I’ve been summarising the scenes in A Raging Madness so that I can map them against the internal and external journey of my hero and heroine, as I did with Revealed in Mist. I came across the excerpt below, and decided to share it with you. A moment of danger for my heroine; and this is only the first in a book of them.
Please share your excerpts showing your hero or heroine putting themselves at risk, whether physical risk, risk of rejection or scorn, or whatever you like. Here’s mine.
As soon as the key turned in the lock, Ella slid out of bed to find the chamber pot, and spit the remaining laudanum into it. She washed her mouth once, twice, three times. She had ingested a little—enough to further fog her brain, but not enough to douse the sharp flame of purpose. She had to get away. She had to escape. She had no idea why her brother and sister-in-law were keeping her alive, but she could not count on it continuing.
The room moved a little, wavering at the edges, and Ella wanted nothing more than to crawl back onto the bed and let the dreams come. Did it matter, after all? What good did it do to struggle?
No one in this village would help her, as she had found when they brought her out to display her before the squire and, on another occasion, the rector. She had been drugged both times, of course. She had been drugged these past four weeks. But when she told them, they patted her hand soothingly, looked at her jailers with sympathy, and went away shaking their heads.
But this evening, standing in the shadow of the curtain peering out to see the funeral goers returning to the house, she had seen him. Major Alexander Redepenning. Alex. Perhaps he was just a dream sent by the opium to torture her with hope, but if he were truly here, he would help her. She had to escape now. Tonight.
Alex was a stubborn, opinionated, arrogant fool—and what he had said to her last time they met still scalded her with shame and anger every time she thought of him. But he had known her since she was a child, and he would not abandon her to whatever the Braxtons planned.
She could not run away in her shift, but they had left her no clothes. A blanket? She could wrap a blanket around herself against the chill air.
If she could just open this window without making a noise… So. One obstacle overcome. She dropped the blanket to the ground below. Now she needed to climb from the second floor, dizzy and confused as she was, walk to the village, and find Alex. He would be staying at the inn, surely? He would not have gone on tonight?
She had heard he had been injured; seen the difficulty with which he had descended from his chaise, leaning heavily on his groom. He would not want to travel on tonight. He had to be there at the inn. He had to be willing to help her.