Hello Everyone! Today I am very excited to host the very talented Author Paula Roscoe and her release ‘Echoes’.
I am mad, bad and work damned hard! I am resilient, strong, fairly patient… actually, scrap that one!! I love life and my imagination is my ticket into any theatre I choose. I have so many stories and idea’s rattling around in my head, I wonder I have time to do all the other things I do, but I find the time from somewhere. ‘Echoes’ was my first novel and it won the e-book category in the Paris book festival among other achievements and my second novel ‘Freya’s Child’ is getting four and five star reviews so I’m happy. I’m working on my third and fourth ‘Where Rivers meet’ and ‘In-between Worlds’, getting the first draft finished on both of them and then I’ll dip to see which one I move forward first! My collection of faerie stories ‘Adventures of faerie-folk’ is also nearing completion after many months of disasters, so looking forward to that.
Bronwen Mortimer is a young woman with a secret. She moves to Derwen, a quiet village near the town of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, in the hope of starting a new life; but the echoes of the land refuse to lie quietly and after witnessing the murder of a child, Bronwen must face her past to have any chance of living in the present.
A supernatural/historical fiction moving between present day and 15th century England when Henry Tudor claimed the throne. There were many casualties of war, but some refuse to be forgotten.
His gut told him something was wrong. Eleven-years of experience screamed at him to call for back up, the Ambulance service and the coroner, but something stopped him and he looked again at the small house, trying to find the reason for his hesitation.
The terraced house reeked of death. Everything from the closed curtains of the front room to the hint of a light he could see through the thin fabric; a light he suspected wouldn’t still be on if everything were okay inside. Glancing across at his waiting partner he could see that Darren sensed it too. Their insistent knocking on the front door had elicited no response from the occupants he knew were inside
Shaking himself slightly, he turned back to the woman who stood next to him. She was watching him closely, waiting. Clearing his throat, he continued asking for details: “So, when was the last time you saw Mr Gillespie and his daughter?”
She didn’t answer him, her attention had shifted to the house. He saw her shudder and draw her coat closer around her neck. He knew it wasn’t because of the cool March breeze that ruffled her skirt. She sensed it too, something bad had happened.
“Mrs Williams?” He spoke a little more harshly than he intended but it got her attention.
“Oh yes… as I told the officer on the ‘phone, the walls are very thin you know and I know I should have telephoned sooner, but I didn’t, you know how it is…?”
Sadly he did, but he kept his expression as passive as possible and waited.
“Anyway, I haven’t seen the girl for the last two mornings. She leaves the house at the same time as my son. D’ya know it was her thirteenth birthday the other day? No party, no friends call round… poor girl. Not since her mother died a few years back, terrible that.” She slowly shook her head, her eyes glazed over as she stared into space. He tried to wait patiently. He could see how this was affecting her and he felt a stab of remorse for the woman, but time was ticking away…
“She’s a strange girl.” She continued, “Quiet, never speaks to anyone and always keeps herself to herself. I asked my son Robert, he’s in the year above her, if he’d seen her today, but no one has seen or heard anything since early yesterday morning. Oh dear I’m rambling… well, I heard a lot of shouting, not unusual with teenagers I know, but this was…. different.”
“Different?” He glanced towards the silent house. Darren was knocking loudly on the front window; he was beginning to lose his patience while she tried to find the right words.
“Yes. I can’t explain it, it…just…was. I heard a lot of banging and a loud crash, like something breaking. I heard a scream and then I’m positive I heard her begging, you know, ‘please don’t’ and all that… turned my stomach I can tell you. Then a strange noise, like…whimpering. I thought I heard moaning and crying. I think it was Bronwen crying… and then silence. At first I thought nothing of it, just another argument between them. I hear a lot of shouting… from him anyway. But I began to think about it and I couldn’t sleep thinking about it Perhaps she’d had an accident or…something. I don’t like to gossip but there has been talk of bruises… and the silence is weird. I’m sure they’re in the house… but it’s so quiet… ya’ know?”
At this, he looked across at Darren who had walked back towards them. Their eyes met and he nodded, it was time to investigate, to find what they both knew they’d find. He turned to thank the neighbour. He was anxious to leave, to get it over with, but he could see her urge to tell him more, she licked her lips and stepped closer to him.
Seeing she had his attention again she quickly continued. “My son and others have sometimes mentioned bruising on her arms which she’s covered up, and her legs. She was in the park a few weeks ago, on her own as usual. Well, some boys started teasing her and lifted her skirt, in a playful way you understand, but, well…. you hear so many bad things these days, I just….”
“Yes, yes I see. So no-one has seen or heard Mr Gillespie or his daughter…Bronwen, since yesterday morning?” Putting his notebook away he nodded to his partner, Darren who was watching the woman with a look of distain before he turned away and slowly walked towards the back of the house. He watched him go with a loud resigned sigh before addressing the neighbour again.
“Right, well thanks, we’ll check it out. If you would like to wait at your house…” Taking a deep breath to calm his growing nerves he followed his friend. He didn’t want to finish the sentence by saying that he would probably need to take a statement later on after they found what he suspected. She was a witness, possibly the only witness to a death.
Taking another deep breath he steadied himself as he peered through the window and the letterbox, noting the letters delivered that morning strewn on the floor. He noticed the general neglect of the house, peeled paint, dirty windows, rubbish piled in the front garden, overgrown with weeds. He was focusing on anything to get his mind ready. A child involved in crime was always a heartbreaker. If it was true it sounded as if this one had been abused for a while, and he felt a surge of fury towards the neighbours as Darren had done. Why did they always wait?
Hearing a shout he ran around to the back where he found Darren pushing up a window that was unlocked; another bad sign.
The smell hit them immediately and they turned away gagging, breathing deeply, filling their lungs with fresh air. They stopped abruptly as the sounds of a child’s whimpering reached them and they turned as one towards the open window.