The Peacock Bottle written and self-published by Angela Rigley is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.
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In this Victorian dual timeline novel, Amelia Wise feels a jolt when she finds a blue perfume bottle in the overgrown garden of the house she has inherited. Several events in her life mirrors those from the past and, with the help of her newfound cousin, Olivia, the bottle’s secret is uncovered.
I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting Angela Rigley’s latest novel: The Peacock Bottle. The author has kindly chosen an excerpt to share on my blog today:
A scene from The Peacock Bottle, a dual timeline. Amelia and her stepmother have recently moved into the deserted house called Alice Howe, in Cockermouth in 1893. Amelia does not want her stepmother to know she has been trying to open a door in the overgrown garden.
“Where have you been, child?” asked her stepmother as she entered the drawing room.
“Just exploring,” she replied, tucking her long, brown hair behind her ears.
“What’s the matter with your arm?”
“Yes. You’re holding it awkwardly.”
Not wanting to reveal the reason, Amelia looked up at the ceiling. “Mamma, look, another cobweb. I swear they multiply by the minute.”
Her stepmother threw a duster towards the offending cobweb. “You are right. And there is another patch of peeling wallpaper. I’ve tried sticking them on with sugar paste, but I fear we are fighting a losing battle.” Head in hands, she sank onto a chair.
Amelia knelt beside her. “Don’t give up now, Mamma.”
“But you were the one with all the objections. I thought you hated it here.”
“I’m growing to like it here in Cockermouth.” And as soon as I can open that closed door, I shall enjoy the place even more.
“Why on earth did I consider such a proposition, eh, child?” Her stepmother hugged her. “But thank the good Lord your father left you this house. He sort of mentioned it years ago, but I never gave it another thought. Where would we live if he had not?”
“But should it not be yours? After all, you were his wife. I am only his daughter. Daughters don’t usually inherit.”
“No, my dear. He specifically stated that he wanted it to pass to you, so who am I to go against his wishes?”
“Well, as you said before we came, it will be a challenge. We can’t go back to Kendal.” Unbidden memories returned of standing outside the blazing house, watching as the fire devoured everything in its path, and screaming, when they brought out her father’s lifeless body.
Tears ran down her cheeks, and they cried on each other’s shoulders until her stepmother pulled away and wiped her face. “But this won’t clean the muddle, will it?” She dried Amelia’s tears with her dusty apron, making her sneeze. “Oh, I’m sorry, child. I wasn’t thinking.” She tried to find a fresh spot, but Amelia resisted.
“It’s all right, Mamma, I am recovered now. I just miss him so much.”
“Yes, I do too. He would be proud of you. These past weeks you’ve been my stalwart. I don’t know how I would have coped without you.”
“Nor I without you, Mamma. But at least we are safe and have each other, even if we have to wear these awful hand-me-down clothes.”
About the Author
Married to Don, I have 5 children and 9 grandchildren, I live in Derbyshire, England, and enjoy researching my family tree (having found ancestors as far back as 1465), reading, gardening, playing Scrabble, meals out and family gatherings. I am the treasurer of my writing club, Eastwood Writers’ Group, and I also write and record Thoughts for the Day for Radio Nottingham. At church I sing in the choir and am an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, a reader, a flower arranger and a member of the fundraising team for Cafod, my favourite charity. I have written hymns, although I cannot read music.
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Giveaway to Win 2 x Paperback copies of The Peacock Bottle (UK Only)
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