Last summer I posted about rewriting and bringing three of my out of print books up to date, and publishing them as ebooks and print on demand books. They’re finally out. They’re available now as paperbacks in bookstores and online, and as ebooks on Kindle and Kobo.
The Other Elizabeth is especially timely now, as Canada is planning a host of activities next year for the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, and that is the setting for this story. Elizabeth is a seventh grade student on a field trip to Upper Canada Village, a pioneer village in Loyalist country along the St. Lawrence River. She is drawn to the local Cook’s Tavern and when she enters, she finds herself back in the year 1813, just before the Battle of Crysler’s Farm, a decisive battle in the war.
“Why it’s young Elizabeth Frobisher,” says one of the men sitting around a table by the hearth.”
“But I’m not…” Elizabeth tries to say, “I’m not Elizabeth Frobisher! I’m Elizabeth Duncan!” View Trailer
The Other Elizabeth was my first foray into historical fiction. I was hooked. I lived in England for a few years and during that time I became fascinated with the menhirs, the standing stones such as the ones at Stonehenge, that dotted the fields and countryside.
Jenifer is equally intrigued with a large, black stone in a meadow in Cornwall, where she and her family are visiting her uncle, in a home that has been in their family for over a hundred years. Drawn to it, she steps into its shadow and finds herself back a hundred years, with a young boy staring incredulously at her. Together, she and Perran travel back to the period of the Druids–a dangerous time for Jenifer who is the image of Fedelm, a Druid priestess.
While we lived in England we travelled in Wales as well as Cornwall. One March break, with three children and the dog stuffed into our tiny car with us, we explored the wild coast of Wales. On a gloomy, rainy day we drove past an old dark house, slate roof gleaming in the rain. Below the cliff on which it sat, seals played in the waves and rocks. As soon as I saw the house, I knew I had to write a ghost story set there.
In The Haunting of Cliff House, when Alison’s great aunt dies in Wales, Alison and her father go over for a summer to settle up the estate. Alison’s father is delighted with the old house they find there, set high on a cliff above the sea, and settles in for the summer to write the book he’s never had time for. Alison is not as enthusiastic. Then she discovers an ancient diary belonging to a girl, just her own age, who had lived in the same house centuries before. The girl’s life bears an uncanny resemblance to Alison’s, including a growing jealousy of a woman who is intruding into their lives. Alison’s unease turns to fear as Bronwen appears to her, calling to her and appealing for her help. Help she doesn’t know how to give. View trailer
It has been a very rewarding journey, revisiting and rewriting these books. Since they went out of print I have had many requests for them, so I am wishing them well in their new life.