A Centuries-Old Vendetta – Spotlight on REMHURST MANOR by Tamasine Loves

There is a mystery that lies in the grounds of Remhurst Manor; a mystery concerning the unsolved 19th century murders of four teenagers.

Laine Brimble is slipping between two lives. Her life at home in present-day Australia, and the life of a nobleman’s daughter living in 19th century England’s Remhurst Manor.

Until now, Laine was able to keep her two lives separate and secret. But, Laine is about to find out that though centuries past and oceans over, Remhurst’s mysterious history is about to get a lot closer to her than she expected; a dark presence has arrived in her hometown, seeking to settle a centuries-old vendetta.

Between home and school and the 19th-century, not to mention a blossoming relationship with new-boy-in-town, Laine struggles to keep past and present on parallel paths … but it seems as if they are on a collision course where the inevitable outcome is death.

Will Laine unearth the mysteries lying in the grounds of Remhurst Manor? Can she be the one to finally put Remhurst’s past behind it? Will she do it before a deadly history repeats itself?

 

About the Author

Tamasine Loves is an Australian author whose debut young-adult novel, ‘Remhurst Manor’, was first written for her high school friends and was delivered as printed serialisations and passed on in between classes.

Tamasine has recently moved from Melbourne, Australia to Belfast, Northern Ireland. She lists her favourite things as literature, lattes, live music, alliteration, and her cat called Morrissey (who, she insists, is indeed ‘a charming man’).

 

 

 

 

3 Books That Influenced Me

Guest Post by Tamasine Love

 

The books that changed my life aren’t the kind found on ‘life-changing books’ lists

Often, I feel like I’m a person shaped stack of books, not a walking talking living person – that I’m a product of all the words I’ve ever read. The imaginary experiences I’ve read about (and imaginary lives I’ve led thus) have had as profound an effect on me as my real-life experiences.

Reading has made me a more empathetic, down to earth person. When I read a book, my mind vacations between their pages, my emotions are on loan to the plots …

Think I’m being dramatic? You’re not wrong. I’m being pleonastic; a literary technique –

I didn’t know what pleonasm was until I read Atonement. I didn’t know what a metaphor was until I read der Vederlung. Dr Seuss taught me about alliteration. Don Quixote taught me the importance of perspective. A Series of Unfortunate Events schooled me on black humour. Liar demonstrated to me what M. Knight Shamalayan tried to. Milly Molly Mandy taught me to cook. Jillian Jiggs made me tidy my room.

Here are three more books that have had a real influence on me…

The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins-Gilman

This isn’t a novel, it’s a short-story, but I would have to say, out of the three books on this list, it had the most effect on me.  Through this book I learned the weight of the word ‘hysteria’, and it prompted my first look into the history of society’s perceptions and treatment of womens’ mental health. It’s a topic I’m incredibly invested in, but won’t talk about here because once I start, I won’t stop!

Fifteen – Beverly Cleary

When I was in grade 6 at primary school, we had ‘DEAR’ time for half an hour every afternoon. DEAR stood for ‘Drop Everything and Read’. Everyone had to read for half an hour, it didn’t have to be a book – magazine, whatever – would do. There was no shame for people who didn’t like reading. All they had to do was be quiet if they chose not to read, so lots of them drew or made paper planes (but, respectfully, they did not throw them until after the 30-minute timer bell went off to signal the end) to throw at other students’ faces. This was a ‘no judgement’ zone, and yet, I for some reason, felt the need to one day cover up the book I had brought to read with a brown paper lunch bag. It was elaborate, too – I used tape, I cut the corners, I made that brown paper fit so snug that it just looked like a dust cover. Well, I thought so. My teacher came up and asked me about it and I explained that I didn’t want people to know what I was reading because I was embarrassed, she told me that was utter nonsense and to read whatever I wanted.

This was the cover:

(I don’t know why I was so embarrassed of that cover – I dress like that now. )

I had a reputation to uphold, you know? I was the Smart One.

Well, my teacher set me straight. This was the same teacher who chastised people for making fun of anyone for pronouncing ‘big words’ incorrectly, ‘they’ve learned that word, and are brave enough to use it’. She said that if they were made fun of, they might not ever use it again.

Considering I was someone who learned 90% of the words I knew via osmosis while reading, combined with my thinking that teacher was super cool, made that stick with me.

I still kept the brown paper on until I finished reading it, though. Can’t win ‘em all.

Note: I’ve not re-read this book, and now that I’ve read the Wikipedia summary of it. It seems like an extended advert for cashmere and there’s more mentioning of peoples’ heights than you’d see in ten minutes on Tinder. I’m afraid to re-read it, although it did have what I think just might be the best character descriptions ever written…

George: He’s had a major crush on Jane. He is two inches shorter than Jane. George carries his money in a purse, is obsessed with science and is about as romantic as a math test.

Mr. Nibley: Mr. Nibley is the owner of the popular Nibley’s Ice Cream Parlor. He thinks Jane is 11 years old.

Twilight – Stephanie Meyers

No, not a misprint. Yes, I know it’s implied blasphemy to admit you ‘like’ Twilight and the accepted response to that kind of behaviour in the literary community is polite, loaded silence following the admission.

I read Twilight when it was first released. It was a tiny book, and it was unlike anything I’d read so far. I was twelve, and I liked the wordiness, the pretence, but most of all – I liked that it did not ‘talk down’ to me as I read. Most of the YA I had read until that point had been written by adults and there was always, I felt, a veiled but set sense of separation. Twilight was just the right amount of superfluous adjectives with co-occurring simplicity.

I have not re-read it since then. I have no interest since I think that re-readings are for books that you wish to get more out of, for example, personal growth, straightforward entertainment, or academically. I got what I needed out of Twilight when I was twelve, and besides – the reason it made this list is not because of the content (which, as an adult, and as my context for the novel grew, I found problematic, disappointing and worrisome).  It’s because of the author.

I have dragged a rake over the internet (okay, I didn’t look that far, I used 3 different combinations of search terms and then gave up without going past the first page of each search) searching for a screenshot of Stephenie Meyer’s old website.  I remember it perfectly. It was green, hideous, and there was a disclaimer on it that the webmaster was her brother and that all correspondence went through him, but she’d try her best to reply as fast as she could. It wasn’t just Stephenie Meyer’s book that was inclusive, but her as a person. She was the first author that was accessible – until then, I’d thought of writers of books I loved as untouchable, heavenly beings – The Author. There was a space between me and them and between their book and me. I felt like Ariel when she sings ‘part of your world’. Then, Stephenie Meyer was that duet in Aladdin that everyone sings off-key in the shower, you know the one. She was interacting with her fans (and it was a little cult following) on the forum. This was before Twitter and before it started to be commonplace (nay, a requirement) for authors to be available to their readers. Because this sort of internet-following that video bloggers etc. get these days was not commonplace back then, there was enough knowledge of it to auction the rights for the film, but not enough for the film studio to realise just who was going to turn up for the film. The book was wish fulfilment, and Meyer was like the cool girl who didn’t just let you sit at her lunch table but invited you, openly. I admired this interaction and forgave a lot of the flaws in the work because Meyer as an internet-presence filled those gaps for me. I took her and her work as a whole. That’s why Twilight makes the list. Not because I enjoy troublesome relationship dynamics, pitting girls against each other, bastardisation of the vampire myth presented as a ‘true and old-fashioned’ interpretation, spelling mistakes and not-quite-wrong-but-not-quite-right-either syntax, reinforcement of the ‘friend-zone’ myth, but because it introduced me to a new way of seeing the author-reader relationship. The kind of relationship I would really love to have with people who read my book.

 

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