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Friday, August 15, 2014

~~MY MOZART ~~ An Excerpt for Friday Freebits!

    ~~Nanina Gottlieb tells us about her very first introduction to the man she will love forever.~


             What had my fond Papa been saying about me? Wanting to sink through the floor, I shot a look in his direction, but Papa, blind with parental pride, could not see my discomfort. I could feel a wretched blush, that bane of my life, throbbing into my cheeks.

"Your Papa says that you appreciate good music and that you sing."

These were his first words to me. There wasn't a hint of condescension or mockery in his voice. Shy and proud as a cat, I had braced for it.

"I hear all of your music that I can, Kapellmeister Mozart."

I remember rocking up on my toes. I absolutely couldn't stop myself.

Here I was, talking to this magician!

"She clearly has excellent taste! Come here, Princess Gottlieb. Sit beside me."

~~Read More of MY MOZART at Amazon~~
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014


A lesson and a present from Auntie T
   "This is a sort of late name day present for you.  Now," she went on, taking the locket in hand.  "I'm going to show you a secret.  Pay close attention, Caterina Maria Brigitte!"
     Those old, rough fingers pressed one of the wooden rosettes that ornamented the case.  Cat was surprised when the locket popped open again, this time in the back.

     "See how it opens?  See?"

     Cat examined the newly revealed second compartment.  Inside was a gleam.

     "It's a Protector for you now that you are growing to be a woman.  Take it out, but be very careful."

     It took Cat a moment to extract the object.  It turned out to be an extremely thin blade, almost a needle, set on a small section of horn.

     "If anyone ever tries to harm you, just fetch it out.  Keep it in your hand like this," Auntie T demonstrated, palming the blade so that it disappeared.  "Then take it like so," she said, her fingers moving deftly, "and do this!"

     In a flash the gleaming point was against Cat's neck.  She sat still, hoping that Auntie T would be very, very careful.

     "There, where the big vein swells!  Don't hesitate, just jab it in.  If you cut that vein, they won't trouble you for much longer."

~~ Juliet Waldron
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Thursday, July 3, 2014

~~~A summer time piece from my post-Civil War romance, Hand-me-Down Bride

~~On the way to the hayfields, Karl and Sophie marvel at the beauty of a blooming field of Buckwheat.

Karl watched her.  She had walked into the field, delighting in the moment, in the sun, in the sea-froth-over-sage color of the buckwheat.  He'd caught a flash of her joy; joy in the splendor of this land!

After the long and terrible war, after his illness, it had been hard to find joy in his heart at anything.   Today, Karl felt free as a swallow, flashing over the rising corn.

Sophie was framed against the light, her plain apron lifted by a firm young bosom, her dark hair wound beneath the bonnet.  Above, great clouds sailed in shattering blue, and the buzz of those thousands of bees echoed some dream space he'd been to before, the white hum of eternity.

He tied the reins to a sapling and got down. He had wanted to put his arms around her, to mold her breasts against his chest, to catch the scent of her, to drink from those rosy, undoubtedly sweet lips.  Now, he waded into the field after her, wanting even more to share her moment of happiness. 

A simple gift. . .

"Das ist schon!" Face radiant, she turned.  "It is beautiful!”

~~Juliet Waldron
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

ROAN ROSE ~~ An excerpt

Rosalba's Tale begins:


"Little Witch!" A slap always followed the malediction.  "Dost thou stare?"

            This was my father. He did not like children whose opinions showed in their eyes. Large dark eyes I had—my mother's eyes—and when I displeased him, he was not slow to punish the unbroken will he saw.

            I was born at the village of Aysgarth in the house of a stark yeoman farmer, Master Whitby. He was not pleased when my mother gave him a daughter, and then another and another, as if by the force of her own contrary will.

            Master Whitby acknowledged me, however, as he acknowledged my sisters. I was written down in the book at the Church of Our Lady as "Rosalba Whitby, legitimate, born to Master Raymond Whitby and his espoused wife, Roseanne."

            When I was old enough to hear the tale, my mother very kindly let me know matters stood otherwise. To learn I had been conceived in liberty and was not the get of that humorless, ham-fisted tyrant fills me, to this day, with satisfaction.
 Aysgarth lies on Wenslydale, north and west of the great Keep of Middleham. Here our peasant houses grew from the ground like mushrooms. The poorest were of turf, but the best homes, like the one in which I was born, rose upon a costly timber frame.
            Those hard packed earthen floors! In the East Wind time, rain slanted through the central smoke hole and pelted the fire of our hearth. I remember huddling close, thinking how the flames were like serpents, lowering their fiery heads and hissing whenever the drops landed. During the worst weather, the entire family, including Master Whitby's curly-pelted white cattle, sheltered with us...

ROAN ROSE may be purchased at:   http://amzn.com/149224158X
Juliet Waldron

Thursday, June 19, 2014

ANGEL'S FLIGHT/the quilt


Quilting had always given Angelica a feeling of strength and purpose. It was as if in the process of using scraps to create a whole cloth she was reborn, renewed. In the midst of this village of the damned, the familiar, beloved activity was like an anchor of purpose, of meaning.

It was all such a muddle. Beyond the immediate danger, there was Jack, his kisses and his passionate, insistent courting. No matter how she examined this development, and from whatever angle, there seemed to be no resolution. He was a Tory; she was a Patriot. To do this, to do that--or, more pointedly--not to do this or not to do that, seemed beyond her ability to reason.

"How is it, she muttered to herself, "that I could get into this mess, but not out?"

Her fingers, with minds of their own restlessly sorted through the heap of scraps and patches. What to do?

As she picked and sorted the pieces a vague shape began to form. A star! Rough, to be sure, but a star nonetheless. Here, a point in velvet, there, a center in the wool of an old cloak.

Ah! There was enough of the velvet to make the other points. Her fingers moved faster, coaxing out stray bits of burgundy velvet, arranging them around the small bottle green wool square.

Yes, she thought. It comes together, a piece at a time...

~~Juliet Waldron
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Thursday, June 12, 2014

BLACK MAGIC, an excerpt

From the beginning of BLACK MAGIC, a creature-filled sequel to RED MAGIC. Red Caterina's twins are all grown now, and this is the first of their stories, coming soon from Books We Love.


...Veronique of the golden eyes! How often he’d imaged her delight at the natural wonders along the way, the waterfalls, the tall, whispering pines, the black-tailed deer and golden meadows! How often he’d imagined her, warm and yielding in his arms...


Around his military companions, where news of her defection was already public property, he’d tried on a pose: “It’s only a woman! Plenty more of those in Vienna!” He’d hoped to bully himself out of lovesickness, but it didn’t seem to be working.


Goran remounted. Reining around, he started down the gravel lane which ran between a avenue of trees leading to the front entry of the manor. The von Hagen family might be a bit threadbare after the long decade of war, but he would have felt almost naked riding in on anything less than this fine stallion.


It was quiet, even when he passed the barn and open paddocks which had once bustled with activity, either with his father’s military company or farm business. During the war, through the terrible years of shortages, famine and plague, Heldenburg lodge had been short-staffed. Goran noticed the shuttered cottages behind the trees, one of them beginning a lonely collapse. How much needed to be tended to here, on the estate!


            He and Mina—twins--had spent much of their childhood happily in this secluded house. Today, however, instead of beauty, the snow-capped mountain leaning over the place now seemed a malicious presence. Looking up at the still icy peaks, he wondered if the evil had always been lurking there. His old sense of security and familiarity were lost. The mountain, whose moody beauty his parents had both loved so greatly, now seemed a sinister, violent presence. 


            A gray rubble scar sprawled across the upper pasture, clearly visible. Beneath tons of gray rock lay the body of his mother, Caterina. She and three others had been moving cattle out of the upper pastures when the rock and mud avalanche had caught them. It was the first time he’d been back since the tragedy, and he was surprised by the pain he felt--pain on top of pain--as old loss and grief combined with the new. Goran, although a brave and much decorated soldier, felt exhausted, defeated—finished before he’d even begun to live.
~~Juliet Waldron

Thursday, June 5, 2014



Riding to find her estranged husband who is at war in the East, Caterina is betrayed, captured and sold into a harem.

She still couldn't believe what she saw when she opened her eyes.


There was the same morning light, the same sun that shone on her at home, shining through the bars of a room that had become her cage.


Her past, the wild Heldenberg, her freedom—all of it, gone!


Lost to a chimera, a dream that she would ride to find her man, that this would prove her true, true love, this facing danger for him…and what had it brought? Nothing but death and destruction to those who had bent to the folly of her desire and will.


And Rossmann—that traitor!
He was everything Cvitjeto had said and more--who had encouraged her, who had ridden with her knee to knee, who had smiled and taught her from his store of knowledge, who had so completely gained her trust all through the lonely, fatal summer...  


~~Juliet Waldron
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Thursday, May 29, 2014


Klara sings at an afternoon salon filled with aristocrats, although she doesn't feel well. She is accompanied by Akos Almassy, a pianist and servant to one of the titled guests. She feels strangely drawn to him. 
Whenever there was pain in Klara's life, she ran to Music, let it carry her to a world of calm, grace and balance.
Music could heal any wound, dry any tear. Music was her tender Mother, the only one Klara had ever known.

She filled her lungs, felt the muscular pleasure of response in throat and diaphragm, heard the rich glory of her voice. As Almassy's strong fingers moved upon the black keys, his amber eyes stayed upon her. He was utterly focused on her every move, her every breath.

When the first song was done, Klara curtsied and smiled at the heart-felt applause. On the walls of this elegant reception room, ornamental details flowed up supporting columns and from these, onto the vaulted, painted ceilings, where angels and cherubs flew into clouds. She turned to include Akos in the applause, but she didn't quite dare to look into his eyes now that there was no music between them. Her heart raced, and not entirely from the exertion of song.

Perhaps if I translate this sensation into something recognizable, I can dismiss these queer, disturbing feelings...

Klara was accustomed to the games men played, either because they imagined it politic to feed her vanity, or for the very masculine reason that they had to feed their own. She had learned to flirt lightly, meaning nothing.

After all, who would dare to challenge Maximilian, the man who owned her, the man whose perverse desire had pierced her, a butterfly struggling on the jeweled pin of his passion?

~~~~Juliet Waldron

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Angel's Flight/Excerpt for Friday Free bits

Captured by the cruel redcoat officer who has been pursuing her, Angelica
considers her options. Believing that Jack, her new husband, has just been murdered, her family threatened with death, she resolves to agree to Major Armistead's demands.  
...As she sat there, drained, a strange feeling fluttered deep in her belly. She’d felt it for the first time only a few days ago. The sensation was as if a butterfly had been released, wings tapping the walls of some secret cave.

I must talk to Harriet, or Mary McGregor. One or the other, they can tell me. In spite of what has happened to my dear mate, the egg may already be in the nest. And, if that is so, what I suspect, then I must survive. Survive any way I can!

Cruel fate has once again destroyed the man I love, but this time, perhaps, something of him, of his love, remains. A miraculous someone I can hug, and kiss.

Fumbling in the pocket, she withdrew her thimble and thread; she pulled a length of cotton through the needle. It will be stronger now, she promised herself.

What God has joined together—

Slowly, Angelica pulled the ragged edges of the tear together. She knew what her answer to George Armistead would be. She would save her family. If she had lost Jack, she would not shame his memory with cowardice.

“Chains do not hold a marriage together.” Angelica spoke aloud to the empty room, imagining Jack was there with her. She pulled cotton through the edges, neatly mending the rent. "It’s the threads-- hundreds of tiny threads--which sew people together through the years..."

~~Juliet Waldron
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Thursday, May 15, 2014




It was said of the enigmatic Mozart that "...'tis unfortunately all too well known that fast living in ill-chosen company shortened his precious days."  My Mozart is the story of Nanina Gottlieb, who begins her narrative as a musiker brat.                                                                                                       


"Mozart, Ich liebe dich. I love you. Love you."

"Come here, Nanina Nightingale. Come and give your poor old Maestro some of your ‘specially sugary sugar."

My mouth on his‑‑the friction produced warmth and sweetness, with a decided undertone of the expensive brandy he liked, flowing from his tongue to mine. I slid my arms across the brocade of his jacket, none too clean these days, and swayed a slender dancer's body against him.

Let me assure you that my sophistication was assumed. It really doesn't matter - then, or now. I was young, foolish, and drowning in love. I was seventeen. He was thirty five.

He had once been boyishly agile, doing handsprings over chairs, turning cartwheels of joy at a prima donna’s kiss or a perfect performance of his own celestial music. He was never tall, and was, like most men of his age, working on a bit of a belly. Still, he kept more or less in shape by a daily regimen which included running from bailiffs, dashing out the back doors of taverns to avoid payment, and climbing in and out of the bedroom windows of adventurous (and talented) musical gentlewomen.

I believed he knew everything--that he could see right through me with those bright blue eyes. He probably could. He'd been my music master--and, more--my deity, ever since I'd met him, in my ninth year.

His jacket, now spotted and stained, must have been fine enough to wear in the presence of the Emperor. Bright blue, it perfectly matched his eyes. I can still feel the fabric sliding under my fingers as my arms passed over his shoulders and around his neck.

I can still see him‑‑a woolly frizz of blonde hair, long, aquiline nose--a ram that had once been an angel. Sometimes, when he was loving me in some exquisitely naughty way and joyfully smiling as he did it, I could almost see horns…


Buy My Mozart  at: 

My Mozart by Juliet Waldron from Books We Love

 Learn more Juliet’s NOVELS at:  http://www.julietwaldron.com

“The brilliance of the plot is that it is timeless ... The characters are as real as today, once again underscoring the fact that people, after all, never change in motives or behavior ... only in time.”  Patricia A. Martin

Friday, May 9, 2014

MOZART'S WIFE, an excerpt

MOZART'S WIFE is a Kindle Countdown deal, today through May 14th

…When Mozart presented himself at our door, my little sister, Sophie and I would scamper to open it. We knew, you see, that Aloysia would make him wait. It was a torment she routinely inflicted on all her admirers.

Sophie and I didn’t care how long she took. While Mozart waited for his goddess, we had him all to ourselves. He was always obliging; a delightful playmate who showed us cat’s cradles we’d never seen. He was also a dangerous and incredibly dexterous opponent in games of jacks.

As soon as Aloysia appeared, however, the fun was over. By the time the little man straightened from bowing to the coquette posing in the doorway, lover’s anxiety had entirely extinguished his natural sparkle.

I couldn’t endure being around them then, even though their music was beautiful. I hated the slave who now gazed from Wolfgang’s blue eyes. I hated the gushing Italian compliments he paid. I knew my sister. The more he doted, the more she would despise.

Poor Wolfgang! His tics, and he had a fair number, intensified in the presence of his idol mio. His nervous fingers were the worst, often going completely out of control, either drumming on the tabletop or tying his watch chain into hopeless knots.

Within a few weeks Aloysia could mimic him perfectly—his busy hands, his submissive bow, his florid Italian. Spiteful Jo was her most appreciative audience. Heaven knows, Mama and Papa, who had begun to dream about a match with the wunderkind from Salzburg, would not have been amused.

“I think you’re both horrible,” I said, wanting to defend him, but this only sent Jo and Aloysia onto the sofa where they rolled about giggling in a most unladylike fashion...
~~Juliet Waldron
See all my historical novels @ http://www.julietwaldron.com


Thursday, May 1, 2014

HAND-ME-DOWN BRIDE~~ Now at a special price at Amazon!

Sophie's traveled all the way from Germany to marry a wealthy older man. She's scared and alone, but her sisters and mother are depending upon her...

Now on Special, only $.99 at Amazon!

...To Sophie, Karl was polite, but little more.  He hardly spoke more than a sentence or two to her during the meals that she and Divine worked so hard to make.

Dull, grim Americans! Sophie watched them eat, the line of elbows rowed up on the table. Here they have plenty to eat and they do it like pigs swilling at a trough, not a word to say.

"Could you please pass them biscuits, Wida' Wildbach?" asked one of the hands, breaking in on her reverie.

Sophie passed the wicker basket.  Karl kept his eyes on his plate, although at least he did not use his knife like a trowel as the others did. 

Once upon a time, someone taught him manners... 

"Nothin' like Mrs. D's biscuits." Karl said.

"Mrs. D, nothin'." Divine had been waiting for just such an opening.  "Why, Miz Sophie made these, while I was cuttin' de slaw."

The shoveling ceased and a line of faces, all ruminating like cattle, solemnly regarded Sophie. 

"Well, they sure fooled me." Karl became a bit redder in the face than he already was.  Yesterday he'd been out all day, up to a place called Big Spring, to look at the wheat. 

"Yes, sir.  This year I may get early to preservin', now that I kin hand off them darned beaten biscuits to someone else."

Dishes of potatoes, green beans and bacon were annihilated.  More was called for and scooped out of seemingly bottomless pots on the stove...



 ~~~Juliet Waldron
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