Bone Deep by guest author, Sandra Ireland
I am very excited that talented author, Sandra Ireland has agreed to share an extract from her new novel Bone Deep, on my blog today. It is an exciting story told by an original voice. Thank you for this incite into your book, Sandra.
Bone Deep deals with question of what happens when you fall in love with the wrong person? The consequences threaten to be far-reaching and potentially deadly. Bone Deep is a contemporary novel of sibling rivalry, love, betrayal and murder. This is the story of two women: Mac, who is bent on keeping the secrets of the past from her only son, and the enigmatic Lucie, whose past is something of a closed book. Their story is underpinned by the creaking presence of an abandoned water mill, and haunted by the local legend of two long-dead sisters, themselves rivals in love, and ready to point an accusing finger from the pages of history.
In the night, a baby’s cry wakes me. At least, that’s what it sounds like to me – a thin wail, out there in the black night – and I come out of sleep shaking inside, my heart hammering. I lie in the narrow bed, cold but sweating, eyes straining, trying to place myself in the dark. I see the loom of a strange wardrobe. The air smells unfamiliar. I make out a thin strip of yellow light where the curtains don’t meet, and recognition comes slowly. The security light is on. That’s it, that yellow sliver of light. I lie still, soaking up the heat under the duvet. The noise has stopped, but I can’t settle. I’ll have to get up, investigate. Security lights don’t just come on by themselves.
The rug is cold beneath my feet. I can feel the hard ridges of the stone tiles beneath. I root around for my slippers and wish I’d taken the time to unpack my fleecy dressing gown. I’d dug out an oversize T-shirt for sleeping in, and I hug that more tightly around my chest. Flicking on the lamp, the room comes into sharp relief. Not familiar, yet, but normal. The furniture has its own new landscape, and the only thing I’m sure of is my suitcase, now gaping open, with my clothes spilling out. I should have unpacked, but I’d been so tired. Maybe I could do it now? Sleep already feels pretty distant. I might make a cup of tea.
The baby starts crying again. It’s outside. Wrenching open my bedroom door, I run down cold passages, skidding to a halt in the kitchen. I can still hear it, a soft sobbing that scrapes at my insides like nails. It’s coming from the back door. Carefully I make my way through the maze of wellies and baskets and boxes, searching for light switches, snapping them on. My breathing is beginning to calm. I’m trying to listen to the rational part of my brain. It isn’t a baby crying. It isn’t a sob. It’s a whine. I find the back-door key and poke it into the lock.
‘This had better be good,’ I mutter, turning the handle. The whining stops. I can hear excited snuffling. ‘You’d better have a bloody good excuse.’
I open the door and Floss, Mac’s spaniel, bounces in, wagging her tail like it’s morning and everyone should be up. I make tea. We go back to bed. Floss leaps onto the duvet before I even take my slippers off. I’m too tired to argue. I turn off the light and squeeze myself into the space that’s left. We find a kind of shape; I bend my knees, she spirals into the back of them. Within seconds she starts to snore softly. It’s oddly comforting.