Friday, June 13, 2008

And Another Awesome Author Visit: Regina Scott

Today I am honored to present to you Ms. Regina Scott, who's debut YA novel, La Petite Four, was stunning, just like the cover! For my review click here. Now when I asked Regina if she would care to guest blog over here at And Another Book Read she said sure, as she is an extremely sweet lady. Then she came up with the brilliant idea of writing a mini story for the guest blog. What's even cooler is that she split the story up between my blog and The Story Siren's. So for the first part of today's story make sure to go over to click here!

Without further ado, please read the second half of this thrilling story!! Enjoy:)

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Master Thief
A Mini La Petite Four Story
Part II
by Regina Scott


Just when Lady Emily was about to question her friend further about the
mysteriously missing brooch, she heard a noise behind her.

“Perhaps I can help,” said a warm male voice.

Emily whirled, pulse pounding. James Cropper stood in the doorway of
Priscilla’s sunny bedchamber. His russet hair was for once combed in place,
his brown jacket and breeches looked as if they had been recently pressed,
and his cravat was tied in an elegant knot. But what truly drew her eyes
was the smile curving his mouth. It was positively wicked. The questions
dried in Emily’s throat.

Her three friends seemed similarly affected, for no one said anything for
five full ticks of the enameled clock on the mantel. Then Daphne picked up
her saffron skirts and hurried to greet him.

“Oh, Mr. Cropper, thank you for coming!” She led him into the room. “See,
Emily? I told you we called for the best.”

Emily’s face heated. Jamie was also good at solving mysteries. She could
see why Priscilla might request his services. But her friends could have
given Emily a few moments first, if only to tidy her hair!

Priscilla and Ariadne quickly explained the situation to him, and Jamie
listened, gaze wandering about the little room as if taking in every detail.
Emily noticed that Priscilla left out the part about the brooch being paste
and her fears about Debtor’s Prison if it weren’t found. In fact, Priscilla
seemed to have recovered her usual good spirits. Her lovely face was
animated, her smile so charming dimples danced on either side of her mouth.
Jamie may have come to rescue Priscilla, but Emily had a feeling he was
going to be the one who needed rescuing in a moment.

He caught Emily’s gaze on him and winked. Emily’s face heated once more.

When Priscilla and Ariadne finished their tale, Emily thought Jamie would
likely jump into action, but he merely nodded. “I’d wager Lady Emily has a
thought or two about the matter.”

Her? He was turning it back to her? Her friends looked just as surprised.
Jamie’s handsome face was expectant. Emily raised her head. “I do, as a
matter of fact. We’ve checked the floor, so it doesn’t seem to have fallen.
Miss Tate has already looked over her garments, and it doesn’t appear to be
there.”

“I knew it!” Ariadne declared, honey-colored curls bouncing with her
insistence. “It’s been stolen!”

Daphne nodded sagely, her darker curls moving with similar energy. “And it’
s obviously the work of a master thief. He knew to take the brooch because
. . .”

“It’s the best piece,” Priscilla put in hurriedly with a look to Daphne.
“Who knows what else he might take!” She lay a hand on Jamie’s arm and
gazed up at him, green eyes liquid. “Oh, please, Mr. Cropper. You must
help us!”

Emily wanted to reach out, grab Jamie’s arm, and pull him safely to her
side. But perhaps it was best merely to send him to safety. “I don’t think
we need trouble Mr. Cropper, Priscilla. Surely we can handle this.”

“It’s no trouble,” Jamie said with a smile to Emily.

That’s what every boy said when the golden-haired Priscilla started
flirting. Clearly more drastic steps were necessary. Emily took a step
toward them. As if Priscilla saw the fire in her eyes, she dropped her hold
on Jamie’s arm.

“I was hoping you might work with Mr. Cropper, Emily,” Priscilla pleaded.
“You understand me so well. With your artist’s eye, you see things I miss.”

Emily narrowed her eyes. “And what will you be doing?”

Priscilla’s hand drifted back to her brow. “Oh, I must lie down for a
restorative nap.”

Ariadne stepped to her side, switching her reticule to the other hand so she
could put an arm about Priscilla’s waist. “This whole incident has sorely
tried her, poor dear. I’ll just stay to keep her company.” She gazed
pointedly at her sister.

“Oh.” Daphne hurried to their sides. “I’d better stay as well in case you
need anything.” She waved a hand at Emily and Jamie. “You too run along
and have a good . . .”

“Investigation,” Ariadne finished. “Have a very successful investigation.
It should take you all over London: the dark alleys, the hidden byways.
Very likely it will take some time.”

“Days,” Daphne said with a nod.

Jamie’s gaze met Emily’s, and she could see the future in those smoky eyes.
“Perhaps weeks,” he said, smile curving up.

Weeks? Wandering all over London with the handsome Jamie at her side?
Incredible!

Without a chaperone? Unthinkable!

Emily eyed Daphne. “Surely Lord Snedley would protest.”

Daphne paled at the mention of the famous master of etiquette. “Well, Lord
Snedley has occasionally been wrong.”

“Don’t say that in public!” Ariadne demanded, turning to her sister so
quickly that her reticule thumped Daphne on the hip. Daphne grimaced.

And in that moment Emily knew exactly what had happened. She knew where the
brooch had gone and why. And she knew what she must do now.

She turned to Jamie. “I believe we have a great deal to discuss, Mr.
Cropper. Will you meet me tomorrow at three in Hyde Park, on the bridge
over the Serpentine?”

He gazed down at her, smile as soft as the touch of a feather. “Your
servant, Lady Emily. Until later.”

Emily felt so warm she could have melted right into the Oriental carpet.
“Until later.”

He bowed over her hand, holding it in his strong grip for longer than was
proper, then turned to go. Emily knew everyone in the room could hear her
sigh.

But as soon as he was out the door, she turned to her wide-eyed friends.

“That,” she said, “was entirely too easy.”

Priscilla tossed her golden curls. “I have no idea what you’re talking
about.”

Emily strode to their sides. “I think you do. Why is your reticule so
heavy, Ariadne?”

Ariadne clutched the embroidered cloth bag to her chest. “My reticule?
Why, because of my journal, of course.”

“Really,” Emily said. She pointed to the round bulge near the bottom. “And
has your journal taken to wearing jewelry?”

Ariadne slumped, dropping the bag to the length of its cord.

“I told you we should have hidden it,” Daphne said.

“Yes, well, I wasn’t taking any chances,” Priscilla said. “It is my best
piece.” She held out her hand, palm up, and Ariadne fished out the brooch
and handed it to her.

“Are you furious with us?” Ariadne asked Emily sheepishly.

Emily glared at the three of them. Priscilla was once more biting her lip,
Daphne was shifting her weight from side to side so that her saffron skirts
swung like a bell, and Ariadne was loosening and tightening the cord on her
reticule as if even her fingers heated in embarrassment.

Emily broke into a grin. “How could I be angry? I know why you did it and
what was at stake. Priscilla risked her brooch, Ariadne her reputation for
knowing what’s what, and Daphne her right to be the adventurous one just so
I might have an excuse to spend a few moments with Mr. Cropper. Could
anyone ever have such dear friends?”

Ariadne and Daphne blushed at her praise. Priscilla simply shook her head.
“Yet you spoiled it. Now you have no reason to meet Mr. Cropper.”

Emily’s grin widened. “Why not? Mr. Cropper doesn’t know the brooch is
found.”

Priscilla smiled. “I’ve taught you well.”

Emily laughed. “Well enough. I’ll tell him tomorrow, after we’ve had a
nice walk in the park.”

Ariadne nodded. “Fair enough. Now, on to more important matters.” She
leaned in and beckoned them all closer. “It will take a master thief to
steal Mr. Cropper’s heart. Whatever will you wear?”

The End

(Note: Regina Scott’s charming editor would like all readers to know that
this original story is copyright 2008 to Regina Scott, uncopyedited, and
unproofed. Hope you enjoyed it!)

_________________________________________________________

Now for all of those who read on till the end I have an extra special treat for you!! I happened to come upon an extra ARC of La Petite Four, and would love to give it away. All you have to do is comment and tell me what time period you wish you could live in and why. The only condition is that you have to live in either the U.S. or Canada. All Entries must be in by Wednesday June 18th at 12. pm E.S.T. The winner will be announced on Thursday.

Now here's the book trailer for La Petite Four. Enjoy!!


21 comments:

Anilee said...

That was a fun story. :)

Oh without a doubt, Tudor England. Why? The dresses. And, okay, I've loved that time since I read Mary, Bloody Mary in fifth grade. I'd love to meet the teenaged Elizabeth.

Chelsie said...

I would love to live back in the 1800s... it's just one of those things that I think would be really cool because I read a lot of books about that time period and it just interests me...

-Chelsie-

The Compulsive Reader said...

Most defintely the late 1700's. I just love the colonial era, ever since I got my Felicity doll hen I was 9. And then I read Cameron Dokey's Hopes and Dreams series (the first book is set during the Revolutionary War), and fell in love even further.

I really liked the story a lot! Thanks so much for sharing it! And I would have to agree...the cover totally rocks. I just love the dress.

~TCR

Liviania said...

That was a nice little story - that's what friends are for.

I, really, enjoy living in our time period. I like running water, knowledgeable doctors, genetic engineering (well, I like studying it), (some) sexual equality, fast cars, the YA and urban fantasy boom, and the clothes. We can dress like the past for Ren faires or costume balls, dress up for dances and such, or just hang out in jeans and a tee.

Plus, we can go swimming at the beach in a bikini. Summer wouldn't be summer without that.

paperxxflowers said...

I'd also like to live in the 1800s. I absolutely love all of the novels placed in that time period. The dresses were awesome. I just don't like that women were treated extremely badly... like property.

The Book Muncher said...

i've answered a question like this before, and there's definitely no time like the present. sure it'd be cool to live like in the 1800s, but still, women had very little rights then. plus they had to wear things called corsets...doesn't sound like fun to me

The Book Muncher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

i'm not quite sure....so i'll go with present day :D because pretty much before the present time period, women had limited rights...which meant limited education. then i might not be able to read if i wasnt of upper class! and that's horrid.

Samantha
ssclarinet@hotmail.com

Hillary said...

I'd like to live in the 1800s because it was so cool back then.

Breanna said...

I too would like to live in the 1800s. Like what, 4 people have said that now? I just think it would be such an interesting period to live in.

Great conclusion to the story!

-Breanna

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I agree that the present is very nice, but if I HAD to pick a time period..I would pick the late 1900's in England when Oscar Wilde was alive. I'd have loved to have seen his plays performed for the first time.

-lauren

RR2 said...

Hmm...the future! Just so I could see what life would be like then.

Reader Rabbit said...

I'd like to live maybe 200 years in the future to see if the world has become taken over by robots yet.

Or I'd like to live during the time of the Victorian Era because so many advancements were taking place then and it'd be interesting to watch the world Industrialize.

avni said...

i would want to live in any monarchical era as long as I was one of the ones in the monarchy

Jennifer said...

I wish I could live at the court of Louis XIV, the Sun King, at Versaille--that's probably why my next adult novel is set there!

Kelsey said...

I would love to live in the mid 1800's. If I remember that's about the time period were the US was starting to turn out how it is now, with the Mexican War(Can't remember the real name). The expansion to the Pacific Ocean. Civil War, Slavery. I'd think it'd be really interesting living in the era the US was being created in. I've always been fascinated by that.

And of course, That's when Miss Louisa May Alcott was writing Little Woman, and those artists and inventions being done. It's all really intesting to me.

Blair said...

If I had to choose, it would be the 15-1600's. Who wouldnt want to be a spoiled princess with pretty dresses and hundreds of suitors? It's pretty hard to find that in a public high school, and having poems and songs written about me sounds pretty much like heaven. Even being a servant in the castle of the spoiled princess would be enough--there's still all that freedom and even the servants got a taste of the good life. That would be soooo cool!

Meredith said...

I would live in the 1920s to the late 1950s. I just LOVE the feeling of that era. Not the depressing things, like war and well the great depression, but the wonderful things. Like women getting more power in their own lives & homes, the clothes, music, family being so important, quality of everything. It just seems like a great time to have lived!

~Meredith
rosesaremyfavorite@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I would love to live in Europe during the Renaissance because of all the new ideas and art that arose during that period.


Grace L

cyn2write said...

I am a Little House on the Prairie freak so I would have to say late 1800's. But in the city because I don't think I could deal with an outhouse.

Rachel said...

Ooh, the setting of this book reminds me of the luxe. With all the 1800s dresses etc...
Sounds good.
And I loved the story that she wrote =]

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