Fiona Hood-Stewart
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Fiona Hood-Stewart

a novel by Fiona Hood-Stewart

An excerpt....

India moved to the window and looked through the frosty panes at the fresh snow covering the lawn and at the Dunbar oak, standing regal and alone.

William, the first Dunbar to settle here, had planted the tree in 1280, and had made the pledge that had been handed down from generation to generation: While this oak stands, a Dunbar will always walk the land. India drew her eyes away sadly. If the property were sold, William's vow would be broken.

As she was about to leave, India caught sight of the small writing desk her mother had used for her private correspondence. An uncapped fountain pen lay on a sheet of half-written writing paper. She crossed the room and picked up what appeared to ba an unfinished letter, realizing with a start that it was addressed to her:

My dearest India,
I am sending this off to you today, for I
am most distressed. I am suffering from
a dreadful dilemma and need to speak
to you urgently. Please come to Dunbar
as quickly as you can. I'd call, but I'm
afraid I will be overheard. You need to
be aware--

The letter was cut short, as though Lady Elspeth had been interrupted. India frowned, glancing at the date. The letter had been written on the day of her mother's death.

* * *

MIRA Books, October 2000
ISBN 1-55166-606-5

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