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Monday, September 3, 2012



I’ve always had a fascination with ghost stories which I suspect began with my mother’s tale of a ghostly encounter in a Youth Hostel in Wales when she woke during the night to the sensation of a woman’s fingers brushing her cheek. She could clearly see a woman bending over her and as she watched the figure dissolved into the wall.

My own paranormal experiences have been far less impressive and really take the form of an emotional response to a place rather than ghostly figures. The dungeons at Warwick Castle overwhelmed with such a sensation of misery I have never been able to set foot in them again. Strange objects appeared in photographs at the Roman fort of Housesteads on Hadrians Wall.

I have, to the best of my knowledge, worked in two haunted buildings and while I have plenty of evidence of the buildings’ ghostly residents they decided to leave me alone. Both buildings were owned by the Defence Department at the time and the witnesses to the paranormal were not the sort of person given to flights of fancy. Soldiers are not known for their overactive imaginations. I have posted blogs about “Albert” and “Esmerelda” and you are welcome to visit my blog and read their stories.

Over the years, wherever an opportunity has presented, I have gone on ghost tours - some hokey and some downright spooky. You will have found me trailing lantern bearing guides all over the world from York in England to New Orleans, Edinburgh to Port Arthur in Tasmania (now there is a spooky place!) to name a few. Books about ghosts and haunted places abound on my bookshelves because behind every good ghost there is a potential fodder for a writer and in my September release...GATHER THE BONES, I pulled together a few of these stories and created my own ghostly characters.

About the Author:
Award winning Australian author Alison Stuart always wanted to be a writer. As a teenager she scribbled turgid historical novels in shorthand notebooks, some of which are still in existence. Only when she dislocated a shoulder in a skiing accident, which left her stranded in a snow bound chalet in the Australian Alps with nothing for company but a notebook computer, did she dare to write the story that had been tugging at her sleeve for so long.

Her family moved from Kenya, where she had been born, to Australia in the late 1960s. Alison had imagined Australia as a place where kangaroos roamed the streets (just as, no doubt, children in Australia imagined Africa as a place where lions roamed the streets), but the inner suburbs of Perth seemed short of roving marsupials.

She studied Law and Arts at university and has worked all her life as a lawyer, both in private practice and in a range of different organizations including the military and the emergency services and a fatal attraction for men in uniform (including her husband) may explain her leaning towards soldier heroes!

Alison has been a finalist in competitions, including the shortlist of the Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize. In 2007 her first two novels BY THE SWORD and THE KING’S MAN were published. BY THE SWORD won the 2008 Eppie Award for Best Historical Romance.

These days Alison is writing full time and is officially an empty nester, with a wonderfully supportive husband (and resident military expert) and two needy cats to keep her company.

Find Alison on her website

War leaves no one untouched

The horrors of the Great War are not the only ghosts that haunt Helen Morrow and her late husband's somewhat reclusive cousin, Paul. Unquiet spirits from another time and another conflict touch them.

A coded diary gives them clues to the mysterious disappearance of Paul's great-grandmother in 1812, and the desperate voice of a young woman reaches out to them from the pages. Together Helen and Paul must search for answers, not only for the old mystery, but also the circumstances surrounding the death of Helen's husband at Passchandaele in 1917.

As the mysteries entwine, their relationship is bound by the search for truth, in the present and the past.


Debby said...

I love doing ghost tours but my hubby does not. Good thing my kids like it as well. We just leave him behind.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Ingeborg said...

Hi Alison, I love ghost stories and there have been some sightings in my own family. It's something you don't talk about because people look at you like you've gone nuts.
By the way I grew up in a small town south of Sydney in NSW.

Barbara E. said...

I love ghost stories, but I've never experienced anything even remotely ghostly, darn it. :D Gather the Bones sounds like a great story and I'm looking forward to reading it.

Alison Stuart said...

Hi Debby, Ingeborg and Barbara and a big thank you to the girls at LASR for hosting me.

I don't know what I'd do if I actually encountered a ghost but I've had enough close encounters to make me a believer. There is more about the ghost of Netherby on my blogsite. He was very well documented!

I have written two published short stories which are ghost stories (THE PROMISE is available for free on my website) and loved writing them so much I decided to go full length!

I drew heavily on my many ghost tours for the ghostly inhabitants of Holdston Hall.