Friday, June 15, 2012

NEW Excerpt from Tina Pinson's In The Manor of the Ghost

Devlin heard her before he saw her. She pounded the door, drumming with a precision that resounded through the manor. Then she began to yell and her voice -- because of her lung capacity, no doubt -- echoed the halls.
From the landing, he watched as Perkins allowed her in and led her to the study. He'd hoped to gauge the woman from a safe distance, but a heavy cape covered her head and body.
He spied Perkins and the housemaid, Marla, with their heads bowed in discussion. From the pointed looks in his direction, they discussed the woman and the plans he and Eliot concocted for her. Did they wonder why he was about to do something so idiotic? Did they hope the woman would agree to the plans and give him his just desserts? He never should have discussed his plans with them. They were unhappy. They would never voice it, but it was loud and clear in their frowns.
Unhappy people were a commonality in his world. Scathing diatribes about him and his holdings were commonplace in the county. Why not in his household? He would ignore it. Either that or fire them. And good helpers were hard to find -- no one, unless they were female and of a marrying age, cared to seek employment at Clayborne Manor. Or even visit these days.
He rather liked it that way.
Clearing his throat to make his presence known, he watched somberly as his butler and housemaid disappeared like mist. He berated himself for thinking the worst of them. They said nothing to warrant his mistrust. They'd been with him through worse times without recriminations. Why did he expect them now? Why did it matter? He was the master of his domain. They were hired help. He sighed heavily. Maybe the fact that they'd been with him, faithfully, for years was reason enough. Caring as he did, he desired to know their minds, which compelled him to share his plans in the first place. He would do it again.
Leaning against the handrail at the bottom of the grand staircase, he listened as the woman railed at his lawyer and friend, Eliot Dunlevy -- her brother-in-law -- with clarity and diction. The staff was relegated to the back of his mind.
"What are you doing here?" she growled. "Where is he, Eliot? Where is that monster?" Devlin doubted the raggedness of her breath was merely from the brisk walk to the manor.
"Kaitlin, what happened? The driver informed me you chose to walk in the rain. Why didn't you take the carriage? You could catch your death."
"Death of Cold. Ha. Yet, you expected me to ride in that coach from Hades? I could have caught worse!" She flung the wet cape off her arms. "I bet he borrowed it from his father."
"Kate, let's not go into that." Eliot sighed, pulled his kerchief and wiped his face. "You must be freezing. Let me help you out of that cape. You can stand by the fire. I'll call for the maid to bring you a cloth and water so you can freshen up."
Devlin awaited her next move. The young lady didn't disappoint him. She pumped her fist at Eliot.
"I don't care to stand by the fire or clean up. I have enough water on my person. I don't plan to stay long, Eliot. Just tell me where he is so I can give the man -- and I use that term loosely -- a piece of my mind."
Devlin moved closer and watched from the crook behind the open door as she flipped the cape over her left shoulder and threw a sodden, muddied paper to the desk.
"How dare he think he can make such a request and not be made to answer for it. Who does he think he is? God?"
"Now, Kate. Take a seat and calm down." Eliot threw up his hands then motioned her to a chair.
Devlin found Eliot's exasperation a rare treat. Rare indeed when he'd tried to shake the unflappable manner of his friend occasionally and failed. The slip of a woman had put him to shame. His lips twisted into a grin. She would do nicely.
"Kate, take a seat. Please," Eliot said more firmly. He drew a deep breath when she took her chair. "Mr. Clayborne will not be joining us."
Kaitlin came out of her chair. "Are you telling me that... are you saying he's demanded this drivel but he won't be here to account for it? Has he no backbone? Is that why the sniveling coward sent you?"
Devlin's brows furrowed. His lips pursed. A sniveling coward. A devil. A monster. His fists balled at his sides. Were it a man making these claims, but it wasn't. It was a woman, a mouthy, stubborn woman.
"As his lawyer, I'm here on his behalf."
"So, you're going to stand back and watch while your employer -- blackguard that he is -- rapes the community?" She slammed the desk, and the dull thud reverberated through the room. "How could you? His demands are immoral. Don't you care about those poor children and young women the home is supposed to shelter from ingrates like him? Have you no regard for their well being?"
Eliot's sighs grew wearier. "He's not a blackguard nor is he raping the community. He's not going to harm the home or those housed in it. It's a simple business deal."
"Is that what you call it?" Kaitlin snapped. Eliot shook his head. "A simple business deal?" Kaitlin sniffed. "Ha. It's rape, pure and simple. Those poor women at the home told me all about his past deals. They say he threatens to withhold funds if he doesn't get his way. Now he's withholding funds because he wants some poor girl to be his... his... What's the matter can't the old geezer get what he wants at a brothel? I could strangle the old buzzard."
Blackguard. Old geezer. Old buzzard. Indeed! Devlin's frown intensified. This was too much. He'd celebrated his twenty-eighth birthday, hadn't lost his teeth and he'd never set foot in a house of ill repute. He wanted to march in and set the young lady straight. As a lawyer, he could deal with the legalities himself, but Eliot bade him not to show. He would have to confront her once they married. If they married. It didn't seem like such a good idea now. With his sigh he sounded rather like Eliot.
"Katie, I don't know what you're talking about. Where have you gotten such gross, and might I add, asinine, misconceptions concerning the reputation of my client?"
"I've heard them from near everyone in town."
More so from Greta, Devlin figured, but doubted she'd divulge that.
"If a whole town has misconceptions they can't all be wrong? Your client has a sorry reputation," Kate went on to say.

"His reputation is of the highest standard. I doubt the whole town maligned it. Sounds like Greta to me."
She sniffed. Devlin wanted to tell her a thing or two about Greta, but he stayed quiet and let Eliot deal with his sister-in-law.
"But, let's not go into that. Did you even read the letter?" Eliot asked. He twisted the gold chain on his fob as though he already knew the answer.
Devlin had his own suspicions.

Download this book NOW at http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-92/In-the-Manor-of/Detail.bok

2 comments:

  1. I love the cover. It really gives an eerie feeling.

    You collect castles? Now, that is interesting. I've always wanted a castle with a Laird that resembles my favorite Scot. How many do you have?

    Best of luck with your story. I live next to a community that is most definitely the home of many ghosts - two of which I have had dealings with. Luckily they weren't mean ghosts. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree. All her covers are great. Another will be up in the morning.

    I will have to count the castles, but all sizes and types - models, sand, photos, plates, cups, etc. More than 50. Maybe 100. My husband and a friend built a special cabinet for them. I will post sonn.

    You will enjoy Tina's books. She is a talented author and I am honored to have her visit this week.

    ReplyDelete