Sara O'Vivian

Author and Artist

A Gothic Romance Novel – “Sarah of Raven Hall”

Sarah of Raven Hall by Sara O'Vivian“Sarah of Raven Hall”

When Sarah Heatherstone inherits Raven Hall, she hopes to find a true home. However, instead of peace and comfort, she hears cries in the middle of the night that no one else can hear, and she discovers a secret door that beckons to her. Discover how Sarah overcomes her personal demons and fears to emerge victorious in her own life, and how she discovers True Love on her Journey.

Book Reviews

“Thank you for a delicious reading experience. I could hardly put the novel down, and I’m already reading it again!”   S. F., Seattle, WA

“This book is so rich in symbolism. The deeper you delve into this story, the more intriguing it becomes.”   R. R., Austin, TX

“I’m so glad I found this novel! Finally, a love story with deeper meanings AND a fun read!”  C. B., Ely, NV

 

You’ll Love this Suspenseful Gothic Romance!

In Sarah of Raven Hall, discover romance and suspense in a Gothic historical tale reminiscent Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Discover a story of courage, healing, and love.

This well-written novel will appeal to anyone who enjoys Gothic romance, Gothic suspense, Historical romance, Regency romance, Paranormal romance, Historical romantic suspense, Mystical fantasy, Metaphysical novels, and Inspirational novels.

Reading this novel can help with healing the past, healing from abuse, healing loneliness, and help the reader discover greater a sense of self-worth within themselves.

To Buy on Amazon Kindle, Click Here.

An Excerpt from the Novel …

 

Chapter 1. The Broken Mirrors

 

England, April 1816 

Craaassshhh! It was done! The echoes of shattering glass reverberated throughout the vast mansion as yet another mirror was deliberately smashed into a myriad of broken fragments. This final victim—a full-length gilded antique—was situated in an upstairs sitting room.

A woman stood frozen, mallet in hand. She stared at her image, reflected back to her a hundred times from the shattered shards of reflective glass. Instinctively she knew she should not look, that she should withhold her gaze, but she could not turn away. Some strange perverseness in her character made her take one last glance at the thing she had become.

The image that faced her was dressed in black silk from head to toe: the high-button lace collar; the long, flowing black fabric that touched below her ankles; the slender but sturdy black shoes. On her head perched a small black hat from which two layers of equally dark veiling flowed. It concealed entirely the misery that would have been reflected in a poignant visage had there been no veil to cover—to smother—it. From behind the veil, she could see well enough the myriad reflections of her darkened form, destined to live forever in shadow. Well, it would be the last time she would see it; the last time she would behold the wretched creature in black—and good riddance!

Abruptly, she dropped the mallet, which had grown heavy in her tightly clenched fist. Landing unceremoniously on the polished oak floor with a loud thud, it effectively put an end to the brief, eerie silence that had followed the demonstration. The woman then turned to the incredulous housekeeper who had witnessed the unseemly outburst.

“Well, Mrs. Fenwick? Nothing to say? You should have followed my instructions when I told you to remove all the mirrors from the house before I took up residence. Perhaps next time I give an order, you will think twice before disobeying it!”

The housekeeper, normally a collected, if rather stern, woman of sixty opened her mouth to speak, but she could merely gape. For the moment, she could give the apparition only divided attention, for the old woman was tallying in her mind the damage done on this unholiest of days. If she were not in error, this was the twenty-second mirror broken! Twenty-two mirrors! Why, that meant one hundred and fifty-four years of bad luck! Unwittingly, she closed her eyes and crossed herself over and over, muttering “God have mercy! God have mercy on our souls!”

The worthy woman had not deliberately disobeyed an order, for never would she do such a thing. It was just that she could not understand it; the missive made no sense. Who, in her right mind, would want all the mirrors removed? In her right mind; that was a key phrase, wasn’t it? The housekeeper again enjoined God’s benevolence as she opened her eyes once more to stare in awe at the black-garbed demon that had come into their midst.

With an air of calm, cool authority, the demon spoke again: “You may clean this room tomorrow. I’m certain the broken glass in the other rooms will be enough to occupy you and the rest of the staff for the remainder of the day. You may go.”

Somehow Mrs. Fenwick managed to whisper a restrained, “Yes, Madam,” as she backed out of the room. There was no way she would turn her back on that one! Why, if not a demon herself, then the woman was surely possessed. Either way, it boded ill for Raven Hall and its inhabitants. Once more, for good measure, the older woman crossed herself as she ran frantically through the gallery seeking the modicum of comfort sometimes found in the society of others.

 

* * *

 

Sarah Heatherstone smiled ruefully as she watched the figure flee. It was better this way, she thought. Better that they fear her; better that she keep them at a distance. She wanted nothing from them but dutiful service for which she would pay a decent wage. Other than that, she wanted only to be left alone. There would be no one to blame her, to hurt her, to pity her…this time. No one.

Deliberately, she walked to the window, unmindful of the broken glass crunching underfoot. Glancing about to ensure there was no one to see her, she opened the mullioned pane. She then stood back into the shadow of the curtain and lifted her veil. As she closed her eyes, she gratefully felt the cool breeze kiss her uncovered, blighted face. It would be the only kiss she would ever receive, the only touch or caress she would ever know.

Inhaling deeply of the scents of spring, Sarah gradually focused on the scene before her. From her perch on the second story, she could easily view the grounds: the terraced gardens, the manicured lawns. To the left lay a patchwork of meadows and cornfields; to the right lay an expanse of woods bordered by a stream. Although the Heatherstone holdings seemed vast, they had been much greater in previous times—five thousand acres, to be precise. However, much of the land had been sold to the neighboring earl. In fact, the small stream just beyond the gardens now bordered their estates. Formerly, the Heatherstones had owned that stream and the woods beyond it. But…that mattered little now. What remained of the Heatherstone legacy belonged to her.

This was her home now. Her home again. She was back after twenty long, lonely years—years of trying to make do in a heartless world; in a world that would not accept someone as different as she. Although she had spent the first five years of her life in this mansion, it was a time she could not remember. She knew only that she had suffered much pain here—too much pain, perhaps. And yet she was inexplicably glad to be back.

For so long, it seemed she had been drifting on a shoreless sea, aimlessly searching; with no hope, no anchor, no place to call home. Until the letter arrived stating  that she, as the  only  surviving relation, had inherited  her ancestral estate and all the monies to run it, there had been no safe place to run, no safe place to hide. In Raven Hall, she would have that place now.

To Buy on Amazon Kindle, Click Here.