Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Spotlight and Excerpt: A Walking Shadow by Elizabeth Ireland

A Walking Shadow by Elizabeth Ireland

In 1871, Lillian Nolan accepts a small role in Macbeth, and finally fulfills her dream of becoming an actress. That is until the renowned, but venomous, female star of the production is murdered onstage opening night. When her enraged spirit haunts the theater, Lillian is shocked to discover she can communicate with her. Offered a Faustian bargain in which she will be given talent and expertise way beyond her ability in exchange for uncovering the killer, Lillian can’t resist.
Her quest for the truth causes her to descend into the Underworld, the den of inequity below the streets of Chicago. What Lillian finds soon embroils her in a battle between her passion for performing and control over her own body as it all plays out in a supernatural game of good and evil.

Amazon UK      Amazon US 
Tagline: Life upon the wicked stage can be deadly.
Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, the Backstage Mystery Series stars Lillian Nolan, an unconventional member of Chicago’s upper class who dreams of a career of fortune and fame in the theater. Talented and ambitious, she possesses a hidden skill which she is extremely reluctant to use—the ability to communicate with those who have died and now live in the world of “The Beyond.”
The series chronicles her adventures in which she continually becomes enmeshed in solving mysteries which often require her accessing the realm of the paranormal. Filled with an incredible cast of characters—factual, fictional, and sometimes non-physical—who either help or hinder her quest for the truth, the stories take place during a a period considered to be the golden age of both acting and spiritualism in America.

4. In 1871 novice actress Lillian Nolan, protagonist and reluctant sleuth, meets her nemesis, Mary Cosgrove:

I turned to see what I still consider the physical embodiment of an angel. A cloud of blonde hair, a small, but neat figure that was immaculately dressed. With her deep, green eyes and a smile that was both warm and welcoming, there was almost a fairy quality about her. She was young, but older than I—perhaps by two or three years—but she seemed far more confident and sure of herself.
I’m Mary Cosgrove,” she said, holding her hand out to me.
I took her hand in mine and shook it. It was small and delicate, like the rest of her, but held unexpected strength.
Rose—uh, Lillian Nolan.”
Grandmother insisted that I honor Father’s wishes on this point and take a stage name. It wasn’t that my own was so mundane, which, of course it was—but she felt very strongly that I should avoid any more damage to the family sensitivities. By that I knew she meant not embarrass them any further. Grandmother argued that if I didn’t want to rub salt in the wound of Father’s pride, I really needed to have another name. We pondered this for some time until we decided on her mother’s name, Lillian (which was also Grandmother’s middle name), and Grandmother’s maiden name, Nolan. Lillian Nolan. I liked it. I could see it on hand bills and marquees. It had certain theatricality to it.
I used it now to introduce myself to Mary Cosgrove but it didn’t come off my tongue as easily as I thought that it would. Mary seemed to disregard my hesitation over my own name and smiled at me. I could not help but be drawn into the warmth of that smile.

Elizabeth Ireland discovered her passion for theater early. After receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theater, she accepted a teaching position in a vibrant performing arts department at a college in northern Illinois. For ten years, she taught, directed and ran front-of-house operations. American Theater History—particularly that of the 19th century—has always been of particular interest to her.
She has been a quarter-finalist and a semi-finalist for the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Two of her screenplays have been optioned, but remain unproduced. Her nonfiction work, Women of Vision: Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives, was published in 2008. Her work has also been published in a collection of paranormal short stories, Paramourtal: Tales of Undying Love and Loving the Undead. She lives in metro Atlanta with her ever-patient husband, and two quirky dachshunds.