Tag Archives: time slip books

Spooky Guest Article by Catherine Cavendish + Review of Saving Grace Devine

Today I have a SPOOKY guest article by the amazing author Catherine Cavendish (yes, SPOOKY, I got scared as I read it and now I don’t want to go to bed tonight). From across the pond in the UK, she’s just released her Saving Grace Devine novel with Samhain Horror Publishing. I had the terrifying opportunity of reading her book and it is excellent for all the many Gothic and haunting paranormal lovers, with an eerie mystery and a time slip to 1912.


Her premise, “can the living help the dead?,” had me curious. I am not usually just a straight haunt story reader, because those stories scare me more than anything and I can’t sleep, but with her Gothic style (for those familiar with Victoria Holt and Daphne Du Maurier style of European or Victorian Gothic) I knew I’d love it.

Her protagonist, Alex is a modern woman, set on a vacation to an isolated island with her husband, Greg. She does feel as if she has a specter near here, but she’s never been sure what it all means. She likes to explore and sight see and visit museums and when she sets foot in to a small, local museum near where they are staying she discovers a family history and a painting that she is familiar with. It seems her specter has followed her….or maybe led her….and need her help. Slowly, she beings to unravel the mystery to the sordid and evil family history, being propelled back in time to 1912 by a family member with demonic powers.

It seems that the case is true, to break a curse sometimes deals are made with the devil with after effects you’d never think will come. At the moment you may think you have no choice, and in the end you pay the price.

I loved the mystery she incorporated into her novel. I loved her character development of Alex. I thought differently about one section of it, like who needed to do the forgiving, but I can’t say much or I’ll spoil. It was only because I cared so much about the characters though that I even  had that emotion. I think her book was contemporary and yet she switched easily to the past creating an eerie environment just right in Gothic literature. I could picture both the modern and the past as separately. She offered just the right details at the right time.

I loved the time slip part the best and the ending, yet I was so saddened by the ending. It really did shock me quite more than I expected it too. She wrapped it up nice and neat, then she tore my heart out. Ah, I still can’t believe it. Quite unnerving and terrifying. Then the book came full circle back to the beginning.

On the front half of the book, it was a delightful summer spooky read, but on the back end it left me unsettled and quite sad, which is what it was supposed to do. She messed with  my emotions and now she owes me wine and scones!!  I can’t wait to read more of Cat’s work. If you love Gothic literature, Cat’s the new author on the prowl you should be reading.

Enjoy her guest article!

The Ghosts of Brookdale Lodge
by Catherine Cavendish, Author

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In my new novel, Saving Grace Devine, a young girl is drowned, but her spirit returns to haunt the lakeside where she met her untimely end. She seeks help from the living, to help her cross over to the afterlife.

From my research, it would appear that my fictional Grace is not alone. Many people have reported seeing ghosts of drowned girls who are all apparently earthbound – searching for something, or someone. In need of help from the living to help them join the world of spirit.

In this account, the ghost of a drowned little girl is not the only spirit haunting the site.

In Brookdale, California, in the shade of giant redwood trees, Judge J.H. Logan built a lodge in 1890, on the site of the old Grover lumber mill. In the 1920s, Dr F. K. Camp built the now famous dining room, with a natural brook running through it, so that diners could enjoy their meal beside the flowing water.

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Today, this lodge is the residential Brookdale Inn and Spa, but back then, it was called Brookdale Lodge, and witnessed plenty of drama and more than one drowning. As a result, it is estimated some 49 spirits now reside there, and many guests have been all too aware of at least one of them.

The beautiful dining room created by Dr Camp is known as the Brook Room and exists to this day. It has certainly seen some interesting events and some colourful characters over the years. The Lodge itself had its heyday between 1922 and 1945 when famous stars such as Hedy Lamarr, President Hoover, Joan Crawford and Rita Hayworth stayed there. Songs were written about it, such as My Brookdale Hideaway. It was also a place where secrets were kept and questions went unasked.


1955 Photo of Joan Crawford

Dr Camp sold the Lodge in 1945, and from then on through the 1950s, it changed hands a couple of times. Its fortunes changed and it became a hideout for gangsters and others of dubious reputation. Secret passageways and hidden rooms were installed and rumours circulated of bodies buried under the floorboards.

It was during this era that six year old Sarah Logan, niece of the then owner, drowned in the dining room brook. It is her ghost that is most frequently reported. She is often seen, wearing a 1940s style white and blue dress – probably her Sunday best – as she walks through the lobby or near the fireplace between the living room and the Brook Room. She is clearly at home in the building as she has also been reported sitting in the Fireside Room and playing on the balcony of the Brook Room. Owners and visitors alike have reported their sightings and it seems she appears in solid form, rather than as a translucent wraith.

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In the Brook Room, after the guests have gone, the glasses and plates still tinkle, and people carry on their chatter. A ghost of a woman has been seen, apparently crossing the brook, using a bridge that has long since been demolished. Could this be Sarah’s mother, looking for her? When the woman is sighted, she is often accompanied by the smell of gardenias – although none exist in the building. Her perfume maybe?

Are Sarah and her mother trying to be reunited? If someone could help them do so, would their hauntings cease? Even if they did, Brookdale could still lay claim to a ‘Most Haunted’ title. In addition to the sounds of ghostly diners, phantom dancers whirl and twirl around the Ballroom and, in the Fireside room and the Pool Room, if you listen carefully, you can still hear the big band play…

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Here’s a flavour of Saving Grace Devine:


Can the living help the dead…and at what cost? 

When Alex Fletcher finds a painting of a drowned girl, she’s unnerved. When the girl in the painting opens her eyes, she is terrified. And when the girl appears to her as an apparition and begs her for help, Alex can’t refuse.

But as she digs further into Grace’s past, she is embroiled in supernatural forces she cannot control, and a timeslip back to 1912 brings her face to face with the man who killed Grace and the demonic spirit of his long-dead mother. With such nightmarish forces stacked against her, Alex’s options are few. Somehow she must save Grace, but to do so, she must pay an unimaginable price.

You can find Saving Grace Devine in multiple e-formats at:

Samhain Publishing







and in paperback here:

Samhain Publishing

Save 30% off at Samhain for the month of July and save 50% off paperback with code Paperback50 at checkout!

Catherine Cavendish, Biography~

Catherine CavendishCatherine Cavendish is joint winner of the Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology competition 2013. Her winning novella – Linden Manor – is now available in all digital formats and the print anthology will be published in October. She is the author of a number of paranormal horror and Gothic horror novellas and short stories. . Her novel, Saving Grace Devine, has just been published by Samhain Publishing.

She lives with a longsuffering husband in North Wales. Her home is in a building dating back to the mid-18th century which is haunted by a friendly ghost, who announces her presence by footsteps, switching lights on and strange phenomena involving the washing machine and the TV.

When not slaving over a hot computer, Cat enjoys wandering around Neolithic stone circles and visiting old haunted houses.

You can connect with Cat here:







Filed under Book Reviews, Feature Articles, Guest Posts

Anna Belfrage’s Article on Creating her Graham Saga Time Slip Series

Today I have a guest article from author Anna Belfrage, who is best known for her Graham Saga time slip series of which she is currently publishing book five, Serpents in the Garden. Anna has been on the blog so many times already, maybe seven or eight times now, and I was intrigued by her ability to write such a wonderful series that really sticks together well.  Also, I wondered how hard or easy it was to sell a series, though I am sure with her beautiful covers and great content, they each sell on their own. This is the post I was given in return. Enjoy!

Oh, and if you’d like to see my review of Serpents in the Garden, you can see that HERE. You can also see reviews of Like Chaff in the Wind (book two), The Prodigal Son (three), A Newfound Land (four), a guest article on creating characters, and an interview with Anna also on this blog.


From a Nagging Idea to a Series
by Anna Belfrage, Author of The Graham Saga Series

I recently read on some blog or other that apparently writing series is “the thing” right now. Readers want to invest in characters over multiple books, be swept into their lives. If so, aren’t I the lucky one – or at least my timing is impeccable – seeing as I have recently published the fifth (of eight) books in The Graham Saga.

Personally, I am one of those readers who enjoy a series. I do, however, know many readers who prefer not to read series. I guess it all comes down to preferences, and whatever the case, I did not originally set out to write a series. Things happened, as they say…

It all began in 1624, when a twelve-year-old boy named John disembarked in Gothenburg. He was a Scot, of noble birth, but something had forced him and his mother to flee their homeland, leaving behind the boy’s father. (John never saw his father again)

Approximately 370 years later, I married the descendant of that boy – yet another John, but with the name’s Swedish version. My husband brought a lot of admirable qualities to our marriage – and as the icing on the cake, he came with this fascinating family history, manna from heaven for a history nerd like me.

As a consequence, I started reading a lot about the 17th century, trying to discover why John and his mother fled in 1624. So far, the precise reasons remain unknown, but John himself cited religious upheaval. Whatever the case, thanks to long dead John, I developed a fascination for the 17th century – and particularly for all those religious conflicts that so plagued the century.

Some people ask me why I haven’t written a fictionalised version of John’s life instead of inventing my own set of characters. The answer to that is that I don’t think John was a nice man – he achieved far too much success to not have walked over a dead body or two along his way. Besides, John’s descendants may not have liked how I portrayed him, and as I live with one of those descendants (well, five to be precise, as my children also have John up their family tree) I felt it better not to. For now.

This is the very personal reason for me setting my books in the 17th century – and for having a male protagonist for whom religion is a big thing. Okay, so most people back then considered religion a big thing – especially along the lines of “are you with me or against me”. Catholics persecuted Protestants, Protestants persecuted Catholics, and Christians persecuted Jews and Muslims – in general a heady brew with not one jot of tolerance in sight. Which was why I was so delighted when I came upon the Colony of Maryland and their innovative Act of Toleration, dated 1649. Seems some people got tired of religious strife already back then and attempted to do something about it, creating a safe haven for people of various creeds to live together.

By now, I was starting to see a certain structure to my story: Presbyterian Scotsman must somehow end up in Colonial Maryland. Said Scotsman is an attractive man, veteran of the English Civil War, a man of integrity and convictions. Borderline staid one could argue – which is why I threw dear Matthew a curve ball by gifting him with a time-traveller wife. Alex is a woman Matthew is helplessly attracted to, can’t live without, and who challenges his predefined notions over and over again. She is also brave and resilient, willing to risk everything for him, and being a man, Matthew is of course most flattered by her devotion and love.

At some point, I realised I had a tapestry of events I wanted to somehow depict. The starting point would be 1658, when Oliver Cromwell died, thereby plunging the fragile Commonwealth into a period of instability that didn’t end until Parliament invited Charles II to return to his kingdom and throne. The ending point would be in 1690 – some years after the so called Glorious Revolution that deposed a king, disinherited a prince, and set a Dutchman on the English throne. More than thirty years… That is when I realised I had a series on my hands, rather than one book. After all, book one was almost finished, and I had gotten no further than 1660!

Besides, Matthew and Alex had grown into very tangible beings – I knew how they thought, what they liked, where they came from. I didn’t quite know where they were going. Major nail-chewing situation, to have characters I’d invested so much in and not know if they would survive the tough circumstances of the 17th century! So obviously I opted for travelling onwards with them, allowing them to mature as time passed.

In Serpents in the Garden, Matthew and Alex are pushing fifty, surrounded by a large family and blessed with very interesting and exciting lives. Too exciting, Alex would argue. Far too exciting, Matthew would agree, frowning in the direction of the forest that surrounds their little homestead in Maryland. I tell them all that action keeps them young, but for some reason this makes Alex glare at me, while Matthew raises his brows, those hazel eyes of his darkening.

One of the benefits of writing a series is that one can tag along as the characters move through life, amassing experiences and wisdom (Well; Alex is not always wise, she is far too spontaneous – in this she resembles her creator). As a mother, I know for a fact most of us are born with the characteristic traits that will define us through our lives, time serving to grind of the harder edges rather than to fundamentally change us.

In writing a series, it is important to keep the characteristics true to the protagonists – over multiple books – and this is both a challenge and an opportunity to flesh out the character. I actually wrote all eight books before publishing the first, and I believe that by doing this I was in a better position to keep Matthew and Alex consistent throughout.

One of the recurring themes in all my books is love. Love between parents and children, between siblings, but primarily between man and wife – in this case Matthew and Alex. Having been fortunate enough to experience just how fulfilling and loving a relationship can be even after twenty-five years of marriage, I must admit to wanting to share that insight with my readers. There is a pre-conceived notion that romance and passion are restricted to the young. Ha! One of the better surprises in life, let me tell you. Matthew and Alex would, I believe, agree. (Alex is grumbling in the background that yes, the love and all that is very fine, but seriously, must there be so much action, so many heart-stopping moments? Short answer: yes. And in the next book… Alex sort of hunches together, eyes widening in apprehension. I clasp her hand)

As the series has developed, so a number of new characters began jostling for space in my heart and my mind. Matthew’s son by his first marriage, Ian, is especially precious to me as is Sarah, the youngest Graham girl, and Jacob – and little Samuel, and Mrs Parson, and Simon Melville… It is therefore quite inconceivable for me to end this series until these youngsters have their moment in the limelight. Plus, of course, we still have the matter with the nasty Burley brothers to resolve. And Luke, Matthew’s estranged brother. And Isaac, Alex’s son in the 21st century. And Mercedes, time travelling witch and painter of time portals. So many threads to somehow pull together, so many voices to merge into a whole.

It began with a piqued interest in one of my husband’s ancestors. It ended as a literary effort spanning three decades in the 17th century. I guess that’s what they mean when they say “think big”, right?

Anna Belfrage, Biography~

Anna BelfrageAnna Belfrage is the author of The Graham Saga – so far five of the total eight books have been published. Set in seventeenth century Scotland and Virginia/Maryland, The Graham Saga tell the story of Matthew and Alex, two people who should never have met – not when she was born three hundred years after him.

Other than on her website, http://www.annabelfrage.com, Anna can mostly be found on her blog, http://annabelfrage.wordpress.com – unless, of course, she is submerged in writing her next novel.

Serpents in the Garden (Book 5), Synopsis~

Serpents in the GardenPublication Date: March 1, 2014
SilverWood Books
Formats: Ebook, Paperback

After years of hard work, Matthew and Alex Graham have created a thriving home in the Colony of Maryland. About time, in Alex’s opinion, after far too many adventures she is really looking forward to some well-deserved peace and quiet.

A futile hope, as it turns out. Things start to heat up when Jacob, the third Graham son, absconds from his apprenticeship to see the world – especially as Jacob leaves behind a girl whom he has wed in a most irregular fashion.

Then there’s the infected matter of the fellow time traveller Alex feels obliged to help – no matter the risk. Worst of all, one day Philip Burley and his brothers resurface after years of absence. As determined as ever to make Matthew pay for every perceived wrong – starting with the death of their youngest brother – the Burleys play out a complicated cat and mouse game, and Alex is thrown back into an existence where her heart is constantly in her mouth, convinced as she is that one day the Burleys will achieve their purpose.

Will the Burleys succeed? And if they do, will the Graham family survive the exacted price?
Serpents in the Garden is the fifth book in Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

Graham Saga Titles

Book One: A Rip in the Veil
Book Two: Like Chaff in the Wind
Book Three: The Prodigal Son
Book Four: A Newfound Land
Book Five: Serpents in the Garden
Book Six: Revenge & Retribution (coming August 2014)
Book Seven: Whither Thou Goest

Serpents in the Garden_Tour Banner_FINAL


Filed under Guest Posts