Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Miss Peterson & The Colonel

I'm thrilled to announce that on Valentine's Day my first book with Aurora Regency Historical, Miss Peterson & The Colonel, is to be published. Aurora is the new wing of the well established e-publisher Aspen Mountain Press and has been set up with the intention of filling the space left by the demise of the much loved Zebra and Kensington lines. Every book published by Aurora aims to be historically accurate as well as an exciting and fun read.
My book, Miss Peterson & The Colonel can be bought from the Aurora website or on Amazon, and can be read on a kindle or any other format.
I'm busy editing the second book for them, A Cornish Maid, which is due to come out at the beginning of March. A third will be out in April, Lady Eleanor's Secret.

Here is a short extract from the opening chapter of Miss Peterson & The Colonel. I hope you find the time to read it.
best wishes
Fenella Miller

Lydia grabbed at the strap as the carriage tilted but failed to stop her undignified slide into the well. Her maid landed heavily on top of her. For a moment she lay winded, unable to move.

"I beg your pardon, miss, I couldn't stop myself from falling.”

“It's not your fault, Martha. I think we must have broken an axle. I sincerely hope the horses are unharmed.” With some difficulty she extricated herself and stood up. “At least we are both in one piece. If I balance on the edge of the seat I believe I might manage to open the door.' She attempted the manoeuvre and the coach rocked alarmingly.

“Please don't do that, Miss Peterson. You'll likely have us right over.”

“Why doesn't Jim come to our aid? Do you think he's taken a tumble from the box. As Billy has gone ahead to order our refreshments he cannot assist. I must get out.”

This time her struggles sent the coach crashing right over. Her world turned upside down, her legs and arms became entangled with Martha's and it was several minutes before she was able to get both of them upright. The doors were now the floor and ceiling, the squabs pointing into the air. The sound of her precious horses panicking meant she had no option. If she did not get out and release them from the harness one would likely break a leg.

Martha screamed and pointed down. Lydia saw water seeping in through the door that now acted as the floor. They must have turned over into the ditch that ran alongside the road. “Hold on to something, Martha. I think if I could step on your knee I might reach the door handle somehow.”

Her smart travelling ensemble was ruined, the hem already saturated with muddy

water and her spencer in no better case. Her lovely new bonnet was hanging in disarray around her neck. Her sister had been most insistent she dressed in her best to meet the colonel, as the much longed for visitor was to arrive today as well. She was not going to impress anyone now.

The whinnying and stamping from the team had stopped. Was this a good or bad sign? Before she had time to consider, the door above her head was slammed back and a gentleman appeared in the space. His features were indistinct , but from his voice he was obviously well-to-do.

“Why couldn't you stay still, ladies? You have turned a minor accident into a major disaster. I have released your horses and attended to your coachman, however now that you've managed to tip the carriage over there is nothing I can do to get you out without assistance. You must stay inside.”

The incredibly rude gentleman vanished as suddenly as he'd appeared, leaving Lydia up to her boot tops in freezing water. “Come back here this instant, sir. You cannot abandon us in here.”

He slammed his fist against the carriage and shouted back. “I cannot right the vehicle unaided, and can't pull you out through the door. You will come to no harm, the ditch is shallow, I shall be back as soon as I can.”

Then he was gone, only the sound of hoofbeats echoing in the cold winter air to keep her company. This was no gentleman. He had callously left her and Martha without making a serious attempt to rescue them. He could be gone hours. What about poor Jim possibly unconscious on the side of the road?

She would not remain incarcerated a moment longer.

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