Category Archives: Shadows from Her Past

Read an #ebook week ~ March 5-11, 2017

It’s read an #ebook week!

Every year, the first full week of March is designated “Read an Ebook Week”.

My debut novel published by 4RV Publishing in 2012, a time-travel romance set in Scotland, A Shadow in the Past

#ebook week

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?

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Like your fiction in smaller bites? How about a collection of short stories? The lead story in this, Consequences, was written during a store-front writing contest where we all wrote to the same theme … “If Sylvia had the faintest idea of the consequences of her action, she would immediately have written ‘Return to Sender’ across the envelope and dropped it in the nearest mailbox.”

We had from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm to come up with our up to 2,000 word short story.

#ebook week

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.

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For those of you who  love a good ghost story set in a spooky house with a splash of hot romance, then check out The Secret of Hillcrest House

#ebook week

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?

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And the long awaited sequel to A Shadow in the Past… Shadows From Her Past picks up where the first novel ends…

#ebook week

When a contemporary teen is catapulted back to the 21st century, the people and the life she knew in the Victorian era are 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?

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The Face in the Stones – REVEALED

It’s only recently, I saw the face in the stones in this photograph. I guarantee that once you see it, you won’t be able to “un-see” it every time you see the picture. It’s even visible in the older version of the photograph that’s the header photo for my blog.

stones
The photo from the earlier post
stones
Now with the face outlined

This stone circle, located in rural Aberdeenshire, Scotland, features in my debut novel – A Shadow in the Past – and its not yet published sequel – Shadows From Her Past.

This type of stone circle, known as a recumbent stone circle, is unique to Aberdeenshire. You can find out more about them here.

I’ve visited a number of stone circles in Scotland but I’ve never seen a face in them before.

Interesting? Creepy? What do you think?

Will the real Weetshill mansion please stand up?

Yes, Virginia, there really is a Weetshill mansion…

Weetshill
and here’s the photographic evidence of its existence.

From the first time I saw this derelict mansion in October 1993, I was head over heels in love with it. I mean, just look at it. Despite the fact that there are no windows, floors, no roof and there are good sized trees growing within the confines of the stone walls, you can easily see what it would have looked like in the past.

This beautiful, yet haunting pile, is located in the heart of rural Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Whether it’s inhabited by ghosts or not, the image conjures up all sorts of tales (leastways I think so).

And quite like my heroine, Sarah Shand, in A Shadow in the Past, I’m drawn to this place. Perhaps that’s why she says someday I’m going to live there.

This photo was taken from a different angle in 1997 and with a better camera lens. You can really see how much nature has reclaimed since the  photo above taken in 1993.

Weetshill

And before you ask… it IS visible from the stone circle at Gordonsfield farm!

While I envision a different outcome for this grand place (I always thought B&B or hotel), it will live again. The mansion proper – at last word – will be converted to luxury flats. But then that’s economy permitting.

Weetshill

As you can see from this photo taken in 2013, the work has begun. The trees growing up within the walls have been removed, although it appears that they’re growing back. Pesky things.

While I’ve never had the ability to purchase said mansion, I hope I’ve let it live on in some way by including it in my novels… yup, it appears in the second book in the series, working title Shadows From Her Past.

Do you use actual locations, buildings and such in your writing? Please share in the comments.

 

 

 

Saying goodbye to 2014

fireworks

And to all my Scottish friends and family…

Happy Hogmanay!

I’d share the wordpress helper monkeys stats for my blog here for 2014 but since I went most of the unable to connect to Jetpack, it hardly seems worthwhile. Besides, I have some other things I’d rather share about this past year and not the cheesy thing that Facebook puts together.

So, here we go! Fasten your seatbelts, we’re ready for takeoff!

April, Easter to be exact, my husband and I spent 10 days in beautiful, romantic Paris.

april 2014
Don and me at the Arc de Triomphe
at the trocadero
“Able” and me at the Trocadéro
Don at the Trocadéro
Don at the Trocadéro

Then in September, another romantic destination was on the cards – Niagara Falls, Ontario. Okay, there are the tatty, touristy places but overall, it’s a lovely place.

Niagara 2014
Horseshoe (Canadian) falls at night

While we were here, we decided to take a horse-drawn carriage ride. We’d seem them on previous trips and have always wanted to do it…

IMG_3076
sitting in the carriage before our ride

… so we did.

Our horse and carriage
Our horse and carriage

We even did a wine tour while we were in the region and came home with at least 4 bottles of wine – including a couple icewines!

2014
Don and me wearing our silly hats before our wine tour – photo by Grape and Wine tours

Before the year was out, we spent a week in Quebec City. It was close enough to Christmas that the decorations were in the process of being put up. In hindsight, second week of December might be a better time to visit this beautiful city so that the baubles and lights and everything are in place.

Quebec City 2014

And again, we did a horse-drawn carriage ride. Our driver, Philippe, was amazing and made the ride extremely fun.

Quebec 2014
in front of the Chateau Frontenac
2014
Me at the tree with a cannon ball in its roots

No trip to Quebec City would be complete without a short drive further east to see my ‘haunted’ house which is between Quebec City and Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.

IMG_3433
The “haunted” house

Sadly it’s more run down since the last time I was down in this part of Canada but it’s beautiful nonetheless. And doesn’t being in a state of disrepair add to the mystery and the possibility of it being home to ghosts?

And when we weren’t gallivanting here, there and everywhere, I managed to write over 74,000 words in one of my works in progress (the first draft of the sequel to my debut novel)! While it was with my beta readers, I plotted and started another project and have some cracking ideas for even more writing projects.

So before I get all sappy and sentimental, I’ll finish this post with a little Auld Lang Syne.

SHOULD auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

Chorus.—For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a
weary fit,
Sin’ auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin’ auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

Robert Burns

What will you do to see out 2014 and see in 2015? Any traditions you take part in?

 

#AtoZChallenge – S is for SHADOWS FROM HER PAST

Shadows from Her Past

I’m currently sitting at just over 62,000 words in my first draft and my target length is 85,000. This book hasn’t progressed as quickly as I had hoped but I’ve not totally thrown in the towel yet, either.

I don’t have a cover to show you but as the book hasn’t progressed to that stage, I can’t.

a shadow in the past cover 500x773Here is the cover image for my first book. I see my name and the title Shadows from Her Past exactly how they are here. Keep the ‘author brand’ continuity if you will.

I also see the past and present being represented much as they are here but, shall we say, in a more modest setting. Present looking into the past and the two characters who are most important to the heroine appearing with her in the mirror’s reflection.

What do you think of my vision?

Blurb for Shadows from Her Past:

Sarah finds herself back in her time without her husband, Robert, and adopted daughter, Jenny. When she sees visions of them appear, Sarah doesn’t know if it’s her imagination or if they’re really there trying to break through the constraints of time and space.

David Robb, a student doctor at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary who has been assigned to her case, bears a familial resemblance to Robert. Sarah develops feelings for him but also feels like she is betraying her husband, despite them being centuries apart.

Will Sarah make a new life with David in the present, or will she find her way back to her husband and daughter in the past?

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Keep coming back for news regarding Shadows from her Past. In the meantime, you can purchase book one in the series – A Shadow in the Past in paperback from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapters, and local bricks ‘n mortar bookstores.

If you’d prefer to buy it as an ebook, all you have to do is click on the logo of your choice to download it. The link for all the amazon domains is the same, you just have to change the .co.uk to your own.