Holiday Reading – Melanie Robertson-King

Author Melanie Robertson-King joins us today to share her favourite books to add to our holiday reading list. Here she is:

melanie with book babies

 

The Missing and the Dead by Stuart MacBride:  Another page turner by this Scottish crime writer. I picked this book up on a recent trip to Scotland and read it on the plane coming home. One of the things I love about Stuart’s books and especially this one, is they’re set in places I’ve visited. Dark, heinous crimes, and in this latest book, Acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae is removed from his comfort zone (Aberdeen) to rural Aberdeenshire. This novel is different from the earlier books starring this detective, but well worth reading.

The Highland Lass by Rosemary Gemmell:  Set in present-day Scotland, this novel ties in the love story between Robbie Burns and his beloved Highland Mary when Eilidh Campbell returns to Scotland to discover the identity of her biological father.

The Farran Mackenzie Mystery Series by Maggie Wheeler: There are four books in this series and I’ve read and re-read them. All  have been recently re-released in e-book format. Maggie spins a series of cozy mysteries (A Violent End, Brother of Sleep, All Mortal Things and On a Darkling Plain) set in Eastern Ontario and tying in to the creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project of the late 1950s with Farran Mackenzie (a modern day Miss Marple) in the middle of it all, trying to solve the crimes without getting herself killed.

Melanie’s latest release: Tim’s Magic Christmas

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Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Melanie’s website http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/

A Shadow in the Past

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When nineteen year old Sarah Shand finds herself in Victorian Era Aberdeenshire, Scotland, she has no idea how she got there. Her last memory is of being at the stone circle on the family farm in the year 2010.

Despite having difficulty coming to terms with her situation, Sarah quickly learns she must keep her true identity a secret.

Still, she feels stifled by the Victorians’ confining social practices, including arranged marriages between wealthy and influential families, confronts them head on and suffers the consequences.

When Sarah realizes she has fallen in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, she faces an agonizing decision. Does she try to find her way back to 2010 or remain in the past with the man she loves?

Excerpt:
When Sarah’s eyes flickered open, the young girl and her wrecked car were nowhere to be seen. Instead of the asphalt surface of Kendonald Road, Sarah lay sprawled out on a narrow gravel lane.
Sarah’s chest felt like the family’s herd of cows sat on it and she gasped for air. Stones gouged her elbows as she tried to prop herself up.

Using her last ounce of strength, Sarah hauled herself to her feet. Her head throbbed as if it were about to explode, and something wet and sticky ran down the back of her neck. Dirt and blood covered her rugby shirt and jeans, and her trainers were gone. Sharp gravel bit into her stocking feet as she staggered, trying not to fall. Sarah was surprised she was able to stand. She was certain the impact with the car had broken her legs and maybe even her back.

She wiped her hands on her shirt and cried out in pain. Dirt and blood covered her palms, and her knees felt like they’d been scraped with sandpaper. Her chest hurt with every breath, and she wondered if her ribs were broken. Where were the terrified driver and her wrecked car? They seemed to have vanished into the mist.

Sarah barely made out a faint light shining in the distance, and she stumbled toward it, thinking it was the yard light near her father’s barn. She clapped her hands over her ears in an attempt to block out the incessant ringing, but it didn’t work. Taking those pills had been a huge mistake. No matter how badly she wanted to hurt Blair and Niamh, she realized that she didn’t want to die. She couldn’t do that to her family.

Sarah blinked and stared at one of the ghostly trees lining the roadway. The trunk expanded and contracted before her eyes as if it were breathing. A gust of wind rasped through the branches and a sudden cry of a long-eared owl made her jump. Shivering, Sarah crossed her arms and rubbed, but pain shot all the way down to her fingertips, forcing her to stop.

At the narrow stone bridge, she stopped and rested. As she stood there trying to catch her breath, the bridge began to vibrate and black smoke filled the air. A shrill whistle pierced the silence, drowning out the ringing in her ears. Sarah wheeled around and gasped. Off in the distance she saw the tiny speck of a headlight. It grew larger and brighter as the train drew closer and thundered beneath the bridge. Sarah watched the disappearing train and tried to understand what she had seen. There was no railway line near her house, only a flat dirt trail leading to the village.

Soon the smell of freshly cut hay, manure, and farm animals replaced the lingering aroma of the train’s oily coal smoke. If the barn was this close, she was almost home. Drawing closer, she heard the sounds of hooves pawing…

What readers are saying about A Shadow in the Past:

A Shadow in the Past is the ultimate romance fantasy.

A Shadow in the Past is a period drama/time travel combined with romance. The author’s research into life in Victorian Scotland, alongside her study of the horrors of being incarcerated in an asylum, is exceptional. The book is a must-read for me.

A Shadow of the Past brought a unique new voice to time travel.

A Shadow in the Past is an amazing story and the way author has described it, it’s really fantastic. When you read the book, you feel as if all this is happening right in front of you!

And what a great story developed.

A charming time-slip love story with vivid description and authenticity throughout!

A great first novel and I will look forward to reading more books by Melanie Robertson-King in the future.

Melanie author photo cropped

About Melanie: 

When Melanie isn’t writing, she’s reading. The writing bug first bit when she was thirteen but the itch subsided and it wasn’t until a number of years later that she put “pen to paper” and began writing again.

Prior to returning to fiction, Melanie wrote articles for various publications for a number of years and has been published in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K.

In addition to writing, her interests include genealogy, photography, and travel, especially Scotland. On one of her trips to the Auld Country, she had the honor of meeting The Princess Royal, Princess Anne.

Author links:


Website: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/
Blog: Celtic Connexions http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melanie-Robertson-King/221018701298979
Twitter: @RobertsoKing https://twitter.com/RobertsoKing
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6543072.Melanie_Robertson_King

Purchase links:

Publisher:  http://www.4rvpublishingcatalog.com/robertson-king.php
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Past-Melanie-Robertson-King-ebook/dp/B00IGLS692/
Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-shadow-in-the-past-melanie-robertson-king/1112348992?ean=9780983801887
Kobo:  http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/a-shadow-in-the-past-1

A Shadow in the Past would make a great addition to your Christmas reading list, or someone else’s.

Christmas Interview – Melanie

We’re off to Ontario today to interview Melanie Robertson – King. She is the author of a novel and an anthology. Melanie has been to Scotland, enjoyed it, and talked about it so much I thought she was Scottish. Maybe she has some Scottish relatives?

Here is one of the many nutcrackers in Melanie’s collection.

scottish nutcracker

Christmas Interview

1. Do you celebrate Christmas?

Yes.

 2. Have you ever spent Christmas alone?

No.

 3. Have you ever had a non-traditional Christmas dinner? What did you have?

I’ve always done things traditionally since I started cooking Christmas dinners. When I was young, we always went to my grandmother’s and after that my mother’s or husband’s family’s so I never had to cook. But I do turkey (usually just a breast), mashed potatoes, gravy, turnips and stay traditional right down to the plum pudding for dessert.

4. What are your thoughts on gift giving? 

I don’t mind the gift giving, but don’t like the shopping so much. Lately, there haven’t been as many places to shop locally (I refuse to shop at Walmart) so it means having to shop elsewhere, although the choices are getting better here at home.

5. What was the most fun activity you’ve done at Christmas?

I’m not sure I would describe it as fun, but I loved going to church Christmas Eve for the 11:00 p.m. service.

6. Do you have stockings either at Christmas, or on St. Nicholas Day?

Yes. We always hang our stockings on Christmas Eve on the banister of the stairs leading to the upper level of our house. Usually, there is garland and white mini LED lights on it, too. It looks really festive.

 7. What was the best gift you ever received at Christmas?

Books. When I’m not writing, I’m reading so a book is the best gift ever – any time of year.

 8. What was the worst gift you ever received at Christmas?

It was a knit pants/top outfit that I got when I was at teenager. Bleurgh… hated it. Wore it once then stashed it at the back of my closet.

9. What do you do with gifts you hate?

I think the outfit mentioned above went to a church rummage sale. I don’t think I’ve re-gifted anything but I have sold things in garage sales.

10. What was the best homemade gift you ever received?

Probably one of the sweaters my sister-in-law knit.

11. Have you ever given a homemade gift? Tell about it.

I used to sew and make a lot of our clothes. One year, I made dresses with pinafores for my daughter and all the nieces and trousers and vests for my son and the nephews. I’ve also made pies to give as gifts.

12. What would you change about Christmas?

Slow down on the time the decorations come out in the stores. I’ve seen Christmas stuff out on the shelves cheek by jowl with the Halloween merchandise. That’s way too early.

back yard dec 27 2012

13. What is your favourite Christmas music or song?

Even though I’m not a huge fan of Christmas Carols, I love Carol of the Bells.

14. What do you like best about Christmas?

Where do I start? The movies. I have a huge assortment on DVDs. Christmas Eve is always A Christmas Carol (B&W Alastair Sim version), then Christmas morning after we’ve had our big fry-up with mimosas, Holiday Affair first followed by Christmas in Connecticut (Barbara Stanwyck version). In the lead up to the big day(s), I watch The Bishop’s Wife, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, White Christmas. And since my husband  doesn’t like the movie Christmas Story, I watch it when I’m decorating the tree.

The food. So many good things that are only available that time of year (or we only ever ate it at that time of year) – plum pudding, mincemeat tarts, cranberry tarts, fruitcake, shortbread.

 Melanie’s Books:

A-Shadow-in-the-Past-by-Melanie-Robertson-King 300 dpi

 

consequences cover 3

 

About Melanie:

Melanie author photo 500x590

Always a fan of the written word, Brockville born and raised, Melanie spent many of her formative years reading.

The writing bug first bit when she was about thirteen, but the itch subsided and it wasn’t until a number of years later that she put “pen to paper” and began writing again.

Prior to returning to fiction, Melanie wrote articles for various publications for a number of years and has been published in Canada, the US and the UK.

In addition to writing, her interests include genealogy, photography and travel – especially to Scotland, although Paris rates high on her “must return to” bucket list as well. On one of her trips to Scotland, she had the honor of meeting The Princess Royal, Princess Anne.

Melanie’s links:

Website:  www.melanierobertson-king.com

Blog:  Celtic Connexions

Facebook Author Page

Goodreads author page

Amazon author page

Loveahappyending Lifestyle magazine author page

Twitter:  @RobertsoKing

COVER REVEAL + e-launch of The Consequences Collection by Melanie Robertson-King

COVER REVEAL + e-launch of The Consequences Collection by Melanie Robertson-King

“If you could see the consequences – would you?”

consequences cover 3

Special thank you to Madliz Coles whose kind permission made it possible to use her evocative photograph as the cover image for my anthology.

Blurb: 

The Consequences Collection is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

Excerpt from the cover story Consequences:

Splat! The mail landed on the ceramic tile floor of the foyer. Usually, the noise was followed by the snap of the mail slot door closing. Today it wasn’t.

Something must have stuck in it. Sylvia put her coffee down on the counter and walked to the front door. A large white envelope remained suspended in the door. She pulled it the rest of the way through. The flap snapped shut and even though she was used to hearing the metallic sound, it startled her.

She’d expected a letter from her solicitor regarding her divorce from Bill but it wasn’t there. However, that one in particular had piqued her curiosity. Emblazoned on the top left corner was an official-looking crest. The addressee’s name and address were correct. It was her. Why would this person or agency be sending her a letter? She’d never heard of them before.

Sylvia turned the envelope over and worked her thumb under the flap. Those self-sticking envelopes are a bugger, she thought as she tried to rip it open. Finally, she gave up and tore down the side and yanked the contents out.

She skimmed over the letter but it didn’t make any sense so placed it on the small table by the door. It could be dealt with later. In the meantime, she looked at the rest of her mail. Nothing else untoward – just the electric bill, gas bill, and the usual assortment of junk – mail. She dropped them on top of the letter and returned to the kitchen.

The coffee she’d poured earlier had gone cold. She dumped it down the sink and turned the water on to rinse it away before getting a fresh one.

Drawn by some inexplicable force, Sylvia went back to the foyer and collected the letter and the mangled envelope. She returned to the kitchen, flipped on the radio and sat down at her small table. Why had she opened it in the first place? She should have just binned it. That’s what she usually did with unsolicited mail. But there was something strangely familiar about it. The addressee information was on a computer printed label so there was no clue there. The sororities from University had crests or emblems to differentiate one from another. She wracked her brain trying to remember what they looked like. It had been over thirty years since she’d attended. Sylvia never belonged to a sorority because she thought the girls who did were snooty and stuck-up.

She’d call her friend, Laurie and tell her about the letter. They’d been friends since childhood, attended the same elementary and secondary schools and even the same University. She could tell her anything, couldn’t she?

About the author:

Melanie author photo 500x590

Melanie Robertson-King has always been a fan of the written word. Growing up as an only child, her face was almost always buried in a book from the time she could read. Her father was one of the thousands of Home Children sent to Canada through the auspices of The Orphan Homes of Scotland, and she has been fortunate to be able to visit her father’s homeland many times and even met the Princess Royal at the orphanage where he was raised.

She lives in Brockville, Ontario, Canada a few short city blocks north of the St Lawrence River with her husband of thirty-eight years and is ‘housekeeping staff’ to a big, goofy, but loveable, dog (cross between lab, shepherd and black and tan hound).

A Shadow in the Past, published in 2012 by 4RV Publishing, was Melanie’s debut novel.

Where to buy The Consequences Collection:

Paperback:

Lulu.com

Epub:

Lulu.com

Kindle:

amazon.com

amazon.ca

amazon.co.uk

Coming soon to amazon in paperback and to Barnes and Noble for the nook and the iBookstore.

Melanie’s links:

Website

Celtic Connexions Blog

Facebook Author Page

Goodreads author page

Amazon author page

Loveahappyending Lifestyle magazine author page

Twitter:  @RobertsoKing

Tell a Story Day

My guest today is Melanie Robertson-King. Her idea of suddenly finding oneself in the past is something that has always intrigued me. What if you found yourself suddenly transported into the middle of a threatening situation? What if you liked being in the past so much it would be heartbreaking to leave it? What if … so many what ifs….

But here’s Melanie to tell us more.

Melanie:

Thanks for hosting me today, Anneli, especially since April 27 is Tell a Story Day. I’m going to share the story of Sarah Shand, the heroine in my YA Crossover Novel – A Shadow in the Past.

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Sarah is an average teenager with huge dreams of escaping life in rural Aberdeenshire, Scotland. You know when you read When a contemporary teen is transported back through time to the Victorian era, she becomes A Shadow in the Past… that things aren’t going to follow the plan Sarah had laid out for herself.

Okay so I’ve teased you with my “one-liner”. Want to hear some more? Okay, here goes…

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages; powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

 

I told you things didn’t go according to Sarah’s plans for the future. I mean how could they when she ends up in the past? I’m not going to tell you any more other than if you want to find out what happens to Sarah, you’ll have to read A Shadow in the Past and find out for yourself.

In the US you can buy A Shadow in the Past from my publisher:

http://4rvpublishingcatalog.yolasite.com/robertson-king.php

as well as amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

 

In Canada from Chapters Indigo (including Coles bookshops), amazon.ca and various brick and mortar stores in the eastern Ontario region.

And finally in the UK from amazon.co.uk.

About the author

Melanie author photo 500x590

Prior to turning her hand to fiction, Melanie Robertson-King wrote articles and has been published in Canada, the US, and the UK. In addition to writing, her interests include genealogy, photography, and travel. On one of her trips to Scotland, she had the honor of meeting The Princess Royal.

Melanie is a member of Romance Writers of America and their Ottawa Chapter.

She lives in Brockville, Ontario, Canada along the shore of the majestic St. Lawrence River with her husband, son, and oldest grandson.

A Shadow in the Past is her first novel.