Gothic Romance – opening chapter

Night had fallen early due to the storm. It was pitch black outside, the only light came from the lantern at the front of the coach, bobbing crazily over the road. Wild gusts of wind threatened to tip them over every so often and the coachman gripped the reins even more tightly, swearing under his breath. Rain beat frantically against the windows, and Jonathan let the curtain fall, wondering how much further they had to go.

He pulled the rug tighter around his knees, grateful that he had not ridden, as he had originally intended.

“You can’t turn up to your new job on horseback, Master Jonathan!” Ellen had scolded. “Not when his Lordship has offered to send his coach for you.” Ellen stood in front of him, arms crossed in disapproval. She had been his nurse when he was a child, and although he was now the ripe old age of twenty four, she still tended to treat him as her charge. Even though Ellen was his landlady, having married Joe Higgins, the innkeeper, Jonathan still felt the tug of that early obedience.

“I suppose not,” he’d agreed reluctantly.

Jonathan was glad now, that he had listened to her advice. He sat back against the cushions inside the coach. He might as well get as comfortable as he could, worrying wasn’t going to make the journey any shorter. He let his mind wander, wondering what sort of man his employer might be. He had yet to meet him. His interview for the position had been conducted by his Lordship’s man of business, Mr Griffin, which in itself had been rather odd, come to think of it. One would have thought Sebastian, Lord D’Anvers, would have wished to meet in person, the man who was going to tutor his son.

Although, from what Mr Griffin had said, Evelyn was a sickly child, unable to participate in the sports and outdoor activities considered essential for an English lad. Jonathan knew some fathers would take this as a personal affront, his own father for example had never understood his preference for study over sport. “I didn’t send you to Oxford to have you spend all day with your nose in a book!” he had said, full of indignation. “You’re there to make a name for yourself, make friends—important friends—men who hunt and box, who can drive to an inch, shoot the heart out of an ace of spades!”

Jonathan smiled wryly. Quite what good his father thought those accomplishments were going to do him, he had no idea. None of them were likely to earn him a living.

He enjoyed riding, but he was no bruising rider to hounds, nor could he take the fly off a horse’s ear with the tip of his whip. No, in fact it was his despised studies which had earned him the position as tutor. Latin, mathematics, the classics; they were all essential knowledge for a modern boy, even if he was only twelve. He looked forward to introducing Evelyn to the academic world he loved; he hoped he would find the boy eager to learn, bored with being confined to his room for most of the time.

The coach came to a sudden halt and Jonathan peered out of the window. It seemed they had come to a gatehouse. A man, bent over in a heavy coat, hurried out into the rain and opened the gate. The coach picked up speed again, and Jonathan remained at the window, waiting to catch a glimpse of Castle Blackstone, the place that would be his home for the next six years.

He could see trees lining the drive, black and wet in the night, and then the coach came out into a broad expanse of lawn and Jonathan could see the castle for the first time. As if orchestrated specifically for him, a dagger of lightning split the air, illuminating the building which loomed over him, turrets and gables thrusting into the dark sky. The building appeared to be in total darkness, except for one window high up in a turret which glowed with golden light. He thought he saw a figure outlined there for a second, peering down at him, before the light went out.

New work in the pipeline!

I’m currently working on editing a new story for publishing – Gothic Romance.

Gothic Romance is set in Regency England so it will be a change from my Aurigan Saga series.

The following is a wonderful description of Gothic Romance:  “these novels usually concern spirited young women, either governesses or new brides, who go to live in large gloomy mansions populated by peculiar servants and precocious children and presided over by darkly handsome men with mysterious pasts…”

How could I resist placing my own slant on this?  Here are the opening lines to whet your appetite…

“It was pitch black outside, the only light came from the lantern at the front of the coach, bobbing crazily over the road. The coach picked up speed again, and Jonathan remained at the window, waiting to catch a glimpse of Castle Blackstone, the place that would be his home for the next six years….”


Amazon saga continues…

I just posted the previous message when I received this advice from KDP


I’m sorry for any inconvenience caused by this email.

Yes, your understanding is right. Currently, Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) is not an option for your location.

Since you reside in Australia when you enter AU bank details on your KDP account, the payment method defaults to EFT for AU marketplace and Wire to all other marketplaces.

It is not mandatory to select the EFT option. The email below was sent to you in error and can be disregarded.

Rest assured you may continue to receive the future royalty payment via Check as payment option.


Regarding your another inquiry about the high fees of $15 per wire transfer for foreign marketplaces:

If you still prefer to change the payment option to EFT for AU and Wire transfer across all other marketplaces.

I’d suggest you to put the payments of, Amazon.EU and Amazon, kindle store on hold and once you’ve received a sufficient amount, you may request to release the hold any time and we’ll process the payment in form of Wire transfer. In this way, you can avoid fees or charges incurred by your bank for processing royalty payment each time via Wire for every 60 days.

Please be aware that the hold will not automatically be released once it sufficient, you’ll need to manually track the sales and write to us to release the hold of your payment. The hold will only be removed from your account upon your request, or if the address or payment method listed on your account is changed. You can request the removal of the hold at any time.

Please confirm if we can put your payment on hold Kindle store till reaches sufficient amount: …”

Changes to Amazon payments October 2016

From October 2016, Amazon will be removing the cheque option for payments to Authors.  As we do not have the EFT facility available here, each payment will be a wire transfer.  My bank charges $15 for EACH wire transfer so I could be looking at fees of around $45 per 60 days, based on my current selling record  – mainly to US, UK and Germany.  Aust payments would be cost free.

Here is a copy of the email I received from KDP yesterday:

I understand your concern with regards to the New EFT procedures from October 2016. Let me take an opportunity to explain this to you.

You will receive payments from each of the countries where your books are sold separately (i.e one from, another from and a third from, so on). These payments will not be amalgamated.

Upon further investigation, I found that the payment method on your account is set as Check. As you know, beginning in October of this year, KDP will no longer offer check as a payment method to publishers in your country.

Please follow the below steps to change your payment method to Wire as you’re currently located in Australia, the payment method is Check and Wire:…”

I will have to seriously consider whether I can afford to continue with Amazon after October.

I suggest you buy any of my books which interest you before then, lol!

For those who would like to read the KDP update – click here