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Monday, September 17, 2012

A Creative Addiction

I never really thought about just how addicting writing can be. My brain has been so full of stories and books lately and all I seem to do in my spare time is write. I had to take a step back the other day and just read a book for the fun of it. Of course I had to force my brain to enjoy instead of edit. (For some reason edit mode is now the default setting."

I have also been trying to round out my life by adding things to it other than writing, editing and reading. It has been wonderful to sew quilt squares for Relief Society or help my roomie with her Photoshop projects and even some creative things (though a lot of my creative work has been designing book covers for my books).

On my last trip I took some time to actually walk in the fresh air of Idaho Falls and revel in the beauty of the river and the falls. I also had the chance to walk along the pier in Sidney, BC and enjoy the beauty of that part of the world for a few hours.

There truly is joy in nature and a peace that comes from enjoying it. I want more than anything to go to the beach and let the sound of crashing waves rejuvenate me, but that will have to wait for now. In the mean time I am doing my best to round out my life and not be quite so crazily addicted to my writing, though when the ideas for the stories flow then I must become a prisoner to my muse. Happy prisoner, that is. I do find a whole lot of fulfillment in finishing a book. Hopefully when I can actually publish those books my fulfillment will be even more complete.

Happy creative addiction.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Shadow 12


They were well away from Christchurch street before Marissa dared speak.
“Sarah, are you all right?” she asked fearfully.
“Whatever it was he didn’t get it all into me, but I’m certain I got some,” Sarah replied. “I feel all right, but it usually takes a few hours for his concoctions to work.”
“We should go back to my house,” Marissa said concerned.
“We can’t. Remember he sent you a message from Sean. If you go back then they will take you prisoner and use you against me,” Sarah said placing an invisible hand on Marissa’s arm.
“I have to find out what they want with Sean. I can’t just leave him to those wolves,” Marissa said taking several steps toward home.
“It won’t do any good if they take you, Marissa.”
“If you’re there with me we can keep double watch and if they do get me you can help me escape. Maybe they will even lead us to Sean,” Marissa suggested hopefully.
“I’m not willing to take that chance. I won’t do anything to hurt you or put you in harm’s way,” Sarah replied adamantly.
“We can at least go back to the house and retrieve some clothes and other things. From there we can find a room at a hotel or inn,” Marissa urged. “If we can find out who Jarvis’ contact is at my house and eliminate them, then we can eliminate Jarvis and force John to give you the antidote.”
The silence told Marissa that Sarah was considering her plan. If they could just find a place to rest and clean up she could think better.
“I can slip in and out of my house without being seen,” she added. “I’ve been doing it for years.”
“I suppose we can give it a try. I know a reputable inn on the outskirts of the city where we can stay for a few days,” Sarah replied.
“That would be excellent. We need to make sure you don’t react to whatever John gave you.”
“And maybe together we can figure out who is Jarvis’ inside person at your home,” Sarah added.
She took Marissa’s arm and pulled her in the direction of the afore mentioned inn, but Marissa stopped.
“We need clothes, Sarah. Let me just get a few things and then I promise I won’t ask to go back again,” Marissa pleaded. “You can watch my back and drag me out at the first sign of danger.”
Sarah sighed out loud and grumblingly agreed. They changed direction and approached Marissa’s grand house stealthily. When they reached the back gate Marissa scanned the outer perimeter. Nothing seemed amiss so she continued to the servant’s entrance and snuck inside. 
The house was quiet and Marissa moved extra carefully through the hallways up to her rooms. They encountered nothing out of the ordinary and she silently slipped into her bedroom. The room appeared empty so Marissa jumped into action. 
She went to her wardrobe and pulled out four of her simplest day dresses and undergarments. The air outside promised the coming of chilly weather so she also took two cloaks and two sets of scarves and gloves.
“That’s an awful lot of stuff, Marissa,” Sarah chided.
“It’s better than walking around cold and naked,” Marissa shot back. “It would be pretty difficult to procure a room in our birthday suits.”
“I’ve been wandering around like that for over a year now,” Sarah reminded. “I’ve gotten used to it.”
“Well I don’t want to get used to it,” Marissa snapped.
She stuffed the clothing into a large handbag an started for the door, but stopped at the sound of footsteps outside the room. Quickly stuffing the bag back into the wardrobe she moved to a shadowy corner to wait.
“I shouldn’t wake her,” Eliza said quietly just outside the door.
“I know, Eliza, but she was awfully worried about Mr. Doveday, and the express just came from him,” Tom replied. “I’m sure Lady Edgington hasn’t been in bed for long. You know how she likes to keep late hours.”
“Oh, all right, I’ll give it to her, but you go tell the man to wait, she might want to give a reply,” Eliza answered.
Marissa heard Tom’s steps retreating down the hall and then Eliza’s quiet knock.
“Lady are you awake?” Eliza called quietly.
“Marissa don’t you dare answer,” Sarah whispered from just behind her.
“Eliza isn’t the inside person, Sarah. She has been with my staff for ten years. If I don’t respond she’ll call out the police and then Jarvis and John will know something is wrong,” Marissa replied pulling her thin robe from the wardrobe. 
Her arms and hands slowly became visible as she became Lady Edgington. She went to the door and opened it with a yawn.
“What is it, Eliza?” she asked with just enough of a tone of grogginess.
“An express has come from Mr. Doveday and tom asked me to wake you. It seems quite urgent,” Eliza replied handing the note to Marissa.
Marissa took the message and opened it quickly and read:
Marissa,
I have some urgent business at the country estate and require your presence at your earliest convenience. I hope this finds you well. I will have the carriage ready to take you to the station first thing in the morning.
Sean Doveday
Marissa read and reread the message before looking up at Eliza’s expectant face. Marissa went to her reading table and drafted a quick response that appeared to agree with Sean’s request. She waxed and sealed it.
“Give this to the express,” she said handing her reply to Eliza “And tell Tom I wish to see him in ten minutes.”
Eliza took the note with a curtsy and hurried from the room.
“Are you crazy?” Sarah asked when Marissa had closed the door.
“Now we have an excuse to disappear for a few days, but we can do it on my terms, not Jarvis’,” Marissa replied.
“What do you mean?”
“They are expecting me to a carriage supplied by them, no doubt, to the station, but we can leave tonight. I will leave a note for Tom and we can go anywhere without suspicions arising,” Marissa explains.
“I suppose that is a good idea,” Sarah admits hesitantly. “Just as long as your staff isn’t in on the ruse. What about Tom? Can you trust him?”
Marissa thought for a moment and really reviewed her staff and their trustworthiness. They had all been employed by her since she became Lady Edgington and many of them were here when her father was alive and well. She treated them fairly and paid them better than most servants.
“Yes, I’m certain I can,” Marissa replied confidently.
“Then who is working for Jarvis?” Sarah questioned. “He has held that over me for the last year.”
Marissa shook her head. “I don’t know. No one has been acting suspicious and I don’t have any new people on my staff.”
She tried to think of anyone who had been acting differently for the last year, but nothing stood out.
“Well at least now I can pack a proper bag and it won’t look out of place,” Marissa said cheerfully.
At the ten minute mark a knock sounded on her door and Marissa called to enter. Tom slowly opened the door.
“You wished to see me Lady?” he asked respectfully.
“Yes, Tom, Sean has ordered the carriage for first thing in the morning. I plan to head to the station and catch the early train out. Will you make sure everything is ready for me, please?” Marissa requested.
“Yes, Ma’am,” Tom said with a nod. He paused for a few minutes then spoke softly. “Does this have anything to do with that American gentleman you brought here after church?”
Marissa looked at him quizzically. “No. Why do you ask?”
“Well I’ve seen the gentleman lurking around and he spoke with Master Doveday the morning he left,” Tom replied.
Marissa’s stomach did a tiny flip flop. “Oh. I don’t know why unless Mr. Anderson had questions about the estate. Sean would have been the person to ask I guess.”
This new development worried her.
“Perhaps Master Doveday is doing business with Mr. Anderson and that is why they want you out at the estate,” Tom said hopefully.
“I’m not sure, but I guess I will find out tomorrow. Thank you Tom, that will be all,” she said kindly.
“Yes, Madame,” the old butler said with a bow. He left the room and she closed the door quietly behind him.
“The fascinating life of the wealthy London socialite,” Sarah said sarcastically from her corner.
“I’m not what you would call a regular socialite, Mother. Though I think I am making a name for myself right where I want it,” Marissa defended. “Let’s finish packing and we can head out.”
Marissa retrieved the bag from the wardrobe and added several other items to the things she had already packed. After about an hour she eased the door open and scanned the hallway. There was no sign of any of the servants or Tom and Eliza. Her note explaining that she decided to leave early and didn’t want to wake anyone was left on her dressing table where she was certain Eliza would find it in the morning.
Marissa moved quietly down the stairs and through the back door with Sarah silently following. Once they were out of the house and into the shadows she pulled out a cloak for Sarah and then they started for the inn near Kings Cross station.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

In Tune With The Music of Faith

So I haven't had the chance to go to church today because I spent the morning flying and the only ward close enough to attend here in Santa Barbara and is still going is the Spanish branch. Since I don't speak a lick of Spanish I am choosing to read scriptures and The Infinite Atonement.

I did read this awesome Conference talk yesterday morning that I would encourage everyone to read. It is called In Tune With The Music of Faith by Elder Quentin L. Cook.

It give a very good parable for how to keep faith alive and active in our lives.

Also if you are looking for a good Sunday read I suggest The Infinite Atonement by Tad R. Callister, especially if you are seeking to understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ better.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Woman's Intuition

I have posted my thoughts about this subject on my hub pages site. Check out the article at Woman's Intuition

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Shadow 11


“He doesn’t know you can change back and forth,” Sarah paused. “But that doesn’t mean he won’t try to hurt Lady Edgington. And if Lady Edgington disappears he might put two and two together.”
“Just because we show up doesn’t mean I have to stay there. I can leave and they will never know it,” Marissa said convincingly.
“I don’t know,” Sarah replied hesitating. “There must be another way.”
“I don’t know what else to do to find Sean,” Marissa cried.
“We can try I suppose, but I don’t want you in any danger.”
“I will be very careful.”
“All right. We will go to Dr. Bering’s house. You’ll have to take off your clothes when we get there. We can use your cloak as a cover to prove you are there, but at any sign of trouble lose the cloak and get out,” Sarah instructed.
“That’s fine,” Marissa agreed.
Together they walked through the dark streets of London until they were standing in front of Dr. Bering’s dark home. With invisible hands Sarah picked the lock and entered through the very door Marissa had on the first two visits. Silently they entered the house and made their way to the basement lab.
Marissa could hear voices below and a chill ran through her body. The covering of the cloak was too thin for this work, but she mentally created the feeling of an invisible layer to remove the discomfort.
They reached the bottom step and Sarah stepped into the room keeping Marissa behind her. John was alone in the room working on some type of solution. Marissa checked to make sure she was still invisible as she followed Sarah into the room.
“I’ve kept my bargain,” Sarah announced loudly making Marissa and John jump.
“Oh,” John said standing and coming closer.
“I’ve brought you the Shadow, now I wan’t your word that my daughter won’t be harmed,” Sarah threatened.
“Well now how do we know this is the Shadow,” Dr. Bering said coming up behind them.
Marissa stepped back barely missing his arm as it struck toward her. In an instant she shed the cloak and moved away from Dr. Bering and John. She had no idea where Sarah was.
“This is treachery, Jarvis,” Sarah calls from across the room.
“I can see you brought our dear friend the Shadow. Tell me, how did you capture her?” Jarvis asked tauntingly.
“She convinced me it would be in my best interest to talk with you seeing how you’ve cursed me to her same fate,” Marissa said in a quiet, deadly voice.
“I do apologize for that, but we needed to know if it would work on its own or if we had to have both doses together. Our employer is very particular,” Jarvis replied.
“We made a deal, Jarvis,” Sarah began. “You said if I brought her you would leave my daughter alone.”
“I did say that, didn’t I,” Jarvis said thoughtfully. “Well I lied. I figured you would try to trick me so I took steps.”
“What have you done?” Sarah asked in a frightened voice.
Marissa trembled.
“Oh the Lady will be receiving a message from her dear steward that she won’t be able to refuse. I think it’s time Lady Edgington joined our little party don’t you?” Jarvis said with a sneer.
Marissa had to force herself to remain invisible. Every time Jarvis mentioned her title she could feel the invisibility fading.
“I suggest you stop this or I will have to take steps,” Sarah said. Suddenly a knife appeared next to John’s throat. “Your little scientist has been a menace to the world long enough. I have gotten used to not being seen.”
Jarvis froze in place and John paled beneath the knife’s blade. Marissa watched as John fumbled on the table and then he had a needle in his hand.
“Watch out, Sarah!” Marissa shouted.
Sarah moved just a little too slow and the needle jabbed her hand. She dropped the knife and quickly pulled the needle out. 
“Go,” Sarah called back and Marissa wheeled around and made for the door, but it shut before she could leave.
Jarvis stood guarding their only exit. Marissa did the only thing that came to her head and threw a jar of liquid at him. He dove away as the liquid smashed against the door leaving a mess of oozing yellow stuff all over the floor. The door yanked open just ahead of her and Marissa jumped over the mess and into the hall.
“After them,” Jarvis shouted.
“Oh no! Not the solution!” John was crying.
Marissa didn’t wait to hear any more. She followed the sound of light footsteps out of the house and out into the street.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Books to read

So I was thinking about some more books that I like to read. Another of my favorite authors is David Eddings. He has written several books. My favorite series is the Belgariad and the Ellenium. There are five books in each of the series, but they aren't horrendously long. They are two of my favorite series to read. Also Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress. These two are longer, but give an excellent interesting background.

Enjoy!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Time

Sometimes I feel like I have way too much time on my hands and yet no time at all. I have to stay fairly close to the airport in case I get called to fly and yet I want to go out and do something. You look for things to do locally and everything seems to cost money and the things that don't cost it is too hot for. Grrrrr.

Part of me just wants to write and part of me wants to take a break and part of me wants to read a book and part of me just wants to lay around and watch TV, but then I don't really want to do that. :) Maybe I'll go swimming or something.

Hopefully everyone has something fun to do with all of their time. :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Shadow 10

Marissa paced the room until she felt like she had a good course of action. She had to find her mother. Sarah was supposed to be searching for her to turn her in to Dr. Bering and John, but she was doing the things she did to protect Lady Edgington. 
Sarah had approached Sean to tell him that Marissa was in danger, but now that she knew that fact, Marissa could act. All she needed to do was explain to Sarah who she was and then maybe they could work together to find out what Dr. Bering was up to and stop him.
The idea seemed so simple in her head, but she knew finding an invisible woman would be nearly impossible. The only avenue she felt she could pursue was the one she didn’t feel ready to attack: return to Dr. Bering’s house. She squared her shoulders determined to do what needed to be done that night.
The rest of the day went by painstakingly slow and Marissa was ready to tear her hair out with impatience both for her midnight trip and for any word from Sean. By dinner time she realized Sean wasn’t coming back or sending word anytime soon so she determined to make good her secondary action and seek out Sarah at Dr. Bering’s house.
She had two regular messages to deliver that night anyway and the last one would take her to that part of town. After everyone had retired for the night she changed into her dark clothing and slipped out the back door. 
The first message went without a hitch and she continued on to pick up and deliver the second. The gentlemen was expecting her knock, but he had a new message to convey.
“I need you to go to 22 Halverton Street in Cheapside and tell the Doctor that his package is ready,” the gentleman said nervously.
“22 Halverton Street...” Marissa started to repeat the message back and realized that was where Dr. Bering lived.
Marissa stepped backward. “I’m afraid I can’t deliver your message,” she stated warily.
“Please, Madame, you must,” the gentleman answered desperately. “They will hurt my family if you don’t.”
“Who will hurt your family?” Marissa questioned.
“I...I don’t know.” She could see the tears on his face.
“I can’t deliver a message there,” Marissa began, but stopped at the feeling of cold metal against her back.
“I think you can, Madame Shadow,” Sarah whispered in her ear. To the gentleman she called, “Thank you kind sir. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.”
“I’m sorry,” the man called to Marissa.
“Come along, my dear. Let’s keep this simple. I would really rather not hurt you, but I will,” Sarah said in a deadly calm voice.
“Sarah wait, I must speak with you,” Marissa said as they walked down the street.
“So you were in the house that night,” Sarah said with a low chuckle. “Those two are fools, but not nearly as foolish as you. Did you think you could continue your regular route without being caught?”
“I wanted to find you, Sarah, please wait,” Marissa cried.
“Quiet!” Sarah hissed.
“But I’m your daughter,” Marissa tried to explain.
Sarah laughed. “My daughter is Lady Edgington, you fool. I’m not so silly as to fall for that. Keep moving.” Sarah pushed her forward.
Marissa had just enough time to stop and turn to face the invisible woman. She pulled the hood from her head and willed herself into visibility.
“I am Lady Edgington,” Marissa declared.
Moments later she heard a gasp in front of her.
“Marissa?” Sarah whispered. Marissa felt a cold hand on her cheek. “You are the Shadow?”
Marissa nodded. “I am also the Shadow.” She was now used to the feeling she got when she turned back and forth.
“How do you control it?” Sarah asked in awe. “And why would you do this sort of thing? You’re a Lady now.”
Marissa shook her head. “It’s a long story. Please, let’s go back to my house and we can talk about it.”
“We can’t go there, it’s not safe,” Sarah whispered.
“It’s perfectly safe at my house. I trust all of my servants,” Marissa said.
“Dr. Bering has someone there, Marissa, someone you can’t trust. We can’t go there,” Sarah replied shaking her head. “We can’t ever go back there.”
“What do you mean?” Marissa asked suspiciously.
“I was supposed to deliver you to Dr. Bering by tonight or else he was going to have his contact in your house kidnap you,” she said weakly.
Marissa sighed. “Then we have a problem.”
“What about Sean? Can he help us?” Sarah asked hopefully.
“Sean left this morning,” Marissa answered. “We argued about all of this last night and he left. I must have hurt him dreadfully.”
“Sean wouldn’t have left you knowing you were in danger,” Sarah said unbelievingly. 
“What do you mean?” Marissa asked confused.
“My darling dear, can’t you see how much he loves you?” Sarah returned.
“Loves me? Sean doesn’t love me, we are friends, that’s all,” Marissa argued, but even as she spoke the words she knew they weren’t true. 
All of his actions and words had bespoken of his affections toward her.
“Oh my, this complicates everything,” Marissa finished.
“He was supposed to convince you to go somewhere safe. Apparently he didn’t succeed,” Sarah said wryly.
“I can be a bit stubborn,” Marissa said.
“Something had to have happened to him and I can only imagine Dr. Bering is behind it. His contact must have overheard you arguing last night. Come with me, we have to figure out what to do next.”
Sarah pulled her arm leading Marissa toward a dark side street. Marissa felt odd being pulled by an invisible force. As soon as the darkness enveloped them Sarah stopped.
“I have a place we can go, but it’s not very nice,” she said hesitatingly.
“I don’t really care right now, Sarah. I grew up in the slums of the London orphanages and I worked in a factory for four years,” Marissa replied.
There was silence and then Sarah continued. “All right.”
Marissa felt the tug on her arm again and she followed Sarah’s careful lead. They walked through the streets moving into the most dirty and run-down parts of London. Some of the streets they passed were worse than what Marissa had grown up on. After a quarter hour of walking they came to a door where Sarah stopped. A key appeared out of the air around what must have been Sarah’s head and then fumbled in the lock.
The door opened and Sarah pulled Marissa inside. The one room hovel was the epitome of filth and degradation. Marissa looked around the dim room in horror.
“You live here?” she gasped.
“Not very often,” Sarah replied. Marissa could hear the shame in her voice. “It is difficult to rent a place when no one can see you. I usually stay in the unused rooms of several London inns. I have to stay much cleaner than normal. Everything tends to show up after a while.”
“What is it like being invisible all the time?” Marissa asked, her curiosity getting the better of her.
“Miserable. I just wish I could see myself in the mirror and know what I look like.”
“Do you walk around unclothed all the time? Even in the winter. It must be freezing.”
“No, I usually have a long coat and boots and a few other things that keep me warm except when I am working for Dr. Bering,” Sarah replied. “How is it that you are able to change back and forth?”
“I don’t know,” Marissa began. “I think it has something to do with what I was doing at the time I drank that retched wine.”
“How many doses did they give you?”
“Only one, but I think it was the second one. I heard them talking about testing the second one just before I left. I was silly enough to drink the wine John offered,” Marissa said. “He seemed so harmless and he didn’t put anything in the wine and the wine had been in the room with me the whole time.”
“They laced the cup. That’s how they got me,” Sarah said.
“How many doses did you get?” Marissa asked.
“Two of the first potion. You said it was something you were doing when you drank the wine?” Sarah pressed.
“I think it has to do with the fact that I was Madame Shadow when I drank the potion. After I first turned invisible I noticed that I could change back and forth depending on what my frame of mind was. When I am the Shadow I am invisible and when I am Lady Edgington I’m not. See,” Marissa explained.
She focused on her identity as the Shadow and watched as her hands disappeared.
“What are you thinking right now?” Sarah demanded.
“I am the Shadow and what I do when I am the shadow,” Marissa replied.
Marissa then resumed the Lady Edgington identity and she reappeared. “There I become Lady Edgington again. I think what saved me from your fate was the fact that I had two separate identities and I was completely enveloped in the one when I took the potion.”
“I would give anything to be seen again,” Sarah said sadly.
Marissa didn’t know how to respond so she decided to change the subject back to Sean’s disappearance.
“What do we do about Sean?” Marissa asked.
“I don’t know other than go to Dr. Bering.”
“Perhaps we can go to Dr. Bering. Take me with you and you fulfill your part of the bargain,” Marissa suggested.
“It’s too dangerous, Marissa. We can’t chance him getting a hold of you...”
“But he won’t be able to see me. We can make sure he understands that you fulfilled your part of the bargain. I’m certain he will try to use Sean as the next pawn. Hopefully he will give us some clues to find him and to figure out what he is planning,” Marissa finished.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Writing

So I have been really involved in a series of books that I am writing right now and this is why I haven't been posting lately. I also have not been feeling well and been flying and that all corresponds with my lack of posts.

I will try to add another chapter to The Shadow, but don't count on it until I can finish the book that has captured my attention.

Thank you.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Shadow 9


Marissa woke up with a stitch in her side and realized she had slept in her ball gown, corset and all. She rolled out of bed and undid the buttons of the dress allowing it to slide to the floor. She noticed the tear stains on the front and realize it would have to be cleaned so she draped it over the back of a chair to await Eliza’s expert care.
She removed the corset and underskirts and put on a silk wrap with beautiful chinese flowers on it and sat at her window staring out at the park. It was much too early to be awake, but she couldn’t go back to sleep with everything rolling through her head.
She knew few of the servants would be up since it was Sunday. She looked forward to a day with few distractions and annoyances. She got up and started downstairs to get a cup of tea when she remembered her appointment with the American Simon Anderson.
With a groan she continued down to the kitchen surprising the cook who had just started breakfast. 
“Oh, your Ladyship, I didn’t know you were up or I would have had breakfast ready for you,” the cook mumbled.
“It’s all right, Clarice, I just wanted a cup of tea for right now. Breakfast at the usual time is just fine,” Marissa soothed.
She poured herself a cup and left the agitated cook to work in peace and went into her office. Despite the previous evenings argument she curled up in her usual chair to drink her tea and read the morning paper. She would attend church later that morning and then have tea with Mr. Anderson.
She was a little annoyed at the interruption this would be to her day, but in lieu of her fight with Sean she hoped the visit would prove an excellent distraction. The ridiculous news of the day held no interest for her and after a few minutes she tossed the paper aside. 
Everything felt out out of sorts when she argued with Sean, but this time she refused to back down. He had insulted her deeply and until he apologized she wouldn’t budge. She finished her tea and returned the cup to the kitchen then headed back up to her room to dress for church. 
She refused to follow with the silly practice of dressing in something different for every activity of her day. All of her clothes were well-made and sturdy enough to withstand anything the day might throw at her. Her church dress would suffice for breakfast, church and tea with Mr. Anderson.
After eating she let the cook know about their guest at two and decided to walk the two short blocks to the church she attended. On her way back from services she was joined unexpectedly.
“May I have the pleasure of walking you home from service, Lady Edgington?” Mr. Anderson asked with a proper bow.
Marissa colored slightly. “Yes,” she replied hesitantly half hoping Sean would observe this, but then remembering he had been absent from his usual place at the services.
Simon offered his arm and she took it with a silent sigh. Simon’s presence would be a good distraction for her disgruntled feelings. It was a beautiful morning with the promise of a warm day and she wanted to enjoy every moment of it.
“I saw you at church and just had to jump at the chance to share in your inspiring presence,” he drawled.
“Mr. Anderson, please contain yourself,” Marissa chided. A part of her was starting to tire of his endless flattery.
He ducked his head, but she could see that he didn’t care about his manner. In fact he seemed almost proud of his extravagant behavior.
“Did you enjoy the service?” she asked more gently.
“It was as beautiful as the morning dawn,” he replied sincerely.
“The reverend does give an excellent sermon,” Marissa agreed. “So may I ask what brings you to London, Sir?” 
She is curious as to why this man is even in the city.
“I have a few business adventures I have been pursuing. A friend of mine has recently done some research that intrigues me and I am hoping to invest in his findings,” he answered vaguely.
“What research? Perhaps I have heard of it,” she pried.
“Oh I doubt it, nothing a Lady such as yourself would be interested in. Now tell me about yourself. I heard you recently inherited your father’s estate?”
She was instantly on her guard. She wanted no part in a fortune hunter.
“Yes, it was a surprise for all of us when Mr. Doveday found me,” she replied carefully.
“Found you?”
“I had been working in a factory here in London when I was informed that I was the only living, named, heir to Lord Edgington’s estate. I was completely unaware of the connection. Apparently he was going to tell me when I turned twenty-one, but didn’t live long enough.” She knew the information she shared was widely publicized and anyone could find out how she had come into her estate.
“What a wonderful thing for you,” Simon cried. “You should be careful though. There are many a fortune hunter out there that would be more than happy to take it away from you.”
“Oh I know. I have a trusted friend who managed the estate for my late father and continues the work for me. His concern runs deep and he will investigate anyone who could threaten my standing,” Marissa answered honestly.
That should scare away any ideas of marrying her for money. If someone didn’t want to be investigated they would disappear quickly.
“That’s a good thing, dear lady. I’m happy to hear you have such good people looking out for you. A woman such as yourself can never be too careful of the people around her,” he warned.
By this time they had reached her home. It was just lunch time, too early for tea, but Marissa wanted to get to know more about this man than he had shared.
“Would you like to join me for lunch, Mr. Anderson?” she asked carefully. “I know our appointment isn’t until two, but I have enjoyed our conversation these past ten minutes and would like to continue it.”
“I would be honored, Madame.” He bowed and she showed him inside.
The butler took Mr. Anderson’s coat and hat as well as Marissa’s coat and bag. She told him of the addition for lunch and he nodded and left to inform the cook.
They went into the parlor to visit until lunch was laid out.
“Tell me about yourself, Mr. Anderson,” Marissa requested formally.
“There isn’t much to tell. I made my fortune in steel in the eastern United States and I recently decided to pursue other interests overseas,” he began. “I have a passion for all things exciting and interesting and mysterious.”
He raised his eyebrows in Marissa’s direction. She blushed slightly.
“There isn’t much that is exciting or mysterious here,” she replied coyly knowing full well her statement was a complete and utter lie.
“Now I don’t believe a word of that, Ma’am. Just your history and position in life begs to differ,” Simon replied grandly.
“Well the mystery is all out now. I dare say there are some in our little circle of friends who don’t appreciate my background and parentage,” Marissa said.
“A pox on those who do, My Lady, I’m sure you are worth more than all their gold and jewels.”
She lowered her eyes at his flattery. She wasn’t used to this kind of attention from any of her gentlemen friends. Simon Anderson seemed much more sincere than any of the men who attempted to court her.
“You said you made your fortune in steel?” she encouraged.
“Yes, my grandparents were immigrants from Italy and my father was a worker in the steel factories in Chicago. I learned all about steel from my father and used the knowledge to invest wisely. It has been quite a challenge, but I have returned to my parents everything they gave me and more.”
He spoke with a smile, but there was a darker undertone that made Marissa cringe.
“And now you are here in London,” she added lightly.
“Yes. I do rather like the city. It is charming in the least.” He gestured all around and then let his eyes rest back on her. “So you mentioned that you worked in a factory. Did your family also work there?”
“Oh, I don’t know. I was raised in an orphanage since I was a child. I had never known who my father was and my mother had never shared the information with me before she disappeared.” She paused thinking about how literal that last statement was. “When I turned fifteen I got a job at the factory and worked there until I was brought here.”
“I bet it was quite a shock for you to be dropped in the world of aristocracy and wealth,” Simon murmured.
Marissa nodded. “It was at first, but I know how to read and I used that to my advantage. I see no reason for me to not understand my status in life. I think it is silly that some women pay no attention to the financial situation they live in.”
Simon chuckled. “Feisty and educated. You really are amazing Lady Edgington!”
“I’m sure most people think I am crazy, but I have spent enough time poor and alone that I don’t ever want to be there again. I think I’m just as smart as my steward or any of the other men out there that run the world,” Marissa declared haughtily.
“Here, here!” Simon cried.
Marissa blushed realizing that her outburst could be very offensive. “That’s not to say that everyone should participate in these weighty matters, it is just an interest of mine,” she qualified.
Eliza quietly entered the parlor at that point and announced lunch. Marissa stood and led the way into the dining room. They ate a simple meal of cold chicken and stuffed potatoes followed by tea and biscuits.
Simon raved about everything and Marissa found herself enjoying his praise. When the visit was finished he asked to call again and she agreed. She was intrigued by this outward American gentleman.
After he left Marissa made her way to her study and pulled a book from the vast shelves, but her thoughts continued to follow Simon and evaluate the feelings she felt in his presence. She knew she had to be careful with her emotions. Even though he seemed very transparent there was still something that he was hiding, of that she was certain.
She got up from her chair to find Sean. It would be best if he did some background checking on Mr. Anderson. She tried his study, but it was empty. Next she tried the library and the billiard room, but still no Sean. Usually on Sundays he spent his liesure time in those places.
Perplexed she called the butler.
“Yes, Lady?” John asked.
“Have you seen Sean?” she asked casually.
“Mr. Doveday left yesterday evening,” John informed.
“Left?” Marissa questioned.
“He had a suitcase so I assumed he would be gone for a day or two on business.”
“Oh, thank you, John,” Marissa replied disappointed.
Sean had never left without telling her before. His actions were another barb in the already open wound. She returned to her study and shut the door trying to think calmly about the situation.
They had argued and he had said some things that hurt her deeply, but at the same time her actions had concerned him and on more than one occasion he had asked her to give up her life as the Shadow. Yet she refused to do so. Now she was certain her actions had hurt him. It was one continuous round of hurt that never ended. She knew there was one way to stop it, quit being the Shadow, but she knew she couldn’t do that, at least not yet.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pause

So I'm sorry I haven't written for a while. I got busy flying and then I had a family reunion and then I caught a cold. Hopefully in the next few days I will get better and have some time and energy to add more chapters and posts. :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Shadow 8


“I think you should start at the beginning,” Sean demanded.
Marissa opened her mouth, but the carriage pulled to a stop at the house. The coachman opened the door and helped her out and Sean followed her up to the house. Most of the staff was in bed or gone for the night and Marissa felt certain they would be safe in her personal study. No one ever went in there, including Sean.
He paused at the door and she rolled her eyes and pulled him in closing the door firmly behind her. She checked everything around to make sure there wasn’t anyone hiding or listening and then poured herself a class of scotch and sat down.
“Well,” Sean said waiting patiently.
Marissa sighed. “It all started with my late night visit last week, the one I told you about that you scolded me for. Well you were right, the Doctor and his friend slipped something into the glass of wine that I drank.”
Sean started up looking alarmed, but Marissa held up her hand to stop him.
“It wasn’t poison, it was a potion of sorts. I don’t know all the particulars, but what I do know is that it changed something in my body. That was the pain I felt the next morning.”
“What change?” Sean asked looking her over suspiciously.
Marissa smiled at the ideas that were probably running through his head.
“This change,” she said getting to her feet. She stood in front of the mirror hanging over the hearth and mentally put on her Shadow persona. She watched with satisfaction as her visible skin disappeared.
Sean gasped and then made choking sounds. Marissa turned to see him standing white-faced and shaking. She rushed to his side returning to the Lady Edgington persona and her skin reappeared. She helped him sit down and gave him a glass of scotch which he downed with one gulp.
“How did you do that?” he gasped touching her arms, hands and face to make sure she was really there, even though she was clearly visible.
“It has to be something in the potion,” Marissa said after he had calmed down a bit. “I think they gave the same potion to Sarah and she disappeared completely, but when they gave it to me it wasn’t me, it was the Shadow, so now I have control over when I change.”
“What do you think of when you change?”
“I become the Shadow,” Marissa said simply. She began pacing the room. “I would give anything to be able to turn my clothes invisible, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. It’s a little uncomfortable, but you get used to it.”
“You go out that way without any clothes?” Sean gasped turning several shades of red, green and white. He shook his head muttering something that sounded like ‘utterly inappropriate.’
Marissa smiled. “Only once. I just think of my invisibility as a skin tight suit. I had to be that way to get back into Dr. Bering’s house and see what he was up to. That’s when I overheard Sarah talking to the Doctor and John about an antidote.”
Marissa went to Sean’s side. “Oh Sean, they are making her do awful things because she is invisible,” she cried.
“Why doesn’t she just...disappear?” he asked incredulously.
“Because of me,” Marissa sighed. “They know I am her daughter. How they know I am not certain, but they have threatened to harm me if she doesn’t do what they ask.”
“Did they mention you by name?” 
“No, but Sarah’s visit to you to warn about my safety just confirmed it.”
“She said not to trust anyone in the house,” Sean said thinking. “I want to take you away from here. It’s not safe.”
He gets to his feet and starts for the door.
“It’s not that easy, Sean, besides I think there is something more,” Marissa said firmly. “I think they are planning something and I need to find out what it is.”
“You don’t need to do anything, Marissa. These men have already harmed you and I won’t give them another chance,” Sean declared firmly.
Marissa stood angrily. “You can’t force me to leave,” she declared hotly. “Remember I can disappear very easily.”
Sean’s face went white with anger and frustration and then finally worry. “Marissa please,” he begged. “I’m trying to protect you. Look at what they’ve already done to you.”
He gestured toward her and she could see that her skin was translucent and fading. She shook her head.
“I did this to myself when I drank that wine like an idiot,” she muttered. “I need to find out what they are up to.”
“You are an idiot if you continue down this path,” Sean said angrily. “I refuse to be a part of your destruction, you arrogant woman.”
She stared at him with surprise. He had never spoken to her like that. She regretted ever telling him anything. She stiffly moved toward the door.
“I think we are done here, Mr. Doveday,” she said icily. 
He had crossed a line with his last statement. She left him standing in the middle of the room. She knew he cared about her, but she was also a grown woman and very capable of managing her life on her own. She had done very well before she became Lady Edgington. 
Nothing in her behavior since could even remotely point to her being arrogant, in fact, she had always laughed with Sean about the arrogance of the English upper classes and their silly ways. He had always shown pride in her ability to take on the role that had been given her with as much grace and  stature as her father had portrayed.
For Sean to call her arrogant was like calling her trash and it hurt her deeply. She went to her room and shut the door locking it behind her. She wasn’t doing this to be prideful in her situation. She really wanted to know what the men were up to. Everything about them seemed sinister and wrong. 
She had been given a gift or sorts that would allow her to help and she desperately wanted to help. As Lady Edgington she was just another rich, privileged woman who spent her time attending useless aid meetings and dances and parties with other useless women. As the Shadow she could actually help people.
She paced the room letting the tears she had held back fall down her cheeks and stain the soft satin skirts. Finally she lay down exhausted on the bed and fell asleep.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Things to do

So I am writing this post ahead of time because I will be flying on this date and wanted to keep caught up since I am actually on a roll. I'm also writing because I am procrastinating. There are so many things I should be doing and I just don't want to do them. :)

I don't recommend procrastinating because it always comes back to bite you, which I am certain in this case it will do to me, but I just don't have the energy to put forth to accomplish everything I should and I know that if I write in my blog I am at least doing something that I need to do, but don't necessarily have to do right now.

The moral of today's story is to not procrastinate, but if you're going to procrastinate then at least do it with something that will eventually have to be done. :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

A few more recommendations

So I was going through the books I have read deciding if I wanted to write or to read and I decided to write, but then I thought I might mention some more of my favorite books that I enjoy reading.

There is a series, of course, that are a delightful mixture of mystery and adventure. They are set in the late 1800s in the glorious age of archeological discovery in Egypt and the surrounding areas. The author is Elizabeth Peters and the books are the Amelia Peabody mysteries.

Book 1
There are seventeen or eighteen books in the series and I have thoroughly enjoyed each one. There is a recurring theme of a dead body in each book and a mystery to solve, but the collision of relationships in the book is also fun to watch enfold. Since I am a fan of mystery books I thought this might be a good suggestion.

Along the lines of fantasy or science fiction there is another series of books called The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. These books have been around for a while and they even made a movie about them, though it doesn't follow the books quite as well as I would like.

These books follow a young man who discovers that he has some magical gifts and he must find certain signs and bring them together to fight the rising dark. It is fantasy all the way, but if you like Arthurean legends and stuff like that then you will enjoy these books as well.

So those are my suggestions for today. Enjoy

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sunset...

I was just staring at a beautiful picture of a sunset my best friend took in Kauai. It makes me think of all the sunsets I have seen in my life and I appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of each one. No two sunsets are ever alike, just like people. Even twins have their differences in personality.

The sunset can be a brilliance of color and in a flash is gone or it can be a gentle fading of the light until we are left in twilight and then darkness. It can disappear with a gold or silver lining around the clouds or be snuffed out by a coming storm.

I love sunset. It is a time of reflection of the day and what you have accomplished and what you haven't accomplished, which in my case seems to be a lot, :). In some places it is watching the heat fade into the cool of a summer night and in others it is the delightful warmth chilling into a cold night.

My favorite place to watch sunset is of course on a beach where the waves are tipped with the golden light as they come crashing in and the large orange orb sinks slowly as if into the water, but sunset anywhere is just amazing to me.

So my advice for today is to go and watch a sunset somewhere and ponder the day.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Shadow 7


Marissa stared at her image in the mirror. Her ball gown with its dainty lace sleeves and satin trimmed skirts accentuated her slender frame and pale skin. She liked the way her figure looked and is certain many of the dashing gentlemen of the evening will be smitten by her appearance.
She tucked the beautiful Chinese fan she had found among Lord Edgington’s things into her beaded evening bag and left the room. Eliza waits in the hall with the silk, fringed shawl which she drapes becomingly around Marissa’s shoulders.
“You look beautiful, Ma’am,” Eliza fauns.
“Thank you, Liza. Where’s Sean?” Marissa asks.
“He’s getting the horses and carriage ready for you, Miss.”
“Oh, all right then.” 
Marissa wanted to show off her new dress to the one person who’s opinion matter the most in her life, but she wanted to do it with her usual flare. She waited at the top of the stairs until she heard him come in. With all the grandeur she was accustomed to portraying, she gracefully descended the stairs.
“Always ready for a show,” Sean said wryly when she reached his side.
She arched her eyebrows and he laughed.
“You look very lovely, Marissa, is that better?” he conceded with a bow.
“Yes,” she said pertly.
“I’m certain you will have the droves eating our of your gloved hand before the night is over.”
Marissa smiled coyly. “Isn’t that the idea, Sean?” I thought you wanted me married off to the most eligible bachelor so you don’t have to worry about me anymore.”
She watched his eyebrows and cheeks twitch with annoyance and laughed. He sighed shaking his head and for a split second she wondered what he really wanted for her.
Before she could ask he opened the door and offered his arm. They walked to the waiting carriage and he tucked her inside and then climbed in next to her.
“An escort? To what do I owe this pleasure?” she asked excitedly.
“I just don’t want anything happening to you. You have a talent for getting into trouble, my dear,” he said simply.
Marissa pouted and then laughed. “Oh, Sean, you’re such a dear.”
She leaned back against the cushioned seat and watched the street lights flicker past as they drove through the city. It didn’t take long to reach Sir Barton’s massive house. Marissa geared herself up for the coming evening knowing it would be exhausting. Ball’s were not her favorite events to attend, but there was a certain amount of social credit she had to maintain.
“Don’t break too many hearts tonight, Marissa,” Sean chided.
“Only half a dozen,” Marissa replied with a smile.
She planned to do a lot of listening that night. There were too many strange occurrences to justify before she could venture back into her invisible world.
She walked up the steps of the mansion on Sean’s arm and he handed her off to the stately looking doorman who announced her presence in a penetrating voice. She cringed inside at the old-fashioned gesture, but made her grand entrance with pride in her father’s name.
Sir Barton stood at the front of the receiving line and eagerly requested the first dance when she greeted him. She acquiesced only a little unwillingly and moved into the room. As she moved among the different clusters of people she heard the latest gossip roving the English upper class, but nothing struck her as pertinent to her situation. No unexplained disappearances were mentioned and only the apparent murder of Minister Cherington seemed to be the major concern.
She saw Charlotte and greeted her briefly reveling in the look of annoyed jealousy on her face. 
“Marissa, your maid must be quite exhausted from getting you ready so quickly,” Charlotte said condescendingly.
It always miffed the ladies that Marissa could stay so busy and still look like she had spent hours at her toilette. 
“Not at all, darling. It was an easy thing after the aid meeting. Eliza was quite busy with other things,” Marissa said smugly.
She hated sitting for hours in front of a mirror. For the first nineteen years of her life not really caring what she looked like. She loved cowing the spiteful cats with her simple yet elegant way. By the amount of attention she received it was apparent that the gentlemen didn’t care how long she spent getting ready.
Charlotte feigned seeing a friend and Marissa was glad to see her leave. She moved on until Sir Barton came to claim her for the first dance.
She spent most of the rest of the evening dancing with various gentlemen among the party, enjoying very few until a very handsome American gentleman named Simon Anderson claimed her for a waltz.
His dashing manner and witty conversation left Marissa breathless and wishing for more. She had never completely enjoyed herself at these social gatherings as she did with this man. When the music ended he led her to a table to rest and called for some wine.
“So Lady Edgington what would you say to giving me a tour of London tomorrow,” Simon said in a shockingly forward manner.
She like him a great deal.
“Mr. Anderson we have just met,” Marissa replied with a coy smile and just a hint of disapproval.
“That’s true, but I believe I have fallen madly in love with you and I want to spend all y time in your distinguished presence,” he exclaimed loudly enough that a few of the people around them turned to stare.
Marissa blushed, but her guard was up. He may be a cavalier American, but she was a proper British lady and she wasn’t about to damage her hard-earned reputation on a man no matter how much she liked him.
“Perhaps we could have tea sometime,” Marissa replied carefully. “I have some wonderful gentlemen friends who would be more than happy to take you around the city.”
“You are right, sweet lady. Perhaps we could have dinner one evening instead,” he said chastized.
“Yes, I think that would be wonderful,” Marissa agreed.
“May I call on you tomorrow?” Simon asked.
“Certainly,” Marissa replied. “How about tea at two o’clock?”
That would give her some time to learn more about this forward American.
“Wonderful!” he exclaimed. “I’ll be there at two sharp.” He bowed and judiciously left.
As soon as he had gone Marissa was swarmed by several young ladies eager to hear about the American.
“I heard he’s very rich,” a girl named Clarissa said.
“I wouldn’t know. We didn’t discuss his income,” Marissa replied practically.
“Be careful, Marissa, he could be a fortune hunter,” a friend named Jeanette added.
“Or a handsome doctor,” Eileen Wilson said dreamily. “Will he call on you?”
“He dances very well for an American,” Clarissa said.
“He was a very good dancer and yes, he asked to call,” Marissa said with a smile. “Ny my dear ladies the even is ending. I can see my escort waiting at the door for me.”
She had noticed Sean’s stiff figure near the door. She didn’t realize how late it must be if he had come inside looking for her. She started toward him, but stopped when she realized he was dressed in a tie and coat tails.
Shock must have registered on her face because he came toward her with a smile.
“To what do I owe this shocking pleasure?” she asked with a curtsy.
“I know how much you enjoy these little parties and I thought I would dance with you once before taking you home,” Sean replied with a stiff bow.
He took her hand and led her expertly in the steps of the dance. Marissa had never danced with Sean before and she enjoyed every moment knowing it probably wouldn’t happen again. She also took pleasure in the fact that the old gossips were probably having a shock episode for the fact that Lady Edgington was dancing with a steward.
He wasn’t a servant in her eyes. He was the executor of the Edgington estate and a well-respected lawyer and friend. He had just as much right to be at this ball as anyone here and he would probably be more of a gentleman than these ladies had ever seen. The problem was his relatively constant close proximity to herself. He had managed the affairs of her late father’s estate for the past five years and he continued to do for her as well.
When the music stopped he led her out of the room where she gave her farewells to Sir Barton and his friends. After they climbed into the carriage she let out a sigh of relief.
“Well, that’s finally over,” she said relaxing. “Now tell me why you really came to fetch me.”
Sean let out his breath as if he had been holding it and looked gravely at her. “I had a visitor tonight, Marissa, one that completely unnerved me,” he said slowly.
Marissa immediately knew who he was talking about. The only thing that could shake Sean enough to dress him up and dance with her at a ball would be a visit from the invisible Sarah
“And,” Marissa encouraged. “What did she say?”
Sean looked at her and she knew her question had confirmed some suspicions in his mind. “She warned me that you might be in danger. In fact, that you had been in danger for some time and she wanted me to keep a close eye on you. She said not to trust any of the staff because someone is being paid to harm you if she doesn’t accomplish certain things.”
Marissa stared at Sean as understanding dawned. Sarah was her mother! The invisible woman was the mother she had searched for for years. The reality shocked and frightened her.
“Marissa what is going on?” Sean demanded. “I know you’ve been keeping something from me. Who is this woman? Does she have anything to do with Minister Cherington’s death?”
It was Marissa’s turn to take a deep breath. This was much more complicated than she had thought. 
“I have something to tell you, or show you rather, but not here. Some place private where we won’t be observed or overheard,” Marissa began.
Sean opened his mouth, but she put up her hand to stop him.
“The woman, she’s invisible, correct?” Marissa confirmed.
Sean nodded.
“Her name is Sarah Clarence and she is my mother.”
Sean’s eyes widened.
“The rest has to wait until I can show you my secret,” Marissa finished.
“How do you know she’s your mother?” he asked skeptically.
“I overheard a conversation between her and some gentlemen,” Marissa stated simply. “Her visit to you just clarified everything."