Trafalgar & Boone, Sneak Peek!

And now, a sneak peek at The Virtuous Fears of the Indomitable Miss Trafalgar and the Erudite Lady Boone, available September 1 in ebook and hardcover!

Two boys sat on the divan in the Boone family parlor, spines straight and hats resting properly underneath folded hands. Theodore Weeks, Esquire, and William Anderson the Second smiled politely and nodded as they waited for the girls they had called upon to arrive. Mary and Olive, the eldest of the Boone girls, were upstairs preparing for their dates that evening. Elmer, the family’s footman, waited by the door to chaperone the happy couples. Clara Boone, matriarch, smiled as she interrogated the boys, never giving them cause to believe she was seeking a reason to send them away. It appeared that they were ‘suitable suitors’, as her husband Bernard was wont to say, and she was extraordinarily pleased at the prospect of their girls finding happiness.

The calm of the moment was shattered by a sudden clamoring on the front porch. Clara Boone started at the ruckus but she composed herself before leveling a cool look at the footman. The set of his lips revealed he shared her irritation, and that he knew as well as she did who was responsible. He reached for the door handle to step outside, but the door flew open and the perpetrator swept inside like a small and surefooted wild animal. He was forced to take a step back so as not to get tail over teakettle as the ruffian dashed to the stairs.

Clara shot to her feet and bellowed, “Dorothy Boone!”

The whippet thin child froze where she stood. Her shirt, an inheritance from her older brother Bernard, was untucked and smeared with dirt and grass stains. The bright red hair their maid had spent so long braiding that morning was a maelstrom around her head. She had a smattering of freckles across her brow and the bridge of her nose, but a stranger would never be able to tell due to the mud smeared there. Most offensive, however, was the girl’s lack of shoes and the trousers – also Bernie’s – that were rolled up tight above her bare knees.

“What…” Clara looked her youngest child up and down. It seemed to be the only word she was capable of producing, so she repeated it. “What…”

Dorothy drew herself up to her full height, shoulders back and chin up. “Fierce creatures, mum. I’ve dispatched ‘um.”

Her mother bristled, her eyes flashing anger at the improper speech. “Young lady…”

She was cut off by a second rude arrival, a small orange creature that bumped the ajar door and flashed up the stairs almost too quickly to see. Dorothy twisted to watch the cat and already forgetting her mother’s ire – or more likely deducing that she couldn’t get into deeper trouble than she was already in – and pounded barefoot up the stairs in hot pursuit. There was a screech and a yowl from the second floor, a flurry of screams from the older girls who had apparently gotten in the way, and then a door slammed.

Clara, flustered, watched as the maid hurried upstairs to try and put a lid on the tempest in their teapot. The footman straightened his vest and looked at her, and then they both looked at the smears of mud that now marred their fine entryway. Crimson flooded Clara’s cheeks as she turned back to the boys and forced a smile.

“That… was… our youngest daughter. Dorothy.” She smoothed her hands over the front of her dress and took a seat. “I assure you, Mary and Olive are quite docile in comparison to her.”

The boys smiled, but shared a sidelong glance with one another. Both were wise enough to leave their mutual thought unspoken, that sometimes docile was nowhere near as fun as unpredictable.

Preorder your copy today! Hardcover preorders are coming soon!