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March 28th, 2014
Mistress of Merrivale in Photos and Words

My Mistress of Merrivale tour continues. I have a spotlight tour at Queen of the Night Reviews, a spotlight and review at Inner Goddess and a spotlight and review at Kawehi’s Book Blog.


There’s murder afoot in Mistress of Merrivale and the finger points at Leo, Jocelyn’s new husband. Here’s a short excerpt…

Tilly sighed. “I’d better follow them before they get up to mischief.”

“I’ll keep an eye on them,” Jocelyn said. “You find Woodley. Spend half an hour with your husband. I’ll send for you once we’re indoors again.”

“You’re an angel,” Tilly said.

Jocelyn shook her head since they’d repeated this conversation many times. Tilly was the saint for dealing with her mother during her bad spells. “Go before I change my mind.”

Tilly left, and Jocelyn trailed her mother and Cassie. The childish chatter and her mother’s soft replies reassured Jocelyn that neither of her charges required aid. She turned a corner and came across a young man trimming a hedge. He nodded in greeting before continuing his task.

A harsh scream cut the air without warning.

Jocelyn started running, lifting her skirts to navigate the twisting path. The young gardener raced behind her, his boots sending gravel flying.

A second scream came from Jocelyn’s right, followed by a high-pitch childish shriek of alarm. Jocelyn changed direction. She sprinted around a corner, her breath emerging in harsh pants and came to an abrupt stop. Her mother was cringing in a corner, a hedge at her back with Cassie squashed behind her rigid frame.

“Mother?” Jocelyn approached slowly, aware of the wildness in her mother’s eyes. “It’s all right. Everything is going to be fine.”

The contents of her mother’s basket littered the path, sprigs of herbs and delicate rose petals crushed beneath her feet. Her fierce eyes scanned a copse of oak trees, and she trembled violently.


Hurried footsteps behind Jocelyn announced Arabella’s arrival. “What have you done to Cassie?” she demanded.

“Nothing,” Jocelyn said tersely. “Mother?”

Cassie started crying and the tears exacerbated her mother’s panic. Elizabeth’s facial muscles twitched. Another violent quake shook her thin shoulders and she shrieked, long and loud. The harsh, grating cry made the small hairs at the back of Jocelyn’s neck lift in foreboding.

“Mother, what is it?”

“The spy. He followed us. He’s here.”

“What spy?” Arabella demanded.

Not again. Jocelyn ignored Arabella to scan their surroundings. She could discern nothing in the garden or amongst the shadows in the trees. “There’s no one there, Mother.”

“There is. There is! He’s hiding.” Her mother’s voice was shrill and she shook uncontrollably.

Jocelyn frowned, concerned about Cassie, who was wailing in earnest. “Mother, you’re scaring Cassie. Can we go inside and talk about it?”

“But the spy will come closer when we’re not looking,” her mother shrieked. “We can’t let him.”

A frustrated sigh escaped Jocelyn. Her mother wouldn’t budge until she proved there was no spy in the vicinity. Meanwhile Cassie continued to cry, her small body almost hidden by her mother’s skirts. Jocelyn turned to the gardener. “Could you check the copse for strangers please?”


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12 comments to “Mistress of Merrivale in Photos and Words”

  1. Oooh…good excerpt!

  2. Thanks, Jennifer.

  3. Spooky dang picture! I think I have nightmares with that faceless jacket-wearer in them. When this gets turned into a movie, can I get an audition for the crazy mother? *lol*

  4. LuAnn – are you sure you want to? You might not have a happy ending ;)

  5. Love that picture! Great excerpt.

  6. It’s great, isn’t it. A perfect one for my villain.

  7. Yeah, this is the stuff of nightmares.

  8. Not someone I’d like to meet in the dark!

  9. Loved the excerpt! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Thanks, Nas.

  11. Very cool image and excerpt:)

  12. Thanks, Tania!