Monthly Archives: September 2012

Folksong and Fantasy

More thoughts of Scottish history remembered in song again this time. One of my favourite rainy day books (and today is a very rainy day) is Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886). It’s set in 1751, in the aftermath of the 1745 Jacobite uprising and the defeat of the Jacobite army at Culloden in 1746. As the subtitle tells it,

‘Being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751:

How he was kidnapped and cast away; his sufferings on a desert isle; his journey in the west highlands; his acquaintance with Alan Breck Stewart and other notorious highland Jacobites; with all that he suffered at the hands of his uncle, Ebenezer Balfour of Shaws, falsely so-called; written by himself and now set forth


Robert Louis Stevenson’

Kidnapped is also a story of a nation, one divided by religion, by politics and by geography, in the aftermath of war. David…

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A few words

Here we are on our next stop on the Haunted House Virtual Tour (by kind permisson of Gwen Perkins), to promote our ghost novellas Blind and Ungentle Sleep (by V.R.Christensen and B.Lloyd respectively), where we ‘visit’ one of the famous houses in ‘mock’ gothic literature: this time, you can try guessing the place from the anagram at the beginning, or wait until you have read to the end …

The Anagram: Cats rant foot to heel


ImageGrunt, umph, ouch.


Scritch, scratch, rumph,umph.


‘Right lads,’ said Geremia, standing back and wiping the sweat from his brow, ‘I think that will do. The Master didn’t specify exactly which way it should be facing.’

‘Hideous great thing it is, too,’ puffed one of the workmen, bending over with hands on hips.

‘Ay, it is – what passes for taste among the gentry, so keep a civil tongue in your head…

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Virtual Tour Schedule

Haunted House Tour

Running from mid-September to mid-October

Promoting ghost novellas

Blind by V.R.Christensen


Ungentle Sleep by B.lloyd

Part One

 15th September :

A quick visit to Hillburn House (Ungentle Sleep) with links to both Ungentle Sleep and Blind at :

17th September :

A mystery visit to a gothic residence with links to both novellas at :

20th September :

A quick and unsettling tour of Tremonton Manor, where the novella Blind is set, plus links, at

21st September:

Diary of a Ghost-Hunter, from 1785, in another mystery residence from gothic literature … with links to both novellas, at

22nd September:

Why was the Duke Saltimbocca enraged at dinner? Find out at our next trot around one of the better known locations from the past, as always with links to the two novellas, at :

From the 23rd to 29th September, Ungentle Sleep will be hosted via Tourz de Codex on the following dates :

23rd September: – Review, Guest Post

24th September:

 http://jowu-timeispoisoned.blogspot.comCharacter Interview

25th September:  – Author Interview

27th September: – Review & Author Interview

28th September: – Guest Post

 29th September: – Guest Post & Giveaway

Part Two

 Spotlight on 4th October at

visits to  DarkMediaCity

with Double Giveaway:Blind & Ungentle Sleep  5th-6th October

Starting 8th October:

another tour with Ungentle Sleep on

October 8

Guest blog  (Mondays as part of the paranormal perceptions series)

October 8 : Promo

October 9 : Interview

October 10 Guest blog

October 11 : Interview

October 12 : Guest blog

October 15 : Guest blog and giveaway via KDP Select

Latest Update 

 V.R.Christensen with her ghost novella Blind will be under the Spotlight at Passion for Pages on the 25th October

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Just discovered through Twitter – new historical fiction – looking forward to seeing it in print !

Cabreza da Vaca

Toledo, 1518Image

When my father left this world I was just seventeen, and any exciting opportunities for my advancement that had existed up to that point evaporated like water sprayed on to the courtyard dust in our hot Toledan courtyard.

I was still an unmade youth, uncertain of much except a determination to avoid the one avenue that remained open, if unappealing. I had had enough of priests and their curious mixture of sanctimony and retribution. I would not willingly submit to becoming one myself, a position I quickly sensed was irritating the other occupants in the cool shady retiring room which looked out over the gardens beside the house. The intensity of their conversation – I was the subject, but not required as a participant – contrasted with the dreamy sounds and scents of summer that wafted through the wooden grill work.

My mother said least. Almost impossible to…

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Folksong and Fantasy

I was at a folk festival a couple of weeks ago and Ioscaid were playing. I hadn’t heard them before but hope I will again very soon. One of the songs in their set seemed familiar enough to start with, being a tale of a young sailor led astray by strong drink and a pretty face. As always, he wakes in the morning having lost his money and his clothes. In this version of the song, however, he finds something as well, a shaving kit. A close shave indeed: as well for him he ‘fell asleep before she earned her fee’.

There’s quite a lot of cross-dressing in folk songs. Usually it’s women dressing as men and serving as sailors or soldiers. This is not without real life precedent: Hannah Snell served in India, concealing her sex despite being wounded in battle, and was paid an army pension after her…

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More exceptional writing from the talented pen of Gev Sweeney …