Friday, August 6, 2010


Welcome back fellow flesh eaters! Yesterday JAWS had dinner with the lovely, Catherine Gayle, author of Regency Romance.

'Twas a wildly successful feeding. Poor wee Catherine was bloodied to be sure. But, I am happy to report she has recovered overnight and is back with her revised version.

Let us open the door to de Lancie House and have a peak inside, shall we?

Listen to the whisper in the walls ...

Chapter One

Noah deLancie, ninth Marquess of Devonport, had never been alone a day in his life. Yet, dash it all, from the earnest look in the Earl of Glastonbury’s eye, that was soon to change.

“Devonport,” said Glastonbury while dragging his fingers through the wiry grey strands of his rather more-long-than-fashionable beard. The earl feigned ignorance of the agitated rhythm Noah’s fingers drummed over the mahogany desk between them in the library of deLancie House before painstakingly finishing his thought. “I intend to marry your mother.”

Noah regarded the man who had been courting the widowed marchioness for the better part of a year and attempted to school his features into placidity. “Is that so?” he asked as calmly as he could muster. Glastonbury was hardly wrong for Mother. Far from it, actually. The older man had revived in her something that had been missing since before Father’s death. She was enjoying life again. Her eyes fairly shone in Glastonbury’s presence—something Noah couldn’t say about anyone else in her life at present.

He had to be happy for her, on that account.

“Quite so, my good man,” Glastonbury continued. “She has already agreed to it. Indeed, we intend to make the announcement at the Scantlebury ball this evening.”

“Tonight?” Noah said on a groan. Good God. No wonder Mother had insisted Noah receive the earl, despite the tardy hour of his visit. This presented quite a conundrum.

“Yes, of course,” Glastonbury intoned. “I am not here to ask your permission. I merely thought to give you fair warning.”

“Of course,” Noah somehow managed to sputter.

The problem—or rather, he amended, one of the many problems—was that if Mother married, Noah would be left on his own. It was true that, with five younger sisters, he had often prayed for solitude. Nearly begged the good Lord for it, truth be told. But now that said solitude was staring him in the proverbial face, it scared the dickens out of him.


Opinion and taste are subjective. That was overwhelmingly apparent in the contrasting reactions to Catherine's first page. The revised version maintains her unique voice yet manages to set the scene with more tension.

What do you think?


  1. Well, I must say good show for stepping up the tension and not making poor Noah such a P. I love Beta Heroes but not wussified ones. Good job.

    I like the emotion that you convey that Noah doesn't want to be alone, that terrifies him. We see his vulnerability and it makes him sympathetic.

    I do not read the genre but I like Noah far better in your revision. I like him a lot. When Glastonbury remarks he wasn't there for permission, it gave me the feeling that there will be some drama down the line for these two.

    Being an action junkie myself, like AJ, the idea of Noah shooting the jerk whilst he sipped his drink came to mind but he's not that type of guy. LOL.

    Good show Catherine.

  2. Thanks, Charli. Giving this introduction more tension was my answer to not being able to really put in more action, per se. About 90% of the entire novel will take place in drawing rooms and ball rooms and the like, so the "action" will be a lot of dialogue and internal conflict more than external.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what others think about my changes. But, right now I'm off with my nephew. We have to go pick his grammy up at the airport where he gets to see AIRPLANES! Very exciting stuff.

  3. I didn't comment yesterday, but this revised version is great. Wonderful writing and I enjoy your voice. It comes shining through.

  4. Catherine Gayle,
    Much better first paragraph! Just that little tidbit helped pull me into your story and I like what you've done with your hero while still keeping him beta. :) AnneN

  5. I didn't get a chance to comment yesterday, either, but very well done! I like betas...they are much closer to my hubby, all soft and cuddly, lol. I liked the revision...he's a great beta without being a pushover.

    Great job!

  6. Love to read the synopsis to know where you are taking Noah, can you give us a few pitch lines?

  7. Okay. I went back and read your first pass, and again, I am curious about where you are taking this shy, awkward beta male. I assume he has a character arc, right? That he perhaps learns to be a manly man and along the way there might be great laughs and poignant moments. Please tell me more.

  8. I second that, Gillian. I, too, would like to see how Noah evolves. You've piqued my interest, lass :-)

  9. Sorry its so late when I'm coming back. We had a storm and massive traffic coming home from the airport, and when we got back, my aunt called and said she might be stranded at the airport. Long story short, I just got a very cranky 2 year old nephew to bed finally. Whew!

    Brenda and Anne, thanks so much for the props! I like what I've done with it now, too.

    Megan, I'm a big fan of beta heroes, too. My first hero was a beta, and I still love him. Noah has been making me melt all over the place. LOL.

    Jill, you ask for the tough stuff! I'm horrible at writing synopses before finishing the MS. The synopsis is the LAST thing I write, always. Well, strike that. The pitch lines are the last thing I write. After the synopsis, and then the query.

    Let's see. Wallflower is the first of my Old Maids' Club trilogy. Noah inherited a marquessate that is deeply in debt, and now that he's seen to his duty to his sisters and mother, he has to restore the title to its proper glory. Which means, much to his distress, that he must marry for money. Preferably as soon as possible, so he won't be alone with no one to take care of.

    Lady Tabitha Shelton vowed alongside her two dearest female cousins that they would grow up to be old maids together, much like their favorite aunt. Plump and plain, what man would ever want Tabitha for anything other than the absurdly large dowry her father continues to increase as she draws nearer and nearer to the age of thirty? No, only fortune hunters seek Tabitha out, and she's quick to send them on their way. She'd much prefer to find a bride for her ne'er-do-well twin, Toby, and get him out of her way than leg shackle herself to a man out to replenish his coffers.

    And I'm now two paragraphs in, and already feel like I'm rambling. LOL. Anyway, there's a little snippet of where these two are starting out. I'll try to tighten that up at some point when I'm less exhausted. Toddlers might be the death of me.

  10. This one reads much better, girl! GMC is there, and characterization is sketched. Good job!

    Love your blurb. I can only imagine the comedy of errors type of story that could result!

  11. I love the idea of an old maid's club. I love that she is curvy. At least that is how Noah sees her. Very fresh! Keep it light and delightful with a few poignant moments.

    Go for it, Catherine.