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Tag Archives: chasing the chambermaid

Mid Week Tease: “…ye were in quite the state when I found ye.” #reverseharem #whychoose #ku #kindleunlimited

mid-week-tease-buttonHi everyone,

Welcome back to Mid Week Tease! Here’s another snippet from my story, Chasing the Chambermaid, from Duty Bound – a reverse harem collection featuring stories from myself, Felicity Brandon, Katie Douglas and Lily Harlem. You can buy it or read it as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Duty Bound“Aye.” He nodded, which flipped some strands of his ginger hair into his eyes. He shoved them away with the impatient scrape of a hand. “Like Frances said, ye were in quite the state when I found ye. Wetter than a loch, shivering worse than anything I’ve ever seen, yer teeth chattering and all. I dumped all me tools where I stood and tried to help ye. Wake ye up—but ye were seriously out of it. I gave up in the end, just scooped ye up and brought ye back here. Thought it was for the best. Frances took over then—she got ye undressed and warmed ye up. And not a moment too soon, I reckon.” He absentmindedly scratched his beard, the same burnished-copper colour as his hair, then gave a decisive nod. “I’m mighty glad ye are all right. Like Frances said, ye had us worried.”

“Will’s right,” Frances put in, drawing Connie’s attention back to her—a shame, really, as she much preferred looking at Will. “You can’t go anywhere now. Well, you can, if you want. You’re not a prisoner here, obviously. What I mean is, it’s dark, it’s cold, and it’s wet. Surely wherever you need to be can wait until tomorrow? You’re welcome to stay here another night. This room is spare at the moment anyway.” She paused. “Is there anyone you need to call? Anyone who will be wondering where you are?”

Connie swallowed hard, hoping her voice wouldn’t betray her. She shook her head. “No. I don’t need to call anyone.” Well, that was true, at least. She deliberately ignored the second question, hoping Frances would think the answer Connie had just given covered that, too.
He would most definitely be wondering where she was, would be out looking for her. Her friends and family, on the other hand, wouldn’t yet know anything was amiss. Not until the letter Connie had posted near King’s Cross Station landed on the doormat at her mother’s house, anyway. And that wouldn’t have happened too quickly, given the sheer amount of post which went through the system in central London, plus she’d deliberately used a second-class stamp, buying herself some time to put plenty of distance between her and her home. Her old life.

She’d worked her week’s notice at her job, so her boss—ex-boss, now—wouldn’t be expecting to see her again. All ends were neatly tied up. Or at least as tied up as they could be when you’d done what Connie had done. Had a mental breakdown, then taken off and left everything behind.

She forced a smile. “Thank you. For everything. Again. And yes, if that’s all right, I will stay another night. Then I’ll be out of your way tomorrow morning.”

Frances watched her for a moment or two, as though assessing her, then nodded slowly. “Of course. You’re very welcome. And welcome to stay. There’s no need to rush off tomorrow, though. Get up whenever you’re ready. The clothes you were wearing have been laundered and dried, and everything in your bag has been dried.” She gave a wry grin. “It wasn’t just you and your clothes that got soaked through.” Jerking her head towards a door off to her right, she went on, “Bathroom’s through there. Plenty of hot water for a shower. In the morning, make sure you go down and get some breakfast. The kitchen is out of this door,” she pointed behind her, “turn left and make your way to the end of the corridor, where you’ll find the stairs. Go down to the ground floor, and the kitchen is your first door on the left. Whoever is in there will find you something to eat and drink. Then please, come and find me before you leave, just so I know you’re all right. Okay?”

Grab your copy now: http://mybook.to/dutybound

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Mid Week Tease: Connie gaped at him. #reverseharem #whychoose #ku #kindleunlimited

mid-week-tease-buttonHi everyone,

Welcome back to Mid Week Tease! Here’s another snippet from Duty Bound – a reverse harem collection featuring stories from myself, Felicity Brandon, Katie Douglas and Lily Harlem. You can buy it or read it as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription. I’ll be sharing a few snippets from my story, Chasing the Chambermaid.

Duty BoundI wouldn’t? She hoped she’d stifled her surprise. Guess I’m determined to protect myself, even when I’m totally out of it. “I, uh,” heat bloomed in her cheeks, and she shifted uncomfortably beneath the bedclothes, “I’m feeling okay, I guess. Tired, and I ache all over, but it could have been worse, all things considered.”

“Aye,” Frances replied, sterner now. “It could have. You could have been suffering with hypothermia. You’ve been incredibly lucky. So, what’s your name, honey? And why are you so petrified of doctors?”

Petrified of…? The penny dropped. Of course—that was the conclusion they’d drawn when she’d insisted she didn’t want to go to hospital, or see a doctor. Still, it was better to let them keep believing that than have them know that, technically speaking, she was on the run and was desperate to keep her identity, her location, a secret.

And she was desperate. She didn’t want him tracking her down, trying to persuade her to go back home with him. She wanted him out of her life for good, having put up with his shit for far too long. He’d find her eventually, she was sure, but she’d be stronger then, after some time away. More able to stand up for herself. To tell him to get lost and leave her alone. If she could just keep her identity under wraps, not leave or create any kind of trail leading to her, for as long as possible, everything would be all right. It had to be. She couldn’t go back to how things were.

She forced herself to respond before she aroused their suspicions—if she hadn’t done that already, that was. “My name’s Connie Smith.”

The first name was accurate, of course, and she wasn’t carrying any documents which proved the surname to be a lie. So they could either believe her, or not. Their choice. “And the doctor thing… well,” she let out a humourless laugh to buy herself some time to come up with something, “let’s just say I had a traumatic experience as a small child, and I’ve never quite got over it.” They were total strangers, surely they wouldn’t press her for any more information than that? She hoped not—the more complex lies became, the easier it was for them to trip you up. The key to getting out of the other side of this situation was keeping it simple.

Frances’s pretty face creased into a sympathetic expression. “Oh, I’m sorry, honey. Connie,” she corrected herself, “that must have been so awful for you. Of course you wouldn’t want to see a doctor. Anyway, enough of that—you seem much better now. Out of the woods, as the saying goes.”

“Yes.” Connie nodded emphatically. “And I’ll be out of your hair as soon as possible.” She looked around, taking in more detail of the small room, and the fact the light filling it was artificial. The curtains were tightly closed, without a smidgen of brightness shining through or around them. It was night time, then. Shit. She couldn’t very well take off in the dark—not unless she wanted to end up in this situation yet again, but perhaps without anyone finding her. Or someone dodgy finding her, or even someone unsympathetic to her plight and eager to turn her in to the police, who could well be looking for her, if he’d filed a missing person’s report. Hopefully he hadn’t. Hopefully his stupid masculine pride wouldn’t have allowed it. It would mean people finding out she’d left him, after all. “Um, what time is it? What day is it, actually?” She scratched her head, immediately regretting it when she felt the state of the bird’s nest which used to be her hair.

Will laughed, but not unkindly. “Bless ye, hen. Ye’ve had a bit of a time of it, haven’t ye?” He pushed up the cuff of his well-worn sweatshirt and checked his watch. “It’s almost half past eight. At night,” he added, a twinkle in his blue eyes. “Ye cannae go anywhere now, lass. And it’s Friday. I found ye on Wednesday. The Wednesday two days ago, that is.”

Connie gaped at him. “Two days ago? I’ve been asleep for two days?” No wonder I’m dying for a pee.

Grab your copy now: http://mybook.to/dutybound

Don’t forget to check out all the other blogs taking part!

***

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Mid Week Tease: “Where am I? And who are you?” #reverseharem #whychoose #ku #kindleunlimited

mid-week-tease-buttonHi everyone,

Welcome back to Mid Week Tease! Here’s another snippet from Duty Bound – a reverse harem collection featuring stories from myself, Felicity Brandon, Katie Douglas and Lily Harlem. You can buy it or read it as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription. I’ll be sharing a few snippets from my story, Chasing the Chambermaid.

Duty BoundChapter One

“Oh, look—I think she’s waking up. Thank the Lord.”

Connie frowned as the unfamiliar female voice reached her ears, then she cracked her eyes open, squinting against the light. She quickly came to the conclusion it wasn’t just the voice that was unfamiliar. The bed she lay in was unfamiliar, the room was unfamiliar, and she didn’t have the foggiest idea who the two people gazing concernedly at her were. She blinked. Nope—still the same. Still didn’t have a clue. Aware it was the cheesiest of clichés, she asked, “Where am I? And who are you?”

An attractive, red-haired woman Connie guessed to be in her late forties, maybe early fifties, and dressed in smart business attire gave a gentle smile and shuffled her chair a little closer to the bed. “Hello. Welcome back to the land of the living. You’ve had us very worried. You’re in the staff quarters of my hotel—I own and run Bowdley Hall Hotel. I’m Frances McKenzie. This,” she waved towards the man on the other side of the bed, who was probably ten years her junior and a couple of years older than Connie, “is my estate gardener, Will MacIntyre. He found you in the outbuilding.”

As Connie’s brain absorbed the words, spoken in a soft, lilting accent, something tickled at the edges of her consciousness. Something she ought to know, but couldn’t… quite… place.

As she struggled to a sitting position, her brain seemed to click into gear. Of course, she was in Scotland! It all came back to her—leaving him, ditching anything that could identify her, and scarpering for the wilderness of the Scottish Highlands with only the clothes on her back and as many possessions as she could cram into her rucksack. What she hadn’t betted on—and she should have known better, really, since this was Scotland, for heaven’s sake—was the weather. A pleasant, sun-bathed hike, almost pleasant enough to make her forget what she was running from in the first place, had rapidly turned into a hellish trek to… well, anywhere. The woman—Frances, had she said her name was?—owned the estate she’d stumbled onto, which had to include the barn, shed, whatever it was, that she’d crashed in… how long ago? Yet again, she had no idea. This was getting beyond a joke. Amnesia would have been less frustrating.
She went to speak, but a cough escaped instead. She clapped a hand over her mouth.

Without a word, Will retrieved a glass of water from the table beside her borrowed bed and handed it to her. Connie flashed him a weak smile of gratitude and started to gulp down the liquid, before remembering you were always supposed to sip in these situations, in case your stomach rebelled and you vomited. The last thing she wanted was to be sick in front of these nice people who’d helped her. Or worse—on them. She swallowed, then took a deep breath and then sipped carefully at the water until she’d had her fill.

“Here,” Will said gently, “I’ll take that.”

“Thank you.” Her smile was wider this time. “Sorry about that.”

He shrugged and put the glass back where he’d got it from.

Feeling a tad less discombobulated now, Connie turned to Frances. “Thank you so much for your help and hospitality. I’m really sorry for trespassing on your land. I was…” God, how could she word this without letting her whole sorry story come tumbling out? “walking,” that was the truth, at least, “when the weather turned horrid. I was nowhere near, well, anything, so when I saw the sign at the edge of your estate, I carried on, hoping I could take shelter in a shed or something.” She remembered all but barging the door down. “I hope I haven’t damaged anything. I’m happy to pay for any repairs.” As long as they only cost pennies, that is. My cash won’t last very long otherwise.

Frances gave a light chuckle and waved a dismissive hand. “It’s fine, honestly. It was obvious when Will found you what had happened, clear you weren’t up to anything nefarious. And there’s no damage, so please dinnae worry about that. Are you up to a few questions?” She lifted her eyebrows expectantly.

“Um, yes.” As long as you don’t ask me who I am or what I’m doing here. But of course, they’re going to be your first bloody questions, aren’t they? They’d certainly be mine, if our roles were reversed. “I’ll do my best,” she added, figuring she could act all sleepy or dopey to buy her some time to answer if need be.

Smiling warmly, Frances continued, “First, and most important, how are you feeling? You’d been exposed to the elements for quite some time before Will came across you. We wanted to take you to hospital, or at the very least call a doctor, but you wouldnae let us. You were very insistent.”

Grab your copy now: http://mybook.to/dutybound

Don’t forget to check out all the other blogs taking part!

Mid Week Tease: The last thing she remembered was shucking off her backpack… #reverseharem #whychoose #ku #kindleunlimited

mid-week-tease-buttonHi everyone,

Welcome back to Mid Week Tease! I’m already switching things up because I’ve another new release, hot on the heels of my last one. Duty Bound is a reverse harem collection featuring stories from myself, Felicity Brandon, Katie Douglas and Lily Harlem. You can buy it or read it as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription. I’ll be sharing a few snippets from my story, Chasing the Chambermaid.

Duty BoundPrologue

Only the slop, slop, slopping sound of her painfully slow footsteps through the thick, sucking mud convinced Connie White she was actually making any progress. Her limbs and extremities had long since gone so numb that she couldn’t be sure otherwise.

Come on, Con, just a little bit further. That sign said something about an estate, and an estate means buildings. A bloody cowshed will do—anything for some respite from this infernal sodding weather.

She pushed on for several more minutes, then gasped with shock and relief when her next step met not with sloppy mud or waterlogged grass, but a track. A rough track, but a track nonetheless. And it had to lead somewhere, surely? It ran left to right across the line she’d been taking, so Connie had to make a decision. Which way would lead her to… something? She was already soaked to the skin and freezing cold, so a couple of seconds of rumination wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference to her physical state. She really didn’t want to end up going in the wrong direction and heading further away from any semblance of civilisation.

She took a breath and remembered her gran’s—long since dead, bless her—nonsensical motto—or one of them, anyway: If in doubt, turn left.

Connie shrugged, and another of her gran’s daft phrases flitted into her brain. In for a penny, in for a pound.

She hoiked her backpack higher, hunched her shoulders against the relentless wind and rain, and turned left. Moments later, she was rewarded as the hulking shape of a building appeared from the sheets of wind-buffeted rain. Excitement gave her a burst of energy, spurring her on. Fifty feet. Forty. Twenty-five. God, what was this place? It looked so old and decrepit the Vikings could have left it behind. Doesn’t matter. If it provides even a modicum of shelter, it’s an improvement on where you slept last night. The wooden bench on the tiny village’s green hadn’t exactly been the warmest or most comfortable place to lay her head. And she shuddered to think about what would have happened if someone unsavoury had happened across her, alone and vulnerable. She’d been very glad to wake up and hurriedly continue on her journey that morning.

The last few feet went by in a blur of motion, her body still numb and not entirely under her control. At least the track was easier to walk on. It wasn’t particularly smooth, but at least it wasn’t trying to pull off her walking boots, like the sucking mud had been.

Finally, she burst through the building’s heavy door, only the adrenaline pumping in her veins making it possible to even shift the thing. Fuck, I’m exhausted.

The last thing she remembered was shucking off her backpack and slamming the door against the elements. Then silence.

Grab your copy now: http://mybook.to/dutybound

Don’t forget to check out all the other blogs taking part!