Welcome again to my weekly snippet for Weekend Writing Warriors (www.wewriwa.com) where writers share 8 – 10 lines of their work, for others to see and comment. Please follow and comment about others on the list.
My next book, The Artist,which is due out on August 8, is an historical erotic romance, based in England in the 1850s. Theodore (Theo for short) is the son of a Viscount, but has rejected the life of an aristocrat to live as a rather bohemian artist. He has an eye for pretty girls, whom he likes to paint in the nude. Lizzie is a poor village girl who made a disastrous marriage, from which she has fled, and is destitute. When Theo asks her to be his artist’s model, she swallows her natural modesty and accepts. Theo’s housekeeper, Mrs Jones, announces that she will not be returning in the near future, and he wonders how he is going to cope on his own, not being a practical man. He decides to ask Lizzie, who he knows is living in a barn, if she would become his housekeeper. But will Lizzie accept?
“But Sir, it wouldn’t be right, would it, for me a married woman, with a husband still living, to stay at the house of a single man. Your reputation would be shot to pieces if you were to have me living at your house.”
“Lizzie, I couldn’t give a damn about what anyone says about me. You would know that if you had known me for longer. It is whether you could live with the gossip; that is my only concern. But I suspect that under that mask of gentleness and modest nature, there is a woman with some fire in her belly. The type of woman who would rather live rough than capitulate to a husband who wanted to prostitute her so soon after he had wed her. Oh, I heard the gossip, Lizzie, and I don’t believe for a moment the story that he put around about him throwing you out after catching you with a man. It strikes me that you are a woman who has a strong backbone and independent nature, the kind of woman who will ignore the gossips and narrow-minded critics. I can offer you a roof over your head, a room of your own, free food and lodging, and I will even throw in a shilling or two so that you can buy a new frock to replace that threadbare one you are wearing now.”
So what do you think Lizzie’s reaction is going to be? Continue to live in the barn, or have a free room and board in return for some housework. And a new dress to be thrown in to the offer too. I know what I would choose.
I am off gallivanting to Portugal next weekend, with five girl friends (and I use the term ‘girl’ in its very widest interpretation) for the wedding (2nd, or is it 3rd?) of a seventh member of our band of former housemates in London. So I will leave the laptop at home and concentrate on important matters, like champagne and which frock to wear. I hope I will see you all again in two weeks, when I promise I will move on to more salacious details (Lizzie’s, not mine!).
Here is another ‘arty’ picture for you, to keep you in the mood (if not exactly the right period).
I’m sure you all know by now, but the comment section is on the static post (click on the title of the post) and not on the rolling post. If you want to read previous postings, click on my name at the top of the page, and scroll down.