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May 17th, 2008
Black Silk Contest

Black SilkLike many of my fellow crumpets, I’m working to a deadline—trying to finish revisions for the end of the month. But I’ve had to take a “break” this long weekend to do galleys (in Canada this is a holiday weekend, the Victoria Day weekend. Since it usually falls around the 24th and heralds the start of cottage season, it’s often called the “2-4” weekend.)

That’s why I’m blogging late. Also, I had a day at the office yesterday and my daughter was invited to a “sports evening” at a friend’s house. I always admire people brave enough to extend an open invitation to an entire class of 7 year olds!

I’d like to give away a copy of BLACK SILK—it’s one of my favorites, and just garnered my first RT Top Pick, which I was really thrilled about. The question is from the following excerpt:

Maryanne watched her raven-haired Lancelot elegantly climb into the basket. Of course, he could do it easily—he had endless legs and wore trousers. Just as she stared helplessly at it, he scooped her effortlessly into his arms. In a froth of hems and petticoats, she was hoisted over the wicker wall and into the basket. As her feet touched the floor of the basket, it came up to meet her. “Ooh!”

The flame illuminated the sculpted planes of his face, his wicked grin as the balloon went up. The basket tilted to the right. She clutched the side. “Goodness.”

Swansborough laughed. “But as you each take on orgasmic flight, you must remember to hold on tight,” he quoted. He wrapped a hand around the stays that secured their small basket to the enormous balloon and kept the other near the fire box and the ropes that worked the vents. Below, illuminated by the torches, she saw the men gripping the tether ropes, feeding them through gloved hands.

A lurch to the left, and she tumbled back against his lordship. His large body pressed against her, his arm locked around her waist, and she felt safe—though if the basket tipped, they’d both fall. Why should the thought of falling to their deaths together, sharing disaster, make her feel better?

“Magnificent, isn’t it?”

With her hands gripping the basket, she stared down.

Far below, the torches looked like tiny candle flames, and she could no longer see the men. Men who thought she was going to rut with a viscount here. Men who thought her a courtesan.

The Serpentine caught the moonlight, water rippling in the sweet breeze. Dark trees bobbed and swayed, the leaves silver, and the park was a stretch of dark velvet.

She gazed up. Stars dotted the violet skies above the park. And London’s lights were spread out before her. “It’s beautiful.” The basket swayed. “And terrifying.”

The Question—Where are Maryanne and the hero, Dash, Lord Swansborough going to make love?

I’ll check in on the comments over the weekend, and select a winner on Monday. So on Monday I’ll post in the comments for the winner to drop me an email, just so you know where to look!