Snippet #2 – The Lady Wore High Heels

Welcome back, readers, to Snippet Month at The Violet Femmes. The NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference is next weekend, and in tandem with the conference, we’ll be announcing an exciting new contest in celebration of our first year together. So make sure you’ve subscribed to our blog, because this contest has a great prize, and you’ll want to enter as many times as you can!

Hugs,

Jaye

The following is a snippet from my YA work-in-progress.

Nadine is a young lady whose family is on the fringes of the Court in Renaissance France. She has just been chosen to be the companion of the new princess, Catherine de Medici, as she adjusts to her surroundings. The adjustment to palace life proves just as difficult for Nadine, who is used to helping out in the palace kitchens which her mother oversees. Added to her unease is the unexpected attraction she feels for the Prince’s right-hand-man, Gilles de Nantes.

A light knock sounded on the dressing room door. Nadine moved to answer it.

“No, Nadine, you stay. I will get it,” Maman ordered. Nadine took the opportunity of her mother’s inattention to snatch up the ribbon from the previous night, and tuck it in her bodice.

Maman opened the door to the house maid, Julée. “There is a man at the door, Madame. He says he is here to collect Mademoiselle Nadine.”

Julée followed Nadine and her mother as they made their way to the salon. Butterflies suddenly threatened to break free from Nadine’s stomach. They paused in the hall just outside the open doorway. Maman squeezed Nadine’s elbow and gave her a look of encouragement. “Breathe. And remember, I love you.”

“I love you, too, Maman.”

“Ready?”

Nadine nodded.

They rounded the corner into the salon. A man stood at the window, his back to them as they entered. As he turned, Nadine gasped.

“Monsieur de Nantes,” Maman said. She and Nadine curtseyed.

Gilles gave a slight bow in return. “Madame. I trust you are well?”

“Quite well, monsieur. Thank you.”

“And you, mademoiselle?” He cocked one eyebrow questioningly.

“Yes, thank you,” Nadine replied.

“Good! Shall we go?” Gilles motioned to the door.

“Surely you are not escorting my daughter on your own?” Maman interjected.

“She is in no danger from me, Madame,” Gilles replied. Nadine looked up at him, her eyes meeting his defiantly. So, she was not worth his time, was that it?

“Danger or no, it is not fitting,” Maman replied. “Please allow Nadine’s maid to accompany you.”

“Are you not fearful then, for the maid, Madame?” Gilles asked.

“Of course. However, I know my daughter. If you were to compromise her in any way, she would scream bloody murder. And if you were to accost the maid, well, you would have to fight my daughter off,” Maman warned.

“Ah, so that is the way of things, is it?” Gilles’ eyes twinkled in amusement. “Then let the maid come, and you have my solemn vow, no screams will be heard from the prince’s hall.”

Maman turned to Julée. “Keep an eye on this one,” she said softly. “He has the devil in him.”

“Yes, madame,” Jolée replied. “I will keep Mademoiselle Nadine safe from harm, I promise.”

“You are a good girl,” Maman said. She turned to Gilles. “I trust I will not hear of any nonsense.”

“You have my word, as the prince’s representative, that your daughter and her maid will be safe from me. Further, I will not allow anyone else to harm them, either.”

“I believe you. Now, go. Nadine, make me proud,” the comtesse said, kissing her daughter’s forehead.

Tears welled up in Nadine’s eyes. “I will, Maman.”

Gilles went to the door and turned. “Shall we? Prince Henri is waiting.”

Nadine blinked several times before looking up at him. “Of course,” she said, forcing a smile.

She fell into step slightly behind him, as was her station. Julée trailed after them, a few steps back. They made their way across the street and through the courtyard of the Louvre Palace. The black sky had turned to midnight blue. The stars winked their last as the sun began to rise on the horizon, bands of yellow to orange to green and aqua. A chaffinch, waking to the dawn, bobbed on the dried seed head of a flower in the Palace’s winter garden. Its happy song lifted Nadine’s spirits. Surely the dread she was feeling was misplaced.

“Monsieur? Can you tell me why the Prince wants to see me?” Nadine asked.

Gilles slowed so that she could draw even with him. “Mademoiselle Mystery, surely you know better than to ask that,” Gilles replied sardonically. His use of the moniker got her back up.

“Since you obviously do know my name now, I would appreciate if you would stop using that ridiculous one,” she huffed.

“Ah, but perhaps it has nothing to do with knowing your name. Perhaps I call you Mademoiselle Mystery, not because I don’t know your name, but because you are an enigma to me.”

“I can’t imagine you waste any of your precious time thinking about me, one way or the other,” Nadine replied.

“Can you not?” he asked, shooting her a sidelong glance. “Is it equally hard for you to imagine that I can reflect on anything, while performing one of my many required duties?”

“Certainly not. I only meant that I am sure there are other, more important things to occupy your thoughts than a girl of my position in the Court.”

“Well, in that you are wrong, I assure you. A girl with charms such as yours,” he looked down at her bodice, “would occupy the thoughts of any man who might be lucky enough to make your acquaintance,” Gilles replied.

Nadine turned her face away to hide the blush that burned her cheeks, and tried unsuccessfully to take offense at his bold actions. “I can see now that Maman was wise to insist on a chaperone.”

Gilles stopped short and turned, causing Nadine to stumble. He grabbed her arm to keep her from falling. “I assure you, mademoiselle,” he said softly. “You are in no danger from me. In fact, it is quite the opposite. If anything, I feel an uncommon urge to protect you.”

Nadine looked up, her eyes locking with his. “Protect me from what?” she asked.

“There are all kinds of dangers in the Court. I urge you to stay alert, know your place, and listen to what your instincts tell you,” Gilles advised.

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21 Comments

  1. hieubietusa

     /  October 7, 2012

    This is the best. I think you have a real winner here. I know this tale and it is a “hook” for anyone. I want to know more. I am glad you posted it…oh yes!
    Joe
    I love the line…”Protect me from what?” We know don’t what…

    Reply
  2. Thanks, Joe. I knew you’d be happy I chose to post from this ms. 😉

    Hugs,
    Jaye

    Reply
  3. jennablueblogs

     /  October 8, 2012

    Oooooh, Jaye, I can’t wait to read more! Even I am already in love with this young hero! Indeed, he has a bit of the devil in him…yet he’s a Protector through and through.
    Keep writing!
    Jenna Blue

    Reply
    • Jaye Marie Rome

       /  October 8, 2012

      Still early in the ms, Jenna. I’m glad you like him…he definitely has the devil in him…in a good way! He loves to tease Nadine, and sparks fly whenever they are together.

      Hugs,
      Jaye

      Reply
  4. R.A. DeFranco

     /  October 8, 2012

    Hi Jaye,

    This really makes me want to read more. I already feel connected to your hero and heroine. Love the interaction. Make me wish I knew what transpired between them when they first met. The fact that he wants to protect her plus has a bit of a devilish humor to him makes him quite appealing.

    RoseAnn

    Reply
    • Jaye Marie Rome

       /  October 8, 2012

      Thanks, RoseAnn! I see a concensus forming already around Gilles. He’s definitely my kind of guy, lol!

      See you at the conference, I hope!

      Hugs, Jaye

      Reply
  5. Fabulous snippet! I’m a big fan of protective but devilish men. Power and humor are a heady combination. Go, Gilles!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Nancy! When I think of Gilles, I think of that line from the Anne of Green Gables series…”I think I would like a man who could be wicked, but won’t.” He’s not above tormenting his lady-love a bit, though. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Great snippet, Jaye! I really like the set up for this story, and I can’t wait to see where you take it.

    Reply
  7. Wonderful job, Jaye! Ohh la la, and at the French Court aussi! Can’t wait to read more. Michwlw

    Reply
  8. Well, Michele, we know where our hearts lie when it comes to foreign locales, don’t we? 😉 I’m definitely looking forward to your input on the ms, when it’s done.

    Reply
  9. Mai

     /  October 9, 2012

    Jaye,

    Great snippet. Welcome to the world of YA. It’s great to see one in the third person. I just revised mine to first but I wish I didn’t. Love the characters can’t wait to read the book.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Mai! This one has been in the back of my mind for 10 years…finally writing it! Curious, why did you revise to 1st person?

      Reply
      • Lori

         /  October 15, 2012

        Most YA are in first person. The only author I saw writing in the third was Cassandra Clare with her series City of Bones. Recently Maggie Stiefvater wrote The Raven Boys in third person. I love both authors’s books.

        Lori

  10. Jaye,

    My third attempt to post (complex with my computer). Is this your first YA? If so welcome. I like that u wrote in third person. I tried that as well and only recently changed to first. It’s a great snippet. Hope you enjoy your writing as much as we enjoy reading it.

    Happy writing
    Mia

    Reply
  11. nettrobbens

     /  October 10, 2012

    I nominated your blog for the new Reality Blog Award! Congratulations! This is a “no rules Award” and you can find the details here at http://nettrobbens.com/2012/10/10/happy-dancing-reality-blog-award/. Decide what you would like to do based on time and other considerations as there are no rules.

    Reply
  12. Hi Jaye. Great snippet! I like the spark between your characters. Can’t wait to read more.

    Reply
  13. hieubietusa

     /  July 27, 2013

    Jaye
    I just reread this. I decided to see the other tidbits of this story that i already have.
    You should finish this.
    I have yet to finish a chapter of JD or more than 6 pages of Nora…I’ve read more of your work than those…Two…authors…

    Reply

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