Hero’s sidekick on WIP Wednesday

Mary Duchess of GloucesterI’m late getting up my work-in-progress Wednesday post. Because, life. I’ve been thinking about all the people who surround the hero and the heroine, and I thought I’d make today’s post about them. Please bring us seven to ten lines of your work-in-progress that focuses on a secondary character. If your hero doesn’t have a sidekick, how about your heroine? And if neither them has a close friend and confidante, pick a piece about another secondary character.

Here are seven sentences from A Baron for Becky about the Duchess of Haverford. Not a sidekick, exactly, but certainly a significant secondary character.

The duchess ignored them both to focus on Becky.

She insisted on Becky sitting beside her.

“Are you keeping well, my dear? Are you eating?”

“Yes, Your Grace.” Becky’s voice was so quiet Hugh had to lean forward to hear.

“You must eat several times a day, dear. More as the baby takes up more room…” she trailed off as Becky blushed scarlet. “And when do you expect the little one to arrive?”

“At Yuletide, Ma’am. Or perhaps early January.”

“What of sleep, Mrs Winstanley? Are you able to rest in the afternoons?” She turned to Hugh. “An afternoon rest is most efficacious for women who are increasing, Lord Overton. I will expect you to keep her in bed in the afternoon.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” Hugh replied, blushing in his turn.

The Duchess silenced her sniggering son with a raised eyebrow.


13 thoughts on “Hero’s sidekick on WIP Wednesday

  1. Thanks, Jude. Enjoyed your snippet. Nice bit of subtle humor.

    Here’s an excerpt from my medieval WIP, “The Weeping Dragon”. Joan is the cousin and best friend of Dorrit, the heroine. But their relationship is about to turn ugly.

    “Dorrit, didn’t you hear what I said?”

    She glanced to her left. There sat Lady Joan, cheerful and confident as usual. And this evening resplendent in a gown of scarlet silk embroidered with gold. Quite a contrast to Dorrit’s simple drapery of ivory linen.

    Joan said, “You seem so distracted. I doubt you’ve heard a word I’ve said”.

    Dorrit thought, If I talk, Joan might tell something’s wrong. It’s hard to hide secrets from someone like her. The less, I say, the better. Perhaps if I get her to talk about herself . . . .

    Dorrit smiled. “Dearest cousin, you’re in a most cheerful mood tonight. Might I ask why?”

    “You might. Others have. But I haven’t answered. It’s a secret.” Joan leaned her dark-tressed head next to Dorrit’s fair-tressed one. “But I will tell you. I trust you more than anyone else, and love you second only to one. Can you keep my secret?”

    “Oh yes. By all that is holy, I’ll tell no one.”

    Joan looked around, then whispered, “I believe William will finally ask Uncle Reginald for my hand. Perhaps tonight. If he hasn’t already!”

    Joan squealed with joy. Dorrit did her best to smile. Inside she died a bit.

    As always, feedback is welcome.

    • Ah. I suspect the presence of a cat in human forms! As one of LM Montgomery’s characters said: “I like cats as is cats; I don’t like cats as is people.”

  2. This is from one of my Austen vagaries, scheduled for a late October release. “Elizabeth Bennet’s Excellent Adventure: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary.”

    Elizabeth could not respond for Wentworth and the other officer returned with lemonade for the ladies.

    Wentworth scowled his greeting.

    “I did not realize you joined us, Mr. Darcy.”

    “I could not pass on the opportunity to speak to dear acquaintances, Captain,” Darcy said with a look of impervious calm.

    “Are you in Portsmouth long, Mr. Darcy?” Harville asked.

    Darcy was certain the commander recognized the hint of animosity in Darcy’s and Wentworth’s tones. Odd that the officer did not take note of Darcy and Elizabeth’s familiarity: Perhaps it said something about the differences in men and women.

    “I come to Portsmouth often for I hold investments in both the shipyards and the import and export business.”

    Darcy would not admit he came to the port city to reclaim his bride to be.

    Elizabeth said in surprise, “I was unaware of your interests in shipping, Sir.”

    Darcy smiled easily at her. Elizabeth Bennet made his heart swell with happiness; even when she was cross with him, Darcy still adored her.

  3. This is from my WIP- My Lady Valentine which will be releasing in February 2016. Can you guess the date? This book is the fourth in the Rogues and Rakehells Mystery series from TouchPoint Romance.

    “Lord Matthew, I don’t believe one is necessary as you both have met before,” the earl stated.

    Glancing down to her Matt watched as she slowly lowered her fan, first exposing her eyes—blue as the sky on a warm sunny day. He’d seen that exact shade before, but couldn’t remember when or where. It wasn’t until she’d brought the fan lower letting him see her nose, petit with a light brown freckle at its tip did he know her. France. And the man they’d hunted separately but together. However, he’d never had a chance to learn her name.

    “You are correct m’ lord. Unfortunately as time was of the essence we never exchanged names. Not that they would have been true,” Matt softly said.

    “Then Lord Matthew Howe may I present our daughter, Lady Jessica Roper,” the earl declared.

  4. Well, this is a bit longer than your suggested length, but it is one of my favorite scenes from ‘Tis Her Season.


    Charlotte blushed bright red, and when she started working her finger through a small tear in the counterpane, Bella seized her hand. “What is it? You are smiling.”

    “It’s just… well… only, I met him in the library a half-hour past.”

    Bella’s hand covered her mouth to hold in the gasp, and her eyes went wide as dinner plates. “No,” she said with a horrid fascination. “Did he ruin you utterly?”

    “No! The horrid man.”

    Bella giggled.

    “I mean… that’s not what I meant…” Charlotte looked at the window on the side of the room. “Only he kissed me and it was… it was quite… well… Mother didn’t say it would be like…” she whispered, “like that!”

    “Like what?” Bella was now fascinated.

    “I can’t describe it, really… just… it was… decadent… like sliding into a cool pond on a hot day. And he touched my…” She gestured to her chest.

    “No! He didn’t! Charlotte!”

    “I don’t see what is so wrong with it. We are to be married tomorrow, and it isn’t as though he did… whatever husbands do.”

    “Are you certain?”

    “I expect I am, since he still had his gloves and cravat on!”

    “Is that all?” Bella snickered.

    “No, that is not all.” Charlotte threw the bolster back at her cousin. “Fully clothed. All but a hat and cane. And as I say,” her nose turned up, “I will be his wife in the morning, so I see nothing wrong in a few kisses.”

    Bella took Charlotte’s hand and squeezed it. “Nor do I, darling.”


    Blurb: ‘Tis Her Season: A Royal Regard Prequel Novella

    Charlotte Amberly would rather eat a lump of coal for Christmas dinner than marry the Marquess of Firthley, so when her parents cancel her London Season in favor of a rush to the altar, the feisty debutante takes husband-hunting into her own hands.

    Alexander Marloughe, reluctant heir to a marquessate, would rather not spend his holiday dashing through the snow after a flibbertigibbet just out of the schoolroom, but no woman before Charlotte has ever led him such a merry chase.

    Amazon: http://ow.ly/RJ4Cc

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