So eventually my second novel will be out, and I am, in theory, supposed to create interest in my book, so people will be excited about it and want to buy it. So, here’s a teaser for A Hero’s Mistake. I hope you enjoy it.
“Cate, please. Do calm yourself. You will be doubly miserable if you cast up your accounts at the party,” her brother said trying to soothe her.
“I don’t think I can do this,” she groaned. The ladies to be attending this party were to be some of the most popular and influential women in her community. And of course, Mr. Herring would also be there, expecting her to talk to him. He would also likely expect her to make sense, and not to vomit on his shoes. She most assuredly was not confident she wouldn’t disappoint him.
As they exited the carriage, Cate swayed slightly, but enough that her brother took notice.
“Go to the retiring room for a moment and compose yourself. I’ll find Mr. Herring and keep him entertained until you are feeling better.”
“Thank you,” she gave him a weak nod. “Yes, I’ll come find you once I’m feeling more myself.”
With that, they parted ways.
Cate wasn’t familiar with this house since she had never been here before. She found a footman, who gave her directions to the retiring room. Now was it two rights, then the third door on the left, or the third right and two doors? She felt a bit foggy and wondered if she wasn’t becoming ill. The chatter from the partygoers filtered through the hallway and only managed to increase her anxiety. She opened the door she thought was the correct one, as it was slightly ajar.
She apparently was mistaken, the room she found was a linen closet, and it was dark and cool. It was possibly more perfect than the retiring room because here she could be sure no one would bother her. There was a small step stool in the corner, likely so some small maid could reach the upper shelves without having to bother anyone, and it looked to make the perfect little seat to rest on and compose herself. She entered the room and closed the door behind her, it made a somewhat disconcerting thunk as it latched, but her distressed mind didn’t register the sound until it was too late.
She tried the handle and indeed, the mechanism was stuck, if not locked. It was probably the reason the door had been left slightly open in the first place. But there was no sense in panicking. This was a large house, surely a maid, footman or another guest would pass by, and she could then alert them to her situation. It might be a trifle embarrassing, but less so than disgracing herself on Mr. Herring or any other guest.
She took a seat and decided to use her time to compose herself and feel a bit better. She must have fallen asleep for a moment because the next sound she heard was her brother loudly whispering her name in the hall outside her closet door.
“Christian,” she returned, also in a loud whisper. “I’m in here.”
“Where are you? The closet? Really Please, Cate. Come on out. It’s time for you to meet Mr. Harring. He has, in fact, been quite eager to make your acquaintance,” Christian said to the closed door.
“I can’t. The door, it’s stuck, I can’t seem to get it open.” To demonstrate her situation she tugged on the doorknob, it rattled a bit, but the door didn’t budge.
“Stand back. I’m going to push,” and Christian shoved the door hard. Hard enough to burst it open with no small amount of force, until it made a muffled, but sickly thump and abruptly stopped, followed almost instantly by a second thump, sounding quite like a body falling to the floor.