In 1945 Molly Hazleton is heartbroken when her fiancé doesn’t return from the war after being reported “missing in action.” So when Aunt Daphne comes to visit with news of having bought a 17th century manor house at auction in Scotland, Molly welcomes the opportunity to start afresh and help her aunt turn Aberdoch Manor into a hotel.
With a strange sense of déjà vu, Molly struggles to understand her connection with the property having never stepped foot inside of it or even Scotland for that matter. Ross McDaniel, the newly appointed gardener, knows more than he is letting on.
And when he shows Molly an ancient yew tree named by the locals as The Ghost Tree, after touching it, Molly discovers a remarkable ability to vividly see and experience her own past life – a life of extreme danger and hardship on the road with the Jacobite in 1745, hunted by the Red Coats for crimes she hasn’t committed.
She is also in love with a brave, Scot warrior, leader of the McDaniel clan who soon becomes her husband. Stirring up forgotten memories and an uncontrollable yearning to be back with those she once loved, Molly is hopelessly torn between very different worlds, two hundred years apart!
What a jolly good romp this was, jumping back and forth from 1745 to 1945, from the Jacobite rebellion (a friend at my convent school refused to sing the National Anthem and toasted the King over the water instead much to the disgust of the nuns) to Molly and her Aunt Daphne’s escapades at the much haunted Aberdoch Manor. Daphne has inherited the Manor and plans to turn it into a hotel.
This story has everything – romance, clan rivalry, bloody battles and hauntings a-plenty, plus the main character believing she has lived before as Ella, the heroine of the 1745 time. This is wonderful stuff and there is a huge amount of historical detail, fabulously researched, plus a great deal of humour – not something you find often in a historical ghost story. Unless it’s Oscar Wilde of course.
Aunt Daphne is a middle-aged dragon who says exactly what comes into her head and particularly dislikes Vicar Norman, even though he’s really a very nice chap. And he has a ginger cat called Carrot. If I was to get a ginger cat I would definitely call it Carrot. His wife Joan is the typical vicar’s wife, all cups of tea and home-baked cakes. A bit Mary Berry though Norman is definitely no Paul Hollywood.
When Molly and Daphne arrive at Aberdoch Manor, they meet the newly appointed gardener Ross McDaniel, with whom Molly becomes friends. But Ross is hiding something from Molly; is it something to do with the house, or is it to do with his ancestors? Or both? Then one day Ross shows Molly the ancient Ghost Tree as it’s known locally. They say if you touch the carved heart where the initial E & F are carved you can speak to the dead. But Molly has an even more unnerving experience. She finds she can see and experience her own past life – a life of extreme danger and hardship on the road with the Jacobite in 1745. She can also see her true love, Fergus, the leader of the McDaniel clan and Laird of Aberdoch.
There are plenty of surprises too in this book, which comes as no shock as it turns out there is to be a sequel – I kind of guessed the very last twist and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out in book two.
Many thanks to @zooloo2008 for inviting me to be part of this blog tour.
About the Author
Claire Voet is an English author, born in Gosport across the shores of Portsmouth Harbour. Claire started writing in 2010 and has since then written a number of books to include The Ghost of Bluebell Cottage, The Other Daddy A World Away, Captain Hawkes, short story A Helping Hand, Echoes In The Mist and the Outcast series.
Claire demonstrates her love for history and also the supernatural in many of her spellbinding stories. As a commercial participator for the BBC Children in Need Appeal, Claire donates money from her book sales once a year.
Follow her at:
Website : www.clairevoet.com
Amazon – https://geni.us/w6NoOv