Samantha Grace - Little White Lie
Enter to win a Print copy of Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel!
Ends - 10/12/2012
Miss Lavigne’s Little White Lie
by Samantha Grace
Hi, everyone! It’s great to kick off my virtual tour for Miss Lavigne’s Little White Lie at Night Owl Reviews. Thank you so much for having me back to talk about one of my favorite heroes, Captain Daniel Hillary.
When I worked in mental health, I ran a lot of groups for adults and teens. One of my favorite exercises involved asking the group to imagine they were stranded on a deserted island. Then I had them create a list of ten things they needed. (We assumed there was already fresh water.) Here’s a sampling of things people wanted on the island: electronic devices, toilet paper, a hairdryer… We had several good laughs when people chose to read their lists aloud.
Next, I told them to mark something off their list. The first time was easy for most folks, but then I asked them to choose another item to eliminate. The task became harder as we whittled the list down to only five things. This got to the heart of what was most important to each person, which can be helpful in many ways. If we know what we value, we are more likely to put energy toward those things instead of allowing less important things drain us.
I wondered what five things Captain Daniel Hillary would say if he was part of the group, so I asked. (He’s a ship’s captain, btw. The captain of a non-naval ship was actually called a shipmaster, but he was addressed as Captain.) Daniel’s List of Things I Cannot Go Without:
4. The Cecily (my ship)
5. More wine. Wait! Make that more women.
Fortunately, I’ve spent a lot of time with Daniel. I know he’s not that shallow, so I’m spilling his secrets whether he likes it or not.
Probably most important to him is being a protector. He is especially dedicated to his younger siblings, Jake and Lana. When Lisette Lavigne approaches him in a New Orleans tavern and then is almost abducted by ruffians, Daniel’s protective instincts kick in. He doesn’t understand this drive to keep Lisette safe, but even after a short time in her company, it grows stronger until he is eventually willing to give his life to protect her and her family.
A second priority is his ship and crew. He runs a tight ship and provides the best conditions possible for his crewmen. Life onboard was harsh during the Age of Sail, but Daniel is a meticulous planner. He knows what is needed to survive the voyage, and he makes sure his ship is properly outfitted.
Daniel also values his independence. He refuses to rely on anyone, which is one of his faults. He cannot admit to weakness, and he won’t allow anyone to help him. He is the protector, after all.
On the other hand, he recognizes how independence wouldn’t be possible without his maternal grandfather’s generosity and hard work. Daniel is a second son, which in Regency England meant he inherited nothing from his father. He would be given an allowance, which could be cut off any time his father wanted. Because his grandfather split his fortune between Daniel and his other siblings that wouldn’t inherit anything, he is free. His grandfather’s sweat made it possible to pursue what Daniel loves, and he doesn’t shy away from hard work.
Lastly, like all good sailors, Daniel’s mistress is the sea. He loves the ocean air, the challenge of survival, and the simplicity of life onboard the Cecily. But when his love for the sea conflicts with his love for Lisette, he’ll have some tough decisions to make. I wish him luck in making the right choices.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FIVE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS?
Here’s a sneak peek at one of my favorite scenes from Miss Lavigne’s Little White Lie. Daniel is trying to teach Lisette to dance so she isn’t embarrassed when they attend the Governor’s Ball set in the fictional Caribbean city of Port Albis. What he doesn’t know is she plans to enlist the help of another gentleman at the ball to find a different ship to carry her and her family to England.
“Step back, side, together, shift weight. Now back, to the right—” Daniel tightened his grip on Lisette’s hand and tugged her to the right when she slid to the left.
“Right! Right! Damnation, woman. How do you not know your right from left?” “Stop barking at me. I thought you meant your right.”
Daniel threw his hands in the air with a frustrated growl.
Lisette’s green eyes sparked with irritation as they stood toe to toe in the deserted ballroom. “You are the one going the wrong direction.”
The stubborn tip of her chin made him grin in spite of himself. He liked a spirited lady and Lisette showed more courage than most when faced with his displeasure.
Daniel rolled his shoulders and took a deep breath. He’d conquered more difficult challenges than teaching a lady with no sense of direction to waltz. He could master Lisette too.
“I can’t be going the wrong way, my dear. I’m leading.”
“Hence, the problem.” With an exaggerated huff, she pulled herself up tall. “Shall we try again?”
“As you wish, madame. On three. One, two, three.” He and Lisette stepped forward at the same time, the toe of her slipper slamming into his shin.
“For the love of—” Daniel bit back a string of oaths and wrestled for control of his temper. It wouldn’t do to blister the ears of a defenseless young lady.
“Sacre bleu.” Lisette held her head with both hands. “Just stick me in a corner with the wallflowers. I’ll never learn to waltz.”
Her bottom lip trembled and her eyes grew misty. This was the closest he’d even seen her come to shedding a tear. It was just a dance. He saw no need for her to be so critical of herself.
“Of course you will learn, Lis. Come here.”
She hesitated a second before stepping into his outstretched arms. He hugged her, resting his chin atop her silky hair. She wrapped her arms around his waist and buried her face into his cravat. If they were onboard his ship, he wouldn’t be wearing the blasted thing, and he’d feel her cheek against his bare skin. His lower belly tightened with regret.
What a pair they would make in London, a gentleman who abhorred the privileges afforded him and a lady who couldn’t dance and bubbled forth French curses like a hot spring. He cared nothing for what the ton thought of him, but the fools would massacre his dear Lisette.
Daniel loosened his hold and kissed her cheek. He’d do everything he could to prepare her for her first encounter with the ravenous beasts, leaving no one a reason to find fault with her.
“I have an idea.” His hands spanned her waist and he lifted.
She gasped and clung to him. “What are you doing?”
“Kick off your slippers and place your feet atop mine.”
“I will not! Don’t be ridiculous.”
“We’re alone, luv. Besides, it’s only feet. I won’t even notice them while I’m gazing at your tempting lips.”
I love to hear from readers, so if you would like to connect with me, you can find me at the following places:
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Lady Scribes
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Samantha Grace’s debut book Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and was named one of the Top Ten Picks for Spring, 2012. Her work has been described as “smartly written, splendidly sensual Regency romance” (Booklist) with “many surprises, twists and turns on the path to the proverbial happy ending” (Historical Novel Review).
With a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Social Work degree, Samantha has worked several years as a clinical social worker with a background in behavioral health and geriatrics. It is her belief that everyone has a story worth remembering, and she cherishes her work with aging adults, immersing herself in their tales of eras gone by.
Samantha is happily writing her next book and loves blogging with fellow authors at http://LadyScribes.blogspot.com. She is married to her best friend, and she strives to stay a step ahead of their two precocious offspring while braving the bone chilling winters in Wisconsin.
ENTER THE CONTEST
1. You MUST be a member of the NOR website to enter.
2. Leave a meaningful comment on the post to get entered.
3. Ends - 10/12/2012