Posts Tagged ‘Classical studies’

Mystery and murder stalk the corridors of the opera house and, it is said, a ghost haunts the place

Friday, February 19th, 2021

 

Echoes
of a Song

 

A
Legacy of the Mask Tale

 

by
A.L. Butcher

 

Genre:
Historical Fantasy

 

 

A
dozen tumultuous years after the dramatic events at the Paris Opera
House Raoul, Comte de Chagny is still haunted by the mysterious Opera
Ghost – the creature of legend who held staff at the Opera House
under his thrall, kidnapped Raoul’s lover and murdered his brother.
In Raoul’s troubled imagination the ghosts of the past are
everywhere, and a strange and powerful music still calls in his
dreams.
 

 

Madness,
obsession and the legacy of the past weave their spell in this short,
tragic tale based on the Phantom of the Opera.
 

 

Approx
8000 words.
 

 

Winner
of the NN Light Reviewer Award for Fantasy 2019.
 
 

 

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Tears
and Crimson Velvet

 

A
Legacy of the Mask Tale

 

 

Madame
Giry finds herself embroiled in the tragedy unfolding at the Opera
house; mystery and murder stalk the corridors and, it is said, a
ghost haunts the place. Giry knows the truth, for she recalls the
caged man she met so many years ago. This is her story, their
story.
 

 

When
murder and mystery begin at the Opera House one woman knows who is
behind it, and what really lies beneath the mask. Secrets, lies and
tragedy sing a powerful song in this ‘might have been’ tale.
 

 

Winner
of the NN Light Book Heaven short story award 2020.
 
 

 

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British-born
A. L. Butcher is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a
dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys.
Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as
‘evocative’. She writes with a sure sensibility
of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

 

Alex
is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales
of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories
in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into
gothic style horror, including the Legacy of the Mask series. With a
background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth,
her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work,
mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her
characters and worlds to life.

 

She
also curates speculative fiction themed book bundles on BundleRabbit
– for the most part the Here Be Series

 

Alex
is also proud to be a writer for Perseid Press where her work
features in Heroika: Dragon Eaters, Heroika Skirmishers – where she
was editor and cover designer as well as writer; and Lovers in Hell –
part of the acclaimed Heroes in Hell series.
http://www.theperseidpress.com/

 

Awards:
Outside the Walls, co-written with Diana L. Wicker received a Chill
with a Book Reader’s Award in 2017.
 
 

 

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$20
Amazon giftcard,

 

Free
Audible edition of both books (UK, US, DE),

 

Signed
print copy (or large print – winners choice) of either book,

 

Free
copy of Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales (fantasy) in either ebook,
signed printed edition or audible.

 

-1
winner each!

 

 

Their mission is to bring an end to Hopkins’ campaign of terror

Monday, October 19th, 2020

 

 

A graduate of Exeter University, Wendy spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies before a change of career led her to writing children’s fiction. Currently residing in Abu Dhabi, she lives with her husband and beautiful Tonkinese cat.  
 
Wendy’s “”Shadows from the Past”” time-travel adventures, featuring 3 children and a rather special cat called Max, are aimed at the Middle Grade age group. This award-winning series also includes several shorter novellas that see Max the talking Tonkinese cat undertaking solo missions. Now working on the 18th book in the series, “”The Shadow of the Shifting Sands””, Wendy hopes that her love of history, myth and legend will rub off on her young readers as she takes them on a magical mystery tour through the past.

 

 

 

 In his fifth solo mini-adventure, Max the talking Tonkinese cat, the feline hero of the SHADOWS FROM THE PAST series travels back in time to the mid-seventeenth century.
He doesn’t understand how this has happened until he recognises his surroundings and realises it isn’t the first time he’s been to this place. Why has he been brought to this tumbledown cottage in the middle of nowhere? All is about to be revealed…

 

 

 

In 17th century Essex, at a time when most people believed in witchcraft, the name Matthew Hopkins was enough to strike fear into the heart of many a woman who lived alone with only a pet cat for company… for Hopkins was the Witchfinder General.
The 15th book in the Shadows from the Past series takes the time-travelling foursome back to the year 1646. It isn’t Max’s first visit to the village of Mistley Thorn, but this time his friends Jemima, Joe and Charlie are by his side.

 

Their mission is to bring an end to Hopkins’ campaign of terror. Will they succeed, or might this prove to be their most dangerous challenge yet? “ 
 

 

 

 

Top Ten List:

 

1. I’m a “cataholic” or, more specifically, a “Tonkaholic”. I’m know I’m biased, but I think Tonkinese are the best cats in the world. Beautiful to look at, with jewel-like eyes of aquamarine, they have amazing personalities – super-intelligent, loving, sociable and talkative.

 

2. I have a passion for history and archaeology. I love delving into the past and am in my element when I get the chance to explore ancient ruins.

 

3. Books and reading are an essential part of my life. My Dad taught me to read before I even started school and I’ve never been without a book in my hands ever since. I often have two or more on the go at the same time.

 

4. I’m at my happiest by the sea, with the sound of waves lapping on the shore. I think it must come from being born under the astrological sign of the crab!

 

5. My favourite time of year is early summer when the weather is warm, but everything is still fresh and green.

 

6. I’m originally from the UK and was lucky to grow up in a beautiful village in the Cotswolds.

 

7. I have a phobia of snakes. Even seeing them on TV gives me the shivers.

 

8. One of my guilty pleasures is Sticky Toffee Pudding! I can never resist it when it’s on the menu. 

 

9. My husband teases me for being uber-competitive! I really enjoy taking part in quizzes.

 

10. As a former teacher of French and Latin, I obviously love languages. I speak several, some better than others, and never want to stop learning. I’m ashamed to say that my Arabic hasn’t yet progressed beyond the basic stages, though – it’s hard! 

 

 

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Who would be trying to lure him away with the promise of a cake out in the garden at this unearthly hour?

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020
 
A graduate of Exeter University in the early 1980s, I spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies, before a change of career led me to writing children’s fiction. Currently residing in Abu Dhabi, I live with my husband and our beautiful Tonkinese cat.
 
The Shadow of Atlantis is the first in a series of time-travel adventures, featuring 3 children and a rather special cat called Max. I’m now working on the 17th book, The Shadow of the Great Fire. The series also includes several novellas that feature Max the talking Tonkinese cat undertaking solo adventures. As I take my young readers on a magical mystery tour through the past, I’m hoping that my love of history, myth and legend will rub off on them too.
In 1588, a plot to invade England and overthrow Queen Elizabeth the First is about to unfold. At this crucial moment in English history, four visitors from the future arrive in Elizabethan London. 
 
Twins Joe and Jemima Lancelot, together with their friend Charlie and their talking cat Max, embark upon their next journey into the past as they continue the search for their missing parents who are lost somewhere in the mists of time.
 
Finding themselves at the heart of a web of conspiracy, can the young time-travellers solve the mystery of the Tudor Rose?
 
 
 

 

Snippet:
At the beginning of the book, Max the Tonkinese cat has a strange experience when he steps out into the garden one night:
 
‘El Gato!’
Maybe it hadn’t been the whisper of the leaves he’d heard earlier. Max’s fur stood on end as he recognised the voice with its strange accent from his dream. It sounded eerily familiar.
‘El Gato? I know you’re there, El Gato. Listen to me. Don’t run away.’
Max stiffened, too scared to turn around.  Whoever the voice belonged to must be nearby in the garden somewhere. He was tempted to just bolt through the cat flap into the safety of the house, but his feet wouldn’t obey him and he remained frozen to the spot, oblivious to the rain that was now coming down harder.
‘El Gato, come to me now. Don’t delay – I need you.’
Max was struggling to understand. What did it mean? Why did the voice keep talking about cake? Something about a gâteau… Max was rather partial to sweet things – he had a particular fondness for doughnuts – and he guiltily remembered the time he’d filched a strawberry tart that had been left on a plate in the kitchen. Mum had blamed Joe, until Jemima had spotted the tell-tale crumbs clinging to Max’s whiskers. But who would be trying to lure him away with the promise of a cake out in the garden at this unearthly hour?
‘The Rose, the Rose, El Gato – there is great danger…’ 

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The rightful King of England is on the run. With a price on his head and in fear for his life, Charles Stuart is desperate to escape his pursuers

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020
 
A graduate of Exeter University in the early 1980s, I spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies, before a change of career led me to writing children’s fiction. Currently residing in Abu Dhabi, I live with my husband and our beautiful Tonkinese cat.
 
The Shadow of Atlantis is the first in a series of time-travel adventures, featuring 3 children and a rather special cat called Max. I’m now working on the 17th book, The Shadow of the Great Fire. The series also includes several novellas that feature Max the talking Tonkinese cat undertaking solo adventures. As I take my young readers on a magical mystery tour through the past, I’m hoping that my love of history, myth and legend will rub off on them too.
Book 16 of the Shadows from the Past is a solo adventure for the feline hero of the series, Max the talking Tonkinese cat. The story is set in 1651, during the English Civil War:
UniversaThe rightful King of England is on the run. With a price on his head and in fear for his life, Charles Stuart is desperate to escape his pursuers, the Parliamentarians who executed his father. A rich reward has been offered for his capture and everyone is on the lookout for the young man. Nowhere is safe. How will he ever manage to flee the country without help?
 
Never fear – the Guardians of Time have a Special Agent lined up for the job … but he just so happens to be a cat!
 
 
Snippet:
 Max sucked in a horrified breath, Oh no! He clapped a paw over his mouth, appalled at what he’d just done. Never speak in front of grown-ups – that was the rule Jemima was always drumming into him.
The man’s jaw dropped open, his eyes bulging in disbelief as he stared at the large Tonkinese cat reversing away from him.
 

 

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The children embark on an epic adventure, traveling back in time to the lost city of Atlantis, unaware of the dangers that await them

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
 
A graduate of Exeter University in the early 1980s, I spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies, before a change of career led me to writing children’s fiction. Currently residing in Abu Dhabi, I live with my husband and our beautiful Tonkinese cat.
 
The Shadow of Atlantis is the first in a series of time-travel adventures, featuring 3 children and a rather special cat called Max. I’m now working on the 17th book, The Shadow of the Great Fire. The series also includes several novellas that feature Max the talking Tonkinese cat undertaking solo adventures. As I take my young readers on a magical mystery tour through the past, I’m hoping that my love of history, myth and legend will rub off on them too.
Ten-year-old twins Jemima and Joe Lancelot have no idea why their parents have disappeared, but a mysterious old book belonging to their father holds the answer … and so begins a quest to uncover the truth. 
 
Together with Max their Tonkinese cat, and Charlie from next door, the children embark on an epic adventure, traveling back in time to the lost city of Atlantis, unaware of the dangers that await them. 
 
Can they save the people of Atlantis from the disaster which is about to destroy their land forever? And will they find their way back to the safety of their own time before it’s too late?
 
The Shadows from the Past time-travel adventures for Middle Grade readers take place over the course of the school summer holidays. The Shadow of Atlantis is the first book in the series and this is where it all begins. As the mystery unfolds, my young heroes embark on a magical journey into the past and a quest to unlock the secrets of an old book that is a gateway into the pages of history. 
The box set with the first 5 books in this Series are *free today on Amazon! Make sure you get your copy now before it is too late!
Snippet:
Max cocked his head on one side, focusing his aquamarine eyes on the last shreds of mist, but there was no longer any sign of the outstretched arm. The desperate voices had ceased and only the rasping of his own breath broke the silence. They’d vanished. Where had they gone? Alone and afraid, Max remained rooted to the spot, rubbing a paw over his eyes as he stared at the empty space where the vision had been. He settled down to wait for James and Isabel to come back, but he wasn’t to know that the gateway to the past had now closed and that they were trapped inside. The large Tonkinese cat was seized with panic. What should he do? Should he go and fetch help? But how could he do that? Nobody would be able to understand him.
 

 

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One thing’s for sure, the Twelve Days of Christmas will never seem quite the same again …

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

 

Dividing my time between homes in South-West France and Abu Dhabi, I live with my husband and our beautiful Tonkinese cat. I spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies, before a change of career led me to writing books for children instead.
Shadows from the Past is series of time-travel adventures, featuring 3 children and a rather special Tonkinese cat by the name of Max. I’m currently working on the tenth book in the series, The Shadow of the Witchfinder. Max also has a few solo adventures of his own to accompany the series.

As I take my young readers on a magical mystery tour through the past, I’m hoping that my love of history, myth and legend will rub off on them too.

 

 ~ Website ~
  
MAX’S ADVENTURES are spin-offs from my 
SHADOWS FROM THE PAST books.
A second solo adventure awaits Max the time-travelling Tonkinese cat in this Christmas short story. 
 
Invited to accompany a well-known figure on a whirlwind trip into the past, he sets off on a mission to search for something very precious to his owners Jemima and Joe Lancelot – their missing parents. 
 
The hunt reveals tantalising clues to this mystery and ends with a special surprise for the twins.

 

Max the talking Tonkinese cat has a third solo adventure in this seasonal short story.

What happens when the feline hero is trapped in the attic one night?

Will he escape the clutches of the Christmas fairy, a regiment of soldiers and three obstreperous French hens in time to enjoy a holiday with his family?
 

One thing’s for sure, the Twelve Days of Christmas will never seem quite the same again …



Snippet Book 3:
EXTRACT 1: Struggling to break loose, Max thrust his head out through
the tangle of tinsel and took a few gulps of air. From downstairs, he heard the
distant chimes of Uncle Richard’s grandfather clock and counted as it struck
twelve times. It was midnight.
 

 

EXTRACT 2: ‘What the Dickens is all this racket?’ barked the wooden
soldier, glaring at the fairy as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. ‘Why have
you woken everyone up? You know the rules, Tinks. Christmas is still months
away.’
 

 

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and
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