1066 Turned Upside Down

Today we feature 1066 Turned Upside down and an excerpt from contributing author Carol McGrath:


by Carol McGrath

Harold Godwinson, as Earl of Essex and then Wessex, had taken Edith Swanneck as a common-law wife. By her he had several sons and daughters – all legitimate, for this was a legal marriage, but not one blessed by the Church. Harold set his first wife aside, however, when he became King, for he needed to confirm an alliance with the earls of northern England, and the only way to do so was to take their sister as wife. It must have been hard for his sons and daughters by that first wife to accept the second. Harder still for them to realise that he was now vulnerable to outside threats and maybe even attempted murder… and to the portents that appeared in the April sky…

Thea stared up at the night sky wondering if King Edward dwelled in Heaven, or was he one of the stars that glowed through April’s frosted darkness? She certainly never considered Uncle Edward saintly. He had been stuffy and pious – too devout, surrounding himself with Norman priests, building a new abbey at Westminster, expecting Aunt Edith to be kind and welcoming to his visitors from across the Narrow Sea. Yet, Thea pondered,  as she gathered up her thirteen-year-old thoughts, in the end, Uncle Edward had approved of her family and chosen her father, Earl Harold, his brother by marriage, to rule the kingdom after his death. It was a surprise to them all when the dying king expressed his wishes as he had hovered between the world of angels and a darker and very frightening place. She shuddered and hurriedly crossed herself. Surely better for Uncle Edward that he was a star in the night sky, than facing the terrors that lay between Heaven and Hell?

Thea’s father, King Harold, second of that name, had been crowned on the day her Uncle Edward was interred in his new abbey. Even though she was now a princess, this was a mixed blessing. Her father had remarried, taking Aldgyth, the sister of the powerful Northern earls and widow of a king of Wales, as his wife, claiming that marriage with Thea’s mother, his true hand-fasted wife of eighteen years, was not approved by the Church. He told the family that since their union broke the Church rules on consanguinity – they were related at three times removed – he would have to marry the Northern widow to ensure her brothers’ support and to keep the Church on his side.

‘As you know well, there are too many greedy eyes on our kingdom. I must ally with her brothers if I am to protect England,’ he had explained.

After his pronouncement, her father had sent her mother away. He had packed her, Thea, his elder daughter, off to Grandmother Gytha’s household.

Thea stared up at the night sky, bright and star-dusted after several weeks of heavy cloud and cold rain, and wondered if she dared refuse to attend her father’s Easter Court at Westminster. She could not be pleasant to the woman who had usurped her mother, though she still loved the huge, bearded warrior who was her father; a warrior who seemed to her as golden as the sun and gentle as the moon. She had another thought. Her childhood friend, Earl Waltheof, would join her father’s Easter Court…

* * *

The night sky was lit up with stars. A group of monks stood, staring up at a bright new star that had appeared as if summoned by a sorcerer. Some were praying, others were pointing as they clutched each other’s robes. Through the gaps in the pillars, Thea watched some of her father’s attendants also gathering – was that Earl Waltheof amongst them? She shook her head, no, her thoughts were no longer for him. Rather, they had settled firmly upon the importance of her father’s survival and his kingdom. She looked into the sky to the enormous star with a dragon-like tail hovering above the abbey church.

Book Title: 1066 Turned Upside Down

Authors: Joanna Courtney, Helen Hollick, Anna Belfrage, Richard Dee

G.K. Holloway, Carol McGrath, Alison Morton, Eliza Redgold, Annie Whitehead

With a foreword by C.C. Humphreys.

Publication Date: 14th September 2021

Publisher: Taw River Press (paperback) Matador/Troubador (e-book)

Page Length: 222 Pages

Genre: Alternative History

Twitter Handles: @HelenHollick @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handles: @annabelfrageauthor @richard.dee.scifi.author @carol.mcgrath.58 @alisonmortonauthor @anniewhiteheadauthor @coffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #1066UpsideDown #AlternativeHistory #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub

Tour Schedule Page: https://www.coffeepotbookclub.com/post/blog-tour-1066-turned-upside-down-helenhollick

Book Title and Author Name:

1066 Turned Upside Down

By Joanna Courtney, Helen Hollick, Anna Belfrage, Richard Dee, G.K. Holloway,

Carol McGrath, Alison Morton, Eliza Redgold, Annie Whitehead

With a foreword by C.C. Humphreys


Have you ever wondered what might have happened if William the Conqueror had been beaten at Hastings in 1066? Or if Harald Hardrada had won at Stamford Bridge? Or if Edward the Confessor had died with an heir ready to take his crown? If so – here is the perfect set of short stories for you.

1066 Turned Upside Down explores a variety of ways in which that momentous year could have played out very differently.

Written by nine well-known authors the stories will take you on a journey through the speculative ‘what ifs?’ of England’s most famous year in history.


“1066 Turned Upside Down is the exemplar for how analytical counterfactual history should be done, combining the best elements of fiction and non-fiction to create an immensely impressive achievement.”

“As a collection, the quality of the writing is exceptional and the variety of possible outcomes presented is truly fascinating.”

“The collection is assembled in such a way that between the ‘alternatives’ are the related facts as they happened, as far as historians and archaeologists know – which still leaves room for these experienced writers’ imaginations.”

“A book I will read and re-read. I heartily recommend it”

“The real joy of a collection of stories like this is, of course, that you are likely to be introduced to writers you may not have come across before.”

Buy Links:

Universal Link: myBook.to/1066TurnedUpsideDown

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01I1V7G42

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01I1V7G42

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/1066-Turned-Upside-Down-Alternative-ebook/dp/B01I1V7G42

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/1066-Turned-Upside-Down-Alternative-ebook/dp/B01I1V7G42

Barnes and Noble:


Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/1066-turned-upside-down

Troubador Books:  https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/historical/1066-turned-upside-down/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30969349-1066-turned-upside-down

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/1066-turned-upside-down-by-helen-hollick-and-carol-mcgrath

Author Bio:

1066 Turned Upside Down is a collection of eleven alternative history short stories of a ‘what if’ nature imagined by nine well-known successful authors:

JOANNA COURTNEY Ever since Joanna sat up in her cot with a book, she’d wanted to be a writer and cut her publication teeth on short stories and serials for the women’s magazines before signing to PanMacmillan in 2014 for her three-book series The Queens of the Conquest about the wives of the men fighting to be King of England in 1066. Her second series, written for Piatkus is Shakespeare’s Queens exploring the real history of three of the bard’s greatest female characters – Lady Macbeth, Ophelia and Cordelia.

Joanna’s fascination with historical writing is in finding the similarities between us and them –with an especial goal to provide a female take on some of the greatest stories we think we know. www.joannacourtney.com

ALISON MORTON writes the award-winning alternative fiction Roma Nova thriller series featuring tough, but compassionate heroines. She blends her deep love of Roman history with six years’ military service and a life of reading crime, historical, adventure and thriller fiction. A ‘Roman nut’ since age 11, she started wondering what a modern Roman society would be like if run by strong women. She has recently branched out into a contemporary crime setting with Double Identity, the first of a planned series.


ANNA BELFRAGE Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy set in 14th century England. Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. His Castilian Hawk – returning to medieval times and her most recent release, The Whirlpools of Time, a time travel romance set against the backdrop of brewing rebellion in the Scottish highlands. Anna has won several awards including various Gold, Silver and Bronze Coffee Pot Book Club awards. www.annabelfrage.com

ANNIE WHITEHEAD is an historian and prize-winning author. Her main interest in history is the period formerly known as the ‘Dark Ages’. Her first novel, To Be A Queen, is the story of Aethelflaed (daughter of Alfred the Great), who came to be known as the Lady of the Mercians. Alvar the Kingmaker, tells the story of Aelfhere of Mercia, a nobleman in the time of King Edgar. Cometh the Hour goes further back in time to the seventh century, to tell the story of Penda, the last pagan king of Mercia. Annie has twice been a prizewinner in the Mail on Sunday Novel Writing competition, she won first prize for nonfiction in the new Writing Magazine Poetry and Prose competition, and was the inaugural winner of the HWA (Historical Writers’ Association)/Dorothy Dunnett Society Short Story Competition and is now a judge for that same competition.

Annie has had two nonfiction books published. Mercia: The Rise and Fall of a Kingdom (Amberley Books) has been an Amazon #1 Bestseller. Women of Power in Anglo-Saxon England was published by Pen & Sword Books in 2020.


CAROL McGRATH is the author of The Daughters of Hastings Trilogy. Her fifth historical novel, The Silken Rose, first in The Rose Trilogy, published by the Headline Group, is set during the High Middle Ages. It features Ailenor of Provence and was published in 2020. The Damask Rose about Eleanor of Castile was published in 2021. The Stone Rose, Isabella of France, follows in 2022. Carol has also written Historical Non-Fiction for Pen & Sword.


ELIZA REDGOLD is an author and ‘romantic academic’. Her bestselling historical fiction includes her Ladies of Legend trilogy, starting with Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva released internationally by St Martin’s Press, New York. Her historical romances are published by Harlequin Historical, London (Harper Collins). They include Playing the Duke’s Mistress, Enticing Benedict Cole, The Scandalous Suffragette and The Master’s New Governess. They have been translated into multiple languages including Italian, Polish, Czech, Danish and Swedish, and are available internationally.


G.K. HOLLOWAY After graduating from Coventry University with an honours degree in history and politics, he worked in education in and around Bristol, England, where he now lives. After reading a biography about Harold Godwinson, he studied the late Anglo-Saxon era in detail. When he had enough material to weave together facts and fiction he produced his novel. 1066 What Fates Impose, a story of family feuds, court intrigues, assassinations, plotting and scheming, loyalty and love, all ingredients in an epic struggle for the English crown. www.gkholloway.co.uk

HELEN HOLLICK moved from London in 2013 and now lives on a thirteen-acre farm in North Devon, England. Born in London, Helen wrote pony stories as a teenager, moved to science fiction and fantasy, and then discovered the wonder of historical fiction. Published since 1994 with her Arthurian Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy, followed by her 1066 era duo. She became a USA Today bestseller with her story of Queen Emma: The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK), and its companion novel, Harold the King (titled I Am the Chosen King in the U.S.A). She also writes the Sea Witch Voyages, a series of pirate-based nautical adventures with a touch of fantasy. Commissioned by Amberley Press she wrote a non-fiction book about pirates in fact, fantasy and fiction and a non-fiction book about smugglers, published by Pen and Sword.

Recently she has ventured into the ‘Cosy Mystery’ genre with her Jan Christopher Mysteries, the first of which is A Mirror Murder. She runs Discovering Diamonds, an independent online review site for Historical Fiction, primarily aimed at showcasing Indie writers.

She occasionally gets time to write. www.helenhollick.net

RICHARD DEE was a Master Mariner and ship’s pilot, now living in Brixham, South Devon.  His novels include Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures, as well as the exploits of Andorra Pett, a reluctant amateur detective. www.richarddeescifi.co.uk

Social Media Links:

Website: https://1066turnedupsidedown.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/1066UpsideDown

Amazon Author Page: https://viewauthor.at/HelenHollick 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/30969349

This entry was posted on January 5, 2022. 4 Comments

Adam’s Witness by J. C. Paulson

From Amazon: Where Does Justice End And Vengeance Begin? When newspaper reporter Grace Rampling stumbles onto a grisly crime scene while on a routine weekend assignment, she abruptly finds herself at the centre of a police investigation into the death of a Catholic bishop. The Crime: BewilderingAs the investigation unfolds, evidence points to a troubling hate crime as Grace finds herself central to the case – not only as a key witness, but a suspect and even potential victim. Lead investigator Detective Sergeant Adam Davis is thrown by the fierce attraction he feels toward Grace that, if acted upon, could throw the entire case into jeopardy. The Race: Intense With Grace at risk and off limits, Adam races to unravel an increasingly disturbing mystery, while he struggles to both protect and resist the woman of his dreams. A swirling thrill ride through the labyrinth of a mystery, romance, crime and a gripping conclusion that no one will see coming.

My Review: What an intense book of love, murder, mental disorders, criminal actions, and including the LGBT+ community. I easily fell in love with all the protagonists and literally disliked the antagonists. The more I read, and the sicker some were, was intense. I don’t want to give anything away. Five stars.

The Girl from Portofino

Book Title: The Girl from Portofino

Series: Girls of the Italian Resistance: A collection of standalone novels set in Italy during World War 2

Author: Siobhan Daiko

Publication Date: 30th December 2021

Publisher: Asolando Books

Page Length: 300 Pages

Genre: Womens Historical Fiction/29th Century Historical/World War 2 Historical

Twitter Handles: @siobhandaiko @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handles: @siobhandaiko_asolandobooks @coffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #HistoricalFiction #WomensFiction #WorldWarIIRomance #WomensHistoricalFiction #ItalianHistorical #HistoricalRomance #CoffeePotBookClub #BlogTour

Tour Schedule Page: https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.com/2021/09/blog-tour-girl-from-portofino-by.html

The Girl from Portofino

(Girls of the Italian Resistance: A collection of standalone novels set in Italy during World War 2)

By Siobhan Daiko

In 1970 Gina Bianchi returns to Portofino to attend her father’s funeral, accompanied by her troubled twenty-four-year-old daughter, Hope. There, Gina is beset by vivid memories of World War 2, a time when she fought with the Italian Resistance and her twin sister, Adele, worked for the Germans.

In her childhood bedroom, Gina reads Adele’s diary, left behind during the war. As Gina learns the devastating truth about her sister, she’s compelled to face the harsh brutality of her own past. Will she finally lay her demons to rest, or will they end up destroying her and the family she loves?

A hauntingly epic read that will sweep you away to the beauty of the Italian Riviera and the rugged mountains of its hinterland. “The Girl from Portofino” is a story about heart-wrenching loss and uplifting courage, love, loyalty, and secrets untold.

Trigger Warnings:

The brutality of war, death, war crimes against women.

Buy Links:

Available on KindleUnlimited.

Universal Link: viewbook.at/TGFP

Amazon UK:https://siobhandaikoasolandobooks.com/3zJgr8N

Amazon US: https://siobhandaikoasolandobooks.com/3udwVEQ

Amazon CA: https://siobhandaikoasolandobooks.com/39zCHH

Amazon AU: https://siobhandaikoasolandobooks.com/2XQPIKJ

Author Bio:

Siobhan Daiko is a British historical fiction author. A lover of all things Italian, she lives in the Veneto region of northern Italy with her husband, a Havanese dog and two rescued cats. After a life of romance and adventure in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK, Siobhan now spends her time, when she isn’t writing, enjoying her life near Venice.

Social Media Links:

Website: https://siobhandaiko.org

Twitter: https://twitter.com/siobhandaiko

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SiobhanDaikoAsolandoBooks


LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/siobhan-daiko-74993651/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/siobhandaiko_asolandobooks/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.it/SiobhanDaiko/_saved/

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/siobhan-daiko

Amazon Author Page: author.to/SiobhanDaiko

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7091256.Siobhan_Daiko

The inspiration behind my novel, “The Girl from Portofino” for When Angels Fly

Thank you so much for inviting me here today to tell your readers about the inspiration behind my newly released novel, “The Girl from Portofino.”

After I published “The Girl from Venice”, which featured a 2010 heroine and her grandmother, a Jewish girl who joins the partisans in the Venetian mountains during World War 2 in Italy, I thought long and hard about which direction to take with the second standalone novel in the “Girls from the Italian Resistance” series.

In “The Girl from Portofino”, I decided to tell the story from the point of view of Gina, who lives in London and returns to Portofino in 1970 to attend her father’s funeral. There, she reads her twin sister, Adele’s diary, left behind during the war. Readers learn the truth about Adele’s wartime experiences through Gina’s eyes while she reminisces about her own experiences fighting with the partisans.

What many people don’t know is that women’s involvement in the Italian Resistance was highly significant, and the fact that it occurred at all is very clear proof of the general impact the Resistance had on Italian society. For the first time in Italian history, women came out of their homes in large numbers, voluntarily, and got involved in politics. Many women did not want to take on just a supporting role and had to ‘fight’ within partisan brigades to be given the right to fight. One such woman was Elsa Oliva, who was from an anti-fascist family, and luckily managed to escape from a transit camp in September 1943 before being sent to Germany. She went up into the hills, looking for her brother who was already a partisan, and joined the 2nd Brigade of the Beltrami division in May 1944. After several days she told the commander and the rest of the men: ‘I didn’t come here to find a lover. I’m here to fight and I’m only going to stay if you give me a gun and put me in the group for guard duty and military action. … In my first firefight I showed I wasn’t handling a gun just for show.’

Because she showed herself to be a good fighter, she was given the command of a group, and when moves were made to relieve her of command she managed to hold on to the position only because her men defended her. She was also a severe disciplinarian, tying up men to posts as punishment from time to time.

Another remarkable story concerns Laura Seghettini, who went up into the hills as a 22-year-old and asked to join her local group as a fighter, a request that was agreed to after initial hesitation. A few months later she was asked to form and lead her own squad of 40 men.

These two remarkable women were my main inspiration for writing “The Girl from Portofino”. I hope readers will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

This entry was posted on January 3, 2022. 2 Comments

Livin’ on the Edge – A Guide to Your Abundance Seeds

Please welcome Tinker McAdams to my blog. Hello Tinker, welcome to my spot, shall we begin?

Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.

Hi everyone, my name is Tinker McAdams and I have written this book Livin’ on the Edge – A Guide to Your Abundance Seeds, through the guidance of my spiritual guides!

Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?

Well, my writing for many years was in the business world. It consisted of business letters, contracts, etc. It was through meditation and automatic writing that this book came about. I have always had a connection with those that were put in place to help each and everyone one of us make it through this time in the physical world. It was actually their idea for the book! I kept putting them off, but eventually they won! So, here it is!!

How difficult was it writing your first book?

The hard part for me was being able to have the time to go within and get connected with “my Guys.” But the book does cover a lot that has to do with the reader becoming connected and aware. Through the years I have researched and through this it also covers things like what herbs and supplements are good to use as well as using crystals and various stones. My Guys helped with explaining things from their side of the veil.

Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?

Once the book was started there was no turning back. I’m one of those people that has to finish what they start.

Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?

I would have to say my three sons. They helped me find the time, and my oldest was one that stood in as my Beta Reader!

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I know this isn’t your normal book. But the whole idea is to help those that read it find out that life can be lived without stress and depression. There are those that are always there for you and through the book it is the hope of myself and my Guys that you can get in touch with your own and live life happy!

What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?

My Dad used to always have sayings. Some were “Can’t could never do a damn thing!” Another was “You don’t know until you try!” He was one that never gave up and always strived. Guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree!

What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?

This book is for those that are in search of who they are and what their purpose is. Life is hard enough and finding a guidance that can help you in whatever you need to do is essential. We all have a purpose for being here and this book can help. Some say it would be classified as “spiritual” but it’s much more that that. If you have questions about where you’re going and what to do, this book is for you!

Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?

I had several ideas but through the help of a guy named Ricardo it came into being and I think it’s perfect.

What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?

At the present time I am working on something else. It has to do with The Tao! Once again it is through my Guys! So, keep an eye out next year!

Any last words before we wrap things up?

I can only hope that whoever reads my book can see that there is so much more to life! Everything around us can be so beautiful and real. Life is so worth it!!


In 1957 “Tinker” was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A natural bookworm and researcher, she extended her skills in business, and developed writing to word in layman’s terms for everyone concerned to understand.

With the advice of her “Guys” she has put her writing skills and ways of expressing her thoughts with theirs onto paper helping all find the answers they seek through their own Spiritual Beings.

Self-proclaimed believer in energies and vibrations the Guys gave her the knowledge, that abundance is more than money. They live life to the fullest with many smiles and blessings.

Website: https://www.yourabundanceseeds.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YourAbundanceSeeds

Twitter: @TinkerMcAdams




Christmas in the Highlands #romance

From Amazon: When Niamh Macdonald’s world crumbles, her roots call her home.
Step back to the snow-covered hamlet of Arden, a wilderness in the Scottish Highlands, with a picturesque castle, country cottages, log fires and lashings of hot chocolate. Will this New Year be the one where Niamh MacDonald’s dreams come true? When thirty-year-old artist Niamh Macdonald uncovers her boyfriend’s affair, she leaves her job and city life behind and flees home to the sleepy hamlet of Arden in the Scottish Highlands. Betrayed and hurt, it seems that true love is a myth. Having inherited her late grandmother’s cottage, she vows to make a fresh start and pursue her dream of a career as an artist. If all fails, she has a job waiting for her in the city. Love is the furthest thing on her mind until she bumps into her old friend, Alex Mackenzie, heir to Arden Castle. Alex reminds her of the beauty in the Highlands, and as her roots deepen in the sleepy hamlet of Arden, sparks fly between the pair. When Alex inadvertently scuppers Niamh’s plans, she wonders if she can ever trust him again. Can she make her home in Arden and can she ever forgive Alex?

My Review: This was a nice two hour romance set in Scotland. One laird, a castle, and two old friends who never let the other know of the deep love felt years ago. Broken marriage with one cheating, a mix of multiple emotions set around Christmas and ending with a natural aurora borealis.

Her Heart


Her Heart by Mary L. Schmidt is an inspiring and emotionally riveting story of a woman who, after years of abuse, can finally find love. Sarah is a warm-hearted nurse, a loving mother, and a women who experienced an unpleasant childhood. After years of abuse from a husband she doesn’t love she manages to leave with her son. Concerned for her son’s wellbeing, Sarah starts a new life on her own. Free of the abusive husband, and with a fresh start on life, Sarah has no intention of getting into a relationship or even thinking of marriage again. That is until an old friend from her past comes back into her life. Will Sarah believe she is worthy enough to be loved? Will she be able to trust again?

Mary L. Schmidt has written a powerful story that will inspire women who are going through the turmoil of abuse. Sarah’s…

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Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fondant #CozyMystery

From Amazon: The third instalment of the cozy Baker’s Rise series is here, with Flora and Reggie facing some ghosts from the past! Fresh from her latest investigation, Lady of the Manor Flora is looking forward to a quiet Autumn, writing her children’s stories, serving customers in the tearoom, and learning how to make and decorate a traditional Christmas cake in time for the festive season.
What she doesn’t anticipate is the arrival of her ex-husband, declaring his undying love for her! Is he as lovesick as he declares, or does he have another reason for seeking Flora out? Of course, in true Baker’s Rise style, things get rather more complicated rather quickly, and Flora finds herself in the eye of a whole new storm. Packed with humour and suspense, colourful characters and a sprinkle of romance, this next Baker’s Rise Mystery will certainly leave you hungry for more! (Includes a Christmas Cake recipe!) Note from the author: Since the same quirky cast of characters feature in each installment of the Baker’s Rise Mysteries, the books are best enjoyed when read in order!

My Review: I found this mystery to be cozy and loving, along with a few never do well type of people to add drama into the mix. Romance is light yet ever present, and the mystery of certain events leaving the reader waiting to know how things would turn out.