Linden Manor


“A memorable ghost story needs two things: a chilling backstory and a terminally isolated setting. Luckily Linden Manor fulfills both requirements so well that I didn’t want to stop reading.” – Long and Short Reviews
  
"There are some TRULY terrifying features, and characters, in this story. So I finished it this morning, in daylight--and I'm STILL scared!" Mallory Anne-Marie Haws (Mallory Heart Reviews)

"Cavendish brings ghostly ancient legends of the land back with her gothic tale."-  Oh! For the Hook of a Book


"Run and hide, far and wide,

Run and hide from the Scottish Bride.

Don’t turn your head,

Lest it be said,

You saw the lace,

On her blackened face.

Don’t you stumble,

Or take a tumble.

Don’t catch her eye,

Or you’ll surely die."

Have you ever been so scared your soul left your body? 


All her life, Lesley Carpenter has been haunted by a gruesome nursery rhyme—“The Scottish Bride”—sung to her by her great grandmother. To find out more about its origins, Lesley visits the mysterious Isobel Warrender, the current hereditary owner of Linden Manor, a grand house with centuries of murky history surrounding it. 

But her visit transforms into a nightmare when Lesley sees the ghost of the Scottish bride herself, a sight that, according to the rhyme, means certain death. The secrets of the house slowly reveal themselves to Lesley, terrible secrets of murder, evil and a curse that soaks the very earth on which Linden Manor now stands. But Linden Manor has saved its most chilling secret for last. 

Excerpt:


Have you ever been so scared your soul left your body?


Don’t laugh, or mock me. One day it could happen to you, for I am just like you. Or I was, before I laid eyes on her. Before I set foot in this cursed place.


Ten years ago, I was plain Lesley Carpenter, mature student of history. College was out for the summer and I had decided on my research project—the real history behind old folk rhymes.


Not for me, the usual nursery rhymes like “Ring a Ring o’Roses”. No, they’d been done to death. I picked something different. A grim rhyme my great-grandmother used to sing to me when I was a small child. My mother hated it. Only later did I discover the real reason why.


“You’ll give the child nightmares,” she would say, but Great-Granny just smiled and chanted it all over again, swinging my hands up in the air as I giggled with glee. I loved Great-Granny Davies. Even in her eighties she knew how to have fun. She’d been a flapper in the twenties and I don’t suppose she ever came to terms with being respectable. I remember the heady aroma of pot all over her house when we went to stay once. My mother and Great-Granny had a row about that and I was never allowed there again.


Great-Granny died just weeks after my eleventh birthday. I still miss her, and that damned rhyme that would spring into my mind when I was least expecting it. The tune was infectious. It went round and round in my head. A simple little hummable refrain that I thought every other child knew, until I found out that no one had ever heard of it before. Well, no one I went to school with, anyway. Of course we lived two hundred miles away from our Davies relatives and it turned out to have strictly local connections. That’s what got me intrigued. That’s why I decided on my research project. And that’s what took me to Linden Manor.

Now I have to tell you, so you’ll know and keep away from the place, and from me too because, you see, I just don’t trust myself anymore.




(Copyright © 2017 Catherine Cavendish)

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2 comments:

  1. looks and sounds fabulous Cat. Great excerpt. Love the idea of the Scottish bride

    ReplyDelete