Think Dickens meets Sherlock Holmes and you’ll have a general feel for the tone. Here’s a blurb:
There’s none better than NICHOLAS BRENTWOOD at catching the felons who ravage London’s streets, and there’s nothing he loves more than seeing justice carried out—but this time he’s met his match. Beautiful and beguiling EMILY PAYNE is more treacherous than a city full of miscreants and thugs, for she’s a thief of the highest order . . . she’s stolen his heart.
How did you come up with the idea for this story?
What attracted my interest as an author was an old newspaper advertisement put out by Henry Fielding, the founder of the Bow Street Runners. It encouraged the public to send a note to Bow Street as soon as any serious crime occurred so that “a set of brave fellows could immediately be dispatched in pursuit of the villains.” I wondered about those “brave fellows” and what kind of villains they might come up against, and thus was born Nicholas Brentwood.
What do you hope readers will take away from BRENTWOOD’S WARD?
That whether we like it or not, God’s the one in charge. He doesn’t operate on our timeframe nor act in ways that are predictable. Nonetheless, He is faithful and completely trustworthy.
Will you share a favorite excerpt or scene?
Sure. This is taken from a scene where Nicholas has been kept waiting to leave for a ball that he never wanted to go to in the first place . . .
Nicholas snapped shut his watch and tucked it back into his pocket. He needn’t have looked. The chiming of the sitting room clock verified what he already knew. They were late. Not that he cared a fig about some silly ball, but regardless of the occasion, tardiness grated on him like skidding bare-fleshed on gravel.
And he had the scars to prove it.
Finally, silk swished behind him. The pad of slippers on tread turned him around. High time she quit her dilly-dallying and—
He froze. A jolt of heat hit him square in the chest. The only words that came to mind were fear not.
For an angel stood in front of him.
Emily paused on the last step, wide-eyed, lips parted. Lamplight brushed a soft glow over her shape. Warmth radiated from her, golden and brilliant—as if all the stars in the universe met and mingled in one focused point, igniting the space between them with risky possibility.
His gaze traveled the length of her, memorizing every line and curve, each delicate fold and shimmer of her gown. Then slowly, like a man gazing at a lover as he’s led to a noose, he lifted his eyes to her face, for indeed, she held his heart in her hands. She could snuff the life from him if she knew.
Her cheeks wore the first blush of a spring rose. Her eyes gleamed with amber fire. His fingers longed to reach out and discover if her skin were as soft as it promised.
She descended the last step, her sweet lily scent pulling him toward her. The sweeping arc of her lips mesmerized. . .so full, so red. His heart beat a primal rhythm, wild and deep. Three paces, that’s all, just three and he could wrap his arms around her slim waist, lower his mouth to hers, and—
A shudder ran through him, settling low in his belly. If he didn’t contain this here, now, the evening would end with regret.
He scowled and wheeled about. “About time you deigned to make an appearance, Miss Payne. I’ve been waiting the better part of an hour. Does it really take that long to make yourself presentable?”
“Well!” She huffed behind him. “Good evening to you, too, Mr. Brentwood.”
He grabbed her pelisse from the coat tree near the door and held it out. “We’re late, thanks to you. Don’t expect me to be pleasant about it.” He suppressed a cringe as his own harsh tone boxed his ears, but better to anger her. Better she keep her distance.
Better he keep his. Oh God, help me, please.
Please tell us one thing about yourself that may surprise us.
There was a short season when I kicked around the idea of becoming an astronaut. Two problems with that, though. First off, I hate science and math, both of which are slightly necessary to succeed in an aerospace career. Secondly, it was a total deal breaker when I found out that astronauts don’t actually wear cool Lt. Uhura uniforms.
LOL Maybe someday we can go to space as regular people. 🙂 What is next for you?
Besides fame and fortune, I’m working on a sequel to Brentwood’s Ward, following the trail of another Bow Street Runner. Here’s a blurb:
Officer ALEXANDER MOORE goes undercover as a rogue gambler to expose a traitorous plot against the king—and a master he is with his disguise, for JOHANNA LANGLEY believes him to be quite the cad. But when Johanna is swept up in the intrigue, Alex must choose between his mission and reputation as a crack Bow Street Runner or the woman he’s come to love.
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager.
She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones.
Follow her adventures at:
My Website: Michelle Griep
My Blog: Writer Off the Leash