It’s all Elizabeth Hoyt’s Fault!
My best writing pal in the whole wide world has left me. Yes, she used to live a short drive away. We would meet regularly to gossip…er NETWORK, talk about our current work in progress, and drink coffee. Oh yeah, there would be lots of writing too. But now she has left me to live in a whole different state! Something about closer to family, blah, blah, blah. I ask you, aren’t I family? *sigh* I went into mourning and I’m not sure I’ve come out yet.
The problem is that I’m an extrovert. I need the contact of other writers or I go a little (lots) nuts. So what did I do when my local bestie left me?
- Did you see those footprints on the walls? That’s what I did while watching a Firefly marathon and eating Cheetoes until unmentionable parts of me turned orange.
- I wrote like a fiend in retaliation. Who needs a friend close by? Not me. I’ve got my laptop plus Plants vs. Zombies 2. Forget her. I’m going to write constantly.
- I couldn’t deal. I left for Orlando’s Disney World and refused to come back. I’m writing this now hidden in the basement of Cinderella’s castle and dodging security.
- I joined a local writer’s group and am expanding my abilities with all the genres including poetry. BTW, I suck at poetry in case anyone wondered.
Answer: D. Although all the rest apply as well. Yeah, I am indeed stir crazy and marathons have happened, though not the Cheetoes. Chocolate of any kind is my choice. I did try to write like a fiend but failed. I did, however, kill many vast armies of zombies. And I did visit Orlando, though we went to Hollywood Studios and Sea World instead. Sadly, no one would let me hide out in Cinderella’s castle.
But mainly, I tried to expand my local writer friendships by joining a new writer’s group. They’re great people in a variety of genres, and I enjoy their company. They have something called a random prompt write up. They draw two random nouns out of a hat and we had 45 minutes to write a scene based on those random prompts. What did we get? Pig and Servant.
Here’s what I wrote. It’s not long and it’s funny. Right after the text you can guess why it doesn’t work and had to be completely deleted.
“Jesus fucking Christ…” The litany of curses went on as Thomas William Swathmore, Earl of Twindell, squared off with the maniacal pig. “It’ll be easy, he said. Sweet money from an old dodger, he said. He didn’t ever say squat about chasing a pig.”
“Quit yer grumbling,” called his cohort in crime. “It’s just a pig.”
“It’s a mean pig, is what.” The thing had already shouldered him backwards then sat on him. It had taken ten minutes of cursing just to free his leg.
“And you’re a mean man. Git him to move.”
Thomas glared over his shoulder at his “sister.” Mary Bluebell she called herself, but he knew it wasn’t her real name, just as he wasn’t really her brother Tom. But here they were, sister and brother out to uncover a pirate’s treasure trove or so Mary had told him. She had a map and everything, written in a shaking hand.
Sadly, the damned treasure was under a pig trough. And it was guarded by a huge monster of a beast.
“Just start digging. He’ll move,” Mary suggested.
“You start digging. I’m already up to my knees in muck.” And his hip was hurting like the devil. Jesus, who knew something that fat could hit that hard?
“Wot and miss the show?”
“What, not wot,” he corrected without even looking at her. “Go check and make sure the master hasn’t got up from his nap.”
“With as much liquor as I put in his tea, he’ll be sleeping fer a week.”
He didn’t bother to correct her accent this time. She was keeping her h’s in and that was enough. Especially since they were supposed to be servants hired out for a few weeks until they had enough money to make it to London. She was a maid of all work, and he was butler, footman, and farmhand all rolled into one. Mary served tea and dusted the furniture. He carried furniture down from the attic and mucked out stalls. If his father could see him now, the old bastard would roll in his grave.
So that was something, at least. He was pissing on his ancestors great name.
And just like that, his thoughts turned into reality. While he was dreaming of pissing on his father’s gravestone, the bastard pig lifted its own leg, giving him the chance.
“There you go, you bastard!”
He dove forward and rammed his shoulder straight into the massive thing. Caught with one leg in the air, the pig was off balance. He fell backwards with a squeal giving Tom enough time to grab it around the middle and haul it toward the gate.
“There ya go!” Mary was being helpful by pulling open the gate. “Right on through. ‘Ere’s a nice ripe turnip fer you.”
It was hot, sweaty work, but they got the thing through. While Mary tossed it another turnip, Tom slammed the gate closed on the thing. He was covered in muck from head to toe, slop matted the hair over one ear, and he was breathing worse than the old coot’s plowhorse, but the evil pig was in the other pen.
“Finally,” Mary breathed with a satisfied smile.
He would have agreed if he’d had the breath. Instead, he let his head hang–his arms were already braced on his thighs–and just breathed for a minute.
“Well, what you waiting for?”
He glanced up. She really was pretty there, perched on the fence. The sunlight danced on her auburn curls, bringing out the red in her hair. Her eyes were a bright claret, a color and a wine which had always appealed to him. But mostly it was the freckles that drew his eyes. Light dusting across her nose and then into her cheeks. More on the left than the right, but all of it charming.
“Come on,” she said, holding out the shovel. “Dig!”
He straightened up to his full height, rolling out his shoulders. Damn, he’d done more work in that last twenty minutes than he had in the first twenty years of his life. He counted that more than enough work for one day.
“Get in here and dig for yourself.”
“What,” he corrected.
She grimaced at him. “WHAT do you mean. I’m supposed to be a maid of all work. We have to be clean.”
“You’re also a lying gypsy girl who wants your treasure. So dig for it.” With a grimace of distaste, he slogged to the side of the fence. He was about to brush off his breeches, but then realized it was a lost cause. No soap would ever get the stench out of his clothes. He’d have to burn them.
“I’m not–” she began.
He leaned back against the fence. “Then you’ll not get.”
“You want the treasure, same as me.”
“Not same as you. You’re on a mission. I’m simply here for my half.”
“Don’t you be making airs with me, mister…”
He let her threat hang in the air while he lifted his face to the breeze. She was downwind of him, so she’d get a good whiff of what he’d been mucking through. And then just to prove his point, he faked a yawn. “I’m tired. Think I’ll go to the creek and wash off.”
“Aw, come on Tom.” Her tone was sweet with a kick of sass just to entice him. She was good at that, playing both the innocent and the tart at the same time. If he thought she’d follow through on what she’d implied, he’d dig up the entire wallow. He’d done more for less.
But he knew it was a lie. Whenever he’d tried to wheedle so much as a kiss, she’d clamped up tighter than a Mother Superior. So he shook his head.
“You dig. I’ll keep an eye out for the old bugger.”
She waited a moment longer to test his resolve, but in this she was doomed. Finally, she understood. With a heavy sigh, she dropped the shovel to tie up her skirts.
Trim ankle. Strong calf. And the hint of legs that were as strong as they were supple. Ah, if only she’d opened up just a tad. The tiniest crack in her virtue and he’d–
“Quit staring. I ain’t got nothing you ain’t seen afore.”
“But none have it as pretty as you.”
She cast him a look–part hope, part embarrassment. It startled him. Surely she’d heard such compliments before. Then she looked away and grabbed the shovel and he was left to puzzle.
Which he did while she set shovel to the muck and began to dig.
He could have sat there for hours, watching her work. Her arms were strong, and she’d obviously done hard labor before. But it wasn’t more than ten minutes when she hit something hard.
She banged down again, and they both heard it clear as a bell. She’d found it.
He was off the fence in a second, dropping to his knees beside her as they dug with their hands.
There it was. And old metal box. Big enough for a small stash of jewels. Some gold chain. Something…
Her hands were shaking as she opened it. The latch was simple. And inside, sealed in a wax tube was…
“A piece of paper? A bloody piece of paper! Damn it Mary you said it was worth a King’s ransom!”
She was unrolling the paper, her eyes misting as she looked at it. “It is,” she said in a choked whisper. “Don’t you see? It is!”
He didn’t see and he wasn’t in the mood for guessing games. So he snatched it out of her hands and read. And then he read it again.
“It’s a marriage certificate.”
“Of the Earl of Garneth to a Cynthia Graves.”
“Yes. My mother.”
He looked at her, not understanding. “But that means–“
“I’m his only living heir.”
“And an heiress,” he whispered. A bloody eighty thousand pound annum heiress.
Which meant…he had to marry her. Right bloody now.
So why did I have to delete it? Can you guess?
- It’s not as funny as I thought.
- Editor hated it.
- The set up was completely confusing
- They didn’t have marriage licenses in England in the regency period. Or wedding certificates. Or anything written down.
What was your guess as to why Jade had to throw out the scene? Leave your answer below in the comments and one lucky person will win a copy of
ONE ROGUE AT A TIME. Check for Jade’s answer later in this article.
USA Today bestselling author Jade Lee has been crafting love stories since she first picked up a set of paper dolls. Ballgowns and rakish lords caught her attention early (thank you Georgette Heyer), and her fascination with the Regency began. An author of more than 40 romance novels and winner of dozens of reader awards, she brings laughter into the sexy nights of England’s elite. Quirky characters and sexy banter are her hallmarks. Find out more at her website www.JadeLeeAuthor.com, or check out her wild contemporary half at www.KathyLyons.com.
Answer: D. There were other things wrong with the scene. Things I would have to expand and all that. But the main reason it had to be ditched was because the premise was flawed. The English didn’t issue marriage licenses. They just wrote down the names in the church’s record book. So check out http://jadeleeauthor.com/project/one-rogue-at-a-time-2/ to see how it really opens.
USA Today bestselling author Jade Lee continues her saucy, vibrant Rakes and Rogues Regency romance series with a high-society outsider who may have met his match…
A brown-eyed bastard with nothing to lose
As the illegitimate son of a duke, Bramwell Wesley Hallowsby grew up tough, on the fringes of society, learning to hide his hurt and cynicism with charm and Town polish. He’s carved out a place for himself as a mercenary, serving as bodyguard and general strong arm for the peerage. Bram has nothing to lose… and he’s exactly what Maybelle “Bluebell” Ballenger needs.
Meets his match in a blue-eyed beauty with everything to hide
Maybelle needs a mentor to teach her to speak and act like a lady, so she can claim the place in society she was denied. As they team up to take on the ton, Bram knows she’s hiding something even from him. Despite the deception he sees behind those sparkling blue eyes, Bram wants to believe that Maybelle’s love is no lie. But it seems fate has served him up his just desserts in the likes of this determined damsel.