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Friday, August 3, 2012

GUEST BLOG: HAVEN RAINES

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Could Castles Ever Be Complete Without a Secret Passage?

My childhood fantasy of living in a castle with hidden passageways, secret gardens, butlers, dumb waiters and ghosts became my first book, Farnsworth Hall. I had a great deal of fun living in the castle with a fun cast of characters and one or two ghosts. A hidden family secret was revealed but not in time to prevent the heroine from disappearing. I saw England through the eyes of the run-away pregnant heiress who was hunted by an unconventional private investigator. I rejoiced when the heiress was reunited with the hero.


Farnsworth Hall is the first in the series, In a Castle It Can Happen, which will cover the three Coulter sister’s romances plus other family members. This is Rachel’s story. Coming soon is Carmen’s, and the last of the sister’s stories is Amanda’s. Corrine, Rachel’s sister-in-law, story will follow. An offshoot of the series will be another series – The Serial Killer Squad – 3 kooky women track down killers and set them on the straight and narrow.


Farnsworth Hall – Gothic Romance set in Contemporary England


To ease the heartbreak of a disappointing love affair, Rachel Coulter agrees to help locate a suitable English castle for her mother's spa chain. When her tour bus breaks down, she finds the formidable fortress she is stranded in front of houses more than ghosts.


Trace Cardiff inherited the falling down Farnsworth Hall. Despite the childhood memories he holds close, he must sell the monstrosity before it bankrupts him. When his son’s former nanny, Rachel, shows up, claiming she's in the market to buy, he doesn’t believe her. But Rachel's persistence not only stirs all the feelings buried in his heart, it awakens family ghosts who would rather see her disappear...forever.


Caught in a passionate web of lies and deceit, Trace and Rachel must battle their way to the truth. Will the skeletons sleep at last, or will family secrets succeed in driving them apart?


A secret passage is usually inside a structure leading to a secret room or a way of entering/exiting without being seen. Hidden rooms and passageways have helped people carry out illegal, religious, political, or smuggling activities, evade capture, and spy on others. Many Medieval Castles or Arabic houses were not complete without a secret passage.

The entry to these passages were difficult to detect. The doors were camouflaged so they appear as a part of the structure such as bookshelf, with a window ledge, fireplace, or ornament on the wall. Some entrances were more elaborately concealed and can be opened only by engaging a hidden mechanism or locking device. Other hidden doors were much simpler such as a trapdoor hidden under a rug.

A secret passage is not just the province of ancient castles and the mansions of famous magicians. Secret passages can be easily built in your own home, and they can provide hours of entertainment for newcomers and family members alike.

To build your own secret room, you will need a power saw and drill, a hammer, a door, levers, screws and nails.

1st Step - Measure and remove a section of wall (non-load bearing, please).

2nd Step – Rebuild the wall as far into the room as needed and install a recessed wall sliding door.

3rd Step - Install a trigger mechanism such as a picture frame, a conveniently placed book, or a button the color of the wall paper or paneling.

4th Step - Install a system of levers attaching the trigger mechanism to the doorknob, such that when you turn the picture frame, the door will slide open.

5th Step - Lastly, wallpaper or panel the wall so the secret door blends into the surrounding wall and the seams of the door are impossible to differentiate from the surrounding wall.


Thanks a bunch to Long and Short Reviews for this opportunity to promote my first book.


About the Author:
Haven was born and grew up in Decatur, Illinois, in a middle class family. Her mother and three aunts were avid readers of Harlequin romances, which is where Haven gets her love for reading.
Currently, Haven resides in northeast Missouri and is looking for a historic home with a dumb waiter, secret passages and ‘hidey holes’. Her husband, 3 daughters, 13 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren are the delight of her life.


Haven is a nurse practitioner with a belief in alternative therapies. She works fulltime in a Rural Family Practice clinic and has published three textbooks for nurse practitioners. She is a certified hypnotherapist, aromatherapist and would love to own and operate a resort spa someday in the future.


Currently she is finishing her third contemporary novel in her series “In a Castle, It Can Happen.” Because of her love of castles, alternative therapies, ghosts, mysteries and unusual happenings, she has hints of each in all of her novels.
Haven is a member of SW Florida RWA, National Guild of Hypnotists, and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.


Contact Haven at Havenraines@yahoo.com or check out her Web Site – www.HavenRaines.com





To ease the heartbreak of a disappointing love affair, Rachel Coulter agrees to help locate a suitable English castle for her mother's spa chain. When her tour bus breaks down, she finds the formidable fortress she is stranded in front of houses more than ghosts.


Trace Cardiff inherited the falling down Farnsworth Hall. Despite the childhood memories he holds close, he must sell the monstrosity before it bankrupts him. When his son’s former nanny, Rachel, shows up, claiming she's in the market to buy, he doesn’t believe her. But Rachel's persistence not only stirs all the feelings buried in his heart, it awakens family ghosts who would rather see her disappear...forever.


Caught in a passionate web of lies and deceit, Trace and Rachel must battle their way to the truth. Will the skeletons sleep at last, or will family secrets succeed in driving them apart?
Buy Farnsworth Hall at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.


1 comment:

Susan Frances said...

Oh Haven,

You are soooo right. We love to think of secret passages in castles. We just presume there must be some. It's a sign of the Middle Ages when families had to sneak out of their keeps before the King's men came to kill them. Rachel and Trace's love story sounds dreamy -- uncovering lies and deceit together. We do like it when men and women work together.