So today is the day! SLIPPING AWAY releases today! I’m super excited about this, because, well, the Cinderella story has always been one of my favorites, and I have always wanted to put my own spin on it. 

 
Here’s one of my favorite scenes from Slipping Away–the moment, when Penn meets Ana for the first time! 

 

Penn exited the front door just as one of the new footmen came around to open the carriage door. He stepped down the stairs, noticing the bottom of the skirts worn by…

Surely not his mother.

As the woman descended, her frazzled appearance was only accentuated by her bowed head and constant touching of her very dark hair. Even her dress was in marked disrepair.

“Who has Mother been using as a maid?” he whispered to himself because she was certainly not Mother’s maid, Nora.

There could be no denying Mother was second to descend from the carriage, her blue and violet outfit shockingly annoying, even in the dark, and fairly wrinkled.

Penn grimaced. Women’s dresses usually were not so wrinkled for a carriage ride. Unless they had been riding all night. “Blasted woman.” Penn sighed. And of course, his mother heard him.

She snapped her head toward him, the bundle of flowers and ribbon bouncing on the hat she wore. “Lovely way to greet your mother, Penn.”

“I am a duke now, Mother. Rumor has it I can be as rude as I choose.” He stepped to her side. He took her hand, smiling, and kissed her cheek.

“Butter me up all you wish, I still bathed you.” Though she grinned as she said the words.

“And a fine job you did; all the women comment on it,” Penn said with a chuckle.

She smacked him with her fan.

Penn raised his eyebrow and formed a sly smile, his eyes wandering to the mess of a lady’s maid she had with her; the girl had her hand over her mouth, her eyes dancing in mirth.

“Feel free to laugh,” Penn said to the young lady. “I am sure Mother is amused as well.”

This only made the girl blush, and she immediately looked away.

Penn held out his arm for his mother. “New lady’s maid?”

“I suppose she can serve in that area until Nora arrives with the rest of my things, but mostly, I brought her for you.”

Penn choked. “For me?” He glanced at the rough looking young woman, and for a second he imagined his mother bringing a stray girl for him to entertain, and it made him shiver.

“You said you were understaffed. This young thing needs a place to work. It seemed destiny I stumbled upon her on my way.” She glanced at the girl. “Come here, dear.”

Penn’s shoulders relaxed as the young woman came before them both.

She made a proper curtsy as she greeted them. “Yes, my lady.”

“This is Duke von Gruenewald, my son.”

“Your Grace,” she said, bowing her head.

“And your name is?”

“Ana Dutetre, Your Grace.” She raised her head to glance at him. A light breeze fluttered the hair around her face, and he saw the most amazing set of amber eyes.

They were breathtaking.

Penn had to force himself to look away, as though they were nothing to see, for fear his mother would notice him staring.

“Very nice to meet you.” He glanced at the butler, who had appeared in the doorway. George must have woken the whole castle… “Franklin, take Miss Dutetre to Mrs. Gold and see where she can be useful.” Penn led his mother to the door, not letting himself look back at the girl with the amber eyes. “And see she gets something fresh to wear, she looks rather sullied.”

 

What an introduction! I bet you can’t wait to see Ana’s reaction to that! 

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