A letter from Sarah Pluckett, companion to the infamous ghost-hunter Lady Philomena Radcliff, dated August 2, 1861:
We have arrived at Grimspell castle without too many misadventures, which as you know is the usual case when my mistress travels. Despite having to walk from the village of Trollersby and a stickman attaching itself to my lady’s skirts, we arrived to find the baronet, Sir Nicodemus Wulfson, frolicking with his hounds. My protective instincts could not be denied, and I found myself shifting to my were-form to protect my mistress from the beasts, although in hindsight, it proved to be quite unnecessary.
Sir Nico appears to be a gentleman, despite his predatory nature, and much to my surprise, dearest Mama, he does not abhor my were-shape. Indeed, his entire staff consists of shape-shifters, which is quite unusual, and despite their instincts to fear my snake-form, I feel more accepted here than I have ever felt before.
I do not want you to worry, but I must confess that Grimspell castle is a queer, haunted place, and the members of Sir Nico’s family are perhaps a touch…eccentric. But as you know, this is exactly why the baronet hired my mistress and I have the most absolute confidence that she will ferret out the mystery behind this family and their ghostly visitations.
Indeed, Mama, my only worry is that Sir Nico--despite the disparity of their ages--is intensely attracted to Lady Philomena. I feel it my duty to discourage the handsome young man, and I fear that I will have to rely on all of my were-senses to stay one slither ahead of him in his pursuit of my mistress.
Despite the strangeness that surrounds me (or perhaps because of it?) I find myself most content here, and have even made friends with many of the staff. So rest assured that I am safe and well, and will protect and serve my mistress as faithfully as I ever have.
Your Loving Daughter,
PS. I should mention that there is a footman named Cheevers, who, despite being a were-duck (do not laugh, Mama) is quite an extraordinarily charming young man.
Read more about Sarah and her mistress in ENCHANTING THE BEAST, which earned A Top Pick rating from Romantic Times BOOKreviews, Night Owl Reviews, and Romance Reader at Heart! http://www.KathryneKennedy.com