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FAMILY SECRETS


FAMILY SECRETS

Secrets. 

The words rip through Eve Daniels when she overhears an argument between her step-parents. About her. However, before she can gather the courage to start asking questions, she’s kidnapped. 

To discover upon waking she isn’t Eve Daniels but of royal blood and heir to the throne of Île Mystique, a tiny European island. Talk about shock! 

As she struggles to understand this new world of high expectation and obligations, and tries to come to terms with her stepmother’s lies, Eve finds there are ‘still’ more secrets surrounding her AND sinister, deadly plots. 

Talk about her very own fairytale come to life – complete with a handsome young prince. 

Can Eve ever be free of secrets and take control of her future? Can she actually find peace, acceptance of her royal blood to be Queen Genevieve and have her happy-ever-after? 

There is a very strong possibility she does.

 

In Store Price: $24.95 
Online Price:   $23.95

 

AMAZON

EBOOKS
Ebook version - $AUD9.00 upload.

ISBN: 978-0-9945426-2-5  
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 214
Genre:
Fiction

 


 


Author
-
Mary Chapman
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published:  2016
Language: English


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AUTHOR BIO 

 

I’ve been writing for 13 years, nine of which have been serious, with the help of three correspondence writing courses to guide me towards where I am now, weaving tales for young adults. 

My hobbies, outside of writing and researching for my novels, are very few. Foremost, of course, for any writer is reading, but also collecting books by timeless authors such as Enid Blyton and C S Lewis to name a few, as well as a few modern authors too like Nora Roberts and Nicholas Sparks. 

I also enjoy word puzzles and creating make-believe creatures, people and places for my more... unique paranormal/fantasy stories waiting to be written. 

Family Secrets may be my second published novel after By Touch Alone (published under Jean Chapman) but it was, in fact, the very first novel I wrote when I made the decision to make my hobby a career. 

I hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I had while creating it.

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

 

I’d like to thank everyone at Zeus Publications for once more seeing potential in my work and bringing Family Secrets to book format. 

I’d also like to thank all my family and friends for their support during the time in which this book was born and written, in particular four special ladies: Ann Casey, Mum (Shirley Chapman), Helen Holmes and Helen Bartels. Without their input through the first edit process, there would be no Family Secrets novel. 

Thank you.

DISCLAIMER 

Île Mystique in Family Secrets has no relation of any kind – demographic, people, and such – to the Île Mystique situated in the Caribbean. When I created the plot for this story, I had no idea the name I chose for the D’Montfaire’s family already existed as an island. 

Also, please realise any royal protocol, titles, historical events, and the use of the languages – French and Spanish – in these pages are of my own research, so if there are errors, they are my own.

 

Chapter 1

PROLOGUE

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 9TH, 2007

 

Ring…

The man at the large, imposing, red oak desk snatched up the brass-handled phone before it could admit another shrill.

‘You’re late in contacting,’ he barked into the receiver, and heard the quivering, apologetic voice reply on the other end of the long-distance call.

‘Make sure it does not occur again. We cannot afford any delays.’

As a bleat of confirmation to the order came, the man behind the desk relaxed into his seat.

‘Now, what news have you got for me? Have you found her?’

‘Yes,’ the voice whispered in reply. ‘The young woman is without doubt the exact image of our Lady, the same wheat-blonde hair and high, slender cheekbones, the markings, and she has the same round, brilliant, sapphire eyes as his.’

Tense muscles relaxed further.

‘Good, good. You know what you must do and do it delicately. Discreetly. You are to stay at a distance until she gives consent for you to approach. Understand.’

‘Yes, sir. We begin correspondence tomorrow.’

‘Excellent.’

The connection severed and the man at the desk raised weary eyes to the life-sized portrait of an imposing, dignified-looking man on the opposite wall to his desk.

He whispered, ‘It has begun once more. Pray it goes better than the others did.’

CHAPTER 1 

TUESDAY, APRIL 3RD

 

From a fitful sleep, Eve Daniels woke to confusion, her room full of gloomy shadows as dawn appeared to be just breaking outside her open windows, and voices at a muted roar fell on her ears. They were muffled because of her closed bedroom door.

With a hand to her head, wondering if she was hearing the neighbours yelling at each other, she blinked at the discovery she was lying on top of the bedcovers and still in the clothes she had worn to work yesterday. Confused, she glanced at the red numbers of her alarm clock to find it was five-thirty.

She groaned and was about to fall back down to the comfort of her pillow when the voices came again, sounding louder and more familiar. Eve stumbled to the door, opened it a breath and stood, stunned.

Her step-parents were arguing, as they had daily for the past two weeks. The shocking discovery of Janet and Greg arguing again, when they had never seemed to argue at all before, forced her to creep from her room and down the hall, on tiptoe, avoiding every creaking floorboard. She made it to the corner just in time to hear her stepdad, Greg, snap, ‘You have to tell Eve the truth!’

Eve froze and peeked around the corner of the hallway, to see him standing in the archway of the kitchen, his back to her. She swallowed in disbelief to find yet again that she was the cause of their fighting. And given the way her stepmum, Janet, had refused to speak a word of the other argument she (Eve) had walked in on, Eve sat down on the floor, her back against the wall, around the corner and out of sight, to unashamedly eavesdrop and see if she could hear what no one wanted to say in her presence.

* * *

 

‘I don’t have to anything, Greg Alistair!’ Janet snapped. ‘As her mother, it’s my right to judge what’s right or not. And what’s not right is telling Eve about her dad.’

‘And birth mother, Janet. Don’t forget her birth mother. You know Eve isn’t rightfully your child.’

Janet went wild at the arrow of truth she had always tried to forget.

‘How dare you! How dare you, Greg. I have been the only mother she has ever known from the time when she was barely two weeks old. So I may not have the same blood as her, but that doesn’t make a parent, it is how you raise and nurture a child that makes you a parent.’

Greg glanced over his shoulder, down the hall, then to the clock on the wall.

‘I know that blood doesn’t have anything to do with raising a child, Janet. But think about it. You have always lied to Eve, even now with her as an adult you still let the lies roll off your tongue. A mother of any kind shouldn’t do that. Don’t you think for her sake, for her heritage, you should tell her the truth, the proper truth of her past?’ Greg demanded. ‘Show her the letters you received last month.’

‘No! I can’t show her the letters. I won’t lose her!’ Janet cried, panic creeping into her voice. ‘A mother would lie if it meant protecting her child and I am protecting Eve by doing this. As long as Eve lives, the truth isn’t going to be told and she’ll be safe.’

Frustrated, Greg shoved a hand through his peppered hair.

‘Janet, be reasonable. Surely you’ve noticed a change in her since she caught us arguing?’ he ventured.

‘I have, and that’s because of just that. Us, arguing.’

‘No, it isn’t.’

‘Yes, it is, Greg,’ Janet repeated, stubbornly turning to the sink to fill the kettle for her morning Earl Grey tea.

‘Fine, but Eve should know. She has a right to know her heritage; the one you have been feeding her all these years is just a bunch of lies. I...’

‘Don’t you dare tell Eve!’ Janet shrieked, spinning around, forgetting Eve could even be awake. The panic she felt right then blanked her mind of everything but keeping life as it was, keeping Eve oblivious to the truth she was hiding. ‘She can’t know. I won’t let what happened to...’

‘Her parents happened to her. Ah, at last, the truth is coming out!’ Greg exploded. ‘For goodness sake, Janet, how do you even know there’s a sinister side to that accident – what happened to her parents with that drive-by? You can’t keep using that as an excuse.’

‘I can because of what was told to me.’

‘That information could be wrong; her parents’ death could have been coincidental and have nothing to do with who Eve’s true family is. She could be completely safe from whatever harm you think will happen to her if you tell her the truth. Heritage is too important to be kept a secret.’

Greg stared at Janet and saw he was getting nowhere. The stubborn glint still shone in her eyes. He tried a different approach. He had to get her to see reason.

‘How would you feel if someone did what you’re doing to Eve about your life, parents and ancestors? Spin lies to suit themselves? Tell me that. Life isn’t about guarantees. Nothing is set in stone; you have no control over it, so stop trying to have it.’

‘Greg Alistair! All that is beside the point. This isn’t about me trying to make guarantees, setting things into stone. It’s about Eve.’

‘Yes, it is about Eve and the right she has to know everything about her true past. You have to tell her or I will.’

Janet gasped as if mortally wounded, turning deathly white.

‘You have no right to say such things to me. Threaten me like this. Eve is my daughter and you have no right to interfere. She isn’t even your stepdaughter since she wouldn’t take your name! She’s nothing to you as you’re nothing to her. She’s mine!’

The angry, selfish, hysterical words hung in the air and tension pulsed in the room as now, equally white-faced, Greg stared at his wife of 11 years as if she were a complete stranger.

Without a word, he turned and walked down the hall towards the bedrooms. Janet took flight after him, fear consuming her that he was going to carry out his threat.

‘Greg... You’re not... Please don’t tell Eve... You can’t! Her life...’ she stuttered.

Greg turned the corner and went into their bedroom. He pulled a bag from the wardrobe and began stuffing clothes inside. He ignored the fact Janet was at his side, begging him not to go when she realised what he was doing. With the bag full, he stormed to the front door and slammed it behind him.

 

* * *

 

Eve had just made it back to her room and closed the door when she heard Greg angrily reach the other bedroom and pack his things. She listened for what seemed like hours, with half an ear pressed to her door, while her mind churned over what she had heard of the argument. So much had been revealed and… like what the phone call at work, and the text messages had warned her.

The front door slammed and silence descended, only to be broken by Janet’s wailing sobs. The words of Eve’s call and text messages spun in her mind.

You need to know the truth. Those you love cannot be trusted. They tell lies. You are not who you think you are. Those you have trusted for so long are liars. Questions need to be asked.

As the last passages circled twice in her mind, and with hurt growing at hearing straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, that Janet was lying to her, Eve decided to do just that.

Very carefully, with minimal noise as possible, she changed into fresh clothes, brushed her knotted hair to neatness and slipped out of her room to find the door of Janet and Greg’s room open. Her stepmother was lying on the bed, head buried in the pillows that did nothing to muffle the sounds of her crying. Slowly, Eve walked down the hall, knocked loudly on the doorframe and softly said, ‘Mum?’

Janet bolted upright and scrubbed at her face but it seemed the moment she saw Eve, the tears ran again.

‘Greg’s left me!’ she whimpered.

Just the tone of her voice and the fast-flowing tears had Eve doing what she had always done when Janet was upset; she sat down beside her on the bed and took Janet into her arms.

Very gently, she murmured, ‘I know, I know, I heard.’ Then with hesitancy, mainly due to Janet’s distraught state at Greg’s departure, although propelled by the reason behind that action, she said, ‘I heard why too. Me and my biological family...’


 

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