Slip Into Something Victorian

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GUEST: Miss Mae


Miss Mae and the Victorian Story

I readily admit that I’m drawn to stories set during Victorian times. There are a couple of reasons for this, I think.

While in junior high, our English literature class was required to read Dickens’ “Great Expectations”. This was nowhere as romantic as my young mind wished it to be, but Dickens’ writing was so vivid that he was able to whisk me into a different world.

So, already intrigued, I decided to read a copy of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Lover of mysteries by nature, I fell totally under the spell of Doyle. I thought Holmes a fascinating character, and my imagination went right along with him and Dr. Watson as they traveled the dark, shadowy, and foggy streets of London in search of hidden clues.

My first book, “See No Evil, My Pretty Lady” takes place during the height of Jack the Ripper’s reign. Though the madman left no witnesses, I wondered, ‘What if he had?’ I found the idea tantalizing, and thus, created the tale of Dorcy Edwards escaping from his clutches. The subsequent terror that enshrouds Dorcy, as the Ripper mercilessly hunts her down, leads her on a dangerous nightmarish journey.

And, still entranced with the concept of Holmes, I wrote my own take about the brilliant detective. “It’s Elementary, My Dear Winifred” is a light-hearted who-dun-it, but don’t let those words fool you. There’s mischief underfoot as my heroine, Winifred Merryweather, is kidnapped and plopped into a bizarre and spooky castle in Wales. Can she survive the perils of trapdoors, sliding panels, and vicious hounds? (Not to mention the maddeningly flirtatious charms of newspaper reporter, Remington Hawthorne.) 

Below is an excerpt from “It’s Elementary, My Dear Winifred”:

   “He’s a reporter.” Not entirely understanding her reason of why she should, Winifred came to his defense. “He’s trained to look at both sides of an issue without being biased. If he hadn’t been here to discuss this situation rationally, would any of us have considered the possibility of Xavier?”

“We don’t know that Xavier is responsible for any of this.” The countess waved the newspaper page that contained Remington’s article. “But we know Mr. Hawthorne’s contempt for one of the greatest minds in London, if not the world.”

“That is giving Mr. Holmes too much credit, ma’am.” Winifred spoke the words rashly, regretting them as soon as they’d left her mouth.

“Ah. Yes. How could I have forgotten?” Like a cat readied to pounce, the countess switched her attack off Remington and onto Winifred. A chill ran down Winifred’s spine as she imagined the older woman flexing her claws. “You’re not an admirer of Holmes either. You prefer the talents of his arch-enemy, Professor Moriarty.”

“What!” Remington spun on his heel, staring at Winifred with stunned eyes. “Moriarty?”

“This is neither the time nor the place to debate the matter.” Winifred rose to her feet, hoping the stony look she gave the countess might quell her acid tongue. “There are far more important issues at the moment.”

She turned her back and walked to the spot beneath the wall clock. From behind her came Lord Chatham’s gruff rebuke. “Edwina, I thought a heart used to beat inside your chest. Did it disappear when you received that dratted title?”

Winifred tuned out the sound of the countess’s angry gasp, for Remington appeared beside her. His mouth twisted in a lopsided smile.

“I believe this situation is affecting all our nerves. But I’d like to thank you for not taking the countess’s position against me.”

“No need to thank me, sir.” She grasped her hands together so tightly she flinched from the pain. “I believe in fairness, and the countess seems determined to condemn you unjustly.”

“My dear Miss Merryweather.” Remington leaned an arm against the wall, his elbow grazing the bottom of the clock and nudging it aside. “If there’s one thing I’m learning about you…” His words shut off as the wall moved from under him. Knocked off balance, he stumbled back. Like a pendulum, the wall swung around, striking Winifred and crashing her body against his. Together, they dropped through an opening that yawned beneath them.   


This will be available for sale at Whimsical Publications late summer 2010. To view the book reel, please see this link at You Tube



  1. Cheryl says:

    MISS MAE!!!!

    I love this excerpt! Fantastic description, and I was right there in the room with them all…then falling down the hole. LOL

    We had to read Dickens in high school, too, and I must say that what we were reading was not all that enjoyable for me at the time. I think it was Great Expectations, then later Oliver Twist. We had a very “dry” teacher, who didn’t enjoy it either, I don’t believe, and made little effort to explain the language nuances and so on–so for a 9th grader, it was a bit like reading Greek. LOL But I did love the pattern of the writing.

    Your books sound wonderful and VERY intriguing!

  2. Great excerpt, Miss Mae!

    Sounds like an intriguing story and I’m already hooked by Remington!!

  3. Miss Mae says:

    Hi Cheryl and Susan,

    Thanks so much for coming over and leaving a comment. I can’t wait for the book to be re-released. I love it so much! 🙂

  4. Oh Wow! What’s going to happen when they go through the opening in the wall? Intriguing. Congratulations on all of your writing success. I have several of your books on my TBR list and can’t wait to get started on them.

  5. Lyn says:

    Miss Mae, what a tantalizing excerpt. – and this book is amazing. Readers – If you haven’t read it yet, and fancy a bit of Victorian intrigue, ‘It’s Elementary My Dear Winifred’ will have you on the edge of your seat half afraid to turn the page, but completely unable to stop yourself!

    I loved ‘See No Evil My Pretty Lady’ too. You really capture the essence and atmosphere of Victorian London, MM and it’s such an intriguing story.

    Good luck and much success in all you do, Miss Mae, you have a rare and wonderful talent for intrigue, romance and mystery!

  6. Miss Mae,

    Great interview. I always learn something new about you.

    Fatastic excerpt.! Winifred and Remington thrown down into a dark pit together.”

    “What lies ahead? Will this young couple be swallowed up in the chasm, or will they overcome by sheer ingenuity??? Read the book to discover their fate.” LOL

    Let us know when this comes out. I’d like to have Whimsical’s version.

  7. Wow, fantastic excerpt, Miss Mae! I loved See No Evil My Pretty Lady and I can’t wait to read this one!

    I loved when we read Dickens in high school, Sherlock Holmes and Poe as well. I had a very theatrical English teacher that year and he really brought those stories to life for us.


  8. Miss Mae, you know I’m a great fan of you and your work, m’dear! This excerpt drew me right into the web of suspense and I can’t wait for the release. I’ve already red When the Bough Breaks, and no doubt will be anxiously awaiting another fast-paced edge of the seat book by summer’s end. Best of luck with sales, and I adore the name Remington!

  9. Miss Mae says:

    Hello, everyone! Thank you so much for dropping by Lyn, Gail, Laurean, Nicole, and Sharon. I appreciate your kind words of support and encouragement so much.

    For those who haven’t read “Winifred”, I hope you will once it becomes available. Let me just say — you’ve not read another quite like it! LOL

    Hugs to all!

  10. Anne Patrick says:

    Great excerpt MM! I’m looking forward to reading it.

  11. Great to have you with us today, Miss Mae. Your story sounds fantastic and one of my favorite genres.

  12. A fan of your books, WINIFRED is my all time favorite. You definitely have the knack for writing Victorian, Miss Mae.

  13. Miss Mae says:

    Hi Anne, Paisley, and Danielle!

    I’m so glad you were able to come by. Anne, I hope you can read it when it comes out. 🙂 Danielle, you’re great, thank you. I’m so glad you enjoyed Winifred! And Paisley, and Isabel, and to all the “Victorian” minds behind this blog, thank you so much for having me. It’s been a treat! 🙂


  14. carolyndee says:

    Miss Mae, Tantalizing excerpt. I look forward to reading the entire book. Thanks for sharing.

    Caroline Clemmons

  15. Michele Bell says:

    That excerpt was like having one bite of cheesecake . . . it wasn’t enough! I can’t wait to read this book!

  16. Miss Mae says:

    Hi Carolyn, and Michele! Thank you both so much for coming over! When you read the book, please let me know what you think, I’ll be dying of curiosity!

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