It's Launch Day for 'The Soprano' - A Haunting New Supernatural Thriller
Well, after writing this for the best part of a year, The Soprano is finally out, and available as a Kindle download or in paperback on amazon. It is also available to order from any bookstore.
Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered - it should now be on your kindle! Obviously there are no reviews yet but if you like it and are happy to write one, it would be hugely appreciated.
So....here, as promised, is a little bit more about the book.
It is 1951 and a remote moorland village is hit by one of the worst snowstorms in living memory, one which is to last for over three weeks. However, quiet rage, simmering jealousies and dark witchcraft have been brooding in the background for decades and it is during these three snow-locked weeks that a family vendetta will finally come to its shocking conclusion.
This story is loosely based on a true crime, and the area - North Staffordshire - is where all my family on both sides, hail from. I know it well, and my research on how it felt to live there in the 1950s is taken directly from my parents. I had my late grandfather's scrap book and my dad's anecdotes together with colourful local characters to draw from. In addition, there was input from a real practising witch, based in North America - Raven Woods. I don't want to spoil the story for you by telling you too much, except to say it is like nothing I have ever done before. Why? Well, I hope, as well as it being a creepy thriller, that this has a Bronte-esque feel to it. Also, I wanted the prose to be poetic at the same time as keeping the brutal realities close to the bone... if you will pardon the pun!
I will leave you now with a sample from an early chapter ....And at the end, if you are tempted, you will find the links to amazon UK and US.
Oh, one more thing... there is a huge launch party on Thursday Night - 31st August... where there will be three signed copies of The Soprano to win, plus signed copies of The Father of Lies trilogy (all three books for one winner) and some special gothic-themed prizes I've bought and chosen for four more winners....I did say I'd elaborate in my newsletter, so I'll spill the beans... a witch's candle (black, of course), a black leather bookmark engraved with 'The Soprano by Sarah E. England', a witch's Victorian style keyring, and a pair of spider earrings in plated silver. Find me on fb for the details of how to join (it's all online)... https://www. facebook.com/sarahenglandauthor
Sample Extract from Chapter Three
Ellen Danby, Lake View Villa
'Outside, the wind soughed and moaned around the eaves, the storm gaining in strength, noticeably noisier as she climbed. Midway, she paused to pick up the lamp, her arthritic fingers closing around the brass stem with painful difficulty. Lining the walls, Marion’s paintings seemed, as they often did, to have acquired ghostly figures in the background – dark-skinned, sombre faces with startling eyes, demanding an existence all of their own. Apart from the Danby portraits in the parlour, every other wall of the house was dominated by Marion’s oil and water colours: mostly landscapes or trees, clouds massing over brooding moorlands or reflected in pools of water. She never painted people and yet it seemed they were there somehow, lurking just inside the tip of vision - lost souls forever roaming the landscapes of her daughter’s paintings. No one ever spoke about those faces though, heaven forbid! If she mentioned it to Marion she refused to discuss it and became upset. Rosa would want to fetch Dr Fergusson because her mother must be ‘seeing things’, and God help her if she mentioned anything to Vivien, her youngest. ‘The Funny Farm’, was one of Vivien’s favourite phrases: ‘We’ll have to send you to the funny farm.’ She’d heard her say that to little Louise once or twice, too.
The top step creaked loudly and she stood for a moment to draw breath. Up here the storm was pounding the house in a drum of angry fists, windows rattled in the wooden frames, and inside the roof, the timber groaned alarmingly as the onslaught intensified. The thought crossed her mind that this was in the relative shelter of the forest. What must it be like up on the moors? Roofs could come off!
She hurried along the corridor to the west-facing bedroom at the far end and pushed open the door. The air hung stale and damp, the single bed neatly-made, the grate cold. A row of dolls on the bookshelf looked back at her with dead eyes. Dolls… how she hated the darn things. Well, Snow was not in her room and clearly hadn’t been for some time. Her heart picked up a beat. Please God don’t let her have slipped outside in this. Please let her be here…in one of these rooms… any of them…
Her heels chopped into the bare floorboards, a harsh and lonely sound in the big house. Wind whined around the corners, lamplight flickering on the wooden panelling, her shadow lengthening behind its oily, yellow glow as she creaked open each door along the corridor. Every room was empty. It was only as she reached the last one, however, that she suddenly became aware of sounds other than the storm outside – those from within the house itself – and stopped to listen.
Maybe her mind had tricked her into assuming it had been mice or some such creatures scratching in the walls. But no, there it was again – voices - and muffled footfalls…distant chatter. Something, now she came to think of it, that had been barely perceptible all day but now seemed more insistent, more frequent. Was it in her mind or was it real? Her spine stiffened. You know what it is…Ellen, you know! Surely it couldn’t be happening again after all these years? No, no and no! It could not be. Not that…
Determinedly, she closed her ears to the ghosts and hurried across the gallery landing to Marion’s bedroom door. This was the one room still in use that had a southerly aspect; Marion being the only one who didn’t seem to mind as much as the others that her long, Georgian sash window no longer overlooked Grytton Mere, but instead now faced the light-sapping solidity of gritstone: the rear end of Spite Hall. Odd for a woman who liked to paint, but then again Marion’s paintings were not of daylight.
Snow was sitting on an armchair by her mother’s window, rocking to and fro as was her wont, repeatedly hitting a rubber ball with a piece of string. In the dark, with the light from the oil lamp too feeble to reach the four corners, the girl’s appearance was unnerving, looking as she did from the back like a very old woman, humming to herself, swaying back and forth.
“You must come downstairs now. It’s freezing in here, child. Aren’t you hungry?”
Ellen held the lamp higher in order to decipher Snow’s expression; to gauge, as the bulky shape lumped out of her chair – dressed in zip-up ankle boots, thick tan stockings and a flower-patterned pinafore – what mood she might be in; trying not to flinch at the leery, brainless grin on the young woman’s face as she lurched towards her.
“Come on now, there’s a good girl. No–”
Snow had more power in one hand than most grown men; had been known to bang people’s heads against the wall in a pique of rage, and Ellen, secretly because she would never confess as much to Marion much less Rosa, was terrified of her. The girl could snap bones between her forefingers if she felt that way inclined.
Thank you for reading... so far I have been informed the story is creepy, scary and even 'brutal'....so I will await feedback from the readers.. This is now yours and it's over to you!!!