Return to Rhonan

Hello dear Readers. I do hope to start the new year with interesting articles, excerpts, videos and the occasional visit from a fellow author or artist. I actually love both both creative writitng and the occasional non-fiction book. I also have an equal passion for art. I look forward to showing some of the art work here in coming months. I do hope you enjoy the video. This is my first attempt at including a video, fingers crossed it works. I have also included an excerpt from the first chapter of the trilogy Return to Rhonan. . you enjoy them.

It was Jessica’s late stepmother’s wish to travel to Scotland to discover whether the myth of the family’s Scottish origin was true.  Grieving, Jessica decides to go to Scotland to find the truth.

Drawn by chance to a hotel, formerly a castle, in the wilds of Scotland, Jess is shocked when she recognizes the owner, Lord Douglas Mavebury of Rhonan. He is the double of the brooding Lord Duncan of her dreams. Jess is stunned when she visits the family gallery and is faced with a portrait of a woman named Muriall, the woman of her dreams.

Danger stalks the rooms of the remote hotel.

EXCERPT CHAPTER 1. Return to Rhonan

Jessie knelt by the side of the bed, her hot tears falling on the still hand. ‘I’m sorry, so sorry.’

She raised her head to the squeak of the bedroom door opening. ‘Uncle Tom?  Oh God.’ An older man strode across to the four-poster bed.  ‘Jessie, my dear child.  It’s an awful shock …’ 

‘I wish I hadn’t hurt her. Why couldn’t she understand?’

‘Prissy loved you, Jess. You were her main reason for living.’

‘How can I go on without her?’

Taking her hand, he said, ‘you have to be strong, my darling.  You made the right choice for you. We all have the right to choose our own lives. You can—’ He broke off as he sniffed the air. ‘Seaweed?  Now, where is that coming from?’

Jessie smelt it too. ‘We’re not far from the docks.’

 Neither were aware of the wraithlike figure beside her.    

Gently, her uncle handed Jessie a tissue, as he led her to a carved mahogany chair. ‘Come, come and sit down.’ 

Jessie took the tissue, her voice still choking. 

He guided her to a sofa, unaware of the wraith gliding behind them.

***

 St. Brigid’s thronged with mourners and parishioners paying their respects to Priscilla Elizabeth McGregor. Jessie fingered the locket handed down through the generations from Grandma Morag.  Prissy always kept it locked away in her safe. Yet, as if having a premonition of her death, she had given it to Jess admonishing her to keep it safe.  Jess could almost sense her stepmother’s fingers on the old gold; hear her voice. ‘This is for you now, Jess. Keep it safe.’

Feeling Peter press her hand, she turned her head to him, the intensity of his eyes searing through the grief.  She saw the smile full of compassion, the cut of his jaw, the muscled arms that held her to his heart as she wept through the night hours. They’d been together for three years, in a relationship without ties. Gently, he turned the page of the hymnbook for her, although her voice choked over the words, ‘Abide with me, fast falls the eventide.’  

 Where did Prissy abide now?  Was her spirit now with her Scottish ancestors? Or, was she standing beside her coffin willing Jessie to see her spirit form?  She prayed her stepmother was in her heaven, wherever that might be.  She had helped so many people achieve their dreams.  McGregor Hotels served the community and individuals in so many ways.  

 Guilt crept in, as she remembered her aunt’s words. ‘Your future lies with the business, how could you forsake it – me? This isn’t about hotels, bricks, and mortar.  It’s about life, helping, reaching out to the thousands of the desolate and homeless, and all you can think about is your damn psychology.’

Uncle Tom’s words drifted into her mind. ‘You were never meant to enter the business. You are a healer Jess. The one is as important as the many.  Heal one heart, and you heal whole families.  It stretches out like ripples in a pond.  Remember that.’

 She glanced up at the coffin, to the wreaths of roses and lilies, the flowers, a beautiful place reflecting her stepmother’s soul. 

Keeping close to Peter’s side with her Uncle and cousin Grant near, she watched her stepmother interred in the family mausoleum; her name engraved under that of Jessie’s mother, Miriam, a young mother who took her life. 

Later at the reception, mingling among the guests, Jessie glanced at the maids in black dresses with frilled white aprons serving canapés, as young male waiters offered drinks or champagne from sterling silver trays.  Struggling to keep her face composed, she looked over to her cousin Dinah, helping to carry the load of greeting and listening to the mourners who flocked to the wake. They’d been friends for years, sharing a room at University until she’d met Peter. Now they had a therapy practice together.  Today, Dinah looked sophisticated with her pale white skin and dark brown hair swept up into a sleek chignon, her ample curves snugly fitting a black dress. 

The afternoon dragged on interminably.  Jessie just wanted to be alone, to sit with a glass of wine and reflect.  Pete took her hand, ‘How about you and I get out for a while later. ‘Go to the Park, take a ride – take a hamper.’

‘I couldn’t – I just want to go to bed and get over today.’

Fresh air would help you sleep. Come on, let’s do it.’

She knew if she went to bed early, she would follow the usual pattern of tossing and turning, with a kaleidoscope of fragmented memories flowing before her tortured eyes.   A quiet ride in the park, followed by a picnic by the waters of the reservoir glimmering in moonlight, might lift her from the grief that gave her no respite.

Silently, she apologized to her stepmother as she nodded. ‘Later then.’

Note from Katy. I’ll be back soon. Have a fulfilling and lovely week. Kind regards, Katy.

The haunting beautiful music is composed by Serge Pavkin https://amzn.to/35Wm2tS
Music ‘Dawn’ on SoundCloud.

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