Dear Readers

Fear not the Darkness, But What Lies Within, The recesses of our mind, The creepy cobwebbed corners,That lingers on and tickles us,With tingle feelings of alarm, The deep in the stomach, Pain we feel when we do warn, The fear is deadly it seeks, The deepest corner of our mind, It's just a story to alarm,Educate and provide entertainment for our minds. So read on dear reader, I hope you find the stories amusing and full of charm.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Love's Labours Won Excerpt Chapter 2 for #Sample Sunday and Contest (GIVEAWAY!!)

Contest to celebrate the launching of Love’s Labours Won and 

1.)Read the excerpt chapter 2 from the book below the questions and answer the the questions.
2.)Like my author page on Facebook
and Sarah Dexler Maidenstones' page(the character)
3.)Follow this blog
4.)Tweet one or more of the following phrases:
"How do you do that?" "Do what dear?"" Appear so quietly yet you have a cane and walk with a limp?" #LovesLaboursWon
“I could teach it to you it's very helpful when it comes to sneaking up on our menfolk& the enemy.” #LovesLaboursWon
"You can’t live with family you can’t live without then or should you if you are Sarah?” #Love’sLaboursWon
A Labour of Love? - #LovesLaboursWon
"You can’t live with family you can’t live without then or should you if you are Sarah?“ #LovesLaboursWon
You have until Tuesday at 11am to answer questions and tweet and like facebook.Due to holiday weekend the contest has been extended until Friday October 15 at 10 am EST.
 Answer questions below in comments if problems email me at lilybrooksfield@gmail   In the event of a tie of two I will award two ebooks. If more than two  tie all names will be placed in a hat and one name will be drawn for ebook.  
1. What is the name of the receptionist?      
2. What is the name of the interviewer and what is his office number? 
3. Why does Sarah become uneasy?
4) Who is really behind Sarah’s job offer?
5) Where is he (the man behind the job interview) from?
6.) What is the name of the mysterious man who takes her from the office?”

you can answer below or if you have any trouble posting Email me answers to questions at lilybrooksfield@gmail but remember your answers will only be visible to me until I share since filter is on.

Now available as an ebook at Smashwords

see for Chapter 1

Chapter 2
Venimus, Vidimus, Vicimus

Sarah was in a hurry. She tried on every outfit she owned for this interview. Most of her wardrobe now lay strewn across her bed or floor. She finally settled on this black pantsuit. The tailored jacket was very flattering and her pants that went with it sculpted her rear end. Not that was necessary in an interview but it gave her a lift. She felt like a model in this outfit. A tall shapely model especially with that these four inch heels on her black sandals. They had cost her quite a fortune when she was pulling in a paycheque, but they were worth every penny. Sarah felt beautiful and hope that that confidence would translate into a job because she really needed this job.
She entered the door at one thousand Park Street. The building was one of those non-descript glass buildings. As she entered the building she realized the man on the phone had not given her the office number only the building number address and without it she was lost.
Sarah was in near tears thinking that maybe the whole conversation with that man was a joke, a terrible joke on her. She spent her last five dollars to take a cab so she wouldn't be late. She was lost…. the job was lost. Oh no even worse she’d be out on the street in a few days.
No she couldn’t let that happen. She had told the man on the phone she was good with people. That she could charm total strangers into telling their stories, so here was the time to prove it. She'd find the office. It might take a little talking; asking people questions that would lead to the office number. But surely being late would be excused when he realized he forgot to tell her the office number.
Sarah began by talking to the receptionist at the desk in the hallway. As she approached the young woman she was almost taken aback. The receptionist was gorgeous with her honey blonde hair flowing over her shoulders and cascading down in corkscrew ringlets.
The receptionist’s bright blue eyes were like diamonds and red lipstick finished the face that could launch a thousand ships. She was dressed in a very tight red dress. It didn’t seem quite appropriate for the office but who was Sarah to judge? Sarah couldn’t help but wonder if this was the type of beauty that they hired here if so she was in trouble. She couldn’t compete with someone that lovely.
“Hi, my name is Sarah. I have a little problem I’m hoping that someone as knowledgeable and as intelligent as you are, could help me with.” Sarah began.
“Well I will if I can. That’s so flattering that you think I can help you. People tend to treat me like a bit of an airhead because I’m just a receptionist. And my parents didn’t do me any favours by naming me Brandy.” stated Brandy breathlessly while snapping her gum.
“Oh, your name is Brandy? You know, some say Brandy is better than fine wine.” Sarah piled on the charm.
“I’m not... you know…. so if …you know if that's what this is all about you can stop right there. Nothing against your preferences but I’m seeing a guy.” replied Brandy awkwardly misunderstanding.
“Oh no….no …. Really, there’s nothing to worry about. I am straight too. I’m just here trying to get a job. You see, I applied for this job but the man on the phone forgot to tell me the office number where the interview is.” explained Sarah.
“Oh well that’s hard because there’s tons of offices in this building. Do you know what the guy looks like?” asked Brandy looking at her red painted fingernails and sliding a nail file over them.
“Sadly no, you see I talked to the man on the phone. He had an upper crust British accent though. Does that help you identify him for me?” begged Sarah.
“Oh you are so in luck today.” replies Brandy “We have only one guy who talks like that here. Mr. Poundstone. He’s conducting interviews today too so he's probably your man.”
“Oh thank you so much Brandy, you don't know how much this means to me. Oh wait a minute I have a coupon for a free coffee, here this for you.” replied Sarah digging it out of her purse.
“But if you’re looking for a job you must need it.”
“I just want to let you know how much I truly appreciated your help.” Sarah insisted sincerely.
“You are a really nice person Sarah; I hope you get the job. Maybe we can share a coffee break when you do. You know... if you work in this building. Now the office number for Mr. Poundstone is three hundred and four. And just because I want you to get the job, if anyone asks for the number because he forgot to tell them I won’t tell them.” replied Brandy winking.
“Oh that wouldn't be right.” asserted Sarah, although delighted. “If they ask please tell them. If this job is meant to be I'll get it.”
“Did anyone ever tell you Sarah that you’re too nice for your own good?” asked Brandy as Sarah walked towards the elevator.
“Yes, people do say that. But I can’t be any different than I am.” Sarah answered turning back to Brandy. Then Sarah entered the elevator waving goodbye to Brandy.
As the elevator reached the third floor and Sarah glanced at her watch, she realized she wasn't late at all; it was only two fifty-five pm. She was early wasn’t that amazing? She stepped off the elevator to find a room full of women of varying ages, shapes, sizes and colours. Sarah couldn’t help but noticing the other women were all very attractive.
Oh, so I’m not the only one up for the job, Sarah thought as she entered into room. If she had it her way when she left today she’d have the job despite all these beauties. No second interviews or third interview. She would win this job. She was as sure of it as she was that her name was Sarah Dexler. Sarah thought proudly as she remembered the family Dexler motto. Venimus, Vidimus, Vicimus”. It meant “We came, We saw, We conquered! Sure, her ancestors had blatantly borrowed it from Caesar but it was a good motto to live by and inspired confidence. Of course, if you could use your God-given charm and win the day why shouldn't you?
She didn't think you had to use it violently or cruelly, like a sword. A charming disposition worked as well or better than the sword and without drawing blood.
Sarah steeled herself marched up to the receptionist and confidently said…“Sarah Dexler, I have appointment at three pm.”
“Yes Miss Dexler we have you right here. Please have a seat. Mr. Poundstone will be with you momentarily.” the receptionist said hardly looking up from her desk.
Just then the office door opened and a congenial looking man came out. If Sarah were to describe him she would describe a dignified Santa, maybe an Edmund Gwenn style from Miracle on 34th Street. His appearance was stylish and dignified, like an upper crust Englishman, suiting his voice on the phone. His suit was a gray Burbury throughout. His hair was trimmed short and he had a tiny white moustache. He seemed to be in his sixties.
“Miss Dexler I presume?”
Mr. Poundstone looked straight into her eyes.
“Yes, I am Sarah Dexler.” Sarah stood tall and threw her shoulders back, holding out her right hand which he clasped firmly with both his hands.
“What a great pleasure it is to meet you in person. I worried that I had steered you wrong as I remembered not giving you my office number. But I can see you are as good as your word and you obviously found me. I am Harry Poundstone. Please do come into my office so we can discuss the particulars of this job and your qualifications for it.” said Mr. Poundstone, while still smiling.
“Certainly, I would be happy to Mr. Poundstone.” replied Sarah while stepping into his office.
Mr. Poundstone continued to smile even more broadly, almost unnervingly.
“Miss Dexler I didn't want to tell you in front of all those job applicants but we have to decide to give the job to you.” Mr. Poundstone declared with great flourish.
“Me? But you didn't even interview me? Are you sure?”
Sarah was shocked but rambled on.
“Well, of course if you are sure or you wouldn't have said so. Oh I'm doing it again. There’s just something about you that makes me do that. Oh did I just say that aloud. Sorry.” Sarah, first blurting, and then blanching, asked…“Do you still want me for this job?”
Mr. Poundstone couldn’t help but be amused.
“Miss Dexler. Or may I call you Sarah?” asked Mr. Poundstone
“Certainly, please do Mr. Poundstone.” Sarah replied
“Please, would you care for some of this freshly steeped tea? Or, would you prefer coffee?”
“Yes I would love some tea, two sugars and very little cream please.” answered Sarah
“Huh, that is exactly how I made it. Most people prefer milk rather than cream. It’s Harry actually. Please call me Harry. Mr. Poundstone is so formal.” expressed Mr. Poundstone, and then following quickly with “Where do you see yourself in five years Sarah?”
“Well I could lie and say that I see myself in an executive position but the truth is I want it all. I want a career that fulfills me and I really want children and a husband.”
What a weird start to the interview, Sarah thought. Why, oh why, had she mentioned she desired a husband and children? Was she sharing things that were too personal? Were there bounds that were being overstepped? Was there something in the tea, a truth serum perhaps? What was it about this man? What was it about him that made her blurt out exactly what she was thinking? What had possessed her?” He would think she didn’t really want this job and would leave at the first opportunity.” Sarah continued thinking knowing she needed to reassure Mr. Poundstone of that her priority was this job.
“Oh, but I can tell you that I see this position as a real opportunity to gain experience…”
Sarah wanted to continue but could not. She could not hide her suspicion and was suddenly compelled to ask “Did you put something in my tea to make me tell you only the truth and in fact say everything that I am thinking?”
“No, but I'm finding this conversation absolutely amazing.” Mr. Poundstone replied smiling and Sarah suddenly found that constant smile slightly creepy.
“What's amazing?” asked Sarah bravely, “That for some unknown reason I believe that you have the power to mesmerize and draw words from people?”
Mr. Poundstone just grinned even wider like he knew a secret, a secret that Sarah didn’t know but needed to uncover.
“Holy cow, I can't believe it. That's it isn't it? You have some unusual power and I can feel it. You can get people to tell you what they are really thinking”, Sarah exclaimed while truly surprised by her own words.
Mr. Poundstone reached into his jacket and pulled out a pocket watch which he proceeded to open. It was gold and was attached to a long chain.
“This is truly amazing. I have never encountered anyone with such acuity. Two minutes, that’s all it took for you to perceive the unusualness of our conversation. Most people who have any ability require days to detect my power, but you became aware it within less than two minutes.”
Mr. Poundstone’s next words shook Sarah to her core.
“He said you would be the one. I heard glimmers of it in our phone conversation but he was absolutely right. This is so truly, truly amazing.”
His voice became high pitched with excitement, almost maniacal, and belied the dignified image he had shown earlier.
“Uh…Ok… I’m going to leave now.”
Sarah became slightly frightened of the nature of Mr. Poundstone's behaviour. “But no harm, no foul”
“Oh please my dear lady, do not be frightened of me or my employer. I know I am not explaining this well but we've looked so long for one like you…”
Sarah found this last statement more disturbing.
“That's okay but I think I'm going.” Sarah replied reaching for the door handle
“Please Sarah. I beg of you, give myself and my employer another chance. Wouldn't you like to know the real reason why we chose you? Don’t you want to know about the untapped power that you alone hold?” Mr. Poundstone begged with his voice once again deep and compelling.
“No! If you have some deep dark plan for me you can just forget it.” Sarah turned the doorknob and continued to try to make her escape. “Quit trying to compel me. I know you're doing it. I don’t know how you’re doing it but I know you are doing it.”
“I apologize but it is sometimes hard to turn off ones gift.” Mr. Poundstone stated calmly. “Did you ever wonder where you came from? Who your parents were? Who were your other relatives? Sarah, we know you started life in Foster Care.”
Sarah retorted, her fear changing to anger. “How dare you? That…has nothing to do with a job interview. How did you access those records? You didn't even have my social security number?”
“I know a lot about you Sarah Marie Dexler. For instance I know your real last name is Maidenstone. The Dexler’s adopted you when you were four years old and isn’t it also true that before they adopted you, you did not speak.”
Tears formed in Sarah’s eyes and her anger grew. “I'm going to report you and your agency to the Better Business Bureau, the police, and a lawyer; And in that order. You have absolutely no right to snoop into my life.”
“I've hurt you and that was not my intention. You see, I know your grandfather and if he could have found you, believe me, he would have. He would have taken you from that foster home. It really wasn’t his fault. Your parents disappeared without a trace in America. They were British citizens born in Coventry, England. Your grandfather was not even aware of your existence. He found out six years after they had perished that his beloved daughter and her husband had died. He went crazy with grief and we despaired that we would never get him back again. But he did recover over time, albeit never to the same contented state. But, he discovered by searching through numerous records that she had a given birth to daughter; that daughter was you. And he asked me to find you.”
“So this was all a ruse? There is no job? Of course there is no job! Why…why am I still here? Did you hypnotize me? All this because you say my so called grandfather wants to meet me?” Sarah was going to tell Mr. Poundstone he was a very bad man but he cut her off.
“Needless to say, your grandfather wants anxiously to meet you in person. Moreover, he is well aware of your current predicament and has an exciting job…mmm…opportunity he wants to discuss with you. But about that, I’m afraid, I have been forbidden to share the particulars with you at this time.”
“I don't know about this. None of this seems right. A strange man tells me I have a grandfather, a grandfather who didn't come forward to me when I was young? And now he wants to meet me? And then he expects me to just take a job from him?” Sarah composed herself. “I just don't know. This is a lot to take in.”
“Think about it please.” replies Mr. Poundstone, “You won't be sorry if you agree to this meeting. Your Grandfather is a wonderful and wise man.”
Mr. Poundstone couldn’t help but smile slightly at the corners of his mouth but he kept his eyes penetratingly fixed on Sarah’s own deep gaze.
Mr. Poundstone then mused out loud, “What if I go tell the other applicants to come back another day for an interview for the actual job I brought them here for?”
“Please don’t keep them waiting. If there's an honest job for them at least interview them. I can wait in the lobby.” Sarah replied, relieved that the other women were not being duped. And, she realized, she was not surprised that Mr. Poundstone sensed her concern for those who unwittingly helped him in his duplicity.
“No, please, I have another office here, I'll interview them there. Just please… take your time. Have a cup from that freshly steeped pot of tea and I hope you'll make the decision that you will see your grandfather.” begged Mr. Poundstone while leaving the room.
“Fine… I'll wait…but I'm still not sure.” Sarah exclaimed with exasperation to Mr. Poundstone’s departing back.
In a room next to the one where Sarah waited, a man watched through a two way mirror. From his side he could see her seated in the chair in front of Mr. Poundstone’s desk. The man was mature, his hair greyed at the temples and sides but with a shock of black hair that ran through the middle of his thick mane. He was tall and stood over six feet, possibly as tall as six feet six inches. He was broad shouldered and lean looking while surprisingly well muscled.
He looked to be about sixty or maybe sixty five years of age but he moved with the ease of a much younger man as he paced back and forth with his focus on the mirror. He was dressed in a suit tailored perfectly for him. He seemed mesmerized as he intently watched Sarah though the glass. He was somewhat amused that he knew Sarah was unaware that she was being watched.
The door opened to the chamber where the tall man stood watching. Mr. Poundstone walked into this room with a much different demeanour than the one he displayed when he had earlier greeted Sarah. Mr. Poundstone lowered his head and seemed hesitant to approach. He moved forward cautiously as if any misstep could trigger an explosion like bomb in a minefield.
“This is the one? This is she? No mistakes this time?” the man demanded harshly while taking a seat.
“Yes, my lord, this is the one. I promise that there has been no mistake this time. As promised, I supervised this one myself.” replied Harry Poundstone, his voice very subservient.
“Good. What did you tell her?” asked the tall man.
“I told her that you were her grandfather and that you were looking for her, just as we rehearsed. I told her that you grieved for her mother and searched for her as soon as you knew she existed.”
“Marvellous Harry, a falsehood that is close to the truth is always so much more believable.” said the tall man pleased.
“I hope that this makes up for the failure of my operatives last year?” asked Mr. Poundstone meekly, obviously seeking approval.
“It does if this is truly her!” replied the tall man, Sarah’s Grandfather. “Does she show any essence of her mother? Or is she only tainted by him?”
“The taint is there my lord. I am sorry my lord…but if there is any of you in her I see none of it.” Mr. Poundstone cowered as he said this, expecting to be castigated. He was all too familiar with the consequences of failing to please his master, through words or deeds.
“I’m sure you are mistaken. She is of my line after all. I think I have seen glimmers of myself. If not while then it is decided.” pronounced the tall man, dismissing the matter.
“Must we, Lord Eccklestone?” Mr. Poundstone dared to ask.
“Are you questioning me? Are you truly daring to question me?” demanded Lord Eccklestone.
The tall man’s face turned purple and his rage consumed the entire room. To Mr. Poundstone it seemed as if darkness surrounded him, only broken by the fierce glower of his lord’s penetrating eyes.
“No sir, of course I am not questioning you. I would never dare.” Replied Mr. Poundstone submissively, mollifying him.
The pair continued to watch Sarah unbeknownst as she waited anxiously in the adjoining office. Sarah was consumed by many thoughts that raged incessantly through her mind. A grandfather was searching for her? She had family, but a family that took this long to come forward?
Could the story really be true that he just couldn’t find her until now? What an incredible story, much like a fairy tale. And those usually didn’t end well.
What of Mr. Poundstone? He was to say, a very unusual man. True. Still there was something not quite right about him. At times she felt he seemed a jovial Santa Claus, but could it just be a false persona? If Mr. Poundstone wasn’t who he pretended to be, then how could she trust that this man would put her in touch with her real grandfather? Maybe she should just leave. But, if he did know her grandfather and could put them in touch maybe she should give him a chance?
Mr. Poundstone was distinctly odd, almost chilling with this strange power he had. He actually had eluded that she might have one as well, a power. That, of course, was ludicrous stuff and definitely nonsense. Then there was the fact that he had snooped in her personal business.
He had found out facts that she had never told anyone. It was like stripping her bare. She wasn’t happy about that.
What did she really know about these people? Only what he, Mr. Poundstone, had told her? She had already found out he had a power that made people believe and do what he wanted them to do; so why was she sitting here waiting for Mr. Poundstone? Or waiting for this man that claimed to be her grandfather?
How trustworthy was a man who manipulated people with some spellbinding ability and made them do what he wanted? She suddenly became afraid again. There was something definitely not quite right about this and she felt it down to her very bones. If her grandfather had truly wanted to meet her there was no need for this deception. And why were so many people interested in a companion job? And why were they all attractive young women? These thoughts had just entered her mind. What had prevented these thoughts before? There were just too many things that didn’t add up here.
So what was wrong with her that she hadn’t bolted all ready? Mr. Poundstone had used some of his power on her; that was the only explanation. The power that she was starting to believe he really possessed. Was it some kind of hypnotism? She was leaving now, this very minute, before something bad happened.
Just then the door opened to Mr. Poundstone’s office and Sarah watched a man enter. He was tall, dark haired and mysterious looking. His hair was raven coloured, his eyes blue and piercing and his gaze centered on her. He was muscular and dynamic looking and he just seemed to be one of those people that drew upon all eyes upon them. Simply put, this man radiated power and one could not help but put all focus on his presence.
It was odd though when he came in the room it was like time stopped. She looked at the clock on Mr. Poundstone’s desk and realized that it wasn’t as if time had stopped, it actually had. The circumstances were getting more bizarre for Sarah the more she went along today. Had she really gotten up this morning or was this all a dream? As she gazed upon the man he spoke….
“Come on then, we have to leave now.” he requested of her.
“We…we have to leave now? I don’t think so. I have had enough with you weird people. I don’t understand what is going on but I’m not going anywhere with you.” Sarah reacted, annoyed.
“I don’t have time to explain this to you. You deserve explanations but we definitely don’t have time. This only lasts so long. It takes so much power and energy that it’s very draining. We have to go now. We have to be away from here before I lose my power, which could be at any moment.” said the man urgently.
“Again with the power? I’m getting out of here but not with you. I don’t want to see any of you weirdoes ever again.” replied a disgusted Sarah.
“Fine, just come with me now. Let us leave and get away now!” pleaded the man.
“I don’t even know your name. I’m not going anywhere with you. I’m going home.” Sarah’s anger grew and she was very determined to get away.
“They know where you live. They want something from that you don’t even know you have.” The man then said cryptically “They are not nice people. You don’t understand the lengths they will go to or the things they have done.”
“Enlighten me then.” Sarah demanded.
“I told you there isn’t time. Please I beg of you, come with me now.”
“And you are? And I should come with you because? I’m tired of this. You and all these other people just come into my life making impossible demands.”
“You can do things that aren’t possible or real. Oh…just go away and leave me be”
“My name is Demetrious Blackstone and we are sort of related. I promise I’ll tell you more once we are away from here.” Then seeing her face he adds, “I know all of this is difficult for you to understand and I will explain when we get away from here but we must get away now.”
He then took Sarah’s hands and pulled her to her feet. Moments later they are out the door.
Sarah isn’t sure how they got to the waiting room so fast. Or even why she didn’t fight back and resist but here they were. In this room Sarah saw all the people. There was still not a ripple of movement. Time was stood still and it seemed as only they moved through it. It was all so unreal and peculiar. Demetrious opened the front door of the building and they passed out into the street. Cars were stilled, not moving at all as time and space stood still. Not even a breeze blowing. Sarah was amazed and frightened all at once. What was going on?
“How long will this last?” asks Sarah.
“Not much longer. We must be long away when it stops. He will know it was I and come after us.” warned Demetrious ominously.
“I’m going home.” replied Sarah, afraid but determined.
“Do you not understand their fierce abilities? Don’t you understand the danger you are in?” Demetrious asked, staring at Sarah. Then slowly searching her face he sighed and said…
“No, of course you don’t. How could you know that there is a great peril to you here? This man, who is your grandfather, is a kin to a vampire. He finds power from innocents, from those who are not aware of their power. He then takes their power from them and not in a pleasant way, I assure you. What he leaves of these people is a nothing but a zombie like creature; a creature that only exists to obey their lord and master; your grandfather. Or, if he chooses, they are left a broken soul whose mind is completely stripped, so they function only on a basic primitive level.”
Sarah did not believe her ears and denied everything the man was saying.
“This is all so utterly ridiculous. I’m starting to think that Mr. Poundstone drugged me, so I’m very glad you got me out of there Mr. Blackstone. I thank you for everything you have done so far but I’m going home.  Now!”
“I am sorry I have to do this to you. I wouldn’t if it wasn’t necessary to protect you. But you don’t even realize the great power you hold and how and what could happen if someone as unscrupulous as your Grandfather got a hold of that power.”
Demetrious gripped the back of her neck gently with the fullness of his hand and Sarah began to feel light headed. Slowly the world seemed to fade away and she fell into a deep unconsciousness.

©  2011 Sheilagh Lee
This must not be copied in any form without permission from author.

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