Characters, Writing journey

Welcome to The Enchanted Emporium

My last post of January was going to focus on the positives of 2020 and lockdown, but the grim milestone UK has surpassed and the daily stomach punching figures of deaths caused by covid floored me. I can’t do it. Not yet. The grief for a friend lost hurts too much to celebrate the good of the last year, so I’m introducing you to the place I escape to when things get rough, and a glimpse into my world of magic — The Enchanted Emporium.

The Enchanted Emporium

The Enchanted Emporium as painted by Jess Titcombe

 Away from the hustling streets in Whitby’s Old town and under the watchful eye of the Abbey lies a small, bulging old Apothecary. Finding it isn’t easy. You won’t find it on a map but if you need it your instinct and the occasional black cat will lead you to a hidden snicket where an old gas lamp illuminates a courtyard and beckons you forward.

Place:              The Enchanted Emporium

Address:         

Black Cat Alley

Fenwick’s Yard or Witch’s Yard to the locals

Whitby

North Yorkshire

Proprietor: Willow Anderson

Staff:

Rosa Jones

Amber Michaels

Ghosts:

Black Cat or BC Owned by the original witch of Whitby, territorial and reluctant to leave his home. Reported sightings were recorded before the18th century.

Old Percy the old hunched over apothecary resides in the store with his endless tasks and wealth of knowledge Willow would love to hear if only he would speak.

The Marleys death could not break the depth of the love of this married couple. Mrs Marley is an opinionated, gossip and meddles in death as she did in life. Protective of those she loves and has a soft spot for RomComs on the telly.

Mr Marley is elusive and rarely seen except to grab his wife away from overstepping the line in her meddlings.

The unknown on the stairs – a cold patch and feeling of unease whose story is yet to be revealed.

The powerful presence in The Cobble. Believed to be the original witch of Whitby, her story is as older than the shop and has been lost over time, but her magic is the pulse of the store and land. 

The Cobble

A witch’s workroom full of ancient books and tools and was uncovered during the emporium’s renovation and kept locked. The power and the history it holds radiates through the cracks of the door. It gives Willow the collywobbles just walking by. Amber drawn to its mystery and longs to be allowed inside.

The Enchanted Emporium specialises in lotions, potions, witchcraft supplies and blends of tea. Famed for The Wishing Spell range, which are everyday lotions and candles with a magical twist, and social media sensation, a ginger Maine Coon named Vincent.

With every purchase, by one of the witches chooses a complimentary tea blend. Are you prepared to drink it and be guided in ways you least expect?

I hope you enjoyed discovering more about The Enchanted Emporium. I will share more insights into the world in the future but for now take care and stay safe.

Jess’ Etsy shop is here and her website is here for more of her artwork and commissions.

Love

#DystoniaAroundTheWorld Challenge, Dystonia Around the World Challenge, Short story, work in progress, Writing journey

2021 Happy News: A Story Brought to Life

A post saying good riddance 2020 and welcome 2021 will be along shortly but I have happy news that can’t wait for to edit post and have in depth ponders of what to write. I am going to be published! People will be able to open a book and meet the characters I have created. Eek!

A short story, The Ghost Writer, has been accepted by Cardigan Press for an anthology. I began writing it during the Dystonia Around the World challenge last year and finished with the help of a short story course run by the lovely Myszka at the delightful Foxes Retreat. I’m so happy. I keep reading the acceptance email with a huge grin on my face and know this is how Jo March felt when she got published.

Later this year, I’ll have a physical book on my bookcase containing my story and my name; what better encouragement is there for getting me to continue pursuing this emotional rollercoaster career as a writer. And to think I very nearly did not submit it. The stars must have been aligned and my spell bottle must have been working its magic when I pressed send.

Magical Spell Bottle ready for action

If I am this excited to get a short story accepted, imagine what will happen when I get an agent or publishing deal on a book.

Happy writing!

Stay safe and stay at home if you can

Love

All about Books, Guest post, Meet the Author

Meet the Author: Kate Ryder Author of Beneath Cornish Skies

Today I am excited to be chatting to Kate Ryder, the author of Secrets of the Mist, and her new release Beneath Cornish Skies and is on my TBR pile. So grab a coffee or tea and cake if needed and discover more about the person behind these books.

Time for tea and a natter

  • Hello Kate, thank you so much for popping by. Your books are based in Cornwall, what draws you to this setting for your novels? 

Three of my four published novels are set in Cornwall, which is such an inspirational county for the writer/artist in me.  As a Piscean I’m drawn to the sea, and Cornwall’s natural, ruggedly beautiful coastline always gets my creative juices flowing!

  • Did any of your inspiration for novels originate from your own real-life experiences?  

Secrets of the Mist (interestingly, the only novel I’ve set in a different county) was inspired by renovations to our 200 year old cottage during which a time capsule was discovered, secreted away by a previous owner.  Its contents were fascinating and it had me contemplating previous occupiers of our cottage and the dramas it may have witnessed.  Readers took the novel to heart and it achieved #1 best seller in Time Travel Romance on Amazon UK, Canada and Australia.

  • I loved the cottage in Secrets of the Mist. Is this based on a real place?  

The setting for the cottage is real – Walditch, in Dorset – but the actual property doesn’t exist.  It’s purely from my imagination.  However, the internal stained glass divide between the sitting and dining rooms and the ghostly presence were inspired by a conversation with someone who told me about an old Dartmoor cottage she once owned that she’d shared with a ghost.

  • I have a bookcase full of books I will keep forever and regularly reread them. Do you reread books or do you only read them once?  

I have bookcases full of books (at least our old stone cottage is well insulated!).  I do reread books but tend to put several months between subsequent readings.

  • What are you currently reading? 

Several reviewers comment that my books remind them of Barbara Erskine’s writing.  What a wonderful compliment!  I’m currently enjoying the audible version of her novel, River of Destiny.  It’s a terrific adventure, which the narrator has done justice to.

  • I would agree with their assessment, Secrets of the Mist did have the atmosphere of Barbara Erskine novels. River of Destiny is a great book and will now have to add it to my reread pile. Do you have any tips for would-be writers? 

Remember that writing is a long-game.  Smile and enjoy the journey!

  • Secrets of the Mist and your upcoming release are time slip novels with elements of the supernatural threaded through them. Is this a genre you always wanted to write?  

In my late childhood/early teenage years, I was spellbound by Alison Uttley’s A Traveller in Time.  The mix of history and timeslip seemed so believable.  The story has remained with me through the intervening years, although I wasn’t aware this was a genre I would write.  Summer in a Cornish Cove (and its standalone sequel, Cottage on a Cornish Cliff) is a contemporary romantic suspense novel that verges on psychological thriller, although (she laughs) there is a tiny smattering of the other side coming through!

  • What is your favourite book? 

Frenchman’s Creek.

  • Who is your favourite author? 

Daphne du Maurier.  However, during lockdown I discovered several terrific authors that I’d not read before, including Christina Courtenay, Georgia Hill, Nicola Cornick and Susanna Kearsley.  All historical dual-timeline/timeslip writers… funny that!

  • Is your writing influenced by the books you have read? 

Definitely.  When aspiring to being a good writer you should read a varied subject matter and as many books as possible.

  • Where is your favourite place to read or write?  

During 2020 – the strangest of years – I did a lot of reading in bed; probably because it felt safe and warm.  I write in my office, which is in the eaves of our three-storey Cornish cottage.  Being on the top floor, it feels like an eyrie, tucked away from the distractions of the rest of the household.

  • When did you begin writing and how did being published come about? 

I’ve been writing for as long as I can recall, and I’ve also worked in publishing.  However, it took a certain milestone birthday to motivate me towards turning my dream of becoming a published author into reality.  I joined the Romantic Novelist’s Association New Writers’ Scheme and submitted a manuscript for a professional critique.  Taking on board my reader’s comments, I tweaked the manuscript and sent it to several publishing companies.  There followed the inevitable rejections (par for the course) but Aria responded and offered me a four-book contract.

Beneath Cornish Skies by Kate Ryder

Blurb

Beneath Cornish Skies

To an outsider, Cassandra Shaw‘s life looks perfect. She lives in a beautiful, luxurious house in the English countryside, with a handsome, wealthy boyfriend who insists she needn’t do a day’s work in her life. But Cassie knows that something is not right. Her boyfriend has grown colder, treating her more like a housekeeper than a future wife. And her time feels empty and purposeless.

Cassandra has always been riddled with insecurities and self-doubt, but, just for once, she decides to take a chance on a new beginning. She answers an advert for a live-in nanny, dog walker, cook and all-round ‘Superhuman’ for a family living in a rambling manor house on the rugged North Cornish coast. The work is hard and tiring, but Cassie has never felt so fulfilled.

As Cassie learns to connect with the natural beauty unfolding around her, Cornwall starts to offer up its secrets. Soon, Cassie starts wondering if she was drawn to this isolated part of the coast for a reason. Why was she guided to Foxcombe Manor? What are the flashes of light she sees in the valley? Is it her imagination or does someone brush past her? And who is the mysterious man living deep in the woods?

A beautiful romance with a hint of ghostliness, Beneath Cornish Skies is for anyone who has ever longed to start their lives again.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/364FTKy

Kate Ryder

Author Biography

Kate Ryder is an award-winning, Amazon Kindle international best seller who writes timeslip and romantic suspense in a true-to-life narrative. On leaving school she studied drama but soon discovered her preference for writing plays rather than performing them! Since then, she has worked in the publishing, tour operating and property industries, and has travelled widely.

Kate is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors.  In 2017, she signed a 4-book contract with Aria (digital imprint of award-winning independent publisher, Head of Zeus).

Summer in a Cornish Cove, a contemporary romantic suspense set on the Lizard Peninsula, gained her a nomination for the RNA’s 2018 Joan Hessayon award, while its standalone sequel, Cottage on a Cornish Cliff, reached the heady heights of #2 in Kindle Literary Sagas.

‘Secrets of the Mist’, a mysterious timeslip romance, not only achieved #1 Kindle best seller flags in the UK, Canada and Australia, but also reached #49 in Amazon UK Paid Kindle. In the original, self-published version (The Forgotten Promise) it was awarded the first Chill with a Book “Book of the Month”.

Originally hailing from the South East of England, today Kate lives on the Cornish side of the beautiful Tamar Valley with her husband and a collection of animals.

Social Media Links –

Author website: http://www.kateryder.me
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KateRyder_Books
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kateryder.author
Instagram: @kateryder_author

Thank you so much for joining me for a natter. I wish you luck in your new release and can’t wait to read it.

Happy writing, reading and keep safe!

Love

Uncategorized

Book Review: My Christmas Number One by Leonie Mack

This book stands out as one of the best Christmas novels I have on my shelf for its chemistry between characters, musicality, portrayal of disability and vibrant location. I can’t wait to see what Leonie Mack writes next.

From Under the Duvet

I am excited to finally share my review for My Christmas Number One by Leonie Mack. I had planned to post my review late last month but when I was given an audio copy to listen to, I jumped at the chance. Scroll down to see if Amazon’s claim this book is ‘The perfect uplifting festive romance for 2020’ is true.

Book Review: My Christmas Number One by Leonie Mack

My Christmas Number One by Leonie Mack

Title: My Christmas Number One

Author: Leonie Mack

Narrator: Gloria Sanders

Publisher: Boldwood Books and Boldwood Books Audio UK

Release date: 10th September 2020

Genre: festive women’s fiction, romance

Blurb

There’s nothing quite like a Christmas love story, to get you in the mood for celebrating…Cara doesn’t do sexy and she only does ‘Happy Christmas’ under duress. She is, after all, a serious musician, and her stubborn streak is born from her…

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