Thanks so much Mel for having me back on bookworm2bookworm.
As I’m composing this post, I have just returned from RWA. My throat is a little sore from all the talking during the past week. We writers are a pretty solitary bunch, but when conference time comes around it’s non-stop. Not only talking but listening, something I sometimes have problems with, especially when I’m over-excited. In fact, I think I either insulted or hurt the feelings of an author I greatly respect and whose books are auto-buys for me. Something I’m going to have to apologize for in the very near future.
There are times when that can be more easily said than done. In my latest release, Enticing Miss Eugénie Villaret, book 5 of The Marriage Game, my hero, William, Viscount Wivenly, is continually getting on the wrong side of my heroine, Miss Eugénie Villaret. Although in his case, I tried to warn him his behavior would not turn out well.
Here is an excerpt.
The morning following the disaster with his betrothed, Will sent his groom to the flower market. As he was tying his neckcloth, Griff returned empty-handed.
This was not good. “Where are the flowers?”
Griff fiddled with his hat. “Ain’t got a market hereabouts.”
Will almost rolled his eyes. His groom wasn’t usually so dense. “Why didn’t you go to the florist?”
“Ain’t got one of them either.”
They must have something. Will ran a hand through his hair. What the deuce was going on? He’d seen a flower arrangement at the Whitecliffs’. “I need to find a bouquet.”
“Sorry, my lord. I looked all over town and didn’t see any at all.”
Damn and blast. “Get your breakfast and meet me down at the warehouse. I’ll ask around.”
“Yes, my lord.” Griff bowed and left the bedchamber.
Will finished his cravat before strolling into the parlor, where he found Andrew already discussing a good portion of fruit. Will strolled to the sideboard and inspected the offerings. “There is apparently no flower market in town.”
Andrew glanced up with a smug expression. “That is what I was given to understand.”
Will paused in the process of selecting a baked egg. “Then where am I to find flowers for Miss Villaret?”
A grin split Andrew’s face. “You have to go to someone’s house and ask to be allowed to pick a bouquet from their garden.”
The egg slipped off the serving spoon Will held. “Ask a private person for flowers? I’ve never heard of such a thing.”
Andrew nodded. “There is a woman in the Queen’s Quarter who raises roses and lilies, among other plants. I have her direction. You may go immediately after breakfast. I was told it is better to pick the blooms in the morning.”
Will retrieved the egg and took a piece of Dum bread stuffed with cheese. “I’ll send Griff.”
“You’ll go yourself,” Andrew said, “or you won’t have them at all. The woman is particular about who she sells them to.”
“Give me the directions.” Will heaved an exasperated sigh. Was nothing easy when it came to Eugénie? He finished his breakfast as Andrew explained how to find the residence. An hour later, after tromping up a hill, losing himself in the jumble of streets, and having to ask directions from an old man who gave Will a knowing look. Halfway up the hill called Queen’s Quarter he finally knocked on the door of a house quite a bit smaller than his aunt’s but not as tiny as others he’d seen. It appeared to have only one floor as opposed to the multiple levels of the Wivenly and Whitecliff houses. . Eugénie had better forgive him after making him go through all of this.
An older woman answered the door and Will handed her his card. “Good morning, ma’am. I am Lord Wivenly. I was advised you might be willing to sell me a bouquet of flowers.”
“I might.” She rubbed her finger over the raised letters on the card. “What do you need them for?”
He resisted the urge to run a finger under his collar. “My betrothed and I had a slight disagreement, and I thought to sweeten her.”
The lady held the door open. “I’m Mrs. Rordan. What is the name of your betrothed?”
“Miss Villaret de Joyeuse.”
“Eugénie? I didn’t know she’d got engaged.” The old woman squinted her eyes and stared at Will. “You must be related to her step-father, but I don’t see much of a resemblance.”
“Um, no. My great-uncle took after his mother’s side of the family.”
Mrs. Rordan nodded. “Well, if you managed to get Eugénie’s back up, you’ll need something nice.”
Managed to distress her? When was she not upset?
The lady turned and started shuffling down a corridor. “Don’t just stand there, young fellow. Follow me.”
Will stepped in and closed the front door. “Yes, ma’am.”
BOOK BLURB: William, Viscount Wivenly, plans to remain the most eligible of bachelors. He refuses to surrender to the schemes of husband-hunting ladies and matchmaking mamas. Fleeing the pressure of the ton, he’s bent on finding refuge in the West Indies. What he finds instead is a fascinating stranger, a woman so unlike those of his society that he can’t resist such a beguiling distraction…
Determined to let nothing complicate her mission to protect her family’s livelihood while covertly rescuing orphaned slave children, Miss Eugénie Villaret does her best to evade suitors. But when dashing William lures her down a path of forbidden adventure and delicious danger, she may be convinced that business can indeed be mixed with pleasure—and persuaded to add passion to her priorities…
AUTHOR BIO: Ella Quinn lived all over the United States, the Pacific, Canada, England and Europe before finally discovering the Caribbean. She lives in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands with her wonderful husband, three bossy cats and a lovable great Dane.
Barnes & Nobel and Amazon bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.
She is married to her wonderful husband of twenty-nine years. They have a son and granddaughter, Great Dane and a Chartreux. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make St. Thomas, VI home.
Ella is a member of the Romance Writers of American, The Beau Monde and Hearts Through History. She is represented by Elizabeth Pomada of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency, and published by Kensington. Her debut novel The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, released in September 2013.