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Author Tales: Regina Scott

Regina Scott is the guest author for this Thursday's Author Tales! Regina is the author of La Petite Four, which was released May 29! La Petite Four is a great read, you can check out me review here! Regina had an awesome idea for her guest post and it works out wonderfully with the Author Tales theme. She decided to write a mini story to La Petite Four! Don't worry if you haven't read La Petite Four yet, it won't spoil the book at all! Also be sure to leave a comment so you will be entered in the Monthly Contest!
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Master Theif
A Mini Le Petite Four Story
Part I
by Regina Scott

"So you see, Emily," Priscilla Tate concluded with an airy wave of her graceful hand, "it simply disappeared!"

Lady Emily Southwell, youngest daughter of His Grace the Duke of Emerson, could certainly see that her friend’s favorite brooch was missing. Indeed, Priscilla had taken great pains to point repeatedly to the mother-of-pearl box laying empty on her lace-draped dressing table.

"It was right there," Ariadne insisted, nodding her head at the imprint in the box’s peach satin lining, which no doubt outlined the ruby brooch. Her soft muslin gown was a similar shade of peach that complimented her light-brown curls. "I’ve questioned the staff, but no one admits to seeing it."

"It’s clearly the work of a master thief," her darker-haired sister Daphne put in, "which is why we called the best."

Emily smiled. She did have a reputation for solving mysteries. But the last two she’d solved had been much more complicated, and dangerous, than a missing brooch.

"Perhaps if you looked through your gowns, Pris," she suggested. "You might find it still pinned on the silk."

Ariadne beamed, giving the reticule at her wrist a swing. "That’s what I suggested."

Priscilla’s shoulders slumped in her pink muslin gown, and her green eyes filled with tears. "Truly, Emily, I’ve looked everywhere. I wouldn’t be so worried if one of the other pieces was missing." She glanced toward the open door of her room and lowered her voice. "But it’s the last one that’s still real."

So that was the issue. Priscilla’s family had fallen on hard times, and many of their belongings had been sold to pay expenses. Even the little house they had leased for the Season was furnished with castoffs from their relatives.

Emily thought Priscilla had chosen the best of the lot. Her four-poster bed was polished mahogany, and the headboard was carved with smiling winged infants. The wash basin was brilliant blue Sevres porcelain. The pier glass mirror, though tarnished around the edges, was framed in gold-leaf; Emily could see her reflection gazing back, dark tight curls framing her pale face. Still, the sunny room with its yellow silk wall hangings and blue Oriental carpet was hardly crowded. It should have been easy to spot a ruby brooch.

"Think," Emily urged Priscilla. "Where did you last wear it?"

Priscilla bit her full lower lip a moment as if thinking hard. "Perhaps at the Baminger ball?"

Daphne shook her head. "No. You wore your green satin gown and emeralds that night. I remember because that charming Mr. Cunningham remarked on how it brought out the green in your eyes."

"Ah, yes," Priscilla agreed with a fond smile. "Then I must have worn it to the musicale to celebrate the end of Lady Eglantine’s bout with gout."

"No," Ariadne said with certainty. "Your décolleté was far too low that night to hold a brooch. Mother remarked on it."

Priscilla rolled her eyes. "The races at Ascot then."

"You borrowed my gray silk walking dress for that," Emily reminded her, "and my pearls. Father remarked on it."

"You see?" Daphne said happily. "Everyone is talking about you!"

Priscilla smoothed a golden curl back from her perfect face. "I told you we’d be the talk of London once we came out."

That they were. Could their newfound fame have attracted a thief in addition to the beaux they had been expecting?

Emily turned to Daphne. "Check under the dressing table. Ariadne, you take the bed. The brooch might have fallen."

Daphne obligingly dropped to her knees in a puddle of saffron muslin and peered under the furniture. "Not here."

Ariadne wandered to the bed and lifted the skirt to gaze underneath. "Not here either."

Priscilla twisted her cameo ring about her finger. "What am I to do?" she all but wailed. "Mother will be beside herself, and Father will despair. He was counting on that brooch for next quarter’s lease money! We’ll all be sent to rot in Debtor’s Prison, and I’ll shall have to marry the jailor’s son so we can eat!"

Emily frowned at her. Surely a missing brooch couldn’t bring about such dire circumstances. She noted the fluttering fingers on the hand Pris had pressed to her brow, the flushed skin, the trembling lips. Something was definitely wrong, but she had a feeling it had nothing to do with the brooch.

What was going on?

(Note: Regina Scott’s charming editors would like all readers to know that this original story is copyright 2008 to Regina Scott, uncopyedited, and unproofed. Hope you enjoy it!)
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You know I wouldn't leave you hanging like that! This mini story happens to be a two parts. If you want to know what happens next, then head over to And Another Book Read and check out Tasha's And Another Awesome Author Visit tomorrow, Friday the 13th!

For more information about Regina visit the following links!

personal website: http://www.reginascott.com/
La Petite Four website: http://www.lapetitefour.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/reginascottauthor/
blog: http://www.nineteenteen.blogspot.com/

Thanks to Regina for an awesome blog post!

author interview, favorite, guest blog, Regina Scott, and more:

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