Spring is only half over and I'm quite busy, but I'm trying to keep the creative juices flowing. Picked up the latest book by Dan Brown, Inferno. Should be a good read on those rainy spring nights I'm longing for. Emerald Isle is in its final stages and I'm really excited about it. Ireland has a special place in my heart, and writing this book has been like taking a trip there... a haunting, romantic, and suspenseful trip. Ah. I hope you enjoy it as much as I. Here is another sneak peek...
(To read chapter 1 first, click here - will open in new window)
Emerald Isle Sneak Peek:
Miranda made her way to the dark door and began to knock.
She knocked lightly at the door, but no one answered. She knocked a bit louder the next time and the door unlatched and became ajar. She thought someone had opened it, but no one seemed to be there. She gently pushed it further open and called out. There was no response. A large fireplace was burning in the small room, and the heat from it could be felt where she stood. A large pot was hanging above the flame. She stared at it with wonder when suddenly a voice startled her from her thoughts. “Lookin’ for somethin’, dear?”
Miranda turned around quickly. An elderly woman carrying a basket stood directly behind her. She’d come straight out of the darkness. Her hair was thick and strikingly silver. It hung over her shoulder in a braid down to her knees. But even more startling were her eyes. They were white as snow and looked not directly at Miranda, but seemingly past her. Miranda surmised the woman was blind. She wore a dark gray shawl and dress. Miranda tried to calm her racing pulse. “Hello. I think I’m here to see you…” she muttered.
“You think?” the woman chuckled humorlessly. “Don’t you know? It’s dangerous to be out in such a place this time of night without knowing who you came to see. You might find someone you wish you hadn’t.” Her voice was bold and firm; it was also smooth and sounded younger than she appeared to be. She walked past Miranda and into the cabin. She dropped her basket onto the heavy-looking wooden table in the middle of the room and began to unpack it. “Do you know if you’re coming in?” she asked.
Miranda wasn’t sure. “May I?” she replied.
“Well, I suppose if you came with Matthew Sullivan, you must be harmless,” the woman decided.
Miranda looked back to the truck that was sitting a little way down the drive and wondered how she knew.
“I don’t normally take to visitors, especially during the night,” said the woman. “But you can come in… explain what you’re doin’ here,” she mumbled. Her eyes never turned to Miranda; she simply went about her business. She took some of the herbs she’d removed from her basket and rinsed them in a basin of water. Next was a potato. She rinsed and began to cut it without peeling. “Saw you looking at my cauldron. Never seen one before?” the lady asked as she cut and dropped pieces of the crop into the large pot.
“Oh,” Miranda began as she broke her stare. She remembered staring at the fireplace when the woman had walked up. “Well, not in person. No.”
“Good for cooking a lot at once,” she explained. “You gonna introduce yourself, little lady?”
“Oh my, yes. Please excuse my rudeness. My name is Miranda… Miranda Kelly.”
The old woman stopped chopping and stared at the table before her blankly. Her eyes then shifted more toward Miranda and she put the knife down. “Kelly, you say?” She picked up more of what she’d cut and took it to the pot. She stirred it in silence and then wiped her hands lightly on her skirt. “Do I know you, Miss Kelly?” she said smartly.
“No,” Miranda replied. “But I’ve been told you knew my grandmother. Her name was Anna.”
The woman turned sharply to Miranda, and for the first time looked hard into her eyes. She could see her just fine. “Why did you come here?” she demanded in a derisive tone.
“I was told you could tell me some things about my grandmother,” she explained.
“You’ve been told a lot of things.” Her eyes narrowed. She looked past Miranda and out the door to Matt’s truck. “But you’ve been told wrong on this one. You’d better leave now. I’ve got things to do.”
“No please, I need your help,” she pleaded. “Just a few questions… please?”
The woman huffed and slowly walked over and slumped down in a large chair. “Shut the door,” she ordered.
Miranda shut it quickly and sat in the chair across from the elderly lady. The rich aroma from the cauldron began to permeate the room.
“Before we begin, my name is Flora.”
Miranda was warmed when she heard her name. Something about her demeanor became softer when she’d said it, and Miranda was comforted by it. “It’s truly a pleasure to meet you,” said Miranda.
Flora stared at Miranda’s face. “You look like her… your grandma… same credulous eyes.” She then turned away as if deep in thought. “You really shouldn’t be out here this late. It’s dangerous,” warned Flora. “Let’s make this quick, shall we?”
“I’ve already seen him,” said Miranda.
“Seen who?” asked Flora.