Title: Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure
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?
“Oh, it exists all right.” Mary dropped her legs over the side of the bed. “Maybe if we wander the house together, you might remember and I might sense something.”
“What if we wake your family?”
“I’ll pretend I’m sleepwalking,” Mary chuckled softly. “I do that enough anyway. They’ll believe it. Besides. Everyone’s exhausted. They’re out for the night. Like Dad will say in the morning, sleeping like a log.”
“If you insist.”
“Where are the Brownies? I hope Elizabeth hasn’t poisoned them again.”
“In which case, we shall be extra vigilant as she may be watching our every move.” Mary didn’t say it out loud, but she had decided it might be best to just sense a location of the treasure and then go looking for it in daylight, at a time when she was sure Elizabeth wasn’t snooping. Or, perhaps she could enlist Brunny’s help. He could give her the potion, the one she had given them, on more than one occasion, Mary was sure. If Elizabeth were out cold, she wouldn’t be able to snoop around.
Speaking of her favorite Brownie, “Where’s Brunny?” The ghost and the girl stopped in their tracks and stared at each other.
“I don’t know.” Mrs. Murray didn’t often look worried, but her face was definitely marked with worry lines. “Stay here. I’ll go check on them.”
She disappeared into the darkness and almost instantaneously reappeared. Mary had hardly blinked her eyes and she was back. “They’re out cold again. Elizabeth is gone. She must have managed to drug them again.” She raised her fingers to her lips, cocking her head sideways. “I think she’s back. We’d better not try looking for the treasure tonight. Back to bed, young lady. I’ll watch over you. I can be completely invisible even to Brownies with the kind of power that Elizabeth obviously has.”
Mary snuggled under the covers and forced her eyes shut. But her ears were open. She could feel Mrs. Murray’s presence nearby. She also felt an evil aura approaching her. Elizabeth. She was sure of it. The voice confirmed her fears.
“I was sure I heard you up and about. Talking to that whisper of a ghost, no doubt. Oh well. I will have my chance to get you, too. And I do have something for Mrs. Murray. I know she’s close. I can feel her, even if I can’t see her.” She chuckled a wicked, snorting noise that sounded more like a gurgle than anything else. “Oh yes! Penelope will be so pleased. And, when you find me the treasure, dear little Mary, because I know you can and will, then my mistress will be all-powerful and there will be no stopping her.” She cackled away as her presence became more distant.
Once the air had cleared, and it really did need a good clearing after listening to Elizabeth’s evil threats uttered with a breath that smelled as foul as her soul, Mrs. Murray’s voice whispered into Mary’s ear. “She is an evil one. There’s no saving her now. She’s totally lost to Stocky. To us all, really. Sleep, Mary. I will watch over you. She may think she can expunge me. But I’m already dead, so what more could she possibly do to me?”
Mary was drifting off, suddenly very tired. She barely heard the ghost’s last words, but she feared she was tempting fate by voicing them. There were such things as zombies and undead creatures, things that had once lived, then died, and then became….
If you could dress up as anything or anyone this Halloween, what or who would it be and why?
Jane Austen. Why? I admire her writing immensely. I have an antique spinet desk that I sit at when I’m writing and I feel a little like Jane Austen when I’m writing – except she wouldn’t have used a laptop like I do.
Explain why your featured book is a treat to read:
It was a lot of fun to write and, from what my reviewers are saying, it’s a lot of fun to read, too. It has all the makings of a good, spooky adventure: a ghost, a witch, some little people and a whole lot of magic.
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Runs October 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on November 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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