Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Favorite Scene with Christina McKnight of The Mistress Enchants Her Marquis + #Giveaway

A favorite scene from The Thief Steals Her Earl

My favorite scene I’ve ever written happened in The Thief Steals Her Earl (Craven House Series, Book One). It captures a moment with Simon and Jude when they are both extremely vulnerable. Simon, Lord Cartwright, feels betrayed by Jude. Jude has no idea how to make him believe she didn’t mean for their lives to spiral so out of control.

The problem is, Simon is trouble with face-to-face interactions. He’d not versed in displaying emotion nor understanding what another is trying to convey. I took one sensory element away from my characters—sight. I put a solid door between them. They needed to express their emotions in a way that gave Jude the ability to say all she needed to say and Simon time to process her words and correlate his own love for her.

Here is the scene...

Everything had been out of his control since he’d met Jude—and it was exactly what he’d needed. Life was not about controlling every aspect of your life, so much so that not a thing excited you or created any surprise. His life had been mundane and routine since returning home from Eton. He’d thought if he created an environment free from anything out of the ordinary, each day progressing as the one before it with order and consistency, then life would not return to the hectic time directly following his return from university. He would keep a firm grasp on his life and continue to be in control of his family’s future. He would ensure his sister never go through the turmoil he’d been forced to endure and never need give up something she held dear.
He’d always assumed he thrived on consistency; counting his steps, making his calculations, and studying any topic that proved out of his grasp.
The whirlwind and change that came with Jude should have solidified that fact in his mind.
Instead, it had him questioning his life thus far. Order, consistency, and routine would lead to a bleak future with little pleasure and, certainly, no surprises.
It was not the way he wanted to continue, for once he secured a school for Theo, that would leave only him and his mother…and his collecting. With his sister away, it only left him to appreciate all he’d attained. His mother would gladly sell every piece of his treasured collection.
But not Jude.
She may have been dishonest about the reasoning behind her interest in him, but he’d observed her passion for art and history firsthand—just as he’d witnessed her reaction to their kiss in Hyde Park. She’d been as affected by their intimacy as he—that was something neither of them could have falsified.
“Yes.” Her voice sounded mere inches away, as if she, too, sat against the door.
“You are so unpredictable,” Cart conceded.
“I know, but—“
“And cunning,” he continued, cutting her off. “And extraordinary…and breathtaking…and intelligent…and everything. You, Judith Pengarden, are everything.”
“I am also a liar,” she sighed. He could almost hear her tears falling. “And a thief…”
Cart had no response to her words. She was both of those things, but it changed nothing about his feelings for her.
“Why?” It was the question he’d never asked because he feared the answer would crush him further. “Why do you do it?”
“Did it,” she said. “I have no plans to steal again.”
“Why?” he asked again.
“For my family,” she confessed. “Marce toils endlessly, day and night. She works to take care of us, to care for any woman who comes to Craven House seeking a safe haven, and she lives no life of her own. None of this is what any woman would choose for her future, but she never complains.”
“She knows of everything?” Cart could not believe her eldest sister would allow Jude to put herself in harm’s way for any measly amount of money.
“No. Samantha and I came up with the ploy to help Marce.”
“And she takes the money without question of where it came from?”
Jude chuckled lightly. “Heavens no, we’d planned to slip the money into her private chambers or add it to the money brought in from the card room. She hasn’t a clue—about any of this.
“Do you remember the first time we met?” he asked. He wasn’t sure why he mentioned it and doubted she remembered him at all.
“Yes, of course,” she said. “Lady Haversham’s party…”
“No, before that.” She didn’t remember and Cart would be lying if he didn’t admit, at least to himself, that it stung. “You bumped into me outside the night watchman’s residence—the morning after you broke into my home.”

29547897The Mistress Enchants Her Marquis 
(Craven House #2)
by Christina McKnight
ebook, 300 pages
Published February 21st 2017

The grandson of an unconventional marquis and son of a notorious woman, Elijah Watson, Marquis of Ridgefeld, has spent most of his life outside of London. His atypical upbringing has left him longing for roots and a traditional family life, and he’s determined to live his life above reproach. When he meets Miss Samantha Pengarden, he believes he’s found the woman he wants to marry—except she has other far more sensual ideas for him.

Known throughout the ton as the illegitimate rebellious daughter of London’s disreputable Craven House Madame, Samantha has never had to face the world without her shy twin by her side—until now. Her sister’s marriage and the return of her blackguard father leaves her alone and adrift. When Elijah agrees to escort her to the town’s most infamous establishments, she thinks she’s finally found a man with a taste for scandal and a knowledge of matters of the flesh.

But she never counted on Elijah being so honorable. When Samantha is listed as the mistress of the Marquis of Ridgefeld in White’s betting book, her reputation is in ruins—and only Elijah can save her. Can two total opposites come together for a love certain to last a lifetime? 

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Author Bio: 

Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since.

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

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