I am very happy to welcome Victoria Alexander today with an excerpt from her latest book, The Lady Traveler’s Guide to Deception of an Unlikely Earl which is on tour with TLC Book Tours. I present you with Excerpt #2. For more excerpts and reviews you can follow the Tour.
Excerpt #2 from The Lady Traveler’s Guide to Deception of an Unlikely Earl
“People don’t care if your stories are true or not.”
“Then why can’t we simply tell them the truth?” Indeed, that was exactly what Sidney wanted to do when she first realized her stories were being taken as fact.
“Because they will care if they think you lied to them.” He shrugged. “It’s the nature of things.”
“So the lie continues to grow?” Sidney couldn’t hide the stubborn note in her voice. This deception did seem, well, wrong.
“Not at all. This earl, in his superior, condescending manner, has challenged your knowledge of Egypt and all things Egyptian. You are one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve ever met on the topic. Why, you know things most people would never even think to ask. Doesn’t she, Mrs. Higginbotham?”
“Oh, she does indeed, Mr. Cadwallender.” Effie nodded. “She’s spent years taking classes with highly notable personages at Queen’s College. I wouldn’t dare to count the number of lectures on Egyptology she’s attended. Sidney is familiar with every Egyptian artifact on display at the British Museum as well as elsewhere in London. And she reads everything that’s printed on the subject.” Pride rang in Effie’s voice. “I daresay there is no one better versed in anything pertaining to Egypt—past and present—than Sidney.”
“Thank you, Aunt Effie.” Sidney cast her a grateful smile. “Regardless of my studies and all that I’ve learned, the fact remains that I’ve never actually been to Egypt.”
“A minor point.” Mr. Cadwallender waved off her comment. “If anyone can pull this off you can. I have every confidence in you, Sidney. By the time you return—”
“I don’t recall agreeing to go.”
“Really, dear.” Effie leaned close and patted her hand. “I don’t see that you have any particular choice.”
“That’s not entirely true.” Mr. Cadwallender studied her for a long moment. “You have several choices. You can choose to admit publicly that his lordship is right—that you don’t know what you’re writing about—”
“And allow the beast to win?” Effie straightened in her chair. “Never!”
“In which case there would be a nasty scandal. You would lose your readers who would feel betrayed by you. Cadwallender Publishing and the Daily Messenger could not continue to publish your work. We do have a reputation to maintain.”
As the Daily Messenger did seem to base most of its articles on little more than scandal and gossip, apparently reputation was in the eye of the beholder.
“You’re the one who convinced me not to tell the truth when this misunderstanding began,” Sidney pointed out.
“Water under the bridge, Miss Honeywell.” He waved off her comment. “No sense fretting about what’s over and done with. We simply must move forward from here. As I said you have choices. Confess the truth and face the consequences—”
“—or you can kill off Millicent and end the stories altogether—”
Effie gasped in horror.
“—or you can go to Egypt and make the Earl of Brenton eat his words. He started this—beat him at his own game. Prove to him and the world that he’s wrong. It would serve him right. Certainly, you’ve never been to Egypt in person but you can’t tell me your mind, your heart, your very soul hasn’t been there.”
“Her spirit.” Effie nodded.
“Exactly. Sidney.” Mr. Cadwallender’s gaze locked with hers. “Carpe diem. Seize the day. Isn’t this the opportunity you’ve been waiting for?”
“Yes, yes, yes!” Effie jumped to her feet. “She’ll do it!”
Sidney could only stare at her.
“Of course she will.” Mr. Cadwallender grinned. “I didn’t doubt it for a moment.”
Sidney’s gaze shifted between Effie and Mr. Cadwallender. He was right—she did have a choice. And an opportunity. This was her chance to set things right. To have the adventures, to be the heroine her readers believed her to be.
For the first time since reading his lordship’s challenge, the idea of travel to Egypt seemed not only possible but probable. And why not? She was a thirty-two-year-old spinster with no particular prospects for marriage. No family to speak of except for Aunt Effie and her friends. And absolutely no good reason not to at long last follow her heart. She had nothing to lose and at the very least, the adventure of a lifetime to gain.
“Very well, then.” She swallowed hard. “I’ll do it.”
About The Lady Traveler’s Guide to Deception of an Unlikely Earl:
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages
Publisher: HQN; Original edition (November 20, 2018)
Set sail for love in this sparkling new adventure in #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander’s Lady Travelers Society series.
Harry Armstrong has spent years in Egypt, recovering relics and disregarding rules. Now he’s back in England with a new title and a new purpose: penning his exploits. But his efforts are overshadowed by London’s favorite writer about Egypt—a woman they call The Queen of the Desert, of all things. Worse, her stories—serialized in newspapers and reprinted in books—are complete rubbish.
Miss Sidney Honeywell didn’t set out to deceive anyone. It’s not her fault readers assumed her Tales of a Lady Adventurer in Egypt were real! Admitting her inadvertent deception now would destroy her reputation and her livelihood. But when the Earl of Brenton challenges her to travel to Egypt to prove her expertise, accompanied by his dashing, arrogant nephew, what choice does she have but to pack her bags?
With the matchmaking founders of the Lady Travelers Society in tow, Harry is determined to expose Sidney’s secret. But the truth might not be as great a revelation as discovering that love can strike even the most stubborn of hearts.
About the Author:
New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was much more fun than real life. She turned to writing full time and is still shocked it worked out.
Since the publication of her first book in 1995, she has written thirty-one full length novels and six novellas. Find a complete list on her website
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