It was lovely to reconnect with many of you last week and thank you so much for all of your great comments about the new audiobook version of DOTTY and the Calendar House Key – I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. For those of you who might have missed out, here’s the link to it again:
DOTTY audiobook extract
You can also find it on my website HERE.
And for those of you who have already listened to it, as promised there will be more coming your way very soon – so watch this space J
In the meantime, as I mentioned last week I’m really excited to tell you that the first of the DOTTY Series previously deleted scenes has now been added back into DOTTY and the Calendar House Key and is available to read right now!
It may be a while since you read the first DOTTY book, so to put you back in the picture, here’s a little memory-jogger:
Do you remember how horrified Dotty was to learn that Porguss and Poachling, the dreaded sweep traders, were enslaving children and sending them up the chimneys without the use of sweeps’ magick to protect them from harm? Well, in this little twist to the original ending, Dotty finds a way to do something about it. We pick the story up at the end of Chapter 14, where Porguss and Poachling are stuck in the belly of the playroom stove:
Extract: Chapter 14
Up the Chimney, Down the Chimney
….Quickly Dotty took hold of the chrysalis in the palm of her left hand. It glowed steadily, clear and brittle like blown glass. The chimney breast bulged. Porguss and Poachling were almost upon her. “Magick be gone,” Dotty whispered, her mouth close to the charm, closing her hand around it, crushing the chrysalis into a thousand glowing fragments. A boot became visible at the top of the open hearth. They were about to land. Dotty blew the fragments of the chrysalis towards the open fireplace. As each fragment touched the fire it stuck to it, piercing it, destroying the magical fire surround, returning the cast iron range, piece by piece like a jigsaw in reverse. Porguss and Poachling landed: or, rather, they tried to, but the reinstated range was now in their way. The couple screamed as hands, feet, fingers and toes were forced and crushed into every part of the range.
Porguss shrieked. The cast iron strained and shuddered as it struggled to contain their bulging forms. A foot exploded out of the flue, its owner quite wedged. Poachling roared his outrage as the pair squeezed to a halt in a cloud of soot and brick dust. A single button pinged across the room, torn from Poachling’s waistcoat as he ground to an uncomfortable stop. Dotty waited for a few seconds whilst the range finished its straining and swelling as it engulfed the treacherous sweeps entirely. Porguss was still shouting and wailing from deep inside it, like some poor beast trapped in the cavernous belly of a cast iron monster. A muffled outpouring rang from inside the oven.
Walking across to it, Dotty leant down and opened the range door. It was Poachling, his great fat head filling the whole of the oven.
“We’ll get you for this!” he bellowed.
“If you can get out, that is,” Dotty dared him, confident; triumphant. She stood up straight, turning to go.
“Sweet girl,” The muffled voice of Porguss simpered from further up the flue. “Surely there is something we can offer you - some way in which we can be of assistance. Could we offer you a trinket, perhaps? A pretty bauble, or…”
“I have no use for such things.” Dotty answered, walking towards the door.
“Wait. Don’t go,” Porguss begged. “If the Council finds us here…”
Dotty stopped short, her hand resting on the door handle. “I suppose, if you were to give me certain information…”
“Yes, anything.” The muffled voice answered in relief. “What is it you want?”
“The children.” Dotty demanded. “Where are they hidden?”
Dotty fought to keep her cool. “The ordinary children you have enslaved. The ones you keep for your wretched sweep work.”
“Don’t tell her, Mistress.” Poachling warned. “Hold your tongue.”
Porguss ignored her accomplice. “Oh, them. Why yes, of course you can have them. They are of no use to us. Nothing more than a hindrance, really.” She gave a conciliatory giggle.
It was all Dotty could do not to explode. Think of the children, she chanted as her internal mantra. “So where are they?” she required of the voice inside the stove.
“You’ll find them in the Tanneries – in the attic above the tanner’s shop at the far end of Leather Lane. Now dear, sweet sister, let us out!”
“I am not your sister,” spat Dotty, finally giving vent to her anger. “And I have no idea how to get you out of there,” she added, truthfully. “Besides, I never said I’d let you out – you interrupted me before I could finish. All I was going to say was that, if you were to give me certain information I’d ask the Council to be lenient!”
Poachling bellowed with rage. “Argh! We’ve been tricked! You haven’t heard the end of this – treacherous girl!”
“Oh but I think I have,” retorted Dotty. And with that, she turned on her heel and walked out of Mam’s Playroom, all the while Porguss screeching and howling and Poachling roaring after her from within the belly of the stove, shouting with the full force of his rage “We’ll get you for this, d’you hear?. WE’LL GET YOU!”
Satisfied for now, Dotty smiled and closed the playroom door behind her.
Find out what happens next by downloading your FREE version of the ebook right HERE and continuing to read from the beginning of Chapter 15.
Do let me know what you think – I hope you like the twist!
I’ve set the e-book to FREE for the next 24 hours only especially for my subscribers, so if you want to take a look make sure you get in there and download it now.
Next week, I’ll be doing the same with a previously deleted scene from DOTTY and the Chimney Thief – can’t wait!
As ever, I love to hear your feedback so let me know what you think of Dotty’s efforts. Again, here’s the link to the FREE e-book, available only until Friday:
DOTTY and the Calendar House Key (with previously deleted scene)
Happy reading and I look forward to being in touch with you again soon.
Author of the DOTTY Series