We’re almost done with the week. You know what that means, kids? Rewards! Enjoy this fantastic little excerpt from Marie Treanor‘s The Prisoner of Silverwood Castle, out now!
I forgave her all over again when I saw my bedchamber. It was in the old part of the castle, and it had a low, vaulted ceiling and bare, unplastered stone walls on which hung some ancient and very dusty tapestries. Since it was growing dark, I lit the lamp and stood on my trunk to reach the little window catch. I had to wrestle with it to make it open, as if the cobwebs were trying to hold it shut. Although my sisters would not have approved of the housekeeping—and in fact, even I considered a little dusting to be in order here—I liked the little chamber far more than Augusta’s grand, luxurious apartments. It seemed I had maligned my brother-in-law the duke, and he understood me much better than I had thought.
In perfect charity with him, I unpacked my clothes, seized a clean gown to wear for the rest of the evening, and put the rest away in the oak wardrobe which looked a little out of place but was at least useful. I washed my face in the bowl provided, gasping at the coldness of the water, then brushed and repinned my hair, and, with difficulty, found my way back to Augusta’s apartments.
She had a bedroom, a dressing room, a cosy dining room, and a large sitting room. They were all utterly feminine, with no sign of the duke’s accoutrements, so I could only assume his rooms were elsewhere. Perhaps through one of the two doors at the end of the sitting room. I wasn’t sure I would care to live like that if I was married. Provided I liked my husband, of course, and I had long ago decided that nothing except actual love would induce me to marry anyone, however rich, powerful, or influential. Fortunately, my brother the earl seemed to be content with those commodities he’d already gained through my sisters’ marriages, Augusta’s being very much his trump card. So I doubted I would have to fight very hard for my independence. Once I got away from Augusta.
We were to have a comfortable “family” meal. Augusta and I sat down with the duke, his younger brother Prince Heribert, and Augusta’s two ladies-in-waiting.
“It is late, and we are all tired from travelling,” the duke pronounced. “So, I thought this cosy supper would be an excellent thing, to help you, my dear, relax into your new abode and become acquainted with your new ladies, who will do everything in their power to help you settle in.”
The younger of the two ladies seemed already to be lost in admiration of Augusta, who did, I admitted, look even more beautiful than usual in her new surroundings. I suspected she was getting her own way in everything.
The elder of the Silberwald ladies, the elegant, grey-haired Baroness von Gratz, took the trouble to smile at me kindly and to speak in English.
“You are a good sister to travel so far with the duchess. Such devotion.”
I suspect both Augusta and I looked completely baffled by that interpretation.
“We thought it best,” I mumbled.
“I hope your bedroom is satisfactory? We are a little overcrowded at—”
“I love it, thank you!” I said with enthusiasm.
It was the baroness’s turn to look baffled.
“Sehr schön,” I said to avoid confusion. I’d been teaching myself German from a book on the journey, trying out my pronunciation on several of the duke’s servants and hotel staff as we travelled. I was quite pleased with my progress.
“Schön,” the baroness repeated faintly.
Well, I thought it beautiful.
As I set about my food—I was starving and it smelled delicious—I was aware of the duke’s gaze upon me, approving, perhaps, or reassessing. I didn’t much care. I was looking forward to exploring his castle.
Marie Treanor lives in Scotland with her eccentric husband, three much-too-smart children and a small puppy who rules them all. Having grown bored with city life, she resides these days in a picturesque village by the sea where she is lucky enough to enjoy herself avoiding housework and writing sensual stories of paranormal romance and urban fantasy – with a bit of science fiction and time travel thrown in.
Marie is the award winning author of over forty sexy paranormal romances – Indie, New York and E-published. Since childhood, she has always written stories, at first secretly and for her own amusement, later with more serious intention to earn a living by writing. After working as a researcher and a librarian, she was lucky enough to have her first romances, Ghost Unlaid and Queen’s Gambit, immediately accepted by an e-publisher in 2004. Since then, she has published continuously, most notably with NAL, Samhain, Changeling Press, Ellora’s Cave and The Wild Rose Press. She now writes full time.
In 2010, she made her New York publishing debut with BLOOD ON SILK, first of the award winning Awakened by Blood vampire romance trilogy. Reviewers have described her undead anti-hero Saloman as the best vampire in the genre. Most recently, she has been trying her hand at self-publishing, with three new paranormal romance series, Serafina’s, The Gifted, and Blood Hunters (a sequel series to Awakened by Blood).
When not writing, Marie can generally be found among the chaos of her family, or walking the dog on the beach in all weathers. She loves to travel and meet new people.