Friday, February 18, 2011

Books by Modern Day "Jane Austens"

You've read them all? Austen, Bronte, Dickens... We can't leave you sitting there with no book in your lap! Maybe we can find you something new. I invite British Period authors to use this post to discuss their books or other publications on the appropriate genre. I will be happy to add links to your books on Amazon, too. Message me from Twitter @kescah or leave me a request in your comments. Thanks for participating!

It's been a few days... it seems my author friends are a little shy about promoting their books! I'll break the ice here, and hope they follow. My book (soon to be published) is an early Victorian novel about a foundling girl who becomes a servant in a grand castle home. (I hope they make a movie of it, lol, I want to see that castle!) Her Mistress works at introducing her into genteel society, which causes quite a ruckus in some homes. Romances develop between some characters, along with the tribulations that seem to go hand in hand with love. Let me share the start of one such romance with you here:

"Now that the girls felt so much better about life at home, it was time to descend into what Elizabeth termed as the Inferno. Was Helena even aware of the situation downstairs? Anne insisted that Elizabeth go first, and used her as a shield. How glad she was to be just a bit of a thing and that Lizzy had a hearty appetite! Maids were still carrying food to the table when they arrived, and they received no greeting. They waited before sitting to see where it would be appropriate; heaven forbid they take the wrong seat, Lizzy whispered to Anne. Somehow, though, the servants managed to spread themselves out to cover all the benches adequately, and Elizabeth had to speak up for sitting space. Grantham, at the head of the table, barked for “Someone over there” to move over and make room. The wrong people moved, and it had to be done over again. There were neither flowers nor Flowers at this table, but, oh my, the good silver was out and Nobody was to say a word about it, Nobody being the girls from Holmeshire.
"Anne was terrified to eat for fear of her elbow touching the goddess sitting next to her, but was expected to manage. After all, there was nothing wrong with the food, and did she think she was the Queen? And how could Miss Elizabeth have gotten her napkin so soiled already? It’s a bit of work to get them clean, did she know? And did Anne have to tap her feet so relentlessly? There was no orchestra to keep time to, and they did not intend to hire one for her. And then, yes, it happened! The poor girl, in trying to push the butter across to a kitchen maid, knocked over a pitcher of milk that was, after all, not just for her but for all those at her end of the table! And now, besides the huge mess, some of which had splashed into other people’s dinners and even their frocks and hair, good people were going to do without milk! Anne covered her face with her hands, which, it was pointed out, was of no help whatsoever. Did she not know where the rags were kept? …No, she didn‘t…. She was just about to break down in hysterical tears when the building above them parted, and any clouds moved aside to permit warm rays of the sun to shine down upon the poor girl in the form of a handsome young footman who stood up and shouted for some decent manners in that place. He then stepped over the bench and got Anne some rags. “There,” he said, “It’s not so terrible, you see, Deidre (the goddess) did the same thing last week.” Harp chords and nightingales sounded and rendered everyone silent or Anne deaf. She glanced up at the man’s face for just a second with thankful eyes, but what a face it was, and it filled up her capacity for memory completely. What happened the rest of that meal she could not recall, not even whether she cleaned up the milk or ate another bite or if anyone commented on those subjects. In fact, never again did she fear mealtime, but greatly looked forward to it and often peered down halls in coming days to see whether any handsome being there was carrying the tea service down the wrong hall! That evening, Elizabeth had lost Anne entirely and had to talk to herself on the long climb back from the kitchen to the nursery to check on Gwyn’s fortunes with Hattie. She hadn’t meant the comments for herself, but had to reply anyway for lack of anyone conscious, dwelling inside Anne’s little body, who could."

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