Category Archives: Aberdeenshire

#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.

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.

It’s Tell a Story Day

It’s “Tell A Story Day”!

Well, in Scotland and England it is. And since my heart belongs to Scotland, and I have family and friends in both countries, need I say more?

Okay, so in keeping with the day, here’s my story…

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

Novels too long for your liking? How about a collection of short stories then?

read a book dayBlurb:

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.

Where to buy The Consequences Collection:

Paperback:

Lulu.com

Epub:

Lulu.com

Kindle:

amazon.com

And for the younger folks who love a good story, how about one for Christmas?

tmc5_72dpi

Blurb:

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.

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

 

#Scotland 2015 Day 8 – Penny Farthings, Pictish Stones, and Stone Circles

#Scotland 2015 – Sept 18, 2015

We’d stopped at the derelict St Mary’s Kirk on previous visits to this area of Scotland but found ourselves back there again on our way to the Grampian Transport Museum.

Pictish Stones
St Mary’s Kirk near Rhynie

We stopped in at the museum in 2013 but it was late in the day (as in almost closing time) so we decided that the next time we would go early in the day so we could see all of the vehicles on display.

Pictish Stones
Billy Connolly’s trike that he rode on his World Tours
Pictish Stones
Trojan 200 Bubble Car
Pictish Stones
Austin Mini Cooper (1962)

This looks like a spaceship but it’s an HGV (heavy goods vehicle) simulator.

Pictish Stones
HGV Simulator

The Penny Farthing bicycle was one of the “hands on”… or should I say “bums on” displays. How people ever got on these is beyond me. It was hard enough despite it being securely fastened to the steps.

Pictish Stones
Don ‘riding’ a Penny Farthing
Pictish Stones
Me ‘riding’ a Penny Farthing

I had to include this next picture because I remember my mum telling me about the Durant her father had and how the kids would pile into the rumble seat to go to Athens or Brockville with him. The museum plans on restoring this vehicle once they raise sufficient funds.

Pictish Stones
Durant Tourer (1924)

Before we left the museum, I picked up a leaflet for the Pictish Stone trail and the Stone Circle trail. Post codes and Ordnance Survey coordinates both were included in the information for each stop. Once we determined which ones we wanted to see, we began our Pictish Stones/Stone Circles tour. The first stop was at the Migvie Church to see the Migvie Stone.

Pictish Stones
Migvie Stone
Pictish Stones
The other side of the Migvie Stone
Pictish Stones
The Migvie Church

After this, we planned on going to the Kinord Cross because it was nearby but it wasn’t signposted well (not even from the car park that the sat nav took us to) so we decided to go on to the Midmar Kirk and see the recumbent stone circle in the churchyard.

Pictish Stones
Midmar Kirk
Pictish Stones
The Midmar recumbent stone circle
Pictish Stones
Me ‘semi’ recumbent on the recumbent stone

It took longer to find the churchyard in Kintore than the stone in it. The leaflet indicated a couple of places to park, but we found a nice place down behind the graveyard and walked up the narrow street. The Pictish stone was almost next to the gate.

Pictish Stones
Stone in the Kintore Churchyard
Pictish Stones
Stone in the Kintore Churchyard

Since Inverurie was on our way back to Kennethmont, we stopped at the Churchyard there to find the stones. It took us some time (it’s a big place) but we found them.

Pictish Stones
Stone in the Inverurie Churchyard
Pictish Stones
Stone in the Inverurie Churchyard
Pictish Stones
Stone in the Inverurie Churchyard
Pictish Stones
The Bass in the Inverurie Churchyard

By now it was time to get back ‘home’. It was our last night at the farm in Kennethmont. We had planned from the first night we were there that we would have our second bottle of champagne and get a Chinese Takeaway for our meal.

The weather had finally been dry long enough that David was able to get out on the combine and make a start on cutting the grain so it would be a late supper.

Their youngest daughter surprised us by driving up from Aberdeen and their oldest came up with her husband to see us before we left. It was great to see everyone together again (the first time I stayed here, the girls were just wee things).

We had a wonderful night and toasted to good friends and family.

More Faces in the Stones…

The longer I look at this photo on my computer, the more faces I see.
stones

One of my writer friends, Beverly Stowe McClure, said she saw a face in the second stone in from the right. That wasn’t the face I originally saw, but I can see it now and clearly.

more

A co-worker said it was a Moai yelling, “Help me I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Looking at the recumbent stone, I can see that, too. I think it looks more like a lion’s face.

moreIt’s interesting to see all the faces in the the stones… and now that you’ve seen all of the ones in this stone circle, you’ll never un-see them again.

Here’s the face I originally saw and referred to in my “Faces in the Stones – REVEALED” post on Aug 21, 2015.

stones

Creepy? Maybe. Fascinating? You bet. The interaction of moss, lichens, the shapes of the stones and the light all combine to make for some interesting combinations.

The next time you’re out and about anywhere, take a look at the rock formations. You might be surprised by what you see.

 

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?

The Face in the Stones

It’s only recently, I saw the face in the stones in this photograph.
face
This picture has been the wallpaper on my computer since the end of 2014 when its predecessor decided it was time to have a major malfunction.

The 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.

Located on the top of a hill on a working farm (we gained permission from the owners to enter), in a field with cows and one bull, we had to  watch where we placed our feet. Initially afraid of us, it didn’t take long before the cows became inquisitive (sounds so much more polite than nosy) enough to set fear aside and come see what we were doing.

This particular cow looks like she’s resting her chin on the recumbent stone. Hers isn’t the face in the stones.

face

 

Do you see the face in the stones?

Photos and such…

This was first posted on Feb 26, 2011.

I posted a photo of my grandfather and his first wife that was taken presumably on their wedding day a few years ago. I’m reposting it along with two more from the family archives.

photos
Grandpa John Robertson with his first wife, Susan Christie

This photo was definitely taken in a studio setting and judging by their clothing and the way her hair is styled, it had to be a special occasion. Hence, the thought of it being a wedding photograph.

Grandpa Robertson was born in 1856 and married for the first time 20 years later. And yes, that is my grandfather, not great-grandfather or great-great-grandfather.

After looking carefully at the photo for a few minutes, close your eyes and imagine it in full colour, an oil painting of huge proportions… 6 ft by 8 ft (or larger still) and it’s hanging on a rich oak panelled wall. Can you visualize it in that setting?

That’s where it is in my novel. This is the Laird and Lady of Weetshill on their wedding day.

In my novel, the old Laird looks much more like this…

photos
Grandpa Robertson as an old man

This photograph of an older Grandpa Robertson was taken some time before his death in 1930. I’m thinking maybe between 1915 (the year my grandmother-his second wife) and 1917 (the year my father and four of his nine siblings were admitted to The Orphan Homes of Scotland). By that time, he’d had a stroke with loss of memory and was unable to keep up the farm.

This is how I envision the hero’s grandfather. White-haired, balding, mustache and beard.

The old Laird in my novel also walks with a cane.

And finally this photograph from the archives…

photos
Peter, Robert and Angus Robertson

This photo was taken on my Uncle Angus’s wedding day in Scotland. My father (Robert) was serving overseas with the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders at the time but was able to get leave to go back to Scotland for the occasion. It would have been the last time my father saw his brothers.

Now there’s no mistaking the men in this photo are related but look closely at the young man in the first photo, the old man in the second one and lastly (mostly Robert) the men in this photo. Perhaps, a natural progression of how my hero will age?

A Shadow in the Past – the real locations and inspiration behind the novel

There were a number of things that influenced and inspired me to write my debut novel, A Shadow in the Past. Here are some of them.

Start with one spooky, derelict mansion…

A Shadow in the Past
Weetshill mansion

Add one ancient stone circle…

A Shadow in the Past
The stone circle on Gordonsfield Farm

Sprinkle in a narrow country lane…

A Shadow in the Past
The lane leading to Weetshill mansion

Lined with ghostly trees…

A Shadow in the Past
The lane leading to Weetshill mansion

Add a generous dollop of old graveyard…

A Shadow in the Past
The Old Kendonald Kirkyard

One full-sized headstone…

A Shadow in the Past
The Robertson headstone (my grandparents’ stone) in the Old Kendonald Kirkyard

Spice it up with a village hall…

A Shadow in the Past
Kendonald Village Hall

One lunatic asylum…

A Shadow in the Past
The lunatic asylum at Ladysbridge

One small country church…

A Shadow in the Past
Old Kendonald Kirk

And lastly a smidgeon of Aberdeen…

A Shadow in the Past
The Salvation Army Citadel in Aberdeen

Mix well.

Add characters…

A Shadow in the Past
A family portrait (my grandfather and his first wife believed to commemmorate their wedding day)

Let all the ingredients simmer then write, write some more, re-write, re-write some more.

When finished it looks like this…

A Shadow in the Past
My novel’s cover created by Aidana WillowRaven

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.

Where to buy:

4RV Publishing: http://www.4rvpublishingcatalog.com/robertson-king.php

Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/Shadow-Past-Melanie-Robertson-King/dp/0983801886/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1346607916&sr=1-1

ChaptersIndigo: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/A-Shadow-In-The-Past-Melanie-Robertson-king/9780983801887-item.html?ikwid=a+shadow+in+the+past&ikwsec=Home

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Past-Melanie-Robertson-King/dp/0983801886/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344434406&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-shadow-in-the-past-melanie-robertson-king/1112348992?ean=9780983801887

Amazon.co.uk:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadow-Past-Melanie-Robertson-King/dp/0983801886/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344434484&sr=1-1

A Shadow in the Past is also available at amazon for the Kindle (using the same links), Barnes & Noble for the nook, Kobobooks, and the iBookstore.