#Excerpt “The Convalescent Corpse” by Nicola Slade

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A story of Family, Rationing and Inconvenient Corpses.

Life in 1918 has brought loss and grief and hardship to the three Fyttleton sisters. Helped only by their grandmother (a failed society belle and expert poacher) and hindered by a difficult suffragette mother, as well as an unruly chicken-stealing dog and a house full of paying-guests, they now have to deal with the worrying news that their late – and unlamented – father may not be dead after all.  And on top of that, there’s a body in the ha-ha.

EXCERPT

Writers in the family & precarious family finances

Margaret Fyttleton aka Mother, who writes dull books about heroines of women’s suffrage, as well as far more profitable sentimental romances about hard-up young women who invariably marry into the peerage. Margaret is reclusive and the family prefer to keep it that way.

 I forged a letter from Mother to the bank, and Granny and I arranged for the lodgers’ potential rent money to be paid into an account we had already set up in Granny’s name, when Papa died. Mother has no interest in money apart from its power to buy books, so a sum each month goes into her own account and the rest of it, including her writing income, goes into what we privately call the Family Fighting Fund. Mother rarely engages with the outside world as she lives on a higher plane than the rest of us, which suits us very well. She has no common sense when it comes to money so God forbid she should ever find out what we’re up to!

Granny has a small private income, her sole inheritance from her parents, and twenty pounds a year that was all Grandpapa was able to leave her. That goes into the pot and I contribute as well with our latest source of income, the money I earn from writing adventure serials for boys’ magazines and annuals. This is a deadly secret known only to my sisters and grandmother.

It came about like this. When Bertie was at boarding-school he and I used to send each other parodies of Boys’ Own adventure stories, but a year or so ago I decided to submit them to a magazine. I rewrote them as yarns that might appeal to boys and young men at the Front and was delighted when they paid me. Wondering whether I could find a second income for my stories I contacted Mother’s publisher, using her name; we’re all expert forgers, the Fyttleton girls. Writing as Mother, I explained that Lt Jasper Crombie was a young relative, and would her publisher consider reissuing the stories as books? Happily, her publisher snapped up the stories and the first of Lt Crombie’s efforts had already come out as a short novel last October. The second one, serialised last summer, was due out at the end of April, and I was now three-quarters of the way through the third, which was being serialised as I wrote.

I felt under no compulsion to inform the magazine editor or Mother’s publisher that Jasper and Crombie were two of our hens. They had been named after gamekeepers at our grandmother’s childhood home, a crumbling castle not far from the northern coast of Aberdeenshire. So far, the hens have never complained about their masculine names and Granny had fond memories of the keepers who had taught her the excellent poaching skills that provide us with meat and keep down the rabbits in the park at the Hall. (She had acquired the skills deemed essential for a daughter of the nobility from her mother’s elderly governess who, crippled with rheumatism, had been pensioned off to live at the castle. Sadly, Granny’s shyness was a hindrance in Polite Society so her poaching skills have proved far more useful in our straitened circumstances.)

As soon as Granny and I had the family finances completely under our control, we knew where we stood, and very worrying it was too. It was a good job we had no idea that our lives were soon to be further complicated by murder.

 

‘I love it. A delightfully unusual mystery with wonderful characterisation and historical detail.’ – LESLEY COOKMAN BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE LIBBY SARJEANT MYSTERY SERIES

 

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Nicola SladeAuthor Bio

Nicola Slade lives in Hampshire where she writes historical and contemporary mysteries and women’s fiction. While her three children were growing up she wrote stories for children and for women’s magazines before her first novel, Scuba Dancing, was published in 2005. Among other jobs, Nicola has been an antiques dealer and a Brown Owl! She loves travelling and at one time, lived in Egypt for a year. The Convalescent Corpse is Nicola’s 9th novel. Nicola is also a member of a crime writers’ panel, The Deadly Dames https://www.facebook.com/DeadlyDames/

Social Media Links – www.nicolaslade.wordpress.com   www.nicolaslade.com

Twitter: @nicolasladeuk

https://www.facebook.com/nicolasladeuk/  https://www.pinterest.co.uk/nicola8703 (I have a board for each book)

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Giveaway

Win a paperback copy of The House of Ladywell

(Open Internationally)

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days, then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

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“What Haunts Me (Ghost Killer Book 1)” by Margaret Millmore

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What Haunts Me (Ghost Killer Book 1)

by Margaret Millmore

Genre: Horror/Visionary & Metaphysical

FREE at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!

After George gets ill, the dreams begin.

Suppressed memories surface, allowing him to see ghosts, and a deeply buried instinct emerges.

George finds out he can kill these monsters, and heal their victims. The ability to save lives is something he cannot ignore, but it soon becomes an obsession and begins to eat away at George’s sanity.

His quest for understanding leads him to new friends and allies, and exposes him to enemies he could have never imagined.

But in the end, can you kill something that’s already dead?

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“13 Wicked Tales of Witches” by Avrin Kelly

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13 Wicked Tales of Witches

by Avrin Kelly

Genre: Genre Fiction/Horror/Short Stories

2.99 at time of posting!

Whether it’s around Halloween time, or one of the other 11 (boring) months out of the year; you are going to love these 13 stories from Avrin Kelly…

Dear Reader,

I present thirteen stories to horrify you, make you question existence, and even those around you. Thirteen tales of treachery, magic gone wrong and spells done right. Stories about people, just like you, who had a run-in with a Witch… or who are Witches themselves.

You won’t know who the villains are until the end. You won’t know who the monsters are until they strike, but isn’t that the best part about horror?

The unknown?

If you are feeling particularly brave, I encourage you to explore the uncanny world of Witches, with me as your guide. Snuggle down with this creepy read, and come with me into the depths of wickedness and strange magic. To a place where nothing is ever as it seems, where the danger could be lurking in the shadows behind you or right beside you, in the light.

Thirteen tales of terror; every one of them involving a Witch…

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– And more… Read “Thirteen Wicked Tales Of Witches” and treat yourself to some twisty, turny (is that a word?) Halloween frights!!!

Signed Sincerely,

Your Guide

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“Haunted Love (Free Short Story)” by Cynthia Leitich Smith

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Haunted Love (Free Short Story)

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Genre: Teen & YA/Romance/Fantasy/Paranormal/Horror

FREE at time of posting!

Spirit, Texas, is a town of secrets, and as the new owner of the local haunted movie theater, Cody Stryker is juggling more than his fair share. When a mysterious new girl comes to town and runs afoul of the ghost that lives in his theater, Cody’s caught in the middle and needs to figure out exactly who he can trust. HAUNTED LOVE is a short story by New York Times Bestseller Cynthia Leitich Smith— set in the same dark universe as her novels TANTALIZE, ETERNAL, and BLESSED. This story includes a sneak preview of Cynthia Leitich Smith’s latest novel, DIABOLICAL, which unites characters from the previous three novels in the Tantalize Series along with a fascinating cast of all-new characters for a suspenseful, action-packed clash between the forces of heaven and hell.

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The Tree: A Thierry Adler Short Story

by Avrin Kelly

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Who do you call when a tree (of all things) harasses you?

When Claire Simon, a quiet librarian, is tormented by the red oak on the hill near her house, she takes drastic measures and hires a specialist to help. After hiring Thierry Adler to rid her of her strange problem, things really get weird…

Excerpt from The Tree

“So, you are an exorcist, then?” I blurted out in a harsh whisper of shock.

“Not really, more like a jack of all unnatural trade, versed in the occult, I’m trying to help those who have nowhere else to turn and no one who knows what to do to help them.”

Nervous laughter escaped my lips and I shook my head in agreement. “Because who can you call when a tree is haunting you?”

“Me.” He said with a kind smile.

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Blackthorn Manor Haunting (Addison Lockhart Book 3)

by Cheryl Bradshaw

Genre: Thriller & Suspense/Ghosts/Psychics/Horror

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A woman in black stares at the sea, her body transparent, eyes brimming with tears.

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Who is the strange, melancholy woman haunting Blackthorn Manor? And why is someone out to keep Addison from unlocking the manor’s darkest secrets?

If you enjoy mysteries with a supernatural twist, you’ll love this fast-paced, bestselling series.

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“The Gift Boxset: A Gripping Paranormal Mystery” by J.S. Donovan

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The Gift Boxset: A Gripping Paranormal Mystery

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Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Crime Fiction/Kidnapping/Horror

99¢ at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!

An unputdownable gripping paranormal mystery with a brilliant twist!

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In 1983, a family of four was murdered in their nineteenth century Queen Anne manse. There were no witnesses, no real investigation, and no survivors.

Over thirty years later, the house is suddenly back on the market. Ready to settle down, a young married couple moves from New York City to their dream home in the quiet town of Highlands, North Carolina. However, as past secrets come to light and unpredictable strangers violate their privacy, the couple’s hope for a fresh start twists into the fuel for their darkest nightmares.

The Lost Orphans

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