TEENAGER AURELIA MARCUS DISAPPEARED LONG BEFORE SHE RAN AWAY FROM HOME – A GHOST STORY ABOUT A PAINTING that refuses to stay on the canvas.
A troubled teenager’s life alters drastically when A FAULTY SLIDE PROJECTOR IN AN ART HISTORY CLASS DELIVERS THE DISGRUNTLED GHOST OF A WOMAN TRAPPED IN HER FAMOUS PORTRAIT, ‘The Girl With A Pearl Earring’ by Johannes Vermeer.
‘DISAPP’EARRING TWICE by V Knox’ – is a fanciful ART HISTORY MYSTERY novel of love, reincarnation, & sacrifice INSPIRED BY A TRUE CATASTROPHIC EVENT.
THE BAREFOOT GHOST is driven to find his lost shoes in a final attempt to win the affections of the troubled mother who ignored him in life, grieving over the untimely death of his sainted older brother, who died before he was born.
But tasked with saving a surviving girl on the doomed liner, meant to be his future wife in America, distracts Finn from his lonely mission to posthumously heal his unchecked sibling jealousy and restore his mother’s sanity.
‘THE UNTHINKABLE SHOES’ is a work of fiction by V Knox inspired by a pair of salvaged children’s shoes in a Titanic museum exhibit.
SNIPPET from page one of ‘THE UNTHINKABLE SHOES by V Knox’:
[I drowned three times. First, in the relentless rain of Ireland, second, in the deep gloom of mourning that settled over my mother, and third, in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic.
Even when the sun blazed down fierce as the devil there was the bleakness that settled in our bones like a great damp. Once in a blue moon Mam would pull me into her lap, rocking and singing and hanging on to me for dear life, calling me Michael, her wee angel, and ask me where we were going because sweet Jesus she was lost at sea.
It’s sad, how in moments of despair when all a body wants is hope, a still small voice will tell you the truth you don’t want to hear. Because, you see, I’m NOT Michael! I’m Finn, and it’s sad how precious-few blue moons there are.]
Following a phantom robin through the painted caves of Lascaux’s ‘hall of the horses’, takes THE SPIRIT OF DELPHI SHARPE, AN AUTISTIC TEENAGE GIRL IN A COMA, ON A POSTHUMOUS SEARCH FOR THE BOY IN A 500-YEAR-OLD PAINTING SHE FELL IN LOVE WITH.
But Delphi’s extrasensory abilities to converse with birds and paintings, drive her to reunite with THE PORTRAIT OF ‘CECCO’, FRANCESCO MELZI, LEONARDO DA VINCI’S FAVORITE APPRENTICE.
Will it take two lives to complete one woman when Delph’s soul is reborn too soon after a near-death-experience?
‘The Indigo Pearl’ and its conclusion ‘Pearl by Pearl’ are available here for under $3 each:
SNIPPET from page one of ‘THE INDIGO PEARL’ by V Knox – *book one of two:
Curmudgeonly Bede Hall felt cruelly abandoned in its hour of need, put up for sale after its elderly matriarch retreated into a fog of distracting memories in a retirement home, dreaming about a previous life she remembered in ancient Egypt. But the Hall had no intentions of being sold without a fight. In desperation, it summoned its considerable powers and ordered Lady Nan to wake up and return home. “And bring the twins,” it said.
Twelve-year-old telepathic twins, Christopher (Kit) and Bathsheba (Bash), Lady Nan’s grandchildren, live in a suburb of greater London, when their Egyptologist father goes missing from his dig in Egypt.
Their fond memories of summer holidays spent in Bede Hall, framed in blue skies and fluffy clouds, soon fade when confronted with camping out in a deteriorating ruin of damp rooms and dusty dreams.
To distract themselves, the twins make a game of seeking out the rumored ghost of a lost girl haunting the cold spot on the third floor, known as the ‘Winter Room’, who Lady Nan assures them is real.
In a plan to save their grandmother’s crumbling stately home, the twins unite with several strange ghosts to form a team called the ‘Twinters’, a name comprised of the words twins and winter.
At the end of book one, Lady Nan takes her place as the head ghost of the rallying Bede Hall, and recruits her enchanted childhood toys: a snow globe, a brass hourglass, and several time portals to help unlock the past.
There are three generations of Stratford-Smyths ‘living’ in Bede Hall. The fourth is the ghost of a nine-year-old girl, which makes them four generations spanning four dimensions.
Book one of three in the Bede Trilogy ‘TWINTER – the first portal’
Book two of three in the Bede Trilogy ‘TIME FALLS LIKE SNOW’
Book three of three in the Bede Trilogy ‘TOMORROW AGAIN’ launch date November 2020
MIDDLE-GRADE TIME SLIP ADVENTURES WRITTEN IN LITERARY PROSE FOR THE ADULT READER– an adapted genre from author V Knox
If time stands still anywhere, it’s at Bede. If ghosts haunt anywhere it’s in Bede Hall
Bede Hall hovers in and out of this world, visiting its past and future which means that even in the blistering heat of August it could snow at any time. It was old. The word ageless barely covered it, and the word timeless was an outright lie. Older than time was closest to the truth. But even then, strictly speaking, the Hall was older than history.
Long ago, Vikings had pillaged from the eastern shore and Scots had raided from the north, yet a serene pocket of calm flourished, protected by energies older than the pyramids.
Faint traces of prehistoric circles, lines, and squares lay etched into the fields. Phantoms of early Bronze Age ditches encircle mounds and barrows that shimmer to life after the rains, and the hillocks of Iron Age settlements play hide-and-seek in the long nettles. Saxon gold shuffles deep under the earth with Neolithic flint arrowheads, dagger blades made of iron, and mosaic tesserae from Roman villas. And all the while, the tips of abandoned cairns poke their noses from mossy hillocks into the sunlight.
Left to themselves, the old nature gods silently returned to Bede from the netherworld. The face of the Green Man, overseer of the growing seasons, lord of the harvest festivals and woodland creatures, began appearing again in the barks of trees. Lady Flora, the Green Woman, consort to Jack-of-the-Green, gathered the scattered fairies into colonies and fanned the waning magic into sacred fire.
Twins Christopher (Kit) and Bathsheba (Bash) Stratford-Smyth who live in a suburb of greater London, 300 miles to the south, are twelve when their Egyptologist father goes missing from his dig in Egypt.
Meanwhile, Bede Hall, their grandmother, Lady Nan’s stately home in Northumbria, is in danger and not a little angry. It feels cruelly abandoned at its hour of need, put up for sale while its matriarch, oblivious of her old home in danger of being sold to shady developers, has intentionally distanced herself from responsibilities by retreating into a fog of distracting memories.
While the Hall faces being turned it into a commercial venture, or demolition, Lady Nan dreams on about a previous life she remembers in ancient Egypt.
“My name, Lisabetta Buti was an affront to my existence. I was Leonardo da Vinci’s beloved kid-sister, his assistant and apprentice, and the mother he was denied. We were born six-years-apart, as close as twins, and when I was old enough to walk, my brother made me a promise that we would never be parted.
And so it transpired, in the particularly vexing season of 1503, while forced to paint the dreary wife of a silk merchant, Leonardo was overcome, as in his early years, by a new quest. And with all due haste, circumstances conspired that he was able to complete the Giocondo commission, and I was cajoled into posing for a new kind of portrait. But here, my identity crisis sprouted wings because both our names were Lisa.
It was the sort of portrait only a visionary would attempt. Leonardo believed he could capture the true essence of a human spirit in paint.
Not long afterwards, Leonardo kept his promise, for we remained inseparable even after my death, and I traveled with him as his sentient companion to the end of his days – a living icon painted on a small panel of poplar wood.
And as time progressed, a further humiliation was heaped upon my portrait by the title ‘Gioconda’ – one misspelled word is all it takes to confound history.” – Lisabetta (Lisa da Vinci)
When the extrasensory abilities of Delphi Sharpe, an autistic girl who converses with paintings and birds, are transplanted into the circuits of an android designed to retrieve famous works of art lost in the past, intelligence is no longer artificial.
AI = autistic intelligence… ‘state of the art’ time travel just became transcendental.
Two rivalling ‘art whisperers’, become single-mindedly obsessed to consummate the love of Delphi’s life – a teenage boy in a 500-year-old portrait. But while the spirit of Delphi wants to rest in peace with her beloved, her artificial counterpart intends to exact revenge on the art syndicate that exploited them.
[When I was fourteen, I fell in love with a boy in a painting.
Leonardo da Vinci painted my Cecco’s portrait five-hundred years before we met as teenagers in 2001. We lived on opposite ends of the Italian renaissance, as close as twin sides of a gold florin.
And then there was the accident and I died for a while.
When I regained consciousness, fifty-two years had passed and my next incarnation had picked up the threads of my life and moved on. She is me and not me, and now she’s falling in love with my boy.
The new Delphi may have a physical body and the technology to whisk her to 15th century Florence… but I have the spirit to transcend the body andI’m not about to let the love of my life slip into another woman’s heart. I have no intention of receding into the shadowlands without a fight.
And so, my spirit followed the robin into the mouth of the cave, through the hall of the birds and past the paintings of horses on the walls into the light.]
Book one of two in the Pearl series. ‘THE INDIGO PEARL’
And so, as ‘TOMORROW AGAIN’ closes ‘the Bede trilogy’ – a time-slip adventure for ages thirteen and up, I open up the before time: ‘AFTER, BEFORE, AND BECAUSE OF’ the trilogy in the prequel ‘SNOW BEHIND THE DOOR’.
The ghost named Snow has her own story to tell because she held her troubled thoughts and memories to herself and kept to the shadows during three books even though she was the driving force of an adventure begun thousands of years before her birth.
Snow befriended an unhappy nine-year-old girl named Beryl who wandered into the haunted cold spot in Bede Hall’s attic to ease a case of sunstroke.
Sixty years later, as old Lady Nan, the matriarch of the Bede dynasty, Beryl’s recurring dreams of her invisible childhood friend, plunges her twin grandchildren, Christopher (Kit) and Bathsheba (Bash), into resolving a land dispute between Pangea, ancient Egypt, and Mars, laid idle for eons that threatens to turn earth into a planet of blue ice orbiting the sun.
Snow deserves to come forward to shine in her own right. Lady Nan, Kit, and Bash all said so.
‘TOMORROW AGAIN’ is scheduled for self-publication, October-ish. I say ‘ish’ because the final editing stage of a full novel can be a wishy washy ‘ishy’ time.
In ‘TOMORROW AGAIN’, the ancient magic of alchemy brings wall paintings and carvings in an Egyptian pharaoh’s tomb, to life.
And so, within the pages of my fanciful trilogy for ages 12 and up, I endeavor to bring the boy king, Tutankhamen (to be politically correct… Tutankhaten) to life, as well.
Bede and Bede Hall are fictional places in the north of England, named for the ‘Venerable Bede’, born in the year 672– a Benedictine monk from the twin monasteries of Monkwearmouth and Jarrow, celebrated as the ‘Father of English history’. Bede comes from the Latin ‘Beodan’ which means to bid or command. *In a timely historic note: At the age of 14, Bede was one of two monks who survived an outbreak of plague in 686.
Being a fan of the British Television series ‘Time Team’ planted my story’s seed. Since then, it has evolved into three books that take a pair of telepathic twins from Northumbria (near Hadrian’s Wall built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian from 122A.D. to 128A.D.) to Vincent Van Gogh’s French countryside, Roman Britain, Pangea, Mars, the 18th dynasty of ancient Egypt, modern day Cairo, and the Valley of the Kings.
‘Tomorrow Again’stars Bede Hall – a stately home in need of rescue and repair, its eccentric matriarch Lady Nan, her teenage grandchildren – telepathic twins, the elemental Green Man, several reincarnated historical figures, a pantheon of Egyptian gods and goddesses, a veritable host of ghosts, a family of animated topiaries that wander the Hall’s grounds at night, and a colony of dream-traveling cats.
In addition, it features the treacherous ‘Furies’ of Greek mythology, ‘Capability Brown’s art of landscaping an English county garden, and suggests the origins of British faeries.
The Bede Series of 3 books plus its prequel will arrive in due course. Book 3 is scheduled for release in 2 months, hopefully as a boxed set in time for Christmas. The prequel should follow in the spring of 2021.
detail from the original painting ‘Catnapped’ by the author V Knox
‘TOMORROW AGAIN’, book 3 of the Bede Trilogy by V Knox – a middle-grade time-slip adventure where the present day cats of Bede Village, in England, dream travel to ancient Egypt through a cat flap in Sarah Goodman’s kitchen. There they monitor the fluidity of time as it progresses backwards or forwards according to the Great Sphinx and the mystical ‘Rule of Nine’.
Meanwhile, Bede Hall – a curmudgeonly stately home that houses the earth’s vast network of time portals, is haunted by a past clogged with murder and treachery, several ghosts, and developers who want to turn it into a hotel.
The fate of Bede Hall, the Blue Nile, a Green Man, and a Golden Boy, hang in the balance as a pair of 17 year-old telepathic teenage twins, newly-separated by 5,000 years, face the same ferocious enemy in a battle between magic and science. Turning 18 isn’t going to be easy!