Thursday, July 25, 2013

Late for the Ball? by Heather Gray: Character Interview and Excerpt


Welcome Myra! What a treat it is to get this chance to chat with you. Thank you for coming. What do you think makes a good story?

A good story?  Intrigue, surprise, mystery.  I like a book that takes me somewhere I didn't anticipate going.  If I get to the last page, and it has an ending I didn't see coming – that's a good story, one worth recommending.

What was the scariest moment of your life?

I haven't lived such a long life just yet, and I suppose there are many scary days yet to come.  In the time I've had, though, the most frightful moment I can recall is when I first met the earl.  He terrified me, but I tried not to show it.  My father had already signed the betrothal contract, and there was no way out.  Knowing that I was going to be bound to such a frightful beast for the rest of my life…it's a miracle I didn't collapse with a case of the vapors and land with my face in the lemonade.

What are you passionate about these days?

At the moment, I'm passionate about the earl and everything he represents.  I just haven't decided if I passionately like him…or detest him.  I'll let you know when I decide.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
I enjoy puzzles!  Whether based in words, picture or three-dimensional—I enjoy solving the mystery, finding the hidden meaning, and putting the pieces together.  As it happens, I'm also drawn to mysterious people.  Though not nearly as relaxing as the inanimate sort, I do so enjoy unraveling the puzzling motives of people.

What would we find under your bed?
That's a naughty question, and you know it.  Under the bed is where we hide our secrets, those items too shameful to see the light of day.  My bed hides many surprises, the most shocking of which is a treatise on the works of Pythagoras and Archimedes.

Here is my final question for you. Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it?

"Our patience will achieve more than our force."  Edmund Burke said that.  Though I don't believe he intended to, he captured an essential element of what it is to be a woman in this present era.


Fulfilling one's destiny has never been so…compelling.

Myra is cast aside by her parents, betrothed to a man she's never met, and forced into a life she never wanted. In the midst of it all, she finds herself strangely drawn into something she doesn't entirely understand.

The earl is mocking, demanding and entirely unwilling to break the betrothal.  He speaks in riddles, but by night's end, one thing is clear: He is not who he seems.

Follow Myra into a world of intrigue and hidden meaning. Will she unravel the mystery before time runs out?

(currently available only through publisher)


As she reached the top of the ostentatious entrance, the Ateliers' butler announced her to the throng. "Lady Myra Sedulous." His voice rang out across the ballroom as she entered. Her name wasn't generally important enough to warrant a deluge of attention. However, being late as she was, more than the normal one or two heads twisted in her direction. Not accustomed to this amount of notice, she made her way over to the refreshments. Myra moved swiftly to avoid conversation but kept her pace unhurried. She effortlessly carried off the look of graceful purpose so many debutantes strived for but failed to capture.
Myra was reaching for a glass of lemonade when a voice stilled her.
"You must be my betrothed." The words had the slightest accent. Myra tried but could not identify it.
Greek, perchance? If a man could sound both immovable and fluid at the same time, this man did. His voice was warm like a rich cup of chocolate yet chilly as the deepest days of winter. A thought flitted through her mind. Devour the chocolate or swear it off for life?
Myra turned to look at the man. Taller than any other at the ball, he was also broad-shouldered and fearsome in appearance. His hair was indeed darker than night. A deep olive color, his skin invited her to reach out and touch it. A shadow of growth covered his jaw, showing his utter disregard for the opinions of others. Determined to smile, she shifted her attention to his eyes and instead felt the corners of her mouth droop as their inky depths burned into her, making her feel transparent and bare. "And you are?" she asked, her voice quivering despite her best efforts to keep it steady.
The man had the gall to throw his head back and laugh. This was not, however, the laugh of a man meeting his betrothed for the first time. It sounded to Myra like the feral cry of a predatory animal. Surely prey about to be devoured could feel no less cornered than she did in that moment. "Why, I am the Earl of Allegory, of course. And you, my dear, are all mine."


Aside from her long-standing love affair with coffee, Heather's greatest joys in life are her relationship with her Savior, her family, and writing. Years ago, she decided it would be better to laugh than yell. Heather carries that theme over into her writing where she strives to create characters that experience both the highs and lows of life and, through it all, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her.


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