aid his bid for a title.

But this Season, surely she could persuade her father. Surely some impoverished fortune hunter possessed an entailed country estate with a greenhouse or the space to build one, so she could continue to grow her precious roses. And meeting a man in town during the Season would indicate he traveled to London at least once a year, so once they were married, she could still attend her botanical association meetings.

Surely this year she could simper more convincingly and smile a bit more brightly.

***


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.

Subscribe

* indicates required

You will receive a few welcome emails from me, and then after that you'll receive about one email a month. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from me, or by contacting me at authorcamilleelliot@gmail.com.

Your information will be kept completely private and will not be sold to any third party.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

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!

ひとり寿司第22章パート3

「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。 *** ********** 父に白い封筒を渡される前から、レックスの心臓は張り裂けていた——冷たい日本海で真っ二つに分かれる氷河のように、耳をつんざくような鋭い音がする。 (あなたを、ワサマタユ・スポーツクラブの男女混合および女子バレーボールチームに受け入れます……) その手紙にきちんと折り目をつけて、封筒の中に戻した。そして、膝を上げて横になっているソファの隣に置かれた、コーヒーテーブルに手紙を落とした。 彼女の入部を伝えるために、その日の午前中、ダレンから電話があった。 「ダレ