Spooky Autumn by Christina Courtenay

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Christina Courtenay.

Spooky Autumn

I love everything about autumn – the beautiful colours in the garden, the nights drawing in, the cold nip in the air and the mist that hangs over the nearby fields at dusk and dawn. I know not everyone feels the same, but it’s always been my favourite season and my spirits lift as soon as I see the leaves start turning red, orange and yellow. But there are other kinds of spirits that we usually only really think about on one special day – Halloween.

Halloween – or All Hallows’ Eve – hasn’t always been about trick-or-treating, obviously, and it’s easy to see why it was thought to be the one night in the year when spirits and/or dead souls could cross between their world and ours. That evening always has a spooky feel to it, whether you’re dressed up or not. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, you might get a bit creeped out by the tendrils of mist or fog floating about, or maybe the extra darkness in your house makes you think a shadow over in a certain corner moved … And what was that rustling noise? Or the creak on the stairs?

But what if it really was a ghost who had flitted through that thin veil from the ‘other side’? What would you do?

The ideal scenario is of course that you’d ask the spirit who they were and what they were doing in your house. (I’m a firm believer in ghosts having a purpose for still being on earth rather than where they should be – there’s got to be a reason why they’re hanging around IMO). It could be someone you knew, or someone who needs your help. But I think it’s pretty unlikely for most of us that we’d be coherent enough to ask any questions. Personally, I would probably scream, faint or totally freak out. Possibly all three. Or maybe do that thing that happens sometimes when you have a really scary dream – you know, when something bad is stalking you, or some monster is about to murder you, and you’re sure that if you could only scream for help, you’d be rescued. But your vocal chords are totally numb and all that comes out of your mouth is a tiny little squeak … which is usually enough to wake you up and thereby save you from the monster.

Yes, I think that’s what would happen with me even though in theory I would find it fascinating to see an actual ghost.

Luckily, the heroine of my latest novel, The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight, is not an epic wuss like me. She does get a bit scared when she first sees a ghost, but she doesn’t have a complete freak-out. Which is good, since the ghost IS there for a reason and isn’t intending to hurt her. And the hero is used to spirits, as he’s a bit psychic and has seen them since he was a child, so he’s not scared either. All they have to do is figure out WHY they’re seeing the ghosts, which isn’t always easy …

Don’t you just wish you were the heroine in a book so that you could react the way you’d like to rather than like the terrified person you really are? I sure do, but maybe you’re much braver than me – how would you react to seeing a ghost? I’d love to know!

Many thanks to LASR for having me as a guest!

“As the velvet cloak of moonlight settled over the ruined towers of Raglan Castle, the shadows beneath them stirred …”

When newly widowed Tess visits Raglan Castle, she experiences an extraordinary vision that transports her to seventeenth-century Wales and a castle on the brink of a siege.

Even when Tess leaves Raglan to return to Merrick Court, her late husband’s home, the strange dreams continue as her life becomes increasingly intertwined with the past. And when the new owner of the estate arrives – New Zealander Josh Owens – the parallels become even more obvious.

But perhaps the visions aren’t just trying to tell their own story, maybe they’re also giving a warning …

About the Author:

‘Promote Me!’ portrait

Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and YA contemporary romance, all published by independent publisher Choc Lit. She is half Swedish and was brought up in Sweden. In her teens, she moved to Japan where she had the opportunity to travel extensively in the Far East. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association. Her novels Highland Storms and The Gilded Fan have both won the RoNA Award for Best Historical Romantic Novel of the Year (in 2012 and 2014 respectively). Her latest novel is The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight.

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Buy the book at Amazon US or Amazon UK.

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