THE FOLLY AT FALCONRIDGE HALL
by Maggi Andersen
Vanessa Ashley felt herself qualified for a position as governess, until offered the position at Falconbridge Hall.
Left penniless after the deaths of her artist father and suffragette mother, Vanessa Ashley draws on her knowledge of art, politics and history to gain employment as a governess. She discovers that Julian, Lord Falconbridge, requires a governess for his ten-year-old daughter Blyth at Falconbridge Hall, a huge rambling mansion in the countryside outside London.
Lord Falconbridge is a scientist and dedicated lepidopterist who is about to embark on an extended expedition to the Amazon in search of exotic butterflies. An enigmatic man, he takes a keen interest in his daughter’s education, but Vanessa feels that he may disapprove of her modern methods.
As she prepares her young charge to enter into the modern world, Vanessa finds the girl detached and aloof. As Vanessa learns more about Falconbridge Hall, more questions arise. Why doesn’t Blythe feel safe in her own home? Why is the death of her mother, once famed society beauty Clara, never spoken of? And why did the former governess leave so suddenly without giving notice?
Read an excerpt:
In the schoolroom, Vanessa went straight to the window and pulled back the curtains to let in the light. “Why are all the curtains only partly open?” she asked Blythe.“Mrs. Royce is afraid the sun will fade the carpets.”“I don’t think she’ll mind in here, do you?”Blythe shook her head then raised it into a warm shaft of sunlight that came to rest on her face and brightened all the colors in the room.They settled down to begin the new book just as Agnes brought the tea things in.Blythe nibbled a crumpet. “Don’t tell Father, but we have fairies in the garden,” she said between bites, the honey dribbling onto her chin. Trusting violet eyes met Vanessa’s.“There are?” Vanessa smiled, delighted that Blythe confided in her.“Sometimes, very late at night when I can’t sleep, I sit at the window and watch the pair of dancing lights through the trees. They always go to the folly. I’d love to meet them.”“Why do you think they’re fairies, Blythe?”“Miss Lillicrop felt the lights must be them when I asked her.”“But she didn’t say she saw them?” She stroked the prickle of unease tickling her nape.“Not exactly, she showed me pictures of fairies though. One night I will go.”Vanessa leaned over and touched the girl’s arm. “Promise me you won’t.”Blythe tilted her head. “Why not? Fairies won’t hurt you, you know.”Putting down her teacup, Vanessa turned to the book, keeping her voice casual. “Your father wouldn’t like it. If I found out you went there at night alone, I would be compelled to inform him.”Blythe gasped. “Oh, no. Promise you won’t tell him I watch them from my window.”~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Maggi Andersen and her lawyer husband are empty nesters, living in the countryside outside Sydney with their cat and the demanding wildlife. Parrots demand seed, possums fruit, ducks swim in the stream at the bottom of the garden, and the neighbors chickens roam their yard providing wonderful eggs. She began writing adventure stories at age eight. Three children, a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing degree later, her novels are still filled with adventure and suspense, but are also passionate romances. Georgette Heyer among others, brought inspiration to her seductive Regencies and she also writes darker, Victorian novels, contemporary romantic suspense and young adult.
She supports the RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals) and animals often feature in her books.
Buy links: Author website: http://www.maggiandersenauthor.com
Maggi will be awarding a backlist eBook to one randomly drawn commenter and a $30 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!