excerpt from Mercy

As it turned out, Grace was wrong.  Wilson opened the front door to reveal the Duke of Blackthorne standing on the front steps.  “Good morning, your grace,” he intoned, stepping aside to let him in.  A footman appeared to take his hat and cape.  “I believe Lord Huntwick went into the study after he finished breakfast.  Shall I announce you?”

“Actually, I’ve come to see Miss Mercy Ackerly, Wilson.”

Wilson spotted O’Reilly just entering the foyer and motioned him over.  “Please show his grace to the drawing room, and then go to the garden and inform Miss Mercy she has a caller.”

Sebastian followed O’Reilly to the drawing room.  When he was sure they were alone, he bent and spoke to the much smaller footman in a low voice.  “Thank you for keeping me abreast of Mercy’s schedule.”

The diminutive footman’s craggy face split into a pleased smile.  “I was happy to help, your grace.”  He’d been sneaking notes out the front door when he became aware of the family’s movements each day and placing them beneath one of the flower pots for Sebastian to find.  It was by this means that Sebastian had been able to make an appearance at each event Mercy attended.

“With any luck, by the time my conversation with Miss Ackerly is concluded this afternoon, such services will no longer be required.”

The footman nodded.  “Shall I go and let her know you’re here, your grace?”


O’Reilly bowed and trotted off.  Sebastian strolled to the windows that opened into the back garden, arriving just in time to see O’Reilly cross the expanse of lawn to speak to Mercy, who was lying flat on her stomach beneath a tree reading a book.  She looked up as O’Reilly approached, glanced toward the house, said something, and then went back to her reading.  Sebastian watched O’Reilly make the trek back to the house.

“Miss Mercy is not in, your grace.”

Sebastian, still looking out the window, chuckled.  “O’Reilly, please inform Miss Ackerly that I can see her,” he said without turning around.

“Yes, your grace.”  O’Reilly left the room, made the trip across the lawn again, spoke with Mercy, and then came back inside.  “Miss Mercy said to tell you that she is still not in, your grace.”

Sebastian shook his head and turned around.  “Would you please ask her when she will be in?”

O’Reilly shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other.  “She said that you would ask me that, your grace.”

“Did she give you an answer to give me, as well?”

The small footman nodded.  “Miss Mercy said to tell you that she doesn’t expect herself back for quite some time, your grace.”

The duke raised an eyebrow and glanced out the window again. Mercy was reading peacefully, twirling one auburn strand of hair around a finger.  “In that case, O’Reilly, please inform Miss Ackerly that I will be happy to wait.”  He walked to a nearby chair, sat down and crossed his legs.

O’Reilly stared at him for a moment, and then found his voice.  “Yes, your grace.”  He bowed and left the room again.  Sebastian didn’t bother watching from the window this time.  He had no doubt that Mercy would happily leave him sitting here all day.

Ten minutes later, Grace walked into the drawing room.  Sebastian stood politely.  “Good morning, your grace.”

“Good morning, Lady Huntwick.”  He smiled.  “I trust your day is pleasant, so far.”

“My day, so far, has been interesting.”  She laughed.  “How long do you intend to take up space in my drawing room, please?”

“Until your sister comes in and speaks with me.”  Grace gave him a long look.  She hadn’t had the opportunity to talk to him herself since the night Mercy snuck over to his townhouse in the middle of the night.  He looked back at her steadily.  As if reading her thoughts, he added, “I shouldn’t have let her leave with you that night.  At least not until she agreed to become my wife.”

“Has it come to that?”  Grace crossed her arms and walked to the window.  “She’s almost halfway through her book,” she remarked.

“She can’t ignore me forever.”

“Oh, I think she can.  And she might.”  Grace smiled at him.  “May I offer you some refreshment while you wait?”

“It’s a bit early for brandy.”

“I’ll send tea, then.  And I’ll let Lord Huntwick know you’re here, your grace.”

The tea arrived presently.  Sebastian sipped it, and then carried his cup back over to the window.  Mercy had rolled over onto her back and had the book propped on her chest.  She turned a page, glanced toward the house, saw Sebastian in the window and shook her head, returning her attention to the book.

An hour passed.  The hands of the clock on the mantel ticked past twelve.  A light luncheon arrived, and soon after, there was a flurry of activity in the foyer as Viscount Sexton and Mr. Maintree arrived to take Patience driving.  Trevor poked his head in once, laughed out loud at the sight of his friend still cooling his heels, and left again.  Mercy made steady progress through her book, and Sebastian began to wonder what she would do when she reached the end.


60 thoughts on “excerpt from Mercy

      • Glad it is August and you are (hopefully) a bit closer to publication news! And, FYI, if you want one of the Ackerly husbands’ ancestors to fall hopelessly in love with a stunning beauty named Arden, you have my full support! : )


        • I know i have been waiting since last August to read this book. I love the teaser up top and cant wait to read the rest.
          Deneane, please let us know if there is an update on a release date.
          Deapest regards, Tavonia


  1. OMG what a tease hurry up and get it published, Ive been scanning Barnes and Nobel on line and cant find anything good to read and today I fine this I cant wait……..
    Good work and Good Luck …….
    Anna Kelterborn


  2. Ok this is going to be amazing just like the rest, I can’t wait to read all of it!! I can tell it will be one I will read through the night and not be able to put it down. So exicted thanks for once again bringing another great story.


  3. I so can’t wait fortheMercy ebook. Please tell us itwillbe soon…. I ove all the books you wrote of the sisters. So excited… And trying to wait patiently. Thank youforthesmall taste of what’s to come.


  4. I am loving it! I really can’t wait to buy the book. Is there anything we can do to help, so the book gets published? Greetings from Holland.


    • Hullo, Kathleen from Holland : ) I’m as frustrated as all of you, but have resolved to be patient and positive. While I wait, I’m continuing to work on other projects, so even if it takes a little while to resolve the situation with Mercy, hopefully, I can get something else out there for y’all.

      Thank you so much! I hope this finds you well.

      deneane elise


  5. Okay so I am on pins and needles….I am so impatient…..This is definitely going in my nightly prayers…..Great excerpt now I will be even more crazy…..LOVE IT


  6. I am so eager to hear an update that Mercy will be available soon! In the meantime, thanks for this small taste of what we have to look forward to. Since first reading Grace, i’ve anticipated the time when Sebastian would have to face a grown Mercy intent on marrying him. My most sincere wishes for an early resolution to the publishing dilemma. Thanks for providing sustenace while we wait, somewhat patiently. :-)


  7. Any word on Mercy yet? I’m dying here waiting for it to be out!! I love ur books and have wanted to find out how Sebastian does when Mercy is grown!


  8. I am so happy to have just read this little sneak peak. I just finished reading Faith and Charity back to back over the weekend and am hoping to read Mercy soon. Reading about the delay is disappointing but I am happy to know that it will come eventually.


    • Cindy,

      Thank you so much for your patience. I should know something within the next month. My publisher is working on a deal with another publisher. As soon as I hear anything, I’ll post it here : )


  9. Please let it be soon. I have re-read and re-read all the other books and want to know how Mercy snags her Duke.


  10. Have been re-reading and re-reading and really want to see how little Mercy brings her Duke “to heel”. Especially since Ash said he never had intention on offering for anyone. This waiting is too frustrating.


  11. It’s August i cant wait to hear what’s going on w Mercy!! Deneane u have got to be the most patient author ever!! I know it has to be killing u more than its killing us to not have a story u worked so hard on be put on hold! I hope u get happy news soon!


  12. Hi, Deneane, also from Deep South Mississippi, siiting here waiting for Issac and fixing to re-read the first book. They are all three great books.
    Thanks for keeping us entertained.


  13. Thank you for keeping us entertained with such great stories. I am about to re read book one while awaiting Issac here in South Mississippi.
    YOUR A GREATER WRITER!and it shows withall your supporter ready and waitting forMercy,
    Thank you
    From south Mississippi


  14. Hi Deneane,
    So we’re in September and I’am getting very anxious for Mercy’s story…please tell us you have some good news to report! I loved the first three books and have been itching for the next sory.

    Cindy W


  15. Hi from NYC!

    Just wondering how Mercy is coming along, we are already in the second week of September and haven’t heard anything for 2 months. What can we do to speed up the process of getting mercy onto our ereaders…



  16. Just finished reading Grace, Faith and Charity and can’t wait for the next book so I Googled you to see what’s coming….Thrilled to know Mercy’s on the way. Love your books, keep them coming!!


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