I'm in the Halloween Spirit. After all, my fellow lovers of Dark Things, this is the most wonderful time of year. We can decorate our homes and yards with all the lovely little skulls and ghosts and no one blinks or thinks we're weird. We fit in, for one month out of the year. So, Let's Celebrate the Dark Side. I'm giving away free copies of my Gothic Romance to readers here. All you have to do is use the coupon code at the end of this blog and you've got a full length 400 page Gothic Romance Novel Free on me.
Excerpt From Dark Hero, A Gothic Romance:
Just to bring you up to speed: Donovan, the main character, the Dark Hero in the story, is a doctor and a scientist. He cuts up dead bodies, and preserves specimens. His laboratory, like that of any scientist, is sort of creepy for the rest of the world to enter, as he has his preserved specimens of both animals and human remains on display.
An hour later, Donovan summoned Miss Ramirez to his laboratory.
Seated behind his desk, he watched the woman’s reaction to the preserved specimens adorning the shelves. As a rule he didn’t allow strangers into his laboratory, particularly women, who tended to be squeamish. The one time he summoned Elizabeth here he’d had the more offensive specimens covered by a canvas to preserve her tender sensibilities.
The rest of humanity could run shrieking from him and good riddance.
Elizabeth was the one person he did not wish to repulse with his studies in anatomy.
Miss Ramirez started and gasped as she saw the grinning skull on his desk. “El Diablo!”
“Not the devil, one of his hirelings.” Donovan replied. “I killed him and fed his body to the sharks. Sit, Miss Ramirez.” He gestured to the chair.
She regarded him with horror, as if he would slit her throat if the mood took him.
Smiling, Donovan gestured again to the seat opposite his desk.
With reluctance, she sank into the chair. “Please, do not send me away.” The woman blurted, near the point of tears. “I talk too much, it annoys my lady—I will try to be—“
Donovan raised his hand, indicating silence. “I did not summon you here to reprimand you. I need your assistance. How long has the ghost been haunting Elizabeth?”
“You know about the spirit, my lord?” Her eyes grew wide with alarm.
“She visited us last night. It threw Elizabeth to the floor, right in front of me.”
“Dios! I did not think the spirit would attack her in your presence.”
“What does she want?”
Chloe clutched the arms of the chair and pressed her lips together, as if the truth might fly from them unbidden. Her doe-like eyes begged him not to ask her to betray her lady.
Donovan maintained his impervious stare.
She crumbled. “I do not know, my lord!”
“Has Elizabeth said anything to you regarding the ghost? Who is it?”
“Her mother, my lord.”
Donovan’s heart chilled at the woman’s words. “Her mother? What does she want?”
“I do not know, my lord. My lady does not speak of her mother at all. She talks about her grandmother often, but . . .” The woman paused. Her eyes took on a terrified cast as something slowly became apparent to her.
“Elizabeth is being harmed.” He insisted in a severe tone. “If you have any insights, no matter how slight, now would be the time to share them, Chloe.”
She stared at him, considering her predicament: angering the master, who paid her wages, versus reporting the truth to him about his lady. Her lower lip quivered, her eyes brimmed with rising tears.
Bloody Hell, Donovan cursed silently. That last thing he needed was another weepy female to deal with. Lizzie had been weeping off and on for days, and he fully expected that storm to worsen before it was over. He loved Lizzie, and dealing with her tears left his heart in shreds. He couldn’t endure a bout of hysterical weeping from another woman—he’d rather die, by his own hand.
As he glowered impatiently at the servant, waiting for her to explode into an annoying torrent of tears, she straightened her spine, clasped her hands together tightly, and appeared to tuck her raging emotions neatly away beneath her colorful shawl for another day.
“At first,” She sniffled, and went on in a throaty voice, “The spirit did not harm Madame. She appeared a few times to her at night and during the day she would toss items about my lady’s room. Several times, we would find the wardrobe emptied all over the floor. After questioning me as to the reason for the mess, my lady realized it was the spirit doing this to get her attention. She said her mother was a having a—Oh!” She spun her hand in the air. “—acting like a child who does not get its way? I do not know the word, my lord.”
“Having a tantrum?”
“Yes, that is the word my lady used. Every few days there would be an incident. Madame and I would pick up the mess and she cautioned me to keep silent. Lately, the spirit started attacking her. My lady has been pushed, slapped, shoved, and once she was locked in a closet.”
“Yet, you did not come to me.” Donovan chastened.
“My lady swore me to silence, my lord. And you are a man of science,” She gestured around the room. “What could I have said to make you believe my tale?”
The woman did have a point. He would not have believed her—not before last night.
“Nothing like this happened on the ship. These attacks seem to have begun after our arrival here. What could have disturbed her mother’s spirit since then?”
Her dark eyes moved about the room, from the stuffed raven to the owl and the lizard perched on the shelf behind him as if seeking the answers. “There is a magic charm in Madame’s possession. She discovered it among her grandmother’s things after we unpacked her trunks. My lady believes the charm is a protection against nightmares.” The maid tugged her shawl about her. Her dark eyes widened. “But it is pure evil, my lord.”
Donovan pondered her words. Maureen’s ghost had said Elizabeth’s ancestors were sorcerers. If senile Old Sheila had fashioned a malicious charm, it seemed prudent to remove it from Elizabeth. “Find it. Bring it to me.”
Dark Hero, A Gothic Romance is available FREE at Smashwords.com. This is an exclusive offer only for readers of this blog. Coupon is good through Oct. 31st 2012. Have a Halloween Treat on me!
If you would like a free e-book copy of Dark Hero use coupon code TN97B at the checkout at Smashwords.com
Chills to You,