Thanks for having me on your blog, Jana. I’m excited to be writing time travels again, and love the meld of history, fantasy, and the paranormal I weave into mine. I’ve shared a scene below from chapter one of Somewhere My Lady (Book 1, Ladies in Time.) The heroine, Lorna, has just entered a stately 18th century manor home along the James River in Virginia. In the story, the house is called Harrison Hall and is modeled after Shirley plantation, with elements from the Georgian family homeplace on my father’s side in the Shenandoah Valley where I live. I love old homes and gardens. Also intrigued by ghosts…
She took a steadying breath and slowly turned, studying the ornate foyer. Sweet-scented beeswax tapers flickered in the brass candelabra on the stand against one ivory wall. A high-backed wooden bench banked another. Queen Anne’s lace filled the green Oriental vase on the low table. Framed floral paintings circled the spacious entryway. Everything appeared normal for a colonial manor decorated with period pieces.
|Queen Anne's Lace|
Again, the music summoned her attention. Faint at first, the melodious tune grew more distinct. She dropped her gaze to locate the source of the sound.
A live ensemble? The music seemed to come from a front room, and she detected muffled voices. Even more unexpected, the chords accompanied laughing dancers forming lines in the entryway. No one told her Harrison Hall had a dance troupe, or that they were performing now, at eight thirty on a Thursday morning. Who drew a crowd at that hour?
Not this group. Someone must’ve neglected to advertise the event. She, alone, stared at the colorful assembly. A shame, really. They were totally in character, and looked pure eighteenth century…a painting come to life.
Ladies in flowing silk gowns, like butterfly wings, their hair caught back in cascading curls, and men in formal coats, waistcoats, and knee breeches stepped to the lively melody. Gentlemen swung their partners as men and women came together and whirled away again. Circling, clapping, the couples wove their way down the rows, alternately changing hands with other ladies and gentlemen in the pairing. The floorboards echoed beneath gilt shoes with bows and glittering buckles. Their bright eyes skimmed by her without the slightest acknowledgement.
Strange. She comprised their entire audience. Were they trained to ignore onlookers? They couldn’t possibly miss her. She wasn’t gonna give a cheesy wave, but she was right here.
The longer she watched them, the more it seemed something was off. Despite their seamless performance, an indefinable quality about the troupe struck her as odd. These were not typical reenactors. Difficult to pinpoint what was different, exactly… They were unarguably genuine, as if carved from time. Isn’t this what was wanted?
Holy crap. Depending on how they turned, she could partially see through their forms. Trick of the light?
The only illumination in the foyer came from the candles, chandelier, and pale sunshine. Nothing unusual about that.
Chills crawled down her spine and stood the tiny hairs at the back of her neck on end. The last thing she expected on this June day was a visitation from beyond, and certainly not by merry dancers. She shrank noiselessly against the wall, pinching her pebbled arms to be certain she was awake.
Could she dream she was pinching herself? What about the strong scents? The pungency of tobacco smoke and flowery perfumes wafted around her. Were odors a part of dreams? And sounds?
Dear Lord, how was any of this possible?
Uncertain if she were dreaming or haunted, she gaped at the animated figures. Wait. There. Him.
Her attention riveted on one young man in the gathering. He’d spun by earlier. She’d swear he gazed over his shoulder in her direction, then promenaded up the hall. His expert steps returned him again to the entryway. Unlike the other dancers, he was fully corporeal. No partially seen legs or torso. Fitted blue breeches and silk stockings encased his long muscular legs. He wore his own chestnut brown hair pulled back in a queue at his neck, free of powder, while most male heads were wigged and white. The deep blue suit tailored to his tall figure complemented his deft steps in the English country dance.
Something about him held her spellbound…the tilt of his head, arch of his brow, glimpse of his profile… She followed his every move with the fixity of an owl.
He turned blue-gray eyes toward her and sensuous lips curved into a smile on his handsome face.
Hands down. No contest. He was the hottest guy ever. Her heart beat a thrilling new rhythm.~
|Abraham Darby Rose|
Somewhere My Lady is available from all major online booksellers. In Kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Lady-Ladies-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B071VTNC7V
Beth Trissel's Author Bio:
Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my human family and furbabies. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. I’m especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. And I love a good ghost story. In addition to Young Adult and New Adult fantasy romance, I also write historical, time travel, and paranormal romance, plus nonfiction.
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