Penelope Moreau is a Creole courtier in 18th century Versailles, France. She searches frantically for a paper given to her containing one clue “Phillipe J.” She believes he connived the royal theft and once proven, would refute Armand’s alleged complicity in the crime. Pierre LeMercier is also an aristocrat of the king’s court and is fascinated by Penelope’s beauty and intrigued by her feigned lack of interest in him. Penelope and Pierre’s courtship blossoms demonstrating the depth of their mutual affection. Pierre vows, as well as Count Alexandre Montegeau a friend of Penelope and Armand’s parents, to exonerate Armand. . Pierre hires a consult, Gustav to travel to Paris to find this evidence. Gustav is attacked on his way to meet with Pierre and Penelope to give them a sealed envelope. Count Montegeau is murdered while in the peculiar company of mademoiselle Charlotte whom Armand only met once. Guinevere debuts as a lady in waiting accompanied by Pierre and Penelope as they arrive at the masquerade ball at the king’s court. Charlotte is jealous of Armand and François’ relationship and confronts François. While outside Château Versailles, Armand is struck in the foot with an arrow from a longbow. Penelope wonders if they will find the evidence in time. All evidence points to the royal palace. Pierre knows that he and Penelope cannot have the life they wish for until the crime is solved. But who is the culprit and will they be caught in time?
Targeted Age Group:: 16+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I was heavily inspired by the culture and setting of 18th century France. Most of my books feature multi-racial lineages or couples, so it was easy for me to incorporate this aspect into the story.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
For this novel I searched for what were typical male and female names of 18th century France. As with my other historical romance novels, the female courtier begins as the center of the story. Penelope was so focused on clearing her brother's name that she found anyone who approached suspect or a distraction from her primarily goal. It is Pierre's insistence to be in her company and to help her in which the reader begins to know Penelope as who she was, a young woman who wished to be loved and cared for just like anyone else.
Penelope began searching frantically for an envelope she kept hidden in the desk drawer. She had kept a note for herself with a nobleman’s name and locale—a man who possessed vital information. She had to intercept any looming harm that could annihilate the Moreau name. Penelope believed that a live witness was more convincing than affidavits. She had not secured their identities but had an idea where to start her own investigation. It was her only chance to prove that her brother, Armand Moreau, was innocent of the crime. Some dastardly soul saw fit to steal the king’s favored jewel and rumours surfaced that her brother was in possession of it. Receipt of stolen goods or the actual thief of same, either way it was a tarnish, even more so since the victim was the actual ruler of this country which was still recuperating from the Seven Year’s War.
Penelope began her own research when one of the French maidens watched her write her name on a calling card and gave it to a local seamstress. She knew that she was being watched even in mundane activity. Her actions were not the foremost concern; however, it became clear that what her brother stood accused of affected her life more than she anticipated.
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