Beta Reading?

Amelia and I are looking for a beta-reader (e.g. someone willing to read and comment, but not in a lot of detail – not an editor) for the art of deception.

For that matter, Illegal aliens and A formulaic romance could use one as well.

“What’s in it for me?” you ask.

In truth, not much, a free copy of the book when it’s complete and pride in helping it to be better than it would have been.

If you’re interested, you can drop either Amelia or me a line (amelia.treader at gmail or rharrison.author at the same place).

the_art_of_deception4cover_0

The Art of Deception 25.

The Art of Deception

or Pride and Extreme Prejudice

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.   This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar. Last week, after service, she escorted ‘her charge’ Lucy to visit Mr Spode and delivered the details of a proposed trip to Bath. Roderick and his companion await them in Bath. They’re staying in the Pelican, a “historic” coach inn even in the regency. The great Doctor Johnson had stayed there. Hopefully, they’d changed the sheets since then.


“Roddy, old chap, we can afford a much better place than this; it’s old and out of the way.”

“I know, which is precisely why I chose it.”

“But I can’t entertain Miss Haytor here,” Edward stated his real objection.

“True, hire a parlour at the York or the Bell if you want, or simply take her to the pump room.”

“Have you tasted the waters?”

“Thoroughly disgusting and therefore good for you.”

“You are not being helpful, Lord Fitzpatrick.”

“Seriously, Edward; this is for the best; you don’t know anything about the lovely Lucinda; if her companion weren’t so dashed smoky I’d gladly push your case.”

“She’s a sweet, lovely innocent-”

“Accompanied by a skilled French spy; I hope, for your sake, she’s been duped by the dashing Miss Mapleton or Miss Green … if either of those are her real name, which I doubt; because otherwise she’s for the drop.”

 

Now that you’ve read my hackery, please see the talented writers in Weekend Writing Warriors.


My apologies for creative punctuation.

1090242The Pelican was not fashionable. This picture, from the 1920’s, shows the stables. It was relatively inexpensive, and out of the way on the London side of town. Fashionable people stayed at places like “The York Family Hotel” or “The Christopher.” The Christopher was rebuilt after those dashed Germans bombed it, but is now out of business. You can still stay in the York. The Pelican survived into the twentieth century but was demolished before world war 2.

Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.

I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere Miss_devere_1 This is a fun read.

Frankenkitty is available.
Frankenkitty What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.

Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.

The Art of Deception 23

The Art of Deception

or Pride and Extreme Prejudice

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.  (My apologies, I have no idea why there are two links to this post on the site.) This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar.  Last week Lucy and Alice are being debriefed, to use a modern phrase, in their carriage on the way back to their rooms. Her instructors decided that Roderick, while not certainly a French spy, was dashed suspicious. Alice, accompanying her mistress, Lucy, and Lucy’s “Aunt Heather” is at church prior to delivering the bait to Roderick and his companion.


Alice smiled to herself at the prayer to save the nation from the French; she was doing her bit by laying a trap for a perfidious French agent; after service, she planned to take a stroll to the Swan and deliver the bait. Seated next to her charge, Miss Haytor and sandwiched by Miss Haytor’s ‘Aunt’, Miss Aldershot – now called Miss Heather, she let her attention wander.

It snapped back; there, seated almost within reach, in the next row, was that spy; how could she have missed him? He turned, tilted his head, and smiled at her;  was he following her; This wasn’t the local church for the Swan? He had not been there when they first sat in their pew; she nudged Miss Aldershot; once she had her attention, she discreetly pointed to the man and whispered, “That’s him.”

The only response this brought was a brief raising of her eyebrows, and a whisper in return, “You’ll have to introduce us after the service.”

As the final stanza’s of the last hymn finished and everyone closed their book of common prayer, the man turned to her and said, “Miss Green?”

“Miss Mapleton.” She curtsied, at least as much as she could in the confines of the pew. “Miss Green is my rich cousin, or don’t you remember?”

Now that you’ve read my hackery, please see the talented writers in Weekend Writing Warriors.


My apologies for creative punctuation.

During Sunday prayers, at every church in Bristol, if not in Britain, the priest added a prayer for the nation. “Preserve us from the invading French hordes.” Across the channel, in Boulogne, l’Armee d’Angleterre waited, rumoured to be a million men, all veteran French soldiers, all thirsty for English blood – and English maidens. An exhortation to join the militia, and a reminder that drill practice was after the service usually followed the prayer. Nearly every able young man had joined, hoping, and secretly praying, enthusiasm would make up for a lack of equipment and experience.

Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.

I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere Miss_devere_1 This is a fun read.

Frankenkitty is available.
Frankenkitty What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.

Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.

The Art of Deception 22

The Art of Deception

or Pride and Extreme Prejudice

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Sorry, no trail maps with this one, I’m on the road to Snowdonia. Wonder if that would make a good song title? Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar.  Last week Lucy and Alice attended the Bristol Assembly. It was something of a graduation exercise with Alice posing as Lucy’s paid companion. This week they are being debriefed, to use a modern phrase, in their carriage on the way back to their rooms. Miss Aldershot asks the first line.


 

“So, how did you fare?”

Lucy, with pleasant thoughts of Mr Spode dancing in her head, looked out the carriage window; Alice replied, “He was there.”

“Who?”

“That spy. He was there with Lucy’s Mr Spode; called himself Roderick Stanton, which was clearly an alias; He used a different name when we collided in M. Fanchion’s, Roderick Smith.”

Miss Aldershot considered what Alice said, carefully; Alice was still in training, and while she bid well to become a talented operative, new agents often jumped at shadows, “Unlike Mrs Hudson, I can’t quite completely believe he’s a spy, Miss Mapleton … can you marshal your arguments? We should be certain before we act.”

Alice knew from Miss Aldershot’s use of ‘Miss Mapleton’ instead of ‘Alice’ that she was sceptical, “I think so … he spoke perfect French the first time we met.”

“Good, when we arrive at Dower house, you, Mrs Hudson and I will review them … it’s not a crime to speak French, even in Bristol.”

Please see the talented writers in Weekend Writing Warriors.


My apologies for creative punctuation.

Lest Lucy (and Alice by the way) seem to fall in love quickly, courting in the late Georgian and early Regency was a bit different from today. You really didn’t have much time with your heartthrob. So Miss Lucas’s comments on ‘Happiness in marriage is largely a matter of luck’ from Pride and Prejudice are accurate. Marriage itself was usually arranged by the parents, but not always. Given their real circumstances, both Lucy and Alice are somewhat vulnerable, either being an orphan (Lucy) or having a desperately poor mother (Alice).

Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.

I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere Miss_devere_1 This is a fun read.

Frankenkitty is available.
Frankenkitty What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.

Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.

The Art of Deception 21

The Art of Deception

or Pride and Extreme Prejudice

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar.  Last week, Roderick quite literally ran into Alice outside of a modiste’s. This week, as something of a graduation exercise, she and another student (Lucy or Miss Haytor) are attending the Bristol assembly. Not quite a tonnish as Bath, but reasonably enjoyable – as long as one of the ‘bucks’ didn’t kick you while showing off their extravagant dance moves. Roderick’s friend Edward has taken Lucy onto the floor and Roderick has spied Alice standing with the chaperones. She is playing Lucy’s companion, and is in Roderick’s eye’s the prettiest thing in the room. He’s used one of his minor titles as a name.


“Well, would you care to dance? I might be taking my life into my hands, amongst these wild bucks, but it could be enjoyable; if we survive.”

Alice paused, Could I risk it, dancing with this French Agent? She had recognized ‘Mr Stanton’ just as much as he appeared to remember her, even if he did believe her tale;  wonder which is his real name, if either?

“Or is it too much excitement for you?”

“No, it’s –it’s just that I am a paid companion, and-“

“And nothing; you’re no worse than half the cits and tradesmen here; better bred than most of the company by far. It’s not as if I’m asking you onto the floor at the Assembly Rooms in Bath where the society is nicer.”

Alice curtsied, “I’d be very pleased to dance with you, Mr Stanton; as long as my mistress, Miss Haytor, doesn’t object.”

“Since she and Edward are lining up for the next set, I think she won’t … at least as long as you don’t stop her from dancing.”

 

 

Please see the talented writers in Weekend Writing Warriors.


My apologies for creative punctuation.

Unlike the relatively exclusive Bath Assembly and the very exclusive parties of the ton, or the even more exclusive floor of the ‘marriage mart’ Almack’s, the Bristol Assembly would have a wide range of social classes. Cits, tradesmen, and merchants would mix with a smattering of the minor nobility to produce a party that could be, at best, a very tedious affair. At worst, it would be a very tedious and highly vulgar affair. Much like visiting the Vauxhall pleasure gardens in London, although with fewer pickpockets and prostitutes.

Alice will have to stop Lucy from dancing a third set. Twice in a row with the same man is already a tad fast.

Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.

I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere Miss_devere_1 This is a fun read.

Frankenkitty is available.
Frankenkitty What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.

Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.

The Art of Deception 20

The Art of Deception

or Pride and Extreme Prejudice

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar.  Last week Roderick caught sight of that blasted servant and followed her into a modiste’s. He bumped into a member of ‘the ton’ when he attempted to follow her. This week we see more of their conversation.


 

“I was looking for a servant, a girl; she turned into this shop.”

“She did; amazing, imagine turning into a shop; that’s not something you see every day.”

“No, I mean she entered the door.”

The young woman turned to the modiste, herself, “M. Fanchion, did you see a servant girl enter, I didn’t?”

Mais non, Mademoiselle Green.”

The woman shrugged, “Sorry can’t help you;  you will see that the gown is ready for me tomorrow?”

“Certainly Ma’am.”

Lord Roderick peered inside; if the servant had entered the shop, she had vanished into the backrooms.  He shook his head, “Lost the spoor …What has become of my manners?” He bowed, “May I introduce myself, Roderick … Roderick Smythe.”

Please see the other talented writers in Weekend Writing Warriors.


My apologies for creative punctuation.

Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.

I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere Miss_devere_1 This is a fun read.

Frankenkitty is available.
Frankenkitty What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.

Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.

The Art of Deception 19 #wewriwar #amwriting

The Art of Deception

or Pride and Extreme Prejudice

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar.  Last week, Alice trapped Roderick and turned him into the militia. Eventually, and only after showing them his warrant, Roderick managed to free himself. The next morning, he’s waiting for her. His friend, Edward, finally gets him to agree to knock it off. They’re just about to enter a public house when Roderick spies Alice again.


 

Roderick followed the servant girl while she walked along the street; she turned to talk with a street vendor, and he dodged into a doorway; then she continued on her way, apparently unaware of his presence.

He followed, carefully avoiding her direct view; the streets, crowded with people, helped him keep hidden.

Minutes later, she turned into a stylish Modiste’s establishment, Madame Fanchion’s; he struggled through the crowded street to reach the entrance; when he tried to follow her inside he ran into a young woman on her way out, “I’m sorry; I nearly knocked you over.”

The young woman was obviously not a maid, as she was dressed in the latest style, white muslins peeking from her Spencer, a string of pearls around her neck, and wearing nothing that could vaguely resemble an apron and the dark plain dress of a maid. While she carried her dark pelisse over one arm, she held herself with the bearing implicit in a member of the ton, a member of the nobility.

She curtseyed, “I’m sorry; should have been watching out myself.”

“Are you hurt?”

“No,” she smiled, “Not at all.” Lord Roderick could not help but notice she had a beautiful smile, “Can I help you?”

Please see the other talented writers in Weekend Writing Warriors.


One of the things that Alice practiced incessantly at Mrs Hudson’s school was the quick change. Not necessarily a complete change of clothes, but making enough of a difference to fool most people most of the time. She’s put it to good use.

The featured image is a fashion plate from 1814, which is a little later than this story. It shows a Spencer jacket worn over muslins, which is what Alice is wearing. Her dark ‘pelisse’ could could be something else.

Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.

I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere Miss_devere_1 This is a fun read.

Frankenkitty is available.
Frankenkitty What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.

Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.