Category Archives: King Park Press

#Cover #Reveal ~ It Happened on Dufferin Terrace #ChristmasinJuly #sweetromance

It’s the moment we’ve all be waiting for… well, at least I have. I can now show off the cover of my upcoming Christmas novella, It Happened on Dufferin Terrace.

She’s married to her career… He’s a widowed father…

it happened

Miracle on 34th Street meets Sleepless in Seattle in

It Happened on Dufferin Terrace

Toronto business consultant, Serenity Layne, knew the only person she could depend on was herself. Married to her career, she has no time for other pursuits and life’s intangibles.

Widowed for three years, Roger Scott, a data security specialist in Quebec City, is a single parent to his ten-year-old son, Adam.

On a day out on the Plains of Abraham with their black Labrador retriever, Roger’s cell phone rings incessantly. Adam has played matchmaker and put his father’s profile on a number of online dating sites.

The week before Christmas, Serenity is heading up a series of meetings after a six-month study of the Canadian retail chain, jonathans. After an unpleasant encounter with one of the store managers, she escapes from the boardroom of the Château Frontenac Hotel, only to be bowled over by Roger and Adam’s dog.

Guilty over the accident, Roger invites Serenity out for a drink by way of apology. Over the course of the week, and spending time together, feelings long dormant for Roger are re-awakened. At the same time, emotions foreign to Serenity fill her with contentment and happiness.

Will the couple get their happily ever after?


It Happened on Dufferin Terrace is the first book in the It Happened series, a set of sweet, contemporary romances by author, Melanie Robertson-King. If entertaining and heartwarming romances are for you, then you’ll fall in love with this entry in a light, romantic series set in picturesque Canadian locations.


SPECIAL PRICE! Pre-order now for only $0.99/£0.99.




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it happened



The following morning, six months of gruelling work came to fruition. In the Place d’Armes conference room, Serenity turned on her MacBook Air with the PowerPoint presentation and ensured the projector functioned. In addition to the electronic copy, the hard copies she made in Montreal for the jonathans participants were placed them in front of each chair.

This was the first time her superior sat in on one of her meetings, making her more nervous than normal. Did he not trust her judgement?

Scheduled to start at ten a.m., a number of attendees were still missing. The time function on her Fitbit indicated three minutes to go. The managers had to arrive soon or her boss’s trust in her abilities would be shattered. A brief assessment of her leather-bound notebook confirmed the time and date.

Gradually, men in three-piece suits, shirts and ties straggled in. They nodded at her as they took their seats. During her visits to the outlets across Canada, she came together with them. All were friendly and cooperative. Some stores performed well, while others struggled.

The head of jonathans made his entrance. Well over six feet in stature, with a stocky frame, his imposing size commanded respect and attention.

“Good morning,” she said.

The man acknowledged her with a nod of his head and moved to the head of the table.

Now, she and the other attendees waited for her missing employer and one last jonathans employee.

“We’ll give them another five minutes then we’ll start. In the meantime, feel free to look at the documents in front of you.” She lingered by the chair used by the director of the Vancouver location and smiled.

The door burst open, eliminating the opportunity to speak with the gentleman. In the gap stood the man from the Yorkville Avenue outlet, as unkempt as the first time she met him. When he looked up, his eyes bulged, and his jaw dropped. “You’re the hard-nosed, jumped up high and mighty who made trouble. You’re the reason we’re having this powwow,” he snapped.

The hairs on the back of her neck bristled. Coat plucked from the rack, she darted out the door putting on the garment on the fly. The man busted her straight away. No way could she head this meeting now. Where was Martin Thacker? He would have stood by her.

She left the hotel, turned right, and scurried through the arched vehicular entryway on Rue Saint Louis. From there, she stumbled to the boardwalk running adjacent to the spectacular architecture and overlooked the St. Lawrence River and the town underneath.

Snow, packed down from shovelling and plowing, made the boards slippery. High-heeled shoes were inappropriate for the conditions, but escaping that room was paramount.

Why did she allow that man to antagonize her? Any other time, any other meeting and she would have let comments like his roll off her. This action was out of character.

Struggling to maintain her balance, she picked her way to the hand rail. At least she had gloves in her pockets. After extracting the knitted mittens, she pulled them on her hands and tried to regain her composure so she could go back to the meeting. She would have to create an excuse for her sudden departure.

Arms resting on the bannister, she took in long, slow breaths. Each time she exhaled a puff of steam formed in front of her.

About to go back into the warmth of the hotel’s conference room, she let go and turned. A massive black dog charged at her with a man and a boy in pursuit. The ear flaps of the man’s trapper hat resembled wings. Stretched out horizontally, how he managed not to take flight astounded her.

“Tori, bad girl. Halt.” The man shouted commands to the canine, but the animal was oblivious to them.

Before she had an opportunity to react, the black Lab launched itself in the air and hit her square in the chest knocking her to the ground. The impact sent her eyeglasses flying and they crashed on the granite ledge beneath the handrail. The child dove for them but couldn’t get a proper grip. His fingertips brushed the frames and her eyewear skittered away from him on the icy rock and vanished.




#EXCERPT from Chapter 1

While Katherine fumbled with her key, the handsome man’s steely blue eyes bored through her. A bead of sweat formed at the base of her skull and slowly trickled down her back. She became cotton-mouthed. No longer a silly teenager, why did he still have this effect on her after all this time?

When she finally managed to keep her hand steady enough to insert the key and turn it, he spun her around and mashed his mouth on hers. His tongue teased her lips open and he pulled her to him. Her pulse quickened and she let herself melt into his strong arms, those years apart, non-existent.

“If we don’t soon go for that drink, I won’t be responsible for my actions.” His voice was husky.

At that particular moment, Katherine wanted time to stand still. Pressed against him was a place she could spend the rest of her life. She nuzzled her head into the hollow at the crook of his neck and hugged him tighter. He caressed her forehead before disentangling himself from her grip and wrapped his arm around her.

The tang of the salty North Sea and fumes from the ships in the harbour lingered in the heavy air. Those smells, while powerful, couldn’t mask the seductive aroma of men’s cologne. When they dated before, he wore Hugo. Was he wearing that now? Held next to his muscular body and inhaling his scent, Katherine lost her balance and toppled into him when one of her stiletto heels slipped into a crack between the cobbles. Despite the streetlights, shadows formed. The gaps between fixtures were dark. No wonder she twisted her ankle.

“Are you all right?”

“Just a bit clumsy. You would never know I walk this street every day in these boots. I feel like an arse.” Her cheeks burned from the heat of her blush.



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Cole’s Notes ~ a #short #story

Originally, Cole’s Notes were student guides to books in Canada. Their distinctive black and yellow striped covers stood out on the shelves and covered everyone from the works of William Shakespeare, to George Orwell, Harper Lee, JD Salinger on the literature side to guides to French, Spanish, using a slide rule, and Economics.

This version of Cole’s Notes is a bit different. Have a read…

Cole's Notes

Cole’s Notes

Cole pulled the heavy, oak door closed behind him. Gunmetal grey clouds gathered in the sky. A storm approached. An icy blast picked up the fallen, dried leaves and swirled them into the air. Not yet the middle of October, but the weather had been unseasonably cold this autumn. The hot, dry summer now a distant memory.

After he put up the hood of the fleece he wore beneath his worn, bomber jacket, Cole cupped his hands and blew to warm them. After, he zipped up his coat, shoved his fists into his front jeans pockets, and jogged down the steps.

At the intersection of Union Street and Bon Accord Terrace, the damp wind from the North Sea hit him like he walked into a granite wall. The tall buildings concentrated the gale and he pressed through the headwind. Would the storm hold off until he reached Starbucks? To beat the fast moving inclement weather, he quickened his pace.

A few steps short of his destination, the skies opened and the deluge began. Beneath the sheltered entrance, Cole yanked his wet hood down and shook his jacket, sending out a spray of droplets.

The queue formed in front of the counter and snaked through the shelving units. The narrow corridor between displays stocked with bags of coffee, ground and beans, mugs and travel cups, made him claustrophobic and he fidgeted while he waited his turn. Sweat gathered around his collar. At least the stools near the entrance remained vacant. The one at the end on the right he considered ‘his’. A cold trickle ran down his back as he counted the people ahead of him. No one could sit in his place.

“First, please,” the female clerk announced.

Not realizing she meant him, he twisted from one side to the other, and shuffled to the service desk.

“Your usual, Cole?”

Embarrassed, he cast his eyes towards his scruffy shoes and nodded. Jeannie was attractive and friendly. Sometimes if she had a moment when she wiped off the bar at the large, plate glass where he always sat, she spoke to him. His shyness prevented him from saying much in response, other than please, thank you and keep the change.

“Go get your place by the window and I’ll bring your drink over.”

Only one seat remained along the high counter-his favorite one. “Th-thank you.” He turned, mumbled and walked away.

A few minutes later, Jeannie placed his steaming hot, latte in front of him. “Enjoy, Cole.”

Her big, blue eyes sparkled like the sun on the North Sea. Her teeth were perfectly straight and white. Save for a single dark mole high on her cheekbone about an inch below her right eye, she had a flawless complexion. The beauty mark gave her an air of mystery and glamour. Still, she complained to co-workers and female customers about having surgery to remove the blemish. The discolouration made her unique.

If only he could work up the nerve to ask her out on a date so he could see the full length of her tresses. Unable to imagine her appearance with her hair falling around her face and possibly past her shoulders, he thanked her for the service.

After Jeannie left, Cole removed his grotty, black leather bound notebook from his inside breast pocket. The moleskin fell open to the page marked by a shabby, blue silk ribbon. People walked by the coffee shop, some carried umbrellas, others sheltered themselves from the rain under their briefcases or newspapers.

Next, Cole pulled out his Bic pens-red, black, and blue-and lined them up in precise military fashion on the worktop. After some deliberation, he chose the blue one, removed the cap, stuck it on the plug end, and chewed before putting pen to paper. Soon the ink flowed, and he worked furiously pausing briefly to sip his latte.

While she cleared away plates, mugs, and napkins from the vacancies left from the other customers along the counter, Jeannie asked, “What are you writing?”

Cole slammed his journal closed. The book belonged to him. For his eyes and no one else’s. Only he could read the words on those pages. “N-nothing.”

“You can tell me,” she said as she slid on the stool next to him. “I won’t tell anyone.”

“No.” He jammed the top back on his pen, and stuffed his belongings inside his jacket before he pushed his way past her and out the door.


 A week passed since Cole’s last drop in and his absence made Jeannie worry. Never had he been gone this long between his regular visits. A family visit elsewhere? Worst case scenario home sick with a cold or the flu.

Each time the door opened, she hoped to see him in the entrance. Every time someone else came in disappointment washed over her.

After closing one night when they cleaned up, her co-worker, Rick, discovered something. “Jeannie, come here.”

“What did you find?”

“Doesn’t this belong to your ‘boyfriend’, Cole?” He held a leather-bound book up in his hands. Some of the pages were beginning to fall out.

“Give me that!”

He lifted the folio higher. “What a weirdo. More than the rest of us, you should know that,” he taunted, waving the object in front of her beyond her reach.

Yelling in protest, she lunged towards him, and dislodged the jotter. The book landed on the tiles and Jeannie scrambled for it . “Now back off. What’s written in here is none of anyone’s business. I’ll drop by Cole’s place on my way home,” she said as she shoved the loose pages back inside.

“How do you know where he lives?”

“I’ll find out.” She stuffed the notebook into her apron pocket.

Later in the afternoon while on break, Jeannie pulled the worn possession out and turned it over in her hands. Beyond repair. What remained of the leather cover was brittle and cracked, so she handled the fragile item with care.

The last time she saw Cole, he fled from the coffee shop panicked because of her question. Certain he returned the moleskin to his pocket, and surprised Rick found it near his stool disturbed her. The contents were personal, but she wanted to open the diary and see why the man had been so secretive.

Did he drop the cherished object on the floor? She would have chased after him if she noticed. Should she peek inside the front cover? The information she needed to take back the property might be written there. If she found his address, she would stop her search and return his diary after her shift ended. Otherwise, she would keep the prized possession in her gigantic handbag until Cole returned.


After some serious thought, she opened the book. Nothing to identify him written in either location, but there in pen and ink, a sketch he drew of her, hair down, stared back from the pages. Descriptive text about her surrounded the image. Jeannie – kind, beautiful, friendly were a few recorded. Now intrigued, she turned the page.

Some of the sketches she recognized as people who frequented the coffee shop and snickered at the words chosen to for them.

Cole immortalized Rick between the worn covers, too. Unable to suppress her laughter at what he thought of her co-worker, she giggled. Pompous and arsewipe were her favourite adjectives.

Another sheet turned and Jeannie regretted her action. The person portrayed was a stranger to her, but labelled ‘Mother’. The word choice shocked her… ‘bitch, dark places, locked up, men, hooker, slut, hate you.’

All she wanted was to locate the information needed to return it, but didn’t find a name, address or telephone number. Curiosity piqued by the drawings and descriptions before her, Jeannie continued.

“Thought you weren’t going to look inside?” Rick sneered.

Startled by his voice, she slammed the notebook shut and shoved it back into her apron pocket. “Only looking for his address. Hoped he would have written something down near the front.”

At the end of her shift, she placed it in her huge handbag and went home to her flat. Murphy, her ginger and white cat greeted her with a hiss and a swat to her leg.

When she tossed her purse on the small dinette table, a resounding thud echoed through the compact space. Once in the kitchen, she opened her fridge, and peered in. An open bottle of Riesling stood in the lower shelf in the door. Pulling the wine out by the neck, she pushed the door shut with her hip and turned to get a goblet from the rack affixed to her upper cabinets.

Seated at the table, she poured herself a glass, took a sip, and worried about Cole. A watch could be set by him and his predictability. Every day, the same time, the same latte, the same stool by the window. Yes, he was a bit odd but there had been customers come into Starbucks far stranger than he.

Jeannie pulled the notebook out and put it in front of her. With the palm of her hand, she rubbed the surface. In places the jacket was worn so thin, the paper backing on the inside showed through.

Opening it to the location marked by the ribbon, revealed another sketch of her but without her beauty mark. Out of habit, she reached up and touched her face. ‘must keep mole, glamorous, beautiful, not Jeannie without it’ surrounded the picture.

Until now, she didn’t realize he had such a strong opinion about her having the blemish removed and it scared her.

Was Cole some kind of control freak? Would he hurt her if she went ahead with the surgical procedure?

The words on the page made her feel dirty and cheap so Jeannie slapped the cover shut and pushed the book away. Bottle and her glass in hand, she checked the deadbolt and hooked the chain, headed for the bathroom, and secured the door behind her, too. Soon the tub was filling with hot, steamy water. A few drops of Green Apple bath and shower gel formed a sea of bubbles and floated on the rising water; the room fragrant with the fresh scent. Jeannie flipped the switch on her heated towel bar.

Whilst she waited for the water to reach the desired level, she moved her caddy towards the taps, topped up her wine glass, and placed the goblet in the specially designed holder.

Once stripped down, she climbed in, turned off the faucet, and dipped below the bubbles.

Immersed in the hot, soapy water Jeannie let her mind wander. Perhaps she worried too much about the mole on her face. It was tiny, smooth, dark and been there for as long as she remembered. No appointment was made for the procedure. Maybe she wouldn’t bother.

Her thoughts returned to the place in Cole’s diary where he had described his mother in such an unflattering way. She took a sip of wine and sank back under the surface wishing she turned up the heat in the room before getting into the bath.


Loud banging on her apartment door startled her. Jeannie leapt out of the water, almost knocking the caddy and glass flying. There was no time to grab one of her warmed towels so she yanked on her long, pink, fleece dressing gown.

When she reached the door, she still struggled with the tie belt.

Her cordless phone was in the base so she grabbed the handset. On the other side of the peephole, Rick stood in the corridor. What was he doing at her home at this time of night? “What’s going on?” she asked when she pulled the door open a crack with the chain still on the latch.

“Can we come in? It’s important.”


“Yes. Let’s not stand here all night debating this.”

Jeannie removed the shackle and opened the door the rest of the way to receive Rick and whoever was with him.

“This is Dr. Baird. She’s weirdo’s shrink.”

“Psychiatrist,” the well-groomed woman corrected.

“Wh-why are you here?”

“Can we sit down?” the doctor asked.

“Yes.” She escorted them to the table, picked up Cole’s notebook, and shoved it into her handbag. As she showed her guests a chair, she tossed the leather satchel on the peninsula counter.

“I came in to coffee shop looking for you.” The physician nodded towards her. “Cole missed his last two appointments which isn’t like him. One I could see due to illness but not both.”

“Wh-what does it have to do with me?”

“During our sessions, he always spoke of you. It was apparent, he thought you were an exceptional young woman.”

Jeannie blushed.

“You’re no doubt wondering why I insisted your friend bring me here.”

“The thought has crossed my mind.” She didn’t try to hide the sarcasm in her tone.

“There’s no easy way to tell you this. Cole is dead. His body was discovered in his flat earlier today. He’s been deceased for about a week. The police contacted me when they couldn’t find any next-of-kin information. My number was by his phone.”

Jeannie’s heart pounded so hard it hurt. The time span worked out right after she asked what he wrote in his book. Initial shock passed, she wailed, “This is all my fault. If I hadn’t sat down beside him and asked what he was doing…,”

“Cole was a disturbed young man. No one could have predicted he would do this, let alone when.”

The words were of little comfort. Now the sketch started to make sense.

“It’s only in the past year he has been living in his own lodgings. After he murdered his mother when he was twelve, he was sent to a borstal. From there, he moved to a rehabilitation unit. When I deemed he was no longer a danger to anyone, we procured an apartment for him.”

Overcome by nausea, Jeannie bolted for the bathroom, hand over her mouth. Dropping to her knees in front of the toilet and threw up again and again, retching until there was nothing left. Tears ran down her cheeks. Cole was a murderer.

Not close, but she considered him a friend. Was he? Had he been sizing her up to become his next victim?

When she picked herself up off the floor, she reached for the Listerine. The reflection in the mirror had dark mascara streaks down its face. Removing the cap from the bottle, she took in a mouthful and rinsed hoping to eliminate the bitter taste.

Devoid of emotion, she rejoined her guests and dropped on one of the hard dinette chairs.

Dr. Baird took an envelope out of her handbag and slid it across the table to Jeannie. “He wanted you to have this if anything ever happened to him.” The psychiatrist turned to him. “You’ll stay here with her. She’s too upset to be here alone. I’m sorry but I must go. I’ll be in touch with the funeral arrangements. Don’t bother getting up. I’ll let myself out.”

Jeannie followed the doctor’s exit with her eyes. Her hand touched the envelope and she recoiled.

After the doctor left, she drew her knees up to her chest and planted her heels on the

chair, wrapped her arms around her legs and cried.

Rick tried to comfort her but he couldn’t. “Let’s get you into bed,” he said and helped her up from her seat. A brotherly arm enveloped her shoulders. He walked her to her bedroom, and reached for the switch.

“Don’t leave me, please, I don’t want to be alone.”

“I’m not going anywhere. I’ll get a blanket and make myself comfortable on your sofa for the night.”

Jeannie pointed to the closet and waited while he opened the bi-fold doors and pulled down a comforter from the upper shelf. She turned down her duvet and was about to untie her dressing gown when she realized she was naked under it. Instead, she climbed in with it on.

Rick stopped by her bed. “I’ll switch the light out on my way to the lounge.”

“No. Leave it on.”

“Why don’t I turn on a couple of these small lamps? They’re not as harsh and you won’t be in total darkness.” He walked around the room switching on the other lights.

“Don’t close the door, please.”

He nodded, switched the overhead light off and went into the other room.

For hours, Jeannie lay and stared at the ceiling. The information passed on by the psychiatrist about Cole unfathomable.

Dr. Baird didn’t say he killed himself but it sounded like he had.

What had she done that day in Starbucks to drive him to it? Wanting to see inside his notebook wasn’t extreme, was it?

Eventually, she fell into a restless sleep.


 The next morning, Jeannie was up before the sun rose. Rick stayed on the sofa, snoring in ignorant bliss of her torment. While she waited for the kettle to boil, she got a mug and the instant coffee from the cupboards and the milk from the fridge.

When he groaned from the lounge, she called out to him, “Coffee’s up if you’re interested.”

When he threw the comforter off, he was clad only in his boxers and socks. His pants and shirt draped over the arm chair went unnoticed. To allow him a moment of privacy to get dressed, she turned away.

Jeannie sat down at the table. The letter remained where she left it the the previous night. The handwriting matched the style in Cole’s journal and she picked it up and examined it.

The words ‘To Jeannie at Starbucks… to be opened after my death’ spooked her and she dropped it like it scalded her.

What was so important he couldn’t tell her when he was alive?

“You not got into that yet?”

“N-no. I’m not sure I want to see what’s in it.”

“It’s got to be something vital I would think. Why else would he have left you a letter?”

“Don’t know.” She laid it down.

“Don’t be such a wuss. Open the damn thing.”

Jeannie picked up the envelope, walked the kitchen and tossed it into the wastebasket. “Can’t do it. Don’t want to do it.”

“You’re making a mistake. If that missive goes out in the rubbish, you’ll be kicking yourself in the bum from here to Sunday and back again.”

Unable to stop herself, she started to giggle. The words pompous and arse wipe from Cole’s notebook came to mind. She couldn’t look at Rick and not laugh.

It was a relief when he left for Starbucks. Alone in the flat, she could go through her normal morning routine. Cold coffee poured down the sink, she opened the cupboard door. The bin was still there but the letter was missing. Panic set in. Where did it go? Wheeling around, she found it on the peninsula work top.

This message would haunt her until she read it. Jeannie turned it over, stuck her thumb under a loose corner of the flap tore it open. She pulled the paper out of the wrapping and let the latter flutter to the floor. Carefully, she unfolded the sheet and began to read.

My dearest friend,


If you’re reading this, then Dr. Baird has passed my letter on to you and you’ll know I’m dead. There are many things about me you will never comprehend. I don’t understand some of them either.

Did the doctor tell you I murdered my mother?That is true, I don’t deny it, but you deserve to know why. From the time I was a little lad, she was a prostitute. Quite often, she left me alone overnight while she went out and shagged blokes for money. Not to support me but her drug habit. Social services were always around. Every time they threatened to put me into care, she pleaded with them saying she would mend her ways and promise to be a good mum.

Her idea of that was bring her tricks back to our dingy flat. She locked me in the closet or the chest at the foot of her bed. I knew what she was doing. The men coming into the bedroom, grabbing at her and her clothes. I heard them shagging. Sometimes, those blokes would beat the crap out of her and steal what earnings and drugs she had.

What I did was wrong. In the beginning, I don’t think I meant to kill her. After I stuck the knife in her the first time, I couldn’t stop. They say I stabbed her over thirty times. Even after she died, I kept sticking the blade into her.

I think I killed her out of some misguided loyalty. If she was dead, she was off the drugs. The blokes couldn’t beat her almost to death. She got aids either from the dirty needles or from letting the johns do her bareback. Do you know what that means?

You were always kind to me, Jeannie. You never mocked me. Never tried to use my weaknesses against me. I couldn’t show you the notebook because I had drawn so many pictures of you. I didn’t want you to think I was some sort of freak or stalker. I know some of the people you worked with did. I would have been proud to step out with you on my arm. You’re a beautiful, young woman. You must have many decent blokes queuing up to take you out. I would never have stood a chance.

Don’t grieve for me. I’ve been dead inside, except when in your presence, for a long time. My topping myself was the final act. Remember, though, I appreciated the kindness and friendliness you always showed me. No matter if I’m in heaven or hell (and I don’t particularly believe in either), I love you and always will. I wished I could have told you to your face.

Cole xo

After reading the letter he left for her, she leafed through his notebook from the first to the last page used. The sketches were amazing. His talent for capturing the essence of people, as well as their features, shone through each drawing.


The funeral came too soon for her liking. Jeannie didn’t want to go but knew she had to. She persuaded Rick to go with her. Since the night she found out about Cole’s death, he had been there for her.

Jeannie’s hair fell loose on her shoulders. The way Cole sketched her many times.

Glad to have a friend with her, she stood bravely by the graveside with the psychiatrist and the few mourners who attended.

When it was over and the casket lowered, she leaned over the chamber and released his grotty, leather notebook into the grave.

A resounding smack on the wooden surface of the coffin echoed through the air. “Goodbye, Cole. Your notes will always be private now,” she murmured, more emotional than she expected.

Her tribute to his life and what might have been was a long-stemmed red rose. She dropped it beside the journal. It landed silently beside the man’s prized possession. She whispered, “I love you, too. I wish we could have told each other our feelings.”

She turned away and sobbing, buried her face in Rick’s chest.





#excerpt from The Secret of Hillcrest House #ghosts #secrets #haunted

Since Halloween is only a week away, I thought I would treat you to another excerpt from The Secret of Hillcrest House.
hillcrest house


Sometimes there’s more to a house than bricks and mortar.

Hillcrest House is one such place. Perched on a cliff in the picturesque town of Angel Falls, there is more to this Victorian mansion than meets the eye. When referring to the house, the locals use the word haunted on a regular basis. Strange visions appear in the windows, especially the second-floor ones over the side porch. Even stranger events take place within its four walls.

Rumour has it, the original owners, Asher and Maggie Hargrave, never left their beloved home. They claim the couple and their family are responsible for driving people away. Over the years, Hillcrest House has changed hands numerous times. No one stays long. Renovations begin then stop and the house is once more abandoned. The latest in this long line of owners is Jessica Maitland.

Will Jessica be the next one to succumb or will she unravel The Secret of Hillcrest House?


Once she reached Hillcrest House, Jessica pulled out the list and started making phone calls. Luckily, the glazier and locksmith could come right away. The electrician wouldn’t be able to until the following day.

The front verandah creaked and groaned under her feet. She would have to replace the boards before long – before someone fell through them. Letting herself in the front door, she left it wide open to let in the available light.

She took her camera out of her handbag and took photos of the foyer, the corridor leading to the kitchen, and the stairs. Next, Jessica entered the large sitting room off to the right. Closed shutters covered many of the windows. She worked her way around opening them to let in what light could penetrate the filthy glass. More photos from every angle in the room. An enormous fireplace with a huge mantle mirror above it stood along the inside wall next to the doorway. Cobwebs covered it like every other ornate surface in the room. Window trim, the chandelier, and table lamps wore a coating of the gossamer fibers. Mounted on either side of the firebox were two demonic heads with rings in their mouths. Jessica had never seen anything like them before. Their evil appearance was further emphasized by the sticky webbing stretching down from the mirror. She took about a dozen photographs of just the heads. Across from the hearth, a section of the wainscoting at least ten feet wide reached all the way to the ceiling. In the rest of the room, it stopped about three feet lower.

Over the next few hours, Jessica visited every room in the house taking photos as she went. When she reached the room where she’d seen the person in the window the day before it was much colder than the others. An icy, clammy chill came over her. Sweat beaded and ran down the back of her neck, settling at the waistband of her jeans. She shivered but carried on.




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Will a reckless moment from her past come back to haunt her?

Devastated by the death of her husband, Colin, in the London bombings on July 7, 2005, Katherine Murphy-Whithorn builds a wall around her heart determined to never let anyone in again. Settling in to a comfortable routine, her life becomes mundane, until five years later when someone from her rebellious past returns to the city and begins stalking her.

As the curtain falls on 2010 her first love, Jared Martin, walks back into Katherine´s life. Despite him being her first love, he must tear down the barrier she´s created to protect herself. Finally seeing a second chance of a life with him, Katherine couldn´t be happier until another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter returning from the Alpha Ecosse platform, on which Jared is a passenger, ditches in the North Sea. Can he survive the ordeal? Will they get their chance for happiness? Or is fate still not done its dirty deeds? Katherine’s stalker may have his own agenda.



1st December 2010

The ScotRail service to Aberdeen pulled away from the platform at Stonehaven. The next stop would be his destination. As the train accelerated, the carriage swayed from side to side. The action reminded him of his mum rocking him after a bad dream. He drifted into a light slumber. When the compartment he was in crossed through a switch, it lurched waking him.

Less than thirty minutes to go. He settled back but was too excited to relax. When the Girdle Ness Lighthouse came into view, he knew he was almost back to the place he was born.

New, to him, construction dotted the landscape. Fresh graffiti adorned the stone parapets of the bridge over the River Dee. The Mitchell Tower at Marischal College, the clock tower of the Aberdeen Town House and the Salvation Army Citadel, vied for attention over the tops of the cluster of newer buildings.

He fooled the medical staff at the secure forensic unit in the south of England. After feigning rehabilitation, they released him into the community but he didn’t stay there long. He did a runner. He had unfinished business in the north east of Scotland.

Adrenalin coursed through him. Giddy with excitement, it was hard for him to remain calm. He shook his hands to try to stem some of the fidgetiness. Now, he was back in Aberdeen where it all began. How much of the city would he recognize? What changed since his departure?

Were the authorities looking for him yet? He would have to act normal so as not to attract attention. Stepping off, he adjusted his Fedora and strode across the concourse to the exit. Diesel fumes hung in the air and caught in the back of his throat. He coughed.

With the exception of the Union Square shopping complex adjacent to the railway station, Guild Street stayed more or less unchanged. Some of the storefronts in the granite buildings transformed, but overall, not a huge difference since he left.

The pavement ended at Market Street forcing him to cross over the road. He continued eastward. The location he sought should be nearby. He stopped for a breather – pressed his back against the building. The ships that supplied and supported the offshore oil industry occupied the available berths on this side of the harbour. Through a gap, the ferry to Lerwick and the terminal were visible on the far side.

The familiar Maritime Museum dominated the head of Shore Brae. Beyond that, the artery curved and became Shiprow. The cobbled road surface and pavement were difficult to traverse. Even the larger stones nearer the buildings were uneven. When he rounded the corner at Provost Ross’s House, another well-known building peeked out. He had come so far now, he couldn’t go back. He strode with purpose up the hill.

The Aberdeen Town House clock tower stretched above the roofline but that was the place he sought. Nestled between Henry’s Bar and the pedestrianized portion of Shiprow stood the As the Pages Turn bookshop.

When a customer exited holding a carrier bag emblazoned with the same signage as over the door, his heart skipped a beat. He hoped the establishment’s ownership hadn’t changed. That would defeat the purpose of his returning to Aberdeen.

The voices in his head only told him to come back. He had unfinished business with the woman with ginger hair – the one with no soul – who ran the retail outlet in front of him.

Now, to find a suitable place to wait and watch and bide his time until the moment was right.

Or, if you prefer, you can listen to the prologue…

YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS is available at amazon for pre-order for the kindle now here.

#CONTEST ~ Help me choose a title for your chance to win…

Fancy your title on the cover of a book, your name mentioned in the acknowledgements? It could happen! For the month of March, I’m running a book title cover contest.

Not to worry, I am giving you some help starting with the image that will grace the cover. Are the creative juices starting to flow?

haunted cover 72 dpi

Here’s what the book is about…

Sometimes there’s more to a house than bricks and mortar.

Hillcrest House is one such place. Perched on a cliff in the picturesque town of Angel Falls, there is more to this Victorian mansion than meets the eye. When referring to the house, the locals use the word haunted on a regular basis. Strange visions appear in the windows, especially the second-floor ones over the side porch. Even stranger events take place within its four walls.

Rumour has it, the original owners, Asher and Maggie Hargrave, never left their beloved home. They claim the couple and their family are responsible for driving people away. Over the years, Hillcrest House has changed hands numerous times. No one stays long. Renovations begin then stop and the house is once more abandoned. The latest in this long line of owners is Jessica Maitland.

Will Jessica be the next one to succumb or will she unravel the mystery of the haunting of Hillcrest House?

How about now?

How does it all work, I hear you ask.

Contest details…

Contest opens March 1, 2016 and runs until March 31, 2016.

Come up with a title and leave your idea in the comments. And for those of you who would like to take your chances but aren’t comfortable leaving a comment on a blog, send an email to Title Contest.

At the end of the contest, one lucky entrant’s title will be chosen. He/she will receive an e-copy of the book (Mobi, epub or pdf – their choice) and their name included in the acknowledgements.

Another winner will be chosen at random from the non-winning titles.

Enter as many times as you like but be sure you do before the deadline for your chance to win.

Good luck!