January 18 will the one year anniversary of RETURNING THE FAVOR’s release with Boroughs Publishing Group as part of their Lunchbox Romance line. In honor of that, I’ll post “interviews” with each character leading up to Saturday! (If you’ve read RTF – or haven’t read it yet – and have any questions you’d like to ask the questions just leave them in the comments!)
Leave a comment below (or on any of the upcoming interviews) to enter for a chance to win a digital copy of RETURNING THE FAVOR. 3 copies up for grabs! =] Open to anyone who can read an ebook.
First up, we have the father of the heroine, John James, Marquess of Trewin.
I have never interviewed a lord before. It is a bit nerve-wracking, as one can imagine. He requested I join him in his study. Isn’t that kind of like bearding the lion in his den? I don’t know. I have a stack of parchment and a stick of graphite (I believe a laptop or even a ballpoint pen may prove jarring).
The footman directed me to Lord Trewin’s study. I knocked on the door and waited for the faint, “Enter!”
I can do this. I rubbed my sweaty palms against my jeans. (Sorry, I was NOT wearing a corseted dress no matter how out of time I seemed.)
Lord Trewin’s head was bent over a stack of papers on his desk. His quill flew over the parchment, occasionally interrupted by a dip in the inkwell. I shuffled forward; terrified I’d trip on the intricately woven Aubusson rug in front of the desk.
“Have a seat, have a seat!” He waved his left hand at me.
Uh, should I curtsy? He’s not even looking at me.
I cleared my throat. “Thank you for meeting with me, my lord.”
“Of course, of course.” He wiped the nib of the quill with a heavily used rag and placed it next to the capped inkwell. “Now, what do I owe this pleasure? It is not often I have visitors. Tenants and my wife’s creditors, yes. Are you a tenant?” His face scrunched. “I do not remember you. Perhaps I have dealt with your husband?”
I blinked, a little overwhelmed. “My lord, I am unmarried.”
“Unmarried! Excellent! I have a son if – ”
“No!” I glanced around. “Uh, I mean, no, thank you? My lord, I am here to ask about your daughter.”
“My daughter?” He narrowed his eyes. “I, my dear,” he sighed, “how do I put this. Catherine, is not interested in – She seeks a more – ” Lord Trewin groaned and buried his fingers in his gray-tinged hair. He muttered, “First my wife, now my daughter.” He looked up, eyes a little pained. “Madame, Catherine seeks a husband, not a – a female consort.”
He blinked back.
My cheeks reddened.
Eyes wide, I started waving my hands about. “No, no, no.” The graphite stick propelled itself and smacked into Lord Trewin’s crisp white cravat, and oh, my goodness, I’m going to jail for assault of a peer.
I shot out of my seat and started dabbing at the smudge on this cravat. But, I think the oils from my fingers made it worse. He grabbed my wrists and held me away from him.
“Young lady, return to your seat. My wife will have my head if she walks in on this scene.”
Tears filled my eyes at the appearance of the marchioness. “My lord, I just wanted to know how you felt about Lord Mannes’ pursuit of your daughter. They have known each other for some time now, but his proposal seems a tad rushed.”
“Colin? He’s a good lad. Good for Catherine.” Lord Trewin rubbed the back of his neck and looked down sheepishly. “Well, except for that incident where he wanted to court my wife, Claudia. But, yes, I approve of the match. I only wonder why it has taken him so long.”
“He is only twenty-four, my lord. Shouldn’t you encourage him to, I don’t know, sow his wild oats or something?”
“He does not need to sow his oats. He has tenant-farmers for that.” He shook his head at me. “Young lady, I do not know where you are from.” He glanced at my denim clad legs. “And I am not sure of the customs of your country, but here in London the peerage must marry and produce heirs. Females are necessary to this practice. Colin has recently inherited his father’s title and the responsibility to continue the line now falls on his shoulders.”
“But, shouldn’t he marry for more than responsibility? I cannot imagine Catherine will take kindly to being a responsibility.”
“If she is anything like her mother, no, she will not. But, that is for them to decide. Colin already has my permission to seek Catherine’s hand in marriage. How he goes about that is his business.” He shrugged. “I am already married and too old to concern myself with two stubborn children. Claudia and I have been waiting for this day. It is clear how the two feel for each other.” He frowned. “Their silliness keeps me up at night. Claudia constantly worries and chatters into the night about them. I cannot sleep until she stops prodding my shoulder to share her every thought, on what she calls, ‘their situation’.”
I bit my lip, trying not to laugh at his put-upon expression. I nodded and stood. “Thank you, my lord.”
He looked up. “Going already? I doubt I have answered your questions. Claudia will be more than willing to discuss this little courtship.”
I curtsied. “I am calling on the marchioness tomorrow.”
“Good, good.” He picked up the quill and muttered, “That will give her a chance to get it all out before bed.”
I quietly exited as he bent back to the stack of papers. Clearly, there is more work to being a lord than people know about.
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Next time, I think we’ll have these interviews in my living room, on my turf.
See you tomorrow!
Published: January 18, 2013 (Boroughs Publishing Group)
Synopsis: At thirteen, Lady Catherine James fell out of a tree and into Colin Barringer’s heart. Now six years later, he’s determined to secure her hand in marriage, but will a childhood tragedy keep them apart?
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