As the title says, I’m emerging from editing to put up an excerpt. I’ve been spending some time editing Miss Rotherham, and I’m enjoying getting to know all the characters again. The thing I’d forgotten is that editing is actually bally hard work!
I have also been remembering recently that I promised a series on ‘How To Use Reviews’, where I would be using readers and reviewers thoughts on The Widow’s Redeemer to inform my second novel, so here is the next post. This excerpt of Miss Rotherham addresses the idea of a heroine being too perfect….Julia Rotherham most certainly is not. I’ve pasted in an excerpt of MR which reflects this below and would like to see what readers think. This scene takes place the morning after the ball which you can read about here. It shows Julia suffering from the ill-affects of a little too much punch, here you go:
The morning brought with it the harsh realities of Julia’s punch consumption the previous evening.
“Well, it serves you right for enjoying yourself a little too much. I hear the punch was a favourite of yours?” The middle age maid wore a face of condemnation as she placed the jug of hot water upon the table and went to open the curtains.
“Lucy, wherever did you hear such a pack of lies!” Julia was lying in bed rubbing her temples rhythmically. She had her eyes tight shut to the severe morning light and the mess of bedclothes rested like a mountain atop her.
“Mr. Rotherham told it me, miss.” Lucy did not try to hide her smugness, nor did she try and speak quietly for her mistress’ benefit. “So’s I know why it is you feel ill and like I says, you brought it upon your own head, miss. You spare no thought to the future.”
Julia was sure that at any moment, the high nagging pitch of Lucy’s voice would crack her skull. She groaned and rolled over before realizing her stomach had a preference for staying in the same position this morning. She rolled back. “Well,” she said sighing and cracking on eye open, when her skull remained in tact she continued. “Well, yes fine! Perhaps I did enjoy some of cook’s punch but I do not see that I should be rebuked for it.” Both her eyes opened into two thin slits and she grinned weakly at the curt mother hen.
“It is no good you looking at me like that miss, for you must get out of bed and dress and eat breakfast.”
“Oh!” Julia cried, draping an arm across her forehead. “Do not say the word, breakfast, I beg of you.”
Lucy’s hard face fell into a reluctant smile at Julia’s melodrama, before finding its way back to a look of reproof.
“It’s of no use, Lucy, I saw you smile.” Julia miracously recovered from her fit of despair and now grinned mischievously once again at her maid.
“You saw nothing! Now, you need to be up for your mama is insistent you be with her for the morning calls.”
“I wonder why.” Julia mumbled, knowing full well that her mother wanted her eldest daughter available whenever a single gentleman had the potential of setting foot over the Rotherham threshold. Julia’s mind suddenly recalled the events of last night and she thought with a measure of anxiety about Wolversley’s sudden reappearance in her life. It was most vexing.
She moaned again, giving up her thoughts to the ill feeling creeping over her body. “Sleep would be a far better use of my time.”
What d’ya think?