Title: Eleanor’s Gift
Author: Isis Sousa
Genre: Gothic/Dark Fantasy/Horror/Paranormal
Publisher: Tragic Books
Release Date: Oct 30 2015
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Illustrations: Characters and Ornaments Pencil Sketches
Eleanor’s Gift is a Gothic short story, adorned with black and white illustrations and an atmosphere of darkness.
During the last days of autumn, a wave of strange happenings creeps into Lord Welton’s life. It all starts when he brings the sole survivor of a mysterious accident into his household. Soon people close to Lord Welton begin to disappear and a tenebrous danger falls upon the one he loves the most.
Lord Welton’s country house was situated on top of a hill. It was old and simple in style, with walls made of stone; not too big yet well-maintained. The garden at the front was small, arranged with sparse bushes of flowers and berries, and a couple of benches. At the back was a pen filled with chickens and roosters, a kennel that housed several foxhounds, a stable for the horses and the carriage, and a roofed area for domestic activities. That early morning it was cold, almost freezing, and strangely silent on the hill. The air was heavy and still.
Inside the house, however, it was warm and pleasing. The housekeeper, Ms. Swan, was boiling water on the big metal oven of the well-stocked kitchen, for the breakfasts and morning toilets of the household. The fireplace was lit in the living room and the flames danced. Upstairs, little Ellwyn, Lord Welton’s daughter and only family, slept like an angel in her room. In the room to the right was the stranger.
The young woman slept deeply, although her features contorted as if she were wandering through some kind of nightmare. She was sweaty and her breathing shallow. All of a sudden she raised her back and sat up on the bed, holding the sheets tightly.
She stared around the room, agitated, trying to recollect the place. But her efforts were in vain, it all looked terribly unfamiliar. She touched her neck, acknowledging the pain of the blue marks there. When she heard footsteps approaching her door, the stranger lay down on her side, covered herself up to her shoulders and hid her nose in the pillows.
The door handle twisted and squealed, and the heavy wooden door opened with a long creaking sound from the hinges. Heavy footsteps came slowly closer to the bed and the stranger heard a grave female voice.
Ms. Swan moved closer and closer; she didn’t want to scare the guest. She bent to reach out for the stranger’s shoulder and, when her fingers were almost touching her, she noticed the sudden, deep stare. Ms. Swan gasped and almost let go of the lamp in her left hand. She closed her eyes for a moment and rested her right hand on her chest.
“Oh, for the morning birds! I came here to check on you…”
Ms. Swan backed off to make both herself and the guest feel more comfortable.
“I am Swan, and you must be…?”
The inquisitive woman in the bed sat up, resting her back on the carved headboard. Her emerald eyes had a faint, peculiar brightness. The silence had become quite awkward by the time she finally decided to speak.
and more on the way.
Inspiration behind the book
Hi Steven! First of all, I am very grateful for the support and for your participating on the tour for Eleanor’s Gift :D It is very nice to have the opportunity to talk to your visitors about the inspiration for this short story. So let’s go!
In the beginning… there was no story
I am an artist and work with digital painting illustration. As such I am part of different art communities, and one of them is John Howe’s forum*, which I visit and participate from times to times. During May earlier this year, I had a gap in my schedule and used the time between assignments to participate on the “Flavour of the Month”, a session of Howe’s forum where artists can create a work based on briefing he gives to us. The goal with such activity is to take artists from doing client work to doing something for fun, for themselves, while it helps sharpening their skills. That month, the theme was “Underworlds” – and I created the illustration of the cover for Eleanor’s Gift.
(I will not explain the concept, as I don’t want to spoil the read!)
* John Howe is the famous artist, more known for the book covers and illustrations he created for J.R.R. Tolkien’s universe. He also worked on Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, doing part of the concept art.
Months later… Eleanor came to life
So, months have passed, when in the beginning of October I caught myself with a delayed book release (A Cold-Hearted Phoenix 2), a remarkable autumn season with very beautiful colors and mood in the area where I live, and the Halloween holiday approaching, So I asked myself, “what if?”. What if I manage to write a short story within the lovely mood of the season and publish it around Halloween? If that worked, I would have a small book release to compensate for the delay of my other title, and at the same time would have something fun for both myself and readers who enjoy dark stories. It was a gamble, I tried without any certainty that it could be done, because I depended on other people to edit the book, free time between client assignments and so on.
Luckily, I wrote whenever I could in the first week of October, and counted with the amazing help and dedication of Clare Diston, my editor, to have the project edited in time to set up a few days of pre-order and release the ebook format by 30th October.
As for the story itself, I had much influence and inspiration of classic Gothic stories, three in particular: Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Frankenstein, books I have been revisiting this year.
Yeapp! I know… It sounds like a weird story, but that pretty much sums up my chaotic writing process, how I get inspired and how I put that inspiration to work :)
Thank you so much for reading!
Writing sucks. Period.
That's why I am an artist; illustrator and graphic designer who writes in a hobby basis. Oh, wait... That's not the "why"... I was born artist, and there is nothing I can do to change it. But with all the imagination I have running lose, there came some stories... And there came some books!
When I'm not doing artwork and illustration for authors and bands, I'm doing woodcarving, painting ornaments, painting artworks for myself, collaborating with other artists and so on. Love Arts, History and Metal.
Oh, and summer is a bitch! Always. Anywhere in the world.