Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Mischief and Mistletoe and my Own Short Story Therein

Pretty cover, isn't it?
This title may be unique in that it contains two words I have to 'think about' before I can spell them.  (Hint: I can actually spell 'and'.)

At Word Wenches I've posted a couple hundred words about some of the stuff that went through my mind while I was writing this short story.  Of equal interest, the other Wenches are doing somewhat the same thing, so if you follow along before and after my posting you will have a view into the minds of those other authors as well.

I notice that I did not include an excerpt of the story.  I will do so here:


She fell out of the dream, thumping down, cold and trembling, into reality and night.

A hand clamped over her mouth.  A body, heavy as lead, held her down, muffled her in the blankets so tightly she couldn't break loose.  Couldn't get her hands free to claw.  The strength was huge, hard, unfightable, male, infinitely strong, and it surrounded her everywhere. 

He muttered into her ear.  "It's me, dammit.  It's Jack.  Hold still and listen!"

The fire had died low and orange.  She saw images of the fire in his eyes, close, close.  Her body knew Jack.  It had been two years since they touched, but she knew him instantly.

She went still.     

The timbers of the old inn creaked and groaned like the hull of a ship in high seas.  Outside, winds twisted and howled and pulled at the glass of the window.  The draft up the chimney was a shrill, intermittent whine.  In the big bed in the corner, Miss Trimm snored determinedly.  The French girl slept silently in the trundle bed.     

"You know me now," Jack said.  "You'll be quiet?"

She nodded.  Oh, she knew him, all right. 

His hand went away, but he didn't.  He stayed, covering her with his weight, looking down.  He had the same hard eyes.  Even when she'd been in love with him, even when she'd thought he was harmless, she'd always seen the hardness in his eyes and wondered about it.

He jerked his head once in the direction of the door and let her go.  Noiseless, he lifted himself away from her and was gone into the dark of the hallway.


Intrigue and Mistletoe


MischWwmistletoewikiief and Mistletoe is out in the big wide world as of last week.  I am so delighted to be part of this anthology. 

Let me just meander aside here for an instant and mentiion that I haven't written a short story since I was in Grade School, so the whole concept was a bit baffling.  I had ta kinda feel my way through this.
Since I write Regency spies as my own particular metier, I figured my contribution to the anthology should be ... Regency spies.
I'm sticking with the secrecy and intrigue, of which there was any amount lying about in this time period, but shifting my focus just a bit.  One of the sad realities about spies in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries is that much of the spying they engaged in was against their own countrymen.  While the English crown certainly worried about the French armies milling about across the Channel, they were somewhat more terrified of the disaffected at home. They spied upon them diligently. 

In several of my books, my protagonists have been patriots on opposite sides of the long, bitter political struggle between France and England. In this short story, I considered the problems of a spy working in his own country.

For the rest of this posting ...  pop on over to Word Wenches through this link here.


  1. I didn't know you had this in the works - so excited to read your story (and all the rest, actually.) Thanks for highlighting it!

  2. I am so excited about the anthology. (I love those other stories. They are just so great.)

  3. Is one of the characters in this short story someone we've seen in your spymaster series?

  4. It does. Justine (Hawker's True Love) appears as a minor character.

    I had to think a while to make sure I have the right story.