A Tale of Love, Death & Redemption.
According to her mother’s will, historian Maddie Winters must live in her house in southern France for one year before she can claim her inheritance – and sell it! Reluctantly leaving her small, modern flat in York, England, she sets out to renovate the house in the hope of making it more attractive for future buyers.
What she does not expect to find are human bones under the kitchen floor! Carbon dating proves they are of a woman who lived over a millennium earlier. But with no evidence of a graveyard or a chapel nearby, just how did she end up buried, all alone, in that particular spot overlooking the plains of the Languedoc?
When Maddie begins to have nightmares about ancient battles and burning lands, she delves deeper into local history with the help of vineyard owner and part-time firefighter Guy Cabrol. But not all stories are written down, and she discovers a disturbing tale kept secret since the turbulent days of Charlemagne’s reign.
16-year old Adelaïs attends Charlemagne’s Easter court with her father, where she meets Bellon of Carcassonne. Unimpressed by the blustering young warrior, Adelaïs is shocked when Charlemagne and her father arrange their wedding as a gesture of ensuring Bellon’s support in the volatile region. Despite his Visigoth origins, Bellon becomes Count of Carcassonne, and Adelaïs finds her life changed beyond recognition.
However, Adelaïs must keep her calling as a healer and wise woman – roles now maligned by the Church – from her husband, and, in disguise, she visits those in need of her help. Then, one day, she disappears…
Readers of Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth might enjoy the setting of Love Lost in Time.
The first notes of Ave Maria sent a shiver down her spine. It always did. Genevieve had loved classical music.
She lowered her fork, closed her eyes, and let the music wash over her. It was special. It even added a peaceful atmosphere to the house. It turned more…homely? It seemed to her that she shared more traits with her mother than she’d been aware of. Disturbing!
Maddie blinked and stared into the room, her vision zooming in and out. For some reason, she didn’t feel alone. Her skin was covered in goosebumps. The air grew thick with the scent of rosemary and lavender, and a warm feeling washed over her. The music drifted into the background, and a loud buzzing noise took its place.
Always the level-headed historian, she didn’t believe in ghosts, but she thought she would recognise Genevieve if she decided to visit. This wasn’t her mother.
Maddie pushed away her plate with the now cold leftover pasta and leaned back, taking a deep breath. She was a scientist. She dealt with real, historical data. Not mumbo-jumbo. No airy-fairy stuff. She shook her head, and with that, the room smelled stale again, of locked, unattended house; of a house left to its own.
My home. The thought filled her with a rush of happiness before icy shivers began to crawl on her skin.
“No! Stop!” She banged her fists on the table, the cutlery on the plate clattering in response. This wasn’t her house – it was her mother’s. It contained no items of her life, as far as Maddie knew. Why on earth should she be happy here?
She rose, chucked the leftovers in the bin and dropped the plate and cutlery in the sink. Her glance fell on the radio, and she switched it off mid-sequence. The sooner the house went on the market the better.
A draft made her shiver and she checked the window. It was old, with six panelled sections each side, but it was closed fully.
“Bloody hell, Mum!”
Maddie left the kitchen, turning the light off along the way. Then, she checked the main door was locked.
In the absence of a TV (how could her mother live like that?), she grabbed a book from a shelf in the corridor before switching off the living room lights. A History of the Languedoc. Oh well, she would learn something new before going to sleep tonight.
Sighing, she climbed the stairs to the first floor. It had been one long, exhausting day.
Downstairs, the scent of rosemary and lavender returned and settled in the kitchen.
(c) Cathie Dunn 2017. All rights reserved.