Release Date: 28 October 2016
Publisher: Fireborn Publishing
Heat Level: 1
A family estate falling into ruin. A young woman thrown into an unfamiliar world. Two brothers at odds over their secret. And an ancient malice that threatens destruction and death.
December 1822, Wiltshire, England
When Catherine goes to live with her highborn cousin's family at Brougham Hall, she expects restrictions on her previously free lifestyle and comments on her lack of social grace. What she does not anticipate is the loss of her heart, nor a web of dark family secrets that threaten the safety of everyone in the house.
Vampire twins Hal and James are Lord Grovely's guests. Though close in some respects, the different approach each takes to his vampiric nature puts a strain on their relationship. Having hoped for a pleasurable sojourn, they find themselves drawn into an unfolding drama in which their brotherly bond will be sorely tested.
She shivered as she peeled off her layers of clothing. It was cold in the room now night had fallen, so she did not dawdle, wanting to get beneath the blankets and warm her frozen skin. She slipped into her shift and bed jacket, and then tucked the loose strands of her hair into her night cap. Ready at last, Catherine turned back the bed, extinguished the lamp, and climbed in.
The darkness in the room was absolute. The lack of illumination in the hallway beyond precluded even a sliver of light from entering the chamber, and Catherine found her other senses heightened by the restriction on her vision. As she lay there, she heard creaks and groans, and the wind buffeted the windowpane as it roared past. Somewhere outside, an owl hooted. Then came whispers. It sounded as if two people were talking in urgent, hushed tones. Their voices were soft at first but grew louder as they approached, even though Catherine could not make out the words they spoke.
“Who's there?” Her own voice sounded tremulous and high.
She listened, but the voices were gone. No, not gone; they had never been there to begin with. She was exhausted, and this was her first night in a strange house and an unfamiliar bed. It was natural she would feel anxious and hear things that were not there. Nonetheless, if she carried on in this manner, she would soon convince herself a ghost was hovering at the foot of her bed, and that was nothing but nonsense. With this reprimand in mind, she closed her eyes and settled down to sleep.
I am offering an eBook copy of my MF PNR short story Canção do Amor to two lucky readers. To be in with a chance to win, please comment on this post, telling me your favourite historical period. I will review comments across all participating blogs at the end of the tour and will randomly select the winners, whom I will contact privately by 6 November, as well as announcing them on my FB and Twitter feeds. (Prize value US$0.98 / GB£0.99)
Nicki J. Markus (aka Asta Idonea) was born in England, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.
Nicki launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!
As a day job, Nicki works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel; all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.
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