Imaginary Leaks

Imaginary Leaks

21 Years Earlier. Year 1918Cheryl, small, freckle-faced, dark eyed girl with mousy thin lips and hair that cascades straight and almost brittle like pine needles down her tiny, bony frame. You could say the hair was almost as tall as her. 

She stood by the frosted window pane as her father and mother walked down the large steps they’d climbed only a short while ago, daddy dearest holding Cheryl’s small pale hands while mother walked ahead, her perfect behind shaking like a pendulum as she did, and her 4 inch heels clipping. 
“It’s going to be okay, Cher. You’ll see.” Her father hushed from above her, something in his eyes searching for her acknowledgment. “I went to a boarding school too when I was young. Made lots of friends, I did.” He stopped down to her as they reached the front grand door. “You want to make friends, don’t you sweet pea?”
Cheryl eyed the giant doorway, her mother long since disappeared. “I will live here now, Father?”
“Yes, sweet pea, and you will love it, I promise.”
Cheryle had continued to eye the lobby, its dark cold open space uninviting. “Till mummy is happy with me?”
“No, no, darling. Your mummy loves you very much.”
“Lies, Father. We mustn’t tell lies.” Cheryl looked him straight in the eye, her own vacant and full of questions. “Missy says mummy doesn’t want me anymore. Missy says mummy wants only the new baby.”
Her father holds her gently by her shoulders. “Cherry, we talked about Missy, haven’t we?” Cheryl nodded. “And what did we say about Missy.”
Cheryle eyed the blue-eyed blonde girl standing behind her father. A beautiful smile widening on her cherry lips, which put two severe dimples on her side. “Missy is not real, Father.”
“That’s right, sweet pea. Missy isn’t real, okay?” They heard the clipping of her mother’s shoes coming back again, and that’s when father rose. “Now, we will come back and get you for holidays and Christmas. And you must behave or…”
“We will leave you here for good!” Mother interrupted, snatching a Cheryl’s hand away from her father. Mother’s well manicured maroon nails scratched the young child’s arm, drawing blood, not that she cared. “Now,” she barked, “I don’t want to hear any complaints about you, you get it?” Cheryl nodded. “Good then,” the woman straightened up. “Get the car dear. The head mistress will be allowed my shortly for her.” 
Cheryl watched her father do as he was bid and retreat. She wasn’t to know that that would be the last time she’d ever see him again. Or her mother for that matter. That day, all those years ago, Cheryl wasn’t being left in a boarding school. No. That day, young five year old Cheryl Waters was being abandoned by one parent and orphaned to another. The only person left by her side that evening as she watched the car churn up dust down the gravel drive was Missy. Missy who held her hand and quietly whispered. “I’ll look after you now, Cherry.”
Year 1939

“Cheryl, someone is here to see you. Says she knows you. She is waiting at the lobby for you.”
Cheryl nodded, finishing up bandaging April’s hand. April was another resident at the hospital, incapable of looking after herself. Yesterday she’d accidentally got a hold of a pair of scissors and somehow managed to cut her hand with the blades. Over the years, Cheryl had learned to help out the nurses. It was the least she could do to have a roof over her head. Her funds had long since stopped arriving at the school apparently. 
“Who is it?” She finally asked as the nurse started walking away.
Nurse Martha had been working at the hospital for the last decade or so, but even her face was one of disbelief. “She says she’s your mother.”
“Mother?” Missy hissed beside Cheryl who could all but stare in disbelief. For all Cheryl knew, her father had died in the last Great War, and her mother lost interest in Cheryl with it. 
“Tell her I’ll be there in a moment. Whoever she is, she is not my mother, but I’ll see her anyway.”
Nurse Martha nodded and proceeded to go out the room and go about her work. 
“You will not see that woman. You will not Cherry.”

…to be continued…

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Other-worldly (7)

Somewhere on the other side of the world, in the middle of an arid land was a homestead where no man lived. Here, only three generations of women lived, grandmother, mother, and their 8 year old daughter, Phoenix. These three were the Williams girls. They arrived in the little town in the countryside some eight and a half years ago. No man in sight. Just the two women, the younger of which heavily pregnant. They moved into the homestead an hour out in the middle of nowhere, derelict and rundown. Miles away from any real neighbors. It was crazy to think that such a place was suitable for two women alone, one who was in a delicate situation. But alas, Mary and Eliza proved everyone wrong. Within the month or so, their house looked half decent, repairs here and there. Their land looked less and less wild, and they had adopted several sheep and goats.
Here, in this small house, something extraordinary was about to happen. After all, it wasn’t very often a young girl turned nine, or have the okay from the very private ladies of the house for a party. 
Phoenix had been tasked with making a list of everything they would need for a suitably decked out party. Mary, her mother had said they were heading into town that afternoon for shopping. 
‘Can we buy huge cake?’ She asked, eagerly jotted down ‘big cake’ in her list. 
Mary shook her head, and her lone wooden chopstick looking hair pin moved on top of her hair as she did. Her mother always wore that thing. Never a hair band, never an elastic, forever always with that pin in her bun. Guess some people had their rings and necklaces, and her mum had her hair pin. Phoenix had been so curios as a child once that she’d snuck into her mother’s room at night to see if she even worr it to bed. ‘I’ll make you a cake.’

Phoenix’s brows rose. ‘You don’t know how to bake, mum.’

‘Oh, I don’t? Really?’ 
‘I’ve never even seen you turn the oven on,’ she laughed, brushing aside the used black rubber, the result of her erasing out the ‘big cake’. ‘I think grandma does more cooking than you do.’
Mary eyed her mother, too busy watching some crazy videos of cats that Mary just couldn’t see the humor in. ‘Damn right, I do more cooking.’
‘Well, perhaps either of you would like to go work and bring home money? I’ll gladly exchange lives with either of you.’
‘Don’t be silly, mum. I’m eight.’
‘Well then, remember that next time you complain about my cooking. I can’t do everything around here.’ Mary threw the wet clothes in the laundry basket harshly. ‘Hurry up, Phee, we don’t have all day.’ Just as she said this and picked up the basket, she heard the sound of a bird’s sweet call. She stopped in her tracks and dropped the basket on the dinning table next to Phoenix and pulled the list from her. ‘Go get ready, I’ll finish this off. At this rate the shops will close. You and grandma head off once you’re changed.’
‘What about you?’ Phoenix looked perplexed.
‘I’ll come once I’ve done some cleaning. Meet you there. Maybe we will have dinner out.’
Phoenix’s face lit up and she bounded away, just in time to miss Grandma Eliza wandering over to her mother and the bird chirp to sound again. ‘Haven’t heard that call in a long time.’ She looked worrisome at the younger woman. 
‘It’s The Hallow.’ Mary reached in her pocket and pulled out a thick gold coin, the one that looked exactly like Siyon was carrying in the realm of magic, except, the wings of the bird were flapping in slow motion in this, with the call of the bird getting louder. 
‘What would they want after all the things they’ve done?’ Eliza sneered.
‘I don’t care to talk about the past, Neer, just take her away so I can go talk to them.’
Eliza sneered again. ‘Don’t call me that!’
‘Sorry.’
Eliza snapped at the car keys from the table and the list from her hand before hunching away. ‘Be careful.’
‘Always.’
‘Drive safe.’ She called out, watching the duo wave goodbye and step out. 
It was a moment before Mary pulled the pin from her hair and etched out a rune on the table, the wood singed a little before placing the coin on top. ‘Speak.’
‘Are we clear?’ A gravelly male voice escaped. 
‘Yes. It’s just me.’

The Keeper (19)

Three whole days and nights had passed since Mona retuned home from her father’s funeral. Three whole days and nights had passed since she stayed in her bedroom, barely coming out to do chores her siblings demanded of her. They cursed her and called her lazy, everything they could do to get her to do the chores they’d rather not do, which was pretty much all the chores really. Mona didn’t care, not anymore. Her father had been right. They didn’t care about anyone other than themselves. No wonder he had wanted her to leave, to get away from the ‘leeches’ as he often referred to them in their absence.  It so happened one afternoon, Mona was called a ‘disgusting and selfish being’ for not attending to their every whim. She could barely believe they even realized or cared that their father was dead. From the moment they had come back from the funeral, they were far too busy dividing, fighting and bickering over who gets what. Belle had simply just grabbed her father’s favorite cap and walked in to her room, closing the door behind her and shutting out the hurt. 
Three days later, sitting there on the floor, she caught a glimpse of light skimming on something below the bed and fetched it, cutting her finger sharply on the broken glass of the mirror she’d missed when cleaning up her room. She stared at the sliver and broke down crying. Why had she even left the castle? Why had she left the Beast? Her father was happy and healthy when she was away, knowing she was finally free. Her coming back had caused him illness. 
She cried, gently stroking the reflection on the piece. ‘I wish I had never come back here. I wish I had never come back here!’ 
‘Belle,’ she heard the gentle, yet deep rumble of the voice she’d learned to love, though it now was filled with an unknown pain. ‘My dear, Belle.’
She looked up, half expecting that he were standing in front of her in her tiny room. In stead, she found herself in a dark, barely lit hall of some sort, all but a small candelabra on the mantle. She could feel a draft of cold icy wind sneaking in, and could barely see his outline against the dark. ‘Oh Beast, how I missed you!’ 
She pushed herself off the floor and ran to him. ‘Truly missed you, despite myself!’ She threw herself at him as if he were the closest thing she had. He winched as she did. ‘You’re hurt?’
He shook his head. ‘Just tired.’
‘I don’t believe you.’ She glared through the dark, unable to judge. She reached for the candelabra and brought it to closer to him, and watched him slink away. ‘Come into the light. Let me see you.’ And as he did, a gasp escaped her. ‘What have you done? You look different.’
‘He is dying.’ A voice beside her said, catching her with fright. She turned, suddenly to see the candelabra come to life in her hands. ‘But master is too proud to say this to you.’
Belle let out a squeak. She had heard that voice before, always thinking it belonged to ghosts that haunted the castle. ‘You speak?’

‘We all do.’ Lumiere said, wriggling out of her hands, and within his lights reach, more tools and ordinary objects began to come to life.

‘You must save our master, Belle. You must save our master.’
Belle could only stare in disbelief. 

The Keeper (18)

The silent of the room only stretched. Mona half expected him to hover behind her and speak as if he were part of darkness itself. Almost a month it had been now, and restless she tossed and turned half the night, unable to shake the feeling. Something was going on. If only she knew what. She tossed one last time before flinging herself off the bed and edging towards the giant ornate trunk that stood at the foot of the bed. It had simply appeared in her room and inside, her belongings from the enchanting place were neatly placed. 
She dug through it aimlessly. Half its content had already been plundered by her sisters. What remained were the odd pieces of material, dresses that would only fit Mona’s petite frame and a few brash trinkets. Her hand brushed an ornate handle of something and she fished it out from the bottom of the chest; a small vintage hand mirror with a chip or two in the oddly pewter tinged mirror. She had never seen it before. It was not something from her room. 

Something about its enamel inlay captured her and she took it back to bed with her, flipping it absentmindedly in her hands till sometime in the morning she fell asleep with it laid across her chest. Her hand still clutching the handle.

‘Mona? Get up. We have to get to the hospital and visit dad.’ Estella, her eldest sister’s nasal voice woke Mona up and she found herself holding the mirror up, something flashing across its surface. She pulled the mirror closer and glanced into it. Curious. It was showing her a room she’d once been in, Lucifer’s room. 
‘What are you showing me?’ She questioned, sitting up in bed, the mirror clutched in both hands. ‘What do you want me to see?’

The image suddenly became sharp, as if she were in the room itself. There was a figure huddled over the edge of the bed. It was Beast. He looked odd, something about the way he held the bed post for support. 

‘Master, you need to get out of this room. Some fresh air might help you.’ A familiar but body-less voice came from behind and Mona instinctively looked over her shoulder only to see her wall. 
Beast grunted somewhat of an agreement and ambled along on a cane, struggling to reach the door. 
‘Would you like your dinner brought out to the garden?’
He stood at the doorframe, and through struggling breaths managed to say ‘No.’ His voice gruffer than before and full of pain. He turned directly to the mirror as if he could see Mona through it. ‘Fetch me only if the lady returns.’

‘Wait,’ she whispered, silly as it was. ‘What is wrong with you?’ She traced his retrieving form on the smooth surface. 

‘Mona Belle!’ She heard the shrieking of her sisters and the door burst open only to startle her awake in bed, the handle of the mirror still in hand. She couldn’t help but turn the mirror to face her in the hope that the she could see the Beast through it, but nothing.
‘It’s dad. He’s gone.’

The last thing Mona remembered hearing was the shattering of the mirror as it fell to the floor in her rush to leap out of bed. 
‘No. No. Daddy!’

Free EBook.

Less than 9 hours left till the free promotion on kindle ends! So grab your copy, read, love and share it with your friends and family. A small thumb click for you, a giant leap for me! 🙂

Get reading. You won’t regret it in the end! (Who regrets a free book anyway?!) lol.

Happy Saturday, and happy birthday to my cutie pie neice.  

Charming Mr. Stewart 

Free eBOOK!! Grab your free EBOOK!

Free eBOOK!! Grab your free EBOOK!

In celebration of my tiny little munchkin of a niece turning 2 today, I have decided to bring in her birthday (which I’m missing out on since she is in a different continent) in epic style. I am giving away free electronic copies of my latest novel, Charming Mr. Stewart.

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Free ebook for you, and you, and you! For 24 hours only, on this 17th of Feb, Charming Mr. Stewart, is free. Grab a copy, whether you read Chicklits yourself or you have a special person or two in your life that love reading little triumphant romances about modern women. Normally $3.99 USD only, for today, it’s yours absolutely free.

Read, love, share and review while you’re at it.

Happy downloading!

Xoxo

E

 

Next Release: Charming Mr Stewart

Next Release: Charming Mr Stewart

Hey hey hey,

Been a while I guess. Pardon my sporadic-ness if you will. I’m in the middle of spending time with my two gorgeous nieces, planning my first semester of content to teach a nervous bunch of teens, and trying to upkeep the blog and keep you in the loop with the next release. Suffice to say I’m feeling the time pressure to deliver by the nominated date of Valentines day, which in fact, as I type this now, is only mere 14 days away! (C*ap)

I have a few chapters to spruce up in the meantime. Yikes.

I’m not sure I’ve already told you guys, that you will find some chapters on here to read prior to grabbing a copy of the book at release, but I thought I’ll remind you once more and share the new blurb with you in the hopes that it will peak your interest (obviously).

BLURB is the hardest thing to write by the way, in case no one has ever told you. It’s the worst. Its epic failure at every keystroke. Like a test you just can’t pass no matter how many time you give it a go. That’s what I’m struggling with at the moment. Bad.

Here is the latest version, below.

 

 

Charming Mr Stewart (short blurb)

When Elle packed her bags and left home with her child in tow, she was determined to live life with memories of her late husband alone. As the once prominent wedding photographer re-kindles her business, it’s partially to keep herself far too busy for stupid little thing like love. By chance, when she meets a potentially special client it’s with sweaty palms and skipping beats that may have nothing to with a broken AC and above 30°C heat.

Taking on Mr Stewart as a client may not be strictly business, but will Elle battle all odds, a snobbish matriarch, and a woman hell bent on letting her know that Dean is off-limits unscathed? After all, falling in love with a client is not an option despite Dean’s attempt at every turn to steal what’s left of her healing heart.