Thursday, 30 December 2010

The Boy Behind The Fireplace

     In October 2003, the skeleton of a young boy was discovered when replacing the original fireplace in the main hall of a thirteenth century castle.
     There was no clue to the boy’s identity, but sightings had been recorded of a small boy of the period seen playing in the hall.  This is my idea of what might be his story.

The Boy Behind the Fireplace

’Twas in the thrall of winter, he holed me in this wall.
My life I was to forfeit, my lord would have it all.
My hearth my lord did covet, my mother he desired.
My death was all he needed and for this he conspired.

My mother’s heart he captured, he held her in his spell.
To me, he showed his hatred, and left me in this hell.
Now let this wall bear witness, to the evil of his mind,
For all will know his purpose, when they my body find.

My life’s breath still did linger when put inside this wall
And though I cried and pleaded, no one would heed my call.
I scraped against the brickwork, but it still held its place
Now none will ever know me, and none behold my face.

My lord, my place has taken, my mother and my worth,
And I am left here grounded, forever on this earth.

Hazel Statham © October 2005

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

My Blog at Historical Romance UK Blog

     Inspiration for THE PORTRAIT came to me from a song whilst watch the film ‘Hawks’, which is the story of two young men dying of cancer, but determined to enjoy life whilst they can.  In the song, the singer utters the words ‘I want to be the man that you think I am’ which, in the theme of the film, translates into wishing he was strong and healthy for his girlfriends sake.  I took that thought and translated it into a hero returning from war with devastating wounds.
     When he had joined the ranks of those fighting against Napoleon, Edward Thurston, the new Earl of Sinclair, had recently entered into an arranged betrothed with Lady Jennifer Lynton, but a cannonball wreaked such damage on his noble frame that he had no desire to continue with the marriage.  In other words, he wanted to be the man she thought he was, not the wreck he perceived himself to have become.  However, during the campaigns, it was seen that he relied greatly on a miniature he carried and it was to this he clung during his time spent recovering in a convent on the Portuguese  border.
     For differing reasons, Lady Jennifer had also decided to end the engagement.  She felt slighted that Edward’s letters had been impersonal with little but trivialities in their content.  Why should she trot down the isle with a man she hardly knew and made no attempt to inform her of his injuries?

     Will Edward find happiness with the girl in the portrait or will he stay firm in his resolve not to wed?  His head dictates on course, his heart another!

If you have time, please read an excerpt at the link below

Friday, 10 December 2010

My Guest Blog at The First Draft

     Authors are divided into two groups, the planners and the pansters.  Me?  I’m definitely a panster.  Of course, I know in which direction I want the story to go but, apart from a vague idea, I just go with the flow.  For me, it’s like listening in on private conversations and just watching as the story unfolds before me.  Quite often, I hear words coming out of my characters’ mouths that I never even dreamed of and frequently the story takes a completely different direction.  This doesn’t cause a problem and, on the whole, usually enriches the plot.
     An example of this is that I never knew Stephan, a character in MY DEAREST FRIEND, had an illegitimate daughter until the sergeant confided it to Stephan’s brother.  It came as quite a surprise but added yet another element to the story.  I write, primarily, for my own amusement and don’t write to a formula so my characters are allowed to do or say anything they wish.  Luckily, this usually works and adds to the enjoyment of writing the book.
     The first draft is where I develop the story and characters.  Refinement comes later.  I am never completely satisfied with the first, second or indeed, third draft, but there has to come a point when you let it go and, for good or bad, allow it to fly.

     If anyone had told me that a character could take over a book and make it his own, I would not have believed them.  However, I would now have to admit that this did indeed happen.  Dominic, Earl of Vale was a very strong character who just strode onto the page and more or less wrote the book himself.  He was a fun character to write and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
     Dominic was so determined to tell his story that even though we vacationed in Orlando, he insisted I paid attention and continued with his story.  It was hurricane season, the rain came in torrents and the trees outside our hotel room were horizontal.  My husband slept and I wrote. 
   His is a fun story about an unconventional courtship and unbelievably needed little more than tweaking after the first draft.  I have never been so fortunate again.  THE PORTRAIT came very close to it however, and again, the first draft proved quite satisfying with only minor changes being made thereafter. 
     I have been lucky and the stories continue to come.  All my characters are dear to me and I have great pleasure in telling their stories.  If some never get past the first draft, then so be it, they have been a joy to write.


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

An Interview with Lady Flora Carlton and the Honerable Peregrine Thruston, siblings of the Earl of Sinclair

     Yesterday, I had the very good fortune to take tea with Lady Flora Carlton and her youngest brother, Perry, and I thought I would take this opportunity to relay the content of our cozy tête-à-tête to you.
     “How fares your dear brother so recently returned from war?” I asked, when the opportunity arose.  I was eager to hear news of Edward, who now, owing to his father’s demise,  found himself to be the new Earl of Sinclair.
     “I do believe he is improving,” stated Flora.  “No sooner did I hear of his injuries than I decided Carlton could fare well enough without me and I hastened to Fly Hall resolute to be at my dear brother’s side.  I was determined to nurse him in his hour of need.”
     Perry looked his disgust at his sister’s words.  “Edward needs no nursing and well you know it, Flora.  Your overzealous attentions drive him demented.”
     “You overstate the case,” snapped Flora.  “How can you, a mere boy, understand how the loss of an arm can affect a man?  Not only the loss of his arm but also the loss of his intended!  I will not have it said that I neglect my dear brother.”
     “It was by mutual agreement that they ended their betrothal and as for the loss of his arm, he copes  exceedingly well.   You are such a female  Flora!  A chap has no need for coddling and doesn’t wish for it.”
     Flora bridled, annoyance showing in every line.  “I’m sure that if my presence is unwelcome,  Edward would have found a way to tell me so.”
     At this point, to Flora’s utter dismay, Perry’s large mastiff-like dog lolloped into the room.  His entrance had been facilitated by an unsuspecting footman who, having found him wandering the hallway looking for his master, had thoughtfully opened the door for him.
     “Take him out! Take him out,” demanded Flora, flapping her hands in the dog’s direction.  “I will not have our visitor upset by that great brute.  Whatever must she think of such unruly behavior!”
     As I hastened to assure her that the dog was most welcome to stay, Perry caught his collar and proceeded to drag the unwilling animal toward the door way.  Opening the door, he pushed the wayward canine through and with a rebellious glance over his shoulder, quickly followed in its wake, closing the door none-too-gently behind him.
     With a sigh, Flora sat back in her chair, folding her hands demurely in her lap.
     “Thank goodness that irritating boy has gone,” she said, relief heavy in her voice.  “Now I can tell you my main concern for Edward without the fear of constant interruption.   Of course, I see that physically he improves every day but it is his foolish intention never to marry that greatly concerns me.  I cannot believe a man of his intelligence cannot see the advantages of taking a wife.  I am completely out of patience with him.  He is my brother and I love him dearly but I can quite understand Jenny’s point of view.  I do believe that it is not the loss of his arm that drove her to also end the betrothal.  He is a man of considerable address and it would have taken such little effort on his part to woo the girl, albeit from a distance.
     She is young and young girls have romantic notions and expect that sort of thing from a man.  Indeed, my own dear Carlton was most attentive, and still is… but I digress…”
     Sitting forward, she offered to refill my teacup, but I politely refused and, assuring her I was quite in sympathy with her cause, encouraged her to continue with her narrative.
     Relaxing once more into her chair, she continued,  “If he is able, it is my intention to persuade Edward to join us in London for the season.  He was always a favorite with the hostesses so I need not fear he will be overlooked.  Perhaps, in time, he will change his mind and start to look amongst society’s  beauties for a wife.  He need not fear rejection.  He is handsome enough and his fortune rivals any in the land.  Once it is known that he enters the marriage mart, there will be a surfeit of mama’s eager to put their daughters in his way.”
     “What of Lady Jennifer?”  I asked.  “Do you think she will reconsider her decision not to wed?  It is rumored that her disgraceful brother, Hawley, is all eagerness to see her away from under his roof as he aspires to enter the married state and wishes the house for himself and his bride alone.”
     Flora nodded.  “I can’t help but feel for the girl,” she said quietly.  “She is in an unenviable situation.  Now that the engagement is ended, that unscrupulous older brother of hers will not hesitate to throw suitors at her head.  Being an heiress definitely has its disadvantages.  Any and all fortune hunters will beat a path to her door and Hawley will deny not a one of them.” 
     There was the sound of voices in the hallway and immediately Flora recognized the tones of the Earl of Sinclair.
     “Edward is here,” she said straightening in her chair.  “Not a word to him of our conversation.”

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

My Guest Blog from Diva's Bookcase Blog

       Over the next few days, I will share my guest blogs with you.  These blogs were originally published whilst I took my virtual blog tour in November to promote the release of THE PORTRAIT.

  About three years ago, Regency Romance  went into decline and many publishers dropped the line altogether.  However, the good news for readers of the genre is that it is making a strong comeback and publishing houses are now opening up new lines.  Several are offering to take previously published books to enable their readers to find out of print works.
     Despite the temporary downturn, I resisted the pressure to write in other genres and remained true to the period I know and love.  I love the romance and elegance of the Georgian and Regency eras and wish nothing more than to re-create them in my work.
     My books remain ‘sweet’ and the bedroom door is firmly closed, but this does not mean they lack in romance.  On the contrary.  Remaining true to the period when innocence was prized, my heroines remain pure and my heroes strong.  There is chemistry between the two and despite all that fate may throw in their  way, they are destined to be together.  There is often humor and pathos in their lives, but throughout it all, remains love.  Sometimes they do not realize that their fate it to be together and often  fight the thought but, nonetheless, the fact remains irrefutable.  Add to this the elegance of a bygone era and you have the perfect mix for a romance.
     Although many readers will not admit to reading romance novels, they nevertheless remain one of the most popular genres with very respectable sales figures.  Where else can you find the recipe for a happy life than between the covers of a good romantic book.  You live the highs and lows of the characters’ lives and rejoice with them at the book’s conclusion.
     As with everything else, reading trends run in cycles.  Fortunately, romance in one form or another, remains throughout.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

More News of The Portrait

I have been really thrilled with the reviews The Portrait has received.  If anyone would like to read these very kind reviews, please visit my website

If you wish to purchase a copy of the book it is available from the following sites

I also have a limited number of copies available for sale from my website.
The weather here is terrible and the roads area atrocious.  Of course, Mollie our young Lab, loves it and pesters my husband, as soon as he gets up, to go for a walk, hence they are at The Brook by 8 am no matter what the weather.  I have a problem walking and use a mobility scooter to go with them, but this weather makes it impossible.  Short of harnessing Mollie up to the scooter and shouting 'mush' I have to wait at home LOL Of course, all this cold weather gives everyone the perfect excuse to curl up with a good book and just ignores all the severe elements.

Friday, 12 November 2010

New Reviews for THE PORTRAIT

I have just completed week 2 of my virtual book tour and, so far, the reviewers have been very kind about THE PORTRAIT.

Here are two of the most recent reviews:

The Portrait by Hazel Stratham is the sweetest Regency romance! I absolutely loved this fun little book!

The story is set in England in 1812. I love the era and really like this author's writing style. The main characters are a lot of fun. They are both really stubborn and  at times it's a bit frustrating because they're just so darn pig-headed. But, it's all fun and sweet and very entertaining and heart-warming!

My blog readers know that I review both Christian and non-Christian books. This one is not a Christian book, but it's completely family friendly! It's a very clean, very sweet historical romance.

It's tough for me to pick a favorite character in this one because I love both the main characters, Edward and Jennifer. Most of all, I love their dynamic together and their bantering. And I always love the Regency era!

I very highly recommend this book. It's an absolute delight! It's well written, the story line is light and fun and entertaining. It kept me turning the pages and I couldn't put it down. The characters stole my heart. It's positive, heart-warming, sweet and romantic! I would love to read more books like this one from this author!

You can read an excerpt and follow all the blog tour stops


The Portrait by Hazel Statham is an absolutely endearing historical romance novel set in the early 19th century. Earl Edward Sinclair has recently returned home to Fly Hall after losing an arm in the battle of Salamanca and is trying valiantly to adjust to his new status, title, and limitations as well as his decision to set Lady Jennifer Lynton free of their engagement. Jenny and Sinclair agree to be friends, much to the dismay of their respective family members and their growing friendship provides fodder for the social season. Statham cleverly creates a cast of strong, relatable and delightfully fun characters. Both major and minor characters are certain to delight the reader in Statham’s charming story as forces work to try and bring Edward and Jennifer together through their younger siblings, Perry and Freddie, and their continuous and at times hilarious misdeeds as well as scandals. Statham has a special manner about her writing which gently draws the reader into the story. I look forward to reading some of her other works. The Portrait is a sweet and enjoyable novel, which is certain to delight readers who enjoy a tender and family-centered historical romance.

If you would care to read an excerpt please go to my website

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Portrait - My New Release

    It has been quite some time since I posted on my blog and have to admit that I'm the world's worst blogger.  However, my new Regency Romance, THE PORTRAIT, is now available from Barnes and Noble  and and I am very thrilled about its release.  I love this book and am very happy to be able to share it with my readers.

Here is a brief blurb:

   England 1812   

   Severely injured at the battle of Salamanca, Edward Thurston, the new Earl of Sinclair, returns home to his beloved Fly Hall.  Determined not to present his prospective bride with the wreck he believes himself to have become, he has decided to end his betrothal, unaware that Lady Jennifer, for vastly differing reasons, has reached the self-same decision.

   Throughout the campaigns, it was seen that he relied greatly on a miniature he carried, and it is to this he clings upon his return.  Will he eventually find happiness with the girl in the portrait or will he remain firm in his resolve not to wed?  Reason dictates one course, his heart another.

     For anyone that might be interested in purchasing the book and is unable to do so via the web, I have a limited number of copies for sale on my website   Visitors will also find that, for a limited time,  I have reduced the price of my other books for sale there.

     I will be taking a month-long virtual book tour commencing on 1st November and here is a list of my tour stops.  If you have time, please join me there and leave a comment.  I love to hear from my readers and promise to answer all e-mails.

Monday, November 1
Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book!
Tuesday, November 2
Book reviewed at A Musing Reviews
Wednesday, November 3
Guest blogging at Review from Here
Thursday, November 4
Guest blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Friday, November 5
Interviewed at The Hot Author Report
Monday, November 8
Book spotlighted at The Plot
Tuesday, November 9
Character interviewed at The Plot
Book Reviewed at A Book Lover
Wednesday, November 10
Interviewed at The Writer’s Life
Thursday, November 11
Book reviewed at Life in Review
Friday, November 12
Book reviewed at Rundpinne
Monday, November 15
Book reviewed, guest blogging, and giveaway at Acting Balanced
Tuesday, November 16
Book reviewed at The Book Connection
Book reviewed at My Favorite Things
Wednesday, November 17
Book reviewed and guest blogging at Diva’s Bookcase
Thursday, November 18
Book reviewed at Making Time for Mommy
Friday, November 19
Book reviewed at The Review Stew
Book reviewed and giveaway at A Cozy Reader’s Corner Reviews
Monday, November 22
Guest blogging at Life in the First Draft
Tuesday, November 23
Guest blogging at Life in the First Draft
Wednesday, November 24
Book reviewed at Book Reviews by Molly
Friday, November 26
Book reviewed by Okbo Lover
Book reviewed and giveaway at Mandy’s Escape

TBD:   Guest blogging at Historical Romance UK


Wednesday, 27 May 2009




Join Regency romance author Hazel Statham as she travels the blogosphere in June 2009 with Pump Up Your Book Promotion Public Relations on her fourth virtual book tour to discuss her latest release, Lizzie’s Rake (The Wild Rose Press).

When infamous rake and Corinthian, Maxim Beaufort, Earl of St. Ive, finds himself in possession of a property in Yorkshire, he is irresistibly drawn to Elizabeth Granger, the former owner’s daughter. Whilst attempting to help the family, he ends up filling the role as benefactor. When the house is razed, he arranges temporary accommodations for Elizabeth and her siblings on his estate but when he proposes to Elizabeth he is rejected.

Trust doesn’t come easily for Elizabeth and determined to protect her heart, she struggles to resist her longings, especially considering the earl’s reputation. At times, their difficulties appear insurmountable but the earl is widely known as ‘The Indomitable’ and the name was not lightly earned.


“Lizzie's Rake… is so well written with delightful characters, one is caught up in events making this a most satisfying story of a rocky road to love.” – Camellia, Long and Short Reviews


“His Shadowed Heart by Hazel Statham is a richly detailed and well-written historical romance.” – Christina, Romance Junkies

“My Dearest Friend is a very tender love story… The reader cannot help but be caught up in their life.” — Cherokee, Coffee Time Romance

Hazel Statham lives in Staffordshire, England. Her first two novels were published in 2005. She has been married to her husband Terry since 1969 and they have a grown daughter and beautiful grandson. Apart from reading and writing historical novels, her other ruling passion is animals and until recently, she was treasurer for an organization that raised money for animal charities. She currently shares her home with two lovely yellow Labradors named Lucy and Mollie, who are her constant companions.

You can find Hazel online at

If you would like to follow Hazel Statham on her virtual book tour, visit the official Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tour site at

Hazel Statham’s virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours, a virtual book tour agency for authors who want quality service for an affordable price. More information can be found on their website at

Friday, 1 May 2009

Lizzie's Rake Coming Soon!

I am delighted to announce that my new Regency romance ‘Lizzie’s Rake' released through The Wild Rose Press, will be available as planned from May 8th, 2009.

As an added bonus, as well as being available in the USA, it will now also be available in the UK through distributers and can be ordered from local book shops by quoting ISBN: 1-60154-465-0 As with my previous books, it is also available as an e-book.

My other Wings ePress releases, ‘His Shadowed Heart’, ‘Dominic’ and ‘My Dearest Friend’ are still available from Wings ePress,, Fictionwise and can be ordered from Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Interview with Lady Victoria from His Shadowed Heart

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Lady Victoria Stanton, sister to the Earl of Waverley.

Hazel - Good evening your ladyship.

Lady Victoria – Good evening. Perhaps for the duration of the interview you would prefer to call me Victoria – so much easier than formalities.

Hazel – Thank you, your la… Victoria! It’s so good of you to grant me this interview. I know your dislike of prevarication so, without hesitation, I will ask you what you can tell me of the report that your brother, the Earl of Waverley, is to be married? I hear tell that the young lady in question is a mere nobody?

Victoria – Ah, the dear boy! Never have I seen a man so determined to avoid matrimony. No matter what argument I raised, he blatantly refused. You can imagine my amazement therefore, when he presented me with his intention of taking Miss Northam as his wife. Miss Northam is a charming young girl, but not at all the kind of female that I could have envisaged would attract his attention. Her situation is unfortunate and not one that I would wish on any girl, but I see it as no reason to maker her an offer. Obviously there is something in her manner that appeals to him, but I fail to see it. She is charming, intelligent and very sweet natured, but I would have expected him to offer for someone more mature, in both years and outlook.

Hazel – You don’t approve of the match?

Victoria – On the contrary! I would welcome anyone who could take him out of his despondency. However, I feel that at nineteen she lacks the experience necessary to take her place at his side. Lordings is a huge responsibility and could easily overawe such a young, inexperienced girl – for inexperienced girl she is! She has no knowledge of running a household or presiding over events. Her education is sadly lacking in these areas.

Hazel – And when is the wedding to take place?

Victoria – My brother informs me that the nuptials will take place in just four weeks. Four weeks! I asked why the unseemly haste and he told me that not only was it to take place in such a short time, but also in the private chapel at Lordings! I had expected more, so much more. After all, his first wedding had been magnificent with no expense spared. In comparison, this will seem quite paltry! Almost as if he wishes to hide the girl away.

Hazel – Will you attend the wedding?

Victoria – Of course! Why should I not? He is my brother and I love him dearly. No matter what my reservations, I will support him in this. I will not have it thought that I object in any way. Society is cruel and very quick to judge. Caroline will have my full support and if anyone should make a comment in my hearing, I promise you, I will champion her to the end.

Hazel – Do they return to London after the wedding?

Victoria - I believe they are to remain at Lordings - for a while at least. Richard has taken leave from the Ministry, although I do believe he will not stay away long. Such is the situation in the Peninsular that he is constantly called upon for advice.

Hazel – Please convey my good wishes to the bride and groom, but be assured that I will follow your brother’s story with great interest. I am sure there is more to it than meets the eye.

Victoria – My very thoughts. There is something quite intriguing about the whole situation, but it is thoroughly worthwhile if only to see the look on Cousin Gerald’s face when he hears the news. It will be priceless! The marriage lays waste to all his expectations now there is a possibility of Richard producing an heir.

Goodness me! Is that the time? I must go. I have promised to take Julia to tea with Diana’s brood.

Hazel - It has been a great pleasure and honour to speak with you, your ladyship. I do so hope we meet again.

This interview originally appeared at The Plot.

Scoffing Romance

Romance as a genre has been scoffed at for many years with very few readers actually admitting to reading it, but it accounts for 38% of all books sold, therefore, as the poor sister in the publishing world, it does very well.

Until recently, Traditional Regency Romance has always been a favourite with readers, but about two years ago, the New York Publishing houses decided that its popularity had begun to wane and reduced their output. Unfortunately, they forgot to impart its drop in popularity to the readers and the genre continued to sell. Sales did dip briefly, but now there appears to be a resurgence of interest. New readers are enthralled with the romance and elegance of the era and already devoted readers continue their support.

I write historical fiction and historical romantic fiction mainly set in the Regency and Georgian eras. My romances are what is termed as ‘sweet’, which means that there is no graphic sex and I close the bedroom door when my characters ‘retire’.

However, this doesn’t mean that my books are not ‘romantic’ – on the contrary. Romance is integral to the plot and is what drives the story forward. Luckily, I know from letters I’ve received from fans that there are still readers who prefer this kind of novel to the more revealing kind – enough for there still to remain a viable market.

My work has been likened to Georgette Heyer’s, and as I’m a huge fan of hers, I take it as a great complement. Of course, there will always be those who prefer the more modern approach where the mores of modern-day living are just transposed in period, but I prefer to remain true to the attitudes of the day. If I state fact, it is as accurate as I can make it and I always make the story fit the fact, not the fact fit the story.

No matter what, I shall continue to create my own Regency world, knowing that as long as there are readers there must always be authors and no matter what the trend, my books will always be there for romance readers to enjoy.


This article originally appeared at Pop Syndicate during my July 2008 virtual book tour.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Guest of The Long and the Short of It Romance--Part 5

My grandson, Daniel is six and like every other six-year-old, he can in turn seem two or twenty. Quite early on in life he decided that Grandpa (or Grumpy Gramps as he is frequently called) was going to be his idol. Wherever Grandpa is, so is Daniel and quite frequently, when out shopping, we hear this child’s voice shouting GRANDPA! and see him dragging his mummy toward us. Not that Grandpa is averse to all this attention – in fact, he revels in it, the outcome of which is that, at sixty-three, he finds himself in all sorts of situations.

Daniel thinks of Grandpa as a constant activity centre. Last week, whilst on holiday, he was expected to swing from tree to tree on the ropes of an assault course, ride his bike over an obstacle course, race down huge aqua slides, balance on revolving barrels and swing on tyres tied to trees. Whatever energy he had left was reserved for table tennis, ten-pin bowling, the Wii and general racing and wrestling games with his grandson. Grandpa sixty-three? Nah! He’s six, like Daniel!
This article originally appeared at The Long and Short of It Romance site in July 2008.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Guest of The Long and the Short of It Romance--Part 4

Have You Ever Had One Of Those Days?

Have you ever had one of those days? We just did! We arrived home from a great holiday with our daughter and her family – the first thing we noticed was the puddle of water on the kitchen floor. Before going on holiday, we had had a new kitchen fitted with new appliances and, in our absence, the freezer had decided to stop working – hence the puddle and no usable food! Opening a can of soup, my husband turned on the microwave which spat a few times and died.

Undaunted, we went to collect the dogs from the kennels – Mollie, the pup, was limping. She had decided to remove the stitches from her paw a little earlier than planned, so, back to the vet. She came home with the stitches replaced and the usual plastic bucket on her head. She was not happy!

By this time, it was getting quite late and we thought nothing else could happen. Wrong! My tooth fell out!

Definitely one of those days! LOL

This article originally appeared at The Long and the Short of It Romance site in July 2008.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Guest of The Long and the Short of It Romance--Part 3

The Haunting

Do you believe in haunted houses? No? I must admit that I didn’t either, that is, until we went to live in our previous house. It was a large semi-detached house built sometime in the 1930’s. A very elegant house positioned overlooking a beautiful park full of flowers.

As you might guess, as an author, I have a very vivid imagination and it was to this I attributed the noises and strange happenings in the house. They happened when I was alone. Small things at first, what sounded like birds scuttling across the attic in the middle of the night (quite feasible). A freezing spare bedroom, even when the heating was full on. A weird odour on the landing, that only I could smell. Then the crashes and loud bangs began and they were not so easily ignored. Lights went on and off (again quite feasible) and taps turned on of their own accord. Sounds of a child running around in the bedrooms when our own child was fast asleep, and frequently footsteps on the stairs during the night. You would wonder how three people could live in such a house, all hear the noises, yet say nothing to each other for fear of seeming a fool.

It was the knocking on the bedside cabinet when I went to bed alone that finally drove me downstairs to tell my husband and he admitted to hearing and seeing similar events but saying nothing for fear of unnerving me. Even the dog would no longer go into the bedrooms.

The climax came when I way lying awake one night and I heard the footsteps on the stairs. My husband still slept but a dark figure came into the bedroom and walked around to his side of the bed. I was terrified and just peeped over my husband’s half-turned shoulder. The form stood silhouetted between the bed and the window, then disappeared.

We moved house!

This article originally appeared at The Long and the Short of It Romance site in July 2008.