DEVIL IN THE MAKING (FREE DOWNLOAD)
Every devil has a beginning…
A rebellious young nobleman’s prank with the king’s lion goes comically awry, leading to a startling chain of events.
A riotous Georgian romp in the tradition of Fielding’s Tom Jones and a prequel to the Devil DeVere series.
“How many times did I wonder what Devil DeVere was like as a younger man to start him along the lusty larger than life journey that became the intriguing man I met in Wild Night’s Bride? There are hints and flashback memories through the series that made me more than curious. So when I was given the chance to read this prequel story of just that very thing, there was no way I was going to say no when I was offered the book for honest review. But then to discover that each chapter came with a lovely jewel-toned illustrated page that could only serve to enhance what was written? Hey, that’s just icing on an already decadent cake.This was the first time I have read an illustrated adult novella so I have to say that the artwork was phenomenal. Not only were the characters portrayed just as I would imagine them to look; the facial expressions and the ability of each illustration to communicate the scene were fantastic. As I stated before, the rich jewel tones were a feast for the eyes and I adored the attention to historical authentic detail. Polina Ipatova and Victoria Vane who worked together to bring us the illustrated story are definitely a powerful one-two punch.” – Sophia from The Delighted Reader
Westminster School- 1764
“The epic poets of ancient times composed histories of Greek heroes in rhyming verse, chanted by the Rhapsodes in accompaniment by the cithara. The meter employed was dactylic hexameter…” Dr. Trasker’s droning monotone faded to the far periphery of Simon’s consciousness as he reviewed the first lines of his own poetic composition, An Ode to a Milkmaid of St. James Park.
Lovely Lavinia, a comely lass,
With ripe pink teats and plump white arse,
Ha’penny paid will fill your cup
He thoughtfully chewed the nub of his quill.
But for a shilling, she’d liefer tup…
He flourished the last line with a self-satisfied smirk.
“Master Singleton.” The stentorian voice halted the rhythmic scratch of Simon’s quill.
Simon looked up blankly.
“I await your response,” the schoolmaster intoned.
“Homer and Hesiod,” Ned coughed from behind.
“Master Chambers!” The schoolmaster’s rebuke turned upon the second offender.
“Sir?” Ned answered.
“Since you are so desirous to impart your scholarship, you shall now stand and enlighten the class on the Elegiac couplet.”
“The Elegiac couplet?” Ned repeated.
“Now, Master Chambers,” the taskmaster commanded.
Ned stood, his ears reddening with the snickers of his classmates.
“You seem unprepared, Chambers,” the pedagogue accused.
“N-no, sir. Indeed not. I only wish to understand. Is it the meter for elegy, or the couplet itself that you wish me to explain?”
“You are stalling.”
“Beware, Ned,” DeVere whispered from across the aisle, “lest you inspire him to invoke the holy name of the birch. The goddess of discipline. The handmaiden of higher learning.”
Ned cleared his throat to disguise a choke of laughter and then recited, “The Elegiac meter is customarily described as a dactylic hexameter followed by a dactylic pentameter, which together form an Elegiac couplet.”
Trasker’s beady eyes narrowed. “That is correct, Master Chambers. Now then, let us hope your benighted classmates have been equally attentive.” With visible disappointment the pedagogue took up his notes to resume his lecture.
Perceiving his chance to share his bawdy masterpiece, Simon reached across the aisle to DeVere— just as Trasker’s bespectacled gaze rose from his notes. Simultaneously, Simon and DeVere snatched back their hands, leaving the lone sheet of parchment to drift slowly to the floor with the quiet grace of an autumn leaf.
“What is this?” Trasker snapped, advancing upon them with a militant look.
“Bugger!” Simon muttered.
The sixth form collectively inhaled as Trasker retrieved the fallen parchment and scanned the brief lines. He then transfixed a sulfurous stare back upon his first victim, demanding, “Master Singleton? Are you the author of this lewd and scurrilous verse?”
Simon closed his eyes with a gulp, knowing full well what would follow his confession. He drew courage and then drew breath but another spoke before he opened his mouth.
“Mea culpa,” DeVere volunteered.
Trasker spun toward DeVere, his gaze narrowed to a slit. “You, my lord?” An evil smile thinned his lips. It was no secret that Trasker, who had advanced to his position by scholarly merit alone, despised the rich and indolent— and none more than the impudent heir to a viscountcy, Ludovic DeVere.
This could not be good.