Friday, May 27, 2011
I'm the author of over eighty published books, both in paper and electronic. These include the various romance genres--gothic, suspense, contemporary, historical, Regency and paranormal--as well as other genres such as mystery, fantasy and horror. I have used the pseudonyms--Ellen Jamison, Diana Stuart, Olivia Sumner--but now write under my own name with the exception Zebra/Pinnacle romances where I write as Jane Anderson.
Hallow House Blurb for Part One and Part Two:
"Do you ever miss the city?" Alicia asked. Though they'd led a quiet life in
San Francisco, still they had taken in the sights and occasionally gone shopping. Here there was nothing to do other than needlepoint.
"When Boris is at home, there is nothing to miss," Tabitha said, smiling. She placed a hand over her lower abdomen. "And soon we'll have a son to keep us company."
Though she knew little about child bearing, Alicia had heard many women suffered unpleasant symptoms when carrying a child--nausea and light-headedness among them. Tabitha was already showing a definite bulge, but had been remarkably healthy so far. She hadn't had a single strange turn, either. If only it lasted.
They reached the end of the drive, stopped and examined the snarling wolves crouched atop the posts.
"How fierce they look," Tabitha said. "Quite frightening. I do admire the pink marble, though."
As they walked back toward the house, she added, "I believe I'd like a St. Francis statue done in that same lovely marble."
"A charming idea. Perhaps you might have a grotto built among those pines."
"Yes, with animals around the statue and a bird perched on his shoulder. I shall speak to Boris about it when he returns.
We might--" she paused and reached a hand to stop Alicia. "Do your hear that strange noise? Whatever can it be?"
Alicia did hear something odd. A rattle? She knew there were rattlesnakes in the area, but this seemed to be coming from a distance. Quite near the house, she judged.
"I can't tell what's causing it," she told Tabitha. "Since we don't know, it's best if I take you inside and send a man to investigate."
"No. I must see for myself."
Alicia bit her lip. Though Tabitha was usually tractable, when she slipped into one of her spells, she was sometimes impossible to reason with.
Alicia hoped this was merely a whim and nothing else.
"You must think of the child you carry," she said firmly, taking her cousin's arm.
"Come, we'll go round to the front of the house and--"
Tabitha pulled away. "The sound is not in that direction. I want to discover
what it is."
"Quite possibly it is one of the groundsmen working."
"No, it's not. I'm meant to go there."
Alicia's heart sank. In this state, Tabitha was unreasonable. Nothing short of brute force would prevent her from heading for the rattling sound.
By herself, Alicia wasn't capable of picking up and carrying her cousin, all she could do now was to humor her and try to keep her safe. Likely enough
there was nothing to harm either of them anyway.
She gave one last try. "Boris wouldn't want you to put yourself at any
Tabitha acted as though she hadn't heard her, walking faster and faster in the direction of the sound. Hurrying after her, Alicia hoped her cousin would be more tractable once they discovered the source.
Ahead, in the newly planted rose garden, an oddly dressed, bent-over figure appeared to be engaged in some kind of a dance. The rattling sound came from something he held. Alarmed--it couldn't possibly be one of the grounds
workers--Alicia caught up to Tabitha and tried to stop her.
With the extra strength Tabitha possessed in her spells, she thrust Alicia away, approaching the stranger, but stopping several feet away from him, thank heaven.
The man wore some kind of bizarre feathered cloak and head-dress and a loincloth. He had on what appeared to be shoes made of reeds. As she joined her cousin, Alicia realized he must be an Indian.
Seeing them, he raised a stick with snake rattles attached, shook it.
"No!" Tabitha screamed, clutching the bulge in her abdomen.
Excerpt: Hallow House: Part Two:
By the time John returned, Samara had fallen asleep on Vera's bed. Though exhausted, Vera lay with her eyes open, the small cuts on her body smarting, unable to stop thinking about what had happened.
"Johanna?" she asked, sitting up carefully so as not to rouse Samara.
"Irma's bringing her up. I though Johanna should wake in her own crib." He glanced at the sleeping Samara.
"Poor child, none of this is her fault," Vera said, her voice low. "She blames herself, but--"
"I blame myself." John shook his head. "I've been blind to everything but my own misguided hatred." He touched his daughter's hair lightly. "He tried to talk to me about Johanna and I hardly listened. The baby was an annoyance I was sorry existed."
"But you did hire me," Vera said.
He put his hand to her cheek and she saw his eyes were bright with unshed tears. "Vera...: He his words trailed off and he removed his hand as Irma came into the room with Johanna."
"She's still sleeping, poor little tike," Irma said.
John held out his arms. "I'll take her." They disappeared into the nursery.
"Needing to see with her own eyes that Johanna was all right, Vera slipped out of bed and followed them.
Before she reached the crib Irma stopped her. "I thank the Lord you're all right. Was it the boy all this time?"
Unable to speak, Vera nodded.
Irma sighed. "What a terrible night." Her eyes focused on Vera and she drew in her breath. "He hurt you."
"Not seriously, I'll be fine."
"Best you get right back into bed and rest."
Vera put an arm around Irma's shoulders, leading her gently from the nursery toward the door of her room. "You must get some sleep, too. You've done more than your share, keeping the maids from hysterics, taking care of Johanna and Samara."
"Little enough," Irma said, looking gratified. "You were a gift from God to this house," she added as she left.
If only I could have found a way to help Sergei before it was too late, Vera thought, knowing in her heart it had already been too late before she ever set foot in the house.
As she walked back into the nursery, the image came back to her of Sergei reflected in the mirrors as he laughed and brandished the knife and she shuddered, wishing she could banish the memory forever.
Then she noticed John standing beside the baby's crib and joined him,
"Johanna sleeps so soundly." A thread of worry ran through his words. "She's so tiny, so fragile."
Vera felt for a pulse in the baby's neck. Strong and regular. "I don't think she's in danger. The drug wasn't meant to harm her, just keep her quiet. At least she won't remember tonight."
What is Janet Lane Walters (Dame Amber)up to now? Find out at www.JewelsoftheQuill.com
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