THE INCA’S CURSE – PAPERBACK OUT NOW

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The Inca’s Curse

Set in 1928 in Victoria, Australia. The Thornton family made its money in the goldfields during the 1850s and the antiques trade. Thornton Park is their lavish mansion close to Melbourne. They also own a home and a goldmine in Daylesford, in the heart of Victoria, where their close friends, the Bassetti family, are part of a thriving Swiss-Italian community.

Alexandra Thornton has married Benedict Archer. On their honeymoon in Daylesford, Alexandra’s pearls are stolen and within days there are two murders.

Back at Thornton Park, Alexandra discovers a secret compartment in a desk. Inside is a gold and diamond necklace and a letter written by her grandfather, James Thornton. It’s a love letter, Alexandra assumes written to his wife after her death. He claims the necklace is cursed. 

After further investigation, Alexandra uncovers the deaths of two miners at Thornton Goldmine. 

The family return to Daylesford where Thomas Thornton is accused of murder.

Alexandra is determined to work out how it all connects. 

What is the link to the Inca Emperor Atahualpa? Is it gold? 

Is gold the curse?

THE INCA’S CURSE – E-BOOK IS RELEASED

I’m very excited to announce the release of my second book THE INCA’S CURSE

Book 2 in The Thornton Mysteries


At the same moment, the thief stepped closer to the lake’s edge. Without any hesitation, he dropped the girl’s body into the cold, dark water.

The book is historical fiction/cosy murder mystery/romance.

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Published by Crimson Cloak Publishing

Set in 1928 in Victoria, Australia. The Thornton family made its money in the goldfields during the 1850s and the antiques trade. Thornton Park is their lavish mansion close to Melbourne. They also own a home and a goldmine in Daylesford, in the heart of Victoria, where their close friends, the Bassetti family, are part of a thriving Swiss-Italian community.

Alexandra Thornton has married Benedict Archer. On their honeymoon in Daylesford, Alexandra’s pearls are stolen and within days there are two murders.

Back at Thornton Park, Alexandra discovers a secret compartment in a desk. Inside is a gold and diamond necklace and a letter written by her grandfather, James Thornton. It’s a love letter, Alexandra assumes written to his wife after her death. He claims the necklace is cursed. 

After further investigation, Alexandra uncovers the deaths of two miners at Thornton Goldmine. 

The family return to Daylesford where Thomas Thornton is accused of murder.

Alexandra is determined to work out how it all connects. 

What is the link to the Inca Emperor Atahualpa? Is it gold? 

Is gold the curse?

THE INCA’S CURSE – RELEASE DATE

I’m very excited to announce the release date for my second book THE INCA’S CURSE

Book 2 in The Thornton Mysteries

Benedict says this quote below to Alexandra.
“You are a part of my soul, part of my every thought, my every action. I breathe for you. I exist for you.”

How romantic is he? 😊🌹

The book is historical fiction/cosy murder mystery/romance.
Out soon!
Crimson Cloak Publishing

Set in 1928 in Victoria, Australia. The Thornton family made its money in the goldfields during the 1850s and the antiques trade. Thornton Park is their lavish mansion close to Melbourne. They also own a home and a goldmine in Daylesford, in the heart of Victoria, where their close friends, the Bassetti family, are part of a thriving Swiss-Italian community.

Alexandra Thornton has married Benedict Archer. On their honeymoon in Daylesford, Alexandra’s pearls are stolen and within days there are two murders.

Back at Thornton Park, Alexandra discovers a secret compartment in a desk. Inside is a gold and diamond necklace and a letter written by her grandfather, James Thornton. It’s a love letter, Alexandra assumes written to his wife after her death. He claims the necklace is cursed. 

After further investigation, Alexandra uncovers the deaths of two miners at Thornton Goldmine. 

The family return to Daylesford where Thomas Thornton is accused of murder.

Alexandra is determined to work out how it all connects. 

What is the link to the Inca Emperor Atahualpa? Is it gold? 

Is gold the curse?

ARCs available – THE DRAGON SLEEPS by Ellen Read

**NEW ARC AVAILABLE**

THE DRAGON SLEEPS by Ellen Read

If you’re interested in reading an ARC (Advanced Reader/Review Copy) of my story in exchange for an honest review, please contact me at ellenreadauthor@gmail.com and let me know what format you prefer: mobi, epub or pdf.

ARCs - sword-866016

A Dragon statue. An ancient sword. A body in the orchard.

What secret has remained hidden at Thornton Park for the last eighty years?

It’s 1927 in Victoria, Australia. A time after the Great War when women have more options opened to them.

At a weekend house party at Thornton Park, Alexandra Thornton decides to break the news to her father that she wants to be an antiques dealer, like her father, grandfather and great-grandfather before her.

Then a body is found in the orchard, and before the weekend is over, a priceless artefact is stolen.

Alexandra is determined to discover how these things are connected to the Ming dragon and the antiques her great-grandfather brought with him from Hong Kong so many years ago.

What treasure is worth killing to possess

 

 

1920s Men’s Fashion

My new novel The Dragon Sleeps is set in Victoria, Australia in the 1920s. I recently did a post on women’s fashion from that era.

Men’s fashion was equally as stylish. It was influenced by the new heart-throbs of the silent films, although the term ‘silent films’ wasn’t used during that era. They were called ‘the flicks’ or ‘the pictures’.

Rudolph Valentino liked to set a style.

clark-gable
Clark Gable shows an example of men’s hair styles that were slicked back and held in place with brilliantine cream.

John Gilbert wears the pencil-style moustache that was popular during the 1920s and 1930s. He was known as The Great Lover of the Silver Screen. The Merry Widow launched him to fame in 1925, and by 1928 he was the highest paid actor in Hollywood.

Benedict Archer in The Dragon Sleeps looks like John Gilbert, or so Edith claims.

Men in the 1920s wore suits and, at least the highly fashionable ones, wore many accessories. There were so many types  of hats (here we see fedoras, straw boaters, and Newsboy hats).

Below shows the Porkpie hat that Sergeant Smith wears when he accompanies Alexandra and Edith to the Victorian State Library.

mens-hats

 

Canes were popular accessories as well as small rings, tie pins, and collar pins. Three-piece suits were also worn – one for every occassion.

Shoes were very stylish, with examples here of brogues, two-tones, white tennis shoes and the exquisite art deco shoes.

Even the working man and boy liked to don hats, ties and jackets.

The Parry and Brady men in The Dragon Sleeps would have worn similar outfits.

working-man-w-horse
This could easily be one of the Parry boys in The Dragon Sleeps caring for the horses.

 

I hope you enjoyed looking at male attire in the 1920s.

The Dragon Sleeps is available in paperback or as an e-book on:

Amazon

Amazon – Australia

Booktopia

Angus & Robertson

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

I’d love to hear from you. To follow me go on to:

Instagram

Facebook

Goodreads

 

 

The Thornton Mysteries – Book Two

the-thornton-mysteries-blog

I’m excited to be working on research for book two of The Thornton Mysteries. Next week I’m heading down to Victoria to do research for the location/setting of the story. Thornton Park, as the family home, will still feature but some of the story will be in Daylesford, a beautiful village in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. 

The Thornton Mysteries

It was originally my intention to have my newly released novel The Dragon Sleeps as a stand-alone book. As I drew close to the ending, I started to think that I should write a second book. Through all the editing, proof-reading and finally the publishing, I still hadn’t made up my mind. I had another novel I was working on and I really wanted to finish it.

I had no sooner given approval for the printing of The Dragon Sleeps, than I thought, of course I must write a second book!

the-thornton-mysteries

Since then I’ve decided to write at least two more books. They will be under the series title of The Thornton Mysteries. Each book will have a separate title, with it’s own mystery. The thread linking them will be Alexandra’s personal story.

Thornton Park  will remain the focal point of the lives of Alexandra, Benedict, Edith and Thomas, Alexandra’s father. However, the second book will also be in Daylesford, Victoria. Daylesford is a beautiful town located in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range,  approximately 115 kilometres north-west of Melbourne. It’s principally known for it’s spas, and it has many antique stores and art galleries.

The scenery in the district is pure postcard stuff!

I am going to love writing about this beautiful place. My story will be still set in the 1920s and I can’t wait to bring Daylesford to life in this exciting era. To make certain that I achieve this, in January, I’m going to Victoria and will stay at Daylesford to do some research.

I’ll be taking heaps of photos and I will feature some of them here, on Instagram and Facebook.

I hope you’ll follow me on my journey to create the second Thornton Mystery.

town-hall-dsc_0402
The Town Hall, one of Daylesford’s beautiful buildings.

 

The Dragon Sleeps Released

tds

The day has finally arrived. My book is released.

It’s available on Amazon as paperback and eBook. Apple iBooks, Kobo and other eBook retailers have the eBook. Paperback will be there soon. The paperback will also be in Australian bookshops soon.

 

 

The Dragon Sleeps – My new novel

the-dragon-sleeps-ebook-cover

Published on Friday 4th November 2016

in Paperback and eBook.

I hope you’ll enjoy it.

A Dragon statue. An ancient sword.

What treasure is worth killing for?

It’s 1927 in Victoria, Australia. A hedonistic time after the Great War when young people knew they could enjoy life without the threat of war hanging over them. A time when women have more options opened to them.

There is a weekend house party at Thornton Park and Alexandra Thornton thinks it will be a good time to break the news to her father that she wants to be an antiques dealer, like him, her grandfather and great-grandfather before her.

Only a small number of people are invited. Amongst the guests are Zhang Huo, the Chinese antiques dealer who, with his son, has brought a Ming dragon statue from China for Thomas Thornton.

Benedict Archer, who is manager of Thornton Antiques in Melbourne and who has been secretly helping Alexandra learn more about her family business, is also invited. Alexandra asks Benedict and Edith Blackburn, her friend since childhood, to be with her when she approaches her father.

When Edith claims that Benedict is in love with her, Alexandra can’t believe it. In all the time they’d been at Thornton Antiques together, he’d never said a word. Now, Alexandra looks at him differently. Can it be true?

Then a body found in the orchard and, before the weekend is over, a priceless artefact is stolen.

Alexandra is determined to discover how these things are connected to the Ming dragon and the antiques her great-grandfather brought with him from Hong Kong so many years ago.

What secret has remained hidden at Thornton Park for the last eight years?

INSTAGRAM INTERVIEW BY LEGENDARY WRITING

LW Campfire Conversations

I was invited by Legendary Writing on Instagram to do this interview.

legendarywriting.

  • – LW: What tips or tricks do you have for writing romance in a story?
  • – Ellen Read: The friendship and respect the characters feel for each other is the basis for good romance. Of course, there has to be attraction between them. The setting of the story can have a huge influence. Some locations just ooze romance. However, overall the romance comes from within the characters themselves
  • – LW: What mistakes do you think many writers make when it comes to writing romance and how do you think those mistakes can be fixed?
  • – Ellen Read: I don’t like to be melodramatic, which often happens with romance stories. I think a writer has to make certain you are completely inside the head of your character, so that they feel what you feel and you feel what they feel.
  • – LW: Where did you get the idea for this story and how did it evolve as you wrote it?
  • – Ellen Read: I was inspired by a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson. I originally wrote ‘Love The Gift’ years ago as a short story set in England. I wanted it set in Australia. Sutton Forest felt just right. I could see Charlotte in her private garden in 1905. I wanted it over two eras – Charlotte’s and the present day. Mark is the protagonist. He’s an artist, and in touch with his feminine side. He visits his friend, Beth, who is Charlotte’s great great-niece and his journey to find his true love starts.
  • – LW: What challenges did you face writing this book and how did you overcome them?
  • – Ellen Read: The main challenge writing Love The Gift was having a male protagonist. Romances tend to have a female point of view. Although, once I started, getting into Mark’s head was easier than I thought. I overcame this challenge by making Mark an artist, with an artist’s soul. I needed him to love poetry and to see and feel the beauty in nature.
  • – LW: What lessons have you learned writing this book that you’ll carry with you into the rest of your writing career?
  • – Ellen Read: Because ‘Love The Gift’ had so many changes from the original short story, I learned to go where my characters led me. It’s no use persisting with an idea if it doesn’t work anymore.