Sunday, 23 December 2012

MISTLETOE EVERYWHERE, Regency Christmas Comedy, New Excerpt

A man who sees mistletoe everywhere is mad--or in love.

Charles sees mistletoe. Not surprising, since he's spending Christmas at Mistletoe Manor. But why does no one else see it? And why does it always appear above Penelope, the despised lady who jilted him after their last meeting?

Penelope wants nothing to do with the faithless Charles, the man who cried off after she accepted his marriage proposal. But he still stirs her heart--and he stares at her all the time. Or rather, he stares at the empty ceiling over her head…What does he see?

According to folklore, mistletoe is the plant of peace. Can Penelope and Charles, so full of hurt and anger, heed the mistletoe's message and make peace?


“Penny, look out!”

Penelope spun on her heel. Charles, his eyes wide with terror, raced down the hall. He grabbed her arms and shoved her to the side. Her back hit the wall and her breath rushed out in a startled huff.

Charles gripped her shoulders hard as his body slammed full-length against hers, his forearms bracketing her sides, his head over hers.

“Thank God, I reached you in time.” His breath sawed in and out of his chest, crushing her nose into the starched folds of his cravat. The silver buttons of his coat dug into her breasts. His legs pinned hers to the wall.

Her own breaths were uneven pants, partly from his weight, and partly from his nearness. Her pulse thudded. “What happened?” she asked, her voice whispery.

“The kissing bough above you fell.”

Her breath slowing, Penelope shifted her nose out of his cravat and peered around his shoulder. The ceiling and floor were empty. “What kissing bough?”

Moving only his head, he looked over his shoulder. He stiffened. “I could have sworn…” He dipped his chin to look down at her, his body still holding her captive. “I beg your pardon, Miss Lawrence. I appear to be mistaken.”


Although the imagined danger was past, he made no move to release her. Instead, his hands, which had flattened on the wall beside her, cupped her cheeks. His fingers tangled in the strands of hair that had escaped from her braid. A smile played upon his lips. “Penny. My Shining Penny.”

His body heat flowed through her, and a different kind of heat arose. His face softened and time reeled backwards. Here was the Charles she remembered, the man who had placed her in the center of his world.

Her arms, flat against the wall, lifted and wound around his back. He bent his head to hers as she lifted her face to his. “Charles—”

His lips stroked hers, back and forth, warm and soft. Her eyes drifted shut as he feathered little kisses over her cheeks. She leaned against the wall, luxuriating in the soft caress of his lips on her face, the hardness of his body against hers…

Original EXCERPT:

After Charles had heaped his plate with more food than he wanted, he took one of the empty chairs at the table bottom, as far from Penelope as possible.

His tensed muscles eased as he joked with his friends. Smythe made a comment and Charles turned to answer. He caught sight of Penelope…and a monstrous bunch of mistletoe above her.

"Gordon? What is it?" Smythe swiveled in the direction Charles was staring. He looked up and down, and from one side to the other. "I say, with your mouth hanging open like that, you must see something spectacular, but damned if I know what it is."

With an audible click, Charles clamped his jaw shut. "I thought I saw…" He forced his gaze back to his companion. "Nothing. I imagined I saw mistletoe."

Smythe's eyebrows rose. "Mistletoe?"

"Yes. The house is named 'Mistletoe Manor', so the place is filled with mistletoe decorations. Pictures, wall hangings, ceiling trim, whatnot."

"Indeed." Smythe's eyebrows rose higher. "That 'mistletoe' you saw is over that Miss Lawrence. Lovely little filly." His lips curved into a knowing grin. "My jaw dropped the first time I saw her, too."

Charles stiffened. "I was not looking at Miss Lawrence. I believed I saw mistletoe over her."

"'Mistletoe'." Symthe's grin widened. "Of course."

And I hope you got what you wanted for Christmas, too!

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Author Bio:
Welcome to My World of Historical Hilarity!

I'm Linda Banche, and I write witty, sweet/sensual Regency romances with nary a rake or royal in sight. Most contain humor, some fantasy, and occasionally a little paranormal. But comedy is my love, and I've created my own wacky blend of humor and Regency with stories that can elicit reactions from a gentle smile to a belly laugh.

Like many other romance authors, I read romances for years before I wrote my own. Once I tried, I quickly discovered how difficult writing is. Did I stop? No, I'm persistent--that's French for "too stupid to quit".

I'm a two-time EPICON finalist, I live in New England and like aerobics and ducks.

So, laugh along with me on a voyage back to the Regency era. Me and my ducks. Quack.

I have four Regency novellas, all from The Wild Rose Press. LADY OF THE STARS (time travel, finalist in Science Fiction Romance in the 2010 EPIC eBook Contest), PUMPKINNAPPER (finalist in the 2011 EPIC Contest in the Historical Romance category. I'm two for two now. I've entered the EPIC contest twice, and I've finaled twice.), MISTLETOE EVERYWHERE, and my latest, GIFTS GONE ASTRAY.

Thank you all,
Linda Banche
Welcome to My World of Historical Hilarity!

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