Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure: A Piccadilly Street Story by @ejhomusic is a Snuggle Up Readathon Pic
Title: Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure: A Piccadilly Street Story Book 2
Author: Emily-Jane Hills Orford
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
There is a hidden treasure in the grand old mansion on Piccadilly Street, in a place called London, but not the real London of English fame. There’s also a lot of mystery and a murder that’s been unsolved for decades. But it’s the treasure that captures Mary’s interest. Mary lives in this house along with her family, her Brownie friends and a ghost. When the ghost reveals her secret about the hidden treasure, there’s no stopping Mary, her Brownie friends, or her enemies from searching for this treasure. Why the intrigue? Apparently there’s a little bit of magic connected to this treasure. And so the adventure begins. Who will find the treasure first?
A voice called out in a different language, a chant of sorts. It was Briddie’s voice. The bats seemed to take notice. As Briddie’s voice increased in volume, the remaining bats that continued to fly into the dining room, tumbled to the floor, or, at least to the deep pile of bats that lined the floor. Her voice changed tone and the floor shuddered. Granny held onto her chair with both hands, no longer bothering to wave one hand over her head. Mary grabbed the chair nearest her and held on, as did the others, as the floor continued to shake violently. Rosie took hold of the table’s central pedestal, wrapping her arms securely around it. The dishes rattled in Mom’s cabinets and a look of concern flashed across her face. She loved her china. Some of it was quite valuable, or so she claimed. Mary didn’t know anything about the china’s value, but she did favor a few of the pieces, especially the Limoges plates with hand painted country scenes.
Just when everything felt like it would crumble to the ground, the shaking subsided and the pile of bats vanished.
“What the…?” David was the first to notice.
“Watch your language,” Mom warned, anticipating as only mothers can what David was about to say.
“Where are the bats? It’s magic. It must be.” David gasped.
The others looked on in equal disbelief, although Mary and Granny had already seen their share of magic, so it really wasn’t much of a surprise to them.
Rosie slid out from her hiding place. She looked around her in disbelief. “Oh my.”
A clomping on the stairs alerted them of Susan’s return. She tugged at the sliding door that Dad had struggled with earlier and managed to squeak it open enough to squeeze through before tugging it shut again. “What just happened?” she asked when she joined the others. “The bats in my room just disappeared. Vanished. Poofed.”
“Magic.” David widened his eyes as his voice took on a spooky tone. He waved his hands dramatically in front of his face and then snapped his fingers as if to emphasize his point. He wasn’t the only one who jumped when a loud crash behind the fake fireplace was met with a puff of dirt, soot and dust blowing into the living room.
The girls screamed and jumped back. Mom, after her initial nervous jump, allowed her anger to show. “I just cleaned yesterday. Look at this mess.”
When a tall man stepped out from within the cavern, Dad exclaimed, “Brunny.” And indeed it was. Covered though he was in dirt and soot, the eyes that glowed behind the blackened face was definitely Brunny’s.
Mom narrowed her eyes and looked closer. “Mr. Brunnifer? What are you doing in there? In fact, what are you doing my house? Our house? And look at the mess you’ve caused!”
Brunny gave a distinguished bow to Mary’s mother. Now at full human size, he did look more like the teacher at school than the Brownie who lived behind the walls of the Piccadilly Street house. “I do apologize, Mrs. Barton.” He sneezed and more soot and dust spread across the room. The sneeze also caused him to sink to Brownie size.
“What the…?” David was immediately cut off with a wizened look from both parents.
The family took a few steps forward and stood around the little Brownie-sized man, looking down upon him. “Oh my,” Mom gasped. She looked over at Dad. “What’s going on? And is this the Brunny who has caused us so much grief with our neighbors?”
“One and the same.” Dad nodded his head and let out a deep sigh. Looking down at Brunny, he shook his head. “I still can’t believe my eyes. However, it is true. We have little people living in our walls. And this here Brunny is one of them.”
“And he had the nerve to pose as a teacher.” Mom threw up her hands in disgust. “How deceitful. And a teacher in my daughter’s class.”
“Better than that witch, Miss Penelope.” Granny spoke up from where she had moved to stand next to Mary. “I think you have a lot of explaining to do, Brunny. What happened to Briddie? Is she here?”
“You mean, there’s more?” Mom turned away and started walking around the dining room, leaving tracks of her feet in the thickened soot that now carpeted the once pristine carpet. “And what’s this about Miss Penelope being a witch? Next thing you’ll be telling me that there’s magic in the world.”
“And so there is, dear.” Granny followed her daughter and gently took her arm. “Briddie is Brunny’s wife. Only they haven’t seen each other in centuries. Not until I returned Briddie and Mattie, my Brownies, to their spouses a few weeks ago when Mary was so sick. They’re the ones that saved Mary’s life.”
“And this is the same Brunny that Mary was calling to in her fever-induced frenzy?” Granny just nodded. “And there’s magic in the world?” Granny nodded again.
“Cool,” David exclaimed.
“Pshaw,” Susan scoffed. “No such thing.”
“There is, too,” Mary, Granny and Rosie all spoke in unison, staring down the disbelieving older sister.
“Then how do you explain him?” David pointed down to Brunny who continued to maintain his Brownie size. Briddie had joined him and the two were standing together looking up at the sea of faces above them. “And how do you explain her?”
Susan shrugged her shoulders. “A trick of the eye.”
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November is a time to be thankful. What are you most thankful for this year?
I am thankful for my family and for all the wonderful memories I have from my childhood, growing up in this fascinating old, haunted house, and the memories of taking my children to visit my childhood home. And, of course, I’m thankful for the ghost who haunted my nights.
Why is your featured book worth snuggling up to?
It’s a fun read. I intended it for the Middle Grade audience, but people of all ages are enjoying both “Mrs. Murray’s Ghost” (book 1) and this book, “Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure,”. And there’s more to come.
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Runs November 1 – 30.
Drawing will be held on December 1.
An avid gardener, artist, musician and writer, Emily-Jane Hills Orford has fond memories and lots of stories that evolved from a childhood growing up in a haunted Victorian mansion. Told she had a ‘vivid imagination’, the author used this talent to create stories in her head to pass tedious hours while sick, waiting in a doctor’s office, listening to a teacher drone on about something she already knew, or enduring the long, stuffy family car rides. The author lived her stories in her head, allowing her imagination to lead her into a different world, one of her own making. As the author grew up, these stories, imaginings and fantasies took to the written form and, over the years, she developed a reputation for telling a good story. Emily-Jane can now boast that she is an award-winning author of several books, including King Henry’s Choice (Clean Reads 2019), Mrs. Murray’s Ghost (Telltale Publishing 2018), Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure (Telltale Publishing 2019), Queen Mary’s Daughter (Clean Reads 2018), Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and several other books. A retired teacher of music and creative writing, she writes about the extra-ordinary in life and the fantasies of dreams combined with memories. For more information on the author, check out her website at: http://emilyjanebooks.ca
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