My most recent story went up onto Amazon Kindle on 26th December. I had intended to make it Christmas Day, but my timetable slipped a wee bit but hey! Boxing Day is almost as good.
So this story is about Melanie Grey, once a duchess but scarred and lacking confidence as the story opens and she faces the world as a penniless widow. She applies for a post as housekeeper in remote Northumberland, thinking to avoid contact with people as much as possible. Of course, she has no idea how much this simple decision is going to change her life......
A crash woke her. Pitched into wakefulness, heart thundering, she stared across the darkness of her room. Had she dreamed that noise? Then it came again, followed by a hoarse cry. Clutching the covers to her throat, body rigid, she listened.
A faint, choked cry from somewhere within the house. A man’s voice, unmistakably calling her name. Lord Jarrow? Putting fears of marauders and robbers aside, Melanie swung her feet out of bed and groped her toes into her slippers. She felt for her wrap on the chair by the bed, and hastily slung it around her shoulders. Tying the sash as she went to the door, she fumbled for the carved brass handle and stepped out into the corridor.
A faint radiance came from the stairhead, where starlight, or moonlight, perhaps even the approaching dawn, shed light through the dome. She had no idea of the time, but if dawn was approaching, it still had some way to go.
Faint thumps and an occasional grunt came from the lower floor.
The table tucked against the corridor wall held matches and candles. Giving silent thanks for her forethought in storing them there, she struck the match just as a louder groan was followed by a crash that sounded as if it came from the library. A spark flew up. Recoiling, Melanie dropped the match, saw it hit the floorboards and hastily stamped on it. She needed to be careful, for white phosphorous matches caused dreadful burns when a wayward spark hit flesh. Concentrating on what she was doing, she carefully struck the second match and lit the candle.
With the candleholder held aloft like a banner, she hastened to the stairs. The flame flickered wildly, and she slowed in order to shield it with her hand. Cold air rushed into the hall through the open front door.
Leaving the candle holder on the stairs, she approached the heavy door and closed it, shivering in the cold air and praying she hadn’t shut trouble inside the house. Perhaps if she shouted, the Master would come? But surely it was he who had called her name? Hurrying to retrieve her candle, she saw nothing out of the ordinary.
‘Is anyone there?’ Small and quivery in the silence of the hall, her voice seemed lost in the darkness.
Footsteps sounded to her left, and she turned in alarm to the open library door. A faint, flickering light outlined the tall, masculine figure blundering toward her.
I hope you liked the excerpt! If you want to read on, it will cost you a mere £1.11 and here's the buy link: here