The Lady and Her Quill by Ruth A. Casie
Her mind kept telling her to stop loving him, but her heart couldn’t let him go.
Renowned author Lady Alicia Hartley has lost her muse after a bad review. She blames it all on the author JC Melrose. A chance encounter with a handsome, witty Justin Caulfield has her heart racing, and her muse seemingly back. Is he her savior or her worst nightmare?
He didn’t see the turbulent ocean. He was too busy dealing with a different tempest.
The recently retired Captain Justin Caulfield is facing his own demons. As gifted author JC Melrose, his stories honor men who died at the hand of one man. His only focus is to avenge their deaths, that is until he meets and falls in love with Lady Alicia.
The two authors take on a writing challenge to determine the better writer. While researching the story, she is captured by Justin’s nemesis. Can Lady Alicia turn this mystery into an award-winning story? Can Justin save his own real-life heroine?
Can they both overcome their own challenges for a happily ever after?
“You’ve kept me on tenterhooks long enough. In your last letter you said you had exciting news. Aren’t you going to tell me what it is?”
“I did get wonderful news, but after the review I’m not certain.”
“This is me, Alicia. You can speak freely,” Mrs. Bainbridge encouraged. “No one is listening.”
“I planned to go to Mr. Caulfield with my new book and make a better agreement. Earlier in the week I received a letter from William Lane Publishing that he was interested in publishing my next story.”
Alicia reached into her reticule and removed a folded letter and handed it to Mrs. Bainbridge.
“Mr. Caulfield and I had agreed my next book would be published in February, but we hadn’t finalized the contract. When I got to his office, I saw the review. I was disappointed of course, but when he suggested not publishing my story until the summer, I became upset.”
Mrs. Bainbridge lifted the quizzing glass that was tied to a ribbon that dangled down the front of her bodice and read the letter while Alicia opened her portmanteau and took out a package.
“This is wonderful news.” She handed the message back to Alicia.
“William Lane is the biggest publisher in London if not England. I had offered my books to him before I went to Mr. Caulfield, he said perhaps a smaller shop would be more appropriate for my work and suggested Caulfield Publishing. Isaac Caulfield is a good man, but he maintains tight control over all aspects of my work. I’ve told him several times I want to be involved. He pats me on the head, tells me not to worry about anything, and sends me on my way. My stories sell well. I planned to ask that we change the contract. I will pay the production costs. He can do the distribution and I would give him a commission based on sales. William Lane will never consider me now, not after reading the review.”
Alicia stared unblinking at her friend. She was at a loss for words as Mrs. Bainbridge helped her on with her pelisse.
“What makes you imagine Mr. Lane will be different? Be careful what you wish for. A larger company may have more constraints. Now, off with you. And I enjoyed your story. The review was one person’s opinion.”
“You’re right,” Alicia said as she jostled her portmanteau and the package of books.
“Would it be easier to leave the books in your luggage? The streets ice up in this weather.”
“I’m going a short distance and prefer not opening my luggage in the library. I’ll manage.”
A quick embrace from Mrs. Bainbridge and she was ready to face the weather.
She left the seminary and hadn’t gone far before she cursed herself for going at all. The street had turned to mud and ice, and the wind hadn’t stopped. Carrying the portmanteau and package of books proved to be a more difficult feat than she first imagined.
She crossed the lane and hurried down North Wickham to the library ahead. A dray stood in front of the building on the one area that wasn’t muddy. She maneuvered her way around the cart to avoid the large puddles in front and behind it.
As she reached the door her feet began to slip on a patch of ice. She juggled the package trying to keep it from falling into the mud. She saved the books but with the next step her foot slid out from under her. Her hands full she had no way to stop her fall.
A strong hand grabbed her elbow.
“I’ve got you,” he murmured in her ear.
She caught her balance and looked up into gray eyes that were strikingly familiar, but she had no idea why.
About the Author
I’m happiest when I’m telling stories either chatting in a group or writing them down. I love to put my hero and heroine in tough situations and dare them to work it out—together, always together. They haven’t disappointed. Oh, they complain but in the end their love and relationships are stronger than ever.
My stories feature strong women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. They will keep you turning the pages until the end. I hope my books become your favorite adventures.
Blog Tour ScheduleMonday, November 29
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Excerpt at A Soccer Mom's Book Blog
Tuesday, November 30
Excerpt at Bookworlder
Review at Anna’s Book Blog
Wednesday, December 1
Review at Bonnie Reads and Writes
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Thursday, December 2
Excerpt at Triquetra Reviews
Review at Gwendalyn's Books
Friday, December 3
Review at Novels Alive
Excerpt at SplendeurCaisse
Review at With A Book In Our Hands
GiveawayUS Giveaway (2 winners): $10 Amazon Gift Card + signed paperback for any book in Ruth's backlist (winner's choice).
UK Giveaway (2 winners): eBook of any book in Ruth's backlist (winner's choice).
The giveaway ends on December 3rd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
The Lady and Her Quill