Thanks so much for having me back on Miss Ivy’s Book Nook.
Many of you know that The Temptation of Lady Serena was the second book I’d ever written. I’d finished The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, without <cough> bothering to learn any writing craft, such as avoiding head-hopping. For the uninitiated, that means changing from one character’s viewpoint to another’s in a short period of time or avoiding prologues unless necessary to the story. I was, you see, of a literary bent.
Below is the original beginning of the book:

SERENA

Prologue

He watched her as she sat atop a raking roan, much too large for a lady, on the crest of the hill. Her riding habit a dull rust color. Her was hair auburn, worn long and curling down her back, topped by a small hat with some sort of feather, pheasant, by the way it stuck out. He wondered how she kept the hat on head with her hair down, but he was too far away to see. His interest piqued, he urged his horse to a trot.
She saw him as he looked up at her. He looked tall, but it was hard to tell at this distance, and on a horse so large. His hair was fair. She watched him until he began to ride towards her. Her aunt warned her not to ride out without at least a groom; she had anyway. She could not imagine anyone else would be out so early. Whirling Shamir around, she rode back her to aunt’s house.
She was gone when he’d reached the top of the hill.

Now let me just say that when an author has a prologue, she (or he is) very hesitant to delete it. For some unknown reason, we fall in love with them, defending them against all reason. I ended up taking a poll of my critique partners before finally giving in to their collective opinions to get rid of it. Fortunately I was able to keep the passage in a different form.

Here is part of what remains, but at the very beginning:

Serena cantered south up a rise and gazed out over the still barren fields. The frost was not as heavy this morning, nor the air quite as cold. It was late, but spring was coming. The land tugged at her. She’d rather be planting than dancing.
A man on a large black horse appeared in the valley and stared up at her. He looked tall, but it was hard to tell at this distance. A breeze ruffled his fair hair as he rode toward her. After a few moments, Serena realized he was riding not simply in her direction, but to her. Her aunt had warned her not to ride alone. Was this man the reason for the warning? Whirling Shamir around, she gave the horse his head and rode back to her to aunt’s house as if someone was chasing her.

What do you think about prologues?  Ella is giving away an ecopy of  THE TEMPTATION OF LADY SERENA to one (1) lucky commenter who answers her question.  Giveaway ends @12am est 1-10-14 with the winner announced shortly thereafter. Good luck!

Ella Quinn lived all over the United States, the Pacific, Canada, England and Europe before finally discovering the Caribbean. She lives in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands with her wonderful husband, three bossy cats and a loveable great dane. Ella loves when friends connect with her.

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