Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday's Special Is...It's Elementary, My Dear Winifred

IT'S ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR WINIFRED by Miss Mae

Schoolmarm Winifred Merryweather guards her identity as the daughter of one of London's most notorious villains. To separate her life from his, she spends her lonely existence with her cat, Theodore, and meets twice monthly at the estate of Lord Nelson Chatham. Losing herself in the pages of a mystery story shivers Winifred's spine -- until the day that she’s forced to live through one. Kidnapped and thrown together into a chaotic adventure, newspaper reporter Remington Hawthorne’s flirtatious charm thaws Winifred’s icy reserve. But can they uncover the meaning of the clues and survive before the tale reaches the page that reads, The End?



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Excerpt from IT'S ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR WINIFRED:

“Consider what we escaped from. But—” He hesitated, as though he rethought his words. “Did we escape? That wall shut off the one passage, but opened another. It more or less prodded us in the way we were supposed to go. I can’t help but get the uncanny feeling we’re being led on a chase designed for us.”


“And if so, then that dictates a designer?”“


Naturally. And look where we are.” He held the lantern high, its light revealing a line of symmetrical bare stones on either side. “We are in the lower parts of whatever building we’ve been brought to. And now knowing what I do about your Angus Duncan, I believe we must be inside Castle Cillen.”


“Whisked away to Wales?” She gasped, wondering if what he suspected could be true.


“As Mr. Upjohn would say, indeed. After all, Wales is next door to England, not a great distance to keep us drugged to sleep while we were transported.”


He halted, his hand clutching hers again, his fingers digging into her flesh. “What’s that noise?”


She tensed, straining to hear. From behind them a cacophony of clicks and scrapes echoed in the darkness. Remington’s alert expression changed to alarm. “Hounds!”


As one, they fled down the hallway. Remington’s grip on her hand never slackened as he propelled her down one darkened corridor to another. The flame of the swinging lantern burned low, its light a mere glimmer in the vast murkiness. Snarling barks rumbled from the advancing canines, their paws pounding the floor like galloping racehorses. Sheer terror froze the air in Winifred’s lungs. With her heart hammering in her ears, she panted. “A room! We must hide!”


Remington whipped a look across his shoulder. “There!” Sprinting around a corner, he threw himself against a door recessed in the shadowy wall. He burst through and twisted back to reach for Winifred. In her haste, she stumbled, tripping over the threshold and falling to her knees.


From the corner of her eye she caught a flash of bared fangs. Screaming, she kicked out, crawling backwards on her hands. Before the drooling mouth could sink its teeth into her leg, Remington pushed her out of the way, coming between her and the charging animal. It sprang, Remington’s upraised arm blocking its massive jaws aimed for his jugular. Staggering under the beast’s weight, he maneuvered their bodies, shielding Winifred from the snapping growls of the second large hound that clawed to squeeze past. His free hand clenching the brute’s throat, Remington wrestled off its body, hurling it in the direction of its mate. In one fluid motion, he heeled around, grasped Winifred about her waist and shoved her into the room. A moment before the door slammed on the fearsome creatures, one regained its footing and lunged. Remington, his ankle snared by the giant dog, dropped to the floor.
***************************************************

Please answer the following question for a chance to win a free copy of IT'S ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR WINIFRED, or drop by and chat!!


Besides being trapped in a castle, what are some other must-do's while in England?

62 comments:

Chris Eldin said...

Good morning everyone!

Too early for tea if we're in England, but a nice American coffee should wake you up!
:-)

Miss Mae said...

Miss Mae is here, but dear Winifred is reposing on the sofa. After all her adventures, is it any wonder?

Hywela Lyn said...

Good morning Miss Mae and Winifred.
Chris - any time is tea time in england LOL! (Well it is for me, anyway!)

Miss Mae said...

Good afternoon to my lovely Welsh friend, Lyn. :) What kind of tea do you drink?

Morgan Mandel said...

Great job at setting. Also, Remington is any woman's hero.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Beth Caudill said...

Love that excerpt.

Kids are back in school. This is a nice way to get back into writing. I love reading other peoples stories.

Miss Mae said...

Hi Morgan and Beth,

Thanks for stopping by! Glad you liked the excerpt, and yes, Remington's a sigghhh, huh? (well, he makes Winifred sigh, anyway) LOL,

MM

Judah Raine said...

Hello there! Did someone mention tea? I guess that would be afternoon tea here in SA... Lovely excerpt, Miss Mae, and a hero of note!!
Judah Raine

Chris Eldin said...

Warm welcomes to everyone!

Miss Mae is reposing on the sofa, eh? ;-) Love your avatar!!!

Miss Mae said...

Hi Judah!

Thanks for dropping by. :)

Take care in SA. I always think of lions and wilderbeest when I think of your country. :)

Miss Mae said...

Thanks for the compliment about the avatar, Chris. Yes, it's a goodie, isn't it? :)

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Great excerpt to start the day! I'm enjoying a cup of tea here in WI and since I've never been to England, I'm not sure of what I'd do. Attend a real tea sounds like a good idea. And visit a few castles.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hello again Miss Mae

What is my favourite tea? Well Earl Grey is my real favourite, although I'll drink anything in an emergency (I get withdrawal sumptoms if I don't have my regular 'tea fix'.)

How's dear Winifred - is she still reposing, or is a swoon brought on by the delectable Remington?

Miss Mae said...

ssssh, it's a swoon..hee hee, but Winifred wouldn't quite admit that!

Cindy K. Green said...

Can't wait to read about Winifred, Miss Mae. ;)

Oh so many things to see and do if I took a visit to England. But stopping for a good pot of English tea sounds lovely about now. (lots of cream and sugar)

Charles Gramlich said...

Must dos? 1. Drink some warm beer. 2. See Stonehenge while drinking warm beer. 3. Try to get the Royal guards to move by spilling (the dregs) of a warm beer on them. 4. Visit that most holy of holies, the birthplaces of the Black Sabbath guys, while drunk on warm beer. 5. Find a Lou.

Miss Mae said...

Hi Stacey, and thanks for stopping by!

Like you, I'd enjoy exploring those castles too, and just imagining the history within those stone walls. :)

(I just wonder if they really managed to stay warm in them!)

Miss Mae said...

Oh, Cindy, I can't wait for you to read Winifred's adventure too! Have you seen the first review she's gotten? Incredible!

http://yougottareadreviews.blogspot.com/ and scroll on down until you get to Winifred's, or look for Miss Mae on the right hand side and click that.

I was soooo happy Val liked the story! :)

Miss Mae said...

Good morning, Charles. Um...might you be needing some aid to find that lou? *wink*

Hywela Lyn said...

Absolutely wonderful review MM!

*Snigger* Charles - did you mean find a 'LOO'!

Cindy K. Green said...

I did see that review, MM. Excellent!

Miss Mae said...

Thank you both, Lyn and Cindy, concerning the review. You know how it is when you're awaiting feedback...nails are nubbed to the knuckles!

Danielle Thorne said...

Great excerpt. No tea for me, thanks. I do have a question though: Is Winifred a series heroine? Perhaps I've missed her in the past but I would expect someone of her caliber to be around in the future.

Miss Mae said...

Hi Danielle!

That's so interesting you asked about Winifred being a series. A number of other people have mentioned it, which gets me to thinking, "can I do it?"

In any case, "It's Elementary, My Dear Winifred" would be her debut. :)

Thanks for coming by. :)

Larry Hammersley said...

Hi Miss Mae: I've read two excerpts now and liked them both. I got a chuckle out of Winifred maintaining her reserve to the advances of Remington. Your stories are so exciting with all the action. I commend you on such vivid language. I've also read Val's wonderful review. Larry

Miss Mae said...

Hi, Larry! It's great to see you! I'm glad you've enjoyed the excerpts. :) And yes, Val's review was wonderful, and deeply appreciated too. :)

Susan Wingate said...

Give the Queen a slap on her Royal Rump then kiss her bloody ring...

Miss Mae said...

hee hee, Susan! You forgot to mention about leaving her a card to Bobby's diner too..*wink*

Thanks for coming by!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

High tea and reposing somewhere glamorous -- that sounds blissful!

Chris Eldin said...

LOL @ "Royal Rump!"
:-)

Miss Mae said...

Hi Laurel,

Yes, that does sound blissful, doesn't it? I thank you so much for stopping by. :)

Sandra Kay said...

Hey, Miss Mae! I have to find out how Winifred and Remington got out of that scrape. Two things came to mind about my trip to England --the tower and Stonehenge. Both can be eerie in their own way. Of course my husband didn't get the same vibes I did. His comment as I wanted to walk around every turret in the "tower," was "Seen one tower, you've seen them all." Sigh!

Mary Ricksen said...

'm for high tea at a local place. A nice pot of PG Tips and scones with clotted cream. You'd have to drag me out!

Miss Mae said...

Hi Sandra, and Mary!

Oooh, I'd love that walk around a tower, but yep, I can imagine a man saying that! LOL

And Mary, what is clotted cream? I've always wondered that. Is it like buttermilk? *shudder*

Chiron said...

GREAT excerpt!!

And here I am sipping a lovely cup of English Breakfast. Yum... *smile*

Happy Roasting!

Smiles,
Chiron O'Keefe
www.chironokeefe.blogspot.com

Miss Mae said...

Hi girlfriend Chiron! So glad you could stop by. :)

Well now me...sorry. I've gotta have my coffee. Guess there ain't no English a-tall in this hyah hillbilly. :)

laughingwolf said...

welcome, miss mae... nice excerpt, chris :)

other than being trapped in english castles, one must rock out with the royal guardsmen, replete with the beaver hats, in a local pub, while downing yards of guinness ;)

of course in wales, NO one drinks anything but tea, right hywela? :O lol

Ashley Ludwig said...

Miss Mae - what fun! It's almost time for afternoon tea here in California...

FYI - Clotted cream is much like cream cheese, actually... it's the traditional way to eat scones - however I prefer slathering mine with butter and honey.

Congrats on a stellar review! Looks like you're having loads of fun...Almost payday - book buying day! hooray! (see my hubby shuddering)... you will sign mine, won't you? ;-)

~Ashley

Sheryl said...

Afternoon tea--at Tiffany's, London. Where else My Dear Winifred?

Psst, don't forget to get a load of those Queen's Gaurds at Buckingham Palace, while you're at it.

Loved that excerpt, MM. My, you can write an intriguing mystery!

Good luck m'dear.
xx

Ashley Ludwig said...

My goodness. Did no one mention a shopping spree at Harrods?

That's where you'll find me and my melting charge card... :) Cheerio!

~Ashley

Miss Mae said...

Laughingwolf, I doubt I'd be able to stand after "wolfing" down yer kind o' tea! *snicker*

Shona Snowden said...

I must apologise for my tardiness. I have just risen from my couch here in Australia and prepared a small repast, with English Breakfast tea, of course.

Miss Mae said...

Hi Sheryl and Ashley!

Ashley, thanks for explaining about the clotted cream. At least now I can understand it! :) And to sign, did you say? Oooh, me, yes, my pleasure, indeedy! :)

Sheryl, is it true those guards never crack a smile? Can one have their photo taken with them? I'd love to see England, it's so rich with history...and you and Lyn are right up the street too! What could be better? :)

Miss Mae said...

Hi, Shona! Okay, showing my ignorance here...what is English Breakfast tea? Is that different from a plain old tea? And what is "tea time"? Is that an official "time" during the day to just take a break and sip a nice cup?

British (or Aussie's), folks, I await enlightenment!

Shona Snowden said...

Why, I am shocked, Miss Mae. 'English breakfast' is a strong, black tea. Thankfully available in those modern tea bag devices.

As for afternoon tea... mmm scones, sandwiches, cakes... and tea.

Laurean Brooks said...

Oh my, Winifred. Pass the scones and a nice cup of Bergamot tea. One lump of sugar and a little cream please.

Laurie

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Miss Mae. I've just come back from a surprise meal out. (Would you believe at a Mexican Restaurant?)

Anyway, for my overseas friends, 'afternoon tea is uaually around 4 pm. It used to be known as 'High tea' and as well as a cup of tea, would be accompanied by such delicacies as bread and jam, teacakes, and sweet cakes or biscuits of all kinds. You don't usually have cream in English tea, just plain whole milk and sugar. These days most people have their evening meal in the early evening, rather than at 'lunch time' as in the olden days, so the custom of 'high tea' has largely died out. It's still customary to have a drink of tea mid afternoon though.

And, as Laughing Wolf says, in Wales we don't drink anything except a cup of tea (a 'cwpan o de') coffee's almost unheard of but I do believe the young men will have the odd pint of beer!

As for clotted cream, while I agree with Ashley it's the consistency of cream cheese, it tastes more like very creamy unsalted butter and is made by heating unpasteurised cream in shallow pans and leaving for several hours until it forms buttery 'clots'. It's delicious on Scones, as Ashley says, especially served the traditional way with strawberry jam. (Very popular in Wales, as well as England).

English 'Breakfast' tea is just a 'black' tea, a blend of Ceylon or Assam and other teas. PG Tips and Twinings are two popular brands.

Ashley Ludwig said...

Hywela - I was just reading your post and my mind wandered to the tea merchants from days gone by. Where oh where would we be without TEA! Time to go brew a pot. My daughters will flip! they love "real" tea parties. I'll tell them it's in Miss Mae's honor.

Seriously, MM, what is more fun than playing dress up and sipping what's primarily milk & sugar while nibbling on a biscuit?

~Ashley

Christine Clemetson said...

All of the ideas are great! I'm up for tea anytime. :)

Christine

Miss Mae said...

Hi, Laurie! Good to see you! Are all the scones fruit-like? Any chocolate scones? LOL

Miss Mae said...

Christine and Ashley, I love the idea of tea parties! After all, it's a chance to show off our femininity, is it not? All dressed in ruffles and lace, ya know! :)

Miss Mae said...

Lyn, I'm absolutely amazed at your knowledge. (though I shouldn't be, considering your background!)

Thanks for explaining the teas, along with the times, for me. I'm sooo glad I can rely on you to make my stories bloody English! :)

'Cor, love a duck!

Pissenlit said...

Great snippet!

Ooooh, while in England, I'd definitely have to stock up on some really really good loose-leaf orange pekoe. Also, I'd have to appease my sweet tooth because England has some really brilliant sweets! I am particularly fond of Cadbury Flakes and Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles!

T. Anne said...

Oh I know! Have tea with the queen. ;)

Shona Snowden said...

Chocolate scones?! The very thought! Plain or fruit scones, perhaps date if one is feeling very daring.

Chocolate, of course, belongs in and on cakes, most desirably both at the same time.

Miss Mae said...

hee hee, Shona, this country gal has a lot to learn! :)

Pissenlit and T. Anne, thank you so much for coming by. Love your input regarding the tea. I think that made a grand discussion of the day! :)

Everyone was fantastic, and the Roast was a huge success! Thank you, Chris, for hosting me and I hope to do this again in the future. But I must sign off for now.

I'd also like to thank everyone for coming over and spending a few minutes with Miss Mae. She'll say a word for you next time she bats her lashes at Rhett Butler, darlin's!

The winner of the contest, and soon to be proud owner of "It's Elementary, My Dear Winifred" is...

*drum roll, please*...

Danielle Thorne!

I'll be contacting you directly.

Thanks again to all!

Shona Snowden said...

Thank you so much, Miss Mae!

Congratulations, Danielle!

Chris Eldin said...

Wow! Lively discussion today!!!

Thanks to everyone for dropping in, and special thanks to Miss Mae for being a terrific hostess to her participants!! Reposing or no...
:-)

Congratulations Danielle!!
:-)

MarthaE said...

Hello Miss Mae! Sorry to come in so late... long day at work! Isn't it elementary? When in London shouldn't you visit the palace? And the Towers? And I must have scones and clotted cream please!

Rebecca J Vickery said...

Such delightful posts and I am so distraught at having missed the tea party. But I do love the excerpt from It's Elementary, My Dear Winifred.

Best wishes and here's hoping we will see Winifred (and mayhap Remington) in another story.

laughingwolf said...

grats danielle... and thx mm :)

Cherry said...

Darn, I missed the tea!! Didn't get Miss Mae's message until today... Would have liked to win a copy of IT'S ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR WINIFRED, but I guess am too late... :(