Tag Archive | paranormal

Fruit Cake and A Good Book – A Wonderful Combination!

As promised, I have included my recipe for fruitcake. Or Easy Peasy Fruitcake, as I call it. As it is just that: so easy peasy to make, keeps wonderfully, and is my husband’s favourite. The reason I like this recipe is that it is easily adaptable to what’s in the storecupboard, weights don’t have to be too precise, the ingredients can and be chopped and changed to suit, it makes a fabulous Christmas cake and doesn’t call for any fancy equipment or culinary skills to make. So … aprons and wooden spoons at the ready, here we go! Click this link to take you to the recipe!

And what goes well with a slice of cake especially on a chilly, wet afternoon? Yes, tea or coffee, that’s obvious. But what about a good book? Last week saw the release of one I know is a brilliant read:  Tricia Jones’s seventh novel Bull At The Gate, a contemporary romance with a hint of the paranormal.

Alexander “Bull” McKinley’s reputation as a hard-nosed businessman is tested when an old Fairy Gate and local superstition stand in the way of a lucrative development contract. But then, he hadn’t had to deal with a woman like Dee Ashman before. A woman who detests those who put profit before people, and she’s damned if an arrogant, insensitive and, okay, wildly attractive capitalist is going to destroy the symbolic heart of the village and break her beloved grandmother’s heart.

Available from Wild Rose Press and Amazon

 

Advertisements

A Sense of Place

Location plays an important part in novels. It sets the scene, helps brings the story to life with realism, especially when actual places are used, places readers may know and can envisage. In each of my novels location has proved invaluable to creating atmosphere: London and the River Thames in Every Step of the Way and Queenie Queenie, a Cotswold Georgian mansion where I once lived in Whitestones, and the Greek island of Thassos in Where Two Worlds Collide. This last location, although a very real island, is one I have not visited yet but, being a lover of all things Greek and having over the last 12 years had the fortune to visit many Greek islands, a vivid imagination knows how that island must look. That and images and descriptions found on the Internet, of course.

So it did come as a great shock when recently holidaying on Corfu when I found myself staying in a beautiful bay on the east coast that exactly mirrored the bay and location I had created in Two Worlds. In this novel, a time slip, I describe a large villa built against a cliffside, spread over three levels. There is a swimming pool on the second terrace and rough stone steps flanked by blue morning glory, oleander and hibiscus bushes leading down to a narrow sandy beach in a shallow bay guarded by high headlands. A short walk along the beach on a rickety boardwalk takes my heroine to the nearby village, otherwise reached by a dusty dirt road over the cliff before descending to a scattering of houses and tavernas. I have no doubt innumerable bays and resorts around Greece mirror this but there was something else about Agios Gordios that made this extra weird.

In my book, there is a cave leading up through the cliff to an old village set way back in the hills. The entrance is hidden from view by a rock stack in which there is a huge wasps’ nest at the summit. Just as at Agios Gordios!

Imagine then my surprise at finding just such things at the hotel I stayed at. Built over several terraces, a swimming pool on the second, stone steps down to the beach, the village reached by a short walk along the beach, the high cliffs flanking the bay and that eerie monolith of rock hiding caves. Caves, I did not venture into, I hasten to add. Weird things happen there in my book that I didn’t want to happen to me.

As I watched the sunrise over the bay that very first morning, it was like a homecoming. The sense of déjà vu overwhelming as the cicadas ceased their singing and slunk back into the dank undergrowth and the birds trilled in the growing light, for I knew the place well. It was scary and yet comfortable all at the same time. My travelling companions were taken aback when I led them to the village by the long route through dusty paths between semi-derelict and bougainvillea-clad houses and guided them to familiar tavernas spread along the beach, knew what time the fishing boats came into the narrow jetty. How? Because I had written about it all, described each element.

Perhaps I had been there before, in a past life or in a dream. Whatever the reason, Agios Gordios will remain in my memory for a lifetime. It will have to as I have probably lost all my holiday photos thanks to a computer error. Hopefully the Greek Gods will look down kindly on me and restore them or else take my path back there some day so I can take some more whilst sampling one of the many cocktails served at Agios Gordios.

Book Review

Touched by the Light by Linn B Halton

When I purchased my Kindle I promised myself I would not buy any more paper books but the release of Touched by the Light  made me break that vow such was my enthusiasm to read this book. And I wasn’t disappointed. It is a brilliant read.

This Psychic Romance delivers on all counts even if you don’t believe in the supernatural and paranormal, life after death, spirits or anything remotely psychic. Touched by the Light draws you into the story immediately when Mya, knowing she has died, is thrust unwittingly and unwillingly into a quest to bring together two love-torn people, Laurel and Dan.

There are no ghosts to spook you, just one or two things that do go bump in the day; a door slamming, items being thrown across a room but these are just ways Mya makes herself known to Dan. Laurel can talk to spirits, and Mya finds herself able to communicate with her, trying to make sense of her own predicament as well as solving Laurel’s difficulties even when summoned by a Ouija board and a medium who tries to make sense of what is going on in their two worlds.

Although at times we do lose sight of Mya a little along the way, the ending is surprising, raising more questions than can possibly be answered on this journey into the spirit world, but a satisfactory conclusion nonetheless.

New writers are frequently told not to write in the first person because of how limiting this is in enabling the necessary reactions and actions between characters but Linn has achieved what many writers never do. She has created strong, believable characters in an intriguing plot that moves forward a pace. Each chapter is told from one character’s viewpoint delivered in the first person. And it works! No small feat for a new writer.

So, well done Linn on a superb read. I look forward to reading more of your books in the not too distant future.

Visit Linn’s website to read more about her and some snippets from her book at:  http://linnbhalton.co.uk/

________________________________________________

Visit my Kitchen Tips and Hints page for my Tip of the Day on sugar.