Jennifer C Wilson: Kindred Spirits: Regal Retribution

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Today I’m joining the blog tour for Kindred Spirits: Regal Retribution. I’m sharing an extract from the book with thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on the blog tour and to the publisher for my copy of the extract.

Blurb:

One right royal visitor on a shadowy quest…

A visit to London’s West End sends an already angry ghost into a fury, vowing revenge on those he believes have wronged him in life (and in death).

Soon, the attacks begin – across the city and beyond – revealing that rarest of beings: haunted ghosts!

When a pattern starts to emerge, a council is established to formulate a plan, but can they work out who is behind the hauntings? As the severity escalates, can the combined force stop the avenging spirit, before the worst happens?

Bringing together the ghostly communities of the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and other places, discover friendships and feuding in the race to retaliation…

Read the complete Kindred Spirits series:

Kindred Spirits: Tower of London

Kindred Spirits: Royal Mile

Kindred Spirits: Westminster Abbey

Kindred Spirits: York

Kindred Spirits: Ephemera

Kindred Spirits: Regal Retribution

Extract:

It’s funny, but once I have an opening scene in my head, that’s it, I’m set; it takes a lot to get that opening scene to change. That’s exactly what happened with Kindred Spirits: Regal Retribution. Although I hadn’t truly wanted to write about the character who ends up dominating the story, once they landed, and it became clear that they weren’t going away, then their first ‘appearance’ was all too obvious. 

I might not say the name of the show, but it’s clear enough which musical is being performed as the story opens in London’s West End. It’s a cracking production, and one I adored when I finally got to see it, the tour having obviously been delayed as a result of Covid. It was worth the wait. So, even if my leading ghost cannot stand it, personally, I cannot recommend it highly enough. 

Here we are then, as Kindred Spirits: Regal Retribution, kicks off… 

Prologue 

London’s West End

This was getting ridiculous. 

Line after line, song after song, joke after joke… One character was bearing the brunt of all the sly remarks, the cutting comments, the ‘humorous’ digs at his ability to, well, do anything. It wouldn’t do. Things were starting to get out of hand. He had stomached the first hour of the show, and that had been bad enough for him. The audience were getting in on the jokes too much, enjoying the mockery. His mockery. 

It had been bad enough having ghostly visitors, and those ghostly visitors especially, traipsing around Windsor, just like all the other tourists – but now, seeing his honour so degraded, and in such a public way too? No, this was a step too far. Something had to be done. 

Not caring to wait for this abomination of a show to finally come to an end, and have to put up with even more cheers from the crowd, or listen to them rabbiting on about how wonderful it was as they all filtered out, the ghost at the back of the theatre simply faded through the wall of the stalls and into the lobby. It didn’t bother him that he sent shivers down the spines of three staff-members; they were enabling his humiliation, after all. Nor did it trouble him that innocent people on the street outside were his next victims. It was a cold night – they probably wouldn’t even notice what had happened. 

Balling his fists, furious at the night’s events, he kept walking, head down, not even glancing at the passers-by he was inadvertently tormenting. This was his city; if they knew who was walking amongst them, they would be thrilled. Or they should be thrilled. But given how things had been changing, there were times when he honestly wasn’t sure any more. His anger had been building for years, decades, practically centuries. When he really thought about things, it had begun almost immediately after his death, with the humiliation of the plans he had made for his own tomb being ignored. That stunning piece of black marble, that Wolsey had been so proud of, would have been perfect, sitting in pride of place in St George’s Chapel. Or in Westminster, at the heart of his nation. But no; his wishes had been passed over, and that tomb now played host to a mere admiral, when it should have held a king. England’s greatest king. He dug his fingernails further into the palms of his hands. 

The Victorians had meddled still further, reburying and honouring wives who didn’t deserve it. And so, it had continued to build. Bit by bit, every year, there was a nagging realisation that his heroic image, so carefully constructed, was being gradually eroded. Slowly at first, then in a sudden rush, his desire to wreak havoc and take his revenge had begun to take over. 

It wasn’t until he realised the number of people he was passing through had fallen away that the ghost finally looked up. 

The Tower of London. How had he ended up here?

To enter, or not to enter, he wondered aloud, until his mood was darkened again by the sight of somebody up on the battlements. Living or dead, he couldn’t quite tell in the limited light, but he decided it probably wasn’t the night to find out, with no solid plan to hand. But he would return – that much he knew. For the last few months, the list of people he sought revenge against had been steadily growing. 

“And it starts now,” he muttered, his stare fixed at the now empty walls. “It. Starts. Now.”

***

Kindred Spirits: Regal Retribution is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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