Title: Mrs. Murray’s Home: The Piccadilly Street Series Book 3
Author: Emily-Jane Hills Orford
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Home is where the heart is, or so they say. It’s also been said that a home is a person’s castle. But home is also with family and friends. Mrs. Murray longs for home, the family home, a castle an ocean away. The Brownies also crave for home, the same castle Mrs. Murray considers home. And Granny? Mary’s Granny hasn’t been home since she was Mary’s age. It’s time to visit the homeland, Scotland. Mary’s excited to tag along with Granny, Mrs. Murray and the Brownies. And then there’s the witch. The one they thought they’d killed. And the treasure. The one they had found. And it all ties together, for better or for worse. Join the adventure in book 3 of the popular “Piccadilly Street Series”.
“No, you can’t.”
“I can too.”
“Leave her alone.”
“Let her sleep.”
“Quiet!” Mary covered her ears, forcing her eyes to open. She shrieked when she did and slid backwards to the headboard of the bed, curling her legs in front of her, in a feeble attempt to protect herself.
“Now you’ve done it.”
“I have not.”
“She’s awake, isn’t she?”
“Should have let her sleep.”
“Who are you?” Mary looked around the room, crammed full of, what? Ghosts? No. It couldn’t be. Gathering her wits about her, she asked the only question that came to mind. “Where’s Mrs. Murray?” She was one ghost Mary trusted and with whom she felt safe.
“Here.” Came the chorus of ethereal voices. “We’re all Mrs. Murray.”
“No!” Mary shook her head vehemently. “It can’t be. If so, where is my Mrs. Murray?”
The response was so loud, Mary was forced to cover her ears. “Stop!” she shrieked. “One at a time. Didn’t anyone teach you some manners?”
“Two hundred years ago, perhaps,” one wispy figure cackled.
“Only ninety years ago for me.”
“Twenty-five years ago.”
And the answers continued to intensify until, once again, Mary shrieked, “Stop!”
When silence ensued, she looked around the first line of wispy figures surrounding her bed, studying each figure closely, one at a time. “Now!” she began, her survey complete. “Let’s start again. Who are you?” She pointed to the one standing at the foot of her bed.
“And you?” She pointed to the one standing nearest her on the right.
Pointing left. “And you?”
“Okay. So, you are all in agreement that you are Mrs. Murray.”
“Yes,” was the resounding unanimous reply that shook the canopy above her bed.
“But there is one more.”
“Oh, there is more than just one more.” A voice answered from beyond the cluster surrounding her bed. Mary heard the bedroom door opening. She stood up on her bed to look over the tops of the ghostly heads. What she saw made her fall back onto the mattress and clutch the blankets up to her chin.
“More?” she gasped, eyes darting from one Mrs. Murray to another. They nodded their heads.
Mary buried her head in the clutched blanket ends and started to sob. “Brunny,” she called, her voice muffled by the bed coverings. “Brunny,” she called louder this time.
A figure appeared at her side. “Mary? What’s wrong?”
“Brunny.” Mary let out a stilted sigh of relief. “Mrs. Murray. Our Mrs. Murray. Where is she?”
“What do you mean?” the Brownie asked. “She’s right there sitting on your bed.”
Mary looked around her. The ghostly visions were gone. Vanished. All except the one she had come to love. Yes love. She reached across the bed and grasped the familiar ghost’s hand, only to squeeze through thin air. But it was her. It was the Mrs. Murray she knew. Her Mrs. Murray.
“Finally. But what happened to the others?” Mary looked around at her now empty room.
“What others?” Brunny asked.
“The other Mrs. Murrays,” Mary explained. Waving her right hand in a swooping motion. “The room was full of Mrs. Murray ghosts. The hall was full of them, too.”
“Generations of Mrs. Murrays,” Mary’s Mrs. Murray explained. “They all wanted to meet my little friend. The little Murray, they call her. You, that is.” She whisked a hand across Mary’s forehead. The girl felt a poof of cold air, nothing more. “They frightened you, didn’t they?” Mary nodded. “I shall have a chat with them. That was quite rude. They should know better.”
“What did they want?” Mary stifled a yawn. Between jet lag and interrupted sleep, she was feeling the effects of a very long day.
“They want to help,” Mrs. Murray explained. “And, after moping around this castle for generations, and sometimes centuries, they believe that they’re entitled to a little bit of excitement. They’ve heard the Brownies talking. They know Penelope is still alive and causing mischief. And there’s a battle brewing. They want to be part of it all. And, they want to help protect you and the ring in the process.”
“Did they all have the ring at one time?” Mary snuggled deeper under the covers. She didn’t hear the ghost reply, “Some of them, yes.” Sleep took over.
What’s your favorite activity to shake off the winter doldrums?
Reading. Sitting by the woodstove, soaking up the warmth and deep into a good book. From best-sellers like John Grisham, Anne Perry and Philippa Gregory (and many others) to new, aspiring authors seeking a foothold in this precarious world of writing and publishing, like Tricia Mingerink, Gary Miller and so many others, I like to dig deep into the artistry of plot, character and scene development and learn from others. As well as enjoy a good story. For me, a good story is a book I can’t wait to read, can’t wait to finish, and, once finished, wished I was still reading it. There’s nothing like feeling a part of a story to the degree that you feel a sense of loss when the story comes to its conclusion and you are set adrift again. That’s what makes a great writer, and that’s what I aspire to be. So, I spend my winter hours reading and learning. And, of course, writing.
Why is your featured book a cure for the winter blues?
Lots of fun and adventure. I had a lot of fun writing this book (and the other ones in the series) and my readers keep telling me they can’t put it down. There are funny moments, scary moments, adventure and so much more.
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