Friday, 23 October 2009

Deceptive Appearances

How deceptive appearances can be. A backyard gazebo is harmless--a pretty little structure in which to relax. So what if the gazebo has two doors? The back way will take you out the other side.

Or will it?

Here's Chapter One of my Regency time travel, Lady of the Stars.

Cheshire, England
Present Day

Now, where did that come from?

Caroline stood inside the gazebo and stared at its open back door.

This little round wooden open-air building with the pointed thatched roof was one of dozens of similar structures that dotted the extensive grounds of the famous resort, Thornbell Manor, where she was spending her holiday. For the past two days, she had explored the sizeable property of mere and moors, and visited every gazebo she encountered. Each one displayed its number on a metal tag over the doorless entry, and she made a game of writing down all their numbers to see how many there were.

But all the other gazebos had one entry. This one had two, the normal doorless opening on one side and an actual door on the other. How could she miss a back door in so small a structure, especially one in her own yard?

She settled the straps of her hot pink backpack more firmly over her shoulders and ran a hand over the door's cracked and weathered wood. This side of the gazebo appeared far older than the other side.

Although all the resort buildings looked old from a distance, they were really newly made with the latest materials, then "antiqued" to appear aged. She glanced at the nameplate on the lintel. Her eyebrows lifted. Number 1817? The other door was labeled twenty. The largest number she had seen in two days of gazebo-hopping was fifty-two.

She shook her head to clear her fanciful thoughts. Now was no time for mysteries. For once the English sky was blue and free of rain. Cheerful birdsong sounded and a pleasing odor of growing vegetation and damp earth rose around her. This summer day was too lovely and bright to waste, even if the air was still cool. With a little shiver, she tightened the belt of the long sweater she'd thrown over her jeans and tee shirt. She planned to visit quaint little Siddington, its outermost buildings framed by the gazebo's back door.

As she gazed at the charming scene before her, a tall man walked into her field of view. His face turned toward her and she gasped.

"Richard?" she whispered, her voice quavering. No, he couldn't be, but--"Richard!" Her voice rose to a shout and she hurtled through the back door. Cold air blasted over her and she shuddered, a premonition of dread snaking through her mind.

Lady of the Stars, Regency time travel, available from The Wild Rose Press.
Buy link here.

Thank you all,


Lindsay Townsend said...

Beautiful, tingling excerpt, Linda! It takes you straight into LADY OF THE STARS.
Nicely compelling!

I love the idea of the time-portal gezebo. It reminds me of Dr Who and his police box.

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Lindsay.

I remember Dr. Who. The local public TV station carried the show.

Savanna Kougar said...

Linda, wonderful first chapter. Lindsay's right, it takes you right into the story.
I wish I had a gazebo like that!

LK Hunsaker said...

Something tells me she's not in Kansas anymore. ;-)

I find gazebos very romantic, so a nice entry into a romantic time travel!

Kaye Manro said...

Great post, Linda. I so love your Lady of the Stars! And this is a really wonderful part.

As you know, I love time travel portals too. Thinking about stepping into a time portal gezebo is so very romantic.

Linda Banche said...

Hi Savanna, thanks. Wouldn't we all like a gazebo like that, with a gorgeous man waiting on the other side for us!

Hi LK, looks like I succeeded with the opening. The original time portal was a gate, but you're right, a gazebo is more romantic

Kaye, thanks. If you're going to have a time portal in a romance, make it a romantic one. I'm not the only one who's used a gazebo, so they must work.