I’m trying to work my way up to writing 5,000 words every Friday. With my current work schedule, Fridays have become the writing days. I’ve never yet managed more than about 4,000 words in a single day, but I’m hoping with practice, I can exceed that and get to the 5,000-word mark.
As part of this, I thought it might be fun to give you a peek into what I’m writing every Friday. Right now, I’m hard at work on Incarnate, which is the first novel in my historical urban fantasy series, The Reapers. Here’s a sneak peek at the scene I’m working on today.
“So,” he asked, “should my sergeant expect to chase you around London for the remainder of the day or can he bring a newspaper and catch up on his reading?”
The opportunity at misdirection was too good to let pass. “Oh, I should think he would be quite safe in bringing a newspaper. I expect to spend the remainder of the day communing with the spirit world in preparation for your séance.”
As she spoke, Elodie skirted a well-dressed elderly woman walking a small, mangy-looking dog in a red sweater.
“Why, Miss Capshaw,” the lady exclaimed as Elodie passed her, “how delightful to run into you.”
Elodie drew up short. Lady Beckwith. Of all the abysmal luck.
Plastering a smile to her lips, Elodie swung around to greet her former client. “Good morning, Lady Beckwith. What a pleasant surprise.” Well, at least the surprise part was truthful.
The dowager countess looked from Elodie to Inspector Ross and back again. “Aren’t you going to introduce me to your gentleman friend?” she asked, a sly edge to her tone.
Elodie managed not to roll her eyes. “Lady Beckwith, this is Inspector Ross of Scotland Yard. Inspector Ross, this is the dowager Countess of Beckwith, a client whose case I recently completed.”
“Inspector?” the elderly woman repeated, sounding slightly disappointed by this news.
Elodie nodded. “Yes. We’re working on an investigation together.”
“I would hardly characterize what we are doing as ‘working together’,” Ross muttered.
Elodie shot him a murderous glare. He grinned back. She pressed her lips together in a frown. He shrugged.
“As it happens,” Lady Beckwith went on, seeming blithely unaware of their silent conversation, “I got your letter regarding my case just yesterday, and you were quite right; the condition of my boiler was quite appalling. We are fortunate we were not all blown to kingdom come, so I really must thank you.”
“Well,” Elodie said, relieved to discover that her findings had pleased the woman, “that is excellent news. And now, if you’ll excuse us—“
“Oh, please, Miss Capshaw. I couldn’t help overhearing you say something about doing a séance for the inspector.”
Please, don’t say it.
“But I am sure you told me you don’t do séances.”
Ross looked at her, eyebrows raised. “Is that so?”
Elodie closed her eyes, her stomach sinking. She could hardly claim she’d never said such a thing to Lady Beckwith in the woman’s presence. Equally, she could not deny the fact that she had agreed to do a séance for Inspector Ross when he was standing right there and knew the truth. She had best think fast, or she would be well and truly buggered. But then, the truth—or something very close to it—was always the best approach.
“It is true that I don’t do séances under normal circumstances,” she admitted, “but that is because I know where the spirit resides. It is always easiest to contact ghosts directly in their own environment, and a séance is not necessary.” As she spoke, she warmed to her explanation. It just might work. “But when it comes to spirits whose whereabouts are unknown, as in Inspector Ross’s case,” Elodie continued, “a séance is the only way to reach them, and so I am making an exception for him. I do hope you understand, Lady Beckwith.”
“Oh, but Miss Capshaw,” Lady Beckwith exclaimed, beaming with delight, “that is excellent news!” Her dog, sensing his mistress’s excitement, emitted a high-pitched yap. “You can use a séance to locate my dear, departed Lord Beckwith.”