I wrote to Robin and told him all, finishing with my love to the Lady Marion, his wife. I sent it by secret messenger and demanded the man wait for a reply and thankfully only a few days passed before I received a packet. That’s the advantage of speedy caravels and the best and most fleet Raji horses.
To hell in a hand-basket with everyone. I feel as if I’m in a vice, with Percy on one side and Niccolo on the other. Who can I believe? Niccolo who says his brother is evil? Or Percy who has, with the Lady Marguarite, been my friend since I took up residence in Veniche, but who hasn’t told me that Niccolo is his brother.
Just before I direct you to Pat’s new chapter, can I urge you to return to the invitation page and see the RSVP’S. Fun!
The Devil take Sarina, Lucia, Rodolfo, and all the rest of them. I am certain they fondly imagine themselves seasoned conspirators, and their whispering, skulking, and intriguing to be unobserved by all Venische. I find myself utterly unable to bend my mind to truly important concerns whilst taking an unwilling part in their play-acting, for I’ve come near as dammit to social disaster.
“My dear Parthenope, it’s such a glorious day. How charming of you to invite me to take the air with you and out of town too. The ferry ride was just the thing to clear my head. And a walk in gardens that are not surrounded by odiferous water and alleys will be heavenly.” Sarina settled back into the comfortable cushions of the carriage with a contented sigh. “Preparations for the ball seem to be unending. I do not know how Lucia manages to keep up her energy. It seems she never stops!”
This is a further entry in our back-story comp from Nikalee Livingstone of Western Australia. She has entered right into the spirit of creating her character as you will see when you read on . . .
When I saw the sleek black flank of Phantom, his satin hide dappled by the shade of the potted trees in the courtyard, a rush of excitement shivered through me. Ricardo was here! His beautiful black horse stood calmly in the shade, not the least startled by my approach. How apt that such a handsome man should ride this beast. They were a perfect match. I ran a hand down Phantom’s nose; he knew me and that made me feel special. It was true; I had a terrible crush on my sister’s admirer. Just the fact that his horse knew me was enough to make my day.
Niccolo sighed and lifted the decanter on my writing table to pour a wine, handing me a goblet and beginning to talk. At first all I could do was stare at his magnificent profile, the aquiline nose, the hair that he had cut fractionally but which was clean and touched his shoulders. ‘Lucia, I tell you this in the belief it will go no further than these walls and that if it does, I shall have to mesmer you. Or worse.’
Just a brief bit of housekeeping: The Stumpwork Robe has just secured another five star review on Amazon!
Now, however, The Masked Ball continues:
I, Lucia Brabante, was sitting at my desk, trying to pen more of my novel after Percy left. I was shaken by his vehemence and confused at the almost instantaneous reaction I had, which was to protect Ser de Fleury from one of my dearest friends. I chewed the goose quill. I am known as a writer of what they may call in other places, ‘penny dreadfuls’ and the women of Eirie lust after them and for one strange moment, I felt as if I had fallen into one of my own outrageous plots. Handsome men, dangerous assignations, women with heaving bosoms and so on – ah yes, this very moment in my life had it all and I sighed in confusion.
Have you wondered at all just what is going to happen on May 1st? I can tell you we have and are still having daily meetings plotting it. Whilst the story of The Masked Ball is the thing that provokes the most fun for we three, the research via the internet has been fascinating and overwhelming. So much so that we thought we needed to share it with all of you, so it will perhaps be of assistance to you as you rig back-stories and get ready to enjoy yourselves.
This is the next Patricia Sweet instalment of The Masked Ball. (Pat, Rebecca and myself are the joint authors of the official Masked Ball story) Pat runs the studio www.bopressminiaturebooks.com
To my most esteemed Friend and Mentor Samuel North or Della Nord as you are known by the Venichese, from one now calling himself Rodolfo West in Veniche:
Fan and Glove Flirtations
I write in haste to share with you a small Volume that contains information with which we should become conversant prior to the Masked Ball. It explains how to communicate with our various beaux using fans and gloves. You, in particular, dear Vittoria, will wish to ensure that Sir Unicorn is able to comprehend you! Although it has occurred to me that we shall be in quite a fix if our partners do not share our knowledge of these niceties. I attempted to ask brother Charles if he owns such a manual and his response was unhelpful and a little rude.