The Dead of Haggard Hall
Darke of Night, #1
by Marie Treanor
Date of Publication: July 26th 2016
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Cover Artist: Kelly Martin
Genre: Gothic/Historical/Paranormal Romance
From The Book Junkie Reads . . . The Dead of Haggard Hall (Darke of Night, #1) . . .
Barbara and Patrick had a vested interest in the goings on around Haggard Hall. Barbara’s friend and Patrick’s brother are both in danger but not your everyday garden variety danger. Their danger consists of more than what can be seen and felt. This gothic read takes you on a supernatural haunting mysterious journey for the truth. Real or imagined. There was murder, hauntings, mysteries, ghost, friendship, brotherhood, skepticism, and more.
Patrick was broken and could only believe in what he could see, touch, taste, feel. He was not one to just accept things that were not tangible. But one thing held out over all. He was truly concerned about his brother. He skeptically takes up the mantle of providing assistance to Barbara on her quest to find answers. Of course it was not that simple. The more they find the more questions that come up.
Patrick was a good anti-hero set in the gothic setting of a hunted castle. As he and Barbara continue to work together things between them turn up in intensity.
Barbara was one to herself. She had a lot going on and the way that Treanor took the time to explain things helped to make this a valued read for me. Ghost, possessions, medium and the such have more to it that just a cloud of misty bodily proportions, a strange voice and odd verbiage from the grave.
Emotions are engaged. Rapid heart rate will occur. Mysterious happenings definitely happened. Secrets and a hidden agenda or two may be down the next hallway. Bring on book two.
**This ARC was provided via Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.**
Spirit possession is easy to remedy. Possession of the heart is another matter.
After vicar’s widow and natural medium Barbara Darke loses her respectable teaching position, she reluctantly agrees to become companion to her former pupil Emily, now the bride of young Sir Arthur Haggard.
Once settled at Haggard Hall, Barbara finds her friend is beset by ghostly voices and unexplained deaths. In a maelstrom of dark spirits and wicked emotions, Barbara battles to lay Emily’s ghosts to rest—both hampered and helped by Arthur’s skeptical cousin Patrick, who provokes and attracts her in equal measure.
It would be a mistake to trust a secretive, guilt-ridden man suspected of driving his wife to suicide, if not outright murdering her. And it could well be lethal to give in to her own desires, confused as they often are with the lusts of the dead.
But Arthur and Emily are in genuine physical danger, and suspicion is falling closer and closer to Patrick—the man who haunts Barbara’s sensual dreams. The man who stands to inherit Haggard Hall.
Warning: Contains a medium whose body is open season for spirit possession, and a scandal-ridden journalist who only believes what he can see—and touch.
Emily broke off, clutching my arm as lightning flashed through several windows at once, followed almost immediately by a deafening clap of thunder that seemed to roll right over the roof.
At the same time, a rush of air chilled my scalp, stirring my hair, and several candles in the hall blew out at once, leaving only the dim light from two wall lamps.
Emily’s eyes widened and her mouth opened and closed soundlessly before she managed to say, “That shouldn’t happen, Barbara. You know it—”
As the thunder began to die away, something crashed into the front door opposite us, making us both jump and Emily squeal.
“What’s that?” she whispered in panic.
“It sounds like someone knocking on the door,” I said as calmly as I could.
“Why don’t they ring the bell?” she countered as the banging went on.
I thought about it. “Maybe the bell is broken, which is why the servants don’t hear.” I began to walk across the hall with Emily dangling from my elbow, trying to hold me back. I paused and stared at her. “What? Do you think it’s some evil spirit knocking on the door to get out of the rain?”
She blinked, gave a half laugh, and released my elbow, although she scurried after me the rest of the way to the door. I struggled with the heavy latch, and then, as soon as I began to draw the door back, the wind whipped it out of my hand and blasted me backwards.
At the same time, lightning forked across the sky, flashing over the grim, angular face of a large, soaking-wet man, all hollow cheeks and hard eyes that showed amber like a wolf’s.
Emily let out a cry and fell back, clutching me around the waist as the stranger, water running off him like a fresh shower, strode into the house and forced the door shut once more.
Only, of course, he wasn’t a stranger. My hand crept up over my heart to my throat.
Arthur bolted out of the dining room above, no doubt to see why his wife had screamed, Bela Hiranyi and Henry Faversham at his heels. Arthur was scowling over the banister with concern, until he caught sight of his visitor, when his face relaxed into a grin, and he rushed downstairs.
“Patrick!” he exclaimed, pushing right past us and holding out an eager hand. “We didn’t expect you!”
“Apparently not,” Patrick said dryly.
My worst fears were realized. Arthur’s cousin and unofficial guardian was indeed the man who’d witnessed my mother’s séance so contemptuously the night before I left London. His name was just as my mother had said.
But more than that, something in the way the rain rolled off his soaked person made me think of the agonized man I’d seen crouching in the storm. He carried his torment with him, like an echo which bounced between us.
Marie Treanor lives in Scotland, in a chaotic house by the sea, together with her eccentric husband, three much too smart children and a small dog who rules them all. Most days, she avoids both housekeeping and evil day jobs by writing stories of paranormal romance and fantasy.
Marie is the award winning author of over forty sexy paranormal romances - Indie, New York and E-published.
INTERVIEW WITH MARIE TREANOR
How would you describe you style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
Hmm, I wasn’t sure how to answer that, so I’ve been looking through reviews to see what other people have said! Here are a couple of quotes: “eloquent, sensual writing style” (Karielle, Books a la Mode); “Treanor’s writing was exquisite” (Marilyn Rondeau, CK2S Kwips and Kritiques); “romance for the intelligent reader” (Aubrey MacDougall, Fresh Fiction); “I love her writing style... a very natural voice... I like the emotions she brings out, the dialogue, which is witty” (Valerie, Love Romances and More).
Mostly, I try to write with emotion and humour, and I hope that comes across.
What mindset or routine do you feel the need to set when preparing to write (in general whether you are working on a project or just free writing)?
I just need the smallest moment of peace and quiet, with or without music. I don’t need an empty room or any kind of ritual. I just need to open the computer, and off I go J.
Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation?
To me, characters are central – the whole story flows from them, their actions, their beliefs, so yes, I take them seriously, their pasts, motivations and personalities. I do people watch, pretty much constantly, though not necessarily to help with a particular character’s development – I suppose I draw on my observations as I go, but my characters tend to grow with the story and I discover new things about them as we go on.
Have you found yourself bonding with any particular character? If so which one(s)?
I tend to bond with pretty much all my heroines as I’m writing. Even in 3rd person narrative, the heroine’s POV is generally the majority of my story, so we need to bond to understand each other J.
My new book, The Dead of Haggard Hall, is told in the 1st person, so here the bonding is even more intense; every moment is as Barbara interprets it. I think you really have to like your 1st person character to write a whole book of her, and I confess I do like Barbara – she’s different, accepting of that difference, and quite prepared to overcome fears only she really understands in order to do the right thing. She’s an observer, and yet she also reads emotions, so she is very deeply involved in the feelings of those around her – living and dead!
Do you have a character that you have been working on that you can't wait to put to paper?
Actually, I have lots, milling about, growing and waiting to be written J. A new hero and heroine for the 4th Darke of Night book (the first 3 are already written), the main characters of a new book in The Gifted series, one of whom has already played small parts in the other stories. And a pathologist specializing in the undead for the Blood Hunters series. And the so-called psycho sous-chef has to have her own story in Serafina’s – I’m too fond of her to let her go!
Have you ever felt that there was something inside of you that you couldn't control? If so what? If no what spurs you to reach for the unexperienced?
Very occasionally, I’ve been so angry that I can’t control my tongue. It’s like I’m standing back, looking on, listening to someone else’s rage. It’s a little scary and leaves me shaking, so I try to avoid it where at all possible!