Rejoining the Teaser Tuesday

This one's longish for a teaser at 500 words, but I wanted to give a little glimpse into a new section from revisions. They are on Antigua, leaving English Harbour for St. John's:

Even through my tiredness, the town piqued my curiosity as we drew away from the harbor. The houses were a hodge-podge of styles: some looked a hundred years old, and others looked like flimsy huts erected that morning. Occasionally an overgrown drive led only to a pile of rubble or a blackened shell collapsing in on itself. Right next to such a sad sight would be a freshly-plastered house brimming with sounds and activity.

"I have heard about the dwindling fortunes of sugar growers—is that what those abandoned houses reflect?" I asked.

"Parts of the town are still being rebuilt from several disasters," Duncan said. "Ten years ago, a fire swept through and claimed a lot of the oldest buildings. Then a few years later, an earthquake shook apart more buildings—including our St. John's Cathedral. Plus, every hurricane season a few more houses get blown or washed away."

"Is it hurricane season now?"

"Yes, but it's been a while since we've had a really bad one. Of course, that probably means we are overdue."

I met his mock-concerned tone with an eye roll, since I knew any other response would only encourage him.

He turned back to his tour guide duties. "That one is said to be haunted." He pointed to a ramshackle stone house, overrun with vines, and a gaping blackness seeping out of the windowframes.

I studied it as we went past, but I didn't feel any particular presence. "Do you believe in ghosts?" I asked. Because no matter how hard I try not to, there they are tugging at my proverbial sleeve, I added to myself.

"There are a number of superstitions in the islands—and among sailors, too, of course," he said.

"Is it all just superstition, then?" I pressed. "What do you believe?"

"I have heard some strange stories from men who were otherwise truthful. About witches, and duppies, and making the dead walk—if it is true, it's not the sort of thing I'd like to have dealings with."

I sank back into the cushions without a word.

"What a topic of conversation for a sunny day," Duncan said, and gestured to the view. He described Shirley Heights and Fig-Tree Hill, popular spots to look out at the beauty of the whole island.

"Such vivid names—what do they call the area where your mother lives?" I asked.

"It was originally my father's place on Scotch Row. A lot of Scottish families set up their shops in the same area, with living quarters attached to the storefronts. The part that used to be my father's office is where my mother teaches music."

As we climbed higher, a refreshing breeze lifted my hair from my sweaty brow. Duncan said the lower elevations at this time of year were often hot, but the breeze cut through the heights. Seeing my heavy eyelids, Duncan let the rest of the trip pass in an agreeable silence. I dropped off once or twice, and when the coach came to a halt I woke to find myself nestled against Duncan's shoulder.


Michelle said...

Found your blog through AW. ;)

Oh gosh, the description of this was lovely. The dialogue is a little hard to judge, considering we don't talk like that anymore, but it certainly was believable.

Great teaser!

Karla Calalang said...

I love the descriptions!

Is this historical? I noticed the odd dialogue too.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Yes, this is from the same paranormal/historical novel as all my other teasers, but it's been retitled to Spirits from the Vasty Deep.

I guess I should have said that, since I last posted a teaser from it on Oct. 12!

Phoebe North said...

Such a vivid setting! Lovely writing.

Unknown said...

I love setting, too! What time period is this? It reminds me of WIDE SARGASSO SEA--Victorian-era, exotic setting, young women MCs whose lives are about to change.

Very, very cool. I hope your querying goes well! I'm shooting for February 1st for query-launch. It will be epic. I'll pop some champagne and cry.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Hmm, I thought I posted another comment the other day, but it must not have gone through.

The time period is 1850s, and Olivia starts out in Spain, then Jamaica, Antiqua (that's where this section takes place), and back to the States.

I'll be querying this weekend, if all goes as planned (and no, that was not hubris or a challenge, if ye gods are listening!)

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