The connection between June and Weddings is inevitable. Among romance writers, the temptation to write about weddings—and use them in promotion—is inevitable as well. My good friends and fellow escape artists at Great Escapes Books have created a June promotional piece that includes excerpts from The Renegade Wife.
The past few weeks I’ve been working away on a sequel to “Roses in Picardy,” my World War I story that was part of the Bluestocking Belles 2017anthology, Never Too Late. The new one, set in 1919 follows the characters in the confusion that followed the war. It will be part of the Belles’ 2018 anthology. This weekend i wrote a scene about a wedding—what else? Here’s an excerpt:
The priest must have been satisfied. He rose, brushed crumbs from his cassock, and asked Rosemarie where she wished to stand for the ceremony.
Harry hadn’t considered that; he watched the two consult and followed where they led. As they walked up the transept and past the choir, the high altar of Notre-Dame d’Amiens, built to impress the masses, overwhelmed him. What, he wondered, would his Methodist grandmother think of this place? Rosemarie led him to a chapel at the end of the apse, the round corridor at the very back of the cathedral.
They passed a side chapel with a gaping hole in its wall from shelling, one of the few badly damaged parts of the church, and stopped at the one at the apex of the curved apse. The walls of the Chapel of the Virgin remained intact, but some of its array of lofty windows lacked glass. Luckily they had been left without boarding up, allowing sunlight to flow into the space. Smaller and more intimate—if a chapel with walls a hundred feet high can be called intimate—it suited his bride. While Abbé Desjardin unlocked the ornate iron gate Rosemarie paused and arranged her grandmother’s lace masterpiece over her hair. She took him by the hand to lead him to the altar, her face solemn. The young priest he had met before and the abbé’s housekeeper trooped in behind them to serve as witnesses.
They stood in front of a small altar beneath a statue of a woman holding a toddler on one hip and gesturing to him with her other, her hand out as if to invite Harry himself to come closer. When he saw the same welcome in Rosemarie’s eyes, he couldn’t look away. Her eyes held him as they repeated the ancient vows that bound them together, promising to honor, to cherish, to love. Harry’s entire life force centered on the words and the woman, and he knew that would always be his truth.
A clearing of throat brought him back to awareness. The abbé asked him something. “A ring, Harry? Did you have time to get a ring?”
He hadn’t. Thinking quickly, he pulled the battered star ring from his right hand and held it up. “For now, Rosemarie. I’ll get you a better one when I can.”
She smiled. “Foolish man, I care nothing for that,” she whispered.
He slipped it on her ring finger, where it hung loosely, and repeated the traditional words, “With this ring, I thee wed.”
It was done, and Harry stared into his beloved’s eyes, unable to move until laughter reminded him of his duty. He kissed her, well and thoroughly.
The rough draft is finished but it is very rough. It is due to beta readers the end of the week, so I better get busy polishiing it. But first, coffee.