An extract from Miranda’s Mount and a very special review
October 10, 2012
Big grin on my face this morning. I’ve posted an extract of Miranda’s Mount below but first, I just have to share this wonderful review of the book from Bookishly Attentive.
“I’ve read every one of Phillipa Ashley’s novels and I have to say, this one is my favorite. Everything about it is pitch perfect and from beginning to end, the characters, the setting and the story itself ring true. Written with wit, feeling, intelligence and a good deal of the “hot” factor, Miranda’s Mount is a must-read.”
The whole review is HERE. It is the best feeling in the world when you realise your characters, plot and story have resonated so deeply with a reader.
So Here’s the extract!
Miranda pushed open the door of the armoury, the final stop on her tour of the castle. With its centuries of weaponry, it was a favourite attraction, particularly with the fathers and boys. The fusty tang of the stone-walled room filled her nostrils. The suits of armour, chain mail and helmets lined its thick walls, all silent and empty.
But not all the visitors had gone. There was a man at the far end of the room. As the door clicked shut behind her, he turned round and looked at her. If she’d been nervous at confronting a teen thief, that now seemed like a walk in the park. Her heart thudded as loudly as the castle’s antiquated boiler system.
The man held a cutlass in his hand and it was pointed at her.
‘I’m sorry, sir, but if you don’t put down that cutlass, I’m going to have to call Security.’ Miranda forced herself to speak calmly and clearly, as if addressing a group of schoolchildren on a tour of the Mount. Even in a highly stressful situation, especially in a highly stressful situation, it was best to be polite to the visitors, even if this one was brandishing a lethal weapon.
The man smiled. He didn’t look like a psychopath; in fact he looked startlingly handsome in a rakish way as if he’d just swung down from the crow’s nest of a galleon. His thick black hair was trying to escape from a pony tail and he had a tiny goatee beard and a thin gold hoop through his ear. His face was tanned and, while Miranda didn’t think he was much above thirty, he had the world-weary look of someone who’d seen and done, and possibly smoked or inhaled, a lot of stuff. Oh bloody hell, she hoped he wasn’t on something now.
‘And you are?’ he asked, lowering the cutlass and glaring at her as if she were the intruder, not him.
‘I’m the property manager, sir. The castle closed some time ago and,’ she added as goosebumps danced the flamenco along her bare arm, ‘I’m afraid we can’t allow visitors to handle the artefacts.’
Her mouth was dry, her fingers were slick around the leather case of the radio but she was determined to stay calm. She’d opened the emergency channel to the island’s security team as soon as she’d entered the armoury and spotted him so she hoped Ronnie and her deputy could hear her. Sadly, because the CCTV camera wasn’t working, they couldn’t actually see her. This is where ignoring memos would come back to bite her on the bum, thought Miranda as she fought to stay calm. By her calculations, it would only take a few minutes for Ronnie and Reggie to run up the steps and into the armoury, less if one of them was nearby. That was time enough for her to have the situation under control.
The man gave the air an experimental slash.
She swallowed hard. It was also more than enough time for him to turn her into a doner kebab.
Copyright Phillipa Ashley 2012