Friday, February 22, 2013
Book Spotlight: Secret Desires by J.T. Seate
In this romantically gothic tale, a long forgotten key leads to a secret room. The discovery of a yellowed letter opens a door to the past better left closed. For the players in this twisted tale of avarice and desire, the truth is an illusive part of the puzzle.
Read an excerpt:
She climbed a narrow flight of stairs; her footfalls seemed foreboding in the narrow space. “Your last chance,” she pronounced as she removed the key from her pocket and slipped it into the lock. It slid in easily, but would it open the door? She turned the key and was surprised to hear the tumblers click into place. With a willful shove, the door creaked open. For no reason in particular, Julia glanced over her shoulder before cautiously pushing the door farther and stepping inside the room.
Evening had arrived, and as if on cue, the wind began to whistle around the eaves. A high limb scratched against the roof like a wandering ghost begging to be let inside. Julia felt like a prowler in her own house. The room was too small to serve as a proper attic. It had been, at best, a storage room. Now it was an unkempt, dusty mess. There was no electric switch on the wall so Julia proceeded with the flashlight, her eyes following the beam. She saw nothing of particular interest except for one item. Amidst a few cobweb laden boxes and broken furniture stood a mirrored vanity. She walked over to the piece and ran her palm over the vanity’s smooth lacquered surface. Beneath the thick layer of dust, the relic was beautiful. It was quite old and had but one noticeable blemish—a half-inch gouge on its surface. An equally old, elaborately embroidered stool sat beneath the piece. Julia pulled it out, brushed away some of the dust, and perched in front of the antique. The flashlight’s beam reflected a ghostly image of Julia’s face in the mirror. It looked back at her through the clinging dust like a prophet from generations past, making her shiver.
She quickly lowered the beam to the vanity’s drawers and opened one after the other. Each was lined with weathered cloth. The aroma from the cloth and wood was like inhaling the past. In the center, above the kick-space, kneehole area, was a long shallow drawer. This drawer held something more than discolored lining—blank stationery and envelopes.
Julia picked up the first high quality sheet. The initials AF were embossed at the top. Contemplating her find, she noticed the loose cloth lining beneath the stack of blank paper. Julia lifted its edge and found a single sheet not matching the AF. Unlike the neatly stacked stationery, this piece was cheap in construction and withered with age, yellowed enough to be the Magna Carta. She carefully removed it, discovering it was a letter.
This must have been here forever. Maybe it would reveal something to aid her research of the house or who might have owned the wonderful piece of workmanship at which she sat. Delicately handling the page as if it might dissolve in her hand, she read:
My Darling Aurora,
You are the shining star that entered my life with such a blinding light I am forever changed. When I was in shadow, you lit my way. You are my salvation and my love.
Always remember, my sweet, in spite of your rebuffs and admonitions, gentle winds will lead me to you like a wave that caresses the shore. I will convince you of the joy we can share in an embrace. The glow of my affection will burn brightly because my love is eternal.
The vine that intertwines the long familiar stone. The kiss as tender as the velvet touch of a breeze. These are images I savor and my heart beats quicker with the knowledge that I will soon possess you.
Without your permission, I have decided to act within the next few days. I will come for you after I am done with the Major.
Soon, my love. Soon.
“Wow,” Julia said with enthusiasm. “A real mystery.” This was more than she had bargained for. She placed the missive back in the drawer for the time being. Her gaze returned to the mirror. She wiped away some of the dust and thought about what she had found. She studied her reflection and tried to imagine the woman to whom these fanciful, yet forceful words had been written. Had the intentions of the letter’s author been carried out? Did the Major get done in? Did “B” come for Aurora? Why would she leave such an incriminating letter if things had worked out the way “B” obviously wanted them to?
File Size: 110 KB
Print Length: 41 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing (February 6, 2013)