Author of The Companion of Lady Holmeshire
Debra Brown, Author -Bio.
Bio: I grew up in Minnesota and the San Diego area. My husband and I have also lived in northern Idaho and now, since the early 90′s, we are in Oregon. My education was in medical related fields, but I stayed home with our children. Over the years, I have studied homeopathy and art. Both fields have enriched my personal life, and I have made my living in the artistic realm. I have really enjoyed my venture into writing in the last year, and I hope to make it my career from this time on.
Indulging Your Inner Aristocrat~ British Period Novels
For the Skylark
To be published in 2012
Available in Trade Paperback at <a href=”https://www.createspace.com/3646768“>World Castle Publications</a> and <a href=”http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-companion-of-lady-holmeshire-world-castle-publishing/1031389992?ean=9781937085377&itm=1&usri=the%2bcompanion%2bof%2blady%2bholmeshire“>Barnes & Noble</a>
A short ride remained, though it seemed eternal, out of the town and up the hill through an intimidating, ivy-covered stone gateway. The road rose to an old masonry castle, which tonight was set beneath a large moon. Built as a stronghold in the years of Scottish wars, the fortress’ cold, formidable look was deceptive, for the warmest hearts in Britain dwelt inside.
The horses came to an impatient stop at the first edge of the house, wanting to be led to their feed. The coachman helped Emma step out of the carriage and hoisted her luggage off its top. She was in fine dress, but she approached the heavy servants’ door, turned her great key and pushed her way through. She shushed the man carrying her heavy case, as most of the domestics had gone to bed. But someone was watching from a window in an old watchtower, now filled with beds, and the sight of Emma caused excited proclamations. Numerous nightcapped revelers quickly spilled into the kitchen, stone from ceiling to floor.
“Miss Emma!” squealed the scullery maid, Nora. “Are you really here? Look at you, all fancy!” Indeed, here she was with the ringlets and refined dress, the multitude of petticoats and the soft, tended hands of a London beauty. Nevertheless, a hefty man picked her up and spun the laughing girl around, below hanging tin-coated copper pots and iron utensils, until the housekeeper appeared and snapped a rebuke.
“Put her down, lad, before everything comes crashing down! You have hit her boot on the table leg. Those are high-priced boots you will be payin’ for, and I’ll take the table out of your hide! Besides, the rest of us cannot get our arms around her! Emma, girl, you were gone too long!”
The butler, Barreby, was still fully dressed and standing in the adjoining pantry auditing the silverware. He closed and locked the cherry wood hutch and, quite excited, hurried to notify the sleeping Countess of Holmeshire, The Lady Winifred Bradley, that his Tiger Lily had arrived.
Even she came down to the kitchen to join in the celebration, which had produced the cake, puddings and tea prepared for Emma’s return. After all enjoyed these delights, the lady ordered that bottles of fine wine be brought out from the cellar for all to share. Tonight she sat in the kitchen, just this once, enjoying the reunion that had burst through the thick of night there, smiling as the many servants relished their first taste of such an expensive bottle and listening as they questioned Emma about her time away.
Though Winnie read the mandatory books and magazines on etiquette and lived the required leisurely life of a Countess, she had a place in her heart for humanity. She had chosen for herself a butler who would maintain order amidst laughter and look out for the welfare of the lowest maid.
She at last sent the exhausted girl upstairs, overjoyed to be home, and everyone else off to their once-again cold beds. Such midnight festivities rarely occurred downstairs in great houses, but Emma had, after all, returned. A night-robed footman, tired and tousled of hair, brought Emma’s belongings up to the elegant bedroom that awaited her. She was no longer a servant.