My Dear Miss Foley,
I take to my writing desk on the first of each year to complete the correspondence that has lapsed between Christmas and New Year’s Day. As you must know, it is a terribly busy time–
<squawk!> Ratafia abounds! <squawk!>
–and invariably, my epistolary schedule suffers.
I have never, however, been required to draft my first letters of the year with such heavy heart. It is with great sadness that I write this letter — bidding you adieu. I–
<squawk!> AND ALBERT! <squawk!>
–and Albert, of course– we are simply devastated that we shall no longer have the pleasure of your regular company at Beaufetheringstone House. We recall with fondness the way you embraced your invitation to our little gatherings, introducing me immediately to “Regency whup-ass.” While I don’t use the term in general company, I have been known to ease it into conversation with Lord B when necessary.
<squawk!> Marriage requires compromise! <squawk!>
Aside from my own sorrow in missing out on your linguistic innovation, I know that your fellow authoresses–
<squawk!> The lessers! <squawk!>
–shall be devastated by your loss, as well. As they did not have a chance to bid you farewell in person at the last ball of 2012, I offered to pass along their written farewells here. You shall find them enclosed.
<squawk!> Peeker! <squawk!>
Of course, I had to be certain that these were the correct notes, and not for others on my correspondence list. From Miss Neville:
“Before I met Gaelen in person I thought she was clever, funny, a gorgeous writer, and beautiful. In real life I found all these things were true, plus she’s a tiny little thing. Tiny and fierce. She’s someone you’d want to have your back in a fight – and hope I always will. Gael, I’ll miss you chez Lady B.” – Miranda
Fierce, indeed. Surely those gentlemen wouldn’t keep your company if you could not handle them…as Misses Dare and Darby are keen to point out:
“Gaelen, it’s been a delight to mingle in the same ballroom! And your heroic guests, so imbued with warrior spirit have been an inspiration. I do hope you’ll return to visit often–and please do bring all your future heroes around, as well. It would be cruel to deprive us!” — Tessa
“All I know is that we are going to have to make a valiant effort to scrounge up enough handsome, brawling heroes to take the place of Gaelen’s Knight Brothers and Inferno boys. The Ballroom just will not be the same without you! – Sabrina
“In the words of my forebears, Gaelen,
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
And in the words of Bill and Ted,
Party on, dude!
We will miss you. Visit often!” – Katharine
I do not know the William and Edward to whom she refers, but I would like to extend an invitation to them to join us in the ballroom at any time. I do like a party. On.
“Gael, you know I’ve been your biggest fan since your very first book, and I feel blessed to have had 18 months of hanging out with you and your fab characters! I will miss your hilarious comments, your clever turns of phrase, and your instant back-up when we need it. I don’t know how we’ll fill your dancing shoes…and hope you’ll come back and visit any time you have a yearning for lobster patties and time travel! Much much love, Sarah”
I confess, Miss Foley, I’ve had a chance to read all of your books in the past few months, and I must disagree with Miss MacLean. I believe I might be your biggest fan.
<squawk!> And I! <squawk!>
Albert quite likes them, too.
“I was so excited getting to know you on the blog, and you were a great mentor to help introduce a then-newbie like me to the art of the Ballroom. I will miss your constant good humor, and Lady B will be bereft if not for constant visits!” – Kate
Truth from Miss Noble. I haven’t any idea how we will all remain entertained without you. But, As ever, Miss Willig sees the silver lining in this tragic cloud.
“The only consolation for no longer having Gaelen’s wit and charm gracing the ballroom is that it will mean more of her books to enjoy!” – Lauren
Not simply consolation. More books are the only acceptable reason to decline my standing invitation, my dear.
We await them with equal parts excitement and melancholy.
Heliotrope, Lady B–
Your turn, Ballroomies – Give Gaelen your farewells in comments.
One commenter will receive a copy of one of Gael’s books — winner’s choice!
US only, to be chosen Wednesday.