Virtual Book Club Interview: Shadows of the Lost Child

Author Jane Davis BlogThis is just a quick post to say thanks to author Jane Davis for hosting me on the Virtual Book Club pages of her blog.

Here I get the chance to talk a bit about my writing but particularly about my second novel, Shadows of the Lost Child.

The book is a partly historical mystery set in a town loosely based on historic York, with a time travel angle.

The historical aspect explores the dark parts of Edwardian England, with poverty, prostitution and the pawn shop featuring; not to mention The Keepsake Arms, the local pub, where Miranda works.

We also meet Tom, a local boy, and one of the key characters, who comes from a tough part of town but is plucky, resourceful and loyal to his friends.

Then he meets Alice, and is wary but entranced.

Alice comes from the present day, but Tom doesn’t know that…

To find out more about Shadows and my writing, see the post  on Jane’s blog.

And while you’re there, you might also want to check out Jane’s books – they look very intriguing…


Finally, find out more about Shadows of the Lost Child on Pinterest

Or on Amazon. (UK) (United States)


All on Board at the AsparaWriting Festival, Evesham

Heather Wastie, Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn & Fergus McGonigal

Heather Wastie, Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn & Fergus McGonigal

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of reading at the Aspara Writing Festival in Evesham, as part of the Open Mic event.

It was a great afternoon, with an eclectic mix of poetry and prose, with readings ranging from sad to humorous and everything in between.

Polly Robinson

Polly Robinson

Readers included J J Franklin, Debbie Young, David Penny, Alan Durham, Polly Robinson and many more. Here are a few images to give you a taste of the event and the great line up.

As well as a selection of excellent pieces we were lucky to enjoy fantastic work from Worcestershire’s poet laureates – incoming and outgoing, Heather Wastie and Fergus McGonigal.

David Penny

David Penny

Thanks to all for a wonderful time, and especially to coordinator, Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn – I’m already looking forward to the next one.

Jenny Heap

Jenny Heap

Ellie Stevenson

Ellie Stevenson

Alan Durham

Alan Durham

Debbie Young

Debbie Young

Tim Stavert

Tim Stavert
















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#thehauntedhistorian attends #AsparaWritingFestival, hears some great writers & meets 2 Worcestershire poet laureates

Article written by Ellie Stevenson, author.
This article is copyrighted material. A brief extract, including a link to this site can be quoted but the article must not be reproduced in full anywhere without the author’s written permission.

Ghost Stories and Shadows Online

Firstly, thank you, all of you (1036 people – amazing!) who entered the recent Goodreads Giveaway for Shadows of the Lost Child, my most recent novel. Congratulations to the lucky winners, your book will be winging its way towards you soon; and commiserations to those who didn’t.

But the good news is… the ebook version is now on SALE, and for a limited time, is Aleph's house in the novel Shadows of the Lost Childavailable at a reduced price: check it out here: (UK) & (U. States)

OR, via (all countries).

I hope you enjoy it. There’s a missing boot, and a mystery to solve and a girl called Alice who crosses time to meet a boy called Tom – and will there be a happy ending? You’ll just have to read it!

In the meantime, here are two ghost stories – not unfortunately, with happy endings, but of interest, especially if you’ve been to Warwickshire. Don’t go alone!

White Swan Hotel, Henley-in-Arden, 2010 by Alexander P. KappThe White Swan Hotel, Henley-in-Arden

Henley-in-Arden, not that far from Stratford-upon-Avon, is a small town, with one main High Street. On this street is the White Swan Hotel; the present building dates from around 1600, but there’s thought to have been an inn on this site since the 14th century. At one time the site was apparently a stopping point on the stage coach route between Birmingham and London.

The ghost was a woman called Virginia Black, who fell down the stairs, having quarrelled with a man in 1845. She may have been a ‘lady of the night’ and he may have been a client of hers. It’s said she roams the hotel’s corridor, lingering outside room 17…

In case you should visit the inn yourself, she hasn’t been seen for some time!

The inn was once the site of the local court, in the mid-late 19th century. The courtyard was used for public hangings, and a ghost was said to have lingered there for some years, after she was hung, for murder.

Charlecote Park, 2013 by Karen.stepanyan (Wikimedia Commons)Charlecote Park

Also not far from Stratford-upon-Avon, is Charlecote Park, now a National Trust property and open to visitors. The house itself is said to be haunted, but so is the lake, by the ghost of a woman, possibly a servant, who may have drowned herself there in the past.

According to the story, her shadowy figure drifts from the house to the site of the lake, throws herself in, then disappears. Oddly enough, there’s never a splash, or ripples on the water.

Shadows of the Lost Child (novel)


Get your own ghosts and shadows to take home with an ebook version of Shadows of the Lost Child;  now on SALE until Saturday 28 February. Available from Amazon at: (UK) & (U. States)


Article written by Ellie Stevenson, author.Ellie Stevenson, author

This article is copyrighted material. Brief extracts including a link to this site can be quoted but the article must not be reproduced in full anywhere without the author’s written permission.



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  wth  & SALE   – UK &  – US

Aleph’s House

Aleph's house in the novel Shadows of the Lost ChildOn 18 February, I’ll be talking about my latest novel, Shadows of the Lost Child, at Acomb Library, York (UK). As you’ll know, if you’ve visited this blog before today, the novel is set in a fictional city, Curdizan, which was inspired by historic York.

At Acomb Library on 18th, apart from reading from the novel, I’ll be talking about York’s part in the story, including the legends and history of York, particularly focusing on Bedern and Hungate.

If you’re in the area and want to attend, contact Acomb Library on 01904 552651, email The event is on from 7-8 pm.

See you there!

‘No, Mr Jones, they weren’t tourists, or even the kids who live around here. The children you heard were the School Lane ghosts.’

Aleph Jones is one of the main characters in the novel. When writing about his (haunted?) home, I based it on this very real house in the picture below.

Aleph's House in #ShadowsoftheLostChild
Sadly, this house is no longer there, but was once in Bedern, through the arch and not very far from Goodramgate.

Note that there is no suggestion that the original house was haunted!

Image courtesy of YAYAS (Evelyn Collection)

Was Borley Haunted? It wasn’t just the house

Borley Rectory in an earlier timeYou’ll know I’ve talked about Borley before, probably the most famous haunting of all. I thought I’d covered most of the story.

But it seems there’s always a little bit more and I wanted to share this snippet with you. For those who don’t know much about Borley Rectory, you can read the earlier posts here:

Borley Rectory: the house and its ghosts – part one

Borley Rectory: the house and its ghosts – part two

Now for the postscript.

A London journalist, Montague Eleman, who’d heard of the case while a serving soldier, hoped to sell his story to the dailies, and once demobbed, set off for Borley to see it for himself. He was a little bit late. By the time he got there it was 1946, and the house by then had been demolished. After walking around the rubble for a while and chatting to any people he could find, he left for London, carrying a piece of wood with him – the wood was charred (because of the fire) and possibly from the roof or the floor. The next nine years were something of a nightmare.

Arriving back in London that evening, he left the wood on the mantelpiece, in the room he used at his sister’s house and then went down to supper, alone. He heard a noise and when he looked up his sister was there, claiming she’d seen a nun in his bedroom. It didn’t stop there.

In the nights that followed, Eleman and his family heard quite a few noises, ranging from screams to a clock chiming, all quite close to where the wood was. But eventually, the noise settled down.

When several weeks later, Eleman moved and took up lodgings in a seaside town, there were several more incidents, the doorbell rang when no-one was there, and a dark-clad person crossed the landing. Needless to say, he’d brought the wood with him.

Eleman finally sussed that whenever he moved to a new location and took the wood, the disturbance increased, but then eased off, as if whatever it was that had been disturbed had now settled down. In 1955, after nine long years he gave the piece of timber away. Nobody knows where that wood is now.

Or maybe they do…Borley Rectory after the fire

Borley’s story is quite exceptional, it transcends time, people and the place, as we’ve just seen. But this wasn’t the first time the haunting had extended beyond the house.

In 1928, (Guy) Eric Smith and his wife Mabel moved into Borley after being abroad. They didn’t know that other vicars had refused the living, because of the house’s reputation. Like other residents before and since, the Smiths experienced some strange incidents. A mirror on Mrs Smith’s dressing table began tapping whenever she came near it, and this continued after they left Borley.

Some years later, in 1937, the Smiths were living in a village in Kent, when they were visited by Sidney Glanville. Glanville was one of Price’s researchers. He held the mirror in his hands. A week after he’d visited the Smiths and held the mirror he received a letter asking if he’d brought a ghost with him because ‘the mirror has started tapping again.’ He never went back to the house to find out.

Ghosts aren’t always tied to a house.

Shadows of the Lost Child - a novel and ghost storyMy latest novel, a partly historical mystery, with a time travel element, also centres around a house: there are ghosts in the story, but are the ghosts connected to the house? You’ll have to read the book to find out…

Article written by Ellie Stevenson, author.

This article is copyrighted material. Brief extracts including a link to this site can be quoted but the Ellie Stevenson, authorarticle must not be reproduced in full anywhere without the author’s written permission.

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Even more about #BorleyRectory: with #thehauntedhistorian. Can ghosts follow you?


Adams, P. & Brazil, E. Extreme Hauntings: Britain’s most terrifying ghosts, History Press, 2013

Glanville, S. The Strange Happenings at Borley Rectory (originally in American Fate magazine, 1951)

Images (Wikimedia Commons)

Borley Rectory before the fire

Borley Rectory as a ruin




Books and More: at the Indie Author Fair at the Chorleywood LitFest

Books at the Indie Author FairThe last few weeks have been so busy, this blog has taken a bit of a back seat. But at last, I can talk a bit about my book. And Chorleywood Lit Fest.

Last weekend, I visited Chorleywood, not that I saw that much of the place, I was at the Indie Author Fair at the Chorleywood LitFest. Forty or so indie authors gathered together in a very small room, to share our work, with displays and readings, talking to readers, and also to each other. The room had a definite buzz, a life. At the end of the day we’d made new friends, and got to meet fellow ALLi* members, people we’d spoken to on Facebook or Twitter but never actually met in person. And a few we already knew.

Indie Authors at the Indie Author Fair, Chorleywood Nov. 2014

It was great fun, and here I’ve shared a few photos of the day. Of people and books. Because that’s what ALLi’s all about – helping each other, sharing professional expertise, and building a platform to showcase our work. The range of titles there was amazing, as was the enthusiasm – thanks ALLi, for being such a great professional network.

Books at the Indie Author Fair

And now to the book. My latest, partly historical novel, with a supernatural edge, is now out in print as well as in ebook. Shadows of the Lost Child - a novel and ghost storyIt’s set in a fictional city called Curdizan, in the present day, and also in the past, and centres on the story of a house. Which was once a school. In the present day, Aleph Jones, a troubled man with a dark secret he’s desperate to hide, is introduced to a girl called Alice, who won’t speak. Alice has a very special gift, she can cross time, and when she steps into the nineteenth century she meets a boy from the slums called Tom, and mystery, mayhem and death follow. There might even be a ghost or two in the story…

But let Tom tell you his story himself.

I should have been helping Miranda in the pub, but instead I went up to Curdizan High, to look for Louise. The High’s the part where the abbey is, as well as my school, although nothing about the place is high. I walked past the school and finally came to Pearson’s Tenements, that’s where she lives, but Louise wasn’t there, surprise, surprise. I wasn’t surprised, the place was a dump, but all the same, I had to look. The tenement building was tall and grim, tiny spaces joined by a stairway and open landings, the black of the open night in between. I thought they were more like rooms than landings, people’s possessions scattered about, rooms on the outside. I thought of escape.

I once saw a woman jump from a landing, far too high from the ground to be safe, but almost worse, too low to be dead, and gone in a flash. They patched her up, as best as they could, and she even went back to her room for a bit, but she never walked the same after that and not long after, finally died. I didn’t know it at the time, but her name was May, and she was also Louise’s ma. I never did learn which room she came from.

I shivered, scared in the black of the stairway, I knew I ought to go back, and soon. Miranda would be wondering where I was. But I’d promised old Pike I’d find Louise.

‘He’s Mister Pike,’ my ma would say, but she didn’t know Pike the way I knew him, he didn’t deserve to be called Mister. He was cold, indifferent and sometimes cruel; he’d said if I didn’t find Louise, he’d throw her out of the school for good, and she’d end up lost, like Miranda’s ma. I didn’t know what he meant by that, but I didn’t much like the way he’d said it, and I liked Louise, she wasn’t rough like most of the kids, and she lived in a flea pit, storeys high. If I had to live in Pearson’s Tenements, in amongst all the privy smells, I’m sure I’d forget to go to school. School would be just a dream or something.

I reached a landing, the fourth or fifth, I didn’t know which, so I tossed a huge stone over the edge, and counted until I heard it land. Although I’d looked, I hadn’t found her. I’d even tried a few of the doors, but nobody seemed to know her name. A shadow slunk by and I held my breath, you’re never alone in a place like this. I turned around, got ready to run, but a hand shot out and grabbed my collar, pulling me back, very sharply. Somebody’s hand against my mouth. The somebody spoke.

Shadows of the Lost Child, available on Amazon – a great present, or a treat for yourself, available in ebook, or in print. (US) and (UK)

If you’ve read the book, or after you have, I’d love to hear your comments here. And as you may know from a previous post, the book was inspired by historic York, so if you’ve ever lived in York, or know the city, you might particularly enjoy the story.

Article written by Ellie Stevenson, author. Ellie Stevenson, author

This article is copyrighted material. Brief extracts including a link to this site can be quoted but the article must not be reproduced in full anywhere without the author’s written permission.

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‘A hand shot out & grabbed my collar, pulling me back, very sharply. Then somebody spoke.’ #ShadowsoftheLostChild