Time-Travel vs Time-Bending

When I started writing Roxanne’s Ghost I had no plan of messing with the chronology of time. What fascinated me was parallel stories within a story. But as my tale unfolded, time bent by itself. And it worked. It’s only now, with hindsight, that I question what time-travel and time-bending actually is.

Science Fiction

When either concept is mentioned, sci-fi movies immediately come to mind. In these, use is made of fantastic contraptions to travel through time, from a telephone booth in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure to a Delorean in Back to the Future. Reality

The Reality

In reality, no such equipment is needed, as time is relative. We all know the three dimensions of space: length, width, and depth, but what we seem to forget is that time is the fourth dimension. Time has no meaning without space and the two act together as the space-time continuum. Whatever happens, it involves both space and time.

Here is a wonderful article I found that explains time travel far better and in greater depth than I ever can: http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/everyday-myths/time-travel.htm

Missing

Have you never wondered about people disappearing without a trace? Could it be possible that they got lost in time without intending to? But what about time bending to take a person from now to an alternative now in the past or the future? This is not the same as time-travel. Time seems to bend itself.

I found this article on how to bend time: http://www.mindpowernews.com/BendTime.htm 

What do you make of that?  

The next question I ask myself, is whether it is possible to be in the same place but at a different time – sort of on a different level or in a different dimension? Here is but one article – and there are many – on research findings into the levels of time: http://fqxi.org/community/articles/display/139  

  Can one be in two places at the same time?
DOUBLING-UP TIME’S DIMENSIONS
Credit: Nikada

So…is it possible to be in one place at two or more different times? Is it possible to move backward and forward in time when space remains constant? I would say that if one accepts that time isn’t flat (linear), then anything is possible.  

Why am I telling you all this?
Cover - Roxanne's Ghost 1 - Find My Love - meet-my-main-man

In Roxanne’s Ghost, Ben’s wife, Roxanne’ presumably dies in a car accident, but because her body is never found, her oddball sisters claim she is still alive somewhere. They make it their mission to find her and bring her home. Book 1 Find My Love is here: https://tinyurl.com/yytourk6

Related article: https://www.ghostly.co.za/meet-my-main-man/

Moragh’s Ghost Saga

My name is Maggie Tideswell, bestselling author of spooky paranormal romance, amongst which is the trilogy, Moragh’s Ghost Saga.
As with all authors, I am always looking for new ways to promote my work.
If you are a blogger, I hope you might be interested in what I write,
and maybe give me a mention on your blog.
My books are all set in South Africa, and there are always a ghost or two interfering with my heroes and heroines as they fall in love.
This year, my New Year Resolution was to publish four books, the first of which will be out  Thursday, 13 June 2019.
Poppet Nicole is book 2 in the Moragh’s Ghost Saga.
In honor of the release, I dropped the price of both books to $2.99 each (normal price $4.99)

A Convenient Marriage is the beginning of falling in love.

Holly and Joshua do the unthinkable – they marry each other as complete strangers. They have never even seen each other before they met on the steps of the chapel there were to be married in. I can hear you ask why on earth they would do such an irresponsible, downright dangerous thing. I know, I know, marriage is serious business, and one should know the other person well before taking the plunge…

Holly’s Problem

The answer, of course, lies in the adage – desperate times call for desperate measures. And Holly and Joshua were desperate.
Holly was desperate to see her children her ex and his new wife were keeping from her. She figured a new husband in her corner would be just the thing to resolve her problem.

Joshua’s Problem

Joshua was desperate to get hitched – an engagement of four years was three and a half too long, to his mind. Knowing Nicole as he did, he reckoned introducing her to a wife would be just the motivation she needed – after all, spoilt brat she was, she’d want what was out of her reach.

The Master Plan

Neither Holly nor Joshua intended their ‘marriage’ to be a real one. The plan was, as soon as they each achieved what they set out to do – Holly to have her children and Joshua a firm commitment from Nicole – they’d walk away from the marriage, no harm done. Falling in love was not an option.

It could work, right?

Wrong. Holly and Joshua made one fundamental mistake.

And that is?

They didn’t take into account that they were real people, with real feelings. Nor did they expect a ghost to take a special interest in what they were up to. And what about Nicole? Surely they didn’t expect her to accept everything quietly, did they?

Desperately in love with one man, she plans to marry another.

Oh no, Nicole wanted revenge for the abominable way Joshua had treated her, and when he on top of everything else, inherited what should have been hers, it was just the final straw. Her story continues in book 2 of the Moragh’s Ghost Saga, Poppet Nicole.

Nicole’s Conundrum

Even though she’d admit it to no one, Nicole knows she made a hash of things. She should have married Joshua when she had the chance. Instead, she’d gone and fallen pregnant by another man. Her father’s stipulation that Joshua marries Nicole within a month becomes her goal, as she didn’t believe for one second that Joshua was really married to Holly. Nothing stood in his way of doing his duty to her.

But…

Without warning, Ned, the father of her unborn child, comes back into her life complicate everything. Him, she wants with a passion, but first, she has to reclaim her inheritance. She’d divorce Joshua after a short time and claim half of everything he owns, then she’ll marry Ned.

And then…

Just how far is Nicole prepared to go to get her own way? Will Ned stand by while she tries to ruin another man’s life?

There is, of course, a book 3 in the series. The Parson’s Daughter will be out early 2020.

For information about my other books, please go here: https://www.ghostly.co.za/spooky-paranormal-romance/

Meet My Main Man

Introduction

The Roxanne’s Ghost duology, Find My Love and Worthy To Love, is a spooky paranormal romance, in which my main man is being manipulated by the female members of his in-law family. I love the trope ‘nothing is as it seems’, and incidentally, runs through all my work. I love ‘things that go bump in the night’ and unexplained stuff. In short, the paranormal and creepiness drive my novels. People love to be scared, and what is scarier than a strange house in the dark of night? Sort of Gothic, isn’t it? That’s why atmospherics like the weather (thunder and lightning), shadows cast by fire against a wall, dancing candle flames, creaky doors, and so on, play such a strong part in all my writing.

Ben, the male lead
Ben - meet my main man

My main man in Roxanne’s Ghost is Dr. Benjamin Arnold, a completely fictitious person. He is a veterinary surgeon, a widower, and father to a little girl called Amber.

Ben looks a bit like this, only with bright green eyes. A typical outdoorsy man, he is nicely suntanned and athletically built. To top it all, he has something about wearing a shirt and is just about always barefoot.

(Can anyone tell me who he is?)

Setting

Roxanne’s Ghost is set in modern day South Africa, just outside a tiny village named Wellington in the Western Cape region. It is about an hour’s drive from Cape Town itself, in the heart of the winelands.

Wellington CBD meet my main man stomping ground

This picturesque little town nestles at the foot of the majestic Hottentots Holland Mountains and is surrounded by vineyards. Weltevreden is the name of the farm where Ben lives. It used to be a winery in the past, but for reasons unknown, the vineyards are gone in Ben’s time. It is situated off the Ceres road, about 5km outside the town.

Ben’s Wobblies

As the main man, Ben is the ultimate reluctant lover. He is a bit confused about his feelings. Considering himself strictly a one-woman man, and he still thinks of himself as a married man – although he made peace with his wife’s death -he is not ready for a new relationship yet.

The Conflict Souring His Life

His in-laws. You see, his wife died tragically in a car accident, leaving him alone with his four-year-old autistic daughter. His housekeeper, Ethel, took care of the little one since her birth, but she is now too old to mind a young child with problems, therefore Ben needs a nanny.

He dislikes his sisters-in-law intensely because they seem to have a plan for him now that his wife is out of the picture, but Ben dug his heels in and will not allow them to arrange his future for him. Their plan seems to revolve around him marrying again – one of them, no less

Enters Jess
Jessica James, would-be nanny - meet my main man counterpart
Jessica looks a bit like this, young, beautiful, innocent, really. I found this photo on Pixabay

This is where Jessica James comes in. She is a highly qualified young woman, sent for an interview with Ben for the nanny position. AlthoughBen made it plain that ‘only older applicants’ will be considered, she never the less arrives at Weltevreden on – wait for it – Friday the 13th.

Jess is immediately aware of undercurrents in Ben’s house, which half scares her to death. She tries to hide her fear from Ben. And Ethel isn’t helping. She tells Jess she will never leave Weltevreden. Grief, who wants to hear that? Then she starts to see visions, of a woman bearing a remarkable resemblance to Millicent. What is she to make of that?

Ben put his attraction to her eloquently in words. ‘Jessica, before you came, my life was in order. Now I will never be happy again, wanting what I can’t have.’ And this is at the heart of his problem. He should have insisted on an older woman.

The problem with the sisters

But the problem becomes clear shortly after Jess got to Weltevreden. Roxanne’s identical twin sister, Millicent, arrives for the first anniversary of Roxanne’s death. The other two sisters follow in the morning. And they are not happy with Jessica being there at all. Fancying themselves at some sort of dark witches, they put all sorts of spokes in Ben’s wheels. Even though he tries to throw them out, they just won’t budge. And they have a bad influence on Amber.

Ben asks them what their purpose is for being at Weltevreden. They claim that Roxanne isn’t dead at all, that they will find her and bring her home. Millicent even has a psychic in tow to make sure Roxanne doesn’t slip through their fingers

How is Ben going To Fix His – And His Daughter’s – Life?

Ben accepts that he has to move past the pain of losing his wife, but he isn’t in the market for a new relationship. Not yet, anyway. He wants to be left in peace, with no one pressuring him into what he isn’t ready for. A sexy young nanny like Jess, will be too much of a temptation, therefore he can’t employ her – he is only a man. His only condition is that his sisters-in-law are not part of his new life. If the only way to avoid them is to move away from Weltevreden, then so be it. He can set up practice anywhere.

Related article: A remote setting to bring out the creeps

https://www.ghostly.co.za/a-remote-setting-to-bring-out-the-creeps/

Cover - Roxanne's Ghost 1 - Find My Love - meet-my-main-man

Find My Love is available here:

https://tinyurl.com/yytourk6

The Vanishing Twin Syndrome

vanishing twin syndrome
An ultrasound photo of identical twins at 12 weeks

A few years ago I read in a Dr. Ruth type column about a woman who was having twins and then the one baby just disappeared. I never heard of this before, so I went onto a medical site to find out more. Apart from being told to see a doctor immediately – I was not pregnant! – I was given the information I needed.

Apparently, it is quite common in multiple pregnancies for one fetus to be ‘absorbed’ back into the mother’s body. Here is the link to an excellent article about the causes and effects of the vanishing twin syndrome: http://americanpregnancy.org/multiples/vanishing-twin-syndrome/

So, why am I telling you this?

Reading about the vanishing twin syndrome made me think about the psychological adjustment of the surviving twin. We all know how close twins, especially identical twins, are to each other. Research has shown that twins feel each others’ emotions, etc etc, and if one should die, the remaining twin suffers more than when a non-twin sibling dies. But what about if one twin dies invitro, like in the vanishing twin syndrome? Would the survivor later in life ‘feel’ the loss of the twin who died before birth?

How does this all tie in?

I explored this concept in my Moragh Saga trilogy. In book 1, A Convenient Marriage, Nicole is a handful at the best of times, but a lot of her behavior can be attributed to the inexplicable ‘sadness’ she often suffers from. Something vital seems to be missing in her life, and she tries to fill the void by any means possible – partying too hard, men, drugs – until inevitably she falls pregnant by a man other than her fiancé.

But the vanishing syndrome had a devastating effect on her mother, Moragh, too. She couldn’t deal with the idea of one of her babies dying inside her, and she blamed the survivor, Nicole, for it. It became impossible for Moragh to bond with her living child. Even after her death, Moragh haunts her daughter in nightmares Nicole suffers from in times of stress.

When her fiancé, Joshua, out of the blue brings a complete stranger home as his wife, Nicole’s stress levels went through the roof, and her nightmares takes on a whole new dimension. Only then her father tells her she started life as part of a twin, and that the other baby died before birth – Nicole is the survivor of the vanishing twin syndrome. 

And Beyond?

Nicole’s story continues in book 2, Poppet Nicole. Having been thwarted by Joshua, and then promptly disinherited in favor of Joshua when both her parents die suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving her a penniless orphan.

She wants revenge for what Joshua has done to her, and she has to reclaim the inheritance she has been brought up to expect. And then Ned, the father of her unborn child, returns to the scene.

Desperately in love with Ned and carrying his child, she demands that Joshua marry her for her to reclaim her inheritance. She has no regard for his brand new marriage, because she doesn’t believe he is really married, anyway.

The question is, how far will Nicole go to get her own way? For how long will Ned stand by while she tries to ruin another man’s life?

A Convenient Marriage-spooky paranormal romance

You can find A Convenient Marriage here: http://tinyurl.com/zsy7ktw

Poppet Nicole - spooky paranormal romance

And pre-order Poppet Nicole here: https://tinyurl.com/y32d6p3l

Poppet Nicole will be released on June 13, 2019

The Traditional South African Melktert

The melktert (milk tart) is traditionally South African. The Dutch settlers in the Cape in the 1600s brought the recipe with them. It is made of a sweet pastry crust, filled with a creamy custard, sprinkled with cinnamon, which was introduced to South Africa by Javanese slaves. The tart is served sliced, chilled or room temperature.


Ingredients

Milk-Tart-Recipe-8850

Pastry:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 125g butter
  • pinch of salt

Filling:

  • 4 ½ cups milk
  • 2 ½ tbsp cornflour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 ½ tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • a big spoon of butter

Instructions

Pastry:

  • Cream butter and sugar well together and add the egg, before beating well.
  • Add all other ingredients – making a stiff dough.
  • Press into one or two round cake tins/pie dishes.
  • Bake blind for 15 minutes at 180°C (use wax paper to cover the pastry and place dry beans/rice over the paper to weight the pastry down). Then remove the paper and beans/rice and bake for an additional 5 minutes until light brown.

Filling:

  1. Bring milk to a gentle boil.
  2. Beat eggs well and add sugar, flour, cornflour and salt.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Pour boiling milk into the mixture and stir well.
  5. Return to stove and stir for 10-12 minutes on medium heat until the mixture thickens.
  6. Add butter and vanilla essence and mix through, then pour into cooked shell.
  7. Allow to cool in the fridge (you do not need to cook the tart any further)
  8. To decorate, sprinkle with cinnamon.

Recipes from my Books


Beef Bourguignon Recipe
Recipe - Beef-Bourguignon
Beef Bourguignon appears in Runaway Couple, book 1 in Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons

Prep: 15 min
Cook: 3 hr 45 min


Ingredients


Marinade:
5 cloves garlic, smashed
3 fresh bay leaves
2 carrots, peeled and halved
2 ribs celery, halved
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
One 750-ml bottle red wine, such as Burgundy
4 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch chunks
Stew:
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
8 ounces slab bacon, cut into lardons
1 pound cremini or white button mushrooms, quartered
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 to 4 cups beef stock
3 fresh bay leaves
1 bundle fresh thyme
1 pound red bliss potatoes, quartered
1/2 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped, for garnish
Crusty bread, for serving


Directions

For the marinade: Combine the garlic, bay leaves, carrots, celery, onions and wine in a large bowl or container. Add the beef; cover and let sit in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight. (This is a really important step: it makes a huge flavor difference.)

For the stew: Remove the beef from the marinade. Strain the veggies and bay leaves from the marinade and discard. Reserve 2 cups of the marinade.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a large, wide pan or Dutch oven with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with salt and toss with the flour; don’t flour the beef until you’re ready to brown it. Add the flour-coated beef to the hot pan, but be sure to not crowd the pan; you will need to work in four batches. Brown the meat well on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the pan to a baking sheet.

After the first two batches, deglaze the pot with 1/2 cup of the reserved marinade, scraping up any browned bits. Drain the liquid into a small bowl. Add more olive oil to the pan to coat and cook the remaining two batches of meat. Add the meat to the baking sheet. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup marinade, scraping up any browned bits.

For the marinade: Combine the garlic, bay leaves, carrots, celery, onions and wine in a large bowl or container. Add the beef; cover and let sit in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight. (This is a really important step: it makes a huge flavor difference.)

For the stew: Remove the beef from the marinade. Strain the veggies and bay leaves from the marinade and discard. Reserve 2 cups of the marinade.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a large, wide pan or Dutch oven with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with salt and toss with the flour; don’t flour the beef until you’re ready to brown it. Add the flour-coated beef to the hot pan, but be sure to not crowd the pan; you will need to work in four batches. Brown the meat well on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the pan to a baking sheet.

After the first two batches, deglaze the pot with 1/2 cup of the reserved marinade, scraping up any browned bits. Drain the liquid into a small bowl. Add more olive oil to the pan to coat and cook the remaining two batches of meat. Add the meat to the baking sheet. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup marinade, scraping up any browned bits.

Fry the bacon until brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Toss in the mushrooms, carrots, celery, garlic and onions, and season with salt. Cook until the mixture starts to soften and becomes very aromatic, about 10 minutes, before adding the tomato paste. Simmer to 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup marinade and deglaze the pan, stirring up any browned bits, 1 minute then add the beef. Stir to combine and cook until the wine has reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add enough of the beef stock to just cover the surface of the beef. Toss in the bay leaves and thyme bundle. Cover the pan, bring the liquid to a boil and put in the oven.

Cook the beef for 2 hours. Add the potatoes and simmer for another hour. Cover the pot with the lid and put the stew back in the oven to cook for an additional hour.

Remove the pot from the oven and skim off any excess grease from the surface of the stew. Garnish with the chives and serve with crusty bread to sop up all the sauce.

https://mailchi.mp/ee37cddc7750/runaway_couple

Traditions and Superstitions

Bridesmaids, Wedding & Honeymoons Series

The idea for my series on the theme of bridesmaids, weddings, and honeymoons was sparked by the notion that some women are doomed to be bridesmaids, and never to be brides themselves.

My beautiful daughter, Muriel, on her wedding day

This might be true for some women, but as weddings are one of those places where the potential for new romances to blossom is really strong, others might find that bit of folklore to be incorrect. At weddings, love seems to be in the air and cupid is a very busy boy under such circumstances.

Weddings have always been an important event on the social calendar. It is the perfect time to get re-acquainted with family and friends and to meet new people.

Many traditions have been attached to weddings over the years. In some cases, the logic behind the tradition has been lost, but it is interesting how many are still being used today.

Old Wives’ Tales

It is said that if the bride cries on her wedding day, she won’t cry again in her marriage. And rain on the wedding day is supposed to predict many children. Candles blown out by the wind during the wedding ceremony is supposed to bring very bad luck, because somebody is going to cause trouble. Eloise can vouch for this, because all the candles in the chapel blew out, and look at the trouble she had afterwards.

Another old wives’ tale is that if the younger of two sisters marry first, the older sister must dance barefoot at the wedding if she wants to find a husband of her own.

The woman who catches the bride’s bouquet and the man the garter when tossed will be the next to get married. Traditionally, the unmarried man who catches the garter must place it on the leg of the unmarried woman who catches the bouquet.

And another tradition attempting to predict the next wedding is the one about the maid of honor and the best man going off together after the wedding. Marcus played heavily on this one to turn Piper’s head.

The rings have been the focus of attention in that if it is dropped before it is placed on the finger, the person who dropped it will be the first of the couple to die.

The rhyme, something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe, dates from Victorian times but the traditions behind it is even older still. Something old has the continuation of the family in mind. Something new was a symbol for prosperity and good luck. The item that was borrowed is supposed to be something that brought happiness to another married person. Blue is the symbol of purity, modesty, fidelity and love. And the sixpence in her shoe meant that the bride would never be without.

And these are but a few.

Check out the Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons series here: https://tinyurl.com/yyc5os7k

Misty Mountain Hotel

        In the Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons series, the wedding takes The Lodge - Peter Sandgroundplace in a haunted hotel in a remote, mountainous area in the Cape Province of South Africa. Misty mountains surrounds the hotel, and winding dirt roads is the only way to reach it.

Continue reading “Misty Mountain Hotel”