Nadine Romin

The Secret of Castle McDowell - Extract

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The mighty castle of the McDowells lay engulved in darkness. In this stormy night in atumun the wind was howling around the castle. At this time of the year the nights were often disturbed by the forces of nature. This was not very unusual at this time of the year. Here, in the Scottish highlands, golden days in autumn were no special treat. Nearly every night took the toll for the beauty of the day.

Amber looked at the crystal surface of her mirror. What she saw was more than satisfying. Her dark hair was falling deep into her back, a wave of auburn, silken smoothness. The contrast to her ivory skin was dramatic, still exceedingly beautiful. Her moss-green eyes were shaped in a certain form and gave her face a cat-like look. These extraordinary eyes resembled those of her mother, though Amber‘s face had the air of a benevolent pet while the face of her mother had more predatory traits. But Amber McDowell couldn‘t wish for a more loving and caring Mum. She rang the bell. Sarah entered her room a short time later.

“Your rang, Miss? What can I do for you?” The twenty year old girl was her maid since she had turned sixteen. The young women were never able to uphold a simple master and servant relationship. Amber was scarcely five years older than her maid. She never got used to order her around, she asked for Sarah’s service.

“I have to prepare for bed. Would you be so kind to help me to get rid of the corselette? I want to go to bed early.”

“Of course, Miss. It is a pleasure.” Sarah smiled. „These autumn rides seem to strain you.“

„No,“ Amber replied, „These rides are waking my body and my brain. I feel more alert and healthy. Additionally, spending time in fresh air suits my teint, which will do me good tomorrow night.“

The yearly ball of the McDowells was to take place on the following evening. Every year it was held to celebrate the birthday of Judith McDowell. The year 1837 should be no exception from the rule.

For days the servants and maids had been busy with the preparations for this special night. The parquet floors should glisten in their old beauty, as well as the silver and the crystal flambeaus. The gardeners had had collected the most beautiful flowers in the garden which now graced the antique Chinese vases of the ballroom. Amber was not willing to look less favourable than the beautiful room. She thought enough sleep would be an appropriate additional measure.

Sarah seemed to have read her mind.

„Miss McDowell, you will cast a very dark shadow on everyone, your beauty will be radiant.“


~ 78 Seiten (paperback)

ISBN 978-3-943248-40-1 (mobi)

ISBN 978-3-943248-41-8 (epub)

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