The Fog Maiden on First Sight Saturday
Every week a guest author shares an excerpt of a first meeting between two characters on First Sight Saturday. I am happy to welcome Jane Toombs who will turn an impressive 87 years old on December 27. She says this makes her “an old bat,” and I say that if she is still cranking out gothic romance at that respectable age, then I hope I become an old bat just like her!
|The Fog Maiden’s cover hasn’t been released yet, so here is a foggy picture by “me” from Wikimedia Commons to get you in the gothic mood.
Jane’s upcoming release, The Fog Maiden, will be published by Samhain in April 2014. Here is the blurb for the book.
Janella Maki lived in a world without a past, a world where childhood mmories were shrouded within terrifying shadows. A world in which she never felt she reallt belonged. The only place she felt at home was the eerie Jesse Shepherd house in San Diego whre she was a volunteer trour guide once a week.
Then one day a handsome man appeared and said he was her Uncle Lucien, married to her long lost Aunt Toivi, and that he’d come to take Janella back to her people. Desperate for answers that would explain her strange amnesic spells and illuminate her mysterious past, Janella agreed to accompany him–only to find she’d sentenced herself to a nightmare without end. For in the curiously remote house to which her uncle had brought her, Janella learned that buried in her past were her own supernatural powers–powers born of ancient Finnish rituals…powers of evil that once unleashed she could not control…
Janella didn’t notice the music at first, faint and minor-keyed. The thread of sound seemed to come from inside her head so closely did it match her mood. Lonely, all alone the melody told her, weaving a plaintive ribbon of sadness. She began to descend the Spanish cedar stairs, moving slowly, carefully down the narrow curving staircase and stood at the foot, looking about her as though expecting to see the invisible musician.
The painted eyes of King Richard watched her from the stained-glass window at the head of the second flight of stairs to the first floor and thee clear reds of the glowed dimly in the gray light.
Piano. The music came from the piano, seeming to flow up the stairs and into her ears, permeating her with melancholy, Janella descended the second steep staircase to the Entry Hall.
The music became softer, almost dying away. Janella waited, staring at her own image in the massive walnut pier glass. Long blond hair framed her much-too-pale face.. Foolish to be nervous. Neither Doris nor the caretaker could play a note, so there must be a visitor in the Music Room playing the piano. Jesse Shepherd had been dead over forty years and she didn’t believe in ghosts. She’d never like the Music Room, though, from the first day she become a tour guide for the Villa Montezuma, Jesse Sheperd’s house.
The Music Room had shadows in the niche behind the widows, shadows despite the stained glass glowing in the panes, shadows that shifted and changed shape as though they had a life of their own. Shadows like the ones in her mind.
Janella forced herself to move on toward the Reception Room. Just a few steps more and she’d be able to see into the Music Room and the mysterious pianist who must be a visitor. She eased across the redwood floor until she was through the second doorway and into the Music Room. She stopped.
A man sat on the plush crimson seat of the piano stool, his back to her. As she considered him, he took his hands from the keys and twirled the stool about until he faced her.
“I’m your Uncle Lucien,” he said.
END OF EXCERPT
To keep in touch with Jane, and find one of her 15 books to enjoy, visit her website at www.JaneToombs.com
Jane and I welcome comments or questions, and hope you will come back every Saturday for a fresh new first meeting excerpt!