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  • Alice J. Black

FACING THE TORMENT Release Week: The Leak of Madness

The Leak of Madness was released in 2018 and marked the first installment of the Soul Seekers Series. It’s so hard to believe we’re almost at the end! Facing the Torment will be arriving on the 6th of August and I can’t wait to share it with you all but for now, I thought it would be interesting to take a

look back on some of the characters from the series and their take on everything that happened.

The Leak of Madness was the start of it all, but it wasn’t the first novella written. As I delved further into the series and got to thinking about Peyton as a character, I knew she needed a backstory, one that would help the readers understand who she is and where she’s come from. This is her beginning story. So now, we’re taking a look at The Leak of Madness and the events that transpired the night at the Manor House…

If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, it’ll just take a few clicks. Become absorbed in Peyton’s first story, here.

“I can’t believe it’s been a year already!” Theresa gushed, looking around the table. Candles flicked

in the centre casting the room in a warm, dim glow. “It’s just a shame our Olivia can’t be here to

celebrate this with us.”

“Don’t worry, Aunt T, we’ve got something planned with her too.” Pete flashed a winning smile. He

took a sip of his beer and set it down on the table.

Jessica patted him on the leg, gazing at him with utter adoration. “That’s right. She’s treating us to

an afternoon tea down at the new place that just opened. I’ve heard good things about it.”

“Prim and proper, just like her.” Jim smiled, shaking his head knowingly.

“I just can’t believe Peyton is making her work. Tonight of all nights.” Theresa groaned, her mouth

turning down in a grimace. “It’s ridiculous.”

“Come on, Theresa,” Jim admonished. “It wasn’t so long ago that you were calling Peyton a waster

for not doing anything with her life. She’s really pulled it together.”

“But did it have to be tonight?” She pouted.

For a minute the table was silent. Each of them knew what the other was thinking. The night of the

wedding at the Manor House. The odd behaviour. The disruption in the middle of the night. The fire.

“Do you remember that night?” Jim asked, pushing his palms together in a steeple. His voice was

quiet, thick with reverie.

“How could we forget?” Pete stared into his glass. There was no anger held in him, only the

confusion that they all still held. “I knew we’d be up early for the honeymoon but I never expected it

to be the middle of the night.”

“And how did Olivia explain it away?” Jessica asked, looking between them all.

“That Peyton was doing her duty.” Pete shook his head and sat up a little straighter, bringing his gaze

up to meet that of his wife. “What on earth was she doing at that time in the morning? I mean I

know she said she had to set fire to that painting, but the owners of the hotel weren’t over happy.”

“I wouldn’t have been either,” Theresa chipped in curtly.

“And that poor bar man.”

“I wonder if he ever recovered,” Jessica pondered.

“Him?” Theresa’s voice rose a notch. “What about me? Us? Your wedding night should not have

been spoilt like that.”

“It wasn’t spoilt.” Pete shook his head, reaching for Jessica’s hand. “It was the best day of my life.”

“Here’s to you two.” Jim lifted his glass in a toast, the rest of the table following suit. They all drank

and the mood loosened. “And I just think, Therese, you’re being harsh on Peyton. Yes, the night

wasn’t ideal in the way it ended but there must have been something in it. I mean if you consider it

now, she’s still running this business of hers. She certainly won’t getting paid for doing nothing.”

“Running a ghost hunting business of all things.” Theresa rolled her eyes. “Olivia had a well-paid

stable job before all of this. Now she works all hours of the day in that cramped little office fielding

calls about ghosts. It’s stupid.”

“Olivia has always been headstrong,” Jim insisted.

“And loyal,” Pete added.

“She was always going to stick with Peyton, no matter what that meant,” Jim finished. “Peyton is

doing well for herself, even if her choice of profession is a little odd, and she’s keeping our Olive

afloat too. You need to let it go.”

“Yeah, Aunt T, let’s just enjoy our meal.” Pete raised his glass a second time.

“Oh fine.” She rolled her eyes and picked up her glass. “I’ll put it out of my mind. For now.”

Everyone around the table took a drink and settled comfortably into their seats.

Theresa opened her mouth. “So, tell me, Peter, Jessica, when are you thinking about starting a


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