I’m writing away these days on my novel Petals and Pedals (just try to say that five times fast.) Here’s a little piece from Chapter 3. All you need to know is that Lainey is part owner of a tour company in Victoria, BC, and Tristan, whom she barely knows, is driving the commercial van for her this week. At the moment they are taking a family through Craigdarroch Castle.
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“It’s a real castle!” shouted Logan.
“Indeed it is,” Lainey replied with a smile. “The people who built it wanted a little taste of the British Isles right here on Vancouver Island. They weren’t royalty, or even lords and ladies in the traditional sense, but they thought they deserved to live like kings.”
She’d obviously never seen Buckingham Palace. Even Remingford Manor was more impressive than this, and they didn’t claim royal status. At least not back a dozen or more generations. Still, Craigdarroch was every inch a storybook castle, and that impressed folks in a frontier land like Canada.
The little girl tucked her hand into Lainey’s and smiled up at her. “Can we go inside?”
Lainey crouched down, her skirt flowing around her. She slipped an arm around the tyke. “We sure can, Emily. What do you think we’ll see?”
Tristan didn’t want to be impressed by Lainey. She knew how to work her crowd, this one. Suddenly her outfit matched her surroundings.
Lainey shook her head with a show of sadness. “We never had any dragons in Canada. To find out about them, you’d have to visit castles in Europe. Mr. Tristan here is from England. You could ask him if he’s ever fought a dragon.”
The lad turned eager eyes upward.
Tristan ruffled his hair. “Sorry, buddy. They died out years ago. Can’t help you there.”
Lainey’s eyes narrowed.
Oops, he’d said the wrong thing. He was supposed to play along? Oh, yes, there were dragons in England all right, but not the kind Lainey meant. He’d tried to fight them, but he’d failed. The only recourse had been to leave the country.
His mother’s voice echoed from his childhood: He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day. Not that Tristan was in any hurry to resume the battle. It seemed it wasn’t his to fight. Andrew** needed to buck up and deal with things if anyone were to win.
Andrew. Tristan had said he’d Skype back this morning. He’d totally forgotten since his great-aunt’s call. This was not going to go over well. Didn’t matter if Andrew refused to talk to him, but if Tristan were the one to fail? It could get ugly.
Logan stared up at him with a troubled frown.
Tristan shook off his thoughts. “There are all kinds of dragons, aren’t there? Maybe in Victoria they had bears instead.”
The kid turned away with a humph.
Whatever. Tristan had only signed on to be the chauffeur. The talking tour thing was Lainey’s.
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**Andrew is Tristan’s brother, who still lives in England and is fighting depression.
Excerpt copyright Valerie Comer 2012. May not be used in any manner without the express permission of the author. This snippet may or may not appear in this manner in a book one day, which has no bearing on its current copyright.