Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Please Welcome Annie R McEwen as She Tells Us About Her Paranormal Romance, BOUND ACROSS TIME, Book 1

Bound Across Time
Book One
by Annie R McEwen 

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Ghost Romance
Publisher: Harbor Lane Books
Date of Publication: May 7, 2024
Number of pages: 324

Tagline: In a castle on the shores of the Irish Sea, she’s met the love of her life. Clever, witty, strong, fiercely attractive.  What’s the catch? He’s a ghost.

Book Description:

Historian CeCe’s dream job in a Welsh castle goes sideways when she’s ordered to ditch the history and lead ghost walks. That’s the worst of her worries until she meets Patrick: strong, handsome, irresistible…and dead since 1761.

Desire and hope flare in Patrick’s heart when CeCe touches him while, for CeCe, Patrick is everything. But she’s in the bright world of the living while he’s trapped in the shadows. 

Loving a ghost is deadly business. Patrick and CeCe struggle to outrace fate as it hurtles them toward disaster. Can the ancient riddle of an Irish seer save them? The spells of Welsh witches? 

Or can powers CeCe didn’t even know she possessed bridge time and defeat death?

Book Trailer: https://shorturl.at/ajuE0

Excerpt from Bound Across Time, by Annie R McEwen

You’re an idjit, Patrick. Death was always too good for you.

He should have gone slower with her, no doubt about it. He was a lout, a brute, to startle her so thoroughly, and that was never his intent. He could have—no, he should have—whispered, or moaned, or shimmered from a distance. Instead, he was hasty.

Hasty? He was a burning brand of desire. Who could blame him after two hundred-fifty…how long had it been? He’d lost count of the years.

That was still no reason to be an imbecilic knave, popping up like codswalloping Punch on a puppet stage while wearing the same filthy linen he was tipped overboard in when the Earl didn’t have the decency to give him a proper burial. At least the sea water had washed away the blood.

His honor, his common sense—perhaps they’d washed away as well. Within reach of this woman, he could remember nothing he’d learned of subtle romance and courtly manners. All he could think of was making her his, now until the end of time.

What an embarrassment he was, to his sainted mother, to his upbringing, to the gentleman he was reared to be. An embarrassment to every Irish bard who ever sang songs or wrote poems about women who were doves, and lilies, and other things he couldn’t remember.

He did remember that they were fragile and easily startled. Easily driven away.
Next time, I will be slow. I will slowly and gently explain things to her. Unusual things. Highly unusual, uncanny, frightening, nigh incomprehensible things.

Sure, now, Patrick, me boyo, that’ll be a stroll along the banks of the Shannon.

By the right hand of God, but she was beautiful. Slumbering on the stone floor, her skin smooth ivory but gilded, as though the sun had kissed her once and then fallen in love, unable to leave. She’d lost her cap, and her hair—rich, deep brown and burnished with red, like brandy—tumbled around her neck and shoulders. Her sun-brushed skin, high and perfect cheekbones, the delicate slant of her eyes, the plump swell of her breasts above the top edge of her bodice, the curves of the body he could imagine pressed to his own aching and lonely one…

Beauty itself, she was, not only of body but of mind. In the weeks before she’d seen him, he’d watched her exercise that beautiful mind among the slower thinkers of the Castle, who doubtless envied her. She was stubborn, spirited, and quick-witted—he liked that.
He crouched over her crumpled form, not touching, only taking in her scent. Rose attar and mint—he liked that, too.

The only thing he didn’t care for was the name she went by, See-see. What sort of name was that? It was something you called a canary. He would never call her that, not when the French name with which she’d been christened was just like her.

Céleste, meaning heavenly.

She was waking now. He rose and backed away. Time for him to depart, as he must, and breathe a prayer. Not for himself, there was no point to that. If God had ever listened to him, he wouldn’t be where he was, and he deserved no better. His prayer would be for her, the angel who defied or escaped God’s curse to light his endless night.

Come back, Céleste Gowdie. Please come back.

What is it about this book that makes it special?

“What I did on my summer vacation: living and writing a ghost romance”

by Annie R McEwen

Some of the most moving and credible—not to mention funny—books I’ve read were grounded in true life experiences. Bound Across Time, my paranormal ghost romance, grew out of my life: its twists and turns, its quirks and wonders.

Just like my protagonist, Celeste ‘CeCe’ Gowdie, I’m a career historian from the Deep South. Like CeCe, I taught college level history, worked in museums, and competed with a sensationalist local ghost walk while trying to drum up interest in history tours. On a trip abroad, I found myself in a small town in Wales with a thoroughly enchanting (and possibly enchanted) castle. There, I was drawn to a community of “cunning folk”, Welsh practitioners of magick, divination, and what one of the witches in my book calls the “Old Way”.

I have huge respect for the writer’s craft. But it’s true what people say: life is stranger than fiction. By applying imagination to the very odd turn of events in my own life, I (inadvertently at first, then deliberately) created a world that any of us, like Alice Through the Looking Glass, might stumble into while chasing a cat.

Oh, the cat! No Name, the one who appears in Bound Across Time, is like every one of the many cats I’ve known and loved, and yet markedly different from all of them: he can change color at will. Even that isn’t so far from life. Anyone who’s ever looked into a cat’s eyes knows there’s something fishy about felines, and I’m not talking about the Fancy Feast in their dinner dish.

After explaining all the above at a recent Author Talk in Wales, the question I feared popped up from a member of the audience: “What about the ghost lover in the book? Had you met him before?”

My answer then and now: No comment.

Read Bound Across Time and come to your own conclusion.

About the Author:

Annie R McEwen is a career historian who’s lived in six countries, under every roof from a canvas tent to a Georgian Era manor house and driven herself to work in everything from a donkey cart to a vintage Peugeot. For her, it feels perfectly natural to create stories of desperate love and powerful secrets in faraway times and places.

Winner of the 2022 Page Turners Award, Genre (Romance) Category, Annie also garnered the First Place 2022 RTTA (Romance Through Ages Award from Romance Writers of America; Post-Victorian to WWI Category), the 2023 MAGGIE Award, and the 2023 Daphne du Maurier Award. Her Regency murder mystery “Death at Dunarven” appears in the 2024 Murder Most International Anthology. 

Annie’s books are published by Harbor Lane Books (US), Bloodhound Books (UK), and The Wild Rose Press. When she’s not in her 1920s bungalow in Florida, Annie lives, writes, and explores castles in Wales. 

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Friday, April 26, 2024

Castles With a C


(Top to Bottom)
Charlottenburg Palace
Celje Castle
Caerphilly in Wales
Caerlaverock Castle
Schloss Callenberg
Corgarff Castle