By Christy English
By Christy English
Excerpt 2, Chapter 2
Up Irving Street, Addy’s house sat on its double lot, surrounded by the flower garden the lawn service kept so carefully tended. She caught the scent of primroses as she came through the front gate. The house rose above her on a little hillock, its red brick and cheerful white shutters reminding her of what it felt like to come home. There was something about this place that moved her as nothing had in millennia.
Maybe she was getting sentimental.
As soon as she stepped onto her own property, her fear eased. She laughed at herself as she strolled up the front walk. Her imagination might just be running rampant.
The dappled shade of linden trees covered the flower-strewn walkway, and the morning sunlight streamed through the Tiffany glass on the front door, making the window gleam with jewel tones of red, blue and gold. As she basked in a patch of sunlight on her front porch, Clive opened the door.
“Madam, do you intend to come inside?”
“Good morning, Clive.”
Addy caught the eye of her butler, who glowered at her, his close-cropped hair almost military in its precision. But Clive Jennings had never been a military man. He had spent the years before he met her working for the royal family of Great Britain. Addy had stolen him away from his position as footman during a state dinner at Buckingham Palace, and he had never looked back.
“There is tea in the breakfast room, Miss Stanfield.”
“Thank you, Clive. I think I’ll just have a bath.”
As amusing as Addy found him, Clive did not find her entertaining at all. It had been ten years since he had come across the pond to try to civilize her and her household, and thus begin civilizing the wilds of North America. He knew that she rarely, if ever, spent a night away from home. He also knew that she spent every night with a different man. Clive was too well-trained to raise an eyebrow, much less ask her where she had been.
She never knew how Clive worked his magic, but by the time she had gone upstairs and entered her bedroom suite, hot Darjeeling tea was waiting for her, with milk, sugar and lemon. He had sent up fruit and croissants as well, knowing that both were her weakness. Addy didn’t need to eat, but she always enjoyed it.
She kicked off her shoes, and stripped off last night’s party dress. Mina, her assistant, came out of the bathroom where she had started drawing Addy’s bath.
Mina was a girl of Punjabi descent, with dark brown eyes and black hair that hung to her waist like a river of silk. Her mother had an obsession with vampire fiction in general and with Dracula in particular, and Mina had the curse of her name to prove it. Addy knew she was running late, because Mina was frowning.
“Your appointment with Juliana is at ten,” Mina said.
“Juliana knows I’m always late to morning meetings. I’ll pay her to wait. Why are you really annoyed?”
“My mother called.”
Addy slipped into the deep marble tub that took up most of the floor space in her bathroom. A skylight let in the morning sun, and a vase of yellow roses from the hothouse stood on the vanity table, giving off their lingering perfume. Addy sighed as the warm water caressed her skin.
She loved hot baths. Before the 20th century, she hadn’t had a decent bath in the Western world since Rome. As a blonde, she did a lot of work in the West, so plumbing was just one more thing to love about the modern age.
“Mom wants to know if you’ll come to her charity event at the Met this August.”
“No one goes to New York in August.”
Mina glowered. “I know that. You know that. Try telling that to my mother.”
Addy washed her back with the rose-scented, goats’ milk soap she loved. “Send her a check. Tell her I’m in Europe that month, along with the rest of the world.”
“The Europeans come here,” Mina said.
“Good. Then I’ll have the Continent to myself.”
“You, and a million other Americans from Iowa.”
“Do they have a million people in Iowa?” Addy asked.
Mina’s glower faded and a smile lurked at the corner of her mouth. “I could look it up.”
“No need,” Addy said. “I love Americans. I look forward to spending August on the Riviera with them.”
“You’re scheduled to visit Lake Como.”
“Right…well, no Americans there.”
“Only the occasional oil baron and movie star.”
“Do they still have American oil barons?”
Mina laughed, the last of her bad mood slipping away. “Every time I talk to my mother, I ask her why she named me Mina.”
“But you know why.”
“That damned book.”
“Vampires and their ilk are indeed damned,” Addy said. “If you want, just change your name in court. I’ll pay for it.”
Mina smiled then, her brown eyes warming behind her gold-rimmed glasses, making her look as young as her twenty-three years.
“I’d better hang onto it. My mother would kill me.”
Addy sighed. Modern women, with all their freedoms and responsibilities, often allowed themselves to be bogged down by nonsense. As if, having the burdens of family and society removed, they insisted on creating new burdens, even minor ones, to hold themselves back. She climbed out of the sunken tub, and Mina turned away.
The girl would learn one day that life was too short. Change what you hate about your life, and move on. She had told Mina that mantra, again and again, but so far, her wisdom had fallen on deaf ears. Maybe the girl would figure it out tomorrow.
Publication Date: May 20, 2016
eBook; ASIN: B01FZQ80F0
Series: The Goddess Diaries #1
eBook; ASIN: B01FZQ80F0
Series: The Goddess Diaries #1
Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, still walks the modern world. No longer thronged by worshipers, Aphrodite heals the bodies and souls of the men she touches, one man, one night, at a time. But not everyone thinks of her as a long-dead myth. Someone is stalking her. The men who have hunted her kind as witches for centuries have passed their hatred on to their sons.
As she flees her enemies and tries to warn her sisters of the danger facing them once again, Aphrodite is followed by one of the members of the Brotherhood, a man who has been given the task of killing her, and any of her sisters who cross his path. But it does not take her long to discover that Steven Wharton is not a murderer, and his soul is one she has known before.
In this paranormal romance, a goddess’s past is brought to life, from the Greek city of Corinth to the shores of the island of Cyprus, at the court of Versailles to the burning city of Persepolis. But it is not until she meets Steve that Aphrodite falls in love for the first time. As she faces an ancient enemy, Aphrodite discovers that the love she feels, not the love she gives, is the root of her soul. And that love might even be the path to her freedom…
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About the Author
Please visit her at http://www.ChristyEnglish.com. You can also find Christy on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.
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Aphrodite's Choice Blog Tour Schedule
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Spotlight at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, August 30
Review at Luxury Reading
Wednesday, August 31
Review & Excerpt at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, September 1
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Review & Guest Post at Historical Fiction Obsession
Friday, September 2
Review at Just One More Chapter
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Monday, September 5
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Tuesday, September 6
Review at A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, September 7
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Interview at A Bookish Affair
Excerpt at Buried Under Romance
Thursday, September 8
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Excerpt at A Literary Vacation
Friday, September 9
Review at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne