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Jesse Nolen has troubles enough.
Most of the time her mild psychic abilities keep her slightly off balance. Her daughter has a case of teenage attitude. her husband, Stan, is cut off from work, and her son is terrified by his own powerful clairvoyance.
But when an ancient evil group picks Stan as their next inductee, Jesse learns what real trouble is.
And it's her family that is going to pay the price.
London, England--June 6, 1865
Nelly Milton lay on a smooth marble slab, her mind foggy and dazed. She had a vague memory of the tingling chill that had raced across her shoulders when they first touched the icy stone. The sensation had brought a dim awareness that quickly faded. Now the hard surface, warmed by her body, was no longer cold.
Nelly’s head rolled to one side. Her eyelids fluttered and, heavy as weighted gates, finally lifted. It took several minutes to focus and even then, a gauze-like, misty fog clouded her eyes. She made a feeble attempt to move but her arms and legs were stiff and unresponsive. Confused, and searching for the reason, Nelly gazed down the length of her right arm. At the wrist was a twisted binding of red velvet and her mind, fuzzy as her vision, sent a hazy signal to cease the struggle; "for lor" if it wasn’t silly when a body was hand and foot tied down.
The restraining velvet ropes stirred up the first tinge of true fear. Still…mightn’t it be a dream? Oh, glory yes. That must be the way of it. In a few seconds, the scary nightmare would stop and she’d come wide-awake to find Robert beside her; both of them rosy with sleep under a white muslin sheet that smelled of mown hay and bright sunshine. Then, from his cradle in the corner, Christopher would cry; hungry for her breast as he had been the whole six months of his precious life. Nelly swallowed and lay waiting. Waiting with every nerve now honed to exquisite sharpness. Waiting for the dark eerie scene to fade.
It did not.
She was in the center of a large cavern. A line of blazing sconces hung against the gray stone walls. The light shed by the flames turned the chamber to a flickering orange, red, and black. To her bewildered senses, now further crazed by an awful growing dread, it appeared the antechamber of hell. Several feet out from the wall stood a half circle of ten chairs: high-backed, Tudor-style upholstered in rich red velvet. The chairs stood empty suggesting a coming judgment, and all of Nelly’s past sins crowded in upon her.
Every minute Nelly became more aware, while a swirling black panic threatened to sweep away any sensible thoughts. She clenched her teeth and shook her head, which, indeed, was all she could move.
"Get hold on yourself, Nell," she scolded. Nothing was ever gained using a head filled with feathers. Some terrible thing has happened, but Robert will know and won’t he just cause a proper dust-up! That’s the right road now, think of Robert and how he’ll be a hunting, turn the city end over end, he will. Still, it didn’t mean lying stiff as a corset stay, not even trying to work free.
Nelly strained and jerked against the velvet ropes; they held fast. Nelly was strong and healthy, she never failed in any task she undertook, but now fear sapped that strength. Being helplessly bound on the marble platform forced tears of despair and frustration to slip down her smooth, round cheeks. She kept a kerchief in the pocket of her everyday blue ticken dress. Her wet trickling tears made her wish for it.
Suddenly her back stiffened as if some nasty and clammy thing were sliding down between her shoulder blades. She was not wearing her own clothes. Her arms and shoulders were bare; the black silk began just at the curve of her full, milk-swollen breast and covered to her trembling ankles. An elegant, indecent shroud. Shame and panic took her by turns. Her feet, free of the rough, round-toed shoes, tingled in their vulnerable state. Oh God, she promised, never again would she wish for fine or fancy clothes. The coarse cheap cloth of her dress and the heavy, chafing shoes were blessing enough.
In addition to horror and thrillers, H. L. Chandler has also written several books for children. She has lived across the U.S. from California to Florida, and for a short time in Canada. She is now living in the Ozarks, where she continues to write.
Greed, power, and family are the themes of H. L. Chandler’s novel, The Keepers. In this horror/thriller, Chandler mixes the super-natural and the strength of family in the involved and compelling tale. Chandler’s writing is fluid and detailed; establishes a strong sense of place and provides the reader with an in depth look into the souls of her characters. The Keepers is an exciting and passionate read that seduces and commands attention. -- Midwest Book Review, Reviewer: Melissa Levine
This story, much like the mountainous area it depicts, took many twists and turns. The plot is unexpected. I must admit, when I first picked it up, it sounded like a new take on The Shining, but once I got into the book, I realized this story has much more. Stan and Denise are both so headstrong that if I could somehow magically transport myself into the story and shake them, I gladly would have obliged. I completely felt for Jessie and her son, and eagerly worked my way through the storyline, breathlessly waiting for more. -- Review by Novelspot
H.L. Chandler has definitely satisfied that part of my soul that craves those good against evil battles. She has proved herself worthy of telling a tale as old as time, and I eagerly await more novels by this author. The Keepers is a wonderful read, and well worth every penny. -- Reviewed By Sue Frazee © August 2005
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 384
Paper Weight (lb): 16.0
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