Yes, it’s that time of year once again. The time when the aroma of a roasting turkey fills the house; when family and friends gather together, and the spirit of goodwill seems to take up residence in our hearts. For some reason, this time of year seems so magical, and it is by far my favorite.
Despite ourselves there are things we seem to always do, traditions, so to speak. The Hallmark Channel has been playing Christmas movies since November 1st, and no matter how many times I may have seen a particular movie, I can’t seem to resist watching it yet once again. I look forward to seeing some of my favorites each year and it’s become a holiday tradition. I’ve even seen a post of Peanut’s Christmas on Facebook with the caption, “It’s not Christmas until you see this.”
Another thing that has become a tradition for me is to read books, stories, or novellas with a holiday theme. Over the past few years, I have had the privilege of being invited to write with the very talented authors in the “Season of” Series, which is a collection of holiday novellas placed in anthologies.
This year, my story is the 4th in a series and is entitled, “A Promise of Forever,” which I hope brings the previous three novellas to a happy close.
Here is a little blurb as to what my story is about:
Her virtue is lost, and her reputation in tatters when a twist of fate sends Lady Roxanne Rothchild from London to the vibrant city of Venice, and into the arms of the handsome and intriguing Danté. But she is not the only one vying for his affection. Anna Maria Delafino de Padova will use everything in her power to drive a wedge between Danté and Roxanne and win his favor, including revealing the truth about Lady Rothchild. Will Roxanne be able to put her blemished past behind her and find love, and will she have the courage to reach for a promise of forever?
Now, here is a little excerpt:
London – June 1743
“Uncle, surely you are not serious!” Lady Roxanne said as she walked across his study and took a seat in the leather chair beside the fireplace.
“Completely,” Sinclair Rothchild replied from where he sat behind his desk. He held his pipe and stuffed tobacco into it with vigor.
“You truly expect me to accompany you to the colonies and actually live there?”
“You know I must go there to attend to the expansion of my business.”
“Humph.” Roxanne crossed her arms over her chest and presented her uncle with a perfectly practiced pout.
“Roxanne, how else can I provide for you if I am not able to continue to increase my holdings?”
“I fail to see how that has anything to do with—”
“You are my ward, I could not very well leave you here to fend for yourself, an unmarried lady, unattended and living alone in London. The very idea is out of the question. You must accompany me—”
“I would rather die.” She scowled at her uncle.
“Roxanne.” A heavy sigh emphasized his exasperation. “You make it sound as if it were a fate worse than death. It is not at all horrible. In fact, you may discover it to be quite enjoyable.”
Her level stare met his, her icy gaze forcing him to look away.
“Uncle, as my guardian, is it not your responsibility, nay, dare I say obligation to find me a suitable husband?” Roxanne rose to her feet and sauntered toward her uncle.
Sinclair Rothchild cleared his throat and rested his unlit pipe back down on the copper tray upon the highly polished surface of his desk. He remained silent.
Knowing she had won this argument, a sly grin curled Roxanne’s lips.
“And since you have been neglect in your responsibility to do so, I feel it to be unfair of you to place such a burden upon me as to expect me to give up my chances of finding a suitable match by removing me from the social life of London and forcing me to live in an untamed and savage land.”
“Roxanne, it is not a savage land. There are many upcoming cities,” he said, his volume raising a notch.
“None of which could possibly offer me the opportunity to be introduced to proper society or offer the prospects of meeting a titled gentleman who would be an appropriate suitor.”
“Roxanne.” He rose to his feet. “You will accompany me to the colonies. We shall be leaving . . . together . . . in one month’s time. You are coming with me, and that is my final word on the matter.” His face was flushed red as a beet and his hands balled into fists at his sides.
Roxanne shrieked and stamped her foot. “Never!” She turned her back to him and feigned tears.
“What would you have me do then?” he asked.
“Why can I not stay with a lady’s maid as I did when you ventured to the colonies in the past?”
“Oh yes, because that worked so well the last time. Out of the question,” he barked.
“There must be another way.”
“Roxanne, you are impossible.” He came around to the front of the desk and began to pace.
“What about allowing me to stay with Lady Moreland’s family?”
“I could never impose such a burden upon the Moreland’s.”
“Burden?” Her voice raised an octave.
“Yes. My apologies, my dear, and I mean no offense, but at times you can be quite difficult to manage.”
She pouted and a frown creased her brow, but suddenly her face lit up.
“Uncle?” she practically purred.
“Yes,” he answered. His pacing ceased and his gaze met hers.
“What about your sister, Winifred?”
“Yes. She and I always got on quite amiably.”
“But, she no longer resides in England.”
“No. She is remarried to some count or some such thing.” He returned to stand behind his
desk once again.
“A count?” A smile curled the edge of her lips.
“Yes and as I have already said, they live in Italy.”
“Italy?” She glided her finger along the surface of the desk as she dallied before it.
“Yes, I believe her most recent correspondence said he owned a villa. The letter is here
somewhere,” he said pulling open the top drawer and shuffling through a stack of envelopes.
“Hmm, a villa you say? How interesting. I have never been to Italy. Do you suppose I would be welcome to stay with her?”
“I couldn’t say. Despite her being on in years, she is newly married after all.”
“We could ask her, could we not? Please, Uncle.”
“Roxanne.” Lord Rothchild exhaled heavily, and after a long moment’s pause he said, “I fail to see how going to live with my sister in Italy would afford you the opportunity you seek to meet an appropriate suitor and engage in the activities of the social season as you would here in London.”
“Perhaps she would be willing to introduce me into society in Italy.” Her heart hammered against her chest.
“I couldn’t say, but if you wish I shall write her immediately and inquire.”
“Oh Uncle, that would please me more than you know.” Roxanne spun around and hastened from the room in a swirl of skirts.
He picked up his pipe from its tray and shook his head. “Lord help Winnie if she should happen to agree,” he mumbled to himself. As he lit his pipe, rich blue smoke swirled around his head. “But truth be told I would be delighted to be relieved of that responsibility.”
If you are not a fan of historical romance, there are five contemporary romances which will make you laugh, make you cry, and warm your heart. I invite you to spend your holidays with us. It is . . . the Season of Promises.
Please leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite holiday movie is, or your favorite holiday song, or even a favorite holiday themed book. If you include the words “Season of Promises” in your comment, you will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a free e-book copy of Season of Promises. The winner shall be selected at random and there will only be one winner. The contest will be run from Saturday, November 19th and will end on midnight Sunday, November 20th. The name of the winner will be posted on this blog on Monday, November 21st. I can’t wait to hear the names of our favorite movies, songs and books, and best of luck to all who enter.
If you simply can’t wait to dig in to these fun holiday novellas, you can grab your copy over on Amazon. If you would like to be in touch with Gerri, you can find her on Facebook