(The Boneseeker Chronicles #1)
by Brynn Chapman
Paperback & ebook, 213 pages
January 10th 2018 by The Wild Rose Press, Inc
Aspiring scientist Arabella Holmes doesn't fit the role of a 1900s lady. Her father, Sherlock, landed her a position at the Mütter Museum to pursue her dream of becoming a purveyor of abnormal science, or what her father calls a "Boneseeker."
Henry Watson’s two-fold mission at the Mütter Museum is to join their team of forensic anthropologists in unearthing unusual antiquities and to watch over Arabella. If only he could get her to speak to him, instead of hurling knives in his general direction. Assigned to a most secret expedition to investigate a mysterious skeletal hand discovered in upstate New York, Arabella and Henry are soon caught in a scientific debate, and the search for the truth may have deadly consequences for those involved.
Are the bones from a Neanderthal? Or are they living proof of fallen angels known as Nephilim?
Watson and Holmes must put aside their differences, trust their instincts, and rely on one another to survive to uncover the truth.
*This is a new version of a previously published edition
I hear a bawdy laugh, and I wrench my eyes away from her earnest gaze, scanning the dance hall. I scan over the myriad of colors and gowns and faces and finally, I see her. My heartbeat bombards my ribcage. My hands are sweating. While they are in Priscilla’s hands.
This is not normal. Not for me, anyway. I am dumbstruck. Arabella is so lovely I can scarcely breathe.
She stands, hesitating at the top of the stairs, undoubtedly searching the crowd for familiar faces.
My mind races back in time to my childhood and my parents’ parties. Bella could never tolerate crowds. I would often find her perched in a tree, party dress and all, or playing fetch with our dogs in the garden. She was better than Holmes, however, who would beg off each and every social function to which he was invited. If the gathering did not include science, crime, or deduction—there was no amount of Father’s cajoling that would convince him.
I track her as she weaves in and out, finally appearing, hovering on the dance floor’s edge. Arabella had worn trousers, in secret, for as long as I could recall. But not tonight. Tonight is an Arabella even I have never been able to conjure in my wildest imagination.
The ivory-silk dress is pulled tight around her tiny waist, and a green velveteen sash hangs to the side. A tassel drops provocatively at the bottom of the V in her décolletage. Her auburn hair flows around her shoulders in waves, unadorned.
Priscilla is talking. I can’t make out the words. Mercifully, the music stops. I almost forget manners and Priscilla’s presence, I dip my head and quickly murmur, “Thank you.”
She grabs my arm, demanding my attention. “Another dance tonight?”
“Most likely. It was delightful.”
I walk in a straight line for Bella, my vision narrow as if I’m staring through a spyglass, and she is the horizon.
She’s leaning against the wall, clutching a glass to her chest. Her eyes are pinched in distress, as if she’s enduring a flogging. Before, she was talking animatedly to Father, about work, no doubt. But now that he’s gone, she looks terrified and out of place once again. Her eyes jump like the staccato beats of the music behind me.
I reach her and smile.
Her eyes immediately quiet.
Is it because of my presence? Am I being arrogant? Or hopeful.
She extends her hand, which is covered in an elegant, ivory glove that reaches to her elbow.
I take it, grateful she can’t detect the sweat on my palm. “Lovely gloves.”
She shrugs. “You know, the black stains on my fingers—they won’t come off.”
We share a very loud laugh, and for a moment, we are the only people in the room.
Next to us a woman and her husband glare at our lack of decorum.
“I’m so very glad you’re here, but I must admit I am shocked.” I lean in so she may hear me above the band.
“I didn’t wish to come. But I knew if I want to be considered permanently for the expedition team, I must learn to do what is politely expected.”
I notice the light sheen on her chest and her discomfort is my own; I yearn to alleviate her awkwardness. I step closer. Closer than society allows. “Dance with me.” My mind explodes with forbidden images. My mouth and body on hers. My hands tracing the line of her legs. I’m close enough to feel her breath.
Her blue eyes widen, her mouth forming a perfect, pink O. She shakes her head. “Please, Henry. I don’t dance. I can’t. Your father and mine, they tried to teach me, tried for hours on end, actually.”
I smile. “Why don’t I remember this?”
“Loads happened while you were away at boarding school. Please, I’ll embarrass myself. I’m trying to keep my dignity.”
“I will teach you.”
“I can’t be taught. I’m an orangutan in high heels.”
I laugh so loud, my father shoots me a death-by-dismemberment look from across the room. He eyeballs his cane, which conceals a short sword.
I try not to laugh harder.
Praise for BONESEEKER:
Winner of the New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Contest
"Creative, meticulously researched, and terrific fun!" ~Grace Burrowes, NY Times Best Selling Author
"The characters, the setting, the descriptions and the mysteries and relationships all work together seamlessly to create a truly wonderful story that I completely adored." ~Best Books Ever Blog
"The settings are intriguing and the way they are described make you feel as if you are immersed in the story. I could feel the gloom and damp. That is rare in so many books! Boneseeker is a book I highly recommend, and I give it 5 stars!" ~Christy's Cozy Corners Blog
About the Author
Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love--not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger's syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society's downtrodden. In fiction, she's a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. Her ancestry tree claims she's a descendant of the House of Stuart.
Other Books by the Author
Be sure to watch for Promo videos from Brynn’s PR guy—pictured below. Here’s a sample of the insanity on Facebook
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