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Looking Out the Window: Clare Revell Discusses Her New Mystery, Dark Lake



A Warm Welcome to Clare Revell

Clare shares two of her favorite Bible verses, her favorite recipe and two excerpts from her new book, Dark Lake.


Favorite Bible Verses 

1 Peter5v7: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”



This is actually on a photo that I’ve had above my bed / my side of the bed since I was two, maybe younger. It’s always been there, always reminding me that Someone cares no matter how rotten I feel or how bad a day it’s been.

What a beautiful picture.

The other is Deuteronomy 5v33b: “Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.”

This always makes me giggle. But then I’m a huge Trekkie so it would do. Who’d have guessed that Live long and prosper comes from the Bible? And that came straight from Leonard Nimoy. Along with the Vulcan salute.




Clare's Favorite recipe

Welsh cakes - Pice ar y maen

8oz plain flour
2oz caster sugar
pinch salt
¼ tsp mixed spice
1½oz butter , cut into small pieces
¼ pt milk

Sieve flour, salt and sugar together.
Rub in butter and add milk to a light dough
Knead on floured board til smooth.
Roll to 1 inch thick
Cut into rounds with a cutter.
Cook on heated griddle for 3 mins each side til browned.

Thank you for verses to nourish our souls. And, the yummy recipe.

Tell us a little about yourself. Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read? 

Anything and everything. I read under the covers at night with a torch. I read most places, apart from in a car. I get terribly travel sick – more than a hundred yards without the window open or the air con on and I’m throwing up! Even now!! I read Enid Blyton, Willard Price, everything Mum had on her book shelf, anything to do with volcanoes or disasters. And I still read a lot now.

What is your writing schedule and where do you write?

It’s constant. I hand write everywhere – apart from in a car obviously. So Hubby gets up at 4 for work, I write in bed. I write curled up on the couch. At my desk. Every book is handwritten first. Then typed up.

Where do you get ideas for your books? 

From the weirdest places. A chance conversation on Facebook. An email from my editor. A line on a TV show. A dream. Sometimes I’m just sitting here and something just occurs out of the blue.

Does your faith affect your writing? If so, how? 

There are certain things I won’t write. Sex for one thing. Never. And I won’t write on a Sunday, because it’s work.

Do you put yourself in your books? 

Yes lol. Dad notices that a lot. And things I see go in there too. So most, if not all of my characters are short. They all hate spiders. Half wear glasses and none of them are slim. And they all speak like I do.

What are you working on right now? 

Right now I’m working on a 4 book series for Pelican called Say A Prayer. The premise is 10 commandments, 2 cops, 1 serial killer. This one was inspired totally by my editor. She emailed, dropped 4 book titles on me and told me to run with it. Hah. She knows me too well….



About Dark Lake 

Archaeologist Dr. Lou Fitzgerald is used to unexpected happenings, and they don't usually faze her. After surviving a childhood disability, and dealing with an unfair boss, Lou has learned the art of rolling with the punches. But when she arrives at Dark Lake, what was supposed to be a simple archaeological dig is beyond even her wildest imaginations.

Land owner Evan Close has his own reasons for keeping the secrets of Dark Lake, and this attractive interloper is a menace. Her precious dig threatens to bring his house of cards tumbling down around him, and he feels helpless to stop it.

It soon becomes apparent there are dark forces at work, and Lou's simple assignment turns into a mystery. Solving that mystery comes with a steep price.

Excerpt 

Lou leaned back in her chair, glad she was sitting down. Her heart raced, cheeks burned and her stomach clenched. “You’re kidding me,” she finally managed past the huge lump in her throat.

“No. I’m sorry. I’m not kidding. I’m deadly serious.” Varian certainly didn’t appear sorry, and he definitely didn’t sound apologetic. He both looked and sounded smug, as if this had been his plan all along.

“I can’t leave,” Lou insisted. “Didn’t you hear me? We found it. Proof that I was right all along.” She waved a file at him. “This is my work. My discovery. You can’t just replace me.”

Make that replace her again—the same way he always did, right when she was on the cusp on proving something or on the brink of another discovery.

“I’m sure your team is more than capable of carrying on without you.”

“Uh, no, they’re not,” she spluttered. Were they really having this conversation? “They need me as much as I need to be here.”

“Are you saying you don’t trust them?”

“No. I’m not saying that at all! I trust them implicitly. Well, most of them anyway.” She sucked in a deep breath, her hands curling into balls under the desk. She tamped down her temper and tried to put a lid on her emotions. “I’m saying I’ve put years into this and I want to—”

“—be the one to finish it?” Varian completed her sentence in that annoying manner, which only served to irritate her further.

She scowled, fingers drumming on the desk. “Yes. Is that so wrong? It’s my work, my paper, my blood, sweat, and tears, not to mention sleepless nights that have gone into this and you want to ditch me in favour of some up and coming lackey so you and he can take the glory? Again. It’s not fair.”

“Life isn’t fair. You’ve got an hour to get your notes and files together before you brief him and me—”

“I don’t believe I’m hearing this!”

“Then you leave and don’t look back.”

Lou scowled harder, wishing she could give him the “stink-eye” as Jim termed it when they were kids. “Who is he anyway? This person you’re replacing me with.”

“Monty is coming down to…”

She almost yelled aloud in frustration, reining it in at the last second. Monty was Varian’s son. It made sense he’d be the one taking over now that they were so close to a discovery that would make her name and put this corner of Wales on the map right up there with Stonehenge and the Grand Canyon.

Instead, Lou picked up a pen and hurled it across the portacabin. “What a surprise. You know, it’s so nice to see that nepotism is alive and well and flourishing in Wales. The exact same way it does all over the country wherever the Sparrow Foundation can be found.”

She paused, counting to five slowly. “Are you sacking me?” she muttered.

“On the contrary, I have a nice simple job for you.”

“Tell you what. Send Monty to do your nice simple job. See if he can do that without messing it up. We all know what happened on the Tumbrel dig. How he was responsible for those deaths.” Varian’s expression darkened, and Lou wisely shut up before he really did sack her. “Have you heard of Dark Lake?” he asked.

“Should I have?”

“It’s a reservoir up in the Pennines. The villages of Abernay and Finlay were flooded in the first half of the last century to make the Aberfinay Dam, shortly before the start of the Second World War. It’s now known locally as Dark Lake after the new village that sprang up next to it. The dam provides water for one of the large towns. It doesn’t matter which one. The whole area is owned by an old family friend, Evan Close.”

Her fingers drummed her irritation on the desk. “And? What does this have to do with the price of fish?”

“The water levels have dropped enough to see the church spire above the level of the reservoir. A few unusual artefacts have washed ashore. I want you to go up there and see what’s going on.”

“Why?”

“Like I said the land is owned by a family friend. Neither of us wants this getting into the media. We’d prefer it be handled quickly and quietly. I can get you permission to dive once or twice. And arrange for a diving team to meet you up there.”

“Can’t it wait a few weeks?”
“No. It has to be done now.”
“Send Whatshisface up there.”
“Monty can’t swim. You can. You have a gold medal to prove it.”
Lou chewed her bottom lip. “That was a lifetime ago. I had to make a choice over careers, and I chose archaeology. I finally get my big break, and you’re taking it away from me.

When I’ve done all the leg work, all the research…”
Varian handed her a file. “I’d shut up about now if I were you. Assuming you want to keep your job. I’m sending you to Dark Lake. End of discussion. I’ll see you in an hour.”
Lou stood. Part of her wanted to quit on the spot, but the other part of her had more sense. “You know what? Brief yourself. These are all my files and notes. I’m sure my team can tell

you anything else you need to know if you can’t read my writing.”

“Lou…”

“Don’t you Lou me. I’ve spent the best part of ten years working for you, and this is how you repay me. Every. Single. Time.” She stomped over to the door and slammed it hard behind her.

Buy Dark Lake on 

Amazon UK

And Amazon US

To learn more about Clare and her books visit her Amazon page

Bonus Excerpt

Evan Close eased back onto the plush red leather sofa in his London office and lifted the glass of whiskey from the silver tray on the side table. He had very few vices, but this was one of them. The amber liquid sparkled in the late afternoon sunlight. His nerves had been on edge since the phone call after lunch, and now he was tauter than a violin bow.

He had spent years building up Xenon, his civil engineering company, and had finally begun to reap the rewards from years of hard work. And he now stood on the cusp of losing everything.

Thanks to Varian Sparrow. There was a family connection somewhere in the past. He and Varian were cousins several times removed, but he didn’t pay any attention to that. The less he and Varian had to do with each other the better, as far as he was concerned. Especially now Varian was sending a woman to dig into a past he needed kept buried.

He could have done the research into this woman by himself, but that was why he paid other people. Besides, he’d had work of his own to do. A new tender was up for grabs, and he had to polish his pitch and make sure his offer was better than anyone else’s. Files were spread out over the table in front of him. Facts, figures, running costs from his other projects, including the jewel in his crown—the Thames Barrier.

The tap and the door opening occurred simultaneously. He glanced upwards. Only one person had the authority to do that. And it wasn’t his secretary either. He nodded to the tall, dark haired man standing opposite him. “So, what do we know about her, Ira?”

Ira Miles, his head of security, opened the file and handed Evan a photo. “Quite a bit.”

“Take a seat.” Evan studied the picture as Ira folded himself into the chair on the other side of the coffee table.

The woman in the photo was pretty. Long black hair, sparkling blue eyes, dimples in her cheeks, and perfect teeth that shone. She appeared young, but he didn’t suppose she was.

“Her name is Dr. Louisa Willow Benson Fitzgerald. She’s thirty-two and was born in Southampton. She won swimming gold in the Para-world championships thirteen years ago in the four hundred meters freestyle, setting a new world and commonwealth record in the process. She gave up swimming to pursue a career in archaeology. B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., ending up as one of the top archaeologists in her field.” He paused and looked expectantly at Evan.

“What did I miss?”

“Archaeologist…field…digging…”

Evan groaned. “That’s a terrible pun. Even by my standards. Go on.”

“Her father, Robert Benson, died when she was twelve. Her mother, Nichola, was remarried five years later to an American pilot, Jack Fitzgerald. He’s now the general in charge of Nellis Air Force Base. Dr. Fitzgerald has two siblings from that marriage, a brother, Robert, aged fourteen, and a sister, Emily, who is twelve. She took her stepfather’s surname when he adopted her. Before that, she and two friends ran away. According to what I discovered they sparked a worldwide search after they left Southampton on board a cabin cruiser. They were finally found seven months later on Agrihan where they’d been shipwrecked.”

Evan raised an eyebrow and snatched the offered paper as he snorted in disbelief. “Really? And Agrihan is where exactly?”

“It’s part of the North Marina Islands in the Pacific. That’s a distance of around seven-thousand, two-hundred and twenty miles from where they set off. And that’s going as the crow flies east to west. Though I imagine they’d have gone west to east, so the mileage could be out by a fair few miles.”
“Hmmm. And these kids were how old?”

“Dr. Fitzgerald was fifteen; her friends Jim and Staci Kirk were seventeen and thirteen respectively.”
Evan tossed the paper to the side, discounting the story as totally implausible. “Yeah, right.” He swallowed a generous sip of the whiskey and waved a finger over the top of the glass. “Go on.”
“She has a prosthetic left leg due to injuries received when she ran away. No more details on that. She’s sidestepped the question on every interview she’s ever given. If it is a matter of public record, it’s been well and truly sealed. Her reputation as an archaeologist is formidable. By all accounts, she’s like a dog with a bone, as the clichĂ© says. Once she starts uncovering something, she keeps going until she’s found all the answers. There is a list of her papers and so on attached to that document I gave you.”

Evan shifted on the sofa, a gnawing starting in the pit of his stomach. “Is she a threat?”

Ira shook his head. “She is ambitious, but a threat? I’m not sure. We’ll need to keep a close watch on her.”

Evan drained the whiskey and held the glass up to the light. “Why send her?”
“Sir?”

“It’s a rhetorical question. I was wondering why Varian would send her when it’s in his interests to keep the past buried. It’s something we need to address in the not too distant future.” 
He rose and set the glass down. Crossing to the large picture window, he glanced at his reflection, pushing his fingers through his hair. Then he gazed out at the streets of London several stories below him. The Thames glinted in the sunlight. “I need to get up there. I’ll take the jet. Pack for several days, and I’ll do the same. Make the usual arrangements for us to be met at the airport and leave the file with me. I want to read it.”

Ira nodded, placed the folder on the desk, and headed to the door.

Evan crossed back to the desk and held down the intercom. “Janet, I’m heading up to Dark Lake for a week or so. Can you arrange to have the jet on standby? And ask the manor staff get the house ready. I’ll be there first thing.”

“Yes, Mr. Close.”

Evan released the intercom, and then grabbed his briefcase and placed it carefully on the desk. He’d paid good money for the black leather with gold trim and didn’t want to damage it. He strode to the filing cabinet and drew the key from his jacket pocket.

He ran over the files until he reached D. Then he removed every file pertaining to Dark Lake. What was Varian Sparrow playing at? Yes, the water levels in the lake were low. But that had happened before and would happen 1 again. Just like at the Ladybower Dam several years ago. It didn’t mean anything. Did it?

He couldn’t take the risk. The secrets of Dark Lake had to stay buried in the past where they belonged. The problem was, this archaeologist, this Dr. Louisa Fitzgerald dug up and exposed the past for a living.

She had to be halted, one way or another.

If it was the last thing he did, he had to stop her.


Comments

mary hagen said…
Enjoyed reading your blog and how you write. I wrote everything in long hand for years, but then decided it would save time if I wrote on the computer. It does. I don't know if I write as well as I did on paper. I, also, like your comments on getting ideas. I don't write sex scenes and I don't enjoy reading them. Usually, I skip them as most do not carry the story forward. Good Luck.
Love the interview Clare and I LOVE the way you write so prolifically....I need to get back to writing longhand. I might actually get something done if I do.

Good luck and God's blessings
PamT

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