Today, I have the perfect Teaser Tuesday for you…
I just read three chapters of what seems will turn out to be a fascinating new historical fiction novel!
Do you know Melanie, better known as Erzibet from: Madame Guillotine (Kill Them All, God Will Know His Own)
For history buffs or anyone interested in fantastic detailed information on French history (my personal favourite), and historical figures, Melanie’s blog is the place. In this terrific blog, Melanie exhibits her true talent as a writer. Her knowledge in history is backed by an astounding repertoire of history sources and bibliographies that are certain to baffle. Besides the history, I also enjoy reading some of her ‘life’ posts that she interjects every once in a while to give us a brief look into her everyday life (which by the way, is pretty colourful in itself). A mother, wife, friend, historian and writer, Melanie is so interesting to read about!
-And for some of you Marie Antoinette lovers (make some room for me amongst you all), Melaine has another blog entitled: The Journal of Marie Antoinette where she writes her own fictional version of what Marie Antoinette’s journal might have been like. Go check it out-You’ll love it!
So now that I’ve updated anyone who hadn’t already heard of this wonderful upcoming author-back to what I initially intended to write about when I started my post:
Teasers of Melanie’s first three chapters of her novel set in 18th c France- during the revolution…
Each of the chapters is written in the first person by a different lady, at a different time.
Chapter 1 is on Sidonie- Paris, October 1773. (Here are several excerpts put together to form the teasers):
‘They came for me while I was still asleep... ‘You are to come with us, Madame,’ said a tall pockmarked man that I had never seen before who stood a little apart from the others, his dirty, straggling hair hanging down the back of a threadbare purple velvet coat that had clearly seen better days...
We made our way down the wide, marble staircase, its steps worn away in the middle by years of use that led down to the candlelit entrance hall and for a brief moment I paused in front of the portrait that Greuze had painted of me in happier days, when I was just sixteen, had recently given birth to Lucien and was still flushed and ecstatic with the joy of new motherhood. ‘Take your last look,’ my husband’s sardonic voice called up from the hall below, ‘like you, it will be gone by morning.’...
I heard my baby wail in her crib at the top of the house and the sharp clip clop of her nurse’s shoes against the floorboards as she went to tend to her. ‘Adélaïde...’ I began, before tears overwhelmed me and I had to stop, not trusting myself to speak without sobbing.
‘She will be treated in the same way as her sisters,’ he replied coldly. ‘No one who bears my name will ever suffer unjustly.’ I reached out and grasped his wrist, clinging on as he twisted his arm and tried to shake me off.’
Chapter 2: Adélaïde, Paris, February 1789.
‘I woke with a start, clawing at the damp bed sheets and twisting my head from side to side, just as I always did when I had The Dream.
‘Adélaïde?’ Hortense hissed from the next bed. I turned my head to look at her, unable to see much more than her pale, round face, prim white cotton night dress and long blonde plaits in the gloom. ‘Did you have the dream again? The one about your mother?’ Her soft, still faintly provincial voice was concerned. We had slept in neighbouring beds for seven years, ever since she had first arrived at our school and she had been woken by The Dream at least twice a week during that time...
‘Maybe she will come back one day,’ Hortense whispered now, just as she always did.
I nodded. ‘Maybe.’ Neither of us really believed it. She had been away for so long and I didn’t even know if she was alive or dead. No one had ever told me and I was too afraid to ask. All I knew was that she had gone and that she had not taken me with her...
I had lived in this room for seven years ever since I had first arrived at Penthemont at the age of nine along with my older sisters, the twins Lucrèce and Cassandre. Up until that time we had lived on our father’s country estate under the care of one of his unmarried sisters, Mademoiselle Aglaé until she had died and it had been decided that we should be sent to school.’
Chapter 3: Lucrèce, Paris, July 1789.
‘Soft summer rain began to fall against the windows, pattering delicately against the glass. I stared at it, remembering how it had rained on my wedding day as well, three long years ago... We had met only once before, six months earlier when he had come with my father to Penthémont and I could barely remember him, recalling only his great height and the way he had not smiled as his blue grey eyes looked down into my blushing, anxious to please face, scrutinising me for defects. ‘She is very small for fifteen,’ he had remarked carelessly to my father, in the manner of one who feels that they have been presented with a poor bargain. ‘I do not like how thin she is and you did not tell me that she has red hair.’...’
Enough of a teaser? All I can say is that I had a difficult time figuring out which teasers to post, since every single line is captivating and urging to read on. Melaine tells me she is presently writing her next chapter on Cassandre, Lucrece’s twin. I can’t wait to read more and find out what happened to Sidonie- where did she end up? Where is she now? Will her children ever hear from her again? And what of Adelaide, the youngest sister with the talent for art? Lucrece is now a Duchess, a sad one- despite the looks of a blissful marriage...her innocence and dreams shattered by the lusty encounter she wished she had never witnessed...
I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this descriptive and intriguing18th c novel.
I'll keep you posted;)