Welcome to the next stop on the Fellengrey blog tour! Today I’m providing an excerpt from the book for your reading enjoyment! 

Book
Description:
As
a boy, Hale Privet dreamed of sailing the grey waters of the northern Gantic
Ocean aboard a mighty ship of war. But when farm life kept him from the sea,
the sea came to him – in the form of Rye Blackbird, the infamous mutineer whose
wondrous tales help set Hale on his own path to adventure. And such adventures
they are! Villains, mysteries, sea battles and even a cursed island await.
Privet’s
story is part folklore and part fantasy, set in a long-ago time where you might
just as easily witness something mystical, as feel the salty spray of the sea
on your face. Fellengrey is a bedtime story for grown-ups, complete with
pirates, ghosts, magic spells and, of course, a beautiful maiden to capture the
dashing hero’s heart. Author Scott Thomas lyrically creates a world that is
visceral and treacherous, but also lovely and familiar.

Excerpt
from Fellengrey by Scott Thomas
It
was late autumn, 1740, and the leaves were gone from their trees. Hale, who had
recently turned ten, was lugging armloads of wood into the house, where both
sets of twin sisters were about their own chores. Father had set a ladder
against the side of the house and was up the conical roof, hanging a wreath of
brittlethorn on the front of the chimney, as he did every year at this time.
This
was Ghost Hasten, the most dreaded day of the year, when the souls of the angry
dead were free to dash across the earth and wreak havoc on the living.
Preparations—like hanging wreaths of brittlethorn to discourage chimney
visitations—had been going on in the village for days. Coveted silver nails,
which, generally speaking, were the most expensive articles that local planters
were apt to own (and kept for this express purpose) were scattered about the
front door stoop. It was a well-known fact that cruel ghosts hated silver. A
rusty iron spike poked up from the outer sill of every window and upon these
had been impaled apples, crudely carved with the features of a skull. 

Finished
with his work on the roof, Burren moved down the steep thatch to where the
ladder had been. Had been. Hale was standing below, grinning up with the
ladder resting on the ground beside him. At times the boy was overcome by an
irresistible mischief.
Burren
glared down. Not one for striking children, he periodically resorted to
threats, “You’ll have that ladder up swift enough, young sir, or you’ll find
yerself on a ship for the Colonies!”

Hale
stood the ladder back up and, after his father climbed down, was ordered to
return the thing to the barn. The boy was dragging it behind himself as if
pulling a plow, when he noticed a horse and cart rattling along the road.
Burren noticed too, and stood watching as the vehicle came near.

“Hallo!”
the lone occupant called.

The
cart was a sad, worn thing, like the beast pulling it, and a simple wooden
coffin was roped to its scuffed wooden bed. The stranger reined his horse,
climbed down and bowed. While tall and sturdily built, he was a shabby figure
with wild graying hair and a wild graying beard and a face that weather had not
been kind to. He might have been handsome without all that pewter shrubbery,
for the features were good, the eyes raptor-keen and dark as treacle. A drab
brown cloak hung from his shoulders, draping down to obscure the rest of his
dusty garments. 

Burren
gave the vagabond a cautious nod.

“Good
man,” the visitor said, his voice full of rich tones, “the most terrible night
is near upon us and here I, a creature lacking shelter or coin, stand at the
mercy of your good will.”

Burren
knew nothing of this man, but with dusk fast approaching, and a storm of ghosts
pending, he could hardly turn a fellow away.
“You
may shelter here,” the planter said, “but no weapon might pass through the
door.”
“I’ve
none, kind host, and ne’er the cause for the like. See this to be true.”

The
man opened his cloak to reveal the long rust-colored coat beneath, and the vest
and breeches under that. Burren saw no suspicious bulges. The man’s shoes were
too short at the ankle to conceal a boot-blade.
Burren
nodded. “I take you on your word, Mister…”
“Noll
Slate would be my name.” The man said with a smile and a charming squint of the
eye. He bowed again—his arms out like wings—a more graceful bow than one would
expect from a raggedy man. He thanked Burren profusely.
Hale
stood silently by his father’s side, staring at the stranger’s grim cargo.
Slate noticed this and explained, “My brother, poor soul. We been north at
Ficklebridge, working the saw-mills. There was an accident…”
Slate
gazed off with a mournful look, rather than indulge tragic details.
“Sorry,
sir,” the boy said. “Where do you take him?”
Slate
sighed and went on to explain that he was far from any kin, without permanent
lodgings, and no different from other itinerant workers common to these parts
in the days of harvest. He and his brother had been traveling about for the
last three years, working where there was work to be had, sleeping where fate
and generosity allowed. As to where to set his brother to rest…he was seeking
just the right spot, but as yet had not found it.
The
gray sky was deepening and valuable time had passed. Burren still needed to
safeguard the dovecote and chicken coop before the ghosts arrived. He
instructed Hale to see that the guest’s horse and the coffin were put in the
barn. Unfortunately there would not be room for the traveler’s cart.
The
planter turned and surveyed his cottage, a two-story round  construction of stone with an enclosed wooden
entryway (known locally as a “throat”) poking out from the front. He was
pleased with the precautionary steps he had taken: the wreath, the apples, the
silver nails.
Hale
unhooked Noll Slate’s horse and led it into the barn. This gave the man time to
slip a key from his coat and lock the compartment under the hinged seat of his
cart, securing the charged dueling pistols inside. By the time the boy came
back out, Slate was in the rear of the cart, kneeling by the simple pine
coffin.
“Looks
to rain,” Slate noted.

“It always rains at Ghost Hasten,” Hale said.