Sunday, March 2, 2008

Their first meeting

Okay, I decided that I would post the first part of Chapter 1. This would be when Margaret and Patrick meet.

I am still busy with revisions. Working on chapter 7 now. UGH!

Chapter 1

Scotland, 1789

“How was I to know the bloody sheep were going to trample Irma’s wee plants?” Margaret mumbled to herself as she crawled through the rich dark mud. The smell of fresh dung clung to her so that she wrinkled her nose as she tried to scratch an itch, leaving yet another dark smear.
A smile slowly spread across Margaret’s face as she recalled the look on Frederick’s face when he realized that part of his flock had disappeared.
“Damn wooly beasties landed me in the middle of this muck.”
“Do you often talk to yourself in this manner, Mistress?”
At the sound of the unfamiliar deep voice, Margaret froze. She closed her eyes, hoping to be swallowed up by the nearest steaming dung heap. On second thought, it might not be such a grand idea, she had enough of the mixture covering her as it was.
Still on all fours, Margaret lifted her eyes enough to see a pair of large riding boots about a yard in front of her. Margaret let out an exasperated breath, blowing a few of the unruly tendrils of her strawberry blond curls off her sweaty forehead.
She forced her eyes to continue their journey up the brown form fitted riding breeches he wore. His fine linen shirt was tapered at the waist, and hung open, exposing a tanned chest with dark hair curling at the opening. Margaret noticed the stranger wore no waistcoat.
Feeling as though her cheeks were on fire, Margaret knew that a blush was creeping slowly across her face. Dropping her chin down, she hoped that whoever this man was, he hadn’t noticed. Heaven help her if he thought she was blushing at the mere sight of a semi-exposed chest. In her seventeen years, she had seen far more than that while the men on the estate labored.
A deep rumble that turned into laughter came from the stranger. Margaret jerked her head up, fully intent on setting this stranger in his place. She inhaled sharply at the strange tingle that shot through her when she stared back into his laughing pale green eyes.
His teeth were a white contrast to his sun tanned face. The humor softened him, but she thought he must certainly look fierce when not being amused by young girls up to their teeth in filth.
The young girl talking to herself was what had drawn Patrick’s attention. He found her amusing, and couldn’t contain his mirth. He thought she must surely be a shy child, seeming to become flustered at having been caught mumbling to herself covered with what he hoped was just mud. Then she had jerked her head up to meet his gaze. He was stunned by the sight.
The emerald eyes that locked onto his widened in surprise and he couldn’t help but notice her lips part as if to speak, but no sound came out. He would definitely have to remember to avoid this one.
That’s all he needed, Laird Angus Sinclair getting angry if he dallied with one of his servants, or worse, a servants daughter.
“I’ll leave you to your work mistress. Good day to you.” Patrick said, bending at the waist in a curt bow and turning his back to leave.
“English? It would make sense that an Englishman wouldn’t offer a lady his assistance to regain her footing.” Margaret quipped, coming to her senses after the unintentional insult by the stranger. How could he possibly know who I am? Margaret wondered. Even still, she hated smug Englishmen. She had seen enough in London a few months back to last her through this year and the next.
“My humble apologies my lady.” Patrick said with more than a touch of sarcasm. He raised an eyebrow and watched as the girl struggled to balance on her knees, raising herself up and stiffening her back. He chuckled softly as she lifted her chin in a haughty manner. Reaching out to help steady her, he was taken unaware when her filthy hand shot out and not only clutched his in a death grip, but jerked with amazingly accurate timing to pull him toward the muck.
Margaret’s temper was getting the better of her. She knew this, but once again, she was unable to stop her impulses. He won’t look so smug once he finds himself knee deep in this mire. She thought, as she put all her weight, slight though it was, into the unexpected tug that sent the man plummeting towards her!
“Oh my!” Was all Margaret managed to gasp, as she saw the error in her rash actions.
The force of her pull not only sent the man forwards, but she fell backwards into the rancid wet dirt. Before she could try and roll out of the way, he came crashing down on top of her, swearing in what certainly didn’t sound like an English accent.
“Och lass, if it was a roll that ye be lookin for, ye should have just said so. I would have been more than happy to accommodate such a fine bonny lass.”
Margaret tensed, her eyes growing wide with the knowledge that this man thought she wanted him on top of her. She could feel his breath on her chin, and froze in place. They had locked eyes and her stomach did that funny flip that it had a few minutes earlier when she had first looked into his eyes. This time it was more than one little twinge. She realized that if anyone saw them, there would be hell to pay, but she couldn’t help but wonder what it would feel like to have him kiss her. Her eyes lowered to his lips that were parted in a lop-sided half smile, which made the flips start even faster. She could feel her heart trying to keep pace with whatever contortions that her mid-section was making. Her breathing became faster, and she felt as though she had been running a foot race.
All thoughts had momentarily left Patrick’s head. He was fairly certain that the girl didn’t intend for him to land on her. He wasn’t so sure now, as her eyes darted toward his mouth and he watched as her small pink tongue darted out to moisten her lips. He almost let out a groan at the sight. He was becoming horribly aware of the situation that she had put them in, but he couldn’t get his body to play along with his mind. He knew he should move, and quickly, but suddenly he had no control of himself, not something that happened often to him. He prided himself in his restraint, not that you could tell at that particular moment that he even possessed any.
Lowering his mouth to taste all that the girl had to offer, Patrick closed his eyes and just as he felt the first shock as their lips touched, he was violently pulled away from the awaiting paradise and thrown backwards a few feet, landing on his arse.
Margaret had closed her eyes when she realized that the man was going to kiss her. She held her breath as the first delightful touch of his surprisingly gentle mouth caressed her lips. As quickly as her heart started to race, the weight of him was gone, as were his lips from hers.
Margaret’s eyes flew open and she saw Frederick standing over her. She let out a sigh of relief that it hadn’t been anyone else. That is, until she saw the look of rage on his face.
Through gritted teeth, Frederick, standing over Patrick, growled, “Ye better have one helluva good reason to be molestin wee Maggie, or ye will be minus yer bullocks when I finish with ye.”

Copyright 2008 Terri Rainer


Merrymags said...


It's taken me all day to get more than two consecutive minutes together so I could read this excerpt.

I am assuming that you will have a proofreader? Because I feel awkward offering a critique when I have no training.....

1) Are the rider's breeches form-fitted or form-fitting? Form-fitted tells me they were specifically sized to fit him well; form-fitting tells me they fit him well because he fills them out nicely.

2) Have you confirmed that men's shirts or sarks were tapered to the waist in 1789?

3) The wording is confusing in the sentence where Laird Angus Sinclair is mentioned. I had to read it a couple times to discern that the man speaking was not Sinclair.... and it should read "servant's daughter" or "servants' daughters" not "servants daughter."

4) It may be helpful to illustrate Margaret's thoughts by italicizing them.

5) I believe the correct term is ballocks or bollocks. Bullocks refers to steer.


You have the right to ignore everything I've written above and tell me to go to Hell.

TerriRainer said...

Go to hell Go to hell Go to hell!

LOL, No, really, I don't even have a freakin agent, much less a proofreader...unless you consider friends , who also have no formal training, proofreaders.

I LOVE criticism!

I will definitely make the changes you suggested. Sometimes it takes a fresh eye to see things and I thank you for being that fresh eye.

I'll admit that I was a bit leery about posting on my blog, for just anybody to see. It's not that I didn't want any input, it's just you are always afraid somebody might take your work.

I know writers that won't even share excerpts of their material until it's been published.

I know you have a busy life, so let me say once again, thanks for taking the time to give me feedback, it is MUCH appreciated!


TerriRainer said...

1) She forced her eyes to continue their journey up the brown form fitting riding breeches he wore.

2) His fine linen shirt hung open, exposing a tanned chest with dark hair curling at the opening.

3) That’s all Patrick needed, Laird Angus Sinclair getting angry if he dallied with one of his servants, or worse, a servant’s daughter.

4) Italicized words get underlined in the manuscript, so I'll work on that.

5) “Ye better have one helluva good reason to be molestin wee Maggie, or ye will be minus yer ballocks when I finish with ye.”

I looked it up in my Scots dictionary, so right you were!



Merrymags said...


Please recall that I said I have no training -- yes, it does help to have fresh input on something that is sooo close to you. Make sure you have a professional proofread your work. I don't want to be responsible for changing the content without any real authority on the matter.


TerriRainer said...


I think some of the best opinions are those from people who actually READ the genre!

As for a proof reader, all I can do is polish my manuscript before I send it to an agent. If he/she likes it and signs me, then I think they have people who proofread before it's shopped out to publishers.

The point in revisions is to make it as polished as possible to attract an agent.

I wouldn't change anything unless I believe that it needs it. You caught things that I hadn't, so I changed them!

Thanks again!


Merrymags said...


See? This shows how little I actually know about the process of writing. I have all the desires in the world to write, but the mechanics, the process, is as foreign to me as if I suddenly sprouted a ween!! Yes, I know what that is but to actually use it?

Employing a tacky illustration.....

TerriRainer said...

OMG!! You said ween again! LOL

Hey, I was clueless when I started. I took a class taught by an author, Mel Odom, who has over a hundred books published, and knows how the publishing world works.

I learned a lot, but it took months after the class for some of it to sink in.

I know how the whole process works, it's just a matter of getting revisions done...UGH!


Mary Duncan said...

Hi Terri,

I really enjoyed your 1st chapter, and I appreciate Midge's corrections.

As for underlining italicized words in the manuscript, that's not done anymore. It was from the days when mss were typed on a typewriter and there was no way to create italics. If you're working on a computer (and who isn't anymore), then just make italics, italic. That's from Matthew Sharpe, author and writing teacher.

Keep going, woman. It's great work!


Skeeter said...


The other chapters are great! Can't wait to talk with you again.

Well done!!!