A couple of years ago, I attended a Writer’s conference in York. One of the ladies who stuck out was Christina Courtenay (fantastic hair; still jealous of it) who at the time had just recently published her book Trade Winds. It was sort of odd to realise that Christina spoke Swedish, had a thing about Jamie Fraser and loved everything historical – just like me. I have read all of Christina’s books – warmly recommended – and I am very proud to have her visiting with me today. And just so you know; the stuff she writes about her Swedish grandma sounds just like mine – all that spitting after cats really dried my mouth out!
Superstitions and “The Secret Kiss of Darkness”
I’m very superstitious and have been since I was a little girl. I think it’s all my Swedish grandmother’s fault – she filled my head with all sorts of rules. “Don’t put the keys on the table”, “don’t walk under ladders, especially not on Friday the 13th”, “spit if a cat crosses the road in front of you”, “throw salt over your left shoulder if you spill any”, etc. It all became second nature to me.
Kayla, the heroine of my new novel The Secret Kiss of Darkness agrees to have her fortune told by a gypsy, but because I’m so superstitious, that’s something I would NEVER do. Kayla thinks it’s just going to be a bit of fun – “You’ll meet a dark, handsome stranger, marry him and live happily ever after” kind of thing – but it turns out to be a lot more serious. I’d be afraid of the same thing happening to me. I mean, how do you know the fortune teller can’t actually see into the future? It could be true, right?
For the same reason, I don’t read my horoscope in case there is something bad being predicted and there’s absolutely no way I’d ever have a Tarot reading. What if the worst card came up? I’d be beside myself with worry!
I did once have an astrological birth chart done by a friend of mine who specialises in them. I told myself it would probably be totally inaccurate and that the way the planets were aligned at my birth couldn’t possibly have any bearing on my life. I was totally wrong. So much of what that chart told me was true, I was astonished. Luckily I had agreed to do this on the understanding that I didn’t want to be told of any bad things.
So should we believe in second sight, fortune telling, magic and the supernatural? I don’t know. But there are lots of unexplained phenomena in the world and when it comes to fiction, I’m happy to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the story, no matter how far fetched it might seem. I hope my readers are the same because it’s fun to create stories where anything can happen. Talking paintings? Why not. Ghosts? Ditto. Fortune telling that turns out to be completely accurate? Absolutely.
What about you? Are you superstitious? Please tell me I’m not the only one who spits after poor unsuspecting cats!
Must forbidden love end in heartbreak?
Kayla Sinclair knows she’s in big trouble when she almost bankrupts herself to buy a life-size portrait of a mysterious eighteenth century man at an auction.
Jago Kerswell, inn-keeper and smuggler, knows there is danger in those stolen moments with Lady Eliza Marcombe, but he’ll take any risk to be with her.
Over two centuries separate Kayla and Jago, but when Kayla’s jealous fiancé presents her with an ultimatum, and Jago and Eliza’s affair is tragically discovered, their lives become inextricably linked thanks to a gypsy’s spell. Kayla finds herself on a quest that could heal the past, but what she cannot foresee is the danger in her own future.
Will Kayla find heartache or happiness?
Buy on Amazon UK
Buy on Amazon US (not available until March)
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