Plagued by unruly spirits, who’s Freddie going to call?

November 15th, 2021
Penny Hampson

This winter will be an exciting time for me and not just because of Christmas. My new contemporary mystery/romance, A Plethora of Phantoms published by Darkstroke will be released on 20th December. It’s up for pre-order now.

In case you’re thinking that horror isn’t your thing, I can assure you that you’ll find a lot more than chills in this story – I am a romance author after all.

There’s plenty of mystery too.

A Plethora of Phantoms is Freddie Lanyon’s story. The eldest son of the Earl of Batheaston, he lives near Bath in the stately home that he will inherit one day. Lanyon Park is haunted, a fact that usually doesn’t bother Freddie; however, when Freddie purchases an antique dressing case and brings it home, the spirits become a little more lively!

With poltergeist activity disturbing his nights and even his days, Freddie decides that he needs to track down the history of the dressing case, starting with its previous owner, Marcus Spender.

And that’s when the fun begins…

I wanted to make this an uplifting story, so although there are some chills, I hope you’ll also find humour and hope. If you’re into mystery, spiced with romance, and some ghostly action, A Plethora of Phantoms might be just what you need.

Here’s a little taster:

Somewhere in the distance, a church bell rang the hour. Freddie, roused from his slumber, turned on his side and pulled the duvet over his head. Trying to relax back into sleep that wouldn’t come, his ears picked up the quarter hour chimes of the grandfather clock along the corridor outside his room.
Moments later, another sound invaded his ears.
THUD, thud, THUD, thud.
The sound of uneven footsteps…and it was coming from the corner of his room.
Freddie’s eyes shot open.
Sitting bolt upright, he reached for the bedside light and winced at the sudden change in illumination.
The sound ceased as suddenly as it had started.
Blinking, Freddie looked around. Everything appeared to be the same as when he’d gone to sleep two hours earlier. Had he just imagined it?
Blaming an overactive imagination and thinking that he might as well use the bathroom now that he was awake, Freddie swung his legs out of bed. The wooden floorboards were uncomfortably cold beneath his feet as he padded towards the door; it was certainly very chilly all of a sudden. He tried to remember what time the heating went off. Was it colder because he was on the top floor under the eaves? This was his first night sleeping up here – a temporary measure until his old room was ready – and it took him a couple of seconds to get his bearings and figure out the way to the bathroom. That was one of the problems of living in a large and rambling stately home. Still, things could be worse, he told himself as he opened the bathroom door.
Mission accomplished, Freddie tiptoed back along the narrow corridor whose only illumination was the eerie glow of moonlight coming in through the skylight windows. He’d been too sleepy to bother searching out the light switch.
Freddie halted. That was strange. He was sure he’d left the light on in his room and closed the door behind him when he’d set off, but now it stood wide open and the room lay in darkness.
‘Hello. Anybody there?’ He felt foolish for asking, but perhaps he wasn’t the only one who couldn’t sleep.
There was a crash inside the room as if something heavy had landed on the floor.
‘Xander, is that… ?’ Freddie started to speak, but suddenly the breath left his lungs as something cold shot through him. It was impossible to breathe, never mind speak. A second later, his lungs started to function again. Still gulping for air, Freddie’s fumbling fingers found the light switch at last and flicked it on. His jaw dropped open.
The bed he’d been in just a short time ago looked as if someone had been engaged in a pillow fight. The duvet was across the room, beneath the window, and feathers were fluttering and swirling in the air where the pillows had been scattered over the floor. But that wasn’t the worst thing as far as Freddie was concerned. The gentleman’s dressing case – a prized new possession – had somehow moved from its place on the chest of drawers and now lay on the rug in front of the fireplace, its contents scattered about.
‘Bloody hell!’
Jaw clenched, Freddie stalked over to check the case for damage. He’d only purchased it that morning and it hadn’t been cheap. Sliding his fingers softly over the polished rosewood, Freddie breathed a sigh of relief when he saw there were no scratches or dents marring its surface. The brass corners appeared to have taken the brunt of the fall. Retrieving the ivory handled tweezers lying on the floor, he placed them carefully back in their specially designed slot in the red leather interior. These were swiftly followed by the ivory handled corkscrew. Fortunately, the polished steel scissors had not been dislodged. Tenderly lifting each of the four cut glass jars from their individual compartments, Freddie scrutinised them, thinking it a miracle that they too were all intact.
Satisfied with the results of his inspection, he breathed a sigh of relief and was about to lean back on his heels, when his ears pricked at the sound of footsteps in the corridor. A voice Freddie recognised as his father’s called out.
‘Freddie! Is everything OK?’
A head peeped round the door. ‘What’s going on? Good Lord!’
Freddie shrugged and pulled a face. ‘Must have been sleepwalking… Either that, or we’ve got a ghost.’
Dad sent him a curious look for a moment before running a hand through his hair.
‘Ghosts? What nonsense, no such thing.’

If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, why not pre-order your copy now? You ‘ll have it on your Kindle in time for Christmas. You can get it here.

2 Responses

  1. 15th November 2021

    I just can’t wait! Thank you Penny ❤️

    • PennyH
      15th November 2021

      Aaah, thank you, Paula!