Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mary Moore's The Aristocrat's Lady

I have been an avid student of the Regency-era since the 1970’s and I am a member of the American Christian Fiction Writer’s historic community as well as a member of the Faith, Hope and Love and Beau Monde chapters of the RWA.

I have been writing historical fiction for over fifteen years. I had to put my writing on hold due to some health issues, including a bout with breast cancer, but I’m now even more excited about my writing as I incorporate some of my struggles throughout my books; dedicated to encouraging others in the Lord and using my stories for His glory.

A native of the Washington, DC area, my husband and I now live in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia, with our black lab, Darcy. When not writing, I enjoy time with my husband, watching romantic movies, reading and weekend get-aways.

You can find Mary online at
www.marymooreauthor.com and
facebook.com/authormarymoore

The Aristocrat's Lady

For a few moments on a moonlit balcony, Nicole Beaumont was just a beautiful woman catching the eye of the handsome Lord Devlin-but she knew the illusion couldn’t last. If the enigmatic aristocrat knew her secret, he’d realize that her disability left her unfit for love. So who could blame her for hiding the truth a little longer?

Devlin had never met a woman like Nicole. Her unique combination of innocence and wisdom left him utterly intrigued. Yet what was she hiding? For a man who did not trust easily, discovering her secret was devastating. Overcoming their pasts and forging a future would take faith, forgiveness and trust. And second chances could lead to new beginnings…

Here's an excerpt of The Aristocrat's Lady:

Lady Nicole Beaumont sighed as she walked along the terrace of the Elizabethan mansion. The air was surprisingly cool and lightly blowing over the palatial gardens behind the house. It was an immediate remedy to the stifling heat of the ballroom behind her. Tracing her hand along the marble railing, she reached the landing that led down into the meticulously patterned walkways. However, Nicole did not descend. She only listened to the sounds coming from the lake, the focal point of the famed park. She could hear the soft gliding of ducks as they floated across the smooth water. She smiled when she perceived one quacking truant dip its head into the cool pool only to bring it up again in a flurry of feathers.

The smell of roses was strong where she stood and it took Nicole’s thoughts back to her own home in Gloucester. Roses had always been her favorite. In fact, she grew the most beautiful and unusual varieties.

She sighed again as she stood against the sculpted balustrade. London had been so much worse than she had imagined. Why had she allowed her mother to convince her it would be good for her to visit Town during the Season? Everything was at a faster pace and her problems seemed magnified in the unending bustle of the city. Her incapacities only reminded her of her endless limitations.

This night she was attending a ball at the home of Lord and Lady Swathmore. It was their “country” home though less than five miles outside of London. Nicole’s mother had been overjoyed at the invitation. Nicole had come to hate such fêtes, but at least at Swathmore Hall there had been an escape to fresh air. The past week had been spent in an endless round of soirees and balls in the sweltering heat of London where the grand houses were bunched against each other like fancy flint boxes stacked in a row.

On this terrace Nicole could imagine she was back at home and thought of the peace God had finally given her. She could, for a few moments, pretend the accident had never happened. The night air made her think of evening rides on Solomon. She could not ride very often, and never without her faithful servant, Toby, alongside. But she had to consider the good; now that the rides were more sedate, she could spend her time in prayer and contemplation. It had taken too long to be thankful for that, but she looked for those boons from life now.

Town had not brought Nicole the pleasure her mother had hoped for. Her disability overrode any enjoyment anticipated.

She castigated herself at the thought. Nicole never truly imagined the trip would provide her much pleasure. Even her dismay at facing the height of the Season had been easy to set aside when she thought of the time she might devote to charitable endeavors that must abound. What she found had shaken her faith in her fellow man. The richest and most lavish city in Europe cared nothing for the poor among them. She had met people who did not give as much as a farthing to help others while spending hundreds of pounds on a coat cut from the cloth of the famous Weston. Her altruistic intentions met with nothing but disdain. She sent up a silent prayer asking God for the direction He now so often showed her.

Suddenly, Nicole became aware that she was not alone. It came as quite a shock to realize she was so consumed by her own thoughts that she had no notion of the additional presence. She always tried to be very sensitive to her surroundings. Concentrating in earnest, she determined that her silent companion was a man. She could smell the pungent aroma of his cigar mixed with a cologne unfamiliar to her. The fragrance of roses in the air must have overpowered the scents he exuded. Or perhaps her slow pace had only now brought her near enough to notice it.

Unfortunately, the new smells only added to her nostalgic homesickness. Her father’s one vice had been his delight in “blowing a cloud” and the memories associated with that pungent pastime were both happy and sad. When she was near him, the smell of horses and books often wafted over her leaving a sense of security and stability. These were etched in her memory as clearly as every physical trait he possessed.

Nicole’s unknown companion on the terrace, however, did wear cologne, but it was subtle and she liked it. She hated the practice of some of those who avoided bathing. Instead they dowsed themselves in scent, as if that made it better!

Focusing again on the present, Nicole sensed the man was behind her, probably up against the house in the shadows. She remained at the terrace railing and heard the ducks quacking at some disturbance in the distance. Her disquiet fled as she realized her servant, Toby, was close by.

She considered her actions carefully before deciding her best exit. She could easily turn and saunter back the way she had come, returning to the ballroom. But she admitted to herself that she was ever so reluctant to give up the quiet, cool atmosphere of the terrace for the sweltering heat in the crowded room. Her innate sense of justice also required that she beg forgiveness for interrupting someone else’s solitude.

Therefore, Nicole turned slightly and said in a low and clear voice, “I am terribly afraid I must beg your pardon for intruding upon you. I was so enjoying the peace and quiet that I did not realize until just this moment that anyone else was present. Please forgive the interruption. I will allow you to finish ‘blowing your cloud’ in peace.” She made a slight curtsey and turned, her hand retracing the smooth surface of the banister to the double doors she had earlier exited.

The man’s low chuckle stopped her.

His voice was deep, and at the moment, dripping with sarcasm. “Let a vision of beauty that is also well versed in boxing terms get away? Absolutely not! I am charmed and incredibly curious as to how your knowledge of cant was acquired. ”

Sarcastic or not, she knew a desire to stay and hear more of it. His voice was vibrant, Nicole thought decidedly, and certainly that of a gentleman. His words and manners were quite different than those of the simpering dandies she had met inside. However, she did not know how to respond to his jousting so was momentarily undecided as to her next move.

His lazy drawl interrupted her thoughts. “You have no need to apologize for interrupting my solitude. Studying the profile of a beautiful woman against the backdrop of a full moon is much more a pleasure than an intrusion.”




You can purchase The Aristocrat's Lady from Amazon.

Mary is giving away a copy of The Aristocrat's Lady. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

This book sounds really good!

Sunny

Tracy Smith said...

I love the sound of this book. I would love the chance to read it!

Countrysunset40 (at) aol dot com

Rebecca said...

This book looks absolutely amazing. I would love to win this. Thanks for the chance to win this.

agent_beckster(at)yahoo(dot)com

Charity said...

Please enter me! I really enjoy the LI books and this one sounds very interesting. Thanks!

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

lgm52 said...

Sounds great.....beautiful cover, too!
lgm52@hotmail.com

ann said...

My kind of reading. It sounds like a great book.
Also love the cover of the book to.


amhengst at verizon dot net

Teresa Mathews said...

This book sounds absolutely wonderful! Thanks for the chance to win it. tsmathews61@gmail.com

Mary Moore said...

Hi Ladies!

Thanks so much for the encouraging words! I wish each of you could win a copy! I hope you will read it and let me know what you think. Maybe some of you will be new to the Regency era, and will create a whole new generation of Regency lovers!

Thanks, too, for the comments on the cover. LI's art department captured the story and Lady Nicole so wonderfully and I hoped it would touch a cord with some. I'll let them know!

In Him,
Mary Moore

Lois Hudson said...

Thanks for this opportunity to win one of your books. I loved the excerpt.

Lois Hudson said...

Forgot to add:
hudson5107@aol.com

:-|

cjajsmommy said...

This book is set in a time period that I usually don't care to read. However, the author has woven an intriguing storyline in just these few paragraphs and I definitely want to read more. Please enter me to win a copy of this book.

Mary Moore said...

Hi cjajsmommy!

I'm so glad to hear you are interested by the excertps you saw here! I hope you'll definitely try this Regency...Romantic Times magazine said "the story is so good and the heroine so compelling that even those who don't normally like the Regency setting will find this well worth their time." So try it! :0) And be sure and let me know what you think!

Thanks for your comments,
In Him,
Mary Moore

Sylvia said...

I love the Regency era and think the plot of this books sounds good.

nina4sm/at/gmail/dot/com

karenk said...

i would love to read this beautiful story...thanks for the chance :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Mary Moore said...

Yay, Sylvia-a Regency lover! Let me know what you thought of it when you read it...I need to know whether it gives a Regency lover it's Regency "fix"! :0)

KarenK-Thanks for commenting!

I wish you all could win!

In Him,
Mary Moore

Merry said...

Lovely terrace scene... I want to know more! Please include me in the drawing for The Aristocrat's Lady.

worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Anne Payne said...

Sounds like a wonderful story. Regency is my favorite era! thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

apple blossom said...

please enter me thanks


ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Lady DragonKeeper said...

Intriguing storyline --the excerpt left me wishing there was more (a good thing)! Thanks for the chance to win this book!

wfnren said...

Thank you for the chance to win this book.

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

"The Aristocrat's Lady" sounds like a lovely book. I always find myself "feeling" more regal as I read books from that era...cracks my girls up! I pray your health issues are under control and you are doing well! Thank you for the chance to win!

Blessings,
Kelly Y. in Central VA

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