Once again, it’s that Halloween time! Calling all ghosts and goblins! Especially those who love to read, and who have enough candy to last a lifetime.
Curious City is once again hosting TrickorReaters for Halloween, and THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE is participating. Here’s the direct link to what you’ll find about Rookskill Castle and company, but search the site for other spooktacular goodies.
And don’t forget how easy it is for moms and dads and guardians to put links to story give-aways in their Halloween treat baskets, so that brains are fed as well as tummies.
Get your spook on with great fun reads this Halloween.
And another reminder that there is a great “get-to-know-your-library” game right here!
A real page turner! Love the setting! Is there going to be a sequel? I just read Rookskill Castle and I am anxious to find out what happens.
Hi Ben! – Thank you!! I am working on a second Rookskill book but it won’t be out for a while. I do have another book coming out in 2018 called THE LAST TRUE KNIGHT, which is set in an alternative Elizabethan England.
But the possible sequel to Rookskill Castle? Hang on! I’ll give you a hint about a few things that happen…the magister makes an even greater appearance; we meet a new character, a Jewish boy who is a refugee from Nazi Germany; and the Lady returns but not in the way you might expect.
I hope that will tide you over for now, and thanks so much for writing!
What is it about castles, especially the ancient castles of the British Isles? I love them, and so, it seems, do many of you. Here’s my guess as to why they are fascinating: they’re big and elaborate; they’re old and so have plenty of interesting history; and many of them are apparently haunted.
As I researched haunted Scottish castles I discovered a couple of interesting things. First, many (many) are haunted by someone described as a “Green Lady” (“Gray Ladies” are also a presence, but many more green – maybe for reasons I’ll come to.) Second, many are also associated with children. Naturally, both of these bear on THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE.
At Ethie Castle, near Arbroath, guests have heard the cries of a child at night, accompanied by the sound of a wheeled toy being pulled across the floor. The Green Lady of Dunstaffnage teases and plays with the living children of the castle. After a female skeleton was unearthed behind a wall in Fyvie, a Green Lady began to haunt the castle; she might be the late Dame Lillian Drummond, who was starved to death in 1601 by her husband (nice guy.) At Crathes Castle near Aberdeen, a Green Lady often appears near one of the fireplaces. She picks up an infant, and then they vanish together.
Sometimes Green Ladies are thought to be Gruagach, who are common household spirits often associated with children, and not associated with anything evil. The typical Gruagach is a brownie, the household helper said to inhabit every home (read more about them here.)
Green Lady ghosts are only seen in parts of the United Kingdom, and nowhere else. They are described as slender young women in flowing green gowns with long golden hair. In some cases, they appear as protectors by local farmers, who cite stories of Green Ladies herding their animals to safety during storms or border raids. Many times they are associated with water. Legend has it that a Green Lady will arrive at a croft dripping wet during a storm and ask to be admitted, and when they are admitted they become the protector of that croft. The Dunstaffnage Green Lady and the Green Lady of Fyvie have also been thought to be Glaistig – a being that could be benign or a vengeful ghost. Glaistigs also have a water association.
The water association of these spirits is not surprising given Scotland’s many lochs, rivers, burns, and rills, the frequent rains, and the ocean on all sides. I wonder whether the green in Green Lady is a reference to water, and maybe also to the watery aspect of a ghost.
I’ve experienced a couple of haunted moments myself – one when many years ago I visited southern England and stayed in a hotel that was once a small castle in Devonshire, and was associated with my mother’s family. My mother and I shared a room and were convinced we were visited during the night. Perhaps it was a Green Lady, for she was very benign, and was visiting a mother and her child – maybe even her distant relatives!
Have you ever had any ghostly experiences, or visited any haunted castles?
If Kat’s dream about her hand was real, is the secret passage next to the fireplace in her room real?
I love the book! Your book moved to FIRST place! I am thankful that you wrote this book and my mom is now reading it because I thought it was GREAT.
Thank you SO much for loving my book and for sharing it with your mom. I hope she likes it, too.
Yes, the secret passages are all real. If you ever visit a castle in Scotland or England, you may find hidden passages are quite common. Usually they were used for the maids to get around quickly. Or sometimes they were used to hide in times of danger.
But in Rookskill, I believe there are many more passages there than the norm. Somewhere in the castle’s history, someone needed many hidden passages.
Maybe I should write about that – what do you think?
Our heroine is so clever. She knows her hand is from the magister. Why doesn’t she make the connection between the Lady and magister?
My daughter and I both love your book. Thank you for your work!
Thanks so much for your note! I am working on a sequel, and hoping that my publisher will say yes soon.
That’s a great question about Kat and the magister. Of course, when he “fixes” her hand, she’s not really consciously aware, and forgets the incident soon after (that’s part of the spell). So I imagine that she can’t make the connection because the magister is not really on her mind.
However…since you asked about a sequel…I will be bringing the magister back and Kat will definitely come to know him. And I won’t spoil the fun for you.
Thanks so much again and so happy you both love the book!
My first question, about the relationship between Peter and Kat in THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE.
My question is,
Is Peter afraid of Kat too much to be her friend? It says in the book, that Peter thought she was scary (well that her hand was) but still I would like to know if they still like each other :0) -Thanks for taking the time to read this!
I love the book. I read all the time so sometimes I can be picky about the books I read, but this one is amazing!! I love how you manage to combine WORLD WAR 2 with black magic. And I like how a group of kids come together to defeat the enemy, I just love teamwork! I like how the end leaves you expecting another adventure. I’m trying to get my family to read this book!
Thank you so much for you thoughts – I’m so happy you liked the book so much! I loved combining the war with the magic, too.
Peter really likes Kat, and will always be her friend. And if there’s another book (I’m hoping), they will become even better friends. But Kat does have flaws, and I think it’s an important part of friendship to learn how to accept others despite their flaws. I think there will be more about that in their future. I’m betting there are lots of adventures ahead for the two of them together.
I hope this answers your question, and that everyone in your family enjoys the book, too!