» Deleted scene from The Lost Duke of Wyndham
» Deleted diary entry from The Secret Diaries of Miranda Cheever
» Alternate Epilogue from How to Marry a Marquis
» Deleted scene from The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After (the jail scene from An Offer from a Gentleman, written from Violet's point of view)
Deleted scene from The Lost Duke of Wyndham
Transitions are usually the hardest scenes for me to write. For example, I had enormous difficulty figuring out how to get Elizabeth and Amelia out of the action (and the carriage) once the dowager decided to kidnap Jack. In the end I decided I didn't need to actually show most of what happened, but not before I'd already written the following, which did not make it into the final book: ~JQ
"Turn the carriage around!"
"Ma'am!" Grace cried out in shock. But not really shock—it only sounded that way, because her voice didn't know how else to sound. Grace, unfortunately, knew exactly what the dowager intended to do.
Elizabeth looked to her in panic. "Grace?" she implored.
"For the love of God," Amelia snapped at her sister. "Be quiet."
All eyes turned to Amelia, and for the first time in anyone's memory, the dowager deigned to give her future granddaughter an approving glance.
But the approbation was short-lived, and before anyone had a chance to react, the dowager was reaching for the door handle. "Turn it around!" she demanded. "Grace, you get out and tell the driver to turn the carriage around."
"Ma'am," Grace pleaded, as if anything she said might dissuade the dowager from her plans. But all that earned her was a glare so furious that she hastily rose and moved toward the door. At that moment, however, the door opened, and the driver's face appeared.
"Turn the carriage around," the dowager immediately ordered.
The driver may have been officially in the employ of the Willoughby sisters, but it was easy to tell who was really in charge, and he made haste back to his seat. A minute later they were back at Belgrave, and Grace was being shoved out the door. She landed awkwardly, turning her right ankle. "Oh!" she cried, the sound escaping before she had a chance to temper her reaction.
"Are you hurt?" Elizabeth asked worriedly, moving to hop down after her.
"Get back into that carriage!" the dowager barked.
Elizabeth froze. "Grace?" she mouthed, looking utterly baffled and not a little bit uneasy.
Grace shook her head furiously, a silent plea to please just don't ask questions.
Amelia's head appeared beside her sister's, and although she did not look inclined to speak, she was clearly fascinated by the proceedings.
"Ma'am," Grace pleased, half-hopping-half-walking toward her. "Ma'am, your grace, please. This is not a wise course of action."
But the dowager was barking out orders, assembling what appeared to be a small army. Grace closed her eyes for a moment and shuddered. There would be no stopping her. She was determined to find her grandson, and heaven help them all if he didn't wish to be found.
Grace opened her eyes and looked up. Elizabeth and Amelia had not changed position.
"What is she doing?" Elizabeth whispered.
Grace just shook her head.
"What are they still doing here?" the dowager demanded, throwing out one arm as she motioned toward their carriage. "Take them home at once."
The driver obeyed with alacrity, and the carriage lurched forward with the girls still standing in the doorway.
"Ma'am," Grace said, feeling more free to speak once Elizabeth and Amelia were gone, "please. You mustn't do this."
The dowager ignored her.
Grace moved forward and placed a restraining hand on her arm. "Ma,am," she said again.
The dowager froze, then turned so slowly, and with such ice in her eyes that Grace felt her insides recoil and twist. She removed her hand.
"Get in the carriage," the dowager said.
Grace looked at her in horror. The Wyndham carriage had been brought ‘round in record time.
End of Deleted Scene.
Deleted scene from The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever
Studies today were Latin and botany. Olivia declared herself bored with exotic grasses and turned to me, instead.
Olivia bores easily.
But she did declare that my face no longer appears quite so long. Then she decided that I shall be a Great Beauty, after all.
Olivia sometimes sees the world as she wishes it, and not as it truly is.
Then she announced (after I pointed out that I had no need of Great Beauty; I intend to find a husband among her thwarted suitors) that it didn’t matter, anyway. I shall marry her brother.
I couldn’t speak. How did she know?
Then I realized she meant Winston.
Perhaps sometimes I see the world as I wish it, too.
End of Deleted Scene.
Alternate epilogue from How to Marry a Marquis
The original epilogue for How to Marry a Marquis took place at the wedding, but my editor felt it would be fun to style it like a book instead. I think she was right (I love what we ended up with) but I still like this scene a lot!~ JQ
It was a perfect wedding… almost.
James Anthony Edward, Wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance, in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour and keep her in sickness and in health; and forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?
James's voice was loud and firm. "I will."
Elizabeth Mary, Wilt though have this man to thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou obey him, serve him, honour and keep him in sickness and in health; and forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?
Elizabeth's voice was low but true. "I will."
Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?
Lucas stepped forward. "I do."
The curate continued with the ceremony and James repeated his vows, but in the first pew, not everyone was paying attention.
"What are you holding?" Jane whispered to Susan.
"What is it?"
"I said, be quiet."
"But I want to know."
"The two of you," Lady Danbury hissed, turning to face them, "be quiet. We're almost to the part where Elizabeth promises to obey again. Ha! This ought to be amusing."
Jane waited until Lady D was focused on the couple at the altar and then she nudged Susan hard in the ribs and whispered, "What is it? Is it a book?"
Susan finally gave up and handed Jane a bible.
Jane gasped. "This is the parish bible! Aren't they supposed to be saying their vows over this?"
Susan's smile was devilish in the extreme.
"What is that book the curate is holding?" Jane squinted and went pale when she noticed the red binding of the book in the curate's hand. "Oh, no, it's not… Oh, Susan, Elizabeth will kill you."
Susan shrugged. "She'll appreciate the irony."
Jane shook her head, her lips parted and her blue eyes wide. "Oh, no, she won't."
"Be quiet!" Lady Danbury hissed again. "Or I'll toss the both of you straight through the stained glass window. This is a serious proceeding."
"I know," Jane said mournfully. "I know."
Those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.
"Oh, thank you very much," Susan snapped at Jane. "Now I've missed the bit where he promises to worship her with his body."
eyes bugged out. "He says that?"
And of course she forgot all about the book.
I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride.
And he did.
End of Deleted Scene.