Category Archives: Reading

#TellaFairyTaleDay

Today is…

#TellAFairyTaleDay!

Never heard of it before? Well, you can read more about it here. The stories can cover everything from Grimm to urban legends.

Scottish legends, myths, and mystery are found in A Shadow in the Past, so what better time to celebrate it?

Even the cover exudes fairytale mystery. Once upon a time…

#TellAFairyTaleDay
cover by Aidana WillowRaven

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages, powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

Available from the publisher 4RV Publishing or amazon

And then there’s the sequel … Shadows From Her Past

A cruel twist of fate returns Sarah Shand to her life in the year 2010 where she discovers she is a patient in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and has been for months. Struggling to come to terms with the situation, she insists she belongs in the year 1886 at Weetshill mansion with her husband the Laird, Robert Robertson, and adopted daughter, Jenny. Her family and consultant physician try to convince her she was dreaming or hallucinating but Sarah refuses to believe them.

Robert, who has experienced strange things at the stone circle at Gordonsfield Farm, somehow breaks through the time-space continuum and visits Sarah in his future. He pleads with her to return to the past but his cryptic messages only confuse her.

Medical student, David Robb, himself a descendant of the Robertsons of Weetshill, befriends Sarah. Fascinated with her stories of the past, after her release from the hospital, he takes Sarah to meet his parents, the current owners of the mansion and surrounding land.

This year, the winter solstice and lunar eclipse occur on the same day. Will a trip to the stone circle during this combination of events create the magic Sarah needs to return to 1886 and her family there? Or will she remain in the present and make a life with David?

Available to buy from amazon.

Do you have a favourite fairy tale? I’d love to know what is is. Tell me in the comments.

It’s Read A Book Day ~ #amreading

Sept 6th is Read A Book Day

#amreading

Whatever your genre, or preferred medium, curling up and reading a good book  is a wonderful way to spend your time. There are loads of genres to choose from – crime, romance, paranormal, Young Adult, New Adult, non-fiction, memoirs and literary fiction. All will sweep you away into the world created by the author and give you some much needed escape from reality time.

A great place to get your reading material is at your local independent bookstore. If you don’t have one locally, there is always the option of the larger chain store.

I also have a great collection of e-books on my iPad in the Kindle app.

#amreadingSince this is read a book day, I’m going to do a wee bit of shameless, self-promotion here. If you’re looking for a great read, check out A Shadow in the Past

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

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages, powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

#amreading The Consequences Collection – an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

For the younger readers,

#amreading Tim’s Magic Christmas

For Tim Frost, Christmas 2011 is a washout. No Santa. No presents. Nothing. His father lost his job when the mill closed and now the family is on the verge of losing their home.

A chance encounter with Nick Kringle, a modern-day Santa Claus teaches Tim that the greatest gift you receive is the gift of giving.

And for the adults,

#amreadingThe Secret of Hillcrest 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?

 Melanie Robertson-King’s latest novel serves up a delightful blend of the supernatural and spicy romance, Lynn L. Clark, author of The Home Child, and Fire Whisperer & Circle of Souls: Two Novellas of the Supernatural, & The Accusers

Intrigue, dark buried secrets, hot romance and a neat twist in the tale make this riveting reading, Sheryl Browne, MA Creative Writing, Choc Lit Author

A fun read that keeps you guessing right up to the surprise ending, Dayna Leigh Cheser, Author of Janelle’s Time, Moria’s Time, Adelle’s Time, & Logan’s Time

 

is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

– See more at: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/?page_id=7339#sthash.VVdE3rEX.dpuf

is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

– See more at: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/?page_id=7339#sthash.VVdE3rEX.dpuf

is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

– See more at: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/?page_id=7339#sthash.VVdE3rEX.dpuf

What are you reading today?

 

 

 

Today is Book Lovers Day!

Happy Book Lovers Day!

This unique holiday can also be celebrated on the first Saturday in November. So why not celebrate it both days?

book

bookHardcover, paperback, ebook. What’s your preference? Both have their advantages. Ebooks are usually less expensive than a paperback and definitely more so than a hardcover.

One hundred books on an e-reader weigh far less than the same number of physical books and take up a lot less space – better for travel.

For the person who likes mystery and suspense with romance…

book

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 then suffers 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?

Buy links for A Shadow in the Past can be found here.

~~~~~~~~~~

For those who prefer short stories…

book

The Consequences Collection is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

The Consequences Collection is available for the kindle on all amazon platforms and in epub format at lulu.com

~~~~~~~~~~

A middle grade Christmas novelette…

book

For Tim Frost, Christmas 2011 is a washout. No Santa. No presents. Nothing. His father lost his job when the mill closed and now the family is on the verge of losing their home.

A chance encounter with Nick Kringle, a modern-day Santa Claus teaches Tim that the greatest gift you receive is the gift of giving.

Tim’s Magic Christmas is currently only available in paperback. To find out how to get your copy, contact me via email. Watch for it coming in kindle and epub formats.

~~~~~~~~~~

And a little bit of supernatural with spicy romance set in a wonderfully, spooky haunted house…

secret

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?

Melanie Robertson-King’s latest novel serves up a delightful blend of the supernatural and spicy romance, Lynn L. Clark, author of The Home Child, and Fire Whisperer & Circle of Souls: Two Novellas of the Supernatural, & The Accusers

Intrigue, dark buried secrets, hot romance and a neat twist in the tale make this riveting reading, Sheryl Browne, MA Creative Writing, Choc Lit Author

A fun read that keeps you guessing right up to the surprise ending, Dayna Leigh Cheser, Author of Janelle’s Time, Moria’s Time, Adelle’s Time, & Logan’s Time

 

Once Upon a Time… It’s Tell a Fairy Tale Day

Once upon a time

there was a day specifically dedicated to telling fairy tales. Today is that day…

Tell A Fairy Tale Day!

Never heard of it before? Well, you can read more about it here. The stories can cover everything from Grimm to urban legends.

Scottish legends, myths, and mystery are found in A Shadow in the Past, so what better time to celebrate it?

time

Even the cover exudes fairytale mystery. Once upon a time…

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages, powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

 

If you have a favourite fairy tale, leave a comment telling which one it is.

 

 

 

 

It’s Read in the Bathtub Day!

Do you like to read in the bathtub?

 

bathtub
By Bruno Cordioli from Milano, Italy [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

bathtubA Shadow in the Past…

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages; powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

Buy Links

4RV Publishing

ChaptersIndigo

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes & Noble

So why not buy yourself a book (preferably mine), run a bubble bath and pour yourself a glass of wine (or your tipple of choice) and escape for some self-indulgence.

bathtub
Bathtub caddy with reading rack from Oh the Things You Can Buy

Just don’t fall asleep in the tub. And if you’re going to read using your kindle, kobo, nook, iPad or another electronic e-reader, put it in a sealable plastic bag to protect it if you don’t have a caddy with a book rest. Water and electronic devices don’t mix.

MEMORIES OF CHRISTMASES PAST

memories

MEMORIES OF CHRISTMASES PAST

For Minnie (1892-1971) and my Dad (1913-1969)

As a child, spending time at my Grandmother Minnie’s farmhouse east of Athens was something I always looked forward to. Christmas Day was even more special because all the aunts, uncles and cousins were there, too. No matter how horrendous the weather or long the journey, everyone always made it. Without fail, the Petawawa faction was always last to arrive, leaving the rest of us chomping at the bit so that Christmas could begin!

You have to picture the scene – nine kids, six parents, Minnie and my Uncle Winston cheek and jowl in the two rooms downstairs and without benefit of indoor plumbing until 1970. Dishes were washed and rinsed in two large galvanized washtubs that were hauled up onto the table and filled with hot water from the kettle on the woodstove and cold from the buckets on the counter brought over from the well on the other side of the road. And if you had to go, it was either make the long trek to the outhouse or use the thunder-mug upstairs in Minnie’s room or the one on the stairs.

My love of reading began during those Christmases at Minnie’s. My cousin from Toronto gave me a book every year from the time I turned ten.

1970 was the last year for family Christmas at Minnie’s and the first with indoor plumbing. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but to us it was. With how commercial the holidays have become, I long for those simpler times.

I still have most of those books (I think I only ever parted with one – a book of fairy tales).

What are some of your favourite Christmas memories?

Today is “Young Readers Day”

It’s “Young Readers Day”!

The second Tuesday of November (this year it falls on the 10th), is Young Readers Day.

Why not celebrate this day and instill a love of reading into your young person/people? Books are a wonderful way to seek out adventures, learn about far off places, and more!

Tim’s Magic Christmas, a chapter book, was written for the middle-grade age group (ages 8-12).

tmc5_72dpiBlurb:

For Tim Frost, Christmas 2011 is a washout. No Santa. No presents. Nothing. His father lost his job when the mill closed and now the family is on the verge of losing their home.

A chance encounter with Nick Kringle, a modern-day Santa Claus, teaches Tim that the greatest gift you can receive is the gift of giving.

Tim’s Magic Christmas is available in paperback from the author, or for the kindle at amazon.com.

Or if you have older young readers, here’s one that will suit anyone from ages 12-102.

tell a story

Blurb:

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages; powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

Now isn’t that a great story? I think so, but then I’m biased.

~~~~~~~~~~

You can buy A Shadow from the Past in print or ebook from:

4RV Publishing
amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

 ~~~~~~~~~~

You can follow me here at Celtic Connexions or at:

Website: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melanie-Robertson-King/221018701298979
Twitter Account: @RobertsoKing https://twitter.com/RobertsoKing
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6543072.Melanie_Robertson_King

 

 

 

TEXT to SPEECH Software – which one is right for you?

As writers, it’s been drilled into us to read our work out loud so that we catch our errors – something that doesn’t happen when we read silently.

If your masterpiece of prose is an magnum opus, then you know by the time you get through it, you’ll have no voice left, not to mention having a sore throat.

So, what’s the next best thing? How about Text to Speech software? Let it read your work back to you. Don’t want to disturb others in the house while your computer does the reading? Plug in a set of headphones or ear buds.

There are a number of packages out there that do this.

Dragon Naturally Speaking by Nuance is available for the PC and the Mac. The price varies depending on the features you want. The Home version regularly retails through the website for $99.99 but is currently on sale for $74.99. The Premium version, normally $199.99, is reduced to $149.99.

Text Aloud is available as a free download or you can purchase it and receive it by email. If you want additional voices for this software, you have to buy them. The voices that come with it, can become monotonous after while (this comes from their site). Also, there’s no mention if this is PC only or if there is a version for the Mac.

Another free text to speech program is Word Talk. It only works with Microsoft Word but it covers versions of the software from Word 97 through to Word 2013. This one is on my radar because it was developed in Scotland.

I use Natural Reader Free (not sure of the version). On their site, you can copy and paste a sample of your text into a box and hear it read back to you. Version 12 of Natural Reader Free has a number of options that make it even more seamless. Rather than have to copy and paste text from your document, it integrates add-in tool bars to Microsoft Office. Version 13 (Windows or Mac) is now available for download.

text to speechIf you hit the play icon, the software will read the welcome message to you. New will let you open a new blank screen that you can copy and paste your ‘magnum opus’ or at least a chapter in. There is a floppy disk icon on the right hand side of the screen which will allow you to save your file so it will be in the software until you decide it’s time to delete it. Unfortunately, the ability to convert to MP3 format isn’t available in the Free version of the program. To be able to do that, you have to upgrade. Prices range from $69.50 to $199.50. You can see what you get in the paid versions on their Price & Order page.

Beware when downloading free software of any kind, whether it be text to speech or anything else.

What text to speech software do you use?

 

It’s Read A Book Day ~ #amreading

Sept 6th is Read A Book Day

Whatever your genre, or preferred medium, curling up and reading a good book  is a wonderful way to spend your time. There are loads of genres to choose from – crime, romance, paranormal, Young Adult, New Adult, non-fiction, memoirs and literary fiction. All will sweep you away into the world created by the author and give you some much needed escape from reality time.

A great place to get your reading material is at your local independent bookstore. Mine is Leeds County Books. If I find a book whilst shopping elsewhere, I take down the details and then go here and order my copy, if it isn’t already on the shelf.

I also have a great collection of e-books on my iPad in the Kindle app.

read a book daySince this is read a book day, I’m going to do a wee bit of shameless, self-promotion here. If you’re looking for a great read, check out A Shadow in the Past

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

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages, powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

read a book dayand The Consequences Collectionan eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

And for the younger readers,

cover Tim’s Magic Christmas

For Tim Frost, Christmas 2011 is a washout. No Santa. No presents. Nothing. His father lost his job when the mill closed and now the family is on the verge of losing their home.

A chance encounter with Nick Kringle, a modern-day Santa Claus teaches Tim that the greatest gift you receive is the gift of giving.

is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

– See more at: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/?page_id=7339#sthash.VVdE3rEX.dpuf

is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

– See more at: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/?page_id=7339#sthash.VVdE3rEX.dpuf

is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

– See more at: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/?page_id=7339#sthash.VVdE3rEX.dpuf

What are you reading today?