Posted in Inspiration, Writing Journey

Ghostly Experience in The Lakes

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I was inspired to write The Dragon Legacy from my lifelong love affair with The English Lake District. Incidentally it is also the setting for my second ghostly encounters post.

Like my ghostly experience in a haunted house this occurred on a family holiday about thirty years later with my own children. Not a spooky house this time but a family walk by the beautiful Lake Ullswater on a bright August day.  At the time none of us attached any supernatural significance to the event until afterwards…

Photo0039Taking advantage of the beautiful summer weather about ten years ago we decided to walk from Glenridding to How Town before catching the steamer onto Pooley Bridge and back to Glenridding. The walk is about 7 miles and seemed the ideal afternoon pursuit. Ullswater steamers run between Glenridding and Pooley Bridge and stop at How Town.

Lots of other people had the same idea and the first stretch of the walk was full of families with children running around.  As we left the village behind we realised a young boy about the same age as my ten-year old son was walking with our kids. They chattered happily for about five minutes and then I became worried that he would be separated from his family, although when I looked around no one seemed to have missed him.

We reached a patch of grass close to the lakeside where some families were having picnics and decided to stop for a drink. The boy stayed with us for  a while kicking the stones and chatting to other children and families.  As we were leaving he came up to us and asked where we were headed.

“We’re walking to the How Town pier.” I said knowing it was approximately five miles ahead.

“You’ve a long walk ahead of you.” The boy replied.

I thought this was a strange remark for a child to make. We decided he must be a local child from one of the farms who made friends with children who passed by. We set off and when I looked back the boy vanished. I scanned the groups around but he wasn’t there, we carried on assuming he returned home.

During the long  walk the weather changed and we got very wet, a common occurrence in these parts. The seven mile walk seemed  to take forever as we got lost and ended up following one of my husband’s short cuts, never a good thing.

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When we finally arrived at How Town Pier exhausted and wet we’d missed the last return ferry and faced a repeat of the long walk to get home again. As we convinced the kids they could make the return journey despite their blisters the boy’s words came back to us. We definitely did have a long walk ahead.

We trudged homeward  and discussed the boy and his prophetic remarks. My daughter said he’d been dressed strangely  like a child from  the 1930s or 1940’s something we didn’t think about until afterwards even though it set him apart from the other children.

We looked for him on the way back as we passed farms and campsites but there was no trace. We couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something eerie about  him and the whole experience.

Hours later we reached Glenridding and  returned to where we were staying. Later that evening at the hotel bar my husband recounted our little adventure to some locals over a pint. They didn’t seem surprised and assured him the boy was a regular occurrence often seen by tourists  on that part of the lake.

 Intrigued we walked that way the next day but never saw him again.

When  I researched ghostly happening on the lake there were stories of fairies and lake monsters as Ullswater is known as ‘The Dark Lake’ but nothing documented about the boy.

Just coincidence or something more?

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Missed the Haunted House Post? Read Here.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review, New Books

4*Review: The Roman – Caroline Storer

 

I love reading historical romance this debut novel caught my eye because its set  in a much earlier time period than I usually read. Here’s what to expect:

The one woman he ever loved was the one woman who betrayed him.

And now, the Roman will have his revenge…

Marsallas and Justina were young, beautiful and desperately in love once, until a tragic betrayal tore them apart.

Six years have passed since that day, and Marsallas has since thrown himself into the deadly world of chariot racing, gaining fortune, fame, and a salacious reputation throughout Rome. His bed is kept warm by a different woman each night, but his heart remains iced over as the memory of Justina’s betrayal continues to haunt him.

The last thing he expects is to see her again, but when she steps back into his life, he sees a chance to avenge his broken heart.

But beneath the hurt, an attraction so intense still burns between the two, and as their fates begin to intertwine once more, their determination to resist one another starts to falter…

My Review

The Roman‘The Roman’ is a powerful love story about betrayal and second chances. Written using modern language with well placed historical references it gives the reader a taste of Ancient Rome without slowing the pace of the story.

Marsallas and Justina are characters typical of the time period made memorable because they break away from their expected life paths to find fulfilment. Justina’s artistic talent saves her from madness tied to a cruel man who views her as a possession rather than a companion. Marsallas runs from his safe but barren life and becomes a Chariot Rider the Roman equivalent of a celebrity footballer in the 21st century.

Marsallas is a tortured sexy man who has no use for human emotion. Justina still values love and family despite the degradation and abuse she has suffered in her young life. Fate throws the tragic young lovers together again but is revenge the only emotion binding them?

The interplay between Marsallas and Justina is engaging and full of sexual tension reaching a delightfully steamy peak. Full of angst this story makes you walk an emotional tightrope right until the last page. Thankfully it is worth the effort.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Roman by Caroline Storer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Roman

Caroline Storer

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review: Be My Valentine – Nikki Moore, Teresa Morgan, Brigid Coady

The last in my out of season reviews takes us to Valentine’s Day and a lovely collection of romantic short stories which I really enjoyed.

My ReviewBe My Valentine

Be My Valentine’ is a wonderful collection of romantic shorts with memorable characters and emotion rich plots. I enjoyed all five which are quick, easy reads’ that leave a lasting impression. I usually find short stories leave me up in the air with more questions than answers but these all reach a satisfying conclusion.

Stories one and five are beautifully poignant and brought a tear to my eye.

Here’s what I thought of each story:

The Love Letter: Poignant, vivid setting with a surprising twist.
A Day in the Life: A tale of courage and hope for the future.
Love Will Find You: Sweet romance in a realistic setting.
Storm in a Coffee Cup: Fun and sweetly romantic.
Half a Heart: Realistic and emotional.

Be My Valentine gives you romance with realism and a proper ending.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

Be My Valentine by Nikki Moore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Be My Valentine

Nikki Moore Teresa F. Morgan Brigid Coady

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

4* Review: Santa Wore Leathers – Vonnie Davis

Continuing my out of season reviews  with this gem from Vonnie Davis a delightful read.

 Take one man-shy reporter, a gorgeous ex-Navy SEAL turned firefighter, add in a thong-stealing dog… and Christmas will never be the same again!

There’s only one thing on Becca Sinclair’s Christmas list this holiday season – her very own column in the local paper. And if she can build a huge blog following, her wish just might come true.

Enter Dan ‘Wolf’ Wolford aka the man-whore next door and the new star of Becca’s popular, post-divorce blog about men. A Navy SEAL turned commander of the Florida Marine Rescue Unit, Wolf’s the very definition of the word alpha – and with an endless rotation of women on his doorstep, this hunk on a Harley has Becca and her female followers all hot and bothered!

All Becca wants for Christmas is her newspaper column, right? But when she finds herself the target of Wolf’s irresistible attentions, her snarky comebacks become less and less convincing and, suddenly, she’s not so sure anymore…

My Review

Santa Wore LeathersThe title and cover of ‘Santa Wore Leathers’ drew me right into this book even though I read it out of season.
Becca, a reporter still hurting from her failed marriage uses her witty blog to further her career. The current subject is her new neighbour an undoubtedly sexy man with the morals of an alley cat. Einstein her lovable German Shepherd dog is a delight. His penchant for stealing Becca’s sexy underwear and notable matchmaking skills appeals to all the doggy lovers like me.
When Becca meets Dan a.k.a. Wolf she feels an instant attraction but is unwilling to set herself up for another fall. Dan is smitten and determined to charm her into his bed. Misunderstandings and interventions from senior neighbours all add to the humour and complexity of this love story.
This not a traditional Christmas romance, the sentiment and goodwill attached to the season are interwoven into the storyline but the powerful interplay between Becca and Wolf as they learn to trust takes centre stage. The plot and characters are well developed and it reads more like a novel than a novella.
‘Santa Wore Leathers’ is a sexy, feel good romance. A recommended read whatever the season.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Santa Wore Leathers by Vonnie Davis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Santa Wore Leathers

Vonnie Davis

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

4 *Review: One Kiss – Lisa Fox

I know New Year’s Eve 2014 is in the past now but I couldn’t resist reading and reviewing this contemporary romance novella from Lisa Fox. Here’s why 🙂

Sometimes one kiss can change everything.

New Year’s Eve is supposed to be a night for celebration and new beginnings. For best friends Kat and Dean, it is a nightmare filled with disastrous dates and enraged ex-girlfriends!

Lucky for them, they’ve got each other to help laugh off the embarrassing, and downright inappropriate, moments. But then midnight rolls around and neither of them have anyone to kiss…

There’s no doubt this is a night they will always remember.

The real question is whether it will be a night they want to forget…

 

One KissMy Review

‘One Kiss’ is a short romantic tale about the magic of New Year’s Eve turning friends into the lovers they should be. Set in New York, best friends and work colleagues Kat and Dean are always there for each other.

Kat a workaholic lives alone except for her emotional baggage. She sees a  lonely future ahead its safer that way she won’t get her heart-broken again. Dean is from a loving family and he sees his future with a loving wife and kids. He is perfect hero material, clever, sexy and totally devoted to Kat. Their relationship is strictly platonic but they still fantasise.

Kat and Dean’s emotionally developed characters give the story its poignancy and depth. The chemistry between them is electric and their sexy wake-up call well written. Circumstances conspire to make one kiss at New Year inevitable but the desired happy ending seems unlikely when Kat’s fears surface.

A quick sexy read full of great support characters and a tender love story a fabulous way to start any new year.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One Kiss by Lisa Fox

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


One Kiss

Lisa Fox
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4* Review: Boss Girl Nic Tatano

Boss Girl by Nic Tatano  was my Friday Read.  Last year I reviewed Wing Girl which I  loved so would I find Boss Girl as captivating? Here’s what it’s about: 

Sydney Hack is the single, thirty something VP of news for a failing network… and she also has a taste for younger men.
She soon realizes a whole lot of over-thirty female viewers do as well, so she sets out to give these women what they want; a chiseled, trophy buck in his twenties sitting on the anchor desk next to a woman…
Just.
Like.
Them.
With nothing to lose she does the unthinkable; along with three female managers who happen to be her best friends she brings out the casting couch and turns it into a sleeper sofa. Doesn’t matter that the men have no television experience. As long as they look good. And there’s a hint of romance in every newscast.
Ratings skyrocket as a result, but Sydney and her female cohorts discover something else along the way…
True love is not always age appropriate.

My Review

Boss GirlAfter reading and loving ‘Wing Girl’ Nic Tatano’s first Rom-com novel last year I looked forward to reading ‘Boss Girl’ which in many ways is the antithesis of the first book.

Boss Girl’s premise of powerful women preying on male starlets is both compelling and unsavory. Young, career hungry men trade sex with dominant female bosses for advancement. The author’s ‘inside’ TV knowledge gives the storyline a realistic edge.

Sydney Hack (great name) and her three cohorts are single-minded career women determined to make it in the cut throat world of television. Survival in an appearance orientated, ratings dependent industry has made all four women dominant and sexually aggressive. Despite her less than politically correct recruitment polices Sydney manages to improve ratings by using women over thirty on their  TV programmes with a much younger male co-anchor.

The female characters are charmingly flawed and flamboyant but likeable even if you don’t condone their actions. The male characters are self-serving narcissists. Only Shawn stands out as an unlikely hero. There are constant references to the female leads’ sexual exploits but this is not an erotic story.

Boss Girl is a thoughtful foray into what goes on behind the TV screen. For maximum enjoyment don’t take this book too seriously. It is a tongue in cheek look at a power obsessed industry and the individuals in it who in some cases will go to any lengths for a headline.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Boss Girl by Nic Tatano

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Boss Girl

Nic Tatano
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Posted in Friday Read

Friday Read – Boss Girl – Nic Tatano – Harper Impulse

Boss Girl by Nic Tatano is my Friday Read. I loved Wing Girl which I reviewed last year and have high hopes for this one 🙂 Here’s what its about:

Sydney Hack is the single, thirty something VP of news for a failing network… and she also has a taste for younger men.

She soon realizes a whole lot of over-thirty female viewers do as well, so she sets out to give these women what they want; a chiseled, trophy buck in his twenties sitting on the anchor desk next to a woman…

Just.

Like.

Them.

With nothing to lose she does the unthinkable; along with three female managers who happen to be her best friends she brings out the casting couch and turns it into a sleeper sofa. Doesn’t matter that the men have no television experience. As long as they look good. And there’s a hint of romance in every newscast.

Ratings skyrocket as a result, but Sydney and her female cohorts discover something else along the way…

True love is not always age appropriate.

Look out for my review

Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review: Trust Again Christy Newton

Dreams of escaping her small town brought Ellie Oliver to New York only to find that life there wasn’t all she’d hoped. Seven years later, she is returning to Pleasant Valley, Indiana with new hopes and secrets. She wants nothing more than to fade into the slow pace of small town life and forget about the demons of her past.

Jacob Jones is at loose ends. At twenty-six a man shouldn’t be starting his life over from scratch. Finding himself out of work, Jacob looks for a new home in Pleasant Valley. He is ready for the single life just enjoying the company of close friends. All that changes when he takes a job remodeling the town’s toy shop and comes head to head with its new owner. Ellie turns out to be sweeter than the candy she sells in her store.

Ellie and Jacob bring out feelings in each other neither were looking for, but both can’t deny. Can they truly trust again or will their shattered hearts refuse to mend?

My Review

 
‘Trust Again’ is the second of the ‘Love Again’ collection and continues with another sweet romance in Pleasant Valley Indiana.

Naive and full of dreams Ellie left the small town where she grew up heading for the bright lights of New York only to have her life shattered. When after a seven-year absence her father asks her to come home and take over his toy story she finally manages to escape the clutches of her controlling abusive lover. Desperate to start over Ellie looks forward to running her toy store but first it needs re-modelling. When she meets her builder, Jacob their attraction is instant but unwanted. Neither will act on their attraction too damaged by their previous relationships.

This story addresses harsh issues of abuse, mental illness and addiction sensitively. It is a romantic tale of love’s healing power and learning to live again. A fast paced plot full of conflicts puts Ellie and Jacob’s fledging love affair in perpetual jeopardy. Two wounded souls together they learn to open their hearts and share their tragic secrets but can their love survive when the past comes to call.

Ellie and Jacob are likeable characters and it’s good to see the ‘nice’ people finding true happiness. The secondary characters introduced in the first book enhance the story and reinforce the small town setting.

For lovers of ‘fairytale’ ending small town romance this is for you. A short pleasant read which will make you smile.

I received a copy of this book from the author via Verna Loves Books in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out my other reviews of Christy’s books: Begin Again and Stolen Hearts

Trust Again (Love Again Collection)

 

 

 

 

Trust Again by Christy Newton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Christy Newton

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

4* Review I Found You Jane Lark

I am a fan of Jane Lark’s Historical Novels and now I’ve  also enjoyed  ‘I Found You’  her New Adult Romance story. The first in the ‘Starting Out’ series.Here’s what you can expect:

On a cold winter night, Rachel and Jason’s lives collide on Manhattan Bridge. She’s running from life, he’s running toward it. But compassion urges him to help her.

His offer of a place to stay leads to friendship and trouble. There’s his fiancée back home in Oregon and a family who just don’t trust this girl from the wrong side of the tracks.

But when the connection between them is so electric, so right… everyone else must be wrong. And as the snow begins to settle on the Hudson, there’s nothing but the possibility of what could be – of this, right here, right now. Them.

My Review

 Written in the 1st person from Jason and Rachel’s point of view ‘I Found You’ is a poignant, engaging story with immediacy and rawness which hooks you in from their first traumatic meeting.
Serendipity has Jason running on the Manhattan Bridge at the exact same time Rachel is in danger of ending her young life. This moment in time is an extraordinary occurrence in two ordinary lives which change them forever, a catalyst for an enduring love story.

Rachel is at rock bottom and her life is full of secrets most of which she won’t share and would rather forget. On a downward trend since birth and coupled with an illness she barely understands meeting Jason on the bridge is opportune. The more time she spends in his care the more she depends on him and wants to share her true self but is the risk too great?

Touched by Rachel’s predicament and vulnerability Jason’s small town values and upbringing make him considerate, he has to help her. Jason’s acceptance of Rachel ‘as seen’ goes a long way to healing her trust issues and gradually she begins to share her traumatic past with him and heal.

Jason’s life in New York is not what he imagined. Meeting Rachel he sees the city differently she makes him try new things which force him to mature and understand what he wants from life. His relationship with Rachel challenges everything he holds dear.

The sensual connection the couple have dominates the story and their lives and makes them feel invincible as only love can. The plot is page turning as life intrudes on their romantic idyll. The ending is worth struggling through the angst but don’t breathe a sigh of relief too soon.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins UK Harper Impulse via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.