Staff & Crown (Or, Shenanigans at Trenthams)

Ever since I wrote Masque, I’ve wanted to write the adventures of Annabel and Isabella at Trenthams. I’m very fond of Finishing School stories–and more so of stories where Finishing Schools are turned upside down–so it was obvious from the start that it was going to be an eventful attendance. And if you consider that I was hugely fond of the original St. Trinians movies, you’ll probably begin to get something of an idea about what I like to see in a girl’s school…

So, I’m hugely pleased to announce that Staff & Crown is finally finished (pending a full edit and a couple proof-reads) and, if you didn’t already know, is on Preorder for a February 28th release (Amazon & Kobo). And since anyone who has been following along on my Facebook Page knows that I just love to post excerpts–here! Have an excerpt!


The girls were still milling around in the classroom, laughing and talking without being too concerned about going on to their next lesson in any prompt manner, but it wasn’t until Annabel looked around and saw the absence of the teacher she had expected, that she understood why.

Of Isabella, quietly, she asked, “What did you do to the teacher?”

“Nothing at all!” Isabella said, with wide eyes. “I do assure you, Nan! Only I fancy she won’t be coming out of her room at any stage soon, because I did hear there was a snake in her room. Imagine, Nan! The poor creature must be confused—it keeps circling the bed as if it can’t see which way to go!”

“I suppose the teacher’s on the bed,” Annabel said, trying not to grin too much. “Wait, wasn’t this a Place Setting class?”

“I wonder why I gave you a schedule, Nan; really I do.”

“But isn’t it the Meal Matron who takes this one?”

“Astonishing, isn’t it?” Isabella said. “The Meal Matron is such a strong, fearless woman. Who would have imagined that she would crumble so completely in the face of a harmless little grass snake?”

“You, probably,” said Annabel, without mincing words. “Belle, how in the world can you handle snakes when you’re afraid of horses!”

“Snakes,” said Isabella firmly, “are lovely, soft, sensitive creatures who are greatly misunderstood. Horses—now horses, Nan, are a wicked combination of muscle and sheer, errant determination not to do what is expected of them.”

“All right,” Annabel said, still grinning. “But I’d prefer to deal with horses rather than snakes.”

“So, it appears, would the Meal Matron.”


8 thought on “Staff & Crown (Or, Shenanigans at Trenthams)”

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorJanuary 31, 2018 at 11:59 amEditReply

      Yep! Only 28 days! Whoop!

  1. Mei-Mei January 31, 2018 at 12:27 pmEditReply

    Can’t wait!

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorJanuary 31, 2018 at 12:33 pmEditReply

      Me too! 😍

  2. Elisabeth Grace Foley February 1, 2018 at 9:19 amEditReply

    One of my favorite comfort-read type of books is the kind with mischievous boarding-school girls getting into various scrapes—they seemed particularly good at writing those around the turn of the 20th century (e.g. Just Patty by Jean Webster and Bab: A Sub-Deb by Mary Roberts Rinehart are some of my favorites). So this sounds like a lot of fun. Do you think mischievous-boarding-school-girls could be called a niche genre? 🙂

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorFebruary 1, 2018 at 7:41 pmEditReply

      Yes! I used to love reading those older ones! Especially the short stories, for some reason. Now I’m gonna have to check out the two you mentioned…

      And yes–definitely a niche genre! One I wanted to write in, just quietly, when I first started writing…

  3. Elizabeth February 8, 2018 at 8:08 amEditReply

    Isabella is giving me strong vibes of P. G. Wodehouse’s Psmith. He has a way of making the most outrageous prank appear to be a completely natural thing to do 🙂 I absolutely love school stories as well, especially Wodehouse’s!

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorFebruary 8, 2018 at 1:05 pmEditReply

      😀 I loved Wodehouse’s Psmith! I haven’t read Wodehouse in quite a while, so I’ve got to get back to his books for some light, crazy enjoyment again.

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