Secondary characters on WIP Wednesday

He’s doing it again, and I refuse to let him have another blog post. I always intended some of my characters to play a role in a number of books — either always as secondary characters, or in lesser roles when they weren’t taking centre stage. But the Marquis of Aldridge is trying to horn in on Prue and David’s love story. I’m not going to talk about him. Or his mother, who also

Lord Jonathan Grenford

Lord Jonathan Grenford

pops up in places that are not always convenient.

But I am going to give you an excerpt with another secondary character for Embracing Prudence. Please show me yours? Usual rules. Nine to ten lines, and I’m not too strict about it. And share away on Facebook and Twitter as much as you please!

So here is Aldridge’s younger brother, Lord Jonathan Grenford, joyously helping his half-brother David with the murder investigation. He has just been to try his charm on the Earl of Selby’s mother and aunt, and is reporting that they all but threw him out.

After that, the two women cut the visit short. Gren was escorted firmly to the door, and Miss Remington informed him that she would be speaking to his mother, a threat that Gren found highly amusing.

“Mama, if she even receives the woman, will inform her that it is about time I had a hobby.”

But Gren’s report was not over.

“So I wandered around to the kitchen entrance, to thank the cook for her particularly delicious almond macaroons. And she insisted on making me a cup of tea and serving me some more. I will need to visit Mama.” He had a bite of his bun while his listeners pondered the non sequitur.

Prue decided to give him the satisfaction of asking. “Very well, Gren. Why do you need to visit Her Grace?”

“I might have promised to the cook a position  in one of Mama’s houses,” Gren’s eyes were dancing. “She isn’t very happy in the Selby household. Not only are they unappreciative of her talents, the whole household knows that they don’t have a feather to fly with and expect to be jobless at any time, and—besides—she is almost certain that one or both of the old harridans greased the steps that the former Earl of Selby slipped to his death on.”

Satisfied with his verbal bombshell, he finished the bun.


13 thoughts on “Secondary characters on WIP Wednesday

  1. This is a short where a defender isn’t quite dead, but still bound to protect a set of ruins. Truclar is more wary than her leader.

    —> “I don’t like this, Captain.” Truclar rolled her knuckles absently, motes of magic flowing over them. “There could be revenants and wights, and no one fights alone.”

    Her motto, long drummed into recruits, made Sera smile a little with pride. “I never fight wholly alone, but with the gods’ blessings. We’re already inside the old city walls and no bandit could get inside now. I can avoid haunts, and if it gets worse I’ll just retreat and send our regrets.”

    Her second looked doubtful, the sparks rolling faster around her hand. “We don’t know what’s in there. That place has been abandoned for generations. Does the damned orb still exist?”

    Sera looked in toward the towering piles of begreened rubble. “It exists. The priests are sure. That barrier says some defenses still work.”

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  3. Finished typing out that scene! In my retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Damien Simmons, my Gaston replacement, comes in well after my Belle (Fig) and Beast (Rue) have met. He has plagued her for years, of course, always after her to marry him, though she keeps turning him down.

    Here, he has arrived at a house party, a guest of Rue’s family. It is the first time Fig and he have seen each other since his last proposal. They are not exactly friends, but definitely not enemies. She is, generally, too kind to have enemies.

    It is longer than 9 or 10 sentences. I apologize 🙁

    “Tell me Fig, when will you put aside this animosity that lies between us, and marry me?”

    “Is Aunt Prudence here?” Her gaze swept the crowded room, but she could not find the lady in question, and surely her aunt’s penchant for pink would not go unnoticed.
    Lord Fithian allowed her the diversion, following the new train of conversation. “She has retired for the evening, but yes, she is here.”

    “On the hunt for an heiress for her precious nephew, then?” Where had that come from?

    The condescending smile turned into a smirk. “That, I believe, is the plan. I continue to protest, but she will insist.”

    “Why protest? You are the viscount. You must marry eventually.” And leave her alone, finally.

    “I told you Fig, it is you or no one. We will retire to that little property you inherited, and I can hunt to my leisure. We will enjoy London while Parliament is in session, of course. Rather, I will. You, I imagine, will be quite busy with our ever-growing brood of children.”

    “There are plenty of helpless young ladies here to foist yourself upon, my lord.” What had gotten into her? Never before had she spoken so freely with Lord Fithian.

    “But none of them are you. Alas, I believe our dear aunt has narrowed the list down to just three.”

    She followed the line of his stare across the room. There, three sets of eyes met hers, and she felt her stomach fall to her knees. The triplets stood together, separate from their guests, watching her. No, watching Lord Fithian. Each of them had a look of hopelessness upon her bright face, one she recognized easily. The same look had stared back at her from the mirror the night Rue had stormed away after kissing her.

  4. This is from A Valentine Wedding which is one of several stories in a Valentine themed anthology. David, at some point in the future will have his own story-

    “Mother, Lady Julia, and again my injured older brother. You’ve really got to stop being shot,” David teased.
    “I do my best to avoid being hurt. I guess cannon and round ball have a way of finding me,” Guy jested.
    “Oh, will you two behave. This sounds like two young boys picking on each other,” Julia declared.
    “My dear, they’ve been like this for years. Why do you think David keeps an apartment at The Albany? Now, give me a kiss on the cheek,” she said to David. “Then be off with you as I see a young lady is searching you out most intently.”

  5. Great excerpts. Here is one of my secondary characters, Gerrod, tackling the hero Aelric (living under an assumed name) about his connection with the woman they have abducted.

    “Whatever is in that box had better be worth all the sorrow it has caused,” Gerrod muttered. “The woman had better be useful.”

    “Osgood will be here before long with it. Then we’ll see what she was protecting,” Caddoc answered. “I should go wake her before he arrives.”

    As he stood Gerrod pushed himself to his feet and barred his way. “I think I’ll come with you.” He folded his arms, his face stern. “Aelric.”

    Caddoc opened his mouth to protest but Gerrod leaned in towards him.

    “You can deny it as much as you like but she called you by another name, and it was one you recognised. I want to know why a fine, Norman lady such as she claims to be calls you by a name you claim not to know. I don’t trust her and I’m beginning to doubt you.”

    Caddoc clenched his fists then released them. Gerrod was a giant of a man. It would do no good to antagonise him unless Caddoc wanted to be on the receiving end of a beating.

    “The name was mine until I was exiled. My father was thegn of Hamestan until de Coudray took his lands and title. I gave up my name when I ran to Wales and took shelter with Emrys of Arllechwydd, my mother’s uncle.”

    “You’ve been lying to us about who you are?” Gerrod growled.

    “I had to. I am a fugitive.”

    “We all are, lad,” Gerrod said.

  6. Hahaha. Younger sons, eh? 😉

    Haven’t participated for a few weeks (DEADLINE) but I have a secondary character in The Long Shadow I adore, so I wanted to share him. Charles, 4th Duke of Rutland plays a major thematic role in the book, but he also provides some (I suspect much-needed) comic relief. And he happens to be my boy John’s best friend — what’s not to love?

    Here is a portion of the scene in which John and Rutland first take their seats in the House of Lords:


    The formalities over, John clambered up to take his seat beside Rutland. His friend was still mourning his grandfather the third Duke, although as usual the black velvet straining across his paunch was cut to the height of fashion. ‘So you’ve joined us old hands at last.’

    ‘You’ve been a member of the House of Lords ten minutes longer than me. I’d hardly call you an “old hand”.’

    ‘Ten minutes is an age in politics, believe me. Will you look at that.’ Rutland pointed at the two pedigree rolls on the clerk’s table, deposited by Garter King of Arms in accordance with the procedure of admitting new members of the Lords. ‘My pedigree’s bigger than yours.’

    ‘They probably use more calligraphic flourishes for Dukes. Be serious, Charles, as befits the august chamber of which we are now both members.’

    ‘Be serious? Who do you take me for?’ Rutland said, with a twinkle. ‘Very well, if I must. But unless debates have changed since I was in the habit of watching behind the Throne, you will soon regret forbidding my jokes.’

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