I promised some crazy exciting things with this party! There will be giveaway’s, Video’s, Collages, Character Boards and other behind the scene things never shown before! Let’s get started with the characters.
Cyril can be quite the confusing dude. He’s a bit messed up when it comes to his emotions and this book chronicles his journey back. He struggled with a lot of rejection in his life due to an older brother who had issues of his own. As a result, he is far from ready to take on the sudden responsibility that is thrust on him after a dire accident throws his life into utter turmoil. Add to that the fact that there is more crime than he can keep straight happening in London and he is asked to help solve the mystery of who is causing it and you have quite a wild ride.
Olivia is a girl who had it all. Or so she thought. She is a sweet, normal person with a normal life who loves music, is a pianist and loves her furry friends. She misses her older brother, and when she is suddenly thrust upon his care and support, it isn’t at all what she expected it to be. She is quiet, enjoys solitude, and likes to have few friends, but she keeps them close. The social graces isn’t exactly her thing. She is quite the bookworm and hates the dank, dark city.
Enjoy the first chapter of London in the Dark free! Copyrighted by Victoria Lynn. You can purchase the book here.
With a loud crash, the door to the posh townhouse gave way.
“This is the Police!”
Cyril Arlington Hartwell, P.I., followed them in. They found the man of the house in the library, a stunned look on his face.
“What is the meaning of this?” the gentleman sputtered. He cut quite the indignant figure as he stood with arms folded, a silk dressing gown over his shirt sleeves and trousers. Even his velvet slippers portrayed a sophisticated and plush appearance.
“Sir, I am Detective Inspector O’Malley, and we are here to search your house.”
“For what, pray tell?” The man was bristling like a peacock.
Cyril scrutinized the owner of the house’s expression carefully as the police detective spoke.
“For the jewels stolen from Mrs. Alston, with whom I am sure you are quite well acquainted, Mr. Calhoun.” The police detective’s voice was covered in sarcasm.
Cyril saw a muscle in the man’s jaw twitch and knew instantly they were in the right place. He had been correct in suspecting this man had been pursuing a relationship with Cyril’s wealthy client, Mrs. Alston. She was a widow and childless who had been left all of her deceased husband’s wealth.
As they completed the search, a young officer reported to D.I. O’Malley. “We haven’t found the stolen jewels, sir. However, we did find a safe.”
O’Malley addressed the owner. “Mr. Calhoun, we would appreciate your cooperation. If you would be so kind as to open the safe for us so we may have a look inside.”
“Of course, but you’ll find nothing in there, or anywhere else in the house. I didn’t steal the jewels and I resent the accusations you have brought against me. Your office will be hearing about my displeasure, detective.” Mr. Calhoun continued to vehemently deny having stolen the jewels as he unlocked the safe that resided in a corner of the room hidden slightly behind the corner of a bookshelf.
The safe was indeed void of the jewels they sought, though full of other miscellaneous valuables. The detective turned his back to the irate house owner and gave Cyril a questioning glance.
Cyril signaled with a finger in the air to give him another minute: he had an idea. Mr. Calhoun kept his eyes from the one side of the room opposite him. As if he were keeping his eyes away from that wall for a reason. It was subtle, but Cyril was paying close attention. Calhoun could be avoiding looking in that direction in order not to give away something hidden there. Cyril continued to watch him closely for another minute as Mr. Calhoun ranted and raved to Detective O’Malley.
Sure of his guess, Cyril turned and examined the wall Mr. Calhoun’s gaze had been avoiding. The only thing along that wall was a small library table with decorative spindle legs and several paintings hanging above it. Nothing could be hidden there, unless . . .
He walked up to the largest painting and ran his finger around the gilt edges of its ornate frame. Fancy. The nameplate touted it as a work of Alfred William Hunt. It was beautiful, but he focused on his mission.
“Don’t touch that, please,” Mr. Calhoun interrupted his own tirade to warn Cyril. “It’s a very expensive piece!”
Ignoring the man, Cyril lifted the painting from the wall. A collective murmur of surprise from the others in the room told him he had found something. He set the painting down on the floor and leaned it against the wall.
Sure enough, a cabinet door had been hidden perfectly behind the painting.
“Expensive piece indeed. Though I’ll wager in more ways than one, as the contents of this cabinet will display. If my guess is correct.” Cyril opened the cabinet door to reveal another smaller safe.
“The combination, if you please, Mr. Calhoun.” Cyril glanced over his shoulder at the man who glared at him with a glimmer of anger and defeat in his eyes. Cyril would bet his beloved mustache that the jewels were hidden away in the safe.
“Who are you? You don’t seem to be one of the officers,” asked Mr. Calhoun with a superior air.
“He’s a private investigator for Mrs. Alston.” Detective O’Malley spoke before Cyril could. “He is working with us on this case. You may tell him the combination.”
“If he’s not an officer, I refuse to tell him the combination.” The owner folded his arms in a somewhat childish gesture of defiance.
“Mr. Calhoun, please, enough stalling.” Detective O’Malley rolled his eyes, clearly frustrated. “I’m an officer and I am asking for the combination to the safe. Now, if you don’t oblige, we’ll have to bust it open.”
Mr. Calhoun glowered, but gave them the numbers they needed. Cyril spun the dial, listening to the tumblers click into place. The door swung open smoothly. Several jewel cases lay inside along with a small bundle of velvet.
“Detective, you’ll want to see this.” Cyril nodded towards the safe.
While the detective walked towards him, Cyril glanced at Mr. Calhoun and noticed a light shadow of desperation in his face. In an instant, before Cyril’s shout of warning could be realized by the distracted Officers staring into the safe, Mr. Calhoun whipped open a drawer of his desk and pulled out a revolver, which he pointed at Cyril.
Cyril blinked at the mouth of the gun—the small hole that threatened his life.
“Don’t anyone move,” Calhoun commanded, cocking the pistol.
Cyril glanced at O’Malley, whose face wore a look of self-loathing. Cyril himself felt surprised at the turn of events. Someone had made a mistake by not finding or confiscating the weapon.
“Mr. Calhoun, please, let’s think this through. Even if you do escape, you won’t get far. Would you really like to add murder or assault to your list of crimes?” Detective O’Malley spoke in a calm and professional voice as he took a slow step towards Calhoun.
The man faltered and moved the gun to point at the detective, then back at Cyril, the motion betraying his confusion.
“Stop moving or I’ll shoot!” he shouted. “Let me go free and no one will get hurt!”
“Come now, Mr. Calhoun. Are you really certain that’s what you want to do?” O’Malley spoke in a voice that continued to have calm and soothing tones. He signaled his men with a flick of the hand that dangled at his side. The officers all took a step away from Calhoun, trying to eliminate the threat he felt by their close proximity.
Cyril started as a man in a butler’s uniform stepped in the door behind Mr. Calhoun. The man’s eyes grew wide as he took in the situation. Cyril was shocked when the butler moved with cat-like silence and precision behind Calhoun. With a movement as sudden as it was effective, he grabbed and pulled Calhoun’s gun hand up. The shocked Calhoun pulled the trigger and a bullet shot a hole through the ceiling. The detective and his men lunged towards Calhoun and seized his arm, thrusting it behind him.
Cyril drew a deep breath. The realization that he could have been shot and killed shook him more than he would like to admit.
Mr. Calhoun was led out of the house between two Officers. O’Malley stepped to Cyril’s side and patted him on the shoulder. “Many thanks for all your help, Hartwell. Couldn’t have done it without you.”
The older man’s approving gaze warmed Cyril as he shook the detective inspector’s hand and stepped outside. He placed his hands in his pockets, his appearance of casualness hiding the excitement he felt at a job well done. He couldn’t keep the grin off his face when he thought of the happiness his mentor would express when he heard of the prestigious case he had just helped solve.
The grin slipped a bit when he thought of his family. They would be proud, no doubt, but the thought of contacting them after all these years scared him a bit. He shook his head. No room here for fear. He needed to keep a clear mind, and thinking of his family always took him down a path of unwanted emotions. Instead, he thought of the case. While all seemed resolved and squared away, he couldn’t help the suspicious feeling that nagged at his brain. There had been a large run of thefts over the last several months in London. He could sense the unrest and the worry that was a part of the police force. They were confused by the thefts, just as much as he was. But the thought that confused him the most was that the case of the Alston jewels wasn’t random. He had an inkling that it was tied into something much greater. But what?
The messenger cringed as Adrien Vernio snarled and slammed his fist into the desk, causing the crystal decanter and tumblers to clink and rattle.
“Utter incompetence! Must I always do things myself?” The angry man jabbed his finger at the messenger. “You! This evening, I want you to get out there and cover our tracks. I don’t want them knowing we’re involved. That detective is getting in my way.” His anger suddenly cooled, and he sat in his seat, a smug and alert look on his face. He chuckled, tongue in cheek as he swiveled on the wooden office chair with a far-off look in his eyes.
“Perhaps not all is lost. I will handle this myself.” His scarred and almost aquiline face took on a look of evil. His eyes darted to the unfortunate messenger, whose heart jumped into his throat. “What are you standing around here for? Go!”
This is a fun little thing I made and it tests your knowledge of London in the Dark if you have read it before.
This is going to be epic! There will be prizes, including a $10 amazon gift card, a piece or two of art by me, and opportunities to win the book, along with appearances from the characters themselves! Cyril, Olivia and Dudley will all be there and taking questions! Be sure to come!
~London in the Dark Fan Merch~
You heard right! There is fan merch for the book! I have the two shirts and I adore them!
So, little story because we are all human. I accidently opened two shops, so some of my designs are split and I don’t know how to fix that. So here is the link to the main shop, and here is the link to the secondary shop.
At last! The Pièce de résistance!
Follow THIS LINK to enter the giveaway. (unfortunately rafflecopter won’t let me embed the giveaway on my blog, so you have to use the link)
~ Blog Tour Participants~
Please click through and check these lovely people out! There are interviews, and reviews of the book, and I have to say the interviews were loads of fun! Think of getting to eavesdrop on me and other awesome ladies who were talking about books, writing, London, and anything in between.
Sarah @ Smylinggirlblog (spotlight and review)
Victoria Goodbrand @ Victoria’s Book Nook (Interview)
Medomfo @ Writings From a God Girl (Interview)
Sarah Addison-Fox @ Disjointed Babblings (Interview)
Hosanna Emily @ Having a Heart Like His (Interview)
And one last thing. . . London in the Dark was featured on a book PODCAST! *falls over* Check it out here at Bookworm Banquet!
Well, was that enough goodies for you? Be sure to check back tomorrow for even more and a special scoop on book two in The Light of London series!
Don’t forget to come to the facebook party!
By God’s Grace,