I participate in #SatSpanks, the Saturday morning blog hop for the lovely ladies and gentlemen who like their coffee with a touch of discipline. Or alot. It depends on the author you're visiting!
This week's regulation-eight-lines from the third book in the Waldorf Manor series,
releasing early February 2014.
"The Courting" is a domestic discipline and sweet blush novel set against the backdrop of stunning Waldorf Manor and Barton-Court House. Elisabeth Warner moves to Waldorf Manor as her and Bennett Fowler begin courting. He sets out the rules and boundaries of their relationship, making it clear that her transition from charge to 'lady of his life' doesn't mean a change by far. Elisabeth discovers Bennett's formality and discipline in their courtship has stolen her heart as her affections grow.
Excerpt from Chapter 6
“This will be the last time I have to correct you for using sensual language before we’re married, do you understand?” Bennett said, his long and lean stature still holding Elisabeth securely over his knee.
“Yes, Sir,” Elisabeth replied, her pain tolerance fully weakened.
She bit her tongue and took the rest of her punishment silently, except for subtle crying toward the end. Bennett replaced her knickers, tights, pulled her pinafore down, then walked her to the corner next to his fireplace.
“Put your hands on your head,” he said, from right behind her.
Elisabeth looked up in hesitation but a simple raised eyebrow from Bennett encouraged her to obey. It was understood that only children folded their hands on their head when facing the wall.
“Stand up straight. Not a word,” Bennett told her.
There are lots of other participants, just click on the blogs below
I hate goodbyes. I'm the girl at the airport who always cries when people go home after a visit (discretely into the sleeve of my blazer, mind you) or the one crying under the blanket in my seat because I don't want to leave (and pretending I have a cold and something caught in my throat). That's me. Heart on my sleeve and tears in my eyes - but I'm not a blubbing drama queen. I cry when I need to. I hate goodbyes because I love people and the relationships I build with them are deeply meaningful to me. I also hate goodbyes when anything is meaningful to me and that's not just speaking to real people. No, I'm not saying something akin to Beatrix Potter where she claims that her drawings of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck are her friends. Not that I have a problem with that. What I mean is that I don't want to say goodbye to any of it - not just the characters. But I don't want to say goodbye to the setting of Waldorf Manor or Barton-Court house, the dialogue that runs through my head as though I were part of the conversation even though I'm neither Brayden, nor Alice (that's up for debate) nor Bennett nor Elisabeth. Well, I'm definitely not Evelyn Fowler, that's for sure!
oh go on, get over it, Bella! It's just a story!
Maybe for you it is. For me it goes back to when I was eleven years old and I knelt on the ground to reach my window seat and drew a picture of a large, stately home. It had double front doors, loads of windows, a circular gravel drive and a gate at the entrance. I might not have known it back then but that was Waldorf Manor. That was the story I eventually wrote as a 26 year old. It was my first book (The Solicitation). It's what turned me from being a coffee-shop writer who belonged to a temp agency (all hail those of us!!!) into an author. Sure, my books are only in digital format but they have ISBN numbers and I get to write 'author' on my tax forms. And all because of the Waldorf Manor series. I know I've blogged about this before and not wanting to say goodbye to the series, the characters or to the dialogue and story line, but as I go beyond 30,000 words on book IV and the conclusion to the WM series, it hits home a lot harder. Some days recently when I sit down to write I can feel myself dragging my tights and ballet flats (see? more Alice characteristics . . .) almost as if that will delay finishing the book and leaving the world of Waldorf if I don't write it. Unfortunately for me, the story has to be told and I have to move on.
In any case, my style will be recognised across most of my books as the general themes of wealth, privilege, domestic staff, stately homes and rigid disciplinarians are what I'm most comfortable writing. So I imagine there will be pieces of what you feel might be 'Waldorf Manor' across my other titles (see ''Bella's workload'') but just remember that my imagination and I came along way before WM did.
Having read both "The Solicitation" and "The Shortlist", (of course you have, right?) I'm quite sure you think you know just how they dress and what they look like - because I describe these things in deep detail. I always want you to know what my characters are wearing, how their sitting or fidgeting (Alice) and how her hair looks or what tie he's wearing. I want you to feel as though you've stepped into my world and in this case, into the world of Waldorf Manor.
After alot of searching (try three weeks . . . ) before I could even commit to do doing this post, I actually managed to find some pretty shockingly-spot-on photos for my characters. I'm very much all or nothing and if I couldn't find the right photo I didn't want to do this post. I do not own any of these images and they are credited with appropriate sources.
So, without further ado, the cast of the Waldorf Manor series:
the main character, Alice's father and everyone's favourite
photo credit: menstylefashion.com
Straight out of my imagination and yet I managed to find an exact match.
Is this precisely how you imagined him?
Brayden's adopted daughter
and central to the Waldorf Manor series
Of course, Alice's hair should be down, curled and contain at least one if not two, ribbons.
photo credit: google images
Brayden's best friend of twenty years, uncle to Alice
The thing is, you all hate him in book I, "The Solicitation" and even perhaps a wee bit into book II, "The Shortlist", but that's where your 'hate' abruptly ends.
photo credit: 156fashion.com
[before her hair was cut, book II "The Shortlist"]
photo credit: a very special thanks to Ariadna of Lookbook for allowing me to use her photograph when I told her she looked like one of my characters
another favourite, the loyal butler at Waldorf Manor
photo credit: s4c.co.uk
Here is the ever-casual
Bennett's younger brother, uncle to Alice
photo credit: morris
He's wearing jeans. Jeans are casual.
[I'm sure Bennett would love to set you straight if you wish to test him on the matter]
Bennett and Damian's mother, wife to Jon Fowler, best friend of Brayden's late mother, 'aunty' to Alice
severe woman and a social climber
photo credit: becauseiamfabulous.com
rundown husband to Evelyn Fowler, father of Bennett and Damian
photo credit: filmweb
This is the one and only photograph of Rupert Everett that looks like Jon Fowler. And this is the only photo I found that matches my Jon Fowler. Therefore, Rupert Everett is Jon Fowler but only with that face, that suit and that look. I tell you . . .
The late Kathryn James
Brayden's deceased mother, wife of late Oliver James
photo credit: news.mtime
JK Rowling is a beautiful woman and this photo of her is precisely my Kathryn James.
The late Oliver James
Brayden's deceased father
photo credit: polo ralph lauren
schoolboy friend of Brayden and Bennett, former fellow Prefect,
inappropriately pursues Alice
photo credit: gieves and hawk
Brayden and Bennett's friend from boarding school & former fellow Prefect
photo credit: hart schaffner marx
bespoke women's designer, friend of late Kathryn James and Evelyn Fowler
[designs and heads up wardrobes for Alice, Elisabeth and Evelyn Fowler]
Cynthia Davenport, friend, fellow writer and author of "Braeden's Bauble' and most recently, ''The Luxury Suite'' with Blushing Books got in touch last month and wanted to interview me. We sat down for a bit of a chat and I answered several questions from personal to career (basically whatever she asked me, I answered).
Grab a cup of coffee or tea or chai or hot chocolate (or something) and sit down to have a wee gander :)
That's right, it's done! If you follow me on Twitter @bella_bryce you would have seen my ridiculous display of 'I'm done' ness strewn across the digital world in celebratory hooo-haaa. I don't know what "hoo-haa" is but it sounds celebratory. Writers make words up. Oh yes we do! Yuh huh. Yuh huh.
Thank you to my volunteers who asked to receive Advanced Reader Copies. I have a spot or two left since I've decided to go behind three places. Send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and/or look at yesterday's post to see what I'm referring to if you're just tuning in.
SO WHEN'S IT COMING OUT?!?!
I haven't a clue, me lovelies :D I will keep you posted. Read my blog, check my "purchase an eBook" page and follow me on Twitter and you'll be the first to know these things! I love to share with my readers so you can bet I will be back to update.
Now, since I finished I'm actually going to bed before 2am. I'm so excited! My husband is glad too.
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