Knife slipped in his boot. Dagger sheathed in his belt.

Hands–clenched and unclenched, awakening reluctantly, readying themselves. Brushing the soft nap of his favorite coat, dark brown like his hair. His fingers combed through stubborn curls and tied them back in an efficient queue. Yes, he cut a fine figure.

The Duel (selection #4)

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Tom slammed down the mug and tore off a crusty bite of rye, then followed, frowning, as the boy carried the fire-warmed pitcher into the adjoining chamber.

“Thank you, Robin. See to the horses.” His voice was low and scratchy. Water splashed from the basin. He wet his cheeks, pulled his skin taut, scraped his chin smooth with the sharp-edged razor as he breathed in steam and heat. What did a man wear, when he might die before sunrise?

The Duel (selection #3)

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Stomping in his boots, Thomas Caldwell lit a taper and huffed in the cold air.

God’s blood! His breath could set the room ablaze. He tripped on the hearthstone and stabbed and thrust at the embers with the fire iron as if he were preparing for a sword fight instead of – this.

At least practice was improving his confidence.

The Duel (selection #2)

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Cambridge, 1733.

Revenge required precision. Good thing he’d drunk only two bottles of Lord Oxford’s claret last night. ‘Twas fine, indeed, leaving barely a headache this too-early morning.

The Duel (selection #1)

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Isn’t he a handsome fellow?

Captain Alexander Moray is the

hero of THE FAIR SEAFARER,

featuring Miss Marianne Stewart,

the youngest of five extraordinary

siblings. Scott wrote of her ancestors

in THE BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR.

With great fanfare:

My manuscript of “The Baron’s Bride” is a Finalist for the 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence in Historical Romantic Mystery/Suspense, sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter of Romance Writers of America.

Prizes for “The Baron’s Bride” (July 2012):

Honorable Mention in the Daphne Contest.  Final judges Laura Bradford (Bradford Literary Agency) and Megan Records (Kensington Press).

Second Place for Romantic Suspense in the 2012 “Touch of Magic” Contest, sponsored by the Central Florida Romance Writers.  Final judge: Katherine Pelz (Berkley/Penguin)