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Description: Aged sixteen, wayward Victoria McKenzie flees desperate and confused from home in West Lancashire to a commune in Amsterdam and never speaks to her parents again. Now aged thirty five, single and fancy free, she is settled as a senior polymer chemist working in the ailing Ahrendolie refinery in Rotterdam. Following a serious and unsettling plant incident, she is forced into a long recovery break and plans to take off on holiday with Abby, her best friend and designer flatmate, always up for a new challenge. But Victoria is startled to suddenly learn of an unusual inheritance, Orsbrick Hall, taking her mind back to childhood events and places alongside the Leeds and Liverpool canal she never hoped to experience again. Intrigued by her news, she is summoned to a strange meeting with a Liverpool solicitor and bumps into the quaint Julian, an introverted steampunk writer, all grey hair and flying scarves. But what is it about the creepy Orsbrick Hall that nobody wants to talk about? Why does her past now unravel into an unexpected explosion of crazy scientific revelations and discoveries a hundred and fifty years before, which she would never have believed possible or credible? With Abby and Julian she must track down the source of past family secrecies and find out who the terrifying woman in the purple shawl really is. But will this unleash evil and powerful forces hell bent on her eternal destruction and damnation? And is Julian all he makes out to be?
Mauveine is a special novel. Conceived, written and published within the thirty days of November and a winner for the NaNoWriMo 2013 international writer competition.
A piece from Mauveine: She knocked on the pale green door and Victoria heard a firm but certainly elderly voice, in a very posh accent, reply. “Do please come in.”
Mrs Grable held the door wide and Victoria walked into a large and very high ceilinged room, papered with a striped design she had never seen anywhere before and the walls finished off with a marbled Georgian coving. All around the walls were adorned with wonderful hanging pieces of fabrics, again like nothing she had seen, intricately designed and colourful, where she could make out themes of an outdoor nature, trees, water lilies, meadow flowers, orchids. She immediately thought of Abby, wondering why she was taking so long.
A high rear window, from floor to ceiling, which could be opened out, and letting in lots of daylight, especially noticeable with the sun shining in brightly, took her gaze. Standing in front, staring motionless at the view and holding onto two sticks stood a small elderly lady in a mauve cardigan and chocolate brown skirt, her hair white but thick. She turned around slowly, her soft complexion, highlighted with a bright red lipstick and smiled. “Victoria, how wonderful to see you at last.”
But Victoria, ready to move forward and kiss her cheek, stopped dead, frozen in her tracks as she looked into the beneficent face and her face dropped. The likeness was so uncanny, she couldn’t believe it, it was like looking at herself in the mirror, admittedly a much older face, but Eveline had remarkably few lines, great skin and her thick white hair, cut in a fashionable bob, just a little shorter than her own blonde style. But the eyes and the intense look were identical.
Eveline looked quite amused and didn’t seem in the least bit surprised. “Well, my dear, I must admit you have inherited the family likeness and are quite beautiful”
Victoria stared perplexed, who was this woman …?