Hiya guys, we have Rowan McAllister popping in today with her upcoming release We Met In Dreams, we have a brilliant guest post from Rowan and we also have a great excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~
We Met In Dreams
In Victorian London, during a prolonged and pernicious fog, fantasy and reality are about to collide—at least in one man’s troubled mind.
A childhood fever left Arthur Middleton, Viscount Campden, seeing and hearing things no one else does, afraid of the world outside, and unable to function as a true peer of the realm. To protect him from himself—and to protect others from him—he spends his days heavily medicated and locked in his rooms, and his nights in darkness and solitude, tormented by visions, until a stranger appears.
This apparition is different. Fox says he’s a thief and not an entirely good sort of man, yet he returns night after night to ease Arthur’s loneliness without asking for anything in return. Fox might be the key that sets Arthur free, or he might deliver the final blow to Arthur’s tenuous grasp on sanity. Either way, real or imaginary, Arthur needs him too much to care.
Fox is only one of the many secrets and specters haunting Campden House, and Arthur will have to face them all in order to live the life of his dreams.
Thanks so much to MM Good Book Reviews for hosting the first stop on my first ever blog tour!
Woohoo! Cue the confetti!
This may come as a surprise to some of you, since this upcoming release will actually be my fourteenth novel, but, what can I say, I REALLY don’t like talking about myself. The thought of having to do so for multiple blogs at multiple stops on a blog tour has intimidated the bejeezus out of me, and made it very easy to avoid the whole thing altogether.
But now here I am, giving it a go, in honor of my very first Victorian Gothic Romance. Lots of firsts going on.
Anyway, anyone familiar with my other historical romances will notice not only a distinct departure from time period but also atmosphere and tone in this one. I left my beloved Regency era behind to bring in some of the grit and innovation of Victorian London. I abandoned just a bit of my quiet reserve to fully embrace the haunted, spooky, over-the-top melodrama of the Gothic novel.
And if you haven’t guessed, I had a lot of fun with this one. But don’t worry. I didn’t step completely away from my fundamentals. My heroes still have complicated inner depths. They’re bent, but never broken. And despite the ugliness of reality for gay men of that era, and all the other obstacles and family secrets, love still finds a way.
Here’s is a little teaser. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
I froze, straining for more, and heard two more quiet creaks as someone ascended the stairs. My heart racing despite the myriad explanations for the sound, I crept on slippered feet to the door that separated my rooms from the stairwell, drew the heavy insulating velvet drapes aside, and pressed my ear to the wood. A slight draft brushed my cheek from the gap between the door and its frame, as if the outer door at the top of the stairs had been opened, but no lamplight penetrated those spaces. I couldn’t imagine any of the servants taking the stairs in the dark, particularly not Pendel, now that he was getting on in years.
Holding my breath, I carefully turned the knob and poked my head through the opening. I saw nothing as I squinted into the deeper darkness, and no more stairs creaked or latches rattled no matter how hard I listened. The air was still and cold, and I shivered in my dressing gown. But I’d already stirred myself, and, my curiosity piqued for the second time that night, I crept up the stairs and eased the outer door open.
An inky gray-black, barely lighter than the darkness behind me, stared back at me as I searched in vain for the source of the sounds. The glass walls and roof of the conservatory were of little help due to the thick fog outside. I gripped the doorframe and strained but saw and heard nothing. I was on the verge of dismissing the whole thing as another trick of my mind when the faint tinkle of something metal falling to the stone tiles and a muffled curse stopped me.
“Hello? Is someone there?” I asked breathlessly.
My words were met with silence, but a spot of darkness, deeper than the rest, detached itself from the far end of the conservatory and moved toward me. Instinctively I retreated.
“Hello? Who is it? Who are you?” I croaked.
The shadow said nothing, only continued to follow me as I retreated down the stairs and through the door to my rooms. I stopped in front of my hearth, still cloaked in my ridiculous mound of blankets, and waited with my heart beating frantically. Then my heart stopped altogether when I heard the rustle of the thick curtains being pushed aside and saw the faint outline of the shadow as it stepped into my rooms.
I had to swallow against a sudden dryness in my throat before I whispered, “Say something. Please.”
The shadow finally halted its silent advance. This close, in the faint light of the coals, the dark shape resolved itself into a man, looming over me. I was about to repeat my somewhat shaky demand, when the shadow finally spoke.
“Don’ cry out. I mean ye no ’arm.”
Rowan McAllister is a woman who doesn’t so much create as recreate, taking things ignored and overlooked and hopefully making them into something magical and mortal. She believes it’s all in how you look at it. In addition to a continuing love affair with words, she creates art out of fabric, metal, wood, stone, and any other interesting scraps of life she can get her hands on. Everything is simply one perspective change and a little bit of effort away from becoming a work of art that is both beautiful and functional. She lives in the woods, on the very edge of suburbia—where civilization drops off and nature takes over—sharing her home with her patient, loving, and grounded husband, her super sweet hairball of a cat, and a mythological beast masquerading as a dog. Her chosen family is made up of a madcap collection of people from many different walks of life, all of whom act as her muses in so many ways, and she would be lost without them.