Author Melanie Robertson-King joins the blog today to share an excerpt from her latest book.
The Secret of Hillcrest House
Hillcrest House is one such place. Perched on a cliff in the picturesque town of Angel Falls, there is more to this Victorian mansion than meets the eye. When referring to the house, the locals use the word haunted on a regular basis. Strange visions appear in the windows, especially the second-floor ones over the side porch. Even stranger events take place within its four walls.
Rumour has it, the original owners, Asher and Maggie Hargrave, never left their beloved home. They claim the couple and their family are responsible for driving people away. Over the years, Hillcrest House has changed hands numerous times. No one stays long. Renovations begin then stop and the house is once more abandoned. The latest in this long line of owners is Jessica Maitland.
Will Jessica be the next one to succumb or will she unravel The Secret of Hillcrest House?
“Keys. I’ll need them unless you want me to break in.”
Transfixed by the image, Jessica couldn’t look away. She extended her arm and dropped her ring holding her house and car keys into his hand.
“You stay here,” he ordered before sprinting to the front of the house.
The face appeared to be that of a young child. After a few minutes, the image faded. She blinked thinking it vanished because she’d stared at it for so long, but even that didn’t help.
Frightened by the disappearance, she dashed after the officer.
When she stepped through the door, the pungent smells of damp and stale assailed her nostrils. Out of habit, Jessica reached for the light switch. She discovered an old-fashioned push button one indicative of knob and tube wiring. That was another expense she wasn’t prepared for.
At one time, the dark wainscoting in the foyer shone. Now it was dull, dingy and covered with dust. The paint above it and on the ceiling had peeled and curled. Flakes littered the floor and stairs. She grabbed a loose piece of paint from the wall and gave it a tug. It pulled away with little resistance.
Two large rooms stood on either side of the main hall. Jessica entered the one to her left. Pocket doors, off their tracks, cut off part of the large doorway. Yellowed wall and ceiling paper hung from crazy angles. The plaster it once covered now exposed. Sheets covered the furniture. At one time, they had been white but now, layered with dust. Jessica thumped her hand down on the back of a sofa forcing a cloud of the grubby powder into the air. Choking, she scurried out and into the room across the corridor.
It, too, was in the same state but in here, boards didn’t cover the windows. Sun shone through grimy panes of glass, and dust particles floated in the air trapped by the beams of light.
The sound of footfalls on the stairs echoed through the house. Jessica turned. She gasped and clapped her hand over her mouth. On the back of a sheet-covered sofa, lay a pristine, long-stemmed red rose.
The officer stepped into the room, securing his truncheon to his belt. “I thought I told you to stay outside.”
She didn’t reply. Stood shaking and pointing at the flower. Tried to speak but no sound came out. The room started swimming in front of her eyes. Her mouth went dry. She felt cold and clammy.
What Readers are Saying
Melanie Robertson-King’s latest novel serves up a delightful blend of the supernatural and spicy romance, Lynn L. Clark, author of The Home Child, and Fire Whisperer & Circle of Souls: Two Novellas of the Supernatural, & The Accusers
Intrigue, dark buried secrets, hot romance and a neat twist in the tale make this riveting reading, Sheryl Browne, MA Creative Writing, Choc Lit Author
A fun read that keeps you guessing right up to the surprise ending, Dayna Leigh Cheser, Author of Janelle’s Time, Moria’s Time, Adelle’s Time, & Logan’s Time
About the Author
Growing up as an only child, Melanie was an avid reader, and remains so to this day. It was through this love of the written word that she knew that one day she would become a writer. When she wasn’t talking about her dream of becoming an author, she wrote stories and began honing her skills at an early age.
The Secret of Hillcrest House is her fourth book.