Welcome to the second instalemant of this years spotlights. This month i am going to feature a couple of extracts from books by Kate. Kate writes contemporary womans fiction and has also written a middle-grade childrens series Time shifters: Into the past for children aged 9-12. One extract is from her new book coming soon in her foreign-set romance series,The Greek Heart. And the second is from Time Shifters:Into the Past, the first in the book in the series. Of course i will post all links. I hope you enjoy reading them!
The Greek Heart
No Cover or Purchase Link as yet but here is the cover and purchase link for the first in the series The Baobob Beach Retreat
Lottie sat on a rough stone wall next to a church. The deep blue of the sea in the caldera below was mesmerising and looked cool and inviting in the afternoon heat. A sand-coloured lizard scuttled across the dry earth and joined her on the wall, its flicking tongue the only movement in the stillness. She stayed until the heat became too much and then walked into Oia, hoping to find shade within its narrow streets. The heat was as intense, but the beauty of the place was the perfect distraction. Winding lanes lined with intriguing little shops and welcoming cafes meandered through the heart of the village. From the caldera path Lottie caught glimpses of the laid-back lifestyle; tourists sunbathing next to pools and a couple sipping cocktails on a terrace. A jumble of blue-domed and white-curved roofs dotted the hillside, a surprising amount of pink, cream and even a dusky red mixed in among the white stone buildings.
Time Shifters: Into the Past
I knew something bad was going to happen the second we reached the castle. “Not holding hands with your boyfriend then?” Lizzie Andrews said, knocking into me as she stalked past in her servant’s costume and Nike trainers. “Danny’s my best friend, not my boyfriend. You know that,” I called after her. We walked beneath the iron teeth of Warwick Castle’s portcullis and I glanced at Danny. “Ignore her, Maisie,” he said, as Lizzie giggled with her friends. Emerging on the other side of the gatehouse was like stepping into another world. Everyone was dressed up in medieval costumes – the whole of my class and the guides who showed us around. We gathered on the pathway next to one of the tall stone towers before being split off into smaller groups by our history teacher, Miss Chard. As usual Lizzie and her two clone-like friends were in my group. We explored the outside of the castle first, missing out on the warmth of the log fire in the Great Hall. We walked along the ramparts and climbed more than five hundred steps to the top of Guy’s Tower. Houses and trees stretched for miles in all directions, spreading away from the river and castle. “Look at the knights, Danny!” I pointed to a crowd that had gathered on the far side of the grass. “Huh?” he replied, removing his earphones and snapping his mobile shut. “This place is amazing.” Leaning between stone turrets I watched two men in armour fight each other with swords. “The stuff my Grandad told me about what happened to him in World War II was pretty cool. This is old and boring.” “It’s called history, Danny.” He sighed and put his mobile into his trouser pocket beneath his brown tunic. “Has it got a dungeon?” “Yes.”
“With prisoners chained to walls?” “Maybe.” “And instruments of torture?” “You’re sick.” There was a castle dungeon with cobwebs and severed heads on spikes and actors made up to look diseased and bloodied who made everyone jump. Even Danny. A masked torturer displayed his tools: The Jaw Breaker, The Tongue Tearer and The Claw, which was used to rip, tear and dig into the prisoners’ flesh. Lizzie and her friends, Josie and Megan, didn’t make it past the Labyrinth of Lost Souls because a dark-hooded figure suddenly appeared in front of them and they ran back out of the dungeon screaming. Lizzie looked seriously pale like she was going to be sick. There were decaying bodies, scary chanting and an execution. It was the best bit, way more interesting than the richly decorated state rooms in the main part of the castle where we weren’t allowed to touch anything.
Behind the dungeon entrance in the shadow of a large tree was the original castle gaol. A narrow flight of dimly lit stone steps disappeared through a hatch at the base of Caesar’s Tower. I waited with Danny and made sure we were the last to go down. It was damp and cold below ground. Danny paced across the gaol. “They could at least have had someone locked up in here.” An open drain ran across the middle of the stone floor. “It must have smelt bad,” I said, wrinkling my nose at the thought of the unwashed prisoners having to use the dungeon as the toilet. “Really disgusting. They probably had to sleep in their poo.” “Yuck.” “How many people died in here, do you think?” “A lot.” “Their ghosts probably still haunt this place.”
About The Author
Kate grew up in the 80s reading adventure stories like Roald Dahl’s The BFG, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons. She started writing her own stories when she spent months off school following open-heart surgery at the age of seven. Kate has a MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and has also taught lifewriting to Creative Writing undergraduates there.
Over the years Kate’s had many jobs in a cinema, a bookshop, a factory and at NHS Direct. She’s worked as a freelance writer, ground staff at Edgebaston Tennis Tournament and as a Supporting Artist in the films Vanity Fair, King Arthur and The Duchess. By far her favourite job is being an author and telling stories.
Kate lives in Bristol with her husband, son and their Cavalier King Charles spaniel.