The Dead of Haggard Hall
Darke of Night
Genre: Gothic/historical/paranormal romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Date of Publication: 26th July 2016
Number of pages: 216 (paperback)
Word Count: 71,000
Cover Artist: Kelly Martin
Spirit possession is easy to remedy. Possession of the heart is another matter.
After vicar’s widow and natural medium Barbara Darke loses her respectable teaching position, she reluctantly agrees to become companion to her former pupil Emily, now the bride of young Sir Arthur Haggard.
Once settled at Haggard Hall, Barbara finds her friend is beset by ghostly voices and unexplained deaths. In a maelstrom of dark spirits and wicked emotions, Barbara battles to lay Emily’s ghosts to rest—both hampered and helped by Arthur’s skeptical cousin Patrick, who provokes and attracts her in equal measure.
It would be a mistake to trust a secretive, guilt-ridden man suspected of driving his wife to suicide, if not outright murdering her. And it could well be lethal to give in to her own desires, confused as they often are with the lusts of the dead.
But Arthur and Emily are in genuine physical danger, and suspicion is falling closer and closer to Patrick—the man who haunts Barbara’s sensual dreams. The man who stands to inherit Haggard Hall.
Warning: Contains a medium whose body is open season for spirit possession, and a scandal-ridden journalist who only believes what he can see—and touch.
Emily broke off, clutching my arm as lightning flashed through several windows at once, followed almost immediately by a deafening clap of thunder that seemed to roll right over the roof.
At the same time, a rush of air chilled my scalp, stirring my hair, and several candles in the hall blew out at once, leaving only the dim light from two wall lamps.
Emily’s eyes widened and her mouth opened and closed soundlessly before she managed to say, “That shouldn’t happen, Barbara. You know it—”
As the thunder began to die away, something crashed into the front door opposite us, making us both jump and Emily squeal.
“What’s that?” she whispered in panic.
“It sounds like someone knocking on the door,” I said as calmly as I could.
“Why don’t they ring the bell?” she countered as the banging went on.
I thought about it. “Maybe the bell is broken, which is why the servants don’t hear.” I began to walk across the hall with Emily dangling from my elbow, trying to hold me back. I paused and stared at her. “What? Do you think it’s some evil spirit knocking on the door to get out of the rain?”
She blinked, gave a half laugh, and released my elbow, although she scurried after me the rest of the way to the door. I struggled with the heavy latch, and then, as soon as I began to draw the door back, the wind whipped it out of my hand and blasted me backwards.
At the same time, lightning forked across the sky, flashing over the grim, angular face of a large, soaking-wet man, all hollow cheeks and hard eyes that showed amber like a wolf’s.
Emily let out a cry and fell back, clutching me around the waist as the stranger, water running off him like a fresh shower, strode into the house and forced the door shut once more.
Only, of course, he wasn’t a stranger. My hand crept up over my heart to my throat.
Arthur bolted out of the dining room above, no doubt to see why his wife had screamed, Bela Hiranyi and Henry Faversham at his heels. Arthur was scowling over the banister with concern, until he caught sight of his visitor, when his face relaxed into a grin, and he rushed downstairs.
“Patrick!” he exclaimed, pushing right past us and holding out an eager hand. “We didn’t expect you!”
“Apparently not,” Patrick said dryly.
My worst fears were realized. Arthur’s cousin and unofficial guardian was indeed the man who’d witnessed my mother’s séance so contemptuously the night before I left London. His name was just as my mother had said.
But more than that, something in the way the rain rolled off his soaked person made me think of the agonized man I’d seen crouching in the storm. He carried his torment with him, like an echo which bounced between us.
About the Author:
Marie Treanor lives in Scotland, in a chaotic house by the sea, together with her eccentric husband, three much too smart children and a small dog who rules them all. Most days, she avoids both housekeeping and evil day jobs by writing stories of paranormal romance and fantasy.
Marie is the award-winning author of over forty sexy paranormal romances – Indie, New York and E-published.
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