When the Duchess of Haverford organizes a house party, the staff faces many challenges. No one expected the housekeeper’s cat to give birth in a most inconvenient spot. Soon the guests arrive and the kittens make free with the house. You’ll find an opportunity to win one at the end of this post. For now, however, here’s a bit about the book and an excerpt from An Open Heart, my entry in Holly and Hopeful Hearts.
About An Open Heart
Esther Baumann longs for a loving husband who will help her create a home where they will teach their children to value the traditions of their people, but she wants a man who is also open to new ideas and happy to make friends outside their narrow circle.
Is it so unreasonable to ask for toe curling passion as well?
Adam Halevy prospered under the tutelage of his distant cousin, powerful banker Nathaniel Baumann. He’s ready to find a suitable wife, someone who understands a woman’s role, and will make a traditional home. Why is Baumann’s outspoken, independent daughter the one woman who haunts his nights?
The first 25% of proceeds from the sale of Holly and Hopeful Hearts will be donated to the Malala Fund.
An Excerpt With Kittens
She took his offered arm and allowed him to lead her out of the French doors under his mother’s pointed gaze. She hoped Adam saw them but didn’t dare look back.
“I believe he watched,” Gren said. “In fact, I’m sure of it.”
Heat reached Esther’s brows. “I don’t know what you mean,” she said primly.
“Don’t you just?” Gren grinned. “Halevy misses nothing that you do.”
“That’s because my father sent him to spy on me.”
Gren’s bark of laughter startled the sparrows. “Come now, Miss Baumann. I don’t believe you are so innocent that you don’t understand the look in his eyes.”
She frowned at the young man’s words. Even if Adam wants me, he is disagreeable and, and— She couldn’t think what.
“Let’s give him cause to worry, shall we?” he asked, tugging her toward the hedges.
She giggled when he pulled her by the hand and dashed for the stables once they were out of sight of the windows. In the gloom of the barn, he led her directly to a stall near the back.
“Ah, there they are. Visiting Mama, are you?” he asked. Five—no six—kittens of various colors wrestled in the straw while their snow-white mother looked on.
“Goodness! The one who haunts my aunt’s room is all gray. That one is tiger striped, and the one next to him is black. Do they have multiple mothers?”
“Multiple fathers more like.” Gren reached down to pick one up. “Cats have no morals.”
Like some men. Not Adam though. He will be a steadfast husband and always there when his wife needs him. Whoever she might be, some poor girl who lets a man run her life.
and on the night of the costume party…
Lady Jane Grey may not have been an inspired choice. Esther’s notion to dress entirely in gray from slippers to headdress had proven to be depressing. The dress, though lovely, faded into the background next to the colorful gowns of the others. She had briefly considered snatching the gray kitten from Aunt Dinah’s room, the one her aunt called Muff, and tucking him in her sleeve but took pity on him in the end. The kitten might have helped.
Click below for a chance to win “Muff.” The contest will be open for one week. Winners will be announced at the Hopeful Hearts Ball on Facebook on November 13.
About the Bluestocking Belles
The Bluestocking Belles, the “BellesInBlue”, are seven very different writers united by a love of history and a history of writing about love. From sweet to steamy, from light-hearted fun to dark tortured tales full of angst, from London ballrooms to country cottages to the sultan’s seraglio, one or more of us will have a tale to suit your tastes and mood. Come visit us at http://bluestockingbelles.net and kick up your bluestockinged heels!
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The Bluestocking Belles proudly support the Malala Fund charity. You can find out more on our website: http://bluestockingbelles.net/belles-joint-projects/the-bellesinblue-support-the-malala-fund/
35 thoughts on “Hopeful Hearts Kittens”
I would never expect kittens to be born in the middle of event. They usually stay hidden in the kitchen. I can’t wait until the release of the new Belles’ book!
Actually Teri, they are born a bit before the event starts, before the guests arrive, in what the mother cat assumed would be a very private place.
Kittens arrive in the most unexpected places so it wouldn’t surprise me. And they are great little escape artists so there’s no telling where you’ll find them when they start moving around.
Kittens tend to show up where they want. They’re also great little escape artists once they start moving around
That they are!
When I was a kid, we had a stray cat adopt us. He showed up on our doorstep and just made himself at home. We named him Tommy. One afternoon I came home from school and found “him” having kittens on my bed. Two had already been born and two more were on the way. It was fascinating – and a little gross.
When my mother found out she almost had kittens herself!
LOL Yep. I can see that. When mama cat is found in our story, our temperamental French chef about has them.
Yes! For most Lady of the Ton are fond of cats.
No, it would not surprise me. Cats are also so independent and do what they want.
I wouldn’t expect it completely but I would enjoy it. How long would it have taken people to figure out Muff wasn’t a real muff? 🙂
Also, following on Amazon.
I hope to see kittens. They are full of tiny wet kisses and little head bumps.
They appear when they want but probably not the best time.
No, you wouldn’t really expect to find kittens at a house party, especially around Christmas time. Kittens usually show up in spring through summer. These were very special kittens.
While I wouldn’t expect to see kittens at a British house party, it wouldn’t surprise me! Momma cats tend to find unique birthing places. 😉
They are quite mischievous. So I believe they would show up just about anywhere.
No, I would not expect to find kittens at a British house party. But, I bet it would be fun if I did.
I’m not sure, but it would be pretty funny if they were!
Following on amazon!
Kittens and cats have a way of showing up in the strangest places so no it would be a stretch for them to show up
I think a British house party is just as likely a place for kitten as any other place. Also plenty of mischief I would imagine with these kittens 🙂
So cute, thanks for the chance, i’m looking forward to reading your book Penney
Thanks so much. You’re very kind.
This book sounds cute, and I LOVE cats and kittens 🙂
I wouldn’t expect it, but it would be a nice surprise. Kittens are the best 🙂 ~Aleen
What a wonderful surprise it would be to have kittens at tea party..
OH! kittens would certainily be fun to find at a party. Sometimes you need that bit of frivolity! And kittens bring much to the …er…table!!
Cute, and love kittens.
Yes, I love kittens.
If it’s a crazy cat lady she probably would allow kittens at a tea party
This looks like fun nice decorations and books look hot
Pets and children add much to a story. The kittens and their part in the story should be a good addition. Muff looks like my first cat, in toy form.
I would not expect to find kittens at a British house party, but it would be a fun surprise.
Kittens are not expected at a ball but always welcome in a story. I am looking forward to reading these great stories.