Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Beastly Scandal by Shereen Vedam Excerpt

A Beastly Scandal by Shereen Vedam

Lady Annabelle Marchant was a belle of the ball in London until she used her psychical senses to save a man’s life. She failed miserably, leaving him dead and her disgraced. All she wants now is a chance to comfort his widow by cleansing the woman’s home of her husband’s restless spirit. But the widow’s son, the beastly Lord of the Manor, accuses her of coming to the wilds of Cheshire to snag him as a husband. Thoroughly disgusted, she is bent on proving him wrong. Lord Rufus Marlesbury, the Earl of Terrance, is suspected of murdering his father. He has come home to clear his name by finding the real killer before the new year or Rufus will be called in front of the House of Lords to answer for the crime. He does not have time to waste fending off a marriage-minded miss who has inveigled an invitation to his home by playing on his grief-stricken mother’s worst fears. With an unruly manor ghost terrorizing the occupants and corpses piling up in the village, Belle must find a way to see the man beneath the beast and Rufus must learn to believe in the love of a woman who has no reason to trust him. Only by working together can they stop a vengeful ghost before it torments the guests or before the killer strikes again.


A Beastly Scandal by Shereen Vedam
Cheshire, England, November 1812

Dear Lord, let us not have killed him.

In a panic, Belle clambered down from the carriage and ran to the fallen horseman lying on the snow-covered ground. She gently laid his head on her lap. Under the carriage light, her gloved hand came away bloody, and her heart skipped a beat.

She peeled off the hand portion of her right glove to check his breath. Was that a faint draft against her fingers? His body and long limbs looked properly aligned, but he was icy cold and lay utterly still. Other than for that one lump on his head, there were no obvious bruises to him or his horse. Could her carriage have merely frightened his horse, so that it reared and he had fallen? She just wished he would wake up.

Beside her, hoofs stomped, leads jangled and carriage wheels shifted. Feet crunched through calf-deep snow as the coachman and the stranded family she had offered to take to the nearest inn joined her on the darkened roadside.

"Is he dead, my lady?" The coachman held a lantern over the body so he could properly inspect their victim. "Oh, it be the hangman's noose for me for sure!"

"Hush," Belle said. "This was an accident. The puppy's barks merely startled the horses. This was not your fault."

It was mine. Belle's heart squeezed with guilt, for the young wolfhound had barked and jumped to get at the injured baby owl Belle had rescued from a stable at her last stop to change horses. She had refused to countenance them killing the tiny creature and took it along with her when they left. She had been keeping it warm and safe under her jacket. Until she stopped to pick up a family beside a broken down carriage. They had found a lost puppy in the snowstorm, and the children had brought it into Belle's carriage. Then the dog sniffed out the bird and . . .

The mother approached, her breath huffing out. "Imagine, riding along a main thoroughfare in the dead of night during a snowstorm. Anyone's coach could have run him over."

Belle shook her head in confusion. How could so many of her good deeds have caused such a catastrophe?


  1. Love the excerpt thanks for sharing! I love ParaRom so this is definitely up my alley.. :)

  2. Glad you liked it, Victoria. Spoke to a lady on the bus today who had read it and she said it reminded her of a Gothic romance, a genre she loves. That seemed like a perfect description for this story. Made me smile. :-)

    Shereen Vedam


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