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Sunday, 13 May 2012

Candle Dark.


Candle Dark - Book One Ironbridge Gorge Series - books available on my website and as ebooks
The Worst Day of My Life

‘Is it a rat?’ Sara cried, ‘tell it to go away, Josh!’
   I woke with a start from my nightmare about falling down a mineshaft, and in the dull red glow coming through our bedroom window, I saw my four-year-old sister. She’d tangled herself up in an old petticoat Mum puts on her at bedtime. We sleep on the floor and our beds are potato sacks stuffed with hay. Sara shares hers with my big sister Maria, on the other side of the room from me.
   ‘Go to sleep, Sara,’ I muttered crossly. ‘There isn’t any rat.’
   ‘It’s going to eat me,’ she wailed. She was sitting up, clutching her peg doll. Tears were dripping off her chin.
   I sighed. I could hear what sounded like an animal pressing its nose into its fur and snuffling, searching for fleas. I felt for my boot, flung it, and the snuffling stopped.
   ‘There, it’s gone. No more crying – let me sleep.’ I punched the hay in my sack, trying to make the lumpy bits comfortable, but it was no good, I was wide-awake.
   Oh, I’m Joshua Hale, but everyone calls me Josh, and the terrible thing I’m going to tell you about happened when I was nearly eleven. I’d worked down the Blists Hill coal pit since I was seven and I hated it down there. I hated working in the dark. I hated the rats, the stink of the tunnels, and I hated it when the mine flooded and my wet boots rubbed my feet raw.
   I was scared in the pit most days, but Dad said we all had to work to pay rent for our cottage, find money to give to the tommy shop for his new pick, and to buy food. Mum said if we didn’t have enough money for rent, the mine manager would turn us out in the road. Then we’d end up in the workhouse.
   But yesterday, when Bradley the horsekeeper gave me another beating so bad I ached all over, I decided I’d had enough. I would run away, find work on the river, and earn lots of money. Then Mum needn’t take things that Isaac Whitlock gave her when he came knocking at our door. Thinking of Isaac made me shudder, and I was wondering about the best time to run away when Sara started her mithering again.

                                                   Paperback    

34 comments:

Glynis said...

A lovely snippet, thanks for sharing, Carole. I would have G+'d it but you don't have the little symbols for FB, Twitter or G+ on show.

Helen Ginger said...

Ooh, that sounds really good. I like this guy and want to follow along with him.

cluculzwriter said...

Oh my, things don't look very well for Josh. Beatings, hungry, work, all things no child should worry about. The story sounds heart-wrenching, Carole. I think it's doing to do very well.

Janet Smart said...

Sounds great. Thanks for this little slice of your book. I hate rats, too.

Deniz Bevan said...

Great snip, Carole Anne! I've got a blog post coming up about Blists Hill, I'll link to your blog!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thanks, Glynis, I'll do that.

Carole Anne Carr said...

As you can see in the sequel River Dark, Helen, life doesn't get any better for him, but he's a survivor.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Yes, and things go from bad to worse in the sequel River Dark, Joylene, but there are happy bits in the stories too :0)

Lynda R Young said...

This is a great little excerpt. I want to read more.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thank you Lynda, it is now an eBook. I'm still struggling to finish River Dark, the sequel. :0)

Carole Anne Carr said...

I shall look forward to that, Deniz!

Clarissa Draper said...

What are the links for the ebook?

Talli Roland said...

Sounds like a great read, Carole! Congrats!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Great snippet, Carole. Sara sounds a lot like me when I was young (a scareddy cat)who woke up her sister at the slightest sound at night.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Hi Clarissa, having problems with the link as Amazon have listed a publisher for my ebooks - one that I got rid of. Shall sort it out.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thanks, Talli, it's an uphill battle to finish these books.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Good that the relationship rings true, Rachna. :0)

Christine Rains said...

Well written excerpt. I love reading this little slices from your book. A rat would make me jumpy too!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Glad you like it Christine, I have lots of adult readers, too. :0)

The Golden Eagle said...

Intriguing excerpt!

D.J. Kirkby said...

Oooh intriguing...what age is this aimed at? I think my number 3 son would like this.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thank you so much, G.E. like all independent authors, especially one as old as me!, it is hard to become known. :0)

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thank you, D.K. Kirby, my books are full of excitement, no time for children to be bored. I'm soon to publish the sequel, River Dark, hopefully in August.

Heather Murphy said...

That really grabs your attention on many levels. Great!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thank you Heather.

Laurel Garver said...

This looks fascinating, Carole Anne. I also like the looks of your book on Lindisfarne. Did a daytrip there in '06 and would love to learn more.

Amelia said...

brilliant writing! Really love it - I want to read more. Thanks for stopping by over at mine :)

Amelia.x

tfwalsh said...

Most awesome excerpt... really enjoyed that.. thanks for sharing:)

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thank you, Tania

Maryellen said...

Just fell in love with your blog :)

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thank you MaryEllen for your kind comment.

Margo Berendsen said...

What time is this set in - is it historical or present? It's definitely intriguing, I want to read more.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Margo, it is set in 1780.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Life in those days was pretty grim for the poor, Janet.

 
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