I’ve done it, and I deserve a pat on my back. I’ve written my first Gothic mystery romance, formatted on my own and uploaded not only on Amazon but on iTunes, Kobo and B&N as well. (Still waiting for that B&N link, though.) This is a 38K-word novella, and it’s priced at only $0.99.
House at the Edge is the second novella in the “A World of Gothic” series of mystery romances written by authors from around the world. Last month, Marie Treanor presented her Ghost in the Rain, a gripping story set in the Scottish Highlands. This month, the Gothic tour stops on a remote Greek island, but unlike my contemporary summery romances, this time, the setting is in the dead of winter, and my heroine is almost dead inside. Who’s better to deal with a rumored haunted mansion? Read on for the blurb, an excerpt and how you can read the story for free.
House at the Edge
He wants her out of his house. The house agrees…
After losing everything—her family, her home, her sense of self—former heiress, Daphne Alesi, has no choice but to start anew. Broke, unwanted, and suffering from a rare condition that makes defining her emotions mind-numbingly difficult, the only thing she has left is a strong will to survive.
Starting over on a remote Greek island, in the dead of winter, just because it was her grandmother’s birthplace might be a foolish plan, but staying in England is not an option.
The people of Alonissos are far from welcoming, not least the brooding recluse whose home she literally invades. The infamous House at the Edge is rumored to host a ghost—the soul of the enigmatic owner’s deceased wife. But it will take more than an angry spirit to send Daphne fleeing.
Being emotionally detached has some benefits, after all.
House at the Edge – Excerpt
Darkness fell swiftly yet anything but silently. The vicious wind whipped my hair, its low keening whistle torturing my ears. Rain lashed my skin, my clothes quickly becoming a drenched straitjacket. I’d been pounding at the door for what seemed like hours, but the continuous rumble of the thunder that echoed long after it had clapped drowned any noise my fist managed to produce.
The question was burning me up. Who had pushed me out? Because I’d been pushed, there was no doubt about it. It had been neither my imagination nor a strong gust of wind. Hands. Human hands had shoved me out. I could still feel their imprint on my shoulder blades.
Clutching my sides, I trotted down the steps and peered at the top floor windows, dragging my sopping hair out of the way with one hand. Lightning slashed the sky, and that’s when I saw it. A fuzzy outline against a dimly lit backdrop, its head hidden behind a black cloak.
“Open the door,” I yelled at the top of my lungs, but the violence of the storm swallowed my voice. I scanned the ground for a stone. There was one near the barrel. I hurtled it toward the window. I missed. I couldn’t spot more loose stones around me, only half-buried rocks. Grasping a jagged edge, I pulled and pulled, but even though the ground was slushy, it wouldn’t give. Using my nails, I dug around the rock and freed it. Tears of frustration mingled with the rain in my eyes. It was too heavy. I could barely lift it, let alone throw it far.
Exhausted, I lifted my eyes to the window, high above me. Rain pelted down on me, but I knew what I saw.
The cloaked figure shook its head.
Then the light went out, and the window turned into a black hole.
The next book in the “A World of Gothic” series will come out soon. This time, it’s Alicia Dean’s turn. Alicia conceived the idea of assembling authors from around the world to write Gothic mystery romances, and she also edits our books. In other words, everything that comes out of this endeavor we owe to her.
Keep an eye out for Alicia’s “Devil’s Promenade” – A World of Gothic: USA, out on June 30.
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Thanks for reading!