Why is it that so many authors love to write Regency and why do so many people love to read it? The late wonderful Georgette Heyer really started something when she came up with the idea of a romance set in that period. I enjoy writing in general but there is something delightful about a Regency story, both to write and to read.
I also write sagas and the occasional mystery, and I have had success with Medieval too. At the moment Lady of Shadows is out with Museitup and I'm hoping people will enjoy that one - a story of magic, mystery and romance.
The excerpt I've included for you today is a Regency but with a little touch of Magic. It is hopefully the first of a series but I haven't decided on a title yet.
Hope you enjoy the taster
Linda Sole/Anne Ireland/Anne Herries
Hope you enjoy the taster
Linda Sole/Anne Ireland/Anne Herries
'Do you think it is true, about the wishing well? Merry asked of her companion as they walked together in the beautiful gardens, which were a part of the Ashgrove School for young ladies. It was a warm morning in spring, and the scent of blossom floated on the air as a thrush trilled its song from the branch of an old apple tree.
'Shall we truly be granted our dearest wish if we visit it at midnight when the moon is full?'
'You know that she is a witch, don't you?'
Annabel's eyes were bright with wicked laughter as she teased her friend. 'Some of the younger girls are convinced of it and I am sure she can cast spells…the right sort of spells, naturally. Our darling Samantha is a white witch, of course.' She laughed softly. 'With a name like hers, how could she be anything else?'
'I know Miss Merlin always seems to make things better,' Merry Hamilton said, her eyes serious. She was an attractive girl, though not as lovely as her friend who had silvery blonde hair and blue eyes. Merry's hair was dark brown with a hint of red in it when the light fell on it, as it did sometimes in the sunlight, and her eyes were a gentle, melting brown. 'She has her own kind of magic. When I came here, I expected to be unhappy because my father had died and Mama remarried within six months. They simply wanted me out of the way. I used to cry every night for my father and my home and then…somehow she made me see that I was so lucky to have had such a wonderful childhood. I didn't stop wishing that Papa had not died, but I began to remember how loving he had been, and I began to see that there were still good things in my life.'
'Yes, it's odd how she does that,' Annabel Hayes said and linked arms with her friend. Both of them were eighteen years old, and would be leaving Miss Merlin's school within a few days. They were both being taken to London by their families for their first season, and felt nervous and excited at the prospect of coming out. 'My aunt sent me here because she was too busy to be bothered with me, and I had driven away every governess she employed. And of course, Papa was not interested in the care of a young girl. When I arrived, I was rebellious and angry.'
She laughed, her lovely face alight with the joy of living. 'I have forgotten why I was so angry. Samantha did that for me. Maybe she wove a magic spell to take away the pain or maybe it is just being with her. All her girls feel the same, even if some of them pretend otherwise. She makes you feel pleased with yourself and life.'
'Yes, that is exactly what she does.'
Merry knew that Samantha was a very special person. When her step-father had decided that she would be better off in a school for young ladies, she had expected to be given a dull, strict routine that she would find boring. She had imagined that a school like this would be all about deportment, learning how to behave in society, and what duties would be expected of her when she was mistress of her husband's home. Well, there had been lessons in deportment, the management of a home and the art of polite conversation, but there had also been Samantha's lessons…poetry and stories of love and life.
It was strange how Samantha Merlin could bring ancient legends to life. Her voice had a musical lilt as she told them stories of tragic lovers who had lived throughout history; the lives of Paris and Helen, Troilus and Cressida, Romeo and Juliet and many other star-crossed lovers from ancient legends and plays came to vivid life. She held the girls as if they were in some kind of a trance so that even history, which might have been dull written in the pages of some dusty book, came to life and paraded through their minds with all the brilliance and colour of a medieval pageant. And she taught them other things too, the joy of living and the pleasure of loving each other.
'Should we try?' Annabel said and her eyes danced with mischief as she turned to her friend. 'Shall we visit the well tonight and make a wish?'
'Oh, Belle!' Merry said and looked doubtful. 'Do you think we ought? Samantha was just teasing us, wasn't she? We asked her about the well and she told us that sometimes wishes can come true – if we make the right ones. I don't think she meant it was truly magic. Surely that is just superstition, isn't it?'
'Yes, I expect so,' Annabel agreed. 'But it would be fun to try, wouldn't it?
'Yes.' Merry laughed, caught up in the spirit of her friend's desire for adventure. 'It can't do any harm if we go together, and it would be fun. We shall remember it always, as a part of the time we spent here – because it has been special, hasn't it?'
'That is because of Samantha,' Annabel said. 'I shall never forget her – or you. I want us to be friends always.'
'Of course we shall,' Merry promised. 'My aunt is taking my cousin and I to London for the season. We shall go up at the end of next week, and you will be there soon. We shall see each other often.'
'It won't be quite the same, though, will it? I shall miss the school and Samantha.'
'We shall have tea with her one last time before we leave,' Merry said and smiled, because it was a privilege reserved for the older girls and one that they all enjoyed. 'But I intend to visit her sometimes. Some of her old girls do, you know.'
'Yes, I've seen them,' Annabel said, thinking of the well-dressed young women who sometimes came to visit their former teacher. 'We'll do that too, Merry – and tonight we will make our wishes.'