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Alison Stuart, Gather The Bones and Giveaway!

Today we have Australian lawyer, Alison Stuart, who just released her latest Paranormal Historical Romance- Gather The Bones. 


MYSTERY, HISTORY, ROMANCE AND GHOSTS – Alison Stuart on writing GATHER THE BONES

Thanks for having me here, Nas and crew.

I am often asked where I get the inspiration for my stories and it’s not an easy question to answer. Sometimes it comes from a passing reference in a book (as it did for THE KING’S MAN) but more often it is buildings. I love old buildings and on my trips to England I could spend my entire time poking around old houses and ruined castles.

When I visited Baddesley Clinton in Warwickshire, a medieval moated manor house, it just begged for a story to be set in its crooked corridors. 

I started off wanting to write a ghost story. I’ve always liked ghost stories and have written a couple of short stories with a supernatural bent but never turned my hand to a full length novel. I thought a change from my beloved seventeenth century was called for and a recent tour of the battlefields of the First World War gave me the major plot for the story.  A story about the aftermath of the Great War.

Setting a book in 1923 allowed me to write an Australian character (my heroine, Helen) and I love archaeology so my hero is an archaeologist.  Finally I wanted to try my hand at a mystery.  Like the witches in Macbeth, I threw the whole lot in and stirred.

The result is GATHER THE BONES…mystery, history, romance and ghosts…or as one young friend called it “Downton Abbey with ghosts”.

Or as my editor would prefer…

The horrors of the Great War are not the only ghosts that haunt Helen Morrow and her late husband's 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.

Mystery, history, romance or ghosts…what is your favourite read?

Stop by and leave a comment and go in the draw to win a Gather the Bones related prize.

Please add to your Goodreads. And there is a Goodreads Giveaway going at the moment.


Alison around the web:

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41 comments:

  1. This book is full of great conflict! I like the idea of the coded diary helping to solve a disappearance. And I have to agree with Alison: old buildings are inspiring.

    Thanks, Nas!

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    1. Thanks Emily. I had a lot of fun with diary...I actually went into character and wrote it as a diary from start to finish. Obviously not all of it appeared in the book but it really helped me get a handle on Suzanna who is very much a character in the book.

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  2. When I was in school, reading history, my teacher gave me a really fascinating book to read - Green Darkness by Anya Seton. It was the story of a modern couple who had lived in Tudor times. One day, when the wife had some sort of accident, she went into a coma and visited her past life. It was interesting to see that a lot of the issues she had with her husband bore direct relation to things which had happened back then. A lot of characters surrounding her in her present life where present back then too. My history teacher gave me the book because she found that it had evoked the Tudor times beautifully. That's how my love of historical fiction was born. I know I'm going to love reading your book, which I'm just starting.

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    1. Oh I loved Anya Seton but I don't remember reading that particular story. This story isn't a "time slip" just an old fashioned ghost story (no werewolves or vampires either!). I love time slip stories and my next book SECRETS IN TIME is a time slip - back into my beloved seventeenth century.

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    2. Thank you Maria for sharing that story!

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  3. I love old buildings. All kinds of interesting history behind each one. Your book sounds very intriguing. Will have to put it on my TBR list.

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    1. My grandfather first took me to Harvington Hall near where he lived when I was 11 and I just fell in love with old buildings. It became Seven Ways in BY THE SWORD. I must do a post on the real romance story that involves Baddesley Clinton - a classic love triangle of Victorian politeness.

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    2. Hello Donna,

      Thank you for reading along and commenting!

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  4. Sounds like a great story! I love stories that blend different genres & give me both that mystery and romance. Castles are great places to get inspiration!

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    1. I love castles and when I'm travelling in the UK we always try and stop when we see one (although on our last trip even I had to admit I had enough by the time we got to Caernarvon)! "Holey" Castles as my sons called them on a trip to the UK. We visited Ashby deLa Zouch on a cold, foggy morning, we were the only visitors, apart from a lone crow cawing from the top of a ruined tower. VEry atmospheric!

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    2. Wow! Jemi!

      You made Alison share about her trips and castles. Very interesting!

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  5. Sounds fascinating! I love old buildings too.

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    1. There is something about old buildings - as if they absorb the life energy of the people who have lived in them.

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    2. Hi Rose,

      Thanks for reading along and commenting!

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  6. This book sounds wonderful! I'll have to add it to my to-read list. Love the cover too! Buildings seem to have so much history attached to them and can definitely make the mind wander.

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    1. Hi Cherie. I can't claim any credit for the cover. I have a brilliant publisher and while it wasn't MY idea of a cover (picturing WWI battlefields) I have to admit I have fallen in love with it and I think the body language between the couple catches Paul and Helen very well (although Helen is blonde!)

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    2. Hello Cherie,

      Thanks for coming along to read this post. I also find the cover intriguing of GATHER THE BONES!

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  7. I love that you get ideas from old buildings! And the book sounds so cool. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Shallee. Living in Australia does make my access to really old buildings difficult but whenever I go to England I make sure I visit new places and I have a pile of "guides" which become my inspiration.

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    2. Hi Shallee,

      Thanks for commenting!

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  8. Sounds like a great book! I like history, mystery, romance, and ghosts!

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    1. Sherry...you are my kind of girl. I write the kind of books I like to read and I wasn't sure how readers would take to such a melange of a plot but it seems to be going over very well and I am now wondering how I can take it forward into a new book.

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    2. Hi Sherry!

      Thanks for coming by. I hope you get to read GATHER THE BONES! You'll definitely enjoy it!

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  9. Firstly huge apologies for not being here sooner...I feel like I am rushing in late, shedding my hat and coat as I go. I had a very long day at work yesterday, got home late and fell in a heap with a glass of red wine. I am sure you all understand...

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    1. Welcome to Romance Book Haven Alison! We enjoy chatting with you. Your comments are interesting.

      Thanks for sharing all your experiences with us!

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    2. And thanks for having me, Nas!

      I was able to write full time last year which was great but I found I was missing the intellectual stimulation of a work environment so it has been back to the treadmill this year...but only for a couple of days a week if that. A perfect balance! Unfortunately the last couple of days just got a bit too busy.

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  10. i lvoe romance story :)

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    1. Hi Eli...I like a happy ever after or at least a promise of a happy ever after. Let's face it, the need to be loved is one of the most basic of human instincts. What's not to love about romance?
      I get very tired of the sneering about "romance" that goes on in the book world.

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  11. Fantastic cover and I enjoy books that blend genres. :)

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    1. Thanks, Medeia. I wish mainstream publishers agreed with you! That's why we can be so grateful to the small e-presses for taking a risk with different kinds of books these days.

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  12. Out of those four? Hmm . . . I'd have to say Mystery and History. :)

    Interesting post!

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    1. Hi GE! I would really like to write more historical mystery stories but writing mysteries is a different discipline. Mind you I had a lot of fun with the mystery in this book so maybe some time in the future I will jump into a historical crime!

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  13. An Australian character, archaeology, and ghosts!! Sounds like a fabulous read!

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    1. Hi Lynda. I'd love to have set some of the book in Australia but it just didn't work out. Originally it had a little epilogue that brought the characters together in Australia but we deemed it not necessary for the story. Editors!

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  14. i love a romance and history story,,
    thanks for the chance ^^

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  15. Hi Alison!! I love that Gather the Bones has everything in it - romance,paranormal, history... I don't like pigeonholing stories into one category so it's great yours just sounds like a cracking good read for a winter's night!

    Take care
    x

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  16. Thanks, Old K. I write the sort of books I like to read. Unfortunately that doesn't make for an easy sell to mainstream publishers who do like to pigeonhole books into "romance" or "paranormal" or...etc. Do we tend to forget writers are also readers as well?

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  17. Thank you to everyone who called by and left a comment.
    I have picked a totally random winner...LINDA YOUNG...

    You will find my contact details on the home page of my website http://www.alisonstuart.com/ . Drop me a note with your postal address and I will send you the parcel of goodies.

    If I don't hear from you by Friday, I will draw again.

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You can discuss your romance novel addiction too!