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The Ross Castle Murders: The Somerset Strangler Sequel

Fast forward nearly two decades from The Somerset Strangler, set in 1970, and we again have Virginia Gilmore, screenwriter, travel writer and co-owner of a Toronto travel agency, traveling to visit old friends at the Marly Inn and Gardens near Glastonbury. With her are her son, Andrew, and his wife Daune. Left behind in Toronto with her mother Cassandra, a psychic and telepath whose paranormal skills have been utilized successfully in the past by high-ranking international police agencies, is Virginia’s granddaughter Bryony, who shows all the symptoms of a young woman verging upon puberty. Cassandra, now in her eighties, no longer travels; well, except when she’s time traveling or teleporting.

The group is off to Shannon Harbour, Ireland, where Virginia’s husband, John, is shooting a BBC wildlife series near Ross Castle. What seems a fairly benign assignment turns sinister when Jamie Timmins, a young student who works as a watchman on the BBC project, is found murdered near the harbourmaster’s barge. While investigating the case, the police come across a number of mutiliated badgers and a shortage of Jack Russell terriers among the area’s farmers. People begin disappearing from the sleepy port town.

The evidence suggests a ring of locals engaged in the lucrative sport of badger-baiting. But, save for a few hints of rich men being approached to attend blood sports, no one seems to know who they are. And what about the anonymous men renting a small warehouse from the harbourmaster? Are they members of a cult or secret society? Or merely normal blokes taking a once-a-week hiatus from their wives in order to carouse a bit?

Charlotte Fielden, author of 15 books dating back to 1970, continues to improve upon the classic police procedural well-known to readers of the British mystery genre. As usual, the cast of characters is extensive, the threads of misdirection puzzling to the police, and the food and drink sumptuous and mouth-watering.

In the end, the culprits realize they are fish out of water whose undoing is helped along by their neglected wives’ desire to live the good life in the sun. As loyalties become strained to the breaking point, the reader is reminded of the moral that all that glisters is not gold.

Author Biography: Charlotte Fielden is a Toronto-born novelist, playwright, actor and poet. She is also a retired therapist and a founding member of both the Writers Union of Canada and the Playwrights Guild of Canada. She studied with mine Marcel Marceau in the 1950s and was featured in the Stratford Festival of Canada. She has written for television, radio and film, and her short stories, articles and poetry have been included in various anthologies, literary reviews and news publications. She provided the English-dubbed versions for Claude Jutra’s films Mon Oncle Antoine and Kamouraska.

The Ross Castle Murders
9780988086845

To order your copy visit: www.volumesdirect.com


"I finished reading The Somerset Strangler and love it. Couldn’t put it down."

Marguerite Emma Hunt, artist, writer, and retired high school English teacher


BEHOLDER by Charlotte Fielden - PRESS RELEASE - March 2015

Beholder: Personal Poems That Capture The Light Prolific writer Charlotte Fielden (she of the Marly Mansion trilogy of detective novels) returns with her third book of poetry, 103 pages written over a four-year period beginning in 2011. Fielden works in free verse, in which rhymes are jettisoned for a more modern palette of assonance and consonance with the occasional and whimsical near-rhyme. Designed to illuminate, explore and soothe rather than jar the reader to action, Fielden’s approach is highly personal, like a watchmaker looking through a magnifying glass to view the miniature wonders that are all around if only we looked more closely and paid attention.

If Beholder has an overriding theme, it is about finding the spiritual and transcendent in the mundane things of everyday life, and letting the reader (the true Beholder?) bask and bathe in the sheer beauty Fielden is able to reveal. The subjects are love of family, relationships and friends, as well as the overwhelming beauty and power of nature. Her fans range from wellness coaches to vocalist Ian Gillan of the rock group Deep Purple.

It is often said that our fast-paced lives have reduced poetry to the backburner of literature, since no one has either the time or the attention span to languish in the sensuous look and sound of words. Picking up Beholder and reading a poem or two is enough to remind us of all that we have lost or neglected, and one leaves this book with a sense of ease and satisfaction, knowing that our thoughts, dreams and ambitions are shared by others with a similar sensibility.

Here is just one small example of her best work, the first nine lines from the poem:

LIGHT AND JOY ABOUNDING.

There is a point in the horizon of life
stretching to either side
beyond imagination and dreams
a place as small as an atom
as huge as the universe
where sun, moon, and stars
rise
and
set.

Author Biography:Charlotte Fielden is a Toronto-born novelist, playwright, actor and poet. She is also a retired therapist and a founding member of both the Writers' Union of Canada and the Playwrights' Guild of Canada. She studied with mime Marcel Marceau in the 1950s and was featured in the Stratford Festival of Canada. She has written for television, radio and film, and her short stories, articles and poetry have been included in various anthologies, literary reviews and news publications.
ISBN: 978-0-9880868-3-8
To order your copy visit: or call Volumes Publishing: 1-888-571-2665


BEHOLDER

I Iike a lot of things in this group of poems. They are witty, not overly intellectual, and the quotes are quite funny as in "Figures of Speech 3". I enjoy finding quotations – the ones I recognize and the others that are new to me. This occurs again in "Thoughts Worth Rethinking".

I assume that the beholder is Charlotte, who seems to have reached an age where she can overlook our poor civilization from a distance. And she is obviously a proud mother and grandmother.

"Patterns" is very profound and true.

In "Power Words" Charlotte plays with words most skilfully, but as usual reveals little of her inner feelings.

"Before I Die" touches me deeply for personal reasons.

"What Next" seems really sincere. It is the epitome of many a woman’s day.

"Toronto in the Rain" also evokes real life in the city in simple words.

"When I was Young" is one of the rare autobiographical poems wherein Charlotte reveals a little of the real Charlotte.

Separating the poems by years and dating or situating each poem makes the presentation of this collection unusual and most striking.

- Anne Sanouillet, editor, 'Dada in Paris', and 'Duchamp du Signe suivi des notes'


BEHOLDER

Thank you so much for the gift of your poetry. Reading from “Beholder” far into the night, I am especially moved by “Dance Routines” for freedom, happiness, and sharing with family and friends. And your wisdom in “Solitude” touches me deeply. Thank you for blessing us with your tender gaze and loving smile. May trees grow green forever as we rejoice in the garden of our hearts.

- Vivian Wiseman


The Somerset Strangler: A Garrotte With a Twist

It’s 1970 and society is undergoing major changes. Virginia Gilmore, screenwriter, travel writer and co-owner of a Toronto travel agency, encamps with her extended family and friends into ancient Glastonbury in the southwest of England to write a travel article while her husband works on his latest film. Even as hippies, New Agers and assorted anti-establishment types descend on this picturesque town for the first Glastonbury Festival, things are going swimmingly. The food and wine is good, the company and conversation invigorating. The film is moving ahead. Then Virginia disappears. Without a trace. For Detective Chief Superintendent Bruce Fenston, the problem is compounded. Virginia is the fourth woman, all tourists with wealthy husbands, to disappear in recent months. Three of them have been found strangled and buried in a peat bog. Will Virginia become the fourth? Fenston has a serial killer on his hands. But who? Is it the husband and wife team who run the healing centre where Virginia was last seen? A man who garrottes rabbits? A ne’er-do-well musician and tree planter with a criminal record and murky past? Or the unbalanced woman writer whose father made his fortune by plagiarizing her work? To top it all off, one of the suspects is having an affair with a member of the local constabulary. Clearly, Fenston needs help, and it arrives in the person of Virginia’s mother Cassandra, a psychic and empath whose paranormal skills have been utilized successfully in the past by high-ranking international police agencies. Time seems to be running out when one of the suspects commits suicide and the police still have no hint of Virginia’s whereabouts. Cue the skills of Cassandra, who communicates telepathically with her daughter, determines she is alive, but becomes alarmed at her mental state. Virginia claims to be conversing with famous women authors while being held captive. Is confinement causing her to lose her mind? Charlotte Fielden, veteran author of 14 books, picks us up and takes us along for a giddy ride in a classic police procedural reminiscent of the English crime writer Elizabeth George. The cast of characters is large and compelling, and Fielden’s knowledge and love of the English countryside suffuses this highly-charged work, making the settings themselves function almost as characters. But it is the twist in the tale that is the star of this whodunit. Employing a double Stockholm Syndrome device, Fielden delivers an ending that is not only wholly unexpected, but one guaranteed to throw readers for a loop. If this doesn’t get you, nothing will.

Author Biography: Charlotte Fielden is a Toronto-born novelist, playwright, and poet. She is also a retired therapist and actor, and a founding member of both the Writers Union of Canada and the Playwrights Guild of Canada. She studied with mine Marcel Marceau in the 1950s and was featured in the Stratford Festival of Canada. She has written for television, radio and film, and her short stories, articles and poetry have been included in various anthologies, literary reviews and news publications. She provided the English-dubbed versions for Claude Jutra’s films Mon Oncle Antoine and Kamouraska.


TRAVELLING TOGETHER

I have just finished reading your little Gem of a book, Travelling Together You have excelled in this wonderful narration. Of course it has personal meaning for me as it will have for many. A wife with cancer. A healing journey into the USA. In our case south and west where your story went south and east. And many years later the decision to let go and translate to the next plane. Of course there are dreams and talking to the inner masters. Immersion in the energy of growing things, especially now we have our greenhouse, is an ever present part of my life. Thank you for this gift to all.

Mel Kazinoff, Master Storyteller, and author of 'Broscombe Manor'


TRAVELLING TOGETHER

Vitality Magazine Press Release


TRAVELLING TOGETHER

TRAVELLING TOGETHER by CHARLOTTE FIELDEN is a story that embraces the sky of sunshine and starlight while orchestrating the prodigal abundance of our roots in the earth of loving. Simple subtleties abound.

Pay attention and listen with your heart. Words are and are not what they represent. Charlotte in the full array of her music, of her language, everyone’s language, revels in the light filled symbols of metaphor, of allegory, of fable, of dreams and of the word. This is a journey, a pilgrimage to the heart of love.

We meet Rachel and Thomas returning from a trip in the life giving wilds of nature and human loving. Thomas callously leaves Rachel at the end of their trip. Where there is fear there is no love. Rachel is an emblem of gentleness. Where there is gentleness there is strength. A truth the author knows well. Guided by the mystical power of Numes, a presence resident in an Overcup Oak tree, Rachel expresses love to Thomas and in time they begin travelling together.

In another life Rachel has been Shoshana, a bearer of light in an Indian village. Shoshana is in intimate and wordless conversation with an Oak tree that is growing, growing. The Oak tree is in a wordless conversation with Manitou. A white hunter arrives, named Thomas, who is scarred with the divisions of white civilization. Thomas carries the hurt of a little child beaten cruelly by his father, a minister who knows not of Manitou. Hard to imagine earth and sky as twins. And the name Thomas means a twin. While the white hunter is teaching his language to Shoshana she leads him to a conversation with her Oak tree. Thomas leaves the village fearful of the devastation that will and does come to the Indian people. Listen with your heart and forgiveness grows in the roots of the tree of life. Pay attention to the symbol on the cover, and at the beginning of each chapter. Know that the tree of life reaches for the heavens and is firmly rooted in our care and conservation with all of life on earth. Dance with Rachel and Tom into this present moment, be healed, and fulfilled in the joy of choosing to love and forgive.

Do read and re-read the light bearing power of TRAVELLING TOGETHER.

Erle Kahnert, Journalist and Author of 'Assassins in Eden’'


TRAVELLING TOGETHER

Travelling Together: the remarkable healing journey of a woman, a man and the strength of a giant oak.

What is it about trees that inspires such awe in us? We see the grace of the whispering willow, we see how it bends but doesn’t break, and we are inspired to see ourselves – and our own struggles – in its remarkable resilience. We see the majesty of the giant redwoods and massive sequoias and we are humbled as we stand before them. We see the incredible, sturdy strength of the giant oak and we are reminded, yet again, that this mighty oak had its origin in a tiny, unassuming acorn. Somehow, in the trees that we love, admire, care for and respect, we humans see ourselves and our place in this world.

Charlotte Fielden loves trees. She loves everything about them – and she readily acknowledges the emotional bond that draws us into their world. She is also a woman of many significant talents: she is a highly regarded, Toronto-based author, poet and playwright, having developed her writings for the stage, the screen, radio and television. Over the course of her adult life, she also has served as a holistic therapist and has taught yoga, metaphysics, meditation and masterminding and has worked with clients in the field of past-life regression as a form of psychotherapy and spiritual exploration.

Author Fielden’s latest published release, Travelling Together: a Contemporary Fable, channels her own extraordinary regard for the healing power of trees as it explores the life journey of a man, a woman and, yes, a giant oak, as they pass through time, troubles and a life's experience. It explores the world of Rachel and Tom and, in particular, it explores Rachel’s extended healing journey through her struggle with breast cancer; more than that, it explores the power of the mind and the will and how they can manage the strength to move mountains.

Travelling Together is a fable – or is it? Is it author Fielden’s imagination (and striking imagery) at work – or is it truly representative, a statement of fact, of the nature of her fight against the horrific tumour that had invaded her right breast? There’s a vivid sense of dreaminess within Travelling Together, a sense of place, time and out-of-body experience, that belies the true, difficult nature of Rachel’s internal struggles.

In the end, and with the guidance, wisdom and counsel of the healing spirit of the giant oak, Rachel literally wills the cancer from her body. The tumour, against all apparent odds, simply disappears, astounding Rachel’s doctor and putting Rachel back on the path toward full health.

This is Rachel’s remarkable journey and it is one she wishes to share. As she says: “If, with this story, I have been a travelling companion and shared anything to help anyone on their own healing journey, that gives me a tremendous amount of peace and joy.”

Travelling Together is Charlotte Fielden’s 12th published book. She is a founding and active member of the Writers’ Union of Canada and the Playwrights’ Guild of Canada – and is very active as a tree conservationist. Life is a journey, she says, and people and trees are travelling the path of life together.


THE STORY OF MARLY MANSION

This epic is a welcome sequel to The Wolves Of Positano. We live vicariously with Virginia, and John and learn voluminously of the mysteries of living. Fashion, cuisine, travel, botanicals, relationships, abundance grounded in the mystical unity of art and nature. The wolves are still nearby.

It is a short walk from the garden at the mansion to the garden of life. We find that the soil of Marly Mansion has a number of levels and is life giving. Yes, Virginia is a woman free from the tendrils of conformity and at another level her name carries the intent of awakening to a new life. Virginia is now living that life. We fly with her locally, globally and joyfully. The Marly garden at first is competitive to other gardens. It is uprooted and demolished. In place of competition, cooperation is manifest and a new garden grows. Still in the garden is a poisonous plant. And lethal doses are dispensed. Murder. The investigation begins. The reader is irretrievably ensnared in the mystery.

The beautiful city of Toronto is photographed, appreciated for what it is, a city of the world. Virginia and John, explore the dynamics of partnership, free, equal and aware of the generative power of differences. They return to England on their way to the festival at Cannes. Yes, the film version of The Wolves Of Positano has been nominated. Mystery is compounded. Ominous feelings of fear emerge in the reader, surrendering to the power of the story hoping that the fire of passion will be one with the rose of love.

The music of Liebestraum is still present. In the garden that music is overshadowed by the Egmont Overture. The reader finds that in this beautiful garden of prose and poetry the dream of love prevails. Still, we long for another story, perhaps this story transplanted to the wonders of the world of film.

Erle Kahnert, Journalist and Author of 'Assassins of Eden'

The Story of Marly Mansion: another mystery thriller from author Charlotte Fielden.

Once upon a time, Virginia’s life was sterile, boring and very, very unfulfilling. She was married to Godfrey Gilmore, a periodontist who preferred the company of his dental patients – and his daily newspapers – to that of his own wife.

But that was in the days before the delightful sojourn in Italy spent at the invitation of her sister Sylvia. That was in the days before her new, whirlwind relationship with John Vandermeer. That was in the days of the horrific mystery in the district surrounding the charming community of Positano on Italy’s Amalfi coast. And that was in the days before husband Godfrey, following a romantic dalliance of his own, felt he had nothing left to live for and his suicide brought an abrupt end to Virginia’s barren marriage.

Flash forward a few years to the fully-bloomed romance between Virginia and the noted film-maker Vandermeer. Flash forward to Marlborough, England where stands the iconic estate known locally as the Marly Mansion. And flash forward to France during the heady days of the Cannes Film Festival. It all sounds so idyllic, almost surreal in its charm, but destruction, murder and mayhem can lurk anywhere, even in such a rarefied artistic atmosphere.

And so is told The Story of Marly Mansion, the latest novel from the creative, prolific pen of Canadian author Charlotte Fielden. This is her sequel to the 2010 thriller The Wolves of Positano – and with this sequel comes the central cast of characters from Wolves. The Story of Marly Mansion does much more than simply pick up from where Wolves left off – the key characters are there, of course, but this time out, the murder and mayhem are complemented by a mysterious kidnapping, and a police investigation into drug-running.

The Story of Marly Mansion once again finds Fielden at her creative best. The plotline, though complex as the story weaves from the past into the present, is both bracing and intriguing – and Fielden moves the story forward at breakneck speed. The characters are well defined – a Fielden trait – and every chapter brings with it yet another reason to eagerly turn the page. The Story of Marly Mansion is a gem of a mystery – and author Fielden can lay claim to yet another triumph.


Fielden's second book of poetry, Beads on a Fragile String, is now in distribution. Her first collection of poetry, Fragrance of Thyme, was released in 2008 to considerable reader and critical acclaim. In Beads on a Fragile String, Fielden reflects with insight and sensitivity on her life as it has unfolded in the years from 2008 to the present day. She has dedicated this collection to the memory of her beloved brother Ralph, who died in 1998.

The poetry in Beads on a Fragile String runs the gauntlet of emotion - the sheer, simple joy of a day's outing to Pinery Provincial Park on the eastern shore of Lake Huron, the melancholy and enormous sense of loss in the words of The Waiting Room, the haunting chill of the poem entitled A Child, and the poet's expressed outrage over the folly and misguided glory of war in the dramatic No More Sacrifices. In every piece, the uplifting power of Fielden's love of life is on full display; it is the common thread that holds these Beads on a Fragile String together.

Author and anthologist John Robert Columbo makes this enormously complimentary observation about Fielden's work: "When Charlotte Fielden uses the word 'I' in a line of a poem, I sense the presence of three people: her, you, me. Her trinity is our triangle of affection." Deborah Windsor, executive director of the Writers' Union of Canada (2002-2010), offers this heartfelt note to the poet: "During the past eight years, I have come to hear your voice in my head when I read your poems. This is a gift I will always treasure."

And that, too, is Fielden's gift to her readers in Beads on a Fragile String. This collection is a treasure-trove of deeply personal, spiritually energizing poetry that warms the soul, charms the heart and soothes the spirit.

World Book And News March 27, 2011

Hi Charlotte !! I just got a wonderful surprise in the mail the other day!! I love your new book! I am reading it and keeping it on my night stand. Puts a smile on my face everytime I see it. Thank you so much!!!!

Irene Rowe, New Brunswick

Yes, the words you use in BEADS ON A FRAGILE SRING that make up the necklace are just as I mentioned before, they are so refreshing as you take us from place to place, but still wanting the reader to re-read the lines again and again. You have described your gift so well when you state that you don't know where your gift will lead you, or the reason for the poetry to come forth, but little by little it is like "water dripping incessantly". With a humble heart you have described how your gift has transcended to all parts of the world, even though you don't know how the ideas get formulated. In the Song of Solomon, it states "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.

Margaret Russell

Congratulations on "Beads on a Fragile String." It is a handsome book, great cover art. The design is attractive. The full-length photograph of the author at the end of the book is lovely and lively. The poems seemed at times to alternate, the connecting "string" being the author's sensorium of experience with a sense of good cheer. I really liked "There Once Was a Lady" and "Pinery" and "Hands" and "Tranquility" and "Born on a Sunday," to name but a handful of poems along the way. I see the new book as a continuation of the work in "Fragrance of Thyme."

John Robert Colombo, author, anthologist, and poet

The Wolves of Positano is an exquisite symphony of counterpoints. Charlotte Fielden is the conductor silently directing the words and images of the new world and the old, of the fading of male dominance and the recovery of the feminine world of partnership. Hidden between the lines on every page is the music of the dream of love. The story line includes the birthing of a motion picture based on events of the story. Long shot and meticulous close-up, real world and reel world intertwine. Nature, art and music subtly evoke a longing for wholeness in the unsuspecting reader. And the path to wholeness is to hear the magic flute of nature and the responsive flute of art and music.

Turn the page and we uncover an immature, shallow, frozen relationship in Toronto. The woman, Virginia, fearfully leaves. The conductor's baton pauses, then lifts this courageous woman to the skies, landing in Italy, the Amalfi coast, the storied land of Positano. We are introduced to Virginia's sister, family, friends, associates, people, some who are open and transparent, some who live the dream of love, and some who awaken strong feelings of care and concern. Where are the wolves? Nearby.

The wolf is a magnificent animal, considered by indigenous people in North America to be wise and knowing. Curiously we never see a wolf in this melodic story. We are warned to be wary and fearful. The conductor does direct us through some moments of horror, clearly outcomes of a culture of male dominance, yes even in Italy. And the reader comes face to face with the wolves of Positano.

The dream of love prevails, and it will be the hardy reader that does not succumb to tears of joy in the finale of this beautiful symphony.

Erle Kahnert, January 23, 2011

Charlotte Fielden's mystery novel The Wolves of Positano kept me up last night until 2:00 when I finished it. The descriptive way that the Amalfi coast was described made it sound delicious. I feel like I was on an Italian vacation. Fielden's ability to flesh out the characters is amazing, and I feel I know each of them personally. Some of them are terrifying - don't particularly want to know them personally! Kudos- this is an amazing book. I am so looking forward to reading the sequel in what looks like a possible series. You mentioned that Virginia and John Vandermeer are led to the standing stones of Avebury, not far from Stonehenge in their next mystery adventure. Greatly looking forward to the continuing saga.


James J. Reinhart

It is a grand novel in the way that Balzac wrote grand novels, with many characters and with depictions of numerous locales and levels of society. I really feel I am living in these Italian towns and meeting all these people. I hate to say goodbye to (most of) them. You are great with people, with descriptions of their appearances and with accounts of their backgrounds. You also have access to people's emotions and bodily responses. I find many sections exemplary, especially the scenes set in Toronto that I mentioned in my last latter as well as the inspired invention of list of parents, with each parent being highlighted, including the interesting detective-work. There is a wealth of biography here! I also like the feel of film-making being underway. You are quite right to focus on the element of play. Rather in the manner of a play by Shakespeare, "the play's the thing": which the illusion, which the reality? The murder mystery seems somewhat incongruously serious in this setting, which is close to romance and comedy, rather far from irony and tragedy, yet it does underpin the action and supply a downside to the upside of these idyllic countryside communities and expat lifestyles. The characters are likeable and leap off the screen -- there, I said it; leap off the page, really. It is a novel of transformation and as you believe in that and in redemption, it works. It is an ambitious novel that is deceptively light-hearted in tone and quite engrossing. You have an amiable and highly readable style! Well worth the effort of writing it; well worth reading and savouring!


JOHN ROBERT COLOMBO --author, anthologist, and poet

Three sub-plots are entwined in The Wolves of Positano: the first one psychological, in which the characters of two sisters are beautifully developed, showing real insight into the delicate process of ageing; the second mysterious, wherein the victim, the inspectors and the perpetrators remain elusive; and the third, the background, is a hymn to the beauty of the Amalfi coast of Italy.

The result is highly enjoyable although almost as unpredictable as an Agatha Christie plot since the 'culprits' are subtly introduced only in the last eighty pages.

Virginia is on a visit to her sister Sylvia in Italy to escape from a stifling marriage in Canada. Her dentist husband conveniently commits suicide leaving her free to work on a screenplay about a mysterious death in a cave, for a movie director with whom she has fallen in love. The novel would need little adaptation to become a good screenplay itself as it progresses mainly through conversation.

Incidentally, as in all of Charlotte Fielden's previous productions, the book's cover is another of its most striking aspects.


GILDA ANNE SANOUILLET, retired professor of Information Science,
Université de Nice, France

While editing The Wolves of Positano I was anxiously awaiting the dénouement and truly enjoyed the well-crafted ending. Wonderful book. Powerful writing!


JERRY FIELDEN, Author, Editor, Composer and Creator of ARAPACIS

The Wolves of Positano: A holiday-from-hell mystery on Italy's glorious Amalfi coast.

Virginia's life had come to a dramatic fork in the road. She had spent the past 10 years married to Dr. Godfrey Gilmore, a periodontist, and a man who seemed to prefer the reading of the morning newspaper and the viewing of his patients' dental structure more than he did the company of his loving spouse. There were no children in the marriage between Virginia and Dr. Godfrey Gilmore - there wasn't much love, either, and there was most assuredly no passion, no fun and absolutely no spontaneity.

What, precisely, is a woman to do under such awkward circumstance? How does she find a way to avoid losing herself in a sterile, barren relationship? How does she get her life back? That's where her older sister Sylvia, the sibling with the artistic flair, comes into the picture - she's just invited Virginia to spend some relaxing, rejuvenating time in Positano on Italy's gorgeous Amalfi coast.

A summer in Italy? Well, why not? But in all that sunshine, some sinister forces are lurking. And what had once promised to be an endless summer of sheer delight quickly turns into something dark, mysterious - and very frightening. Was it the wolves that killed and mutilated the body found in a cave - or was it something else? And back home in Toronto, what is going on with Dr. Godfrey Gilmore? He may not be quite as stodgy and passionless as Virginia has been led to believe. He may have a side to him that Virginia has never seen.

This is the setting that lays the groundwork for The Wolves of Positano, the latest novel from the marvellously creative, prolific pen of Canadian author Charlotte Fielden. This is Fielden's fifth novel - she's written nine books in total - and it is one of her most memorable. The plotline is complex and bracing, the cast of characters superbly defined - and Fielden pushes the story ahead in a masterly, suspenseful fashion. Every page, every chapter has something to rivet the imagination as the author deftly weaves a web of mystery that turns a summer vacation in sun-dappled Italy into a sinister holiday from hell.

Fielden's many fans will find The Wolves of Positano right up their alley - the perfect mystery for the perfect summer weekend at the cottage or the patio.

***

Charlotte Fielden is a Toronto-based writer. She is an award-winning poet and author, and has developed and adapted her work for the stage, TV, radio and film. Her short stories and noted poetry have been included in a number of anthologies and literary reviews and have been published in her collections - A Thin Place and Fragrance of Thyme. Her four previously published novels are Palatine Hill, and the acclaimed Weil trilogy of Crying As She Ran, Messages Like Memories and An Age Without a Name. Her engaging published play Saving Angel is having its world premier September 3, 2010 in Bancroft, Ontario. Fielden is a founding member of The Writers' Union of Canada and the Playwrights' Guild of Canada. Additional biographical information on the author can be found at www.cfmbooks.com

The Wolves of Positano
By Charlotte Fielden
ISBN: 9780973677980
TO ORDER OR PURCHASE: Volumes Publishing - 1-888-571-2665


Saving Angel by Charlotte Fielden is a two act play featuring HP Blavatsky, the Irish poet WB Yeats, and scholar Denis Saurat. The reason for bringing these three historical figures together is to help determine the fate of a young pupil of HPB’s, Angel Shiner, whose psychic nature and subsequent unconventional behaviour have landed her in a mental asylum. Saurat as impartial judge, and Blavatsky and Yeats as witnesses on Angel’s behalf, are to convene with a board of psychiatrists in order to determine young Angel’s future — whether she is well enough to be released or whether she should remain at the asylum. If the above is the straightforward prosaic account of this two act play, metaphorically we are witness to another drama. In this drama we have the three psychiatrists of the board representing various developmental stage of the lower mind: one a Roman Catholic perceiving the world ultimately through the Church dogma; one a Protestant concerned about his scientific standing among his peers; and a secular Jew who seems to be looking for a way forward in his life. Angel then becomes the light of the higher self in all its unpredictable nature and HPB is that power of the heart capable of allowing quick glimpses of that light to come through. However, this play is taking place on the last day of HPB’s life, a warning that in every soul’s life there comes a time when it must open up to this inner life or have that door close on it for the rest of this incarnation. Yeats become the example of what can be accomplished when the full power of the intuition is allowed to flow through as he extemporaneously spouts poetry and thus adds a rich lyrical tapestry to the rhythm of the play. Finally, Saurat is that part of the human mind that must make sense out of our inner experience and provide us with the story that will help us to put our experiences into context so that we can move forward, referred to sometimes as the power of discrimination. From a more theosophical standpoint, the play endows Blavatsky with god-like powers that enable her to grab the mayavi-rupas of people out of time, to separate that body out of unprogressed souls, to clear away the elementals that blind most souls from seeing truly, and all this while life slowly ebbs from her mortal body. Theosophy is always fighting against the idea that grows in people’s minds that gods or saviours are going to come and endow on us miraculous powers, or to save us from the messes that we have made. The endowment of these godlike powers to Blavatsky or the Masters has always been the Achilles heel to the Movement as so many students have used such fanciful speculations to drift away from reality. That being said, poetic licence being a right and proper tool of the playwright, taking such fancy as real is a criticism of the audience member and not of the play itself. Overall the second act of the play runs more smoothly than the first. The Blavatsky-god was much more powerful in the first act and the terminology, especially with respect to seers and mediums a bit distracting. In the second act as we begin to see what Ms. Fielden was up to, we are able to sit back and enjoy the ride. At times Angel’s seemingly airy flights of fancy threaten to carry the play into a different world, but this tension is offset nicely with the addition of Yeats’ poetry providing an anchor to the emotional undertone of the play. In addition, Saurat’s power of discrimination effectively pushes the narrative forward, not allowing us to get bogged down with naming that which cannot be named. Saving Angel is a wonderful insight into the turbulent workings of the human mind. The play buffets us from one experience to another challenging the reader to find the calm at the centre around which all these experiences whirl. It is only at the centre that we can lift ourselves above the storm and see reality for what it truly is. It is only from the centre that we can save our own higher angel.


ROBERT BRUCE MACDONALD - Editor of FOHAT

CHARLOTTE FIELDEN's latest play 'Saving Angel' presents us with a delightful dance of ancient esoteric mysteries. The mysteries are revealed in this magical comedy/drama and are brought to light and to life on a 21st Century stage. Teachings of the ancient Wisdom Schools, hidden for centuries in the dusty attics of the mystics are presented in theatrical episodes and exposés. We watch the unreal become real, the old become new, and the soul revealed - for better or for worse. Bravo Charlotte! A veritable tour de force.


AUDREY ANN LOWRIE - Colour Institute of Canada, B.A., PhD.


I read "An Age Without a Name" from stem to stern and finished reading it in the late afternoon, with a sense of Charlotte Fielden's accomplishment and my appreciation. The second hundred pages acquired a novelty factor, as I had no idea where the action was headed. Here are some of my reactions in short form. Good cover. Handsome package. The writing is extremely fluid. It is obvious Fielden was having a good time writing the book, describing the characters, elaborating their relationships, and moving towards the finale. She avoids hyperrealism by avoiding excesses. I love the character of Manly Gray; every man can identify with him. Terence and Sarah are well delineated. I really like the depiction of the Karmic Board, all the afterlife settings! Now and then she remains on the surface of interpretation, but so infectious is her enthusiasm for her characters and their interventions, she carries the reader with her. "An Age Without a Name" is the third and last part of her "Commedia." I now see "Crying as She Ran" as her "Inferno", "Messages like Memories" as her "Purgatorio", and "An Age Without a Name" as her "Paradiso".


John Robert Colombo - Author and Anthologist


The poems in FRAGRANCE OF THYME felt light and silvery with a crystal-like tone that set a mood of hope. It restored my soul.


Selina Appleby - Niagara-on-the-Lake

I would like to thank you for the pleasure you have given me with the Weil Trilogy. From the beginning to the end pure enjoyment, especially the concluding volume An Age Without A Name. Fanastic! and since I'm an optimist I found the ending GREAT!


Bravo! -- Monique A - Toronto

Fragrance of Thyme is a poetic autobiography, revealing and hiding at the same time moments that have marked the author's life and sensibility. The reader is invited to share meditations on love, death, motherhood, cities, outhouses, flowers, washing machines... Charlotte Fielden's exceptional command of the English language makes this book a continuous delight.


Gilda Anne Sanouillet -Retired Professor of Information Science,
Université de Nice, France

Charlotte Fielden has written a play that is truly extraordinary .... engaging the viewer on variouis levels...emotional, Intellectual, and spiritual. One cannot help being enthralled from beginning to end.


Murray Kash - Actor, broadcaster, motivational speaker

FRAGRANCE OF THYME is a unique expression of ineffable leaps of joy experienced by Charlotte FIELDEN. A master of language and soul travel, she takes you on a mystical flight of 'star-studded light.' There you are graciously introduced to angels in the sky, 'African nights striped in black', 'dew-kissed rampant weeds' and 'salamanders shining on moon-washed walls'. Yes, Charlotte has taken nature by surprise to create a poetic frenzy of delight as she 'banishes barriers to hidden mysteries' of the cosmos and leaves us in a state of wonder. I have known Charlotte as a mystic and writer, but I was not aware of her ecstatic poetry where she overflows with both mundane as well as mystical experiences. I suggest that you indulge yourself in Fragrance of Thyme, Charlotte FIELDEN's poetic expression of life.


Audrey Ann Lowrie, PhD, educator and program developer, author of Into the Rainbow, and founder and director of The Colour Institute of Canada

Each night before I retire, I relax by reading one of your poems and think about it, jot down a few notes, and then fall asleep. You can see from this, that I find your poetry very relaxing, and at the present time, this is good. What wonderful advice you have given to your grandsons. Condensed, when you wrote 'feel the power of your wings" It is like the mother bird with the fledglings in the nest, still unsure of their flight. It is also as the old adage says, "Know Thyself." For years men have been trying to fly to the moon and outer space, but were limited. The Greek legend of Daedelus and his son Icarus was just about that. Daedelus had wings of wax, but their attempts failed because they went too close to the sun and the wings melted. You gave the warning, "not too close to the sun." Your spiritual qualities were showing forth as you told them to "proliferate your special gifts," and one of them is the gift of love, which has to be given away and shared, as do our other gifts. This is truly beautiful.


Blessings,
Margaret R

Fragrance of Thyme is casual yet accomplished, lyrical as well as spiritual. It's a lovely package, airy and sweet-smelling. You use the phrase "to be my style." You have succeeded. Yeats talks about the dancer and the dance. Here the person and the poet are one with the words. I keep coming upon references to the weather, the atmosphere, and to the natural world of graceful organic forms, less to inorganic hunks and chunks. The tone is consistent: lyrical, sweet. Like thyme. One feature that has always impressed me about your writing, whether in prose form, poetic form, or dramatic form, is the feeling for words based not on their incantatory quality as much as on their traditional quality. I seem to sense a love of literature, especially what used to be called "English Lang & Lit."

While there is a continuity of experience and expression that runs between the very early poems and the latest ones, I am pleased to note that by far the most impressive ones are those written in the 2000s. Throughout one is aware of the passage of time, with emotion, but without regret or dismay. SILENCE IN THE ABSENCE OF MATTER in memory of Thomas Merton on page 64 is a classic and should be widely reprinted, especially in feminist publications. A high point is "Mountains" which inverts the paradisal imagery and turns Toronto's trail of ravines into a range of mythic mountains! "Imprints of a different kind" is marvellous (especially when read in conjunction with "Shifting Sands," the next poem).

Without drawing attention to it, you introduce invention into the collection. "My Flora Friends" is really quite remarkable. Playfulness is also part of your repertory of effects. The casual reader will overlook a phrase like "the naked I," but the discerning reader will note it. Very fine is "between the pause that makes night day" which is simply there, without asking, like a grace note; indeed, like grace itself.


John Robert Colombo, author and anthologist.

Fragrance of Thyme Press Release

Fragrance of Thyme: a poetic gift from the soul of an artist.

A poem, beautifully structured, lovingly developed, sensitive to the heart, is a glorious work of art. A collection of poetry, spanning a poet's entire creative life, is like a gift from the Gods. Charlotte Fielden is offering that gift to her legions of literary admirers.

Fielden, a Canadian literary and theatrical icon, has just released Fragrance of Thyme, an anthology of her poetic works covering the period from the mid-1950s through to the present day. She has provided her fans with an open door to her life, inviting them inside to be embraced by her hospitality, her wisdom, and her considerable insight into the human condition.

The chronology, the time-line linkage, of Fragrance of Thyme is perfect. Fielden opens with her poetry from the 1950s when she was a woman in love. She moves forward through a time of children, and then grandchildren, and then the sorrowful period upon the death of her parents and her cherished sisters, Leah and Eve. The sorrow is so genuine, so palpable that, at times, it is almost as though a reader would wish to reach out to touch and heal a breaking heart.

What follows in Fragrance of Thyme is poetry from an extraordinarily reflective period in Fielden's life. She writes of the weather, the cycle of life, her garden, the kindness of strangers, her perspective on life itself. The poetry clearly comes from the soul of a woman who has loved, who has lost, and who has persevered through all of life's countless challenges.

Fans of poetry, fans of Fielden herself, will greatly appreciate this collection. They will see it for what it is - a poetic journey through the time and tides of life. Fragrance of Thyme is lovingly created, beautifully constructed, and emotionally heartfelt - just like Fielden's poetry.

****
Fragrance of Time is Charlotte Fielden's eighth published book, her sixth in the past four years. Her artistic career has spanned the theatrical stage (she played in The Merchant of Venice, under Tyrone Guthrie, at the Canadian Stratford Festival), and television (she starred as Susie the mouse in the CBC series Chez Helene). Fielden has also enjoyed a lengthy, recognized career as a novelist and playwright. She is a founding member of both the Playwrights Guild of Canada and The Writers Union of Canada.


John Robert Colombo, author and anthologist has this to say about Charlotte Fielden's third and final novel of the Weil Trilogy:

"An Age Without a Name" is the third and last part of your "Commedia." I now see "Crying As She Ran" as your "Inferno," "Messages like Memories" as your "Purgatorio," and "An Age Without a Name" as your "Paradiso." You have come through! Congratulations!


In CHARLOTTE FIELDEN'S An Age Without A Name I enjoyed the mystery unfolding of Sarah Weil's life, Charlotte playing with the time lines, her use of dreams - their importance in the lives of the characters. The connections of the afterlife and life on earth are intriguing. The novel begins dramatically and the ending is no less exciting. In between these pages there's a fascinating story of family dynamics peopled by powerful characters.


MARGUERITE E. HUNT, retired English teacher, Oakwood C.I.

From reviews for CRYING AS SHE RAN (1970) - Fielden's first novel of the Weil Trilogy: THE TAMARACK REVIEW - .an experimental novel that in several respects outdoes even Catcher in the Rye.

KINGSTON WHIG STANDARD - Charlotte FIELDEN varies a poetic, staccato style when expressing Sarah's thoughts, with an astute sense of dialogue, when speaking for the two generations. She'll be compared to Bernard Malamud.leaving the reader with sufficient curiosity to read the next instalment

THE ST. CATHERINE STANDARD - The author has a gleefully childlike approach to life as evidenced in this book and at its best, the writing approaches poetry.

THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR - .found the story to be a well-organized, at time stunningly-poetic account of three little girls growing up in a well-to-do Jewish family of Toronto.

THE MONTREAL GAZETTE - The book is episodic, but only as the mind and remembrances are so. Memory is easy as it roams over the young.unhurriedly, telling us all we need to know. You were there and so was I when it was. Love, marriage, sex, joy and sorrow are to be encompassed in our lives and make us what others see and love. Charlotte has gently taken all of us on a journey into our hidden by-ways and secret thoughts and made the remembrance of them fresh and full of joy. Crying as she Ran is the first in a projected trilogy and it augurs well for the future.


In An Age Without A Name, this new novel by Charlotte Fielden, she displays yet again her charming ability to handle characters, their emotions, and their passage through time. A delightful new novel.


Sharon Marcus author of The Sufi Experience

An Age Without A Name is the best thing that Charlotte Fielden has written. I don't know what else to say...it's too good for words


Jerry Fielden, editor, and creator of AraPacis

Saving Angel is a beautiful piece of work. It shows the connection that Charlotte Fielden has with Madame Blavatsky, the one that myself and so many others share with her. This play is long overdue and welcomed by many who applause Charlotte's ability to convey and share the controversy and the wisdom of Theosophy. Now, many have this new opportunity of either being introduced or reintroduced to Madame Blavatsky and the significant body of work she left for humanity to open consciousness in a significant way. I look forward to being in the front row of the next performance. Thanks you dear Angel for who you are and what you've become.


Namaste - Tamara Penn, Toronto-based Master rebirther-breathworker

I just finished reading Messages Like Memories. What a wonderful story. I was so impressed with the seamless flow of this story that travelled back and forth in time. I went through a range of emotions while reading it and even had a happy little cry. I am thankful for this excellent story. Charlotte Fielden is a great writer .


Wellness Strategist and creator of The ChiFunk Entrainment System
416-955-0046

Enjoyed Palatine Hill. I have been doing some family research and was shocked when I recently discovered my connection to Niagara-on-the-Lake. John Whitmore is related to me through his sister Mary Whitmore Hoople. It would be wonderful to make a connection to the family after all these years.

Your book was fascinating!


Kind regards, Patricia Allen Evans

Saving Angel is an interesting and mystical play where magical, subtle reality becomes apparent through the powerful personality of Helena Blavatsky. In fact, in my opinion, the Blavatsky character in this book is developed and presented so well, that I couldn't help but having a constant impression that is was not a fictional character, but real Blavatsky on the last day of her profound, altruistic and very important life as a messenger of the timeless wisdom of theosophy.

Saving Angel is an eloquent and poetic work. Butler is a poet by heart and it is shown that every poet should be spontaneous and fearless. Butler's character is romantic, curious, open-minded, heartfelt and sensitive. He seems to be an emotional catalyst in the play. His presence and his poetry fill the dark clinic cell with the mystery of far away lands, the freshness of sea breeze, with sweet memories of something deeply intimate and sacred.

Then there is Saurat, a man of logic, experiment and order. His logic though is multi-dimensional and his soul is an ancient one as well. Blavatsky knew that and therefore asked him to fulfil a role of a mediator of the Saving Angel process. And he performs his duty really well. He is a man of a big heart and inquiring mind.

And what can I say of Angel? An innocent, "divinely inspired" child, a wonderful soul forced into confinement by narrow-minded inquisitors of modern times who call themselves educated and knowledgeable doctors. Some of them stubbornly refuse to let go of their fixation on material limitations. In reality they are the ones who require help, and not Angel. They need to be saved from their own tensions and conditioning, and Blavatsky attempts in doing that as well. And her magic worked on doctor Flynn through whom we witness the wonderful power of transformation from a denier to an awakened spirit.

Saving Angel is one deep and well-crafted play and I cannot wait to see it performed on stage.


Vadim Melkhov, poet - author of Two Lives, a narrative poem

...In the play the description of what happened to my father Denis Saurat during the war is as if Charlotte Fielden knew. I expect she read 'Death in the Dreamer' where he describes what happened to him. His part in the play is like him...at times he sounds like Agatha Christie's Hector Poirot. But it is good. I enjoyed reading it...Strange how walking over hot coals and no burns until analyzed when painful blisters appear...


Cécille Triat-Saurat, Santiago, Chile

I am very grateful to you for sending me Saving Angel which I have read with great interest and pleasure. Also it has touched me personally since my mother`s eldest sister was the wife of Denis Saurat, and he was also the professor at King`s College London under whom I studied when young. I admire the invention of your work and the inter-weaving of different themes to make a whole.


Sylvia Worswick, Oxford, England

George and I have just returned from our weekend at Niagara on the Lake. We had a wonderful time. I took your book, Palatine Hill with me and am almost finished it.

It was the perfect book to take for this weekend. Everywhere we went, I saw markers of places in the book. We drove down Four Mile Creek Road and walked by the sign explaining about Butler's Rangers. I looked out on the lake and envisioned the rebels coming across. We stayed at an inn in Virgil, called the Lawrenceville Guesthouse. Next to it was a small cemetery with tombstones dating back to the 1800's.

Reading your book added a wonderful dimension to the weekend. Thank you for that


Paulette Volgyesi, teacher-librarian

...Fielden is a serious writer who, at least for the time being, has chosen to self-publish.

Why? Because, depending on the publishing house, production quality, promotion and market accessibility it can approach that of traditional industry players —I know because I asked her — the author retains control over the work’s artistic vision.

Vision is something Fielden possesses aplenty. Occasionally macabre, always ethereal, frequently dark yet inevitably tinged with humour, the stories in A Thin Place do not simply ripple reality’s surface, but hammer the doors of perception, revealing a world where the familiar remains, yet is transformed.

How so? Check the following.

A heritage journey to Ireland turns travelogue to past lives. An Autistic girl-child who yips like a wolf is telepathically life-connected to the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A silent woman of flawless beauty, dreamlike as a wood nymph, drives men to destruction. An agnostic Jewish musical protegé is consumed by the conviction that his friend, Nursing Sister Angela, sucks the life force from patients in her care. An overloud radio prompts a complaint that leads to the discovery of a body and a mad, pinball-machine chain reaction where unrelated innocents are the chiming energized bumpers.

A small-time children’s show host’s identity crisis leads to psychotherapy and a life-altering metamorphosis. A separate horror, arguable as evil as the Final Solution, breeds behind the wire of a nazi concentration camp. A garlic-eating rabbi turned kosher slaughterer is visited by devils in Hasidic guise on a matter of commerce. A petulant artist burdened with father issues wreaks an apocalyptic vision upon the Sistine Chapel and an elderly woman of phenomenal spunk defies her controlling family and, in an act of ultimate independence, re-establishes her connection with the Earth.

This is the stuff of twilight. Were Rod Serling still with us, surely he’d approve.

There’s nothing ostentatious in Fielden’s writing. The prose is clean, clear, uncomplicated. Indeed, Fielden’s story, "Hatching" contains one of the most moving depictions of an individual departing this world I’ve read in along time.

 "The Bauer-Hirsch Law of Survival: and "Bubeh Meisse" are short of brilliant. "Amelia’s music" possesses a delightful, old word/Grimms’ Fairy tales (sans faeries) tonality; a lovely piece of literary music, imaginative and captivating. And there’s undeniable potency to "Sister of Mercy" and its compelling portrayal of a man’s consumptive descent into paranoiac delusion at the cost of his art. Good strong stuff.

Indeed, there is worth to all of the stories in A Thin Place. Not only is it a worthy read it is perhaps an indication of changes yet to come not just in self-publishing, but the publishing world at large as experienced and talented authors increasingly experiment with non-traditional venues in bringing their work to market.

We can hope so. It’d be about time..."


John Britt for the Sun Times
John Britt's novel "Bob's Ichthyosaur" was a contender for the 2005 Stephen Leacock award for Humour. His second Novel, "Maggie's Day" is scheduled for a spring 2007 release.

Leo Tolstoy, Jack London, de Maupassant, Hardy, Anais Nin — these masters used the short story to inspect a living character, to autopsy a death. Like Bacon used the essay to explore an idea. Like Monteverdi the madrigal to examine an emotion. Like Shakespeare the sonnet to capture a perfect moment. How to do it: sonneteer Phillip Sydney had the answer. "Look in thy heart and write."

Charlotte Fielden has written short stories for over half a century. A therapist, she has peered deeply into many hearts, above all her own. In reporting her insights, her instrument is the play, the children’s story, the novel, the short story. In A THIN PLACE she has joined the ranks of the masters. Read it and weep. Or laugh, or soar. Or mourn. Read it, and learn her secrets.

Robert Arnold Russel, author and futurist

"This book (A THIN PLACE) will take you by the soul and bring you to places unknown... are you a bit uneasy? Good then! I had an experience and a half while editing A Thin Place."

Cheers, Jerry Fielden, Editor

I read CRYING AS SHE RAN the prequel to MESSAGES LIKE MEMORIES and I was captivated and moved. It was unlike anything I had ever read of Charlotte Fielden, including her historical novel PALATINE HILL which I read and enjoyed.

Charlotte Fielden reveals the characters non-stop - thought and feeling at the same time, talking to themselves about themselves, exposing their Jewishness to the core with truth. It was a unique experience for me. I was one with them.

I am looking forward to reading MESSAGES LIKE MEMORIES the sequel to CRYING AS SHE RAN.

Jenny Svider - retired public servant, Language Bureau, Public Service Commission - Federal Government of Canada

I would like to tell you how much I enjoyed reading MESSAGES LIKE MEMORIES. I found the characters richly drawn and could identify with them. In fact, I could close my eyes and picture them. Congratulations.

Paulette Volgyesi, retired elementary school teacher - English/French/Library Sciences

MESSAGES LIKE MEMORIES begins as a leisurely summer drive, and slowly accelerates into a fascinating and unforgettable adventure. Congrats.

Stan Jacobson
TV Producer–CBC

MESSAGES LIKE MEMORIES was fun to read. I enjoyed Fielden's earthiness and the comic way she handles bodily functions. I admire her inventiveness, versatility in language. The puzzle she presents is akin to working on a family history - gathering evidence about grandparents, aunts or uncles, figuring out what motivated them and why they behaved as they did, then fictionalizing, exaggerating flaws, foibles and mistakes, giving the imagination free rein. In MESSAGES LIKE MEMORIES  we find parents that wish to create a perfect family, or a perfect society only to find that relatively minor notions, myths, ideals, rules, concepts, plans, intentions etc. turn out to have almost an opposite effect to the one intended. It is comic to see the mess that results, but ironic in the effects it has on the children, and tragic in their inability to understand what they have done and what they are continuing to do. Congratulations!

Michael Benazon,
Author and Journalist


I was in that delicious state of anticipation, where Charlotte Fielden
had placed me, when I entered the last section of her novel MESSAGES LIKE MEMORIES about Herald and Sarah. Then, as though I were on a divine massage table, she touched me with her description of Sarah's end. She massaged away my kinks and anguishes, and kept and left me in a state of bliss.  Marvelous writing. Highest congratulations.
Robert Arnold Russel ,
Author, Economist and Futurist

MESSAGES LIKE MEMORIES is an explanation and an enigma at the same time. Who or what is the mysterious thread weaving its enchantment throughout this second part of the Weil saga? Many truths are in there to be found and many lies to be dispelled. A riveting read, I loved it."

Jerry Fielden,
BA, History, MLIS (McGill)
Author, Composer and History Archivist

I want to congratulate you on PH, which I just finished reading.  I thought you did very well with the characterizations and the dialogue, which are important in a book of this kind.  You also did well with creating the historical context and fitting the characters into it.  I noticed that you used connecting phrases to remind the reader how the past, the family traditions and its character had affected the people in the present.  Very good.  I can see that an enormous amount of research went into it. I hope that the book will be picked up for background reading in schools. 
Michael Benazon ,
Author and Journalist

You have written an amazingly detailed piece of Canadian history, both real and imagined. Congratulations. On film, your epic will probably have to be a Canadian, American, British and possibly French co-production. Again my compliments to the chef of PALATINE HILL.
Stan Jacobson , Producer,
CBC Televison



An eerie feeling of actually being a very present observer of Canadian History, like operating the video and stopping and watching then fast-forwarding through time. 

Jerry Fielden, BA (History)
MLIS, Records Analyst
McGill University Archives



Charlotte Fielden had a "mission impossible" ahead of her when she undertook to bring to life two centuries of events and people in the settling of the Niagara-on-the-Lake district. She has succeeded, after years of dedicated research, in writing this historical romance in a most readable style, far from the dry accounts in most Canadian history books. Names on tombstones and in faded diaries have become interesting characters throughout their portion of the saga.

Ms. Fielden revives a past which could be an inspiration to today's less patriotic citizens.

Gilda Anne Sanouillet
Retired Professor of Information Science
Université de Nice, France




PALATINE HILL turned out...superb!

John Robert Colombo
Author and Anthologist
Order of Canada




At a time when thousands of tourists to Niagara-on-the-Lake think this town is primarily the home of fudge and fancy boutiques, Charlotte Fielden’s PALATINE HILL is not only needed but greatly appreciated. With special eagerness and creative agility she traces an 18th to19th century United Empire Loyalist family in order to explore the history of Niagara-on-the-Lake – a town that has long lost its identity.

Selina Appleby
Resident NOTL
Retired TV Story Editor




I did enjoy PALATINE HILL very much and admired the amount of research that went into it. I also learned facts about Canadian history I had forgotten such as details about the Fenian raids. Your character portrayals of the main female characters made them very real and interesting to me. I really cared about their destinies. Your descriptions were beautiful. Also I admired the feeling of authenticity in the diary excerpts and the letters and other pieces of writing. Well done, Charlotte. I am glad to recommend it to my friends and Niagara-on-the-Lake relatives.

Marguerite E. Hunt
Retired English Teacher at Oakwood Collegiate Institute, Toronto




The Secord-Servos story has all the trappings of a Jane Austin novel: a wealthy influential family falls into ruin after more than a century of prosperity only to be dealt the final blow of losing its stately home in a fire ... only it's not fiction. It's the story of a family, who for  more than 100 years held land near the mouth of Four Mile Creek on land known locally as Palatine Hill ...

Sean Coffey - The Niagara Advance
Niagara-on-the-Lake




My dear Charlotte: I have just returned from a trip down memory lane where I met my ancestors. It is hard to express my feelings at this time but I feel that you have introduced me to the family I never met, but I now feel I know intimately.

The book is fabulous. To read the book you have an idea of the enormous amount of research you put into it. The French, the German, the study of plant life, etc. was tremendous.

...CONGRATULATIONS on a job well done.

June (Secord) Gillespie




I am finding PALATINE HILL enthralling both as a novel and for the historic information. I hadn't realized how strongly the Canadian settlers felt for their British origins and values. It is hard to pin down the differences between Americans and Canadians but any stranger can feel it is there and this book does much to explain it. Charlotte Fielden has written a lovely book on Canadian History in the form of a novel that is yet a reality. I shall probably read parts of it again.

P. Berteletti,
Serravalle, Italy




At long last, a Canadian GONE WITH THE WIND with the publication of the historical novel PALATINE HILL by Charlotte Fielden. It is a riveting saga of the Servos-Secord families from the time of their arrival in the New World, through their trials and tribulations that they endured in the Indian Wars, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, right up to 1927, the beginning of modern times. Fact and fiction blend together in PALATINE HILL that makes it both enlightening and entertaining, and a perfect candidate for a major film, or film series.

Murray Kash
Actor, Broadcaster, Motivational Speaker


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