Thank you for hosting me today on Delighted Reader. I’m so excited to be here to celebrate the recent release of Desperately Seeking Suzanna, book 2 in the Tricks of the Ton series.
Now, I could talk to you about what’s in this book: a simple lady masquerading as a fiery vixen deceives a handsome lord cloaked in secrets, and in doing so, reveals the truth that lies between them. She kicks him in the nose, he chases her across London…Or I could share with you what’s not in the book. *grins*
When I started writing this series, I had recently written this one scene—just for fun. Sue Green, her sister, and her cousins slip out of the house and go in search of adventure, which is the same sort of activity that gets Sue into a great deal of trouble at the beginning of this book.
Although this scene was the inspiration for Sue and her family, it did not make it into Desperately Seeking Suzanna. I hope you enjoy this deleted scene, which, if included, would have been a prologue to the story.
[box title=””]The orange sky darkened into night as they wound their way through the gypsy camp, approaching Madame Nadya’s tent. Sue was sure that four young ladies did not often wander into such a place, and at night nonetheless. She shivered as a whisper of nervousness blew through her and she pulled her shawl tighter around her shoulders.
Distant music and laughter flowed on the air mingling with the sparks from small camp fires where families were gathered. The dark eyes of the Romany people followed them as they passed, speaking to one another in a language Sue didn’t recognize. Groups of the travelers sat outside the carriages and tents, making their homes in the tall grass of the roadside field.
“We shouldn’t have come here, Evangeline,” Sue murmured close to her sister’s ear.
“We’ll arrive in London in precisely four and thirty days. We must know what to expect once we arrive,” Evangeline returned.
“I should think I would know what to expect by now. There will be balls, luncheons and the same silly chat at every event. Then I will return home with Mother, just as I have done the past four years. Why do I need a fortune-teller to tell me what I can see for myself?” Sue grumbled, but pressed forward until she was standing before the tent bearing a small wooden sign that said Chovihani. Beads hung at the opening blocking all view other than the flicker of candlelight inside.
“Perhaps you’ll have luck this season,” Evangeline said with a delicately raised brow and a nod toward the tent, tossing her dark hair with the movement. “How often are Gypsies camped on the border of our property? This only happens once in a lifetime. And we leave for Isabelle and Victoria’s home tomorrow. It’s our only chance.”
One of her cousins nudged her in the back to push her forward, closer to the opening in the Gypsy woman’s lair. “Go on Sue! You go first. You’re the oldest and most in need of her advice.”
Sue rounded on Isabelle and Victoria shooting the identical girls, identical glares.
Just then, a dark figure appeared at the tent opening. “Gaje girls. You have come to learn the future, no? I felt you near.” One long finger pointed at Sue. “You, come.” The old woman’s deep set black eyes seemed to be looking into her soul.
Sue swallowed down the fear that held her feet firmly planted in the field with her family and followed her into the tent. She wasn’t sure if she was unable to resist the draw of the unknown or if the magic laden air pulled her closer, but she moved forward all the same. Once inside, she sat at a small table opposite the woman. Scarves and candles adorned every surface and the smell of incense swirled in the warm air, yet Sue was more interested in the fortune teller. The life-etched face of the slight woman across from her was unreadable as she watched Sue.
“Give me your hand,” Madame Nadya said, her deep voice scratching through the thick air as the band of bracelets on her wrist jingled with her movements.
Sue complied, unable to make a sound. The woman’s finger traced over her palm as she hummed some exotic melody. Suddenly falling silent, she turned her dark gaze on Sue.
“You will hide in crowds. Your journey will take you to foreign lands before the end. He will find you. He will always find you.”
“Who? Who will find me?”
“The future is not yet written in stone. You must take care and watch your step for your steps will lead you to danger.”
“Danger? Isn’t there anything I can do?” Sue’s voice came out in a squeak.
The woman rummaged in an old trunk at her side before pulling out a small wrapped parcel. “Take this for protection. “
“Protection from him? What is it?”
“Do not open it here!” She pressed the package into Sue’s open palm. “Watch your step, Gaje girl. Danger surrounds your future, of that I am certain.”[/box]
Sue nodded and dropped a coin on the table in thanks for her warning. She rose and left the tent without a backwards glance. She wanted as much distance as possible between what she had learned of her future and her present life. Sighing in relief as a fresh breeze cooled her cheeks, she stepped into the moon drenched night outside the tent. As her gaze fell on her sister and cousins, she knew her life would never be the same.
I hope you like the scenes that are in Desperately Seeking Suzanna. Have you ever slipped away with your friends for a night of adventure?
DESPERATELY SEEKING SUZANNA BY ELIZABETH MICHELS – IN STORES MARCH 2014
Her Cinderella Moment…
Sue Green just wanted one night to be the pretty one. But a few glasses of champagne and one wild disguise later, she’s in some serious trouble. Who knew the devastatingly handsome face of Lord Holden Ellis would get in the way of her foot? And how exactly did all that high-kick dancing start in the first place? At least she blamed it on her new persona—Suzanna—so Society’s most eligible bachelor will never find out the truth.
All Holden wants is the truth. Who was that vixen who seduced him so thoroughly, then disappeared? The only one who seems to have any answers about Suzanna is Miss Sue Green. She’s promised to help him find his mystery woman, but she’s not being all that helpful. And the more time Holden spends with Sue—witty, pretty, and disarmingly honest—the more he realizes he may have found exactly what he’s been looking for all along…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elizabeth Michels grew up on a Christmas tree farm in rural South Carolina. After tip-toeing her way through school with her focus on ballet steps and her nose in a book, she met a boy and followed him a thousand miles away from home to Kansas City, Missouri, before settling down in North Carolina. She attended Park University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Interior Design. Elizabeth is a lover of happily-ever-afters; she invites you to read her stories, get lost, and enjoy. For more information, please visit http://www.elizabethmichels.com/
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US/CAN Only. Giveaway ends March 28, 2014 11:59 pm EDT.
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