Hi, everyone. Today’s sample comes from A Light Across the Lake, one of the tales in my Pocketful of Stories series. Enjoy!
Sunday was Lucien’s one day off for the week. No one cared how late he slept, or where he went. Sometimes, he would go to mass with his family; they all favored the priest at Saint Sulpice. Sometimes, he read a book. Sometimes he walked around the beautiful city that he called home. In these ways, he was like most of the other apprentices.
What set him apart from his fellows, more than anything else, was his nearly insatiable curiosity.
Off came the white gloves; it was time for the dirty work. The metal ash bucket felt heavier than usual, simply because Lucien was in a hurry to be done with his sweeping and cleaning. The refuse was hauled out to the heap, where the ash would be wetted down to make lye for soap and the trash carried away by the rag and junk man.
Lucien was proud of his work, even in the steward’s serving role. He was able to give money to his family, and the hard work made his body strong. The women of the costume shop had remarked on his handsome face, dark curls, and deep blue eyes more than once and always loudly enough for him to hear. He was tall and well-built.
Despite the attentions of the seamstresses, Lucien kept largely to himself. He preferred the opera’s library, with its collection of set models right alongside the books, to carousing with his fellow apprentices. Lucien had dreams of becoming known for his designs, and thus spent what little spare time he had in study.
Lucien was one of the few apprentices who did not spend his money in the cribs of Place Pigalle. Not that he was priggish; he knew his funds were needed at home and could not see the point of wasting money on whores and absinthe. That was not to say that he had no dreams of romance. Lucien had fancied himself in love a few times. There had been the chorine who enjoyed his company until she found a wealthy “sponsor” amongst the opera’s male patrons. And there had been a scullery maid who eventually went back to her home in the country, saying the city was “too fast” for her.
And how his fellow apprentices teased him over his fondness for the dark-haired equestrienne who rode the big black mare! He loved watching her practice; the horse seemed to float across the ground with no visible command from the woman on her back.
Want your own copy of A Light Across the Lake? Back cover copy and purchase links:
Return to Paris’ glamorous Opera Garnier, and the world of the award-winning Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes series! A Light Across the Lake is the tale of apprentice set builder Lucien Dubois, who is determined to see what lies in the fifth cellar. Will his exploration raise the ire of the infamous Opera Ghost?
This edition of Pocketful of Stories contains a sample chapter from In The Eye of The Beholder, the Phantom tale that started it all.
Click through on the link to your favorite retailer to get your copy today:
Amazon (geo-targeted link will take you to the site for your country); Apple Books; Barnes & Noble; BOL (Netherlands and Belgium); Booktopia (Australia); Chapters Indigo (Canada); FNAC (France); Gandhi (Mexico); Kobobooks (available for 2400 SuperPoints if you are a member); La Feltrinelli (Italy); Livraria Cultura (Brazil); Mondadori (Italy); Overdrive (via your local library); Porrua (Mexico); Rakuten Japan; Scribd; Smashwords.