I am thrilled to be able to share an extract of David Fitz-Gerald’s awesome story with you today! Read on to find out more about the author, the story, and where you can buy it, and to sample the spine-chilling excerpt.
Here’s the story:
A blazing fire killed her family and devoured her home. A vengeful demon haunted her. Ghosts of the Revolutionary War needed help that only she could provide. A young woman languished, desperate to survive, and teetered on the edge of sanity.
Mehitable grew up in a freshly tamed town, carved from the primeval forest. Family, friends, and working at the mercantile filled her days and warmed her heart. For Mehitable, life was simple and safe, until tragedy struck. When her family perished in their burning home, she retreated into a world of her own making.
As a young girl, she had seen glimmers, glimpses, and flickers of the spirit world. She closed her eyes. She turned her back. She ignored the apparitions that she never spoke of, desperately hoping they would leave her in peace. She was mistaken.
Grief-stricken, Mehitable withdrew from the human world. Ghosts were everywhere. They became bolder. She could no longer turn her back on the spirit world. Her friends feared for her survival. Nobody understood her. She would have to find her own way.
Fans of TV’s Ghost Whisperer and Long Island Medium will especially love She Sees Ghosts. This historical novel features memorable characters and delivers bone-tingling, spine chilling goosebumps. It stands on its own and it is the next installment in the Adirondack Spirit Series by the award-winning author of Wanders Far―An Unlikely Hero’s Journey. David Fitz-Gerald delivers a historical novel with a bittersweet ending that you won’t see coming.
Would she save the spirits’ souls, or would they save her? Only time would tell.
Intrigued? You can get your copy HERE.
Here is the excerpt:
Mehitable stood in the cemetery beside her family’s marker. It was the first time she had returned to the cemetery since the funeral, four years earlier. She had dreaded going to the cemetery and had to force herself to look upon the words carved into the stone. Though she felt a sense of loss every day, New Year’s Day was always particularly hard for her. The painful memories cascaded around her like snow dropping from heavily laden branches on a sunny winter morning. She brushed the tears from her cheeks with a wet mitten and inhaled. She was glad that she visited the cemetery after all. Soon she would move away with Polly and Reuben, and she might never return to Poultney again. Other than the fact that her toes were cold, she realized that the visit to the cemetery was quite peaceful.
As she began to leave the cemetery, something caught the corner of her eye. It was a man. Not just a man, but a soldier. She walked slowly toward the road and cast her vision to the ground in front of her, where she planned to place her feet. Even with her eyes diverted, she was able to watch the man whose path she was certain to cross. She couldn’t remember ever having seen a soldier before.
As she got closer, her pulse quickened. He was an imposing figure of a man. The closer she got, the more intriguing he looked.
Every couple of steps he stopped to look off into the woods or turned to look back down the road behind him. He put his fingers in his mouth and sent a shrill whistle trumpeting down the intervale below. Then he put his hands to his cheeks and called out, “Pendennis!”
Mehitable walked slowly toward him. Normally she would have walked briskly but she tarried along because she was fascinated. She felt drawn to him. He had a certain magnetism, though he seemed somewhat distracted. She wondered if he was looking for a child, or perhaps a dog.
The man looked to be in his mid to late twenties. He was tall, significantly taller than most men, even taller than Reuben. His shoulders were broad and his waist was narrow. Instead of a red coat or a blue coat, like the soldiers she had heard of, the man wore a dark green jacket with bright gold buttons that matched the tassels that dangled from epaulets at his shoulders. He wore a tricorne, beaver skin hat with a cockade that resembled a chamomile flower. His waistcoat was tight, like his jacket and matched the color of his snug breeches. His neatly tied white cravat and ruffled jabot adorned his neck and chest. His tall black riding boots looked immaculate. Mehitable had never seen such a well-dressed man. She was working up the courage to politely say, “How do you do?” when the man began to fade. She gulped and hurried her pace. The air smelled strangely of woodsmoke, horse manure, and pomander, that intoxicating scent of an orange spiked with rare and exotic cloves. It had not crossed her mind that the man was a spirit. She wondered at the strength of his presence.
She chastised herself for getting all out of sorts over a dead man. Yet she couldn’t resist stopping and turning to look when she heard his voice again, calling. “Pendennis!” When she turned, he stood at attention and stared straight into her eyes. Then he removed his hat, bowed deeply, sweeping his long arm dramatically behind him before returning his hat to his head. Mehitable turned and hurried away as quickly as she could.
Finally, when she could only hear his call far off in the distance, she turned to look one final time. He appeared as a tiny green dot surrounded by white snow on the top of the hill. Despite his flamboyance and the fact that he was dead, she couldn’t help having romantic thoughts about him. Thoughts she hadn’t entertained about living men or boys, except Reuben, briefly and occasionally before sending those thoughts from her mind. As she hurried up Lewis Road that afternoon, she compared the man to Reuben. He was a bit taller, more muscular, and his facial features looked strong and boyish at the same time.
She tried to put the man out of her mind, but she couldn’t shake a feeling of sadness over his loss, and she felt a desperate need to know what or for whom he was searching.
About the Author
David Fitz-Gerald writes fiction that is grounded in history and soars with the spirits. Dave enjoys getting lost in the settings he imagines and spending time with the characters he creates. Writing historical fiction is like making paintings of the past. He loves to weave fact and fiction together, stirring in action, adventure, romance, and a heavy dose of the supernatural with the hope of transporting the reader to another time and place. He is an Adirondack 46-er, which means that he has hiked all of the highest peaks in New York State, so it should not be surprising when Dave attempts to glorify hikers as swashbuckling superheroes in his writing. She Sees Ghosts―A Story of a Woman Who Rescues Lost Souls is the next instalment in the Adirondack Spirit Series.
You can find out more about, and connect with David here:
If you fancy a deeper insight into my writing quirks and eccentric habits, you could do worse than have a look at the fun Interview I did with fellow author Pam Lecky! 😜 Thanks so much for doing this, Pam ❤️
Find out how I started out as a published writer and how long my (*blush*) apprenticeship was by checking out this article in the Wiltshire Times. Also, discover how to get a bit of recognition for your own writing.
If you do, all well and good- I’ll tell you about three contests currently going on where you can try your luck. And if you need cheering up, you might like to immerse yourself in my latest Tudor era romance, LORD OF MISTRUST. As this is release day, it’s still only $0.99 or £0.77, but you’ll need to get your copy NOW before the book goes up to its normal price of $2.99.
Here’s the blurb-
Headstrong Chloe dresses as a boy and runs away to her birth mother to escape a horrendous marriage. She’s shocked to discover that her parent owns a bawdy house, and is in no position to help- nor will she reveal the identity of Chloe’s father. When a street accident throws Chloe into the lap of the tempting Robert Mallory, he offers distraction and adventure, but his stubborn refusal to trust her endangers them both.
Hot-headed Robert Mallory is battling to protect his sister, his livelihood, and his honor. He’s a spy who can’t follow the rules and distrusts everyone, particularly the delectable young woman from the bordello. Having endangered her, then rescued her from a nest of traitors, he learns that Chloe is the natural daughter of the one man he can’t afford to upset, Sir Mortimer Fowler. Offering marriage to save Chloe’s reputation is out of the question, as Fowler needs her for bait in a deadly trap.
Robert is faced with an impossible choice. He’s desperate to save Chloe, but if he follows his heart, the security of the entire realm is at risk.
Also only available for TODAY is the contest I’ll be running in the Dragonblade Facebook group where’ll I’ll be giving away books, a gift card and offering an insight into LORD OF MISTRUST through a fun multiple-choice quiz.
Running until July 4th is the Dragonblade $25 Gift Card and paperback giveaway. You can have several chances to win, so it’s well worth a shot!
If you want to check out a wonderful historical blog, why not pop over to the Coffee Pot Book Club? You can find out more about my Tudor era TRYSTS AND TREACHERY SERIES as well as win yourself some signed papaerbacks (for UK winners only).
Huge thanks to Heather McCollum for putting this together.
My Christmas cookies have to be Tudor in origin, since my current series is set in Elizabethan times. So hereafter follows the receipt (that’s what they called recipes back then) for Cyvele, or Almond Cakes.
1 cup (or more depending on the freshness of the bread) breadcrumbs
4 ounces (half cup) ground almonds
quarter cup +2 tablespoons sugar
half teaspoon salt
oil and/or fat for frying
Mix dry ingredients ( reserving the extra sugar), preferably in a blender; add eggs, beaten, if not using a blender. Heat oil and/or other fat in a frying pan and drop the batter in in small spoonfuls, flattening with the spoon if necessary (which you’ll it will not be if you are using deep fat). Turnover once if not using deep fat. Drain on paper, and sprinkle with reserved sugar before serving – warm, preferably.
An alternative procedure which may be convenient and offers good results is to chill the batter for an hour or so, then divide it into balls (about 20) and flatten into cakes; the cakes should be small and not too thick. One advantage is that much of the work can be done ahead of serving time; another is that the cakes will be of more uniform size, and less uneven in appearance.
From “PLEYN DELIT- Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks” by Constance B Hieatt and Sharon Butler
Let me assure you, these crisp little cakes are absolutely delicious!
My Christmas Tidbit– Midwinter Folklore
The midwinter solstice is one of the great turning points in the sun’s apparent course through the sky, a time when its light is waning and the day is at its shortest. Our pagan ancestors would have found this a significant time, and done what they could to boost the sun with light of their own, by building midwinter fires. One example of this practice has survived in Europe in the form of the Yule Log. In England, according to an antiquarian by the name of John Brand, excessively large candles, called Christmas candles, were lit on Christmas Eve. A log of wood, the Yule Log, was laid upon the fire, preferably kindled from the remains of the previous year’s log. Oak was the preferred wood for the Yule Log, and before it was completely burnt out, it was rescued from the flames and preserved for a year. Keeping the log was supposed to protect the house from damage by lightning and fire, and to ward off the Devil, and the ashes thereof could help cows to calve, and heal the ailments of both cattle and people.
Source- The Golden Bough, J. G. Frazer
To win the Gift Card, you will need to visit all the authors’ blogs and collect the names of their cookies. But don’t worry, you have NINE days to do it in, and send your list to Heather McCollum so she can choose the winner at random. You will find the details on the Facebook Event Page HERE.
If you are visiting the websites/blogs in order, there’s a list of all the links below. You may find it easiest to visit all the sites in alpabetical order.
Never! Certainly not when you can still get this collection at the amazing pre-order price of just 99 cents!
Enjoy this stunning holiday collection from some of your favorite Dragonblade Publishing authors in this collection of never-before published seasonal tales.
My offering is HER CHRISTMAS WHITE KNIGHT, another Tudor romance telling the continued tale of Mistress Julia Wentworth from LORD OF THE FOREST. Can she reform herself in time to find true love? You’ll just have to order the anthology and see.
Imagine, if you will, that it is Christmas Eve.
The candles are snuffed, one by one, and a hush falls over the parlor. The children have gone to bed, and a tall, gloriously decorated Christmas tree looms in the shadows of the hearth’s dying embers. A tattered copy of Charles Dickens’ masterwork, “A Christmas Carol” sits, cold and lonely, upon a table nearby.
A small gust of wind, hurling from the seam of an ill-fitting window, blows the cover open. The first chapter appears… “Marley’s Ghost”…
The clock on the wall chimes midnight.
Now, the magic happens.
From the gaily bedecked halls of Regency England to the cold and crisp air of the Scottish Highlands, and everything in between, enjoy the magic of a holiday collection that has drawn inspiration from Charles Dickens’ most beloved literary works. Where the ghosts of Christmas, the incandescent spirit of a tiny disabled boy, and the joy that is the very heart of the Christmas season come alive.
USA Today and Internationally bestselling authors bring you their version of a Dickens-inspired holiday in O NIGHT DIVINE.
This collection includes:
Kathryn Le Veque
Anna St. Claire
Elizabeth Ellen Carter
Emily E K Murdoch
So, what personal accessories might a Tudor lady have? When I was a Living History re-enactor at Kentwell Hall’s Tudor re-creations, I had a basket, a bag and a belt for carrying everything I was likely to need for the day. Modern items were concealed beneath a cloth on my basket. My eating and drinking utensils lived in either my basket or my coarse-weave shoulder bag, and smaller items were suspended from my belt.
You may not approve of everything I carried around with me, but I was really trying to get into the Tudor mind-set and truth was, a lot of people were superstitious, particularly in rural communities. Hence the lucky rabbit’s foot. There is also a mole’s “spade” in the photo, worn for its healing properties. I assure you, both animals had died of natural causes before the items were taken. We didn’t like to waste ANYTHING.
You can see in the photo the Tudor “turnshoes” made for me by my wonderful partner, Tim, who taught himself the art of shoemaking and cobbling. He had to do a lot of that at his very first Kentwell because the weather was so wet, everyone’s homemade shoes kept falling apart!
You will also see my coin purse, known as a hanging pocket. Pockets as we know them today weren’t really “in” until later in the Sixteenth century. I suspended both pocket and lucky animal feet from my belt with leather loops.
Also in the photo is a rosary. This is an exact replica of one found on the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s favourite battleship, which sank in the Solent in 1545. By that time, such symbols of the Catholic faith were not commonly found amongst Englishmen. Catholicism returned with Queen Mary in 1553 but became increasingly unwelcome under Elizabeth 1st, and you would do well to keep any Catholic sympathies well-hidden, or risk inquisition by Sir Francis Walsingham and his spy network.
At risk of going on about being a re-enactor at Kentwell Hall, I have another photo to share with you. As I mentioned before, participants in this Tudor era Living History experience had to look and sound authentic, and their utensils and tools had to be authentic too.
Of course, we all needed to eat, whether there were visitors or schoolchildren present or not. No sandwiches, baked potatoes or tomatoes for the Tudors! They weren’t introduced until the late Sixteenth Century.
Mostly we ate pottage, a kind of bean stew to which you can add whatever you can get your hands on that won’t poison you! Everyone had their own bowl and wooden spoon, or a pewter spoon if you were gentry level or noble. Or just stinking rich. I still have my horn beaker, spoons, and wooden bowl, as well as my eating knife- a modern replica of a genuine Elizabethan knife dug up on an archaeological site in London.
The paintings of Pieter Breughel are a very good reference source for Tudor era clothing, accessories, and eating utensils.
This photo shows my personal eating implements. My latten (pewter) spoon and knife were hung from my belt so they were always to hand. And when I worked in the Tudor kitchen, I had a cutting knife too.
Okay, so TODAY is the day my Tudor romance LORD OF THE FOREST launches. I would love you to take a look at a book which readers are finding a lot of fun (as I intended it to be), featuring a hero I call my “Tudor Tarzan”.
I would also love it if you could spare a little time to pop over to the Dragonblade Readers group today and join me for a quirky quiz. You’ll get a chance to win a $10 Gift Card and some ebooks. Join me here- https://www.facebook.com/groups/274839866984258/ between 4 & 5 pm EST (9-10 pm GMT/UTC). Good luck!