H is for Haunted

The Isle of Man is an island of rolling hills, quaint villages and bustling towns. It also has its fair share of haunted places.  Let me introduce you to just a few.

The Milntown Estate is located near Ramsey and was built in the early 1600’s. According to Lovely Greens, the house is haunted by a former Lady of the house who is more of a friendly, vs the other ghost who is a bit more aggressive.

Ben Sowrey and Dario Leonetti are the “Ghost Hunters” of the Isle of Man and they spent a night in the Milntown house declaring it Most Haunted. Here is the video the was produced for Gef The Mongoose: The Most Haunted.

The Gaiety Theatre is another haunted place listed by Gef The Mongoose. There are supposed to be four ghosts in the theater with the most well known one sitting in seat B14. This is her favorite seat so the theater keeps it open for her. Those who have experienced her haunting initially see a kindly older woman, but it isn’t until she slides into the wall near her seat that they realize they have been sitting by a ghost.

Last, but not least, are the black dogs that are seen in many places around the island. One dog in particular is Moddey Dhoo. My readers will be happy to know that Moddey is one of the characters in my book. I will have a post coming up about who he is, but for now, let me tell you the story about Moddey Dhoo of Castle Peel.

According to legend, there is a dog seen curled in front of the fire in one room or another throughout Castle Peel. No one knew who this dog was, and once the guards had locked the gates and secured the castle, Moddey would join them in the guard-room.

The guards, without fail, would take the caste key to the captain of the guards each night and they always traveled in pairs. One night, after having too much ale, one of the guards went alone. Once down the hall there came such a wail of screams that the remaining guards were frozen in their chairs. The single man came back out of his mind and he died three days later.

If you are out at night around Castle Peel, I suggest taking a friend.

There are many more places around the Isle of Man that are haunted, and many more wrapped in folklore. Here are a few links where you can discover them for yourself:

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This post inspired by — H

I is for Isle of Man

F is for Fairy Bridge

On the Isle of Man there is a bridge that belongs to The Little People. It is called the Fairy Bridge. The Little People (also called Themselves) are NOT fairies. They do not associate themselves with fairies and find it quite insulting to be called fairies. They are Themselves or Little People (Little Fellows), period. As I have done research into the folktales on the Isle Of Man, I have not come across the reason they detest being called fairies.

I can only imagine how much the Little People laugh at the humans who pass over the bridge. It might be that fairies do live under the bridge, but beware. They are tricksters. If you cross over the bridge be sure to say thank you for allowing you to cross.

Most people don’t realize that this well known bridge is only there for the tourists. There is another bridge, more difficult to get to, that is the true bridge of the Little People. This is the bridge I have in my book. Kaitlin’s first encounter with the magical world on the Isle of Man is under this bridge. Her life will change in ways she never dreamed of.

If you should find your way to this bridge, remember to give a kind nod of thanks. You are the guest of the Little People. They only ask for your respect. If you don’t, watch out. Your life could change in ways you never dreamed of just like Kaitlin’s does.

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This post inspired by – F

G is for Geography

D is for Donal Kennaugh

I would like to introduce you to Donal Kennaugh, one of the main characters in The Manx. I have enjoyed writing Donal’s character because there are  many secrets behind him. Throughout the story these secrets will come to light as he is forced to face  his past.

He lives in Ramsey with his mother, Brigid. He and his father were a sidecar team in the motorcycle racing circuit. During the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy race (also known as the TT), the bike went out of control. His father was killed, and Donal has not raced since, but still loves to ride on the rare days the sun shines on the island.

The main character of The Manx is Kaitlin Manning. She and Donal are first maternal cousins and spent childhood summers together adventuring around the Isle of Man. Donal took her to all of his secret places and they made up wild tales of kings and queens, knights and princesses. He slew dragons for her, spoke with the fairies, and wrestled bugganes. He was Kaitlin’s hero.

After his father’s death, the games suddenly stopped. It has been ten years since Kaitlin and her father visited the island, and they have returned to photograph the TT.

Donal and Kaitlin will once again take up their childhood adventures, but they will no longer be a games of pretend.

Note: Today calls for two blog posts in order to satisfy two blog writing challenges. A to Z Challenge’s daily post plus the Insecure Writers Support Group’s monthly post. 

This post inspired by – D

E is for Eclipse

What Do I Love Most About My Genre?

What’s not to love? I do write in multiple genres (historical fiction, non-fiction, and fantasy), but my favorite is fantasy. Ever since a young age I loved tails about witches, vampires (Bela Lugosi was the best), fairies, and all the rest. I read the tame versions of the Brothers Gimm along with marathons of the old black and white Frankenstein-esque films.

My writing is on the tamer side of witchcraft and fairy tales. My first book (yes, I’m working furiously to get it out!) is based on the fairy tales and legends on the Isle of Man. They are pretty quirky stories that I still scratch my head about. One story is about St. Trinian’s Church and the monster haunting it. The monster, called a Buggane, hates all the noise the church builders are making during the day, so he rips off the roof every night. This goes on and on. The roof is on, the roof is off, night after night. Then a boy named Timothy makes a wager with the church that he can make a pair of pants inside the church before the Buggane can rip off the roof. They take him up on the wager just so the roof might stay on a single night. Timothy not only gets his breeches made, but he also angers the Buggane so much that it rips it’s own head off and vanishes. The church still stands today.

This is what I love about what I write. A tale of legendary monsters, a brave boy, and a building that still stands. One day, I will visit St. Trinian’s and touch the walls of history. Until that day I will write my own tales of the Buggane of St. Trinian’s.

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Today’s post is inspired by the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group). Our awesome co-hosts for the February 7 posting of the IWSG are Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!

Click here to read some other great blogs

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell


★★★★☆
This hefty novel opens in 1806 with the meeting of the Great Magic Society. Theoretical magicians meet to discuss their discoveries while reading about, but not practicing, magic. A gentleman does not, after all, practice magic.

Ms. Clarke weaves a wonderful tale filled with shadows lurking in dark corners and chilled breezes that sneak through the window cracks. Magic is coming back to England after a 300-year absence, and Mr. Norrell and Jonathan Strange are in the middle of it all as they fumble through dusty spell books.

The reader spends the first third of the book with Mr. Norrell and his fussy approach to magic. His counterpart, Jonathan Strange doesn’t make his first appearance until well into the story.  The two characters are the opposite of one another in every respect. Mr. Norrell is small, mousey, and reserve in personality and magic. On the opposite side, Jonathan Strange is tall, handsome, and bold.

Their lives become deeply intertwined and neither Johnathan Strange nor Mr. Norrell understand the depth until the last chapters and pages.

I loved the writing style of Ms. Clarke, which is reminiscent of the time-period in which the book takes place. The humor is dry, and hidden among the words. If you are not an English major, you may miss many of the jokes that are drizzled throughout the book. The writing style is colorful and the reader will be treated to smelling the acrid air and feeling the rough textures.

The use of end-notes gives the reader some backstory of side characters and events. They are a fun diversion away from a long story, but they were a little disruptive at times. I skipped a few just to continue with my reading.

Overall, this is a great book to lose yourself in.

Welcome 2016

We just crossed into a new year…are you excited? If you said, “YES!” then I’m with you. I am really looking forward to this year and what secrets it holds.The future is never certain, but I will make the best of it. My plan for 2016 is pretty simple; publish my debut novel The Manx. This book has been in the works for a few years and kept on the back burner while I dug down into the craft of writing. Developing character and story arcs, along with structure and plot are all necessary for developing a good book, but when I started The Manx I knew nothing about writing a book and soon discovered that it needed a little work.

Since its inception (around 2013), I have kept it safely on the shelf just waiting for the day I had enough confidence (and know-how) to pull it back out and dive in. The Manx is coming out to play and its going to be awesome! If you like fairy tales this will be your kind of read. I won’t reveal any more right now, but look to future posts as I introduce you to the Isle of Man and its people, the Manx.

Until then, enjoy the beginnings of this new year. Make your resolutions. Keep them or not. No matter what, make the best of everything that happens this year. It will be the one, and only, time you get to live 2016.

The Magicians

The Magicians by, Lev Grossman
★★★★☆
The Magicians is a book not for everyone. Quentin, our main character, is magical, and missing something in his life. If he could only get to Fillory (a magical place found in his favorite books, and a very grown up version of Narnia) then everything will be OK. He first finds himself at Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic (think Harry Potter in a partying frat). After 4 years, he finally gets to Fillory. Throughout the story Quentin is forever longing for something that is just out of his reach that he never can grasp.

Lev Grossman is a master at opening Quentin’s mind and diving in to reveal those dark places that everyone lives in at some point or another. Grossman does such a wonderful job of writing that I couldn’t put the book down. He drew me in and I left only because I turned the last page. What is missed in the “feel-good department” it is made up through great writing.