Hello, you beautiful soul! I'm incredibly stoked to present you with the new cover of MASQUE by the lovely W. R. Gingell today!
If you've been a regular reader at The Regal Critiques, you would have no doubt come across my review of the same book a few weeks back. In case you somehow missed it, you can check out the blurb and review here:
Blurb from Goodreads:
Beauty met the Beast and there was . . . Bloody murder?
It’s the Annual Ambassadorial Ball in Glause, and Lady Isabella Farrah, the daughter of New Civet’s Ambassador, is feeling pleasantly scintillated.
In the library is Lord Pecus, a charming gentleman whose double mask hides a beastly face, and who has decided that Isabella is the very person to break the Pecus curse.
In the ball-room is young Lord Topher, who is rapidly falling in love with an older woman.
And in the card-room, lying in a pool of his own blood, is the body of one of Isabella’s oldest friends: Raoul, Civet’s Head Guardsman. The papers sewn into his sash seem to suggest espionage gone wrong, but Isabella is not so certain.
Lord Pecus, as Commander of the Watch, is of the opinion that Isabella should keep out of the investigation and out of danger. Isabella is of the opinion that it is her murder to investigate, and that what a certain Beast-Lord doesn’t know won’t hurt him. . . .
Will Isabella find the murderer before Lord Pecus does, or will she end her investigation as a bloody spatter on the parlour floor?
MASQUE is, without doubt, a very unique retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The author has added to the story it's own creative flair, while only keeping the very basics of the original story intact. In this book we get the reclusive, formidable Lord Pecus who has been quite unfortunately cursed with a beast's face, and the incredibly mischievous Lady Isabella Farrah who has a slight problem in refraining from poking her nose into affairs that don't really concern her. Lord Pecus believes that Bella is the one to break his curse, but circumstances prove that that is easier envisioned than contrived.
The mystery aspect of the story was given more priority while the romance was just barely there- and that suited me perfectly fine. Read more.
I felt it couldn't have been more perfect and I TOTALLY fell in love with it and I really can't wait to share it with you guys. So, without further ado, let me reveal to you the absolutely stunning new cover of MASQUE in all its glory!
(Click on the cover for the Goodreads link!)
It's GORGEOUS, isn't it?
Yeah, that's what I thought too! It both manages to convey the feel of the book and look breathtaking. Jenny from Seedlings Design Studio has certainly done a great job with it! The font, the color selection- I love it all. *sighs* Perfection.
Anyway, that's not all we have for you today- the author has decided to share an excerpt from the book and host a giveaway in honor of this cover reveal. Enjoy this special excerpt from MASQUE- a conversation between Lady Isabella Farrah and her equally mischievous, equally delightful sister- and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end!
* * * * *
When the blank intermediary screen of my mirror focused, it was Susan’s enquiring face that I saw. She was looking untidy and a little cross, and when she saw me her eyes grew speculative.
“Hallo, Belle. What have you done this time?”
“I wonder why it is,” I began plaintively; “That everyone I talk to seems to assume that I’m about to do something, am doing something, or have done something! My own sister, too! You’re supposed to look up at me with wide-eyed admiration, Su, and wait eagerly for the pearls of wisdom that drop from my lips. It’s a sad reflection upon your upbringing, I’m inclined to think.”
“You should have taught me better, then,” said Susan cheerfully. “Besides, I can’t do wide-eyed looks, and since you’ve been away, all I’ve had are Mrs. Higgins’ words of wisdom.”
“Which particular words of wisdom has Mrs. Higgins been sharing?” I enquired. Mrs. Higgins had been our cook for most of my life and all of Susan’s, and she had become something of a fixture.
“Wait, I want to get it just right; the wording has to be fully appreciated.” She concentrated, curling a section of escaped chestnut hair around one finger. “Oh yes! I believe her exact words were ‘Sling it in yer ear!’ With regards to the drayman who splashed her second-best boots with mud.”
“I’ve always admired her ability to vocalize so effectively. Was the drayman abashed?”
“Don’t know,” said Susan, watching me thoughtfully and continuing to twirl the one curl around her finger. “He was hunched over his horse and driving away so quickly it was hard to see his face. I think the peach she hurled at him might have had something to do with that.”
“Susan, am I to understand that you merely stood and watched as our servant peppered a drayman with fruit?”
“Of course not,” said Susan. “I passed her a dew-melon.”
“I’m glad to think that at least some of my training remains. How are you and Kit coping?”
Was I mistaken, or did a watchful gleam come to those grey eyes?
“I’ve been out riding most of the day,” she said, accounting for her windswept appearance. A little worm of suspicion began gnawing away somewhere in the woodwork of my mind. Susan didn’t go in for wide-eyed innocence or deflectors: her particular type of deception was much harder to spot– particularly since she didn’t try to deceive. She simply mentioned what she thought was relevant, and left anything else out. Therefore what she said was not so much important as what she didn’t say. What hadn’t she said?
“What happened, Belle? Is it Papa?”
“Yes and no,” I said, letting the little worm chew away until it churned up something useful. “Have you heard about the murders?”
“Everyone has,” she said, matter-of-factly. “Haven’t they caught him yet?”
“That depends upon whom you ask,” I remarked. “Lord Pecus certainly thinks so. He arrested Papa.”
Susan’s eyebrows went up, highlighting a smudge of dirt above her right eyebrow. “He must be an idiot. Or is he angling for something?”
I drummed my fingers thoughtfully on my knee. “I haven’t decided yet.”
“But Papa isn’t in prison, is he?” said Susan slowly. “No, I would have heard about it; Annabel would have told me. Glause doesn’t allow bail, so...Belle, you’re in prison, aren’t you?”
* * * * *
About W. R. GingellW.R. Gingell is a Tasmanian author who lives in a house with a green door. She spends her time reading, drinking an inordinate amount of tea, and slouching in front of the fire to write. Like Peter Pan, she never really grew up, and is still occasionally to be found climbing trees.
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