But the cottage has other ideas and Rose is quickly drawn into the tragic disappearance of its previous owner. Obsessed with solving the mystery, will Rose manage to lay her own ghosts to rest?
Cornwall is well known and much loved as a holiday destination. But not everyone is as aware of its ancient past. The magnificent landscape is haunted by standing stones and Neolithic burial grounds. Time out of Mind celebrates the spirit of place and its enduring power to heal.
My novel “Time out of Mind” is published by ThornBerry, as an e-book for Kindle & Kobo, and is also available as a paperback (e.g. Amazon).
Set in an imaginary Cornish village, Time out of Mind is a work of contemporary fiction, with elements of ghost story and murder mystery.
Faced with the apparent wreck of her life – two deaths which haunt her, a failing marriage and a soulless job – Rose Little flees London for Penmaris, a quiet country cottage where she plans to paint and take time to consider what to do next.
An earlier novel of mine, “The Placebo Effect”, was short-listed for the 2007 Impress Prize for New Writers of Fiction. The first chapter was published in their competition anthology under an earlier working title: How Do I Tell You?
A placebo is a medical lie. Curiously, it can make us feel better.
Katherine Birchall has dished out sugar-coated deceits all her life, to cover her tracks, to save her family distress. Why endure unpleasant truths when lies are painless? Then the past threatens and things really start to hurt.
Illicit love, a life-long obsession, and everyone lies all the time.
The Placebo Effect is a love story about one woman’s life-long passion which became an obsession and which, though it only ever flamed briefly, ruled her entire existence.
It’s also a “baby-boomer” story aimed at women for whom the “free-love” revolution was often a bumpy ride, leaving a legacy of disillusionment and regrets. I tackle issues which these women might recognise: the lies they told as children to escape 1950’s narrow-mindedness; sex in the Sixties with its hippy lure but ever-present threat of pregnancy; meeting an old flame and rekindling a love affair; burying past shame; living with loss.
The novel also touches on questions about the nature of reality: exactly who are we, relative to the persona we present to the world? For those who grew up during the Fifties and Sixties, the generation conflict was possibly more stark than at any other time in history. The dual standards and the resultant clash of mores led, for some, to a severe crisis of identity.
Click here to read an excerpt from Chapter One