Today is my stop during the blog tour for Love’s Sorrow by Terri Rochenski. I share an excerpt of the book with you and there’s a tour wide giveaway!
Love’s Sorrow (Means of Mercy #1)
by Terri Rochenski
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: April 21, 2014
Hired as a nanny for her cousin’s children, Anne Tearle finds security and a loving family. The children are a dream, but London society is a world of its own, one where a displaced farm girl has no business being. But, wealthy rake, Gavin MacKay, helps her to see associating with the upper class might not be as horrid as she first assumed.
Like all things worthwhile, love comes at a price, and the cost soon bestows more anguish than joy. Lost, but not undone, Anne must find the courage to begin life anew, or succumb to sorrow’s unrelenting waves of grief.
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“Mrs. Telford is awaiting your arrival in the morning room. Please follow me.”
He strode to the double doors on our left and knocked twice before opening them. I peeked around his shoulder. A woman sat at a small writing table, engrossed in the papers before her.
“Yes, Wells?” She spoke without lifting her head.
“Madam, Miss Tearle has arrived.”
Before he finished speaking, the dark-haired woman hastened upward, almost knocking the chair over with her bell-shaped skirt. She hurried towards me and her face lit with a dimpled smile.
“Oh, Anne, I’m so happy you’re finally here!” She stretched out her arms and embraced me.
Her words alone made my eyes well, and her display of affection, indifferent towards how filthy and unkempt I was, caused the tears to roll down my cheeks. I inhaled the slight scent of lavender and wept like a little girl, embarrassed for soaking the soft material of her dress beneath my face, yet unable to stop myself.
She smoothed my hair and whispered kind words until the pool within me emptied.
“I’m sorry for my outburst, Mrs. Telford,” I said as she released me. I wiped my nose on my sleeve and lifted my head.
“It’s quite alright, Anne.” She smiled and pulled a handkerchief from one of her pockets.
I blew my nose into the thin linen.
“It would please me greatly if you would call me Joanna,” she said as I crumpled the handkerchief in my hand.
“Is that proper?”
Her head tilted to the side and her brow furrowed. “Of course it is, dear. We may not be blood cousins, but I can claim you as such if I wish. Here.” She led me to a cluster of chairs around a small table. “Why don’t you make yourself comfortable while I arrange for some tea.”
Tea? The lady of the house wanted to have tea with me? I hesitated, glancing at the beautiful embroidered seat.
“Please. Won’t you sit?”
I sat on the edge of the plush chair and sighed as weariness swept through me like a brisk wind. With a pleasant swishing sound, Joanna and her wide skirt left me alone to gaze about the room.
Clean and bright, an array of cushioned chairs and couches cluttered the area. A confusion of yellow-flowered patterns covered everything from the wallpaper to the rug beneath my feet. The heavy damask curtains had been pulled back, allowing the dim sunlight to filter through the delicate Nottingham lace hanging beneath them.
I glanced at my dress, faded and worn from so much use. It, too was yellow, but dull in comparison. Dull, dirty, and dank—and I was wearing it in a lady’s parlour, the lady who had hugged me. My lips pulled upward the slightest bit, and I settled back into the chair.
Joanna returned a moment later, followed by a woman dressed in a simple cotton frock, striped apron, and white cap.
“Anne, this is Marianne our head maid,” Joanna said as the other woman placed the silver tea set on a small table before me. “Marianne, this is Miss Tearle.”
Well versed in manners by my tutor, I offered a smile. “How do you do, Miss Marianne?”
“Quite well, thank you.” She smiled in return. “I hope you will be happy in your new home, Miss Tearle.”
If only they knew where I had come from. “I can assure you, I will.”
“I’ll take that for you, ma’am.” She gestured towards the handkerchief in my hand.
Aghast, I crumpled the material into my palm. “Oh, no, thank you.”
“Anne”—Joanna’s gentle voice drew my attention— “do as Marianne said.”
Heat flooding my cheeks, I handed the soiled linen over with an apology for its state. The housemaid didn’t seem to mind in the least and left without making note of my flushed face.
About the Author:
Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.
Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.
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