Category Archives: The Secret of Hillcrest House

Praise for The Secret of Hillcrest House

the secret of hillcrest house 3d

5 stars

A fresh start … a blossoming relationship … a haunted house. Melanie Robertson-King’s latest novel has all the earmarks of suspense and steamy romance. It starts with a bang and is filled with supernatural and scary events that create tension in the novel and lead to the final unraveling of the secret of Hillcrest House.

This novel will appeal to lovers of supernatural thrillers, mysteries, and romance! Lynn L. Clark, author of The Home Child, and Fire Whisperer & Circle of Souls: Two Novellas of the Supernatural, & The Accusers

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4 starsThe Secret of Hillcrest House is the first book from Melanie Robertson-King I have read. When I read the blurb for the book I was very excited as I love a good haunted house mystery! From the outset, the action starts when we are introduced to Jessica who has just bought Hillcrest House. The sale of the house is slightly unusual in that Jessica buys it from the internet without ever having viewed the house before. This is a decision she soon regrets and her planned move into the house is not going according to plan. There’s just too much to fix! Her first visit to the house sees her get the fright of her life when she sees a face at the window. However, hunky cop Alain is on hand to help a damsel in distress. Jessica, not long out of an unhappy and grief stricken marriage is instantly attracted to Alain who himself has suffered grief at the loss of his wife.

The story moves on at quite a rapid pace and I was able to read the book, which is only about 168 pages, in one sitting. It was perfect for a rainy and dismal Sunday. There was lots of mystery throughout and the ghosts of the past were ever present in Hillcrest House. Jessica is determined to find out what secrets Hillcrest holds and restore it to its former glory but she seems thwarted at every turn.

You can read the entire review at Brook Cottage Books.

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Jessica didn’t really know why she had decided to buy Hillcrest House in Eastern Canada, sight unseen, except for the fact it looked just like a house she had sketched many times over. However, on actually seeing inside her new purchase, the work that needed to be done was somewhat of a shock. The physical and financial shock would actually become less shocking in comparison with the number of ex-residents who still appeared to be still living in the house, years after their own deaths. There were secrets to be uncovered that would bring back some of her own most painful memories that preceded the ending of her last relationship. Even the garden wildlife was odd…one specific crow with a white feather really managed to get Jessica’s attention.

Jessica’s attention was also taken by a good looking, in fact very hot, police officer with his own complicated history. Their attraction was magnetic and together they worked to unravel the secrets that Hillcrest House was hiding.

The full review can be found at A Chance to Blog.

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While I’m not usually a reader of romantic suspense stories, I did find this a very easy read. Short and succint, I started and finished it within a few hours. The Secret of Hillcrest House had me thinking of Hallmark movies, I could quite easily see this story on screen.

The entire review can be found at Fiction Dreams.

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5 starsI’m always interested to see how an author handles the haunted house theme. Ghost stories can sometimes be a bit formulaic in my mind and I was looking for something a little bit different. I’m super-pleased to say there’s much more to Hillcrest House than a wailing woman throwing herself from the turret. I have to admit I was hooked at the first ‘blip of a siren’. Give me a hunk in uniform and I’m sold, particularly if he’s all authority, seemingly abrasive on the outside, but with a tantalising soft centre and essential heroic qualities, as demonstrated when our heroine, Jessica, first glimpses a child’s face at one of the windows. The house is uninhabited. A thorough search by our hero cop, Alain, soon establishes there is no one on the inside. Who is the child? Is his appearance when Jessica arrives some kind of warning? A plea for help from the past? Sheryl Browne, MA Creative Writing, Choc Lit Author

You can read Sheryl’s review in its entirety at Goodreads.

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4-5 starsI jumped at the chance to read this, as I love a good ghost story. And this is a Ghost story with a difference, a spice of romance I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough…..I loved it.

In this story we meet Jessica Maitland new owner of Hillcrest house with strange visions appearing in the window of the second floor stranger things happen inside the walls! Non of the owners stay long but will Jessica be able to unravel the dark secret that lies within the house?

You canread the rest of this 4.5 star review at Chelle’s Book Reviews.

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5 stars

Jessica Maitland, looking to reboot her life after the death of her baby, and the end of her marriage, bought the old Hillcrest House in Angel Falls via the internet, discovering when she arrived to take possession that it wasn’t quite what the real estate website indicated.

As she set about making her new home livable, strange, and sometimes frightening things happened.

When the house was livable and presentable, more unusual and alarming happenings interrupted a housewarming party.

She started piecing the history of the house together, hoping to find some answers. She learned the Hargrave family had lived in the house in the 1880s. Many locals believed the Hargraves never left the house, and it was they who chased away numerous new owners over the years.

Undeterred, Jessica, who had fallen in love with the house, including those who resided there with her – and a local constable – stayed. Then, one day, she discovered the true Secret of Hillcrest House.

This book is really a fun read. It keeps you guessing about the big secret, right up to the last minute. I would definitely read this book again, and I’d recommend it to friends, and anyone else who enjoys a nice mystery/romance story. I give this book 5-stars. (I was provided with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.) 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.

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5 stars

I really enjoyed this book – part romance and part creepy chiller. The descriptions of the house are so real that I felt as if I was there – perhaps not ideal at 1a.m. when you can’t put the book down but know you won’t sleep! The main characters are lovely, so well depicted and the minor characters are also very real. This will keep you turning the pages and the ending was also unexpected yet finished the book perfectly. I think I went through the whole gamut of emotions as the book is poignant in parts, scary in others and simply romantic as well. A great read! Julie Ryan, Author of Jenna’s Journey, Sophia’s Secret, and Pandora’s Prophecy

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4 stars

Although I have to confess to being a romance girl I’m always keen to step out of my comfort zone on occasions and this was one of them. I was drawn into this book from the first page. Jessica Maitland has sunk her savings into Hillcrest House in the small town of Angel Falls. It was too much coincidence that she’d been doodling the exact same house on pads and paper for some time; she had to have it. Having made the purchase without actually looking over the place, she’s shocked to find it in a very dilapidated state. As soon as she steps through the doors things begin to happen. Fuses blow, doors that appear locked are suddenly open, there are apparitions and children’s laughter. And then there are the crows.

You can read the full review at Goodreads.

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5 starsI was offered this book to review and I nearly passed on it because I have so many already on my TBR (to be read) pile but the picture on the cover crawled under my skin and I have to say from the first paragraph I was lured in and totally captivated.

Jessica spots an ancient Victorian mansion for sale online and buys it unseen, the house spoke to her and she was of the opinion that she could renovate the dilapidated building and return it to it’s former glory.

However once she begins it becomes apparent there is way more to do than she ever imagined, this house could descend into a money pit just to get it habitable. Unfortunately for Jessica that isn’t her only problem. Weird events begin to occur, she sees apparitions, the atmosphere chills, unexplainable odours stench the building out and the crows arrive. I have to say the crow was one of the eeriest parts of the story for me and so well orchestrated.

Read more of this review at Ali the Dragon Slayer.

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5 stars

I really enjoyed this book with its strong heroine, Jessica and gorgeous law enforcer hero, Andre Alain.

When Jessica buys the rundown Victorian House she doesn’t expect to be dealing with anything more than a bit of renovation. Has she got the guts and determination to see this project through to the end, or will she decide that dealing with the secrets encased in this once beautiful home is too much of a challenge for her?

The most ominous thing for me was the insidious crow and its determination that Jessica shouldn’t be moving into the house. I love a good ghost story and a romance and this book gave me both. I thoroughly enjoyed The Secret of Hillcrest House. Melanie Robertson-King keeps a good balance between the romance – loved Andre Alain, the eeriness and downright creepiness with a wonderfully constructed ending. I look forward to reading her next book! Georgina Troy, Author of A Jersey Kiss, A Jersey Affair, A Jersey Dreamboat and A Jersey Bombshell

BUY LINKS

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secret of hillcrest house 3d e-reader

 

June 2016 ~ Prescott (ON) Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market

June 2016

My first month at the market (not even a full month – only 3 Saturdays) was a success so I looked forward to June 2016 and what it would bring.

June 4 – our first outing with the tent we had to buy after the previous weekend when the one corner jammed… Back-up Blue I call this one. Not nearly as sturdy as “Wonderful White” but at least all 4 legs work and this one has a side panel.

June 2016

June 2016

I love the spots on this side of the market where you can drive through. The vehicle is handy and all of the totes I cart stuff to and fro in can be stowed in the trunk and out of sight rather than have them on the pavement under the table.

When the panel is on the back side of the tent, I have to lock the car because I can’t see it, but I keep my keys on one of the hooks on my bag tree so if needs must, I can get into the car as and when.

So on this Saturday, I sold 1 copy of Tim’s Magic Christmas, 1 copy of The Secret of Hillcrest House and 2 copies of A Shadow in the Past.

June 11 – This Saturday was an exercise in creative ways to keep dry. It was cloudy when we unloaded and set up (you’ll notice the panel is on the side not the back this week).

June 2016

Unfortunately, about an hour later, the rains came down.

Tables pulled further into the tent. Plastic drop sheet over the tables and books.

Then the rain stopped so the drop cloth came off – wet and dirty around the edges. If the rain didn’t start up again shortly after that. Well, I couldn’t put a wet, dirty drop cloth over the books so I moved all of them to one end of the table and hung the drop cloth from the canopy leaving a “doorway” into the tent so people could still come in and browse. It kept the books dry which was the main thing.

June 2016

Because of the bad weather there weren’t many people out and about. I had also said that I wouldn’t be there if it rained but when it wasn’t when we left the house and didn’t start until later, I was committed. At least the rain stopped when it was time to tear down and call it a day.

I sold 1 copy of The Secret of Hillcrest House but like I said, no one was out and about. Even the vendors were few and far between.

June 18 – Wonderful White was back in service this week. The parts we ordered had come in and she was reassembled. The drive-through spots were few and far between thanks to construction in the parking lot but, I managed to get a spot on the side I like. It meant unloading then moving the car and backing into the spot behind the tent but that’s a minor detail in the grand scheme of things.

I used the side panel from “Backup Blue” and put it silver side in and tried a different layout with my tables. Still an L shape but a more inviting one … I think so anyway.

June 2016 IMG_1945 1280x1479

I didn’t have my hat this week so tried to stay under the canopy where it was shaded rather than out and about in the sun. My story is the bear wouldn’t give it back to me. She’s my hat rack, you see … LOL!

June 2016

When the day was over, I sold 1 copy of Tim’s Magic Christmas, 1 copy of The Secret of Hillcrest House and 1 copy of A Shadow in the Past.

June 25 – This week there was some big ‘do’ going on in the parking lot for the town of Prescott so it was a bit crowded. Still got my drive through parking space but the back end of the car shared space under the canopy. The back half of the parking lot was roped off, a huge marquis set up and stacks and stacks of tables and chairs.

There were even two porta-potties and a hand wash station but they weren’t there for the benefit of the market vendors. They were brought in for the party later. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t use them.

June 2016

Table still laid out in the inverted L this week and the panel up on the side. I brought my poster board for Hillcrest House with the cut out windows and lights but ended up having to take it down because it was just windy enough that the foam core board kept blowing over.

June 2016

Even while the market was still going on, the volunteers had arrived and started setting up tables. One by one as the vendors left, their stalls were filled with tables!

Being a stubborn sort (I hear you gasp in surprise), I decided when it was time to tear down, I was going to go as slooooooowly as possible. And so I did. Tables, chairs and another tent were set up around my stall. When everything was packed and loaded, I had to back under the tent they had set up in front of the centre court to get out of the parking lot.

When all was said and done, I sold 1 copy of The Consequences Collection, 1 copy of The Secret of Hillcrest House and 1 copy of A Shadow in the Past.

In the seven weeks that I’ve been going to the Prescott Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market, these are my results…

  • 4 copies of The Consequences Collection
  • 1 copy of Tim’s Magic Christmas
  • 6 copies of The Secret of Hillcrest House

and

  • 6 copies of A Shadow in the Past

I’m looking forward to July and August to see what they will bring!

 

May 2016 at the Prescott Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market

After only having done the market once in 2015 (invited by a friend for Christmas in July), and having fun at the event, I decided to contact the “head honcho”, “grand poobah”, “big cheese” about becoming a regular this year for at least the Saturdays when I’m not already committed elsewhere or it’s not raining. Even with a canopy, books and rain don’t mix.

The first Saturday I went was the grand opening of the market for the season – May 14th.

I swear my car is like Mary Poppins’s carpet bag. You pop the trunk and more and more stuff keeps coming out – plastic totes of books and accessories, weights for the canopy legs, tables. And then there’s the canopy that rides cross-ways in the back seat along with the chairs. See why I refer to my car as a magic carpet bag?

May 14, 2016

May 14, 2016The tartan cover on the table to the left is the one hubby scored in the silent auction at the Friendly Circle Showcase in Long Sault on May 7th. It’s very pretty and if a body had to wrap up in it on a chilly morning, it would be lovely and warm. One small problem tho’ when it’s on the table and there are books and what-not on it… I’ve not quite mastered yanking a table covering out from under what’s on the surface without disturbing things… LOL!

So, on my first outing I sold 1 copy of The Secret of Hillcrest House. I only sold a single book at Christmas in July the previous year so I wasn’t disappointed. It’s fun. It’s social and selling books is a bonus. Mind you, I’d be happy making back the 2016 registration fee.

Things picked up the following Saturday – May 21st.

May 21, 2016

May 21, 2016

I didn’t get the same drive-through stall as the previous week but got the one next to it. I love these spots! They’re so handy for unloading and setting up… and tearing down at the end of the day.

People seemed glad to see I was back (and not just a flash in the pan). And more asked if I would be there all summer. By the time this event came around, I had my bluetooth debit/credit card reader. I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of times I’ve heard ‘if you only took debit’. I have a Square but here in Canada it’s only credit card transactions – and it saved me a few otherwise lost sales over the years.

So this second week at the market, I sold 1 copy of The Secret of Hillcrest House, 1 copy of The Consequences Collection, and 1 copy of Tim’s Magic Christmas.

In the first two weeks of being a regular vendor, I made back the cost of the annual registration. Happy girl!!!

Moving along to the last Saturday in May – May 28th.

Construction work on the light standards in the parking lot meant the loss of a minimum of 4 stalls. But as they’re on a first-come, first-serve basis, I still managed to get one of my drive-through ones.

By now the banner I had created at Vistaprint (a cross between my website header and my business card), my new bookmarks (more like the website in that my picture is on them) and my matching tartan tablecloths had arrived.

May 28, 2016

May 28, 2016

This was a good day, albeit a scorcher. My boots almost match the tablecloths. I wearing the vest bought along with the long one (mid to lower calf length) that I wore at the Long Sault event.

Sales were event better on this day. I sold 2 copies of The Consequences Collection and 2 copies of A Shadow in the Past. So I made my registration fee twice over now! Woot! And I’ve still not used my debit/credit card reader.

The only downer on the day was when we attempted to take down the canopy, the left front corner wouldn’t come down for love nor money. But with help from the vendor next to us, a screwdriver and hammer from another across the way and a Swiss army stocking stuffer, we managed to get the blasted thing down and packed into the car. Now to source just the parts we need for it. Only used 6 times and the plastic centre post cap is twisted as are some of the plastic parts in the roof braces.

Bought another one the following day – less money and comes with a side curtain. We’ll see how much better (if any) it performs. Surely, we’ll get six uses out it. The old one is currently relegated to home use where it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t want to fold down – everything we need is at hand.

Fingers crossed that all the Saturdays in June give us good weather even though we need rain desperately. Overnight and Monday to Friday are my choices, although I don’t have a lot of say in the matter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New book, new clothes, new season…

The new show season has arrived!

new book

It’s been some time since I’ve done an event. A bit rusty getting the tartan throw centered on the table. That coupled with having 4 books to display added to the confusion.

The sign I had for A Shadow in the Past got damaged in transit last year so I have to create a new one. I’m looking at getting a banner made for it and getting the stand to put it in. I have an easel and that’s fine but it does take up a lot of space.

So, the new book – The Secret of Hillcrest House – is on the end at the right in the picture. It was quite bright in the hall, but the picture mounted on foam board behind the books has the windows in the attic cut out and battery-operated LED lights behind them.

The new clothes. I bought the long ‘suede’ vest (as well as a short fringed one) and the white sweater from simons.ca. Ever since being in their store on a trip to Quebec City, I fell in love with their clothing.

new book

new book

new book

The only drawback with the long vest is static cling. And when a body walked, the fringes wrapped around the legs. That’s just a minor detail. The tartan boots were brought out of retirement from last year.

While sales at the Friendly Circle Showcase on Saturday were slow, it was fun to see everyone again and make plans for other events later on in the year.

So a recap of the day. I only sold 2 copies of The Secret of Hillcrest House. When I went through my spiel, I described it as supernatural with ‘spicy’ romance. One of the women said my comment made her giggle.

Before Saturday’s show, I had sold 14 paperbacks of The Secret of Hillcrest House and 10 kindle copies.

If you want to find out more about any of my books, you can find them on my website’s books page.

 

The Secret of Hillcrest House #Cover Reveal

#Cover Reveal

for

The Secret of Hillcrest House

 

The contest is over, the title was chosen and now it’s time to reveal the fantastic cover Julie Jordan came up with using my original image.

First of all… the ebook cover…

secret

And the full wrap for the paperback version…

secret

Blurb:

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?

 And how about these fabulous quotes…

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

The Secret of Hillcrest House is available in paperback and for the kindle from amazon and coming soon to other online retailers.