#COVER #REVEAL ~ 2nd Edition of A Shadow in the Past

Here it is – the shiny, new cover for the 2nd Edition of my debut novel, A Shadow in the Past. I’ve been busy editing the content and getting my girl ready to return to the world of print and ebooks.

When a contemporary teen is transported back in time to the Victorian era, she becomes A Shadow in the Past…

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself in Victorian Era Aberdeenshire, Scotland and has no idea how she got there. Her last memory is of being at the stone circle on the family farm in the year 2010.

Despite having difficulty coming to terms with her situation, Sarah quickly learns she must keep her true identity a secret. Still, she feels stifled by the Victorians’ confining social practices, including arranged marriages between wealthy and influential families, and confronts them head on only to suffer the consequences.

When Sarah realizes she has fallen in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, she faces an agonizing decision. Does she try to find her way back to 2010 or remain in the past with the man she loves?

Here are the covers for the series side by side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updated buy links to the 2nd Edition of A Shadow in the Past to follow.

 

 

 

On your mark, get set, WRITE!

The countdown is over. The time has come. Are you ready?

On your mark, get set, WRITE!

on your mark

It’s day 1 of the 2018 edition of NaNoWriMo. Are you ready? Have you outlined your novel so all you have to do is write?

I’ve outlined, announced my ‘novel’ to the world on the NaNoWriMo site, but … Isn’t there always a but? A caveat? A hitch?

Despite doing all of that, I’ll do well to get my novel started during the month of November. You see, I’m trying to get the second edition of my debut novel back out into the public eye. The cover is finished and waiting patiently in the wings to be revealed. I’m working on the audio edit now – up to chapter 7 of 38. Some of the chapters are quite short so it doesn’t take long to do, then it’s format for print and e-book. So I’m behind the 8-ball as they say before I even get started. But I digress… back to NaNoWriMo.

So what’s my NaNoWriMo project? Well, let me tell you. It’s the second sweet romance book in the It Happened series. This one is set in the Gastown area of Vancouver, BC, Canada. I chose this area because of the steam clock, and upon further investigation thanks to google maps, found a creepy looking alley nearby. Even its name – Blood Alley – sounds sinister, although the moniker has nothing to do with slaughter houses, murders or anything like that.

Trainspotting meets Hot Pursuit in the sweet romance “It Happened in Gastown“. Even the premise sounds dark for a sweet romance, but I assure you the couple despite being at opposite ends of the spectrum will find each other, and feed off one another’s strengths to help them get through the obstacles I throw up against them.

So that’s my project. It might get off the ground this month. It might now. Periodically, throughout November, I’ll post progress reports.

What’s your NaNoWriMo project? Why don’t you share it in the comments?

 

 

 

 

 

A Haunted Headstone? You decide.

you decide

In keeping with the spooky atmosphere of the evening, I give you one of my short stories. The cemetery I based this story around is located just west of my hometown.

I chose the particular headstone because it’s set off by itself on a bit of a hill surrounded by trees.

I hope you enjoy this seasonal piece.

A Halloween Tale

Brian and Emily clambered off their bicycles in front of a large three-storey, red brick house in the western end of the city. A huge sign bearing a wildcat and the words B&B hung from a post in the yard. “Is this the place?” he asked.

“I think so.” She slid her heavy rucksack off, dug into its small outer pocket, and pulled out the confirmation e-mail. Scanning the document, she checked the house and guidepost. “Yes. We’re here.”

Emily slung her pack over one shoulder. They walked their bikes to the side of the house and leaned them against the wall before going to the door. She reached out to ring the bell. At the same instant, the inside door opened. Startled, she jumped back.

“You’re the Wolvertsons? I’ve been expecting you.” The grey-haired, bespectacled woman craned her neck to see past them. “Where is your car?”

“We rode,” he said.

“Come in, you must be exhausted. Your room is this way.”

Hands clasped, the young couple accompanied the proprietor to their room.

“Here you are. Breakfast runs from seven to nine o’clock. You’re on your own for lunches and suppers but the town has a number of places for a good meal.”

“Thank you, Mrs. …, ” he began.

“Griffin, but you can call me Miriam”

Meanwhile, Emily had walked to the window. The street below bustled. “We passed a couple of cemeteries west of here.” She turned to face Brian and their hostess. “What can you tell us about them?”

The woman’s face went pale. “Y-you don’t want to be going to the necropolis on the south side of the road. Rumor has it, it’s frequented by spirits.”

“We do. I think my ancestors are buried there and that’s why we came. We’re researching our family tree and want to take some rubbings of the ancestral slabs and photograph them for the book we’re writing.”

“If you think you must go, go early in the day so you’re out well before dark.”

She dropped to the bed and ran her hand over the white duvet. “Tell us more. This sounds intriguing.”

“Two hundred years ago this Halloween that Emily McPherson went away. My, but your name is Emily, too, isn’t it?”

“Yes. Please go on.”

Brian sat down put his arm around Emily’s shoulders.

“The story goes a young girl lost her fiancé – an infantryman – in a dreadful accident in the first part of the war of 1812. His ship was carrying a load of dynamite and it exploded. The blast killed everyone on board.”

“What does that have to do with the churchyard?”

“Well, they say she visited his entombment every day until her disappearance and was there as always when a terrible storm blew up and folks never saw her again. A blood curdling shriek was heard over the crashing – and then nothing. Silence. The disturbance cleared as quickly as it had formed. Alarmed by the horrendous noise that came from the direction of the graveyard, some men sprang into action. When they reached the location where the poor, bereft young woman spent most of her time, she was gone. No indication of a scuffle. No suggestion someone dragged her off – just the bluish phosphorescence surrounding the headstone. From that night on, no one had ever set foot in that corner. You understand why it is imperative you’re out of there before dark.”

“What a tragic, yet romantic tale. We must find that grave.” Her eyes sparkled.

“We will but in the morning. Today, we scope out the town.” Brian stood and helped her up from the bed. “Thanks for sharing that. Em, here, well she’s a pushover for a burial ground and a love story.”

***

Outside, Emily wrapped her arms around Brian’s waist. “I wish we didn’t have to wait.”

“Come on. If anything untoward is going to happen there, it will be tomorrow on the actual day. Not today.”

“I suppose you’re right,” she muttered.

Brian took her hand and they walked tothe town’s centre, stopping first at the local repository where the genealogical society housed its archives.

Emily scanned the floor to ceiling shelves lined with books, binders, maps and the society’s own publications. If the young woman’s exodus were such a big deal, then there had to be something written about it. She discovered a notebook of newspaper clippings dating back to the commencement of 1812, sat down at one of the tables and flipped through it. Emily ferreted out the piece about the detonation and couldn’t believe how much detail the press included on the crews’ injuries. Still, she removed a page and made a photocopy. A few pages later, she found the other including a photo of the alleged sinister chamber. you decideWhile she perused those, he busied himself with the old charts. Two older women came down the stairs as she photocopied the article. They spoke in hushed tones about the anniversary of the McPherson girl’s departure. Armed with the information she wanted, Emily and Brian left the museum and went to a nearby pub for lunch. Over a pint and burger, they shared their findings.

“According to the one, Emily’s engagement occurred on June 1st and her fiancé died the second,” she said, taking a sip of beer.

The longer they stayed, the more uncomfortable Emily became. The people pointed and stared at her, like they were comparing her to the long-since missing girl. “Let’s leave. These people are creeping me out.”

“If you want.” Brian picked up his glass and draining the last of it.

After exiting, they wandered in and out of some of the more eclectic stores on the main street. In a second-hand shop, Emily bought a cherry amber pendant. Another young couple entered, talking about the city of the dead as she fastened the clasp.

“They say that tomb is haunted.”

“Yeah, I know. Even in the daylight people don’t go near it.”

On their return to the B&B, she emptied the contents of her backpack on the bed ensuring she had everything she needed for their trek. Camera, extra batteries, blank newsprint, and charcoal sticks in a baggie. She added the photocopies to the essentials and repacked her bag.

***

The next morning, Miriam begged them to reconsider visiting the ossuary. “It’s just all the talk about how the unfortunate girl vanished and this being the bicentenary,” she moaned, wringing her hands.

“We’re leaving as soon as we’re finished eating so will be back long before it gets dark,” Brian reassured her. “If it makes you feel better, we’ll stop here before we go to supper.”

Emily slipped on her leather riding gloves and heaved her pack on her back. “Don’t worry. We’ll be back late this afternoon.” Hesitating by the front door, she turned back. “Bye. We’ll see you later,” she called cheerily as they exited.

It took about five minutes to reach the cemetery’s entrance. After dismounting, they walked their cycles down the winding road and parked them against a bench near the river. She took her Canon out and shot a few wide angle shots of the area for comparison later on.

Since they hadn’t gotten away as timely as they would have liked, Emily decided they should split up so they could cover twice as much territory. She gave Brian some of the sheets of printing paper and a couple of the anthracite crayons. He had a point and shoot Kodak so could take pictures as well as rubbings.

A row of white tombstones, beginning with two substantial memorials followed by some smaller, all of the same design, caught Emily’s eye and she walked to them. It appeared to be parents, and their ten children. She carefully photographed each one planning on looking into the family at a later date. Emily glanced over her shoulder. Brian had worked his way out to an earlier section adjacent to the highway.

Walking along the narrow road, she spotted a flight of stone steps leading to a spot sheltered by trees. As she climbed them, she noticed a small marker next to a bathtub-like sarcophagus. Up on the rock about four feet higher than the terrain where she stood, a solitary tribute occupied the plot. Emily pulled the copied articles out of her holdall. This matched the one in the copy. The thick canopy of poplar, pine, and maple trees kept the space in darkness even at his time of day. A gust of wind rustled through the treetops overhead and a leaf fluttered to the ground, landing on the covering of brightly colored autumn leaves. What was once a stately oak stood guard over the site; its trunk and remaining branch denuded of bark and pocked with woodpecker holes.

you decideUp close, the tombstone didn’t look menacing. Emily walked around it, feeling its roughness under her fingertips, and read the epitaph. It told the sad tale of a young man who expired away tragically in a ship’s explosion. She took a picture of the wording.

“Brian, come quick.” She turned and swung her arms to get his attention. “I think this is the monument.”

He lifted his head and waved back but made no attempt to approach.

When he didn’t respond a second time to her calls, she scampered off the crag, pausing to take more photos then ran to him, stumbling over the uneven ground. Breathless when she reached Brian, Emily found it difficult to tell him she had identified the cenotaph of the young soldier.

“You’ll remember where it was? I’d like to get some rubbings of the ones in this precinct. Let me finish up here and we’ll head over.” He pulled her to him and kissed her forehead.

Another one with a worn but interesting inscription soon held their interest. They were engrossed with it – Emily with her digital SLR and Brian with the paper and carbon. They were so preoccupied they didn’t notice the skies darkening.

you decideNot wanting to leave without a final visit to the shrine, she ran off towards it, with him following. It was dusk when they reached it. They drew nearer and the hairs on the back of Emily’s neck stood on end.

Suddenly, the sky turned black. The intensity of the city’s streetlights no longer visible. Emily couldn’t see him, yet they were only arms’ length apart. A brilliant flash of lightning and a simultaneous, deafening clap of thunder frightened her and she screamed. The pungent smell of ozone filled the air. The tall masterpiece now bathed in that ominous cerulean glow, made her entire body tingle.

***

The next day, when the owner of the B&B raised the alarm after they had failed to come back the night before, a search party went to the funerary grounds to look for them. Just as it was when Emily McPherson disappeared all those years ago, there were no signs of a struggle, no trace of the couple at all. At the stone’s base, one of the rescuers found a necklace – the same one the young woman was last seen wearing when she and her partner left for the cemetery. On the back was a message which read, ‘to my Emily June 1st, 1812. All my love B.W.’. The searchers looked at each other incredulously, then at the gravestone. B.W. – Brian Wolfe. Were these two people the ghosts of Emily and Brian?

*****

And here is the row of headstones belonging to the family near the haunted one on the hill.

you decide

Strange phenomena? Coincidence? Or were Brian and Emily really the ghosts of the couple from long ago?

Get Your #Spook on ~ #spooksational #spookpendous

#Spook

With less than a week to go until Halloween, it’s time to get your #Spook on and settle in with a haunted house.

Sometimes there’s more to a house than bricks and mortar.

Hillcrest House is one such place. Perched on a cliff in the picturesque town of Angel Falls, there is more to this Victorian mansion than meets the eye. When referring to the house, the locals use the word haunted on a regular basis. Strange visions appear in the windows, especially the second-floor ones over the side porch. Even stranger events take place within its four walls.

Rumour has it, the original owners, Asher and Maggie Hargrave, never left their beloved home. They claim the couple and their family are responsible for driving people away. Over the years, Hillcrest House has changed hands numerous times. No one stays long. Renovations begin then stop and the house is once more abandoned. The latest in this long line of owners is Jessica Maitland.

Will Jessica be the next one to succumb or will she unravel The Secret of Hillcrest House?

BUY LINKS

amazon

Barnes and Noble

kobobooks

iBooks

and

Books a Million

#Spook

You can read what people are saying about The Secret of Hillcrest House here.

ONE WEEK TO GO! You still have time to enter #spooktacular #giveaway

one week

Only one week remains in N.N. Light’s Book Heaven giveaway!

That’s right. Only one week to go and the #spooktacular Trick or Treat Binge-Read Giveaway closes for another year.

Having a hard time choosing what to read next? While there’s so many wonderful authors and books available, it’s imperative to have a dependable and responsible place that can help you choose what to read. It’s even better when you get a chance to win free books! Every month, you can win free books from multiple authors hosted by N. N. Light’s Book Heaven. Several authors are offering their books in this innovative and collaborative approach to find your next great read.

Literary Giveaway Portal:  https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/literary-giveaway-portal

Here’s a list of what’s up for grabs:

signed print copy of Hacking IT by Kimberley Dean

e-copy of Spirited Attraction by Ashantay Peters

e-copy of Heart Healer by Leslie Bowes

e-copy of A Kiss and a Promise by Tricia Schneider

e-copy of Three Lessons in Seduction by Sofie Darling

print copy of Horu’s Chosen (An Alternate Egypt) by Janet Lane Walters (US/Canada only)

print or e-copy (winner’s choice) of Emmie of Indianapolis by Kay Castaneda

e-copy of Pearlman by David Russell

e-copy of Too Good to be True by Livia Quinn

e-copy of Oath of a Warrior by Mary Morgan (US/Canada only)

e-copy of The Secret of Hillcrest House by Melanie Robertson-King

e-copy of Debriefing the Dead (Book 1 of The Dead Series) by Kerry Blaisdell

e-copy of Tied Up With Strings by Madeline McEwan

e-copy of Arresting Mason by Amber Daulton

e-copy of The Queen of Paradise Valley by Cat Dubie

print or e-copy of one of C. C. Bolick (winner’s choice)

e-copy of The Mystery of Flight 2222 by Thomas Neviaser

e-copy of Once Broken by D. M. Hamblin

e-copy of Lovers by Midnight (Monster Ball) by Ashantay Peters

e-copy of A Debt to the Devil by D. M. Hamblin

e-copy of Other Dark Tales by A. L. Butcher (Smashwords voucher)

e-copy of The Colony and The Last City by RM Gilmour

5 e-copy of The Adventures of Harry Morgan, Volume 1 by Clabe Polk

one week

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Trick or Treat! It’s binge-read giveaway time

trick or treat

Trick or Treat! It’s binge-read giveaway time.

Want to find a new writer, learn what novels some of your favourite authors are reading, or find new book reviewer and blogger recommendations? Visit https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/literary-giveaway-portal  to enter this new multi-author giveaway. All genres are included whether it’s novels from debuting authors to award-winning/bestselling authors with multiple books and/or series. The best part — it’s all free for readers to enter, as authors are generously donating copies of their books as well as other prizes each month to help find new fans and build up their reading communities. I’m excited to participate in this month’s giveaway and can’t wait to share with you all that will be offered this month and moving forward. You never know which surprising authors might just show up on the list this year!

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Meet the Scotts & Laynes – stars of the It Happened Series #sweetromance #Canada

The Scotts & Laynes are the stars of the It Happened Series – sweet romances set in picturesque Canadian locations.

You met Roger Scott; his son, Adam, and Serenity Layne in the first book of the It Happened Series – It Happened on DufferinTerrace, a Christmas novella set in Quebec City.

Scotts & Laynes

Here’s what Book 1 is about…

Miracle on 34th Street meets Sleepless in Seattle

Toronto business consultant, Serenity Layne, knew the only person she could depend on was herself. Married to her career, she has no time for other pursuits and life’s intangibles.

Widowed for three years, Roger Scott, a data security specialist in Quebec City, is a single parent to his ten-year-old son, Adam.

On a day out on the Plains of Abraham with their black Labrador retriever, Roger’s cell phone rings incessantly. Adam has played matchmaker and put his father’s profile on a number of online dating sites.

The week before Christmas, Serenity is heading up a series of meetings after a six-month study of the Canadian retail chain, jonathans. After an unpleasant encounter with one of the store managers, she escapes from the boardroom of the Château Frontenac Hotel, only to be bowled over by Roger and Adam’s dog.

Guilty over the accident, Roger invites Serenity out for a drink by way of apology. Over the course of the week, and spending time together, feelings long dormant for Roger are re-awakened. At the same time, emotions foreign to Serenity fill her with contentment and happiness.

Will the couple get their happily ever after?

In It Happened on Dufferin Terrace, readers were also introduced to Roger’s younger sister Melissa and her beau Gareth, along with the matriarch of the Scott family.

At the end of the book, Serenity’s brother Erik made a cameo appearance.

What about the rest of the Scotts & Laynes? All of the siblings (some mentioned by name only in Book 1) and their partners will have books of their own.

Here they are in no particular order…

Christopher Scott & Lori Brownlee in It Happened at Lake Louise.

Erik Layne & Hilary Dunbar in It Happened in Gastown.

Michael Scott & Jennifer Fox in It Happened at Niagara Falls.

Melissa Scott & Gareth Young in It Happened at Percé Rock

and finally

Amy Scott & Kyle Ferris in It Happened … at an as yet undetermined location.

Have a favourite Canadian city or other destination? Leave it in the comments. I’d love some additional input.

If you want to get acquainted with the Scotts & Laynes and enjoy sweet romances, why not start with It Happened on Dufferin Terrace?

amazon
kobo

And in print at

amazon
Books a Million
And
Barnes & Noble

 

National Novel Writing Month is Coming ~ Countdown to #NaNoWriMo

The countdown to the annual event known as national novel writing month is on. Better known as #NaNoWriMo, authors from around the world take part in this gruelling event.

Do you #NaNo? If so, do you start out like this? The Eureka moment that will sustain you for the entire month?

National

Then write feverishly for a while?

national

Things are looking good … and then, the dreaded writer’s block attacks.

national

The end of the month draws nearer and you’ve not written in days. When all is said and done, do you feel like this? Frustrated with yourself and your lack of staying power?

Life gets in the way. It happens to all of us. Maybe your idea wasn’t enough to sustain a novel.

The beauty is, you can outline and plan for National Novel Writing month ahead of time. If you’re prepared and not flying by the seat of your pants, the month will fly by with few hiccups.

1,667 words every day is not impossible and you’ll achieve your 50,000-word target for the month. The trick is, it’s not random words. It’s a novel. You need a beginning, middle and end.

National

Will you #NaNo?

#SPOOKTACULAR Literary Giveaway

#spooktacular

October is here, and it’s one of my favourite times of the year. The weather turns chilly, the leaves change colour, and I get an excuse to binge-eat Halloween candy/chocolate. As the wind shakes my windows, I love to curl up with a good book. N. N. Light feels the same way, and they’re hosting a #spooktacular giveaway. Sorry, couldn’t resist the Halloween pun. No tricks just treats for book lovers! Everything from romance to paranormal to fiction is being given away. You can even enter to win one of mine. Go on, indulge your inner kid and enter this giveaway.

Literary Giveaway Portal:  https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/literary-giveaway-portal

Trick or Treat Binge-Read Giveaway:

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SALE ENDS SOON! Oct 1st the price goes up ~ It Happened on Dufferin Terrace #Christmas #sweetromance

sale ends soon

The sale ends soon! The 99¢/99p price of It Happened on Dufferin Terrace goes up on Monday, Oct 1st.

Pick your copy of this #Christmas, #sweetromance novella brimming with that “feel good” up this weekend for the bargain price.

She’s married to her career… He’s a widowed father…

Miracle on 34th Street meets Sleepless in Seattle in

It Happened on Dufferin Terrace

Toronto business consultant, Serenity Layne, knew the only person she could depend on was herself. Married to her career, she has no time for other pursuits and life’s intangibles.

Widowed for three years, Roger Scott, a data security specialist in Quebec City, is a single parent to his ten-year-old son, Adam.

On a day out on the Plains of Abraham with their black Labrador retriever, Roger’s cell phone rings incessantly. Adam has played matchmaker and put his father’s profile on a number of online dating sites.

The week before Christmas, Serenity is heading up a series of meetings after a six-month study of the Canadian retail chain, jonathans. After an unpleasant encounter with one of the store managers, she escapes from the boardroom of the Château Frontenac Hotel, only to be bowled over by Roger and Adam’s dog.

Guilty over the accident, Roger invites Serenity out for a drink by way of apology. Over the course of the week, and spending time together, feelings long dormant for Roger are re-awakened. At the same time, emotions foreign to Serenity fill her with contentment and happiness.

Will the couple get their happily ever after?

BUY LINKS

 kindle

Kobo Canada

Kobo US

 

My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King