Sunday, July 12, 2020

For the Love of Dugongs

I'm posting a modern eco-mystery "For the Love of Dugongs" at Austen Underground. I will post some of the photos here.

Here is the map of Magnetic Island, off Townsville, Australia. It is the setting of the story.


Monday, December 17, 2018

Chilly - Free read

Chapter 21 (excerpt)

“Miss Caroline Bingley, according to the accounts by the eyewitnesses, you were seen attacking your sister Mrs. Herbert Hurst and then Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy at the guest chamber of Errington at around four in the afternoon today. What do you have to say about it?”
Miss Bingley started sobbing. “Pray forgive me. I did not intend to hurt my dear sister and dear Mrs. Darcy. It must be the herb tea. It made me do some crazy things.”
The magistrate motioned for Mrs. Thompson to dap dry Miss Bingley’s eyes, as the prisoner’s hands were still tied to the chair.
“What herb tea? Who prepared it for you?”
Darcy had a feeling what Miss Bingley would say.
“My sister, Louisa, prepared the tea, right before Mr. Darcy’s party had an accident outside Errington estate. My sister, her husband and I were having tea. Louisa poured it.”
“Mrs. Thompson, can you confirm that?” The magistrate asked.
“Yes, the temporary master and mistress and Miss Bingley were having tea at that time.”
Darcy noticed a tiny smile on Miss Bingley’s face when Magistrate Bates turned to talk to Mrs. Thompson. Almost immediately, the prisoner schooled her face to that of an innocent victim.
“And this special tea makes you do strange things?”
“It must be. I would not normally act that crazy. My sister has been consulting many apothecaries for some years. You see, she has been trying to be with child. I warn her that the latest one is most irregular. She acted very strangely in the past few months. Sometimes angry, sometimes sad, sometimes laughing, sometimes murmuring to herself. It must be the herb tea that she takes. Her husband and I asked her not to take it, but she refused.”
“If you are aware of such a danger, why did you take the tea?”
“I saw Louisa prepare it. I thought it was for herself. She must have switched her cup with mine. I would never have taken it willingly!”
Darcy’s lips tightened. This Miss Bingley’s performance was compelling. She was laying all the blame on her sister who was conveniently made unconscious by her.

You can continue reading at SteamDarcy or Austen Underground.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Darcy's Chilling Proposal - new chapter

Finally after four long years, I've a new chapter for you. Thank you for your patience.

Chapter 16

Darcy knocked on the door of the mistress chamber.

“Come in,” Elizabeth spoke in a soft voice.

When Darcy entered, he saw that she was standing, by the windows, looking out at the garden at the back of the house. She was in her green dressing gown and robe, with her hair down. The robe was in superb material and accentuated her form. The candlelight flickered, enveloping her in an air of mysterious enticement.

He walked and stood by her side, breathing in her sweet lavender scent and waited for her to speak.

“I am worried about Jane,” she sighed.

He wanted to scoop her up and take her to bed, to smooth away her worries and comfort her to sleep. But the way she uttered the words made him wait for her to express more. He chose to take her hand and squeezed it.

“I wish all of them, the Bingleys, the Hursts, even Father, Mary and Jane, would go away, back to the North or Hertfordshire, and leave us alone. Am I the most wicked person to think so?”

Darcy welcomed such a situation as well, he thought. He could then spend at least a month of solitude to court and build up a better relationship with Elizabeth. However, that could not be. “I wish to spend our times as a normal couple as much as you.”


“But, just like any problem, if we do not face and resolve it sooner, it may get even bigger.”

Elizabeth sighed again. “I know. I have enough indolent example from Father, in his daily dealing of the estate.” She squared her shoulders and turned her head to look at him. “I shall be strong. May I apologize to you again, Fitzwilliam?”

“I apologize as well.”

“No, I think I owe you a bigger apology.”

“I do not think we can measure the size of an apology.”

“I mean I should never have used the horrible words I had uttered at Hunsford to yell at you. You have proven to me that you are not what I thought who you were. You are considerate to me, my dreadful family, and everyone in your employ. You are so much better than Mr. Bingley, my Father and many men I have known.”

“I should have told you I was going to Whitechapel and the reason.”

“I want to be your true partner in life.”

“I would love that as well. Elizabeth, I promise you I will always respect you and consult you as often as possible on all related issues. Pray remind me should I forget that.”

Elizabeth’s lips curled up slightly. “I have your permission to yell at you at any time?”

“Maybe not in front of others.”

“I shall remember that.”

“And not using the words at Hunsford.”

“Any more conditions, my dear husband?”

Darcy pretended to think hard for a moment and then shook his head. “Those are my conditions for your screeching.”

“I do not know how to screech!”


“Not at all. Shrieking is Mother’s specialty. I only chastise my forgetful husband.”

“I am still in the prime of my health and have a vivid memory, especially with everything concerning my wonderful wife.”

“Your wife is tired now, Mr. Prime Darcy.”

“No nickname please, Elizabeth. I cannot abide them. Should we sit?”

Elizabeth turned to look at him for a long moment, as if debating a grave issue in her mind. “Am I too bold, to suggest we rest, on your bed?” She whispered.

You can continue reading at or at Austen Underground.

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