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Jude Lyon

A post for Halloween…

The Curse of Lecia Posted on Fri, October 31, 2014 15:23:14

Taken from the end of Chapter 10 in “The Curse of Lecia” Takes place on 31st October 1832…

“I picked up the book and shook it in case the torn out pages might fall out. I felt troubled, a sudden unease and apprehension or that the book may reveal something to me that might shock me. The name”Lecia” seemed somehow familiar, and the mention of the wolf scared me. Could it possibly be the wolf that I had seen three times now?

My hands started to shake. Had this been one of the stories Joseph and Sarah had heard of?

“Where did you say you found the book Mary?” I asked, aware that my voice shook.

“In the dresser in my bedchamber, Louisa. I found it when I was putting my brushes away. I noticed a little gap in the bottom, and I pulled it open and found it there. Did I do something wrong, you look a little odd?

I shook my head, and felt suddenly tired and said goodnight to my cousins.

I chided myself as I walked up the stairs. It was just a story from a book, The Lore and Myth of Shropshire. It was not real.

I heard footsteps behind me, and turned quickly, ready to scream.

“Louisa, can I sleep with you tonight? I feel a little afraid.”

I had forgotten that despite all her bravado and confidence, Mary was still only eleven years old.

After Mary had changed into her nightclothes, she joined me. We sat on the bed, and I brushed her hair, which gleamed in the candle light. The texture was like silk and it reminded me of pure clean sand. As I brushed I started to sing the lullaby that Bron had sung at the gypsy camp. I had no idea how I knew he words, I just sang softly, and brushed rhythmically.

““Sleep my baby, at my breast,

’Tis a mother’s arms round you.

Make yourself a snug, warm nest.

Feel my love forever new.”

When I had finished, we pulled the cover over us, and I blew out the candle.

“I know that lullaby,” Mary said sleepily. “The lady in my room sings it to me every night before I sleep.”

I lay stiffly in silence and pondered her words. Before I could ask her to explain she was asleep, a peaceful expression on her face.

I leant forward to plant a kiss on her forehead.

And breathed in the faint aroma of rose and vanilla on her nightclothes.”

New book release…

The Curse of Lecia Posted on Tue, June 17, 2014 16:45:58

Well…I’m back. After some angst and a little rewrite of The Curse of Lecia”, I am happy to say that the paperback and the ebook are now both for sale.
It is available on Amazon and Feedaread, and will soon filter through to Waterstones etc.
I am looking forward to the feedback. Fingers crossed…
I also updated my cover for The Tree With The House In It, to reflect the fact that The Pitchford Chronicles is a series. The similar covers unite the books, I think:)

The end of chapter 2 “The Curse of Lecia”

The Curse of Lecia Posted on Sat, February 01, 2014 13:57:21

The day
before the visit, Friday, Papa called Robert, Mary and me into the drawing
room. He was very serious, and asked us to sit, whilst he stood with his back
to the fire.

Robert, Mary and Louisa, there are some things that I wish to impart to you
about our young Royal Princess.”

Mary gave me
a little nudge, as she had told me of some rumours, but I was not entirely sure
they were true.

“Firstly the
Princess is known by the name “Drina” to her family and friends. Her real name
is Alexandrina Victoria, and “ Drina” is a short version of this.”

she … I mean…Her Royal Highness…think on us as friends?” Mary asked, eagerly

Papa smiled.

“I am sure
that she will, Mary. In fact, she refers to me as “Uncle Liverpool.”

I was
surprised to hear this. Papa had never mentioned it. He is known as the Earl of
Liverpool, so that must be why she chose “Uncle Liverpool”. Papa was not in any
way an uncle to Drina.

“Drina is
just thirteen years old, only two years older than you Mary dear, and she
carries a great weight and responsibility on her shoulders.”

“She is to be
the Queen, Uncle Liverpool” Mary giggled at her little joke “May I call you
“Uncle Liverpool” Uncle Charles?”


“Mary, do be
quiet. Let Uncle Liverpool speak,” he grinned.

Papa looked
at Mary as sternly as he could. I think she is his most favourite niece.

“As Drina is
heiress presumptive, Mary, she is required to live by certain rules that must
be adhered to at all times. These rules
ensure her safety.”

“That does
not sound like fun. Do you think that sounds like fun cousin Louisa?”

I shook my
head, and started to feel a little laugh bubble in my throat. Mary could always
be counted on for amusement. Papa cleared his throat.

“First, you
must know that Drina sleeps with her mother in the same room at all times.”

“What?” Mary
said loudly, “at thirteen years old? I should not like that at all. I wonder if
the Duchess of Kent snores. I rather think that she does.”

I could see
Papa’s mouth turning up at the sides. Mary was incorrigible.

“Mary, I am
sure that is disrespectful,” Robert said, and put his hands to his face.

“Perhaps you
should question Catherine,” I said. My sister, Catherine was her Lady in

Papa sighed
and looked at me, raising his eyebrows.

“Secondly, Drina
is never allowed to be alone. At all times there is to be an adult
present…either her governess or…”

“That is so
sad…” Mary bowed her head.” Mamma says that she is thankful when I am …”

“Either her
governess, whom she calls Lehzen,” Papa interrupted, ”her mother, or Sir John

smiled, “Conroy? I have heard of him.” He looked at Mary. “Mary, is he the one that Emily says is a…”

“And thirdly,”
Papa sighed, “our young Princess will not be offered unsuitable reading
material, or allowed to take part in unsuitable topics of conversation.”

Mary stood up
and walked to Papa, and hugged him around his waist.

understand, Uncle Liverpool, I understand perfectly why you have come to us
with this problem.”

Papa looked
confused, and Mary took his hands.

Uncle Liverpool, you need our help, do you not, to save her?”

“Save her,? Dear
Mary, what do you mean save her?”

Mary looked
at Robert and me and smiled.

“You wish
Louisa, Robert and me to help the poor girl. You want us to change her so that
she is more like a girl of thirteen and not a convict that one would send to

Papa made a
spluttering noise and I saw that his face was going red, and not from the heat
of the fire. I threw my head back and laughed. Papa looked confused again and
looked at me for help.

“No, dear
child, I …”

“Do not
worry, Uncle dearest, we shall make sure that Drina enjoys every minute of her
stay here. First, we shall…”

“Mary…no… I
did not…I meant that…”

“Do not be
sad for Princess Drina, Uncle Liverpool. I know how you are all for jollity and
fun. It must break your heart.”

Papa wiped
his forehead with his handkerchief.

“We shall
start by showing her how you can escape from a window by…”

Papa groaned,
“What an enchanting child you are Mary, but really, I … I merely meant that
you should …will…exercise the utmost…”

“Whatever is
the matter, Uncle Liverpool? You look quite ill. Should I call for the brandy?”

Papa made a
sound that sounded like a laugh and a cry and made to leave the room. He looked
at me, in a muddled way, Papa was never very good at remaining serious for too

“Louisa, I
trust you will do the right thing”

“Yes, Papa” I
smiled. “We will be angels.’

He left the
room, and Mary followed him.

“Do not worry
we shall not fail you, dearest uncle.”

With that, she slammed the door behind him. She returned, and we sat for
the remainder of the afternoon by the fire with Darcy and Mrs. Jackson’s scones..

The actual curse…

The Curse of Lecia Posted on Wed, January 15, 2014 10:45:01

In the second book of “The Pitchford Chronicles” I wrote a curse, structured in Iambic Pentameter. But…how did I get the idea for the Curse?
Well, I researched the history of Acton Burnell Castle and found that it had been briefly owned by Francis Lovell born circa 1454. When his father died,Francis inherited huge estates that included holdings all across England, including Upton Lovell in Wiltshire, Acton Burnell in Shropshire.
But Francis is a “mystery person” in history.
Some speculated that he was slain during the course of the Battle of Stoke in 1487,and that his body was never found, but some observers saw him fleeing the fighting by swimming on horseback across the River Trent and scrambling to safety on the far side. But he was never heard of again so where did he go after that?
I say he went to Acton Burnell Castle, and that is where my curse begins…
Legend has it that eventually Francis fled to Minster Lovell in Oxfordshire. Mysteriously, during building work at Minster Lovell carried out in 1708, workmen discovered a secret underground vault. When they opened it they were astonished to find that it contained the skeleton of a man seated at a table with the skeleton of his dog at his feet surrounded by writing materials and a book. Unfortunately, the remains of the skeletons and the papers crumbled in to dust when the air was let in.

Was the skeleton that of Francis Lovell? Did he escape the battlefield with his enemies in hot pursuit and manage to slip into his ancestral home under the cover of darkness?

Or did he first escape to Acton Burnell, and then flee back to his ancestral home fearing more than certain death at the hands of his enemies?

Here is the start of the curse…

“Here bygynneth the tale of Lecia and the wolf

In the days of old lived a witch most foul,
Most ugly and hideous to behold.
She would fly through the night with bat and owl,
And loved not one soul for her heart was cold.

The witch cast a spell on herself one night,
And became a beauty with golden hair.
That fell in curls down her gown long and white,
For elegant grace no one could compare.

Her plot was to find a mortal to fool,
That she was a maid with honour and charm.
And not a witch, and an unsightly ghoul,
Then he would love her and keep her from harm.
She would feed on his soul with greed each day,
And the poor man’s life would just ebb away.”