Tag Archives: novel

Book Review: Poppy Woods




POPPY WOODS: Nothing could break her spirit by [Adam, Lilly]


Fans of Victorian fiction are sure to enjoy this novel by Lilly Adam.  The illegitimate daughter of Lady Margaret Hutchinson and her lover, Poppy enters a world of rejection and adversity.  Refusing to even look at her daughter, Lady Margaret pays her housemaid, Nelly Driver, to take Poppy away.  Nelly takes the baby toward the country hamlet of Hurst.  Along the way she stops to rest, but places the infant in a poppy field several feet away so as not to hear her crying.  A passing miscreant named Sidney Woods finds the baby and picks her up, intending to raise her solely as a house slave.  Because he found her in a poppy field, Sidney names the child Poppy.

Abused, neglected, and half starved, Poppy nevertheless exhibits an obedient and pleasant nature.  She finds favor with most of the townspeople and the kind-hearted Greenfield family in particular.  Mrs. Greenfield attends to Poppy’s hygiene and gives her some decent dresses to replace the rags provided by the Woods’.  This arouses Sidney’s ire, causing him to mistreat Poppy even more.  One day, in Poppy’s absence, Sidney kills his wife during an argument.  He tries to lay the blame on Poppy, but the townspeople rally against him and Sidney lands in jail.  The Greenfields open their home to Poppy and during her time there she falls in love with son Arthur.

Arthur, however, falls for the daughter of an Italian family who moves into the Woods cottage.  When a family emergency calls them back to Italy, Arthur follows, hoping to win his new love interest.  A crestfallen Poppy, feeling she has burdened the Greenfields long enough, decides to find work in the city.  Fate reunites her with Nelly Driver, who succeeds in placing Poppy with the Hutchinsons.

Here the story takes a darker turn.  Lady Margaret had not recognized Poppy at first but over time realizes the truth.  As laudanum addiction erodes her mind, her behavior becomes increasingly bizarre.  Poppy must endure Nelly’s death, a kidnapping that places her, as a galley slave, on a ship bound for America, and finally her return to Hurst– only to discover that Sidney has escaped jail and, along with Lady Margaret, now seeks to kill her.  Can she possibly escape?  Dare she hope Arthur will return to save her?

I really came to care for this heroine and to admire the heroic Greenfield family.  While the romantic element was there, it was not overplayed and the suspenseful plot twists kept me turning pages.  In my opinion, it is definitely worth a  look.

You can check the book out here.

© Everthedreamer, 2019 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.


Recommended Reads 1

I’ve read a number of books over the last several weeks, and three in particular really stood out, covering subjects ranging from true crime to humor and suspense to historical fiction.  Whatever your pleasure, one of these is sure to strike your fancy!

Corpsewood: A True Crime Like No Other, by Daniel Ellis.   What should have been an inspirational tale of transitioning from harried urban rat race to a simple idyllic life in the country describes instead the lurid, horrifying account of a dream turned into a nightmare.  Mr. Ellis masterfully chronicles Professor Charles Scudder’s metamorphosis from prestigious college professor in Chicago to a self-reliant farmer/survivalist in the dark woods of Georgia, his alleged ties to the occult and mind-control experiments, and the tragic events leading to his murder, which the professor himself depicted in a chilling self-portrait.  The book offers a factual and in-depth account of the police investigation, the arrest and trial of the murderers, and glimpses into Mr. Scudder’s private life, along with the author’s personal visit to the Corpsewood remains with one of the witnesses.  All in all, a gripping read that was hard to put down.


Trouble in Mudbug (Ghost-in-Law Mystery/Romance Book 1) by [DeLeon, Jana]

Trouble in Mudbug, by Jana DeLeon.  Imagine going to your mother-in-law’s funeral, only to watch her climb out of her coffin–and then afterward she pops into your affairs at the most inopportune times!  Frustrated, you tell her off BUT–you’re the only one who can see or hear her, and in public you come off looking like an idiot or worse.  Someone murdered Helena Henry and she wants to know who and why.  Now someone seems bent on killing her daughter-in-law as well.  Add to the mix  a zoologist who’s not really a zoologist and a family friend who is anything but.  This delightful blend of suspense, humor, and spicy romance kept me turning the pages.


The River Of Corn by [Putnam, John Rose]

The River of Corn, by John Rose Putnam.  A fascinating story of Hernando de Soto’s relentless search for gold in the Carolinas, his brutalization of the native tribes, and a slave’s desperate flight to freedom with the beautiful Chicora queen de Soto holds captive.


Life Changes and New Promotions

IMG_4572_DreamyHills 12_10

I’ve seen a LOT of changes these past few months, some good and others I thought I could never endure.  But looking back I see light and shadow, elation and despair, pain and jubilation all interwoven into the breathtaking tapestry composing my life.  Now, looking forward I choose to embrace life and dwell on the positive, washing bitter negativity into the past on rivers of forgiveness.  I cannot describe the liberation, the freedom, the excitement this new leg of life’s journey has brought me!

I’ve rediscovered my old love, the written word, as both reader and writer and will post reviews of books as I go along.  I am also offering a special end-of-summer $.99-sale on all of my Kindle books.  If you love fantasy and ghost stories, please visit my author page.

In the meantime, I’m working on the tale of how the ghost in my latest book, THE WINDWILDER HAUNTING, entered that unfortunate state.


© Everthedreamer, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.


Seeds for a story have finally bloomed!

sandy and MM

Remember this?  Well, the seeds this fire planted have finally bloomed, and at long last THE WINDWILDER HAUNTING, the first book of my BELLA series, is set for publication the middle of this week. . .

Once acclaimed the Crown Jewel of Twin Bridges, Washington, a derelict mansion with a sordid past sits condemned, awaiting demolition. At the eleventh hour its original owner’s great-grandson intervenes to rescue and restore it. But few rejoice, particularly those whose lives the malignancy within those walls destroyed.

When Philip Windwilder opens his home as a museum, Madelyn Springer eagerly signs on as a docent. Her life takes a spellbinding turn when she discovers a portrait painted nearly a hundred years ago of a woman bearing a remarkable resemblance to herself–a resemblance that arouses instant hostility from Lillian Carver, president of the Twin Bridges Historical Society, who remains determined to destroy Windwilder Mansion at any cost.

Madelyn’s intrigue with the enigmatic Windwilder plunges her into a rivalry for his affections with an influential and vindictive socialite. Madelyn redirects her energies to unlocking the mansion’s secrets, and as these come to light weird and frightening manifestations begin to haunt her. But what terrifies her most is that the people most involved in Windwilder Mansion’s affairs are losing their minds and that two of its original inhabitants still walk its halls.


Any history buffs will be happy to know that poor bedraggled house in the top photo has a happy ending and a BRIGHT future!  Learn all about Pasco’s Moore Mansion here!

© Everthedreamer, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.

The Seeds for a Story

sandy and MM

The author standing on the porch of the burned Moore Mansion.

It’s amazing what can inspire a story.  The arson fire of a 93-year-old mansion along the Columbia River in eastern Washington sparked the plot of my novel-in-progress, The Windwilder Haunting, first book of the BELLA trilogy.

The James A. Moore House, also known as the Moore Mansion and the Big House on the Columbia, had enjoyed a colorful history and was one of the Tri-Cities’ last historical buildings. This grand home underwent many transformations:  Originally the water-front home of a well-to-do family, it became a speakeasy, a nursing home, a hippie camp, and finally a restaurant.

During my time there it was a restaurant, one I often passed as I crossed the blue bridge spanning the Columbia River between Pasco and Kennewick.  While curious, I never visited, which I regretted after the fire.  That conflagration, however, drew me deeper into the Moore Mansion saga than a restaurant visit ever would.

On May 9, 2001 I was working as a programmer/analyst at the Kennewick hospital.  It was one of those clear, fresh Mid-Columbia spring days that made you wish for a wide open field and the energy to run across that field forever.  A former I/T employee who now worked in the business building next door called our department around noon to report she’d just heard that the Moore Mansion had caught fire.  My imagination sprang into action even before my curiosity.  I dashed outside, stared for a moment at a tall column of smoke rising from the northeast, then jumped into my car.

Sunroof open, I headed for the blue bridge, planning to follow the highway west to the nearest interchange and then reenter the highway, crossing the river again in the southbound lane.  Even before I reached the top of the bridge I knew there would be no coming back on that highway.  Already southbound traffic had stopped, creating a jam extending for miles.  The house itself had become a torch, shooting red-orange flames 30-40 feet into the air.  Smoke and embers spread themselves upon the breezes, fanning out across the river and town.  The smoke didn’t smell like smoke.  It had a heavy, musty, almost moldy odor.  I wanted to stop but there was no place to pull off, and the state police were struggling to keep people moving.  You can read the Tri-City Herald account here.

Unable to return by the same route, I sought an alternate route, getting a last look at the doomed house from the cable bridge farther east.  The creative juices not only flowed, but gushed!  Already my mind had conceived a cast of characters and a plot entailing adultery, murder, dark secrets and ghosts.  I wrote the story, but never truly finished–until now.

And the Moore Mansion’s fate?  The day of the fire I figured the flames would burn the house to the ground.  When I drove past later that afternoon, the house, minus its third floor, still stood.  For two years the ruined structure awaited its doom.  Several declared its era over and called for its demolition, I joined forces with six other Tri-Cities women, and together we managed to raise enough interest to prompt one couple to step up to the plate.  They totally rebuilt the mansion and, in my opinion, the house is now more beautiful than before.  Today the Moore Mansion serves as a setting for weddings and other special events.  You can read more about it here.

NOTE:  My novel is purely fictional, with no historical references pertaining to the Moore Mansion or its owners, or to the Moore family.  I hope to release it in late April or early May.  Stay tuned!

© Everthedreamer, 2017  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.



The Journey Continues


With Ryadok’s demise, Epthelion should have enjoyed lasting peace and Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel should have remained a stand-alone book.  That was my intention, at least, but readers did not agree.  Evil never dies, they told me, and neither did the malignant serpent who embodied it.  So–what happens next?  There must be a sequel.

I had to agree.  The scene that started it all, unused in Warrior Queen, remained fresh in my mind.  The unhappy maiden staring into the sunset had a story yet untold.  The serpent’s return, the growing unrest within the Dark Land, and this young woman’s hopes and dreams amid her shattered reality joined forces to produce A Dark Moon Rises.

In this time period, arranged marriages were the norm.  The war had claimed many lives, leaving few prospects for the widows and young maidens left desolate in its wake.  When Sam Shaw, a well-to-do Garris butcher asked newly-widowed Sarah Greene for her daughter’s hand in marriage, Sarah readily agreed, knowing the union would insure that neither she nor her daughter hungered.  She did not consider that daughter Melinda was only nineteen, while Shaw was nearly sixty.  (And yes, he wanted Melinda–not Sarah!)

Unwilling to endure such an arrangement, Melinda fled to Teptiel, a fledgling colony to the north, and to her joy met and married a handsome, prominent farmer named Eldor Rand.  Teptiel, however, harbored dark secrets.  So did Eldor Rand, and Melinda soon found her nightmare just beginning.  The serpent returned, drawing many to himself as he hunted Arris Marchant, the Arganian mystic who had left him stunned and crippled after slaying Ryadok.

As the serpent’s discipleship grew, Teptiel’s most honorable citizens became treacherous.  Who could one trust?  Could any hope rise from the ashes of the devil’s fires?



Find out here!

© Everthedreamer, 2017  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.