Monday, May 28, 2012

Blog Tour ~ Excerpt and G!veaway from "The House on Blackstone Moor"

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Today I have the priviledge of posting an excerpt and a giveaway of "The House on Blackstone Moor".  I was to include a book review also.  I received all of the information in a timely manner, but I failed to schedule the book into my calendar.  For this I sincerely appologize to Reading Addiction Blog Tours and to the author, Carol Gill.  I will have a review posted by weeks end.  I really feel bad that I dropped the ball.


They say my father was mad, so corrupted by evil and tainted with sin that he did what he did. I came home to find them all dead; their throats had been savagely cut.  
My sisters, only five and eight, were gone, as well as my brother who was twelve. My mother too lay butchered in her marriage bed. The bed her children were born in. 
I discovered him first—in the sitting room lying in a sea of crimson, the bloody razor still clutched in his hand. 
How pitiful I must have looked, bent down trying to wake him. Calling to him over and over, “Papa please, please wake up!”
He could not, of course, waken. No more was he to open his eyes in this world—had I not been struck mad, I would have realized.
Yet, madness is sometimes a mercy when shadows come to take the horror away.
Do not pull away in terror, please. I have much to confess. Just be patient, for I promise I will tell you everything. The only thing I ask in return is for you not to judge me until you hear my entire story. 
If I recall that dreadful night I remember it in confusing images and noise. People came and went. Gentle hands touched me, trying to soothe away the shock and agony—voices too, hushed and sad, told me things I could not understand.
“Go away.”
I probably said that, though I can’t be sure. Lucidity was not my strong point that night. I do recall someone carrying me out of the house to a neighbor’s house. 
We lived in Notting Hill then, having moved from Mayfair after my father’s illness—more about that later. 
The house was on Blenheim Crescent, a respectable house in a respectable neighborhood. Despite this, the grander environs of Mayfair were much remembered and longed for by my mother especially. My mother, who now lay caked in blood in her disliked rooms of Notting Hill.
“You remember me, don’t you Rose? It’s Dr. Arliss.”
Dr. Arliss? Our physician. Was he there? 
“I am sorry Rose, but you must go with them.”
People can’t be left around screaming, you understand. 
I was silenced by strong hands. “Come along, miss. That’s better.”
I hadn’t the sense to ask where I was being taken. All I can remember is being removed from my neighbor’s home. 
I couldn’t very well stay in my own home surrounded by the blood-splattered corpses of my murdered family, now could I?
They half dragged me down the stairs and out into an icy rain.
“Just get her in...”
A woman reached for me. I did catch sight of her face; she looked serious but not unkind. “Come along now, dear.”
Dear, that was nice. I do believe I thanked her. Well I wasn’t right in my head was I? 
“Where are you taking me?”
So polite, a soft refined voice heard at church socials. But not me. Churches and I never mixed. Of course, I would regret that.
“Harry, go get the restraints!”
Restraints? It doesn’t affect me but that’s because it’s nothing to me, I’m not really there, you see. Well, not all of the time. 
I must explain something. These first hours following the carnage were a blur to me, really. I have only understood things over time. But that is better as I can tell you my story more clearly.
I dozed, I think. Well, there was a pinch on my arm earlier and Dr. Arliss telling me he was giving me something to relax me.
The wagon moved—clip clop down the streets for an indeterminable time, but then it stopped. A door opened and other arms reached for me. 
“That’s right, love, all out!”
They were taking me into a building of some sort. 
“What is this place?”
I’m not sure if I asked that question, if I was able to. But if I was, I know I didn’t receive an answer. 
Someone had me under the arm, one of the men from the wagon. “It’s alright.”
Why was everyone telling me it was alright when it was the worst time of my life?
We stepped inside a vestibule. A woman looked up from a high desk, not at me but at the man who was still holding my arms. “Name?”
He took out a piece of paper, glanced at it and said, “Rose Baines 22 Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill.”
“Oh! A lady are we, dear?” I start to answer but her words drowned me out. “Right, put her in with the rest of them.”
This was when I started to feel fearful. The rest of them? That didn’t sound nice. I needed help—had I been arrested? They didn’t think I did it, did they?
I started to struggle, which was the worst thing I could have done. 
“Now stop that at once!”
I cried out. “I am innocent please help me!”
They dragged me away then. And as they did, I got a whiff of ether and disinfectant. 
Was I in a hospital? Maybe that was good. It was better than being in a prison!
But why if it wasn’t a prison did I see a massive gate just ahead in the very direction we were heading for? 
And then a surly face along with clanging keys and the sound of locks being opened completed the scene.
“In here.”
It was a smallish room, more like a cage than a room—far too small for all of the sad humanity that populated it. A sea of the most miserable and pathetic faces greeted me. Some were holding their sides and rocking back and forth, others were sleeping or crying. One or two were crouched against the scummy walls muttering to themselves. 
The realization hit me. They thought me insane!
I cried out but no one came. “Please, someone!”
The pathetic creatures I found myself with began to repeat my cries. They didn’t do it to mock me I’m certain, but it was horrible anyway. 
At last I was quiet. I couldn’t stand their shrieking and if that wasn’t bad enough, some of them were filthy and smelled of the street and the gutter. 
I was there for a long time I think, crying quietly and dozing, too. An attendant came around a few times mostly to look in at us and saunter away, immune to our protestations or questions, mine included. 
I did finally sleep deeply. I don’t know for how long; all I know is that there was the unmistakable sound of jangling keys and the realization that the door had been opened. 
I picked my head up off of the filthy bench to see who had come in. It was a gentleman, that was obvious. He was looking over each of us. A burly man accompanied him. They kept whispering to one another.
When he got to me, he raised the torch into my face. I put my arm up for the light was blinding. 
“No dear,” he said gently, moving my arm down. “I just want to see your face.” 
I almost asked him why. I think now looking back on it, I should have—things might have been different if I had.
As he was holding the torch aloft, I could just make out his even features. His expression was kindly. “I am Dr. Bannion and I’d like to talk to you.”
I was unwell, confused in my mind, yet there are moments I remember well and this was one of them.
Before he led me out he spoke to the attendant. I am sure that was to ascertain whether she thought I’d be violent. Just to be on the safe side, she went along, her arms at her side but ready to go into action at any time. 
Most of these attendants were big-boned and tall, and could have easily been taken for men.
“In here, please.”
It was a small room with a bench and some cabinets. It was filled with medicine bottles and books and things. 
I sat on a bench alongside the attendant with the doctor facing us.
He began at once. “Now then! Would you prefer to be called by your surname or your Christian name?”
How singularly unimportant that was in the scheme of things. But I didn’t realize it then, I am certain I said I preferred to be called Rose.
He looked pleased when I spoke. “Well now, do you feel able to answer some questions, Rose?”
I quite liked his manner, as ill as I was and I was very ill and confused a great deal of the time. But, I did like him because he sounded kind and caring. And because he did, I wished to answer all his queries. “I shall try.”
“Yes, that is all one can ever expect is to try.”
I noticed then that he nodded toward the attendant to take that as a sign for her departure. I was delighted. 
“What can you tell me, Rose? You were away for the weekend, weren’t you?”
“Yes I was.” I hadn’t remembered that until he reminded me. “I was at my aunts’.”
He was speaking to me and jotting notes down, too. I think I expected that. 
“Your aunt is ill.”
“Yes, she is dying.” Suddenly, I remembered my mother telling me to go and I got choked up and found it impossible to go on. “Please, sir.”
He reached over and touched my arm gently as a friend would. I found the gesture reassuring and I believe I smiled. “It is so hard.”
That, as they say, was the last straw for suddenly I collapsed in a paroxysm of tears and sobs. I think I was quite wild too and unmanageable. 
The attendant reappeared. 
“Rose, I am giving you something. It will help to relax you.”
Everything became a pleasant blur but I did hear Dr. Bannion.
“I shall remove her to Marsh where she can get the best care.”
He told me Marsh was a place where I could rest, where he’d help me to get better. “You’ll see, Rose. It’s in the country in a lovely location. I run it and I am certain you will benefit greatly.”
I had questions I wished to ask him but since I didn’t feel as though he wished me to ask him anything, I didn’t. 
I wonder still what he would have said if I had. 
“We shall take the train. Huddersfield is a long way from London.”
“In Yorkshire, sir?”
“Yes, the West Ridings and it’s quite beautiful there.”
I remember bits and pieces of this day. I remember smelling the rain and him helping me into the carriage. 
“Kings Cross, please!”
The cab jerked forward to oblige.  
“It won’t be long now.”
I had so many questions but not the sense or ability to ask them, for he had given me another injection before we left. 
“Yes that’s right, you close your eyes.”
In and out, sleeping one minute and awake the next.
The cab stopped and we were there—Kings Cross. 
He had already explained that we would have to change trains a few times. “Don’t worry, I shall take care of everything.”
How comforting that was to hear. I began to trust him and to rely on him then. 
As for the trip itself, I can only recall it as a muddle of steam and groaning metal, of sharp whistles too, so loud I covered my ears.
“That’s alright, Rose.”
The calming voice, again. I smiled for I was comforted. 
I slept most of the time, barely noticing being guided gently from one train to another, with his voice always soothing me: “Yes, just this way now. There you may sit down now, Rose.”
And then later as if I was a sleepwalker waking from a dream, I heard him say, “You really have slept most of the way, we should be arriving fairly soon.”
He looked pleased and because he did I felt pleased, too. “Truly, I never meant to sleep so much.”
The train screeched to a stop and we disembarked like two weary travelers nearing the end of an expedition. And perhaps it was, as it was a quest to get better… or so I thought. 
I was not prepared for the tumult. I cringed at the hustle and bustle of so many people rushing this way and that. 
But he calmly ushered me along. “Just this way, Rose, you’re doing splendidly.”
I was proud and felt my spirits soar. 
A line of cabs and a cab man called out. “Any place. Fair rates!”
“Marsh, please.”
A startled look from said cabbie. “Marsh, sir? The town or--!”
“The asylum, if you please.”
“Rightie oh, sir!”
Asylum? A madhouse? Why hadn’t I asked, why hadn’t I known? But what difference could it have possibly made?
“There it is, Rose.” he nodded, looking at me encouragingly. 
I looked out to see a forbidding place with granite walls and towering gates, implacable barriers to be reckoned with and the words strung across the archway:
I had come home, at least for now.
Chapter 2
“It is a self-sustaining place Rose, more like a village than a—” The word hung on his lips, ominously. 
He cleared his throat noisily and went on to explain with great pride how the institution was a veritable village of workshops and kitchens, stables and bakery. “There is even a small farm where we grow our own food.”
I nearly burst out laughing when he said that. I think I thought then that it was a sure sign of madness. I know now that it was proof of my being well.
We arrived in a heavy downpour. I began to grow increasingly distraught. Dr. Bannion noticed. “Don’t worry, you need rest, that’s all it is.”
If my first impressions were less than favorable, the ones that followed were consistent with that—the place looked frightening, grim and forbidding. I hoped I wouldn’t stay long. I was, in short, prepared to lie if I had to in order to get out—whatever the cost to me. 
We stepped into a vestibule and then into the building itself. There was no high desk here as there was in Bedlam. 
Ah! Do forgive me, I am sorry! I didn’t tell you it was Bedlam, did I? Yes, the hospital I had just left was Bethlehem, infamously known as Bedlam. 
If I found it horrible, and I did, I now shuddered to think what it must have been like in its worst days.
“Rose, as it is late, I am sure you’ll want to go to bed. You may have a wash if you like.”
He led me over to a door and told me to go inside and wait, which I did. “Inmates are bathed here to soothe their nerves. It’ll do for you now.”
A severe woman, I took her to be an attendant, looked up in a most hostile manner. 
“I am to have a bath please.” I tried to sound as pleasant as I could but she clucked her tongue and hurried outside as if to check. When she returned she had two buckets of water with her which she dumped into a metal tub.  She then sat down, facing me. “Hot water from the kitchen, you were lucky.”
She wasn’t going to stand there, was she? When I realized she had no intention of leaving I began to remove my clothes. I hesitated a moment before stepping into the bath whereupon she manhandled me. “Go on! I have other things to do, I ain’t your maid you know!”
The water was hot and I nearly cried out. Thankfully, I didn’t. It seemed that my sense of self-preservation had surfaced to help me to cope.
I began to wash myself as best I could but she jumped to her feet, grabbed a bar of soap, and began pushing me this way and that. “Best get this filth off of you!”
“It stings!” I cried, for this time I could not help myself. 
She shook her head. “You’ll be washed and washed quickly. Just you behave.”
I began to cry then, for I could not help myself, though I tried not to be noisy about it. 
And then, mercifully, it was over and she hurried away to get something. When she came back, she had a coarse looking gray colored shift draped over her arm. “Put this on.”
My skin felt raw and the shift was rough and irritated my skin yet, I neither cried out nor said one word. I am, if nothing else, a fast learner. 
After I was dressed I was told to sit. My nerves were pretty bad. Don’t be misled by the evenness of my dialogue. For you to appreciate the state I was in I think is impossible. Suffice it to say my moods were not static but ever changing, going from bad to worse.
I was filled with doubts. I doubted if I ever would be well despite Dr. Bannion’s reassurance—yet I could not bear to even contemplate the alternative. 
The attendant returned. “Dr. Bannion wants to see you. Hurry up!”
The halls seemed to stretch for miles. There were terrible smells and the unmistakable scent of disinfectant that rose over them, trying unsuccessfully to mask them. 
“These are the wards.” She startled me when she spoke, for I hadn’t expected it. “The violent cases are kept in a separate building in the back where the cemetery is.”
Looking back on it now, I think she took great joy in telling me these things. I think she was sadistic. 
I was in time to hold that opinion about much of the staff. 
We passed many sad-faced and disturbed looking creatures. Some reached out to touch me as if greeting a long lost friend or relative. For the most part they seemed harmless, although I remained cautious lest one attack me.
If I had any questions, the attendant’s stern manner and off-handed attitude ensured I would not pose them to her. 
At last, we stopped before a great door. Three firm knocks and the door opened to reveal Dr. Bannion. “A little talk now Rose, and then I shall take you to your room.”
Room! That did sound promising as I thought he might have said ward otherwise. 
I took a seat and he began at once. His desk was massive and filled with all manner of ledgers and papers and inkwells scattered about. 
He picked up a pen and held it mid-air as he spoke. “I do want to just get some facts. I’m afraid these questions are going to sound silly, but there are reasons for them, I assure you. Now then, do you know what year it is?”
“1868, sir.”
“And the month?”
“March and—”
“And if you would be so kind as to tell me where in London you live?”
Live? Was he joking? I may have been distraught and muddled in my mind but truly, I did have sense enough to know I would not in all likelihood be going back there ever again! 
“Notting Hill, sir.”
His hand moved down the page. “And the street?”
That did it, as they say. The street! I saw them all then—dead. Butchered, covered in caked blood, blood that had turned their pale colored nightclothes crimson. 
I must have fallen to the floor for I remember nothing but him leaning over me and saying, “You’ve fainted, that’s all. I shall have you taken to your room.”
The room was tiny, no bigger than a cupboard, but who was I to complain? After glancing around and smelling the place, I was more than happy to find myself alone. 
Dr. Bannion did bid me goodnight. “Rest and we shall talk more in the morning.”
I stared at the closed door for a long time. I remember feeling so many emotions—sadness, upset, grief, fear but, most of all, dread. 
Yes, dread and fear are different. Dread is beyond fear, I think. Dread knows fear was correct in the first place and it just intends to sit and wait for the worst to happen, which will happen because dread, if nothing else, is sure of itself.
So what did I dread? The answer is a great many things—but mostly I dreaded the future. 
Emotional pain is, I believe, worse than physical pain. No part of my body hurt, yet I was suffering more than I ever had in my life. Here I was, barely seventeen, without family. My poor Aunt Maude was soon to die, that was for certain.
If that was the case, where would I go when I was well? I would need employment and a place to live, too. 
But who would have me? I couldn’t very well lie about my incarceration in an asylum. My father’s mad act ensured that what he did would be spoken about for a long time to come. 
But there was a daughter, dear—remember? Rose something, wasn’t she put away in a lunatic asylum? Sad that, but to be expected, wouldn’t you say?
No point in lying, I was done for, without hope. Dr. Bannion could do as he liked but it wouldn’t matter. 
In a way this realization was calming, for hopelessness brought about resolution and closure. Perhaps there was no reason to dread anything!
My life was as good as ended. 
With that in mind, I decided to go to sleep and if I didn’t wake up, what did it really matter?
I fell into a heavy sleep but woke during the night. I had the distinct impression that someone had entered my room—no doubt a genuine lunatic. 
I recalled the words of the grim-faced attendant who told me about the violent ones who were kept in a separate building. 
Had they grown tired of staring at the cemetery? Had they in fact somehow escaped their ward and were now standing in my room watching me, ready to hack me to pieces?
I did hear breathing. Not even breathing either, but heavy breathing—a man’s breathing. 
I shall just lie here and not open my eyes. Not challenge him—perhaps he’ll go out then…
I heard him move. That is, I heard a footstep, then another. The breathing became louder—he was closer.
No! Please go away. Don’t hurt me. 
Was this lunatic holding a knife or a razor perhaps? When would I feel the slashing?
Suddenly, I felt fingers upon my neck. Not in a grip but softly touching me. No, not me, I realized—they were touching the collar of my shift to draw it down! 
And as it was pulled down I felt the chill in the air as my body became exposed. A hand then—hot, probably with misplaced passion, touched my breast, held it and squeezed it.
Go away! Please, I don’t want your hand there!
But the touch grew more ardent and the breathing more labored. And then he grunted. “Mmmm!”
No don’t, please. 
But there was more, much more—I felt his hand begin to reach under my shift. 
That was when I screamed. I screamed like I never screamed before. I yelled with all the strength I could summon and didn’t stop. 
An unending cacophony of shouts of anger and hurt, of grief and fear—all of it fueling my shrieks as if to bring the place down around me.
Many people came in—attendants and even Dr. Bannion, disheveled and breathless, who said he was working late, came in. “What happened?”
I told him. “Please sit with me. I cannot be alone!”
He sat and told me how sorry he was. “I shall have a thorough search done. Now I shall give you something to calm you.”
He did, the familiar sting and the sensation of something warm began coursing through my agitated body, calming me. It was like heaven. 
I allowed myself to smile and I thought, at least it was a stranger. At least it wasn’t my father.
About Carol: 

I wrote my first story at age 8. It was sci-fi but as both my parents were sci-fi fanatics it wasn’t a surprise.
I continued to write however life got in the way as it often does, and it wasn’t until 2000 that I turned back to writing. I joined a local writer’s workshop and was greatly encouraged to keep up with my writing and to send things out.
Shortly afterwards, I was selected by Northwest Playwrights of England for further development but found I preferred fiction writing.
Widely published in horror and sci-fi anthologies, The House on Blackstone Moor is my first novel. It is a tale of vampirism, madness, obsession and devil worship.
Set in 19th Century Yorkshire, its locales include Victorian madhouses as well as barren, wind-swept Yorkshire moors. The story is a marriage of horror and gothic romance. I think it can best be described as being gothic paranormal romantic horror.
I suppose you could say I want to put the Goth back into Gothic.
Living in the area the novel is set in, was very beneficial. Also, as a great admirer of the Brontes and frequent visitor to the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth, I found myself nearly obsessed with recreating the gothic romantic narrative.
Having been employed in a hospital which had been historically a workhouse and asylum in Victorian times, I was able to add great realism to the depiction of the asylums as described in my novel.
The sequel, Unholy Testament, is the confession of a demon to the woman he loves. It is nearing the end of its first draft and will be released shortly. 

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Today there is the opportunity to win an ebook copy of the book.  Please enter using the rafflecopter form below.  You must be 13 or older to enter.  I will be passing along the winner's email address to another party who will get them the copy of the book.  This contest will run until June 4th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It's only $2.99 on Amazon kindle!

It's also $2.99 on Smashwords!

Book Description
They say my father was mad, so corrupted by evil and tainted by sin that he did what he did. I came home to find them all dead; their throats savagely cut. My sisters only five and eight were gone as well as my brother who was twelve. My mother too lay butchered in her marriage bed. The bed her children were born in…”
Young Rose Baines discovers the savage murders of her family by her mad, incestuous father.
She is plunged into a nightmare of hell and is incarcerated in two madhouses after which she is helped to obtain a position as governess at Blackstone House.
The house is located on haunted moorland. Nothing is as it seems for Blackstone House and its inhabitants have hideous secrets. There is unimaginable horror there but there is love too--love that comes at a terrible price.
The story is as haunting as it is terrifying and will remain with the reader long after its disturbing tale has been told.


  1. Hi Lisa,
    thank you so much for the info.
    I really do appreciate that. that's fine. we're all human!
    thanks again!

  2. I love the cover it looks haunting.
    I would pick up the book and read
    back cover.

  3. This is an ebook.
    So no back cover at this time.
    It is also the first in a four book series.
    The sequel, Unholy Testament follows soon!

  4. Sounds like a great read. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Cant waitto read this book. Have a great week

  6. This book sounds awesome and I look forward to reading it! A new to me author, which I love finding!!

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  7. The books sounds like a good one!

  8. Wow carol cant wait to read this book. I Have It one my wish list.

  9. Thanks for the giveaway! This book looks great! <3

  10. I learned of this in an email from Bookworm Lisa. It sounds interesting! Thanks!

  11. Thank you so much for participating in this tour. My fingers are itching to get hold of The House on Blacksone Moore, I think it sounds really good. I appreciate you time and effort in sharing and the lovely giveaway opportunity.

  12. hi all!
    thanks for your kind words.
    April, you made my day thanks so much!

  13. Ugg! You left such a good long exerpt that I was left wanting more! I gotta read this! Creepy and suspenseful at the same time.

  14. wow! okay hope you do, Kelly!
    sequel on its way!

  15. I love Paranormal Romances and this sounds alot like it's just what I would love only with a bonus. Its great to have a chance to win it. Thanks so much.


Thank you for commenting. Each and every one is read and appreciated.
Have a wonderful day.