Sunday, August 23, 2015

Snippets~GENESEE Falls in Love~

 
 
 




 
~Genesee goes moonlight walking with the charming Alex Dunbar~




Next, they had gone into the set of a country dance. To take three dances in a row with the same partner was a breach of propriety that had set fans fluttering on every side.

     They flaunted convention still further, and walked the circular path that ran around Aunt Kitty's garden. A yellow moon, past full, was clearing the woods on the crest of the eastern shore.

     Their pace was a little fast, for the night was chilly and they were both, in spite of the dancing, full of nervous energy. Jenny felt ready to jump out of her skin. Alexander seemed to be in the same condition.

     In the darkness, here and there, they'd catch sight of other couples, sitting upon garden benches, leaning against each other or unabashedly embracing. It was cold, early in the year for strolls in the moonlight, but there were a lot of blue and buff uniforms here, young men who were soon leaving to fight.

     "I don't know what to say to you, sir," she finally said, ignoring the polite gambit he'd made about the beauty of the scene.

     Alexander halted. She gazed up at him, at his thin handsome face in the moonlight, wondering what he would do.

     In the next moment he'd clasped her in his arms, swept her close and kissed her. In the chilly darkness his mouth was warm and eager.

     What temptation, the wanting to let her arms go around his shoulders, the wanting to let him kiss and taste, do what he'd done at her grandparent's house! Instead, she kept her palms against the rough wool of that uniform jacket, held him in check.

     Feeling her reticence, he ended the kiss, although he kept his arms around her slender waist. "What's the matter?" he breathed.

     "You mustn't just – just – kiss me like that," she protested.

     His strong arms held her close. "Why not?" he murmured, his lips grazing her cheek. "Don't you like me to?"

     "Liking's not the point."

     "Since when is liking not the point of kissing?"

     "Do let me go," she whispered, trembling. "I can't think of what I mean to say."

     She saw him smile. He did, however, obediently relinquish the embrace, although not his hold upon her hands.

     From another pair of lovers, hidden somewhere nearby, came a gasp. Below, fine golden scales of moonshine shimmered upon the bosom of the river.

     "All right, Miss," he said. "Out with what you mean to say."

     "That– I don't generally ... I mean – I haven't ever – I mean that no one..." Jenny stammered. "Ah – that you may not just – "

     He pulled her close again. "Even," he whispered, "even if you haven't ever – even if no one has had the sense – even if I must not assume – I believe that a girl as beautiful as you must be kissed and kissed very often and very thoroughly. I look upon it as a duty."

     "Rubbish," she gasped, attempting severity, though it wasn't easy with that hard young body pressed so ardently against hers. "Stop teasing!"
 
 
~Juliet Waldron
 
In e and print
`Action, Adventure and Romance during the Revolution~
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-genesee-481068-158.html

 
 


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Sunday, August 16, 2015

By Passion Undone~Book 2~ Glory Passes





 
(Excerpt from the Chapter By Passion Undone

“Sar.” A bare-legged servant stuck his head around the door. “There’s a gen’lewoman wantin’ to see you. Says she’s a cousin of Mr. Livingston of New York. She’s got trouble she needs your help about.”

“She didn’t happen to say which Mr. Livingston, did she?” Hamilton sprinkled sand on the paper. He knew at least eight New York “Mr. Livingstons.”

“No, Sar, she di’nt.”

Hamilton turned over the card the fellow brought, but aside from the name, “Maria Reynolds,” there was no other information. A supplicant at his door wasn’t unusual. Gentry in trouble were likely to call here, particularly at this time of year, when everyone else prominent was out of town.

“Show the lady in. But—give me a minute to get dressed.”

“You’ll be glad you saw ’er, Sar.” Hamilton noted an unaccountable smirk.

Shaking his head, he stood to slip on his waistcoat. The servant was impudent, but Alexander mostly overlooked it, for this ex-soldier generally had his wits about him.

At the mirror, he folded the stock around his throat and tied a loose knot. Next, he shrugged on a white linen coat. He often wished that he, like the servant, could get by wearing only a shirt and trousers. He mopped his brow again.

Philadelphia is even more like Hell than usual.

The door opened. “Mrs. James Reynolds, Sar.” The servant bowed her through.

As the woman approached, Hamilton’s eyes widened. She was young, straight-shouldered and tall enough to look him straight in the eye, but utterly female, all voluptuous curves and sway. Her hair was a glossy, rich brunette. Her skin, flushed by the heat, looked soft. Her cheeks were bright, her eyes deep blue.

Celestial Venus!

Hamilton was rarely at a loss for words, but he could barely summon sufficient courtesy to motion this fair creature to the chair the servant brought forward. When she smiled, a nervous, yet confiding smile, everything else in the room vanished.

Hamilton stayed behind his table, but even with this formidable bulk and all those stacks of paper, she was a palpable presence.

With charming diffidence, she explained that the Livingston’s she was kin to were the Livingstons of Red Hook. Hamilton had never heard of them.

More distant kin to my Betsy?

“How may I be of service to you, Mrs. Reynolds?”

As she replied, her creamy bosom began to rise and fall in agitation. “I know you’re a terrible busy man, sar, so I’ll come straight to it. I’m sore ashamed to come to you like this—like a—like a beggar—but my husband has left me in such straits I don’t know where else to turn.”

Her voice was teary, low and soft. An accent far more common than that of her initial speech came creeping in.

Not real gentry, or just clinging to the edge…? Alexander’s sympathies were immediately engaged.

“My Mister has found hi’self another woman, ya see, sar, and the night he left me and my little girl—she’s just five—and—and—why, sar, ’e—’e beatin’ me right in front of my little girl, for ’e’s the very devil when ’e’s drunk.” The blue eyes spilled over, brimming with shame and helpless rage. “I want to go home to my own people in New York, sar, and leave Mr. Reynolds for good—but I—I haven’t no means.”

What incredible skin—so fair and beaded with sweat! Five year old or no, this young mother was not even out of her teens.

“Please—please—don’t be offended, Colonel Hamilton.” She turned those luminous eyes sadly towards him and withdrew a handkerchief from the cleft which separated her round breasts. “I’m so ashamed for tellin’ you—a perfect stranger—’bout my disgrace, but I’ve seen you about the city and you always look like such a kind gentleman. My landlady said to me this very mornin’ that you’re a good Samaritan for helping out folks in trouble, ’specially New Yorkers. If you could just give me enough for the coach back to New York and—and—to settle with my landlady, I’d be ever so grateful.”

She was affectingly nervous, stammering and girlishly wringing the handkerchief.

“Really, Colonel, there’s no one else I’d dare ask.”

Hamilton removed his own handkerchief and mopped his brow, where sweat poured. Even his palms were perspiring! He wiped them surreptitiously, one at a time, upon his breeches. In this damnable, relentless heat, not even the linen jacket could be long endured.

He had to clear his throat before he could reply. All the time he was intently aware of those eyes fixed upon him, and of the heavy scent—sweating young female and a cheap floral perfume.

“Well, certainly, Mrs. Reynolds, it sounds a good plan. To return to your family, that is. I’ll be glad to assist you, but I don’t have so much as a dollar here.”

The dark eyes stared, incredulous. Her pink lips parted slightly. She looked, he thought, childishly expectant, in breathless suspense.

“Let me see. I will get a bank bill and send it to you. Will tomorrow be soon enough?”

“Oh, yes, Colonel.” The tears stopped as quickly as they’d started, and she sprang to her feet, dabbing her eyes. “Oh, thank you, Colonel! Everyone said you was a most kind gentleman, and indeed—indeed—so you are!”

Hamilton, following her lead, also stood.

“Here, sar.” She stepped forward and laid a folded bit of paper on the desk. “This is my address.” Then she cast her eyes down. “I’d be grateful, too, Colonel, if you would come yourself and—and—not send a servant. I—I shouldn’t like for anyone to see what I’m reduced to—me and my little girl.”

 

* * *

 

“Knew you wouldn’t be sorry to see her, Mr. Secretary. Weren’t that some fine piece of woman flesh? Her husband must have lost ’is mind. I ask you, where’s ’e goin’ to find another filly that’ll ride like that one?”

“Mr. Donelson,” Alexander said, “your eyes are obviously good, but your ears must be even better. I warn you, sir, if you ever listen at my door again, you will find yourself looking for another job.”

The man tugged his forelock and mumbled, “Yes, sar, Colonel, Mr. Secretary.” As he backed out the door, Alexander caught a flash of his mocking grin.

He removed his jacket, the stock and the waistcoat again. He sat and tried to go back to work, but he was no longer able to concentrate. The scent of woman, of her rose perfume, lingered in the room. Hamilton kept trying to bring himself back, to refocus upon his “Report on Manufactures.” He swatted at a mosquito that came buzzing by his head, while silently cursing the whole race of women. All he could think about was what he hadn’t had since Betsy had gone to Albany, well over a month ago.

What I should be cursing is sex itself.

Hamilton leaned back and stretched his arms over his head.

After only a few weeks without a wife, I’m like a bull locked in a barn, smelling cows down in the pasture. Here I sit, unable to think about anything but kicking the walls down and finding one of them….

 

~~ Juliet Waldron
 
(And if you think this sounds like trouble--it is.)

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

A MASTER PASSION~The story of a Founder's marriage


 
 
 
Betsy heaved a sigh of relief and smoothed her party dress. In the center of the table sat the tea, steaming in a fine English china pot her mother had given her. The surrounding fare was substantial. The guests were obviously enjoying their repast. It was a full-scale affair, a long table covered with savories as well as sweets.

Some, Betsy had made herself, some she had brought in from famous Philadelphia bake shops. From her kitchen had come apple, pumpkin, kidney and pigeon pies, conserves of pears and plums, and loaves of bread.

That wonderful Dutch treat, oleykoecks dusted with sugar, those that had escaped the nimble fingers of the children, were not an hour old and wafting fragrance over the table. From the German baker there were sticky honey cakes and high tortes of nuts, cake and cream. A fine ham sat in state beside the tea pot with slices cut to order by Davie, who had stayed with them. He was resplendent tonight in a fine new wig, coat and pants.

Betsy knew that to the Philadelphians, as well as to the rich southerners, her tea was a simple affair. No roast pig, no pheasant, no songbirds stuffed in pigeons stuffed in ducks stuffed in turkeys. Nor any French cook backstage drowning everything in sauce, such as Mr. Jefferson employed.

Betsy didn’t have money for such luxuries on the slender salary of her public servant husband. Even if she had had, her Dutch housewife’s upbringing wouldn’t have allowed her to ever feel easy with a French cook in the kitchen.

After a little time, she overheard the judgment of Philadelphia society upon the table of Mrs. Secretary of the Treasury.

“Pumpkin custard baked in the pumpkin. How quaint!”

“Yes. Good Lord. I haven’t been intimate with the dish in years.”

“Well, try some. It’s delicious. I’d quite forgotten how good it can be.”

The first speaker was Mrs. Willing, a tall and fashionably dressed brunette, a member of an old Philadelphia family. The second, Mrs. Bingham, was younger, fair and bejeweled.

“Look at this whipped cream! I must say, this is the first edible Republican tea I’ve had. The torte is Herr Kumkraker’s, certainly, but excellent as usual. The rest, I divine, came from her kitchen. I must confess it’s all extremely well prepared.”

 Betsy, holding her chin high, strode to confront the speakers. Mrs. Willing, she thought, was, as usual, sailing just to the lee of rude, but then, what else could be expected from someone whose father had been a war profiteer? The other lady’s maiden days had been spent coquetting it among the red coats during the occupation. One of her bosom friends had been the glamorous, notorious, and now forever banished Peggy Shippen—Mrs. Benedict Arnold.

“Ah, Mrs. Secretary Hamilton, such a marvelous table!”

“Yes, and so perfectly apropos for our Republican Court.” Mrs. Willing caught the flash in Betsy’s dark eyes and quickly added, “These days, with so many well-trained émigrés to employ, one is liable to overlook one’s native diet.”

“Such satisfying food! Why, it’s the kind of tea my worthy Grandmother Chew often served.”

“Your chef…is, ah, from New York?”

Betsy was certain they were fishing for an admission that she had “stooped” to cooking. Gazing into those smug, smooth, carefully made-up faces, she was ready to give them something to gossip about—these foolish women, too proud to enter their kitchens.

A man’s arm slipped beneath hers, interrupting.

“Ladies!” Alexander saluted Betsy’s companions, bowing gracefully. Both women returned his greeting with the responsiveness that Betsy knew usually welcomes a man who is both good looking and powerful.

“Mr. Secretary.”

“Mr. Secretary.”

“I overheard you ladies discussing our chef.” His glorious blue eyes flashed at Mrs. Bingham. The reigning beauty’s color rose beneath her rouge.

The secret of his power over all of us, Betsy thought with a deal of irritation, is that he acts as if he’s not only been in our bed before, but that he’s eager to get back in!

“Actually, a mere cook, ladies.” Alexander began smoothly, sending the merest flicker of a wink to his wife. “She is a marvelous Dutch woman from Albany, sent to us by Mrs. Major General Schuyler. If you can believe it, she speaks not a word of English. My wife is the only one who can communicate with her.”

While Mrs. Bingham and Mrs. Willing were mulling this astonishing fiction, he added, “Plain fare it is, but, I must confess, ’tis quite rich enough for a man with a delicate constitution.”

“You, Mr. Secretary?”

“Ah, yes, unfortunately so. Please excuse me, my dear.” He set Betsy’s arm free. “It is imperative that the ladies taste the pigeon pie.”

Collecting them, one gorgeous belle on each arm, Hamilton began to steer them along the length of the table to where the pigeon pie sat in state, rich brown gravy flowing from a generous cut where the Knoxes had already assailed it. Davie, helpfully attentive, picked up a plate and a server, ready to offer whatever the ladies fancied.

“I confide, of course.” Hamilton spoke in lowered tones. “Trusting implicitly in your discretion.”

The ladies nodded, curls dripping from their towering hairpieces, eager to have his attention.

“Did I hear you say something about a delicate constitution?” asked Mrs. Bingham. “That you should have any weaknesses at all, Mr. Secretary, is an astonishing notion.”

“Ah, Madam, if only I had none. In fact, I have several. A Spartan diet takes care of one.” Here he paused, blue eyes tantalizing them. “Marriage, I confess, assuages the other.”

The buxom Mrs. Willing leaned closer and tapped his chest with her fan. “But, surely, if the weakness is still with you, you must occasionally experiment with other cures...”
 
 
 
 
 

 
 


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Sunday, July 26, 2015

ROAN ROSE ~ Love Comes to Rose






It's more than loyalty for Rose. There's love, too.





My flat girl's chest pressed against his wool and linen padded jousting jacket. Even through thirty layers of fabric, I swear, I could feel his heart beat.  I could smell him, too, the sweat and horses of the tilting yard, his dark, sun-warmed hair. Strawberries spilled into the grass. In that instant, with strong boy's arms locked around me, my life changed forever.

 

            And why should this have been so important? I have plowed and planted beside a prudent, hardworking husband. I have borne and raised children of whom I am devilishly proud. I have healed the sick of every kind, and soothed the passage from this world of those I could not save.

            I have taught the lore of herbs. I have brewed a famous ale, to the benefit of my family. Why should a kiss, a mere trial by a royal boy, be so perfectly remembered?
 
~~~

Juliet Waldron
More about Roan Rose @ 
ISBN:   978-149224158X

~~~

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Friday, July 17, 2015

ANGEL'S FLIGHT ~ Beginning the Round Robin



Angel's Flight now on $.99 sale



 
 
The bluebird quilt, the heart of the story, is inspired by a single piece.
 
***

“Here. Before I forget.” Minerva broke into her thoughts. Slipping a long, fair hand into a pocket, her friend removed a single, neatly pressed rectangle of printed calico.

“Oh! Just look!” The print—destined to be the center of a quilt Angelica and her friends had planned to sew round robin—was a distraction. On an ivory background, a pair of bluebirds flew on either side of a brown nest containing a clutch of eggs. It was a triumph of the most modern method of textile printing, executed by a craftsman who had used a Dutch nature print for his inspiration.

“This is from a Philadelphia shop,” Minerva replied. “Even my William allows it is as handsomely done as any English piece he’s seen.”

“What a wonderful choice for our center! Such a sweet scene— and so many nice colors to work with!”



~~ Juliet Waldron
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Friday, July 10, 2015

ANGEL'S FLIGHT ~ Angelica's American Revolution ~

~A dangerous war time journey awaits~
 
 
 
 
 
 Now on sale $.99 at Amazon: http://amzn.com/B0098CSH5Q
 
 

 


"Such dull clothes on that extremely good looking Mr. Carter!  Like a Boston merchant." Aunt Laetitia had been the first to bring up the mystery man.


Swaying in the cold darkness inside her aunt's coach, Angelica had replied, "Minerva Bradford says he has retired from the army, but he carries himself like a military man."


"Quite. His Excellency received Mr. Carter with great civility. In conversation, he was most charming, but he does not look like the Dorset Carters at all. I knew that family very well, and they are always brown," her Aunt said with decision. "Quite brown, eyes, skin and hair. The Carters all have freckles, too. Carter cannot possibly be his name."


"But, Aunt Laetitia, it seems most unlikely that the Governor would have received Mr. Carter without knowing exactly who he was. He told me he was going to some family land by Kingston."


"Yes, so he said when we were with Lady Tryon," her aunt replied. "'Tis a bad time for a visit north."



"Exactly what Minerva said."


"Those dirty rebels will no doubt try to execute him on some trumped up charge. A terrible pity, for he is obviously a gentleman of good breeding."


"I have an idea," Angelica replied, "that Mr. Carter knows how to take care of himself."


 
 Now on sale $.99 at Amazon: http://amzn.com/B0098CSH5Q

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~ Juliet Waldron ~

Friday, July 3, 2015

NIGHTINGALE ~ Friday Freebit


 
 
To Klara's delight, her musician sweetheart is also a cat lover.
 
 
 
 
“My grandfather is a keeper of cats,” Akos spoke into the silence. “Ever since I was small, I’ve always had one of my own. Actually,” he said with a smile, “as you perhaps know, a better description of the situation might be that I belong to the cat.”

Klara smiled. His interest in Satz was not feigned.

“And what is your cat like?”

“In my case, I am owned by a queen cat, a lady of many colors. Her name is Zuzanna. She is a good mother and a fine mouser.”

“What happens to all the kittens?” Klara knew that was another thing Max hated about cats, their fertility.

“Zuzanna is populating the Prince’s palace thoroughly, but her kittens are beautiful and find homes.”

“Fortunate for them,” said Klara. She knew that surplus kittens were generally given to servants to drown. She’d be hard pressed to give such an order herself.

“Cats are discriminating about whose life they enter. If a cat trusts you, it is a great compliment.”




 
 
 
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~Juliet Waldron ~
 
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