I have a few treats today. First, I’m revealing the opening letter from MARY: UNLEASHED (out September 8, 2015.) Here is the cover copy:
Mary in the mirror.
Mary in the glass.
Mary in the water.
Mary lurks in the emptiness, in the darkness . . . in the reflection. That is, until Jess unleashes her into the world. Now Mary Worth is out and her haunting is deadlier than ever.
No one is safe.
Shauna, Kitty, and Jess must band together to unearth the truth about Mary’s death to put her soul to rest for good. Their search leads them back to where it all began-to Solomon’s Folly, a place as dangerous as the ghost who died there a century and a half ago. Quick sand, hidden traps and a phantom fog are the least of their worries. To stop Mary, they need to follow a dark string of clues and piece together a gruesome mystery that spans generations.
But time is running out.
As chilling facts come to light, Mary inches ever closer to her prey. Can Jess, Shauna, and Kitty break Mary’s curse before it’s too late? Or will history repeat itself until there is no one left to call her name . . . ?
Here is the first letter:
June 24, 1864
Below, I have listed my dastardly deeds since you abandoned me for Boston. “But Mary,” you say. “I did not abandon you so much as find a handsome gentlemen to kiss me breathless for eternity.” The result is the same, Constance. I have brought a reign of terror to Solomon’s Folly. I will not be sated until I have tainted everything you love with my terribleness.
- I have claimed your room as my own. The pink sashes are gone because pink is an affront to all that is good in the world. I have replaced it with a shade of green you would abhor. I do this as both a declaration of war and because green is a far superior color.
- I have taken over your gardening duties. This is not to help Mother but to destroy your handiwork. Plants wither in fear at the sight of my boots. I am not blessed with your green thumb but, as Mother says, a black thumb, and I shall use it to wreak havoc upon your peonies.
- I have taken your place on the church choir. The psalms you hold so dear are now sung so off pitch, dogs bay thinking me their pack mistress. Our sweet mother has asked if perhaps I would like to do a Sunday reading in lieu of the hymnals, but I remain stalwart.
(To her chagrin, I might add. When I expressed that I preferred the music, she looked much like your peonies—wilted and sad.)
- Despite your instruction that the shawl you knitted me last winter should not be worn with my shapeless blue frock, I have done just that. I disavow fashion! I want those who look upon me to know repulsion and fear. Your innocent lace shawl is a weapon in my hands.
- I have taken over your duties with the Spencer girls, and I believe they find me the better nanny. What better way to vex you than to fatten up the children you love with so much shortbread, they explode. Whilst Mrs. Spencer will undoubtedly take offense to my practices, the children will love me best, and that is all that matters.
(I caught Agatha with two meaty fists in the shortbread pan. The child had eaten half the contents in the three minutes I took to attend her sister’s nappies. I would have been impressed if I was not so horribly afraid she’d get sick.)
- Biscuits is a traitor. Your poorly named dog has all but forgotten you. He sleeps at the foot of my bed every night making terrible sounds and equally as terrible smells. Every morning he looks upon me like I am the sun in his furry little world. This is likely because I am the one to feed him the scraps, but let’s pretend he is drawn to my shining disposition.
- Not only did I not go to the summer dance, I told Thomas Adderly that I would rather wash my hair than attend. I did not do this simply because Thomas is overly ardent and annoying. No, it was to defy your terrible sisterly advice! For shame, Constance! For shame!
(Honestly, the boy is dull, and I’ve seen better teeth in horse mouths. There’s also the Elizabeth Hawthorne problem. Her preference for dull, horse-teethed gentlemen causes me far too much grief. While attending a dance may have been nice, the company was lacking and the repercussions weren’t worth it.)
- Last, but by no means least, I cancel my trek to Boston. Fie upon you and your fancy home! I shall remain in Solomon’s Folly until my skin is withered and my teeth fall out!
(I am suffering a summer cold that has wetted my lungs, and Mother says I must wait to travel. While I do not like postponing, my sickness has kept me abed the last few days. I will write you when I am less apt to play the part of Pestilence. I hope to reschedule soon.)
I hope this letter finds you miserable (blissfully happy) and that Joseph snores in his sleep (that would be awful. Mr. Biscuits is bad enough. A full-grown man must be thrice as disruptive.)
Write soon, my beloved harpy.