Monthly Archives: May 2011

Starfall - Chris QuintonI’ve just learned that STARFALL will be released as a print book on June 4th, the same day that THE PSYCHIC’S TALE goes live at Silver!

 

I am very pleased, to put it mildly. Being published in e-book format is great, but to actually hold a Real Paper Book in my sticky paws is the ultimate high.

 

In other news, I’m back home after a couple of weeks in the Welsh Marches, South and North Wales. I’ve got lots of hotos to sort through, and a blog to write on Stokesay Castle, the inspiration for Westford Castle in The Psychic’s Tale.

THE PSYCHIC’S TALE – First in The Fitzwarren Inheritance Trilogy – can be pre-ordered right now at Silver Publishing.

 

Excerpt:

 

Mark finished reading the page, then closed the small leather-bound book and pushed it away from him. “Where did you find this?” he asked, interested despite the unease in his gut.

 

“I found it in the Records and Resources section of Branches. It’s an online genealogy site,” his grandmother added helpfully. “It’s amazing what you can find on the Web.”

 

“No argument there. Okay, so we’re descended from this Curtess bloke,” he said, taking off his glasses and dropping them into his shirt pocket. “But I don’t see what it’s supposed to do with us.” Alice didn’t say anything. Just pursed her lips and glared, a surprisingly effective tactic despite her round cheerful features framed by untidy curls of thick white hair. “I wish you’d never started this genealogy craze. Just let it go.”

 

“I can’t. We can’t.” Her green eyes blazed with crusading zeal, and Mark groaned quietly to himself. “An injustice was done,” she continued, “and nothing can repair the damage it’s already caused. But it has to end. If I could walk farther than the end of the street, I’d do it myself. I can’t, so it’s up to you.”

 

“Don’t be ridiculous.” Even as he said it, Mark knew he was wasting his breath. Once his grandmother got the bit between her teeth, she took off like a metaphorical racehorse—or in this case, a warhorse—and it would take an Act of God to deflect her. Sometimes he regretted introducing her to the Internet, especially when she started hunting down records of ancestors and discovering some interesting characters. The Renfrews, it seemed, were descended from an infamous warlock. Or witch. Or sorcerer…

Arbor Low

 

Stone circles have an aura of mystery and other-wordliness about them, and they’ve fired the imagination of people for centuries. You can find
them all over the UK, from the northern islands to the south, from the east and the west. And for all those still standing, some four or five thousand
years after they were first erected, there are the missing ones that ended up deliberately broken and used for gate posts, house and field walls. Or
buried, as those at Avebury, until Alexander Keiller [of Marmalade fame] excavated and reerected them between 1937 to 1939.

 

I’ve been fascinated by history and archaeology since I was a kid, and I live about six miles from one of the most wellknown circles in the world – Stonehenge. So when Rj Scott invited me into the Group of Three to write one part of what became The Fitzwarren Inheritance, waving the lures of “Stone circles, ruined castles, Druids, curses and ghosts!” under my nose, how could I be expected to turn down the opportunity? The Trilogy delivers on everything except the Druids, but it does have a psychic to fill the gap.

 

 

The Cove, Avebury

The circle in the first book, The Psychic’s Tale, is robbed-out and the site overgrown with trees and forgotten. But in the mid 17th century, it was still standing on the open chalk downland, where flocks of sheep grazed. The inspiration for it came from the more remote circles, principally the Nine Stones near Winterbourne Abbas in Dorset, Stanton Drew in Avon, and the Rollright Stones in Oxfordshire.

 

Those circles still standing can attract legends to them, and their names often reflect that. The Legend of the Rollright Stones and the Whispering Knights is a great example of this.

 

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