Friday, January 13, 2017

A Woman So Bold by L.S. Young - Book Tour + Giveaway


A
Woman So Bold
By
LS Young
Genre:
Historical Romance


Twenty-year-old
Landra Andrews is as brazen and unique as her first name. Although
educated and well-connected, she is trapped by a dark secret from her
past. She fears the rest of her life will be decidedly prosaic, until
a dashing young man inherits a neighboring farm and sweeps her off
her feet.
William
Cavendish is a second son from an old Southern family. A gentleman in
conduct and an artist at heart, he has sown his wild oats in the
years he spent abroad and is ready to settle down. He is taken with
well-spoken, headstrong Landra from their first meeting, and his
heart for her only grows.


William
seems to be everything Landra has dreamed of but never dared to
believe she could have—handsome, kind, and well-bred—but when
they are wed, she soon finds herself in all-too-familiar
surroundings, toiling once more against land that won’t yield. Her
restless spirit and iron will rebel against her discontent, and when
a lover from her youth returns, she finds herself torn between two
very different men. Will the mistakes of her past destroy her hope
for the future?


The
man riding up the drive this time was no one I
recognized, and I knew everyone in Willowbend. He was young,
and he rode a dapple-gray mare with hints of ginger in her mane and
tail. The breathtaking animal had all the aloof grace of a well-bred
aristocrat, her tail and ears held high. A slim hunting dog trotted
obediently at her heels.
The
spectacle was such a contrast to the former one of Mr.Buckley and his
plodding, drop-eared nag that I stood for a moment as one paralyzed.
Once he had dismounted, the rider spoke to the mare with obvious
affection, patting her neck and clucking to her until she nickered at
him. His canine companion loped about the yard, sniffing unseen
trails, then jumped to attention and ran to his side when he
called,
“Pharaoh, come!”

It's
not anyone we know,
I
murmured, for Colleen's

benefit,
mounting the front steps. Her eyes were weak. “It’s a gentleman
by the looks of him.”

Goodness!
she hissed, And I look like common white trash! Landra, invite him in
and make my apologies while I change.”
She
snatched up Ezra, who had run to her, but he struggled, wailing, so
she put him down and rushed inside.
The
screen door snapped shut behind her on its tight spring as I gathered
Ezra into my arms. I stared after her, aghast that she had left me to
meet a strange man without an introduction. Finally, I drew myself up
and turned to face him, remaining on the porch.

Having fastened the mare to
the hitching post, the man was approaching. I saw that he wore a gray
slouch hat, a khaki frock coat with a white shirt beneath it, and
brown, brushed cotton trousers tucked into worn, leather riding
boots. He wore no tie, cravat, or waistcoat. I did not think he was
wealthy,
but he was dressed so well, at least in comparison to my father’s
usual habiliment of denim bib overalls or chinos and striped cotton
shirt, that I was taken aback.
He
paused several feet before the front steps and removed his hat.

Good afternoon, ma’am”
he said. He held a riding crop in his free hand, but from the look of
his horse, I doubted he ever used it.
I
kept my chin up, conscious of my appearance, but unwilling to
acknowledge it by smoothing my hair. “Hello.”
My
name is William Cavendish. I’ve just inherited an old estate nearby
and wanted to make a friendly call.”
Mr.
Buckley told us of your arrival just today.”
A
brief silence elapsed. He crouched on his heels and stroked his hound
as it came to him. Ebenezer was beside me in an instant with his
hackles raised, and I quieted him with a word.
I
slowly became more and more conscious of my
bedraggled hair and shabby dress, and Ezra grew heavy on my
hip. I set him down, but he refused to come forward, hiding himself
in the folds of my skirt. Resisting the urge to smooth my tumbled
hair, my hand went instead to my mouth, where Daddy had hit me with
the lash. It had healed, but a scar was left, a thin line that split
my top lip on the
right
side. I rarely thought of it, but when I did, I was self-
conscious of it.
All
of this passed in a matter of moments, but each one
seemed an aeon thanks to my discomfort. Mr. Cavendish smiled
at Ezra.

Your little boy is bonny.
It’s comely in a child, to be shy of
strangers.”

This is Ezra, my brother.”

He
looked confused. You are Mrs. Andrews, are you

not?”

I’m Miss Andrews. Mrs.
Andrews is my stepmother. You might have
seen her on the porch as you approached.”

Begging your pardon. Did I
frighten her away, arriving so
unexpectedly?”

You
didn't frighten her. She went inside to make herself presentable. We
weren’t expecting company, you see.”

Even on a Saturday
afternoon?”
We
live too far out for it to matter.”
I
see.”
He
rose, his boots creaking, and made as if to swing the crop, pivoting
on his heel. He turned back to me and said, “Begging your pardon,
but I don’t believe I caught your
first
name.”
My
name is Landra,I said, managing not to grimace, for I hated my
Christian name. No matter how often I said it, it felt odd and
awkward in my mouth. At church, the girls who didn’t like me said
it was ugly. I never signified their remarks with a reply, but I knew
they spoke the truth.
My
mother had pronounced my name with a soft a in her
drawling Georgia accent, much as one says the word lawn.
Daddy, in his smugness that I had been named after his father,
pronounced it with a short a, like the word land. Neither
pronunciation improved it, but I generally went with my mother’s;
there was a hint of refinement in it.

It's
a pleasure to make your acquaintance,
he
replied.
He
ascended the first two steps of the porch and extended his hand.

I
hesitated. A young lady does not take a gentleman's hand
indiscriminately, I thought, a favorite proverb of Colleen’s, yet
Colleen had abandoned me, and here we were. There was no common
acquaintance present to introduce us.
At
last, I met him on the middle step and shook his hand.
The
pleasure is mine,” I replied, bowing.

Lahn-dra,” he
enunciated. “That’s mighty pretty. Don’t think I’ve
encountered that one before.”
My
mind flitted away for a second. His words reminded me of something.
Miss Montgomery. Has a nice ring to it. You got a first name? Who had
said those words? My father. My father had said them when he met my
mother.


L.S.
Young resides in Florida with her husband and daughter. After
spending several years as a childcare worker and secondary English
teacher, she turned to writing full-time.
She
enjoys exploring the Suwannee River State Park, hiking in the
Appalachian Mountains, swimming, and writing nature poetry. She’s
an enthusiastic reader of fantasy, horror, Victorian literature, and
historical fiction. Like Lizzie Bennet, she is fond of a walk and
dearly loves a laugh.
Young
is a member of the Historical Novel Society. A Woman so Bold is her
debut novel. 








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