What if the life you were remembering wasn’t your own?

Pamela Hartshorne knows how to intrigue her readers. This is the fourth of her time slip, historical fiction novels I’ve read, and each time I've found myself hooked from the first lines and wanting to go through the pages as quick as possible to uncover the mysteries surrounding the protagonists. I was travelling through Scotland (the book is set in Yorkshire, in the North of England) while reading House of Shadows and I longed to open my copy on any possible occasion and was late at night to go on reading.

It is a haunting story shifting constantly and twistingly between two time lines, from  a present-day reality to the alluring Tudor Era,  but with only one place as its heart: Askerby Hall, the house of shadows.

The central character, Kate Vavasour, wakes up from a coma in a hospital bed and the reader can follow her confused, uncertain steps back to life from right inside her mind, where she is convinced she is someone else, Isabel Vavasour, and where there is no sign of recognition of any of the worried people surrounding her.

She can vivdly remember Isabel’s life, her love for her handsome husband, Edmund,  and the overwhelming tenderness she felt becoming the mother of their son, Kit. Kate realizes she is not Isabel, especially because that young woman lived under the reign of the other Queen Elizabeth, and   perfectly knows that all she sees around her belongs  to a totally different present. Still her mind goes on working very oddly and Isabel is a constant haunting presence.  Kate find herself incapable of feeling anything for her own son, Felix, nor she recalls mourning her late husband, Michael. She has no memory of  them, she has forgotten the feelings she  felt for them and, definitely, she can’t explain why she climbed up Askerby tower, from which she  fell down and only miraculously survived.



What’s your wish?

When I was a girl I wished for a pony. My wish was impractical as I lived in the city, had nowhere to keep a horse, and no means of caring for it. But that didn’t stop me from wishing. I loved palominos, so I imagined a beautiful, small palomino that would be mine, all mine. And every birthday I was disappointed. After 10 years of wishing I gave up.

What I didn’t know then was that wishing is only part of the equation. A wish is a dream that your heart has. But to make that dream a reality requires effort. The first step is to visualize what you want. Then you put your dream into action. You take the appropriate steps to reach your goal. If I’d really wanted a pony, I would have visited a horse farm or two. Talked to the owner about caring for a horse. Understood the requirements for feeding, veterinary care, the needs of the horse. Researched places for boarding a horse. Spent time mucking out stalls and oiling saddles and hefting hay bales to see if that was really something I wanted to do.

So what’s your wish? Do you want to write a book? Get your book published? Be part of a collaboration? Create a book launch on Amazon?

It’s time to dust off your wish box. You can see your dream come true if you follow these steps: 



Last of the Firedrakes Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy

 A fantastic adventure story that will transport you to a dazzling world of myth and magic. 

16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad. Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear. With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

   amazon get it




(by guest blogger Cassie) 

Summertime is a beautiful season and what better way to spend it than sitting back in the sunshine with a good book. There are hundreds of summer reading lists out there, but for fans of Jane Austen and classic literature, we’ve compiled five incredible stories that are bound to tickle your fancy. 

They are all easily purchasable for Amazon's Kindle, making them perfect to take away with you. However, particularly if you're buying while abroad, it's wise to make sure you're using the right tools to keep your details. Check out this post by Secure Thoughts on Kindle security for more information.

Ready for some recommendations?



Are you a North and South fan like me? You can't miss this new variation by Nicole Clarkston! Read the vignette she has gifted us with and get your chances to win a copy in the rafflecopter form below. Enjoy reading and ... good luck!

The following is a very nascent idea which popped up in the initial story development of Northern Rain. It did not survive long- it is fanciful and not at all plausible, but it was a fun, romantic concept to return to for the afternoon. In North & South, both Thornton and Margaret pay visits to Helstone, but at different parts of the story. This short vignette explores the very unlikely possibility that their visits might have coincided. We find Margaret just as she learns she is to be an heiress, and John as he is pining for the woman he never expects to see again. One wonders if they would even need words, after so unexpectedly happening upon one another in such a remarkable setting.

 Nicole Clarkston

The Rejected Scene

“Margaret, my dear, are you well?”
The young woman’s eyes had become somewhat glazed, and she appeared quite out of breath as she sat sedately by the old man’s side. She gasped, still in shock. “You cannot leave me everything, Mr Bell! Surely, there is some other, someone who might know what to do with it all!”
Thomas Bell laughed softly and patted Margaret’s hand as they sat together on their makeshift bench. “No, Margaret, there is not. You and Frederick are all I have left, and he is quite well taken care of. My wish, my dear, is that you will make better use than I did of everything I leave to you. I have no doubt that you shall bestow your goodness on those- or perhaps on one at least- who is deserving of your care.”
She shook her head, still dazed. “But it is so much,” she objected humbly. “Surely, there can be no need for you to sign it all over now. What about you?”
“Never fear, my child.” Bell allowed his gaze to drift over the simple stone cottage which had once been his old friend’s parsonage. Even the picturesque little Helstone home lacked the serenity of former days, and, like his dear friend Hale, Bell had found that the world no longer had a place for him. He sighed, blinking, then looked back to Margaret.



The world of the short story is a varied and fascinating place right now. Experimental collections, flash fiction, connected stories that read like novels --all these can be found on the shelves of bookshops and libraries. A check of current on-line journals will show that published stories can be complex prose poems or traditional narratives with conventional plot, characters and story arc.  There’s a place for every kind of story.
Where does the novice start? First - read.  Read stories in new collections, on-line zines and literary journals and decide if your particular style of story fits comfortably anywhere.  It’s important to read at least one edition of a journal before submitting.
Then- check guidelines and submission periods. Some respected literary journals have a short submission window.  Submit outside of that time frame and your carefully crafted story will be ignored.  If there is more than a token fee to submit, think carefully before paying it, particularly if the journal does not pay writers. (The same applies to competitions: if the prize money is small it may not be worth paying a hefty fee to enter.)  
The market has shrunk in recent years for women’s fiction but some magazines still consider unsolicited submissions.  Try: – My Weekly, Woman’s Weekly, Take a Break, Best and Yours.



Chasing Fireflies Chasing Fireflies by Taylor Dean 

 My sisters think I’m crazy. But, I’ve never forgotten the mysterious woman from my childhood who told me Paul is the name of my one true love. She told me to search far and wide for him. I haven’t stopped looking ever since. When I stumble across an article about a successful American entrepreneur named Paul who lives and works in China, I’m intrigued. When the opportunity to teach English in China presents itself on the same day, I know it’s not a coincidence. It’s destiny. My sisters say I’m chasing a dream. Just like the fireflies we tried to catch on the warm summer evenings of our youth, the dream seems beyond my grasp. Will my quest for the elusive Paul always be just short of fulfillment? My sisters tell me it’s a fool’s errand. Until I remind them of the day we saw the Red Bird. The memory silences them. The Red Bird Incident remains inarguable—and proves my search for Paul is not a silly fantasy. I will find Paul . . . I will.


Praise for Chasing Fireflies

It was like Taylor Dean left a trail of chocolate chips leading to a plate of delicious cookies at the end. Yummy! I had to eat every single one and now I’m full and feasting on the satisfaction of a well written story. -Author Charissa Stastny Taylor Dean is such a creative and skilled author that she has the ability to make the unusual and the unthinkable seem real. -Lisa, Goodreads Reviewer As always I loose myself in Taylor’s books, experiencing rather than reading the story, from that first glance and butterflies in my belly, to the inevitable heartache, to the amazingly captivating events that lead us to the blissful happily ever after. - Mylissa's Reviews and Book Thoughts.