Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Extract from The Loveday Scandals
In the last post I talked about characterisation. In this abridged extract from THE LOVEDAY SCANDALS I introduce Tamasine to the family who did not know of her existence. I picked a scene that showed something of her indomitable character and made her immediately memorable.
Following the scandal surrounding St John's trial for murder in The Loveday Trials Edward has planned a harvest feast to put the scandal behind them.
The nights alone on the road had been frightening. The excitement of Tamasine's journey had faded to become an ordeal and a battle against hunger and exhaustion. Her determination had kept her going. She would not arrive weak and broken. She would be strong and succeed. The idealism of youth and naivety bolstered her strength. She must be close to her goal.
What if they did not welcome her? It had been presumptuous of her to assume that after one meeting Edward Loveday would open his home to her. Was it not more likely that he would have kept her identity a secret from his family?
Tamasine tossed back her dark hair, a determined fire returning to her azure eyes. She had come too far to turn back now...
Senara glanced in Edward's direction and saw a dark-haired woman pushing her way through the crowd towards him. Her hair was tangled and flowing to her waist and her plain grey gown was smeared with dirt. She was pale and looked close to exhaustion. Edward's body was rigid with tension as he moved to intercept her approach. Before he could reach her, she stumbled and fell on her knees at his feet.
'I am sorry. I never meant to arrive like this.' Her voice was cultured, though tiredness slurred her words. She reached out to Edward, but he recoiled from her. Momentarily his composure deserted him and guilt was stark in his eyes. The expression rapidly vanished, replaced by a cold and lethal fury.
The young woman's eyes remained locked upon Edward. 'Forgive me, sir. I could not stay at the academy.'
Amelia was at her husband's side. 'Edward who is this young woman?'
Edward did not move and seemed incapable of speaking.
'Who are you?' Amelia demanded of the stranger.
'Tamasine... Tamasine Loveday...' Her eyes closed as she fainted.
Aunt Elspeth hobbled forward. 'A Loveday did she say? She's got the Loveday looks. But what is one of our family doing arriving in such a state?'
'The girl is my ward.' Edward stated. 'She should be at school.'
Senara had only ever known Edward to be completely in control of a situation, even when he was angry.The stiffness of his manner betrayed an inner fear that was puzzling.
'You have never mentioned a ward,' Amelia accused.
'With all the troubles this summer I saw no need to add to your worries, my dear.'
'And whose child is she?' Elspeth was frowning. 'We should all have been told. She is a Loveday after all.'
'Not exactly.' Edward turned his back to the group. 'It is complicated.'
'What is it about this ward that you feared would upset me?' Amelia put a hand to her throat, suspicion narrowing her eyes.
'Good heavens, is the child yours, brother?' Elspeth gasped.