QSFer Nita Round has a new FF paranormal book out:
Two families, inexorably linked through time, come together to face an uncertain future, together. Maggie Durrant is heir to a rambling estate at Castle Coombe in the middle of nowhere. This includes a Gothic style castle, a working estate and a curse that will end her days sooner rather than later, providing her brother doesn’t get to her first.
In the city, a world away from the estates of Magwood Hall and the Durrant family, Emma Blewitt discovers a family that she did not know that she had. Orphaned at a young age, she finds herself the beneficiary of a house and the legacy of an Aunt who leaves her everything.
Through spectres, haunted furniture and the growing strength of the ghost of Emily Tapper, even murder and destruction does not diminish the attraction between the two women. Their bond is ages old and together they must find the solution to the Ghost of Emily Tapper.
The reassuring sounds of the ancient clock echoed through the cavernous kitchen and marked the passing of the minutes and the hours with mechanical exactness. Maggie Durrant, a kettle of hot water in one hand and a teacup in the other, paused. Her tea all but forgotten. She stared at the old age-worn clock, its craquelure fascia discoloured from a long and extended life in the kitchen, and waited.
The spring mechanism groaned and strained as it reached towards its next movement. The moment lengthened and stretched, like elastic, almost to the point of breaking.
Released with a sigh of relief, the instant ended and moved on to the next.
Time took a deep breath and held it. The world slowed, and everything in it moved with great deliberation.
Maggie, aware of the nuances of her clock, stilled her mind and body. She knew this place, knew it was not then and not now, but caught between, and she knew this moment well. The moment expanded and stretched, until this instance was everything. Maggie, still and readied, attended to her world with the fullest extent of her senses. The chill of her skin warmed by the heat radiating from the solid fuel stove, the lingering aroma of chicken pie wafted up from an oven door left ajar. Her clothes grew heavy and clung like silken chains to her body. She strained to hear more, as if she could improve her ability by the force of her will alone. Her mind focussed, and the mundane fell away to leave a quiet stillness in which she could seek further understanding. Then she heard the whispers, the echoes of voices and distant words. These were sounds that had no place in this world, and yet they reverberated through the corridors of Magwood Hall as though they had always been there. And they had.
With exaggerated deliberation, she put the hot kettle back on to the stove, put the teacup on the counter, and stepped away. Her ears no longer considered the distant whispers, but settled on nearby sounds. The electric buzz of the old fluorescent lights, the hiss of the gas burners on the stove, and the wind rattled the kitchen windows until she thought they would break. Hearing nothing strange was worse than hearing the whispers. Her eyes darted left, then right, but there was nothing to see. Not at first.
A shadow, at the very edge of her field of view, flashed by and Maggie took another step backward. A steel pan flew from the top shelf and crashed on the floor at her feet. Maggie sighed, picked up the pan, checked it for damage, and placed it on the kitchen table.
Tock. Time breathed out.
“I hear you,” she whispered, “and it is not my time yet.”
“Do you?” A voice echoed. “Do. You?”
“No,” Maggie answered.
A chill draft of air blew around her shoulders and wrapped her skin in bitter cold. She shivered in spite of herself.
“Do you?” The wind asked once more.
Maggie slammed her hand on to the table. “No. You know I don’t. Why don’t you leave me alone?” A sigh, like a heart broken afresh, breezed through the kitchen and then it was gone.
The whispers stopped.
Nita lives with a wife and a little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Rosie. They live in south Staffordshire, at the heart of England. It’s a small place, just off the hills and forests of Cannock Chase. A perfect place to walk the dog and let the wind blow away the cobwebs.
She studied Psychology in London, where she paid her way by doing pretty much anything that earned a penny or two. Waiter, barperson, shop assistant, painter and decorator, and odd-job person. She also worked in several offices that included database design work, ran an on-line lonely hearts site, stuffed envelopes with mailshots, edited technical articles, and generally played with as many computers as she could get her hands on. Later she left the city to assume her place in the family hotel, where she stayed as the General Manager until the business was sold. Now she describes herself as a writer, housewife and lucky as hell.
When not working, she is an avid gamer, she escapes to any world, any format, any console, and any time. She also plays Role Play Games (AD&D, Werewolf, Cthulhu) and was an avid LARPer for many years, complete with long robes and rubber sword. These days she prefers to wreak harm and mayhem on pretty much any on-line multi user game that takes her fancy. WarTunes has been a favourite, but she is currently into Diggy’s Adventure, which is more co-operative than most online games, and is settling into Dungeon Hunter 5.
Her other interests include reading, music, gardening, walking, snorkelling along coral reefs, going to the opera, ballet and the theatre. Don’t forget the food, and the wine. She is a devil in the kitchen (coming from a family of chefs, she should be) and loves dinner parties, which is just as well seeing as she likes nice food and even fancier wines.