Well, the new year has dawned, and I *think* that the holiday craze is over. :) Things were quite hectic for a while there.
Needless to say, I left you wonderful people hanging a little with my last writing update. I fully intended to come back here and share more, but life got in the way. ;)
So... my secret project has "secret" in the title. ;)
You have already met Raoul (aka, Lord Kiralyn in Befriending the Beast). *spoiler alert* The story starts the day he returns from Belle's castle only to discover that *end of spoiler* the daughter he lost ten years before is very likely still living. He teams up with two trusted servants, Reynold and Gale, to track down the daughter he thought dead.
Lia is living under the vice of her step-mother, Bioti, and tries desperately to prove that, though her hateful limp slows her down, she is just as much a person as the rest of the world. Life gets difficult for her as Bioti uses her to appease the workload that Sheriff Feroci has placed upon them.
This is all I'll give you for now. ;) I just started thinking about the edits (or, rewrite it's looking like). As always, there are a lot of changes to be made. Some of them, I'm still trying to figure out, so prayers are greatly appreciated!
Before I give you an excerpt from "The Secret Slipper," I have to mention Nat (Journey of Choice). He's still in my prayers and thoughts. I am reading through a super helpful book about novel structure (what do you know, writing a novel is a whole lot different that writing a novella!) and then, I now have a few more cool Civil War books on my shelves, thanks to my parents. ;) It may be fall before he emerges again, but I'm not putting him aside quite yet. :)
Now, for a little about Lia...
(please note, this is still rough-draft; I realize that there is a lot to be edited and clarified even in this excerpt)
Excerpt from Chapter Two
Water sloshed over the sides of the pail, drenching Lia as she stumbled into the stables.
Lia glared at Dumphey. "If it weren't for Geva and Helga, you know I would be here earlier."
"Ah, 'tis the sisters then?"
"They are not my sisters," Lia hissed.
Dumphey took the pail from her. "You spilt half of the water."
"I shall take another trip then."
"There isn't time for such. We shall have to let Noel go for it if needed."
Lia winced as she hobbled after Dumphey. "Noel should despise me by now, always making more work for him. I shall get the second bucketful."
"And let Sheriff Feroci tend to the taxes with his equipment wet? You dust the saddle, and I shall begin on the reins. I've dusted them already."
Heat burned in Lia's cheeks as she took a dry cloth and rubbed it over the reins. It was her task to dust both the saddle and the reins…except she was late today. Again. If the sheriff knew how little she actually did the tasks assigned to her, he might recall his deal with Bioti and thrust them from their home. She shivered and added speed to her dusting.
"Slowly, Lia. You are to be thorough, not speedy."
Lia clenched the rag tighter as she smoothed it across the leather. "You shall finish before I and be waiting."
"Then I shall help you."
The rag balled in her hands. She shook it out before applying it to the saddle again. "You and Noel could get in trouble if you were ever found out."
Dumphey snorted. "We shall be careful." His voice lowered. "We were raised to be careful around the likes of the sheriff."
"If he ever finds out--"