Welcome to 10 Days of Halloween! For ten days, we’ll have seven authors sharing their books and spooky stories, and I’ll be sharing some fun Knight’s Academy stuff (and maybe a scary story or two) on the other days!
For day one, we have author Emily-Jane Hills Orford sharing an excerpt of her middle grade fantasy novel, Mrs. Murray’s Ghost: A Piccadilly Street Story Book 1.
There is a street called Piccadilly in London, England. In fact, there is a place, an intersection, known as Piccadilly Circus. But it is questionable as to whether or not there are any major intersections along the famous Piccadilly Street that have residential houses of some distinction on all four corners, and there is definitely no
intersection of Piccadilly Street and Waterloo Street. When I last visited London,
England, I was disappointed to note that there wasn’t even a Waterloo Street, just a Waterloo Road, and that was on the other side of the river from Piccadilly Street. So, the intersection of Piccadilly Street and Waterloo Street could only occur in the other London, the one in which Mary grew up. Indeed, the number of her childhood home, had it existed in London, England, could only exist in the middle of the intersection of Piccadilly Street and Regent Street.
There are other cities in the world that bear the auspicious name of London. But only the one in Canada has an intersection of Piccadilly Street and Waterloo Street with an old Victorian mansion on each of the four corners. One, in particular, is a grand Queen Anne style, early twentieth-century building complete with a tower room, a bay window, stained glass windows, mosaic tiled floors and much more. A family moved in to take up residence in 1967. Mary’s family. It was also at this house
that others took up residence many years earlier and never left. One died and left her restless spirit to roam the halls and torment those who chose to reside in the house. The other two were little sprites known as Brownies. They lived inside the walls and watched over the house that they also called home.
You see, the Brownies had a mission, something that was going to involve one of the new residents of this old house: a twelve-year-old girl by the name of Mary. This is, in fact, Mary’s story, or, at least, the beginning of her story. For
there is much more to Mary’s story than this little tale.
“Did you leave any lights on downstairs?” he asked as he seated himself at the table once again.
“No,” Mom answered. “I turned everything off.”
“She did,” Mary added. “I made sure.”
“The lights were all on in the kitchen,” Dad said. “Some of the cupboard doors were wide open. I closed them.” At that, the banging doors started up again.
“I guess it’s official,” David announced. “We have a ghost.” He made his move and passed ‘Go’. Holding out his hand to the banker (who was always Dad to ensure some modicum of fairness in the game), he demanded, “Two hundred dollars, please.
“Sounds to me like the ghost is
checking us out,” Dad said, handing over the Monopoly money. “It’s not hurting
anyone, so let it be.”
“Spoooooky!” David howled, laughing.
Mary didn’t laugh. She wasn’t sure
why they thought it was funny, but if no one else was afraid, maybe ghosts
About the Book:
Mary’s family has moved into a huge Victorian mansion. She loves her gigantic new house, especially her room. But then she begins to meet the house’s other residents. Mrs. Murray was murdered in Mary’s new house. At first she tries to scare the new residents away, but there seems to be a force connecting the ghost to Mary. Even the stranded Brownies, the little people who live between the walls, feel that connection. When Mary becomes deathly ill, the Brownies and the ghost team up to try to rescue her, only to encounter a witch and her evil minions. Time is running out. They must rescue Mary from a fever-induced dream world before she is trapped there forever. As well as being a fun read for young readers, the story gives an historical perspective to childhood, as it dates to the 1960s. It also deals with some very current issues, specifically bullying.
Add it to Goodreads.
Keep up to date with Emily-Jane Hills Orford at http://emilyjanebooks.ca
About the Author:
Emily-Jane Hills Orford has fond memories and lots of stories that evolved from a childhood growing up in a haunted Victorian mansion. Told she had a ‘vivid imagination’, the author used this talent to create stories in her head to pass tedious hours while sick, waiting in a doctor’s office, listening to a teacher drone on about something she already knew, or enduring the long, stuffy family car rides. The author lived her stories in her head, allowing her imagination to lead her into a different world, one of her own making. As the author grew up, these stories, imaginings and fantasies took to the written form and, over the years, she developed a reputation for telling a good story. Emily-Jane can now boast that she is an award-winning author of several books, including Queen Mary’s Daughter (Clean Reads 2018), Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and several other books. A retired teacher of music and creative writing, she writes about the extra-ordinary in life and the fantasies of dreams combined with memories.