Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Romy Gemmell - 'Dangerous Deceit'

Although traditionally regarded as All Saints’ Day, November 1st was also sometimes known as a day for pranks and mischief. In this excerpt from my Regency intrigue novel, Dangerous Deceit, several of the characters are visiting exciting Vauxhall Gardens for the evening.

These were the pleasure gardens of the Regency era (and before) where all levels of society rubbed shoulders together. And what a place for intrigue and mischief! The many secluded paths, groves, and arbours allowed men and women an ideal opportunity to arrange clandestine meetings. With supper boxes, orchestras and fireworks, it was a lively venue. As well as the rogues and courtesans, the more ‘well-to-do’ took pleasure in all it had to offer.

Unknown to my heroine, Lydia, someone is determined to cause mischief for her, contriving to separate her from Lord Sheldon and the rest of their party. And Lydia is now lost in the slightly dangerous pathways.


She had to choose one of the paths in the hope it would take her towards the orchestra and supper boxes. But which one? She had no idea which way they’d walked as she had been too busy talking and exclaiming over the sights.

 Deciding to keep going as straight as possible, she took one of the paths just off center. Several couples were coming towards her from that direction which meant they had to be coming from somewhere. Gripping her shawl as much for comfort as for cover, Lydia walked as quickly as her slippers would allow over the gravel path, looking neither to left nor right and avoiding all eye contact from curious stares.

 She started as one young dandy came so near that Lydia could smell the ale on his breath.
 “Well, well, a fairy princess has crossed before me. Grant me a wish then, princess!”

“No, you don’t. You have yer own fairy queen beside you, jackass, who’ll grant you anything you like!” The colorful woman beside the young man yanked him back to her and laughed at Lydia’s shocked expression.

“Pretty young gal like you don’t want to be on yer own down here.”

And they both walked on holding each other, their laughter echoing back as Lydia walked more hurriedly. She didn’t know whether she was more shocked by the woman’s clothes, her preposterous feathered hat, or her coarse language but she was certainly grateful for her presence and kind warning.

She often longed for some adventure and now Lydia regretted the form the adventure had taken. She was a young female on her own and would seem easy prey to some enthusiastic young buck, or some reprehensible rogue. Not for the first time, she wished she could enjoy a similar type of freedom as that enjoyed by young men like James.

Well, such musings did nothing to protect her at this present moment, she decided. She resolved that she would not let herself be easily intimidated should she be accosted again.

Quickening her walk, Lydia wondered at the length of time it was taking to reach the end of the path. She had no recollection of such a long walk on the way down. Although there were lamps lighting the way enough to see by, it was still darker than she liked and she was disconcerted to hear whispers and subdued laughter at regular intervals along the path. She noticed the slight gaps in the hedge now and then, which presumably led to other paths and arbors, but she kept walking straight ahead. She wasn’t quite sure whether she was grateful she was alone, or more apprehensive at the eerie stillness.
 Suddenly, an arm shot out from one such gap that Lydia had failed to see. She barely had time to realize what was happening before she was being half dragged towards a secluded arbor. Gathering her wits about her, Lydia dug her heels in as far as she could and began to resist.

Rosemary Gemmell Bio

Based in the west coast of Scotland, Rosemary Gemmell’s first novel (as Romy), Dangerous Deceit, historical romance and intrigue set in Regency England, was published by Champagne Books in Canada in May 2011. Her first Tween novel, Summer of the Eagles, which is set in Scotland, is being published by MuseItUp Publishing in Canada in March 2012 (as Ros).

Her short stories and articles are published in UK magazines, in the US, and Online, and her children’s stories are in three different anthologies. One of her short stories was included in the fundraising book, ‘100 Stories for Haiti’ in 2010. A historical short story was published in ‘The Waterloo Collection’, launched by the late professor Richard Holmes in April 2011. She has won a few competitions and will be a short story adjudicator at the annual Scottish Association of Writers’ Conference in March 2012.

Dangerous Deceit is available in kindle version from www.amazon.co.uk and www.amazon.com and all other e-book versions from http://www.smashwords.com/

The print version (and e-book) is available from http://champagnebooks.com/

You can find Rosemary at:

Website: http://www.rosemarygemmell.com/
Reading and Writing Blog: http://ros-readingandwriting.blogspot.com/
Romancing History Blog: http://www.blogger.com/goog_1050960198
Flights of Imagination Blog: http://rosgemmell.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @rosemarygemmell


Lindsay Townsend said...

Mischief indeed, Rosemary, and what a super excerpt! I felt to be right in your heroine's shoes as she nervously trod the paths.

Thanks for sharing and welcome to the pink blog.

Welcome everyone to Bonfire Week!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for having me on your lovely blog, Lindsay!

Ute Carbone said...

poor Lydia! Drag those heels, darling. Great read, Romy.

Jane Richardson said...

Lovely excerpt, Romy - give as good as you get, Lydia! I've always ben intrigued by the idea of the pleasure gardens, and walking past the site in Vauxhall where they are thought to have been makes me shiver - what a place it must have been! I love how you've incorporated it into the story. :)

Jane x

Celia Yeary said...

The excerpt tells me you are quite talented and accomplished. It was very interesting and engaging. Congratulations on the release, and many best wishes.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks, Ute!

Hi Jane - thanks for that. I can imagine how atmospheric it must have been!

Hello Celia - thanks for leaving a comment!

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Rosemary, enjoyed your excerpt. It's fascinating to me how humanity always creates a place where class lines are crossed like Vauxhall.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for your kind comment, Savanna!