Release date: March 5, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Two solar eclipses. Two missing girls.
Sixteen years ago a little girl was abducted during the darkness of a solar eclipse while her older sister Cassie was supposed to be watching her. She was never seen again. When a local girl goes missing just before the next big eclipse, Cassie – who has returned to her home town to care for her ailing grandmother – suspects the disappearance is connected to her sister: that whoever took Olive is still out there. But she needs to find a way to prove it, and time is running out.
Good morning everyone! As part of the blog tour for After the Eclipse I have a fabulous guest post from the author to share about powerful places!
As part of my research for After the Eclipse, which is set in a small English town cobbled from some of my favourite Derbyshire villages (and which also has a strong preoccupation with the superstitious) I spent a lot of time reading about common superstitions people hold, and how they differ around the world. For instance, did you know that many 19th century Vermont farmhouses were built with slanted windows so witches couldn’t fly in? Or that in Egypt leaving scissors open is bad luck? And sleeping with them beneath your pillow is believed to prevent nightmares? Superstitions are a part of most cultures, and they vary from place to place.
Solar eclipses, it seems, are viewed differently from culture to culture but the consensus is generally negative. In Bishop’s Green they have become synonymous with loss and grief. But on a lighter note: below is a fun collection of what I like to call Powerful Places located around the world. These are places you’d definitely want to see for yourself if you were nearby.
1. The Charles Bridge – Prague, Czech Republic
The 14th-century bridge that connects Old Town and Mala Strana is lined with statues – an impressive sight to behold. Perhaps most interestingly, a travel superstition that endures is that rubbing the plaque below the statue of the martyred St. John of Nepomuk will bring you good luck and a safe return to the city. I visited Prague a few years ago and even I wasn’t immune. I’ll think myself very lucky if I get to go back!
(photo credit: https://www.amazingczechia.com/sights/charles-bridge/)
2. The Blarney Stone – Cork, Ireland
Here’s one for the introverts among us. An old superstition says that if you climb the steps of Blarney Castle, lean backwards and upside down, and kiss the Blarney stone (a rock that’s been in the castle since 1446) then you will be blessed with the gift of the gab. That is, the ability to flatter and speak with eloquence – perfect for salesmen, or booksellers, might I add! It used to be that visitors would risk life and limb to kiss the stone, hanging precariously over the edge with the aid of an assistant, but now there’s a very sensible guard rail. Clearly a research trip to Ireland is in order, though I don’t fancy the upside down part…
3. Carnac Stones – Brittany, France
In Brittany more than 3,000 stones have stood in careful rows since as early as 4500 BCE. One popular legend has it that when the Roman army was marching on Brittany the wizard Merlin appeared and turned them to stone. Or they could simply have existed to delineate a sacred space and lead people towards an area of worship, but where’s the fun in that? As with many of these megaliths, it’s the mystery that has always intrigued me.
(Image credit: https://www.amusingplanet.com/2016/06/the-carnac-stone-alignments.html)
4. Hagia Sophia – Istanbul, Turkey
Christian cathedral, Ottoman mosque, and now modern museum, the Hagia Sophia is renowned for its stunning mosaics and revolutionary dome. But perhaps what intrigues me most is the legend that if you stick your thumb in a small hole in the “Weeping Column” and it emerges damp then all of your illnesses and ailments will be cured! Mhmm maybe I won’t do that.
5. Stonehenge – Wiltshire, England
No list on Powerful Places would be complete without it! I went here one summer and it was stunning. The size of the stones is remarkable (each one is 7 feet high and weighs 25 tons!), and you do feel a little buzz, although whether that’s just the reverent atmosphere is hard to tell. Once again some legends credit that fabled wizard Merlin with its creation, but any which way you look at it, it’s something special. The Triplet Stones in After the Eclipse have nothing on this beauty but they’re certainly inspired by it!
(Image credit: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/06/20/stonehenge-builders-used-pythagoras-theorem-2000-years-greek/)